BZPRPG - Kentoku Archipelago

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  • Posted 2021-09-28 05:02:04 UTC
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  • IC: Long Hyan-Fei - Odaiba - Western Wilderness
    Still breathless from her sudden dunk, Hyan-Fei nods, acknowledging Kura's choice to retrieve some firewood.  As the other Dasaka leaves, she sets about the gory but satisfying task of scaling, gutting, and deboning her catch for cooking.  She repositions herself on the riverbank to be a little closer to Kura's Soko, in case something happens to make it run away.  In between knife strokes she catches glimpses of the creature.  Road wear-and-tear aside, it is a lovely specimen.  She finds herself somewhat envious of Kura for owning such a fine steed, but only for a few fleeting moments.

    OOC:
    @Palm

  • Posted 2021-09-28 07:13:52 UTC
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  • IC Yuna koizumi  - Oki refugee camp:

    I set my own load down, and gave the refugee preparing food a polite bow as I took a proffered bowl of soup. I handed one off to Raika and took a third for Ahri.

    "Believe me, its all appearances. I'm not much of a Menti, honestly."

    Or at all, really. It had a kernel of truth, at least. I felt bad, lying to Raika like this, but how was I supposed to tell her the truth now?

    Hey Raika, I know I saved your life and brought you here and want to travel to the palace with you , but I need to tell you I've been lying about who and what I am the whole time!

    Yeah, no thanks.

    "My clan was small, so we didn't have much of the rigid castes you see in larger clans or in the cities. We all just did our part, y'know?"

  • Posted 2021-09-28 08:43:22 UTC
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  • IC: Raika

     

     

    Raika felt an odd twist in their gut. She'd lost her village too. And strong as she was, Yuna was far more a Menti than scrawny Raika.

     

    ::I do, in fact. My village was very small, mostly agrarian with a warrior tradition. A newer offshoot of one of the larger clans, never managed to remember which. Only those with promise received Menti training. Or Firstborn.::

    Like me. ::I… I lost my clan. Some time ago. There was a raid, and I… w-wasn't able to help.::

    You ran, you ran, you RAN! COWARD! MURDERER! YOU SHOULD HAVE DIED THERE! YOU SHOULD HAVE FOUGHT!

     

    There was a pause, then softly Raika said ::Are you okay? After everything. It's… hard doesn't cut it. Do… you need to talk?::

     

    It was like silverwing butterflies were flitting about their stomach. They didn't like conversation at the best of times, but… after she had gone out of her way to help them both, the idea of leaving Yuna to stew on her own seemed unacceptable.

     

     

    OOC: @Keeper of Kraata
     @The UltimoScorp

  • Posted 2021-09-28 21:58:22 UTC
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  • IC: Chand Kura - Odaiba - Western Wilderness

    Arms full of dry sticks of various sizes, I remerged some time later to find Hyan-Fei and Naiana, sitting in the grass, "That's Naiana," I said with a little smile, making my way back over to the pair, "She's been with me since I was born," I dropped the wood into a small pile near a patch of dirt and gave the Soko a pat, "She's as gentle as they come too."

    I turned my attention back to the task of starting the fire, using some dry dead leaves, grass, and strips of bark for kindling. I tapped together rocks, hoping to spark the dry materials underneath a little stick-cabin, "So, you've been out in the wilderness all this time, have you?"

    OOC: @capMARVELOUS

  • Posted 2021-09-28 22:54:00 UTC
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  • IC Yuna Koizumi - Oki refugee camp:

    This girl was a little hard to pin down with all these surprises she kept throwing my way.

    "Talk....about my clan? I mean... I dunno, no one's ever really asked. I.... I guess it couldn't hurt. But let's get this food to your boyfriend first," I teased.  "Plus then we can sit and eat. All stories go better with good food."

  • Posted 2021-09-28 23:29:44 UTC
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  • IC: Long Hyan-Fei - Odaiba - Western Wilderness
    Hyan-Fei tilts her head as she considers the Soko's name.  Naiana... It is a good name, she decides.  She makes a note to pet Naiana when her hands are free of fish guts.

    Fish successfully cleaned, she washes off a thin, flat rock in the river to use as a cooking surface over the eventual fire.  At Kura's question, she nods with a satisfied humph.  "I have," she replies, "and I've loved it.  It's much better than being stuck in that stuffy old monastery."  And why shouldn't it be?  Even with new nasties running about, the wilderness offers much more freedom than the same four walls every day.

    OOC:
    @Palm

  • Posted 2021-09-29 19:23:18 UTC
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  • IC: Raika, Oki Refugee Camp

     

    Boyfriend?

    The joke sat oddly with Raika. Was that why they cared so much to make sure Ahri stayed safe? Their only previous experience had been childhood infatuation.

     

    But… 

    Something else was eating at them. Raika realized that as the two walked they kept catching themselves gazing at the woman standing beside them. When they realized this their cheeks burned ruddy violet behind their mask. Their heartlight was flashing slightly erratically beneath their scarf.

     

    Ahh curse it, why had she had to make that joke and stir up these feelings! Raika hadn't slept in over two days, they didn't have the energy to cope with this.

     

    ::Not my boyfriend.:: they managed to eke out past the tumult in their mind. ::Just… a friend. And a new one at that.::

    Pause, then with a slight edge of anxiety ::I… d-don't… Can… in your village, did….::

    Cursing inwardly, they lapsed into silence. What were they doing? Had it really been that long since they had talked to someone that they so readily revealed their secrets like that? This wasn't an internal monologue, these words had consequences.

     

    Idiot.

     

    ::...nevermind. You're right, we can talk once we're back with Ahri.::

     

    Raika strode back over to sit next to the amnesiac Soulsword, trying their hardest not to stare enraptured at the way the sunlight flowed across Yuna's azure armor. They almost missed that Ahri had woken up.

     

    ::Hey there,:: they said, concern evident in their voice. ::You okay big guy?::

     

     

    OOC: @Keeper of Kraata
     @The UltimoScorp

  • Edited on 2021-09-29 19:24:32 by TL01 NUVA
  • Posted 2021-09-29 21:43:20 UTC
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  • IC: Chand Kura - Odaiba - Western Wilderness

    A spark lit up the dry materials within the little cabin, and flames began to grow. I leaned down and gently blew on it to further fan the flames, watching them lick the walls of the building I had created, "More at home on the plains, it sounds like. You would have made a fine Chand then," I said, sitting back up to look at the fire grow, satisfied. I watched Hyan-Fei carefully, deciding to prod just a little further, "Wasn't the place for you, up there?"

    OOC: @capMARVELOUS

  • Edited on 2021-09-29 21:43:40 by Palm
  • Posted 2021-09-29 23:42:55 UTC
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  • IC: Long Hyan-Fei - Odaiba - Western Wilderness
    With the fire officially going, Hyan-Fei sets the flat stone over the flames, and the fish over the stone to cook.  "I wish I'd been a Chand, but I don't think I could ride a Soko very well," she jokes, leaning back onto the grass and cushioning her head with her arms.

    She frowns at Kura's question.  "No," she answers, "the old ways are enough for me."  She turns her head to look at Kura, an odd expression on her face.  "Honestly, up there would probably have been a better fit for you than me.  How long did you stay before...?"  She lets the question trail off.

