Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 17 of 17

Thread: Round 2: Team 1

  1. #11
    Member
    EXP: 16,233, Level: 5
    Level completed: 38%, EXP required for next level: 3,767
    Level completed: 38%,
    EXP required for next level: 3,767

    AP
    29
    GP
    275
    Ebivoulya's Avatar

    Name
    Nyadir D'Var
    Age
    26
    Race
    Half-Elf
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Black
    Eye Color
    Blue
    Build
    6'3, 220lbs
    Job
    Murder-Hobo

    View Profile
    "Not if we don't catch him."

    The swordsman found a line of tethered steeds near the supplies, and the two warriors were skirting the battle on horseback just as the samurai army showed up to help the blue-coat rebels. Though their mark had made some distance, the general still smudged the green horizon. It wasn't until a few minutes later that the smuggler realized what he had done, and his off hand immediately found the dagger at his belt. That immortal asshole was even twisting his words now. That nearly drove a bellow of frustration from the marked man, but the raised eyebrow of the samurai next to him smoothed his grimace. His hand still strained to draw his plynt dagger, and plunge it into the shorter man's neck, but the blade remained stuck. As soon as this curse was lifted, he was going to kill every single person he could find in this damn country; starting with those priests at Yanbo.

    They will beg for you to stop me, Am'aleh.

    Though he had ridden like a natural when being compelled, once the wanderer actually thought to the fact he was on horseback he regretted it. The ride became a painful series of jarring slams onto the back of the poor beast. He found a middle-ground eventually, but neither steed nor rider enjoyed the trip. The short samurai held his tongue, though his glances spoke enough. The half-elf's desire to murder the man rose, but he didn't bother reaching for his knife again. It seemed that as long as he bore the strange mark on his hand, he wouldn't be able to cross the Thayne's will. He imagined all the fun he would have once he delivered the artifact, and the mark disappeared. They would put a bounty on him for sure, and his grin spread embarrassingly wide at the thought. His companion finally got curious, and asked after his purpose in Yanbo.

    "Made a deal with a hobo, so now I have to take this box to some priests."

    Such an answer begged the question, so the wanderer recited the story of escorting the cat-folk into the mountains. He left out the cats and rangers dead at his hands, instead explaining how the group had entrusted the artifact to him when the magical hobo gave them their goal. The disbelief on the samurai’s face was understandable, but the tale the man wove, of a false cat-people army in a plot of seize Akashima, pulled the smuggler’s face flat. That would explain the lack of furred bastards, and his teeth gritted to be found twice the fool.

    The immortal asshole was undoubtedly chortling in some high tower; but the mortal man tried to focus on their mark. Despite his aversion to anything the Thayne would want him to do, it was easy to slip back into the scout mindset, and forget his anger for a time. The general and his retinue made steady progress over the horizon for a while, before his companion mentioned losing sight of them. He assured the man that he could still spy them, though the half-elf didn't elaborate. The samurai seemed unsure, but he thanked the swordsman for his help tracking the general, and defending the capital city of Akashima earlier. The smuggler became annoyed just thinking back to it, and delivered a stinging barb to match his ire.

    "Am'aleh wills it."

    Godamnit, you Thayne prick. Every priest; I f’kin’ swear it.

    The confused nod of his companion led into more silent riding, during which the swordsman thought of many more curses to hurl at the lofty bastard. He didn't bother speaking again, since he couldn't trust his own tongue. The group they chased stayed just on the edge of the horizon for most of their quiet ride south. He informed his companion when their targets brought their beasts down to a trot to give them a break, and the two warriors did the same. They did this a few more times on the journey, but after several hours of riding south the two spotted a squatting city just on the edge of flickering blue. The port of Yanbo wasn't nearly as impressive as the capitol, but it still sported a decent navy. Those ships spread out across the harbor in defense of the city, and further out the fleet of the allied Corone forces formed an impressive blockade. The speck on the horizon began drifting to the side, and the smuggler mentioned it without thinking.

    "That guy we're chasing is veering off the road towards the coast."

  2. #12
    Member
    EXP: 23,658, Level: 6
    Level completed: 53%, EXP required for next level: 3,342
    Level completed: 53%,
    EXP required for next level: 3,342

    AP
    5
    GP
    4,185
    Tainted Bushido's Avatar

    Name
    Taka
    Age
    21
    Race
    Akashiman (Human)
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    White
    Eye Color
    Grey
    Job
    Samurai (Ronin)

    View Profile
    Yanbo port came into view, a comforting sight to the Ronin. Returning home was a pleasure to the one time samurai, even as he chased after the fleeing general. His eyes spotted him as, instead of heading into the city he went to the side. A grunt of irritation left his lips before he shouted out, “I’ll follow the General, you go inside and warn them that something is wrong.”

    What was wrong the Dark Blade did not know, he just knew that if Lipscomb was heading somewhere with a purpose, it was not a good thing. He kicked his feet into the flank of his horse as he lowered his body, ducking the wind to go just a bit faster. Carefully he pulled off after the General, as he thought about what Lipscomb could be heading towards. There was no shrine, no target for him merely a small forest of cherry trees.

    He could see the guard was watching him as he chased after the man on the horse, and only prayed they did not ready arrows. If they did, the situation would get far more dire than it truly needed to be. His prayers to the guardians and the kami left his lips as he finally saw the man slow down. His target quickly dismounted and moved to a small gathering of stones.

    The Ronin saw no reason to dismount and ran alongside the General, giving him a kick that sent to man to the ground with a cry of frustration. The Ronin finally dismounted, not used to fighting atop a horse and drew his Katana as he approached the General. It was then the General finally spoke, “You think you’ve won by tearing my army apart? I warned Senator Fordstein that he was running a risk with a conscripted army. Thank you for proving me right Taka. Perhaps you were ready to lead men after all…”

    “Arigato General, now surrender and you will live to return home. There need be no more blood shed,” Taka said earnestly as the General drew his saber.

    “Sorry Taka, that's not going to happen. See there was a plan B incase your little country became resilient to being invaded. Who would have thought a single ronin and his friends would cause so much trouble?”

    “A single group of drunkards held up the Ixian Knights,” Taka offered plainly.

    “That they did, we should have looked into the situation much more closely. We wrote you off when your armies never reached Radasanth. Figured you didn’t have the stomach for a real fight. Yet here you are, standing before me, having stripped me of an army and cornered me near your home. I see you’re ready for a fight, and well that duel we had going was just starting to itch my need for one. Let's say we just pick up where we left off, and see which side lady luck is favoring today,” Lipscomb said. His jacket was carefully shrugged off as Taka remained passive, letting the man remove his clothing. Despite having not been held to the standards of bushido, he was loathe to take advantage of the man, who had fought honorably.

    Saber and Katana crossed as the two men began their new duel, Taka sure that this was a battle for the fate of his homeland.
    Last edited by Tainted Bushido; 03-29-17 at 01:46 AM.
    How something is said, is just as important as what is said. -Anonymous

  3. #13
    Member
    EXP: 16,233, Level: 5
    Level completed: 38%, EXP required for next level: 3,767
    Level completed: 38%,
    EXP required for next level: 3,767

    AP
    29
    GP
    275
    Ebivoulya's Avatar

    Name
    Nyadir D'Var
    Age
    26
    Race
    Half-Elf
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Black
    Eye Color
    Blue
    Build
    6'3, 220lbs
    Job
    Murder-Hobo

    View Profile
    The broad gates of the southern port stood open, but the guards closed them tight when they heard why the swordsman's companion had split off to chase the other man down. Rendering some small assistance to the samurai was faster than trying to think of a lie out of spite. It wouldn't matter once he finished with this city, anyway. Two guards insisted on escorting him up the hill to the massive stone church, and one glance through the thick streets full of loaded wagons persuaded him; the horse could probably use the break. As the trio labored through the crowd, the swordsman's jaw clenched every time he spotted a furred face. Though there weren't many, the cat-folk here were still fairly common. He felt a familiar embarrassment at his ignorance of the world. Humility was an unwelcome guest these days, though; his furrowed brow cleared an extra few feet in front of the scowling smuggler.

    As they passed a large market quarter, the terrible din of squealing shopkeeps all screaming to be heard above the crowd whitened his knuckles. It took an extreme effort to keep his hands from his blades as he and his escort slowly waded through the crowd, and turned onto another street. The worn wood of the lower city gave way to cut stone and finer architecture as the trio climbed. The two portly port-guards were huffing not long after, but the swordsman couldn't quite shake them without running. The crowds thinned out quickly, and as the altitude rose, the clothes got finer, and jewelry more common. Clearly the richer part of town, he decided he would start his rampage here; maybe pick up something to compensate him for all this bullshit. The church at the top of the hill kept growing, until the large arched entrance-way towered above the trio. Birds chirped in the many trees planted around the building, and light spilled onto finely cut stone floors as the half-elf pulled open the large wooden door.

    "He's here!"

    A gaggle of gawking priests in fancy robes rushed toward the trio, and the traitorous guards took this opportunity to abandon him to the fawning freaks. The Thayne wouldn’t even let him reach for his dagger, and the group quickly led him down the wide carved aisle to the pulpit. They kept chittering about how the great Am'aleh had told of his coming, and the many candles arrayed amid the lines drawn on the floor supported their claim. The artifact was passed around between the priests before he noticed it missing, and his gloves ended up in the same pocket. When they finally stopped to stare at the tattoo on his right palm, he took a few deep breaths to quell the anger. He only had to be patient a little longer; as soon as the mark disappeared, the half-elf would take his time torturing these robed fools. The priests mistook his smile, and started laughing along with him in joy at the arrival of their savior.

    The ceremony started shortly afterward, with the artifact placed at the center of the strange shapes drawn on the floor. The priests dotted the area in a rough circle, with the swordsman nearer the box, bare-chested and free of any metal. Even his belt was replaced with a cloth strip, and his weapons piled in a corner. He didn't mind; using his hands was always more enjoyable. The priests had called him a conduit, but even after the chanting started, he just stood there waiting for the mark to vanish. The black puzzle box reacted, though, twisting and shifting to reveal a bright blue light within. It was only a few seconds later that the stained-glass windows shuddered with fresh peals of thunder outside. The drone of rain that followed was loud enough it almost drowned out the chanting, and the window murals surrounding them all jumped to life with the flickering skies. This was already more intense than when the lightning-mage had used it, and the half-elf grew uncertain.

    As the many tiny interlocking pieces of the puzzle box continued shifting, the whole thing folded in on itself to stretch up into the shape of a diamond, somehow balanced on its point. A brilliant light flooded into the mortal's mind, and he could feel overwhelming power pouring through him and into the artifact. The flow was searing and jagged, but the swordsman could not scream, drowning beneath a burning white river. From far below in the madman's mind, a cold mass of blackness rose to devour the light. It ascended numb and grinding, slowly pushing him into the flow. The smuggler could not hold back both of these titanic forces; he knew he would be crushed between them. The blinding power of the Thayne channeling through him softened then, and he could feel a calling, a beckoning through it. Even after all the cursing and swearing to destroy what the immortal held dear, Am'aleh offered the mortal mind shelter from the darkness within it.

    The chanting faltered a bit when the half-elf started laughing, and the blue glow from within the box took on a darker tint. The winds picked up to a howl outside, and a branch crashed through a stained-glass mural of Am'aleh blessing the people with fish. The shattered glass scattered through the pews, and the glow of the artifact began to flicker. The priests stopped chanting. The puzzle box continued without them, though, and the pious men in their fancy robes backed away from the laughing madman. How very generous, to guide and protect, to corral and manipulate. He had already made his choice years ago. There was freedom in the hunger, freedom in the dark, and no once-mortal trying to play god would take that from him. His chuckle faded along with the world, and the smuggler sank into the numbing black.

    The blue glow on the church walls snapped to a deep crimson, and the screams began.

  4. #14
    Member
    EXP: 23,658, Level: 6
    Level completed: 53%, EXP required for next level: 3,342
    Level completed: 53%,
    EXP required for next level: 3,342

    AP
    5
    GP
    4,185
    Tainted Bushido's Avatar

    Name
    Taka
    Age
    21
    Race
    Akashiman (Human)
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    White
    Eye Color
    Grey
    Job
    Samurai (Ronin)

    View Profile
    Thunder bellowed ominously on the horizon as the duel continued. The storm approached Yanbo port, second only to the blow by blow sound of metal upon metal. Taka was lost in his own little world that involved him and General Lipscomb, a man who seemed hell bent on destroying his homeland. It was the Ronin’s resolve he hammered away at, while his saber tried to break the guard of Rengoku.

    “Why? You never explained why you still fight for them!? You could have been pardoned, given your name back, everything you wanted Fordstein was willing to give to you,” The general managed as he kicked, forcing Taka back. The Ronin grunted under the blow as they parted momentarily, the two circling each other as predators. Both were looking for a moment’s weakness.

    “I made a vow to protect my home from all invaders, I was not relieved of that vow. The only thing they relieved me of was my name,” Taka replied.

    The general clucked his tongue as he lashed out at the Ronin. Saber met Katana as they slashed and felt each other out again, finally he managed, “You’re an idealist.”

    “You are a soldier a war forgot to kill. You did it for the fight, didn’t you? You mentioned not wanting to do the paperwork to bring Akashima to heel, thats why isn’t it?” Taka replied accusingly.

    “I heard an old Akashiman proverb, you might know it, Peace is good for the warrior’s body…” The General began.

    Taka knew it well, he parried another blow as he grunted through grit teeth, “War is good for the warrior’s soul, the soldiers folly is that he must choose between the two, and never be whole.”

    Lipscomb replied with a smile. Their fight continued for a few more blows when they locked up, their faces only inches apart before Lipscomb said, “Thank you Taka, you gave this old war dog what he wanted. A true fight. I was worried Fordstein would be right, Akashima wouldn’t be able to fight back. When I heard he sent the shaman and an assassin to clean up loose ends, I prayed the message would get out. I wanted a war.”

    Taka caught the General off guard with a punch that knocked the wind out of him, and with a downward cleave he sliced open the General’s forearm, severing the muscles that would support his saber. The blade clattered to the ground as the General hunched over the rock pile he had been climbing. He groaned as Taka lowered his blade, a moment’s indiscretion, “Why?”

    Lipscomb chuckled as he looked up at Taka, the look of a favored man before he spoke, “I was stationed in Radasanth. A post that needed no military leadership, the bureaucracy that choked that damn city also starved its army. When we heard your army was moving north, I was ready for a fight, I wanted it so badly. I couldn’t stand being a stupid desk jockey any more. Then the Phoenix Ascendant stirred the pot, spoiled everything and derailed your supply train.”

    The Ronin remained silent as the man looked up at him. He shuffled himself slightly as he gripped his forearm. Looking up at Taka he said firmly, “I don’t need your judgement Ronin. You already agree with me, I know you do. Those teachings aren’t just a single quote in a book hidden on a shelf, they’re a collection of wisdom through the ages. Your path is paved in bodies and ends when you can pave no more. I know it, and Fordstein knew it.”

    “We can avoid killing those who didn’t agree to this war, tell me your backup plan, we can end it here, before more needless blood be shed,” Taka replied firmly.

    “You came all this way, and you still reject who you are? Well, you earned your gift, even if I think you deny how much you wanted it, I’ll give it anyways,” General Lipscomb reached down between his legs and brought up what looked like a pistol. Pointing it at the Ronin he shrugged, “I wasn’t lying by the way, we did have a plan B, it just involves us not saving Akashima from foreign invaders. We didn’t want to give them the country, but at this point, it’s the only way my sacrifice makes sense.”

    Taka’s eyes widened behind his mask as he reached out to stop the General who raised his good hand to the sky and pulled the trigger. A flare fired off from the barrel into the clouds above, as the Katana slashed through the man’s throat, ending his life. The Ronin looked up and saw the brilliant light against the storm as the rains of the tempest began to wash upon the shores of Yanbo Port.

    Taka... had lost.
    How something is said, is just as important as what is said. -Anonymous

  5. #15
    Member
    EXP: 16,233, Level: 5
    Level completed: 38%, EXP required for next level: 3,767
    Level completed: 38%,
    EXP required for next level: 3,767

    AP
    29
    GP
    275
    Ebivoulya's Avatar

    Name
    Nyadir D'Var
    Age
    26
    Race
    Half-Elf
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Black
    Eye Color
    Blue
    Build
    6'3, 220lbs
    Job
    Murder-Hobo

    View Profile
    Wind howled through the broken stained-glass windows lining the church, and the stone walls and wooden pews disappeared into blackness between bursts of lightning. Each flash revealed more, a large bloodstain here, a pile of organs there, the skin of a priest stretched out on the floor. The swordsman raised his right hand, still slick with fresh blood, and spied red skin where the tattoo once sat; the curse had been lifted. Even better, the squirming of the tied-up priest beside him drew his attention, and he noticed his left-arm was elbow deep in the man's throat. His inner demon had left one for him, and his blood-stained teeth widened in the flickering light as he grabbed a handful of something and pulled. The wriggling priest's eyes grew wide as his stomach and intestines poured out of his mouth, and the slender man struggled against the strips of cloth which bound him.

    "Am'aleh won't save you now."

    The half-elf kept pulling out intestines like some kind of gory magician, and watched with glee as the man's eyes grew clouded. The smuggler's sigh of relief came with a shudder as the priest slumped over. He slowly raised his eyes in search of the box, now that he was satisfied. Another flash of lightning illuminated a melted lump of black metal on the floor, in the center of the shapes and blown-out candles. No longer glowing with power, or even a box, the prize he had walked all the way across Corone to find, and halfway back, sat in a useless puddle of cooling metal. The pillar upon which the smuggler stood gloating was torn away into the cold expanse below. The damned immortal bastard had taken the only consolation his mortal puppet would've had, and left him with naught but a paltry few priests to play with. That boiling fire which filled the swordsman's veins was his own, this time, and he turned to the large doors of the church as bells rang out in the storm.

    "A few corpses isn't nearly enough..."

    Those huge wooden doors flew open with a heave, battering the carved tiles with wind and rain. The skies were nearly black despite the sunlit shore to the west, and the flickering light show above showed a city in panic. Nobles trampled each other to leave the city, and merchants abandoned their wares. Already corpses crunched underfoot, but it wasn't until the wanderer gazed out to sea that he saw what they feared. A massive wave rolled in from the deep waters, carrying the blockading fleet up into the air before looming over the city. Mothers clutched their children, and men wailed to look upon the wall of water that stretched into the heavens. A grin slowly spread across the mortal's face as roaring white death covered the city below.

    The entire port district was swallowed whole in just a moment, wood debris and corpses spewing up out of the froth that dove around every corner, and down every street. The sweet screams that had drowned out the rain fell silent, as the waters rushed through the web of cobbled streets and littered alleys. A glorious white spray erupted around the edges of the city when the water met the walls, and the swordsman laughed with joy at the sight. The satisfaction at his victory over the immortal asshole had him giddy, his eyes drinking in the sight even as torn corpses gently washed up at his feet, at the top of the hill. His laugh grew as the water slowly pulled back, leaving streets full of broken homes and broken lives. This was what came of crossing him, and despite the loss of his prize, the smuggler stood proud among the wreckage with a beaming smile. Few could boast to have bested a Thayne, and the madman felt the familiar dark hunger with gratitude. He would use that hunger to devour the world, in time, until even the Thayne gazed up at him with envy.

    I win, Am'aleh... I win.

  6. #16
    Member
    EXP: 23,658, Level: 6
    Level completed: 53%, EXP required for next level: 3,342
    Level completed: 53%,
    EXP required for next level: 3,342

    AP
    5
    GP
    4,185
    Tainted Bushido's Avatar

    Name
    Taka
    Age
    21
    Race
    Akashiman (Human)
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    White
    Eye Color
    Grey
    Job
    Samurai (Ronin)

    View Profile
    He had erred. It was only natural to assume that he had lost, the signal had been given, and the ships could not have missed it. Despite it being the middle of the day, the dark storms made a great contrast to the flare that now touched down in the sea. It was hard to believe, that in the time it took the small flame to fall from the sky, the entire path of the war had changed.

    The wave had begun from deep outside the sea. It was not hidden to the ex-port guard, who knew the signs of the tsunami. The receding of the shorelines, boats that had sunk, treasures laid bare for the first time in ages; it would be returned with interest. It wasn't until he saw the wreckage of the Junyō, a ship he had nearly died on, did he realize the power the wave would carry.

    Bells sounded as the wave crashed back upon the shore, the waters flooding the streets as many panicked in their rush to get anywhere to anchor themselves. All of this the Ronin witnessed, as he watched passively from the coast. The enemy fleet was tossed upon the shores of Akashima, well before they could possibly have prepared. How many soldiers and serfs had died in the tidal wave? He didn't know, but certainly the enemy had lost just as much.

    He stared, Rengoku in hand, at the staggering amount of devastation, before he fell to his knees and wept. He had won, but at what price? Is this what the man who had accompanied him here had set out to accomplish? Taka wasn't sure, but he knew one thing, Senator Fordstein had set this entire chain of events into motion.

    Taking out a cloth, he wiped Lipscomb’s blood from his blade and sheathed it. There would be more work that needed to be done, but for now, he could rest. First, he had to choose, deal with Senator Fordstein, or deal with the encroaching Catfolk?

    He wasn't sure there was a right answer.
    How something is said, is just as important as what is said. -Anonymous

  7. #17
    Administrator
    EXP: 81,363, Level: 12
    Level completed: 34%, EXP required for next level: 8,637
    Level completed: 34%,
    EXP required for next level: 8,637

    AP
    42
    GP
    535
    Max Dirks's Avatar

    Name
    Max Dirks
    Age
    24
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Black
    Eye Color
    Green
    Job
    Illicit Entrepreneur

    View Profile
    Team 1 Judgment

    Story – 6 (Mixed review here. I felt that Taka’s homecoming was underwhelming, whereas the Ebivoulya’s arc was entirely predictable. The interaction between your characters was limited, and while it accomplished the thread requirements, did very little else for the story. I enjoyed that Yanbo was destroyed and that no one (save possibly Ebivoulya won). Similarly, I enjoyed the realization that Taka failed to identify the “true antagonist,” but it was too little too late.
    Setting – 6 (While you utilized a variety of settings, only the initial Akashiman storm and the tidal wave stuck out. The rest of the writing was dense, making the imagery overwhelming.
    Pacing – 7 (It seems Ebivoulya took my prior comments to heart. This was easily your strongest category and it was only marred by some clarity issues).
    Persona – 6 (Do not let the score fool you, this was the weakest part of your story. Ebivoulya’s ascent was predictable and Taka’s homecoming was unspectacular. Lipscomb was a boring antagonist and it was no surprise Ebivoulya would once again become a primary adversary to the overall plot. However, the realization of Taka’s failure when Yanbo was destroyed was well written. In addition, the concept that, in his haste to take out Lipscomb, he failed to realize the true antagonist was deep.)
    Action – 6 (The interaction between Amaleh and Ebivoulya while he wore the mark was excellent. Interactions between Taka and Libscomb were predictable and trite. The interaction between your characters was almost non-existent. This felt like two solos that briefly intersected, like a crossover in a TV program.)
    Dialogue – 5 (There was nothing specular here).
    Mechanics – 7 (There were no overt spelling errors, but there were several missing commas, misused semi-colons and other related grammatical mistakes.)
    Technique – 7 (Deux Ex Machina is a risky literary technique because it often leads to lazy conclusions, but I found Ebivoulya’s use of the device was stellar. In fact, the unspoken relationship between Amaleh and Ebivoulya were the highlight of the quest.)
    Clarity – 6 (Overuse of pronouns, especially within the same post, made it difficult to follow some actions without re-reading ((e.g. the geezer, the old man, hobo, grizzled, the codger, the half-elf, and the smuggler were used to describe two characters in one post). Tainted Bushido’s repetitious writing also caused unnecessary pause)
    Wildcard – 10 (All elements met)

    Total – 66/100

    Tainted Bushido receives 1126 EXP and 105 GP
    Ebivoulya receives 924 EXP and 92 GP
    Althanas Operations Administrator

    Dirks GP amount: 2949

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •