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Thread: Things That Make You Go BOOM

  1. #11
    Member
    EXP: 91,535, Level: 13
    Level completed: 11%, EXP required for next level: 12,465
    Level completed: 11%,
    EXP required for next level: 12,465

    AP
    55
    GP
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    Revenant's Avatar

    Name
    William Arcus
    Age
    Mid-30's (apparent age)
    Race
    Revenant
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Black Stubble
    Eye Color
    Molten Fire
    Build
    5'11"/178lbs
    Job
    Freelance Murder Machine

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    “Leave Scara Brae,” William echoed. It was a bold request, but there was steel in Adren’s voice behind the declaration. The assassin was obviously serious about it.

    William found, to his surprise, that this was one avenue that he hadn’t expected the meeting to take. Naturally, his instinctive reaction was to expect hostility from the two of them. There were half a dozen combat scenarios that he’d come up with already, plays and counter-plays to whatever the two of them could throw his way.

    And then there was the talking. William suspected that if this meeting had been solely between him and Arden, then blood would have already been split. This, William had to admit, was likely the entire reason why Ruby was here.

    He’d even thought about a version of these events playing out with them trying to recruit William back into the fold, seeking their companion of long ago. He’d play the role of the prodigal son in the little play they would set up for him. It was an enticing proposal, but not really one that William was looking for.

    But to be simply given what he wanted and then asked politely to leave? Well, that was one scenario William hadn’t expected.

    Arden and Ruby sat patiently, waiting for his response. He could see that he’d misjudged them, William knew that now. He knew that they hated him and had let his own experiences color his view of how they would react to that. William would take that hatred and make it personal, polishing and refining it until it was smooth and sharp and hard. But to these old souls William was just another annoyance forcing himself upon them. I was better simply to be done with him and move on to more pleasant things.

    Anger rose in William’s chest, the old, bitter anger of being dismissed. The destructive part of William’s soul snarled in the back of his mind, proudly defiant. It demanded that he show these two the price of impertinence. It railed at the thought of being given an ultimatum about what he could and could not do. Where he could and couldn’t go. Hadn’t he overthrown the Ixian Knights to ensure that he’d be no master’s slave ever again?

    “But isn’t that what this is?” William replied against his destructive urges. Arden and Ruby weren’t giving him an ultimatum, and they weren’t laying down the terms that they’d devised and then forcing him to comply with them. If William agreed to their deal then he would be the one making the choice not to return to Scara Brae. He alone would be determining the course of his own fate.

    “Well?” Ruby finally asked, sensing that William had made his decision.

    “I have no plans to return to the island after this job is finished,” William said. “But I also don’t know what sort of things the future holds. At best I can give you my assurance that I will not return on my own business and that if it becomes necessary for me to return in the future that I will have word sent to you ahead of time.”

    William looked around at the sun lounge, bustling with the crowds of high society. He smiled faintly, “Also, I can guarantee you that if I do have to come back I won’t be doing so in as publicly ostentatious a manner as this time. It’s fun to play around with the nobility every once in a while, but this really isn’t my type of place.”

    “If that deal is acceptable, then all I need to know is where Arden’s workshop is and when to meet him there.”
    "I have looked upon all that the universe has to hold of horror, and even the skies of spring and the flowers of summer must ever afterward be poison to me." - Call of Cthulhu

    David vs. Goliath: History's first recorded critical hit.
    JC Thread - The Bitter King

  2. #12
    Member
    EXP: 53,501, Level: 9
    Level completed: 96%, EXP required for next level: 499
    Level completed: 96%,
    EXP required for next level: 499

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    Arden's Avatar

    Name
    Arden Janelle
    Age
    536 (appears 28)
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Brown
    Eye Color
    Red
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    5'10"/179lbs
    Job
    Guild Van

    “It is acceptable.” Ruby nodded.

    She made to stand, and even William found himself making to rise. She shook her head, and gestured for him to remain seated. She looked to Arden.

    “You remember what we agreed…brother.” There was another weight in her words to settle any thoughts in the swordsman’s mind of revenge.

    “Oh, I value my manhood enough to not cross you.” He smirked.

    Ruby clinked her wrists together and vanished. The obsidian bands left white hot gold circles in her wake, and the occupants of the tea room sighed in relief. The maître de nodded to one of the waitresses, who made her way slowly to the table, anticipating their departure, and the need to reset it for the waiting guests in the ante chamber.

    “So. Let’s go.”

    Arden held out his hand to William. For a moment, the demon thought it conciliatory, before he remembered that the troupe forged teleportation bracelets long ago to take them, and their allies to Castle Brandybuck.

    “Where is the forge?” He took it, and before he received his reply, they too departed and left rings glowing like embers.

    The teaspoon in the sugar bowl rattled on the fine china brim. The conversation resumed full swing, and the waitress cleared away the plates quickly with the fierce glare of her employer on her back.

    Castle Brandybuck appeared, and the duo formed on the peninsula that protruded precariously out from the roaring, seemingly infinite waterfalls that drained away a crystal lake into the ether swirl of the Aria below.

    “I forgot how impressive this place was.”

    William had been here once, many moons ago, acting as the Captain of the Scara Brae City Guard. The white winged helmet of that station stood on a pedestal in the city’s palace now, unclaimed and its power unspent.

    “We only use it as a way stone now, but now the lady of the house has gone there’s something you should know.” Arden pointed to the tallest, central tower of the castle.

    William narrowed his gaze. Even with the setting sun illuminating the sky with prangs of fire, he could see there was a light on behind the cracked stained-glass facias. Somebody was living there.

    “Squatters?”

    Arden chuckled. The smell of aniseed and lavender filled their lungs. Gulls cawed overhead. A brief, moment of peace lightyears from home, then a sudden, overwhelming urge to shit yourself.
    “Duffy.”

    They re-appeared in the backstreets of the merchant district, slightly uneasy on their feet, and surrounded by cogs and steam pipes. William recognised it as the smithy quarter, and leant against a crate to compose himself.

    “Forgive me, but I’m fairly sure you just said Duffy was living in his castle.”

    “He is.”

    “Dead, slightly annoying Duffy?”

    “Only slightly?” Arden walked off, heading out into the busy, wagon crowded thoroughfare.

    “Very annoying dead Duffy.” William followed, and they wove through the afternoon hubbub to stand before two towering wooden doors bolted closed and studded with black iron rivets.

    “Ruby doesn’t know. It’s why the condition was for you to leave. If he finds out you’re here, there’s nothing I could do or say to save your life.”

    “Wait. You’re not the one whose angry?” William shifted the bolt, his smouldering skin barely breaking into a…sweat?

    “I’ve done far worse things, William. I dealt with the anger of that night of debauchery years ago. Duffy is less able to move forwards than I.” He nodded with thanks and entered the forge, aglow with his apprentice’s morning duties and heady with the humidity of the three small forges that surrounded a central, hooded fire pit.

    “But, more on the fineries of the crumbling legacy of the Ixian Knights later. Get on to the eastern bellows and start pumping. Today, you are my apprentice, and we have much to do before sun set.” Arden rolled up his sleeves, tied back his hair, and set to work on the western bellows.

  3. #13
    Member
    EXP: 91,535, Level: 13
    Level completed: 11%, EXP required for next level: 12,465
    Level completed: 11%,
    EXP required for next level: 12,465

    AP
    55
    GP
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    Revenant's Avatar

    Name
    William Arcus
    Age
    Mid-30's (apparent age)
    Race
    Revenant
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Black Stubble
    Eye Color
    Molten Fire
    Build
    5'11"/178lbs
    Job
    Freelance Murder Machine

    View Profile
    “Lies within lies, how very Tantalus of you,” William muttered, taking his place at the eastern bellows. Their earlier discussion had loosened something inside William, as if the introspective moment between the three ex-comrades had somehow cracked his steely heart. But Adren’s assurance that it had all been a lie to deceive his sister milled the crack with molten iron. He was wary again, on guard to the tricks of the Tantalus troupe. If they could lie to themselves, bonded as they were, then they would have no difficulty in lying to him.

    William grabbed the bellows and pushed, sending a burst of air into the coals that blasted shimmering life into the coals. The light flickered for a moment and then sank back to a sullen burnt red. William set his mind to the task and set to pumping the great bellows with a steady rythm.

    It had been a long time since he’d busied himself with the manual labor that went into craftsmanship. His father had taught him the basics of using a forge when he’d been little. Gerard had constructed a small shed for the tiny forge well away from the woodhouse, as even a tiny spark could set the entire workshop ablaze. The carpenter had used it for minor things, straightening blades, repairing tools and the like. Everything that he’d crafted had come out pitted and ugly, the very definition of function over form. For anything else ever a man as capable with his hands as Gerard had had to seek out a professional.

    “You’ve got a rhythm but it’s too slow,” Arden said. William looked up from the coals and watched the assassin’s wiry frame contract at a pace at least half again as quick as William’s. William nodded his acknowledgement and increased his own efforts, taking care not to put too much strength into each squeeze of the bellows.

    He kept an eye on Arden as he worked, slipping into the focused meditation that warrior-monk Ta’Gaz had trained into him during their sessions. He focused on the rhythm, matching the pace of the other man until they were mirrors of one another.

    “You surprise me,” he grunted, allowing his body to fall into the natural rhythm of the task. Arden said nothing as he continued to stoke the steadily rising flames. William continued, unfazed. “I understand wanting to keep Duffy and me separate. But hiding him from Ruby? That takes guts.”

    William thought about the fiery woman. There wasn’t much in Althanas that frightened the revenant, and Ruby was not one of them. But given the choice between appeasing her and having to live through the sheer amount of hellfire that she was able to muster, William would always choose the latter.

    “Guts or stupidity,” he muttered.

    “Keep to the work,” was all Arden said.

    William shut up and continued to pump life into the forge.
    "I have looked upon all that the universe has to hold of horror, and even the skies of spring and the flowers of summer must ever afterward be poison to me." - Call of Cthulhu

    David vs. Goliath: History's first recorded critical hit.
    JC Thread - The Bitter King

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