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Unread 05-08-2004, 06:12 PM   #1
Aeria
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It had been a sunny day, but clouds were gathering and soon it would be a night full of rain, and thunder. Felce was on deck with his hired captain, sailing towards the closest port. The fact that it was populated almost completely by pirates didn't even bother him anymore, he just didn't want to be sailing through that storm.
He was on a ship for two reasons, the first was to find a treasure, the only guide he had was an ancient map he could hardly read. The second, was to prove to his brother that he was equally as good at treasure-hunting as his brother had been when he was 18. This was his first journey without Kurse. Unfortunately, however, the map was not very descriptive. It was clearly a map of the area around, all the islands were mostly in the right place, but it had very little in the way of directions. It's only words, in a very old language, read "To those who seek treasure...", the rest was faded. Some of the islands were colored, while the rest of the map was simply ink outline on faded yellow page. The map was given to him by his brother Quercia, who he called Kurse.
As they pulled into the Pirate town, of which he didn't even know the name, he saw with disgust what it really meant to live in a lawless slum. There were drunks littered everywhere, and everyone was covered in dirt and grime. Felce stood out among everyone else, with his pure white cape, and clean blue tunic. While he was here weathering the storm, he figured, he might as well get some companions. Even his older brother always had someone with him, to watch his back, and the sailors on the boat weren't very skilled in pretty much anything but sailing and rude jokes.
Felce looked for the closest bar, of which there were many, that looked remotely clean. There were few, but he figured where else would he find people that were more like him, than these pirates. After a few minutes of being in there though, he realized that those kinds of places were even worse than the run-down ones. The keepers there charged more for less service, and so all of the patrons were rich fools. A few were clever pickpockets, and made good lives off the others.
Finally, he settled on the bar closest to the docks where his ship was. Almost all of his ship's crew were there, mixed in among many unique looking faces. People from all over had gathered here, unlike the other pubs he had been in. He found it strange, but trusted to fate, and went inside, intending to hire some help.
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Last edited by Light's Warrior; 05-08-2004 at 07:07 PM.
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Unread 05-08-2004, 06:28 PM   #2
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Takezato remained silent as his eyes played across the seething mass of humanity within the bar. For some reason, it seemed so cliched, meeting one's destiny here, like the stories his brothers told one another when the night was dark and they were bored. Always, the hero would meet his fated companions in some form of tavern, and then they would go off to do great deeds.

Takezato took a dim view of whatever Fortune that would send a scion of destiny to carouse in winehouses looking for drunkards as companions, but when his seniors had told their stories, he had remained silent.

It was just a story, after all.

Takezato did not consider himself a hero, in any case. He thought of himself more of a servant of the people, his people. His village had taken him in when he was an orphan, without expecting any more of him than to be a good and dutiful son, and when he was sixteen, he had gone to the Festival of the Wasp, hoping to repay the honor they had shown him by becoming a man of honor himself. So far, it had gone pretty well. He had tracked down a number of vicious criminals, and taken revenge in the place of the scores of innocent people who would otherwise have been unable to restore their honor.

But it was not enough.

One such villain had eluded him, a powerful magician whose powers had overwhelmed his. Filled with shame for his failure, Takezato thought to commit seppuku to atone for his failings. However, Tsuruchi himself had stopped him, and instead suggested another way to expiate his sins.

And so now, he was on a musha shugyo, the warrior's pilgrimage, learning to be a man again, rather than a samurai. Learning the ways of the common folk again. Learning the lessons of pride, and concealment. To tell the truth, it wasn't so bad.

Takezato looked to the door of the tavern, and almost immediately he saw a strange man. Unlike all the others, he was dressed neatly, which by itself meant little. But there was something about him, some kind of karmic bond that almost seemed to flash into existence when their eyes met. Takezato's pulse quickened, the thrill of the hunt seeming to fill his veins.

Perhaps there was some truth to those stories, after all.
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Unread 05-08-2004, 07:56 PM   #3
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Grim bent down and plucked the skull of the latest artifact defender.

"They don't make magical guardians like they used too..and for this piddling thing..." He said, tossing away the skull in favor of the small glass orb that waited on the glowing pedestal. He picked it up and turned it, not noticing anything particularly valuable or interesting. Still, to be housed ten leagues under sea and guarded by a monstronsity...

He sighed pocketing it and reminding himself to always get more details out of tortured treasure seekers.

As he strolled towards the exit, his brain was racked by pain, and he fell to the ground as a voice screamed inside him.

"GRIM," It began subtly, "I DID NOT AUTHORIZE THIS..."

"I am sorry Commander, I was under no current orders, I merely thought..." Grim said aloud, although merely for effect, as the voice could read his brain as easily as he could scream in it.

"DO NOT THINK, GRIM. THERE ARE MORE IMPORTANT USES FOR THAT BRAIN...I HAVE BEEN INFORMED OF A TREASURE...YOU AND JANUS SHALL GET IT, UNDERSTOOD?" It said. It didn't bother to stick around, and Grim was left with merely an imprinted map on his brain.

He rose again, leaning more heavily on his bone staff. He limped towards the exit, summoning the nearest assortment of bones. They enclosed him inside an ivory orb, and as he concentrated they all rose, forming a dense ball that sliced through to the surface, delivering him closer to his new destination.
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Unread 05-09-2004, 12:46 PM   #4
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Koji was in a temple, praying before he went to begin his trip.

Lifetime in a monestary? Good to train and all, but seeing and learning to use it would be nice.

Happily, he finished and stopped the incense burning with his fingers. He put it all back in his bag and walked outside. Searching for treasure he was, but not for his own personal wealth.

Mostly it was out of curiousity, that and he was "technically" trying to uphold justice. Translation? Someone steals or something without good reason, he breaks a bone or two and takes it back.

Little did he know how bad of a life choice that was for who he would end up with...
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Unread 05-09-2004, 03:46 PM   #5
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An elf drinking quietly in the corner.

Although not too many patrons knew his name, those who did almost feared it's meaning. They nervously avoid looking in his general direction, for they didn't want to engage in 'aggressive negotiations' with him. They just left him to his drinks.

Scott the 'Thunder' Dragoon was all but a commoner. He was what you would call a mercenary, but most of his missions were bounty hunter like. He just sipped his rum, staring into space, wondering if he should upgrade his weapons or not. It didn't matter. What he really wanted was some variety. Something difficult. A mission that could take his life. That's what pleasured him most. Near-death experiences. He lived for the moment. He has no friends. His family, gone. Except for that great-grandfather of his, but he now spends his days locked up in a house, separated from the rest of the world.

The elf finished his drink and proceeded out of the tavern. Hush was all about. He looked around, quizzically, but was used to it by now. He set off down the road, once more....
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Unread 05-09-2004, 05:21 PM   #6
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The elderly man walked down the road, his red robe lightly brushing the soft earth behind him. As he used one hand to hold his favored staff to help him walk along, the other was holding his head, as if in pain. His walk turned to a stumble, then he fell, sending a small cloud of dust up from the path. He lay still.

It was what they had been waiting for. The roadside brigands had sat silently, slowly following this ancient along. They had noticed he seemed wounded, but had paid more attention to the large grey sack he carried with him which seemed filled to the brim with something of worth, as he clutched it worriedly. Now, as they had expected, he had fallen, and it was time for plunder. They approached quickly, grabbing the bag and hauling it away. Two of them began to search his robes, while a third pulled him up to check for a necklace, since he looked like a mage who might carry magical goods. As the scarred brigand looked at him, he saw an aged face, covered in wrinkles that turned his face into a mass of loose skin, obscuring all features. His long grey beard, and thin long grey hair helped add to the age. He felt light as he lifted him, as if he would simply float away. <Most likely malnourished, he was better off dead... for both of us, heh> the brigand mused. As he noted the lack of jewelry, suddenly deep in that face, two eyes opened, to reveal to clear blue eyes. He was alive still!

"Got ya," The old man said, in a clear and strong voice.

The brigand tried to drop him, but one of the arms leapt up and grabbed him by the throat. He felt like his neck was in a vice, this old man was strong! The other two had leapt back when the old man spoke, and simply stared in shock as he rose to his feet, still holding the first brigand by the throat in the air. A mad look entered his eyes, and he smiled evilly, showing blackened stumps of teeth. He no longer looked elderly and harmless, but menacing and horrible as he advanced, holding the one brigand off the ground without a problem as he struggled and choked in his grasp. His other hand began a quick but complex movement, then pointed, and a ball of fire leapt out, engulfing the first bandit who was instantly reduced to ash. The second one tried to run, but another motion brought a bolt of lightning, which made his body into a crackling light for a split second, then sent his still twitching body to the earth. The one brigand was still in his hand, his vision going dark as he watched the old man demolish his allies yet retain his grip. He looked and saw two in the forest still, who had retained the sense to try and run with the bag. Little did they know it was only rocks, another part of his ruse. Their life ended when a small orb of energy was sent from the old man's free hand at them, and it once it got close enough, it exploded, sending a gout of flame into the sky. The last brigand watched all this in shock and horror at how he had destroyed all them in a matter of seconds, before the mage brought his gaze to look back into the brigand's eyes. He saw only malevolent, burning hatred now, and saw his arm begin to make a movement and --

Janus tossed the dead body he had held to the ground, the man's neck snapped like a toy. He shrugged, and shook himself off. It had been a good workout, but not up to his par. He had hoped they had an opposing mage in their party to really test his skill, but he was disappointed yet again. Well, this old man's frame was useless to him now, the ruse over. He focused, and felt the Polymorph spell wearing off, his skin shifting back to its normal state until he looked like he should once again. When it was over, he stood straight once more. His six-foot frame filled his red robes with toned muscle, knowing that a strong body enhanced a strong mind. His staff, which had been some older wood, morphed as well to a black metal of some sort, ending in a sharp point on one end, and a perfect crystal sphere on the other, held in place by black metal rings which wrapped around the crystal and connected to the staff. His face was no longer an ancient mask of wrinkles, but was probably in his thirties now. It featured a trimmed red beard with short red hair on his head. His skin was unmarred by scars, and his piercing blue eyes, the one thing he couldn't polymorph, glared with a fierce intensity. It was a face that rarely only scowled or glared, never laughed or smiled, and you would not want to see him if he is laughing or smiling...

This was not worth a smile, this was simple practice, but as he prepared to pick up his staff and walk away, a pain entered his skull. The communication of the Master was never just a chat; it was always a battle of wills, one that Janus could never win. He fell to his hands and knees, at least trying to keep from passing out, as a voice boomed in his skull.

"JANUS, I HAVE AN ASSIGNMENT FOR YOU," the voice said. Janus fell to the ground, feeling his strength fading and just hoping the orders would come soon enough for him to keep face.

"THERE IS AN ARTIFACT I WANT. YOU WILL GET IT FOR ME. YOU WILL WORK WITH GRIM TO RETURN THIS ARTIFACT TO ME. YOU TWO WILL NOT FAIL ME." the voice thundered. As his strength faded, Janus could feel the voice becoming louder in his skull, as if his head was going to explode from the reverberations. Janus nodded, the Master knowing he was mentally accepting.

The hideous ringing and pain ended, and Janus fell to the ground. He took particular delight in tormenting Janus because of Janus' arrogance and desire for power. It had lead him to the Master in the first place, and he had been granted more power than almost anyone in the army, short of a few elites. Grim was one of the elites, and if both of them were being sent at once, this must be very important... Or powerful...

As Janus rose again, he reflected on how he had gotten here. His desire for strength over others had lead him to the Master, who promised great power to his servants. Janus had more potential then any other recruit at the time, and thus had been promoted and put on a crash course to quick power. He learned to tap into primal instincts and feelings to fuel his energies, and had become a being to be feared in a very short time. However, his powers still paled in comparison to the Master, since he never wanted to worry about any competition from his subordinates. Janus however, still wanted more power... Until one day, HE would be the Master... Of course, from his treatment of his servant, he was fairly certain the Master knew this and treated him more harshly to try and prove that he would never be the Master, but Janus still plotted...

Janus shook it off, knowing that he couldn't defeat the Master now, and had to settle for his current dominance as one of the Master's top warriors. He picked up his staff, and brushed the dirt from his robe. Then he concentrated, saying the words of power, and vanished.
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Unread 05-09-2004, 05:24 PM   #7
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Guy Moralgul sat in the corner of the bar, observing everyone in there. He had arrived at the town an hour ago, and was seeing if this would be a sutable place to live. Most locals tended to hang out at bars, so usually the bars were the first places Guy went to when he arrived at a new town.
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Unread 05-09-2004, 08:18 PM   #8
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Down the road, the elf came across three carcasses. The look of anguish was spread across their faces as blood tricked down into the ditch. Disgusted and mildly blood-thursty, he muttered "Wish I got to them first."

The elf took up his red cape and threw it about his body, wrapping around like a blanket. A cold, harsh wind blew. Leaves scuttered across the forest path. Scott continued down his path, only ever to feel the cold...

"Murderer....."

Scott whipped around. Trees swayed back and forth down the path as the elf gazed.

"You.....are a Demon!....."

Whipping back around again, Scott began to sweat. Where was this voice coming from? "What do you want!?" Scott demanded in a low tone. Only the wind answered. Scott paused for a moment and looked both ways. He spat and turned back down the road once more.

After the elf had walked into the horizon, a black figure emerged from behind a tree....
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Unread 05-09-2004, 08:23 PM   #9
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(OOC: I think we should make it a rule that only the bad guys *me and FZ* and LW should be able to control the Big Baddy's voice...and you do realize that you're probably far far away, FZ had his guy teleport, you don't teleport for short ditances...)
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Unread 05-09-2004, 08:51 PM   #10
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OOC: I came from a town not near but mildly away from FZ's encounter. And it's not a big baddies voice, it's his inner demons.
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