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Yuwen Fortune

The fearless young Guild Leader of Fortune

0 · 1,496 views · located in The Horat-verse

a character in “The Great Guild Fortune”, as played by Nulix

Description

"What makes a great guild? Fortune? No. Power? No. Glory? Not necessarily. Its the friends you gain, the adventures you have together, and the memories you make along the way."

ImageName: Yuwen Lu-Tan "Fortune"
Sex: Male
Age: 25
Race: Human

Physical Description: A peculiar looking man, Yuwen is the product of several generations across the world, his ancestry going into almost every race of Human from Sudean to Gwanish to Yune. A thin man with olive skin who stands at five foot eleven. He has a curved nose and brow over bright green eyes. His teeth are large and somewhat bucked. He has curved, outward ears and messy, dark-brown hair. He is in good shape, and is quite agile from years of combat training.
Clothing: Yuwen is currently wear his old gold and silver armour. His wardrobe generally consist of expensive clothing of the Yune nobility with rich blues, reds and greens, now worn and tarnished from years of adventuring. He has a large, brown leather carrying case on his back.
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 170 lbs
Skin Colour: Tanned
Hair Colour: Dark-Brown
Eye Colour: Green

Occupation: Adventurer
History/Bio: Born to the Lu-Tan family in the Imperial City of Yuna Yae, Yuwen grew up as a lesser noble to a family with old money from their trading ancestry. Yuwen never knew his mother, though he suspected she was a street worker, and instead grew up in his upper ring estate with his father and elder brother. His brother was always the better of the two in his fathers eyes, or at least that's what Yuwen perceived. His brother was the better fighter, the better student, and all together the more presentable son. But Yuwen didn't need to be any of those things. He just needed to be special, and he was. Quickly becoming popular in school for his exotic looks Yuwen gained confidence and far exceeding his brother in renown. If there was a party, if there was a fight, if you needed a badass of any kind Yuwen Fortune, as he had begun dubbing himself, would be there. By the time he was eighteen and graduating from his noble school he had no interest in the future his father wanted for him (To become a soldier, like his brother had become) or the rest of the nobility was interested in. Yuwen just wanted to have fun, and being an aristocrat wasn't fun. Fighting in a war wasn't fun. But having an adventure was. After a heated argument with his father Yuwen left Yuna-Yae with his entire bank emptied in his coin purse and readied for a lifetime of adventure. And life hasn't exactly been the adventure Yuwen had hoped it was. Money ran out fast and Yuwen realized things were a lot less fun without it. Now, toughened and with five years of worldly experience under his belt, Yuwen has a new endeavor. A new concept he wants to try out: forming a Guild to complete a quest he couldn't alone...
Home Town: Yuna-Yae
Home Country: The Yune Empire

Personality: Yuwen is an outgoing charmer: supremely confident and, though he wouldn't admit it, very manipulative.
Fears and Desires: He fears being imprisoned more than anything, and thusly desires freedom more than anything too.

Equipment and Weapons: Yuwen has dual special crafted ebony Katanas as well as a small machete. He also has a horse named Master Wang Chang.
Styles and Abilities: Yuwen's fighting style uses his own skill with dual blades and the environment around him against his opponents. He constantly attacks, never letting his enemy relax, until at last they make a mistake.
Chi and Augmentations: Yuwen was trained in fighting academy to focus his Chi through his blades , making his speed of attack and handling of the blades superb.

So begins...

Yuwen Fortune's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune

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#, as written by Nulix
"What makes a great guild? Fortune? No. Power? No. Glory? Not necessarily. It’s the friends you gain, the adventures you have together, and the memories you make along the way. I grew up in the Imperial City: Yuna-Yae! The capital of the world! Growing up the entire universe seemed to rotate around our walls. Didn't know my mom. Didn't need to. My father was a nobleman, very honour bound and such. He even met the Emperor once - true story! I wasn’t the only one though, I had a brother too but he went off to fight when the war started. Figured he would pillage a village and earn some glory, impress our father. I had other plans. I was no soldier but I sure as hell could fight like one. All those days at the academy paid off. And of course when I was nineteen my father used this against me, saying I should go fight instead of wasting my life. I wasn't wasting my life, I was living it, but he wasn't nudging. He’d just go on and on about how the drafted peasants couldn't win the war themselves, which they could, by the way. Then things went a bit crazy and he kicked me out the house, saying to return when I was ready to fight for my country. Now there are not many occasions Yuwen Fortune makes a vow, but that day I vowed that when I returned it'd be on my conditions. I'd come back so rich and renowned the Emperor himself would acknowledge me. I'd come back and drown the bastard in my glory."

"Isn't this about a guild?" An accented voice interrupted. Yuwen glared at the man at the end of the packed table, who sat clutching his whiskey nervously. "Horat - this is about the tale, the full tale," Yuwen replied, combing his hair back with his hand.

"Yeah well the full tale better finish by eleven. My shift starts soon," Guardman Hao, one of the dozen patrons listening in to Yuwen's story, said as he leaned back in his chair. Yuwen rolled his eyes. "Well, unfortunately epics like this don't take twenty minutes to tell," He replied. "This isn't some fable a drunk could vomit up, this is inspired by true events. Art imitating fight!"

"I don't think that's right," Horat said before downing his drink.

"Just shut up and let me finish the story," Yuwen said as he leaned forward on the table. "I emptied the bank and rode off to the north: a wet spring chilling me to the bone. The elements were against me... oh what a night it was, my friends. Nothing but me and my horse, headed for a village. But in the cold I formed a plan! A long-term plan. I'd start a guild, a great one. And we'd-" He paused again, his gaze sweeping across the faces lined at the table before him, most uninterested in his dramatics. "...Are you guys listening?"

"No!" Long Chong exclaimed as he stood. "No, for the love of god. No one's listening!"

"Woah, hey - aren't you guys meant to be my friends?" Yuwen replied.

"No! We came to the bar to have drinks - like everyone else!" Chong said, raising his hands to the rest of the tavern to their left: tables upon tables of other, happier people drinking with their friends. Golden candlelight flickered off the rounded limestone walls, a girl in the corner singing and playing the tambur as laughter echoed throughout the establishment. Even Old Man Chagan behind the bar seemed to have a good time as he patted his large stomach. "Everyone is having fun but us," Chong continued. "I didn't come here for another one of your fantastical lies, Yuwen."

"What, you're going to leave me?" Yuwen whined.

"...Yeah!" Chong replied before pushing his chair in and heading toward the music. The rest of the table turned to Yuwen in guilty unison. "Sorry Yuwen, he has a point," Elder Red muttered as he stood. "Drink up - you have the afternoon shift tomorrow," Hao added as he and the rest rose and left until only Yuwen remained. Horat, the last to walk away, paused and turned.

"You don't want to hear about the guild, do you?" Yuwen whispered before sipping his drink.

Horat looked down at his friend sadly. "Let's get out of here," He muttered. "We're Guards of Sudea, we shouldn't spend so much time drunk."

Pushing aside the worn cloth hangings of the doorway the two strode out into the sandy courtyard of the tavern, beyond the stone fence a dark desert stretching out until it became one with the black night sky. "The Lonely Tavern earns its name," Horat commented as he began to wrap bindings around his boots for the long, sand-filled journey home. "Makes you wonder why they didn't just build it closer to the outpost - actually I heard it was due to Chagan owing money to the King or..." Horat looked up to notice Yuwen sitting on the rocky fence, gazing up at the stars.

Horat approached his friend, who seemed fixated on the sky above. "...Are you trying to pray?" Yuwen slowly shook his head left to right.

Horat sighed. "Did you ever go back?"

"Sorry?" Yuwen muttered.

"You ever go back to Yuna-Yae?" Horat continued. "To your father?"

A small smile grew on Yuwen's face; almost disbelieving that Horat had believed his story. But nearly as fast as it had come was it replaced by a frown. "I never saw him again, no... I guess the Guild wasn't quite good enough." The man swallowed, a sudden realization washing over him. "Not the last one, at least."

***

The first of June in the year four-four-four. The land of Yutan in the Yune Empire. The sun sets beneath the mountains on the horizon, the foreseeable distance covered in bamboo trees and green fields. Fireflies bobbed up and down in the summer's afternoon before flying apart as a black horse ripped across the road. At the reigns a man in golden armour rode, determination on his face. His brown hair fluttered violently in the winds and his green eyes focused forward. With one last bridge he crossed the isle scatted Gan River and cornered in the dirt for the sight ahead. Red and green houses lit with lanterns consumed the immediate horizon, ships big and small crowding its docks. Laughter, cheering and crackling could be heard as from the village centre a large firework shot up into the sky and exploded in reds. Yuwen laughed at the sight, relief coming over him. "Happy Emperor day," He whispered to himself as he began to ride his horse into the celebrating village of Poyo. This village housed his future Guild, he knew it. And on this day, the Emperor’s birthday, everyone was out celebrating…

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Sunaarashi

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Poyo.

It was a horrible name. Especially for a town like this, where people already gave you odd looks if you looked different, if you stood out against the grain. It wasn't pure racism, to be sure, but pride was one of the many faults of the Yune Empire, and Poyo had plenty of it. Especially today.

The Emperor's birthday was always an ostentatious occasion. Even in small towns like this, the Nightflower Guild had representatives selling fireworks by the dozen, albeit only small ones, to every one with enough coin in their pocket. At this time of year, the population of Poyo would have doubled, if not tripled, and the few inns would be filled to the rafters with people.

Vendors seemed to have been brought out of the woodwork, selling balloons, candy, offering prizes for the winner to one game or another. Inside the inns and homes, the noise was not diluted. Instead, it seemed amplified, with the smoke from cigarettes and the smell of alcohol thick in the air. In all the inns, waiters and waitresses alike offered what they had to sell, anywhere from food to themselves, if the price were right. The preparation would have gone on for months before this, and no one in the village would be expecting to get any sleep tonight. Which is why he hated this time of year.

Sunaarashi breathed in deeply, walking slowly through the packed streets, the bundle over his shoulder gripped tightly in his left hand. The sword strapped to his back moved little as he moved, its hilt gleaming dimly in the firelight. His pace was not as bad as it should have been, considering that most of the people who saw him gave him some breathing room as he passed. He supposed this was because of his size, as he stood taller than most of the others around him.

Right now, he really wished he could find a quiet inn somewhere in the back of town, lie down, and get a good night's rest for once, but even the smallest inn would be doing everything they could to rake in the influx of cash this night provided. No one could afford to let this opportunity slip by.

And so it was that instead of sleeping, Sunaarashi wandered the streets. Although not a stranger to the city life, he held no love for it, being a Sudean himself, fond of the wide open spaces and the isolation of the desert. Here in Yune, his dark skin and height, the loose-fitting clothes and sandals, they all gave him a different type of isolation... one he did not particularly enjoy. He might have had more luck if he'd been in one of the larger cities of the Empire, but here in the small town, every stranger was noted and, in his case, singled out.

His eyes scanned the crowds listlessly. He wasn't in the mood for this. Having arrived earlier this day, he'd found that the town was already filled to capacity with traveling family and friends. As the sun had set, even more had appeared, until the city was nearly bursting with screaming, crying, shouting insanity.

Quite suddenly, Sunaarashi found himself nearing one of the gates of the village. He paused in thought, wondering if he should perhaps slip outside and find some hedge to sleep under. Weighing the chances of actually sleeping to getting arrested for trespassing, Sunaarashi had just started for the gate when a rider approached.

Golden armor glinted in the firelight as the young man, of obvious mixed race and an air of confidence one could feel a mile away, looked around the town with a grin on his face. Sunaarashi seemed to catch his eye, which wasn't hard, and the two stared at each other for a moment, before the older man grunted and turned away.

He was beginning to think this was all a waste of time.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi

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Malao


The Festivities were well into their stride. Fireworks were set off every couple of minutes, and the general chorus of laughing and singing could be heard even deep into the forest. Though, for some odd reason, the forest, which was usually filled with the chatter of it's inhabitants, was oddly silent on this night. For on this night, the Golden Monkeys of the Great Houzi Forest were absent from their lofty canopies. Instead they were in a different kind of forest. One made of dense moving people and quick moving carts. Yes, dozens of Golden monkeys moved relatively unseen or ignored through the great crowds of Poyo this evening.

As per usual, the Golden Monkeys were helping themselves to every thing they liked. They distracted food sellers while their friends stole from their carts. They weaved through the thick crowds, nicking purses and valuables with ease. Some even pretended to be injured to distract people as their comrades stole the lot right from under the poor villagers noses. Some monkeys even went after some people no pick pocket in their right mind would.

A Golden Monkey leaped down from a tree onto the rump of a galloping horse just coming into town. The gilded armor of the rider attracted the Monkey's eye. When the rider slowed down and entered the village, he climbed up onto the riders back and began lightly tapping and scratching at the armor. He even looked at the rider a few times, as if to convey to him that he wanted his armor. As he was begging and looking cute, his long tail made it's way down to his coin purse and gently lifted it from his waist. The second he got the purse off the waist, the monkey leaped off of his shoulders and began running through the crowd.

A couple of monkeys spotted a very tall man wading his way through the crowds. Two monkeys leaped in front of his path and began walking backwards just staring at him. Every time he made even the smallest gesture, the two monkeys would mimic it, even if he growled or yelled, the monkeys wouldn't be intimidated, they just kept copying him. As this was going on, one monkey had snuck up from behind and had ever so skilfully nicked his coin purse off of his belt, like it had done a million times. It then leaped up onto one of the near by buildings, screeching a mocking screech, coin purse in hand. It then took off over roof tops.

Even the Giantess was not safe from the Monkeys. As she walked along, she would definitely begin to notice several monkeys gathering around the roof tops, seeming to be following her. One approached her from the top of a lantern wire and screeched at her to get her attention. It then held out what looked like a sapphire. It waved it at her and seemed to try and hand it to her. But, it wouldn't let it go. As this was happening, several monkeys tried and grabbed her coin purse. But, many of them were too scared to get that close to her. One leaped at it,but got scared halfway through and ended up clawing at it, ripping a hole through it causing several of her coins to go clanging to the ground. Several of the monkeys panicked and fled in different directions.

As the Rabbit girl was making her out, a monkey fell in her path. It groaned with pain and even had tears in it's eyes. When she got near it, a monkey sneaked up from behind and lifted her purse. The moment this was done, both monkeys ran and leaped to the trees.

One lone monkey nicked a peach off of a child and scurried to a roof top, there a young man sat and looked out over the festival. He wore a red monkey mask. It was in fact, a Monkey King mask he had gotten at one of the stalls that were selling items. The monkey got back to the boy and plopped the peach into his hand. The boy tussled the monkeys fur then lifted his mask to reveal incredibly sharp teeth. He bit into the peach and his body shivered a bit. He munched on it for awhile, listening to a story told in the distance a big blue Oni. He snickered when the rain came down for a few moments. It was pretty funny. Malao decided he wanted to go talk to him. It was easy for him to blend in with the crowd a events like this, with a simple mask. Though, if anyone ever looked at his feet, they might get suspicious. But, no one looks at feet in a crowd.

A golden monkey dropped down from seemingly nowhere right onto the big Oni's shoulders. It picked some things from his hair for few moments, until a young man in a monkey mask approached him. He also seemed to have a large monkey like tail sticking out from the back of his trousers. The tail seemed stiff and in an odd position. Obviously fake.(Locked with Stone Monkey)

"Hey, Grandpa Rumble." He said, sounding more affectionate than anything. "Know any good tales or stories 'bout the Monkey King?" He said, pointing to a colorful poster of The Monkey King. The boy then held his palm out and a coin purse suddenly dropped into it. it looked rather full. "Ive got coin."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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#, as written by Nulix
As soon as he had passed through the south gate a creature had flung itself onto his steed and stolen his sack of gold before disappearing into the darkness. "This place hasn't changed at all," Yuwen frowned as he continued down the cobble-streets toward the festival.

At a post Yuwen slid off his horse and handed a coin to the watcher. The straw-hatted man glared down at the copper.

"I know it's not a lot, a monkey stole my money," Yuwen admitted.

"This'll get you an hour," Old straw-hat said, taking the coin. "What brings you to Poyo, sir? You won't get much out of the festival without any money."

"Just seeing some old friends," Yuwen replied, patting the man on the back before cornering into the bright lights of the festival. The smell of fried foods and fire overwhelmed him as he made his way through the crowds beneath a sea of lanterns, different instruments heard around each corner. Yuwen could have even sworn to see an Oni telling stories down Waban street. "Poyo's getting cultured," He commented to himself before crossing over the main bridge to the square, where a large crowd was gathered around performers executing the dragon dance, sweep the large, pole-shaped dragon through the festival grounds. But Yuwen wasn't there for any of that. He wasn't there for the food or the celebrations or to see the Mayor Loy-Qui make his speech. He was there for business. And he knew the one group of people capable of conducting his type of business.

"Officer," Yuwen nodded as an armoured Prefect strolled past, giving him a suspicious look as he did. Yuwen watched the man disappear into the crowd before heading toward an unmarked door in the town square, a door only those who knew what they were looking for would find. It was the basement entrance to the Rat Den. After a few quick knocks a pair of white eyes came to the viewing hole.

"Oh no," The voice began, the annoyance obvious. "He's not dealing with you any more, Fortune."

"He owes me a favour," Yuwen quickly countered. "He still owes me one favour."

"What do you wanna do?" The voice asked. Yuwen smirked. "Just a bit of... illusion."

***

Away from the festival at the dark port of Poyo boats of all kinds sat docked and swaying in the gentle night breeze, banners and flags from all over the Empire flying and falling as the wind lapsed. And between two large mercenary frigates a small junk carefully glided forward.

"Good gods," The Captain whispered to her fist mate at the glistening town before them, disbelief in her voice. "Back in Poyo."

Anchor was set and a Goblin-girl strode from the gangplank, one hand in the pocket of her black leather trench coat and the other clutching a large pint. She sipped, her head down and hidden by her large Captain's hat.

"Hey!" A voice called. She glanced up to see a muscle bound man march down the dock. "You have permission to dock?"

Trouble – she could already tell. From a pocket the Goblin whipped out her authorization papers. "This is the Bako Trading docks: I’m authorized." She explained.

"Looks fake to me," The big man said, folding his arms over his protruding chest without even glancing at the paper. "I don't think you're allowed to dock here."

"I am," The goblin replied before walking again. The man moved in front of her. "I don't think you are," He continued. "I think you roasted your master, slave. And you stole his damn ship like the criminal you are... so I figure if I bag you and take you to my friends at the Rat Den we might get you back into the market you belong in."

"Is that so?" She muttered, taking a sip from her drink. "And how do you plan to do that?"

At the words the man shot his fist downward. The goblin bent backward, dodging the blow, before leaping up, throwing her pint in the air and jabbing the man in the throat. She landed back on the ground, carefully catching the falling mug and the rum raining down from it as the thug collapsed before her. She shook her head and continued on. It had been years since she had returned to Poyo: her hometown. And from the scum at the dock to the festivities that awaited Captain Yami Jensu could tell it hadn't changed a bit. Or so she had thought until she spotted a complete foreign sight.

"Oh shit, an Oni in Poyo outside of the docks," The Goblin commented as she took a sip. He was surrounded by what from a distance appeared to be two humans. "You live here?" She called out to the man, very interested to see if Poyo had gotten an immigrant populace since she'd last been.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Nulix
"My ships plenty fine - it's the Milkweed, come back to the docks after and I'll give you a tour!" Jensu called with a wave to the musician Oni, passing by a freaky-fish man as she did. She smiled as she walked, approaching a road leading away from the water and into the hilly residential streets. She hadn't come here just for Emperor day. She knew someone here, some she hadn't seen in a long time: an old Goblin woman with a small apartment overlooking the fields. The woman her raised her since she was young. Jensu smiled as she continued on. Five years was too long a time to not see ones mother. She'd fix that today. She'd surprise her.

***

The drums tempoed rapidly as a choir of lutes strummed in the background. Yuwen nodded his head at the sounds as he shimmied through the underground tavern. The thugs of Poyo danced and drunk, some of the men trying to get in his way, and more than a few women laying a hand on him as he crossed the oak floors of room. He approached the backdoor where a large, muscle-bound Snow Oni glared down at him.

"You're back," The Oni whispered with a smirk. Yuwen gave a half-smile in response. The two made their way through the back-halls of the Rat's Den, the passages crowded with various shipments of foods, weapon and armour. "Almost there," The Oni said as he escorted Yuwen down another hall. Yuwen nodded, glancing at the supplies, and paused when he saw a large cage filled with Goblins gagged. He locked eyes with one, an elderly Goblin woman, before swallowing and continuing on.

"He won't be happy to see you," The Oni chuckled as he opened a purple curtain away, revealing a warmly lit room beyond.

"Ting Po," Yuwen greeted with open arms as he entered the lavish room. "Hohoho..." A great voice belonging to a fat, balding man in rich robes chuckled. "Yuwen Fortune." He pointed to a velvet chair opposite his. "Please: join me." Yuwen nodded and moved toward the seat. "And tell me why I should speak to you," Ting Po continued.

"Because you owe me a favour," Yuwen replied. "We got rid of the bandits for you, Ting. Your little operation was taking a hit and you promised me you'd set it right."

"And how do you suppose I do that?" Po asked. Yuwen leaned forward and put his hands together nervously. "I need you to forge a report. From a village outpost."

"Oh no," Po sighed, shaking his head. "You're not doing this again. Remember what happened last time?"

"I'm getting a Guild together," Yuwen said with a shrug. "I need your help,"

Po glared at the man before him. "And what happened to the last one?" He asked after a long pause. Yuwen remained silent, and Po knew he wouldn't get anything more out of him. "Fine. I'll get you your report in an hour- and then we're even."

Yuwen nodded. "Then we're even."

***

A loud whistle suddenly shot across the street, causing Yamato, Hyuna, and Sun to all turn. Villagers began to run as a man in red Imperial armour marched toward them. His dark hair was tied in a clean ponytail and his moustache was finely trimmed. The brass whistle dropped from his mouth as behind him from down the streets a duo of other, matching armoured men strode. They were all equipped with short-swords at their hips and shields on their back, the leather wrapping tight across their chest, marked with the Dragon of the Emperor. The leader approached, pushing Hyuna back roughly as he inserted himself in the trio.

"What the hell is this?" The man asked, his voice demanding but also layered with heavy undertones of not giving a shit. "We've gotten citizen reports of a human girl fighting a Tengu right here on this street," He informed, looking over them each one by one. "And you're the only two of that description I see. My name is Prefect Ro of the Raging Rivers Province. Do any of you have an explanation for these reports?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Nulix
Seeing Hyuna reveal a spear the Prefect charged forward, attempting to ram in Yamato's face, who expertly moved back. Ro swung his sword furiously, preparing to take a swipe. But he paused as the sound of a bell echoed across the rooftops from the village wall. Ro lowered his blade and looked at the criminals before him as suddenly citizens rushed down the street, pushing past them. "It's the village bell," He informed, sheathing his blade. "There's trouble out there."

"Quickly!" A voice called through the crowd. Ro turned to see the town crier yelling out over the citizens. "A state of emergency has been issued! Quickly! Everyone to the town centre!" He announced. Ro turned to the trio he was fighting and nodded forward. "Alright: to the town centre."

***

At the street Suiken was performing the bell could be heard loud and clear, the city exit in plain sight. Citizens were running in from outside as fast as possible. "Oh god," One cried as they passed. "I knew this holiday was cursed!"

A guard ran up to Suiken and Keeflo, breathing heavily. "Quickly! Poyo is in a state of emergency: everyone to the town square!" He glanced back at the distant walls. "You want to be as far from that as possible, friends. Trust me." With that he too ran off with the crowd of citizens toward the centre of town.

***

As Amanhã approached the east gate to the village the bell began to ring from the walls above and the guards on it began to run frantically. Something was wrong. "Hey!" One called out as he slid down a later. "Something's happening... I, I think we're under attack." He looked her up and down for a moment and nodded. "You've got to get to the village centre. We could use your help... and the Mayor will pay anyone who helps." The guard nodded at her and began to run with the rest of the populace, hoping she'd follow.

***

The bells were faintest on the village outskirts: farmlands outside the wall but inside the Poyo's radius. And through the fields sparse families too ran. A single boy pelted down the dirt road toward the walls, ramming violently into Ann'Razul as he did. He stood and backed up slowly, looking from her to Malao. "You guys shouldn't be here!" He exclaimed, his voice trembling. "We have to go to town square!" The boy grabbed both their hands greedily and attempted to drag them. "We have to! It's emergency!" He explained.

***

Yuwen strolled through the streets calmly as the people ran toward the town square in the distance, filled to the brim with the citizens and visitors to the port village. A small smirk grew on his face: both because he knew how badass he looked walking calmly in the chaos, and two... because he caused this. "Rabbit ears!" He called to a confused looking Muna, who was caught off guard by the sudden panic. "Get your fur to the square, the Mayor's got something to say."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi

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"Hm?" Lo-muna looked over in the direction of the voice and saw the young human who had referred to her as 'rabbit ears.' It wasn't exactly a derogatory remark and it was a fact she had the ears of a rabbit. Still, the kid could have at least called her name or simply, 'rabbit.' However, she simply smiled and nodded, "Thanks, kid."

She was gone within moments, interested in the fuss and chaos surrounding her. It was exhilarating really and she kept an eye out in case any of the panicked people unintentionally ran over someone who had not gone their pace.

"I wonder what the mayor has to say," she muttered as she reached the square, knowing she wouldn't get any straight answers unless it was from the source itself.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Nulix
From the wooden stage built in front of the tall town-hall tower Mayor Loy-Qui watched over as the square before him stood scared, packed to it's fullest with over a thousand citizens and travelers summoned by the bells, the last ones now arriving at the edges of the crowd. The town had gone into a deadly silence, the bright lanterns that swung in the winds no longer as festive as they had seemed an hour earlier. Overwhelming all was the bells ringing from each of the village's five gates, them going in near perfect unison. The elderly, balding Yutan man glanced down at the report he held in his hands. After a moment he stepped forward, his colourful purple robes the only thing clear from the farthest back of the crowd.

"The town of Poyo is under attack," He announced loudly. "At the twentieth hour... I received a report from the farthest northern outpost, saying an army of Bandits was approaching... at least three-hundred." Gasps of shock and cries could be heard across the crowd.

"We have tried to make contact with the outpost but none of the guards or messenger sent have returned, forcing us to declare this state of emergency," Loy-Qui continued. "The town of Poyo has thirty-seven guards, as well as the thirty of Prefect Ro's unit… and the bandits have three-hundred men. I am forced to ask upon you, citizens of ability, citizens of our great Yune Empire, to step forward and defend our village against this threat! For what we have not in numbers... we have in gold: three-hundred gold coins to each man or woman of any race who steps forward to fight with us! Three-hundred for each bandit who threatens our home on this holiest of holidays... "

A silence went over the crowd as the numbers sank in, despair on the tongues of the people, most whispering where to hide or how to escape the town. Loy-Qui swallowed once more. "Would all willing step forward... and all unwilling or unable step back and find shelter and hiding."

"Wait!" A voice called out as the crowd started shifting. All eyes turned to one figure as he pushed past the guards and lept onto the stage. He stood tall with olive skin, striking green eyes, a determined face and glimmering golden armour: a heroic site next to the cowering Loy-Qui, now almost in tears. "I have information!" The man declared as he stepped forward dramatically on the stage. "I know! I KNOW! Where the bandits will arrive!" The human, Yuwen Fortune, announced loudly over the crowd. "I just escaped them... and I heard plans that they'd set up camp at the Renen Swamp outside the north-gate to prepare their attack! Here I will ambush them, and destroy them! I have done so before, and I will do it again!" He paused dramatically. "But only the most heroic of warriors may join me - the rest staying here with the Prefects and the guards." He looked over the crowd as he raised his fingers and pointed to the sky. "So I ask you! Who among you is warrior enough to join me, Yuwen Fortune!" He called, his voice echoing for a moment as it traveled across the square. Yuwen paused and watched, waiting for the willing to step forward and the rest, which he predicated to be around ninety-nine percent of the current crowd, to step back.

Prefect Ro glared at the man angrily from the crowd. "Gods damn you, Yuwen," He whispered, shaking his head as the truth of the scenario sunk in. Fortune had done this before, not too long ago... and Ro wouldn't let it happen again.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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The stage was set, the crowds had gathered, and the curtains were spread, the bell making its final tolls as the arrival of a massive bandit raid party was announced - a number that would be certain suicide to dive into with their small forces. An energetic young man clad in gold armor took the stage, declaring that he knew where the bandits would strike, as well as where they were currently settled. Ann listened in on the speech and could not help but smile to herself, laughing quietly when the man had finished it. The crowd whispered needlessly amongst each other, shifty and wary of their current predicament. The man had a sense of humor; and quite a crude one at that, considering the gravity of the situation. Sparing no words, Ann figured she might as well entertain his idea, making her way up to the front of the stage and leaning with her back against it, folding her arms neatly over her chest and resting her eyes. Escaping to the nearest town was more than likely out of the question so it hardly mattered whether she was up at the front lines or in town when the attack occurred.

"This is a terrible time for a joke, wouldn't you say?" Ann said to Yuwen without looking up at him from the base of the stage. If a strong enough cast heeded his words, then there might be a chance yet - an incredibly slim chance - but a chance nonetheless. "But if you really are serious..." She shrugged lightly and cracked one eye open, observing the anxious crowd that had gathered before them. "...I'll wait to hear the punchline."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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#, as written by Nulix
"I have a plan," Yuwen called down to a girl who'd challenged him in the audience. "I saw them arrive - you hear a grand number, but they were not grand soldiers. We ambush them from the trees of the swamp while they rest, unprepared." He pointed to the lanterns that hung across the town-square. "I know for a fact soldiers of the Prefecture carry blasting powder," Yuwen continued. "We have bombs all around us waiting to be made. We drop them from the trees, ignite their camp, slaughter them until they organize and fight back in numbers, then retreat to the village where the prefects and the city guards and all others who join will shoot them at the walls with bow and arrow." He stood high and glanced over the crowd. "So what say you?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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"Well, if it isn't the kid," Lo-muna muttered under her breath with some amusement. She listened to his call for heroes and mused over his words as her eyes swept over the crowd. On her head, her ears twitched in the direction of whispers and whimpers, recognizing a few of before. Some were children.

A voice rose among the crowd and it was a familiar one. The human of before. Lo-muna smiled for the gods had surely graced her with their presence tonight. The challenge set to Yuwen was answered and while the rabbit beast-women wasn't entirely convinced of the plan, she was certainly not going to stand on the side lines.

"You will need to be quick about it then," Lo-muna called out as the crowd parted for her. They gave her looks and whispers but her eyes were set upon the stage, both on the figure on it and the figure leaning on it. "For the safety of others, I will aid in this endeavour. There are very few who can outrun me after all."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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A beast-woman - a rabbit beast-woman - was next to approach the stage and speak her mind, proclaiming that she would lend her assistance to the effort. She wondered for just a moment if they might have been sharing the same sentiment but was quickly proven untrue after hearing what she had to say.

"You will need to be quick about it then. For the safety of others, I will aid in this endeavour. There are very few who can outrun me, after all."

For the safety of others? It was a rare sight to see someone upholding such virtues even in this day and age. The good people of this world were already dead, Ann had told herself at one point. To her, kindness was nothing but an illusion, but it was one that she wouldn't mind lingering around for just a little while longer.