    OOC:
    @Palm

  • Posted 2021-09-30 14:21:09 UTC
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  • IC: Chand Kura - Odaiba - Western Wilderness

    A better fit for me? It hadn't been true, not really. I had spent half my life chasing a rumour, and only ever came up short. I believed in the old ways, I think, but my peace was conditional. And that condition had remained unchanged. Even now, with the Chand-Long scattered - if alive - I had still not accepted that I might never know the truth. I was afraid that I had grown to regret my decision to climb the steps, especially now. Knowing what I had last said to my missing mother, "Half my life."

    I watched the cleaned fish sizzle on the rock between myself and Hyan-Fei, "I loved it on Koshiki, but I was never sure what to call myself, Chand or Long. Now, I'm more afraid of what's become of both of them," I looked up again to Hyan-Fei, my thoughts returning to those of doom and destruction. Images of violent beasts on the mountain and in the grasslands flashed in my mind, "I barely escaped with my life, and that was with great Long masters at my back, and even after weeks of searching, I can't find any Chand. Maybe none of them exist anymore. Maybe now, I'm neither Chand nor Long."

    OOC: @capMARVELOUS

  • Edited on 2021-09-30 14:24:31 by Palm
  • Posted 2021-10-01 05:07:33 UTC
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  • IC Long Shunkyou (The Outskirts of Dastana Republic Territory, Odaiba):

    His mind accepted the link after a moment, and Saritsu felt the borders of licking flame that surrounded his mental space, buffeting her diplomatic thoughts with raw Will, recede back into embers as the Acting Head cooled his heart. His control over his spirit was fine as ever, doubtless, but the strength of his defenses were by no means the impenetrable bonfire they had been as a Menti.

    Whether it was for this reason that he seemed to rankle somewhat, or to her seeming prostration... was difficult to tell. Perhaps not even he was certain, as the cinders in his Mind swirled around them in a dance more emotive than threatening or imprisoning.

    "T'ull a'jaar, Miss." he responded vocally, a show of good faith for all in attendance, before returning to the mental plane with his rustic and charred Thoughts.

    .:I know when I am being patronized, young Eiyu girl. You need not lay it on so thickly— we are not the many horsemen who squabbled with your 'empire' so many years prior.:.

    It seemed he needed to explain to the Eiyu girl, whose Thoughts were quite clear— enough that he had caught the image of her awkward grin as opposed to simply an impression, or tone. Was this a clan that specialized in this method of communication? Curious. But moreso was the spot of status the Toroshu girl, Nihonei. had allowed to slip in her speech. They too journeyed west, their home lost and clan in shambles?

    ...Hmph.

    .:Rest assured. Lii is an adherent of the Rage, and it flows through her blood as it does her spirit. Hotheaded she may be, but her grudge and story are hers to bear, not our clan's. So long as we speak behind no veils, I will be amenable. As you said, the months have been trial for all on Odaiba, and as your sister said, I do have wounded. Go on and tell her I speak honestly. I am sure you can feel it.:.

    His Thoughts were shrouded in a bitter ash as he recounted the siege in his head, private scenes from the Steps flashing as he spoke of it to the more diplomatic of the two Eiyu. While the flames had pulled back to welcome Saritsu, so careful to never burn her as if they were twice the strength she had felt in first contacting him, they still smoldered and smoked up the chambers his soul resided in, a warm furnace carefully managed.

    "I see you are both somewhat familiar with our customs, if you know to call me by these names— albeit it is 'Jahagir', not your 'Toroshu'." he continued in speech, clearing his throat after breathing deep and holding the bridge of his nose while Lii had stormed off to the rear.

    "And if such is the case, you understand that as Demons pour out of Koshiki, we are without Nest. I have Hatchlings here who can barely punch straight— and more Dasaka like Lii. Perhaps less enamored with the heat in their head, but wounded the same. My Sana is keeping us all on our feet, but if you have medicinal knowledge..."

    He arched his neck, eliciting a few stiff, uncomfortable pops.

    "We may be able to work something out, as we march to the farmlands."

  • Edited on 2021-10-01 05:11:42 by Razgriz
  • Posted 2021-10-01 20:40:27 UTC
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  • [Sado, Docks (Fanai)]

    Fanai’s expression remained unreadable, the long practice of keeping her thoughts to herself, or at least out of the reach of others.  But ruefully, she thought Oh you don’t know the half of it, Somei--compared to Shuuan your charge is the picture of courtesy.

    Out loud, she opted for something more mild.  “Her manner is perfectly acceptable, honored elder.   We are, after all, at sea, not at court.   I believe the captain is situated here.”

    She led the datsue into the small cabin area, sliding open a door to reveal a grizzled dashi pouring over the map.

    “I will leave you to your duties while I look after mine--I need to check cargo and schedule with the first mate.  May Zuto Nui watch over you.”

    [Sado, Imperial Garden Medical Tents (Hatchi)]
    “I am Hatchi.   Kuychar Hatchi.   May the sky have mercy on you, Sydelia.”


    Hatchi spoke in Imperial, but the greeting was unmistakably Taajar.  An old, mournful greeting that even many Taajar had no use for these days, for was not Zuto Nui ever merciful?

    Hatchi turned and limped away, back toward the tents, ready to instruct the other orderlies as Sydelia had told them.

    OOC: @Keeper of Kraata

  • Posted 2021-10-02 13:45:42 UTC
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  • IC: Vazaria – Odaiba

    Mount Koshiki – Before The Fall

    The wrathful roar of the Kanohi Dragon rang in Vazaria’s ears as she flew down the mountainside. She could feel his boiling breath buffet her, see his sinuous shadow stretching out before her, feel his righteous rage rippling across the mental plane.

    He was fast.

    Too fast.

    In an act of desperation, Vaza deactivated her mask, sliding for several bio as she struggled to stay upright and keep her grip on the dragon egg clutched in her clammy hands. She was hoping the father would overshoot her, perhaps buying her a few seconds to plot a new escape route… or strongly reconsider her recent life choices.

    The dragon rewarded her first hope, but not the second.

    As he passed above her, she could only watch, transfixed, as he opened his great maw, revealing row upon row of knife-like teeth, a roiling red tongue, and a rapidly-growing orange glow. A glow that grew into a growling gout of flame that engulfed her in an instant. She was only caught in the stream of fire for a split-second, but it was time enough for her crimson cloak to evaporate into ash, her crystalline armour to crack and fracture, and her skin to smoke and sizzle, only a hasty hand thrown up before her face sparing her sight.  

    She remembered pain, so great she couldn’t even find the strength to scream.

    She remembered falling, watching the accursed dragon egg tumble away.

    She remembered lying in dust and darkness, wishing for death.

    But when death finally came to Odaiba, it didn’t come for her.  

    Southern Coastline – Two Months Later

    Vaza lurched into wakedness with a strained gasp, her body aching in protest at the sudden movement. Leaves and branches fell away from her as she sat up; fresh debris dislodged by the sea breeze that blew constantly over her makeshift camp by the beach.

    She stood up slowly, wincing as she stretched each of her limbs in turn, forcing feeling back into them.

    The local healers had tended her wounds to the best of their abilities in the days after her encounter with the Kanohi Dragons, managing to save all of her limbs and digits. But in the end, no number of sessions with a Sana, or applications of potions and poultices, could truly repair the damage that had been scorched into her skin and soul.

    All of that pain… for the possibility of pamphlets and propaganda?

    It wasn't worth it. Not then, and especially not now.

    How desperate I was back then. 

    The only glimmer of positivity Vaza had been able to glean from her suffering had been the opportunity it had brought with it. The opportunity for her to watch the sons and daughters of Zataka arrive, witness them do in days what years of political provocation and anarchic agitation could never have managed.

