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Posted (edited)

IC: Caana (Hanaloi, Forest)

The moment of impact approaches. All will be tested.

Caana activated her mask, the better to scan the soon-to-be battlefield. She caught sight of their goal, a group of Dasaka larger than her own. And to her left, fast-approaching the space between them, were Kavinika on the ground and Rahkshi in the air, led by… A Menti?

.:Who are you?:.

OOC: Ideatalk directed specifically at Vazaria @Nato G

Edited by Goose
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Nikarra - Kaelynn - Ronan - Muir - Donal Aerus - Montague - Kira - KouraLearu - Alteora - Fuacht - Caana Nessen - Merrill

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IC: Vazaria – Hanaloi, Forest

It was easy to feel confident with the power of a god on your side, Rahkshi at your back, and Kraata on your shoulder, but for the first time since arriving on the island, Vazaria felt… vulnerable.

She was just a woman with a sword, wearing glowing armour at night. She was by far the softest and easiest target. Moreover, in the eyes of the Dasaka below, she was a traitor. In the face of a pack of mindless animals and implacable alien invaders, she was the one opponent the enemy could put a face to, project all of their hate and blame onto.

But she’d already made her choice.

And then Zataka had taken choice away.

.:Who are you?:.

Questions first? How refreshing.

.:I am Vazaria, of Oki. I stand with Zataka. It’s not too late for you to do the same:.

@Goose

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BZPRPG Mercenary Organisation - Description - History - Base

BZPRPG Characters - Minnorak, Kain, T'harrak, Savis, Vazaria, Lash

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IC: Caana (Hanaloi, Forest)

An agent of Zataka, then, and on a collision course with her. It took a lot to surprise Caana, but that just about did it.

.:And I, Caana. Have you learned what became of the missing Mashtet? What force is at work on Hanaloi?:.

OOC: @Nato G

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Posted (edited)

IC: Ageru Shiki (Dastana Republic Odaiba Encampment - Fort Kizuno)

My process, huh?

Well, I suppose that's getting to the meat of things. It was high time many years ago. I know there've been a lot of masters before who've watched me try, but maybe talking through it is to shore up my weak points?

Or...

"Alright. I can do that, sure."

I set the bokken at my feet, and kneel down, readying myself for the rigorous process as I settle into seiza.

...She could also be meaning to spot where my Mind and Soul are disconnected.

"I need to gather my focus, firstly. I look inside for the pool."

My breathing is forced into a constant, deep rhythm, mind turns inward.

I shut everything else out.

It's important. Soulsword is all about drawing what lies inside, and making it exist outside. for that, I need to look within. Everything outside me has to go. Even Toroshu Ageru Kilanya's presence. She is there to observe, and so... needs sit back and watch. I trust her to do that.

I know she asked me to simply talk her through the process...

But if a demonstration was fine last time, I think it's fine here too.

"It's something I have as a Menti. A lake of light that I can draw from. Soul. Ki."

My voice echoes around my consciousness, cavernous and distant. I'm Within now. My breathing is no longer breath.

It is a wind, giving me direction, as it helps me pull Me into my core.

"My blade is all I am."

Once, I was taught to use a mnemonic, as if to hypnotize myself. It would help me know where to look more easily.

Honestly, it does.

A small tightness squeezes the very top of my spine.

I'm close. I can feel the current humming.

Through my veins.

Through my nerves.

It's in my breath, too.

The spark of life that gives my heartlight its color. All through lines drawn within my frame, it flows and ebbs, pooling at the base of my gut. it is the sensation of staring through a void of white, and finding the streaks of blue that tint it just so. I unify everything at the lake's edge, and dive in. It dives with me. After all, it is me.

Normally, you cannot access this.

Not if you're untrained. Not if you're a Dashi. Datsue can feel it, but they can barely call it forth.

That's the next step, once I settle in.

"Got it. Now pull it free."

The pressure builds.

dimly, I'm aware that my brow is slightly moist. sweat from training? or the concentration? it isn't important

I let the thought pass— as so many more do through this. Being this close to the mind in its raw state, it's only natural that the base senses are pretty much punching you in the face. They don't turn off on their own. The focus, the hypnotism if it still takes that, is what lets them slide past without hitching, getting caught, and stopping me in my tracks as my Mind gets stuck upon it in turn.

In that sense, myself and I are at war. It's one I know how to win, but need to be wary of regardless.

I pull it up through my nerves. The thin tendrils connected to my spine all through me bulge and recede with the passing of energy. This is a metaphor, because I'm pretty sure if it was literal I and any other soulsword would be dead. However—

 

A soft grunt escapes me, as the wave of Life passes my heart.

There I can hear its beats, the drums of war all around me.

Then it passes into the background, as the energy keeps travelling.

 

—I nonetheless do feel it. Something like a pulse of light, sent outward from the pool that is my Soul. It's a burning wave that make my vision flash red— albeit a red that just seems blue. It probably sounds horrible, but this is Spirit being melded in ways it isn't really supposed to— a little gritting of the teeth is just par the course.

Ours is a path laced with Death. It defies the kind of sense that says "avoid the parts that hurt". Soulsword more than anything is a Resolute Acceptance. we bare our beings to the word, clash them against those of our fellow Menti, and slaughter and be slaughtered. Old Soulswords could be said to live their lives as drenched by blood. My Toroshu must be the same— though I've heard a Rahkshi's blood is like poison.

To compare baring one's Soul to that, to plunging it deep within one, the piping-hot sawdust I'm trudging through is child's play.

 

I hold my palm out ahead of me, feeling a fuzz like cotton and a ripple like the sea. I recognize the stimuli more closely, having carried the well up and through my arm with my mind. It's like swimming through a column of water. There is a tiny, tingling burn within my grasp— raw energy. It's what I could summon all those years ago, barely able to walk home from the examination afterward.

 

I've practiced this much routinely, pretty much nightly even— I'm used to steeling myself past the throbbing heat at the base of my skull now. It is fused with me, as my Mind is fused with my Body and Soul. The system is set, and the pressure is high— I now must—

"Let it... flow..."

Ageru Shiki could never be a Sighteye with this method. I know that much. A Mindarm might make some breed of sense, but this isn't much different than actually lifting anything, in terms of effort. Given that it feels like I'm at the bottom of the ocean... Willhammer would only serve to drown others with me. Useless for what Willhammers are meant to do.

There's only one thing I could ever be.

My Awareness.

"And..."

 

My breath catches, a hitch that grinding teeth and a deep exhale turn into a growl. Wavering here is easy. one eye opens, as if to escape the vice upon the bottom of my skull and jaw. I see an ultramarine point glowing bright in front of me, drowning out the last rays of sun that retreated past the horizon during this. Or was it already down that far?

 

 

I don't know.

 

 

Time as a concept is shaky in the depths of the Self. One's body has many different rhythms it operates upon, and each could be used as a different metronome.

Mine, I remember, is breath.

"Shape it... to the sword."

An image flashes from inside me. It's not quite in my thoughts, not quite in my vision. Somewhere between. Maybe because my consciousness, body, and spirit are intertwined in this torrential flow, a circuit of light, I can't tell because it came from everywhere in the spread. Maybe it also became out of nowhere, a spontaneity that hit Me in the manner of many thoughts— one that I've hit upon before. An unknown wellspring, striking time and again.

It must be the sword within my soul, for I look upon it and I Know. I know Structure, I know Dimension, I know Length, I know Heft. I know more things, too. Things I can't shine a light upon, for fear of losing connection.

But this is enough.

I am a Soulsword.

My consciousness still is tied to this energy, my Life is still threaded within my Mind. I have Power within my Palms. I must now simply give it Order.

I grit my teeth, and feel a tension not muscular, but mental.

A pull, as the sparking blue elongates, morphs, and changes. It slowly ripples, wrenches, and compacts over onto itself, like a smith blessed with metal to fold end over end over end. I am threshing wheat. I am molding clay. I am hammering my Knowns onto the World, already fighting the Energy of Me that has filled the Energy of Ambience. A fight against the World's passivity is arduous. I am telling it, over and over, that this form is taken by this energy. That this spark is here, and that it is shaped this way.

A slot of Allowance in the shape I deign. That is where the energy can exist. Overstep my bounds, play it too loosely, and it evaporates, subsumed in the natural current of the World.