"It's easy to make a plan sound good on paper," she finally replied, answering Yuwen's question with a tone that suggested but did not full-on imply skepticism. "However, I will not deny that the idea does not seem too far-fetched given that capable hands will be engaged in this attack. I'm willing to give it a shot."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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Malao


Bandits huh? He would have to talk to his clan to confirm that. If it was true, they would regret entering the Monkey King's forest, hehe. But, there was something off about that Fortune guy. He was lying, that was obvious. Malao was an experienced liar and trickster. He only had been doing since the day he woke up in Houzi forest. He had been lying before he could even speak. He had once even sold a bundle of fish to a fisherman. And, he knew Fortune was lying.....yet not. It was like he was half lying. Weird....why would somebody do that? It made Malao's head hurt. But, he decided he wanted to help, even f it was a trick of some kind. I mean, he really needed to vent off his pent up aggression, and Bandits happened to be a favorite of his. Bandit clans would try to post up in the forest ll the time, and then they would all fall prey to him.

Then again, three hundred sounded like a big number. He didn't think he had fought that many people at once.....then again, Malao was pretty bad at counting. Maybe he had fought five hundred! Whatever the case, it sounded like fun, besides, that weird chick before was up for it. She was pretty funny, not as funny as him, but enough to make him snicker. She probably had caught onto him as well. Malao decided he liked her.

Malao leaped high into the air and landed on the podium tail first. He then sat in lax position floating in the air, using only his tail as a seat. "Tch, you're so LOUD! But, fire powder does sound like fun." He then hung upside down, tail still firmly planted on the podium. " I suppose if ya bribe me something sweet, me and my monkeys could help ya! Whaddya say?"

Malao then quickly reacted and caught a rock that was apparently thrown at him. A voice echoed from the crowd. "GET OUT OF HERE, SCUM! WE DON'T NEED HELP FROM THE MONKEY KINGS ILK!!" Malao simply raised an eyebrow and handed the rock to Loy-Qui, ignoring the voice.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


As Yamato took flight, heading towards the Town Center, Hyuna followed, using her chi to glide from rooftop to rooftop, relishing the feeling of the wind on her face as her cloak billowed out behind her. Even without her illusions, it was an impressive look, and she was always just a step behind her Master as they decided to see what this new threat was. And they finally reached their destination in seemingly no time at all, seeing almost the entire populace of Poyo gathered in one area- it almost looked like a cult, with the Mayor, Loy-Qui at the head, warning everyone of a bandit attack.

"Bandits?" Hyuna muttered. "Yamato, let's fight them. We'll see who gets the most kills, hmm?" She took an aside glance at the older man, almost pitifully. He probably didn't know how to fight at all. "Old man, you should just go find someplace to hide."

Loy-Qui was desperate, almost begging his towns people to step forward and help. And this was a good opportunity- if Hyuna and Yamato helped fight, wouldn't Ro, out of debt, be forced to leave them alone after that? Not to mention, it would satisfy both their battle urges. It really was a win-win situation here. Not to mention the gold reward for fighting, and Hyuna almost gleamed with interest.

"Master, please, can we help?"

But before they could step up, a familiar voice and face pushed onto the stage, screaming that he had information; that he knew where the bandits would arrive. And Hyuna jut stared in shock- after all this searching, the man just popped up in front of her, almost with no effort at all. She struggled to hold in her tears as a wave of nostalgia hit her harder than a blunt axe, and then she nudged her Master, telling him that it's him, it's Yuwen, she finally found him. So she almost dragged her Master into the conflict, when she heard Prefect Ro mutter angrily something about not letting Yuwen do this again. Her ears pricked up, making sure to tell her old friend that Ro may be planning something, just in case. A bounty hunter, and a rabbit beast-man already stood by Yuwen's side, exchanging a few words together, when she saw that not-quite-beastman from before walk up as well, almost asking to be bribed into it when the crowd erupted.

So, that guy was the Monkey King?

"Hey!" Hyuna hissed at the crowd. "Would you rather die because you wouldn't accept more help?"

She spun her spear around her wrist fantastically before pointing it at a poor merchant man, one of the ones who yelled against the Monkey King. He cowered in fear, and she could see the guards getting ready in case she started to kill the villagers.

"Don't turn away help, you fools. You're not in a position to do that, here." She let out an arrogant, self-pleased laugh. "You should be begging me to help you, too! I'd think I'm worth maybe, thirty or forty bandits on my own, so... I hope you pay me 12300 gold after all this. Unless you want me to leave you for dead." She jabbed the spear just a hair's breadth away from the merchant's throat, getting her point across. "Do you understand your position yet?"

She then turned to Yuwen, wondering if he also forgot her.

"Been a while, Fortune. If that's what you're callin' yourself now." She shot him a crooked smirk, still letting the air billow her cloak up to look larger and more impressive. "What're you even doing in a dump like Poyo, anyways?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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"..." Suiken sighed. This, all of this, was a peculiar situation. Bandits are a common of enough problem among the poorer villages in Yune to make Yuwen's story slightly valid...although something was off about it. It had...a storyteller's quality to it, Suiken supposed. But now he was asking people to join him...Some seemed to try and volunteer, although not many. A rabbit beast-man, the odd monkey beast-man from before, the woman that picked a fight with the tengu and another one he didn't recognize. Perhaps they were formidable enough, if not a curious group. But if the bandits were as dangerous as people seemed to think, then they wouldn't be enough.

"I hope...you do not mind if join as well," Suiken spoke up, stepping to the not-quite-group. "I may be a traveling musician...but I can fight just fine."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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Yamato was surprised to see so many of the people he'd already seen this evening volunteering to help eradicate the bandits. He was glad to be in the presence of so many selfless warriors. He wondered how many could actually kill another living being without a single thought though. He would help, he wasn't above a good fight, but he wasn't doing it for the gold or the glory or even the possible, if not expected, pardon from the Prefect. No, he would do it for the fun. Bandits were never trained well, they depended on scare tactics and torches to get what they wanted. Anyone could brandish a sword in the air and hold it to someone's neck while their friends searched the house, torching it afterwards. It would be child's play.

"Hyuna, I think keeping score is an excellent idea. Should you kill more than me, you can have all my reward money. I don't need payment for a job like this." he smiled coldly as he too jumped from the roof top to land behind Hyuna as she called out the villagers for protesting against the help that was arriving. Once her point was made, she turned her attention to the young man on stage that had given them the call to arms. "This must be the Yuwen she asked about before." He thought as he stood silently behind her, trying to gage the man's reaction to seeing an old acquaintance. She seemed to have quite a few enemies, and that excited Yamato, more people to fight everyday. It had been a while since he had a good fight and he was itching at all the possibilities that came attached to Hyuna.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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After the oni told his story Keeflo clapped his hands, showing his appreciation. Any fortune seeker who had heard the story had probably entertained hopes at one point or another that they could find Eoling's treasure. Keeflo, coming from a place where there no one owned anything, was not quite as allured as a land native would be, but he still like a good story. Someone had risen up against an Emperor before, and successfully at that. Seemed to be a bit odd of a story to be told on the current Emperor's birthday, but then again the oni likely wasn't a native of this country, so he wouldn't hold featly to the Emperor.

Almost as soon as the oni was finished with his story loud bells tolled. A guard rushed passed the storyteller and his audience, telling them to go to the center of the city. The oni packed up and followed the orders. Keeflo, however, was not as quick to react. Maybe in this new distraction he could slip free of Poyo and its wanted posters. He shook his head. No. Now more than ever it would look strange if he left.

The orca beast-man made his way to the town center, where the mayor was giving a speech about attacking bandits. The guy was really emotional about it, even asking for volunteers to help against the bandits. What caught Keeflo's attention was that there was a monetary gain if he participated. Maybe enough to buy his freedom and not have to worry about being recaptured.

Then a young human man in golden armor sprang up to the stage, declaring that he would take out the bandits with only a choice group of the bravest volunteers. One by one people agreed to help: a rabbit beast-man, a black-haired human girl, a beast-man who looked more human than beast, another girl, this one dragging a tengu along, and the oni storyteller from before.

Keeflo considered his options. If he didn't participate, he might have less of a chance of being recognized. Might. But if he joined the fighters he could get money and be a hero. People were less likely to prosecute heroes, right? Making his decision, Keeflo made his way to the stage. "If you still need more help, sir, I would be happy to volunteer."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Nulix
"What say you?!" Yuwen had called out, not only to the girl who had challenged him but to at the crowd. And though first met by silence and greeted only by frightened faces, a voice spoke up.

"You will need to be quick about it then," A female voice said. Yuwen squinted as the crowd parted for the woman to step forward: the rabbit beast-man from earlier. Whispers of concern and of uncertainty swept across the square as she joined the girl at the base of the stage. "For the safety of others, I will aid in this endeavour. There are very few who can outrun me after all."

"Then I will need your speed," Yuwen replied, giving the beast-woman an affirmative nod. He remembered her from earlier: he'd called her beast-ears. She was not that now, not in his eyes.

"It's easy to make a plan sound good on paper," The girl from before commented again. She was doubtful, and with the numbers they thought to face with good reason. But beyond the doubt there was agreement. "However, I will not deny that the idea does not seem too far-fetched given that capable hands will be engaged in this attack. I'm willing to give it a shot."

"Then I will need your... capabilities," Yuwen added to the human-girl with a half smile - one that was more gratefully than anything. Gratefully she'd joined when the hour was most dire.

Suddenly a figure leapt from the crowd, flinging through the ear until he landed on the podium, tail firmly landing as supporting the form of a very human looking beast-man before him. "Tch, you're so LOUD!" The beast-man exclaimed, causing Yuwen to raise an eyebrow in amusement. "But, fire powder does sound like fun. I suppose if ya bribe me something sweet, me and my monkeys could help ya! Whaddya say?"

"The Mayor would be happy to help, wouldn't you Loy-Qui?" Yuwen responded, patting the terrified mayor on the back, nearly causing him to jump. "Yes-Yes!" Loy-Qui spat out. "Three-hundred gold! Three-thousand gold, whatever!"

Yuwen glanced from the Mayor back to the man. "Then I will need your monkeys," He said with a warm laugh.

"GET OUT OF HERE, SCUM!" A voice screamed from the crowd as the man before him ducked an incoming rock. Yuwen turned in shock to see the crowd begin to form an upset. "WE DON'T NEED HELP FROM THE MONKEY KINGS!" "Yeah! Fuck the monkeys!" Another voice added loudly as the crowd began to form in an angry, frightened mass of yelling.

"Hey!" A woman yelled out at the crowd. Stepped forward was a young girl, the people separating around here. "Would you rather die because you wouldn't accept more help?" After spinning it for a moment she aimed her spear at one of the merchants who had yelled out against the man who now stood beside Yuwen on stage.

"Don't turn away help, you fools. You're not in a position to do that, here." She said with a disbelieving laugh. "You should be begging me to help you, too! I'd think I'm worth maybe, thirty or forty bandits on my own, so... I hope you pay me 12300 gold after all this. Unless you want me to leave you for dead." She stabbed the spear frighteningly close to the merchant's throat. "Do you understand your position yet?" She dictated to the crowd, before turning to the stage.

"Then I will need your good worth," Yuwen continued as he adjusted his armour, a bit taken aback by the violent display.

"Been a while, Fortune. If that's what you're callin' yourself now." She called. "What're you even doing in a dump like Poyo, anyways?"

Yuwen paused, squinting to make the girl out better. "I'm sorry... do I know-"

"I hope... you do not mind if join as well," Another voice spoke up. Yuwen turned from the girl to an old Snow Oni stepping forward to join the gathering at the base of the stage. "I may be a traveling musician... but I can fight just fine."

"Then I will need your spirit," Yuwen nodded with a grateful smile to the creature before him. He glanced back at the girl, now joined by a Tengu. "If you still need more help, sir, I would be happy to volunteer," Another voice added. Yuwen turned to see a large beast-man approach, seeming to be mixed with a massive whale or fish of some sort. But despite this he had an innocent look to his face. "Then I will need you too," He said at last. He looked down at the group assembled before him. "I will need all the help I can get," He admitted.

Yuwen stood rose high, his gaze sweeping from the makeshift ambush team to the citizens behind them: heads becoming a blur as they lined into the distant streets. Almost every citizen of Poyo was here, as well as the visitors for the festival. The lantern light reflected off their faces, marked with fear. It reflected the mothers, and the children who clutched hands tearfully. It reflected off the guards: most of them barely seeing any combat at all. In reflected off the Mayor, the leader of this town, who had backed to the farthest edge of the stage.

"Poyo is not built for war..." Yuwen began quietly. "Your community is one of peace and happiness and these bandits have threatened that. And they've ruined Emperor day!" He clutched the hilt of his blades angrily. "And I swear to you! I swear: we will defeat them!"

"Wait!" A voice called. The crowd turned to see a man step up on the stage: Prefect Ro, weapon ready as he glared at Yuwen. "Ladies and gentlemen this man is a fraud!" Ro explained, his words met by gasps in the audience. Ro marched forward, pushing Yuwen back slightly before taking his place at the centre of the stage. "This man has lied and has ruined this festival for his own greedy needs." Ro ripped the report out of Mayor Loy-Qui's hands and raised it high. "This is a fabricated report!" Ro announced. "One of my men just got back from the north-outpost. It's fine; the guard there was tied up by some thugs who wrote it in his place. We scouted the marsh, we scouted the fields - there is no threat!" He threw the paper into the crowd that had grown more and more enraged. The report landed to grabbing hands. Ro turned to Yuwen shaking his head. "You lied."

"Can you prove that?" Yuwen whispered in response, his hand also on the hilt of his blades as the two slowly began to circle each other.

"Yes I can," Ro spat. “My scouts saw nothing, you selfish man.”

"Maybe the bandits moved position!" Yuwen called, more to the audience and the soldiers he'd managed to recruit than to Ro. "Maybe they're attack the village!" Suddenly Yuwen heard iron footsteps on the wood of the stage. Large, armoured soldiers of the Prefecture were approaching, weapons ready. Yuwen turned from the soldiers down to the faces of those he hired, and the citizens beyond. Disgust, anger, and annoyance were the only expressions to be found.

"I didn't lie," He called out as the guards grabbed his arms. "Poyo isn't safe."

"Please," Ro chuckled, stepping forward to the front of the stage. "I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt: Poyo is in no danger!"

Suddenly a massive explosion rocked the stage, blasting everyone on it forward. A fiery piece of wood flung through Mayor Loy-Qui's back, impaling him to the stage as the crowd erupted in screams. Yuwen smashed into the cobblestone ground of the square, flaming pieces of wood zipping past him as deafening bangs roared from behind. He turned to see the town tower blowing apart, engulfed in a massive-fire ball expanding from within. "Oh shit!" He yelled, backing up slightly as the explosion blasted each layer of the hall apart, sending chunks and pieces scattering across town. A gargantuan piece of stone smashed apart the ground beside him as he limped forward toward a house.

"Formation!" Ro screamed in agony as he ripped his arm out from the large town emblem that had once decorated the tower, now a burning mass of molten metal which had crashed down upon the ruined stage. "Unit!" He screamed desperately through the fire and ash, searching for his men. A figure approached. "...Unit?" He whispered. Wings expanded from the shadowy figure's form, and Ro raised his blade in horror. This was no soldier. He stabbed forward, a Tengu hand reaching out and grabbing the blade from him. The unarmed Ro dived as the Tengu proceeded to attack, flying out of the smoke and into the panicked square. "Oh gods, not good!" Yuwen called as he pointed to the sky above. Descending from the mountain of smoke where the town tower once stood were nearly four dozen winged men, their red skin clear and their black robes fluttering violently in the winds. They wore opera masks, each one different, though even with concealed faces their race was clear.

"Tengu," Yuwen said as he turned from the approaching threat to the panicked citizens running for cover. "Someone has to help them! They won't get out on their!-" Before he had time to finish he was grabbed by the throat and smashed back into the cobblestone by a Tengu as he and the other masked figures landed in the square…

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


Yamato joined their little rag-tag group as well, looking ready for a fight, and Hyuna flashed him a grin; the light of competition ready in her eyes. Another known face arrived too- the singing oni from earlier, almost shyly asking if he could join and help fight. If it were anyone else, Hyuna would think it was for the money, but from the scant little she saw of the singing oni, he wasn`t the type to do something like this only for money. Too kindhearted for that, she figured. And finally, another beastman, the third one tonight, some sort of mutated cross of human and whale. Or shark, maybe. Hyuna figured it didn`t matter, but none of the fighters better get in her way; she has a bet to win.

In any case, their rag-tag little army seemed complete, each of them at ease enough for Hyuna to figure them all to be experienced in battle. She clenched her teeth in anticipation, before realizing that Yuwen didn`t recognize her at all. He had squinted a little at her, but that was all.

What the hell, do I really look all that different?

Just in case she had any illusions around her face, she dispersed it all. But it didn't seem like it'd help. In any case, it didn't seem as if Yuwen was all too worried about his old friend, even though they spent so much time together, and were meant to be even closer once Hyuna had enough money to move on her own into Yuna-Yae. After her home town was taken, did he not even care that his friend could've been dead, or even captured? The worst part is, it's exactly what she should have expected. As children, they always played around as adventurers, and it almost seemed as if he paid her no heed unless she supported him correctly as his side-kick. Heck, he seemed more preoccupied with the theatrics and dramatics of their make-believe games, than anything.

After all of this, he doesn't even recognize me. What've I even been fighting for?

It came to no surprise then, when Ro appeared, tearing away the report from the cowardly Mayor, and claiming that this whole thing was a farce set up for Yuwen to bask in the glory. Because, in hind sight, it's exactly the sort of thing he would have done. Frustrated and feeling more alone than ever, Hyuna glanced at Yamato; probably the only one to show her kindness since she returned to Yutan province.

"Kuh, whatever." She scowled angrily. "I don't feel like it anymore. Let's let them rot."

The imperial guards moved in to most likely arrest Yuwen, and Hyuna just watched, numbly wondering if they'd torture him for disrupting Fat Cat day, Emperor's Day. Possible, actually, quite possible. And her numb disbelief only heightened when the Mayor was impaled through the chest and flung to the side. And in the smoke, Ro was flailing around, screaming in pain, obviously in no more condition to fight. Yuwen, panic in his eyes, proving it to Hyuna that at least this part wasn't in his little scheme, was thrown into a cobblestone.

Something snapped in the young mercenary. Was it seeing her childhood friend defeated so easily in a fight? Or was it the appearance of Tengu, and most likely Tengu with some sort of authority? Well, whatever it is, Hyuna started growling menacingly before jumping onto Yamato's back; using him almost as a spring-board to launch herself into the air. Whilst pseudo-flying, she guided herself, and condensed the air at the tip of her spear to add range, and guttered one of the mysteriously masked Tengu. She deflected attacks by spinning her weapon before driving it into the back of another Tengu, and landed with flourish on the ground. She felt momentary dizziness, and clutched at her head for a split second.

Damnit. Did I overdo it today with all the chi I've used?

She did another aerial strike, this time from below, and eliminated a few other Tengu a midst the confusion. This was what she was best at, after all- fighting outnumbered against a small group of enemies, using their numbers against them. This time she fell onto her knees, struggling to catch her breath.

"Yamato." She cried. "I'm all burnt out, Master, sorry.... these bastards are stronger than expected."

She then bent the air around her to make herself invisible, waiting until she regained enough strength to fight,

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat

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The town centre was absolutely infested with bodies, every villager, passing wanderer, adventurer, mercenary and travelling bard packed in like sardines. Fortunately, they were all blissfully silent, not a whisper emerging from the mass of flesh-- whispers that would have been overpowered anyway by the tolling of the bells. On a wooden platform in the heart of the centre stood some bureaucrat-- presumably the aforementioned mayor. He stood by trepidatiously, awaiting the demise of the bells-- and when at last they fell silent, condemning the town to an absolute silence, he stepped forth.

"The town of Poyo is under attack," he declared. "At the twentieth hour... I received a report from the farthest northern outpost, saying an army of bandits was approaching... at least three hundred."

Gasps of horror emanated throughout the crowd. Amanhã raised an eyebrow just slightly. Three hundred? A band of three hundred marauders, and this little pit was the most they were willing to tackle? Amanhã was already sceptical-- she'd fought much, much smaller bandit gangs who'd assailed, often successfully, cities that dwarfed Poyo in scale, affluence, and population. Either these were the most modest bandits in the land, or something wasn't right-- and she was betting on the latter.

She watched the farce unfold in silence-- how some human in flashy golden armour, a picture of confidence and swagger in contrast to the bumbling, pitiful mayor, stepped up onto the stage, and began making his own case for a plan to fight these supposed bandits. The human spoke less like a warrior with a plan, however, and more like a salesman making a pitch-- with overwrought flair and drama, speaking of heroism and fortune. And who responded first but the very stranger Amanhã had earlier been approached by-- her quiet voice, unusual enough to linger in Amanhã's memory for the ten or so minutes it'd been since their encounter, emerged from the silence of the crowd. She was accusing the human-- this 'Yuwen Fortune', as he'd branded himself-- of jest. It was not an entirely inappropriate sentiment, Amanhã figured.

Others also pledged their support for this human's plan; it was beginning to become an entire spectacle, but Amanhã kept quiet. If they did indeed decide they were off to war, she would indicate her participation simply by going along when the time came-- three hundred gold for each bandit's head? To hell with the other's-- Amanhã was planning to make this a goddamn jackpot. But if, on the other hand, her suspicions proved accurate-- and they usually did-- if it came about that there were no bandits and she'd wasted her time... oh, there would be a reckoning. Namely, there would be the head of one 'Yuwen Fortune' on a pike, shoved into the soil of the ground he'd said the bandits were camping on.

Unfortunately, she wasn't going to have that chance. The human was already beginning to incite the crowd into a frenzy when a voice hurtled through the din. "Wait!" Another joined the mayor and Fortune on the platform-- another bureaucrat, by the looks of it: his sword was drawn and at the ready, and Amanhã immediately leapt to the conclusion she'd been correct, which the prefect verified not a second later. "This man is a fraud! This man has lied and has ruined this festival for his own greedy needs..." He tore the report from the mayor's hands and held it before the crowd like some damning bit of evidence. "This is a fabricated report! One of my men just got back from the north-outpost. It's fine; the guard there was tied up by some thugs who wrote it in his place. We scouted the marsh, we scouted the fields - there is no threat!"

Amanhã did not linger to hear the fraud attempt to defend his idiotic attempt to attract attention; she was already leaving, scowling harshly behind the faceplate of her helmet at having had her time wasted by a moron. Will that bumbling jackass of a mayor pay me three hundred gold to dismember the fraud with my bare hands? she pondered briefly, before deciding against making a point of finding out. No more delays: it was time to leave this shithole behind and make her way to the capital. Poyo was very clearly offering nothing in the way of action...

And, because the universe had a perverse sense of humour, no sooner had she thought that than an explosion suddenly rocked the entirety of the town centre.

Chaos immediately took reign over the town. Smoke began to pollute the sky above as it billowed copiously from the source of the explosion, up at one of the guard towers at the wall. From the thick columns of smog, a fleet of winged figures descended onto the town-- Tengu. Armed, and very clearly hostile.

Amanhã almost grinned. What do you know-- that fraud wasn't as full of shit as I thought.

As discord took hold and the civilians began to flee in a frenzy, Amanhã charged into the nascent fray of the battle the Tengus had provoked, her hand reaching back once again for the hilt of her sword. She hadn't drawn it before she was already fighting: one of the Tengus swept in from the side, and she batted them down to the ground with a powerful blow from her armour-clad fist. They hit the ground face-down, and were already scrambling back to their feet before the bounty hunter planted a foot on the Tengu's back and pushed down hard, her six hundred and fifty pounds pinning them to the ground just before the blade of her greatsword plunged through their body; it emerged slicked with sanguine.

And just like that, with the initial taste of violence fresh on her tongue, Amanhã was overtaken with bloodthirst.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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Hostile engagement was immediate. Dozens of winged assassins swooped down from the sky following the explosion, their weapons drawn. A spiraling fragment of wood that had shattered from the stage shot off in Ann's direction, and with barely enough any time react, the shard left a red slash across the side of her face. She lightly touched the stinging wound with her hand, rubbing her bloodied fingers together before looking back up toward the commotion.

Blood.

She turned around and faced the panicked square, teeming with fleeing civilians and guards alike, others fending for themselves against the sudden attacks with varying levels of success. The man who had taken the stage earlier was knocked off by one of the tengu and forcibly brought to the ground. Just walking toward it amidst the chaos around them was enough to draw the masked warrior's attention away from the man in golden armor. Deciding that she was the only current threat, it dashed toward her with its spear brandished, aiming for a killing blow. Despite its incredible speed, she mentally calculated the distance between her and the target, as well as the rate at which it advanced, using that knowledge to perfectly time her counter maneuver. The spear tip struck only air as Ann side-stepped and severed its arm in a single motion, wasting no time in severing its head before it could react.

A second one leaped in from behind; she spun around just quickly enough to pull her arm back and raised her sheath behind her, making a blind block as the tengu's blade lodged itself into the scabbard. Considering her bad angle, she drew away instead of attacking, now completely turning around to face her second opponent. Although she couldn't read its expression behind the mask, it seemed warier than the last after witnessing its ally's death. If the battle flowed in Ann's favor, they would only come to her one at a time as she specialized in one-on-one combat. Though she certainly had the skill to handle many opponents, she did not have the stamina or power to keep up with that kind of pace, nor would she be fast enough to react to multiple at once. She was only a human, after all; a human with no special abilities and nothing but a cheap sword to defend herself.

Ann slid her weapon back into its sheath and slowly walked toward the tengu, keeping an eye on even the slightest of its motions. If there was one thing she had, it was an incredible level of perception and attention to detail. This one was armored, and considering that her blade wasn't of a good enough quality to cut through anything stronger than studded armor, her options were narrowed down to a few vulnerable points that were placed few and far between in the links of the plates. She stopped some meters away, simply staring as the battle raged on all around them. Clearly in no mood for a staring contest, the tengu charged first, its blade ready to strike. Ann responded by drawing with a defensive slash, the blades of their swords sliding perpendicular to each other as sparks jumped across the metal from the friction created between them. She quickly turned her wrist around and aimed for the neck, carrying the momentum of her previous attack in a strike that twisted her body around, her feet swiftly and gracefully readjusting to accommodate the nature of the spinning slash.

The tengu saw it coming and ducked, stabbing forward again with its weapon. She used the same strategy she'd used to kill the other warrior, stepping aside and cleaving off its weapon arm at the shoulder before promptly beheading it. Fresh blood splashed against her sleeve and she felt its warmth as it seeped through the cloth. Ann sheathed her sword once more, helping Yuwen up to his feet. "You should worry more about yourself," she said softly, recalling that he'd been attacked as he was calling out for others to aid the panicking citizens.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Yamato shook his head, hearing the allegations brought against Yuwen. "A subtle lie? What would he gain from this?" It wasn't long before Yuwen's report seemed to come true. In a flash the area was covered in fire, citizens lay around him bloodied, some dead on impact. He growled, seeing the Tengu in the sky above. Their red skin turning crimson in the light of the fires. He drew his blades as Hyuna launched herself from his back. She performed well while airborne for a human. "Her chi control is superior to any I've seen." Yamato muttered as he slit the neck of the Tengu she knocked from the sky before stealing his mask. "No one I've ever seen," he mused when Hyuna fell by his side. "Yamato." She cried. "I'm all burnt out, Master, sorry.... these bastards are stronger than expected," she then fell to her knees and used her remaining energy to render her form invisible.

"Don't worry, killing these bastards is a specialty of mine. Take all the time you need."

He then put the mask he'd taken from the dead Tengu and put it on before flying up and joining their ranks. "Attacking in waves, clever." He seemed to have gone unnoticed and made his way to the back most lines. The Tengu renegades were pushing forward with no mercy. His blade sank into the back of the closet Tengu, and was then hurled at an advancing group of three who'd seen him kill their comrade. "What? A little friendly fire never hurt anyone did it?" He let out a maniacal laugh as he displayed his ashen colored wings. "You know you don't stand a chance in Hell against me right?" He shook his head slowly, standing with his guard down as the trio recovered, hesitating to attack. Yamato focused on the Tengu who'd taken point and using his telekinesis, made the tengu attack the man to his right, running him though before turning the blade on himself. The remaining Tengu stood in horror, unable to comprehend what had happened. He didn't need long though, Yamato rushed the man, knocking him to the ground before finding a blade in his neck. "That's four." He commented, wiping blood across the mask he'd stolen.

By this time, another group had taken notice of Yamato's actions and made a semi-circle around him. "The Clan Killer...Yamato Hibiki. I've been searching for you for a very long time." One Tengu stepped from the group and removed his mask, the scarred face didn't mean anything to Yamato, but he was pleased someone recognized him. "Yes, men, here we have one of the most infamous Tengu there is, a man with Ashen wings that killed his entire family. I believe we owe it to my lovely sister, Menoa Hibiki, to kill her demon son!"

So, the man was his mother's sister. "Interesting, mother never mentioned having siblings. You must mean nothing." Yamato began, blocking against his uncle's men before fighting them back with ease. "Your men are tired, dear Uncle. Its a shame they won't live through this night." Using his chi, he drew a third blade, a dagger from his belt and sent it around, slitting the throats of the men who were unable to move in time. Only a few men and his uncle remained. "You see? You mean nothing, you are worthless. The only advantage you had was numbers. Now you have noting." Yamato looked around, seeing the other Tengu falling to the various men and women who rose to Yuwen's request. Even the city guard was holding their own, some better than others. His mind wondered to killing Prefect Ro, or allowing his death. That's when his newly found uncle struck, catching his right arm, forcing Yamato to drop the medium length katana. "Bastard!" Yamato cried out, Thrusting his blade wildly, catching his slower uncle in the gut. "You are a disgrace, Hibiki. I curse your existence, and pray nothing but death on your soul."

His uncle fell, blood pooling around him and Yamato's feet. Yamato clutched his injured arm, relying on his chi to hold his blade. "Oh dear Uncle, I should thank you, death is what I seek to be the cause of most. With every death I cause, I gain more power than those who have fallen. I prove my existence is greater than their's, just as I am greater than you or the rest of my unfortunate family." He grit his teeth, focusing on the remaining Tengu that surrounded him, each wishing for revenge.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Keeflo

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The golden armored man accepted the volunteers with little speeches. Keeflo stood with the rest of the little group when another man came on the stage, saying that this Fortune was a farce. The two argued a little, neither giving ground. The orca beast-man struggle to keep himself still. If this was fake he had just brought attention to himself for nothing.

Then an explosion, far nearer and louder than the fireworks Keeflo had admired minutes earlier, blasted the orca beast-man off his feet. He lay there for a moment, stunned, before rolling to his feet and looking around. Tengu swooped down from the skies and attacked. The mayor lay on the ground, pinned by a large piece of wood piercing his back. Civilians screamed and the small amount of guards scrambled to action.

It took a moment for him to take note of all of this before he acted. He was not a very good fighter, so he didn't try to engage a tengu. Instead he knelt by the fallen mayor studied the large wood splinter in the man's back. Closer observation revealed it to be lodged in his left shoulder rather than his back. The bone was definitely broken, but there was a chance the mayor would still live.

Holding Loy-Qui down with one hand and grasping the splinter with the other, Keeflo yanked the wood out of the mayor's shoulder. Blood gushed out of the opening, pooling on the stage. The only thought in Keeflo's mind was preserving the man's life. The orca beast-man took off his cloak and ripped it apart into smaller pieces which he wrapped around the shoulder wound.

