A Wanderer's Romance: Game Thread (Closed)

SamtheDeathclaw

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Aug 8, 2009
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[HEADING=1]A Wanderer's Romance[/HEADING]​
[HEADING=2]Bastion Isle, Just After Dawn[/HEADING]​
The sun rises low and heavy over the port of Bastion. The night fishermen are pulling into port, carrying what was caught in the night, while the craftspeople and homemakers of the town are rising and beginning their day.

The town of Bastion is beautiful in the soft dawn light. The keep which gives the island its name, having stood for as long as anyone can remember, rises dramatically on a cliff overlooking the port, while the normally quaint and sleepy town itself is beginning to look festive, as the King's workers quickly festoon the walls and roofs of the town with brightly colored ribbons and banners, much to the delight of the children. Today is a day of celebration, it seems. Some you might speak to would tell you that this is a hitherto uncelebrated birthday of a local saint, while others mark it as the day of the current King's ascension to the throne. Yet others claim it to be the day of creation of this particular island. In short, it is certainly a new holiday, but exactly why it is being celebrated is up for debate.

The town is roughly divided into three segments, plus the keep. You have the port, the Battlebones Square and surrounding shops and taverns catering to warriors, and an area of residences.
The Bastion Keep is a soaring, imposing structure built of locally mined gray stone. It overlooks the port and hangs on a cliff directly over the Battlebones district, with long, twisted stairways leading up from that district in addition to the long road that leads around the cliff from the port.

The keep is currently closed to visitors, as the King prepares to appear in front of his people later that day. Those wishing to visit are turned away at the gates, and must wait to see the King later, or find another way inside.
Bastion's port is fairly simple, with around half a dozen piers stretching out into the deep bay. This area is policed heavily by armed guards, on watch for pirate attacks or other nastiness. The port is busy, as one might expect of a thriving trade town. The night fishermen are coming in and unloading fish, many of them leaving crates full of fish with a lone figure at the end of a pier, who sits, cleaning fish after fish with quick, easy motions. Asking around might tell you that this is Lu Fen, a local warrior who gave up wandering and now simply cleans fish after fish.

A merchant ship also pulls into port, heavy with cargo and passengers. A sharp-eyed viewer might notice a very antsy looking captain pacing on deck, speaking rapidly to a very, very anxious scribe. A passenger aboard that ship, the Lady Heron, might have heard of a theft on board, but it isn't clear what was stolen.
Battlebones Square is the local dueling stage, and as such, attracts most of the wanderers in the city. It is surrounded by a rough and tumble part of town, with passions often running hot just beneath the surface. This district makes up the northern half of town, under the looming shadow of the keep.

The Keepview Inn is closed, with guards redirecting potential customers to other nearby inns. The rumor on the street is that a murder went down there last night, and the guards have no idea who might have done it in the chaos of the Battlebones district.

In the local cemetery, a Master of Earth magic is performing a fell ritual to return his dead love to life. Elsewhere, a street vendor is cackling at having passed out a hunk of rose quartz as real Origin-touched crystal, making a huge sum of money in the process.
This sleepy area has no real name, lying across the bay from the Battlebones district. Here, craftsmen ply their trade and live their lives, children and dogs play, cats sun in the dawn light. It is a safe, peaceful place, with wooden houses and narrow, winding streets.

However, through all of this is the undercurrent of tension. It seems a vicious duel took place in the middle of the district earlier in the night, and, it seems, ended in betrayal, as the corpse found afterwards had an arrow lodged in its spine. The man who found the body was one Pome, who runs a small, quiet merchant's inn named the Origin's Rest. Otherwise, this sleepy district holds little of value for travelers and adventurers.
[hr]Hello and welcome to A Wanderer's Romance. As you can see, there's a whole lot of plot hooks in the text up there. You're free to place yourself near any of them and pursue them if you want, or ignore them in favor of meeting up with other characters, or do something that I haven't predicted. Feel free to message me on Skype or @ me in the chat if you require any additional information for your intro.
 

SamtheDeathclaw

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Aug 8, 2009
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hiei82 said:
Name: Nazli Shula Haddad

Gender: Woman

Age: 28

Physical Description: Nazli is built like a house; standing at over 6-and-a-half tall and weighing in at a little over 210 lbs (all of it muscle). Her eyes are a dark brown as is her long, tied-up hair. Her skin is of a darker-tanned shade than most and is marked with burns and a number of tattoos (visible include an Origin symbol for the elements of fire and earth). While she doesn't lack for grace in her movements, she tends to move in a more determined and direct way. She dresses in a long leather and cloth robe with many pockets and loops that hold many tools of smithing. Carefully concealed beneath the leather and cloth are chainmail and some metal plates. She wears a Hijab much of the time (though out of a memory of home and as protection from the sun rather than any religious reason) but takes it off while forging for obvious reasons.

Philosophy: "Origins grant me the strength to act, the wisdom to act well, and the courage to act well forever."

Personality: Nazli is a very spiritual person. She believes in the spirits and that they guide all people toward enlightenment. From this faith she draws the courage to act for the benefit of others. She knows she lacks the longevity of the spirits and will fade from this world in "a blink of their eyes". As such, she wants to ensure that she uses what she has to do the most good for the most people. Finally, she knows that all this will is meaningless without the power to act upon it. Courage, Wisdom, and Strength are therefore what she prizes most.

These have pushed her toward her 3 part goal: 1) travel the sea to train with the greatest blacksmiths in the world to 2) create a legendary weapon to last through the ages and 3) give that weapon to a person or people worthy of it.

Elements: Personality and Elements are intrinsically linked. Your Elements define who you are, and vice versa. You have 6 points to spend, and all Elements start at 0.
Air: 2
Earth: 2
Fire: 2
Water: 0
Balance: 3 Unencumbered - 2 Armor = 1 Modified

Specialties:
Metalworking: represents training as blacksmith
Persuasion: represents dedication to goal

Armor: A suit of scalemail (Rating 2) - mail covering most of body with interlocked plates covering vital areas covered by her blacksmith's apron/clothes.

Weapon:
Main Weapon: "Damascus-Steel" Scimitar (Curved Sword) - Her current Masterpiece
Sidearm: Blacksmith's Hammer (Improvised Maul) - mostly used to create weapons/armor OR latest creation if applicable.


Styles: Student of Flock of Doves (Glaive or Curved Sword) - Air + Fire
The softest diversion can lead to the hardest downfall.
Initiate: May be used Defensively.
Student: Opponent may be Weakened instead of rolling for damage normally.

History:Nazli was born the sixth child of a family from the island of "Damas". Her father was a smith of some repute for island, producing everything from tools for artisans to the weapons of war for the islands limited warriors. The island wasn't the most hospitable of islands - having more sand than water or vegetation - but it was rich in iron and steel and so could trade for what it lacked with those neighbors it had. In another life, Nazli might have been a simple smith or been married off to some rich land owner but fate decided otherwise.

During her 8th year, a plague swept across the island, killing nearly 80% of the populace. No one knew where the plague came from but the island was fully unprepared. What little protection they had came from the Origins who helped the small island nation. Of her family, only she and her father survived the plague. Lacking in "proper sons" to take over the and help with the forge and with so few people left on the island to replace them, he began - reluctantly - teaching her the way of the forge. From her father's perspective it was a task ill-suiting a woman and regretted it almost daily at first. However, as time passed Nazli matched and in some ways exceeded his skill. In time, he would likely have seen the error of his ways were it not for the final fate of the island.

The plague had it seemed came from infected food coming from their neighboring islands. These neighbors jealously coveted the wealth of resources of the island. Once they felt the island was ripe for conquest, they sent in their champions to challenge the island's leadership for the right to rule. Following the Code of Conduct to the letter, they saw their island fall. With that, the natives of the island found themselves second-class citizens in their own homes.

Her father, having recognized what these neighbors did to gain advantage and the cost it had taken on his family and friends, took it upon himself to see these monstrous men lose their prize. To this end, he called on his most loyal of friends to collapse the mines (giving their lives in the process), while he broke into the island's armory and destroyed all his prized weapons and armor in the way only a blacksmith could.

Nazli aided them as best she could by destroying the family forge and taking what tools and supplies they could down to the docks. The plan was to meet at daybreak and set sail for a new life. When daybreak came and her father did not arrive, Nazli knew it meant he'd been captured and so set sail for parts unknown.

During her travels, she's found most people are the same as those who took her home and family from her causing her to distrust most others even as she works with them. She's made it her life's goal to find someone of true nobility of character and craft for them the perfect tools for them. Toward this end, she's continued her traveling almost non-stop, stopping only for teachers in the ways of smithing and "just" jobs to fund her survival and travels.
Dogmatic99 said:
Name: Llyr Argall

Gender: Male

Age: 20

Physical description: Llyr is a fairly short and slender young man, most of the men of his home island have often joked about how his hands are so thin, like a girl or a child and how he should wear better boots to make himself look taller or so he can reach things high above him. He's shown them that he's capable of reaching things just fine but that hasn't stopped them. They've often used that, along with his dark brown hair and jade green eyes to suggest that Llyr must be descended from a fay origin that lacked the strength and fire that made up their ancestors. Llyr doesn't know, but it would help explain why he's so pale.

Despite his weak appearance no one will doubt Llyr's ability as a hunter, he moves with a greater ease than other, larger, men when in the dense forest that covers most of his homeland, skipping nimbly among the tangling roots and dancing through the trees until the time comes to slow his pace and move like a fox through the undergrowth. They actually compare him to a snake, but he prefers foxes. Though folks would prefer he kept that kind of thing to the forests, as Llyr is very light of foot and quiet in nature and tends to sneak up on people by accident. Fashion has never been a big thing among the men of Llyr's home, mostly they try to see who can wear the least amount of clothing and show off the most warpaint covered muscle. He foregoes this and dresses in a practical and conservative manner with whatever furs and leathers are to hand.

Though he does have some lean muscle, just no one to show it off to. Not that he'd want to.

Philosophy: The world is huge and I am small, all the easier to move through it unhindered.

Personality: Llyr is, as you may have guessed, not an alpha male. In fact he's kind of a loner. Softly spoken, when he deems to speak, Llyr has always preferred the quiet and the company of animals over that of his clansmen. Finding peace in the secluded instead. He doesn't deny that this is because of the culture he grew up in, where the women are the mystics and wise folk while the men are warriors, the tradesmen. And of course, Llyr isn't built to be a warrior. Rather than dwelling on being shunned as a runt though Llyr embraced this way of living. Not that he can live totally alone, as brash and loud and needlessly competitive as they are he doesn't hate his clansmen. He even made some friends with some of them, that was how he learned how to hunt. Though Llyr never managed to get truly close to someone. It's as if there is a final wall in his way that he can't quite pass.

He's been told that it's because he always seems so distant, that people can never really read him or tell where they stand. They might be right, Llyr never really does anything because he wants to but because he has to. And he's always been that way. Happiness has never come easily to Llyr, the only time he really felt joy in something was when he learned the ways of the spear or when he could lose himself in the wild. Sometimes he thinks this could be enough for him but in his heart Llyr can't deny that even he doesn't want to live a life of isolation and apathy. This unquiet thought is what caused him to leave his home, to travel the world and seek out his passion and find his fire.

Elements:
Air - 2
Earth - 2
Fire - 0
Water - 2
Armour - 0
Balance - 3

Specialties:
Survival (Air + Earth)
Archery (Water + Earth)

Primary Weapon: Spear
Secondary: Bow

Styles:

Llyr's fighting style is that of a hunter, which he has honed on deer, boars and the occasional wolf. Inspired by the need to move freely and quietly. Each strike must be with purpose and not an ounce of energy wasted. A good hunter should always aim to fell his prey as swiftly as possible, this goes double for a dangerous opponent.

Seeking Killer (Spear) - Air + Water.
A war of a million spears can become a war of one with the proper thought.
Initiate: Become focused whenever your Balance is higher than the defender's.

Empty Vessel (Spear or Unarmed) - Earth + Water
Leave not a ripple in your wake.
Initiate: If you are not wearing armour add Balance to defense rolls.

History:

Llyr hails from the forested mountain island of Cader Idris, a place that knows only summer. It stands as one of a cluster of closely situated islands, each one ruled by a different clan. This loose collection of groups have formed a ragged alliance together, making them a kingdom in the vaguest sense of the word. Though which clan that claimed the king right is left open every five years, ready to be decided as warriors from each island gather for a great tournament where the winner is crowned. And then when politics aren't involved they have honour duels and skirmishes between warbands trying to win themselves glory the rest of the time. All according to the laws of combat of course but to Llyr's mind the whole thing just. Never. Stopped. And they never shut up about it. The closest thing to a gift these people could think of was to share the fighting styles their origins had once passed down to them! So Llyr would find his daily escape from clan life in the forest, until he was more at home there than back at his village.

Until one day when he lost himself in the mountain paths and found himself standing in a grove, hidden by the steep mountain walls and untouched by man, or so he thought. It was here that Llyr found the wanderer who would teach him the ways of the empty vessel, to rise above his journeyman skill and pass through the world like a ghost. He would stay in that place for three months, living off the land before his heart would ache for home and more. His teacher encouraged him to stay but it wasn't to be. The two parted ways, knowing they would never meet again. It didn't take much thought for Llyr to decide what he'd do next. He would leave his island as many young men had done before him, to seek adventure and new experiences. The clan always talked of those that brought back trophies, riches and fame and how it brought more glory to them. Llyr wouldn't do that, he was going for himself, to find the joy that had alluded him his whole life.
Terratina. said:
Name: Li Zhu
Gender: Male
Age: 24

Physical Description: Li would have a rather forgettable face if it wasn?t for the fact there Li is always wearing a smile of childish wonder, oh, and there are the scars. Only two though, one which cuts along his left cheek while other one is just a small cut which creeps up from his chin and stops near his ever smiling mouth. Li?s head and face are clean shaven, emphasising his boyish face. He dresses practically, usually wearing a dull coloured tangzhuang behind a tabard of padded leather armour along simple trousers and shoes, with his weapons in scabbards attached to his belt. While Li tries to cultivate a welcoming air, anyone with a bit of common sense concludes the smile is fake and are rather disconcerted. However, they are wrong: it?s not the smile that?s fake, rather it?s Li?s tolerance of other people.

Philosophy: ?True beauty lies in bloodshed.?

Personality: Li has a rather odd view of other people, to him they are just things. Ugly things. Pigs wrapped up in plant fibres who yammer on about nothing. In other words, he regards other people as a child would a fly. Unfortunately, he was the type of child who pulled the wings off them. To Li, the only truth and beauty there is in the world is within fighting, where words are forsaken and each participant justifies themselves by using their body as a weapon. The body is more honest than the mind, after all. Nevertheless, Li does not get the same thrill from hunting, humans have too much of an advantage after all. Some people assume Li is the scheming kind, but he only cares about finding beauty in the world. After a fair bit of wrestling with his feelings on the issue, Li views the Code of Combat as a necessary evil: sure it limits combat quite a bit but it allows for a slew of one-on-one fights where he can witness and judge his opponent closely.

Elements:
Air: 0
Earth: 2
Fire: 2
Water: 2
Balance: 3 - 1 Armour = 2

Specialties:

Acrobatics (Earth + Fire)
Meditation (Fire + Water)

Armour: 1

Weapons:

Primary - Jian (Straight Sword)
Secondary - Swordbreaker Dagger

Styles:

Closing Fangs (Unarmed or Straight Sword) - Earth + Water
For the unsuspecting prey the fangs close slowly.
Initiate: If you Weaken an opponent they are also Staggered.

Blood Sharer (Straight Sword, Curved Sword or Axe) - Earth + Fire
Share every drop your attacker draws from you.
Initiate: Whenever your opponent Weakens you they are Weakened themselves.

History: Li was taken in by the Xueshou monastery at an early age when the ship he and his parents were on crashed upon their shores. They were far from kind masters; the Xueshou meditate on various Legendary Styles hoping to fully comprehend the Origins and each Xueshou monk is expected to know at least four and master two in their lifetimes. Li?s training began at soon as he reached six years of age. As he grew older, he grew bored of bald old men teaching him how to kick and yammering on about philosophy. He?d rather spend time at the dock listening to sailors? tales of other islands and bloodthirsty pirates, how exciting!

Nevertheless, Li persevered with his training and it finally clicked: if the Origins were supreme supernatural beings and if Legendary Styles came from them, surely bloodshed was divine? Li then plunged himself into training, finding he enjoyed the no nonsense approach of Closing Fangs and Blood Sharer. His masters, however, quickly noticed Li?s rather... positive approach to hurting others and growing disdain for the Code of Combat. In the end, the head monk - or King of the monastery island - known as Grandmaster Guo came to Li?s quarters one night and suggested that Li should leave quietly in a couple of days. Li did, having been practically given a sentence of exile. Next morning, Li hitched passage to another island as a stowaway and has been working as a mercenary ever since.
EnigmaticSevens said:
Name: Ryael Astucizu Excaverra e Bruxar

Gender: Male

Age: 24

Physical Description: Ryael has a pleasant enough face, features gentle, somewhat boyish, and nearly always adorned with a slight smile and a few days worth of unshriven scruff, a land where laughter comes easily. Yet in the soft angles and lingering adolescent charms is a clear streak of mischief, a playfulness with a cutting edge, reminding all those who might forget, that even a young wolf has teeth and that the most beautifully colored serpents oft times conceal the deadliest venom. With dark hair and rosy, sun-kissed skin, Ryael is a picture of fine health and youthful vigor, form wiry, lean, and possessed of a greater strength than most might imagine. His eyes are bright, a shimmering grey run through at their center with a myriad colors, proof positive of one blessed by an Origin (or so he claims.) He?s not particularly tall, but he walks with a sort of constant cocksure swagger, a rutting sensuality behind each step and smile, and for better or worse, his presence seems to fill even a rather large room. Yet, for the most part, this is a boon in Ryael?s line of work. A bright eyed smile puts a soul at ease, a tricksy tongue set in a pleasant face can unwind the knot of worry from a husband?s heart even as it worries the knots on his wife?s bodice.

Philosophy: "Life is not some mystery to be solved but rather a reality to be experienced!"

Personality: Ryael rhymes with smile, and smile rhymes with guile, and some men were born to smile with guile and rile the complacent and self-assured. There?s something in Ryael?s manner, at the core of his nature, that most people find oddly attractive. The lad wreaks of the exotic and the exotic is always enticing. Life has a way of dulling men, of pulling their teeth and blunting them. The fiery passions burn out, the wanderlust fades, and the worries grow more mundane. Ryael is unblunted, and even more so, he sharpens those around him. Even the sternest minister or humblest farmer seems keen to admit that life is certainly more interesting with Ryael in it, for better or worse.

Jovial and clever, Ryael?s tongue is full of wit and witticism in equal measure, quick to conjure up gaiety and glee. An odd union of opposites lies bound up in the youth?s bones. As sultry and salacious as a buck in rut, yet possessed of an odd nobility, and a seemingly genuine respect for even the smallest of people. Be you pauper or prince, bastard or saint, Ryael knows there?s a song in you, somewhere, and he?s more than happy to weave it into something grand, something memorable, and quite possibly something shockingly tawdry and scandalous. There is a powerful magic in words, far grander than any fel sorcery, and Ryael knows this well. The lad was born and raised to live a life worthy of song and story, undoubtedly charmed if, quite possibly, regrettably short.

The people of Feijuadu, the Broken Land, excel at the imaginative, the creative, the unexpected, at twisty thinking and knives that bend in odd directions and Ryael is no exception. Among the Feiji, all things are a romance, and their own origins are no exception.

"Come Pravera, springtide daughter, to a land of flesh and clay, come to weave a world of beauty, come to break to the winter?s sway.
Harsh Invernu, icy lover, grieves for want of distant bride, grieves with lusty wroth and roaring, grieves with need and long bruised pride.
Flower daughter, snowborn son, wage their war and shatter stone, and where their blood does mix and mingle, spring forth heirs of broken homes.
Bleeding children, bleeding lovers, scattered ?cross the broken land, send their tears into the summer, seek the mother?s tender hand.
Ma Verao doth come with mercies, come to calm her wayward sired, come with love and light unending, come to set the world afire.

Mother, mother, set the lands, set them aright and give us peace
Feijuadu no more broken, welded tight beneath the seas."


To those born of the blood of clashing gods, what are the petty conflicts of men? Little more than opportunites ripe for the taking. As hot blooded as the lover?s spat they claim gave them birth, and gave rise to the tightly clustered archipelago that is Feijuadu, the Broken Land, a mad quilt of sand and swamp, the Feiji thrive in the fires of the crucible. Vigor, heat, industry, ever swelling aspiration- artistic or economic, all serve as fuel for a people who cherish movement and growth first and foremost, who call stillness stagnation, just a slower sort of death. Why shouldn?t such a people be glorious, why should they not seek mastery? Why shouldn?t the nomad bands scattered across a few resource poor islands, swell into an economic and cultural mecca to rival neighboring kingdoms, and rule as a tiny tyrant within their own region? Ask one of the Feiji for proof of his divinity, and he?ll gladly wave his nation?s history like a flag with one hand? and set about worrying the knots on your coin purse with the other.


Elements:
Air: 1
Earth: 1
Fire: 3
Water: 1
Balance: 3

Specialties:
Music
Seduction

Weapon:
Primary: A Kampilan, a single-edged sword of distinctive shape, well crafted and extremely ornate, made all the odder by the utter lack of a cross guard. It seems rather purposefully wrought to appear decorative, almost ornamental, all the better to draw attention away from the very well maintained edge.

Secondary: A trident dagger, a single mid-length double-edged blade flanked by two smaller blades extending at 45 degree angles from the hilt. Also quite heavily decorated, beautifully detailed with odd scenes wrought in inlaid golden filagree, a pretty bauble to look at? and never fear until the moment it traps a blade in its queer embrace.

Styles:
Gentleman's Tongue (Straight Sword) - Fire + Water.
Initiate: Double Fire when it is higher than the defender's.

Initiate Fire Mage

History: Ryael does not call himself a musician because he can pull a sound from any given instrument so sweet as to make the stones themselves weep. He does not call himself a musician because he has learned the magic that lies pent up in song, that cuts to the core of emotion and moves mountains. He does not call himself a musician because such a career is the surest way to drown oneself merrily in wine, women and song. Ryael calls himself a musician because jotting down spy, thief, saboteur, and occasional assassin in a harbormaster?s log book under ?Occupation? tends to raise eyebrows? and a fuss. Besides, those sorts of low individuals don?t get invited to fancy parties, and Ryael loves fancy parties. While quite skilled, in truth, with a number of instruments, a Musician of the Feiji is only an entertainer most of the time. In all other moments, such a one is the embodiment of the Feiji philosophy of ?pensantorcanto? or ?thinking around corners.?

Most men expect thieves to steal through the night and pick the locks on their treasure rooms, fewer expect their lonely, dutiful stewards to be swept away in a fit of passion and invite the thieves in for a midnight tryst. Most men expect light-fingered pickpockets to brush past them and secret away their coin purses with crafty fingers, fewer expect to get blindingly drunk while carousing with a witty new-found friend and awaken without coin purse or clothing for that matter. Most men expect assassins to come skulking through the night, stinking of desperation, rejected by the Origins and wielding poisoned knives. But when some fop of a musician blows into port and woos a wife, a sister, a daughter, or a friend into scintillating scandal, such men expect to challenge that peacocking fool to an honorable duel and give him a good thrashing. They make the most amusing faces when the real blow strikes and the lifeblood flows.

When trouble arises and must be dealt with, most men look to mercenaries or heroes for succor and salvation. The Feiji? send musicians.

At present, Ryael is representing the vested interests of some fourteen different trading consortia concerned with the economic devastation left in the wake of so many newly rudderless kingdoms. They?re quite aflutter over recent events, so aflutter that their accountants and watchdogs have yet to realize that their key agent on the scene isn?t precisely? exclusive in his devotions. As far as Ryael is concerned, the old adage is a good one, if you?re good at something, never do it for free? and if you?re really good at something, get paid for it a couple dozen times over.
Texas Joker 52 said:
Name: Wakahisa Daichi, or Daichi the Bottomless

Gender: Male

Age: 31

Physical Description: Daichi is a large, rather imposing man, standing at 6 feet with a stout build that consists mainly of hard fat and muscle. His skin is lightly tanned, while his long, dark hair is pulled back into a simple tail at the nape of his neck. His wide, face is usually smiling with a flattened nose and dark eyes underneath thick, slashing eyebrows, and he has a long, well-groomed Fu Manchu mustache. While he doesn't look blatantly overweight, he does appear to be bulky and slow, which couldn't be farther from the truth. He moves with a distinct air of grace and care, with each movement measured and fluid.

Whenever he isn't in combat, he prefers to wear simple, but elegant, robes, often in a sedate patterns and darker colors such as navy blue or forest green, and plain sandals.

Whenever he is prepared for battle, however, he wears heavy armor without a helmet, that also leaves the part of his chest and right arm almost completely uncovered.

Philosophy: "There is more to valor than fighting only when you think you'll win. If defeat is certain, fight with honor and accept defeat with grace."

Personality: Normally a quiet, unassuming man, Daichi is in actuality a very passionate warrior who believes wholeheartedly in the virtues of a swordsman: Honor, Valor, and Wisdom. As such he has a very strong sense of justice, and will never stay quiet whenever he sees something that goes against what he believes is truly right. Though he will not hesitate to cut down an opponent in a fight whenever he truly sets his mind to the task, he prefers to simply defeat an enemy, and usually sees death as wasteful and unnecessary. As such, he comes across as a man who knows his own strength, and is very restrained because of it.

If there is anything Daichi truly appreciates, it is kindness and beauty in all its forms, be it nature, women, but especially good food. It has been said that, without the self-control and discipline that his Master had taught him, Daichi would never stop eating everything around him, because he has never truly been satisfied by any meal. Said appreciation causes him to be rather serene on his own, taking in his surroundings with a sense of contentment. It was also a small part of the reason behind his travels: The Last Ocean is a big place, and there is surely plenty of gorgeous sights, smells, and foods to be taken in that what happens to be on the Isle of Shuu, his home island.

Elements:

Air: 0
Earth: 2
Fire: 2
Water: 2
Balance: 3 - 3 Armor

Specialties:

Cooking: Daichi is quite the accomplished amateur cook, due in no small part to his unending appetite. As such, he is always on the lookout for any new recipes he can find.

Painting: As a man who appreciates beauty in all it's forms, he has dabbled in painting not only portraits but landscapes as well, though it is clear he still has quite a bit to learn.

Armor: Daichi wears heavy plate armor that focuses on protecting his stomach, upper left torso, left arm, and legs, with the heaviest plating on his left shoulder and around his waist. The plating is painted a dark blue, with the pauldron emblazoned with a simple red flower. His armor leaves his right arm and the top right half of his chest completely bare, save for a simple armored glove covering his right hand.

Weapon:

Primary Weapon: Uchigatana

Sidearm: Reinforced Sheath

Styles:

Dragonfly's Weave (Curved Sword, Glaive or Axe) - Fire + Water
The fragile must be untouchable, the slow must be strong. The wise can be both.
Initiate: Whenever an attack misses you, become Focused.
Student: Add Water to Defence rolls when Focused.

History: Daichi grew up on the Isle of Shuu, a place well-known for the lush gardens of wildflowers and fruit orchards that stretch across almost the entire island, the mild weather it has year-round, as well as the fact that it was the birthplace of the Dragonfly's Weave style. His parents were simple folk who tended to the flowers there, selling them whenever they had the opportunity. But as a boy, he didn't care about flowers or pretty things. Instead, he was more interested in eating, playing, or watching the Sages of his small village undergo their rituals and training.

Out of all the children in his village, however, Daichi was easily the biggest and the strongest. So when play would turn into a scuffle, and then a fight, he would often hurt someone in the process. And after one fight too many, his mother pulled him aside to scold him, telling him that just because he was the strongest boy on the island, didn't mean he should use that strength to hurt others. If anything, his strength meant that he needed to be more gentle and careful than everyone else.

He thought on what she said for hours that day, all while watching the Sages train, until one of them came over and sat next to him. The man, Sage Kaito, asked him what happened to be the matter, and Daichi told him about the fights he would get into, and what his mother had said. Sage Kaito listened patiently to the young boy, and asked if he wanted to learn how to control his strength. Daichi looked up at him and promptly said yes, because he didn't really like hurting his friends, especially without really meaning to. At that point, Sage Kaito took him back to his parents and asked if they were willing to let their son be a student of the Dragonfly's Weave style, and went on to explain that knowing how to use ones strength required discipline and control, which Daichi surely needed. After a few days, they agreed.

The next decade were some of Daichi's best years. Training was hard, but before long he came to appreciate it, and he seemed to almost blossom thanks to it. He became more soft spoken and gentle, and even came to regard the island with a new sense of wonder at it's beauty. He not only learned the art of swordsmanship, but started to learn how to cook, as well as paint, immortalizing the world around him in the process. The only things that didn't change were his strength, his steadfast sense of right and wrong, and his appetite, which often baffled his teachers and drove the cook of the temple mad.

After ten years of training, however, Daichi decided that it was time he traveled abroad to see the world, and that he could only learn so much just on the Isle of Shuu. Sage Kaito understood, and with his Master's blessing, he was given a sword and a newly-crafted set of armor, knowing that given state of the world, he would undoubtedly get involved in duels all along the way. And as he started to go from island to island, he proved them right. At each new place he visited, his reputation grew as both a quiet swordsman, and as a person one never said "All-You-Can-Eat" to.

Six years after he started his travels, he heard of Island Kings and their elite guards being killed without being replaced, he quickly realized just what kind of chaos would be spread in this manslayer's wake. So when King Sityr called for warriors to help prevent more anarchy, Daichi decided then and there that he would help, and began to make his way to Bastion Island.
Chilifro said:
Name: Brother Shui Gang

Gender: Male

Age: 41

Physical Description: Brother Gang is, to put it simply, a very well-built man. His body has been torn apart and put back together again by the rigors of harsh daily training, molding it into a deadly weapon in and of itself. He stands at the modest height of five feet, six inches and, while it may not look it at a first glance due to the...more wide-set body that he sports, all of Brother Gang's 190 pounds stem from muscle, not fat. He may not have a six-pack, but he doesn't need one; all of the muscles do what they're told and that's all Brother Gang can ask for. If anything, Brother Gang is proud of his body, if the fact that he usually goes out with nothing but a vest covering his chest is any indication. Thankfully for most of us, Brother Gang has afforded more attention to his lower body; he wears loose-fitting pants and a pair of sandals, giving him the range of movement that he needs. Most of the time, Brother Gang moves with a surprising lightness to his step, hinting at the fact that the monk is ever-prepared for battle. With the same practicality in mind, Brother Gang keeps his scalp and face cleanly shaven, revealing his stern blue eyes and kind but hardened resting expression to the entire world.

Philosophy: "True honor comes from victory on the battlefield."

Personality: Brother Gang has known no other philosophy other than the one he was taught as a child, and he has no interest in learning about any others. He believes that he has been put in a very particular position in the pecking order of the universe, and he has no desire to ascend (or descend) from said position. As such, Brother Gang adheres to the philosophy of his homeland to the very letter, causing him to seem very uptight at times. That's not to say that the monk is completely unfriendly; far from it, actually. Brother Gang has grown old enough to know that the best thing a man can have in the world (other than individual honor) is a friend, and thus strives to be as friendly as he can to those he meets in his travels, especially his potential opponents. The keyword here is ?strives,? as you might imagine; Brother Gang, as mentioned, is definitely not an unfriendly man, but he is also a man who reserves his words for when they are necessary...which doesn't help his reputation as an uptight man in the slightest.

Elements:

Air: 3

Earth: 0

Fire: 0

Water: 3

Balance: 2-1 Armor = 1 total Balance.

Specialties: Awareness and Strategy

Armor: 1. This point of armor comes from his body itself, which has been hardened over time to withstand most simple blows.

Weapon: Main Weapon: his fists. The rest of his body counts as a secondary weapon of sorts.

Styles:

Golden Fist (unarmed) - Air + Water.

The ultimate power of the fist is apparent to any who have seen it and unimaginable by all others.

Initiate: Double any bonuses gained from being Focused.

Student: Raise the lowest Attack die to match the highest when Focused.

History: Brother Gang was born sometime in June; that much he reveals to the public. He was born to a simple family of modest wealth, as most are on the island of Wutai, and raised according to the teachings of the former kings and queens. Ever since he was a young boy, Brother Gang ? then usually referred to as ?Shu? ? was trained in the martial arts by his father, who showed neither him nor his two brothers any sympathy just because of their blood relation. The three boys were pushed to their very limits day in and day out, in much the same manner that their father had been pushed some years earlier.

Besides that, however, most of Brother Gang's adolescent years were uneventful; he didn't even have a girl he fancied at any point, at least nothing beyond the normal pubescent fantasizing. As his eighteenth birthday drew nearer and nearer, however, he watched as his brothers ? both of them now accomplished Students of the Golden Fist ? set out on their own pilgrimages, destined to travel the world for at least five years, attempting to bring honor to themselves and to the Kingdom of Wutai.

And so it was for Brother Gang, as well; for on his eighteenth birthday, Brother Gang was promoted (after a series of tests, of course) to the rank of Student and sent on his own pilgrimage across the islands. For the next ten years (the decision to stay out for double the time was, of course, on purpose) Brother Gang hopped from island to island, engaging in honorable duels with countless souls that he deemed worthy. Sometimes he won, and sometimes he lost; such is the way of the battlefield.

At the age of 28, Brother Gang finally decided that it was time to return home, at least for a time. Once he arrived home, he quickly found a wife of his own to settle down with. They had no children, and for that Brother Gang would prove to be grateful, for at the age of 35, after seven long years of peaceful marriage (and training, of course) the monk came down with a terminal case of wanderlust once more. He longed to be on the battlefield once again. For a year longer, Brother Gang retrained himself, getting as close to his twenty-year-old self as a man twice that age is allowed and carefully, through the art of persuasion (and ass-kissing), persuading his lovely wife to allow him to leave. As the year drew to a close, Brother Gang found himself successful in both of these objectives...although he couldn't begin to tell you how he managed to convince his wife of the venture. At the age of 36, Brother Gang left his home island once more, and since then, he has traveled; to lands familiar and not, far and near, mundane and exotic...and still he does not tire.

Brother Gang finds himself on the island of Bastion for the same reason he finds himself of any island; to duel the one he deems most honorable. He has heard the call of King Sityr and has judged this to be the perfect opportunity. After all, who better to duel than one with the strength of kings? Keeping another kingdom from falling into turmoil is just a bonus.
Neuromancer said:
Name: Michishige Sanosuke

Gender: Male

Age: 28

Physical Description: Sano stands at slightly above average height, with a toned body, emphasising agility over raw muscular power. Though not yet in his thirties, the stubble he sports along with his craggy, weather-beaten face and sharp features make him look somewhat older. The most notable characteristic about him is the jagged scar he sports over and under his left eye. He has long, dark brown hair fashioned into a ponytail.

Sano dresses lightly, wearing a green-and-white kimono along with a light green sash around his waist, sandals, a green-and-white shrug over his left shoulder,white gloves and a kasa.

He typically rests his left hand on the sheath of his sword and has a casual but aged saunter about him.


Philosophy: Life is pointless, and full of suffering. Yet, in facing adversity, man grows stronger and wiser, and may find their own meaning to it.

Personality: On the surface, Sano is introverted and tight-lipped, but underneath lies a sea of goodwill, good humor, and an honest readiness to help friends and strangers alike. Even so, his aloofness makes it difficult for him to properly express himself to others, and as he is a man of few words, they are often misunderstood.

Sano always addresses people politely, and is an extremely calm individual, one that never lets his emotions get the better of him. Unlike others who prefer to act first, he much prefers to contemplate all options presented to him before choosing the one that he finds to be best, an attitude that often left him accused of indolence. A pacifist, he dislikes battle and only seeks it when his back is against the wall.

Elements:
Air: 2
Earth: 2
Fire: 0
Water: 2
Balance: 3

Specialties:
Awareness: "Perceive that which cannot be seen with the eye, for sight is weak and danger ever-present."
Empathy: "One who has suffered knows to see suffering where others cannot."


Armor: 0

Weapon: Primary Weapon: Katana (curved sword)

Style:
Leaning Crane (Curved Sword) - Air + Water
That which cannot be done in a single movement, you are not yet ready to do.
Initiate: Add Balance to attack and damage rolls on your first attack against an opponent.
Student: You are always Focused until you miss an attack.

History: Sano hails from the Isle of Bushi, a large mountainous island known for its military tradition, isolationalist tendencies and amount of Kings. In Bushi, unlike other more centralised islands, each major town and stronghold is typically ruled by its own King, leading to its moniker, "The Isle of a hundred Kingdoms"

Sano was born to a commoner family in a coastal village at the outskirts of the kingdom of Sagara, a small kingdom situated in the northen coast of the isle, different from other kingdoms in that its ports were open to foreign trade, gaining a lot of wealth, but also the ire of its neighbours. Due to frequent attacks from neighbouring kingdoms, the coastal villages away from the capital were often prey to pirate attacks.

Sano's village was no exception. The pirates slaughtered the entire village, and Sano only survived due to the timely intervention of an old wanderer, who drove them off with his masterful use of the sword. Orphaned and without a place to go, the old man took Sano under his wing as he travelled around the various kingdoms offering protection and aid to those in need.

But the way of the wanderer is filled with hardship, and Sano had to quickly learn to live with little in the ways of food, security and comfort. Still, he quickly grew accustomed to it, and even grew to like the lifestyle, as he felt a certain degree of satisfaction in seeing people's plights solved by the old man. As he grew to adolescence, Sano requested to be taught the way of the sword, and soon started his training.

The training involved much more than just physical exercise. Sano was often tasked with dealing with the problems of the people that they met, and more often than not said problems were much more complex than they appeared at first. Nevertheless, the years of observing his master had gifted him with experience, and was able to pass his trials competently.

Alas, before he could finish his training, his master, old as he were, fell ill and, despite Sano's best efforts, passed away not too long afterwards. A humble funeral soon followed, and Sano, griefstricken but unfettered, doned his master's shrug on his left shoulder and set out to continue his legacy. Despite having travelled all around Bushi, he felt that there still was much he had to learn from the outside world and, at the age of 16, he returned to Sagara and boarded a ship to see more of the world.

12 years have passed since then, and now Sano, a much more learned and world-weary man, finds himself in the island of Bastion. Having experienced first-hand the plight of the people that were left in the wake of the kingslayer, he decided to lend his hand in the protection of Bastion's King, and hopefully understand the reason for this seemingly wanton killing.
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
0
0
[h4]Residential Area, Mid-Morning[/h4]

Nazli wiped the sweat from her brow before bringing the hammer down once more upon the unfinished blade. The resulting clang was a long-familiar and comforting sound for her. It was merely long-familiar for the other residents of the small section of town.

She'd been in the town for a little less than 2 weeks now and had spent much of her time in the smithy working. After arriving in the city, she'd managed to convince one of the local smiths - a man named Duncan - to show her what he knew of the art, allow her to use the forge to practice the craft, in return for working the forge for his customers in the lead up to the festival. Fortunately, she could make a little money off the work as well.

As such, she had a small purse of coins for later in the day when the festivities began. This however was a secondary concern to her; her primary was the current project. Now that she'd practiced and learned the smith's techniques, she was adapting them to her own craft. She'd spent the night hard at work on a new sword and was nearing completion of the work.

After one final hammer strike, she checked the edge to confirm it was true. From there, she quickly signed the tang to mark her work. What followed was the quench and temper and the cleaning. The resulting blade was definitely one of her better works - a masterpiece in it's own right. The sword was a longer, thinner scimitar with a remarkably sharp edge and obvious pattern-welding. She briefly considered buying the blade back from Duncan, but decided against it. Her own blade was still better (for her) and the real value of the project was what she'd learned.

Instead, she finished the blade with a simple hilt and counterweight to balance it. After cleaning up, she took the completed blade up to Battlebone where the smith's son - Ren - ran the shop.

[h4]Battlebone[/h4]

When she arrived, she was surprised to find Ren - who was usually remarkably patient - clearly fidgety. "What's wrong Ren?" she asked, already knowing the answer. Ren's words confirmed it. "There's a festival going on and everyone's out drinking and eating and... and I'm stuck selling stuff to visitors.". Ren wanted to go out to the festival for the same reason he still couldn't work the forge; he was too young. Nazli couldn't help but feel sorry for Ren. "Go out to the festival for a few hours then; I can keep an eye on the stall." Nazli said. Ren gave his thanks and ran off.

Placing her new sword on the table, she tended the shop for a time. Most of the customers came by for useful trinkets for either their home or the festival. A few would-be-warriors came to look at weapons and armor though none knew what to look for; they always gravitated toward the polished ceremonial items over useful weapons. She corrected them of this when they would listen (rarely).

The only other interesting even came about when a visiting merchant arrived at the shop. The man was clearly wealthy beyond most and quickly began "requesting" a smith. "I require a smith." the man demanded, his accent thick that only made the man sound more demanding. Waving the man over to her, Nazli heard what he had to say. "I recently acquired an Origin-Touched crystal and I need it fashioned into a necklace immediately; can you help me?". Nazli was understandably skeptical and took a look at the crystal in question. "I've never worked with Origin-Touched Crystal before, but I'm afraid you've been swindled. This is nothing but Rose-Quartz."

 

Dogmatic99

New member
Jun 24, 2012
914
0
0
Residential Area, Mid-Morning

This Bastion was an shaping up to be an interesting place. Llyr had come across a few cities like this before in his travels. Some so large that they could cover their entire island. They didn't sit well with him. The noise was unending, people forever coming and going, each of them seeming to shout as loud as they could to make sure their voice went heard, desperately trying to make themselves stand out. Only some of them doing anything to earn it. It was during one of his early nights in a heavily urban hole that Llyr tried to draw parallels between it and his home. He tried to think of the clattering of wheels on cobbled stones as rumbling waves. To hear the staggered, random steps of the drunks like the scattering steps of the deer. They were poor substitutes.

That wasn't to say there wasn't anything Llyr liked about these urban climbs. There was something satisfying about landing in docks and harbors. They were just as busy as every other place most of the time but they had this sense of potential about them. Of things waiting to be done. Or maybe that was just a longing for land talking. That wasn't the best part though, that honour belonged to the baths. Cader Idris had no form of plumbing and the luxury of owning a well made tub of brass, along with means to fill it, was a rare thing indeed. Yet here Llyr found himself, enjoying the spoils normally reserved for chieftains and champions. If they could see him in one of those for nothing but some coin they'd spit their ales across the room.

Maybe this inn would have one he could use. Llyr had been on that ship so long, surrounded by water and unable to wash properly had left him smelling like the fur cloaked savage he looked like to these urban eyes. 'I should watch myself. Too many of these comforts and I'll go soft.' Not so badly that he couldn't afford some comforts for today though.

Llyr stepped through the door and slung his pack across one shoulder. A bundle of bed cloth wrapping up some simple supplies for the road and held together by the spear and bow that made its frame. The place was quiet right now, it being too early in the day for any real patrons to come looking for rooms or heavy drink. So far it seemed only a few folks who'd come down from their rooms for a late breakfast dotted the room. Along with the inn keep at his bar speaking to men in brightly coloured uniforms. It didn't take a genius to spot them as soldiers or guards of some sort.

"Aye an that's how I found him." The keep said to them. "Arrow put right in his back, stuck in deep too. Face down in a pool of red too." It sounded to Llyr as if he enjoyed being listened to like a man of importance. The guards all grumbled along their shock at such a dishonorable action and probably at the surprise of such a thing happening in their neck of the woods. Llyr meanwhile was standing near them, his arrival having gone unheard and looked over the chalkboard of a menu, seeing what services he could afford.

"Aye and spotty arrows they were, like a dirty colour not a clean one... like those!" He pointed at the quiver that was poking from Llyr's blankets. The guards all turned and Llyr looked down at the thing as if seeing it for the first time. Suddenly men in mail and gaudy tabards were surrounding him, looming over him like so many village bullies.

"You! Where'd you get feathers for arrows like those?" One of them demanded of him.

"From a pheasant." Llyr said simply, rather bemused by all this. They didn't give him time to elaborate.

"Never heard of a bird like that on Bastion."

"You probably have, they're quite commo-"

"Not from around here are you? How long you been on these shores?" They were going to go heavy with this.

"Just last night. What does that have to do with anything?"

"Ah ha! Hear that, lads? That right there is what we call a suspect!" The leader among them laughed. "Come on, you! There's some irons with your name on 'em. Just wait until the captain here's about this."

"Wait, what?" Suddenly rough hands were upon Lly'r shoulders and he found himself feeling not like a fox before the hounds.
 

Terratina.

RIP Escapist RP Board
May 24, 2012
2,105
0
0
Li Zhu, Battlebones Square → Port

Li had grown quite tired of the damn island already.

Nothing but noise. Even the fighters in the dueling ground had managed to bore him. Some of them haven't bothered learning a Legendary Style. He had half a mind to leave the island and fetch up another job. Maybe some other monarch needed minding or something. Li ground his heel into the ground as he stood as his impatience grew. He was being made by wait, by his prospective employer no less. The stupid celebration was holding everything up and Li couldn't even get a solid answer of why there was a celebration in the first place. Even during these troublesome times, with the king killing and the murders, there had to be a goddam festival to slow things down.

Sure, the mercenary could've just knocked some heads in the dueling arena but why waste energy where there was no coin? Regardless, Li decided to wander around the square and its shops for the umpteenth time that day, whistling as he went. A sailor's tune the ones back at the shores of Xueshou were fond of.

The mercenary settled on a smithy, which had the gall to display useless ceremonial crap. He tutted to himself and turned to the stuff which wouldn't break from a stiff breeze. There was something elegant about instruments of war. Made only to kill, perhaps it was their purity of purpose? Li's hand fell upon the hilt of his own sword as he shifted his weight. To think a jian was considered gentlemanly when the very reason behind its existance certainly wasn't... Nevertheless, it was half an idea to get a new one forged soon. Probably after the job, if it ever got done. With that conclusion, Li left the shop and simply decided to wander around again.

Before he knew it, he ended up back at port and watched as seagulls fought over leftover fish guts in the distance, next to a figure - the source of the fish guts. Li wandered towards a group of sailors and asked, "Who is he?"

"I'll have t' start bein' t' paid t' answer that question, t' amount o' times I've been asked, matey." One of them guffawed, "That thar's Lu Fen, ex-wanderin' warrior and now t' best fishwife in Bastion."

Li nodded and made his way towards the man himself and sat by Lu Fen, "Answer me this: why trade swords for filleting knives?"
 

EnigmaticSevens

New member
Sep 18, 2009
265
0
0
Port -> Environs (Graveyard)


"Alvorada lá no morro, que beleza-
Ninguém chora, não há tristeza-
Ninguém sente dissabor!
O sol colorindo é tão lindo, é tão lindo-
E a natureza sorrindo, tingindo, tingindo....

O Sweet dawn come down and kiss me, kiss me gently-
Replace all my sorrow with beauty-
And fill up the world with joy!
The sun paints a scene so lovely, see it loves thee-
All of nature sings for thee, restores thee, and cheers thee...."


Did the sweating, irate merchants or the weary, windburned sailors ever take a moment to wonder why the happiest fellow on the docks was not the wealthiest trader, or the most renowned sea captain... but rather the beggar with his song? Did they ever wonder why the merchant shifted uneasily beneath his fine silks, while the beggar wore his ratty, worn rags as though they were robes woven from the clouds themselves, never mind if they stunk to high heaven. Did they ever wonder why the sailor's well earned gold, brought home to his squalling family in the face of death by storm or pirate, was never as well regarded as the scant silver and myriad coppers that filled the beggar's bowl and seemed to sustain him thrice as long as the sailor's gold? Perhaps, but such thoughts never lingered long, after all, it was madness to grow envious of a beggar, wasn't it? The beggar man, skin covered in dirt and grime, clothes ragged and stinking, zither worn and patched a hundred times, merely smiled, and if there were eyes beneath the soiled strip of cloth wrapped across the man's face that marked him as blind, surely they would have been twinkling with a hidden mirth, a knowing wisdom.

In fact, there were eyes beneath the blindfold, and they were indeed bright and simpering in their way. Men see a blindfold, they see a youth with a stiff neck and the somewhat unnerving searching motions of the head, and they know that this is a bind man. Men see ragged clothes, filth and the stench of sweat and fish, a handful of possessions bound in similarly ratty cloth, an instrument well passed its prime, and a worn dish placed before the man's crossed legs, and they know that this is a beggar. But the world that men know and the world that is... these things are rarely one and the same. Ryael smiled and sang his song, weaving verses through the air in Feiji first and then a dozen other trade tongues, fingers dancing along his zither's strings. His meeting with Bastion's King on behalf of the Consortia was scheduled for after the festivities had passed, and as was his habit, Ryael arrived unannounced, a week in advance. In that time, Ryael had been a drunken tavern minstrel, the newest page to the King's head scribe, and of course, a beggar. The beggar blended easily into the background in places such as these, after all, his purpose was clear. And a blind beggar? Who cared what a blind man saw, even if his blindfold was thin? And so Ryael had learned much. He'd noted the great warriors of this island, those that brawled in the Square... and others who were a great deal more subtle. The fish-gutter with his flashing knife, so sure in its movements. The local blacksmith's newest assistant, the one who held the weapons she crafted with a sort of... familiarity. Those things has been seen, had been known, but not all seeing was done with the eyes.

Passing men and women smiled as they fell within earshot of the beggars song and the twang of his instrument, smiled even if they weren't entirely sure why. Did they really need a reason? The air was fresh and sharp, refreshing as it blew in from the sea. The sun was bright and warmed the skin, the day was new, full of possibility. Why shouldn't they smile? Music kissed with magic, one of Ryael's favorite little tricks. Nothing blunt, nothing overt, no... such things could run queer, could do damage, or provoke the wrong sorts of attention. But this, this slightest, sweet wafting of power, to lift the spirits, to brighten the day, such a thing was much more difficult to detect, and while making strangers ever so slightly more positive in their outlooks was not particularly practical, this spell had other uses.... Magic to rub against magic, to sensitize the caster and whisper secrets. Something... something was not as it should be. Ryael had felt tremblings of it throughout the day, a more potent sort of wrongness, something greater than the general malaise brought on by the chaos of recent events, and in this moment, perhaps more pressing than the meeting with the King. And so Ryeal scented, a hound of another sort after a scent of another sort, casting out magic thin and far upon the notes of his voice and the notes of the zither, to note where they slanted queer and grated against a greater power. It took a few hours, but in time, Ryael had his heading, and the ports were a touch brighter for it, win-win no?

The man who was not a beggar but more than a musician rose to his feet, pocketed the alms he'd been blessed with and stowed the worn zither in a sling along his back, the same sling that held his weapons, carefully bundled in rags as well. With the slow shuffling steps appropriate for a blind man in a crowd with no guide, Ryael made his way from the hustle and bustle of the ports, dropping the shuffle and the blindfold as soon as he was out of sight of his former audience. The wrongness in his bones, the sensation like teeth grinding or limbs turning wrong in their sockets, intensified as he drew closer to Bastion's lich field. Not the most pleasant place to begin with, the thought of burying one's dead in the ground not quite sitting right with the musician's sensibilities. But now, neither fear nor disgust rose the hairs on the nape of the lad's neck. This was power, the air of the graveyard thick with it, heavy as the sky before a storm. What had been faint by the port was very nearly palpable here, all of it churning about the form of a single man, bent over one grave in particular. Ryael approached on quiet, padding feet, sliding the smaller bundle from the sling at his back, a careful hand shifting away the obscuring rags and revealing a rather ornate hilt. It took a measure of doing, draining the unease from his voice and keeping things calm, level, even kindly, but Ryael managed it as he could, calling out to the man, "Hail, friend. The day is bright and good... and yet the wind speaks of demons, and the ground is poisoned. Could any good thing, any flower, grow from such soil?"
 

Texas Joker 52

All hail the Pun Meister!
Jun 25, 2011
1,285
0
0
~ Wakahisa Daichi ~

The Bastion Keep, Late Morning

Daichi loved to visit new islands, particularly the Kingdoms that has sprouted up almost right out of the waters of The Last Ocean. Each one held new sights, smells, and tastes, and each one had new possibilities. Even the simpler islands he had visited that had none of the amenities that Bastion had could be considered quaint rather than simply shabby and poor. He loved to sample foreign foods, meet new people, and otherwise appreciate the variety of the world.

In short, Daichi was a tourist.

But in this case, he was a tourist with a goal in mind, and that was to answer the call of King Sityr. But as he approached the gates of the Keep from the port road, clad in armor, he could already tell that the guards weren't likely to let him in.

"Sir, you'll have to leave. No one is to enter the Keep as the King is about to appear later today. If you're here for an audience, it will have to wait." one of them told him as he got near in a wary tone.

It was clear he had to give that response several times that day, and Daichi simply bowed and smiled apologetically to them.

"I see." he said simply, before turning and starting to walk away.

But not without glancing back. The King was about to address his people, but it was possible that it didn't really mean anything in regards to the Kingslayer that had him concerned. It was likely due to the holiday that the town was celebrating, or possibly even a local policy change.

What had Daichi worried was the fact that a public event like that would make the King an obvious target, particularly if this Kingslayer was only interested in sowing chaos like he thought. Slaying the King and his elite at a public address? That would sow chaos like nothing else among the common folk. So he was going to make certain he was there at the King's appearance, he thought as he started down the stairway leading down the the town district below.

Battlebones Square, Noon

It was clear from looking at the square that Bastion knew the entertainment value of watching warriors duel on a stage, as well as the profit that could be made from the warriors that stayed in the variety of lovely Inn's between said duels. Battlebones Square was a haven for wanderers such as himself, and he had to admit that he felt a little more at home there than at the port when he had arrived in a small passenger vessel. He still had swordsman's blood in his veins after all.

But as he passed various Inns, as well as dueling stages, a glint for a roadside stall caught his eye. As he wandered over, he took notice of the woman tending it. She was taller than he was, and easily just as muscular but without being overweight. Her skin was darker too, and the fact that she wore a hood marked her as a foreigner like him, but she struck him as a smith.

As he made his way to the stall, she was speaking to another customer about some kind of crystal. As she did, he took the time to peruse the weapons being displayed, before he looked at the curved sword that resembled a scimitar with a thinner profile to the blade. When he saw an opportunity, he glanced over at the woman and cleared his throat.

"Excuse me but, may I?" he asked, motioning to the sword in hopes of examining it more closely.
 

Neuromancer

Endless Struggle
Legacy
Apr 4, 2020
5,029
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a homeless squat
Country
None
Gender
Abolish
Early Morning / Residential Area

He had been to over a hundred cities like this.

Sano moved down the road into the residential district with calm but calculated steps, observing the houses and the people that lived in them as he did. For all intents and purposes, the residential area differed littled from most of the other ones he had seen; people still walked around in hurried steps -be it due to work, play or mischief-, and the faces of those he had passed by speaked of no grant peril. Those were the faces of people whose only concerns were to provide for their family and pay their taxes, which was the most ideal of situations one could hope of.

Yet, there was something, Sano felt. Something... wrong. Sometimes, someone among the crowd looked different, more tense and agitated, and the occurence was too frequent for mere coincidence. Something was wrong here, he knew, and he would try to find out what exactly. Typically, the best place to start would be the inns around the district, ever the source for news and rumours. From there, Sano would dwell on what he heard, seperate the plausable from the improbable, and follow the leads he found.

But that would have to wait, it would seem, for the wails of an woman reached his ears, originating from a wooden house at the end of the street. He knocked on the door, and he was greeted by a young woman of average height, with black circles under her eyes and reddened eyes. An older woman was sitting by a table inside, and it was her crying that Sano had heard, and though it had, for the most part, subsided it was clear from her unfocused stare that the woman was griefstricken.

"We're not in the mood for visitors" stated the woman at the door bluntly, giving him a distrustful glance

"I'm sorry to impose," replied Sano softly, bowing his head, "I heard crying, and thought that perhaps you needed help."

"We don't nee-"

"My husband... Hiroshi... He..." her crying picked up again, "They murdered him!"

The woman at the door sighed and closed the door behind her, "You happy with yourself? She had just calmed down."

"My condolences." Sano said as he removed his kasa and placed it on his chest, genuinely regretful, "Are you a friend of the deceased?"

"The sister. I'm Chiyoko"

"Sanosuke. Once again, my condolences."

"Right. If you'll excuse me, I'll go bac-"

"A moment, please. Your brother's wife said he was murdered."

"Yeah, he was. What's it to you?"

"I wish to help. I cannot bring your brother back, but a murderer is on the loose, and if they aren't caught they might kill again. It may be little in way of giving the two of you comfort, but you could help so that no one else has to go through what you are right now."

"I-" she paused to consider, sighed, and reluctantly continued, "...Since you put it that way, fine. What do you want to know?"

"What can you tell me about your brother?"

"There's not much to tell... Hiroshi was a good man, but without work. He would sometimes go out in the afternoon in search for work, but last night... well.."

"I understand. Would you say that your brother could have gotten into some sort of trouble, or maybe had enemies?"

"Of course not. My brother was a peaceful man, not the kind to make enemies."

"I see..." Sano turned to the side, thinking. There was something off about Hiroshi's sister. Sano had seen much grief in his travels, and though Chiyoko definately was griefing, he couldn't help but feel there was something more other than that. But asking her about something like that would only make things worse, especially since had no evidence, and could very well be wrong. "Do you know anyone that could potentially help me with the investigation?"

"The innkeep of Origin's Rest, Pome, found my brother. Perhaps you could ask him. The inn's a way's down the road" she pointed westward, down the road, "It isn't hard to miss."

"I see. I will look into the matter," he bowed and put his kasa back on, "Thank you, and may the both of you fare better soon."

Chiyoko did not reply, only entered the house and closed the door.

[hr]

Mid-Morning / Origin's Rest

The inn had little activity to show for itself at the time that Sano entered it, though that was only logical given the time. Removing his kasa and letting it rest on his back, Sano moved in, throwing quick but careful glances at what few patrons it had at such an hour, though none of them looked particularly suspicious. He moved on to the counter, where the innkeep was standing and did a light bow, "Good morning."

"Mornin', stranger! Welcome to Origin's Rest, finest establishment's 'round! What can I get ye?"

Sano heard an assortment of footsteps coming from the door, coming closer.

"Actually, I-"

"Excuse us, sir." a man behind him said as he placed a hand on Sano's shoulder. Turning to investigate, Sano noticed the brightly coloured uniforms the men were wearing.

"Guardsmen." he acknowledged with a nod.

"We've official business with the innkeep. I fear you will have to wait for your order."

Sano did not speak, only nodded and stepped aside, letting the guards ask about the murder. The innkeep must've felt like he was some bard narrating a heroic epic to kings, what with his exaggerated notions and dramatic tone.

"I was on my way here, like I usually am, when I suddenly heard loud noises, like a fight was happening..."

A fight? So Hiroshi was fighting, perhaps a Duel. But Hiroshi's wife said he was murdered, and deaths in duels do not count as such. It was during that time that a young, short man entered the the inn, and it was clear to Sano that he was not around here, and the makeshift bag of supplies he was carrying showed that he too was a traveller.

"Arrow put right in his back, stuck in deep too. Face down in a pool of red too."

The barkeep was finally done telling -in unnecessary detail- how terrified yet valiant he was listening to the ruckus from afar and finally got to the important bits. So, Hiroshi was shot in the back, and it appeared that this was the killing blow. A betrayal in a duel, how extreme. A new clue, but not much to go on; people die all the time for a myriad of reasons, and it would be impossible to analyse all of them. Nor did it explain why Hiroshi was fighting in the first place, or why his assailants would go so far as to dishonour the code. Still, this was a start. It was then that he noticed that the traveller was also carrying a bow, and his quiver was filled with arrows with spotty feathers. Pheasant. He recognised the bird. It was quite common in a lot of the islands he ha visited, inclduing Bushi.

"Aye and spotty arrows they were, like a dirty colour not a clean one..."

Sano raised an eyebrow at the innkeep's words, and turned to look at the traveller again. Could the murderer actually be in here?

"...like those!"

The guards turned to stare at the stranger, and in their eyes they looked as though convinced he was the murderer. It was a possibility, but the more Sano thought about it, it didn't make much sense. Hiroshi's duel was disrupted by an archer, true, but to do so is to break the code and invite the wrath of the Origins. Even common brigands knew not to do so, so Sano was hardpressed to believe that a traveller, who seemed to have only recently arrived in town, would go to such lengths, even if he had a partner. And even if he did, would he truly be foolish enough to leave the arrow on the body, and then spend the day going around with identical arrows? No, no way it was that easy. Unfortunately for the traveler, the guards did not seem to share Sano's insights, and thought the case closed, ready to drag him to a dungeon.

"Excuse me," Sano yelled to grab their attention, "I believe you're jumping to conclusions."

"What'd ya say?" one of the guards went, "Ha! Looks like we've got a smartarse over here!" went another,
"Explain yourself" demanded the chief among them.

"I don't think you got the right man."

"He thinks he can do our job better than us!"

"Why do you care so much about him?"

"You're his partner, aren't you?

"Get him! Two birds with one stone!

"If you jail the wrong people," Sano said, keeping his cool, "and the killings continue, you'll have blood on your hands. And demotions."

"And if I let the right people go," spoke their leader, clearly the most intelligent of the bunch, "the results will be the same."[/b]

"Then I suppose we should try and reach a compromise," Sano scratched his stubble, thinking, "Let us work on finding the people responsible for this, and if we fail, you can take us in. That way, we get a chance to clear our names, and you get help with the investigation."

A brief silence followed as the leader among the guardsmen thought about the deal, and Sano considered his options. If refused, Sano had the right to challenge the man to a duel for insulting his honour, but that usually lead to more trouble than it was worth. He would have to waste time fighting and thus raising a ruckus, and if he won, waste even more time dealing with a series of legal disputes and inconsequential-yet-time-consuming formalities before being left off the hook. Hopefully it wouldn't come to that.

"You have two days." the guard said, "Fail to bring evidence absolving you of your charges, and you'll both be charged for murder."

"Understood. Thank you."

"And don't get any funny ideas about running away, either. Consider yourselves watched." he turned to his men and motioned them to release the unlucky traveller, "Alright, lads. Let's get going."

With the guardsmen gone, Sano approached the one that was to be his partner, bowed his head, and threw his best shot at a friendly smile.

"I suppose we have little choice but work together. Pleased to meet you, I'm Sanosuke. Feel free to call me Sano."
 

Chilifro

New member
Feb 14, 2014
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Battlebones Arena, Mid-Morning

The world has ceased to have meaning.

The only sound Shui hears is the sound of his own blood rushing through his ears, and the only sensations he feels in the rest of his body are the electric adrenaline flowing through his veins and the tightness of his muscles. His eyes glaze over, his nostrils flare, and his fists clench as he stares down the burly man standing across from him on the tarp. He can feel the man's nervousness from here -- the infinitesimal trembling in the balls of his feet, the slight quiver in his upper lip, the twitch of his clenched fists.

Brother Shui Gang feels all doubt leave his body...and he steps forward.

The tarp shakes as he shoots forward, a blur of bulk shooting across the small battlefield faster than the human eye can follow. The other man barely has time to blink before Shui's inside of his defenses...and he feels the older man's fist connect with his stomach. Spittle flies unbidden from his mouth as he stumbles backwards, clutching his aching stomach. He barely sees out of his upper peripheral vision that the old man has reared back again, and he puts up his arms again, hoping to defend himself from the onslaught.

Left foot. Pirouette. Confuse your opponent. Be like the wind.

Shui hears the whispers of his late mentor float in and out of his skull as he executes the movements taught to him some twenty years ago, still embedded within his muscle memory (and there to stay). All the other man feels is a gust of wind to his right before Shui is behind him, and he has no time to react as the old monk slams his fist into his spine, sending him careening forward...and causing his back to emit a painful-sounding CRACK!

Shui steps back. "I will give you one chance. Surrender, so that your honor may be preserved. Persist...and I will have no choice."

"Ghhhk...ffffuck you, old man!"

"A shame."

The other man throws himself forward fist-first, attempting to connect with Shui's chin...and he instead finds himself tumbling through the air, the old monk in question no longer standing in front of him. He has time to think "oh, shi--" before the barrel-chested man pops up from his left and delivers a swift punch to his throat. A small, whispery "Ghhhack!" floats out of the man's throat...and he collapses.

Shui ignores the catcalls and the boos, simply bowing to the defeated man and taking his leave.


~*~

Battlebones Square, a few minutes later

Five different opponents. And all five lacked the strength I seek. A pity, thinks the old monk as he strides back through the street, his shoes clapping loudly against the ground. With a groan, he stretches his shoulders a bit and pops his neck. I grow old, as much as it pains me to admit it. Perhaps twelve different fights in as many hours do not suit me anymore. Shui sighs, not exactly fond of the thought. If it kills me, I shall find one more opponent that I deem worthy. I will bring at least that to the next life with me.

This reinvigorating thought in mind, Shui continues his purposeful stride down the street, the only thought now on his mind being the rest that he is going to get back in his room. He briefly glances at a stall selling swords and trinkets across the street (and he briefly gives a disdainful thought to the idea of using more than one's own natural body for combat) but dismisses it -- he could browse through baubles later (though the point would be moot, seeing as he had minimal coin with which to buy them). Distractions tossed aside, Shui turns the corner towards Keepview Inn and --

Guards? Why were there guards in front of the door?

Shui's brow furrows in confusion as his exhaustion-addled mind turns back the clock, thinking back to the very moment he left the inn nearly thirteen hours ago. Everything had been fine then -- the patrons had been smiling, the innkeep professional, and the drink (which Shui only partook of for a glass) was passable. Nothing seemed amiss at the time. So what had changed?

With a "harrumph!" Shui walks on over to the guards standing in front of the inn. "Greetings, guardsmen! I do not suppose you could inform me of what has happened at this fine establishment? Surely, no thing too heinous -- the place seemed quite lively last night."

A couple of the guards glance at each other, then look back at the aging monk. "Jus' move 'long old timer. Nuffin' fer you t'see here."

"Noth--quite the contrary! My belongings reside in that inn. If you will not answer my question, you could at least--"

The guard glances at his partner. "No. Now piss off, y'geriatric fart, or I'll make you."

Shui stands aghast. "I--very well! But do not believe this is the last that you have seen of me, guardsmen. I shall return for my belongings!"

With another "harrumph!" the monk turns on his heel and walks off, his mind racing beneath the facade of anger. In truth, he had no belongings -- only the coin in the pouch at his side, the clothes on his back, and his weaponized body. Whatever has happened there is so bad that they will not even allow a retrieval of belongings? I must investigate. I sense that something very wrong in this town.

Shui scratches his clean-shaven chin (although he notes that he should give it a once-over later), thinking on where to begin his investigation...when it hits him. The store! Surely, someone within had more information on this situation that he, who had been...occupied for the past half-day. With this in mind, the monk strides off towards the bauble and weapon shop he spied earlier.

As he approaches the stall in question, he notices the few people gathered around it -- all of them examining the same exact sword. He raises his hand and his voice, briefly resembling a beardless dwarf...with a look of seriousness instead of mirth. "Greetings there, good fellows! I do not suppose any of you are aware of what has happened at the Keepview? The guardsmen will not even allow me to retrieve my belongings."

Man, haven't done one of these in forever. Hope it doesn't suck >.>
 

Dogmatic99

New member
Jun 24, 2012
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Llyr looked in disbelief as these flat footed dunces scrambled for reasons not to let him go. Though he was thankful for the intervention of the fancily dressed stranger it didn't seem to help much. These guardsmen were dogs with a bone, their jaws had clamped down and they'd be damned if they were to let go. No arguing with fools, as they say.

In fact it seemed to only make matters worse for his would be savior. Matters of law that used more than trial by combat or challenge were mostly foreign to Llyr, Cader Idris had a much simpler way of doing things, but he understood the gist of it. Better to play it safe for now anyway, he wasn't sure if he had grounds for a duel yet according to Bastion's ways. At least they'd gained a reprieve.

"I suppose we have little choice but work together. Pleased to meet you, I'm Sanosuke. Feel free to call me Sano."

"Certainly in the same boat, yes." Llyr sighed, bemused by the cheerful grin of this man that had just been given a deadline on his life. "If only I could say this was the worst welcome I'd ever gotten from a new island. You, where did you find the body?" He said, not missing a beat and turning straight for the inn keeper.

"Wh- what, well, by the public garden, it's just a few-"

"I know where you mean." Llyr cut him off. Clearly irritated by the man's blathering and by the turn his morning had taken. He'd passed the place on his way to the inn. Shouldering his pack the young traveler turned and marched out the door, not bothering to wait for his ornate partner. There was no time to waste and the trail was already plenty cold.

Sano wasn't exactly surprised by the way his new associate acted. Given his sudden stroke of bad luck, it was logical that he would be anxious to be done with this and be on his way to some other island. Still, Sano couldn't help but let out a sigh; haste would only lead them to jump to conclusions, much like how the guards had. Besides, two heads work better than one. Usually.

He followed his rather irritated partner, catching up to him with little difficulty.

"I understand how you feel," Sano urged diplomatically, "but if we are to get to the bottom of this we mustn't be rash. It would be best we keep a cool head, and examine the possibilities."

"And what possibilities are there?" Llyr grunted, stopping in his stride to catch his breath. "You heard that idiot's story, they have nothing but a body and a place. I doubt they've left him out for the flies, so that leaves us with the place of death. I plan on searching the place for any trace of his attackers. Do you have anything better?"

"What I meant was, there's always more to things than at first glance, and we should be careful to not miss anything. I've done this before. And lest you forget, we're in this together." Sano started a slow walk forward, getting ahead at his stopped associate, "We'll arrive at the scene, lay down what we know, and based on that we shall investigate..." he suddenly came to a stop, and turned to stare embarrassed at his partner, light-hearted smile on his face, "...though you should lead the way. I don't know where the gardens are."

Llyr listened and watched, taking in this man in a strange hat. At least he seemed to have a good head on his shoulders, despite the rashness of his actions earlier. For a moment he dared to think they might even have a chance of pulling this off. He carried on, leading the way to the gardens. Though he kept a careful distance, something Sano had said had made Llyr uneasy.

"What do you mean you've done this before?" He asked after a pause, keeping a careful eye on Sano. "How often do you get accused of murdering people?"

"I was referring to investigations," Sano corrected, his face turning a bit sour at the misunderstanding. Though his way of words had improved over the years, it still left much to be desired, it seemed, "... Though I will admit, when you're on the road as long as I am you are bound to run into a misunderstanding or five. Still, such is the way things are, and all you can do is accept it and try and find solutions. Like here." he scratched his stubble, "You never mentioned your name. I'd like to know the man I am working with. By name, at least."

"Sano, yes?" Llyr confirmed to himself as he squared up to the self claimed investigator. "My name is Llyr Argall. Just Llyr is fine." He slowly offered his hand, out of social habit more than anything. "Don't worry about pronouncing it right." He'd given up on hearing it said right outside of his homeland soon after setting out.

Sano welcomed the handshake and smiled, bowing his head lightly, "A pleasure, Leer," he noted that there was something a bit off with his pronunciation, "Though the circumstances of our meeting leave much to be desired, hopefully we'll be able to turn our luck around." with the handshake finished, he turned to look down the street they were heading, noticing the greenery in the distance, "I'm guessing that would be our destination?"

"That it is... now excuse me, I have work to do." Maybe Sano did have a past of investigating crimes, but he didn't strike Llyr as a tracker.

The combed the gardens until they found the scene of the murder. It was easy to spot, no one had washed away the blood yet. Most of it had soaked into the ground, turning it a dark and rancid shade between red and brown. People out to enjoy the sun were giving it a wide birth, understandably, its smell hadn't faded yet and the sight alone was morbid. Less so for Llyr, not that he was bragging. He'd just skinned enough game to find something like this tame and without the corpse to look upon it was easy to distance himself from any thoughts of the unknown man it had come from. Llyr stood near the stain and surveyed his surroundings.

'Now if I was to shoot this man, where would I do it from?'
 

SamtheDeathclaw

New member
Aug 8, 2009
1,091
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[HEADING=2]Battlebones Square, Weapon Shop[/HEADING]​
hiei82 said:
"I've never worked with Origin-Touched Crystal before, but I'm afraid you've been swindled. This is nothing but Rose-Quartz."
The man jerks back, taken aback. "That snake! That swindler! That... That- AGH." He turns, inspecting the shop, before looking back, his dark brown eyes full of rage. "I will buy every piece of metal in this shop if you help me make this right. That snake deserves to pay for cheating me, but I'm no warrior. I have need of your sword-arm and will pay whatever it takes."

Texas Joker 52 said:
"Excuse me but, may I?" he asked, motioning to the sword in hopes of examining it more closely.
The man turns, looking delighted at the entrance of a new swordsman. "Ah! The Origins smile upon me. You desire that blade? Help me, and it will be yours!"
Chilifro said:
"Greetings there, good fellows! I do not suppose any of you are aware of what has happened at the Keepview? The guardsmen will not even allow me to retrieve my belongings."
The man looks less ecstatic at the entrance of the visibly unarmed, older man. He speaks carefully, however, straining to maintain decorum when there is a swindler and a cheat to be dealt with. "I did hear about that. My men tell me it was closed because of several deaths last night, or early this morning. One must be very careful in such places. It's just as likely that the inn served tainted food or drink. Now, if that is all, I wish to come to a business arrangement with these fine warriors."
[hr]
[HEADING=2]Bastion Docks, Lu Fen's Pier[/HEADING]​
Lu Fen is an old man, who dresses in simple fisherman's clothes, whose cane leans next to him on the dock railing, while he guts fish after fish with clean precision.
Terratina. said:
Li nodded and made his way towards the man himself and sat by Lu Fen, "Answer me this: why trade swords for filleting knives?"
The man cleans another fish, deliberating on what Li had said. Then another. And another. Eventually, however, the old man speaks, calmly but not without emotion. "I no longer fight for the reasons you continue to."

He turns to Li, the old man's calm, dark eyes staring levelly into the younger man's. "I feel death in your spirit, warrior, and it will consume you." He cleans another fish, a single, clean motion with the small knife. "If it has not already." He glances back to Li. "But there is always the chance I am wrong. Let us hope."
[hr]
[HEADING=2]Graveyard[/HEADING]​
EnigmaticSevens said:
"Hail, friend. The day is bright and good... and yet the wind speaks of demons, and the ground is poisoned. Could any good thing, any flower, grow from such soil?"
As Ryael speaks, three men appear from a gazebo nearby. One carries a spear, another a long tachi, while the other hefts a large maul.

"Our employer is not to be disturbed," says the man with the spear.

"He is performing powerful magic, and it would be hazardous to interrupt him," says the man armed with a tachi.

"More hazardous to you to attempt, one must note," speaks the man with the maul.

Ryael might know them as three of the Fingers of Tan Dal, one of the most renowned- and expensive- mercenary outfits in this part of the Last Ocean. They're also known for their brutal dedication to whatever they've been paid to do.

Before any further overt threats could be made, however, Ryael feels a nearly unbearable wave of magic, and the lone figure cries out, triumphant. He then is choked off, as the gem in his hand explodes, sending tiny, needlelike shards of crystal flying through the air. Immediately afterwards, the air clears of the darkness. The mage falls to his knees, clutching his mangled hand, staring at the grave before him. To Ryael's horror, the ground under him begins to shift, and splintering sound can be heard, but soon the earth grows still. The man slumps, defeated.
"Grab him," the man croaks.

The mercenaries shrug, and motion for Ryael to step closer, while the man with a maul steps behind him.

"This is my wife," the slumped figure says, despondent. "She was murdered by bandits four years ago. I have spent my entire life since then studying how to bring her back." He looks to his mangled hand. "But then YOU come, and suddenly everything is ruined. You will make this right. Or you will die. Hagaar would see to that." The man with the spear nods.

"It'd cost extra, but it'd be done. Don't see much point in it, though. Isn't this because of that slimy gem merchant?"

"Yes. Boy, if you value your hide- and I think you do- go find Havlan the gem merchant, in the Battlebones District. By guile or by blade, bring me a piece of real Origin-touched crystal. He has it. I know he does. You'll be able to feel the power, just as I could. But I was careless. Do not make my mistake. Do this, and you will be rewarded. Refuse and my friends here will kill you and throw your body into the harbor. Simple, yes?"
[hr]
[HEADING=2]Residential Area Garden[/HEADING]​
Dogmatic99 said:
'Now if I was to shoot this man, where would I do it from?'
The killing grounds is... Odd. It's near the main thoroughfare for the entire district, a terrible place to stage a betrayal. And not only that, but looking around, Llyr can't seem to spot a good place for an archer to hide. There is a nearby rooftop that seems to provide a clear shot, but the archer would be in full view of the combatant and any passersby. But still, it is the only place with a clear shot and would be close enough to fire upon the combatants at night.

If Llyr and Sano go to investigate, they find... A guardhouse. The guard at the door immediately attempt to turn nosy people away, citing official inventorying before the big festival.
 

hiei82

Dire DM (+2 HD and a rend attack
Aug 10, 2011
2,463
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0
"That snake! That swindler! That... That- AGH. I will buy every piece of metal in this shop if you help me make this right. That snake deserves to pay for cheating me, but I'm no warrior. I have need of your sword-arm and will pay whatever it takes." the merchant said; rage in his face.

Nazli was surprised by the merchant's reaction. Or rather, the anger with which he expressed it. The man must have spent a great deal of money on the bauble. That or he was an exceptionally proud man. Either was possible. Truthfully, his offer - while tempting - was one she could not take. It would not be honorable for her. "I cannot in good conscious accept your offer. No true smith will sell their wears to those who do not truly want or need it. Please look around carefully and tell me what items here are of value to you and I shall sell you those. Then, I shall talk to this swindler. If he cannot be convinced to return your money, then I shall fight." she said to the merchant, hoping cooler thoughts would prevail.

They did. He calmed a bit, looking a bit less rage-filled. "Well, I am going to demand my money either way. If you think it can be done without bloodshed, I guess that's... Not as satisfying, but less legally sticky." the merchant said. "Then we have an accord." Nazli said. "Please feel free to look around while I see to the other customers and finding another to watch the shop.

Turning her attention to the tall man who'd entered first she nodded. Reading him, he looked like someone who knew how to fight so she wasn't concerned he'd hurt himself. "Of course. I finished that blade this morning so the edge should still be sharp. The blade is Damascus-Steel with a hard-steel edge. There is a dummy in the back corner if you'd like to test the blade." Nazli said, tying - and failing - to hide the pride in her voice. The sword deserved skilled hands at least once.

Finally, she turned to the older gentleman who'd asked about the Inn. Nazli shook her head in response. "I heard rumors there was a murder there last night, but I don't know how reliable the rumors are. I've been too busy plying my crafts to check." she added with a sigh.

From there, Nazli reached under the stall's counter and pulled out her own weapon's of choice - her scimitar in it's sheath and her bladesmith hammer. After attaching them to her belt, she called over to the neighbor's stall - a cabbage merchant named Lau - and asked him to watch the stall. Once the wronged merchant was ready and the others had made their deals (or not) she followed him out and into the marketplace.
 

Neuromancer

Endless Struggle
Legacy
Apr 4, 2020
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a homeless squat
Country
None
Gender
Abolish
Residential Area - Crime Scene

"Now excuse me, I have work to do."

And so, before Sano could even form a sentence in protest, Llyr rushed onwards, leaving Sano more than a little surprised. Sighing, but with a smile, he shook his head and ventured onwards, for it was not just he that had work, but both of them. Hopefully by the time this investigation was over with, Llyr would accept that fact.

No matter. Sano certainly couldn't fault his associate for being eager. And he certainly was, if not overly so. For now Sano was content with letting him examine the murder scene on his own; there would be time to talk afterwards. Sano had to say, though, this was quite the peculiar place for a murder to happen. Rather than some treacherous alley or shady tavern, it was all done in an open place. And if what the innkeep had said was true and there was struggle, there were bound to have been witnesses, even if it all happened late at night.

With that in mind, Sano turned to take a look to the crowd surrounding the murder scene. Most were passing by, either oblivious or ignoring it, while some stopped of a few moments, only to be on their way again. And then, there were the ones that seemed to spend a good deal of their concentration just staring at the scene contemplatively -those ones looked like the safest bet to start with-. But of all the eyes looking at the scene one set, that of a peculiarly familiar woman, struck Sano in particular.

For she stared not at the scene, but him.

Their eyes met and the woman wasted no time to run away into the alleys behind her. Wasting no time wondering as to what he had just witnessed, Sano dashed forward behind her, being able to pick her trail despite the sharp turns and labyrinthine-like layout of the alleyway. Though the woman had a distance advantage, Sano was a trained runner, and where exhaustion made her slow down he kept a steady pace, getting closer and closer with each turn, eventually catching up and getting in front of her, blocking her way and causing her to crash on him and fall on the ground.

"Running away from a murder scene is awfully suspicious," Sano said with a smile, before taking a better look at the woman, his eyes getting opening wide from surprise. No wonder she looked familiar. "Hoshi?!"

The wife of the murdered, Hoshi. Last person Sano expected to see spying on him.

"What are you doing here? Why did you run?"

"I..." she was panting, clearly drained from the exertion, "I thought you might be working for her. " she explained, spitting the pronoun with venom.

Her? The plot thickened. Along with how the sister of the murdered acted, Sano was starting to have the impression that Hiroshi wasn't as peaceful as his sister made him out to be. He was involved into something, though, that much seemed obvious.

"Who do you mean by her?"

"...You met her earlier. Chiyoko. She killed my husband, I'm sure of it!"

Sano raised an eyebrow. That was a bold claim to make.

"Why would Chiyoko kill her brother?"

"I don't know! But they were always talking behind my back, and last night I heard her get really angry and scream at him that he was 'treading on dangerous ground." she was visibly distraught and pretty angry. Either the reaction was genuine, or she was a great actress.

"If you are so certain that she killed him, why didn't you go to the guards?"

"The guards are all useless. They wouldn't do anything."

"Well..." he scratched his stubble in amusement, "Can't argue with that. Have you any idea if either of them were involved in anything?"

"They wouldn't tell me what they would talk about." She looked visibly more upset as she admited this. "But it can't have been good for her to have killed him over it."

It sounded like a rather weak excuse, in all fairness. Surely, if she was as concerned as she made herself sound, she would have inquired with enough vigour to get something out of her husband, yes? Whatever his doubts, he didn't voice them. Making her angry and accusing her would only make matters worse.

"Tell me more of Chiyoko."

"I don't... I guess I don't really know her. She came here a few years ago after her husband was killed in some fighting. She paid rent and helped out around the house, so I didn't have reason to complain I guess..."

Truly? How could she know so little of the woman that lived for years under her roof? Sano was getting more than a passing impression that Hoshi wasn't exactly telling him everything.

"Hmm... Has she and your husband always had such a tumultuous relationship?"

"No, they've been very close even since she came here. This is the first I've heard of any disagreement."

Very close, she said. If things were as they seemed, perhaps Hiroshi and Chiyoko were working together on something for a long time, and things recently started falling out. He was still not completely sold on that, though.

"I guess I ought to pay her a visit, then. Hoshi, if you have family that can shelter you, I suggest you go to them as quickly as you can. If things are as they look, then you might not be safe alone."

"I... You are right. I hope you bring her to justice." She stood, brushed herself off, and marched out into the streets.

"Keep safe." Sano said, and started walking back towards the crime scene.

This was getting complicated, fast. He had already gotten a rather ominous feeling out Chiyoko, but Hoshi didn't look entirely honest either. Hopefully his confrontation with Chiyoko would help clear things up. Whatever the case, he would need to discuss this with his associate.

"Leer!" he announced as he returned. Something about his pronounciation just didn't feel quite right, "Can you spare a moment? There have been a few... interesting developments you should know about."
 

Dogmatic99

New member
Jun 24, 2012
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"What do you mean I'm not allowed up here, it's a free city, sin't it?"

"I told you no one's allowed in here, we got confidential supplies for the festival in here. Gotta be kept out of prying hands, now off with you before I call the watch." The guard stood his ground.

Llyr knew when he was beat, he couldn't afford to make any more of a scene with this grunt without attracting unwanted attention and he was on thin ice with Bastion's constabulary already. It didn't make sense though. He'd scanned the gardens for any signs of disturbance, gone through all the angles and this lead to the only solid place to take the shot. Well, the only one if you wanted to surprise your victim. He assumed the man wasn't shot at point blank. and who put festival supplies in a high up place like this anyway? All the decorations were pretty much up and no one would want to haul delicate or heavy things down all these stairs. This was a strange hunt, nothing like the simplicity of the forest.

'Apparently this place is going to turn me into an investigator as well.' Llyr sighed. This was a dead end for now, perhaps if he came back at dark.

Or he could just get a boat out of here. He'd kept an open eye and there was no sign of the idiots that'd harassed him at the inn, making his way back to the park Llyr thought he'd take a moment to catch his breath, weigh his options.

"Leer!Can you spare a moment? There have been a few... interesting developments you should know about."

Oh he'd forgotten about his fellow murderer. Well Sano seemed in better spirits with his findings than Llyr was.

"More than me. The only possible vantage point I could find is under lock and key with a guard at the door. We'll be hard pressed to get any physical tracks around there." Things were looking bleak.
 

Texas Joker 52

All hail the Pun Meister!
Jun 25, 2011
1,285
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0
~ Wakahisa Daichi ~

Battlebones Square

As he waited for the shopkeeper to finish her business with the man, he couldn't help but catch their exchange. There was mention of a chunk of Rose Quartz being passed off as Origin-Touched crystal, with the man being the unfortunate victim of the scam. As far as the large swordsman was concern, his response was understandable for the most part.

"That snake! That swindler! That... That- AGH! I will buy every piece of metal in this shop if you help me make this right. That snake deserves to pay for cheating me, but I'm no warrior. I have need of your sword-arm and will pay whatever it takes."

What took him by surprise was the fact that the cheated man immediately turned to him and noticed that he was a warrior.

"Ah! The Origins smile upon me. You desire that blade? Help me, and it will be yours!"

He was immensely thankful that he didn't have to respond, since the shopkeeper seemed to have the situation well in hand, at least for the moment, as she offered to find the swindler in question and resolve the issue without bloodshed. The merchant, while visibly disappointed, seemed to agree to it, and Daichi couldn't help but exhale a sigh of relief. As it was, it was no business of his to step into a matter like that. And as distasteful as the problem was, he didn't want to be involved in that particular matter.

So as the hooded woman called over a forlorn-looking cabbage merchant to cover for her at the stall, he took the time to turn to another man, one who could almost pass off as a slightly older, slightly shorter version of himself as far as his physique went.

"Greetings there, good fellows! I do not suppose any of you are aware of what has happened at the Keepview? The guardsmen will not even allow me to retrieve my belongings."

The cheated man replied just before following the shopkeeper in dealing with the swindler.

"I did hear about that. My men tell me it was closed because of several deaths last night, or early this morning. One must be very careful in such places. It's just as likely that the inn served tainted food or drink."

"Several deaths?" Daichi murmured, eyes narrowing at that.

Turning back to the muscular, vested man, Daichi reached up and thoughtfully stroked his mustache.

"And the guards didn't tell you anything about what may have happened there? Anything at all?" he asked.
 