I must make it this shape. Take the formless, and force form upon it.

It is all of me.

I am a sword. It is my soul.

My soul is a Sword.

I can hear my heartbeat again.

This time it's in my ears, as my focus pulls in, out, then in again on the form in front of me.

My breathing is rough, but steady to the cadence.

I've done it. I don't always.

Some of the pressure now recedes, as the energy is given proper circuit to flow through, a loop of blue fire.

 

This is a circuit I can feel every part of.

My Mind could shift everything it touches.

Theoretically, anyway. In truth—

 

My eyes both open now, and I behold a flickering, somewhat faint blue blade, in the shape of an uchigatana.

An ancient style, for what little in matters. Most are far more exotic than this.

If i swing it now, I know it needs to be in a perfect arc.

Were my strike off even by a few degrees, it would become useless.

It would shatter, sapphire dust on the wind.

But it is here. This is the Seishinken (精神剣).

The Blade of my Spirit.

"Done."

I say it plainly, unable to color anything more. I'm partially enraptured by it, but...

In a war like this, None have use for a blade made of glass.

Edited by Razgriz
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IC Yuna - abandoned Oki Village:

I stepped into the water and felt a comforting familiarity surround me as I dove beneath the surface. I was in control here.

I swam around the fishing vessel, inspecting the hull for damage. It was relatively minor, all things considered. Some spots looked as though they'd been melted away, while others seemed to be splintered from some kind of explosion. The largest hole was also the lowest on the ship, and looked like something had blasted it's way out from inside. Curious, I squeezed through the gap partway, twisting my head to look around.

I almost clawed a new hole in the side when I caught sight of the arm of one of those serpent-bug things reaching out from the darkness. A stream of bubbles erupted from my mouth in a soundless shriek.

It was dead.

And so was the Menti floating a few feet behind it.

I forced myself to swim past, not wanting to get too close to the shell if that thing, and not wishing to disturb the dead woman who'd clearly given her life to take it with her.

The rest of the boat was empty, thankfully, save for the occasional fish and a single crab.

It wasn't sunk into the mud very deeply, either, which would make getting her floating again a little easier. That big hole would need patching, however, and that meant we'd have to.... Deal.... With that thing.

First things first was to get back to Ahri and Raika. They'd know what to do about it.

I hoped.

I swam back to the surface, and climbed out of the water, and started toward where I'd seen Ahri last.

 @Lady Takanuva@Keeper of Kraata

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1 hour ago, Goose said:

.:And I, Caana. Have you learned what became of the missing Mashtet? What force is at work on Hanaloi?:.

IC: Vazaria – Hanaloi Forest

Facing down a fight for her life, and this woman wanted a history lesson?

Surely she understood that the Rahkshi and their ravenous rahi weren’t here for a friendly conversation?

Vazaria wasn’t sure whether to be intrigued or dismayed by the Menti’s apparent lack of concern, but her curiosity was piqued either way. She slowed her flight as much as her Kanohi would allow, not wanting to risk clipping a treetop as she continued the conversation.

.:I’ve seen their remains. I understand something of the fate that befell them. As for the force at work on this island… do you not see them racing to meet you?:.

@Goose

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Posted (edited)

IC: Caana (Hanaloi, Forest)

.:Thank you.:.

"Mm."

The Mask of Perception had multiple benefits. Though she could not move faster than others, she could think faster, make in a split-second a carefully considered decision, and multitask with terrifying efficiency. These were her most frequent use cases; less often, but to even more deadly effect, she used it for archery. To aim with pinpoint precision, to consider all the factors of an arrow's trajectory, these things took time – time limited not by physical prowess, but instead by the speed of thought.

Caana had no such limitations.

At the rate things were moving, she might be able to fire off one shot. That was the opening. And if she missed, she would sacrifice a major advantage in the process – after all, there weren't many soulswords trained to manifest a bow and arrow.

She stood to lose more by taking the shot than by keeping her cards close to her chest, at least on that front. She'd need distance, protection, and a good vantage point. Her Tonfa would likewise be unhelpful here, at least for now. Getting close enough to her enemies to make use of them would only be to their advantage.

The staff, then. She took it from her back, two-handing it, the better for control.

 

"Jahagir Hambra," she said, solemnly. "Kuychar Semraed and Falki. It has been an honour and a pleasure meeting you, and though I regret that events have taken this turn, I earnestly look forward to doing battle with you."

With a look of genuine remorse, she made to sweep Hambra's legs, taking advantage of the Tajaar woman's momentum. In the same move, she raised her staff as a spear, aimed to stab her as she lost balance.

Simultaneously, aided by her Kanohi, the message went out to Vazaria:

.:I am at my most effective as an archer; get me some distance and cover me. With me are two Dashi and the leader of the local Tajaar clan, skilled in disguise by way of illusion. I have seen her turn invisible, and take the form of an Ash Bear. I have no intelligence on the others.:.

OOC: Make that two dozen Kavinika, three Rahkshi, and two Menti. Now, let's have some real fun! :^) @Keeper of Kraata @Mel @Nato G

Edited by Goose
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IC: Hanaloi

The mind-reader heard this as well. It wordlessly looked at the lead rahkshi, who swept down to engage the larger group. As it flew through the branches of the trees, its passengers leapt from the trees, almost a half dozen kraata. The whining stopped, replaced by a screaming warcry as it plunged at Rina, staff glowing. The blue rahkshi joined it, but kept its distance as it drifted to the ground before reaching out with its staff. The air itself became impossibly heavy around the group; Somei cried out as she was pulled to the ground, unable to stand up. The mind-reader went to assist their willing ally, landing down between the groups, observing.

Hambra was still turning when the treacherous ronin's leg kicked her own out from under her. Hitting the ground briefly, the pain dazed her, and when she came to, she could foggily see Caana readying to stab her.

.:You're just the same as the others.:.

The image of half a dozen Hambras rolling out of the way appeared. The true Hambra was none of them, instead turning invisible and forcing herself to her feet, activating her Pakari while she brought her own staff to bear.

As the Kavinika closed the gap, the two Kaazi zrupgar glanced at each other as they struggled to stand, and Lana nodded. They both shifted into their battle forms; Lana into a mix between a serpent and a nui-jaga and Riko into a Rahkshi. Riko activated her Kualsi, leaving a pop in the air as the now empty space filled. Riko let forth the warbling scream of a Rahkshi as she appeared behind Caana, stabbing with her own stolen staff.

Askha was forced onto one knee by the increased gravity. Two traitors. Ideatalk was out unless she used Taajar, which she knew that the other Imperials didn't speak. Her aunt was immobile, and even though her Menti outnumbered the Rahkshi and the traitors, the Kavinika were almost upon them. It would be chaos, and then it would be a slaughter.

We've faced long odds before.

She had. Her family had. Why would things change now?

That blue one was doing something, but it hurting them; the same reason the Mashtet deployed their sighteyes: battlefield control. She brought her staff to bear like a javelin and threw. If she had been relying on her muscles, it wouldn't have gone far, but she instead used Mindarm. It wasn't particularly fast, but all the same, the rahkshi had to bat it away, disrupting the gravity attack.

"Fanai, Murasaki, distract that silver one; Somei, get up one of the trees and help with Sighteye, don't let it get off another attack on us! Dastanas, Lana, take out the bright blue one. I'll handle the traitor."

She clutched her hand into a fist, telekinetically picking up a flat, mostly round piece of shale. Askha pulled the broad knife from her sheathe, jumping up the nearest tree, using the knife to hold herself. When she had a better view of the sky, the Mashtet focused on the flying Menti with the smoky armor, spinning her makeshift discus with her mind, then threw it to intercept. She remembered the name that the traitors had discussed with each other...

.:Hey, Vazaria! The Mashtet have a welcome gift for you!:.

OOC: @Goose @Nato G @Mel

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The times, they are a-changing...

 

 

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IC: Vazaria – Hanaloi Forest

As much as she wanted to believe that it was her powers of persuasion that had lured the unexpected ally to their side, it was clear to Vazaria that this Caana had her own motives. Something to do with the fate of the Mashtet, evidently.

The reasons didn’t really matter.

Only the outcome did.

.:Hey, Vazaria! The Mashtet have a welcome gift for you!:.

