Eight figures awoke to find themselves in an unfamiliar drawing room. The décor of this room was old fashioned reminiscent of a Victorian study, except where it wasn’t. For example one wall was almost entirely taken up by a bookshelf filled with the latest big budget video games, a large collection of well-thumbed manga and in one corner a selection of huge heavy books thick with dust; as unread as the day they were purchased. A well-polished silver skull served as a rather prominent bookend. The other wall was dominated by an enormous portrait; a balding man wearing a fedora and waistcoat and sporting a humourless judgemental frown.
The eight extremely disorientated figures had just about enough time to discover their incapability to move and perhaps take in a little of the décor before a door opened and the man from the portrait walked through; an e-cigarette in his mouth and a phalanx of blank-eyed girls in revealing French maid outfits at his back.
“Welcome my honoured guests to le Opulent Quarrel. You’re probably wondering who I am and what is happening. Just relax, it will all be explained in time.” At this point he took a seat on the sofa between two helplessly immobilized scantily clad young ladies. “A pleasure to make your acquaintance ladies; you may call me The Sophisticate.” He reached out and took the hand of one of the girls and gave it a gentlemanly peck. If he wasn’t already seated he would almost certainly have offered a small bow.
“The purpose for which I have brought you here today is combat; a spectacle that we in the Grandmaster community like to call a Grand Battle. You’ll be whisked off to wondrous amazing worlds of adventure and intrigue and there you’ll battle amongst yourselves until one of you has emerged victorious.” He grinned widely. “It’ll be great, I understand it might not sound particularly fun, but think of it as an adventure; a vacation from your humdrum little lives.”
The Sophisticate looked around the rough circle of immobilized battlers (four buff guys with rugged beards, winning smiles and gleaming polished armour and four girls looking uncomfortable in unrealistic impractical skimpy armour) hoping to see the glimmer of excitement in their eyes. He did not.
At this point one of The Sophisticate’s dead-eyed maids stepped up and whispered furtively into his ear. His grin dropped immediately and before he had time to react, the doors opened again and a woman stepped through. Her hair was dyed bright magenta, undercut on one side and swept over on the other. She was wearing a jacket, jeans and huge heavy boots, the kind that looked designed to trek through the countryside.
“Hey baby bro, I’m not gonna lie I’m feeling a little offended rn that you didn’t want to invite me to your little get together.” With barely a pause she climbed over the couch opposite to where The Sophisticate had taken a seat and inserted herself between a pair of bearded swordsmen. “Nice to meet you, I’m Tiff.” She watched the motionless swordsmen, their panicked eyes the only indicators that they were not incredibly detailed statues, and frowned.
“How many times must I tell you not to come into my dimension before you finally understand?” The Sophisticate snapped. “This is wilful and repeated violation of my privacy. How would you like it if I were to waltz into your-”
“Hold up a hot minute, what’s the deal?” Tiff indicated the paralysed battlers. The slightest hint of a smile crept across her lips. “Are you having a Battle?”
“That… would be my business and none of yours.” The Sophisticate retorted. “And whether I am or I am not it does not negate the fact that-”
Tiff laughed. “You’re joking right?” She asked. “This is your battle? Four beardswords versus four pretty girls who I seriously hope for your sake were wearing that terrible terrible armour before you scooped them up into your clutches.”
“There’s nothing wrong with their armour!” The Sophisticate replied indignantly.
“There’s everything wrong with everything.” Tiff snickered. “I always knew any battle you tried to host would be an epic failure but even I’m impressed at just how skeevy this is bro.”
“Hah, as though you are the expert on battles.” The Sophisticate sneered. “I bet you don’t even know the first thing about Grand Battling.”
“How much do you wanna bet?” Tiff asked.
“I’m afraid that that was simply a figure of speech, you can rest assured I don’t intend to waste my time by humouring you on this.”
“I knew it. You always were a chicken when it came down to it.”
“Fine!” The Sophisticate exclaimed. “If you’re so damn sure you can do a better job I invite you to do so.”
“Okay first things first we’re gonna need new battlers.” Tiff said. “No offence guys but you are just not cutting it for me. Sorry for the inconvenience.” With a flick of her hands the immobile former contestants had vanished back into the worlds they came from.
“If you will recall I invited you to run a better battle than me if you felt yourself capable, not to hijack my battle and dismiss my painstakingly chosen contestants.” The Sophisticate said.
“Oh stop whining, I’m doing you a favour here.” Tiff replied. “You and me; we’re a dream team. Me with all my wonderful qualities, and you with your… um… presence, we’ll make this battle a battle to remember.”
“Yeah, I’m sure it will be memorable at the very least.”
EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT A GRAND BATTLE IS BUT IT’S A TRADITION TO EXPLAIN SO I WILL
Grand Battles are a collaborative competitive writing exercise wherein usually eight sometimes more sometimes less are whisked away from their lives to do battle for the amusement of omniscient bastards. The focus is not on having fites so much as good interactions with other characters, worldbuilding or just good writing in general. Every round the worst written character (or more usually the character whose writer who has gone most inactive) is eliminated and the characters are shunted off to a different corner of universe to fight again.
THE GRAND BATTLE RULEBOOK
In theory you can reserve a post and then everyone has to wait until you’ve finished before they can post, but battles have been so slow that maybe this isn’t necessary.
A new concept that might not catch on but why not try suggesting it: if you’re writing a post and you think it’ll take a while but you don’t want to hold everyone up, you can post an ‘intention to post’ and that’s an indication you’re writing something and that people may want to check with you before posting things, especially if it’s something involving your character. Like a soft reserve I guess.
IX WHY ARE YOU MAKING A NEW BATTLE?
Lankie talked me into it.
(This is a lie we talked each other into it)
NOTES SPECIFICALLY PERTAINING TO THIS BATTLE
Me and Lankie wanted a new battle to happen but at the same time we wanted a new battle we could post in and because neither of us was willing to step back just host the battle and let the other participate, I thought we could try the democratic approach. We’re all experienced battle writers I’m sure we can agree to things as a community. Assuming we’re gonna get far enough to get to an elimination we agree upon such things by group consensus.
I’m not exactly expecting a flood of profiles, so we’ll go with the first come first serve policy. If we’re not full in say a week we’ll go with whatever we have no matter how many that is. I’m willing to stretch to a nine/ten person battle if you’re enthusiastic and we’re already up to eight participants, just hit me up with a message to make sure we don’t start the battle without you. If we get more than that I retain the rights to adjust this process to be more selective but that’s probably not gonna happen, I’m just covering my bases here.
THE PROFILE FORM:
(you can rearrange these categories into whatever order you like if it helps the flow of your profile or if you just feel like fucking with me)
Username: It’s a tradition.
Name: I really like the name Cassandra but you can call your character whatever you like.
Gender: Is a social construct.
Species: For bonus points include all their taxonomic ranks.
Colour: Choose the most obnoxious series of tags you can come up with to surround your character’s posts.
Description: A physical and mental description of your character and their behaviour. If they’re wearing a mask you’re automatically in.
Items/Abilities: The Sophisticate is willing to provide useless sexy armour if you haven’t brought your own.
Biography: Tell me all about your character, but not, you know, all about your character. I don’t have all day you know.
Username: I'm partially responsible for this and I'm not sorry.
Species: Good ol' fashioned Human, just like momma used to make.
Colour:Everybody's favourite #2F4F4F (Fourth one on top row for your convenience.)
Wren is a hunter of Varalica, a type of trickster demon which vary wildly in physicality and ability.
Wren is a tall, muscular lady sporting short, messy, hazel hair parting to one side. Pale skin with a smattering of freckles across her face. Grey eyes that are completely done with your bullshit, eye colour/shape subject to change with various drug use. Has a long, wooden smoking pipe casually hanging out of her mouth 90% of the time. Wears a long, olive coat with lots of little pockets and buckles dotted around. Underneath that is standard dark blue jumper and black jeans ensemble. She walks around in large, heavy boots that have seen years of wear and tear. Her various layers of clothing hide the fact that she is ripped as fuuuuuuck.
Wren is exceedingly deadpan in both mannerisms and conversation. Her mode of talking is rather monotone and nonchalant, rarely raising with emotion. Similarly her movements have a very deliberate slowness to them, walking around in a rather lackadaisical fashion. These traits are not to be mistaken with apathy or a lack of emotion however. Her rather disinterested personality hides a relentless joy of fucking with people, mainly through telling constant lies right to their face. Her facade of disingenuousness hides that fact she does enjoy people's company and genuinely cares for for their well being. Her tolerance for bullshit is rather small, but she is fully capable of playing along and going with the flow, knowing full well that she can either talk or fight her way out of most situations. When shit hits the fan Wren's lethargic nature is replaced with one of speed and drive. Her movements become very fast and deliberate, with an aim to end whatever conflict is ensuing as fast and efficiently as possible. This usually involves someone getting punched very, very hard.
In the inside of Wren's jacket is a pocket containing various little bottles and boxes of very strange drugs. Herbs that grow in alternate dimensions, the ground horns of demon king's, shimmering powders of starlight. When Wren smokes these through her pipe she is infused with unique abilities, depending on what she smokes. Years of constant use of these drugs have imbued Wren with with inhuman strength and endurance. Despite this, she is still human and is not immune to the various side effects that these drug may bring with them.
Along with this Wren own a small flask containing water of the fountain of sorrow. An extremely alcoholic substance which can neutralise any drugs effect almost instantaneously. It tastes awful.
She also owns a big box of matches to light her pipe and an old fashioned flip cell phone. To call people.
Wren has no weapons, instead preferring to use her fists to fight. She's, uh, really good at this, as it turns out. She is capable of delivering blows that could send a normal man reeling with broken bones.
It was another rainy day up on Deacon Hill.
It was a very pleasant rain. Not too heavy that you were completely soaked through and not too light that it permeated the air you walked in. Just a middle of the road shower, with a nice pitter-patter and a refreshing scent lifting from the ground.
A nearby church rang it's bell and the sun came through a gap in the clouds, a pleasant rainbow arced through the air. Nearby some songbirds chirped a tune as they hopped around a hanging feeder. People flee in a panic, screaming and wailing that something hideous had taken hold of the church. A vintage 1971 Volkswagen Beetle cheerfully trundled along-
That's decidedly not another rainy day up on Deacon Hill.
To be fair, it's not everyday that otherworldly entity decides to take residence in your local house of prayer, so the screaming is understandable. Against the grain of the fleeing church goers was a tall lady in a long coat, walking calmly and slowly up Deacon Hill, her boots splashing in errant puddles. She paid no mind to the small gaggle of people amassed in front of the church, muttering small prayers and explications of disbelief. An elderly man tried to warn her as she nonchalantly waltz passed the crowd and to the front door of the small local parish. She gave an 'A-OK' symbol with her hand; the poor fellows warning completely lost on her.
Within the foyer of the church was vicar, bright red in the face, desperately ushering the last few people outdoors. He glanced over to the tall women walking into the church and his face dropped. "I'm so sorry ma'am the church is, uh, closed today! Something horrible has happened you have to leave right away!"
Wren brought her umbrella down; a bright pink thing with a cute cartoon duck on it, and closed it, spraying a fine mist right in the vicar's face. "I'm here about your church problem." She threw the umbrella at nearby coat stand, its handle neatly catching the hook of the stand, the vicar would of been impressed if he wasn't desperately trying to not have a heart attack.
"Oh no no! I've called the police they will handle everything!"
"I am the police." Wren lied, not missing a beat at all.
"O-oh!" The Vicar stammered, clearly not prepared for such a quick response, didn't he just call a minute a go?
"Yes so if you could just tell me everything you know, I'd be much obliged." Wren quickly found out that in this line of work actually explaining what she does leads nowhere fast. People tend to be incredulous when you tell them you hunt trickster demons that secretly live in another dimension. The path of least resistance is often the simplest, and to facilitate that you generally have to lie, a lot. Luckily, as it turns out, if you say anything with enough confidence, most people won't even bat an eyelid to your blatant falsifications.
"Right! Right...it was...it was horrible, truly a...ghastly thing."
"A physical description will suffice, thank you." Wren said as she pulled a smoking pipe from her pocket.
"It...was this huge thing, black as tar and, uh...leaking this putrid liquid. It was like a demon..."
"The correct term is Varalica." She added, putting a crimson herb in to the chamber.
"Yes uhhh, well this thing was uh, monstrously fat and it had strange quills and a gargantuan tongue! It just appeared out of nowhere, its horrible!"
"Wren struck a match and placed it into the bowl of the pipe. She inhaled deeply as she shuck out the flame. Out in the air she blew out a distinctive red smoke which twisted and turned in an unnatural manner. The cloying scent of a burning forest hung in the foyer.
"Sounds like Awful."
"It IS awful!" The vicar shouted out, glossing over the tall women's questionable choice of sentence structure. He began to close in on himself, whispering Bible verses in a plea to calm himself.
"Well don't worry, father." Wren placed her hand on the vicar's shoulder, who almost jumped through the ceiling out of fright. "The police are here to solve this dispute." She sauntered towards the door heading into the main hall.
"WAIT! Y-you can't, it's still in there! Y-y-y-you can't go in there on your own!"
"What? Yes I can. It's fine. Everything's fine. I'm the Police, remember? Look at my badge."
Wren flashed a bus pass for half a second before quickly hiding it away.
"But! Don't you need, er, equipment or backup? Th-that thing is huge! It's going to kill you!"
"Naaaaaah it's cool. Everything under control. Just make sure you leave the place. Might be some, uh, collateral damage. Rubble, fire, portals."
"Whu-buh, c-collateral? What do you mean porta-"
Before he could even finish his sentence Wren was in the hall and slamming the door behind her. Talking to the victims was never her forte. Always asked too many questions. 'He'll probably be fine' she thought to herself.
Within the centre of the quaint church laid a huge black ball, pulsing gently like a bear sleeping. pews jaunted out as the thing laid its massive frame to rest in the middle pass, a vile smelling liquid spreading out into the creases of the church floor. Wren poofed from her pipe and meandered towards the slumbering giant, her steps echoing around the hall.
Pitch black quills twitched and giant legs emerged from the mass. Awful slowly turned around to reveal far too many eyes and far too many teeth, it's tongue lopping to the ground with a sickening squelch.
"Ah. Look what flew in, little birdy."
"Ha. Because my name is Wren. Very clever." She retorted as if talking to an old pal and not a horrendous tar beast from hell.
Awful shook slowly and made a sound that could be approximated to a laugh. "So confident, little birdy. You won't be so high and mighty when you are naught but a stain on this hallowed ground."
"You know, funny thing is, the other Varalica said something pretty similar to that." Wren paced around fearlessly. "Before I killed then that is. By punching them. To death. With my fists."
Awful bared down on the woman, it's multi teethed smile widening. "The ones you've killed were weaklings. I am an elite among elites, I have survived for 1000 years. You think yourself a noble warrior but all you have slain is carrion. They should call you vulture."
"Scathing." Wren offered back, shit eating grin plastered across her face. "Well I guess you're right; you're certainly no carrion." She extinguished her pipe with her thumb and tucked it away in her pocket. "Lets fix that."
Wren flung forward as she rocketed her fist straight into Awful's big, stupid face. There was a brief half second where Awful's smile faltered ever so slightly before succumbing a bad case of blunt force trauma. The Varalica's body rippled on impact as it was sent careening back, smashing into the podium at the back of the church. Awful reared it's six legs up and made sound that was most definitely a laugh. "Is that all you can muster?"
"I mean, no? I'm not done?"
"Oh ho ho. I assure you. You are done."
