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IC: Grolasch (Fort Garsi Courtyard)

Dumping the bucket on the side of the well, Grolasch stepped back over to Kirik, and leaned in close enough that the gestalt stench of their breath became a violent force in its own right.

"I don't have any secrets."

He took the cup, and threw it down the well. "There. Now it has refilled. Probably."

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IC: Sohmak - Spineless Bay, middle of river

Ancestors, I hope no one can see this.

The brawler pawed pathetically at the river waters. The weight of the great gauntlets caging his arms made swimming out of the question, and meant the abandoned little boat he'd kicked from the shore barely kept him afloat, barely worthy of the classification "boat". He'd have used the oars but they snapped like twigs in his mighty crush-grip.

For hardly the first time since wandering out this far, Sohmak cursed his luck. He cursed the Sluggers, and the scrapper that did this to him. It would hardly be the last time either.

Sohmak sought battle. A warrior with power enough to destroy the Sluggers, to free him from the shackles that held his arms and ego in equal measure. 

He wondered if any such warrior existed in all of Zakaz.


<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

 

Some Days Prior - Irnakk's Tooth, Sarke Clubhouse

 

The smack of fist meeting temple. The thud of Skakdi meeting floor. The whayyyyy! of a crowd of onlookers.

Sohmak panted for breath and rubbed his knuckles; a harder fight than he'd expected. He grinned down as his opponent, half out of respect, half out of well-placed pride. Every victory Sohmak earned in Sarke was all his own.

He held a hand out to the downed Skakdi, pulling them up and into a one-armed hug, exchanging wishes to exchange blows again down the line. Another, slightly inebriated, Skakdi called out across the room, challenging Sohmak. But even champions had their limits, and it was time to retire for the night.

"Tomorrow," Sohmak promised.

Stepping out of the clubhouse, a little shack tucked away in the shadow of Irnakk's Tooth, Sohmak took a deep breath of the crisp air. His moment of peace did not last; he was suddenly aware of a presence behind him, a hooded shade lurking outside the door. Every time his fight-or-flight response kicked in, he'd never chosen flight. He spun around fast and grabbed the being by the throat, slamming their back against the wall.

"I'm unarmed! I'm unarmed!" a feeble voice, but a Skakdi's voice no less, chirped from beneath the hood.

"So am I," snarled Sohmak, his fierce grip tightening. "You've got nerve trying to jump anyone in there. Bad luck it was me, eh?"

The hooded Skakdi could barely draw breath, clutching at Sohmak's arm uselessly. The brawler sighed disappointedly, seeing that they were pathetic and of no harm. Releasing his grip, the stranger dropped to the ground, sucking breath.

"Beat it, heu:nii."

The stranger panted and wheezed for a time before drawing himself to his feet, his hood falling back to reveal a purple facethough Sohmak couldn't tell if it was Gravity or asphyxiation.

"I'm... Syntak..."

Sohmak lowered his arms but kept them tense, his fists curled tightly. He'd been ambushed in the streets before, low-life Sarke-wannabes who fancied a go at the famed fighter, but no one had been so brazen to try and attack him right on the doorstep of the clubhouse.

"Then beat it, Syntak. Ain't got time for rotters like you," he growled.

"And you're... Sohmak..." the snivelling Syntak continued as though he hadn't been dismissed, raising his gaze to meet the brawler's. "...the Spineless Slugger."

So Syntak was here for him. He wound up to clobber the pathetic Skakdi, who held out a hand in desperate protest.

"No, please! I do not seek to quarrel! Though..." And here Syntak seemed to lost himself in thought. "...to be punched by the mighty Sohmak would be a high honour indeed! The Sonic Striker! The Bite of Irnakk's Tooth! He who forsakes all advantage! No weapon, no vision power, you deny even the rage borne of a Spine Slug! I-I've seen your handiwork, your dance oh-so-violent! From afar, of course, I wouldn't dare partake myself..."

So he's a creep and a coward.

Sohmak cut through Syntak's ramblings with a snap of his fingers, bringing the cloaked Skakdi back to the present moment. "My apologies, but much as you likely seek to visit violence upon my person, I do not come before you to fight; I wish instead to make an offer. One tailored just for you, Sohmak."

The brawler rolled his eyes. The stranger was far too well-spoken to be another drunk. Heck, he was far too well-spoken full stop. The company Sohmak usually kept was far more blunt, or sharp depending on the weapons they brought to the ring.

And yet, he'd caught Sohmak's interest. Syntak was aware of his reputation, and he hated to think that he was at least a little curious about the strange Skakdi's offer. Any funny business, and Syntak wouldn't last long anyways.

Sohmak shrugged. "Screw it. What've you got for me?"

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

Irnakk's Tooth, Syntak's Workshop

 

"Hey, not so tight, yeah?!"

The device's harness was tight, the myriad straps and buckles biting into Sohmak's shoulders and cutting in under his ribs. Mechanical armatures sprouted from a curious little engine on the harness's back and ran down along his arms, terminating in two altogether-too-big Protosteel gauntlets, themselves housing brutal three-fingered claws. 

Sohmak grunted in discomfort as Syntak almost skipped around him in excitement making final adjustments, and attempted to lift a heavy hand.

"Not yet!" the scientist yelled in alarm, pushing the gauntlet back down. "You'll damage the exoskeleton!"

"Then get a move on!" Sohmak roared back. "I could be having a nice little kip right now, instead I'm playing training dummy for some scrap-tinker geek who couldn't tell a shovel from a shovel hook!"

"Test subject," Syntak corrected, missing the barb in Sohmak's stinging statement. "You're right, I don't have a fighting bone in my body. My technical prowess far outweighs my capacity for violence; your skill and brutality in unarmed combat make you far more suited to testing the apparatus than I."

"And you reckon you should be proud of that?" Sohmak sneered contemptuously. "Surprised you still have all your teeth with that attitude, and if you don't hurry up I'll start playing dentist too."

More silent fidgeting before Syntak finally stepped away. "There, how does that feel?"

"Feels like you've strapped me up and weighed me down so you can have a pop at me." The brawler's patience was on a knife-edge.

"The harness is a prototype, improvements to user comfort will be made in future iterations. Right now we're testing the gauntlets and exoskeletal support mechanisms. Allow me." Syntak went to step behind Sohmak, the fighter side-stepping and blocking his path.

"No games, heu:nii."

Syntak nodded, trying his best to suppress his frightful shaking. "N-no games." Allowed to move past, he started fiddling with various switches and knobs on the engine, a low humming rising in pitch until it became ultrasonic, ringing faintly in Sohmak's attuned ears. With a final dramatic flick of a big red switch, the device came to life.

Instantly the weight that threated to pop Sohmak's shoulders from their sockets vanished. He looked back to Syntak in surprised, who was fastening a Protosteel shell over the engine. The scrapper beamed, returning a thumbs-up, and Sohmak cautiously lifted an arm.

It moved as though the gauntlet wasn't there, the armature holding its weight steadfast and moving in sync with him. He raised the other gauntlet out in front, looking on them with bewilderment and a newfound appreciation.

"What spell have you cast? Making Protosteel light as air?"

Syntak grinned like an idiot, overflowing with glee at the initial success. "Not a spell, Sohmak. Not magic. Science. Engineering."

"Call it what you want... it's a bit blooding brilliant." The fighter was starting to beam as well.

Syntak became bashful. "I was wondering what to call them. The Exo-Fists, the Punch-Harders..." His eye lingered from the brawler. "I settled on a name in honour of you. I-I call them the Sluggers."

This summoned a deep belly laugh from Sohmak, and he dared to think he was beginning to like the geek.

Syntak joined in with a loud chuckle. "Go on then, throw a punch! A shovel hook or whatever you said! Show me how the Spineless Slugger does it!"

The Spineless Slugger, still smiling with savage delight, cracked his neck and assumed a familiar fighting stance.

"With pleasure."

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

All the materials Syntak had laid out for testing stood no chance. Rocks turned to dust between the Sluggers' mighty crush-jaws. A boulder, rolled with great difficulty into the workshop some days prior, reduced to rubble. Sheets of steel, dented and cracked and finally punched clean though.

More impressive still was the speed and elegance with which Sohmak moved, in spite of the heavy Protosteel encasing his arms. He struggled initially with the cognitive disconnect; he could see them, he could feel the rudimentary padding against his forearms and his fingers gripping the crush-jaw triggers. But throwing a punch felt like he was bare-knuckle, the familiar fluidity giving way to brutish power like he'd never known. It truly seemed there was no limit to the Sluggers' power.

Which was a problem.

Much as he was enjoying himself, Sohmak heaved a reluctant sigh. "...not really my thing."

Syntak, guffawing like a fool not moments before, froze. The brawler's disapproval cut like a knife. "They're... n-not to your liking?"

Sohmak saw the scrapper begin to quiver and rolled his eyes. "Hey, hey, don't take it personally, geek. First, you came to me so you know how I do things. And you know that what I do is more than just punching and crushing, there's... nuance." The word felt unfamiliar in his mouth, and he was unsure if he was using it right at all. He raised a Slugger. "These don't have nua... nu... that. I can't grab, I can't grapple. They punch, and they crush, and they're very good at that, but only that."

Syntak slumped against the wall of the workshop, defeated. "I understand. Fine motor control of the crush-jaws was to come in a later iteration, but I see now that they're not fit for purpose. Your purpose. It was foolish to me to approach a weaponless fighter and ask him to take one up. Blinded by my pride..."

For about the first time in his life, a pang of sympathy for a weedy runt like Syntak entered the brawler's stony heart. He went to lay a hand on the scrapper's shoulder before realising he'd tear his arm off if he did, and withdrew.

"I think we're done here, Syntak. Get these things off me, yeah?" 

"Right..." Syntak pulled himself back up and began working at the sturdy mechanisms clamping the Sluggers to Sohmak's arms.

Entirely too long had passed and Sohmak felt the scrapper almost tugging at the locks on the contraption.

"I can't get them off..."

Were Sohmak not a Skakdi of Sonics, he would not have heard the barely audible admission. His response was immediate, and more of a command than a query.

"What did you say?" 