A tengu holding a serrated sword of dark metal swooped down. "This man is a nobody to you, water one. What makes us the bad people when he gives fealty to a master so corrupt? Leave him to us."

Keeflo eyed the tengu warily, continuing to apply pressure to Loy-Qui's wound. It was true that Keeflo cared little for the actions of the Empire's government as a whole, but he didn't know anything about the mayor of Poyo other than that he was a little man with a duty to protect his people. If he couldn't do his duty, people would be disorganized and as panicked as they were now. In Keeflo's childhood pod there was not a need for the strict order there was on land, but that didn't mean that Keeflo didn't understand that sometimes the life of one of those representing said strict order was crucial to maintaining it. Even deeper, simpler, than that, this man was a husband, a father, someone who loved and was loved.

The tengu, hissing in impatience, lunged at Keeflo, his sword glinting in the torchlight. Keeflo grabbed the bloodied piece of wood that had been in the mayor's back and managed to parry the tengu's swipe. The red-skinned man jumped back and dashed in at a different angle, slashing Keeflo's back with his sword. This, however provided an opening for Keeflo to clout the tengu on the head with his tail. The crow man fell and didn't rise.

Unheeding the wound on his back, Keeflo took the downed tengu's sword, wrapped it in some strips of cloth from his cloak, and shoved it into his belt. The orca beast-man cast an eye to the sky, watching as tengus circled above. He tied another bandage to the mayor's wound and picked the little man up and walked into the crowd. He hunched over and tried to look inconspicuous as he made his way out side the city. Luckily most of the tengus were caught up in the fray and didn't notice the beast-man and his bundle.

At the outside of the city Keeflo lay Loy-Qui down, pillowing the mayor's head with some dead leaves. Keeflo knew that his medical skills were insufficient to deal with the mayor's wounds but he didn't dare leave him. So he sat beside the human, applying pressure to his wound and picking out smaller splinters.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Nulix
The black haired girl who slayed the beast gave Yuwen her hand, which he took to pull himself up. "You should worry more about yourself," she muttered. Yuwen rose an eyebrow to her. "Well at least there are less than three-hundred," He commented as they stood to the scene. "...I don't know who these guys are," He added, pulling his blades out and rotating them slightly to get back into a swinging feel. "But they're not bandits."

He saw as a foursome of the creatures surrounded the Tengu who had appeared beside the aggressive girl from earlier. "They stay in the square, though - they're not after the citizens," He observed before running forward. "Come on!" He began to sprint toward the circle of creatures, spinning his left blade blade faster and faster until he flung it forward. It flew through one of the Tengu's necks as he slid into the circle, ripping his back out through the creatures throat and beginning to swipe at the rest of the Tengu before he was back to back with the other one, the Good Tengu as it were. "Friends of yours?" He called to the Tengu as the villains circled them...

***

At the village outskirts Mayor Loy-Qui eyes began to open. He saw the stars of the sky at first, and the smoke of the village drifting into it, and then, slightly lower, Keeflo as he treated the wound. Loy-Qui raised an eyebrow at the sight, and though he tried to be still each breath he took turning into a violent cough. "...Someone saved me," He said to the Keeflo quietly, a smile forming on his tired, beaten face. "And it's a beast-man of all things..." Followed by more coughing, this time blood coming out in sprinkles on his purple robes. "The boy was wrong. They are not bandits," The Yutan man continued. "They blew up the tower because of whats... inside... but they cannot get it." He rose his hand to his collar and carefully pulled out an old, brass key. With another cough his hand drifted down, still clutching the object, until it met Keeflo's. "...They cannot get it..." He repeated, releasing the key for the beast-man to take.

"...I've lived in this village for the last sixty years... my entire life, and I've never left it." Loy-Qui whispered as he leaned his head back again to stare up at the stars. "Now I know I'll die in it too..."

***

Back the town square Ro and a few of his men had managed to recreate formation, stabbing their way through the Tengu as they approached Sunaarashi. "These aren't bandits!" He spat, swiping at one as he flew past. "They want something else." Ro watched as the Tengu flew over, dividing and changing tactics in the air, with some switching to go down and fight while others disappearing into the black smoke of the burning heap where the town-tower used to be. "...Why blow up a tower... unless there was something underneath it," Ro whispered, turning to Sunaraashi. "We have to attack them at the base of the tower, in the smoke - they're doing something there, I know it."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Of course things went awry quickly. That....Yuwen fellow's report of bandits seemed sketchy at best. And when the guardsmen approached to reveal Yuwen's seemingly fraudulent nature, Suiken was all ready to pack up and leave. But the tides of fate work in strange ways. As the city seem to explode with fire, tengu, and a lot of fighting.

Suiken didn't fight just yet...there were plenty people for that and none of those stupid crows attacked him, yet. What he needed right now...was clarity. He looked around and ran across town, observing the situation, with surprising speed for someone his size. A rabbit beast-woman was evacuating citizens and the orca beast man who he'd met earlier was helping the severely wounded mayor. Who seemed to be talking.

["The boy was wrong. They are not bandits," The Yutan man continued. "They blew up the tower because of whats... inside... but they cannot get it." He rose his hand to his collar and carefully pulled out an old, brass key. With another cough his hand drifted down, still clutching the object, until it met Keeflo's. "...They cannot get it..." He repeated, releasing the key for the beast-man to take.]

Ah, there it is. Clarity. Now that that was over, it was the time for action. Suiken drew out his mallets, the ones he'd used in his performances this morning. He lifted the metallic covering around them to reveal their true nature. Instead of mallet's, what was truly attached to the metallic sticks was a pair of two giant fangs covered, ripped from the maw of a great beast, coated in a sheet of ice that didn't melt once, even in the wild fires caused by the tengu.

Swinging the fangs around, Suiken managed to douse the flames down, every time he swung, making a cold breeze fly through the air. He wasn't just aimlessly swinging at flames, however. He had a goal. A path. The tower. Or whatever remained of it. Several Tengu were still flying above it. Suiken smirked and arched his arm back, ever so slightly...

With a mighty swing, he threw the fang as it swung in a circle like a boomerang, knocking the wind out of three tengu before it pierced the wing of the fourth, who crumpled to the ground as t felt a cold chill throughout his body. Suiken approached the wounded tengu and stepped on his chest. "Hey, how's it going?" Suiken asked casually, like he was talking to a new friend. "How about telling me what you..." Suiken began, pointing at the tengu. "...want in there..." Suiken continued, pointing at the tower.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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"...I don't know who these guys are," Yuwen said, taking Ann's hand and helping himself up. "But they're not bandits. They stay in the square, though - they're not after the citizens. Come on!" With his swords at his sides, he charged into a ring of tengu and instantly killed one with a blade toss, quickly retrieving his weapon and lashing out at the others in fluid movement. Reckless was the first word that came to mind, but not many of these creatures seemed to be very capable, considering how easily so many of them had been slain so far now that she returned her focus to the ongoing battle. She motioned to follow after him but her path was barred by another tengu; this one was donned in patterned armor and seemed to stand taller than most of the others, not to mention that his aura of chi emitted heavier pressure as well. He slowly began circling her with its sword held vertically at his side, Ann simply standing in the center of his orbit, eyes fixated on her opponent. Then, without warning, he rushed her.

She back-stepped both his first swing and second swing, finding that the chain was pulled together far too quickly for her to exploit a weakness in his attack. She had already gotten used to fighting those who were faster and stronger than her and, by now, it had almost become something of a norm. Sometimes, she even wondered if becoming faster and stronger herself would throw off the balance of her fighting style, but usually dismissed the idea as inane. Still, there was improvement in her swordplay and footwork everyday, especially with all the bounties she'd been herding under her name. That was more than enough training for her. She hopped lightly in place as she kept her gaze on the tengu lieutenant, still not having drawn her sword yet. He charged again and she ducked under the first swing, moving to his side and raising her head, closing in on him so that their backs were literally pressed against each other, both spinning in a circle as the tengu sought to get her out of his blind spot. Ann shifted the placement of her foot as he turned around, who tripped over it and regained his balance just fast enough to avoid immediate decapitation as she lashed out at him in his split-second of vulnerability. If it were someone else it might have possible, but this one was simply too on guard to be slain by something like that.

The two were facing each other again now. Her sword found its way back into its sheath as she backed off a few steps, seeing that the tengu had no intention of letting up the pressure. On the defensive again, she side-stepped and dodged his flurry of successive slashes, unable to spot an opening for her to strike. Her retreat slowed down as she began to feel the urge to lay on some pressure herself. She drew and swiped away the tengu's next attack, turning the blade around with a flick of her wrist and swinging toward him. The edge glanced harmlessly off of his bracer as he raised his arm to protect his face, using the same arm to shove away her weapon and launch a straight jab. She barely moved her head away, the fist grazing past her ear. Her sheath made a second appearance, which she pulled up just in time to defend herself from what would otherwise have been a fatal attack, the tengu's blade smacking against it in succession to his gauntlet strike. Ann backed away again, keeping more distance between them this time. It didn't matter how skilled she was; he simply reacted too quickly to anything she tried to dish out. She slid her katana into its sheath again.

Her brows furrowed, scanning the area for anyone that could lend assistance to her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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Yamato readied himself to fight the four remaining Tengu who had served under his uncle that were still willing to fight him. Their comrades were still fighting the others who had gathered in the square. Just as one of the Tengu made a move, Yamato found himself unable to see the battle, Hyuna by his side. She was swift, and apologized for not being there to cover him, to which he just soohk his head as she made a makeshift bandage for his arm.

He had not experienced kindness in this fashion. He grew up expecting nothing from others unless it was respect or fear. His family view kindness as a weakness. There was no love shared except between his father and mother, and between his parents and his eldest brother. Yamato was never jealous, his brother's special treatment was expected. Right? He pushed the thought from his mind, remembering his uncle, not the one he just killed, no, his father's brother. His former master. He had shown Yamato kindness, and paid with his life. However, there was something different about Hyuna's gesture. It was genuine, there was no pity in her bandaging his arm. He was about to thank her, but she was already on her way to the site of the explosion. "We'll meet back here, okay?" "Don't get yourself killed!" He called out to her, knowing he owed her a drink later.

With the illusion gone, Yamato was exposed and the Tengu lunged, but met a quick end at Yuwen's blade. "Friends of yours?" He asked, standing back to back with Yamato. "Hardly. I don't tend to keep the company of fools like these." He blocked the attack thrown at him by one of the three remaining Tengu, severing its arm. "These wonldn't happen to be the bandits you spoke of?" Yamato asked, trying to get a better sense of the man who seemed to be close to his age.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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#, as written by Nulix
"Brother I don't know who or what the hell they are or is going on," Yuwen replied, catching a Tengu spear between his dual swords and flipping it, before pushing forward and diving it into the creature's shoulder. The two Tengu left circled them as Yuwen and Yamato continued to counter their movements, remaining back to back. Yuwen glanced over his shoulder as his Tengu attacked, Yamato quickly flipping to block, leaving his back exposed. The other Tengu too thrust his blade forward, but Yuwen slid to where Yamato had stood and too blocked the strike. The Tengu released in unison and began to circle again, leaving them exactly where they had been before. "These two are different.." He whispered to the man as they circled. "They know the art of combat well and they have us stuck. We need a distraction..."

***

The bloodied Tengu coughed heavily as Suiken pressed down on his chest down. "Hey, how's it going?" Suiken began, his voice relaxed. "How about telling me what you want in there..." He continued, pointing over the Tengu's head. Suiken's finger was hard for the Tengu to see through the smoke and ash, but he knew where he was pointing. The Tower Site.

A sickly laugh began to croak out of the wounded Tengu's lips. "...We attack towns..." The Tengu hissed. "Don't over think it..."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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Yamato knew Yuwen was right, the two remaining Tengu were much better fighters than the others had been. He took the opportunity to use his chi to lift a piece of rubble from the ground behind him to attack the Tengu Yuwen was fighting. "Run," Yamato exclaimed as he blocked another attack by his assailant. He grit his teeth, his right arm beginning to bother him. "Alright this ends now!" He used his chi to control his short blade throwing it at the Tengu before him, who, as expected blocked the blade with his own, leaving his chest open to receive Yamato's blade. "Now then, time to mop up the rest of these bastards.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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#, as written by Nulix
Ro looked up as the massive man pelted toward the fire. "You silly bastard," He spat, before dodging an attack from an incoming Tengu. He then turned to the girl who'd shown up, the criminal from earlier. "Shall we go, then, Prefect Ro?" She called to him, nodding toward Sunaarashi. "You can follow him into the eye of the storm if you want: we have to secure the area!" Ro spat as he sliced the Tengu to the ground.

Yuwen did what he was told, leaping out of the way as Yamato attacked the fellow Tengu. He adjusted his armour collar and began to walk through the battlefield, looking around for enemies when suddenly he was smashed into by a large man running toward the fire. "What the hell are you doing?!" Yuwen called, running after him.

From a distance Ro looked back as Yuwen began to follow the man toward the fire and smoke where the tower once stood. "If you go with them you'll have three against the Tengu who are down there," He muttered to Hyuna. "Maybe you'll even have a chance." With that he ran off toward a chaotic cluster of Tengu attacking the guards...

***

The Tengu glared up at Suiken coldly. "...We are the Hatago warrior, Oni... we seek the chest... that's all he spoke of..." He lay his head back down carefully. "I hope you kill me, Oni... it is the only true way for a Hatago to die..."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


Two more tengu approached. Hyuna dodged one, and send a slight gust of air at the other to knock him off his balance, and lunged with her spear at the katana-wielding one, while the second one, armed with a bow, hissed and readies arrows after righting it's balance. She easily dodged the katana strikes, and drove the blunt end of her spear upwards at the ribs of the katana tengu, using him as a makeshift shield against the arrow shot, and it pierced it's wing, forcing it onto the ground. She spun her body, twisting it to dodge a slash and to gain momentum with her weapon, hefting it towards the tengu to give herself more space, knowing it could dodge it. This forced an opening as she shot up an illusion of herself going left, and she leapt up and guided herself towards the bow Tengu, firing an arrow through the illusion. With a quick jab, the archer was crippled, and Hyuna snapped its neck, breathing hard.

That makes seven...

Maybe they saw her fatigue, but maybe not; several imperial soldiers came to back her up. Hyuna panted and tried to argue that she was doing just fine- it would be a lie. Her vision swam in the corner of her eyes when she remembered to catch up with Ro and the old guy, not even knowing his name. She took another hasty drink, almost choking on the lukewarm water pouring down her parched throat.

"You can follow him if you want." Ro said testily, and turned to his men, yelling that they had to secure the area. She nodded curtly, barely registering Yuwen in the distance, but glad that he somehow survived this mess so far. She also saw the story-telling Oni, looking grave with important information. Still, she figured he could catch up if he wanted to warn them. The sooner she and the older man headed into the ruins, the better, after all.

I'm pushing myself, aren't I?

She caught up to the strange old man, and she could also see a small unit of imperials alongside them, ready for anything. The first thing Hyuna thought was that it was dark. And eerily empty- almost as if the Tengu had already searched for whatever the heck it was they were looking for. Still, whatever it was, maybe if Hyuna could grab it and let Yuwen get the glory- if he was even still alive-, then maybe he'd recognize her again.

A faint, and probably vain hope.

"It'd be nice if I knew your name." She grumbled, not really having the energy to start an argument with him, but also not wanting to appear weak in front of him. "You stay in front, okay? I'll guard the flank."

She was talking quietly, because in the dark, a single sound was pretty easy to pick out and target. And who knew if the Tengu were lying in ambush, waiting for them. She knew she had her own strength, but now, she had to trust in this man as well, the man with no name, so far. The man with the scraggly beard, and the bloody shirt. Hyuna absently looked and saw her cloak, splattered with blood, silently reminding herself to buy a new one later on. She liked the mental image of it billowing behind her as she descended on a victim, so of course she'd get a replacement later.

I'll get more kills than you, Master... just you wait..

Up ahead, Hyuna heard the sound of flapping wings. She warned the man right before a small party of about four Tengu assaulted them from above, and Hyuna deflected an arrow by twirling the spear before using the man's back to propel her directly into the wave of them, scattering them about as they crashed into the ground, hoping the man was smart enough to follow the sounds of the bodies hitting the floor and kill them before they could recover. She stuck her spear into one's chest, huffing hard. She raised her spear enough to parry another strike, but she almost didn't have the strength left to counter attack.

Eight.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi

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#, as written by Nulix
A figure stalked them as in the dark cloud of smoke Sunaarashi and Hyuna walked across the fiery ruins of where the tower once stood. The figure plopped out of the shadows, ramming into Sunaarashi's chest head first and bumping off as it were a brick wall. "Hey there," Yuwen Fortune said as he recovered, looking from him to the girl. "You guys are investigating too, huh?" A fourth figure joined them. Yuwen turned to see the Oni step forward through the smoke.

"Hey," Yuwen greeted before taking a few steps forward. At the edge of the ruins of the tower, surrounded by dying fires, was a massive pit going into a dark chamber below. Yuwen ducked as a Tengu dived down into the chambers revealed below. "Whatever they're after is down there," Yuwen whispered, turning to the group. "...it's quite a drop..." He paused, looking at Hyuna with confusion for a moment before giving her a small smile. "Your name... starts with a Hyuna," He said, a massive grin growing on her face. "This is a weird way to meet, huh?" He said just as a Tengu leapt from the smoke. He quickly stabbed it in the chest and kicked it off his blade before smiling at her again. "I'm Yuwen Fortune, by the way - everyone," He added, nodding to Sunaarashi and Suiken.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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The enemy lieutenant did not seem to appeal to the idea of dragging on the fight any longer, spreading his wings wide and boosting himself into the air, coldly eyeing the dark-haired girl that had been caught in the shadow of his massive wingspan. This was becoming further and further from manageable and it didn't help that everybody else seemed too preoccupied with their own little skirmishes all across the square, not to mention the fact that several other tengu began closing in from behind her. Deciding that the tengu in front of her was the bigger threat, she turned her back to him and began heading the other way; the group of assailants that were blocking her path attacked in unison.

The first one was split clean in half at the waist as it attempted to charge at her. Ann swiped the dead tengu's weapon out of the air as it fell from its hands, now sporting two swords. She hadn't had the chance to practice too much with a dual wielding style, but if one thing was certain, it was that she wouldn't stand a chance with her default combat strategy. She took a moment to swap the weapons between her hands, transferring her own sword to her offhand considering the fact that it was shorter than the one she'd just taken. For someone who was so used to fighting with a single blade, she felt mildly uneasy with her current stance. It wasn't that she lacked confidence in her ability to wield the two swords properly, but rather that the sudden change of pace was likely to throw off her usual maneuvers. She killed the remaining tengu warriors in the blink of an eye, dashing between each kill in a seamless dance of death. While she found that two weapons proved to be more effective than one, it was exponentially more exhausting. When she was done fighting the lieutenant, she would have to ditch the second sword.

Looking up into the sky, Ann prepared herself as she watched the tengu lieutenant soared down out at her, only to be shot down from the sky by an arrow. He dropped like a stone and crashed into the ground, writhing in agnoy. Squinting, she spotted a beastman standing on one of the rooftops armed with a bow. He fired off a few more arrows before vanishing back down into the lowers floors. That made things much easier. She tossed away the scavenged weapon, swapping sword hands again before placing her weapon into its scabbard. The masked lieutenant had gotten up to his feet by now, engaging in a combat stance with an arrow still lodged in him. Unfortunately for him, the fight was already over. Screeching, he swung his blade at her diagonally. He was fast, but he was not as fast as he was before. Ann immediately stopped the tengu's blade with the pommel of her sword's hilt as she drew it, staring him dead in the eyes through his mask. She knocked his sword away and kicked in his knee, resulting in a sickening crack as he buckled. She separated his head from his shoulders as he toppled to the ground. Ann sheathed her sword once more.

Somewhere in the distance, she spotted the man on the stage that had called himself Yuwen and approached him, as well as the group he was standing with. She stuck around long enough to hear the gist of the situation.

"Are you all planning on going down?" she asked, raising her voice just enough to hear over the chaos in the background as she wiped her blood-soaked hands against her clothes.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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Malao


"YAHOOO!!!"

Malao yelled at the top of his lungs, dozens of feet in the air. It seemed a lot had happened since he was thrown from the stage. Currently, he was standing on the back of an obviously unconscious Tengu with his sash through his mouth with Malao hold onto them like reigns. Malao had forcibly stretched out the Tengu's wings and was now surfing on the Tengu like a reverse glider. His left had held the reigns and his right held the Jingu Stick. He had a massive grin across his face, as he was having the time of his life. Sure over a half-dozen Tengu were constantly diving at him, trying to kill him but, that just made it more fun!

Right at that moment, Malao had been tactically surrounded by the Tengu, all of them eauther wielding nasty looking spears or those weird slim slightly curved swords. They all stood at battle positions, looking as if they were about to dive. Malao's grin just got wider and more devious. He quickly thrust out his arm behind him and the Jingu began to glow.

"JINGU!!" One end of it suddenly extended incredibly far, at least 12 feet pass the Tengu behind. They all looked at it oddly, eyes wide. "PINWHEEL FESTIVAL!!!" He then spun his golden staff with his great strength in a quick 360 degree circle, smacking into the taken aback Tengu. Malao then returned it to it's normal size of 3 feet.

It seemed the Tengu weren't done with him though, as several of their soldier recovered and flew at him from below. Feeling an updraft coming, Malao quickly dipped down for a moment, then pulled back up hard, casuing him to ascend several dozen feet higher. While he was in a vertical position and the Tengu all below him, he turned around and aimed his staff at the group. The Staff began to glow, yet much brighter than before. "JINGU, HAIL STORM!!!" The staff then began to elongate and retract at such a fast speed and a high rate, it seemed as if the staff was a simple blur. The staff managed to strike several of the Tengu multiple times before they headed back towards earth, though he made sure to not hit any of them in the head.

Though, it seemed he hadn't gotten them all. Two seemed to have deviated from the flock just before the attack and had gotten ahead of him as he leveled out. They both came at him with spears, diving straight on. Malao reeled into himself as the spears struck his body. The Tengu seemed pleased for a moment. Until Malao looked up at them with a mischievous grin. The two Tengu looked down at their spears. It seemed th espears had made contact with his torso, but only just. A very small trickle of blood came from the wounds, well more like scratches. His markings were glowing as he spoke. "Stone Monkey!" He then grabbed the spear shaft and used them to slam the Tengu's into one another with his monster like strength, then pulling them both in for a Monkey Palm to their chests, sending them flying.

"WOOOO! Today, a Monkey out flew birds!!!! HAHAHAHA!!!" Malao let out a very monkey like laugh. When he stopped laughing, he realized he was descending quickly. Malao readjusted himself and braced for impact.

He managed to land well, gliding the Tengu to the ground and sliding across the ground on it's back. It slid right up to a group of people. He recognized several of them as people he had met across town today. When he came to a stop, he hoppped off and gave them all grin, which looked a bit silly with his hair all wind blown. "Who said monkeys can't fly? Ha!" He then noticed they were all standing around a huge hole. He ran straight up to it and peered down it, his hand over his eyes like visor. *Whistle* "That's a hole alright..." He then turned around and faced them all.

"Well......what are you waiting for?" He then back flipped straight into the pit, doing his trade ark monkey call.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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["Whatever they're after is down there," Yuwen whispered, turning to the group. "...it's quite a drop..." He paused, looking at Hyuna with confusion for a moment before giving her a small smile. "Your name... starts with a Hyuna," He said, a massive grin growing on her face. "This is a weird way to meet, huh?" He said just as a Tengu leapt from the smoke. He quickly stabbed it in the chest and kicked it off his blade before smiling at her again. "I'm Yuwen Fortune, by the way - everyone," He added, nodding to Sunaarashi and Suiken. ]

Suiken nodded at Yuwen Fortune. "Suiken," he introduced, looking down at the pit apprehensively. Soon they were joined by two more. A human woman who had approached the stage to question Yuwen earlier as well as that strange beast-man. The apparent Monkey King, who unsurprisingly, invited himself to be the first to dive down the tower's depths.

"Reckless, that guy..." Suiken noted, turning around to see someone else join them in the tower. The orca beast-man, this time.

["The mayor entrusted me with a key to open whatever's down there," Keeflo said softly so only the group could hear him. "I think we should bring it to safety.]

"Has to be the key to the chest that tengu was speaking of..." Suiken noted aloud. "That's what they came for," he spoke, turning to the others, informing them. "A chest that lies at the bottom of this tower. If they're going through these lengths to get it, I think it's a pretty safe bet that we shouldn't let 'em. And if that's the key, then we have one advantage already. I suggest we don't wait around any longer..." he spoke, leaping down the pit, leaning his arm against the wall, hoping to use his rough oni skin as a break.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


Three flashes of a sword later, and Hyuna let out a breath of relief, joking a little about how she could have finished them on her own, and that Suna's aid wasn't really needed, calling him, amongst others, a kill stealer. That doesn't mean she wasn't thankful, but just that she didn't want to express it so easily. Especially not to someone who stood and watched as she and Yamato were being cornered by the imperials a few hours back. But, she had to at least apologize in her head to him for thinking he was weak- this guy was skilled and precise in his attacks. Not the fastest, of course, but Hyuna figured her speed was near the upper human limits, with a self satisfied air.

"Counting kills." She answered him in a subdued voice, trying to preserve energy. "What say we wait for a bit at this hole, in case others want to come with?"

So they waited in a nervous sort of silence until eventually, two more people arrived, first of which was that Yuwen Fortune. The story-telling oni, introducing himself as Suiken, came by almost directly behind him, as if they entered together. She smiled a little bit to herself to see him again, but then quickly remembered that he didn't even know who she was; forcing the scowl back onto her small face. Yuwen greeted them, not even trying to explain that these Tengu were obviously not simple bandits, and that probably means his bandits were a total fabrication. It went pretty much as expected until Yuwen called her by Hyuna, giving almost an apologetic-but-not-quite smile at her. She stood there, completely blank for a second; having no idea how to react whatsoever. She finally settled with a radiant grin, and a failed attempt to respond until she gulped hard, slapped her cheeks, and sputtered out a "took you long enough, you idiot" at her old friend. She nodded as he exclaimed the weirdness of their reunion, hardly even noticing the newly dead Tengu that leaped out of the dark.

"Are we all planning to go down?" A quiet voice from somewhere behind them. Hyuna turned to look, and saw that it was that sword girl on the stage with Yuwen. Before she could answer though, the Monkey King, all of a sudden, leapt down the hole. Heck, Hyuna didn't even know when he got with the group in the first place, let alone how he knew there was a hole. Still, it answered sword girl's question well enough.

So then Hyuna followed the Monkey King down the hole, cushioning her fall with her chi, landing gracefully with flair to her imaginary audience.

She could hear some people talking up above, something about a key, or a chest, perhaps? It was pretty far down, and there were a lot of echoes so it'd be incredibly difficult to clearly hear anything from either end of the pit. But her eyes accustomed themselves to the dark pretty quickly, and she could see intricate stone linings in the wherever they were, as well as multiple paths.Was it possibly a labyrinth, to try and hide where the chest was? If so, whatever's inside had to be valuable. And if it's valuable, couldn't it be sold for a lot of money?

Sure, it's main purpose isn't the price... but still. How rich could I be if I did get it before anyone else..

But then she remembered that she was running low on energy already, and shook the temporary greed out of her head. It was then when the oni, Suiken followed, making it three on the bottom. And along with the heavy crash of the oni, Hyuna suddenly heard the excited, frantic sounds of Tengu wings, almost a whole squad of them, faintly hearing the Tengu words for 'found' 'chest' and 'hurry'. After they passed them by, Hyuna called up to the others up top. But of course, such a loud sound as a giant oni landing on his feet wouldn't go unnoticed, and some of the Tengu split off from their squad, maybe nine or ten of them, she couldn't keep count. Hyuna condensed the air and expanded it out as it reached the attackers, forcing them back, and giving her, Malao, and Suiken some much needed breathing room.

"Hurry up and get down here, stupid!" Hyuna called up, sucking up her pride. "We- we kinda need help!"

Together, the three of them could keep the Tengu at bay, but they couldn't take advantage of any opportunities to get attacks in, forced into a frantic defensive position, backs to each other. She felt as if she was on the verge of fainting, the corners of her vision going all blurry, and here vision itself going completely monochrome. All she could really hear was the sound of her pulse pounding in her head, reminding her that she was still alive.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen looked down as several members leap into the darkness of the pit until only he, the strange horned Beast-Man, and the massive Sunaraashi were left. Yuwen squinted, trying to spot their forms in the darkness below before turning back to the square, where the Ashuran half-breed slashed the last remaining Tengu out of the air. "You know I think I'm going to help clean up here," Yuwen said before pushing Sunaraashi and Malachi over the ledge, causing them too to fly downward into the darkness. Yuwen wiped his hands together before running back toward the body-covered square...

***

"Sir, I urge you we must go," A sniveling Tengu pleaded as he looked back at the tunnel leading to the chamber where four Tengu soldiers stood, spears in the air: preparing for any intruders who may come storming in. "Sir, the others are dead... we came with a force of forty-two and only the five of us remain," The Tengu whispered to his leader. "The Emperor must have known."

The leader, an elderly, grey bearded Tengu shook his head slowly. "The Emperor didn't know... we were just very unlucky." The leader reached forward and placed his hand on the carved, ebony stone of the large door at the end of the chamber. His long fingers traced the carvings until they reached a mechanical key-hole. "...It seems this chest needs a key," The leader whispered, before spouting fire from his hand and blasting the key-door with flame. The burning disappeared after a second, and the smoke a second after that. "...for I cannot open it with force."

Suddenly a sound echoed from the passage. The leader glared at his assistant. "Go investigate," he said, pointing to the passage. "They've arrived."

The assistant nodded and began to move with the other three Tengu back toward the pit entrance. The leader swallowed. "It needs a key... and they may have it," He repeated to himself before raising up and flying toward the ceiling of the chamber. His sharp boots hooked into the rock and he knelt behind a stalactite. And so he'd wait, on the ceiling, in silence...

***

"Hey!" Yuwen called, running up to Amanha. "You killed them all! That's amazing," He exclaimed. "The others went down that pit, apparently there's treasure there or something."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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Yamato swept the town-centre one last time, making sure the Tengu that had attacked were all dead. The body count was staggering, Tengu and Human alike, some of the human's moaned in pain as their friends and family franticly tried to make their last minutes comfortable. Many were giving him looks of fear, he smiled coldly. "Pests." He muttered, making his way to the tower just as all the other warriors had before him.

It wasn't long before he came to the pit, an odd addition to a tower he felt. After all most towers went up, not down. The echoing voices and sounds of weapons scraping against stone peaked his interest, and he dove into the pit. The darkness wasn't a bother to him and he quickly made his way down the corridor, happening on the skirmish with the few remaining Tengu in the city.

"What's going on?" The Rabbit-woman asked. He chuckled, "Isn't it obvious? This group seems to be winning, and soon we will find what these idiots were after." He kicked the body of a fallen Tengu as he headed down the corridor, blade in hand. He stopped at Hyuna's side, sensing her chi was depleted again, he knelt down to her. "You really shouldn't push yourself like this. Not in a real fight. You've done well though, I'm up to thirteen, you?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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#, as written by Nulix
"I'm afraid not. Not until we have a clearer spectrum of events," The voice echoed down through the cavern. "Don't worry. If you are truthful and heroic in action you will be free and paid by midday."