Awful lept up and brought down it's leg (arm? Paw?) to smash the hunter into the floor. Wren sidestepped deftly as concrete crumbled and wood splintered underneath Awful's weight. That was fast. That was faster than she had expected. in fact, while thinking that, Awful was already bringing down it's five other and equally massive legs down to crush her like an ant. She leaped back again, this time not quick enough as Awful batted her away like a cat playing with yarn. Except the yarn is a person. And the cat is, real tall.
Wren smashed against opposite wall, her impact leaving a substantial crater and an unfortunate crack in the nearby stained glass windows. Other unfortunate cracks include: The ones that have snapped off Wren's ribs. She fell to the ground with a heavy thud and mutters a guttural moan. Someone not imbued with gratuitous devil drugs would probably be dead right now. Not that that particularly filled Wren with any sense of consolation mind you.
"You humans are such fragile things. You break so effortlessly." Awful stomped down the aisle, crushing wooden pews as if they were twigs. "It is so cathartic." Wren pulled out her pipe and started thumbing through various tinctures and extracts in her pocket. Now seemed like a good time for a smoke break. "Well you certainly live up to your name." Wren paused on tiny teal-green bottle that thrummed with heat. She poured the whole thing into the pipe (the time for frugality had long gone) and lit it up. The end of the pipe lit up light a firework, surrounding Wren with a deep emerald glow and the smell of copper. "Tell me, are you familiar with the extract of the thaumasillica cactus?" Awful's heavy tongue lopped out of its mouth, dripping a viscous saliva across the floor "I care only for the meat, birdy. The seasoning matters not to me"
"Well then" Wren lifted herself up; pipe hanging lazily from her mouth; irides turning green and angular. "I guess this next part will be a surprise then." She lifted her hands back and brought them together with a ferocious thunderclap. The tip of Wren's hand exploded with light and fire, sending Awful back, reeling blindly. Between bleary blinks Awful saw that Wren's arms were engulfed in an unnatural green flame. A cursory knowledge of human physiology would inform you that human don't (usually) do that. Awful would of commented on this peculiar anomaly but they couldn't help but notice that said anomaly was no longer in front of them.
That was because Wren was now on top of Awful's amorphous body, ready to bring hot, fiery wrath upon the walking tub of lard. With the force of jackhammer she brought down her fists, each blow spreading brilliant sparks of verdigris across the church. Awful lurched around wildly in an attempt to shake her off, crashing into walls and making screeching sounds all the way. As it turns out, Awful's saliva is particularly flammable; in a matter of seconds the whole parish was engulfed in a green haze. As Wren clung onto Awful's quills, her mind raced.
'Looks like you got out of the frying pan and into the fire.'
'This seasoning is too spicy for you.'
'Things are heating up.'
'Do you need some sun cream because it looks like you're burning up.'
God they were all so, so bad.
"Enough!" Awful's massive tongue burst out and dragged itself round their back. It wrapped around Wren's body like a gross ass constrictor, she let out a small yap as her lungs squeezed together. "I'll swallow you whole!" The flaming hunter was yanked around like a ragdoll and quickly vanished deep into Awful's gullet with a hearty gulp.
For a moment there was silence.
Well except for the rain pounding on the church windows.
And the raging inferno burning up the church.
And the heavy panting of a giant-demon-tar-beast.
...and the distinct sound of flesh bubbling?
Green smoke oozed out of Awful's pours as they started to work up a sweat. Something unbelievably hot pulsed in their stomach, tearing its way out from the inside. Quite literally as it turns out, as a very angry and on fire lady ripped through Awful's stomach, screaming all the way. The Varalica gurgled and swayed in pain.
"Hey! Looks like you've got a bad case of heartburn!...Shitheeeeeeeaaaah fuck it that's awful." Wren brought her flaming fists up and smashed them into Awful's broken body. It contorted violently like a balloon being crushed under the weight of a sledgehammer. The trickster demon liquefied into a sludge, slowly boiling amidst the flames.
Wren stepped out of the carrion of her fallen prey, covered in black tar and still on fire. 'Stop making the one-liners a thing Wren.' she thought to herself. 'They're never going to be thing.' She wearily walked back out into the foyer, clinging her chest in pain. Turns out the vicar was still there. Mouth agape and eyes wide. "Oh hey. I, er, exorcised your demon, so, that's not going to be a problem anymore."
"You are on fire!"
Wren glanced down to her arms, which, sure enough, were very on fire. She gave a noncommittal wave towards the man of faith. "Don't worry, it's raining outside." She lumbered out of the door and into the rain, leaving her umbrella in that church foyer. In the distance the sirens of the actual Police rang closer and closer.
Just another rainy day up on Deacon Hill.
Round suggestion: Ancient Castle Feuerflügel, hidden high atop the Sybilian Mountains. Long forgotten cultists weave olden curses to resurrect their fallen dragon king. Legends say the very blade that slayed the draconic tyrant still rests in those hallowed halls.
(This post was last modified: 12-16-2015 09:57 PM by Lankie.)
Name: Lady Wilhelmina Pell
Colour: a nice purple (#412A42)
Biography: Wilhemina, or Will as she prefers to be called, was something of a tomboy from a young age. As the only daughter of Lord and Lady Pell she could go more or less wherever she wanted. She was however forbidden from entering the Grey Woods for it was believed that Fae lived inside. So naturally, one day when she was about nine Will snuck off into the Grey Woods to see if she could find one of these Fae that she had heard of. She found one, or rather one found her. She remembers its voice more than anything; sickly sweet and as thick as treacle. It was nice and pleasant until it got near enough to grab her and then she was dragged screaming through the trees while it tittered with laughter. In the middle of a circle of mushrooms in a clearing the fae lifted her by her throat and then everything just seemed to cease.
Nobody noted her absence until that evening. A search party was immediately formed, but even so it was almost a full day before anyone found her; screaming and insensible, her arm and neck marked with dark purple bruises which have not healed since. Most alarmingly though was the fact that she wasn’t responding to any stimulus. She continued to kick and scream and sob intermittently even after she got back to Valenhal and was with her mother and father. A doctor was called to help but he couldn’t seem to find anything physically wrong with her, much less help her.
Many healers tried to fix what was wrong with poor Wilhelmina but all failed. In his desperation Lord Pell even requested the aid of a witchdoctor from a distant land; who was finally able to offer an explanation. It was something he had come across only once or twice before; he believed that some kind of Fae had stolen her senses. He was able to provide a pair of enchanted pearls, which when implanted allowed her to see again, but was unable to offer any solution to her other missing senses. He collected his reward and left.
For a while afterwards Will became quite introverted. She had spent over a month completely cut off from any sense of the outside world, even from any sense of her own body. At times she’d wanted to die, at other times she thought maybe she was. Time passed and she slowly started to come out of her shell again. Despite lacking her other senses she was able to learn to cope with just her sight. She quickly learned to lip read for easy communication with others. The most difficult part for her was her loss of touch; the loss of sensation made minor everyday tasks awkward and fiddly. With practice she was able to regain a certain level of motor control (though she’s still not very good if she can’t see what she’s trying to do). Also of note, with the loss of touch went the ability to feel pain. Given this and her admitted clumsiness it might have been expected that she would live a more placid lifestyle, but Will was not to be deterred. As soon as she was old enough to make her own decisions she left Valenhal and travelled, seeking to learn more of the Fae.
She learned about where they might be found and how they might be appeased, and most of all she learned how they might be driven away or even openly fought. She became a Fae Hunter of sorts. Though there was no money in it, sometimes she would receive a warm welcome and a free board in a village which had been having trouble with the Fae, though just as often not and she would rough it. Occasionally she would take a bounty against a mortal man to make ends meet. Eventually she was taken to fight in a battle to the death.
Description: Will is in her early twenties; she’s of medium height, thin (a little too thin for her own health) with very pale skin smattered here and there with freckles. She has short flame red hair, which is pretty poorly maintained; clumsily cut, patchy and uneven. A person’s attention would most likely be drawn first to her eyes, framed as they are by clumsy red surgical scars which have never healed properly. Where her eyes should be there is a pair of enchanted pearls; their shiny white surface giving her an unnerving blank gaze. Along the forearm and around the wrist of her right arm and around her throat there are large purple bruises that look as fresh as the day they were made. Even putting aside the aforementioned Will couldn’t have been described as conventionally attractive; she was too gaunt in the face and her features a little too sharp.
She tends to wear clothing which is culturally perceived as more masculine, typically a leather jerkin, a sleeveless top, trousers and boots. She has no qualms about letting her bruises show; though she used to be self-conscious of them she eventually accepted them and got over it.
Will is confident and determined. She’s not easily perturbed and is personable enough, though strictly pragmatic when a situation calls for it. She hunts Fae not for some sense of revenge, though she might be entitled to such, but because she thinks that one day she might find a way to return her senses, and to a lesser extent that she can help people whilst she does this. She is rather acutely afraid of death, more so than a normal person because of her month spent senseless, which she sometimes thinks of as a death she recovered from. However she thinks it’s more important to enjoy life and make it count. In terms of combat Will will very rarely directly engage anyone. Her lack of senses would be a liability in open combat. She prefers to act stealthily and attack from afar if necessary.
Equipment/Abilities: She has a small crossbow and quiver attached to her belt. She has a selection of different crossbow bolts; the majority are iron or steel, with a couple of silver bolts and a single gold bolt that she hasn’t really found any use for but she figured it would be handy just in case. She carries a backpack filled with travel necessities; some basic provisions, a bedroll, a handful of iron nails, a pair of iron horseshoes, a few preserved cuttings of St. John’s Wort, a pair of handmirrors and a handbell blessed by a priest.
Recently she’s discovered that her encounter with the Fae that took her senses have left her the ability to craft Fae glamours. She’s not very good at it yet, her illusions are small and don’t last very long, but she’s been practicing and she’s getting better. They are strictly visual illusions at the moment because she’d have no way to perceive the effectiveness of any other sensory illusions.
Round Concept: Some kind of bright and cheerful Cartoon World, complete with cartoon logic and physics.
(This post was last modified: 12-16-2015 09:44 PM by Ixcaliber.)
Username: Dragon Fogel Name: Damse Race: Human Gender: Female Text Color:A nice olive green, or #556B2F
Damse was the most beautiful woman in the world and also the strongest. Suitors came from all over the land to the kingdom of Tress just to catch a glimpse of her beauty and they generally got a good smack in the face as a bonus.
Eventually, Manelaus the Manly came to Tress and sought to win Damse's heart. He failed, but the fact that he was goddamn rich won Damse's father over and the patriarchial system took care of the rest. And so they were to be wed in the unlikely event that Damse didn't flatten him first.
But it was not to be. And not for Damse's intervention, sadly. For the wicked and handsome Prince Detroit, driven by Damse's beauty, told her many stories of his wonderful city in between pleadings not to be hit in the face. And she thought it sounded perfect, mostly for the fact that it had very high walls to keep people out, and so she left with him. But only because he was the only one who knew the way. Otherwise she would have just knocked him out and taken his ship.
Manelaus was angered by the theft of his bride-to-be, and gathered an army of the bravest warriors to take the city of Troit and reclaim Damse. Not that anyone ever asked her if that was what she wanted. They fought their way to the city gates, but could not force them opened. Then one among their number, Smartius the Cunning, came up with a plan: building a hollow wooden horse and hiding their soldiers inside it. They built the horse, and then Damse, now as tired of Troit and its prince as she had been of Tress and her husband-to-be, smashed down the doors and started fighting her way through Manelaus' army, humiliating such legendary warriors as Mightius the Mighty, Swiftius the Swift, and Glassjaw the Invincible. Not to mention her fiance Manelaus. After that, she grabbed Sailus the Sailor by the throat and demanded he sail her far away from either kingdom, and from there embarked on a series of exciting journeys.
Narra the Storyteller scowled as she read through her book. "Pran!" she shouted at her husband. "Have you been interfering with my stories again?"
Pran the Trickster simply smiled.
"All I did was make her the strongest woman in the world," he replied. "The rest was the book writing in itself as the story unfolded."
"You've ruined everything!" Narra shouted. "This story was going to be my masterpiece! And it was going to lead into so many others! But now instead of a sixteen-year journey home, Smartius just sits on the shores of Troit for a while nursing his wounds, and then goes home to have his wife yell at him."
"That sounds like quite a time-saver," Pran replied.
"Shut up! Look, now Damse is ruining everything. She frightened King Truthus with a warning to respect pedestrians when he tried to run her off the road."
"That seems like sound advice to me," Pran said with a grin.
"But now when he comes across his estranged son Oectipus, he'll just let him pass instead of provoking him to murder! And then Oectipus won't go on to marry his own mother and then gouge out his own eyes! And that's just the start of all the problems Damse's caused!"
"I don't see what you're so upset about, my dear," Pran replied. "I think it's more interesting this way."
Narra was unimpressed.
"Do you even realize what you've done?"
"I just gave her incredible strength," he said calmly. "What she did with it was up to her."
Narra glared at her husband for three whole minutes, then sighed.
"Much as I hate to admit you're right," she grumbled. "This is Damse's fault. And that means she has to be punished."
The Storyteller opened up her book, and groaned.
"Oh, come on! Now she's broken Mightius' back just as I was about to send him on his seven labors! The nerve of that girl! How dare she harm that man before I can inflict my punishment on him!"
Pran looked confused.
"Wait. I thought you liked him?"
"No, I hate him until he completes the impossible tasks I set before him, then I have a change of heart and treat him as my own son. But there's no way I can do that to him with those wounds! Curse you, Damse!"
There was a thunderclap.
"Ah... did you just literally curse her?"
"Oh!" Narra said, excitedly. "No, I didn't, but now that you mention it, that's a good idea." She snapped her fingers, and Damse appeared before them.
"Oh, gods," Damse groaned.
"That's right! I am the Goddess Narra, the Storyteller!" Narra shouted. "And you have angered me, Damse the Beautiful. I gave you the gift of ultimate beauty..."
"...which I never asked for..." Damse muttered, rolling her eyes.
"...and instead of simply being kidnapped and fought over and then rescued, you had to go and defeat everyone on both sides of the war! Do you realize what that's done to all the stories I had planned?"
"So what? They were all jerks. What else was I going to do? I mean, I was strong enough to take them."
"That was my gift, by the way," Pran whispered to her. "You're welcome."
"You stay out of this, Pran!" Narra shouted. "You've caused enough trouble!" She directed her glare back at Damse. "Now, as for you. Since you've disrupted my stories so much, I think I'll take that power away from you."
Narra started writing in her book.
And so Narra placed Damse, the strongest and most beautiful woman in the world, under a curse. If she tried to change a story by force, her strength would leave her.
"Oh, dash it. I need to have a condition for ending the curse. It's not a proper story without that!" She thought hard, and then smiled. "Oh, wait! I know the perfect one."
As Damse had prevented Mightius from even starting his Seven Labors, she was to take on the impossible tasks herself. If she could complete the tasks, then she would be free.
"There!" Narra said, satisfied. Damse and Pran looked puzzled.
"So what exactly did you do?" Damse asked. Narra sighed, and read back what she had just written. Damse shrugged in response.
"Well, all right then. What's the first of these impossible labors?"
Narra was dumbstruck. She hadn't thought that far ahead.
"Give me a moment while I look them up," she lied. She buried her face in the book as she tried to think something up. And then a passage began to write itself.
And so Tiff searched the multiverse, and selected eight fighters to take the place of the Sophisticate's uninteresting choices.
One of these eight new combatants was Damse, the strongest and most beautiful woman of her world...
Narra looked up. Damse was gone.
"Oh. I suppose it doesn't particularly matter now." She put the book back. "Well, that's gone and worked itself out nicely, hasn't it?"
"If you say so, dear," Pran replied noncommitally.
"Good, good. I do believe I'll go for a walk and see how my other stories are doing without her getting in the way."
Pran didn't say a word as the Storyteller walked out, leaving her book behind.
Once she was gone, Pran picked up the book and started flipping through it.
Description: The first thing anyone notices about Damse is how stunningly beautiful she is. The second thing they notice is generally how angry she gets when they tell her this.
Damse has short blond hair, and wears a white chiton and sandals. She also has a fairly muscular build for a woman, but not to excess. She's about six feet tall.
Damse is quick to anger when someone is hitting on her, but she's generally pretty calm otherwise. She's also rather bitter about Narra's curse keeping her violent urges in check most of the time; as a result, if she gets an opportunity to actually fight someone or something, she'll probably make the most of it.
Abilities: Damse has incredible strength and beauty, and is a skilled fighter. Unfortunately, her strength is rather constrained by the fact that she can't use it to defy the "story"; what this means will vary from round to round, though it's pretty much a constant that she won't be allowed to fight back if she's kidnapped.
In addition, if Damse were to complete the Seven Labors set for her, then she would be lifted of her curse and able to act freely. Of course, as the Labors would all be from her world, this is clearly not going to be a factor in the battle at all.
We're really committed to democracy so when it comes to rounds, anyone who wants to can post a short single paragraph round description and anyone who wants to cast an opinion on which we go for should message me or Lankie. If you don't want to and want to sit back and pretend like this is just a standard battle situation that's cool too. I'm gonna edit a round concept into my application when I come up with and write one.
I have actually literally zero free periods at work today though so a profile will have to wait
OK HERE WE FUCKIN GO
Username: <train noises>
Name: <takes a deep breath> Retrowirx Studiolurgers-designed Gunzelle-v3 Model Peri-Bulwark Amb-Ex Class PeriPheral designation: “Gunzelurge”
Gender: <feminine train noises>
Species: Se'anvil is the "species" name, but they use "Pheral" like we'd use "person".
Colour: Gun(z)metal (778799)
Nine feet of buff metal biped; her original build was rather less conspicuous (being Ambassadorial-Explorer class, as opposed to Combatant-Explorer Class). Then some maniac druid took her under his tutelage, and in accidental defiance of all design protocols she did the druid thing where you adopt a bunch of mannerisms+physical attributes from your patron beast. Guess which large metal animal Gunzelurge earned the spirit-protectorate of!
Gunzelurge is no-nonsense but generally friendly and helpful and an advocate for learning, peace, and swift resolution of things which get in the way of the aforementioned. She doesn't understand the concept of problems you can't beat into submission. She can be kinda condescending toward the problems of "smaller creatures", with their fragile chassises and weird customs and rules which she acknowledges without really caring too much about understanding their ins and outs.
Items/Abilities: Nine feet of buff metal biped. Hits like a [strike]truck[/strike]horse. Can summon IORE (see below), but summoning across universes probably takes a while. Technically trained in the druidic arts, but doesn't have any practical knowledge of "biological" druid shit like herblore. Literally composed of nails, which are scientifically proven to be the universal standard of toughness.
Biography: Gunzelurge harks from the Ferrous Bulwark, a desolate metal plateau which birthed many robotic lifeforms, including the Se'anvil - machine friends who are steadily improving their processes to make finer, faster, more superlative machine friends. The Se'anvil are each built to fit specific societal roles, and Gunzelurge was tasked with heading out into the wide world and acting as an ambassador for the Se'anvil people.
She crossed paths with a druid, who somehow successfully taught her the druidic way. "Graduation" entailed bonding with a beast of the initiate's choice, so Gunzelurge headed home so she could wrestle a horse into submission.
The horse in question was the biggest, baddest, alpha horse, IORE. With inch-and-a-half thick hide, and a 40-tonne heart capable of hauling almost 70 cars across the Bulwark's frozen hellscape, IORE didn't go down easy. Gunzelurge apparently impressed it though, as she was granted its spirit partnership and a free ride no matter the distance, if she could wait patiently for IORE to answer her summons.
Round suggestion: Burnination Studios. Alt-earth where Kaiju start life as polyps drifting on warm ocean currents, growing to fit the islands they wash up on. Major coastal countries patrol their shores to repel juveniles, to prevent the North American counterpoint to the 200 kilometer wide Antarctic Furball. They stop growing after age fifty or so, at which point it's safe for them to take up residence on a continental coast city designed for their kind.
Burnination hosts the largest Kaiju population in the world, in sunny north-eastern Australia. It's also Earth's kaiju film capital, so loads of humans live there too.
Description: The product of illegal research, the catpeople species originated with a scientist's experiment on creating viable humanoid-felid hybrids. The hybrid population was genetically altered to be more attractive, exhibit heightened libido, have lower intelligence and more impulsive behavior, and naturally display vibrantly-colored fur and hair. While a large proportion of the hybrids had the suite of genetic modifications successfully introduced, a significant enough portion failed to exhibit the expected results-- and some members of the research team experienced moral qualms over participating in what was now a single scientist's project to recreate his weird fetishes. The project was abandoned, and the now-significant experimental population was, rather than being euthanized, introduced to mainstream, interstellar society.
After five generations and an explosion in population, catpeople are more or less a common feature of most civilized planets. In spite of this, however, the genetic legacy of being one scientist's fetish project has resulted in widespread discrimination. For the populations living on human-dominated worlds, catpeople are largely seen as a cheap source of tawdry entertainment. The vast majority only work entry-level positions in service and entertainment industries, with a select few who are particularly attractive or hot-blooded occupying spots in the mecha-related fields-- mostly as love interests and side characters.
Georgia would be distractingly alluring if it weren't for the numerous steps she has deliberately taken to combat being attractive, or even noticeable at all. Her body manages to be naturally voluptuous and enticingly curvy, something she covers with baggy clothing and poor posture whenever possible. Her hair has no attention paid to it, and she long since stopped bothering to apply makeup to her olive skin.
Unfortunately, despite her carefully-cultivated attempt at anonymity, Georgia happens to be a catgirl. Her long hair, as well as her fur where it is present, is a vibrant pink that has proven completely resistant to any attempts to be dyed a less conspicuous color. The slit-pupiled irises on her eyes are, naturally, also pink. Her nose is slightly upturned and button-like, and is almost reminiscent of a cat's muzzle. The most distinctive features she has are the cat ears fixed to the top of her head, which resist any initiative to not be spectacularly noticeable-- they fidget and shift largely of their own accord. She also has a long, swaying tail, which is also bright pink.
Her shoes manage to communicate her financial state better than anything else on her-- she has a single pair of battered, worn-out athletic shoes she wears, held mostly together by duct tape and makeshift needlework. She also wears a baggy hoodie and ripped, worn-out jeans. At one point, she wore glasses, until she learned that was a fetish, which prompted her to immediately switch to contacts.
Personality-wise, Georgia projects an aura of frustration and near-constant exasperation, deliberately acting irritated and making it clear that she would rather not interact with anyone around her. She is wholly cognizant of the fact that the rest of the world sees both her and her entire species as over-sexualized objects. Beneath her callous exterior, however, she possesses an incredible capacity for patience, determination, and resolve. In spite of a life spent being thrown from one unlucky break to another, Georgia has never lost sight of her own ambitions-- she knows she will likely never accomplish her dreams, but refuses to let that stop her.
Biography: Born as Kyuume-chan Sakura, Georgia spent her childhood living on the border between abject poverty and regular poverty. At an early age, her family was separated, leaving her drifting between two single parents and with little social or economic stability. She quickly distinguished herself as being one of the few catpeople that did not inherit all of the initial genetic modifications-- while still attractive and marked by bright colors, she was much more intelligent than either of her parents or any of her siblings. As she matured, the divide between her and her family only grew wider. While she encountered a few catpeople who were like her, she was part of an extreme minority, living in a society where she was expected to act like an object of sexual affection over a person.
Her schism with her family finally culminated when she was unable to get either of her parents to understand her desire to pursue higher education. It was at that point that she realized she would have to do so herself-- she promptly moved out, taking whatever money she had and renting a cramped, barely-habitable apartment on the outskirts of the nonhuman district of Hyperbole City. She forced her way through the rest of school, picking up a handful of jobs to cover her expenses-- her eyes set on attending law school after graduation and becoming the first catgirl lawyer. It was only after her application for law school had been accepted that she realized-- in spite of her frugal lifestyle, the scholarships she received, and potential student loans-- she did not have anywhere near enough money to accept.
Refusing to give up, she instead went with the only other alternative she had-- mecha anime school. Coming into possession of a second-hand mech, she taught herself how to pilot, fix, and operate her faulty machine to the extent that she could. She still has not forgotten her dream of becoming a lawyer-- she just realizes it will be slightly delayed.
Or incredibly delayed, in this case.
Items/Abilities: Georgia possesses an incredible reservoir of willpower, and maintains her composure and morale in difficult situations. She is also somewhat intelligent and critical in her views. Theoretically, she is attractive enough to seduce most individuals, but there are practically no circumstances where she would do so. She is also good at repairing most objects, and is an expert in both academic and practical studies of law, to a point where she could probably serve as a lawyer in the event of an abrupt courtroom drama.
Georgia's main possession is Sorry, named after a database glitch wiped out her old mech registry and information on the school servers. Georgia did not have enough money to purchase one of the school's mechs, or any of the mech lines produced by the major retailers. Instead, she purchased a combat mech at a used mech dealership-- the cheapest one available on the lot, due to her budget constraints.
It was only after she brought it back to her apartment did she realize what she was dealing with. Some research revealed that her mech was a twenty-year old model that had been discontinued after disastrous performance in nearly all combat encounters-- and that was in its mint manufactured condition. The mech she had acquired was old, and nearly everything that could possibly be wrong with it was: it was plagued with faulty electronics, leaky hydraulics, an unusable targeting computer and communications array, an integrated weapon that threatened to pulverize the chassis with every use, rusted-out armor, and countless problems besides. Rather than give up, Georgia resolved to see the machine through. She managed to round up whatever spare parts were made for it, and repaired the machine to the best of her ability. Whatever weaknesses she couldn't repair, she's learned to compensate for by being a skilled pilot-- she learned to pre-emptively dodge and evade to compensate for its slow reactions, how to manually aim to counter the lack of modern targeting hardware, and how to keep it functioning under fire well enough to just give her just a few seconds more.
Sorry is small, even compared to mechs of similar design and purpose, standing at about twenty feet. The mech itself is layered with damage and subsequent repairs and improvements-- most of which are Georgia's work, as few of its previous owners spent time working on it or held onto it long enough to modify it. Its chassis is mounted on a pair of long, digitigrade legs, which would give the entire machine a thin, slender appearance if it weren't for the other modifications made to it. Its body is small and compact, and looks like it barely fits a pilot-- one side of the torso has a large amount of space devoted to a snub-nosed cannon, which only further reinforces the cramped look the cockpit has. The cockpit almost fails to fit Georgia, and its discomfort is magnified by the lack of accommodation for her tail. It utilizes a multitude of piloting instruments, as well as various joysticks, switches, and electronic displays. The one luxury Georgia has fitted the cockpit with is a cup-holder.
The mech's two thin, lanky arms maintain the bulk of the machine's weaponry-- one carries a cobbled-together, rifle-like weapon, while the other has what could generously be described as a missile launcher configured with a complicated auto-loading mechanism. Its head is little more than a cluster of glowing-yellow photo-receptors and other sensory equipment that swivels around, periodically flickering as the machine spontaneously malfunctions. The exterior as a whole looks barely-held together-- it's composed of a mixture of scarred armor plates, exposed hydraulics and wires, taped-together repairs, and straps and clips holding on other attachments. Whatever paint-job the mech had is long gone, with the paint having been scraped away through countless battles to reveal bare metal. The machinery it has that is identifiable is clearly outdated-- its technology is just as unsophisticated below the surface as it is above.
Round: Mademoiselle Primfel's Academie for Young and Emaciated Girls-- a girl's boarding school, ruled by the harsh disciplinarian hand of Mme. Primfel. School uniforms will be provided.
Joined: Dec 2012
Location: The mean streets of neo Kathmandu
I am now going to submit only various GrOCs into grand battles. This is how I will roll from here on out.
Username: We will all regret something in our lives. Name: Veg-E-LITE Species: Yeast by-product Gender: EXTRA SALTY Colour: Blacker than the darkest pits of the abyss from whence all salt originated.
Description: Veg-E-LITE is a masculine, muscular, spandex wearing, cape toting, damsel saving, meteor repelling, lizard defeating, one liner spouting embodiment of the popular spread vegemite™. Being dark in tone, but lite in calories, Veg-E-LITE protects the world from the evil forces of captain.P.Nut and his nefarious underlings. Veg-E-LITE proudly wears the red and yellow colours begotten of his home planet, and has a jar of vegemite for a head!
Weapons/Abilities: Using his trusty UTILITY LID Veg-E-LITE can conjure up the saltiest solution to any conceivable problem. Faster than the speed of supermarket restocking, more powerful than a speeding sheila in a tinny, Veg-E-LITE is truly the greatest force of salt there is. However, they have a terrible weakness. When exposed to the raw material of his home planet, marmomite, Veg-E-LITE rapidly loses his power! They can conjure an infinite amount of uber salty paste and manipulate it at will.
Biography: When Veg-E-LITE was just a wee tacker, his folks seeing that those bloody greens had taken over Marmiton (His home planet)(Remember kids, vote liberal and buy Australian!) sent him into space riding on a beer can float. The powers of yeast contained within the cans gave him strange and wonderful powers. One day, he crashed landed right here! To save to world from the terrible onslaught of Captain.P.Nut and his goons, who of course, is behind all wrong! No matter the issue, it is probably the doing of Captain.P.Nut. Even if it has nothing to do with them! Especially if it has nothing to do with them! They're a krafty bugger.
With his sense of righteousness and nose for the evil of Captain.P.Nut, maybe he does more harm than good. He is after all, a bit salty for most peoples tastes.
Joined: Jul 2011
Location: Sunshine, Lollipops and Diabetes
Username: Agensandra Name: Cassandra Devin Species: Prophet Gender: Female Color:do not ask me to see (#4444AA)
Quintus Smyrnaeus Wrote:One heart was steadfast, and one soul clear-eyed, Cassandra. Never her words were unfulfilled; yet was their utter truth, by Fate's decree, ever as idle wind in the hearers' ears, that no bar to Troy's ruin might be set. She saw those evil portents all through Troy conspiring to one end; loud rang her cry, as roars a lioness that mid the brakes a hunter has stabbed or shot, whereat her heart maddens, and down the long hills rolls her roar, and her might waxes tenfold; so with heart aflame with prophecy came she forth her bower. Over her snowy shoulders tossed her hair streaming far down, and wildly blazed her eyes. Her neck writhed, like a sapling in the wind shaken, as moaned and shrieked that noble maid:
“Twenty-five bucks an hour, plus expenses. An advance on the first four, here and now. You’re not gonna like what comes outta this.”
“I don’t care,” this poor fat bastard’s basically foaming at the mouth when he signs, “I just wanna know if he’s still seein’ that son of a bitch.” A hand like a pale fish comes up; it shakes like one, too. This guy shook the floor on his way in, for that matter. The landlady would complain if it weren’t for the fact that she’s gonna have a heart attack next week, and she doesn’t feel up to tackling the stairs.
“Oh, he is.” I can see it, clear as day. Poor, poor bastard. I’ll bring him the photos, and then he’ll get it into his head to tote a shotgun to their next meeting, and then... well.
Fat, fishy eyes narrow at me, catching me staring off into space. “How do you know? None of the other PIs could catch a picture of him. I just want you to look into it, that’s all. Bring back photos. I just want something to hold over his head, that’s all.”
What do you say to that? “I have my ways,” is what I come out with, eventually. “I have precognition that lets me see how things will go” was a little too spooky, even for me. Not what people want to hear in these dark times. Plus, he wouldn’t believe me anyway. No one ever does.