EnigmaticSevens

New member
Sep 18, 2009
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Environs (Graveyard)

Well, of all the possible outcomes of meddling with forlorn looking sorcerers that Ryael could conjure, this... actually wasn't half bad, really only about the seventh or eighth worst possible response. At least when this one shouted 'Grab him,' he was calling out to help of the hired variety... rather than the conjured sort, though considering the state of the ground and the nausea in his belly, it was a damn close thing. Ryael kept a suitable enough rictus of abject horror pasted to his features even as the magic drained from the air and the movements beneath the earth stilled. To the grimace he added a touch of doleful incomprehension, after all, beggars surely could not fathom such fel magicks as this, and the role of beggar would be suitable for what must come next.

By Ryael's reckoning, the sort of sorcerer who mistook a piece of common crystal for a stone that was said to positively hum in response to magic, was either particularly stupid or particularly desperate. In this instance at least, appealing either to vanity or to valor would require a similar sort of touch. As the earth mage voiced his pointless threats, Ryael sank to earth, wailing in a manner that would've been comical if hadn't been seasoned with something almost... eerie, a hollowness akin enough to genuine desperation as to be indistinguishable. The lad groveled before the mage's feet, smearing his face with dust, dust that clotted beneath the flow of tears that streamed from his eyes and the snot that dribbled from his nose, "Mercy! Mercy I beg, noble Master! This one is unworthy of such threats! Let not my Master sully his hands or the hands of his hired men with this one's blood! For this one knows the Master to be kind, not one to visit the evil that befell his lady wife, upon his hapless slave!"

Being small, being pitiful, was easy. One could warp the psyche in any number of interesting ways so long as the room within rooms, the smallest, most sacred corner of the mind, remained whole and in tact. So even as his body lay prostrate before one maimed, grandstanding fool of a mage (one in a no doubt endless procession of foolish, ego-mad mages), from within his little, inner room Ryael smiled. This might prove a touch amusing, after all, the slave was even smaller than the beggar, to wear such a skin might prove interesting. To lay hands on piece of genuine, Origin-touched crystal might prove interesting. To test the mettle of this mage's magic, and the steel of his hired lackeys... those who walked so proudly, part of something noteworthy even if they themselves were not particularly notable, these might prove interesting as well. It would remain to be seen which path would prove the most prudent and in the meantime, the skin of the beggar must give way to the flesh of the slave, and find the path to this mage's heart, either through his pride or his sense of pity, and set the stage properly..., "What could a faithful slave do but heed his noble Master's bidding? You honor your slave with this chance to avenge the treachery done to your noble person! But please, the noble Master well knows that his slave is poor and worthless, so bless me please, first with your name, that I might call your swindler to account, and second, the command of one of your fighting men, to see my Master's will made flesh!"

The name of a powerful Earth mage and practicing necromancer (interesting to learn how Bastion's law and custom treated such a one), one hired thug on a leash, the name of a gem merchant rumored to possess genuine Origin-touched crystal but quite happy to sell imitations, not a bad day's profit, not bad at all....
 

Chilifro

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Feb 14, 2014
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BATTLEBONES SQUARE

"I did hear about that. My men tell me it was closed because of several deaths last night, or early this morning. One must be very careful in such places. It's just as likely that the inn served tainted food or drink. Now, if that is all, I wish to come to a business arrangement with these fine warriors."

Shui looks taken aback, and one of his meaty hands rises to stroke his bare chin. "Several deaths, you say...? I suppose that would explain their steadfast refusal to allow me passage, even if it were to retrieve my belongings. For some reason, I doubt highly that this is the work of tainted goods..."

As he mumbles to himself, he finally notes the subject of the conversation between the shopkeeper and Nazli, and he raises an eyebrow. "...I need not ask what such a business arrangement would be. I shan't stop you, for I see in your eyes that your honor has been infringed upon, and I have no desire to stop a man looking to keep up his honor." He says this with a bow, and he steps aside as the two leave the shop.

And so the mustachioed man speaks up.

"And the guards didn't tell you anything about what may have happened there? Anything at all?"

Shui glances over his shoulder at the remaining man. "You were not apart of their business dealings? I am surprised. You seem a fine warrior." He turns now, folding his arms and shaking his head. "The guards told me naught. Simply brushed my attempts at entering the inn off of their shoulders and turned me down the street. My scalp prickles at the thought; something untoward must have occurred at that inn, and I am inclined to investigate as to exactly what that was. Something tells me, whoever died, they were not killed in an honorable duel between equals."

He turns thoughtful. "...I do not suppose you are willing to help me look into this? I cannot promise that there will not be fighting, but I can at least promise you a safe way to escape should there be one. This shan't be...dirty business, as your acquaintances seem to be engaging in. I am but a simple monk, after all; my investigatory skills are lacking."
 

Terratina.

RIP Escapist RP Board
May 24, 2012
2,105
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Li Zhu, Port

Li resisted the urge to sigh, another lecture and another disappointment. Still, they were just words, just hot air funnelled through the mouth. Something that would probably evaporate from Li's memory. Nevertheless, how boring. Time for some excitement. The mercenary replied with, "Care to back that piece of sagely wisdom, old man?"

"Your words only prove my warning, warrior." He cleaned another fish as he spoke.

"And yours ring hollow," Li countered, "Say what you like, I will forget it by the next morning. Duel me and I would at least remember it for a year."

The old man laughed. "Ah, I am afraid I would be a very poor fight against such a strong warrior. Plus, I have many fish to clean before the day is through."

"But, very well. At your request." He delicately set his knife on top of a nearby post, and turned to face the mercenary.


Apparently Li was so filled with ennui, he had turned to picking fights with old men rather than duelling in Battlebones Square. However, making Lu Fen eating his words would be worth it. Li drew his jian and struck only to find his arrogance answered by a deflection of his attack. Maybe the old man wasn't so helpless after all...

"You have a chance to back down honorably, warrior." Lu Fen said levelly. "I have a sneaking suspicion I know the answer, however."

"Yes, so far little has happened." Li nodded. The fight had hardly begun, and so had the rush that Li lived for.

The kick caught Li completely off-guard, and he took Lu Fen's heel directly against the side of his head, blurring his vision. However, the momentum combined with the momentary dizziness also pushed Li into the water of the port with a large splash.

Lu Fen leaned down, offering a hand, but Li also spotted a ladder back up a few yards down the pier.

"Nicely done." Li said as he rubbed his head. It ached, it put it mildly. The mercenary sighed, put his smile back on and took Lu Fen's hand. Pride or no pride, it was quicker than using the ladder and made Lu Fen do the work. A shame it happened so quickly, the knockout must've been something to watch.


"Thank you, warrior. I spent many years honing my talents." Lu Fen grunted slightly from the effort as he pulled Li back onto the docks. "You have many years left to surpass me. And...," he trailed off, looking the warrior up and down, "I do believe you will. Now, I really must be getting back to my work. I thank you for the duel, my young friend." Lu Fen bowed deeply. "Come by any time if you wish for a rematch. Or even if you wish to train under myself."

"Thank you for the duel as well. Goodbye." The words almost hurt to say. Li simply walked away from the docks in search of somewhere where he could dry his clothes, soggy ones wouldn't do.
 

SamtheDeathclaw

New member
Aug 8, 2009
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[HEADING=2]The Docks[/HEADING]​
Terratina. said:
"Thank you for the duel as well. Goodbye." The words almost hurt to say. Li simply walked away from the docks in search of somewhere where he could dry his clothes, soggy ones wouldn't do.
"Hoy there, friend." The voice was gruff, coming from a shadow in an alley. A man stepped out, clad in black. "Got an offer for ye." The man laid out a short offer. "There's an item I've recently, ah, acquired. It needs to get to the King. I want you to get it to the King. In exchange, you get my personal recommendation to the King as a powerful warrior. You'd be sure to be picked for that band of mercenaries he's picking out to hunt the king killer. So what so you say, eh?" He holds out a small leather satchel. "Easy job, get you in good with the nobles, and a chance to fight the deadliest killer to ever roam."

[hr]
[HEADING=2]Battlebones Square, Crystal Merchant[/HEADING]​

hiei82 said:
Once the wronged merchant was ready and the others had made their deals (or not) she followed him out and into the marketplace.
The shop the merchant led Nazli to was labelled "Havlan's Fine Gems and Cristals" [sic] and, despite the misspelled name, seemed a rather nice place. The walls were solid stone, with the door of thick oak bound in iron. Obviously, a shop hoping to prevent a robbery.

The merchant was beginning to calm down. He handed over the chunk of crystal to Nazli. "Here. You handle this, you seem level-headed. Just make sure I get my gold back. I'll wait here."

Inside, the shop was lovely. Fine jewelry sat alongside cut-crystal dining ware. At the back, you saw a man kneeling on a cushion, drinking from a cup of tea. He set the cup down and bows to you deeply, rising fluidly. "Hello, my friend, I am called Havlan. Welcome to my humble shop. Please, feel free to look around but try not to touch anything." He was a thin man dressed in elegant fashion, but with irises the color of the void between the stars, unreadable and impossibly deep.

[hr]
[HEADING=2]Battlebones Square, Nazli's Shop and the Keepview Inn[/HEADING]​
Chilifro said:
"...I do not suppose you are willing to help me look into this? I cannot promise that there will not be fighting, but I can at least promise you a safe way to escape should there be one. This shan't be...dirty business, as your acquaintances seem to be engaging in. I am but a simple monk, after all; my investigatory skills are lacking."
Texas Joker 52 said:
"And the guards didn't tell you anything about what may have happened there? Anything at all?" he asked.
The guards at the Keepview were thoroughly adamant, but Shui remembered a small window at the back of the Inn, easily overlooked from the exterior. One could likely get in that way.

Inside, the common room is a grisly scene. The three victims appear to have been surrounded while they were at their table, then run through the chest with a long blade.
Make Awareness (Air+Water) rolls, then we'll collaborate on the next part of this.
[hr]
[HEADING=2]Graveyard[/HEADING]​
EnigmaticSevens said:
The name of a powerful Earth mage and practicing necromancer (interesting to learn how Bastion's law and custom treated such a one), one hired thug on a leash, the name of a gem merchant rumored to possess genuine Origin-touched crystal but quite happy to sell imitations, not a bad day's profit, not bad at all....
The man stares at his mangled hand, his face draining white. The hand extrudes the shards, and begins to knit itself back together.
"My name is Seong. If you wish the aid of one of my mercenaries, you will have to pay him yourself. I certainly don't wish the extra expense when you by yourself will suffice. Havlan is not strong or smart, but he has a clever tongue. Similar to one man I can think of offhand." He looks pointed to Ryael. "Your talents will be more than enough. Now go, before my temper grows yet shorter."

"Sir, I dunno about that. This man seems pretty pathetic." The man with the tachi.

"And that's why you're a mercenary, and I'm a powerful magician."

"The Captain will be really angry if you do this for free," the man with the spear said levelly.

"Well, if none of us tell him, he won't know. I'm going with him." The man with the tachi steps over to Ryael. "Just call me Tachi. Stupid name, but it stuck years ago. What can I call you?" After introductions, he offers to lead Ryael to the gem merchant.
I suggest getting together with Hiei and I and collaborating the gem merchant scene, so that Ryael and Tachi can interrupt when dramatically appropriate, or you can just do it after Nazli finishes her business.
 

Neuromancer

Endless Struggle
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Apr 4, 2020
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a homeless squat
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Residential Area - Crime Scene

"More than me. The only possible vantage point I could find is under lock and key with a guard at the door. We'll be hard pressed to get any physical tracks around there."

His partner looked positively downcast. That wouldn't do.

"We are in a difficult situation, yes." he admitted, smilling, "But depressing over it will only serve to make it that much more difficult. As long as we strive onwards, I am certain we'll find a way to solve our predicament."

He hoped he had helped Llyr cheer up. Unlike his master, Sano was never good with words.

"Now, about the developments I mentioned. The reason I decided to investigate this death was because I stumbled into his grieving family, namely his wife and sister. They directed me to the innkeep of Origin's Rest and... you know the rest. Now, what is interesting is that as you looked for the archer's vantage point, I looked to the crowd to ask questions. A woman ran, I caught up to her, and, to my surprise, it was the victim's wife, Hoshi. She run because she thought I was working for the victim's sister, Chiyoko. Apparently she thinks Chiyoko had our victim killed."

He rubbed his chin conteplatively, "I am not entirely convinced about that, but I do think that this is more complicated than it looked at first. Hoshi mentioned that the siblings talked to each other behind her back a lot, so I think that our best course of action right now would be to confront Chiyoko."

"What do you think?" he turned to Llyr, "If you'd like, we could also try again with the guard you mentioned. With some more pressure we could perhaps make him give in."