    Weary and weakened, she’d followed in the wake of the multihued monsters, a vile vulture scavenging the scraps of their savagery. The fools who’d fallen in defence of the island didn’t dare judge her. They were too dead to care or object. She’d worked her way south, flying when she could, hiding when she couldn’t, sparing her battered body the strain of running and fighting as much as possible. She was in no condition to hold her own in battle with other survivors, let alone stand against the strange spined creatures. With Kozu having swiftly fallen, and Sado being the obvious priority target, Vaza’s hope was that the southern coast of Odaiba would be largely beneath the Rahkshi’s interest, and her luck had held so far.

    But more and more in recent days, as she exercised on the beach, as she fished and foraged, as she drifted off to sleep in the evenings, she found her gaze drawn back towards Mount Koshiki. The thought of the summit and its smouldering serpents filled her dreams with dread, and her waking hours with hope.

    The Rahkshi were enemies of the empire, just as she was.

    Perhaps she could find a way to ally herself with them?

  • Posted 2021-10-02 14:23:13 UTC
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  • On 9/17/2021 at 2:58 PM, Haman Karn: A Magical Girl said:

    "I understand, Kilanya. Everyone needs to eat." Jasik returned her smile, although that was hardly a new expression on the Dastana's face, and sat down upon the council table where Kozu's projection had laid minutes before. "And for what it's worth, she punched me in the back of the head the morning we were born. So, if it helps, you could treat it she's finally learning some diplomacy."

    IC (Ageru Kilanya)

    Despite her new scars and burdens, Jasik's remark drew a chuckle from Kilanya. The thought of the Twins as a pair rambunctious infants brought an amusement she hadn't felt in a while.
     

    On 9/17/2021 at 2:58 PM, Haman Karn: A Magical Girl said:

    "I'm more worried about you. Your orbital looks like it took a pretty strong hit from a staff since the last war council. In my experience with women, the fewer working eyes they have the more they grow cranky."


    "Very astute," she replied, arching her one visible eyebrow in mock displeasure at being described as 'cranky', then settling back into a more serious expression. "But please, do not waste your worries on me. I will endure, as I must, to make sure our people can do the same."

    She paused, and her tone softened a little.

    "I'm glad your sister can finally commit forces to Odaiba. Please tell her to give the troops the time they need to rest. I meant what I said — I need as many as can be spared — but Arsix is right; we need them at their best. Based on my scouts' reports we don't anticipate any major attacks in the next three days. We can hold for now."

  • Posted 2021-10-02 20:51:01 UTC
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  • IC:

    Jasik gave Kilanya a curious look as she spoke. It was hard for him to even remember the woman she had been before Yusanora's assassination had upset their lives. Surely they must have met at functions before, galas or diplomatic functions. Yomiken had probably considered Kilanya a prime candidate for marriage at one point. Had they even met, shared a dance perhaps, during the Chiisai Ryuu's announcement party? Jasik couldn't remember; the details of that night had largely blurred in his brain right now, resurfacing only in occasional, unwelcome dreams. Her markedly neutral pronunciation of support towards the Empire, with little mention made of the Dastana's secession, must have been a similar shock to them at the time, right? Had she always been so full of surprises, a maverick at heart?

    "Our troops are at their best," he responded, full of confidence as ever. Once it may have been dismissed as the easy confidence of the young and rich and proud, the kind Kulrik had trafficked in despite his idiocy, but he had fought with the Soulswords and Mindarms of Iki for months and knew the measure of almost all of them, down to the individual level. He spoke of them with a battle commander's pride. "And I don't doubt you can hold, Kilanya. But our bodies are tricky things. Most people never bother to take care of them. First Sons, especially." He remembered telling Masayoshi the same thing, dragging Inokio's own bloodied husk in his wake as he presented the Executor's assistant with her best, most detestable lead yet. He bit back a laugh, remembering the look on her blind face as she realized what was thudding down the stairs behind him. "And in the end, it's our bodies that kill us. Most of the time they creep up on us to do it. Just keep an eye on it. So I don't have to."

    -Tyler

  • Posted 2021-10-03 03:54:32 UTC
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  • IC:

    "T'ull a'jaar, Jahagir," The voice came again, but this time from only one direction. "My sister need not inform me anymore than she already has."

    Nihonei stepped, not without some hesitation, out from behind her veil and from behind the tree. Where the Datsue could see she slipped the few unsheathed inches of her blade back into its sheath and took her hand off of the hilt. Her manner had not been at its most diplomatic. She knew that and she knew it was the strain of her experiences these past few months that frayed her patience so. Perhaps it was the same for this 'Lii', or perhaps she was always thus. But in any case she knew that her guard would not drop around the Tajaar; not for some time. For the Datsue, the Old Wyrm, she had offered the sincerest evidence of her peaceful intentions she could. 

    "I am an Eiyu, Jahagir." It was only a ghost of a smile that crossed her face, the merest shadow of the warm expression she usually wore, but it was there. "Knowledge I have. Of you and yours, as well. The Chand and the Long have been occasional guests of my clan for a long time."

  • Posted 2021-10-03 19:14:59 UTC
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  • IC: Ahri - Oki Refugee Camp

    Leaning up from the dirty bedroll he had been using to nap, Ahri yawned. "I'm better," he said, taking the bowl of soup. He drank it directly frown the wooden bowl, though it was more of a thin broth anyway. "I worked a few things out when I slept on them."

    He looked at the two Menti who had rescued him; Raika looked distracted, while Yuna still looked... troubled. Questions for later, he supposed. "Any news?"

    IC: Somei - Hanaloi Expedition

    Somei entered the captain's cabin; the grizzled Saihoko glanced up at her. "I hear you have some sort of secret dock?"

    The former Ringti smiled softly. "Secret is a bit of a strong word, but yes, there is a cove on the northeast end of the island that our family used for personal transport; the southern dock was for loading and unloading lumber. We watched that one heavily; if anyone has moved onto the island, they will be too. The northern cove should be safer, and its closer to Clan Mashtet's compound, if a bit steeper."

    The captain considered her words. To help them along, Somei conjured up her last memory of leaving the cover, and watching it from a departing ship, projecting the image onto the map itself, marking the exact point on the map.

    The Saihoko grunted, nodding. "I've sailed north of the archipelago; never saw anything leaving there."

    "It was guarded jealously; we usually left at night. And... the Mashtets weren't the only ones that valued our privacy."

    OOC: @TL01 NUVA @The UltimoScorp @Mel

  • Posted 2021-10-04 13:43:44 UTC
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  • IC (Ageru Kilanya)

    Kilanya raised her eyebrow a little at Jasik's confident reply as to the readiness of the Dastana troops. She didn't doubt his sincerity, but it didn't quite square with what his sister had said over the war table. Perhaps it was just a matter of differing attitudes between the Twins, or perhaps Arsix was playing for time for some reason. Kilanya pushed her suspicions aside once more: the three-day commitment was good enough. If Jasik made sure they arrived earlier than that, all the better; if not, as she'd said, Kilanya was confident enough in her scout reports that there would be no major attacks before they arrived. Zuto Nui willing, the tide might just be about to turn for Odaiba.

    "I'm not sure I can make any promises on that front," she replied wryly. "We must all make sacrifices in the service of the greater good, now more than ever. But...I'm grateful for your concern."

    She smiled, and dipped her head in farewell.

    "Until we meet again, Dastana Jasik."

  • Posted 2021-10-05 00:20:16 UTC
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  • IC Yuna Koizumi - Oki refugee camp:

    "Oh, you know, talking about childhoods, travel plans, the usual." I sat down across from him, giving my own bowl a swirl before taking a tentative sip to test the temperature.

    "How do you feel about heading to Sado?"

    @Keeper of Kraata@TL01 NUVA

  • Posted 2021-10-05 06:32:01 UTC
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  • IC: Raika, Oki Refugee Camp

     

    Raika looked ominously at the soup. It looked delicious. It smelled delicious. It would probably be delicious too. But they'd already eaten something today, right?

     

    Raika's stomach growled plaintively, and the petit rogue let out a likewise tiny sigh. 

     

    Carefully they adjusted their mask, until just enough of their face was free to drink the broth.

     

    The mouth that was revealed was set in an indigo face, decorated with a spattering of pale violet freckles. Hesitantly, they lifted the bowl to their lips. 

     

    It was a simple fish stew. But Raika, while many things, was no cook. This was the best food they had eaten in some time, surprisingly enough.

     

    ::It's nice:: they said, to nobody in particular. Then, wincing, they added ::I should have thanked then for making us the food.::

     

    As Raika "talked", their lips never moved save to gulp down warm broth. But there were tiny tightenings and shifts, as though they were making expressions as they did communicate.

     

    As the tiny figure tucked into the stew, a ruddy blush crept across their face from the warmth of the broth. They looked… content. As though the food was having some impact on the recalcitrant Dasaka.

     

    They caught themselves as they were about to yawn, and visibly shook themselves.

     

    It would seem that, as Raika had spent most of their life invisible, they had never learned how to hide their tells as effectively as some others might have.

     

    OOC:

    @The UltimoScorp
     @Keeper of Kraata

  • Edited on 2021-10-05 16:25:06 by TL01 NUVA
  • Posted 2021-10-06 03:41:52 UTC
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  • IC: (Dastana Republic Odaiba Encampment - Fort Kizuno)

     

    "Conquering Evil, not the Opponent, is the Essence of Swordsmanship."

     

     

    ——— I was shaken awake roughly that day.

    I hadn't come to until my body felt itself hoisted into the air by someone strong.

    All around me, I beheld a scene painted in crimson, orange, yellow, and black. Like paint dashed onto a canvas by someone who held no care in their heart for what came out as the picture. Maybe they didn't care for the picture to begin with, either. I didn't know. I still don't know. Am I ever going to know?

    I don't know.

    What I do know is that this place looked like the mouth of the mountain that loomed over me, a hazy triangle of black. If the stories about it were true, then no doubt about it. The field I was in was burning badly, all the crops were either blackened ash or blackening embers. A little ways off, close enough that I assume I'd just been there, a big house was falling to pieces, covered in angry red. Thunderously, it crashed to the earth, but I didn't hear anything beyond splitting wood.

    No voices, just blaze. That was scary.

    It's scary being the only person you hear when everything is this red. I tried to remember if there was another person beyond me and this strong Menti that had grabbed me. Had I walked? Had I walked out of that house, a beneficiary of some strange favor by fate? Had I walked out the front gate, past black and red shapes that r mi  ed  m  of  y s  f? W s I   e  o ly  n  o  surv  ve?

    survive.

    Survive.

    I had to do that. I did not want to be like that house. That was dangerous.

    ———That would mean I didn't do my duty to live, since I was allowed to over those people. I would be squandering a gift.

    All I breathed in was smoke.

    It tasted like the air itself was burning, had been burning, and had been burning for a very long time.

    It was like a thick blanket over my whole body, cooking me like bread in a Ringti's oven. Did bread feel this way when it was made? I should be kinder to bread.

    I looked to the sky, numb. I couldn't breathe like this. The person who'd grabbed ahold of me couldn't either. I don't think so, at least. Her mouth was covered by something long and green, but it was getting greyer and blacker by the second. A clan sash, I think. What was green?

    But there's no hope for either of us. The collapsing house fell onto the only path I could have taken to get here, and we were surrounded by the tall grass in the fields that looked like a big red wall. Trapped. Nowhere to run. Of course not. There was no way I could survive this. There was no hope.

    Even a child understood that much.

    In the end, I sighed, but it was more like a slow cough. The person yelled something to me in a hoarse voice, but I didn't remember what it was. They were running towards the flames. Getting it over with, I guess. I couldn't stop them. My body had no strength of its own to do that. I don't think the smoke helped either.

    So I felt the haze creeping into my mind, and quietly murmured that it was unfair.

    That was the least I could do for those people.

    The strong lady reached forward, defiant of the flames. We were about to get burned. If she had this much left, couldn't she ditch me and save herself? I was weighing her down.

    We drew up to the curtain of fire, and my world went not black, but white. Like a closing bottlecap, the numbness spiraled over my vision, spreading out to cover all form, all shape, all of the world I was leaving behind.

    And there at the center, just before it all washed out

     

    ——there was a shining, perfect sword——

     

    ———of all blue.

     

    —————

     

     

     

     

    That was when I was still just a girl. So long ago.

    I was part of a miracle. I had witnessed a miracle. I had witnessed a miraculous person.

    They told me I was one too. 

    I don't know what I am. But I couldn't deny that I was alive.

    Miracles only happen once.

    It's a lonely thing.

    I knew that much, too.

    I was alone.

     

     

     

     

    I'm dreaming.

     

    But like every dream you ever have, once you realize you are—

     

    "Every kid needs someone to look after them."

    That same woman spoke when my wounds had healed.

    She'd been wounded too. Way worse than me.

    Her voice was strange. Strong, but delicate. Nice, but rough. I decided I liked it, making me strange too.

    I remember a smile. It made me feel like looking at a blue sky, even though it was raining cats and dogs out there.

    out where?

    "I'm no good with speaking in roundabout terms, so just... come stay with me. Alright?"

    I had no idea if it was a good idea, but...

    I wanted that smile too.

    I nodded. Beaming, she ripped off a piece of that green and grey cloth she'd been wearing.

    She handed that dingy scrap to me, wrapping it around my thin wrist in a knot.

    "Then, I guess that makes you one of us."

    "I'm Ageru Sasaki. That'd make you—"

    "Ageru Shiki."

    I said it with pride.

     

     

     

    ———I wake up. The early morning sunlight is filling the room I've been sleeping in.

    "Sleeping in" for certain. I think I stayed up too late training.

    My body is stiff everywhere. I yawn. I'm usually up and about by daybreak.

    By my guess, dawn came a couple of hours ago by now.

    I'm needed by then, before then even, most of the time; but things have recently slacked a little.

    I guess that's why I'm only just now feeling the chill of the air as someone comes through my home to get me.

    It's another Dasaka, clad in mottled green robes as opposed to the usual crystalline armoring. She's a good friend of mine, but I know this is a bother, so I make sure to pull myself together, slapping the cheeks of my Kiril twice so the cold air stings my face a bit more to rouse my brain from dozing off. She snickers a bit at the display, probably amused but definitely in a good mood.

    "You should sleep in more often, Shiki. Bleary's a fun look."

    "Thanks, Yumiri. I'm awake now, all good to go."

    Kiril. That Kanohi's the secret weapon of mine that makes me so useful on the walls after nighttime. Not for guarding anything, despite my being a Menti—

    No, I'm best suited to repair things. I'm still very much in training.

    I have been my whole life.

    Speaking of which, I'm gonna have to truncate mine today.

    "That's me off, then! Catch you later, babe!"

    Yumiri flashes me a wink and a thumbs up, and saunters off, activating her Huna. She just came back from a scouting trip, so if she's still chipper and not pressing me, we're not expecting anything for the next couple of days. I guess that also is implied by the fact that she has free time to do favors to begin with— chances are the reconstruction foreman asked where in Zuto Nui's name her best asset was. Either way, she's out of my little spot in Kizuno's crammed walls for sure once her shadow leaves the doorway.

    Why's that girl sneaking around so much here, anyway? It isn't like she isn't worth seeing.

    Ah, whatever. I don't have any right to judge for being weird. Just like me, I bet she's just trying to get better at her craft as one of the clan's scouts.

    I roll up the futon against the wall beside me, and begin my pushups.

    A hundred or so should get me warmed up for the day, nothing crazy. I'll cut my crunches in half to fifty, too. Can't waist too much time.

    Wait, that was a blunder. It's "waste."

    This too is a waste. Wasting time.

    Time to get after it and clear the cobwebs for real.

    ...

    After half an hour of exercise and a skipped breakfast thanks to some necessary rationing, I head to the outer wall, crystal shards and other tools in hand.

    The damage really isn't as bad as it had been beforehand.

    A few weeks ago, it felt like I'd basically been building whole sections from scratch, but to day it's just a few scrapes on the wood and holes to plug. That's what the crystal is for.

    At one such hole, about as big as my fist, I find some evidence of charring— Laser Vision came around while I was asleep? Not good. But I can fix this.

    It takes some careful chiseling and carving to get the blackened, cauterized wood clear. I've learned a lot of these things from taking care of the house I'd have normally awoken in ages ago on my own— my mother passed a while back, but even before then, I basically managed keeping everything in good shape. That included the two of us. I miss breakfasts, but it's a necessary evil right now. I'm basically a refugee. We lost my town of Mahuika to the enemy at the gates. My house might not be there any more, but I'm going to tell myself it is.

    Now that I've got raw wood exposed again, I set the shard of crystal into the hole's center, and my Kanohi glows ultramarine. Broken off of a larger geode as it was, "regenerating" the crystal in effect regrew it at a controlled rate— turning a shard into a workable patch in the span of a quarter of a minute. The raw wood, once the geode penetrated it, would reshape itself the grip the puncture— a lot like a nail, really.

    I yawn.

    Wow.

    I thought I was supposed to be less tired after getting more sleep.

    Four hours is usually fine.

    And if I'm yawning, I can't imagine what Yumiri or the Menti on these walls are trying to grit out. All the more reason I gotta get this stuff done while I can, I reckon.

    It'll hold in the place of more wood. Too many of those aforementioned Menti were needed to guard the fort for us to dispatch a logging party.

    I should be one of them by now, but I'm still no good at it yet.

    I take a few minutes more to shave and chisel down the interior growth that's gone past the inner ramparts, until it's satisfyingly flush with the wood that remains. That way, nobody gets hurt by big jagged rocks sticking out of the wall they're manning.

    While I train, this is what I can do.

    The solitary work helps me focus, anyway.

    I stand up, and move onto the next section. There's still plenty of wall left to go.

  • Edited on 2021-10-07 00:56:32 by Razgriz
  • Posted 2021-10-06 12:43:02 UTC
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  • IC: Vazaria – Odaiba

    Charcoal crunched underfoot as Vazaria worked her way through the war-torn remnants of what had probably once been a wonderful little village. The air hung heavy with the sickly scent of death, dust, and despair, a rancid reek that made her throat burn and her eyes water.

    In her vengeful dreams and pain-induced deliriums, the thought of witnessing the collapse of the caste system and the rest of Kentoku society had delighted her. It was all she’d thought about for so long she could barely recall what had come before. But in reality, the revolution she’d pursued for so long had proven to be nothing more than a macabre mosaic of mud and blood and misery. There was no victory here, no liberation or change, just senseless slaughter.

    The grim realisation gave her pause.

    She sat down in the shade of some poor soul’s fragmented front porch, looking up at the distant silhouette of Mount Koshiki as she weighed up the options that lay before her.

    Did she really want to do this? To rally against her rulers was one thing, but to ally herself with monsters that dealt out death and destruction without cause or compassion was quite another. That was assuming the creatures were even interested in an alliance. Maybe they’d just kill her on the spot. But then again… what was the alternative? What did she have to go back to?

    There was no point in campaigns or protests now; the arrival of a new common enemy would only have helped bridge the divides in society that Vazaria once sought to exploit. And she’d already seen Dashi and Menti far more skilled than herself fall to the blades and claws of the invaders, so joining the war effort would get her killed long before she earned any measure of respect. If she went back, all that awaited her was the same life she’d already endured for so many decades, the life of a scarred Saihoko without clan or kin… and that was no life at all.

    They deserve it, she decided, standing. This plague of abominations didn’t discriminate in its destruction. The creatures didn’t care about caste or clan, blood or birth, discipline or destiny. Their presence was the perfect punishment for all who had ever elevated themselves above others based on imagined superiority and self-importance.

    They all deserve it.

    Her resolve renewed, Vazaria continued on towards the mountain, consigned to whatever fate awaited her there. 

     

    OOC: open for interaction with anyone who happens to be roaming central Odaiba, I guess.

  • Edited on 2021-10-06 12:48:57 by Nato The Whisperer
  • Posted 2021-10-07 04:51:49 UTC
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  • IC: Ahri - Oki Refugee Camp

    "In general? Sado's fine. Now, though? That's probably where the crux of resistance against... whatever this is is located. I'm worried if we could fit, though; Sado was always crowded, and thousands of other Dasaka are probably thinking the same thing. And then there's the issue of getting there; I'm no Saihoko, but I don't think we're pushing that canoe past Iki. And there's all these people..."

    Ahri trailed off as he looked at the disparate refugees. "Even we're not of their clan, its our responsibility to help them. We're Menti. Its the proper Order; we don't get to abandon our charges just because of a crisis."

    The warrior downed the last of his soup, looking at the two that had been helping him.

    OOC: @The UltimoScorp @TL01 NUVA

     

  • Posted 2021-10-07 17:05:24 UTC
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  • IC: Raika, Oki Refugee Camp

     

    Raika was momentarily irritated at Ahri's words. This was quickly followed by a massive wave of gut-twisting shame that they fought to tamp down. Of course they should help out. Normally their prerogative as a lone wanderer was to stay well away from any emergency where they could be cornered or identified.

     

    But they were here now, and visible. The people here had welcomed the group without question. A stark contrast to the cold, proud faces that had slammed the door on a starving figure years ago. These people weren't like that. The class borders were being crushed under the weight of onslaught. Perhaps a few of the more haughty would be humbled by it.

     

    Also, a small, selfish voice spoke in their head, there are probably healers here. Maybe one of them would know about feverleaf.

     

    That cemented things. Raika would help as much as they could, weary and battered as they felt. The warm  food in their stomach felt like it had added to their exhaustion somehow. They had to fight to keep their eyes open.

     

    ::You're right,:: they said, struggling to ignore the wave of bone-deep weariness that was creeping through them as they unsteadily lifted themselves to their feet. ::We've been fed and taken in. It would be poor courtesy to not try and help where we could...::

     

    They fumbled slightly, and collapsed back into a sitting position. The Dasaka's eyes blazed dangerously from behind the visor of their mask (still off-kilter, as in their exhaustion they had momentarily forgotten to re-adjust it), and their mouth was a hard line. What was visible of their speckled face below the base of their mask was now a deep, ruddy violet from a more extreme blush. Had hauling the fish really taken that much out of them?

     

    OOC: @The UltimoScorp
     @Keeper of Kraata

  • Edited on 2021-10-07 17:06:37 by TL01 NUVA
  • Posted 2021-10-08 05:17:10 UTC
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  • IC: Askha - Dastana vessel off Odaiba

    Sighing, Askha ducked beneath beneath the deck into the cramped cargo hold. It wasn't particularly full of cargo, but it had obviously been built for the build of dashi and saihoko. She tossed the Rahkshi staff to the ground, pondering its cost in blood. Who had died to get it? Which lives had the staff cut to shreds?

    Askha sat. She was stalling. She knew she was stalling. Why couldn’t she just project to Hanaloi? It was scouting. That was it. Ensuring the island is safe.

    Then why couldn’t she do it?

    She furrowed her Iden. This should be easy. Fast. And if she couldn’t do this while she was calm, she would do it out of spite. She clamped her eyes shut, focusing on her Iden. The sensation of her body, her physical form, slipped away; she opened her eyes again, and she saw her body meditating on the ground. She was weightless, and could feel herself slipping through the bulkhead of the vessel she rode.

    Second later, she was soaring through the air towards her home island. It grew larger; a rocky mass jutting out of the sea northeast of Odaiba, covered with a thick, dark layer of trees. She slowed her approach; there was indeed movement. A trio of Rahkshi (presumably) were on their way to the island; they disappeared into the tree line… north of the Mashtet family compound. Possibly near the Panopticon…

    She flew low, over the waves. Once when she was younger, she had tested out her Iden by exploring under the sea; the only thing she got out of it was a fear of deep water and anxiety when swimming. Her father had helped with those, had taken her to the northern cove and dived in with her and a few of her younger sisters. She remembered trying to mirror him, hoping some of his confidence and fearlessness would rub off on her through imitation. As she neared one of the old docks, she spotted something she hadn’t expected: it was full. Some of the vessels looked old, some ramshackle, but they were recently docked. Several menti and dashi patrolled the coast, dwelling in the liminal area between the beach and the treeline.

    She got closer; she hadn’t expected Dasaka to be here. Were they Fursic? No, she caught some traces of Ideatalk; Taajar. Not Clan Kaazi; wrong side of the island, not their style. She didn’t recognize their tribe, and she didn’t get too close; being identified by an alert Willhammer would not mesh well with the whole ‘scouting’ thing.

    Askha skirted the new Taajar settlement, heading inland. Even though it had been years since she had astral projected to Hanaloi, and even longer since she had set foot there herself, it still felt familiar. Ahmani’s Copse, the dashi logging camp (abandoned, recovered by moss), the ancient overturned log that connected the old growth to the forestry region… she didn’t approach the compound. Not yet, she wasn’t ready for that. She passed by several of the old Mashtet blinds; some were still cleverly hidden, others had fallen into disrepair. Still, enough to mount a defense from invasion if necessary. She noted that several of the old traps were also in place; a few had been sprung along the perimeter, some by withered Fursic corpses, one by a newer Taajar scout, judging by the torn gear that remained. She hoped they had been helped out, and not found by some of local rahi… or worse.

    As the Mashtet crossed over the peak of the island to get closer to the northeast bay, she spotted figures moving through the trees. Tall, spiny. Four Rahkshi stalked through the forest. Couldn’t tell if any were the same ones she had seen flying in; the creatures were cutting across the island at a good pace. She could follow them, but she didn’t want to spend too much more time away from her body. It was dangerous in these times, especially on a moving ship.

    Askha did one more check, making sure the family dock in the northeast cove was fit for landing; to her ethereal senses, it seemed well enough. She looked back over the island; her island. Her home.

    Soon enough.

    She took a breath, and flew back towards the coast of Odaiba; she’d find the ship well enough.

    OOC: @Mel

  • Posted 2021-10-08 17:45:41 UTC
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  • [Hanaloi, Old Dock (Ilykaed)]
    It would be another day or so, Ilykaed estimated, before they could head to Sado without fear of loosing any boats.   At least the amount of lumber here was more than sufficient for stabilizing the fishing canoes for sea travel.   It had taken nearly two weeks, on the other hand, for the weather to clear up enough for the glue proofing the larger boats to cure.

    The Kuychar kept an uneasy truce with the sea, but they had never been seafarers.

    Still, they needed to get off this place—a trio of the nightmare creatures had flown by the island a few days ago and they’d manage to drop one before the other two fled.  There would be more coming, Ilykaed had no doubt, and soon.   Arrows were the best way to deal with the creatures while preventing casualties, and they were running dangerously low—they had managed to scavenge some crystal from the old clansights, but when Sedskar had almost been seriously injured by one of the old traps around the island she’d ordered a fallback.  Hardwood could be repurposed into arrowheads, but the difference in weight was something hard for even the more experienced archers to compensate for.

    Right now, the best warrior they had was undoubtedly the Sokomaster, with her mindarm-assisted dead eye and a kanohi akaku that could pierce the veil of trees—and even she was reduced in capability without her beloved Soko.
    Ilykaed really hoped Hatchi had survived and somehow guided the horses to safety.  They still had the husi, at least—the birds were fast and better at navigating the densely forested landscape than Soko would be.   The koshi zrupgar had taken on much of the scouting missions so far and so far had been successful.   Ilykaed wondered how much longer their luck would last.

    She didn’t have to wonder long.

    Saemti, riding Hatchi’s husi, nearly skidded to a stop as she dismounted in one fluid motion—she was part of the same generation as their missing caravan leader and had as finely honed battle instincts as any full zrupgar.

    “Sokomaster caught sight of more of those creatures far inland.   She says they might be less than two hours away, by her reckoning.”

    Ilykaed sighed heavily.   “Get all the fisherwoman and crafters into the boats and keep a watch on those things.  Don’t shoot at them unless the break the treeline.  We might have to make a break for Sado early.”

    For the second time that season, the Kuychar hovered on the brink.
    [North of Odaiba, At Sea (Fanai)]

    Fanai kept her sparring light, careful not to use any significant energy.   When her muscles felt limber again, she mediated in the way the Daikura had taught her—embracing the universe and allowing herself to fall into its rhythm, loosing her mind to drift among the waves unseen.

    Soon after, she caught sight of the spirit of Mashtet Askha descending back towards the ship.

    They would find out what was coming up soon, but for the this moment, she allowed herself to hover in the present.

    OOC:  @Keeper of Kraata

  • Posted 2021-10-09 02:12:38 UTC
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  • IC: Saritsu | Odaiba

    Ever the ######-up of Clan Eiyu, Saritsu could handle having her knuckle rapped, and she bowed her head modestly to the jahagir.

    "I picked up a thing or not when it comes to medicine in my travels," she said, cautiously making her way over to the wandering warriors. "I'll do what I can."

    She flashed a look over to her sister, already knowing what she would say.

    :I know, I know. We've both told each other so, now.:

    OOC: @Krayzikk @Razgriz

    -Void

     

  • Posted 2021-10-11 03:25:30 UTC
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  • IC: Long Hyan-Fei - Odaiba - Western Wilderness
    "You're being silly again," Hyan-Fei says bluntly.  "Of course some Chand still exist.  You're still here, aren't you?  And so far, being Chand is the only way you can be sure they keep existing.  Don't be so wishy-washy about 'maybe I'm neither Chand nor Long.'"

    Of a sudden, she stands and plants her hands on her hips, confident in the choice she is about to make.  "Finding survivors is clearly very important to you, and I have nothing better to do at the moment," she proclaims.  "I'll join your quest, if only because you need someone to keep you from breaking any more ribs."

    OOC:
    @Palm sorry about the wait mate

  • Edited on 2021-10-11 03:25:45 by capMARVELOUS
  • Posted 2021-10-11 23:44:17 UTC
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  • IC:  Chand Kura - Odaiba - Western Wilderness

    I looked up at Hyan-Fei, now completely stood up. I felt an eyebrow raise, but couldn't stop a bit of a smile from forming at her sudden declaration. It made sense; no matter what either of us were doing while on Odaiba, it was safer that we stayed together. But, I found myself listening to the fire and the gentle river, wondering to myself if I would lead Hyan-Fei astray by letting her come along without telling her everything.

    It wasn't just any survivor I was looking for, though that would be good too. My mother was out there, and much like she had her secrets, I had mine. One more reminder even after all these years that she was right, and I was wrong. I let none of this internal doubt make an appearance however. After-all, how could this bring Hyan-Fei into any more danger than she already was? And besides, I had grown weary, and even lonely - though I did not realize it yet. I made my choice.

    I gave my new companion a confident nod, and smiled, "Well, somebody will have to ride Naiana while I heal. And despite the ribs, you may be surprised to find I'm actually a fine horsewoman," I gave Hyan-Fei a bit of a suggesting look, "I'd be willing to teach you. It would make us much more swift on the open plains."

    OOC: No worries! @capMARVELOUS

  • Posted 2021-10-12 03:02:47 UTC
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  • IC: Askha - Dastana Vessel, North of Odaiba

    Slowing her flight as she approached the ship, Askha noticed that Fanai's head tracked her movement. She had been expected; Askha arrested her momentum in front of the Plangori.

    "I scouted the island and..." She ship had moved, carrying her several yards back. The Mashtet flew back to the front to meet Fanai, matching the speed of the ship. "I scouted the island, though I didn't take too close of a look, I didn't want to lose the ship. A tribe of Taajar landed on-" the Dastana ship hit a swell and was sent up, causing Askha's astral form to sink into the cargo hold. "Okay, hold that thought," she said, making her way back to her body.

    Moments later, Askha crawled out from the lower deck of the ship; her stomach churned. Years of travelling the Archipelago as a mercenary and she still didn't like open waters. Most times she would have to go between islands she got herself drunk. "Urgh. So yeah, Hanaloi, I spotted... three Rahkshi flying in while I was going in, and four later on the ground. Don't know if its the same group or not, it was getting close to when I had to leave. Southern beach has been taken over by a Taajar tribe, not the Kaazi. There's still some of the old traps, so when we go in through the family dock, we need to stick to the beaten path, we shouldn't split up while we're there. No sign of the Kaazi, but they were always hard to find if they didn't want to be found. I can be more thorough when we arrive; I didn't want to leave the boat alone for too long."

    She refrained from saying she didn't want to come back to find that Rahkshi had boarded them, or that the vessel had sank with her body in her absence. It was a nightmare that loomed over her since she learned to use her mask.

    OOC: @Mel

  • Posted 2021-10-12 23:17:41 UTC
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  • IC: Lii [Odaiba, Outskirts]

    "Yes, yes it is fine," From her position near the middle of their procession Lii corralled the younger initiates back from the tree line as they moved to get a glimpse as to what had stopped their march forward, her words almost uncharacteristically soft as she did so, "There are no demons-Cerri don't push your sis- hey you all start shoving and then I do too."

    With a bit of doing, and a firm grip on the shoulders of one of the more spirited of the bunch, Lii managed to assuage the torrent of questions and fears from the youngest cadre of their clan. Doing her best to remain outwardly as calm as she could, though keeping up appearances did little to temper the constant beat of her pulse that she felt in her temple, nor the slight shake of her hands as adrenaline left her body, Lii hefted the youngest of the bunch, Yu, up onto her back when she wordlessly held up her arms. As much as it tore at her pride, it was possibly for the best that the Grandmaster was the one to talk to the Imperials. One of which, the one that had spoken out earlier, moved forward to their group. Lii had caught snippets of conversation, and while still very reserved about the entire situation they found themselves in, nonetheless moved forward to direct the wounded of the practitioners forward.

    "Many have sustained minor injuries," In sharp contrast to the inferno which had surrounded her body before, Lii's words were of ice, "Broken bones and cuts are the worst of them."

  • Posted 2021-10-13 02:02:01 UTC
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  • IC Long Shunkyou (The Outskirts of Dastana Republic Territory, Odaiba):

    He in turn, seeing the offered peace, made no show of turning it down.

    "That's good. My Sana isn't half of what it once was. Medicine will do much more paired with it than either could manage apart— Lii," he called, gruffly waving the aforementioned Menti forward, young Yu still perched atop her muscular back. "Help me get those with fractures to the front. They're the ones who the walk is bearing down upon the hardest."

    After a moment, scanning his charges, he turned back to face the Eiyu sisters. For a brief glimpse, not more than a flash, he allowed the weathering to show on his face.

    "You've my gratitude— I'll personally ensure your safe passage the rest of the way, so long as these kids make it to safe ground."

    With a breath, he let it pass back under his usual composure, nobility and duty guiding his bearing.

    "Until Koshiki is rid of this pestilence, it appears we are more than ever destined to meet and live amongst your people. I am not in the business of letting debts hang over our heads— nor am I keen on being blind to my neighbors."

  • Posted 2021-10-13 05:25:19 UTC
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  • IC: Long Hyan-Fei - Odaiba - Western Wilderness
    Kura's offer catches Hyan-Fei by surprise, and for the briefest moment a flash of nervousness crosses her face.  The moment passes, however, and she brings enough of her original confident demeanor back long enough to return her new traveling companion's nod.  "If you're offering.  You'll find I'm a fast learner," she says.  Then, looking at the campfire, "But I learn faster on a full stomach."

    The truth of the matter is that Hyan-Fei has never been good at riding Soko, and due to her own philosophy she has never tried again after that one time.  The thought of falling off Naiana and embarrassing herself in front of Kura is slightly terrifying to her; she would much rather run alongside.  But of course, she makes none of this known as she sits down cross-legged and seasons her catch with her jars of salt, pepper, and hot spices.

    She offers Kura a pair of chopsticks before tucking into the flaky fish flesh with her own pair.  "So.  If it were me escaping from Koshiki, the first thing I'd want to do is get as far away from it as I could."  She shadows her brow as she looks first down the branch of the river that continues to wind west, then, several bio away, down the branch that heads south.  "I suggest we head for a dock, or a port town; could be some of your Chand are going there to evacuate with any others."  She shrugs.  It is an idea; Kura is free to take it or leave it.

    OOC:
    @Palm

  • Posted 2021-10-13 13:34:42 UTC
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  • IC: Vazaria – Mount Koshiki

    There were few places in the archipelago that demonstrated the dichotomy of death and life to the extent that Mount Koshiki did.

    The immense monolith of rock could rain fire and belch forth fetid fumes, and the dragons that dwelled amidst its cruel crags were the most powerful predators in living memory. The volcano was a place of death and destruction, and yet its very presence provided the fertile soil that brought such vibrant life to the rest of the island of Odaiba.