Description: My name?
My name’s Devin. Cassandra Devin, prophet. Private eye on the side, but it’s essentially the same thing anyhow, am I right? People come to me because they have cases no one else can figure. I’m the end of the line for the most desperate folks, the ones who want to find out where their kid is buried, or whether their second in command is skimming profits off the top, or (like this poor bastard) who their favorite boytoy is fucking. I don’t get many cases, but my clients are usually willing to pay more for answers. The way I see things… heh. Well, the way I see things is always pretty grim. But it’s answers people want, and it’s answers people’ll get. I’ve done some pretty dirty things in my time to get to the truth. Didn’t like them, but the truth is the truth, no matter what.
Still, you wouldn’t know it to look at me. I may be short and ginger, and I might wear the same ratty grey trench coat all the time, but to the world I’m clean, moderately prosperous, and reliable. There’s not a court in the world that would argue against my word.
Weapons/Abilities: Not that I ever let it go that far. For some reason, no one’s willing to believe me. These days I just act on what I see, get pictures, bring proof. Let them do the work for me.
It’s not actually that hard, I find. I’ve got no evidence for this, but it seems like every time I put my second sight to work, things always seem to turn out for the absolute worst way possible. One time - because come on, who wouldn’t do this? - I decided to take a look at the national lottery... the ball spinner jammed and set the building on fire, and fifteen people burned to death.
I didn’t actually let that happen, of course - slipped a fifty to a friend in the office, snuck in with his help and oiled the machine up good - but I never tried that again. Not that particular example anyway. Thing is, it’s not consistent, you get me? It’s always something bad, and it’s always to do with what I’m scrying, but… look. So for example, one time I was tailing this suspect. Nasty fuck, mugged people and beat them to death with a half-foot of lead pipe, like he was right outta Clue - and just for fun I decided to have a little look-see, if you get what I mean. Had to jump the gun and nab him before I was ready, because on the way he was going to take out a couple walking home from the theater. A nasty future, but not for him, see?
...man, I gotta get out of this town...
 And now, no more shall my prophecy peer forth from behind a veil like a new-wedded bride; but it will rush upon me clear as a fresh wind blowing against the sun's uprising so as to dash against its rays, like a wave, a woe far mightier than mine. No more by riddles will I instruct you.
And bear me witness, as, running close behind, I scent the track of crimes done long ago.
Citations, ancient greek scholars please don’t kill me
Round Idea: Hellfire Cruises: See the Lake of Fire! Visit Mt. Sisyphus and the Tantalus Isles! Feast on the delicious liver at Prometheus' Cafe and forget your troubles at the famed River Lethe! The round is basically Hell, but now it's a tourist trap!
dangerous desperate housewives - a neighborhood of drama and petty in-fights with extreme stakes and more extreme consequences, various housewives control everyone, including the player characters for things ranging from best lawn to who gets their hands on the new single dad
world wrestling omega ring - complete with nonsensical tales and kayfabe and the most impossible gimmicks, perfect multidimensional television
Shadow Base ZXX - briefing: a hidden american base has been taken over by a former american elite military spy group with one order, give us the body of the greatest solider in the world. their leverage? a machine capable of launching devastating attacks on anywhere in the world. it is up to a single spy and his support team to stop a geopolitical crisis. whoops theres battlers (its metal gear solid)
train murder mystery - like the agatha cristie book or the paper mario level
pikmin, desert bus but bigger, monstro from kingdom hearts, wacky races, the CUBE series of movies, portal, tails gets trolled, kirby, persona
Username:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6JI--n0UHo Name: Des La Ryuje Gender: They/Them NB Species: Humanoid of Earth-Like Planet Colour: a note quite red of not quite hot blood Biography: After many years of petty conflict, peace finally reached what would now be called the United Domain, a continent formed out of many islands of different sizes and climates, each with their own people and culture. Many remember where they were when the news hit, but the celebration was unfortunately short lived. Just as mankind made its peace with one another, a new threat loomed above. Dragonoids, great flying reptilian monsters began an assault on the human race, seemingly without reason or end. While the United Domain quickly formed defenses to repel the dragonoid forces, it was obvious that this would not be enough. To that end, Unido, the greatest city to ever grace the islands, was made, a hub where all the greatest minds and warriors could gather and invent a new weapon, one hopefully capable of overcoming the monsters that threatened mankind.
It took twenty-one long years, but the many minds and souls brought together have finished their work. Now, with the Propulsional Harmonics Machines at their disposal, it is only a matter of time before the dragonoid threat is dealt with. Powered by mysterious crystals and piloted by courageous youths, the members of the PH Mech project are ready to put everything on the line for their families, friends, and most of all, country.
After a long and tiring process, made worse by their overbearing mother, Des La Ryuje is one of the newest line of PH Mech recruits ready to fight for the future of Unido. Or at least, that was the plan.
Items/Abilities: AMP Veloci is a white and silver very-light class Propulsional Harmonics Machine, only slightly taller than an adult human at seven feet, built for scouting, reconnaissance, and surprise attacks. It is one of the more dexterous and adaptable PH Mechs, with its limbs and hands moving at least as well as human ones, and its smaller size allowing it to use most weaponry meant for humanoids. AMP Veloci's general shape is sleek, triangular, and most of all, functional, it has no unnecessary parts or flairs. Its A.I. Module, Angelica excels at using collected data to infer enemy movements, strengths, and weaknesses as well as making plans that make the best use of AMP Veloci and Des's strengths. Like all A.I. mods, she runs diagnostics, ensures that there are no issues with her PH Mech, provides companionship and conversation to the pilot, and generally makes up for whatever weaknesses come from having a youth piloting her robot.
AMP Veloci's main weapons are two pile bunkers, attached to the mech's arms which additionally can function as hookshots. It also has a module in its feet which allow it to leap with more force than normal. The crystal that powers AMP Veloci also bestows it and its pilot with the ability to amplify collisions, which further empowers its main weapon and movement capabilities. Des La Ryuje is not powerless without their robot however, as part of the PH Mech project involves more traditional combat training with weaponry. Des uses a large knife as well as a special pistol that makes use of their collision amplification, the former of which can also be used by their robot.
Description: Des La Ryuje is an older teen with light brown skin and bright red hair done up in a neat and tight ponytail that leaves their face free. To additionally hold back any strands of hair, they have a white headband with "Rey" written on it, by their mother, though it is normally worn in a way where the word is hidden. They wear a standard PH Mech bodysuit with various red accents on it, red lines with occasional sparks along the body, red soles, and red lines along their fingers. Over that, they wear a dark red vest, also made by their mother.
Even now, as a full fledged PH Mech pilot, Des holds doubt over their position. Do they deserve to be here, when their main motivation was the expectations and hopes of their mother? Or does the fact that they made it through the program, surpassing others who seemed much more qualified and self confident, meant that deep down this is something they wanted for themself? "A PH Mech pilot fights for only themselves and their country." Those words still ring in their mind, but the time for doubting their path has long since passed.
Despite their fear and misgivings, Des is an excellent pilot. While nowhere near the performance rate of their seniors, they are easily one of the most capable freshmen pilots. On multiple missions they have proven capable of following through after unexpected consequences, executing plans perfectly, and focusing on multiple objectives with ease, something they place more on the brilliant strategy of Angelica more than themself. When they are given a plan, they put their heart and soul into it, there are no unnecessary actions. There is no hesitation or second guessing, only an unshakable trust in their A.I. Module and a perfect execution, something that they regrettably exhibit only as a PH Mech Pilot...
I wanna be a real friend
Don't wanna break when I bend
I wanna a be no seeker
I wanna scream eureka
(This post was last modified: 05-19-2016 06:55 AM by Solaris.)
Wednesday at 12 NOON GMT to pick an arbitrary cut off point. This is apparently Christmas Eve it turns out. I can't promise I'll have this up and running on Christmas Day but I might try?
Other news: If there's ten characters or less everyone's in. Eleven or over and someone's not gonna make it. I can mentally justify up to ten but any more is pushing it. Sorry.
And finally, round ideas up for consideration in a handy list form (just copied and pasted here from profiles):
IF YOU HAVE AN OPINION ON WHICH OF THESE ROUNDS YOU WANT TO PLAY IN (OR EVEN IF YOU JUST WANT TO SAY SOMETHING ALONG THE LINES OF 'I PREFER ROUNDS WITH THIS FEATURE OR WITHOUT THAT FEATURE OR WHATEVER') THEN PM ME OR LANKIE OR BOTH OF US. IF YOU DON'T THEN WE ASSUME YOU HAVE NO ISSUES.
Ancient Castle Feuerflügel, hidden high atop the Sybilian Mountains. Long forgotten cultists weave olden curses to resurrect their fallen dragon king. Legends say the very blade that slayed the draconic tyrant still rests in those hallowed halls.
Burnination Studios: Alt-earth where Kaiju start life as polyps drifting on warm ocean currents, growing to fit the islands they wash up on. Major coastal countries patrol their shores to repel juveniles, to prevent the North American counterpoint to the 200 kilometer wide Antarctic Furball. They stop growing after age fifty or so, at which point it's safe for them to take up residence on a continental coast city designed for their kind.
Burnination hosts the largest Kaiju population in the world, in sunny north-eastern Australia. It's also Earth's kaiju film capital, so loads of humans live there too.
Hellfire Cruises: See the Lake of Fire! Visit Mt. Sisyphus and the Tantalus Isles! Feast on the delicious liver at Prometheus' Cafe and forget your troubles at the famed River Lethe! The round is basically Hell, but now it's a tourist trap!
Dangerously Desperate Housewives - a neighborhood of drama and petty in-fights with extreme stakes and more extreme consequences, various housewives control everyone, including the player characters for things ranging from best lawn to who gets their hands on the new single dad
World Wrestling Omega Ring - complete with nonsensical tales and kayfabe and the most impossible gimmicks, perfect multidimensional television
La Islas Del Diases - Los Haitises National Park with evil plants and exotic animals and weird absurd landmasses or like, living landmasses
Shadow Base ZXX - briefing: a hidden american base has been taken over by a former american elite military spy group with one order, give us the body of the greatest solider in the world. their leverage? a machine capable of launching devastating attacks on anywhere in the world. it is up to a single spy and his support team to stop a geopolitical crisis. whoops theres battlers (its metal gear solid)
Train Murder Mystery - like the agatha cristie book or the paper mario level
Mademoiselle Primfel's Academie for Young and Emaciated Girls -- a girl's boarding school, ruled by the harsh disciplinarian hand of Mme. Primfel. School uniforms will be provided.
(This post was last modified: 12-21-2015 10:50 AM by Ixcaliber.)
Username: Chimney and Forge
What’s going on here? Two characters? Two usernames?!
We’re much more confident in our ability to write together than our ability to write individually. So we’re making a collaborative app. We spoke to a few people and they said that would be fine? We hope nobody minds!
Name: Dragún of Boundaries, Summoner of Legends, Anam den Dragúnsídhe (Soul of the Dragon), Anam den Völsung (Soul of Völsung), or just Völsung for short.
Species: Dragúnsídhe (Elf with Dragon Soul)
Colour:Dragúnflame red #FF0000
Pain. That’s all Völsung knew. Pain, and more pain. Völsung’s entire right side felt aflame. Vaguely, the dragún recognised the crushing weight of stones and debris. A collision with the castle, then. Völsung tried to lift a wing —
A roar, as fresh agony lanced through Völsung’s body. That clearly wasn’t going to work. The wing was… well, it wasn’t functional any more, that much Völsung could tell.
How long had Völsung been lying there? How had the collision happened? A battle against the demonic invaders, definitely. Their whirring still filled the air. But the details were elusive. It was hard to think. Völsung’s talons and tail were growing cold. Blood loss?
It wouldn’t be long.
The dragún opened one eye. There, Völsung saw a footsoldier — one of the sídhe*, the mortal inhabitants of the fey isle of Cill Mórinis. This one looked like an elf. She was clutching a flimsy spear, staring at Völsung, white-faced and caked in dust. Not the most impressive of candidates. But beggars couldn’t be choosers.
Völsung’s body tingled like needles as the contingency spell began to take hold. The power of a dragún was too precious to lose. Not now, not in this war. Dragún souls had to be salvaged, and crammed into whatever container was nearby to receive them.
Völsung’s eye closed again. This was going to hurt.
The war ended. The mechanical demons were driven back. Cill Mórinis was saved, at a steep cost.
Anam den Völsung — for that was her name now, Völsung’s Soul; the world didn’t care to remember her elven name — sought out a new life. Her kind were something new to the world, their place in it uncertain. Many, Völsung included, did not even know who they were, two minds and souls bound to a single body. Most did not last long, going insane, killing themselves, or simply disappearing into ill-remembered legend. Völsung ended up in the last category, after meeting with a figure known as the Witch of Boundaries several years after the war while wandering the southern coast of Cill Mórinis. The witch offered to take her far and wide with her teleportation magic, to explore the world and beyond. To this day, the dragúnsídhe does not know why the Witch of Boundaries offered to take her, but it was perhaps exactly what she needed to resolve the duality of her existence into a single being once more.
The duo traveled far and wide, sometimes sailing across oceans, sometimes walking by foot, but often whisking away to new lands by the witch’s teleportation magic. The Witch was a trickster through and through, and the two of them got into many… adventures together. Along the way, the Witch began to teach Völsung the basics of dimensional magic, which Völsung developed into her signature summoning contracts.
Many centuries later, Völsung left the companionship of the Witch behind, traveling back to her homeland of Cill Mórinis, making her way to what was once her dragún lair, Dún Völsung. As she neared, the dragún Lavættur sensed her presence, and rushed to defend his domain. Confused by the lack of another dragún in the air, he landed next to Völsung, asking if she had seen a dragún. She replied that she only knew of him and herself. Lavættur laughed. To the Summoner’s credit, she had originally thought ill of forcing him into a contract, but at this insult, her ire was raised.
An hour later, Lavættur’s corpse lay burning in Dún Völsung’s druid grove, scorching and destroying the consecrated land.
Normally, a defeated dragún was killed by the victor, but as she was not only a dragún, Völsung instead forced him into her service, taking over the lair and unintentionally, the town that had sprung up around it. While she hadn’t intended to become a ruler, that was what she was. With Lavættur’s economic advice and her larger-scale mindset, she managed to expand her rule to several neighboring provinces and increase the general wealth of the area. Several times jealous neighbors assaulted her lands for its wealth, but each time they were turned back.
Now, an alliance of countries on the mainland have turned their eyes upon Cill Mórinis, and Völsung, along with other forward thinking leaders such as the Verdant Queen, are attempting to organize the island once more for an organized defense. Unfortunately, it seems a pair of asshat gods have other ideas. Will they be able to get home and save their precious home?
*Sídhe: The ‘mundane’ inhabitants of Cill Mórinis — mainly elves, humans, and cait. Cill Mórinis being the fey land that it is, many outsiders would consider sídhe (even the human ones) to be strange and mystical, but nonetheless sídhe are mortals. Sídhe are civilised city-builders, but live in greater harmony with nature than most civilisations do: a lot is possible when the land’s spirits are so overt and will so readily lend their magic.
Völsung is an elf. She’s noticeably short, perhaps a head shorter than average. She has extremely long white hair, which she keeps tied back in braids. Her most unusual feature is the two curved black horns jutting forward from the sides of her head — the only outward sign of her dragún soul.
Her clothing tends toward the elegant, with frilly cuffs and long draping sleeves, but without being too impractical. It usually includes reds, blacks, and whites, to bring out her fiery red eyes and white hair. After becoming the ruler of Dún Völsung and participating in the celebrations of spirits, she has also started including red roses into her hair.
Most find Völsung high and mighty at first, mixed with a subtle blend dispassion and calculation. However, those that deal with her on a daily basis know her to be a hard working leader, who cares deeply for those she is in charge of, be they troops she is leading or citizens of her country. She still thinks herself above them, but she earns that right in most of their minds.
She shows disdain and annoyance to tasks finds either beneath her or superfluous. They are a distraction to her, even if they must be done. Questioning her abilities or dragún status is an easy way to gain her ire, which can make her act rashly, often forcing the offender into a contract.
Items/Abilities: Contractual Magic: By far Völsung’s strongest magic, it allows her to form magically binding contracts with others. The terms are highly variable, she has made contracts as mundane as trade agreements and exotic as bringing another dragún into her service. It is not impossible to break these contracts, either through finding a loophole or using sheer willpower to overcome the other party, but Völsung has the iron will of a dragún and the expertise of the finest lawyer. While it is Völsung’s passion to form contracts with ever more powerful entities, she usually (but not always) practices informed consent: she recognizes that trying to force contracts onto others is asking for trouble, as is abusing those contracts she already has. Contracting has down sides: forming one takes a significant amount of energy from her, leaving her exhausted for days, sometimes weeks. And once formed, she is just as bound by her contract as the entity she is working with.
Völsung has dozens of contracts active, but the other parties remain far away in her home dimension. Occasionally, she may be compelled to do or not do something due to a clause buried in one of her contracts, but for the most part the contracts are inapplicable thanks to her circumstances. There’s one major exception: a contracted dryad known as the Verdant Queen was brought with her into the Battle.
Summoning Magic: Völsung is talented with her mentor’s dimensional magic. However, due to her limited understanding of this ridiculously intricate form of magic, she can only apply it in a narrow scope: summoning other entities from elsewhere on the world. First, she must form a contract with a summoning clause in it (most of her contracts do). This serves as a sort of targeting beacon for her magic to lock onto. Second, the target she wishes to teleport must be in the same dimension she is, or, while she does not know this limit, on the same world. Third, the summoning clause must not have any invaliding conditions, such as the target being nude or similar embarrassing situations. Quite often, this means the summoned individual must be willing.
Dragúnsídhe: Anam den Völsung is an elf imbued with the soul and a fraction of a dragún’s power. She will not die of natural causes and is generally more physically capable than her elven kind. She is however, almost as stubborn and willful as a dragún. She also has a tendency to hoard her wealth, something she has mostly overcome in her long travels.
Mundane Skills: During the war, Anam den Völsung learned to be a mighty warrior and leader of armies. During her time journeying with the Witch of Boundaries, in addition to learning Interdimensional magic, she became used to entering realms alien to her. Now at home, she has slowly begun to learn how to be a ruler. Additionally she is from what we would consider a low magic fantasy world, she knows many minor skills that you would expect someone who traveled a great deal in that type of setting. She however, knows next to nothing about worlds that have high technology.
Spoiler: The Verdant Queen
Name: The Verdant Queen
Colour:The green of fresh spring shoots #80c020
Gaia’s Stepdaughters have many legends about their leader, but let us begin with the legend of her origin.
The Verdant Queen — although she did not have this name back then — was a simple dryad: a tree spirit who protected and tended to a small forest glade. A mystical creature, certainly, but a minor one, and she had no aspirations to be anything more. She was kind, and warm, and beautiful. Beautiful enough to turn the heads of even gods.
We shall omit the details of petty jealousy, divine curses, and other such legendary shenanigans. Skip to the happy ending. Sheltered among the boughs of the Heavenly Tree, this simple dryad accepted the affections of Mother Nature herself. As a betrothal gift, Mother Nature blessed her with the ears of the earth and the voice of the wind, and lifted her up to be the ruler of a great expanse of the forest.
Then came the war.
The blessed dryad fought, alongside mortal sídhe and mighty dragúns and every creature she could find in her woodland, to drive back the demonic harvesters. She encountered loss — so rare for an ageless nymph. She witnessed carnage and sacrilege. She grew to, if not understand, at least care for the sídhe and their ‘civilisation’. By the time the war was won, she found that the mortals cared for her, too, and came to her for advice and direction, especially with the extermination of their own leaders. So it was that a dryad came to be the queen of an elven kingdom.
Many seasons have passed since then. No mortal remains who remembers the war. But the danger looms again. Once again, all of Cill Mórinis must stand united or all of it will fall. So the Verdant Queen seeks alliances, and she has found one in Völsung. She has forged a contract with the Summoner, as well as a friendship.
It’s a shame that that contract led to her being dragged along when Völsung was taken for a Grand Battle…
The Verdant Queen is practically the Platonic ideal of beauty in sídhe culture. Her face and ears have the delicately angular features of an elf. She appears young, in the peak of fitness, with soft hands and a willowy build. Her pale skin is emblazoned with a dense blush of freckles. Her hair is a rippling curtain of amber, reaching down to her waist, yet it never gets in her way. She spends all her days outdoors, yet she is never dirty or wet.
As a symbolic protector of her people, she often wears armour — breastplate, gauntlets, boots — which, of course, is polished smooth and glimmers in the sun. Her clothing is mostly practical and unencumbring, but she can never resist the impulse to include a cape or a skirt, always big and green and billowing, evocative of leaves.
The Verdant Queen is a spirital embodiment of nature, so nature is her utmost concern. She doesn’t particularly care for the lives or happiness of individuals — death is a part of nature — and she doesn’t grasp why others care, except insofar as protecting one’s cubs or striving for one’s own success. She does care about the grand scale: pollution, deforestation, extinction, demons, and other such disruptions of the natural cycle. She will fight fiercely to protect a land she feels is under threat.
Her sentences are often stiff, because language does not come naturally to her. Sometimes, she may seem detached from the world. Other times she comes across as flighty, hedonistic, and wild. She rarely judges the behaviour of others; she prefers to let what is be. She is reactive, not proactive nor passive. She has trouble bonding with people unless she sees them as relevant to the grand scale. She’s distrustful of “demons” — which is to say, robots.
Items/Abilities: Everything the Light Touches: In her home realm, the Verdant Queen is the ruler (in both spiritual and civil respects) of a large area. She can feel the land, and she can control phenomena such as weather on a large scale. Her subjects generally obey her laws and carry out her orders. But she’s not in her home realm any more, so those things are probably irrelevant now.
Ears of the Earth, Voice of the Wind: The Verdant Queen has the blessing of Mother Nature. All the beings of nature — be they plant, animal, or spirit — will hang on her words. They won’t necessarily do as she wishes, but they will be inclined to. They’ll see her as a lifelong friend.
Nymph Perfection: Against ‘civilised’ beings such as humans, her supernatural power doesn’t apply… but she is still breathtakingly beautiful on her own merits. She knows how to leverage her charm, but if that fails, her actual social skills are subpar: she tends to keep stumbling across ineffable mortal concerns.
Swords: The Verdant Queen is of high agility and fitness, and she has fought in wars before. She wears armour and a sword, and she knows how to use it. But this is far from her specialty, and she can expect to lose against any expert fighter. She prefers to avoid such confrontation.
She is, of course, an expert at herblore and botany.
Spoiler: oops we accidentally wrote another 4 pages please disregard
Völsung sighed as she set her quill down on her Grimoire and looked to the grandfather clock, its elderly hour hand pointing to 2pm. Usually she would go gather her apprentice and help him through some basic Dimensional Arts calculations around now, part of the strange schedule that she had developed after gaining ownership of the castle and town, Dún Völsung. Instead she began to ascend through the winding corridors of the underground palace so she may meet with the town druids for their Ritual of Rejuvenation. When she had first made her lair here prior to the Dark Age, the 'palace' had been merely a cave. Now it had floors of stone so polished they gleamed in the torchlight and walls adorned with paintings from faraway lands. As she reached the ground floor, some servants hesitated in their cleaning, unsure in how to act.
Four months, and the people of this town still hadn't become accustom to her presence. Völsung shook her head ever so slightly in dismay, wondering if they ever would. To be fair, she had fought their previous dragún ruler in what was suppose to be a battle to the death, then spared his life and took him into her service. It was as though they had two rulers, the elderly dragún Lavættur and herself, an elf that claimed to be a dragún with only a pair of horns as her proof.
The servants' and peasants' confusion was understandable, just as it had been for the soldiers under her command during the Dark Age.
She exited the castle that guarded the land above the dungeon palace and walked down the winding road that lead to the town. In her time, this had been a simple dirt road first carved by adventurers out to slay her, then traversed by the elven warriors under her command, of which she once was. Now it was a lavish stonework road that connected the castle to its adjoined town via a bridge. She crossed over the bridge into a section of the town, not bothering to look down into the flowing river of the ravine below.
The town was spread across several plateaus surrounding the castle, bridges connecting them together. Peasants largely ignored her presence as she continued down the mossy stonework road that connected all the plateaus' bridges together, attending to preparations for tonight's festival. Paper lanterns and banners were being strung from the second stories of vine covered houses, saplings and seeds were being planted in gardens and musicians were practicing their instruments. Yes, everyone in the town of Dún Völsung was preparing for the night of the Ritual of Rejuvenation.
She crossed another bridge and laid eyes upon the ashen remains of the druid's grove. It had been the place where the battle between Lavættur and herself had culminated and had suffered the fiery wrath of the dragún. Over the past 4 months, the druids had tried to rekindle life back into the trees and plants, but the flora refused to grow. Now, they hoped to placate the spirits of the land and had assured her that the spirits would take notice if she attended.
The head druid caught sight of the Summoner and strode over to meet her with a wreath of flowers. "Summoner, how good it is to see you. I trust you are prepared?"
In all honesty, she had been dreading this day. If she didn't feel responsible for the carnage she wrought during her battle, she would have declined, for this was a ceremony of life and she was a creature of war and destruction, forged in the fires of the Dark Ages.
"Yes Druid, I am ready to begin the rehearsal.” He threw the wreathe over her head, the petals silky smooth on her skin, and guided her along.
The druids showed and practiced the ceremonial dance with her until near sundown. It was then they dressed her in robes that made one think of a forest, for she was to take the role of the dryad of the local woods. Other druids dressed as other important local spirits, of the flowing rivers, the richly scented soil, or the life-bringing rains.
As the sun was eclipsed by the mountains and dusk gave to night, musicians in the grove begin to play a rhythmic beat and those dressed as spirits began to dance with one another. Around and around, pass to the neighbour, don't let go. Colorful wisps began to appear in the air as they danced, casting their hues all over the town. One by one, the spirits portrayed by the actors appeared, taking physical form as nymphs and magical creatures and beginning to dance with their doubles. Völsung gave her best effort to the dance, making a mistake here and there, but kept going none the less.
Lesser spirits began to appear all over the town, and the celebration began for everyone. Townfolk and spirits danced together in harmony with one another, others enjoying the feast of food and ale that was laid out for everyone to partake in.
By the time first song was finally finished and Völsung was allowed to finally rest her feet, a very special guest had appeared in the sacred grove, unknown to all.
She wore the shape of an elf, with green robes and hair of orange gold, but with an unearthly air that marked her as one of the spirit world. Even among nymphs, she was breathtakingly beautiful.
She smiled, taking in the joyful air of the festival, watching the cavorting elves and spirits. Many of the passing wisps paused to bob at her, and she brightly greeted them back. After a short time, she walked up to the resting Völsung. "May I have the next dance?”
The dragún looked up at this spirit of ethereal beauty, stifling a sigh. "As it pleases you.” She stood up and reached for the hands of the unknown spirit to begin the dancing anew. Her feet and legs urged her to sit right back down, but she had to see this night of celebration through.
"So, you are the one who cast down the ruler of this place,” the spirit remarked. "You are small for a dragún.”
"They say the sting of the smallest creature may fell the largest.” Völsung walked in a circle with her partner, her head not reaching above the nymph’s shoulders. "Size is oft misconceived as power," she commented with a hint of annoyance.
A smile played on the spirit's lips. "Indeed. You must have great power to have earned the nickname 'Völsung', after the ancient leader.”
"It is no nickname spirit, I am she who was named Anam den Völsung."
A raised eyebrow. "Völsung has been gone for many seasons. Why would she suddenly appear now?”
The dragún looked away as she danced. "My reasons are my own spirit, but I now oversee my home once more." She looked back. "You ask many questions for one of the forest."
The nymph only grinned. "I am curious! It is not every day a dragún is defeated. It is a metamorphosis for this land - much like this ceremony. It is well done, by the way.” She spun out on one arm as she danced, then returned to Völsung, her head tilted to one side. "What are we to expect from the land's new form? What will you do with your rule?”
Völsung stayed quiet for a time, face furrowed, pondering the question as they cavorted around the grove. Finally, she answered, "Strength, prosperity, and security for all of Cill Mórinis. Sidhe have forgotten to keep their defenses sturdy and swords sharp. Forgotten lessons of the Dark Age."
The spirit nodded to herself. "The safety and the health to grow. What we all wish for. So long as you remember that we spirits are Cill Mórinis...” The song ended, and the nymph brought one of Völsung's hands to her lips, before releasing them. "Congratulations on becoming this land's ruler. Should you ever need advice, speak to the birds. They call me the Verdant Queen, and they will pass on your message.”
Völsung hid her surprise well. "Then I shall be thankful my palace is not open to the sky.” She sat down on a log, craning her head to look up at The Verdant Queen. "While the spirits are indeed part of Cill Mórinis, do not forget that Elves, Cait, Dragún, and all the other sidhe, are also Cill Mórinis and must rise together to protect it.”
The Verdant Queen shook her head. "I will forget. I will forget every time that I am at peace. But I will remember when it matters. Farewell, Anam den Völsung!” Without another word, she slipped into the crowd of dancers and disappeared.
Völsung watched the spirit go, muttering to no one in particular, "No spirit, I am afraid you will not remember. Not unless I command it of you.”
Bickering, bickering, bickering. That’s all these mortals seemed to want to do. The grand hall echoed with shouting as the leaders went around their circular arguments once more.
Völsung made some excuse and left the hall. She strode down the passageways, footsteps echoing on the flagstones. She massaged her temples, just in front of the horns, trying to push back a headache.
A second set of footsteps heralded a follower. "Völsung? Are you ill?” The Verdant Queen.
The dragúnsídhe grimaced. “Just need some air.”
The Verdant Queen seemed to accept that, but she didn’t stop following, and Völsung didn’t make her. It wasn’t long before they left the passageways of Völsung’s castle and stepped out into the mountainside woods, binking in the ruddy sunlight filtering through the trees. On one side, the earth fell away into a rocky ravine, water far below glittering with the last snatches of sun.
Out of the corner of her eye, Völsung saw the Verdant Queen’s tense shoulders ease. The dryad always seemed more content when surrounded by her element.
“They do not understand,” the Verdant Queen said, after a long pause to sigh at the setting sun. “They play games of one-upmanship when their lives are at stake. If war comes, none of these tariffs or mercenary exchanges or border disputes will matter. All the kingdoms of Cill Mórinis must work together. We’ve told them. Why do they still not understand?”
The dragúnsídhe rubbed her temples, the different sides of her mind conflicting. “They will matter, but their context will be different. Tariffs will help direct our combined economies to aid in the war effort, our mercenaries’ loyalty has to be immune to Tartessos gold, and each ruler must help the other protect their borders. But they refuse to accept this way of thinking, unable to see the larger picture. We are commanders whose troops will not listen to them.”
“We are mother sheep whose lambs mill around while the wolves prowl. It is all so petty.” The Verdant Queen shook her head. Her long amber hair, the same colour as the sunset, rippled like a banner. She kept moving, walking deeper into the woods, away from their responsibilities. “You remember the last time.” It wasn’t a question.
It would have been impossible to forget the dark age. The memories were permanently etched upon the dragúnsídhe’s mind just as the land still bore the scars of battle. The forests and swamplands were littered with ruined castles and cities, torn down, forgotten and overgrown. The ravines that now criss-crossed the land, flowing with babbling rivers — the lifeblood of the Cill Mórinis economy — were created when the earth had been torn asunder by magic, both of the demons and spirits. The very existence of dragúnsídhe like Völsung was a relic of that war, a desperate attempt to retain even a glimmer of a fallen dragún’s power.
Most dragúnsídhe had gone insane after the war.
“Yes, but unlike last time, the two of us and the others from that time, know what must be done. The first blow will be painful, perhaps crippling, but it must be borne so the sídhe and spirits alike will listen to us, to the memory of the land. For now, all we can do is prepare the salve and sharpen our blades.”
“You are so optimistic. I cannot… All I can think is that Cill Mórinis will suffer so greatly while it waits for them to learn. Mortal sídhe should never rule. They are too young, too ignorant.”
The sunlight that flickered through the leaves above began to darken as they continued on their walkabout, Völsung’s castle long out of sight. “The seasons change for a reason.”
The corner of the Queen’s mouth twitched up. Caught out by her own philosophy. “They do. But you left that meeting, the same as I did.”
“The birds move away for the winter. Besides, sometimes I just need to get lost in the forest.”
“That, I can understand.” The Verdant Queen sighed. “And like the birds, we must return. We have diplomacy to do, and kingdoms to lead. We will be missed if we are gone long.” She took a deep breath of the evening air, then turned and began to head back the way they came.
A minute later, she stopped abruptly. “This is not the right path. We should have passed a young goldenwood sapling.”
A sudden realization hit Völsung: it had become disturbingly quiet and dark. The birds had stopped chirping, the wind had ceased to rustle the leaves. The darkness was not the cool blue darkness of oncoming night, but a deadening grey, as though the color and light were being drained from their surroundings. She could scarcely see more than a dozen trees ahead, and the darkness was creeping in, closing on them from every angle. There was an acrid taste to the monochromatic air — a taste she was intimately familiar with. “Dimensional magic.”
The darkness rushed forward and swallowed them up.
summary: a summoner elf queen with a dragon soul, and her summonee beautiful dryad queen.
(Edit: We vote for the Ancient Castle Feuerflügel)
(This post was last modified: 12-23-2015 11:29 PM by ForgeChimney.)
In the spirit of democracy, I will submit two profiles and let the other contestants vote on which one they'd like me to use -
Spoiler: The Wraith
Username:Sai Name: Species: Wraith Gender: Most recently male Color:696969
From Musings on Wraiths - A Collection of Notes by King Ragha
Of all of the interdimensional entities that plague our world with their meddling, few are as little understood as the creatures that have been called ‘wraiths’ by those few who have been unlucky enough to have found the aftermath of their attacks.
While the most famous of the realms which drift beside our own have been named by intrepid travelers and sages of ages past - Styss, Inferno, Aeris, Aurelia, among others - more still hang in the aether nearby without our knowledge. Most such realms, however, are simply too alien for us to even comprehend. The wraiths are creatures that approach this degree of separation.
From what can be gleaned of past survivors and my own experiences, wraiths are detectable only as a vague presence. While some have claimed that there is a sense of unease in the air, I have found instead that the presence of a wraith is detectable simply as a reduction in temperature and the so-called aura of fear that is said to evince their presence is merely the result of this physical chill.
The exact nature of a wraith’s attack is unpleasant, and I will say only that it is survivable by those with a strong will. They have been recorded as targeting only mages, but I believe this to be untrue - instead, it seems that only a powerful magic user is likely to survive the attack, and evidence of a wraith’s presence is only seen by others after a mage is defeated. Indeed, it is only after a wraith is victorious in its attack on a victim that their true nature is revealed.
In almost every instance such an attack, an apparition that looked like the ghost of the victim appeared, casting the magic of the now dead sorcerer with even greater potency than the original caster was capable of. Given their preference for targeting the most powerful mages of the era, this is an awesome display to say the least. The magic is discharged in an almost always violent manner, wreaking havoc on the spellcaster’s former home. As a result, some have said that these horrors serve as a warning on delving into arts that are best left to gods.
However, the timing of the attacks matches a pattern. The wraiths have struck only on even multiples of 114 years apart and there is little similarity in either the specialty or the degree of the magic that the prey of the wraiths exhibit. Similarly, there have been mages that have showcased power that far eclipsed some that have been assaulted, and some of these even managed to die of old age. As a result, I hypothesize that the wraiths strike at regular intervals, and in the years that otherwise fit the pattern in which no wraith attack has been recorded, the victims were simply either too isolated or wielded a power too subtle for the wraith’s presence to have been noted in the histories. That multiple attacks have been recorded in several years suggests that either these are the times in which our world passes through whatever sphere the wraiths occupy, that our barriers against their intrusion are cyclically weakened, or simply that their lifecycle involves feeding at such seemingly long delayed intervals. In any case, whether it is one creature or a host as other scholars have implied, I suspect that these attacks have been far more frequent than has been reported on account of the absence of evidence that a successful assault on an unremarkable target would leave.
Background: "Hello again." The ancient king sat in an overstuffed chair in front of the hearth. The room was small by royal standards, which still left enough room for multiple wardrobes, several suits of ceremonial armor, and a magnificent desk covered with artifacts forged or won by the monarch, to the point that it left little room for his writing. Still, it was the smallest room in his wing of the palace, and in his opinion the most comfortable. The fact that it held some of the trophies of his many accomplishments without being an ostentatious display like several other rooms had become agreed with his wizened temperament. It was the perfect place to spend his last night alive. "I suppose that I have been expecting you."
The presence that filled the space to his right was entirely undetectable by most mortals. Though shapeless, soundless, and capable of passing through solid stone as easily as air, the wraith was unsurprised that the sorcerer king was able to sense his arrival. The room grew colder, as though the heat from the fire was being pulled away to give breath to the voice of the intruder.
"You have." The voice was as soft as a whisper, but echoed in the man's mind as the speaker both spoke and projected the words directly. Speaking with sound was unusual for a wraith, but its claim was unusual enough already.
The king's reply was slow in coming. Before he spoke, he reached over to the edge of the desk to lift a rod from it. Covered in intricate silver runes, it thrummed with power as soon as it touched his hand. The many layered rings at its head began to spin and a bright light appeared between them as he pointed it into the empty space to his right. Though the spell was seconds from bursting forth from the end of the item, rather than release it he simply sighed and lowered the weapon, willing the light to fade and the spinning to stop as he let it clatter to the floor at his side. "No, I suppose that wouldn't help, would it?"
He soon felt a tug on his limp arm, as though an invisible hook had been sunk painlessly into his flesh. A second and a third soon followed, and that same ethereal voice confirmed his thoughts once again. "It would not."
"Still," the dying king said, forcing his face into a grin as he turned towards the unseen wraith. "I did manage to beat you last time, didn't I? What makes you think I won't do it again." He felt a jerk, as though the arcane hooks were pulling at his bicep, and then the room disappeared. He suddenly found himself sitting in his grand throne, and judging by the reddish rays of light streaming in from the many windows, he judged that it was dusk. The hall that was ordinarily filled with advisors and petitioners was empty save for a regal figure standing to his right. Clad in the golden armor in which he had famously fought a hundred battles, the majestic man was Ragha himself when he had been in his prime of rulership. The burden of the crown he wore had not yet sunken his posture nor had the drudgery of state dulled the fire in his eyes. "Because," the man said in a voice that was not his own "You are not the king that you once were."
The ancient Ragha sat back in his throne, contemplating the appearance that the wraith had chosen to take. "I have read about you, you know." He spoke softly, facing forward rather than turning to meet the gaze of the conqueror he once was. ”How could I not after our encounter? I found all that there was to know - even invaded a Soltek principality when I was denied access to their library. There wasn’t much about your - well, you.” ”Not many survive their encounters.” ”No, of course not. Still, some few did and others saw the remnants of a wraith attack. While there wasn’t much, there was some. Enough to know that your appearance here - even your returning at all for a second attempt - is unheard of.” ”And yet you expected my return all the same.” ”Call it arrogance, then. You said last we met that you sought out only the most powerful -” ”Not precisely.” ”No?” ”I sought only the most interesting.” He smiled then, breaking the illusion slightly, as he did so in a manner unfamiliar to any that had known the sorcerer king. ”You were preoccupied then, however, so I do not blame you for misremembering.” ”And am I still interesting now?”
The smile remained. ”Of course. Your power may have faded, but the essence of it is still there. Enough remains to build a great deal.” ”Mine is a destructive power, wraith.” ”And yet you have built an empire.” ”I have made that argument to myself before. I thought it poetic.” ”I have the soul of a poet. Two, actually, though one isn’t any good.”
The king turned then, eying the creature that appeared as him dubiously. ”You would have me believe that my soul would live on, then, after you consume it?” ”Aspects of it. Stronger at first, but fainter after your power has been used up. Still,” He took a step closer. ”It is more than would be left of you otherwise.” ”And for that dim promise you would have me surrender.” ”A dim promise is what awaits you should I depart. Weakness. Senility. Failure.” ”All things that come with age.” ”And all unacceptable to King Ragha.”
The true king snorted at that. ”Well, I am weaker now all the same. Surely you could simply rip my power from me as you have for so many others.” ”I could. I won’t.” ”And why is that?” ”I have decided that we are friends.”
No time at all had passed in the study where the aged king sat. He began to slump in his chair, as though nodding off to sleep. In the empty air in which the wraith stood, a familiar form had begun to take shape. Though still wispy as though comprised of strands of light, the body that began to take shape was exactly like the simulacra that the horror had used in his soul. It was translucent and glowed with the white fire that had defined his magic, but the shape was unmistakable all the same. ”You never liked this stark color,” it said as it looked down upon its temporary body. ”I suppose it - hmm.” Its musings cut off short as it felt an odd tug on its spectral form. ”It seems another has laid claim to this soul. I wonder what it - “
Without even being able to finish its thought, the apparition disappeared.
Spoiler: Gurska Karr
(This one is a Grand OC profile that I think would be fun to develop further) Username: Sai Name: Gurska Karr Species: Taurus Gender: Female Color:Firebrick
When explorers discovered the literally and figuratively bull-headed sentients living on the fifth planet in the Zeta Tauri system, they were shocked by the race’s humanoid appearance. They believed that they had to be either the result of a seed ship that had been lost in that sector whose colonists must have undergone some sort of accelerated speciation or the result of a genetic experiment whose creator had since perished without releasing his notes. The latter was a far more popular theory on account of their resemblance to the minotaur of Earth’s mythos, but remnants of a seed ship’s materials found scattered throughout the Taurus settlements gave credence to the former. Because they were believed to be an offshoot of an existing spacefaring civilization, they became partially integrated into galactic society before a more comprehensive analysis could be performed. As fate would have it, the Taurus technological ascension occurred at the same time as the border skirmishes which would eventually escalate into the Nyxian-Nihensei War, so most of the galaxy paid little attention to the fairly isolated world as its denizens began to adopt modern weaponry and spacecraft.
As it turned out, they were natives to the planet, and at least as violent and bloodthirsty as humans had ever been in their own developmental period on Earth. Having already destroyed a human colony with only medieval weaponry, their rapid ascension to space age technology without a corresponding cultural acclimation would prove to be devastating. Within a decade, almost a quarter of their population had been wiped out. A decade more and fully half of their species was dead and a significant portion of their population centers had been rendered uninhabitable. A response force was finally sent to help deal with the planetary conflict from the Nihensei Republics, but with no true global government to work with, there was little that they could hope to do to help establish peace and were at first limited to providing humanitarian aid. Their support instead helped spark the first wave of mass emigration from Tauri V, and there was little they could do to ensure that the departing Tauri would remain (or, indeed, ever were) peaceful. While most of the refugees genuinely sought an escape from the catastrophic destruction of their homeworld, a significant number were devoutly warlike. These emigrants scattered across the galaxy, with most joining the burgeoning Mercenary Coalition, where their aptitude for destruction was welcomed with open arms, while others would join various pirate collectives hidden in backwater worlds. Meanwhile, the war on Tauri V raged on.
The ineffectiveness of the task force in even reducing the violence surrounding them would prove to be too frustrating for many of their members to stomach. A rogue detachment led by one of the group’s sociologists, Dr Timothy McCullen, decided that the only way to ensure peace would be for one faction to attain total dominance of the planet. Supporting one of the largest clans, the Karr, they began to fight in the world wide war themselves.Taurus histories would later elevate these humans to mythical status, especially given the fact that the genetic lock on their weapons initially prevented them from being used by the Tauri themselves. Following a human’s demise in combat, highly ranked members of the clan they supported would use preserved parts of their body to allow them continue to use these tools in combat. As a result, swearing by body parts of the fallen leader of this group entered the the Taurus lexicon (eg - “Timmy’s Fist, that’s a fine gun!”). Additionally, because native weapon technology would not catch up with the galactic standard for years to come, the Karr were able to maintain technological dominance until they finally achieved total victory in their war for unification. Though he did not live to see it, Timmy’s rogue detachment succeeded in bringing some measure of peace to the Tauri and preventing their self inflicted genocide.
Gurska was born in the middle of the winter birthing season of 11 BKD (Before Karr Dominion). In her childhood she saw her clan win battle after battle, subduing numerous rival tribes as their domain expanded to encompass the entirety of the supercontinent on which the Tauri lived. In her teenage years, the first ever Taurus world peace began to show cracks as numerous minor revolts broke out amongst the conquered clans and political conflicts between neighboring groups turned violent. Though these were quickly and brutally put down by Karr soldiers, the clan elders realized that without a global project to capture the focus of their people, their empire would collapse a mere generation after it had been established. Though being small and out of the way allowed them emerge as an independent world, their race was far too small and technologically primitive to hope to challenge the pan-galactic establishments themselves. Through the Taurus emigres that had enlisted in the Mercenary Coalition years before, the Taurus elders were able to make contact with the now vast nomadic fleet and concluded a formal alliance between their world’s government and this wayfaring bloc.
With their aid, the Karr began to take control of multiple neighboring star systems, but the close contact with the Coalition began to influence them culturally as well. While the Tauri as a whole and the Karr especially valued loyalty to the clan above all, the Mercenary Coalition thought differently. A large portion of the Coalition’s revenue came from small groups leaving the fleet to provide support in smaller conflicts wherever they may break out, and as a result they placed a high value on individual initiative. Additionally, the very nature of their organization made loyalty to a specific cause (aside from violence itself and self interest) an unreasonable ideal. The fact that they were the stronger partner in their relationship made these values seem appealing to many of the Tauri. None felt this more strongly than Gurska’s generation, which were just then entering adulthood and seeking to prove their worth.
With conquest still in the Karr clan’s eyes as she was growing up, Gurska lived and breathed warfare, learning everything from her race’s traditional style of combat with horns and melee weapons to the use of their distinctly modern arsenal and tactics. Her heritage as a member of the core family of the Karr clan, which essentially placed her amongst the aristocracy if not outright royalty as far as the Tauri were concerned, allowed her to receive training in both the cutting edge of Taurus technology and adopted alien materiel. She spent the years of peace frustrated and joined her clan’s suppression forces at every available opportunity. When their alliance with the Mercenary Coalition allowed the Tauri to begin waging war on neighboring worlds, she quickly became recognized for her talents as a combat pilot. While she was not particularly talented when compared to those born on the migratory worldships of the Coalition, the Tauri were generally awful at flying, and simply being adequate amongst the spacefaring mercs made her an ace amongst her own kind. Constantly seeking to improve herself, she spent more and more time amongst the other races of the Tauri’s allies, and eventually accepted a contract to become a full fledged mercenary soldier. She quickly came to adopt their migratory lifestyle for her own, and left the territorial wars of her people to lead small strike forces in minor conflicts across the galaxy. Born to battle, she soon acquired a reputation as a bloodthirsty warrior and a fearless commander.
Standing a full ten feet in height and bulging with muscle, Gurska is an intimidating figure even without her arsenal. With it, she is simply nightmarish. Clad in overlapping plates of reflective metal over the black gel of her modern encounter suit, her combat garb looks anachronistic in design, as though a medieval knight were to have their mail commissioned from modern materials. Designed to reduce the impact of lasers, small arms fire, and even melee weapons in the rare instances which they are used, the similarities carry over to its function as well as its form.
If her armor gives the impression of a mix between a medieval aesthetic with modern utility, her weaponry solidifies it. Her weapon of choice is a 40 mm autocannon which had been torn from the smoking hull of a downed interceptor. Designed for ship to ship combat, wide, black heat sinks run down the length of the weapon. Though large enough for a human force to consider it an artillery piece, she wields it as a hand-held device fed from a belt that feeds out of a case of ammo that she wears on her left hip. When not spitting out depleted uranium death to an effective range measured in kilometers, this weapon is worn on a strap slung over her back. When facing enemies at closer ranges, she uses the weapon with which she earned her nomme de guerre - a massive flamethrower, capable of emitting blue streams of fire that can arc out over thirty meters. Given the importance of oxygen in ships and stations, few of her opponents expected the use of this weapon, which is easily capable of clearing out corridors of enemies that she will never even see while they live. She wears this weapon in mirror to her autocannon, slung over her back when not in use and fed from a tank on her right leg. For melee combat, in the few times in which she is granted that particular pleasure, she wields an axe. Her axe, as can be expected given her size and inhuman strength, is heavy, blunt, and just as effective at taking down a door as it is at killing an enemy. It has, in fact, been used far more often as a tool than an actual weapon. Though this allows her to logically justify carrying it, it is still the source of some private embarrassment.
She bears the gravitas of those assured of their competence, and speaks with a low, firm tone. Her speech is characterized by the elongated vowels and guttural slur which are endemic to the Tauri. She prefers to phrase questions as requests for information (eg “Tell me how this device works.” rather than “How does this device work?”) and tends to be more comfortable in a position of command than speaking to others as equals. It is in part on account of this trait that she prefers to spend so much of her time deployed with soldiers under her command rather than surrounded by the generally egalitarian minded bulk of the Mercenary Coalition. It would be safe to conclude that Gurska does not know the true meaning of friendship.
1) Ancient astral horror interested in flawed, powerful beings for some self serving soul searching. Call if you like transparent bodies and opaque dialog. One of us is bound to have a good time.
2) Taurus mercenary seeks worthy contracts and courageous crew. Prompt execution of missions is guaranteed. Subtlety is not. Crew applicants are advised to avoid making cow jokes.
(This post was last modified: 12-23-2015 04:00 AM by Sai.)
Joined: Jul 2011
Location: Strudel Central
Fabian van der Wiet scratched a final set of runes into the walls and scrambled back across the garage. The faint thumping of boots and metal outside grew louder by the second. No time no time.
His guards crouched behind their makeshift defenses, covering entry points with an assortment of heavy weaponry. Briers had even managed set up the .50 cal in the minute since the external cameras had gone dark. Security like that didn’t come cheap, but cooking up schedule I sorcerous narcotics had been a profitable line of work. Would still be, assuming he survived this mess. Shame about the security's security deposit.
He dove into the adjacent basement laboratory and took cover, remote incantations at the ready. One. Two. Thr-
A mighty THOOM sent dust cascading from the ceiling as breaching charges shattered the garage doors, followed shortly by countervailing hailstorms of gunfire. Fabian waited.
The curse did have its perks.
While bullets wouldn’t have inconvenienced her before, there was something to be said for the light patter ping of hundreds of rounds pang ineffectively pulverizing themselves pting on her armor. It reminded her of the sharp caress of desert zephyrs, so long ago.
In the here and now, she settled into stance and levelled her pistol. Goons speckled the garage like whack-a-moles, heads and gun muzzles peeking out from behind cars, desks and milspec shields. Perk number two: apprehension slowly dawning across the faces of a dozen hardened criminals as their magazines ran dry.
Alex 'Hotshot' Alameda got to work.
Sixteen bullets and eleven point five tangos later, she turned to give the team the all-clear. Hell, at this rate she might as well do these missions sol-
Ensorcelled fire shot up across the perimeter of the garage, and Alex found herself immobilized.
”Well, this is new.”
”Is it really, though?” Fabian stepped out of the laboratory’s doorway, robes trailing carelessly through the flames.
”Word has gotten around about you, little Ifrit. Your overconfidence led you right to me! The ~Federal Bureau of Magical Investigation~ was sure to come knocking after that informant ‘finally’ flipped, and such a huge bust would obviously warrant their finest operatives...”
With the wizard testing her patience, Alex tested the magical bonds holding her - to no avail. ”Can you get to the…. rrgh… point?”
The wizard criminal, being a criminal wizard, ignored her in favor of his ongoing monologue.
”And once you arrived… well, here we are! Being bound should be nothing new for you, considering you’ve been stuck in that prison for centuries – or was it millennia? I’m just planning to add a few… new strictures to that confinement. And as your kin once served my ancestors in their illicit dealings, so will you serve me. I, Fabian van der Wiet, shall forge an empire, and you- you will destroy any that might threaten it!”
Alex was growing nervous. Her team still hadn’t cracked the rapidly darkening room’s defenses, and as the incantation droned incessantly on she could feel the lines slowly slithering around her soul.
Her mouth rambled on as her mind raced for a solution. ”Or the ominous chanting. That’s fine too. To be expected, really. Are you sure about all this fire? Smoke inhalation is some bad shit for you humans, I’ve heard.”
The incantation continued uninterrupted. Fucking wizards. Only thing worse than a crime wizard was a scorned witch, which Alex didn’t need to be told twice considering the latter had bound her to this terrestrial tea kettle. Though to be fair to Aaliyah El-Hashem, she’d done it in a far more elegant manner than this hack’s dank sub-basement ambush.
Not that his methods weren’t proving effective. C4 might be less accurate than a shaped charge, but both’ll blow a hole in the wall when push comes to shove. Or a hole in her soul, as the case may be. This was a bad analogy.
Fabian’s chant came to a fevered crescendo, and the garage briefly descended into total darkness as even the sorcerous fire guttered out. When the lights flickered back on he was breathing heavily, fedora slightly akimbo.
”I’ve… done it…! Althyr… Almael, heed… my call!”
Alex did her best to resist. Alas, it wasn’t a very effective best. ”Yes, master?”
Fabian’s shit-eating grin could’ve cleaned a pigsty. ”Your first task: go slaughter your former comra-“
It also made a comparable mess of the garage wall as a .50 cal sniper round wiped it right off his face.
”My ‘former’ comrades can handle themselves, asshole.” Alex shook herself free of the rapidly fading enchantments, just in time to greet her team as they breached the garage.
”Thanks , Valentine. I don’t kno-“
”Maybe next time you let us breach with you, yes? You may be more bulletproof than we are, but magic is an entirely different game of ball. Especially for one such as you.”
Alex sighed. She probably deserved this lecture. She mostly wanted to spit fire at the wizard’s corpse.
She sat through the lecture.
Afterwards, Alex followed the team out for evac and debriefing, having collected the gear she’d dropped in her confrontation (and singed Fabian’s robes a bit for good measure). She’d accompanied Singh and his M107 halfway up the underground driveway when she felt a tug on her vest.
Moments later all that was left of her was single shell casing, slowly rolling back down into the darkness.
Name:Althyr Almael, but nowadays they’ll settle for Alex ‘Hotshot’ Alameda.
Gender: Flamin’, currently favoring female pronouns.
A fire spirit, housed in a ~6’8’’ (~2m) tall humanoid shell composed of a nigh-indestructible carbon allotrope. Alex has a modicum of control over the exact form this shell takes, given time and energy to ‘shape’ it. She currently favors a well-muscled, androgynous build topped off by an imitation gas mask in place of a face. A constant, dim flame seems to flicker behind the eyeholes.
She wears regulation black FBMI SWAT gear (sans the superfluous helmet/armor plating), and is probably a bit too pleased about how she looks in it.
Alex communicates through the vague, mystical means most djinni employ, even if her voice is strictly centered on the shell she inhabits. Her speech registers in a low feminine range, coming quick and clipped. She’s picked up a light American accent in her most recent line of work.
As one might expect from an Ifrit, Alex tends to be overconfident, reckless and quick to act. She stops short of the outright arrogance typical of her kin, however, and makes a steadfast ally to those who earn her respect – though that may be easier said than done. A life spent travelling means she (usually) reacts to new people, places and situations with curiosity and open-mindedness rather than immediate hostility.
Alex’s shell is (ludicrously) tougher than nails, able to resist gigapascals of pressure on a variety of tested measures. Despite Alex’s curiosity, any attempt to examine the material it’s made of has failed, seemingly due to the material itself changing to avoid scrutiny. Curses, man.
In addition to its durability, with sufficient concentration Alex can have her shell absorb infrared radiation in her vicinity. This has obvious physical effects on her surroundings–though the shell’s temperature strangely remains a constant 45°C—but also allows her to generate flames varying proportionately in size, heat and distance to the energy consumed.
Alex is a fire spirit, and would usually be found flitting about on desert winds tricking, intimidating and/or seducing mortals. Her (un)fortunate binding to the shell has grounded her, both literally and figuratively. Not only are her innate fire spirit powers significantly dimmed by it, but her personality is both less hostile and destructive than it would be if she was unbound.
Along with her magical capabilities, Alex has familiarized herself with a number of CQC and ranged combat protocols in her time working for the FBMI. She comes to the battle equipped with a holstered (FBMI Professional Model M1911) pistol, a M1014 shotgun slung across her back, and a frankly irresponsible load of explosives.
(This post was last modified: 01-03-2016 09:47 AM by Mirdini.)
Howdy! Me and Ix have poured over all your profiles like some kind of horrifying amorphous blob creature. We're both super pumped for this and we both think the profiles have been real good! Too good as it turns out, we had some tough times deciding who would be in and out. We're aware that 10 players in a Grand Battle is pretty weird but since we're big ol' jerk heads putting our own characters in, it didn't seem fair to go with the standard 8.
Without further ado, here is our cast!
Ixcalibur as Lady Wilhelmina Pell - #412A42
Lankie as Wren - #2F4F4F
Dragon Fogel as Damse - #556B2F
Schazer as Gunzelurge - #778799
Sanzh as Georgia (and Sorry) - #FF96CA
AgentBlue as Cassandra Devin - #4444AA
Solaris as Des La Ryuje - #800000
Chimney and Forge as Völsung and The Verdant Queen - #FF0000 & #80C020
Sai as Gurska Karr* - #800000
Mirdini as Althyr Almael - #EE7600
Apologies to UnshornRam and Bigro for not making the cut. Don't take it personally! Again it wasn't an easy choice and in a perfect world we'd just have everyone in but we had to put a cut off point somewhere! I shall eat some Vegemite on toast and electrocute myself in honour of your profiles.
Opening post should be coming soon! Not everyone has voted for a place but so far there seems to be a consensus. Not too late throw in your vote for a late game upset though!
* Sai has bravely chosen to fall onto the blade of democracy for their character. But ultimately it's up to Sai to ignore that and go with the other character if they so choose. S'up to you! You may also want to talk to Sol about a text colour change but that's not too big a deal.
(This post was last modified: 12-24-2015 01:51 PM by Lankie.)
“What do you think?” Tiff asked, a smug self-satisfied grin plastered across her face. The ten chosen battlers (and one who had been dragged along for the ride) stood immobile in the traditional rough circle in the Endless Black Void room.
“For a start it appears you have forgotten how to count.” The Sophisticate said. “Or perhaps I overestimated your familiarity with Grand Battle custom; there should be eight combatants.”
“Okay, yeah. I admit I might have gotten a little carried away. But it’s not like there isn’t precedent." Tiff replied dismissively. "Whatevs, look, what do you think?”
The Sophisticate begrudgingly put his distaste over the non-standard battle size to one side and focused instead on his distaste for Tiff’s choices. “I hate them.” He said. “There’s far too many girls. What do you expect them to do? Gossip one another to death? If I didn’t know better I’d have thought you were organizing a Grand Bakesale, not a battle.”
“I see how this is.” Tiff said. “You’re feeling intimidated. You know you can’t handle all these powerful ladies ready to wreck your shit.”
“I am not!” The Sophisticate snapped. “And they could not. I’ll have you know I’m more than capable of babysitting these ladies under the pretence of a battle.”
“Excellent.” Tiff grinned. “I knew I could count on you bro.”
The Sophisticate grumbled a little for a moment before begrudgingly accepting this circumstance. “Fine,” he said. “I'm sure would absolutely love to make the acquaintance of these lovely ladies, if you’d like to do the honour of introducing us.”
“No way, thats not my job.” Tiff replied. “This is your battle bro. I’m not here to steal your thunder, so to speak.”
“Of course.” The Sophisticate rolled his eyes. “I'm sure you’d never dream of such a thing... There is a problem however that since you deigned to choose every single one of my combatants I do not know enough about them to do the introductions.”
“Yeah I thought of that.” Tiff produced a small stack of notecards from somewhere and handed them over to The Sophisticate. “Your big sis is always looking out for you.”
Skeptically The Sophisticate took a glance down at the top card, which read ‘knock em dead bro’ and when he looked back up he found himself rather abruptly in the middle of the battlers. “Thanks Tiff.” He muttered under his breath. “Real helpful.”
“Good evening ladies, and welcome to the Opulent Quarrel.” He said this with as much charm as he could muster, which was not much in first place and was running ever lower with his increasing irritation. “You’re probably curious as to what is happening right now, well allow me to enlighten you. I am The Sophisticate; a being of astounding power, power beyond that anything your primitive minds might be capable of understanding.” He looked around the group savouring the looks of horror (real or imagined) upon his contestants’ faces.
“But do not fret too much. I do not seek to do harm to you personally. I simply ask you to combat one another over seven perilous rounds,” he hesitated, “maybe more than seven perilous rounds until one of you stands triumphant, the sole survivor of this battle. Maybe I will even elect to grant you some sort of reward for your troubles.”
“Before we start though it is customary to tell you a little about your competitors.” He said. He looked down at the notecards, flipping to the second in the pile. He read ‘Lady Wilhelmina Pell; cool fairy hunter’. He read it again and then turned it over to see if there was more on the other side. There was not. “Of course.” he muttered under his breath.
“So, um, first up is Lady Wilhelmina Pell.” He said, hopefully scanning the faces of the combatants hoping to glimpse some twitch that might have indicated ownership of that name. “She is, one of you, and she is a fairy hunter. I guess she... hunts... fairies. That doesn’t sound particularly challenging. She’s probably a pushover... Okay, great, next contestant.”
The next card said: ‘Wren: super strong she beats up demons with just her fists; she’d snap you in half bro’. He muttered an obscenity under his breath and glanced around the battlers again, only to find they were all suddenly wearing nametags. He scanned the group until he spotted her; a tall and muscular lady in an olive coat, with a wooden pipe protruding from her mouth. “This is Wren.” he said. “She’s a demon hunter; a little more impressive than a fairy hunter I think you will agree. She’s um, really quite strong. Her weapon of choice, her own fists.”
Card three: ‘Damse: seriously really strong bro, you don’t even know.’
“Next up is Damse…” He repeated her name a couple of times while glancing around the circle, trying to work out how to pronounce it. Finally he spotted her and stopped short in awe of her beauty. “Good evening m'lady.” He said smoothly, or as close as he ever got. “It is a shame that a damsel as fair as yourself should be brought into this conflict. Alas I am afraid I cannot intervene or I'd risk the integrity of my own Grandmastership, but know that I am rooting you my dear.”
After that, with no information given to the rest of the group, he glanced back to Tiff’s cards. ‘Gunzelurge: cool train robot holy shit she’s so strong’. “Come on Tiff give me something to work with here.” He muttered.
Regardless of the sparsity of information Gunzelurge was easy to identify. She was the nine foot tall robot that looked like an old fashioned steam train come to life. She was really intimidating, in a way that even The Sophisticate couldn’t really deny, though he most certainly would try. “This is Gunzelurge. She’s very clearly very strong.” This last remark was rather pointed. “I don't know about you ladies but I definitely don’t need someone to inform me of just how strong she is.”
Card five: ‘Georgia Kyuume-chan Sakura: she’s cute, at least ten times smarter than you are and she drives a twenty foot mech like a pro’. The Sophisticate’s eyes lit up at the prospect and he glanced around trying to spot the twenty foot tall mech that had somehow alluded him until now. Then checked the back of the card ‘There wasn’t enough room in the Endless Black Void room. Sorry’s parked up in Round One, ready and raring to go when you finally finish these introductions.’
“You’re the mech pilot?” The Sophisticate asked incredulously. He regarded Georgia: a pink furred catgirl in a unflattering hoodie and jeans, and glanced over at the androgynous teen in a mech harness. “Surely there’s been some kind of mistake.” Even The Sophisticate couldn’t miss the indignation in Georgia’s eyes. “Well,” he tried to brush past it, “someone is a very skilled mech pilot with a twenty foot tall battle mech just waiting for them in the first round.” A slight pause, an awkward cough and back to the notecards.
‘Cassandra Devin: cool hardboiled private detective and prophet. notes: not as strong as everyone else but you gotta have a little variety’
"This is Cassandra Devin." The Sophisticate indicated the lady dressed in the traditional noir detective's trenchcoat. "As you might presume from the getup she's a private eye, what you wouldn't guess is that she's also a prophet. Either way it remains to be seen how useful her investigative powers will be in a combat situation."
He went move on and then doubled back. "Actually I've got a fedora that'd go really well with that trenchcoat, so um, could you try not to get any blood on it when you die." Pause. "If you die I mean, my apologies."
Card seven: ‘Des La Ryuuje: they’re a mech pilot too. fighting mechs bro, this is gonna be so rad.’ “They?” The Sophisticate asked out loud. “I’m pretty sure there’s only one of them.” The card quickly updated to indicate that they was the pronoun they preferred because they were non-binary. “What is this SJW shit?” he muttered, but received no further response.
“This is Des La Ryuuje.” He said, probably pronouncing it wrong but not caring enough to try to get it right. “Its a mech pilot.”
“THEY ARE NOT AN IT.” Bellowed a voice from somewhere beyond the infinite black void. “GET IT RIGHT OR I’LL BEAT YOU UP IN FRONT OF YOUR BATTLERS.”
The Sophisticate laughed nervously. “I think I must have left the TV on in the other room.” He said unconvincingly. “What I meant to say is that ‘they’” he spoke the pronoun as though holding it at arm’s length, “are a mech pilot. Their mech is probably waiting for them in the next round too I guess.” He took a slight moment just to make sure Tiff didn’t have anything to add before moving on to the next battler.
The next card read: ‘Völsung: holy shit she has the soul of a dragon wow’. Völsung it turned out was the cute pink-haired short girl in very fancy robes. “This is Völsung, she has the soul of a dragon and,” he took a guess, “the magic to match. She’s also probably very strong.”
The Sophisticate’s gaze was drawn to the beautiful girl standing next to her, whose nametag just read ‘???’. He made a face of puzzlement and glanced down to Tiff’s notecards. At the bottom of the pile he saw one that said ‘???: no idea, she seems sort of attached to the cool dragon lady, maybe they’re dating?’ He laughed bitterly and looked back up. The mystery lady had long amber hair and that kind of otherworldly beauty some would describe as elfin.
“This girl is…” he paused for a second but quickly recovered, “A secret. You’ll just have to wait and see her in action!” The Sophisticate allowed himself a small smile, he felt he’d navigated that one pretty well, he hoped she would live up to the hype he’d given her.
Card nine: 'Gurska Karr: badass taurus merc from space. she strong.' Tiff had underlined the last sentence a couple of times and added a couple of excited exclaimation marks at the end. Gurska was easy to identify, not only because of the dwindling number of unidentified combatants, but also the fact that she was an enormous minotaur lady, taller even than Gunzelurge. The Sophisticate's gaze was immediately drawn to the massive autocannon she carried. "This is Gurska Karr, a space minotaur merc, and she's already my favourite."
Finally he’d got to the final notecard: ‘Alex ‘Hotshot’ Alameda: a bound djinn spirit she’s so cool do you even have any idea what you’re looking at bro. The Sophisticate looked at Alex; a metallic humanoid shape with a gasmask for a face and fire burning behind through the eyeholes and concluded that no he probably did not. “This is Alex, she’s a bound djinn spirit. She’s-” he didn’t know where he was going with the rest of that thought, but luckily he was distracted by the sight of the last woman left unidentified.
“Oh I guess this must be the fairy hunter, by process of elimination.” He looked at Will, mainly focusing on the heavy bruising on her neck and arms, and the blank pearls where her eyes should be. “I gotta say you’re looking really the worse for wear, and if that’s just from fighting fairies. I think I have a pretty good idea who our round one elimination’s gonna be...”
“Anyway I guess that’s the pleasantries over with.” The Sophisticate smiled. “Time to get to the real meat of the matter. The way this works is that I’ll put you all somewhere fun and exciting and potentially really really dangerous, and you’ll stay there until one of you dies, then we move on and do that again and again until only one contestant remains.”
“Our first round-” As he said this the endless black void was suddenly replaced by an imposing gothic looking building, enormous and drab and ringed by equally high fences. The Sophisticate looked a little taken aback for a moment, before giving a short cough and continuing: “Our first round is Mademoiselle Primfel’s Academie for Young and Emaciated Girls.” He looked a little awkward as he continued: “It’s the finest finishing school for young ladies on this side of the multiverse. Mademoiselle Primfel guarantees to turn even the most delinquent of girls into a well behaved well mannered young lady, and she hates to be proven wrong.” He hesitated. “I’d say have fun, but that’s almost definitely against the rules.”
With that the contestants were scattered across the grounds of Mademoiselle Primfel’s, and The Sophisticate returned to his own private pocket dimension to find Tiffany relaxing with her feet up on the coffee table.
“You didn’t do too bad, bro.” She said with a sort of begrudging approval.
“And I suppose I must admit that your choices aren’t completely terrible.” He said, clearly irritated with this fact. He paused for a moment. “I’m a little surprised by your round choice. I would have thought you’d never want to see that place again.”
“Nah bro, I thought you knew about battles.” Tiff said. “Anywhere you put all your battlers down is a place just waiting to get majorly fucked, and I can’t wait till that damn school is burning to the ground.”
All combatants have been enrolled at Mademoiselle Primfel's Academie For Young and Emaciated Girls. Everyone has been provided with a school uniform and a map to their assigned dorm. Use these or discard them at your discretion, be cautious though, Mademoiselle Primfel's is quick to come down on unladylike behaviour.
By the time that Des had calmed down, the Sophisticate's tirade had finished, and they were as prepared for this as they would ever be.
"Angelica, run a diagnostics and playback everything in the last twenty minutes."
The calming robotic voice began to check on the various bits and pieces of what was essentially her body, to ensure that there was nothing wrong with the robot, while also pulling up the various readings and recordings of the previous events, just in case there was some alternate explanation for the absolutely nonsensical events that had transpired.
Des La Ryuje looked over the recordings intensely, trying to find even the slightest hint at tampering or foul play. One moment it was as it had been for the past hour, they were at their position, doing reconnaissance for a mission that would take place later in the day, then the very next moment they were in some indescribable room. There was no visual transition, no sign that anything out of the ordinary other than the instantaneous entry into a battle to the death.
"Des, I've finished diagnostics, there are no signs of tampering in any of AMP Veloci's various sensors, its internal clock matches perfectly with the time that has passed, and there is nothing to imply that it or you have been tampered with. Though all communications are up and seem to be in working order, I cannot reach Unido Base nor any other PH Mech units. Other than that, and the obvious teleportation issues, the only thing out of place is that there seems to be some sort of article of clothing on AMP Veloci."
While Des had hoped that their A.I. mod would say something else, they had already somewhat resigned themself to hearing bad news. They simply accepted Angelica's words, as much as they wanted to disbelieve her, until they heard the final sentence, to which they could only reply with a confused, "Que?"
"Upon further inspection," Angelica continued, "It seems that AMP Veloci is wearing a female school uniform, most likely for the academie mentioned by The Sophisticate. We also seem to have a map, which tells us that we are to report to the Mechanoids and Machine Dorm before going to class, and a schedule, one that seems to work on a twenty-four hour time system. I will begin to gather information so I can update AMP Veloci's internal clock and other similar functions."
"Hmm..." While Des wanted to destroy the nonsense that had been placed on their PH Mech, their mind went to the words said about the school, ruining your uniform was almost certainly a delinquent act. "Angelica."
Des took a deep breath before reclining as much as they could inside of their robot. "I'm afraid that whatever is going on, we're going to have to roll with it for now. I want you to be on full alert, be on the watch for the other, uh, contestants in this thing, we can't let any of them get the drop on us. As for this... acadamie or whatever, given the circumstances, it's probably best if you communicate to any of the other students here, keeping an act of being a machine should work out, and it might give me a chance to sneak around undetected if I must. We need more information before we start planning anything, any objections?"
"I have none."
With that, Des began to move their robot towards their, or to be more accurate, AMP Veloci's dorm. From the lighting and the lack of almost anyone being around, it was apparent that it as early in the morning, before the school day had started. With all of the obvious and routine reactions to this situation out of the way, Des was left alone with their thoughts. They cycled the other contestants they were presumably expected to fight and thought about the place they were in. It was unlikely that any of the faculty would be of help, even if this was a "multidimensional" facility, the fact that they had a dorm and a schedule likely meant that they were in some sort of system. The only help they could get would be the other contestants and other students. But would either be of any use? Would anyone be trustworthy? Was there any use in trying when the desired ending to this had one survivor?
As they weighed their heavy thoughts, Angelica gave hers, "Des. If you are worried about our chances in this competition, do not be. Remember the preparations and training that you were put through in the PH Mech Program. While this is certainly not a situation you were trained for, it is not one which we are unsuited to complete. If need be, we can find our opponents weaknesses, and destroy them, without mercy or regrets. Remember that you are an asset to your country, one that is not easily replaced. You are needed."
Des went silent, then nodded and smirked, "You're right Angelica. Thank you. With you by my side, I'm sure we'll make it. Now, let's hurry to our dorm, we wouldn't want to be late..."
I wanna be a real friend
Don't wanna break when I bend
I wanna a be no seeker
I wanna scream eureka
"To-my-understanding," Gunzelurge was explaining to the night porter, at a very polite and considerate 90-odd decibels, "there has been a mistake."
The Academie atrium was all latticed windows, each a cage keeping ruler-regimental distance between raking columns. It seized the Pheral's fine growl, bedraggling it out into the high-ceilinged space until it was the voice from the cavernous chest of a long-dead thing.
The porter was a sinuous creature, head bedecked with jittering quills like she'd had coffee for dinner, six hours ago, and was only just getting warmed up. Gunzelurge didn't flinch when a barb (one of many in the porter's updo) lashed out and patted her on the hand, a maternal gesture well at odds with its brook-no-shit hiss and rattle. "Aww, you're a new face, aren't you, hun?"
Fragiles, for all their "out-of-earshot" "jokes" about Pherals being "simple machines", they weren't actually much better. You could still count on any individual one to surprise you, sure, but herd them together and prod them a particular way and you can expect much the same from them each time. In some ways, Fragiles were more predictable in Unexpected Presence of Gunzelurge than the Bulwark's denizens, Gunzelurge's own kind.
Fragiles would (usually) refrain from screaming, or for that matter making too much fuss at all around her. (Gunzelurge. Awesome in all permutations of the word.) She'd be more or less free to do as she pleased, which always consisted of doing reasonable, ambassadorial things, always keeping respect of local customs forefront. She would, at least, until they mustered enough collective pluck to brandish, hamfistedly, some pretext that bid her move on. They'd often invoke some local law, to which Gunzelurge would usually comply. Not out of any programmed regard of Fragile laws, but because it made everyone feel better.
Compare back to this creature, murmuring at her like no creature had even seen fit to before. About as durable as a Fragile if push came to shove, not that Gunzelurge was sizing the porter up. It was chattering away about a bunch of things, like matriculations and welcome letters with necessary documentation but that's fine if you've forgotten, I can print your timetable off what was your name again, hun?
"You-may-call-me-Gunzelurge," rattled off Gunzelurge. The porter clacked away at her desk; one of her headspines shot out into the pitted rear wall of her office and retracted with a snap. With not a moment's hesitation, she snapped off the quill and proffered it to the Pheral, two manicured talons prying it open for inspection.
"The Academie runs on human-common time, a tad slow for my tastes but my word do those little biologics get cranky if you try set them on anything different. Looks like you don't have breakfast scheduled in this semester so... you've Horsemanship with Madam Ascot next. Go back to August Hall through those doors, and wait in the courtyard."
Gunzelurge just stood there, until the creature sighed. "Hun, there's no point standing around looking pretty if you're not doing it where you're being told to. Off you trot."
"I-have-inquiries and. Request. Direct responses." Gunzelurge felt a tile creak underfoot, she redistributed her weight some with a faint hiss of achilles-coupling. "If. You will-not-comply that is acceptable. And you-have-my-thanks-for this. Timetable."
The porter stared at Gunzelurge, an indeterminate number of little black beady things staring down the Pheral's single, face-sized, lamplike arrangement. "Very good then. But let's keep it short and sweet, or you're going to be late for class. Three questions," it added, fractionally less a declaration than its other utterances.
Gunzelurge would've smiled if she could, even as her brain lurched into query-queueing motion. Not so weird and alien after all, then.
"Where is my horse?"
If the gatekeeper was taken aback at the mental image of Gunzelurge on a horse, it kept it to within a second's pause. "In Madam Ascot's stables, probably? She'd know better than me."
Gunzelurge nodded. "How do I leave the Academy?"
"Seniors only, hun. Sorry. And then, only on weekends if you've a leave form and a teacher with you." The porter retracted her hackles; glanced nervously toward the rest of the school. "Don't think about causing trouble eyeing for expulsion, either. Mademoiselle Primfel is right proud of her perfect graduation rates, and there's no quitter's route out of here."
An answer neither encouraging nor direct, but she couldn't begrudge this creature for it. Gunzelurge could think of a dozen or more arguably-useful lines of inquiry, but something ambassadorial kicked in.
The porter made a noise that might've been laughter. "That's your last question?"
"Of the three to be addressed before. Horsemanship. I-would-relish-the-opportunity to inquire-further. If. There-are-no-objections."
"You're an odd duck, aren't you?"
The Pheral stared down at the doormonster, crunching conversational segues, before shrugging a mighty shrug. "Uncertain. If. That is a turn-of-phrase, I-look-forward-to asking you. About its meaning. I-may-then-verify-whether I am."
Gunzelurge spun about on a heel. The tiles underfoot gave an agonised screech as the Pheral took off at a jog. The porter burst out laughing, something real and raw and virulent in a place prickly-allergic to joy as this.
"Call me De!" She yelled, then winced, as Gunzelurge bellowed back: