Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 14 of 14

Thread: Round 2: Team 2

  1. #11
    Member
    EXP: 8,120, Level: 3
    Level completed: 78%, EXP required for next level: 880
    Level completed: 78%,
    EXP required for next level: 880

    AP
    13
    GP
    1,072
    Gum's Avatar

    Name
    Gum
    Age
    41
    Race
    Dheathain Human
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Black
    Eye Color
    Brown
    Build
    5'11'' / 165lbs
    Job
    Xangu Shaman

    View Profile
    Heads down and hoods up, they rolled through the busy streets of Gisela with trepidation. Every sidestepped citizen could be the Cherub and every window with a vantage could harbour a sniper. Nevertheless, they simply had to make it to their destination; getting a message to Ceidon Lore was of critical importance. Struggling through the slicker Daichi had loaned him for cover, Gum engaged Phyr in a hushed conversation. "The gathering clouds. Do you think he has used it?" The shaman's question went unanswered. Phyr pushed on with what was most pertinent: the most inconspicuous route to the meeting place at the Palace Gardens. "This way, we'll be able to blend into the crowd."

    ~

    Ivy-wrapped pillars marked out a gravel pathway along which the duo's footsteps crunched. Colours, spilled along winding flowerbeds, giving a sweet scent to the air; the dandy sensation went some way to settling Gum's anxious heart. While the shaman wrestled with the immediate unknown, he watched Sa'resh forge ahead with a purpose. "Edim, I did not know him long," said Gum, pulling down the awkward hood of his borrowed outfit. "But, your faith in him is heartening to me." Ceidon's expedition member was expecting the silver-haired guardsman; they had to hope that their presence would be acceptable instead.

    "This is it," the one-armed elf announced with a sigh of relief. The location's significance came from a lurching willow; the tree wept into the lapping bank of a lily padded pond. "Edim's contact is not here," noted Gum, his baritone lowering further with concern. Phyr shook his head, "Gum, these things take time. Be patient."

    Beneath the willow's swaying reach was a marble slab, not polished but cut by a mason. Moving to inspect it, Gum noticed a bronze plaque bolted to the flat face of the quarried rock. "Read this," instructed Gum. They read together, learning the grim circumstances under which the tree was planted. A long since dead Baroness of Gisela placed the tree on the water's edge, its forlorn branches intended to reflect her sorrow at the death of her young son. "This tree must be over a hundred years old," mused Phyr.

    "Well, well, well," hacked a grizzly voice, interrupting the solemn moment. "Who the fuck are you two? Where's Edim?"

    Gum's narrow eyes squinted as he watched the woman approach. Her hoop earrings undulated with her swaggering saunter. She ran her hand over her head, drawing attention to the clean shave her scalp had recently received.

    Before the sailor came within earshot, Phyr whispered to to Gum, "She's not what I expected an associate of Ceidon Lore to look like."

    "You talking shit?!" she hollered. "Look, I don't care. What I care about is my friend Edim. So let me repeat the fucking question: where is he?"

    "We lost him," admitted Phyr, struggling to swallow. "Senator Fordstein is to blame for his death."

    "I am certain his assassins continue to stalk us," warned Gum. "We should acquaint ourselves quickly."

    "Well, shit..." The wind whipped through the supple stems of the willow. "Okay." Ceidon's representative was considering the news. "I liked Edim, solid fucking fella." She tugged at her gold-buckled belt. "Anyway," she said moving the conversation along, "I'm Saieda."

    Phyr said, "It's a pleasure to meet-"

    "Look, one-arm, just tell me your name."

    "Phyr Sa'resh, former Captain of the Underwood Watch."

    "And you?" The woman moved nose-to-nose with Gum and jabbed him in the gut with her pointing finger. "You're one of them Xenga savages!"

    Gum's indifferent frown turned to a snarl. "Xangu, not Xenga. My name is Gum, a shaman of the free Xangu people."

    "Right. Anyway, so the artifact?" Saieda, taking note of Gum's warning, wasted no time. "That's what I'm here for after all. Hand it over and I'll make sure it gets to Mr. Lore, so I will."

    The elf answered quickly and ruefully, "I lost possession of the Thunderbox when we lost Edim. Fordstein's assassin surely returned the object to his master."

    "Well, this is all a bit fucking pointless then, isn't it?" said Saieda with an outward puff of frustration. "Thanks for the bad news, I suppose. I'll pass it on to our mutual friend." Without waiting for either Gum or Phyr to reply, the sailor turned and began walking away.

    "Wait, just hold on a minute now," begged Phyr.

    "We are going to kill Fordstein." Gum's promise came like a knife. "We are going to take back the Thunderbox."

    Saieda stopped and shook her head nervously.

    Gum insisted, speaking again, "The Thunderbox will not be used to destroy the lives of the innocent."

    Saieda sighed. "Urgh, I really didn't want to tell this fucking story." After turning around, she walked back to face the two men with renewed severity. "We went out there, we sailed south. We pointed our ship to where the armada came from."

    Phyr nodded, expressing satisfaction.

    "And we found it. We found their homeland. But we couldn't go ashore. The whole place was surrounded, wreathed, in lightning storms. Bolts of lightning that just... they never stopped. There was no way to make land." Saieda paused to rub at her bald head for the second time.

    "Please, continue," implored Gum. "Remember, we are not safe here."

    "Well, this is where it gets fucking weird. I can't believe I'm saying this, but. Well. Ceidon, he collapsed looking at the storm. Half hour later the daft coot wakes up talking about a vision! He said that Am'aleh came to him in a dream, saying she appeared to him as a woman woven from water. This is Ceidon Lore mind, remember that. So he says about this dream that Am'aleh warned him that the cat-folk want all of Corone for themselves. Their homeland is ruined by the storms, they want Corone as a new home."

    "I understand now," Phyr was sharper than Gum. He quickly realised why Saieda was opening up, why she was bothering to tell a tale she so clearly did not want to tell.

    "Yes, you fucking see. They're using Fordstein's stupid plot to get their forces ashore. Akashima is already in ruins. Radasanth comes next, and then the rest. It's a double double cross! You get it? So, you can't assassinate Fordstein. Ceidon needs to get to the senator first and organise a defence."

    "The enemy of my enemy and all that," mumbled Phyr dejectedly.
    Last edited by Gum; 03-29-17 at 02:40 AM.
    【LƎVƎL.3】
    👻🐆💀

    xangunationalist
    fordsteinoperative

  2. #12
    Member
    EXP: 10,755, Level: 4
    Level completed: 36%, EXP required for next level: 3,245
    Level completed: 36%,
    EXP required for next level: 3,245

    AP
    14
    GP
    454
    Les Misérables's Avatar

    Name
    Phyr Sa'resh
    Race
    Drow
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Grey
    Eye Color
    Azure
    Build
    6'1" / 153 lbs.

    View Profile
    “We must depart,” Gum said furiously, “I've seen the same man pass this lane by three times.”

    Phyr snapped his head around, silver ponytail swaying against his borrowed slicker, sharp azure eyes following the shaman's line of vision. He spotted the heavy shouldered man in the rough leather coat as he disappeared around the corner.

    They exchanged a few more hurried words with Saieda, and then went their separate ways. Phyr and Gum turned down a narrow alleyway with cracked cobblestones and graffiti painted on the emaciated walls. They hurried along, not quite running but wasting no time.

    “Did you only see the one man?” Phyr asked as they emerged onto a busier street, where carts and wagons interspersed the folk on foot.

    “Yes, why?” Gum replied.

    “Because I see another,” the elf said, pointing with his long nose. The second man was as large and heavy shouldered as the first, wearing an equally rough leather coat. They could have been twins, if not for the fact that they were clearly from different continents. The first had been Coronian, with light brown hair and matching eyes and a medium-tan complexion. The second, a ginger, appeared Salvarian, with his slanted eyes and pale pallor. They both wore short beards and grim scowls.

    “This way,” Phyr said, turning sharply into the open front of a clothing store. He led Gum between rows of shelves, grabbing a gray cloak and passing it to his compatriot. “Take off your slicker and put on the cloak,” he said as they moved to the back of the shop. He followed his own advice swiftly, struggling out of the borrowed jacket and snatching up an equally drab cloak to change his appearance.

    “Just what do you bloody well think you're-” the rotund shopkeeper said from his seat behind a desk at the rear of the shop.

    “We are taking these cloaks, and going out the back door,” Phyr explained calmly, his palm on the flintlock cutlass' hilt, “stay seated, and I will not need to draw this weapon.”

    The shopkeeper nodded and swallowed, raising his hands to show them empty. Phyr and Gum ducked out the back way, drawing up the hoods of the cloaks they'd stolen.

    “Have we lost them?” Gum wondered aloud after they had traversed several city blocks.

    Sa'resh put down his hood and scanned behind with quick glances from his peripheral vision. “It would appear so,” he said, but then grasped Gum's elbow and changed direction again, “still, we should take a roundabout path back.”

    Eventually they made their way back to the home of Haruhi and Daichi, without seeing the roughcoats or anyone else who resembled a Fordstein operative. They found the Akashiman couple and their nephew enjoying a midday meal in the dining room. Phyr joined the trio at the table while Gum lingered near the front of the house, keeping a nervous vigil out the window.

    “What happened to the jackets I lent you?” Daichi asked with a raised eyebrow.

    “We had to trade them in,” Phyr said, a deeper hue of purple showing through the blue skin of his face as he blushed. “It's a long story,” he added, with a pointed glance at Tosu.

    Floorboards creaked as the Xangu shaman strode into the room. “We must flee out the back door,” he said solemnly, “I have spotted the Cherub across the street.”

    “Are you sure?” Phyr said rhetorically as he rose. Gum had told him all about the Cherub in the past three weeks. One did not ordinarily see the assassin coming. The dark elf paced to the back of the house and stole a glance out a rear window. He saw the pair of roughcoats from earlier lurking in the street.

    “We are trapped,” Sa'resh reported as he re-entered the dining room. Tosu wept softly and clung to his aunt, absorbing the tension dripping down from the adults.

    “The Cherub approaches,” Gum called from the front room.

    “You must hide,” Daichi decided, standing up suddenly, “both of you, and Tosu. Quickly. In the shrine. Am'aleh's hand will shelter us all.”

    Haruhi echoed his last few words as she ushered Tosu down the hall. Phyr and a protesting Gum followed, with Daichi lingering in the dining room. In the darkened shrine room Haruhi peeled back one of the screens, ushering her nephew, the old elf, and the shaman into the small gap between the blue spacers and the wall.

    “You will be safe here,” she said, kneeling in front of her nephew, “we will not tell them where you are.” She kissed the boy's forehead and then stood and shot Gum a level look. “Keep him silent,” she commanded, and then slid the screen back into place. Her footsteps receded from the room.

    From their hiding place, over the thundering hooves of their heartbeats, they heard everything. The roughcoats banging on the back door, and Daichi yelling at them to leave. The lethal whisper of the front door opening, its lock deftly picked. Daichi's scream of pain as the Cherub's blade severed his spine. Haruhi crying and begging as the roughcoats were let in.

    They kept the woman alive, the sounds of her sobs echoing throughout the home as they dragged her from room to room, searching. Before long they arrived at the shrine, and heavy hands pulled back the deep blue screens to reveal the hidden trio.

    Gum stood with one hand over Tosu's mouth, keeping the boy silent as ordered. Phyr had long since bared his blade, and leveled the flintlock's barrel at Fordstein's men.

    “Let the woman go,” he snarled, “and leave this place.”

    The Cherub’s sword flashed out, disarming the old elf easily. Phyr’s lone hand curled into a fist as his weapon clattered to the floor.

  3. #13
    Member
    EXP: 8,120, Level: 3
    Level completed: 78%, EXP required for next level: 880
    Level completed: 78%,
    EXP required for next level: 880

    AP
    13
    GP
    1,072
    Gum's Avatar

    Name
    Gum
    Age
    41
    Race
    Dheathain Human
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Black
    Eye Color
    Brown
    Build
    5'11'' / 165lbs
    Job
    Xangu Shaman

    View Profile
    "Give the boy up," the slick rasp of the Cherub carried a lethal intent that Gum was very familiar with; a killer of that man's calibre left little opportunity for escape. And so the shaman relented, leaving the boy to be torn away from his protection. "Do not hurt him," he gasped, clutching his fingers helplessly at nothing but thin air.

    The roughcoat handling Haruhi yanked her into the bony crest of his thrusting dome, headbutting the elderly woman to the ground. Tosu whimpered in the dull light of their humble shrine. Spittle frothed from the shaman's mouth as he grimaced for the blow; his bloodshot eyes trembled and widened under the tension.

    "Listen," commanded the roughcoat, "they'll both get to walk away. First you just have to-"

    "Talk to me!"

    That voice...

    A pair of black leather wingtips trod Daichi's fresh blood into the shrine; it was Senator Fordstein. "Honesty, gentlemen. A modicum of honesty is all I require from the two of you." His smirk ran like a sickle, he was utterly intoxicated with satisfaction. Such was his delight, that the very tips of his swanky moustache pointed to the sky. "Be a sport and hand me the juvenile, won't you?" The Cherub ushered the child into the arms of the Radasathian politician. Tosu shivered at the cold touch of the senator's narrow fingers. "Honesty," he repeated, blinking intently in Gum's direction.

    Haruhi wobbled, teetering on her feet. Tosu's lip trembled, he was distressed at the sight of his aunt suffering from a severe wound. Then he made eye contact with the elf. "It'll be okay, Tosu." Phyr's tone implied certainty for the sake of the boy's comfort.

    Thick beads formed on Gum's temples, trickling into and along the bold channels of his brow. For all the resentment he harboured towards the senator, Gum had no words for such a dire moment. What had felt like a juncture had suddenly revealed itself to be a dead end. He felt the weight of his people, they would feel the wrath of the senator soon enough. Phyr, the kid, the old woman; his failure would cost them most of all.

    "My dear Gum, I know you. I'll give you credit. At first I thought you were just another killer, a bit like this one." He pointed in the Cherub's direction. "But, time, as it does so expertly, has elucidated your true nature to me; you possess a propensity for compassion I'd rather my operatives did not. And as such, I always knew one day I would have to deal with your having indulged in a jaunt along the moral high road."

    "It was always wrong," complained the struggling shaman.

    "And it was wrong of you to betray me," said the senator, shooting back with his pitiless eyes. "And in betraying me you have condemned your so-called free Xangu people to the yoke of servitude!"

    Tosu squirmed a little; despite his dread, the extent of his tolerance for grown up talk was limited. The senator's words exceeded his comprehension. "Stay still Tosu," warned Phyr, breaking his silence.

    "But you know, conscientious objection I can forgive. But what of this ridiculous quest to prevent me from acquiring what is rightfully mine?"

    Gum steadied himself, examining the senator's team. With the Cherub and the roughcoats in the room, there was little left to do other than talk. "I knew you would use the Thunderbox to oppress more people," he argued.

    "Yes!" Fordstein spoke with the honest he purported to revere. "Yes, I will!" He placed his hand on the shaggy head of the boy and ruffled his hair. "But, there's more, isn't there?" He left a pause for either Gum or Phyr to answer the question. They both stayed silent. "Remember, gentlemen, honesty!"

    Honesty? How could he possibly know about...

    Gum turned to look at Phyr, but the elf just looked ahead.

    "I have two useful men before me here. It would be a shame to dispose of such talent!" Fordstein wagged his finger, as though admonishing his rotten grandchildren. "Gum, you've proven to be an adept assassin for me. Though, these moral complications have to come to an end!" Then the politician turned his eyes on Phyr. "This one, the Scourge of the Silver-Furs they're calling you! And here you are, in the flesh! Ohhhh, how I would like to add the Captain of the Underwood Watch to my ranks."

    "Former Captain." The one-armed elf acted quickly to correct the senator.

    "Regardless, I can forgive it all. If only you can be honest with me. Gum, you will be welcomed back into the fold. And Mr. Sa'resh, I'm happy to employ you based on reputation alone." Fordstein shook the boy by his shoulder. "But, I need honesty first!"

    He must know about the plot to assassinate him. How could he know that, unless...

    "Bring her in," said Fordstein to the unoccupied roughcoat in the room.

    It was Saieda. Fordstein had Saieda. It was then that Gum and Phyr realised, they had been betrayed. The skinheaded sailor swaggered into the shrine with an open mouth. "Well, look," she began, "we're all gonna be on the same fucking team. Fordstein's a shithead, I get it. I think he gets it," she said, winking at the ageing senator. "His armies are the ones to beat back these awful cat fuckers though."

    Phyr stared at Saieda, "Edim vouched for you." His words were sharp and bitter, laced with sorrow for his friend's empty demise.

    "Look," she contended, "Ceidon was in on this too. We had to bring you guys in, we had to stop this assassination nonsense. This is bigger than all of us!"

    Gum spat at her, the saliva landed on the tip of her boot. "When you die, your spirit will find no peace."

    "She will not be dying today, but thanks to your refusal to accept responsibility for your actions, somebody has to die." Fordstein nodded and said, "Cherub, please."

    The Cherub grabbed Tosu by the shoulder and pulled him away from the senator. Before the boy realised what was happening, the assassin had ran his katana into the boy's back, through the heart and out of the chest.

    Tosu fell dead.

    "You two killed that boy, not me!" screamed the senator.

    Haruhi broke away from the roughcoat restraining her. She was still bleeding from the scalp, the spot where she had been headbutted. She cradled the boy's limp body, her arms were loose and her body arched over his. She wept.

    Gum snorted, blasting air from his broad nostrils. The bones inside his body crunched and twisted, while his face began to contort. The shaman was beginning his primal transformation.

    Thud!

    One of the roughcoats present slammed him in the back of the head using the hilt of his weapon, interrupting the transformation.

    Gum lost consciousness.
    Last edited by Gum; 03-31-17 at 11:05 AM.
    【LƎVƎL.3】
    👻🐆💀

    xangunationalist
    fordsteinoperative

  4. #14
    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
    62
    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 2 Judgment

    Story – 5 (Your story started well. I appreciated that you turned inward and focused on the blossoming relationship between Gum and Phyr rather than the overarching narrative. Like Logan in the X-men series, it was a pleasant departure from the action build narratives in the other threads. That said, the interaction with the Cherub, Saieda and ultimately Fordstein, was unnecessary. While I realize you were attempting to consolidate the paths provided in the prompt, their appearances detracted from the relationship you previously built. Though I predicted it from the start, I’m glad you came full circle to Tosu. However, by having Gum simply lose consciousness, you lost out on some incredible late character development. The conclusion was rushed & essentially non-existant.
    Setting – 6 (You visited a variety of different places, but only the basement temple to Amaleh truly stood out. You did far better with the urban settings than others)
    Pacing – 7 (This was by and large a strength until the end. Perhaps you were running out of time, but your climax and conclusion were essentially contained within one post. I can actually point to a specific place in the story where your pacing became rushed and it was incidentally when you passed time in Haruhi’s home after seeing Cherub).
    Persona – 8 (Easily the strongest of any group. Gum’s unease with his earlier decision to assist Fordstein to protect his people could have easily become a trope (and it almost did by using the unoriginal rape/inhumane act of war moniker), but you looked beyond, pondering not only your character’s fate but the fate of the Xangu tribe as well. Phyr’s development centered around the concept that one can never escape who he is (in this case, a captain), and it was well done throughout. Even Gum’s assist at the end was true to character. Well done)
    Action – 5 (Your character interaction was excellent, but this score was severely impacted by the rushed consolidation of the three paths. The introduction and subsequent (and immediate) betrayal of Saieda was predictable and annoying. The caution expressed earlier in the thread between your characters was lost with this NPC. Similarly, despite stealing him for the AC narrative, I felt nothing when Edim (Les Miserable’s best NPC from round one) died.)
    Dialogue – 5 (You over relied on dialogue to express feelings in this thread. There was nothing particularly wrong with what was said, but there was nothing particularly amazing either)
    Mechanics – 8 (I didn’t spot many errors. Gum ended a significant number of sentences in prepositions.)
    Technique – 6 (There was some foreshadowing of Tosu’s demise that stood out, but otherwise I did not notice any significant advanced writing techniques in this thread.)
    Clarity – 7 (Some early actions were difficult to follow, and I felt the detail of Phyr’s opening post was unnecessary. Only propositions negatively affected clarity in terms of writing)
    Wildcard – 10 (All elements met)

    Total – 67/100

    Gum receives 697 EXP and 80 GP
    Les Miserables receives 750 EXP and 80 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
  •