Vazaria instinctively deactivated her Kanohi, hoping gravity would pull her out of the path of whatever projectile was undoubtedly hurtling towards her. In the dark, she couldn’t see what was coming, how big it was, or how fast it was. But if she was lucky – or if her opponent was an idiot – she’d fired after conveniently giving a warning.

Evidently not.

Though Vazaria started to drop, her momentum was still throwing her forwards, and the projectile was already on its way. Something hard and fast whizzed out of the dark and cracked against her shoulder armour, sending her tumbling sideways as she flopped into the treetops below. Leaves and twigs fluttered around her as she bounced off one branch, tumbled over another, then finally caught herself and managed to hold on. Somehow, still not my worst landing…

Hugging the trunk, Vazaria took a second to take measure of her injuries. She’d picked up a few abrasions from the branches, probably plenty of bruises too. Her shoulder and upper arm ached, but nothing felt broken. The first gift she’d received from the Mashtet had saved her from the second.

She weighed up her options. In the dark, her odds against a ranged attacker weren’t great. She needed to close the distance. But for that she needed to know where they were. Or… flush them out. She took to the air once more, accelerating swiftly in the direction she estimated the Ideatalk and projectile to have originated from.

.:Hey little guy:. She projected, hoping the Plasma Kraata on her shoulder could understand it, or the Mind Reading Rahkshi could pick up and convey the message for her. .:Could you start setting their tree cover on fire for me?:.

@Keeper of Kraata

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IC (Ageru Kilanya) [Fort Kizuno, Odaiba]

A frown of concern and perplexment creased Kilanya's features as Shiki demonstrated her summoning. Her words described the right process, but they were little more than a mantra, and her body language told a different story. Kilanya could see the strain on her face, the tension in her neck and jaw. What ought to be calm focus was instead a struggle.

Her consternation only increased when the young Menti's Soulsword began to manifest. Kilanya watched with bemusement as the psionic energy began to warp, wrench, compact over itself. The roiling, shuddering mass gradually elongated and became more defined in shape until, at last, it had been coerced into the form of a sword.


"Done."

Its design was decidedly archaic, Kilanya noted. That was unusual: most trainee Soulswords began by emulating the bokken they were familiar with, then graduated to the shape of a typical modern katana. That Shiki was going out of her way to emulate an ancient sword was not a problem in itself, certainly not when compared to the flaws already evident in her summoning process, but it was curious nonetheless, and Kilanya couldn't help but wonder whether this hinted towards the source of the young Menti's difficulties.

"Hmm," she mused. "I can see two issues here. One is obvious and should be simple enough to correct. The other...I am unsure. It's difficult to tell, from the outside looking in."

The Toroshu knelt, settling into seiza herself opposite Shiki.

"First things first. Your process of shaping is improper — it's no wonder you find yourself with a brittle blade. Your material here is your very Soul, and from what I can see, you are trying to force it into shape. In so doing, you are fighting your own Self, and your blade will be imbued with that tension. That makes it brittle; that is why it shatters.

"So do not try to force it. Remember, you are not forging a physical sword: the energy of the Soul is not metal to be hammered or crystal to be carved. Rather, it is like water. You must let it flow. First define the shape, the mould, and then allow your Soul to fill it."

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Posted (edited)

IC: Ageru Shiki (Dastana Republic Odaiba Encampment - Fort Kizuno)

I blink.

.............

I blink. Define, then fill? But we're supposed to make the sword, and that means I need to be able to access the raw material at all before worrying about shaping it. What's there to mold and decide how it flows, if we treat it like water? I understand I'm wrong in what I'm doing now, but—

"Hwah?"

The sound of a fine, hairline crack, like first hoarfrost beneath a heavy step—

And then, glass shattering.

"...Ah."

I was left with a palm becoming a closed fist as it grasped only void. In my racing mind, I'd forgotten to meter the Soul's pressure— and regulate the boundaries with my Mind as it was wandering. I let my brow openly furrow, too annoyed to hide any consternation at this point, and rubbed my temples as the shards of glittering ultramarine dust were swept up by the wind.

"That's... pretty fundamental, then. I'm not sure I even understand. Mold it first?"

Edited by Razgriz
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Posted (edited)
On 4/21/2022 at 10:57 PM, Keeper of Kraata said:

IC: Sydelia - Gardens District, Sado

She made a show of tidying herself up and turned to their mysterious benefactor. "Who, might I ask, would you be that can grow such useful herbs in his backyard?"

IC A ronin | Sado, Gardens

In response to Sydelia's query her mysterious benefactor hinged slightly at the waist in a polite restrained bow. "I am a ronin of no consequence, good as dead in the eyes of most and invisible as a shadow in the night," he said self-depreciatingly. As with all things he said, though, the words were intentional, an allusion to his very real status as a dead man. His grey and black clothes pointed to his clanless menti status but also bore more than a passing resemblance to the ash-dark garb of a mourner, and Sydelia's perceptive eyes caught glints of six coins on a necklace peaking from under his kimono's lapels. 

The ronin could move where he needed to unseen and unheard, wraithlike in his lack of status and significance, and from the looks of the collection he'd delivered to the half-mad doctor the ronin knew exactly how to employ these abilities. In the language of Sado's courtiers, particularly those who spent time in the Fursic espionage network as Sydelia had, the subtleties spoke volumes. It was that exactly which he expected her to pick up on, that she could know there was a language between them that came from a familiarity never before called upon.

"If it pleases you, I'd rather not dishonor you by saying my dishonorable name, but you may call me 'Atramentous.'"

@Keeper of Kraata

Edited by Umbraline Yumiwa
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IC: Ahri - Abandoned Oki Village

"Raika," Ahri said, his voice hard, yet level. "You are not alone, you are safe. You have to be strong, for those refugees, for Yuna, for me. I know that strength is inside of you; I would be dead otherwise." The Mashtet pulled Raika into a hug, and his voice went hoarse.

"And if anything is going to try to hurt you two, they're going to have to go through me."

He held Raika for a moment before whispering, scarcely audible: "And I don't mean to panic you, but I think we're being watched."

He saw Yuna heading for them, still dripping wet from her dive. He gave Raika one last squeeze, then softly let her go, moving his grip to her shoulders. "You good?" There was a quality of performance in his voice not usually there; this was for show.

OOC: @Lady Takanuva @The UltimoScorp @ARROW404

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The times, they are a-changing...

 

 

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Posted (edited)

IC: Raika, an anchor

 

The feeling of Ahri's arms wrapped around them cut through Raika's panic like a knife. It did not fully dissipate the emotions, but as before, it was like an eye in the maelstrom of emotions.

 

Raika had not experienced physical contact… at all… for years. More than a decade at least. It was… comfort wasn't the word. It was overpowering. Crushingly emotional. Almost intoxicating.

 

They had felt alone for so long, and yet here in their weakest moment a friend had, rather than pushing them away as weak and useless, held them closer.

 

Believed in them. 

 

The tiny Menti shook like a flagpole in a hurricane gale in Ahri's arms. They were grateful for their mask's visor as tears streamed down their hidden face. With one last quaking breath they looked up to meet Ahri's gaze.

 

A curt nod acknowledged the mention of another presence. As subtly as possible, they shakily signed I am looking out. Try to warn Yuna.

 

Yuna. There was an issue there. Until they knew what was going on, Raika couldn't risk communicating with her. Their eyes tightened subtly beneath their kanohi. Great. So their one way to warn the others from a distance was neutered until the situation had been assessed.

 

Under the cover of embarrassment, they turned away from Ahri and Yuna to dry their eyes beneath their mask. They used this time to scan the area (as best as they were able given their condition) for anything out of the ordinary, shifting their position casually so that their remaining dagger was clear to be drawn. It was a terminal last resort, but the heated crystal might be deterrent enough if things broke bad.

 

OOC: @Keeper of Kraata @The UltimoScorp @ARROW404

Edited by Lady Takanuva
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Whatever mountain you are climbing, you can do this.

                                       BZPRPG character masterpost

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                      "Just promise me something... don't let me go."

 

 

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Posted (edited)

IC: Kenji - Without Honour or Morality

There's something therapeutic about the air, as you stride among the tall grass toward the coast. The smell of rot is slowly but surely purging itself away, replaced by a cool, salty breeze. Kozu is by no means a big island, and this has worked to your advantage thus far - traversing the isle quickly is far easier than, say, on Sado. 

The two isles, in your head, are not dissimilar practically. But the Rahkshi here would at least gift you the grace of a quick death - the same could not be said for the Imperials. You would be expected to rot longer, far before you met your fate, on Sado.

Sado would not be your escape plan. You have heard little of any other island in the Empire since your stay in Kozu, but you hope that in your heart, Oki is safe. Your animalistic desires wishes you could die there, instead of the other growing graveyards in Kentoku. The scraps of your past self, your pride, prohibits this.

And so as your ill used mind remains blank, your only instinct is to sail, far away from this place. You spot a canoe far ahead as you step onto the edge of the bluff. The waves seem to have washed it in, the rest of the coastal area remains lifeless and barren besides the forces of nature eroding at the island with time. You care not what brought it here, it seems in well enough shape for you to make your attempt out of Kozu, to a destination yet unknown. 

You place your straw hat back on your head, leaning your head back as the coastal winds brush your gaunt face.

 

Edited by Johnny Blocksville
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IC: Yoka - Abandoned Oki Village

「I believe you have have been noticed,」came Ikyazu's whisper.

Yoka's brow furrowed. That was... unlikely.

Ikyazu caught the look impassively.「Regardless of what you may think, this is a good opportunity. They have calmed down, and are likely to move on soon. Attaching ourselves to them would improve our chances of survival.」

Yoka sighed. Survival. What point was there to survival when she had nothing to live for? Ikyazu sighed in turn, recognizing the look of resignation in Yoka's face. They had discussed this at length in the past. 「If you will not, then allow me.」

She nodded and activated the mask, drifting out of their body. Ikyazu took her place with practiced ease, and levered herself silently to her feet. "Observe them," she whispered, and Yoka's spirit drifted toward the strangers, ahead of her as she began to slowly approach them, crystal glaive held non-threateningly like a walking stick.

OoC: @Keeper of Kraata @The UltimoScorp @Lady Takanuva

Cleared some stuff up with a mod- The spirit form is detectable and affectable with Menti powers, but only if one knows they are there to be targeted in the first place. Spirits are also indeed unable to use their Menti powers, and their voices do come over IdeaTalk, but again, only if you know what to look for. Seeing them physically is still limited to bearers of masks that allow them to be seen, like Iden and Rode.

 

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On 5/29/2022 at 8:15 PM, Razgriz said:

"That's... pretty fundamental, then. I'm not sure I even understand. Mold it first?"


IC (Ageru Kilanya) [Fort Kizuno, Odaiba]

"Yes...and no," Kilanya replied. "The energy of the Soul is not of the physical world, and the world resists it. It can only exist within a space we maintain by the strength of our will; without that, it dissipates. That space is your Soulsword. Its shape is a boundary, between the mental and the physical."

The boundary between Soul and World. The edge that cuts reality.

"By attempting to 'mould' it, you have been reshaping that boundary while it already contains your power. This makes it unstable. Instead you must define the boundary first, in its entirety. You must know its every facet, hold it in your mind, and impose it on the world. Then you may fill it with your Soul, and so forge your Sword."

She shook her head, looking down at the well-trodden dirt of the training ground.

"These concepts are difficult to express in mere words, and more difficult still to understand from them alone. But..."

She raised her one-eyed gaze to meet Shiki's once more.

"...there is another way they might be shared. If you are willing."

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IC: Ageru Shiki (Dastana Republic Odaiba Encampment - Fort Kizuno)

Her words are vague enough on their own, even before the voice carrying them steeped itself in metaphor that could well be directly illustrative. In matters of the Minbd like this, it's hard to blame her— I've had more than one of my prior teachers grumble about how difficult perspectives and perceptions can be to synchronize. When dealing with such a craft as this, the struggles of differing ways of thinking are all but impossible to avoid.

Nonetheless, I'm listening as intently as I can.

If one framework wasn't working, then surely knowledge of the other could only help.

A lot of what she said made sense to begin with... I could see where it might link to what I had known— or thought I'd known.

But uprooting the understanding is hard work. Reconciling it with the inertia of so much I'd done before...

I couldn't do it immediately.

"Please, by all means."

No matter what we did here, I wouldn't be able to make such a prodigious swerve.

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helo frens

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 [Hanaloi, Old Docks (Ilykaed)]

The Sokomaster stood next to Ilykaed, watching the two koshi zrupgar progress into the forest.   At first, her descriptions were bare and practical, as usual.   Then, as the sun was setting, her body tensed, and she pointed to a place in the forest where Ilykaed could not see.

“Kavanika.  But Kavinika do not behave like that.”  She squinted, the lenses on her mask whirring as she strained to get a closer look at the creatures.  “Something…is on them.”

She swept the forest once again with her akaku, her teeth set on edge as she watched the various groups on their collision course.

“We should join them.”

The two menti turned and looked down to see Sedskar, reigns in hand, his husi straining beside him.  The Sokomaster nodded and reached for her bow, but Ilykaed put a hand on her warrior’s shoulder, shaking her had.

She locked eyes with the koshi zrupgar, his ice blue eyes stark against the warm colors of the setting sun.  “Sedskar, I will not stop you.   But this clan needs its zrupgar.   It needs everyone.  It will take hours to reach them, enough for the battle to resolve.  We need to leave now.”

Sedskar nodded, turning away to the forest and mounting his husi.   There was no resentment in his eyes, only concern for the safety of his lovers.   It made Ilykaed feel a twinge of...she was used to being resented.   But Sedskar had not been born a Kuychar, and he had not developed that bitter shell despite all his years there.

“We will leave a fast canoe of our best archers off the shore, for at least four hours,” she said.  She was good at compromise, and if anything stood a chance against an unnatural pack of kavinika, it was Sedskar, or rather Dapys—his extremely fast and equally bad-tempered husi.

She turned back to her Sokomaster.  “Come, we should prepare.”  The night was clear, and the wayfinding red star shone bright in the heavens.

Sedskar did not look back.

[Hanaloi, Observatory Entrance(Fanai)]

The first attacks of rakshi on Sado had been devastating, not just because of their little-understood and destructive powers.   Willhammers had been a core imperial power since the ascension of the first empress, and so the natural instinct had been to deploy them with the other menti in defense of the capital.  This had been a mistake.

Morie, the then-Toroshu of Plangori, had been on Sado taking care of political and business interests, and she had experienced this mistake first hand.   She had indeed seen well-trained Menti drop dead with the fear of Zataka in their eyes.   However, she had not allowed this to dissuade her from finding a use for the discipline.

One could not persuade a rakshi, that was certain.   The creatures were united by a will stronger than any individual menti could hope to stand up against.  But this didn’t mean their will couldn’t be ascertained.  A menti who never delved too deep, who focused only on the creatures immediate actions, and who kept their own metal presence as unobtrusive as possible could hope at least to predict the creatures next move.   But this kind of subtlety could not be learned easily.   The discipline was called Willhammer, after all.

There were exceptions.  The Plagori’s own approach to Willhammering was much safer to use in this respect—with it’s emphasis on playing defensively and detecting the presence of mental influence rather than exerting one’s will via force or deception.  And there was no one who had refined this ability to perceive others while remaining elusive more than Plangori Fanai.

Fanai perceived and Fanai reacted.   There was nothing else from the moment the koshi’s warnings faded.  She moved through the parallel realms of physical and mental by pure instinct, the same instinct that she now was able to perceive in others.

She had been moving to cut past the blue rakshi, fighting against the oppressive weight with no annoyance, just a perception of heaviness.   Askah’s words made her change tactics, with no time for judgment.   She met the blue rakshi’s staff with her own.   Although she lacked the speed and strength of the son of Zataka, she floated on the surface of its consciousness, perceiving its will just in time to halt its action.  The staves clashed, and she stepped back, yielding to the creature’s attack but remaining firmly planted on the ground.

[Mari]
Mari had taken out one of her own staves in preparation for battle, using her mask to become familiar with the sonic landscape of the land around them.   The enemy might attack under darkness, but she would yield no such advantage to them.

Had the situation not been so dire, she might have admonished Askha for commanding them all, but there was wisdom in the ex-mercenary’s words, and no time for anything but action.   She had been conservative with her mindarm so far, and the presence of the closing kavanika urged her to hold back still.

But this rakshi needed to die now.  She could feel Rina coming around to knock the beast off its balance, and she hoped the Taajar could assist her.  With her mind, she reached for the crystal darts at her side and flung two of them straight at the blue creature’s eyes.  As it moved to respond to her attack, she stepped forward and to the right, thrusting her staff downward at the soon-to-be-prone creature.  Unknowingly, she echoed Caana’s attack on her ally just a few lengths away. 

[Rina]
Dastana Rina was known among her friends as a bit of a motormouth and a thrillseaker—part of the reason she had chosen the unconventional and unpredictable shape of a whip for her soulsword.   Yet, even she knew bait when she saw it.

She smirked at the creature, despite the heavy press of gravity, and disappeared.

The darkness that cloaked the rakshi’s attack also blurred and stretched her shadow to incomprehensibility.   And while the mind reader could certainly find her position, it couldn’t see her.   Probably.  She sung a bawdy tavern song in her head as she barely avoided the rakshi’s staff.  Just in case.

Then, Ashka made her move, and she was free to sprint past the silver rakshi, leaving it to engage with Fanai.   She moved to flank the blue one with Mari, and the magenta length of her soulwhip flashed into existence, throwing dancing shadows over the whole scene.   She flicked the shard of her will and it wound around the creature’s leg, searing the metal exoskeleton.   She threw herself in the other direction, hoping to trip the creature into Mari’s waiting strike but keeping her stance low and stable.

[Murasaki]
Murasaki had felt like the forest was full of eyes ever since that awful slug creature had dropped from the ceiling.  An itch was growing under her skin—she didn’t understand why they hadn’t attacked earlier, when it was still light they knew where—

She yelped as the glowing eyes of the koshi appeared in the trees.   The Taajar’s excited chatter and the howls of the Kavinika followed in quick succession.   Paradoxically, this finally freed her from that horrible feeling of being watched.   They were here—the forest was alive with noise, as any good rainforest should be at night.  And Murasaki had been raised in the jungle.   She could deal with it.

Her soulsword flashed into existence, its red-purple glow barely lighting the darkness around her.   She wished not for the last time that someone, anyone, had thought to wear a ruru.  As it was, she had to focus on the rakshi in front of her, even though she knew there were other creatures hiding in the trees.  The plangori signature weapon was at most times, less than impressive.   While most other clans had been drawn to the elegant, duel-ready shape of the katana or the lightning-quick rapier, they instead favored the machete, something that had started as a simple tool for moving through the undergrowth.

No matter how they had refined it, it was still essentially a barely foot-long blade with a fighting style that could be best described as “hacking.”   Yet, in the jungle, where the trees pressed close and a vine could mar the perfect drawn strike, it had its uses.  For all their artistic concern for ideals, they still had a streak of practicality.

“HaaaAAAAAAAh!” Murasaki charged toward the silver rakshi, using her mask to slip past and around as Fanai intercepted it.  Teeth gritted and one eye on the trees, she started hacking.

[Hanaloi, Forest (Semraed and Falki)]

In the empire, dashi can only hope to go so far.  Theoretically, they are the second class of the empire, the salt of the earth that powers the magnificent works of art, philosophy, and psychometry, the rich broth that provides the base for a peerless soup.  But while menti, even with their power and their strength, can still fall to the status of saihoko, the opposite is not true.

No matter how proficient their craft, productive their farmlands, or erudite their words, a dashi can never hope to rise to the highest caste.  They will be respected, but never feared—always a little like children, children that will always be protected, but never protectors.

Except among the few taajar clans that still trained koshi zrupgar.

It was not a common practice, with good reason.   Imperial suspicion fell heavier on those who upset the Zuto-nui-given order.  While the origin of the practice was cloaked in the smoke of violent history, it was generally believed to be tied to the ancient taajar, who believed in strange gods and a plasticity to existence that imperial society did not tolerate.

So koshi zrupgar had to be very special individuals indeed.  Dashi with the hearts of warriors, if not the bodies.

Semraed and Falki were both young.   The frantic flight from the rakshi that day when the mountain spouted lightning had been their first taste of true battle.   Yet, that inexperience was built on decades and decades of training with katar and bow and throwing knife, years of assisting in the slaughter of mukau and hunting of wild rahi.  Young they were, but their hands were as calloused as any sailor in the imperial navy, and their weapons just as sharp.

Semraed, who had already begun to suspect that something odd was going on, reacted first.   Without the advantage of a mask to aid her, she had to rely on the instinct drilled into her by countless repetitions.   Caana swept the Jahagir’s legs and she stepped back, taking in hand a near-transparent throwing disk—Caan was raising her staff—she spun it around her finger once, twice, building speed until it whistled—the tip of Caana’s staff descended toward the Jahagir and she released, aiming the spinning disk at the back of Caana’s neck.

Falki took several more moments to figure out what was going on.  Shock painted her face for a second before her mask contorted in a snarl of rage.  It was not the face of a child.

With no time to set up a throw, she instead flexed her arms, releasing her katar from their wrist sheaths.   The familiar grips of the push-daggers slid into her hands, the triangular obsidian blades reflecting nothing in the approaching dusk.

As the form of the Jahagir split and refracted, she leaped forward, striking at Caana’s exposed legs.

OOC: Alright @Keeper of Kraata @Goose @Nato G.   I’ve divided up all the characters here for organization purposes, but all of them with the exception of Ilykaed and Fanai are still NPCs.   This does mean that they are all open to being killed or infected—and indeed I do expect this fight to result in at least one death, probably more.

I’ll try to be realistic with character behavior and consequences.  However, in the instance that you feel one of these characters should die, please PM me the details and we can work out together how it happens.   Let the carnage begin!

Edited by Mel
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There's a dozen selves inside you, trying to be the one to run the dials

[BZPRPG Profiles]

Hatchi - Talli - Ranok - Lucira - FerellisMorie - Fanai - Akiyo - Yukie - Shuuan - Ilykaed - Pradhai - Ipsudir

And some aren't even on your side.

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IC Yuna - Abandoned Oki Village:

I came upon the other two breaking apart from a moment of closeness.

Eager to get my mind off of horrible bug serpents, I couldn't help but to laugh a little.

"Sheesh, I leave the two of you for a few minutes and you start getting handsy with each other?" I teased.

@Lady Takanuva

@Keeper of Kraata

Edited by The UltimoScorp

 

                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                           The Unofficial Guide to TBRPG Combat!

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Posted (edited)

IC: Caana (Hanaloi, Forest)

The screech of the 'Rahkshi' was a mistake – it gave Caana just enough time to react, side-stepping it with ease and twisting to keep both Hambra and her new opponent in sight, in the process almost unintentionally dodging the attacks of the two Dashi. Her escape, however, had sacrificed her visual on Hambra; she couldn't be sure which of the illusions was the real deal.

"No, Jahagir, I am not."

Still, there was an easy solve… but Hambra wasn't her main concern, nor were the little ones, hesitant though she was to underestimate them.  This newcomer with the Kualsi, her mask made her unpredictable; left unattended to, she would quickly waste Caana's energy and attention.

"In fact, I hold just as much disdain for them as you."

Her next actions took a split-second, too fast to allow preparation or caution in her opponents, only hard-coded reflex. Semraed's instincts and reflexes were good, Caana had witnessed as much already, but if this worked then even she couldn't react in time.

Switching to her right hand alone at the midpoint of the staff, she swung it at the 'Rahkshi's' centre of mass. She knew it was unlikely to connect; it didn't need to, only to become the focus of her target's attention while Caana summoned unfocused Soulsword energy into her left hand. Her mask still active, she waited for the Kualsi-wearer to be struck by the feint or to teleport – wherever she moved, Caana could quickly catch sight of her (she expected it to be close, the better to defend and back up her clan leader) and use that moment of vulnerability to toss the energy at her face.

A blind woman would be unable to make use of that Kualsi, after all. And as for the Dashi… those, she left to the Kavinika.

And then, of course, if the Kualsi-wearer did move beyond her reach, her Kanohi would give her enough time to switch targets. It seemed to her that Semraed, too, could stand to lose a little visual acuity.

OOC: @Mel @Keeper of Kraata @Nato G

Edited by Goose
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Nikarra - Kaelynn - Ronan - Muir - Donal Aerus - Montague - Kira - KouraLearu - Alteora - Fuacht - Caana Nessen - Merrill

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IC: Raika, Abandoned Oki Village

 

Raika was once more grateful for the cover of their visor.

 

Deciding this was safe enough to comment on, they slowly made their way over to their companions. However  the entire time they were on high alert, their hand resting on the hilt of their remaining dagger.

 

When they spoke, their ideatalk sounded… for lack of a better word, strained. Almost like someone who had been crying. 

 

.:I… that isn't it, Yuna. I'm… well, I'm complicated I guess.:. 

 

It felt a little personal to say that they didn't really feel physical attraction except in rare and exceptional cases. And while Ahri had rapidly become a precious friend to them, they clearly felt it was not in this way. But, as much as they liked Yuna, they felt the words catch in their mind like an ant in a spider's web.

 

.:... Any luck with the boat?:. they continued, hoping that if nothing else their increased caution would communicate things to their companion. .:If you need an extra pair of hands, I'm sure I could offer them. Though if there were more than just the three of us that would change things, I'm sure.:.

 

Raika winced slightly. It was becoming rapidly clear that their years of isolation really had eroded their communication skills.

 

OOC: @ARROW404 @Keeper of Kraata @The UltimoScorp

Whatever mountain you are climbing, you can do this.

                                       BZPRPG character masterpost

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                      "Just promise me something... don't let me go."

 

 

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IC: Yoka - Oki, Abandoned village

「Hold.」

Yoka stopped, at Ikyazu's request.

「Best not to startle them. Wait here.」

She did so, standing in the road, a ways away from the group assembled on the beach, presently out of sight, but not hidden.

 

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Posted (edited)

[Sado, Streets(Morie)]

::Make sure she doesn’t run away.  We can’t afford to loose any more menti, regardless of their abilities.::

Subtly, the collection of menti around Morie began to shift.

“Well, you will certainly find no sustenance or safety here.   The remainder of the empire is quartered in the Imperial Gardens.   We would have returned there after our patrol, but we can escort you there now.”

OOC: @Perp

Edited by Mel

There's a dozen selves inside you, trying to be the one to run the dials

[BZPRPG Profiles]

Hatchi - Talli - Ranok - Lucira - FerellisMorie - Fanai - Akiyo - Yukie - Shuuan - Ilykaed - Pradhai - Ipsudir

And some aren't even on your side.

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IC Yuna - Abandoned Oki Village:

So much for lightening the mood. Shoot, I hadn't meant to bother Raika with the idea.

"Well, it's gonna take some doing but I think we can get her up again. There is a couple of uh... Bodies... In there, though. One of those things is inside. Dead, but... Yeah."

I shook my head, "Anyway, there's only a couple holes that absolutely need patching, if we can get her a little higher onto the beach I can do a quick fix so we can get her back on the water."

I glanced back at the ship.

"First task will be to get her unstuck from the mud. What about you guys, did you find anything?"

@Keeper of Kraata

@Lady Takanuva

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IC: Hanaloi

Askha's mask curled into a smile as she forced the renegade down. She shifted in the branches, viewing her options; Mashtet were trained to use the treeline to their advantage, and she would be doing just that. Below her, the kraata on Vazaria's shoulder shuddered and spat out a fast-moving, crackling blast. The residual heat briefly felt like a soulsword, but quickly subsided.

The plasma bolt impacted the trunk behind her, exploding in a shower of sparks and cracking the branch below her. The sound of the tree cracking filled the night over the din of battle; panic raced through the young Mashtet's mind as she ran and leapt to another tree. That crackling blast sounded again and she was showered with sparks as she was blinded by the light. Askha twisted away from the fire, falling towards the ground. A snarling kavinka jaw greeted her; on instinct, Askha tucked into a roll, nudging herself with Mindarm to land on the kavinika's back, which gave out with a sickening crack. She pushed herself from the underbrush, focusing on the fiery armor, the one thing that stood out nearby as her vision readjusted to the twilight.

She recognized the armor. It was a new look, but only one set of armor was like it in Kentoku: the Mashtet Panoply. Using an ancient, advanced form of Mashtet Carving that reflected the soul of the wearer, passed down from Toroshu to Toroshu. Her mother had worn it for ceremony and for times of war. Breathing heavily, Askha reached out to her thrown Rahkshi staff, pulling it to her hand. On their own, her other weapons drew themselves from their sheathes; the sword at her hip, her white crystal falcata, and her dagger splayed splayed out behind her like abstract wings.

"That armor doesn't belong to you."

The aqua rahkshi curled into a defensive position to shield its face from Mari's darts but it wasn't quite enough, and one of the darts found its way into the demon's eye. It was in a frenzy, though, and didn't flinch or recoil. Mari was not who the Rahkshi's attention was on. When Rina's soulwhip wrapped around the Rahkshi's leg, its staff glowed, and the energy whip did not bite into the Rahkshi's armor. The Rahkshi jerked its leg back, pulling Rina towards it, where with reflexes no Menti could hope to match, it caught her and by the chest and smashed her to the ground. Before it could do anything further, it moved to defend itself from several new strikes; Kaazi Lana, taking the form of a three-headed serpent, struck with alternating heads covering her weapons, the ends of a Rahkshi staff that her Jahagir had snapped.

The Rahkshi of Fire Resistance was forced back by the assault until it caught one of the Zrupgar's blades on the strong end of its block, throwing her off-balance. With a clawed foot, it grasped the prone form of Rina and with serpentine grace, threw the body at the illusion-cloaked warrior, sending both Dasaka flying. It did not notice the Plangori warrior lurking behind it.

Nearby, the mottled blue and silver Rahkshi recovered from the distraction, and its eyes locked on the screaming warrior rushing it; it did not meet it with an attack; It's staff glowed again while the creature shifted its angle slightly, and gravity changed around Murasaki, turning her charge into a helpless fall parallel to the ground, slamming into a tree. The demon made to impale the Plangori to the trunk, but she appeared to slip away and begin running; the Rahkshi tilted its head in curiousity, stabbing her in the back. Her form dissolved, and in her place was a half-rotted piece of wood.

In the grove, Somei concentrated her illusion cloaking Murasaki from sight. She was still pinned by the crushing gravity, but at least she could drop her Mindarm from the decoy. A snarling from her flank caused her to inhale in panic; all around her, several kavinika stalked the underbrush, sniffing the air. She slowly exhaled, layering the illusion around her and masked her scent as well. The infected beasts growled, but did not leave.

Hambra and Riko's eyes met for the briefest moment, but that look shared almost as much information as a conversation in Ideatalk. Riko's Kualsi glowed once more, taking her behind Semraed, pulling them back from Caana's attack range.

"Koshi Zrupgar," Hambra shouted in Vulgar Taa, "Take to the trees, the kavinika cannot climb!"

One of the infected rahi leaped, lunging at Hambra's neck. She turned slightly, and the creature was impaled on the spines of the rahkshi armor on her shoulder. It still snapped at her throat, but it was ineffectual; the Kaazi Jahagir's Pakari glowed as she grasped the beast's neck and pulled; the snap came before it fell off her armor, and she threw it at the traitor Caana.

The purple Rahkshi viewed Caana's skirmish impassionately, neither moving to help nor hinder. The infected kavinika parted around the demon. It raised its staff, pointing at Caana. It began to glow, and the ronin could feel her thoughts being probed. It was unlike a Willhammer; there was neither finesse nor savagery, only cold, methodical Knowing.

OOC: @Nato G @Mel @Goose

 

IC: Ahri - Oki Village

Sighing, Ahri nodded. "That's good; I'm glad it's apparently in such good condition despite..." He glanced at a hole in one of the huts. "... everything else. We haven't found much of use, but those creatures were here at some point. Though we did find something," he said, echoing the last part in Ideatalk as well.

.:Come out. I know the touch of a Willhammer; if you mean no harm, then neither do we.:.

OOC: @The UltimoScorp @Lady Takanuva @ARROW404

Edited by Keeper of Kraata
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The times, they are a-changing...

 

 

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IC: Vazaria – Hanaloi Forest

The kraata’s sizzling spit ignited the foliage in fiery flashes, and Vazaria focused on the fleeting figure darting away from the flames. One blast… two… and the woman finally dropped from the trees, crashing down atop one of the Kavinika with enough force to crumple the creature’s spine.

Vazaria landed a short distance away as her attacker picked herself up, readying an assortment of weapons in a move that helpfully outed her as a Mindarm.

“That armor doesn't belong to you.”

Ah, a survivor. Just my luck.

It didn’t matter. This wasn’t their island anymore.

If what Vazaria had seen under the Mashtet compound was anything to go by, it never had been.

“Says who?” She replied with a sneer, drawing her own blade. She held off on summoning her Soulsword for the time being; the only real edge she held right now was that her opponent didn’t know what she was capable of. “I found it. And the previous owner wasn’t exactly in a position to object.”

@Keeper of Kraata

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IC Yuna:

Looking over the two of them, whatever they'd found didn't seem obvious, and a glance around the surrounding area offered no additional clues, so I shrugged apologetically, "Alright, I give up, what did you find?"

 

 

                                                                                                                                                       

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IC: Raika, Abandoned Oki village.

 

Raika's heartlight shot into their throat.

 

A Willhammer. Scrap. 

 

Their cloaking technique had been honed for many, many years. But to this day, it had one weakness: they had to remain focused on erasing the very concept of themself from the mindscape of any dasaka, dashi, or even datsue in view or earshot. A willhammer already aware of their presence could shatter their focus in an instant.

 

It had been pure luck that none of the royal families had attempted that when The Wraith paid them a visit to negotiate a fee. Though with some, they would not put it past them. 

 

Like the Mashtet, they thought, looking nervously at Ahri for a moment. 

 

Now hyper aware of how scrawny they were compared to Ahri's toned physique and Yuna's muscle, Raika fell into a defensive stance between Yuna, Ahri, and the nearest, densest group of buildings. It took every last iota of their willpower not to draw their last remaining dagger, if only for the reassurance a weapon would bring.

 

OOC: @ARROW404 @Keeper of Kraata @The UltimoScorp

Whatever mountain you are climbing, you can do this.

                                       BZPRPG character masterpost

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                      "Just promise me something... don't let me go."

 

 

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IC: Kenji - Sail

Tired bones heft the canoe from its shoreside hovel. It's not an overly long way to drag it, the last hurdle is just always the toughest for you to overcome. 

You find yourself paused for but an instance, before shaking yourself and tightening your hands around the rope attached to the front of the boat. A mistake. You yank too strong. The weathered and rotting rope snaps and you stumble, nearly falling but planting your feet firmly. You hiss, however, as you look down. A road marked across your palms. Red and brown coloured, painful to touch. 

And so, you bring out the beaten canteen you've been using for a while. You open one palm out, your dominant hand, and pour on some of the water you had left. It hurts a little, but it soothes more. It looks cleaner, although nowhere near where it should be. You'll dress it later. Then you repeat the process with the other hand. 

Now, the boat. 

You hoist it up onto your shoulders, carrying it like it was the world itself. It's not as heavy there as you'd imagined. You begin to walk, dragging it across the sand and away from the rocks, the ocean waves coming closer, and closer. You're not sure where the wind will take you, but you hope it'll be far away from this place.

Before long, injured hands drop the canoe into the water, and you gaze upon the footsteps you'd left in the sand, the ruined settlements beyond. You will not miss this island.

Night falls soon.

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On 6/13/2022 at 4:15 AM, Keeper of Kraata said:

IC: Ahri - Oki Village

.:Come out. I know the touch of a Willhammer; if you mean no harm, then neither do we.:.

OOC: @The UltimoScorp @Lady Takanuva @ARROW404

IC: Yoka - Oki, Abandoned village

Yoka straightened slightly at the Ideatalk call. "They noticed me," she whispered. "I will approach."

Ikyazu nodded her affirmation and drifted above, observing as Yoka piloted their body toward the beach. She made no effort to remain stealthy, letting the butt of her glaive, and the soles of her feet meet the ground with enough sound to let the gathered group hear her before they could see her.

.:Apologies for the intrusion,:. she sent, as she rounded the bend into their view. Those looking her way would be greeted with the sight of what had formerly been a well-dressed and well-trained Menti, who had clearly been dragged through the wringer for some time. Her armor was patched decently at best, and the clothes supplemented with what someone else had left behind. What clothing belonged to her original outfit bore Eiyu colors. .:I was merely making sure I saved my approach until I felt everyone was calm.:.

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IC: Raika, abandoned village (Oki)

 

Ruddy purple crept to Rai's cheeks beneath their visor. So this newcomer had seen… everything.

 

This was why Raika didn't do people, as a rule. It always ended in humiliation.

 

Deciding to pretend that nothing had happened, and imagining they could feel Yuna's gaze drilling into the back of their neck (wondering what she had walked in on, no doubt) Raika forced themself into a less combative position. Levelling their mind as best they could, they spoke.

 

.:So… it wasn't as abandoned as we thought here.:.

 

They looked the new arrival over. She looked like she'd been through as much as, if not more than, the rest of them. Rai noted that while she wore a patchwork of probably scavenged clothing, the oldest and most battered pieces of cloth and armor bore the livery of Clan Eiyu. The Wraith had evaded their patrols enough times to know it on sight.

 

Do not panic. If their intentions are indeed ill, there are three of us to one of them. And you only need a moment's cover to slip a dagger between her ribs.

 

What? No, NO. What am I thinking. I… never again. But…

 

They resisted the urge to glance back at the others.

 

If she tries to hurt Ahri or Yuna, I'll at least make her sorry she ever cast eyes upon us.

 

OOC: @Keeper of Kraata @ARROW404 @The UltimoScorp

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Whatever mountain you are climbing, you can do this.

                                       BZPRPG character masterpost

20220406_234727.jpg

                      "Just promise me something... don't let me go."

 

 

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IC Yuna - Oki Abandoned Village:

The sound of footsteps of someone who was definitely not Raika or Ahri met my ears, and my head turned as my body unconsciously tensed, my hand flying to the tsuka of my katana.

"Whoa, hey, hold it there! Who are you?"

@ARROW404

@Keeper of Kraata

@Lady Takanuva

 

                                                                                                                                                       

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IC (Ageru Kilanya) [Fort Kizuno, Odaiba]

"Good," Kilanya replied, nodding once. She shifted her posture a little, allowing her body's weight to settle as she prepared to turn her focus to the mental plane. "I am not only a Soulsword: I am a Willhammer also. With your cooperation, I can use that power to bridge our minds. Then, we may each perform our summoning, and the other will experience the process through the link. I will be able to see the flaws in your technique more directly, and you will be able to understand the principles of mine more clearly."

She paused.

"I don't offer this lightly. To enter another's mind is the most intimate of intrusions. Your thoughts, your feelings...you may reveal more to me than you mean to. But in this new and dangerous world of ours, you need to find your strength, and this will grant us both insights that I believe will be invaluable to your training.

"So. Are you willing to begin?"



OOC: @Razgriz

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On 6/17/2022 at 7:06 PM, Lady Takanuva said:

IC: Raika, abandoned village (Oki)

 

.:So… it wasn't as abandoned as we thought here.:.

On 6/17/2022 at 8:01 PM, The UltimoScorp said:

IC Yuna - Oki Abandoned Village:

"Whoa, hey, hold it there! Who are you?"

@Keeper of Kraata

IC: Yoka - Oki, Abandoned village

She stopped her approach at the defensive response, standing relaxed and non-threatening. Seeing how on-edge they were- and although she kept her Willhammer touch light and unintrusive, she could feel a surprising amount of emotion emanating from one of them- she kept her feet spread evenly, at least ready to run if need be.

"Ikyazu," she answered the question, giving the name she and her ghost had agreed to use- it was the name associated with the body, after all. "I am nobody. I was once someone, but the sons of Zataka took that from me." Her eyes did not move as the 'real' Ikyazu drifted into her vision, observing the group more closely, watching for danger.

 

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IC: Ahri - Abandoned Village, Oki

The male bowed, showing respect. Her comment referring to the 'Sons of Zataka' sunk in. No longer was that a term that referred to Ahri. That connection to the divine no longer applied to him; was he truly forsaken? "Greetings, Ilkyazu. I am Mashtet Ahri, and I am in the company of-"

He paused for a moment. Was it proper to introduce the other Menti with him, given the gender imbalance? He decided it was, given the obvious difference in age, it was appropriate. "This is Koizumi Yuna and Raika. We are helping a nearby group of refugees, and would appreciate your assistance as well."

He came up from the bow, taking in the newcomer. Ikyazu was a Dasaka name and she wore armor in the style of Imperials, but she had a Taajar accent. He rested his makeshift spear on his shoulder as he decided to try something.

 He directed his mind outwards to convey Ideatalk, but sticking to Vulgar Taa, where his accent would hopefully be less atrocious. .:I ask you stick to speech when talking to us; Yuna is... special. She cannot perceive Idealtalk unless Willhammer is used:.

OOC: @ARROW404 @Lady Takanuva @The UltimoScorp

 

IC: Askha - Hanaloi Forest

The Mashtet adjusted her grip on the rahkshi staff she held. A tiny portion of her mind took in what Vazaria said; the former owner. The last person she had seen wearing the family armor, the only person to wear it in her lifetime, as her mother, Mashtet Kaetyo. The traitor had all but confirmed her death; it wasn't possible that she would relinquish the Mashtet Panoply to someone not of Clan Mashtet.

Her mother was dead. Her father was dead, her family was dead. But as long as a single Mashtet lived, the Clan lived on. She felt in her mind's hands her weapons; they were physical extensions of her will. Her faith in them would see her to another morning.

"I see," Askha said. "Then my mother is dead. By birthright, then, her title passes on to me. I am Askha, Toroshu of Clan Mashtet. You betray the Empire, trespass on our island, and defile our dead. I name you as you are: honorless traitor. I'll let you guess the sentence."

Scarcely after Askha inhaled, she rocketed forward, jabbing at Vazaria's midsection with her staff, while the floating weapons lashed out in unison, Askha's knife darting sideways before closing in, her sword going for a diagonal cut, and the white falcata going for a deadly chop at the infected Menti's shoulder.

OOC: @Nato G

Edited by Keeper of Kraata
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The times, they are a-changing...

 

 

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IC: Raika, Oki village (not so abandoned)

 

"I was once someone, but the sons of Zataka took that from me."

 

Raika's stance faltered a bit. It was almost definitely projection, but… they had lost everything to the daughters and sons of Clan Hogo. If there was any chance this one had a similar past…

 

They could be just as dangerous as you.

 

Turning the same focus on their emotions they used when erasing themself from perception, they presented a calm front and took a shallow yet sufficiently polite bow towards Ikyazu.

 

.:I am Raika. A wanderer, though that's probably not as uncommon these recent days.:.

 

They wrestled with themself for a few moments. Should they say something? Try to forge a bond like they had with Ahri? Or would they mess it all up, like with Yuna?

 

.:I ask you stick to speech when talking to us; Yuna is... special. She cannot perceive Idealtalk unless Willhammer is used:.

 

Raika's cheeks burned beneath their mask. Right. No wonder Yuna seemed to dislike them already. It must seem like they had been all but giving her the silent treatment. 

 

Right… 'special.'  And she's not the only one.

 

The wiry Menti looked back at Yuna for a moment. 

 

…and I'd wager, feast to famine, that we both know how 'special' is treated on these islands.

 

OOC: @The UltimoScorp @Keeper of Kraata @ARROW404

Edited by Lady Takanuva
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Whatever mountain you are climbing, you can do this.

                                       BZPRPG character masterpost

20220406_234727.jpg

                      "Just promise me something... don't let me go."

 

 

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IC: ??? - ??????

 

"I just don't understand. I mean, you even said I was better, right?"
 

"...That's not all there is to this."

 

"Don't be foolish. What else is there?"
 

"I love you more than anyone else in these islands. But you do need to learn to look past the surface."
 

"Look. You're starting to talk like they do, now. Just say what you mean."
 

"Fair enough. Do you remember when Mother hit you?"
 

"How could I forget?"
 

"Why do you think she did that?"

 

"Because I lost."

"Not just that. I'd beaten you in a way you hadn't expected, that you'd hadn't prepared for."

 

"Yeah."
 

"You kept rejecting training offers to help you improve, train you as a Willhammer. And then when I beat you, you had the gall to be angry."
 

 

"Because that wasn't fair! You knew that wasn't my discipline."
 

 

"It looks like you're the fool here. You put all your eggs in one basket. Did you never think about why you lost?"

 

"No, I just thought about beating you next time."
 

...

Edited by Johnny Blocksville
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IC Yuna Koizumi - Not so abandoned Oki Village:

I relaxed a little, letting my hand fall from from my sword.

"Did you see what happened here?"

@Lady Takanuva

@Keeper of Kraata

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[Hanaloi, Observatory Entrance(Fanai)]
Fanai continued to close with the blue-silver rakshi, striking out to force its attention toward her.   Despite its uncanny reaction speed, it had to meet the blows of her staff, which gave Murasaki her opening.

[Murasaki]
The change in gravity threw Murasaki off, but her mask compensated, turning the helpless fall into a controlled roll.  As her illusion ran off in another direction, she darted up and behind the rahkshi, her soulsword coming down perpendicular to its right shoulder.
Machetes did have their uses.   They were great for chopping off limbs.

[Rina]
Rina had been expecting resistance from the aqua rahkshi, but not this much resistance.  While she wasn’t fast enough to avoid the creature’s blows, her invisibility lent her reprieve from the full power of the creature’s grip. She landed with a skid, barely avoiding the Kaazi warrior.  Alright, so this thing had some sort of soulsword resistance.   That meant she was running distraction.  Luckily, she was very good at distraction. She conjured her soulwhip once again and swept it at the rakshi in a glowing arc, sidestepping to give Lana more room to attack.

“Hey hot boy!  You want some more?”

[Mari]
Mari was not about to let the rakshi ignore her.   As it became clear that the creature would not fall, she swept the point of the staff she had been stabbing down with back, switching the other point forward.  Her front hand stabilized the staff while her back hand and her mindarm thrust the weapon forward at the aqua rahkshi.   The forward lunge was far more difficult to block than a slash would have been.

[Hanaloi, Forest (Semraed and Falki)]

Koshi Zrupgar are not just trained in all sorts of weaponry—they are trained to fight menti and win.   This means knowing how to counter each of the mental disciplines.  That started with knowing what they were fighting. Semeraed was already moving further back as her chakram missed, trying to get a better read on the situation.  A sighteye would have used their ability by now, as would a mindarm.  That left only two, and surely a soulsword would have summoned their weapon already.   That left only—

Without the advantage of mask that allowed her the luxury of thinking out every move, Semraed had only a split second to realize that she had miscalculated before she felt Rika’s arms jerking her back and the left side of her face exploded with light and pain.

"Koshi Zrupgar, take to the trees, the kavinika cannot climb!”

The kuychar were a people of plains and sea, and climbing was a strange skill to them.   Hours of practice at the forest’s edge fled in pain and adrenaline, and she scrabbled up the nearest tree, keenly aware of her exposed back and the stories of the Empress’s chest carved open by a soulweapon.  She twisted as she managed to hoist herself onto one of the higher branches, searching for Falki, for she knew Falki… Falki landed in the dirt, falling to one knee as she struggled to regain her balance without plunging her daggers into the dirt and loosing valuable time.  With a heave of her legs she stood and pivoted, just in time to see Caana send a streak of energy at her lover’s face. Fighting soulswords was, on paper, the simplest of the Koshi Zrupgar arts to understand.   Don’t get hit, and hit them first.  The rules of combat writ large, easy enough to understand.  But understanding is not the same as execution.

"Koshi Zrupgar, take to the trees, the kavinika cannot climb!”

Falki did not listen.  With her fast reaction time and beserker fury she had always felt most comfortable facing a foe with a weapon that did require much thinking to counteract.  Thinking was Semeraed’s job.  Caana was a ranged soulsword.  She wanted distance.  Falki would not give her distance.

Her next attack was a run rather than a leap, dogging the menti’s heals as she slashed forward, aiming for Caana’s calves.   Her vision narrowed only to her opponent.   All she needed was to take out one leg, and the Menti could not run…

OOC: @Keeper of Kraata @Goose @Nato G

Edited by Mel
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There's a dozen selves inside you, trying to be the one to run the dials

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Hatchi - Talli - Ranok - Lucira - FerellisMorie - Fanai - Akiyo - Yukie - Shuuan - Ilykaed - Pradhai - Ipsudir

And some aren't even on your side.

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