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Thread: The Aesthetics of Hate

  1. #1
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    Shinsou Vaan Osiris's Avatar

    Name
    Shinsou Vaan Osiris
    Age
    31
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Brown
    Eye Color
    Gold
    Build
    6'0", 155lbs
    Job
    "Executor" (Leader) of the Brotherhood

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    The Aesthetics of Hate

    Out of Character:
    Closed to Mr Veritas, esq.


    The co-leader of the Brotherhood of the Castigars was tired. Since their liberation of Whitevale, Shinsou's and Storm's grip had tightened around their new organization and yet with each passing day the resistance against the change grew. Just under a third of their forces had slipped through their fingers in a couple of months. Osiris was so worn out from ducking, diving and fighting that his eyelids felt heavier than iron and when the waves of exhaustion swept over him, they threatened to pull the Telgradian down into an abyss of sleep. Beneath the long, unkempt bangs of chestnut hair, sodden eyes of gold glared out into the center of the room. The object of his ire before him, Osiris had been looking forward to this very much.

    It was time to play his part.

    There came a stressed groaning from the supports of his chair as Osiris sat his cloaked body further back into the upholstery. In the sultry air of his Whitevale office, a place one could only reach through either invitation or detention, a bloodied and beaten man was forced to his knees. The only communication was the gesture of a cold steel spear being pressed to his neck and a firm leather boot locking against his shoulder blade. Shinsou smiled an unseen smirk, when most ironically the situation held little to smile about.

    "What is your name?"

    The man looked up through a mass of blooded, knotted white hair. He had remembered that voice. It was the usurper Shinsou Vaan Osiris. He noticed, rather to his surprise, that his sword hadn’t been taken from him and still swung and clattered around his waist underneath his filthy greatcoat. He allowed himself a moment of satisfaction, knowing that the significance of it would at that very moment be irritating to one of Whitevale's new lords, whom without the smile-mask as a restraint would have dived from his ill gotten throne to tear it from him.

    "That depends," droned the weary warrior, altering the pitch and intonation of his voice not once from the first word to the last. “Do you want my real name or the name that the Brotherhood you stole bestowed on me?”

    The Telgradian huffed in the way only greatly powerful, self-absorbed leaders can do. He loved to hear this answer and felt more and more sure of himself every time its verse was sung flatly and in such dull tone by one of the Ducos insurrectionists.

    "Tell me, please. How many of your number do you believe have knelt where you now kneel? I have heard this kind of reply dozens of times. Your name is Ramsey Mthandria, son of Ducos. Don’t fool yourself into thinking I know nothing of you. It insults the image I grudgingly bear of you..."

    Ramsey sank once more with a disenchanted breath. He seemed to collapse entirely inside, not exactly at the words of his tormentor, but more at the implications of his question. Shinsou was right. Many of Ducos's men would have knelt here, or somewhere much less civilized. Oh how he begged now to be in some soaking wet, dark cell. How he begged to be away from this de-facto throne room of this new Brotherhood and its occupants. He pleaded in his mind for the thud of a heavy baton across his shoulder or face, the lash of a barbed whip upon his naked back; anything but this. It didn't draw this hateful spew of truth that began to surge into his consciousness. The truth did not make one truly see that hope was, in fact, nowhere in sight, but that it was truly, truly lost. He summoned some strength to talk, if only in order not to be silenced.

    "I am. My father named me. My mother was killed in one of your raids not long ago. You know this, and therefore know that I do not lie. Had I lied or told the truth, in any case, what difference would it make?"

    Some shape came to his voice as Ramsey posed his question for the Telgradian, who appeared to be devoid of any expression of emotion at all. He raised a chalice to his disheveled face. Ramsey was unsure if his captor was actually consuming the contents it or simply using it as a device to antagonize him further.

    "None whatsoever,” Came Shinsou's reply, “My mind is on more pressing matters than your family history. I want to know where your father is. The Brotherhood Council is now past-tense, as will soon be all that you and the rest of your insignificant rebellion cling to. Do yourself a favor and save yourself before its too late."

    Shinsou stopped, and sat forward in his creaking, straining chair. Ramsey said nothing, spitting to his right.

    "Defiant to the end? So be it. Stay on this course, however, and you'll be conveying a message to your father via the hangman's noose. If Ducos and his men do not surrender to the Brotherhood, then whatever they have salvaged from the wreckage of your former empire will be razed. Choose not to lie to yourself, Ramsey Mthandria, and accept that you will not be able save yourself or any of your people unless we deem it so. I could have you killed at a moment of my choosing and you could do nothing, and I am but one of two lords of Whitevale. So, i'm going to give you one last opportunity to think about your...situation."

    The Telgradian looked at Ramsey's defiant form with false, cowing eyes, as if appealing greatly to him, but the retort, predictably, came in the form of another wad of spit. His patience exhausted, Shinsou's fingers clicked. A prayer for the broken was answered at last as the heavy oak butt of the spear struck the back of Ramsey’s head, the force knocking his face into the thin carpet at his knees. The Telgradian, defiantly, whisked a hand in the air to order the warrior to be removed, with no hope of tracing his journey from the premises of the Whitevale complex. He beckoned for Ramsey's sword, inspecting it with interest as it was passed to him, whilst the guards dragged the limp body off into the intestines of the headquarters.

    Shinsou lolled his head back as the guards vacated the office, his weight forcing the chair to creak loudly once more. He was pleased with his little performance. The Telgradian was always so tired now, worn down by the relentlessness of Ducos's resistance, and perhaps his recent behavior in dealing with the rebellion signified that the end of his tether had finally been found.

    With a wave of his hand, he summoned one of his handmaidens to his side.

    "Tell Veritas we've captured that little shit, Ramsey. I think its time we made a statement of intent. Tell him he'll be swinging at dawn."

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  2. #2
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    Storm Veritas's Avatar

    Name
    Storm Veritas
    Age
    38
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    More pepper than salt.
    Eye Color
    Grey or Blue
    Build
    6'1, 185 lbs
    Job
    Defiler.

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    The fact that banks operated successfully in Althanas was no small miracle. The widespread corruption, uncertainty of global markets, and operating costs of such establishments were all very difficult pills to swallow. The fact that men like Storm Veritas roamed this plane made the security and conflated interest rates all the more difficult to manage. While running Whitevale, he felt the opportunity slap him across the face when, on any given day during the week, he knew how the dravemeat sausage was made. It would be entirely too easy for him to come in, overwhelm the place with his abilities, and walk out with scared men carrying large sacks of gold for him.

    So why, for f*cks sake, do these stooges give me a hard time when I merely wish to –skirt- the rules, and not break them as unabashedly as they know full well I am capable of?

    His counterpart was a familiar face today; Jacob Williamson was the same stodgy bookkeep that had helped him launder his own funds when Storm was establishing the new order of the Brotherhood in Whitevale. The doughy little clerk had proven himself bold in spite of his diminutive stature and abilities; he didn’t shy from pushing back from the electromancer after learning that the new sheriff in town wished to rule with at least a modicum of peace.

    “I’m sorry, sir, but the market fee for transference of goods is non-negotiable. We all roll up under Radasanth Central Bank; I don’t control the trade surcharge.” Pudgy hands scrambled to document notes on a large ledger, pale knuckles barely perceptible above a corpulent bulb of a hand.

    I should lift you by your lapel pin and throw you through the goddamned wall.

    Dapper and political, the more visible of Whitevale’s leadership team ran fingers through his hand as he leaned back in the seat, thinking long and tapping digits against his ribs through his spectacular navy pinstriped linen suit. His tie would not move from his perch, his own countenance unwavering as he considered the true goal and the options available to him. With easy port access, Whitevale would never starve, for the sea was plentiful and generous. What Whitevale would always need was ancillary goods – salt, cloth, wheat, and spirits. The latter good was of constant need, as the experienced imbiber had led to a Renaissance of hedonism in what was once a sleepy hamlet.

    “Then let’s set import duties on people moving goods in, Jake. Am’aleh knows we get screwed six ways to the Harvest Moon trying to get lumber out to Salvar from here.” His own brilliance shined here, smiling from ear to ear at the concept. The increased revenue would more than offset the losses taken from moving in high spoilage wheat and returns on failed fish.

    “Can’t. The export rates are set by the Crown and Crown alone; you know that, m’Lord.” For a change, a hint of trepidation crept across the face of the coinmaster.

    I will use your blubber for lamp oil, you cowardly little shit.

    “Yes, of course…” leaning forward, the wizard whispered. ”That’s why we change them from ‘import duties’ to ‘port fees’, and keep it quiet.”

    The pen dropped across the ledger, the fat man breathing deeply at the request. Men like this, used to the straight and narrow… they didn’t understand where the lines could be blurred. Storm interrupted Williamson before the knowledgeable banker could rebut him.

    “We’re running a deficit here. We’ve got shit-heel rebels that have tripled the conscription cost for guards. I haven’t seen a Coronian ranger down here in a dog’s age, despite the legitimacy of operations and our escalating requests for military support. Worst case, the Crown sends emissaries here, and it gives me the platform to explain things. More likely, they look the other way, because they have their own problems, and Salvar traders still roll hog-high in their own wealth.”

    Jacob was defeated, laying his hands upon his belly. The bank would help establish the port fees and set the new market conditions internationally, using their network to add an air of authority and “transparency”. The tandem knew full well that Radasanth would likely NOT react well to this, particularly given the shaky footing that the leader stood upon. His assassination of two Senators had not been proven, but it was believed (and, for the record, fairly so). Even the Radsanthian Reader newspaper had a long enough memory to hold him in low regard.

    The oaken door to the bank swung open, a burst of light, noise, and dust from outside interrupting the ongoing negotiations and quiet discussions transpiring across the bank. One of Whitevale’s guardsmen clicked his heels to announce his presence, taking off a light armor helmet to unveil a spray of youthful blond hair. Handsome and marbled with muscle, he marched through with a nervous smile, his sword and shield perched across his left and right shoulderblades. parading royal blue dress leathers through the bank. He knew where to find the terrifying statesman.

    “M’Lord. A note from my liege.” The little paper was scrolled tight, adorable with a pinkie-sized wax seal and tied with a blue ribbon. Veritas smiled as he unrolled the little scroll between his fingertips, squinting to focus on the ink.

    We have Ramsey. Extracting details now; hanging tomorrow. Double the guards.


    S.V.O.
    “Well, shit.”

  3. #3
    Der Geńchteter zerrissen
    EXP: 57,454, Level: 10
    Level completed: 32%, EXP required for next level: 7,546
    Level completed: 32%,
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    Shinsou Vaan Osiris's Avatar

    Name
    Shinsou Vaan Osiris
    Age
    31
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Brown
    Eye Color
    Gold
    Build
    6'0", 155lbs
    Job
    "Executor" (Leader) of the Brotherhood

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    Out of Character:
    Prestatyn Heights, eighteen miles north of Whitevale

    Shinsou Vaan Osiris, on a damp spring day when a cold wind whipped around the hilltops a couple of miles north of Whitevale, stood on an ancient stone bridge and stared at the road which led southwards to a low pass in the rocky crest.

    The hills were dark with rain. Behind him, standing at ease, with their musket locks wrapped with rags and their muzzles plugged with corks to stop the rain soaking into the barrels, stood five companies of Brotherhood infantry. They were well drilled, well disciplined and almost completely useless as ceremonial detail, so much so that their commander nearly felt sorry for them. But, as circumstances dictated, they were the men who would bear witness to the execution and likely the men who would be deployed to counteract whatever retaliation came the Brotherhood's way.

    To Shinsou, it seemed only fair that they saw what he was going to do, as the consequences of these actions would be the ones that they were laying their lives down for.

    The crest, the Telgradian knew, was five hundred yards away. In a few moments, a specially assigned guard detail would haul Ramsey up the path and one part of his job was to escort the boy personally across the bridge and to the gallows that had been constructed overnight by his workmen. The other part was a simple job; a soldier's job. Word had gotten to Ducos's rebellion of the time and place of the hanging, and Shinsou knew that there was a risk Ramsey's men would try to spring him. This is why he had chosen this location for the execution, well out of the way of Whitevale's flat and predictable landscape. The spring had come late, the weather had brought these hills nothing but rain and the stream beneath the bridge was deep, fast and impassible.

    If any rescue party dared to try and intervene, they would have to come to the bridge where Shinsou waited, or not cross the watercourse at all. Osiris, and eventually Storm, would be all the security they would need.

    "Sir?"

    A captain of the light company, Shinsou's own detail, spoke. He sounded apprehensive.

    "Captain?"

    "Staff officers from Whitevale coming, sir. Ramsey's on his way up."

    Out of Character:
    Ourorov Castle, Corone. Thirty miles south of Whitevale.

    As the martins were busy making their nests in the old masonry of Ourorov Castle, Professor Ducos Mthandria looked down from the ramparts. The small westerly wind lifted his black hair as he stared into the castle courtyard, the last remaining stronghold of the former Brotherhood council. He was waiting for a very special arrival; someone who would help turn the tide of the conflict against the new Brotherhood and help get his son Ramsey back into the firm hands of his army.

    He didn't have to wait long at all. He fidgeted with the earpieces of his spectacles, wincing as the curved wire chaffed his sore skin, before gazing at the arriving convoy.

    Six wagons were being dragged over the cobbles. The wagons were huge, lumbering fourgons, each pulled by eight oxen. Black tarpaulins covered their loads, roped down and bulging with cargo. An escort flanked the freight; armed with bright bladed lances from which hung red and white pennants. The tired oxen were prodded over to the far end of the courtyard where the carts, with much shouting and effort, were packed against the keep's wall.

    The garrison of the castle watched the arrival with interest as the tri-colour of the old Council emblem flapped sullenly in the wind above them. The sentries stared out across the wild countryside, wondering whether the war against the usupers Shinsou Vaan Osiris and Storm Veritas would ever lap against this place; their final fortress. Before they could finish their ponderings, there was a sudden rattle of hooves in the gateway as a bright, gleaming carriage bursted into the courtyard. It was drawn by four white horses that were harnessed to the splinter bar with silver trace chains.

    The carriage was driven too fast but that, Ducos decided, was characteristic of its owner. She was known in Corone as Adarod Atup La Morde, or simply put, "the Beau of Wolves".

    A youngish man, the very image of a revolutionary hero, leapt down from the horse, his gaudy uniform stiffened to carry the weight of his medals, and let down the steps with a flourish. Ducos, like a predator watching his victim, stared at the emerging woman. She was beautiful, this Beau of Wolves. Men who saw her for the first time hardly dared believe that any woman could be this beautiful. Her skin was as white and clear as the pearl shells of Serentii's beaches. Her hair was caramel brown, and an accident of lip and bone, of eye and skin had given her a look of innocence that made men want to protect and love her the livelong day.

    Ducos could think of few women so little in need of protection. She was Lornian by birth, but had served the Brotherhood Council since her sixteenth birthday. She had slept in the beds of the powerful and brought from their pillows the secrets of their houses, and when the Council had attempted to install their own senators into the Imperial assembly before their fall, he had sent her as his weapon. She had pretended to be the daughter of victims of Xem'zund's conquests. She had even, on instructions from Ducos, married a man close to the usurpers of the Brotherhood. He was a man privy to some of the activities of the leadership, and as a result she both held the title of "Lady La Morde" and fair consideration from those of rank within the new Whitevale government.

    Lady La Morde was as lovely as a summer dream and as treacherous as sin.

    Ducos smiled. A hawk, high above it's victim, might have felt the same satisfaction that the former council member felt as he ordered an aide to send his compliments to the Beau of Wolves with a request which, from Professor Ducos, was tantamount to an order.

    She was to come to him without delay, for there was work to be done.

    Althanas Operations Administrator



    The Second Coming: 29 days remaining

  4. #4
    Moderator
    EXP: 120,660, Level: 15
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    Storm Veritas's Avatar

    Name
    Storm Veritas
    Age
    38
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    More pepper than salt.
    Eye Color
    Grey or Blue
    Build
    6'1, 185 lbs
    Job
    Defiler.

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    Storm sneered as he crumbled the small note within his bony hand, long and twisted fingers crumbling the parcel as his eyes squinted into a piercing line of blue. The fury in his face quickly passed as he tried to keep some stoicism in his demeanor, but the die had been cast. Almost automatically, the employees of the bank took action averting their eyes from the wizard, creating a larger natural distance between the powerful mage for their own protection. An angry god was not a good one, after all.

    Sweet Thayne’s nutsack, Shin, you’re f*cking killing me. You grab Ramsey and parade him off on excursion while I’m back here washing cash? These rock-headed simpletons will think we’re ripe for the taking!

    “Jacob, we’re done here. Give other shipments ten days warning to allow a last transit before port fees are imposed. Send word up to Concordia not to accept distress shipments without tariff inclusion.”

    With a gentle boot, Storm toed the door open, light flooding into the room as he defied the natural wince. The salty air greeted him a reminder of the port’s criticality, but it didn’t matter to him. The town could afford some losses, he just needed to show transactions that could plausibly generate cash. Besides, Shinsou had introduced a whole new problem to his universe.

    How do I find guards without recruiting my own assassin?

    The undercurrent of rebellion hadn’t escaped Storm, although it presented itself in a furtive sort of way. Both Veritas and Osiris had proven themselves for their considerable abilities, so none were so foolish as to attempt a straightforward coup. That didn’t change the discontent that created whispers in town. His head was a valued one; these fools needed protection and guidance, but defied leadership in spite of their best interests.

    Driving a pinch of tobacco into the side of his cheek, the wizard inhaled deeply and expectorated a thick stream of brown and red onto the whitewashed cobblestone. It was time to sit and write, he had work to do.

    Out of Character:
    Whitevale Brookings Tavern

    Writing had proven itself a futile passage, and the bottom of his whiskey glass offered far more in the way of epiphany for the experienced traveler. More, every man worth half his salt would be in the bar, and there was no truer method to extract real intentions than to get a man rip-roaring drunk and compliment him. Here, regaling the masses with stories of dragons felled and opponents bested, the mighty magician had found himself less than half as drunk as he let on.

    “You f*cking guys! I love this city! It’s a city of men, you see, not like those fancy-boy pussies up in Radasanth. I need some men; who here needs work and knows how to handle themselves?”

    With a flourish, he unsheathed his knife, spinning the thing across his fingertips in the low light of the large, clean bar. There were at least ten men around him at some depth, and quite a few humored the half-hearted blade dance with applause. They were either sycophantic or simply scared to death of the skinny death machine; either way he wouldn’t hold it against them. Carelessly, Storm drove the dagger into the table behind him, pivoting back to finish his whiskey.

    Cheese on the plate, spring wound tight. Which one of you stupid assholes is feeling brave?

    “Whitevale needs protectors; I need at least a dozen good young men. We can train you up… see, ten crown a week; although between the men here that handle the mead well enough, play your cards right and I’ll swing you fiftee…”

    The eyes of the man before him betrayed the impromptu assassins, two men closing behind him with a clumsy march. They were coming with his own knife, and very drunk. With a deft spin, Storm elegantly sidestepped the kris dagger he has used so many times, clutching the man by the wrist with his left hand and firing a concise blast of electric energy into his chest. The smell of burnt flesh exploded in the room as the man fell limp, the electromancer holding aloft the wrist and dagger in a ceremonial fashion. Terrified, the accomplice, a short, older man, stood wide eyed and slowly backpedaled.

    “Sorry there, Old Man Winter. No second chances in my administration.”

    The crowd stepped backwards as the man attempted to run, but the metallic dagger found purchase between rib bones before he could finish turning. Grown men looked away, terrified of the killer before them but acquiescing to his right to execute. With a raised hand, Storm lifted the sixty-something drunk by the blade between his ribs, angling the blade so the man’s flailing, screaming body fell down deeply upon the pointed dagger. With a circle of his finger, the wizard directed the blade in a similar dance, and the weapon dutifully danced through soft, critical organ tissue.

    Kidney, liver, and some miscellaneous guts. That’s a wrap on the old prick.

    Lowering his hand, Storm watched without emotion as the man and his blade fell like rocks to the floor, bone and meat buckling in random directions. With an open palm, the wizard “called” his dagger, which spun through the air back into his waiting hand. Running the fingers of his left hand through his graying hair, the villain shouted at the room.

    “Oh, calm the f*ck down, the lot of ya’s! The other eight of you proved yourselves trustworthy! Help me clean the body and you can start tomorrow.”

    Strolling calmly to the edge of the bar, the politician rapidly pilfered coin from his satchel and dropped several golden crowns upon the table top.

    “For damages and trouble. Tonight, the bar drinks on me.”

    A very nervous applause erupted; Whitevale’s sentry staff had just grown significantly with the addition of fear-strangled men.

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