"I-I-I-"

"What did you SAY, ROTTER?!"

"Ican'tgetthemoff!" Syntak spat out, scurrying away from Sohmak in a panic to hide behind his workbench.

The bench provided no obstacle for the Spineless Slugger, his crush-jaws tearing into the steel slab like tinfoil before flinging it across the room. He threw a hook, stopping millimetres from Syntak's head.

"What did you say. Slowly."

"I can't get them off... I-I designed the mechanisms securing the harness and gauntlets to the user to be robust, impregnable even. I guess I forgot to... d-d-design a way for the user to open them again..."

"You forgot?? You've TRAPPED me in these blasted things! Imagine if I rocked up to a Sarke pit in these! ME! I'd be laughed right into Kino-bloody-Ur!" The crush-jaws snapped open and closed with a heavy clank, the armature tensed and ready to fire. "You've ruined me. Tell me why I shouldn't take your head off right now."

"B-because... because you need me to release you, right?" Syntak rose slowly to his feet, the Slugger following his head all the way up. "I designed the locking mechanisms, I'm the only one who knows how they work, I can... f-figure out a way to unlock them, to get you out!"

"Then do it, geek. Now."

"No!" He yelled without thinking, covering his mouth in horror. Slowly taking his hand away, he gambled on his life. "Not now... I-I need time to think... tomorrow! Tomorrow I'll have something. Come back here tomorrow, and I can unlock the Sluggers and free you, yes?"

Sohmak's eyes narrowed. He didn't believe the scrapper for a second, but he had no other option. Killing him now meant zero chance of getting the Sluggers off. Waiting to kill him meant a non-zero chance.

"Tomorrow", Sohmak promised.

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

As morning sunlight flooded the streets of Irnakk's Tooth, a hacked off prize-fighter pounded on a workshop door.

"Syntak! SYNTAK, YOU ROTTER!" His patience long since depleted, he threw a heavy metal fist through the door, smashing it to splinters.

The workshop was derelict, every sign of the scrap-tinker geek having vanished with him as he fled into the night.

Heu:nii...

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

And so Sohmak found himself here. In self-exile from Irnakk's Tooth in a desperate bid to preserve his reputation, trudging across the island for days and nights and sustaining himself on fruits and Miracle Cactus crushed in and summarily licked from the Sluggers' metallic maw, and finally paddling pathetically between the river deltas of the Spineless Bay in a leaky boat. 

He looked ahead, at his wit's end, and there in the distance stood a veritable fortress. A literal fortress, in fact.

Fortress Razorfish;Vaa.

No one so weak and snivelling as that scrapper could ever dream of having a fortress. Only the strong could take, could make, such a proud stronghold.

Worth a shot.

He paddled a little faster.

 

OOC: @Snelly @Nato The Whisperer @Sparticus147 @Smudge8 and anyone else who's involved with Razorfish;Vaa, closing in.

Edited by Zeal
Let Sohmak say H-E-double hockey sticks
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IC: Zanakra - Fort Razorfish;Vaa - Spineless Bay - 

As they were about to set out on the scouting boat, Zanakra saw something in the water. The most pathetic looking boat she'd ever seen was slowly making it's way towards the fortress, with a Skakdi on board. "What in Irnakk's name..." She looked at the Cordak blaster on her person and briefly considered just blasting the sucker and watching him sink into the depths, but then she'd never learn what he was doing out here.

She marched up to the end of the shoreline. "Oi! You in the ####ty boat! Identify yourself!" She shouted at him. One way or another this Skakdi would explain what he was doing in her territory, what happened to him after depending entirely on what he said. 

@Zeal @Nato The Whisperer @Sparticus147 @Smudge8

Edited by Snelly
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My Bzprpg Profiles

Skyra | Hakari | Oceanna | Taleen | Arisaka | Zanakra

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IC: Sohmak - Spineless Bay, Fortress Razorfish;Vaa

The warlord's demand sliced through the gentle river ambiance. Sohmak didn't recognise the Cordak Blaster at Zanakra's side but saw it for what it was; large and lethal. For the briefest moment he considered paddling away, the next moment realising he'd be as good as dead if he tried.

Can't show any weakness out here.

In the next moment, he almost yelled out "I'm the Spineless Slugger, blockhead!" but caught himself. This far out from Irnakk's Tooth, he doubted he'd be recognised. And on the off-chance he was, he couldn't expose himself to humiliation so readily.

Can't rely on reputation out here.

It was a rare occasion indeed when Sohmak would show deference to another, and he pushed the scowl he felt beginning to form back down. Staring down the six barrels of a gun, however, he'd try anything once.

Be useful.

Sitting back up in the rapidly sinking rowboat and trying his best to ignore it, he waved a hulking Slugger and smiled in what he assumed was a cordial manner.

"Muscle!!" Sohmak finally yelled back at Zanakra. "Need some?"

OOC: @Snelly @Nato The Whisperer @Sparticus147 @Smudge8

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IC: T'harrak - Fort Razorfish;Vaa

T'harrak moved to stand slightly behind and off to the side of Zanakra, squinting at the approaching vessel. The warlord's Cordak Blaster could easily turn both the boat and its occupant to multi-hued vapour, so she saw little reason to ready her own weapon right now. The vessel was already sinking anyway. 

All evidence pointed to the Skakdi's dire circumstances being genuine. There were no obvious warships nearby, so if his presence was some manner of attack or distraction, it was a poor one. Her X-Ray vision revealed no other passengers in the boat, nor anything that resembled a bomb or ranged weapon that would pose a threat to the fort. And if he was supposed to be some kind of spy, there was nothing he could find on the island that wouldn't already be evident to anyone with a spyglass.

The risks were minimal. Potential rewards remained to be seen. 

"Another pair of hands wouldn't go wasted around here," she said, to Zanakra. "It might be worth hearing him out." 

@Snelly @Zeal @Sparticus147 @Smudge8

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BZPRPG Mercenary Organisation - Description - History - Base

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

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 IC: [Fort Garsi, Courtyard (Ipsudir)]
“Grolasch, happy to see you so up and ready on this fine morning.”

The small, firm hand of the warlord squeezed his shoulder.   “As it happens, I have a proposal just for you.”

OOC: @Wotz @Visaru @Geardirector

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: Grolasch (Fort Garsi Courtyard)

Instinctively, Grolasch whirled around violently at the squeeze on his shoulder - but when his swinging backhand flew just over the head of Ipsudir, he realised who he was facing. "Leader... I didn't-"

“As it happens, I have a proposal just for you.”

A pause, as his desiccated brain caught up to what she had said. "...A proposal...?"

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:i::c: - KIRIK (Fort Garsi Courtyard)

Relieved he doesn't have to revenge the loss of his drinking cup by fighting (and losing to) the hulking bully standing over him, Kirik relaxes and leans his aching head against the side of the metal well.

His red eyes however, remain fixed on Grolasch, catching in every word of the very interesting conversation occurring beside him. 

--------------   Tarrok | Korzaa | Verak | Kirik   --------------

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IC: Zanakra - Fort Razorfish;Vaa - Spineless Bay - 

"Oh? You're looking for work are you?" Zanakra sized the stranger up. While his boat was absolute ####, the Skakdi in question looked like a fighter, even with the strange contraption attached to him. 

"Can never have too much muscle." Zanakra mused. "Alright stranger, give me a little demonstration of this 'muscle' of yours. If I'm satisfied you're hired." She purposely was vague on what the demonstration should be, she'd let him figure it out.

@Zeal @Nato The Whisperer @Sparticus147 @Smudge8

Edited by Snelly
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My Bzprpg Profiles

Skyra | Hakari | Oceanna | Taleen | Arisaka | Zanakra

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IC: Sohmak - Spineless Bay, Fortress Razorfish;Vaa

Already Zanakra was speaking his language.

"With pleasure, ma'am." The prize-fighter grinned with violent delight.

The half-submerged boat made landfall with a pathetic thunk, Sohmak stepping ashore and standing tall, stretching his arms; the exoskeleton made stretching something of a redundancy but he thought the sight and sound of it in action, the servo-buzz of the mighty armatures, might help his chances with the warlord and her entourage. He clanked the Sluggers' crush-jaws for good measure too, like an angry Manas.

Looking over their immediate surroundings, Sohmak spotted a convenience; a large carved stone, presumably leftover from the fortress's construction. He strode over to it, carrying himself with well-practiced bravado. To the Spineless Slugger, being a champion fighter was only half of Sarke; you had to look the part too, you had to be a showman.

He tapped his oversized mechanical knuckles against the stone, making a show of lining up his shot. In truth it didn't matter where he hit it. Finally Sohmak planted his feet and wound back his arm, the exoskeleton locking back with a satisfying ka-chunk.

A pause. Sohmak breathed deep.

And with a short sharp exhalation and a loud rising whirr, the Slugger burst forward and cleaved through the stone like it wasn't even there, shattering it into hundreds of disparate pieces. Sohmak let out an involuntary "Ha!" of surprise and awe, his limited practice in the scrapper's workshop meaning he was still discovering the upper limits of the device. He began to wonder if there were any.

Sohmak reached for one of the larger chunks of debris, the crush-jaws clamping down hard on the stone and straining for barely a second before further annihilating it, dust pouring from between them as they opened.

"They... they don't grab well, but..." The prize-fighter sheepishly gestured to the pile of rubble beside him.

OOC: @Snelly @Nato The Whisperer @Sparticus147 @Smudge8

Edited by Zeal
I simply cannot stop tinkering.
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IC: T'harrak - Fort Razorfish;Vaa

"Ah, another one who likes punching things," she drawled, her gaze drifting from the newcomer to resident stuff-puncher Jojax, "I'm sure he'd fit right in." 

The sight of the new arrival's tech had given her momentary hope that fate had graced the fort with another tinkerer, but evidently that wasn't the case. Maybe next time...

@Snelly @Zeal @Sparticus147 @Smudge8

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BZPRPG Mercenary Organisation - Description - History - Base

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

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 IC: [Fort Garsi, Courtyard (Ipsudir)]
Ipsudir smiled, taking in Grolasch’s obvious hungover state, crusty eyelids and abominable breath.   She did so love a project.

“How would you like to get yourself in the middle of a legendary Sarke ring?”

OOC: @Wotz @Visaru @Geardirector

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: Sohmak - Spineless Bay, Fortress Razorfish;Vaa

On 11/2/2021 at 1:58 AM, Nato The Whisperer said:

"Ah, another one who likes punching things, I'm sure he'd fit right in." 

Sohmak completely missed the boredom-borderlining-disdain in T'harrak's voice, flashing her a grin. He knew what he was and he was bloody proud of it.

8 hours ago, Smudge8 said:

"Hey, I know you! You're the Spineless Slugger!!!"

Jojax gave him pause. A part of him was hoping to keep his infamy to the East under wraps for the timebeing, and this loudmouth heu:nii had just blown his cover wide open.

Another, much louder, part of Sohmak was glad to finally get the recognition he deserved all the way out here. He couldn't help but beam with vainglory.

"The Bite of Irnakk's Tooth himself," the prize-fighter proclaimed. "You been 'round my circles then, eh? Don't think we've met in the pit before." He sensed a Sarke-fighter's fury in her, and knew he was in good company. If Zanakra decided he was, at least.

OOC: @Snelly @Nato The Whisperer @Sparticus147 @Smudge8

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On 11/3/2021 at 3:08 AM, Mel said:

 IC: [Fort Garsi, Courtyard (Ipsudir)]

IC: Grolasch (Fort Garsi Courtyard)

"'Legendary'?" Grolasch pondered this for a moment. Obviously the answer was already 'yes', Ipsudir must've known that already. But 'legendary'? Either it was a genuinely legendary contest, and Grolasch would win... or it was a suicide mission, and Grolasch would still win.

"...Just tell me I don't have to sign anything this time."

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IC: Jojax-Fort Razorfish;Vaa @Snelly @Nato The Whisperer @Sparticus147 @Zeal

"You humiliated my father three years ago!" Jojax snarled. She aproached  Sohmak and pointed a finger at his face.  "I don't mind you working with us, but this fort only has room for one legendary Sarke warior and that's me, got it!"

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Six Kingdoms Characters: Mazor, Jephro, The Janitor, Informant

 

 

 

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IC: Zanakra - Fort Razorfish;Vaa - Spineless Bay - 

Zanakra laughed. "Seems like you'll fit right in, Spineless Slugger." What kind of name was that anyway? Regardless, he seemed more than capable of pulling his weight, which was good, because otherwise he'd be dead. 

@Zeal @Nato The Whisperer @Sparticus147 @Smudge8

Edited by Snelly
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My Bzprpg Profiles

Skyra | Hakari | Oceanna | Taleen | Arisaka | Zanakra

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IC: Sohmak - Spineless Bay, Fortress Razorfish;Vaa

8 hours ago, Smudge8 said:

"You humiliated my father three years ago!" Jojax snarled. She aproached  Sohmak and pointed a finger at his face.  "I don't mind you working with us, but this fort only has room for one legendary Sarke warior and that's me, got it!"

Three years, blimey that's a way back... Sohmak tried to recall, he'd fought a few Skakdi on the older side during his time. Though humiliation was never the aim of the game, he could hardly help it if his opponents didn't bring all they had to the ring. Jojax's father had obviously been one of those amateurish few.

Still, he couldn't help but admire the fire in her belly; that ferocity and fighter's spirit could very well be what broke Sohmak free of his shackles. He decided to stoke the flames a little.

"Think your boss has final say on that, upstart." The brawler cracked a wry smile and looked past Jojax to the warlord.

4 hours ago, Snelly said:

Zanakra laughed. "Seems like you'll fit right in, Spineless Slugger."

His grin widened, looking back to the wrestler. "Looks like you'll have to wriggle over, eh?" He disengaged from her, joining Zanakra and the rest of her crew.

His Sonics-attuned hearing picked up the emphasis on Spineless; Sohmak was well-aware of its original meaning, calculated it in fact, to make his opponents underestimate him. Every one of them learned what a mistake it was to underestimate a Skakdi who could fight that hard without the stimulus of a Spine Slug.

He clanged the Sluggers together, sparks flying off their Protosteel cowlings. "You lot were off somewhere, boss?"

OOC: @Snelly @Nato The Whisperer @Sparticus147 @Smudge8

I really have issues with brevity huh lol

Edited by Zeal
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IC: Krex (Fort Garsi)

Kirik would soon find himself joined by the resident demolitions expert of Fort Garsi. Krex had, after following Ipsudir back, stepped away from the conversation, and was currently playing with... something in her hands. Something that was at least a little bit round.

"Tell me, Kirik," she spoke up, "have you ever done any tricks?"

OOC: @Visaru

BZPRPG Profiles

Nuparu-Ferron-Mar-Zelvin-Trava-Wiremu-Farzan-Mako-Krex-Tamachan

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:i::c: - Garsi Courtyard

Kirik turns his eyes away from the conversation between Grolasch and Garsi that he was eavesdropping on to size up the short brown Skakdi beside him. His red eyes linger on the unfamiliar object in her hands, then flick up to meet her eyes, simmering with something that might be anger or might be curiosity. 

"Tricks..." He mumbles, without moving his limp body. "I can juggle quite well, if that's what you're asking, Krex."

--------------   Tarrok | Korzaa | Verak | Kirik   --------------

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IC: Nahikl Ahuum (Fort Razorfish;Vaa, Spineless Bay)

Watching with interest from behind their shadowy cowl, the old Nahikl watched with a mixture of amusement and interest at the new arrival. They certainly bore strength, something any warlord would not mind in their retinue, but it was a matter if they had any form of intelligence, or better rather, the knowledge of knowing where their place was. Ahuum would have to figure that out later of course, but for now, they were content to watch and snicker to themself in their mad little way.

OOC: @Snelly @Nato The Whisperer @Smudge8 @Zeal

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IC: Jojax-Fort Razorfish;Vaa @Snelly @Nato The Whisperer @Sparticus147 @Zeal

Jojax scowled and grumbled to herself. She'd challenge Sohmak right now if they weren't about to go on an important mission. Instead she finished preparations on the boat.

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  • 2 weeks later...

[South of Spineless Bay, Fort Garsi (Ipsudir)]
Ipsudir smiled up at Grolasch.

Never.

Grolasch instinctively raised his hand to block the left hand jab that Ipsudir threw at his neck, but it never connected.   He had about as much time to register this before the diminutive warlords kick connected with side of his knee, bruising the ligaments and sending pain shooting up through his leg.

Ipsudir brought her foot down between his legs and activated her impact vision, smacking her would-be protege just below the ribs and sending him dropping to the ground on his back like a ton of bricks.

Placing a foot on his throat, she smiled down at him.

“Your training starts pre-sent-ly.”
OOC: @Wotz @Geardirector @Visaru

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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On 11/23/2021 at 1:36 AM, Mel said:

[South of Spineless Bay, Fort Garsi (Ipsudir)]

IC: Grolasch (Fort Garsi Courtyard)

Grolasch was stunned by his leader's move - usually it took a few more seconds for her to get round to flooring him. Maybe it was the hangover. "Alright then."

Ipsudir had placed her foot in a very uncomfortable position on his neck. It didn't exactly stop him from getting up, but he knew the next flooring would be singificantly more painful if he simply rose. He was supposed to fight his way up.

He made a fist with both hands above his head and, with a grunt, swung at her midsection.

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IC: Sohmak - Spineless Bay, Fortress Razorfish;Vaa

Once more his hearing picked up Zanakra's intonation, the quotes around "greet" dripping with venomous implication. She was a warlord, and this was her territory.

"Aye, ma'am." Sohmak grinned viciously and held up a clanking claw. While he still didn't entirely agree with acquiesing to another outside the ring, he rapidly began to see the sense in it. Until not two minutes ago he was an intruder right on Razorfish;Vaa's doorstep, after all.

Sohmak joined Jojax at the boat, catching her scowl as she made preparations. He flashed her a sneer.

"You'll get your fight, rotter. See if you do any better then your dad, eh?"

OOC: @Snelly @Nato The Whisperer @Sparticus147 @Smudge8

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 [South of Spineless Bay, Fort Garsi (Ipsudir)]
If this was a real battle, Ipsudir would have simply broken Grolach’s neck.  That was the way true bloodletting worked—efficiently—a true warrior would have slain ten foes in the time it took for a sarke match to finish.  Sarke was entertainment.   It needed to be drawn out.

Pondering the wisdom of her instruction gave Grolasch just enough time to clip the warlord in the side as she stepped back—knocking her slightly off balance.   But there were plenty of advantages to having a lower center of gravity.

“Mata:nii,” she cursed, more at her self than at her student.   Reorienting herself, she kicked him in the ribs—that was how sarke worked.  Tit for tat, equal exchange.   The most decisive matches were the most tedious.

OOC: @Wotz ( @Visaru @Geardirector )

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: Zanakra - Fort Razorfish;Vaa - Spineless Bay - 

Zanakra smirked at the banter between Sohmak and Jojax. She approved of rivalries between her underlings, kept them sharp. But for the moment they needed to focus. "Alright you rats, let's move out, we've wasted enough time here." 

By her command they set out into the bay towards the camp. Soon enough Tahtorak Outpost was visible, and they would be visible to the residents of the outpost as well. Zanakra stood in the front of the scouting ship, looking as imposing as possible. 

"Who's in charge here? I have things to discuss with them." She shouted as they got within hearing range, Cordak Blaster on her side, shrapnel gun on her other, and hammer strapped to her back. She did not look like someone who would be denied. 

OOC: @Zeal @Nato The Whisperer @Sparticus147 @Smudge8 @ARROW404 Hello there!

Edited by Snelly
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9 hours ago, Snelly said:

"Who's in charge here? I have things to discuss with them." She shouted as they got within hearing range, Cordak Blaster on her side, shrapnel gun on her other, and hammer strapped to her back. She did not look like someone who would be denied.

OoC: Hello there!

IC: The Tahtorak Crew - Spineless Bay, Tahtorak Encampment

A second glance at the camp's sign would show that the "outpost" that had formerly been there had been boarded over, replaced with a new driftwood plank that read "Encampment" instead. Tahtorak Encampment it was. And it was looking slightly less shabby than the last time the Razorfish crew had spotted it. Only slightly though. They hadn't been expecting the folks in the boat to return so quickly.

"Nobody wake up Lookout," Gashril told the group around her, and she strolled forward, a few chuckles passing through the bystanders. "Welcome to our ramshackle!" she greeted Madam large-and-in-charge, arms wide. She, herself, stood at an imposing height, though not the most imposing of the crew. Her right arm was tightly enveloped in a simple but well-made shouter-to-hand gauntlet, and at her right side swashed a large falchion, sheathed non-threateningly. "Finding someone 'in charge' might be the wrong term, but we all figured I'm the right mix of smart, talkative, and bad*** to qualify. Our last boss bit it not long ago. Hence the uh..." she gestured about, "locale." She held her armored arm out, its metal plating clanking together to match the boldness of her body language. "Name's Gashril."

Edited by ARROW404
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IC: Krex (Fort Garsi)

Krex was interrupted from her line of inqury by the impromptu practice match that erupted between warlord and The Stonebelly. She leaned against the wall, tilting her head as her concentration was quickly directed towards the sudden spot of entertainment she was getting. This was why she liked working for Garsi.

"Scratch that Kirik, but hey," she spoke up, "as long as we've got this show here, how long do you reckon Grolasch is gonna last against the boss?"

OOC: @Mel @Visaru @Wotz

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:i::c:

With difficulty, Kirik smirks and squints at Grolasch and Garsi. Then he proclaims, loud enough for both combatants to hear, "I'll wager tonight's midnight guard duty that he won't stand more than two more blows."

Then, more quietly, just to Krex: "But don't let this circus business get away from us. Are you planning a show?"

--------------   Tarrok | Korzaa | Verak | Kirik   --------------

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IC: Jojax-Tahtorak Camp @Snelly @Nato The Whisperer @Sparticus147 @Zeal

Jojax came running up behind the rest of the group. She had spent the journy putting on red war paint, she was just affixing her mask to her face. She quickly caught up witht the rest of the group. She was quickly glancing around,  looking to see if there was still a game of Sarke going on.

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IC: Zanakra - Tahtorak Encampment - Spineless Bay - 

So they were currently leaderless huh? Zanakra grinned, this was all too easy. As much as she loved a good fight, it seemed like it would be all too easy to sway them to her cause. Sometimes a battle of words could be thrilling as well. 

"How unfortunate that your leader is no longer with us." Actually it was fantastic. "It is a good thing I arrived when I did then, I am Zanakra, Warlord of the Spineless Bay." She the pointed towards the direction of Fort Razorfish;Vaa. "The impressive fort, Fort Razorfish;Vaa, I'm sure you've seen it, belongs to me." She paused for a moment to let the information sink in. 

"Since you find yourselves leaderless, and you happen to have settled in my territory. I have a...proposition for you." She grinned, she couldn't help it. "Join me, and I will give you the resources and manpower to turn this little...ramshackle of yours into something impressive. A mighty outpost of Fort Razorfish;Vaa if you will. What do you say?" 

@Zeal @Nato The Whisperer @Sparticus147 @Smudge8 @ARROW404

Edited by Snelly
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IC: T'harrak - Tahtorak Encampment 

As the two leaders negotiated, T'harrak did her best not to let her nervousness show. Zanakra's skill as a warrior and leader were above reproach, but her brusque approach and brazen confidence were flaws that T'harrak constantly feared would prove fatal for the warlord and everyone around her.

Not for the first time, T'harrak found herself lamenting how she would have done things differently. Had she been commanding the Razorfish party, they would have been far more cautious in their approach, perhaps scouting around the island some more, before sending the new guy (the most expendable of the party) over to make the initial negotiations. But... T'harrak wasn't in command. She never would be. She didn't have the strength or skill or savagery to win the respect the way more bloodthirsty and brutal Skakdi could.

But still... she dreamed.

And worried.   

While the residents of the encampment seemed reasonable so far, T'harrak had seen plenty of negotiations spiral out of control when egos and pride got in the way, and from a numbers standpoint the situation wasn't exactly in favour of Zanakra's group if it came to a fight. A part of her longed for the comfort of having her launcher in her hands, but she left it hanging at her hip for now. Reaching for her weapon in the middle of the conversation risked provoking exactly the kind of violent response she was wary of. Even if these negotiations did end up going to karz, she could at least ensure it wasn't her fault. 

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7 hours ago, Snelly said:

IC: Zanakra - Tahtorak Encampment - Spineless Bay -

"How unfortunate that your leader is no longer with us." Actually it was fantastic. "It is a good thing I arrived when I did then, I am Zanakra, Warlord of the Spineless Bay." She the pointed towards the direction of Fort Razorfish;Vaa. "The impressive fort, Fort Razorfish;Vaa, I'm sure you've seen it, belongs to me." She paused for a moment to let the information sink in. 

"Since you find yourselves leaderless, and you happen to have settled in my territory. I have a...proposition for you." She grinned, she couldn't help it. "Join me, and I will give you the resources and manpower to turn this little...ramshackle of yours into something impressive. A mighty outpost of Fort Razorfish;Vaa if you will. What do you say?"

IC: Gashril

The sort-of-leader of the encampment couldn't help but smirk at Zanakra's swagger. Under ordinary circumstances she's have rolled her eyes at the display of typical Skak:Dii showmanship, but she let her acting classes take the forefront in this exchange, meeting the confident grin with one of her own. "Can't say I've actually seen the fort, to be honest. We came in from the Crown just a week or so ago and haven't explored much. Warlord of the Spineless Bay, you say... Who'd you have to kill for the position?"

She didn't have to fake the hand at her chin at the suggestion of upgrading the camp to an actual outpost. She'd figured they would abandon the place as soon as they found employment, but turning it into a permanent fixture wasn't a bad idea. Her eyes drifted around and noted the tough-looking one's anxious glance at the Sarke ring. A tussle sounded good, maybe they could work a duel into the negotiation after she'd learned more about this 'warlord'.

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IC: Nahikl Ahuum (Tahtorak Encampment, Spineless Bay)

Standing behind and slightly to the side of Zanakra, the crooked, hunched, and veiled form of Ahuum peaked and peered from beneath the hood of their cloak. They had pulled upwards their hood upon arriving, as to hide their expression and horridness. No point in putting such a damper on the initial pleasantries. But even though the Nahikl was doing well to keep their general presence of clear wrongness to a minimum, they were still listening and watching with unnaturally keen senses. Their ears held prone and ready, to snatch any hints of sly or coy word use or plain old lie, while their peering eyes scried through both flesh and frame amongst this encampment's occupants, scanning for minute cracks in bones to faint tears in muscles. Anything and all signs of weakness that could be used or exploited.

OOC: @Snelly @Nato The Whisperer @Smudge8 @ARROW404 @Zeal

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IC: Sohmak - Spineless Bay, Tahtorak Encampment

The brawler had positioned himself close-but-not-too-close to Zanakra and, though he reckoned it had been about ten minutes since Fortress Razorfish;Vaa picked him up, tried his best to look for all the world like a long-time enforcer of the warlord's.

Again Sohmak's ego had retreated and he couldn't help but feel vulnerable. A Sarke circle meant Sarke-fighters, any of which could again recognise him if they'd ever passed through Irnakk's Tooth. But for once, sport was far from his mind. Gashril's associates were larger in number and for the most part stature. If things turned ugly, if negotiations broke down, the circle would afford no honour and provide no sanctuary. The scant rules of Sarke would be out the window. Mortal combat.

This was new and, loathe to admit it, a little frightening. This was fortress politics in action. It made his stomach turn.

Jojax's red war paint blazed in the corner of his eye and he welcomed the distraction, allowing himself a glance at the wrestler. Her ancestral mask sent a bolt through his brain and dealt a body blow to his composure as he finally joined the dots. Sohmak remained a firm presence at Zanakra's side, but his mind reeled from the revelation.

Her father was no amateur. He was only the Bloody Demon.

OOC: @Snelly @Nato The Whisperer @Sparticus147 @Smudge8 @ARROW404

Edited by Zeal
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IC: Zanakra - Tahtorak Encampment - Spineless Bay - 

On 12/13/2021 at 5:03 AM, ARROW404 said:

"Can't say I've actually seen the fort, to be honest. We came in from the Crown just a week or so ago and haven't explored much. Warlord of the Spineless Bay, you say... Who'd you have to kill for the position?"

Zanakra grinned at the question, she couldn't help herself. "Oh, it's hard to put a number on it, a lot of blood paved the way for my fort's construction, and I'm sure there will be much more blood spilt before my conquest is over." She wouldn't stop till she was satisfied after all, and who knew when that would be? Till the entire island was hers? Would that even be enough? How many more islands were out there anyway? That was getting ahead though...

"...though if mere words aren't enough for you, would you prefer a demonstration? "

@Zeal @Nato The Whisperer @Sparticus147 @Smudge8 @ARROW404

Edited by Snelly
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On 12/21/2021 at 10:12 PM, Snelly said:

IC: Zanakra - Tahtorak Encampment - Spineless Bay - 

"...though if mere words aren't enough for you, would you prefer a demonstration? "

IC: Gashril and the crew - Tahtorak Encampment - Spineless Bay

Gashril didn't need a reason to join them beyond the fact they were hiring, really. But she didn't want to seem to eager or desperate. "I was about to suggest that actually," she said truthfully. "Why don't you send one of your folks into the ring against me, so I can get a taste of what life in the Razorfish breeds?" she suggested, jabbing a thumb over her shoulder toward the ring. "She looks like she's about to pop if she doesn't get her blood pumping right now," she added, nodding in Jojax's direction."

 

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IC: Zanakra - Tahtorak Encampment - Spineless Bay - 

"Perfect." Zanakra turned to Jojax. It was true the young Skadki seemed ready to explode if she didn't get into a fight soon, of course that was just the sort of thing that Zanakra wanted to see in her subordinates. "Have at it Jojax, just don't make me look bad." 

@Zeal @Nato The Whisperer @Sparticus147 @Smudge8 @ARROW404

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