    And now, in a way, the mountain was taking back that which it had given. Whether the eruption had opened a way for the creatures to emerge, or their emergence had caused the eruption, the strange invaders had come forth from the volcano. And so Vazaria had come, to find them at the source.

    You can still turn back, her doubts whispered, as she crept closer to the edge of the treeline.

    There’s nothing to go back to, her conviction countered.

    They’ll kill you. They’ll kill everyone, her doubts pleaded.

    Maybe. Or maybe they’ll change everything.

    A Lohrak – oily black, tinged with streaks of iridescent pink – shot out from the end of a hollow log as she strode over it. The winged serpent whirled in the air, hissing softly as it regarded her with its beady black eyes. Vazaria met its stare, and after a moment more the serpent fluttered off into the foliage.

    As she finally emerged from the cover of the underbrush and approached the foot of the mountain, Vazaria could glimpse furtive flickers of colour flitting through the clouds high overhead, as more of the invader creatures flew off to join their brethren on the front lines. There was little doubt in her mind that there were many more of the monsters that she couldn’t yet see… and perhaps some that could already see her.

    If they hadn’t noticed her yet, they soon would.

    She activated her Kanohi, and shot up towards the summit.

    OOC: @Krayzikk or another suitable GM-type person.

  • Posted 2021-10-14 15:57:08 UTC
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  •  (Misgendering of a character in the post below)

    [North of Odaiba, At Sea (Fanai)]

    Fanai’s eyebrows drew in close at the mention of the creatures.  She had hoped not to have to tangle with them, but they had most likely been drawn to the place by the presence of the Taajar, who could be another opportunity.

    “There was a Taajar that came to Sado from Odaiba during the siege—on the back of a heard of Soko, quite the sight.  She seemed to believe that the rest of her tribe had sailed North of Odaiba—they could be the Taajar that you saw.”

    “Did you see any indication of those things' powers?”  The Dastana mindarm said, arms crossed and concern written across her Arthron.  “We’re at a disadvantage if we don’t know what we’re dealing with, even if we have the jump on them.   If we have the jump on them.”

    Fanai nodded, she was not the tactician on the ship.  She did notice, however, that Askha looked a little sick.  She should prepare some ginger tea for later.
    OOC:  @Keeper of Kraata

  • Edited on 2021-10-14 15:58:00 by Mel
  • Posted 2021-10-15 02:38:52 UTC
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  • IC: Saritsu | Odaiba

    "We're on our way to Sado," Saritsu said, giving Lii a small, reconciliatory smile; although she wasn't sure how much good it would do. The warrior still seemed suspicious of them -- and, Saritsu admitted to herself, not without good reason.

    Kneeling down amongst the children, her mindarm began gathering twigs and vines and bits of moss to make into splints and poultices. The telescopic lens of her Akaku extended, as her vision suddenly sharpened exponentially until she could see through the minute cracks of the taajars' armour, through the pores of their skin and between their sinuous muscle to where bone sat cracked and fractured.

    "The Imperial City was designed as a fortress in and of itself," she said, not looking up from her work, "and our hope has been that it's held off this invasion so far. If you can find us safe passage there, the Toroshu and I will make sure that you and your people are taken care of there."

    Presuming that the Imperial City is still there.

    OOC: @sunflower @Razgriz @Krayzikk

    -Void

     

  • Posted 2021-10-17 05:19:10 UTC
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  • IC: Chand Kura - Odaiba - Western Wilderness

    I took the chopsticks handed to me, and took my share of the fish. I quickly put my fists together, gave a bow, and muttered a quick prayer in thanks at my luck of having found Hyan-Fei and thus, a tasty meal. I finished my prayer, and spoke aloud, "...and thanks to you, Hyan-Fei, for the catch," I dug into the fish, and suddenly felt relief at the taste. It was the best meat I had in weeks. I thought about what Hyan-Fei had said while I scarfed down my first few bites.

    I had yet to search the coast. For much of the early days after the Mountain Died, I spent most of my time hiding with Naina, and evading the monsters as much as possible. Afterwards, I continued in desperate lines back and forth in the lands of my people. My mother had swore once very seriously she would never leave the plains under any circumstances, and it was well known to those around her that she was a woman of conviction. I simply could not believe that she would have left unless physically forced to. But, I found no evidence of her - not living nor dead - and had thus pushed my search out farther and farther.

    I suppose, if the world had ended, then maybe mother really did leave. Of course, I had to tell myself this, as I was not willing to accept that death could have found her. I spoke, "You're right. We could take a snaking path towards a port town," I drew such a pattern with my hand, "Pick up anyone left behind, or lost."

  • Posted 2021-10-20 02:36:10 UTC
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  • IC: Long Hyan-Fei - Odaiba - Western Wilderness
    Hyan-Fei blushes at Kura's thanks, and tries (unsuccessfully) to hide it with a curt nod.

    With the fish now all eaten, Hyan-Fei begins to clean up, burying the bones and viscera she got rid of and tossing dirt on the fire to smother it.  She nods in agreement with Kura's suggestion.  "We'll have to look on both sides of the river as we go, though," she says.

    A frown crosses her face as a thought comes to her.  "Do Chand do anything unique with their campsites?" she asks Kura.  "Any special markers or setups?"  For all her accidental discoveries since becoming a nomad, she has never actually come across a Chand camp, in-use or broken.  Any identifying elements would be useful in helping them in their search.  And, well, since Kura is a Chand...

    OOC:
    @Palm

  • Posted 2021-10-20 05:15:57 UTC
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  • IC: Askha & Somei- North of Odaiba, Dastana Vessel

    The Menti glanced ahead to the approaching island. "I didn't see much of the rahkshi; just the three flying in, and the four patrolling. The ones in the woods were moving through the shadows; couldn't tell their color. The ones touching down on the island, though were...  I think one was teal? Bright blue? One was purple, and the other was dark, sorta... black and brown? I think I've seen that type back in Sado, it was walking around with a spear through it like it was nothing."

    North Odaiba Taajar... Askha narrowed down the list in her head. The Kuychar? She hadn't done a lot of work in that area previously; she'd spent a few nights cumulative over the years in their camps on stopovers. "The Taajar might be Clan Kuychar, but I suppose they could also be one of the Taajar clans from Kozu."

    .:The Captain says that we will be leaving the coast of Odaiba for Hanaloi; she's staying out of deep waters, some of the creatures can control weather, so he wants to keep a close escape route in case we get beached.:.

    Second after Somei's ideatalk registered, the boat veered to port, bringing Hanaloi's rocky shores into close view. Askha moved to the railing of the boat, her new staff in hand. "Once we're about to dock, I'll scout again, the path to the compound. But for now, we keep every sense open. I was never in the navy, but I know it sucks to go down with a ship."

    OOC: @Mel

  • Posted 2021-10-22 05:15:51 UTC
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  • IC: Chand Kura - Odaiba - Western Wilderness

    I shrugged, pretending not to see Hyan-Fei's expression by looking down at my knees. I wiped some debris off my lap, the traditional Long clothing, coloured with Chand markings I had made myself, "Nothing you wouldn't expect - old fire pits, maybe some discarded material - though not much. Or Soko tracks," I looked away. How I had not come across any of these things which lined up with the timeline of the Mountain's Death, I had not yet figured out.

    "If we are lucky, and if she-" I slipped, but corrected myself, hoping Hyan-Fei would not notice, "- they - would have left some guide stones somewhere, to let stragglers know what to go."

    OOC: @capMARVELOUS