In the small, half-destroyed courtyard of an abandoned restaurant in the square Yuwen sat at a table and sipped his tea, watching the Prefect talk to the heroes below with great interest...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Nulix
Ro glared at Hyuna and then Ann'Razul as they climbed up to the surface. "You shamed yourselves when the Tengu got in," Hyuna spat. Ro glanced at his fellow soldiers with a bemused expression before turning back to the girl. "Damned Imperials let the mayor get hit, and we had to step in to save everyone. And this is how you treat the heroes? You're just a bunch of ingrates who should be begging at our feet to accept the money!"

"I don't think you understand the position you're in, dear. People have died here, an enemy race has attacked a town in Yutan," Ro responded, moving in close so he towered over her. "The decisions we make in the next twenty-four hours may in turn help decide all future actions the Empire has in regards to the Tengu race so I'd like to have all information necessary before I file my report. Do you understand that?" His glare lingered for a moment before turning back to the hole. "The rest of you crumb up here! We have business to discuss and if you don't I'm afraid this'll turn into a battle you cannot win." He glared down into the darkness before smashing his blade against his shield like a loud drum. "Come up here!" He yelled...

Yuwen sipped his tea before glancing back to the crowd where the beast-man Keeflo had disappeared in. The Mayor turned from the ancient chest to Keeflo. "I know what it is..." He whispered. "It's been hidden here many years."

"Hold the quill a moment," The Prefect Lieutenant interrupted as he stepped forward. "You got this from the pit, didn't you?" Without another word the armoured man grabbed the chest and put it under his arm. "I'm afraid this is evidence now," He muttered. "Also you'll need to come with me," He said, turning to face Keeflo. The face seemed familiar. "I'm sorry, sir... do I know you?" He did in fact. From a wanted poster at the docks...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Nulix
Ro folded his arms as Yamato stepped forward. “You’ll hold an entire race at fault for the actions of a few?” The Tengu said, shaking his head.

“Sir, I don’t think you quite understand the situation,” Ro barked, smashing his sword in it’s sheath angrily. “There has been a Tengu attack on Yutan soil, we do not know who these attackers were, we only know their race. I have twenty-four hours to gather information on my report and is it now stands it appears that any disguised Tengu in Yutan could too be planning an attacker. Sleeper agents throughout the mainland. I’m trying to save your people a lifetime of deportation, jailing, and being sent to interrogation camps. I’m trying to keep this foreign war with your ridiculous tribal summits away from becoming a concealed war against innocents of all our races, and I urge you to understand that my report is all that’s standing in the way of this issue becoming it!” Ro glared at Yamato intensely. “People are dead! Tengu caused it! Now I have to know why and your words are integral to that, so I need you to cooperate or face the punishment of not.”

“Idiots. All of you,” Yamato replied. “Right now you should be worrying about the few who actually handled the problem here. We just killed a group of bandit Tengu, why do you believe we aren’t capable of killing an entire town guard? Or the Imperial army?”

The words made Ro flinch and from his hip he again pulled out his short-sword. “Oh right. Some of these warriors probably have morals,” Yamato continued, folding his arms and looking away.

“Are you threatening me, Master Tengu?” Was all Ro managed to say before getting pushed back by the armoured form of a tower figure. Ro swept around to see the Ashuran half-breed behind him. “Get off me,” Ro began when suddenly blood hit his face. He turned to see the girl beside the Tengu had her spear out and ready. Suddenly the ground ignited into a large, fiery barrier – or at least it appeared to, causing Ro to step back. “She’s elemental!” Ro spat as he raised his shield. “Formation!”

“I thought you didn’t want to fight them!” A lieutenant said as he came next to Ro. Ro shook his head grimly. “I didn’t.”

Suddenly the girl jumped out of the fires and began attacking along with the Ahsuran freak of hateture.

By the crowded mayor Lt. Burrow-Li glanced over his shoulder at the commotion by the pit. “Oh dear,” He muttered at the fire. A fight had broken out, exactly what the commander had wanted to avoid. He turned back to where Keeflo had stood, the spot now empty air. Down the square he saw the orca beast-man corner violently into a side-street. “Hey!” He screamed, running after him at full-speed. “Come back here!”

Burrow-Li cornered down the street and began to pelt down the narrow way, avoiding festival carts and lanterns now fallen on the ground. With the chest still under his arm he struggled to get his whistle to his mouth and was forced to simply pursue as fast as he could. Another corner came, one the lieutenant barely made, and another onto a bridge toward the village outskirts. The lieutenant continued down the road to the farmland, ignoring the river he’d just passed over…

As Keeflo swam down the river with the tide he heard a sound grow, a sound of a female voice cracking drunkenly in song from the waters above. He passed below the dark shape of a boat steadily floating down the river, and on that boat's deck a drunk Goblin named Captain Jensu lay, her feet in the water as she looked up at the morning sky. From beside her she grabbed one of the dozen bottles and chugged it down before letting it fall off her and into the river. It plopped down, hitting Keeflo on the head as he swam below.

"O' who has my heart so taken
That I cannot hope to show.
How much I have been taken
So she can truly know.
What I feel insi-i-ide...
for such a gentle soul.
It matters not what I do now
For she is too high a toll..."


Jensu lay back as she finished the song, sobs following the last verse, and only growing heavier and heavier until they could be heard in the waters beneath...

***

"Scatter!" Ro screamed back in the square as the Ashuranish woman smashed his head backward and flung him to the ground. He attempted to stand when suddenly some old, idiot Blu-Oni interrupted the scene. "How funny my young friend is!" The oni chuckled like a chump. "Joking about attacking you like that. Wasn't that a funny joke, my friend?

"There's no need to start off another fight. As mentioned already, so many people were already lost this day, and most of those who lived are injured and mourning for those they lost. Is it not impractical to at least let us who have fought for this town to rest up before you all start interrogating us?" A beast-man added, coming to the diplomatic Oni's side. Ro was about to respond when suddenly Yamato, the villain-Tengu from early, placed a hand on his chest and knelt beside his downed form.

"I know you can hear me, so listen good. We are not coming with you so easily. You have other things to worry about. Like that concussion you got there."

Ro's hand reached behind to feel a slight patch of blood seep through his black hairs. The Prefect glared at Yamato. "...You have no idea what you're doing," He whispered, his words echoing ones spoken earlier. The Prefect's men stared at the mercenary heroes, each look rising the tension, and each side knowing the bloodletting would once again commence at any movement made.

"This is all a bit violent, isn't it?" Yuwen commented. The somehow impeccably clean man maneuvered his way through the bloodied and beaten forms before biting out a large, red apple. He glanced at each of them nonchalantly before turning to face the downed Ro. "So these guys are criminals, huh?"

"You're a criminal," Ro spat.

"Uh... can you prove that?" Yuwen replied with a grin, one larger than he had intended. "I said the village was in danger and the village was in danger."

"Oh please," Ro said. "You orchestrated a massive deception and by chance were interrupted by acts of planned terrorism."

"A bit harsh, these lies," Yuwen said as he moved forward. "Of course what's not a lie is that these men and women have attacked members of the Prefecture and thus the Empire. And you better believe they'll stick the Tengu attack on all of you too."

He glanced around at the faces of those present. "Luckily for all of you I have an escape. I am creating a Guild!" He began, pulling out a leather certificate which opened up, revealing the scrolls beneath. "A Great Guild Fortune! And if you sign you will be exempt of the crimes you've committed or they claim you've committed to this village."

"Who's the noble who signed for that paper?" Ro demanded, pushing Yamato off him as he stood.

"I am," Yuwen replied. "And seeing as the Mayor has yet to classify this as a national issue it still remains a village issue, and if these people are in a noble-signed guild the only way for you to prosecute them in response to these events is through the village judicial system. Now, who do you think will win there, Ro? The people who saved the village or the man trying to arrest them?" Yuwen winked at the man before turning back to the crowd. "What say you?!" He exclaimed, the applications scrolls hanging from the leather binding he held. "What say all of you?! A three-month contract with the Great Guild Fortune! I promise you riches, adventure, battle, and of course, more riches."

Ro glared at Yuwen before slowly shaking his head. "Are you serious? This team would be a bomb in a candle-factory. Its fuse next to a flame. Look at these people. They're outsiders, they're freaks."

"So am I," Yuwen replied. "And I'd rather be king of the freaks than another man in normality."

Ro chuckled. "No you're not... you're not one of them, and you're not nearly as special as you think you are."

Yuwen swallowed at the words before turning again. "What say you?!" He repeated louder: the ticket to their escape in his hands...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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Suiken shook his head in agitation, as he picked himself up to his feet. The situation had calmed now. Although the Ashura and the woman with the spear's actions had essentially branded them all as criminals and the ashen-winged tengu's arrogance seem to not help matters any, the man from earlier, the one branded as a fraud, Yuwen Fortune had arrived to settle the matter, it seemed. His appearance right now at the moment of their would-be arrest was a bit too convenient for Suiken at the moment...but being branded as a criminal by the Empire was not high on his list of priorities at the moment. And Fortune had a way out of it. By means of a guild. A 'great guild' as he called it.

Suiken raised an eyebrow. "Great Guild Fortune?" he repeated, sounding somewhat resigned, before laughing hardily. "That's possibly the vainest name I've ever heard given to a guild! I figure most people would ask some pretty critical questions at this point. Namely, why would the join such a guild, especially one that propped up at during such tumultuous events just in time to save the day...But as I see it. The only other prospect would be facing these guards. All of whom, I could surely defeat, but have no real reason to," Suiken stated, glancing back at the others, making sure they understood that they really had no reason to do so either.

"And if I refuse to join this guild, I'd pretty much be branded a criminal anyway now, thanks to those numbskulls," he stated jokingly, pointing a thumb back in the general direction of the half-ashura and the spear-woman. Possibly, the tengu as well, the thumb was just pointing in a general direction after all. Suiken sighed. This Yuwen Fortune was a sketchy one. But..this guild could be the push he needed. "So, what the hell! I'll take you up on your offer, Fortune!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen stepped forward toward the Oni, pulling out one of the contracts and handing it to him. "Please, use my quill," he said warmly, pulling out a quill and dipping it in a pocket-case of fine blue-ink. He handed it to the old Snow-Oni. "Good job trying to defuse the situation," he added. "Shame it didn't work. What's your name, Oni?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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Sunaarashi walked up silently to Yuwen and Suiken. He'd been the last one up the rope, and since it had taken him FOREVER (rope climbing was not a skill he entertained), he'd only arrived for really Yuwen's speech. From what he'd heard while he was climbing, he was slightly exasperated that things had escalated to the point they had.

He hadn't really expected anything different. Yune had a lot of security, which is why it was able to survive in the midst of all these wars. He, fortunately, had made sure to go through all of the proper paperwork and guard posts coming from Sudea to Yune, and so was certain he wouldn't have a problem with the prefect and his group. Sure, they hadn't been able to do much in the fight, but that was what everyone else was there for, right?

However, the problem was, Suna was in need of a job. And this one seemed... interesting, at least. If it wasn't profitable, well, he'd never been the one to fancy after riches, anyway.

"I'll sign as well," he told Yuwen. "But I hope you know what you're doing. There's a lot of competition with guilds. And you have to fight some serious stuff." He smiled. "If you're okay with that, I'll be fine following you. If you're a strong fighter, I'll even enjoy it. Either way, I need the job, and my skills..." He shrugged. "Well, they're not exactly normal."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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Suiken took the quill. "Actions without thought are actions that break nations, y'know?" Suiken asked Yuwen, scratching the back of his head with his free hand. "That's what I was trying to teach anyway. Dunno if the message got across," Suiken stated, signing his name across the contract. "Suiken is the name, by the way. I'm a musician and story teller by trade."

Suiken nodded at the bald human as he also approached.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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#, as written by Nulix
"I like stories," Yuwen nodded as the Oni's large fingers held the quill and signed gently with the fingers of a musician. "And I like music," He added, flipping to another contract and handing it to the large man. "I'll sign as well," The man began. "But I hope you know what you're doing. There's a lot of competition with guilds. And you have to fight some serious stuff. If you're okay with that, I'll be fine following you. If you're a strong fighter, I'll even enjoy it. Either way, I need the job, and my skills... Well, they're not exactly normal."

"I specialize in non-normal," Yuwen replied with a small smile as the man signed. "Whats your name, warrior?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Sunaarashi

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"Sunaarashi, but most people call me Suna," the Sudean answered, signing. "You probably can tell but I'm Sudean." He looked at the Oni. "You probably hear lots of tales of our bloodthirsty population."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Sunaarashi

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"You hear the worst about every nation...depending on where you travel," Suiken shrugged at Sunaarashi. "You'll find that no one nation quite agrees on everything another says."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


It was going good. Great, even. Hyuna had psyched out one of the guards, and the Giantess successfully gave the Prefect a concussion with a vicious headbutt. Upon seeing her illusion, which, most likely, fooled the idiots, they assumed a formation that could theoretically take advantage of an elemental chi user. Presumably, fire, which unfortunately was way off the mark- at least, unfortunately for them. Apparently Ro didnt even want a fight! Come on, that's a pretty blatant lie. The greedy power tripping bureaucrat. She gave the Giantess a look of slight companionship as she rushed forward, only to have her way blocked by that damned interfering pacifistic Oni, trying to play it off as some huge joke! And then the necromancer the hypocrite appeared, almost preaching nonviolence, and that they were tired. What, did they want to be arrested and questioned? Were the brave warriors she fought alongside this weak in the face of corrupt authority? Sure, she never knew them all that well, but she respected them enough to consider them fighters! Not surrenderers!

She shook her head angrily and continued her assault when her mentor stepped through the illusion, showing the trick of the fake blazing fire. This was a shock for two reasons: first, he was supposed to have run away and wait for her at some place. She didn't really specify where, but he was too injured to fight. And second, why didn't he indulge in her gift? She had wanted him to eat those sweets, it was like a present! So a strange mixture of hurt and betrayal flitted across her face when he came in to essentially tell her that she was too weak to continue fighting for now.

Too weak? Too weak?!

He then patted her on the back- showing that he was still proud of her. So that calmed her stormy anger, at least a little bit. She was still raring to spill blood, and was more than eager to prove that she was still strong enough to manage it.

Then, goddamnit, That Guy appeared. Yuwen Fortune, at the most opportune moment, and she wondered if the timing was deliberate- purposely timed to make himself the glorious hero. To put him in the spotlight and bask in everyone's attention, whether hatred or admiration. And despite their past, Hyuna found herself leaning towards the former, wondering why he always always always showed up when, and only when it was most convenient for him, let alone anyone else. A true selfish man, and still immature and naive about the world, she figured. He probably didn't have the answers she was looking for, and she wondered if it was even worth it to get involved in this whole mess. Yuwen offered a sort of legal loop hole, on the condition that they joined his guild, and the Oni was quick to enter in, probably to protect himself. But she did learn that the Oni's name, at long last, was Suiken, and she made a mental note to remember it. Suna also approached Yuwen, being the last to climb up that rope left by the orca.

Prideless warriors. All of them.

"Fortune." Hyuna hissed. "I wouldn't be surprised if this was all your doing... to try and get us into your guild. All this death and destruction" She waved to the destroyed and bloodied courtyard, and to a lone scavenger looting a dead body of what looked like a wealthy woman in life. "You have the most to gain from all this..."

A fierce battle waged inside of Hyuna's head, both of them arrogant and haughty. She had two options- continue to resist Prefect Ro and join up with the guild, or resist the man she once promised to marry as a little girl, in favor of showing him that this damn world was no longer his stage; his plaything to be made in his honor. That the real world was a pretty terrible place, filled with terrible people.

"What if I refused your offer, Fortune, and put myself in the Prefect's custody?" She asked. "Was I really so insignificant to you; just a pawn for your self glorification?"

She stared him down menacingly, needing no tricks or fancy illusions this time.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen looked down at Sunaarashi's words with a raised eyebrow. "I lived and worked in Sudea for the past five months, Sunaarashi." He said, looking up at the man with a smile. "I've heard tales, and I've lived enough to know which are and aren't true. It'd be my honour to have a Sudean warrior by my side."

***

Jensu sat with her knees to her chest, staring out over the water with red eyes as the beast-man sat beside her. After a moment he placed his hand on her shoulder, dwarfing it in his size. "Ma'am, is there something you need to get off your chest?" The beast-man spoke. Jensu glanced at the beast-man and opened her mouth, though nothing came out. She quickly closed it and glared back at the water, rather facing it's calmness than the ever changing face of another living being. "...I grew up in this village," She whispered as the boat gently glided around a bend in the farmlands just outside Poyo's walls. "And I've been away for many years..." She continued, her words slurring slightly from both the crying and the drunkenness. "So for the Empro- Emperor's birthday I thought I'd come visit my mother... she lives on the Teo-Poyo street... but when I got there her door was broken, and her baggy was on the ground..." Tears began to stream again. "They bagged her... one of the visiting sailors probably saw her at the market and followed her home... they bagged her and sold her and I don't know where she is..."

***

"Fortune." A female voice suddenly hissed. Yuwen turned to see Hyuna, battle-worn and bloodied, staring at him. "I wouldn't be surprised if this was all your doing... to try and get us into your guild. All this death and destruction" She continued, pointing to the streets where bodies, mainly of Tengu but also of citizens, lay. "You have the most to gain from all this..."

Yuwen swallowed at the woman. They'd met as children, her much younger than him, when he had already found his identity. When he had already carved himself out as something popular, something special. And she had joined the fans, more or less... but as time went on she was more than that. She had become a friend to Yuwen. Yuwen swallowed, for to her he had always been the friend, not just a.

"What if I refused your offer, Fortune, and put myself in the Prefect's custody?" She continued unstably, staring him down as she did. "Was I really so insignificant to you; just a pawn for your self glorification?"

Yuwen began to march toward her. "Hey," He began with a half-smile as he approached her. All of sudden he opened his arms. She went on guard for a moment before getting engulfed by a tight hug. "You're giving me a lot of credit, you know... thinking I could plan all this," He said with a grin as he released her. "Unfortunately I am not so brilliant in planning. Or in mass-murdering, that's still not quite my style." He paused, and glanced at the other warriors that had gathered. "I'm still pretty good at talking though, huh?" He added with a wink, giving her a reassuring look, and old look he had ever since he was a child. A look that meant he had a plan, a crazy, dangerous plan that in no way would succeeded, but would still be a lot of fun. And with that he handed her a contract and turned back to the others...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi

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Suna seemed surprised, then smiled and nodded at Suiken and Yuwen's reactions. Then he heard something that sounded like a strangled cat, which of course made him turn around to discover Hyuna spluttering vicious accusations that made no sense. Swallowing his laughter, Sunaarashi said as much.

"That seems a little farfetched, don't you think?" Sunaarashi said, shaking his head. "Honest, I didn't figure you for the fanciful type."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat

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Sometimes, acting on impulse was not quite the wisest course of action.

It seemed a simple enough life lesson: think before you act. Even someone like Amanhã, who spurned needless hesitation and talk, valuing only immediate and prompt action, was aware of that. Unfortunately, she was by nature a creature of instinct, of impulse-- she had to deliberately make an effort to avoid simply... lashing out. It seemed to simply be in her nature to use violence as her primary means of interacting with the world, a trait so ingrained that sometimes it even unsettled Amanhã that she had such a powerful instinct towards destruction within herself. Sometimes, she was effective in reigning it in. Other times... other times it overtook reason and what little shred of morality she deigned to retain, and then she found herself in situations such as these.

As a lull in the brief spurt of violence came about, Amanhã was forced to consider her actions. She'd let herself lash out again. Lost control. Become overtaken with anger. And now, consequently, she... had been rash.

To put it simply.

It had seemed, however, the situation had been brought indelibly to violence, until the fraud from before all too conveniently reappeared. "This is all a bit violent, isn't it?" Amanhã turned her head sharply, her eyes falling upon the fraud-- somehow pristine despite the ruinous state of the town and the carnage it had seen in just the past hour, and toting along an apple from which he occasionally took bites. He strode on into the midst of the lot self-assuredly, glancing down at the fallen bureaucrat. "So these guys are criminals, huh?" he remarked, as if in passing.

"You're a criminal," Ro retorted bitterly.

"Can you prove that?" the fraud returned fire with a wide grin splitting his cocky features. "I said the village was in danger, and the village was in danger.

"Oh, please. You orchestrated a massive deception and by chance were interrupted by acts of planned terrorism."

"A bit harsh, these lies." The fraud spared no further thought to the subject as he turned to the collected warriors behind him. "Of course, what's not a lie is that these men and women have attacked members of the Prefecture, and thus the Empire. And you better believe they'll stick the Tengu attack on all of you too."

Amanhã raised an eyebrow. And what deceit have you in stock for this situation?

"Luckily for all of you," he indeed did declare grandiosely, as though this moment was destined to be some historic moment. "I have an escape. I am creating a guild!" And punctuating those words, the fraud revealed a leather-bound certificate that revealed scrolls of some kind. "A Great Guild Fortune!" he continued, sounding almost giddy. "And if you sign you will be exempt of the crimes you've committed or they claim you've committed to this village."

"Who's the noble who signed for that paper?" the bureaucrat pressed, shoving the ash-winged tengu as he clambered to his feet.

"I am," the fraud fired back. "And seeing as the mayor has yet to classify this as a national issue, it still remains a village issue, and if these people are in a noble-signed guild the only way for you to prosecute them in responce to these events is through the village judicial system. Now, who do you think will win there, Ro? The people who saved the village, or the man trying to arrest them?" And then he turned back to the motley assortment of mercenaries, and he cried, "What say all of you?! A three-month contract with the Great Guild Fortune! I promise you riches, adventure, battle, and of course, more riches."

Ah, the multifarious ways in which the world tested Amanhã's resolve. So she was to choose between unable to step foot in a Yune city again without a legion of soldiers chasing her down as a fugitive, or a three month commitment to this jackass and his asinine little Great Guild Fortune? Those were her two choices? I suppose it's only as much as I warrant, having acted to gratify my impulses, she mused morosely. He did bring up a good point-- it was a legal loophole Amanhã could exploit. And if she did... well, for three months, she'd be bound to these imbeciles (well, mostly imbeciles). But she'd also be able to eventually attend to that contract waiting for her in the capital, and she would be free of any inevitable legal ramifications stemming from her violence here.

And, as the Sudean human had pointed out... guilds also often embroiled themselves in very entertaining battles with deeply entertaining adversaries. Alright, maybe she was pushing it a little, but in this case, she was gonna have to look on the bright side, rare though the occasion was. It's the less tiresome of the two options, I suppose, she conceded. To hell with it. Amanhã Tiamat was going to throw her lot in with this guild business. Best case scenario, the lot of them would get killed off about a month into the contract and she'd be back on the free range.

The half-Ashuran stepped toward the fraud, and indicated her consent by more or less taking a contract and the quill from him. Having made up her mind, there was no hesitation: she signed it shortly and swiftly, before veritably thrusting it back at the fraud.

She was probably going to regret this, but at least she would almost certainly have regretted the other option more.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi

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"I always did think being on the road was better than any cell," Lo-muna pitched in, joining the conversation. "Then again, I'm not very fond of small spaces like cells. Maybe you're different, girl? Ah but Fortune, do you mind if I sign? I don't have any qualms at the moment since I believe I have enough information for now. Do you run into trouble like this often?"

She raised an eyebrow as the giant female signed it, taking the contract with some force.

"Or rather run with trouble really," she muttered quietly with a small smile.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi

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#, as written by Nulix
"I never mind," Yuwen replied slickly he stepped forward the rabbit-girl and looked her over from bottom to top. "And it all depends on how often I seek it," He admitted sheepishly. "Whats your name?" He asked, before looking up as the two-armed Ashuran walked away. "And yours!" He called up to her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


What she didn't expect was a hug from her old friend and unpredictable force of nature, which, in all honesty, sort of what he was. A force of nature that's impossible to predict, and sure to create rifts in the world. She felt a lot of anger towards him, for not even bothering to try and reach out to her when her home town went under Teng occupation. Not even a single damned letter. Was it really that hard to write down a few words on a piece of paper, address it to her, and send it via post? So, sure, while it was pretty farfetched for him to have been behind all the destuction; (he was the type to delude himself as a hero after all, and there's no way to delude yourself into thinking murder, mass murder at that, was heroic). And, true, he was always a good speaker, and Hyuna was more than certain that he was doing the ol' Yuwen charm on her this very second, and she felt her will to resist and make a point slowly dissipating.

She heard Suna chastise her on fantasies, while the bunny girl brought up a pretty realistic perspective in quite a small amount of words. Hyuna shot them something between dirty and embarrassed looks, before almost pushing herself out of Yuwen's hug, and eyed her Master from behind. She figured he'd probably sign the contract- it is technically the easiest solution, although most everyone seemed to be ignoring that Fortune actually lied to them all, and pretty easily, at that. And so he's obviously not above lying again in the future, making it impossible to truly trust him.

Yuwen asked for Bunny's name, and then the Ashura's while she struggled with how to even talk to him. She didn't even know how to goddamn talk to him. So she covered up her insecurities with an angry face, once again, further questioning him.

"How can I trust you?" She asked sharply. "We were friends, back then, why didn't you even try to confirm if I was alive or not? Did you even know about my home town at all?"

Unwilling hints of tears began in her eyes and she violently wiped them away with her bloodied sleeve.

"Damnit, Yuwen, friends aren't supposed to just abandon each other in times of need, right?"

She put the spear back into it's holster, and accepted the contract resentfully, although still not signing it yet.

"You're a real bastard, Yuwen, but.... God, is it so bad that I want us to be back to how we used to be? Can we really?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra

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Malachi watched the scene play out, going from trying into another awfully blood battle - this time with the empire on the other side of the blood instruments of the group - and into a guild signing. A guild! Out of all the things could happen, a guild? And with a name of 'Great Guild Fortune'? Oh, the name stank like the courtyard now, with all the death, but it did have a nice ring. Yes, The Great Guild Fortune! A guild with the greatest warriors of the world who took down an entire fleet of Tengu's! Of course, Malachi wasn't thinking of this, none of it ever really matter to him, it'd all be the same. But at least this way, he wouldn't be so...alone. He waited as a few of the other signed before he stepped up.

"I suppose I shall join this Great Guild." Malachi said, stepping forward slightly toward with a slight bow. "Malachi Gabra of Quekour Town, Gwanalai, at your service." He added, a slightly extra bow with the slightest hint of a grin upon his lips before it subsided without notice.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen nodded at Malachi with a warm smile before turning back to Hyuna, a blank expression on his face as she finished. "You want us to be friends again... well, I'm the same," He called out to her. "Are you?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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Yamato listened to Yuwen's offer. It seemed logical, but then again, fighting the guard and killing a few of them before dying seemed fun. Though, Yamato was one for death, he never wanted to indulge in his own. Hyuna seemed to be emotionally involved in her decision. A deep rooted hatred and what he could only describe as respect for Fortune seemed to be buried in her past. It was then he remembered the sweats he held. A combination of blood loss and hunger drove him to quickly eat the pastries, satisfying his hunger and staving off the energy loss suffered by losing blood.

"Hyuna, I know that there are things going on here I cannot understand yet." He was referring to the entire history she and Yuwen had, but more specifically the hug he gave her. "I feel we should take him up on his offer. At least for now. It will give us the chance to train and then truly take on our enemies. It will allow you the chance to witness many different fighting styles, and get to know others that seem to enjoy fighting and are carrying their own demons and secrets. You are strong, very strong, but there is always room to grow."

He took Yuwen's Scroll and signed with his quill. "When this is over Fortune, I expect to have the highest body count. You will not question my methods, and I will try not to question yours. You give me the fight and I'll give your guild results. You give Hyuna a fight and she'll give you results. That's what we are here for."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


"Of course I'm not the same." She said in a small voice. And how could she be? After all she did just to survive- fighting her own kind, even fighting old members of the old resistance just for coin? Betraying her home town and her family? And of being alone for almost two years, surrounded by the detestable winged monsters? She was forced to toughen up before she ever wanted to, and that's something she can never really get back; her innocence.

Why did Yuwen get to stay the same cheerful blissful self he was while she had to become so.. warped? So sullied? How was that fair at all? Simple. It just wasn't fair. And then after Suna's snide comment, she also had to wonder- did he really remember? Or was he just pretending? Because if he really didn't, well, all her fighting would have been for nothing, wouldn't it? Why not just subject herself to whatever Ro does to criminals? At least she'd get to be alone with her thoughts again, and not with this Yuwen who probably had no idea who she was.

"Fine." She put on her usual scowl again, realizing that showing her softer interior wasn't going to accomplish anything anyways. "Whatever! I've had it!" She cried. "Prefect, just cuff me, I don't even care anymore."

But before she could hand over her freedom to the Prefect, Yamato stepped in, speaking rationally for the both of them, about his strengths, and her strengths, and that it'd be wise to join for the fighting experience. And of course, as an apprentice, she couldn't really refuse him. So, grumbling, she signed it and shoved the contract roughly in Yuwen's face, and walked over to stand by Yamato's side.

"Least Yamato won't screw me over." She murmured to herself, slightly happier when noticing that he actually ate the treats she bought for the two of them. "It's on you if Fortune decides to ruin our lives because it makes him look good, got it?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra

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Suiken raised an eyebrow at Sunaarashi's odd sense of humor, and didn't respond much, only giving a simple shrug. He then gave a nod of respect towards the two beast-people who just joined. "Hey, Fortune! As soon as you and you're, ah...old flame, are done reminiscing, I want to talk some about guild matters!"

The tengu seemed to make up his mind about joining Yuwen's cause as well.

["When this is over Fortune, I expect to have the highest body count."]

"Wow, you're certainly reaching for the sky with those goals..." Suiken spoke to the tengu in a flat, seemingly bored, mocking voice as he nonchalantly picked his ear.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi

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"While I have a chance..." Lo-muna said as the conversation began being steered away from the intimate troubles of Fortune and the young girl. "My name is Lo-muna Vanhi although you may call me Muna, Fortune. With this lively lot you're gathering, you may not have to look for trouble anymore. I look forward to working with you."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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"Least Yamato won't screw me over." She murmured to herself, slightly happier when noticing that he actually ate the treats she bought for the two of them. "It's on you if Fortune decides to ruin our lives because it makes him look good, got it?"


Yamato chuckled, putting his arm around her shoulder, "He can become a corpse as quickly as anyone else. I won't let him run you through the mud to make himself look better."



"Wow, you're certainly reaching for the sky with those goals..." Suiken spoke to the tengu in a flat, seemingly bored, mocking voice as he nonchalantly picked his ear. "I don't recall questioning your motives, Suiken. Of course, you will gain many new stories on this journey and subsequently coin once our contracts are up." He shook his head with a sigh, "You get to gain coin and I get to do what I do best, in the end we are serving ourselves here. Spin it however you want, justify however you like." He shrugged, "I'm happy that I can be part of your stories someday."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen watched as Tengu took the scroll and signed, Hyuna behind him. "When this is over Fortune, I expect to have the highest body count. You will not question my methods, and I will try not to question yours. You give me the fight and I'll give your guild results. You give Hyuna a fight and she'll give you results. That's what we are here for."

"Aren't you two a pair?" Yuwen whispered with a raised eyebrow, slightly cautious of his old friend and her relationship with the man, giving them both a smile. "Well welcome to the Guild. What are you called, my winged friend?"

"While I have a chance..." The rabbit-girl's voice interrupted. Yuwen flung around to face her. "My name is Lo-muna Vanhi although you may call me Muna, Fortune. With this lively lot you're gathering, you may not have to look for trouble anymore. I look forward to working with you."

"And I you," He responded with a bow, kissing her hand before raising up again and turning to Suiken as he spoke about ranking. "Do you?" He called to the Oni. "Well come here then, we'll talk."

"I can't believe this," Ro muttered, shaking his head as he and his men regrouped beside the forming Great Guild...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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["I don't recall questioning your motives, Suiken. Of course, you will gain many new stories on this journey and subsequently coin once our contracts are up." He shook his head with a sigh, "You get to gain coin and I get to do what I do best, in the end we are serving ourselves here. Spin it however you want, justify however you like." He shrugged, "I'm happy that I can be part of your stories someday."]

"Coin?" Suiken questioned. "Hmm, yeah, I guess that's sort of important," he ended up shrugging. He was beginning to go over the possibilities in his mind. Things that brought up possibilities for things much bigger than simple coin. And speaking of those possibilities, Fortune began to speak once more.

["Do you?" He called to the Oni. "Well come here than, well talk."]

"Ah, yeah," Suiken nodded. "I was wondering if you had a goal in mind, travel wise. Where do you think we'll be heading from here?" Suiken asked.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken

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#, as written by Nulix
From his pocket Yuwen pulled out a map of Yutan and held it open for Suiken to see. "We're in Poyo now. From here we head to Jiefong, the ancient city of the old Yutan. When the Yune people were two separate ethnicity the old King's of the northern tribes lived in Jiefong, a city that stretched from the valley to the mountains. It's a grand place, full of interesting people and history. It's about a week away by horse and two or three-days by boat, if we can find one to traverse the rivers," he explained to the Oni...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


"Yamato, I can already tell." Hyuna said with a stretch of her arms. "Stuck with these kinds of people for three months... once it's done, let's leave their lives for good." She eyed the Oni in particular, who she once thought was just a simple travelling bard, but isn't nearly as gentle as he appeared once, a time before the Tengu attack; it felt like years ago. "They probably don't want our help anyways, you know?"

She then turned directly to Yuwen, peering furiously at him. "It ain't your business, y'know, if we were a pair, stranger. Let's just get these months over with."

A pair? Like, romantically? With Yamato? Who knows, it's too early to tell, but the obviously xenophobe against Tengu, the idea of her having a Tengu as a romantic interest was pretty laughable. But if it bothered Fortune, then, why not just play it up? She'd have to ask Yamato is he was okay with it, sometime in private of course. She also wondered briefly if he would have wanted a more peaceful guild life, but, it was going to be pretty impossible to keep inter-guild relations at a positive. And this Yuwen thought he could make some amazing guild? Hyuna could hardly trust any of them to even sleep easily in the same area, and she was sure the others were wary of her sneaking in to slit their throats at night too.

Her ears pricked up at the thought of heading down south to Jiefong, though. It's been a long time since her father had shown her there, and she wondered what old enemies she'd have to meet up with there, if there were any. She didn't know if she hoped for enemies or not, at this point. But as long as she had the ashen-winged Tengu, the two of them could defeat any other pair if warriors. In this, she was fiercely confident.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken

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"Jiefong, eh...?" Suiken smirked, scrathcign his chin as he listened to Fortune's explanations. "Works just as well. I have business in Jiefong..." When Yuwen mentioned the two methods of travel to Suiken, an idea rang in his head. "Three days by boat, you say? That might not be too hard to accomplish. Y'see...you know that goblin? The boat captain?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken

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#, as written by Nulix
"No!" Yuwen replied.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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Malao


Malao had remained seated during the scuffle with the guards. The big blue women, the Tengu and the spear girl were obviously idiots. Ro was trying to be nice and the three immediately talk about killing eeveryone and that th hsould worshipped or some stupid things like that. He didn't like them. They also talked about killing people like a game, and Malao didn't like that. People who did that obviously are idiots, because only an idiot doesn't know what a life means.

Afterward, when the sitaution got tense, that weird guy from before said something about joining a guild or something. Malao couldn't follow it. Ro was standing with his men and watching the rest who were joining in the guild, but Malao didn;t know what a guild was. He remembered that Ro said he wanted to find out about the Tengu. Malao approached the bleeding Prefect with a smile and a peacful manner. He spoke to him in a moderate tone.

"Hey Ro. Though everybody else says otherwise, not all of the Tengu are dead. I fought at least 6, and I didn't kill a single one of them, just gave'em a bang on the coconut. Though....they might have died from the fall. Well, I know the one about 5 feet to the left there on the ground is still alive, I can hear him breathing, but he's knocked out. Hope it helps or whatever."

He then tried to approach Fortune, but couldn't get close to him, since so many people were around him. He decided to jump up and hang from on of the intact lantern wires, wrapped his tail around it and hung upside down right in front of Yuwen's face. Completely interrupting any conversation he was in the middle of.

"Whats a Guild and why are people joining it?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao

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"Well, there's this goblin boat captain by the docks. I have no idea where she is right now, so we should find her as soon as your done recruiting," Suiken informed Yuwen. "She's kind, but has a bit of a complexabout people looking down on her. Er...not literally, but..."

[He decided to jump up and hang from on of the intact lantern wires, wrapped his tail around it and hung upside down right in front of Yuwen's face. Completely interrupting any conversation he was in the middle of.]

And then monkey dude showed up. He did overhear what the primate beast-man had said previously about the tengu left alive. Suiken never killed any of his opponent either but he was reluctant to inform Ro of that. He didn't particularly wish them to be captured.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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Yamato sighed, Hyuna was very worked up over Fortune and his opinion. "They many not want our help and should that be the case, then we won't help them. We can travel with them, share in the riches to be gained, but on the battle field we leave them to their own devices."

Truthfully, he only wanted to get out of this town and let his arm heal. No one seemed to be in a hurry though as one by one they signed on to Fortune's guild. A Guild, another group of people with a similar goal. Maybe this one would have a similar outcome as well? Would he be the only one left standing when push came to shove? So many personalities clashing, it seemed inevitable. He would make sure he wasn't defeated, he'd learn their secrets, gain their trust and one day, if it came down to it, burry their bodies or scatter their ashes. It was at this point he recalled Yuwen's question, "I'm Yamato Hibiki. Head of the Hibiki Clan, and its only surviving member." He flashed a cold grin.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat

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Amanhã turned away from the fraud as he set to collecting other signatures, scowling. All of this had been very much unforeseen. She had only been supposed to pass through Poyo on her way to the capital... and now here she was, throwing in with this motley lot in some kind of damn guild. Not to mention the whole debacle with losing her last bounty to a fucking phantom-- although perhaps it was best not to dwell once more on that, as it already evoked a renewed sense of vehemence in her.

"And yours!" the fraud's voice called out; Amanhã glanced back and realised he was looking at her as though expecting the answer to some question. Well, it wasn't exactly hard to deduce: he seemed to be having a little 'get to know the gang of murderers, mercenaries, storytellers, and freaks I just recruited' session, and was asking everybody's name. Irritating at the inanity of the question, Amanhã answered the question with an action: she raised a single long, metal-clad arm, and pointed at the contract she had just signed and handed to him.

Signed, as it were, with an alias. In her line of work, it was useful to maintain at least one or two other identities backed up by 'official' paperwork. For the purposes of this particular contract, she had used Illyria Kúr'êshii, her standard identity when operating in the Yune Empire-- it was something of a tongue-in-cheek gesture (or as close as Amanhã Tiamat would ever get to making a tongue-in-cheek gesture), using an Ashuran given name and a Sudean surname, an inversion of her actual birth name. Not something anybody would ever realise, of course-- not unless they traced Illyria Kúr'êshii to Amanhã Tiamat, and she did not make a practice of revealing her actual identity to those whom she met under the false identity.

Otherwise, though, there was still a whole lot of talking, and Amanhã was having none of it, so she simply hung back and observed the farce as it happened right before her eyes. What a disparate gaggle of degenerates, she mused kindly, looking upon them-- the stout-built, sagacious oni storyteller, the proud, bellicose gnome of a human, the stranger who had yet to speak her sentiments on the whole affair, the obnoxious monkey cretin, the soft-spoken rabbit beast-folk, the ash-winged tengu (Amanhã perceived a strong arrogance in her limited observation of him, but little more yet), the inobtrusive Sudean swordsperson, the odd beast-folk who seemed to be of both goat and rabbit stock (Amanhã couldn't think of two less threatening animals to be born of).

All, of course, assembled by an overtly flamboyant fraud.

When she thought of it that way, it all seemed a little less logical.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen listened as the snow-oni talked while overlooking the half-breeds contract. Illyria, he read. Cool name. "Well, there's this goblin boat captain by the docks. I have no idea where she is right now, so we should find her as soon as your done recruiting. She's kind, but has a bit of a complex about people looking down on her. Er... not literally, but..."

Yuwen flashed a smile and put a hand on the oni's shoulder. "Don't worry, a lot of people have that complex," He began. "I think I can handle her."

"Thanks, monkey-king," Ro nodded at the Malao as he informed him of the living Tengu, the Prefect not quite realizing what he had called him.

"Whats a Guild and why are people joining it?" The monkey-man exclaimed as he interrupted the conversation Yuwen and Suiken were having. "A group unified by contract to complete missions together, take jobs, and split reward," Yuwen explained. "And people are joining because you'll be arrest otherwise, mainly."

"I'm Yamato Hibiki. Head of the Hibiki Clan, and its only surviving member," The Tengu's voice called. Yuwen turned to the man to see him grinning. "Well then," Yuwen said, his eyes shifting between Yamato and Hyuna. "I'm sure you were the strongest of them." He gave a slight nod before turning back to Suiken and the monkey-lord, as if the brief comment was all Yamato was worth...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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Being the aimless drifter that she was, Ann figured she had nothing to lose by joining. Her eyes shifted back to the guards. There really seemed to be nothing on the other hand besides immediate arrest and punishment and that didn't sound like the most appealing idea in the world. She watched for as, one by one, the group of combatants that had taken action throughout the whole affair began falling in line under Yuwen's direction; recruitment into a guild he had created. At length, she helped herself to one of the scrolls from Yuwen's hand.

"A guild?" she muttered, taking a good look at it. Aside from hired assassinations and escorts, she'd never had real contact with guilds or anything relating to them. However, if one thing could be made certain, it was that it was likely going to be a better decision that sitting out the whole event and waiting for the authorities to figure out what to do with her. "I don't mind," she said just above whisper tones as she signed it. "Looking forward to working with you. Name's Ann'Razul. On the off-chance that formality is your thing, you can call me Razul." She smiled and handed it back to him. "Otherwise, I go by Ann."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen turned to look at the girl only to find it was the one who had saved him from the Tengu earlier. "Well what's your thing, Ann'Razul?" Yuwen asked with a smile as she handed the scroll back to him. He took her hand and bowed before kissing it gently. "Formality or otherwise?" Yuwen rose again. "I think I'll go with Ann." These Gwanish names, he thought in the back of his head. He glanced from her to the monkey lord. "So," he said with the team behind him. "You're the last one." He handed Malao a scroll and his quill, like he had all others. And as he did he could not help but feel pride. He had done it, he had gotten his team. And this time he would make sure to win...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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Ann blushed lightly as Yuwen kissed her hand. "Charmed," she said. "I'm good with Ann." She took a step back and watched as he turned to the remaining one of their group that had yet to sign into the guild - the Monkey King that she'd had her eyes on when she'd first entered Poyo. If his answer was yes, which really seemed like the only logical answer in this kind of situation, then she'd have to call off the bounty for good. For her own sake, anyway, at least with what she knew in her minimal understanding of guilds. In-fighting was never a pretty thing.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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Malao


Hmm, that sounded......kind of lame. He actually wasn't sure exactly what it was, even with Fortune explaining. He sort of got the gist of it. Though, it could be fun. Doing stuff with other people for.....reward, he believed the word was. Yeah, right. Though, he would have to leave his home......though his monkeys could come...but not all of them would want too. He knew 5 in particular who would come, but the rest would stay. Well, he had been doing the same thing for like........a hundred years or something. So, why not a change?

"And people are joining because you'll be arrested otherwise, mainly." Said Fortune.

Malao simply looked at him and laughed a high pitch monkey laugh and wiped a tear from his eye. "Thats funny. The worlds been trying to arrest me for like.....60 years or something. Doubt they will if i don't join, even if they are right behind me!!!" Malao said confidently.

The girl from earlier came up and she seemed to join the guild as well. Huh.....Malao kind of liked her, she seemed interesting. He decided that he would join. "So," Fortune said with the team behind him. "You're the last one." He handed Malao a scroll and his quill, like he had all others.

Malao stared at the items in his hands and dropped from the wire to the ground. He stared at them a little harder, and started to hunch a little and look a little sheepish. He beckoned the taller Fortune to bend down to his height so he could whisper something to him.

"I....I can't read or write, what do I do? Does this mean I can't join the Guild?" Malao whispered so only Yuwen could hear.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


It had taken a while, but she had finally calmed down to some extent. A long night with no rest, coupled with being basically dragged into Yuwen's schemes once again, and of course, running out of chi during a fight, none of it particularly helped. And when the prospect of giving into the damned Prefect came up, she couldn't help herself .She still can't, now, but at least she wasn't raring to fight like before. She eyed the others- her new guildmates with a sour expression, not really liking most of them except for her mentor, and she was pretty ambivalent to the gwanish girl- Razul, but she didn't much care for the others at all. And, for all she knew, the orca had run off and gotten the chest to himself, probably with the key. She figured he wasn't a threat to the treasure, but, well. He had it all to himself now, the damned beastman. Still, at best this was only a temporary team up with the others, and then she could go and journey with the Tengu for who knows how long, and at worst it'd end with bloodshed. Hyuna was particularly worried about getting on the Giantess' bad side, Illyria. An oddly pretty name for such a strong and dangerous looking woman, but well, it's her name after all. So she sauntered carefully over to the Illyria, minding to not look like a threat.

"Sorry." She said in a subdued voice. "For gettin' you into the fight. There's still a treat left, if you want it." She held up the bag while Fortune discussed their plans to get to their next destination with the Oni. "Let's have a hopefully peaceable three months with each other." She finished, and bowed to her physical superior (not like any of them could be weaker to her in the physical sense), and went back to Yamato She even saw the Monkey King joining the guild, and figured that trying for the bounty was useless now, but, she wasn't really planning on killing the thief anyways. And, she supposed in some strange way, her assumption of the Monkey King leading her to Yuwen was found to be true, just, not in a way anyone'd really expect.

She felt the same panic rising as an animal cornered into a trap would've felt, and forced herself to concentrate on her Mentor's wings. It was an odd comfort, for sure, that the one she trusted most was a Tengu. She allowed herself a small smile in his direction.

It'd actually be interesting if this ended up as a in-fighting. I wonder who if I could survive that.

Illyria? Most definitely not. So it'd obviously be better to at least try to make friends with her. With Yamato, she'd be able to survive Suna as well, slaying the old man. At least, that's what she figured. They'd have to tr and predict his movement, wouldn't they? What about Yuwen, did she stand a chance? He was always skilled at combat, but she never really saw him fight recently, so she has no way to gauge his current skills at all. That was particularly miffing.

I'll get lots of money too, from this, even if it doesn't end up as a fight.

Yes, when adding the coin rewards into the equation, she felt even more at ease. Or perhaps her sugar rush had finally died down. Hyuna suppressed a yawn, and hoped desperately that whatever powers may be would find mercy on her and let this end quickly, at the very least.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen cooly took Malao's hand in his and scribbled down a signature. With a wink he wrapped the scroll up. "Welcome to the Guild," He said to the man with a smile. He flung around to the rest of the group. "Alright team! With that the Great Guild is assembled!" He exclaimed loudly. "Get yourself some food and we'll regroup at the docks in an hour," Yuwen said as he jumped off of the boulder he'd stood on to add to his height and flung a pair of wood framed tinted-glasses on. "And trust me," He added with a smile. "We'll be doing lots of jobs and missions... but what we're going after in the end will make you all rich beyond your wildest dreams." He gave an eager nod at the group before continuing on toward a side-street...

***

Jensu looked down in horror as the fish-beast curled up. "Oh god," She exclaimed, kicking the creature lightly to see if he died. "Mohan!" She exclaimed, calling for her Oni first-mate. "Quickly! We have to get him below deck..." She glanced down at Keeflo and swallowed. "He needs rest... and he needs to hide."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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"Well...anyone else hungry?" Suiken asked, as Yuwen began to stride off. "Perhaps in addition to food, we can gather supplies for our journey."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen made his way down a side-street from the square. The cobblestone was still covered in lanterns, banners, foods, and other objects from the hastily abandoned festival. He combed his hair back with his hand as he looked down, carefully dodging a puddle of chestnut stew. Still, the cleaners were working, and the villagers had begun to come once more. The stores had reopened, and the new day was arriving sure enough, if not with more of a stagger than usual. As for the group it was a bit early for Yuwen to really have an opinion on each of them, though that hadn't stopped him.

Suiken, the first to join. A Snow-Oni from Onium, one of the few societies he could name that had more conquest in their culture then the Yune Empire. And yet he seemed balanced, level-head, and compared to the rest of the group: sane. If he had a life of war, which given his age was quite possible, it seemed to have been set aside for travel and storytelling. And peace. Suiken was one of two people he regretted dragging into the operation, one of the two he was unsure would benefit from where the Guild would lead them, the other being Malao. But he seemed eager, and he was skilled. Yuwen shook his head as he passed by a family. No, Suiken wanted to join. And his life would be for the better.

Sunaraashi, the Sudean man next drew Yuwen's thoughts as he turned down an alleyway, a grouping of cats scattering away from rotting fish as he passed. A good fighter, that much was apparent. Though of what past. Sudean's were a shifty bunch, and a man outside of Sudea with such skill had a very high chance of being a criminal. Or a hero, perhaps. Regardless what Yuwen wanted to avoid most was chaos and unpredictability within the ranks of his Knights, as he had begun to think of the Guild. And right now Sunaraashi was an enigma to him, an unknown. And that was the most dangerous.

Illyria was the second enigma to the group, though while Sunaraashi was a friendly unknown she was a hostile. Who or what she was Yuwen didn't know, though a half-breed was the most logical answer. Ashuran's were a rarity to see outside their territory. He had only seen a dozen or so in his lifetime, and a half-breed... well even rarer. From what he had gathered so far her interests included money and violence - fortunately two things his guild provided. The challenge Yuwen in future had to face was when the money would be divided, and the most monetary and violent answer would become to cut them all down. He'd have to talk to her... and find another way to counter.

Lo-muna, Yuwen thought to himself with a small smirk as he made his way onto the sunny docks filled with sailors and ships that polluted the massive river beyond. Lo-muna was the most appealing type of beast-man in his eyes. Animal, but not by much. Human skin and animalistic features mixed in. Personality wise he hadn't gotten much other than good-natured. Or at least non-confrontational. She'd helped the citizens when the others fought, and had seemed quite friendly when she had joined. Of course that was just the surface... who she really was and how she could be invested still had to be seen. Ability wise all Yuwen could say was fast. She was faster than most of them, though the Monkey King could probably give her a run for her money...

Next came Malachi. Another beast-man, this one much more animalistic than Lo-muna, and the animals involved much harder to tell. An archer, from what little he saw. And being a great archer required patience, control, and reflexes. Features most the rest of the guild lacked, Yuwen could already say. Though he knew little about his personality he knew the beast-man's skill as an archer and the virtues that came with it would force Yuwen to rely on Malachi heavily in future. And he'd never rely on someone he couldn't trust. "Must find out more..." Fortune whispered to himself as he approached a large, red painted junk: it's deck filled with tables and food stands.

Then there was the dynamic duo themselves: the most obvious entries into trouble territory: Yamato Hibiki, the Tengu Samurai, and of course Hyuna. Hyuna, Hyuna, Hyuna. She used to be a true follower, one of his friends. Perhaps more, with the things he'd managed to talk her into doing. They'd been to Poyo before. It was where he had last seen her before they had parted ways, she for island home of Leiya. Yuwen glanced down at the restaurant-boat's menu sadly. She had changed... he had too, admittedly, only he was better at hiding it. The island had been a war-zone with Tengu rebels for some time... and presumably she had been caught up in the chaos. Yuwen had been busy with his old guild at the time, with his own glory, and now seeing her again the girl he'd befriended was overwhelmed by hostility and hate. "Vegetable noodles, please," Yuwen nodded to the man behind the counter before searching his pockets for coin. But beneath the hate... she had to still be there. The same friend he had, and more importantly, the loyal follower. And he'd get that back.

Yamato. Dangerous, arrogant, and a bit cruel, were the main things Yuwen had gotten from him. Hyuna's master, apparently. The first sign that the Tengu attacks had changed her, she was under the training of one. Of course how far the term master went with the two of them he still had to determine. He'd fought alongside Yamato before against the Tengu in the square, and his skill was unquestionable. As was his arrogance. He was strong, but not as strong as he believed himself to be. And Yuwen would like nothing more then to prove it to him. Picking up a piece of broccoli with his chopsticks Yuwen sighed. He shared glory, as long as those he shared it with acknowledged it would never have happened if not for Yuwen Fortune. And Yamato, he foresaw, would not. He'd carve his own glory... and that was the problem.

Ann'Razul, or Ann as she had called herself, was one of the four he'd already put in the friendly category, alongside Suiken, Malao, and Lo-muna. A skilled fighter, perhaps a mercenary, or a criminal, who'd taken the call with the others. So far she'd gotten along with Yuwen, and if the group got a bit unstable he could see her being one of the solids he'd be forced to rely on. Yuwen pushed his shaded glasses lower on his nose to look up at a passing time-board. At fifteen minutes to noon their hour of eating was almost up and they should reconvene at the docks. Hopefully Suiken could point them to his goblin and once again they'd be on their way.

Last was Malao. A funny beastish-man was the best way he could describe him. Gravity just did not seem to hit him, both in situation and physically. He seemed to want one thing, to have a good time. And in all truth that's what Yuwen wanted as well. For himself and his guild... though the price for his happiness was a grave one. Malao fascinated him: where did the monkey-man come from? What was his life like? He couldn't write, which seemed to place him outside society in general, as Poyo had been an educated village for quite some time. Malao was on the list for further research, and one of the few Yuwen would enjoy researching.

At his bench on the dock Yuwen smiled to himself. His Guild...

"Sir," A voice exclaimed. Yuwen glanced up to see a plainly uniformed man approach, letter in hand.

"I'm an aid to the Mayor," The man said.

"Decided to pay us, did he?" Yuwen questioned as he leaned his head back.

"Yes," The man responded, handing Yuwen a sack of gold. Yuwen rose an eyebrow at the scene before pocketing the money. "And he wanted me to give you this," The aid added, a neatly tied up scroll in his hands.

"What's this?" Yuwen asked. "It's for an orca beast-man," The aid explained. "His eyes only."

Yuwen glanced up at the aid as he began to walk away. "I don't know such a beast-man."

"You will!" The aid called back...

***

Jensu scurried down a street, desperately searching the open stands of the shops before spotting a familiar face. The old Oni story-teller from earlier, walking and talking with some sort of group. "You!" The Goblin exclaimed, running up to Suiken hurriedly. "Hey, listen, you wouldn't happen to know where a second-hand doctor is, do you? I've got a fish who just passed out from exhaustion..." She glanced at the crowd the Oni walked with. Some she recognized. Most she didn't. "Hey," She added, giving each a small nod before turning back to Suiken...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune

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#, as written by Nulix
The door creaked open, and from the dust illuminated in the city-streets a white-cloaked figure entered silently. "The jar," The figure spoke in a crisp voice as he approached the counter. "What is in the jar?" Suddenly the shop shook as the village bells rang twelve times in unison from the walls, their echo reaching each street and corner. An hour had past, and at a bench on the docks Yuwen Fortune sat cross-legged with his tinted-glasses on, looking up at the sun and waiting for the horde to flock...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat

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With an hour to spare, Amanhã wasted no time in dealing with what needed to be dealt with: supplies. She was lacking in them. She had been planning, after all, on a direct trip to the capital, and had not accounted for this absolute waste of time and energy that had just been dumped on her by whatever deity or deities hypothesised to exist by various religious systems. And the worst part was, of course, that it had been brought about by her own ill temperament. But then again, how am I supposed to react to being arrested? Let them take me? She scowled. How troublesome it was, when being reasonable also meant being pathetic. And indeed, how much simpler the world had been when she had been a bandit-- when the only law truly was might, when she could sate her own compulsions all too easily when the appetite arose. It was true that operating within the bounds of the law as a bounty hunter was a more rational choice-- it was a hell of a lot easier to get around when you weren't a fugitive with thousands of gold pieces riding on your head, and the monetary recompense was greater in her legal profession. But... a part of her missed banditry. But that was a part of her that had never done her any good-- the fleeting gratification she received from indulging it did not logically outweigh the consequences of it, and there was another part of Amanhã that.... that almost feared what would be produced if she consciously fed that side of her.

Well, if she had to be honest with herself... it was all the same shit anyway. Nothing ever really changed-- certainly not now, with just another impediment to nothing. She'd either wile away her three months as contractually obligated, or shorten that span through other means, and then be off on her way to...

She had found her destination-- the town's mercantile district, resplendent with stores, stands, and passing merchants hocking their wares and bartering heatedly with shoppers. In an unfamiliar place like this, any one of the stores was as good as any other, so she simply went for the first general supplies shop she came upon, the veritable haven of all wanderers and perpetual travellers. Therein could be found virtually all someone like Amanhã could possibly need in their endless travels-- weapons, armour, more casual raiments, maps, and foods that would last as long as a nomad would require. She examined the stocks of rations-- not the most mouth-watering of delicacies, to be sure, but Amanhã had practically lived on a diet of salted meats and dried fruits such as these, and taste was of little concern to her. ... just little, she noted sourly as her eyes swept over to the sweets section.

A moment later, with a fresh pack stuffed with salted beef, various dried fruits, and one little guilty sweet stashed away surreptitiously at the bottom, Amanhã left, having bartered for the goods. Or rather, having set the goods down on the counter, shoved a quantity of gold that was significantly less than the listed prices of the items she'd gathered, and then watched the shopkeeper quibble for a moment before helplessly acquiescing. This accomplished, Amanhã left the supply store behind, and, in a show of productivity and industry that would have been the envy of the busiest of bureaucrats, promptly did nothing whatsoever for about a half an hour.

By the time the sun had reached high noon and the tolling of the bells had confirmed the hour, Amanhã was already on her way to the docks. She trudged along intently, toting her pack of supplies over her shoulder as the rays of the mid-day sun rained down upon her metal-clad form, casting an incredibly irksome brightness upon the town of Poyo, fresh from the massacre that had ravaged its town square and claimed many of its people, none of which would be relevant at all to Amanhã shortly. She reached the docks only to find she was the first to arrive-- excluding, of course, the fraud, the one who claimed to be called Yuwen Fortune, sitting not far away with tinted glasses. Amanhã frowned.

Not for any particular reason, it just seemed like an appropriate time to frown.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


Yamato regarded her kindly, when he noticed her penchant for snacking on sweets, and addressed her confusion over the foods buy gathering it himself.

"I know, these don't seem like the best, and I'll agree, they aren't." He said first, and Hyuna scowled visibly at the nasty looking things, as he continued, "However, for the days we spend between towns these supplies will make the meals and drink in town taste better, and worthy of the prices they pay." The ashen-winged Tengu then looked towards the bakery, and the Falon felt a little surge of hope. Sweets after all, then? "Pastries don't last too long on the road, no one said you would have to try and make them last." Grinning, "We can get some good snacks for the road, not too many, but something to tide you over until we reach our destination."

Yamato then took out the coins needed for the spear tune up, and Hyuna dashed to the pasty shop, like a small child seeing a new toy to play with; impulsively, almost drooling, and wanting it as fast as possible. She looked back right before entering, and grinned at him, before going in, gathering up as much as she could fit in the brown paper bag before dumping it onto the counter for buying it, completely ignoring the strange stares from everyone inside. The intense look in her eyes probably scared the clerk, who almost looked terrified as he counted them up and told her the price, which she paid heartily, before exiting the shop and returning to Yamato, who said something about needing to swing by his hotel. Hyuna refastened the cloak around her shoulders, figuring that she could get a new one at Jiefong. Heck, Jiefong might even be a better choice, since there was that guy's famous tailoring shop there. Liu-Ying, was it? That had to be it, right?

"Thanks, Master." She said graciously before chomping down on her first victim, savoring the sweet and crunchy taste. "Thish ish da laif-" She said between chews, before swallowing it, and rolling up the top of the bag, she shoved it into one of the pouches on her deerskin belt.

That was when the noon bell tolled; twelve times, and Hyuna wondered just how long she was awake for, yawning and stretching again before shaking her head. She nodded at Yamato before re-entering the first shop, and received her spear, once again feeling the familiar comfortable weight, doing some test spins and whirls before smirking somewhat at the craftsman who looked satisfied with the rare high quality weapon to work on.

"Time's up, Master. I'll go on ahead and tell them to wait for you, okay?"

Hyuna leapt into the air, using it to propel her up onto the roof of the general good store, before rapidly gliding from roof to roof, once again feeling the air whish past her face; wind flapping her cloak into the air, making an impressive sight for anyone who was looking, certainly befitting the rumors from the Northern Front. Though, she wasn't as good as she thought, really, there were too many people here that were such a close fight that she couldn't be confident about who'd win, not to mention the two that'd completely wreck her. Luckily, one of them is Yamato, but the problematic Ashura was still a threat. Although, hopefully, some of her goodwill extended to her, if a beast like that even understands the concept. Leaping from the top of an old storage house, she landed lightly, gracefully slightly to the side of Yuwen and Illyria, her mouth in a tight frown as she regarded Yuwen, but she gave a small quick wave to the Ashura.

"Yamato will be late." She informed Yuwen tersely, still standing at a good arm's breadth away from the two. "He has to go pick up some of his things before we head out." She then absently fiddled with her pouch, not really realizing it, but started munching at another treat.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi

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Once the ringing had stopped, the shopkeeper finally inspected the bright red leaves at the end of the tweezers, muttering, "Just a minute young man..."

She paused and her brows furrowed in obvious confusion. Then, with tentative hands, she touched the red leaves. The pale face reddened and with a decisive throw, tweezers and leaves flew past the white-cloaked figure.

"Fakes!" the old shopkeeper screeched, banging her fists upon the table. The small jar jumped and a clattering could be heard from within. The shopkeeper looked up at the mystery man and with reckless abandon, dived into the jar to the very bottom where a key lay. It was made of solid gold but plain otherwise.

"A key but no lock, great," she grumbled sarcastically as she threw the key on the counter. "What am I supposed to do with this!?"

~*~

"Oh hello!" Lo-muna said brightly as she joined her comrades on the dock, giving an especially warm smile to Yuwen. "An hour flows by really fast, doesn't it? I hope none of you had trouble finding what you needed?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi

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Malao


Malao smiled at the Fortune, showing his appreciation. He was about to walk away when he was approached by a the Rabbit girl. She talked to him about some thread or something, but it was hard for Malao to follow because he was already thinking about what he would have to tell the others (Monkeys). Soon enough she was off on her own business. She seemed nice. Before anything else happened, he leaped off to the forest.

After a bit, already retrieving the sack, Malao was surrounded by hundreds of Monkeys. He explained to them that he was ready to go and it was time for him to leave this place. They seemed sad, but to this surprise, were actually expecting this. They gave him a salute and he was off to the meet up place.

Surprisingly enough, all of the monkeys had decided to stay. He would be going alone. Well, not really alone, he would have the guild, but he didn't know any of them. And if he was to be honest with himself.......he was scared. He had never been alone....or maybe he had. He wasn't a monkey, so he never truly had a true connection with one, and he wasn't really human either, ao no connection there. Except for maybe Renka.....huh. He hadn't thought about her in forever. Weird.

Malao never really needed anything, all he had was his sack of stolen items he wanted to give back to the guild. Before he got to the meeting place, he remembered what the Rabbit-Girl said and he dug through his bag. He found an tem that seemed to be thread, so he pocketed it.

He came upon his Guildmates. He threw the bag on the ground in front of them. "There is a bunch of money and jewelry and other shiny stuff in there, anyone can help themselves. Though, I think some of the money belongs to different people in the guild." He said.

He then approached Lo-Muna and handed her the thread. "Was this what you were talking about?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Keeflo half listened to the banter between the goblin, the oni, and the human who had come to the boat. His mind was mostly concentrated on an internal debate. Would he be freed if he joined this guild? Would he be turned in? Some of the people in that group seemed pretty self centered and violent, so the bounty on his head might prove tempting.

He still had the key to return to the mayor of Poyo as well. Keeflo figured that in the ocean he would lose it and it wouldn't be of any use to anyone. Maybe this guild would give him the freedom to bring the key back to the mayor. The oni had said something about a contract, though. Keeflo shrugged. He had waited over a decade for freedom, he could postpone his reuniting with the ocean in order to stop being chased.

Thanking the goblin Captain for her hospitality, Keeflo got off the boat, feeling dreadfully conspicuous. He managed to find Fortune without trouble, although he did get a few odd looks on the way. Keeflo approached the man and said, "I heard you were offering a way to get out of trouble in exchange for joining a guild. Can you tell me more about this, sir?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi

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#, as written by Nulix
A sinister hand slammed down on the counter, grabbing the key. "I'll take it..." The man whispered...

***

As the bells rang Yuwen sat and waited, still starring up at the seagulls above with his arms stretched out across the top of the bench. And though he did not seem nervous or afraid to the common man or woman walking past, inside he was very much unsure. The bells stopped, and he was still alone. Suddenly in the distance he spotted something, a figure towering forward through the dock workers. Illyria. He rose his head upward at the sight.

From the top of an wooden storage house painted in worn green another figure landed lightly before sliding toward them. Hyuna had come too, though her Tengu was nowhere in sight. "Yamato will be late." She called out, stopping short from joining the two. "He has to go pick up some of his things before we head out." Yuwen smirked as she began to munch on some sort of sweet.

"Oh hello!" The soft voice of Lo-muna called out. Yuwen turned next to the rabbit-girl, who seemed to smile especially at him. "An hour flows by really fast, doesn't it? I hope none of you had trouble finding what you needed?"

Yuwen carefully pulled his glasses off and gave her a half-wink before turning to the rest of them. A smile was plastered on his face, and his eyes were slightly red... as though they'd been teared up by happiness. "...I can't believe you guys came," He admitted after a moment, in the softest voice he'd ever use. He turned from Illyria to Hyuna to Lo-muna. "Thanks."

Suddenly a bag was flung onto the ground between them, at Yuwen's feet. "There is a bunch of money and jewelry and other shiny stuff in there, anyone can help themselves. Though, I think some of the money belongs to different people in the guild." The friendly voice of an approaching Malao said as he stepped forward. "Malao!" Yuwen exclaimed, flipping his tinted glasses back-on and hiding his eyes between a wall of dark-amber. "Good to see you, my friend." Emphasis on the friend.

Suddenly Yuwen's gaze was caught by Suiken giving him a wave, Suna and a killer whale Beast-man with him. "I heard you were offering a way to get out of trouble in exchange for joining a guild," The Orca said as the trio approached. "Can you tell me more about this, sir?"

"Uh, basically any arrests relating to the attacks last night have yet to be declared national issues, thus are still regional," Yuwen began, trying to explain as best he could. "If you're in a noble endorsed Guild it is illegal for any law enforcer without absolute authority to arrest you without a trial, because it's taking money away from some noble, is the theory... and any trial relating to the events of last night we'll win, because we saved the village." He paused and leaned forward to the man. "...listen, I don't know what type of trouble you're in but I know the law. And I know how to use it to pummel my enemies into the ground. I cannot guarantee an outcome, but I can guarantee to try. If you're hunted, its better to be hunted together then alone." He gave a bow to the Orca. "Yuwen Fortune, by the way."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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Ann's eyes drifted back to the scene of the massacre. Nameless as they were to her, they were all alive at one point, each with their own stories to tell and relationships to hold, until they met their fate this day. A child was sitting over one of the corpses, head lowered and body quivering. Ann knelt down by her and lifted her hand, holding it warmly in her own. The girl let out shuddering breaths, faint tears staining her face. She felt the child's fingers tightening around her own, her eyes closed, unable to bear the truth any longer. Ann wrapped her arms around her in a gentle embrace, humming softly in her ear. She remembered that someone had done this for in the past at some point in her life, but it was all lost in a haze. All she recalled was that she was alone and afraid, succumbing to despair in a strange and terrifying world that seemed all to alien to her, tears in her eyes. A silhouette appeared before her and took her hand, an angelic smiled adorned on her face as she sang that same, haunting melody. Ann slowly opened her eyes.

What am I doing?

Ann took another bite from the apple in her hand, one leg folded neatly over the other with her eyes fixed nowhere in particular. She'd bought some rations, but that was the extent of her purchases. She'd wandered around through some of the equipment shops, but couldn't find anything to her liking and left without buying anything. Prior to that, she'd removed all of the blood stains that had been left on her clothes from the fight in the town square. She took another hearty munch. When it was down to the core, she tossed it into a waste bin and rose from the bench she'd been resting on for the past half-hour or so, dusting herself off.

As the sound of the town's bell reached her ears, she began making her way back. Several people had already gotten there before her, it seemed. And it just so happened that the girl from earlier was now following closely behind her, tugging onto the hem of her shirt as she walked. She hadn't said anything at all, simply pacing Ann's steps all the way until she'd hit the docks. She presumed that the girl didn't have anywhere else to go and was now looking to her to figure something out. Whether or not she could actually help was beyond her jurisdiction. Yuwen would probably have to settle the matter himself.

Ann placed her hand against the girl's back and lightly pushed her forward in front of him. She sported light brown hair that straightened out down to her waist and had pale blue eyes. She looked to be around ten years old. The girl avoided eye contact, her back slightly bent and her head turned away. If the crowd wasn't making her nervous, the towering armored giant was just as good of a guess.

"Room for one more?" Ann simply asked.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Having eaten his fill of fresh pork buns, Suiken had spent the rest of his coin on various supplies and necessities for the journey before heading for the docks, passing by an extraordinarily sinister looking cloaked individual. Once there he saw that some of the others had already gathered there, including the orca beast man, so that was one more to their number. He couldn't help but be a bit concerned, when Ann brought what appeared to be a child along with them.

"I don't believe that such a potentially dangerous journey such as ours is any place for a kid," he began, warily eying Yamato and the half-ashura before shrugging. "Eh, but it's not my place to decide. I only say that if you care for the safety of this child, having her join us may not be the best of options."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen stroked his chin at the situation before them. "Poyo is too small to support orphans..." He said after a moment. "But Jiefong is huge, she'll be taken care of there. We can take her there, at least..." He glanced up to Ann. "If that's okay with you."

***

"You want the key? Pay for it then," The old shopkeeper said as she held onto his arm. "At least a hundred coins!"

"How about I give you a hundred death instead," The man growled at her as his grip on the key tightened...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


It wasn't long until a few others showed up, like Monkey King, surrendering a bag full of things he most likely stole himself in the first place. She gave him a little, neutral nod, unsure what to think of it. Then, it was rabbit-girl, the best looking out of the beast-men, in Hyuna's own opinion. There was some kind of dignified inherent cuteness in the woman's features and size, and, well, for Hyuna, it was pretty hard to stop staring. She only managed it when Razul appeared, toting along a young child, as well as the hypocritical Oni came, inviting that orca... that damned Orca from before, who stole the chest! Didn't anyone care about that in the least?

"Hey." Hyuna snarled angrily in the direction of the orca. "What'd you do to the chest? Why'd you steal it?" She approached him threateningly, not quite pulling out her new and maintained spear, but making it sure that she could have it out in a flash. "If anything, that chest belongs to us all, you damned water monster thing!"

Still, on the other hand, she was strangely ambivalent to the child being there, telling her that it was her choice if she wanted to take the risk of joining them.

"I won't protect you." She said, shrugging, after making sure the orca knew that he wasn't trusted here. "But there's no reason why you can't come, right? It's your life, after all, kid."

She fished out a treat, scowling at Yuwen who had the misfortune of talking right before she did, and tossed it towards the girl. A small form of charity, she supposed. Maybe karma would grant her with everyone's death, so she and Yamato could escape the binding contract. She sighed and fidgeted slightly, feeling a little exposed and vulnerable in the wake of the giant Illyria, without her Master at her side.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Suiken listened as the conversation unfolded about the child with Ann vowing to watch over the child and Yuwen deciding to drop her off in Jiefong after mulling it over a bit. "Well, I suppose it's settled then..." Suiken nodded. "If you need any assistance in protecting the kid, I'll be happy to help," Suiken informed Ann, before looking over to see a sort of small conflict developed.

["Hey." Hyuna snarled angrily in the direction of the orca. "What'd you do to the chest? Why'd you steal it?" She approached him threateningly, not quite pulling out her new and maintained spear, but making it sure that she could have it out in a flash. "If anything, that chest belongs to us all, you damned water monster thing!"]

"Woah, woah! Settle down, kid," Suiken told Hyuna, almost lackadaisically. "That treasure never belonged to us, for one thing. It belonged to the town, which may need such a treasure to cover the expenses of the damages it took during the tengu attack. Going around and pointing fingers just breeds too much unnecessary conflict and not enough actual answers, so how about calming down and letting the beast-man explain himself, eh?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Keeflo listened as Fortune explained how the guild worked as an escape from the law. If he had been like the other people here, his problems would be solved. But he had more problems than that. Did he dare ask a question that pertained to his personal circumstances?

"Hey." the spear girl snarled angrily. "What'd you do to the chest? Why'd you steal it?" She approached him threateningly, not quite pulling out her new and maintained spear, but making it sure that she could have it out in a flash. "If anything, that chest belongs to us all, you damned water monster thing!"

Keeflo tensed under the sudden verbal attack, ready to the fight to turn physical. This girl seemed to be as safe as a swarm of sharks. Although Keeflo was taller, heavier, and likely stronger, he had far les fighting experience.

"Woah, woah! Settle down, kid," the oni storyteller said. "That treasure never belonged to us, for one thing. It belonged to the town, which may need such a treasure to cover the expenses of the damages it took during the tengu attack. Going around and pointing fingers just breeds too much unnecessary conflict and not enough actual answers, so how about calming down and letting the beast-man explain himself, eh?"

The orca beast-man in question nodded gratefully to Suiken. "I brought the chest to the Mayor. Then some guard took it away. I don't know where it is now. The guard... he... recognized me, so I fled and didn't challenge his possession of the chest." Deciding to risk his freedom, Keeflo continued, "Some of you may have seen wanted signs for an escaped orca beast man slave. Sir," he said, turning to Yuwen Fortune, "If I joined your guild, could you guarantee my freedom?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


"That treasure never belonged to us, for one thing. It belonged to the town, which may need such a treasure to cover the expenses of the damages it took during the tengu attack." Why even care about the damn town? It's a dump full of boring worthless people that didn't know how to defend themselves in a fight. Weak, and insignificant. It bugged her to think that anyone would really care for the weak. "Going around and pointing fingers just breeds too much unnecessary conflict and not enough actual answers, so how about calming down and letting the beast-man explain himself, eh?"

She growled when the Oni said his lines, trying to make her seem like a total fool. Hyuna wouldn't have any of that, almost spitting out her next retort, spitefully.

"You know, we're the ones that killed for the treasure." She glared at them all as if to dare them to challenge that fact. "And the town, you know what they did to their saviors? They tried to prosecute us! So, the treasure was rightfully ours, the damned ingrateful Imperials and that bastard Prefect..."

Seriously. Prefect Ro. Just the name pisses her off, and reminds her one of the reasons she liked to fight. To get rid of idiots like that. She'd relish being able to tear his armor off, using her spear, making his worst nightmares come to life with illusions and psychological mindgames; listening to him beg and scream and-

Okay. No, she may be bloodthirsty, but at least she wasn't that far gone. Not like the giantess.

The nameless orca beast-man nodded then, saying something about a guard recognizing it and taking it, when she registered the look of the guy. A strong sturdy frame, intricacies where rubbery flesh molded with human-like skin, the great fins and of course, the ever sharp teeth, enough to grind someone's bones to powder, she figured. And don't forget the large webbed hands, and those stripes...

Fine, she had to admit, although he was different from most beast-kind she's seen, he still looks pretty awesome. And then she snapped back to reality, back into the conversation, and regained her scowl, backing off.

"God, fine, it's the damn Imperials fault." She said in exasperation. "Sorry, Orca, I take that back. Sheesh."

The orca then spoke about the signs of an escaped slave, and that sure sparked Hyuna's attention. Not because of the bounty, but because of the fact that he's an escaped slave. He managed to gather the strength to escape from his bonds. And, don't forget, he's a beast-man, and they're always fun to just stare at and admire how it all goes together. The orca turned to Yuwen and asked, wanting a guarantee of freedom. Hyuna flashed a little grin then, realizing that having a fourth beast-kind, and one that was strong enough to attain some form of freedom, that he was awesome, and that she liked him. At least, a little bit.

"He's in, right, Fortune?" Hyuna demanded. "He seems strong, and plus, he looks cool. The freedom better be guaranteed." She turned back to the beast-man, this time with as close to a sincere face she could make. "Sorry again for just now, Orca."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Keeflo

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"If I joined your guild, could you guarantee my freedom?" The Orca asked. Yuwen looked back a him blankly. "No... I can't do that," He replied. "I can't get the charges dropped. I can't force it nor can I afford it. Now, that being said, I can deny." He stood and looked the beast-man up and down. "Whatever your name is think of another one, for public us, and when they claim you to be someone else... we'll insist your not," He said with a small smile. "And if an opportunity for freedom presents itself, we take it."

With a small wink to the beast-man who turned to Hyuna, who he'd been ignoring during her comments. "And you've become quite a hateful person," He added to her coldly. "We do not in-fight in the Great Guild," He called to the team. "All for one and one for all. These people are your partners, and if we don't work together, we will fail." He slid the glasses back on and shrugged. "This thing can work if you want it to," He said, turning back to the beast-man. "But only if you want it to."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi

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After a few tense moments, the old woman reluctantly let go.

"Fine, have the blasted key! Don't even know what it unlocks," the shopkeeper grumbled as she pulled the jar closer. "I have this damn thing anyway. The thing's probably not even real gold anyway."

She started scooping the contents on her desk back into the jar, raising a eyebrow at the hooded man.

"Now get out of my shop! I'm closed... sir."

~*~

"Oh come now, it's probably just nerves isn't it? It is quite stressful being thrust upon such a chaotic situation and with so many new people too!" Lo-muna said reassuringly to Hyuna with a small smile. She glanced at Yuwen and added, "At least she apologized, Fortune. Not many apologize so quickly after realizing the mistake they committed. Although, I really do hope we can avoid such rash confrontations in the future. We can't let the enemies see weak spots in the guild, now can we?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Keeflo was surprised when the spear wielding human who had threatened him moments earlier apologized for her actions. She's not just dangerous but unpredictable as well. I bet she attracts attention like blood attracts sharks. There were others in the group that Keeflo suspected were somewhat similar. They were action seekers and warriors, both of which the orca beast-man didn't consider himself to be. Yet his best chance probably lay with these people.

It wouldn't be safe, that was for sure. Little in life was truly safe. "This thing can work if you want it to," Yuwen Fortune said, turning back to the beast-man. "But only if you want it to."

If these people would help and support Keeflo and deny that he was who he was it would definitely help. He didn't know any of them enough to be sure they wouldn't give him away, but with freedom so close he was willing to risk it. When Keeflo had been a slave the main thing he had dreamed about was getting home. When he escaped he discovered that despite the land's masters allowed many things that were plain wrong, there were many good things on land as well. Sure, he had been on the run so he didn't see them often, but what he had seen was amazing. This would give him an opportunity to see the land through a clearer lens.

"Yes, I want it to work," Keeflo said. He grinned a little, exposing his predatory teeth. "In that case you can call me Echo." An echo was what he would need to be, similar to the original but different and blurred. At least when he was questioned. With these people he hoped he could act differently.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Yamato rushed to the hotel, and gathered his rucksack and armor. He felt the armor would be easiest to carry if worn, so he put the Obsidian armor on. He caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror, and a surge of pride washed over him. It was a custom suit, devoid of scratches despite its many battles. The near mirror finish allowed his opponents to watch their final moments as he took the lives. The suit had been made just before his uncle turned on him. He'd felt the armor would convince Yamato to renounce his bid for power and see the path to enlightenment. It only furthered his passion for fighting and fueled his aggression. Such a brilliant suit of armor belonged on the battlefield, not on a mannequin.

"Right. Let's get this over with." He attached his katanas and slung the two messenger style packs over each shoulder. One full of the supplies he'd just bought, the other with clothing, extra coin purses, and various other items. He paid the Hotel manager, but kept the key. He'd had a standing deal with the owner, the hotel was a sort of second home for him. He had other deals like this in other towns, but never stayed for long. There was some comfort knowing no one else could use the Hotel's most grand room in such a city as Poyo.

He stopped by the bar he'd been in the night before, and purchased two bottles of their finest Sake and stuffed them into his personal bag. "No need to share this." He chuckled, finally making his way to the docks.


"My apologies for holding you up, supplies took longer than expected and my hotel was slow on letting me check out." He approached Yuwen, "I hope I didn't keep you too long." He held out his hand, a gesture he didn't partake in often. However, he and Yuwen were on the same side, for now, and he knew being Civil would ultimately work in his favor more than usurping power. Not that he wanted the Guild for himself.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Hyuna Ka-Nan


It was almost like a mini face off between old friends, Yuwen saying that the freedom wasn't guaranteed, Hyuna staring back with narrowed eyes and fire blazing in her eyes. She figured that there'd be many more such standoffs between the two in the future, but knowing Yuwen, he'd use his magic of words to keep her just barely hanging on the edge of actual violence within the guild. If only he could just own up to his mistakes and faults, then maybe they could get along, but to Hyuna, the bastard was like a taunting reminder of the happier days, way back then.

Surprisingly, it was the quaint and eye-drawing (in Hyuna's own prideful opinion) bunny girl who spoke up, breaking the tension between Fortune and Falcon. She looked stressed yet worrying and reassuring all at once; Hyuna's eyes basically glued to the soft quirky features of her. "Oh come now, it's probably just nerves isn't it? It is quite stressful being thrust upon such a chaotic situation and with so many new people too!" Muna offered Hyuna a delicate smile, and kept on talking, "At least she apologized, Fortune. Not many apologize so quickly after realizing the mistake they committed." Honestly, Hyuna wondered if she ever really owned up to her mistakes. Probably very very rarely. Still, she couldn't really think much as her attention and curosity was pinned on Muna. "Although, I really do hope we can avoid such rash confrontations in the future. We can't let the enemies see weak spots in the guild, now can we?"

Hyuna blinked blankly for a few moments, still bristling with anger, but also incredibly confused. Muna didn't like her, did she? Probably thought, along with the other more passive members, that she was just an attention drawer; dumb impulsive muscle? And yet she still defused the situation pretty well, with Hyuna making a soft but surrendering 'hmph' to Yuwen; not giving him the satisfaction of her backing down.

When... Echo decided on his new identity, who was Hyuna to deny him his chance for true freedom? If he wanted to be Echo, he could be echo. And she wouldn't let any damn imperials take away such a cool looking beast-man out of her grasp. It wouldn't surprise her if Ro kept some people trailing the guild, trying to watch if they ever did something that warranted arrest despite the current loophole protection they had. Not like she understood the law, anyways. And as usual, the giantess Illyria just avoided conversation completely. She shrugged her shoulders, wondering if it was really worth it to try and get on her good side. Chances are, Illyria didn't have a damn good side. Just a murderous brute, perhaps.

"Thanks, Muna." Hyuna said quietly to herself, before slightly panicking. "I mean- not like I couldn't handle Fortune on my own, it's- oh, whatever, nevermind."

She brightened considerably, at least, when Yamato joined them, completing their guild. She quickly gestured to Echo, introducing them to each other, before subconsciously drifting closer to the ashen-winged Tengu; her mobile comfort zone.

"Got your stuff?" She asked him. "Can you help train my illusions once we find spare time, Yamato?"

She hoped he agreed- she desperately wanted to figure out what her weakness was with the illusions, and how he saw through it instantly. And the sooner she could cover up that unfortunate hole in her main ability, the stronger she'd be against more enemies. The physical aspect could wait- she needed to make her illusions fool-proof, and indistinguishable from reality. And once she could do that, she'd be able to use them without any worry of the foe being able to see past it, and just pretending to be fooled; a fatal mistake, if there ever was one. And no way was she going to die like that.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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"Yes, I want it to work," The beast-man replied. Yuwen gave a large grin. "In that case you can call me Echo."

"Okay Echo," He said with a nod, handing the newest member a scroll to sign. "Welcome to the guild."

"My apologies for holding you up," A familiar voice began. "Supplies took longer than expected and my hotel was slow on letting me check out." The Tengu Yamato approached Yuwen, "I hope I didn't keep you too long." He held out his hand. Yuwen raised an eyebrow at the gesture. It was orthodox in Yutan noble society to bow in greeting, but then again he couldn't expect a prickish Tengu Samurai to behave as Yutan nobles. Yuwen reached out and clasped Yamato's hand in his. "You didn't keep us at all," He replied with a nod to the man. Kind words, though they did emphasize the lack of importance Yamato held...

Yuwen released Yamato's hold and turned to Ann, who had the girl sitting in her lap. "Pleasure to meet you Millie," He said with a warm smile and a bow, having overhead the girl's name. "We'll take you to Jiefong, it's a nice place. And you get to ride in a boat." He rotated to Suiken. "Speaking of which - the boat?"

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Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken

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Suiken sighed. "Ah,yes. There lies the main problem. The goblin captain was more stubborn than I thought. She refused to allow us access to her boat," Suiken scratched the back of his head. "Sorry, I may have overestimated our chances in getting a ride from her a bit."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken

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Yuwen let out a long sigh before scratching his arm. "I mean can we blackmail her? Entice her somehow?" He glanced over the water at the boats on it. Many of them fully manned, out of their price range, and too large to fit down the narrow inland rivers. "Is there something she wants, something she talked about we have? A problem we can solve?"

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Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken

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[Yuwen let out a long sigh before scratching his arm. "I mean can we blackmail her? Entice her somehow?"]

Suiken sighed, "If it's all the same to you, I'd rather not. She's stubborn, but not a bad person at all. I'd prefer if we didn't deceive her, but you are the leader of the guild after all..."

["Is there something she wants, something she talked about we have? A problem we can solve?"]

"She seems to distrust the very idea of the Great Guild, Fortune," Suiken explained. "That's our number one obstacle right there."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Yuwen rubbed his chin before turning to Keeflo. "What about you, Echo? You spent some time with this Goblin captain, did you learn anything about her we could use to convince her?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Keeflo took the contract and signed it with the name of his new identity. One redeeming feature of Lord Shien had been that he had teachers instruct his slaves on how to read and write. Keeflo still despised the man, but he had to admit there were good things about him as well.

Spear girl introduced Keeflo to Yamato and the tengu asked about if he hid the chest. Keeflo shook his head and repeated that it was taken from him. He looked at Yamato and his apprentice, struck by a sudden thought. Keeflo would have to learn to fight better in order to be successful in this guild. Maybe the tengu, or someone else, would be willing to take a pupil.

Then Yuwen Fortune spoke up. "What about you, Echo? You spent some time with this Goblin captain, did you learn anything about her we could use to convince her?"

Keeflo thought for a moment. "Yes. Before I fell asleep she said that people took her mother. She may be willing to provide transportation in exchange for a rescue."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo

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"Her mothers been kidnapped?" Yuwen muttered, his mind reaching for the night before. After a moment he looked out over the dock. Maneuvering past a massive, Imperial freighter a small junk sailed. Raising the sails was a large, white-skinned Oni with fiery red hairs, and at the wheel a small figure stood, pausing to raise a drink in the air. They were sailing - out of town.

"Hey!" Yuwen called out, running through his team and down the docks. "Hey! Goblin!" He screamed, pelting his feet against the ground as fast as he could to catch up with the ship. "Goblin!"

"Secure the masts Mister Mohan, in a day we'll be back in the open sea!" Jensu called from the wheel as she weaved between two ships that trumped hers many times in size. "Goblin!" A faint voice screamed. She glanced toward the dock where a man in gold armour was sprinting, trying to keep up and wave at her.

"...Can I help you?" She called.

"Yes!" The man yelled desperately. "I know who took your mother! My name is Yuwen Fortune, and I can get your mother back!"

Jensu released the wheel, her gaze shifting to Mohan. She gave a tight swallow. "Great Guild Fortune..." She whispered to her first mate, as if unsure what to do. "Troubling ma'am," Mohan repeated. "Very troubling."

Yuwen reached the end of the dock, by the town's western wall, and the Milkweed had continued sailing on down the river. "Damn it," Yuwen spat, kicking a bucket into the water. "I thought I had that one..." The sound of a horn blew to him. He glanced up as ahead the Milkweed had turned round, sailing back toward the dock. It reached the wooden platform and the small goblin captain jumped off, the flaps of her long-coat flailing behind her. "You know where my mother is?" She demanded as she approached the man.

"No," Yuwen replied. "But I do know who took her."

The goblin gave a half-smile. "...And if I take you to Jiefong with you you'll tell me who has her?"

"No. If you take me to Jiefong I'll do more. I'll get her back to you," Yuwen said, placing his hand on his heart. "I promise."

Jensu looked over the man, trying to determine who he was, and if he'd keep a promise. Still, it was her only lead, so she didn't really have a choice. She glanced to the Oni behind her, who remained silent, and then back to Yuwen. "Fine. My name's Captain Jensu."

Yuwen gave her a smile. "Well Captain Jensu, welcome to the guild."

***

Back down the dock the others were waiting. Yuwen had just kind of run off yelling like a maniac, quickly disappearing and leaving them alone and confused. Through the ships on the river a small junk made its way forward, stopping beside them to let Yuwen Fortune jump off. "Ladies and gentlemen we have a ship to Jiefong," He said with a smile. "Welcome to the Milkweed."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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Hyuna Ka-Nan


Hyuna viewed Millie and Razul chatting together somewhat wistfully. Millie, the little girl, she was so innocent. So naïve. Something oddly precious in this world, and it'd be nice to have her along, she figured; it's not like anyone's let her die except for Illyria. Hyuna figured she needed to be more honest about how she feels instead of just blurting out random things to try and look tough. But, well, maybe a tough front would be great just about now. Better not look weak in front of anyone here, especially Master. She had to make him proud of her; make him glad that he decided to take her in. There's no way he'd regret it, that's for sure.

The person in question, Master, he asked Echo what happened to the chest, accusing him with a little joke, and Hyuna quickly nudged the ashen-winged Tengu.

"The Imperials took the chest, Master." She explained. "Not Echo's fault, right?"

Then Yamato attended to her query of training. "Everything seems to be here yes, and every opportunity we have will be spent training." That made Hyuna grin. Every opportunity spent training? So, she'd be able to work off her pent up frustration, as well as improve at the same time. She knew it'd put her in a better mood if she could train, and maybe she wouldn't start fights all the time, with pretty much everyone. "The only way to make sure we are on top of our enemies is to train ever, using your chi will take a lot of energy. To counter that, we will need to work on stamina. We could both serve to gain from increased chi flow. When we get settled on the boat, we will start your training."

It sounded like things were beginning to pick up, and she gratefully edged a little closer to Yamato, knowing that it wouldn't be too long until she could be facing off against him again, in a fair training match, perhaps. She made a mental note to remember to keep a strong grip on the spear rather than the loose one she usually used for spinning it with flair- the stronger the grip, maybe Yamato wouldn't be able to use his chi to rip it out of her grasp again. She flexed her fingers, wishing she could've had stronger muscles at the very least.

Hyuna then rested her gaze on the pleasant on the eyes bunny girl. Seriously, why couldn't she stop staring at Muna? If Muna had noticed, she'd probably think Hyuna as some creep, or something. Something she hoped wouldn't happen- she actually did want to get closer to the eye catching rabbit.

"-...blackmail her? Entice her somehow?"

She turned her attention to Yuwen, who was discussing guild stuff with the damned "I'm better than you" Oni. And, well, Fortune himself was asking about ways to make someone do what they wanted... that goblin woman from the night before. Apparently she had a boat; go figure, right? And of course Yuwen would want to take that advantage. A boat makes for generally quick passage into Jiefong, after all. The conversation turned, and answered the question: Her mother was kidnapped, and, well, she wanted to save her. But how could they? No one could possibly know who had- of course, right on cue, Yuwen went closer to the docks, screaming 'goblin, goblin' at the top of his lungs until the goblin finally hailed him and docked the boat once again. Hyuna couldn't help but roll her eyes scornfully. The goblin was totally going to sucker for Yuwen's oratory skills, it was already guaranteed the moment she decided to listen to him.

Seriously. And as the boat neared them, and when Yuwen jumped off to greet his guild, the boat was already theirs for the taking. And Hyuna couldn't do anything but wonder: how much of an idiot was that goblin?

Before entering the boat, she stopped in front of Yuwen, suspiciously leering at him.

"So, how'd you do it?" She murmured. "What was the bait for this sucker, Yuwen?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon"

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"Her mother's been kidnapped," Yuwen replied rather grimly. "I saw a gangster named Ting Po with cages full of goblins, and I know he operates out of the Atoro Cliffs, a city by the coast. He will have fled Poyo with the attack and is probably held up there." He shrugged. "In exchange for a quick ride down the river we're going to get her mother back for her. Typical hero business."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon"

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Hyuna Ka-Nan


Hyuna had no idea what she was expecting. Maybe some coin? Or just general persuasive ability? Who knows, with Fortune, he probably didn't even know himself. But the answer was far, very far from what she was prepared for, that it let her guard down, just a little bit in her surprise.

"Her mother's been kidnapped," Yuwen said, with something of a bitter look on his face. "I saw a gangster named Ting Po with cages full of goblins, and I know he operates out of the Atoro Cliffs, a city by the coast." Kuh. Damn slavers. One of the kinds of people Hyuna despises the most. Sure, killing was fine, because at least the suffering was short. But slavery was practically a promise of a hard life, and most slaves never escaped it. Still, Hyuna can't sympathize with any slave that just let it happen and didn't try fighting back at all. Still, she felt a strange burning desire to murder, brutally slaughter the slavers. "He will have fled Poyo with the attack and is probably held up there. In exchange for a quick ride down the river we're going to get her mother back for her. Typical hero business."

"I'll wipe 'em out. I'll tear them apart, Fortune." Hyuna hissed, for once having anger not aimed directly at her old friend. "The bastards deserve it, and more."

Setting

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Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken

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"Slavers..." Suiken spat grimly, his brow furrowing heavily. "I'd be proud to aid the good captain's mother in escaping from that hellish institution," He nodded at Yuwen.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Keeflo watched as Yuwen ran after the goblin. He was glad that they would be able to something about her plight. When the boat turned around and Yuwen said that he knew who had the Captain's mother Keeflo felt good at being able to do something. In the process of freeing the Captain's mother perhaps they could free other slaves as well. What was he thinking? Of course they would free the other slaves as well.

Keeflo was about go to the boat when he remembered something. "Sir, I have something I need to return to its proper owner in Poyo," he said to Yuwen. He shouldn't leave without returning the key to the chest. He understood the need to be on his way, but he also didn't want Loy-Qui to think him a thief.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Keeflo

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"We're running late," Yuwen insisted to Keeflo as he climbed aboard. "We'll send the owner a letter explaining."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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Millie was now riding on top of Ann's shoulders, her arms wrapped lightly around her neck as her eyes swept across the horizon. At this height, the girl was almost eye to eye with Illyria. Listening in on the conversation between Yuwen and Hyuna, Ann made to board the boat. Slavers, was it? Though Ann's experience as a slave involved plenty of hard work and cruel punishments, her role was something more of a plaything rather than a laborer. She'd dealt with slavers a few times before, thought it was hardly ever to kill them. They weren't the type to start fights; she'd actually spent most of her time around slavers acting as a bodyguard or hired escort, protecting them from rival slavers that might pine after the haul or vigilante heroes that decided that they'd rush in to free the slaves. She climbed aboard, maintaining a firm grip around the girl’s ankles so that she wouldn’t have to worry about falling. There was a slight unease in the girl's balance, shifting herself around on Ann's shoulders.

“Is something up, Millie?” Ann asked. "Do you want me to put you down?"

“I’m okay,” she reassured her, leaning forward a bit. "I'm just a little..."

“Try not to think about it too much,” she said, quickly catching the drift of the conversation.

"Yeah..." the girl muttered, trailing off.

Next stop was the Atoro Cliffs, then Jiefong. Ann could feel she was getting closer and closer to an answer. After spending her entire life traveling across many different lands, there was no way she couldn’t be. The key to her past was somewhere out there and she knew it had something to do with the tattoo on her arm; a simple depiction of a snake with an arrow through its head. All she knew was that the mark belonged to an organization called the Seven Sons. Most people have never heard of it and the people who have don’t know anything more than that. She knew she’d gotten it sometime during the part of her life that was still locked away in the swirling haze that was her memories. But what would she do when she found out where it had come from? She supposed she’d figure it out when it actually happened, but for now, it gave her a purpose to serve and she planned on seeing it to the end.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Nulix
Captain Jensu watched as the Great Guild members began to board onto her small ship. She recognized a fair amount of them from the festival the night before, a festival she'd heard had gone fairly wrong after she'd blacked out in her mother's house. And she was willing to bet that the Great Guild had something to do with it.

"So what happened exactly, Fortune?" Jensu called as she steppe down from the wheel and strode across the deck to the man. "Tengu attacked the tower," Yuwen replied as he helped Lo-muna aboard. "We stopped them but were accused of participating in the attack so to escape the law they joined... I know how to exploit loopholes."

"I'm sure you do," Jensu muttered before stepping forward in front of everyone. She stuck two fingers in her mouth and gave a loud whistle, causing everyone to turn to her. "Alright everyone, welcome to the Milkweed," She began slowly. "Now this is a cargo vessel, and it's got six rooms in the hull. Two are bedrooms, the Captain's quarters and Mohan's. One is a bathroom, and the other three are storage hulls. One of them's full so you'll have to divide the other two for yourself."

"Do you have hammocks or something?" Yuwen asked.

"Hammocks, sheets, and covers," Jensu replied. "I'm sure you'll be able to fix something up. Now sailing down rivers is dangerous so that brings us to the rules. One, don't disturb the Captain. And I'm the Captain. Two, don't take any of the Captain's food or especially drink without asking. That means that-" She pointed her green finger toward a large pile of drinks on the outdoor table. "Is off-limits. Is that understood?"

"Yes ma'am," Yuwen said under his breath.

"Alright. Jiefong is about two days away, the mountains about one. One we hit the mountain river pass we have to be careful, it's bandit country," Jensu continued. "Again, I'm the Captain. That's the first mate, Mohan." She nodded her head toward a large, shirtless fire-oni with white skin, large, wild red hairs and beard. His eyes were blue and very tired. "Welcome to the Milkweed." With that she gave another whistle, signalling them to dismiss.

"Oh boy," Yuwen muttered to the team as Mohan went to the sails and Jensu grabbed a bottle from the table. "Sailors are always a bit strict..."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Keeflo climbed into the boat with the rest of the guild. When the Captain was finished giving her orders he went up to her and said, "Thank you for your hospitality earlier, Captain. We will get back your mother." It was infuriating how some people thought they could own others. Keeflo understood the concept of the strong lording over the weak, but to go so far as to say you owned them? That was unnatural as city sludge in a river.

There unfortunately hadn't even been time to send the key over a messenger. Keeflo considered asking if he could take the key to the Mayor and then swim down the river after the Milkweed, but he didn't. Yuwen seemed pretty dead set on going now. Well, maybe they would return to Poyo sometime. For now Keeflo decided he would protect the key with his best efforts.

Keeflo watched as the guild began to disperse. The Angry Blue Giantess (not that he would call her that to her face) sat under the mast. Hyuna and Yamato looked for a place to train. The others still seemed to be getting used to the change of pace.

The orca beast-man looked around, trying to decide who to ask to mentor him. Giantess - Illyria was her name, he thought - didn't seem to be the best. He had hardly heard he communicate at all and she seemed terrifyingly violent. She didn't seem to have much patience, either, so Keeflo didn't feel safe asking her. Ashy winged Yamato was a good fighter and had shown willingness to teach, but he already had an apprentice. Keeflo was not sure if Hyuna would want to share her 'Master' as she devoutly called him. Yamato seemed impatient as well, though not as dangerous to an ally as Illyria.

Perhaps the bald human, then? He was the other one who Keeflo had seen fight well. Would he take a student? The only way to find out was to ask. Keeflo found the bald human and said, "Sir, would you mind teaching me? I am a beginner when it comes to fighting, and in this guild I'm going to need some sort of skill."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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Lo-muna watched, bewildered, as Hyuna walked away in a fluster. The rabbit-girl hadn't even been given a chance to produce and adequate lead into the conversation the girl had obviously wanted. Still, she smiled in amusement at the girl's frustration. She was interesting, though, someone who would still lead themselves into trouble. The last thing Lo-muna wanted was anyone in the guild to be injured.

Once Lo-muna saw that Hyuna was safely secured by Yamato's side, well perhaps safely was a stretch of a word, the rabbit resumed her observation of the others. They would be sharing rooms and the last thing she wanted was conflict when they were supposed to be resting. However, a mixture of the more passive members with the active could prove beneficial.

"How exactly are we going to divide the rooms?" she asked of Yuwen, slightly concerned. "We have what, eleven members so far?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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#, as written by Nulix
With the members aboard the Milkweed was off down the massive river. It swerved through the docks of Poyo, carefully maneuvering around the gargantuan sea-bound ships that surrounded it until at last it escaped the fray - the river all that was before them. On the port side the wall of Poyo stretched passed them and was soon replaced by open farmland and patches of forest in between. "A beautiful blue-sky, wouldn't you say Mister Mohan?" The goblin captain called to her first mate as they sailed.

"Indeed ma'am!" The Oni first mate replied as he tightened ropes at the mast. They began to move swiftly up the waters, and at the front of the ship leaning on the railing was Yuwen, his eyes wide as he took in the land before him. The coast of the river: the animals, the forest. He'd never traveled to Jiefong by boat before. It was a different way to see things. "How exactly are we going to divide the rooms?" A high-pitched voice called. Yuwen glanced back to see Lo-muna approached, a worried expression on her face. "We have what, eleven members so far?"

"...Well I was sort of assuming I'd get one room and the rest of you cram in the other," Yuwen replied dismissively. He held it for a second before smiling. "I don't know," He shrugged. "We could divide it by boys and girls. Did you have an idea in mind?" Yuwen questioned as he patted the railing beside him, hoping she'd join him watching. "This is really cool... just seeing the world," He said, glancing over at a passing field where muddied children ran with their mother and a fish they'd caught. "It's peaceful."

From the mast the white-skinned fire-oni Mohan leaned back and watched the scene. "They're quite irritating, aren't they?" He commented to the half-ashura resting against the mast...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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Millie was now on the ground beside Ann, holding tightly onto her hand. The girl seemed captivated by the scenery as they traversed up the stream. She overheard the conversation between Lo-Muna and Yuwen and looked down at the girl. Guess Millie wouldn’t really be worried about going inside right now she supposed.

“Is this your first time on a boat?” Ann asked.

“This is my first time out of town,” was the distant reply, her eyes still fixed forward as she observed the river bank with silent but clear enthusiasm. “It’s really pretty outside, isn’t it?”

“It gets better,” she smiled, bringing her in a little closer. “In other places, the life around you can be so vibrant and dazzling that you’d think you were in another world.” She paused a moment, one hand gripping the edge of the boat as she looked out along side Millie. “Maybe the idea isn’t so far-fetched. Or perhaps premature? The world is so big, I’m sure there are many more sights to see and things to learn that we couldn’t have possibly imagined would exist. But sometimes…I’m a little worried that the world might be too big.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“Because then I’ll have a hard time finding what I’m looking for,” Ann sighed, now turning around and leaning against the side instead of facing toward it. The blue oni seemed present with them as well, singing to the beat of his drums. Millie’s attention was drawn away, shifting to Suiken as he played his instruments. She seemed enraptured by the performance, applauding when he had gone through several more songs.

"Been a while since I traveled in a group..." the oni said.

“That’s a shame,” Ann replied without looking in his direction. “You seem to be the kind to enjoy company, are you not?” Otherwise, who would listen to his music, after all? She tossed a few coins in his direction. “I can’t say I’m particularly one for music…” she started, glancing down at a delighted Millie, “but our little friend here seemed to enjoy your performance.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi

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Lo-muna smiled sweetly and then, with great caution, took up a spot beside Yuwen with her hands gripping the rail a tad too tightly. Her eyes took in the scenery as they passed by, gaze locked onto the earth.

"The simplicity of it all is stunning. The calm, the peace, they were always my favourite part of travelling. Allowed me more time to work," Lo-muna said with a small chuckle. "What about you, Fortune? You seem to be a man of the world. What is it that entices you the most? Or is your last name a sufficient answer?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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#, as written by Nulix
"Well I like being called a man of the world," Yuwen replied with a large smile. He had a very good smile. "For me life's just about having a good time, and being who you want to be... I want to be a hero..." He leaned out over the railing and began to drum the wood of the boat restlessly with his palms. "I just can't live bored. I need change, I need something new to get my heart racing.. I want to be free to have fun, to do whatever it is I want to do whenever I want to do. And money is that freeing factor, in the end. Money and the courage to take risks..."

Yuwen paused, as though lost in his own thoughts for a moment, before glancing back to Lo-muna. He shrugged. "I want to have fun, and there are a lot of things that contribute to having fun. Money is a big one of them." He settled on at last. "Of course its not the only thing..."

At the wheel Jensu squinted on the horizon where grey clouds were forming...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi

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"Hmm, I certainly have a few fun things in mind," Lo-muna replied distractedly, reaching over as though to brush something off of Yuwen's sleeve despite nothing being there. Her hand lingered for a second before drawing it back calmly. "Adventure, excitement, you certainly are an interesting man, Yuwen. Seems like I made the right choice signing up for your guild."

She smiled sweetly before a slight breeze blew past them, her nose picking up an odd scent. Her ears flattened against her head and she frowned, "Seems like the day won't remain sunny. Shame..."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen wrapped himself in his green, velvet cloak as the winds picked up and a coldness grew over the world as the sun disappeared behind the clouds. "That overcast looks pretty bad," Yuwen muttered. He glanced off the port and starboard sides and saw only trees aligning the wide open river. "Maybe we'll reach a village or something. The Milkweed will get pretty thrashed around in a storm..." He muttered, before giving her a smile. "...Who are you exactly?" He began while huddling inside his cloak. "You seem good, which is more then I can say for some members of the guild, but there's something off about you... something odd." He circled her and leaned on the railing, looking up at the sky as if to think of another descriptive term. "There's something dangerous... you know you're pretty enough, you know how to be fast, a combination usually reserved for spies or thieves, and yet you seem to be morally centred." He leaned toward her. "So tell me exactly who you are?"

Mohan stood like a silent statue waiting for the Ashuran-Human to respond, but got nothing but a scowl. He did not reply, simply looking away at the sea and continuing to stand beside her at the mast as to respond to the captain's commands when they came. At the wheel Jensu held her hat as the wind set in. "I don't like that overcast," She muttered as she began to step down the steps toward the deck. "If there's a storm coming we've got to get off the Gan and onto one of the smaller rivers. Maybe find a town," She called to whatever member of the Guild was listening. "Any of you know this area well?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi

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"Who I am?" Lo-muna repeated with an amused look on her face. "Well, handsome and smart. Aren't I just a lucky rabbit to have such an observant partner in conversation?"

She let go of the railing slowly, deciding to stand face-to-face if she was going to have this conversation. A chill descended upon her skin and Lo-muna shivered a little, wondering if the jacket had finally grown too thin.

Her back straightened and their eyes met as she replied in a clear voice, "I am simply a product of this world Fortune. I'm a rabbit who runs into the hole at the first sign of danger for the hole is safety to the rabbit. I am a friend to many and an aid to all. I am not a beast-men of the past, but an ally to you in the present. A thinker, and a traveller. The only time I am dangerous is when I face my enemies although I will not deny I am odd. It only adds to my inventions after all."

Another smile, charming and sweet.

"Like you, I have gained much experience during my short lifespan. There are certain lessons the world gives to all and like most, I have learned them in both good and bad ways. I had a companion who experienced much of it and spared me some pain, but for who I am indebted to because of his sacrifice to create such a morally centered, as you call it, being. I am sure you have encountered such companions yourself although, it seems the one I have met is not entirely pleased by what transpired between the two of you," Lo-muna stated, referring to Hyuna. "Though you do seem to have a way with females that I am sure will change that."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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#, as written by Nulix
"Well, that's giving me a lot of credit. My nights with girls typically involve us playing junior chess and then eating a ramen, no funny business," Yuwen lied modestly. "But maybe you'll change that." He added with a wink, giving her a gentle poke in the hip as he left the bow and began to make his way down the deck. Half of his mind was in celebration, enjoying the rush he got out of new person. The other half in annoyance. She didn't answer the question.

"You two alright?" Yuwen muttered as he staggered around Yamato and Hyuna. "Careful Hyuna. Love techniques are bad news," He added, overhearing a single line of their conversation as he passed.

As the wind picked up a single ship followed - a slick, bamboo kayak covered in dark bear pelts. And inside, beneath a protective cover of elephant bones, at the oars was man in a dark black cloak. "I see you Great Guild," he whispered, following them into a grey horizon. The sails of the Milkweed began to rattle and light rain poured down on them. "We have to get off the main river," Jensu muttered as she buttoned her coat up. A storm was coming, she could feel it...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


So damn embarrassing. Did he notice her aside glances at the damned Muna every few seconds, perhaps? If so, what did that say about her? It had to be a weakness, to be culled in by a beast-man of that calibre; a terrible worthless weakness that was better off being hidden away. Unfortunately, Muna was talking with Fortune... the infuriatingly self-interested man, and a red hot feeling, like a burning poker, stabbed it's way into her. Why did bunny girl have to talk to Fortune? Why couldn't she just walk away and be her picturesque self where Yuwen couldn't grub his greedy eyes onto?

Goddamnit. What was going on? She decided to focus entirely on her Master.

"Chi is the flow of energy that exists between all living things and the earth." Yamato began by explaining the obvious, what pretty much every chi user knew already. She briefly saw a glance of that family she once broke into and stole money from, on her way to damn Poyo in the first place. Weaklings; too weak to defend themselves. Not that they deserved it, but at least try to fight back against your oppressors. "Those of us who can control chi embody it in different ways. I can move objects with thought, you can create illusions. A powerful trick that can be honed to create lifelike illusions you can manipulate as though they are living." The Tengu let out a sigh, as if thinking his answer over in his head. Leaning almost off the edge, Hyuna relished watching the water splash against the sides of the Milkweed, enjoying that calming lapping sound; the faint ocean scent breeching her nose. Yune really was a beautiful place. Why'd it have to be under control of that damned Fat Cat Emperor? "In theory it could be possible to manipulate chi to attract others, preying on their underlying desire for companionship, by tricking them into a false sense of friendship or even love in the case of a very strong chi user. In my experience I've never run across anyone that can manipulate the mind though." So, was that a yes, or a no? To be honest, Hyuna felt some semblance of chi flow coming from Muna, but beyond that, she couldn't tell if it was strong or not at all. It wasn't like Hyuna's own chi flow, which was dynamic and violent, and obvious to anyone attuned to the natural flow of power. Anyone should be able to sense it, really; most likely another weakness. Still, Hyuna considered it with pride; like a status symbol. She's one of the ones whose chi is strong enough to almost be a physical badge for all to see.

Hyuna was distracted again, by Yuwen putting his hands deathfully around Muna's pelvis, and she couldn't help but glare, most likely blocking out the rest of Yamato's explanation. Maybe he noticed, maybe not, but Yuwen then walked closer to her and Yamato. She was angry; she wanted to kill hi- no, maybe not. Killing her old friend was probably a bit much, Hyuna realized, depressed. She hated him, she was annoyed by him, and yet she didn't want him dead. She just wanted him to consider her feelings for once. As if that'd happen; it's a fools hope.

"You two alright?" Yuwen asked, was he mocking her? The winds were picking up, and the small girl had a little trouble regaining her balance back to the inside of the rail, lamenting her size once more, as usual. She frowned at Yuwen's next line. "Careful Hyuna. Love techniques are bad news," He added, overhearing a single line of their conversation as he passed.

Love? Love? Is that what was happening? Hell, no way in hell! Love is stupid, a waste of time, Hyuna'd rather get stabbed in the gut than fall in love with anyone!

"I'm n-not in love with the rabbit, what are you... t-talking... 'bout..." She sputtered defensively, curling into herself and not eyeing either Yuwen or Yamato. "Shut up already! I'm not... I was just asking, okay?"

And as if things couldn't get any worse- it started to rain lightly. The situation was almost comical.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen paused at Hyuna's outburst and swallowed. A slight miscalculation on his part, he thought as the rain began. But he didn't mind. He had work to do. "I don't know what you're talking about," Yuwen shrugged stepping back toward the duo. "I just heard about attraction Chi, it's a technique that's big in Sudea. The Emperor's harem is trained in it to make them more attractive for him, it's completely outrageous," He said with a grin, attempting to engage the two away from the awkward outburst. "And they train at it for years so they're completely different then normal women. The air around them smells sweet, their features look better. You heart starts racing and you don't know why," He let out a slight laugh and adjusted his cloak under the rain. "It's creepy, really." He glanced from Hyuna to Yamato, patting each on the shoulder for a second before retracting his hands beneath the velvet once more. "...Thanks for joining, by the way," He added, clearing his throat slightly. "Its means a lot to me."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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As the rain began to fall, Lo-muna took off her jacket and bundled it up into a little ball in her arms. The plain, oversized shirt hid what the jacket had made so pronounced and allowed her to feel the coldness it had staved off with its thicker material. Its absence also made her look more fragile, not a trait she was necessarily fond of. Despite this, she chuckled. The conversation with Yuwen had gone well although he had gotten a bit handsy at the end. Perhaps that meant success, but it also meant she was brushing off her hip, as though trying to remove his touch by physical means.

"This storm might end up getting worse," Lo-muna mumbled to herself. The scent of the rain was stronger and the instinct in her alerted her to retreat down below. Fortune seemed distracted by Yamato and Hyuna so Lo-muna seized the chance, holding the jacket closely to her chest as she nimbly and quietly went below deck.

Deciding to leave the assigning of rooms to the others, her ears alert for sounds, she went into a room where someone was already there. It was the same one who had brought the child, Ann. Lo-muna was about to greet her but noticed the girl's eyes were closed and instead she fished about in her bag, looking for the proper materials to hang up the coat in order for it to dry.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


Kuh. What's Yuwen want with her anyways, didn't their talk earlier already establish that she had changed too much for them to really be friends anymore? Sucks that she held on to the belief that something could come of it for so long, but, that's how it goes. She's stuck with his little plot for now, at the very least.

"I don't know what you're talking about," Fortune said, oddly tactful for once. What's his motive? Does he even have one? Definitely. He's gotta have one, but what? "I just heard about attraction Chi, it's a technique that's big in Sudea. The Emperor's harem is trained in it to make them more attractive for him, it's completely outrageous," Yuwen then grinned, and Hyuna briefly wondered, is that what he was hinting at? Did he want her to use her illusions to at least improve the features of all the girls around him? What a mundane motive, honestly. "And they train at it for years so they're completely different then normal women. The air around them smells sweet, their features look better. You heart starts racing and you don't know why,"

"Sickening." Hyuna spat, calming herself down quickly. "They've got no self respect, the haremites. But, Fortune, you'd sure like me to use my chi to make the other girls 'round here more good looking, huh?" She scoffed, jabbing him in the ribs with her elbow.

Yuwen laughed and continued, "It's creepy, really." He glanced from Hyuna to Yamato, patting each on the shoulder for a second before retracting his hands beneath the velvet once more. "...Thanks for joining, by the way," Then, after clearing his throat, in a more subdued voice than normal,"It means a lot to me."

Hyuna stared at him for a few seconds, not really knowing how to respond, before looking down at her feet; the safest place to rest those damn eyes. "Not many who can scatter a larger force easily." She coughed a little, still not meeting his eyes. "That's... what you mean, right? Need me and my chi for when we're outnumbered?"

Her eyes darted around for Muna, and, seeing that somehow, the rabbit girl disappeared, the frown on her face deepened just a little bit more.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen glanced down as Hyuna spoke, his hair getting slicker and slicker in the rain before he glanced back up at her. "I don't really need warriors... I mean, I didn't hire warriors," He admitted after a moment, his voice cracking slightly. He shuddered in the rain as sniffles set in. "...I just wanted friends for an adventure."

Suddenly the ship rocked to the side. "Sorry!" Jensu called from the wheel. "We're going off the main river Han and onto a smaller one, I don't know it's name!" Her gaze went back to the Han as lightening rocked in the distance, the echo of thunder not far behind. "You should all get below deck! Me and Mohan will find a port!" She called.

Yuwen nodded at the woman before looking around. Illyria was still at the mast, and Sunaarashi and Echo seemed to be using the storm in their training somehow. Ignoring the rest he turned to Yamato and Hyuna. "After you two," He said with a smile, squinting as the rain came down harder and harder on his face...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


The storm really was picking up. It added more to Yuwen's little pathetic look, the hair slicked down to almost cover his eyes, and his little sniffles making the illusion that he was crying when he said all he wanted were friends for the adventure. Knowing him, hell, that may just be true. But could she really be considered a friend, and has he really been a friend to her? It was obvious in hindsight that she liked him more than he liked her, when they were still innocent kids. Hyuna scornfully regarded her younger self before returning her attention to Yuwen.

"Lets try and make these three months... not terrible, Fortune." She muttered to him, slouching again as she heard the goblin, Jensu, scream about the storm, and how they should head down. Yuwen then smiled at her and Master, inviting them to head down first. But, well, down, in the over is where bunny girl was. Did Hyuna really want to deal with that? She was too tense and riled up to want to confront anything regarding Muna just now. So, she tried to think of an excuse to let her just avoid that problem 'til later. Then, it came to her. She could help make the ship go faster with her chi, couldn't she?

Lightning cracked the sky impressively. Hyuna watched in awe, somewhat wishing she herself could conjure electricity with her chi. Nonetheless, her air chi was good enough for her purposes, being the thing she relied on probably way too much in battle.

"I'll help out up top." Hyuna said with a confident grin, and used her chi to help her jump up to the top, where Mohan and Jensu were dealing with the Milkweed.

"Captain, I'll make us go faster, to outrun the storm." She said cockily. "I was getting stir-crazy, anyways, without danger."

She took a safe position somewhat behind the Captain and began focusing the chi, to add more wind behind the sails. This sped up the Milkweed, whether the goblin wanted the help or not.

Well, I feel better now!

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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Yamato looked over his shoulder as Yuwen approached the two, "You two alright?" He paused, waiting for an answer neither gave and then continued, "Careful Hyuna. Love techniques are bad news." Yamato ran an hand through his hair as the two then got into yet another argument. Hyuna shouting and Yuwen acting innocent. These types of conversation were going to wear on Yamato over the next three months. Yuwen then spoke of a technique that did in fact allow a woman to make herself seem more desirable, and their chi would attract men and women. Yamato looked out into the water, feeling a bit ignorant. He'd always prided himself on knowing things about chi and the different ways to recognize it and how someone may use it in battle. Yet, here was a type he'd never encountered, never knew about. Fortune did though, and the thought of Fortune being somehow better than he was bothered him.

"...Thanks for joining, by the way," He added, clearing his throat slightly. "Its means a lot to me." Yuwen's innocent act yet again. Yamato nodded quickly, dismissing the comment, seeing more as a formality than an genuine statement. At some point it had started to rain and the others began filing down into the hull. Fortune invited them to go ahead and make themselves comfortable, but Yamato didn't see a point in going below deck. It was just water after all.

The storm began to pick up and the Captain made he plan of finding a port to wait out the storm. He rolled his eyes and continued to look out into the water. The waves had gotten a bit stronger with the increased wind, and the normally reflective surface of the water was tainted by each drop creating ripples, distorting the effect.


"I'll help out up top." Hyuna's voice called out over the thunder. Yamato was just about to tell her to go below deck when used her chi to help her jump up to the top, where Mohan and Jensu were dealing with the Milkweed.

"Captain, I'll make us go faster, to outrun the storm." He could hear the confidence in her voice. "I was getting stir-crazy, anyways, without danger." Perhaps she was being cocky, it didn't matter. The only way to get better with Chi was to use it. If she truly wanted to get better, she would need practice. Focusing her chi into the sails during a storm was obviously child's play for her, but he could tell it made her happy. Despite her violent exterior, Yamato could see a much softer, kind side underneath.

He wondered how that could be possible. He'd always thought warriors were strong at all times, only caring about the fight and the way of life they'd chosen. There was no time for compassion or kindness. The closest he would ever get to a kind gesture would be saving the innocent people of Poyo, and that was simply a result of his fighting. He hadn't gone into battle for them, he'd gone into battle for the sake of fighting. He knew it was selfish, but on the battlefield only two people matter, you and your opponent. He felt that having other interests would slow him down and keep him from thinking straight. There was no place for worry or doubt on the battle field. He shook his head, proud his pupil had taken charge, but worried that her emotions could get the better of her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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#, as written by Nulix
"I don't need to go faster, I need to steady her," Jensu replied as she rapidly adjusted the wheel at each motion, skillfully weaving them through the barley big enough side river they'd retreated onto. The rain soon turned to a chilling hail as the Milkweed tumbled through the narrow water, dodging walls of rock, beach and tree as it did. On-board it was chaos, both Jensu and Mohan working superhuman speeds to adjust the rudder and sails at each unexpected change in wind or direction. Her coat fluttered violently against her body and if not for a green hand Jensu's hat threatened to fly off, but she managed to sail on, just as the beast-man approached the wheel.

"I can swim ahead to see if I can find a place to dock and scout for any dangers in the water," He suggested. Jensu glared at him over the wind. "You will die!" She called back. "But go ahead!"

"Guys, we've got to get below deck!" Yuwen called to Suiken. "Take the girl!" And with that he slid down the hatch, cornering the stairs until he reached the hallway of the hull. It was dark and wooden, made of bamboo bindings against curving walls of oak. Gravity seemed uncertain as the hall shifted to and from, downward changing step by step as Yuwen walked. He approached the first door, open with an iron-bound lantern flailing rapidly from the unsteady movements of the ship, and entered. It was fairly large, though not nearly large enough, filled with a few sparse crates, piles of woolen blankets for sleeping on and covering, and several hammock's tied up already for Jensu's usual travelers. On one by the far wall Ann lay asleep, and beside her Lo-Muna was hanging her coat up in the corner. "This place isn't so bad actually," Yuwen said as he stepped onto the creaking wood. "If there was a rug or someth-" He paused, his ears picking up a sound. A distant moaning soon washed away by the waves. He swallowed, before dismissing the thought. "It's getting pretty bad out there," He added, sitting against a wall and folding his knees to his chest. "If we don't make port soon we may end up grounded." He paused, as the moaning came back and disappeared just as fast. "...I just hope nothing else goes wrong."

Outside, in the blistering river, something else was going wrong. Gaining on the Milkweed with intensity was the black kayak, it's small and nimble design allowing it to speed through the narrow river where the large Junk was hindered. As the vehicle approached the back of the ship the cloaked figure inside kicked open the protective elephant-bone cage and stood. He began to run forward along the nose of the kayak and leapt off it, just as lighting came down and struck the wood, igniting it into flame.

"What the hell was that?!" Jensu yelled, looking back as some sort of burning wreckage flung into the rapid waters behind them. The hooded figure stabbed into the red wooden back of the junk, beginning to scale up it with a knife in each hand...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


The captain had said that they didn't need more speed, but Hyuna didn't really get it. If they moved faster, then there'd be less opportunities for them to capsize, right? And, well, capsizing would be bad. Sure, she could climb onto Yamato and they could try to fly to safety, but what about the little girl? Millie, or whatnot. She definitely wouldn't live. Yuwen might end up dead to, as well as Muna. Echo'd be perfectly fine, but that's if he survived jumping into the water in the first place. But she saw stress showing up heavily in the sails, and when Suna told her not to; that they needed to bind the sails, she found herself grudgingly agreeing.

"Fine." She shrugged. "Let's bind the damned sails then!"

She looked at the main deck and saw Yuwen rush inside, with the annoying Oni carrying the girl to relative safety. Could she trust the oni? Most likely not. But, still, what choice did she have? Hyuna wanted to try and help her if possible, but she also felt an idiotic need to do her best to keep the Milkweed afloat. She went back to the deck, and slipped down the hatch, looking for any spare cloth laying around. It was pretty frantic; but she didn't want the boat to go over. That'd just be stupid. Hyuna flinched when she heard the loud roar of something going on outside as she gathered up a few bedsheets to use as support for the sails. She caught a little glimpse of Muna, blushing fiercely and forcing herself to focus on task, climbing back up the shaft into the storm. Hyuna frantically pushed the sheets into Suna's arms, mumbling that she didn't know how to really bind a sail, and went back to the captain and first mate.

"You doin' okay?" She asked, a little worried. "Captain?"

That was when she noticed it, of course. The little kayak catching up. Hyuna glanced at it with distaste, and tried shooting balls of condensed air; missing each time with the rushing tides and vicious winds.

"What the hell was that?" The goblin exclaimed, turning back to see what it was while Hyuna kept trying to attack at range, shivering with the cold.

"Illyria, someone's climbing up!" Hyuna called over to the Giantess, who donned her helmet and sword in anticipation. "Deal with it, okay?"

With the winds increasing even more, illusions would be dispersed immediately, automatically. So really, if the fighter was as skilled as expected, Hyuna wouldn't be able to deal with it with just her spear. So she waited for Suna to set up the supports for the sails in order for them to be able to accept extra wind pushing against it to speed things up.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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"If something does arise, I am sure we're in suitable hands. The goblin seems to know what she's doing," Lo-muna said soothingly as she found a secure place herself. The oni and the child were entering the shelter as well and her jacket was secured safely on the wall. It was safe down below but her ears twitched with every thump and creak and moan and she wondered how much humans were better off without this heightened hearing.

Most of the guild was still on board but Lo-muna made no move to join them. A rabbit who runs into the hole at the first sign of danger. Hyuna came in briefly and Lo-muna smiled before the girl quickly made her way back up into the storm. She added Hyuna's face reddening to the list of strange actions she had committed so far, noting to inquire about it later.

"And here I thought swimming was a skill I could do without," Lo-muna muttered absent-mindedly. She looked over at the young girl, Millie, and added quickly, "But I'm sure the boat will remain upright. The rest of the guild is still on top so it can't be that bad. They must like getting drenched is all."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Nulix
All eyes focused on the stern of the ship, waiting for a figure to leap over or call out. They waited as the rain continued to pour down, covering the red painted wood in water, but no one came. Captain Jensu swallowed as he squinted in the rain, trying to see a figure climb up against the grey skies, but there was just nothing.

"GUILD!" A voice cried. The gang turned to find great balls of fire flying toward them. In a black leather cloak lined with silver coyote fur a figure ran along the railing, his head hidden beneath the cloak's hood. The cyclones of flames smashed into the deck, their fire spreading weakly under the rain. "Where is he!" The man spat, kicking outward. The air around his foot combusted into fire and flung forward violently toward Jensu, who smashed to the ground to see it hit the wheel of the Milkweed, instantly engulfing it in flames. The man jumped off the railing and slid along the wet deck until her reached the mast, which he grabbed with two hands and began to burn. "Where is Fortune?!" The hooded villain screamed...

***

"Man, she's really yelling those commands up there?" Yuwen commented, listening to some screaming above deck. He glanced between the girl, Suiken, and Lo-muna nervously as suddenly the faint moaning came again. "You guys heard that, right?" Yuwen questioned, standing at the sound. "It's the third time since I've come down here."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi

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"I was hoping that was the wind," Lo-muna frowned, her hopes dashed as soon as Fortune spoke of the moaning. She stood up, digging her nails into the wall for support. "Considering the sound of it, it might be inside the ship but not in this room. Up on the deck there is trouble though. Do we purse the ghost or join the ruckus above? There are enough fighters on deck. We have maybe two down here."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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"The voices upstairs...they don't sound like the Captain's," Suiken noted. "The tone is different. I can't quite tell, but it sounds like someone else. Maybe Sunaarashi or..." he paused. Suiken suddenly became more alert as he switched topics. "About these noises down here...when did you first start hearing them exactly?" he asked, now standing up, looking around the room agitatedly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi

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#, as written by Nulix
"Captain Jensu told us to stay below deck, so I'm staying below deck," Yuwen replied, kicking open the room door and entering the long hall that lined the spine of the hull. The wood creaked as he put his foot forward, a small sound compared to the eery flowing of the waters that held them. He swallowed as he stared into the darkness and quickly turned around. "You guys crumbing?" He asked after a second to Suiken and Lo-muna, who stood at the room's entrance.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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"Wake up," Millie whispered urgently, taking a hold of Ann's shoulder and shaking her. "Something's going on up there, they might need your help!" No reaction. She was either an incredibly heavy sleeper or simply couldn't be bothered to be moved from her resting spot. Millie took a few steps back, looking around the room as her eyes met with the other guild members around her. What was going on topside that was causing so much noise? Some of them seemed to consider running up to the deck. She figured it would be safer down here away from the ruckus above so that's where she stayed, keeping her eyes on the doorway as if anticipating some unknown figure to barge right through. "I-I think I'll stay put," Millie stammered. "If someone comes down here by any chance, I think Ann could take care of them, right?" She turned nervously to the girl and let out an anxious sigh, finding that she was still fast asleep. "Right...?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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"Millie," Suiken sighed. "Please wake Ann up if you can. We'll need her if something out of hand is going on up above. The three of us-," Suiken paused to nod at Yuwen and Lo-muna, "-are going to investigate the noise down here. I have...an odd feeling, to say the least."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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#, as written by Nulix
"It may be, though I'm more worried about another Chi'ing," Yuwen replied, adjusting his collar as they crept down the dark hall. A moan echoed from one of the farthest doors, one of the storage rooms the Captain had said was full. But yet moaning came from it, becoming more and more distressing the closer they came. Yuwen approached the dark, locked door and glanced back to his employees before ramming it. It pushed him back but after another few tries he smashed the lock open, falling into the dark room. "Ow," he muttered, raising slowly to look up. In the darkness before them cages stood, filled to the brim with gagged Goblins. One little girl was crying loudly into her gag, the muffled cry he recognized from the room over. "Oh... shit," Yuwen whispered as he stood.

***

The cloaked man flung his body back violently at Amanhã's attack, dodging each attack up until the last, a smack from the pommel of her blade. He'd dodged, but not far enough, the blow enough to smash him onto the ground.

"You think you'll get him that way? Sink this ship and you lose him with it. He's under the deck right now, but perhaps I can keep you busy?" A voice cried. The cloak figure blasted himself up off the ground with a swift burst of fire as another blade slashed at him, the hooded man barely fast enough to lean backwards and dodge it. Suddenly another spear came out from the side, jabbing the hooded figure in the rib-cage. He let out a scream before grabbing the spear and blasting fire up it to engulf the girl who'd attacked. He then stepped back and rose up a wall of fire between him and his attackers. Unfortunately, he hadn't looked behind him. A gruff, white hand grabbed him by the back of the neck and began to lift him in the air by it.

Mohan stood lifting and choking the man simultaneously from behind. "You've come to the wrong ship," The large fire-oni spat. Suddenly Mohan received a kick to the chest, causing him to release the man, who landed agilely opposite him.

"Hey friend, about your ship," The cloaked figure began, raising his hands. "Don't sweat it." Suddenly the sweat on Mohan's body ignited, causing him to start burning alive. The Oni cried out before diving overboard, and the figure turned back toward his opponents. "Do you even know who this Yuwen Fortune is? Because I promise you, staying aboard with him is no less deadly than staying aboard with me."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi

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"The goblin owes us an explanation," Lo-muna muttered quietly as she rummaged about in her bag. A small kit came out with tools normally associated with lock picking. She took out two pins from inside and looked over at her companions, "I don't suppose you two know anything about opening locks?"

Not even bothering with an answer, she knelt by one of the cages and began her work. It was done in under a minute. The lock opened with a soft click but Lo-muna was already on the next cage.

"Oh," she paused, turning to Yuwen and Suiken as casually as she had before. "You two can set about undoing the bounds. Unless you have some sort of argument against it? I must admit, I don't think we should have this large of a crowd out and about with the sounds I hear from above. I do believe I hear fighting."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi

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Suiken pinched the bridge of his nose. "I think...I may have misjudged our captain," he sighed rather calmly, though those around him could sense the seething anger in his tone. "I'd like to hear her side of things first, however..."

With Ann having gone upstairs, Suiken could hear more clearly the goings on outside the ship. "We've got even more trouble it seems. I hear fighting and I smell fire," Suiken grimaced, the absurdity of how much things have escalated to terrible was almost too much. "But first, I say we free them, so they don't get caught in our mess," Suiken nodded at the captives, worried for their safety amongst the flames.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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#, as written by Nulix
"Yuwen Fortune," The burnt girl began angrily, clearly injured from the attack. "Is my childhood friend! So there's no way I'll let the likes of you touch him!"

"Well he does have a lot of friends," The hooded figure replied between heavy breathes. The attackers had clearly left him weakened.

"So, tell us, Fire-boy, who is Fortune?" The Tengu with the sword added, stepping beside the injured girl in the rain. "Because honestly, right now, neither of you seem very appealing or "safe.""

"I'd say you're being quite convincing so far, though if you keep at it, you'll probably be convincing a dead audience. And that wouldn't be any good, now would it?" Another one added, a girl who emerged from the lower decks.

The cloaked man looked between the group before stretching his neck. "I met Mister Fortune in the village of Ya'ei-Choen a good few years ago. It was festival, I don't remember for what, when the village went under an emergency call," He began, loosening his limbs as he began to pace the stern of the junk. "He said Tengu attackers were coming from the North... and that he wanted the bravest of warriors. That he had a surprise attack and that the Tengu were camping in a field not far from town... when I got there with the other warriors there were no Tengu. We were confused, but soon understood... It was a setup, and the guards, when they arrived, were convinced that it was we who had been plotting to attack the town. And joining his guild was the only way out... the one loophole."

The man looked up as thunder clapped above them, his face almost slipping out from beneath the hood. "I am here to help you!" He announced loudly, opening his arms. "I know it may not seem it, but you have to trust me! There are men and women of great power after you! After that key you stumbled upon! And they will not rest until they have it!"

Suddenly the Ashuran-thing jumped forward, coming down with her blade directly on him, from the other new the new girl almost attacked, both at an angle he could not dodge on the current playing field. And so he had to widen the playing field. Suddenly the air surrounding his fists began to spark and flame violently, and as she flung forward he smashed them down into the deck, blowing the wood apart beneath him...

***

Yuwen looked at the cages and swallowed. "Wait," He said, raising a hand to his comrades. "Don't... don't free them, we don't know what they are," He said, turning to them. He had to tread very lightly with this one. "We... don't want to make a mistake and have to pay for it later," He carefully explained. "It's not like they're going anyway. Besides, we-"

Suddenly the wooden ceiling blew apart in a fiery blast and a hooded figure smashed down between the cages. The burning hole in the deck above spread, revealing the room below wider and wider. Yuwen squinted as the harsh rain and day-light flushed in, and the figure stood, raising his hands to the cages filled with gagged goblins. "Don't come one step closer!" The hooded villain spat to Amanha on the deck above as the air surrounded his fists began to spark. "Or I will incinerate every one of these goblins! If the lack of life doesn't disturb you I'm sure the lack of profit will."

Yuwen looked in disbelief at the figure to the massive hole above where the other members of the Guild stood, battle worn. "Ideas?!" He called to his fellow guild members. The figure looked down from the large gap in the deck to Yuwen at the end of the room, a smile growing beneath his cloaked face. "Yuwen Fortune... still playing these games?"

"Ideas?!" Yuwen repeated desperately to his team, ignoring the psychopath...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna was struggling. The burns felt raw and open upon her skin, but she nodded to Razul anyways, channeling her weariness and anger and hatred all into the palms of her hand; eyes shut. One problem they had to dealt with was the goddamn fire on the boat- otherwise they'd all die. She managed to gather together a strong breeze, and whipped it more and more above her in a vicious circle, making a makeshift tornado. Directing her arms towards the flames, the tornado tore into the inferno, hopefully dealing minimal damage to the ship itself as it cleared away the bulk of the flames.

When she was finished, it seemed the bastard was in a talking mood, after listening to both Razul and Yamato's queries.

The enemy regarded them all with some sort of mad desperation glinting. "I met Mister Fortune in the village of Ya'ei-Choen a good few years ago. It was festival, I don't remember for what, when the village went under an emergency call," Hyuna scowled as the man paced around, and she held the dug the spear into the deck, leaning against it for support, listening avidly. Because a few good years ago would fit in well with when Leiya was captured... meaning Yuwen was playing around in Ya'ei-Choen when she threw away her innocence to fight for her life. "He said Tengu attackers were coming from the North... and that he wanted the bravest of warriors. That he had a surprise attack and that the Tengu were camping in a field not far from town... when I got there with the other warriors there were no Tengu. We were confused, but soon understood... It was a setup, and the guards, when they arrived, were convinced that it was we who had been plotting to attack the town. And joining his guild was the only way out... the one loophole."

Dead silence as Hyuna registered the information. Was the whole thing planned, then, by Yuwen? So, was she really a pawn the whole time? But, she had tried hard for the past few hours to at least be kinder to him; try to let him in at least a little bit. Hell, she screamed out loud for all to hear that she wouldn't let anyone kill him. The man then drove his fist into the ground, revealing what appeared to be scores upon scores of caged goblins... meaning... was Jensu a slaver? Was she behind the capture of her mother, in fact? Also below were Muna and Suiken, and Hyuna blushed again upon seeing the contours of Muna's body.

"Don't come one step closer!" The hooded figure yelled to those above deck, specifically the giantess. "Or I will incinerate every one of these goblins! If the lack of life doesn't disturb you I'm sure the lack of profit will."

All Hyuna knew was that Yuwen was desperately asking for ideas; for help. And hell, she couldn't care less for the goblins anyways, if they couldn't fight back.

"I've got your back, Fortune!" Hyuna cried as she tackled the hooded figure, using more chi to hopefully block the slaves from being incinerated; a barrier of raging wind. She shot Yuwen a neutral glance, eyeing him, the look saying 'you better explain it to all of us after we save your ass', and then turned back to the person she was flinging herself at. "I'll be the one to defeat you, after all!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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Yamato grit his teeth. "His story, its the same as ours. Did he simply watch us and miss his chance, or is this Fortune's history repeating itself? Another scorned 'friend' with a bone to pick?" He scratched his chin, anger boiling inside him. He knew he should have taken his chances with the imperial guard. He looked down into the hull of the ship, the flame wielding, scorned, ex guild member stood over what appeared to be a bunch of sleeping Goblins while the rest of their crew stood on the other side of the cage. "What the hell is going on here?" He had half a mind to place his blade to Yuwen's back and make him talk, but something about that plan seemed anticlimactic.

"Ideas?" Fortune's voice called up to them as well as those surrounding him. "Yeah, start talking. What is he talking about? Similar story as us. Now we find Goblins in cages. Fortune, what is your plan here?"

He then noticed Hyuna, she didn't seem to care that the man spoke the same story they lived. She wanted to protect the Goblins and swore to Fortune that she had his back. Suddenly he felt a divide between them. She was hell bent to be the one to stab Fortune in the back, where as Yamato was okay with Fortune getting himself out of this mess. "He doesn't have yours." Yamato called out angrily. "He never has, he never will. He conveniently vanishes during the battle only to show up with guild contracts later. Seems he's done that exact same to this hot-head. not to mention leaving you years ago. Yet you remain loyal until you get your shot. Take it. Why wait? Kill him now if you want him gone. Hyuna, you don't need him or this guild."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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Lo-muna backed away slowly as she reached for the rapier hidden away in her bag. A barrier of wind rose and she looked up at Hyuna, giving her a small smile in thanks. Her eyes drifted back to the intruder and she listened to Yamato's call for explanation.

"I don't exactly think this is time for a history check! Or doubting loyalties" Lo-muna cried out, panic in her voice. "Shouldn't we, you know, put him out! Or possibly get him out of here? Boats are flammable you know! And fortune's not the only one down here!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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[Yuwen looked at the cages and swallowed. "Wait," He said, raising a hand to his comrades. "Don't... don't free them, we don't know what they are," He said, turning to them. He had to tread very lightly with this one. "We... don't want to make a mistake and have to pay for it later," He carefully explained. "It's not like they're going anyway. Besides, we-"]

"Don't free them?" Suiken snapped at Yuwen. "We don't know what they are? Are you sure?! You see children imprisoned in the back of a boat and-," Suiken paused.

[Suddenly the wooden ceiling blew apart in a fiery blast and a hooded figure smashed down between the cages. The burning hole in the deck above spread, revealing the room below wider and wider. Yuwen squinted as the harsh rain and day-light flushed in, and the figure stood, raising his hands to the cages filled with gagged goblins. "Don't come one step closer!" The hooded villain spat to Amanha on the deck above as the air surrounded his fists began to spark. "Or I will incinerate every one of these goblins! If the lack of life doesn't disturb you I'm sure the lack of profit will."

Yuwen looked in disbelief at the figure to the massive hole above where the other members of the Guild stood, battle worn. "Ideas?!" He called to his fellow guild members. The figure looked down from the large gap in the deck to Yuwen at the end of the room, a smile growing beneath his cloaked face. "Yuwen Fortune... still playing these games?"]

Suiken, more annoyed than anything at this point, looked form Yuwen to the hooded man. "Kid, I don't even want to know why you know a villain, but...you," Suiken turned to the hooded man as he stepped between him and the tied up goblins, blue chi beginning to encase his body. "Won't be touching them."

The insanity continued and Hyuna and Yamato dropped down to join the fray. Suiken spoke to Yamato, who seemed to accuse Fortune of harboring the goblin slaves. "Calm yourself, tengu. These state of these poor goblins is something for the Captain to answer for. Not that Fortune doesn't have a few things to explain himself..." he sighed, taking a fighting stance, his eyes never leaving the hooded maniac.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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Yamato shook his head, "Until two seconds ago I didn't know these Goblins were here, I don't care about them. All I want is Fortune and this guy to talk." He retorted to Suiken before turning his attention to Lo Muna. He levitated off the ground slightly, "so what if the boat burns, seems like your problem not mine. If these two go down with it, even better." He touched back down to the ground, feeling Hyuna's chi around them all, suppressing the fire user's chi.

He put his blade to the Elemental's neck. "Keep talking, you may just save your life." He turned his attention to Lo-Muna again, "How about you hold on to Fortune? The rest of you focus on the fires. Make sure we can still sail. Some one get Mohan out of the river." He shook his head. "This is shaping up to be quite a day Fortune, and my patience is running then."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Nulix
"Elabourate," The half-Ashuran whispered coldly, with her blade still ready to strike.

"He took us to the ends of the Earth and back for a single treasure, and he failed to get that treasure," The figure summed up as the ship shook. "You don't want to know where you will be taken... you do not."

The cloaked figure swallowed as the Oni stepped forward as well, his hesitation only heightened as Hyuna and Yamato dropped down and joined. He did not want to kill them, and yet he could not risk lowering his hands. He was tired, and more injured then he'd like to admit, and he knew the sparks on his hands was all that was keeping the enemy at bay. And in the corner of the room Yuwen stood, staring him down. "Do you know what you found, Yuwen? In Poyo?!" The Hooded Villain asked. "I saw it all... in the village." The figure sighed. "You won't survive very long, my friend."

Yuwen stared at him, before shaking his head. "I don't know who you are," He called out desperately. And for a moment the words took the villain aback. Suddenly the ship rocked to the side, the cages beginning to slide across the increasingly wet cargo room. "We're reaching the rocks of the river Baotongu," The hooded villain said as he adjusted himself against the imbalance. In the river the burning junk known as the Milkweed sailed violently toward white rocks.

The hooded villain looked away from the rocking ship as a blade came to his neck. "Keep talking, you may just save your life," The cold Tengu whispered. He then glanced to the beast-woman, "How about you hold on to Fortune? The rest of you focus on the fires. Make sure we can still sail. Some one get Mohan out of the river." He shook his head. "This is shaping up to be quite a day Fortune, and my patience is running thin."

"You're telling me," Yuwen muttered.

"This ship has no wheel and burning sails, we will crash!" The villain spat out desperately, trying to convince them. And as though at his word a tall, sharp rock penetrated the hull, ripping through the scene like a passing wall of stone. It smashed into the hooded villain, plunging him into the sea before the Milkweed adjusted, flying off the rock violently. The entire front bow of the ship began to collapse, the wooden planks that held the junk together becoming undone.

Yuwen frantically tried to dodge but was soon smashed by a piece of wood and flung into the river, each of the others following suit until they were all in the water. Behind them the burning Milkweed uncontrollably crashed into the rocks before hitting a patch of trees on the river coast. "Guys!" Yuwen called desperately, his head popping in and out of the water as he swam toward a large piece of driftwood. "Guys!" He called again, grabbing hold of the wood, the burning, grounded junk disappearing in the storm behind them

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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#, as written by Rann
Shit. She completely forgot about Master.

"He doesn't have yours." Yamato said to her, angrily, almost looking betrayed. "He never has, he never will. He conveniently vanishes during the battle only to show up with guild contracts later. Seems he's done that exact same to this hot-head. not to mention leaving you years ago. Yet you remain loyal until you get your shot. Take it. Why wait? Kill him now if you want him gone. Hyuna, you don't need him or this guild."

While it was true that she didn't need the guild, she still figured that Yuwen was a requirement. He was her life as a kid, the one thing she looked forwards to the most. And until she could come to terms with what happened during the war, wouldn't it be best to let the last childhood tie live? She was going to try and enunciate this to her Master when she saw the little smile aimed up at her from Muna, immediately ruining her concentration on her thoughts. It was all she could do to keep the winds blowing.

"M-Master..." She said apologetically, turning to him, almost begging that he'd let it pass for now. "I can't settle my past and move on with my life if it's not me who kills him. Please understand?"

Multiple things happened at once, then. First, the ship crashed, sending shockwaves of pain even farther through her small body. She eyed Yuwen flailing in the water, as well as tried to keep a bead on Muna and most of all, Master. While focusing too hard on too many things at once, Hyuna couldn't keep herself afloat, tumbling into the river, wondering exactly where in her life that she messed up enough to end up in this predicament.

Kuh. Damnit.

She couldn't even swim, and she lost the connection to her element while in the water. Still, she tried to keep her head above the tides as best as she could, feeling the blisters forming and the aching bones begging for rest. At the very least, she felt her hand wrap around a bunny's ear, and she allowed herself a little grin.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken

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"Dammit," Suiken muttered, quickly turning around as the Milkweed exploded into splinters behind him. He made a grab for all of the goblin slaves he could and wrapped his arm around the remnants of the very tree that splintered the boat as the river raged around them. "Fortune! Suiken shouted angrily. "You better come up with a plan quick!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken

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#, as written by Nulix
Fortune swam up to a large piece of what was the hull and hung onto the side. "Here's a raft!" He yelled, noticing Suiken holding one of the goblins, unconscious from the wreck. "You got one!" He called happily. "We can go to the ship later, it grounded downriver. Then we'll save the rest!" He swallowed as the water engulfed his head. After a moment he popped back out, breathing heavily. "But first we have to save ourselves!" He called to the Oni. "Swim over!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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Yamato growled with disqust as the ship crashed and begin to sink. The hooded man lost below the waves, Fortune tossed out as well. He cold only assume the others were thrown into the water as well. Hyuna's form vanished from his field of vision and he felt a small sense of panic. He dove under the water, using his wings to propel him down, reaching for her hand. He could see the blisters forming on her burned skin now, and the water around her darkened with blood. As he went to grab her he noticed, Lo-Muna reaching for her. He missed his opportunity and took the chance to swim to the surface. Someone he was sure was still in the water.

He caught sight of Yuwen, clinging to a large chunk of wood where he was saying he'd found a raft, and swam over to him and Suiken. "You both look okay, did you see if anyone else went under?" He continued to tread the water, coming from a fishing village he could swim for hours. He helped Yuwen pull the raft out and cleared away the debris inside it. He took one of the cages from Suiken and opened the lock with his chi, and put the Goblins into the raft.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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Suiken frowned as he saw Yuwen grab onto what was clearly a big pile of wreckage and not a raft in any sensible way. Nevertheless, he put the goblin child on his back, circled around and grabbed Millie as well, who was floating on a piece of wreckage nearby, and swam over to Yuwen, his chi field resisting the fierce water trying to work against him as he reached the non-raft.He placed the children on and went back to look for more when...he saw the half-ashuran begin to sink.

"Oh, she's drowning," Suiken stated dully. "Well..." he sighed as he dove down to pull up the most unstable element of the group that wasn't sporting ashen Wings. It wasn't the easiest task, but Suiken managed to pull her over near the raft. "Here, pull her up," he stated, the stress causing him to briefly forget no one else would probably have the strength to do so. "Damn, I hate carrying Ashurans..." he muttered as he pushed her onto the raft of wrath.

Looking over, Suiken was certain Echo would be fine and able to rescue some of the prisoners himself due to his swimming ability. Still, he might need assistance. "I'm going to get the other goblin kids. I see land we can save ourselves on not too far away! But, we need to get out of this accursed river first!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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#, as written by Nulix
"You can't fight the current!" Yuwen spat to Suiken as they desperately hung on. "The ships gone! We'll go back to it when we reach a village..." He paused, staring at the unconscious goblin child that the fat, Oni idiot had rescued. She was kind of big for a child, and wore a long captains coat. "Hey, I think that single slave you managed to rescue was actually the slaver," Yuwen said to Suiken through the rain, as it was indeed Captain Jensu who Suiken had rescued...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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Keeflo watched as the human scaled up the boat and proceeded to be attacked. The hooded human lashed out with fire, the real thing, not an illusion. Then he started to talk and ranted about Fortune being some sort of crook with elaborate plans and setups. Keeflo half listened, half watched as the boat careened down the river. Then an explosion rocked the ship and goblin slaves were revealed in the below decks.

The orca beast-man felt his eyes widen in surprise. Slaves? The Captain was a slaver? No. Just no. Keeflo froze as he stood trapped in an internal conflict. Part of him wanted to wring the goblin captain's scrawny neck for dealing with slaves. A more logical part insisted that he hear her out first. He would hear her part of the story but it better be a pretty dang good one.

While he was thinking the ship toppled over after hitting a rock. Keeflo dove in the water, his water lids covering his eyes. Underneath the water the current tugged at him, pulling him away from the crash. Would this river lead to the ocean? He could ditch this whole land guild thing and resume his original quest.

The idea was tempting, but he couldn't bring himself to do it. Even if Yuwen had a corrupted reason for creating the guild, Keeflo would still hold his part of the bargain. Or at least more of it.

He tried swimming to alternate depths of the water, searching for the current's differences. He cast clicks into the darkness, letting his echovision guide him in the depths. Most of the guild members were already on their way out, but some were still in the water. One girl, Ann, he thought, was floating with a large piece of wood and holding an unfamiliar person. Keeflo swam over to them and slid underneath them on his back, grasping them to his belly so they lay on top of him. He kicked and pumped with his tail and feet until they reached the shore.

Dropping his cargo on the sandy banks he dove back in the river. All of those goblin slaves needed help. They had been gagged and tied up, making it so they would have a difficult time swimming. He retrieved goblin after goblin from the murky depths, bringing them to shore and hoping they would live. When he couldn't find anymore he stopped on shore to rest. He had exhausted himself again. The brief sleep he had had on the boat hadn't been enough for a long period of time.

But still there wasn't everyone there. Yuwen, Suiken, and Illyria were not on the shore. Keeflo slipped back into the water and found them on a raft drifting down the current. He grabbed onto the edge of the raft and pulled it, slowly combating the current to heave the raft to shore. After making sure they were alright he sat down heavily on the shore and closed his eyes. He was ready to do more work if it was asked of him, but he needed to catch his breath. "Do we have everyone?" he asked wearily.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen collapsed onto the muddy beach Keeflo had dragged the raft to. He looked up at the beast-man, giving a very appreciative nod, before collapsing back. The rain had stopped, and the clouds cleared enough to show the sun fading over the western trees. In the east the dim outlines of mountains could be seen, the terrain already starting to elevate for them with a large cliff-face bordering the opposite side of the river. "Heheh," Yuwen said in an exhausted laugh as he gazed up at the twilight sky. "I can't believe we made it." His smile only widened as Keeflo brought seven of the goblins back. "Wow, you got some of them," He added to the beast-man before bowing. "Thank you for saving our lives, Echo."

Trees surrounded the beach clearing, no path visible between their thick darkness. "...only, where are we?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken

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#, as written by Nulix
"Well why don't we talk right now, Suiken?" Yuwen replied in a harsh tone as he stood. "We're not going anywhere, so let me clear my name. That man wasn't my friend, I don't even know him, and every single thing he said was a lie." Yuwen shook his head, trying to think of how to explain the situation. "Look," He began at last. "That man said he was watching us - that means he knew what to say in order to break us apart. He wanted something, and he wanted us to fight among ourselves to get it. We can't second guess each other, we have to stay alive."

Suddenly at his words a black horse emerged from the trees, quickly trotted up to Yuwen's side. The Guild Leader turned to the creature and began to comb its mane. "My horse, Master Wang Chang," Yuwen explained as he rubbed the creature. "He was following the boat since it left Poyo. He's an expert tracker, otherwise he'd just be called Novice Wang Chang." Yuwen paused, something catching his eye in the distance. "Look," He said, elbowing Suiken to catch his gaze. In the distance towards the mountains smoke rose in the near-night air. "That means fire, and fire means people," He said, turning to his guild. "We head east."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat

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"This isnt the last time we'll talk about this," Suiken sighed. "That maniac was certain he knew you, but I'm in no mood to argue this now. Once we're rested, I'd like to hear the Captain's story too..." Suiken looked ovrt to see the ashuran head towards the smoke.

"You should gather everyone and get a move on, boss," Suiken stated, adding boss in a slightly comtemtuous tone. "I'm sure the unconscious would rather wake up in a warm bed at the inn instead of the wreckage of the Milkweed."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi

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#, as written by Rann
After Hyuna clumsily blurted out her thoughts on the Beast-men, Muna laughed, a soft tinkly sound that made Hyuna feel strange inside. She didn't know if it was a good or bad feeling really, but well... it wasn't technically uncomfortable. Just awkward and new. And for some reason, the bunny looked a little relieved as she paddled them closer to shore, where the other guild member were.

"Seems some of your strength had returned." She said, and Hyuna felt that same pride she felt when Yamato was lauding about her strengths in combat. And well, she felt strong enough to use air to bring them both to shore without any more effort from the bunny. "Well, this is certainly a refreshing comment on my kind. Works of art?" Muna looked as if she was in thought. "I hadn't thought of that... Yuwen could learn a thing or two about complimenting others from you."

Okay. Hyuna felt something rising deep inside her that she didn't understand. She looked away bashfully, trying to contain herself. She did her best to force a little scowl, hunching her shoulders forwards as she repositioned herself on the driftwood. "You're not weird at all. Rather unique, and I like that a lot actually."

Alright. Fine. Hyuna figured the best way to deal with this was to get it over with as soon as possible.

"Uh, Muna." She said hesitantly. "Sorry you had to save me... climb on up." She extended her small hand to Muna's claw on the wooden platform, inviting to drag her up. "Let's take to the air.. it's, uh, it's easier, and stuff."

Using her arms to channel the wind, Hyuna used it to go directly under their piece of wood and send them straight towards where the others were, on land, and on safety. It was fast, and it was rejuvinating to be flying through the air, above everyone else like she was used to. Hyuna smirked as she regained some sense of pride, and she ended the ride with a smooth landing on the sandy shore.

"Nice shipwreck." Hyuna said sardonically once she caught up with the others. She turned specifically to Yuwen, who was near his horse that had somehow caught up to them from the river."Yuwen, it'll be hard to get everyone to get even close to trusting you again, if any trusted you in the first place." She said her piece to him aggressively, but on the other hand, not entirely unkindly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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When Ann didn't receive an answer, she made an effort to rise to her feet, struggling to steady herself. Ordinarily she'd lend assistance to the girl and carry her where the others were, but she did not appeal to the idea of putting any more strain on her body so she simply left the stranger where she was.

"What luck," she murmured to herself, limping away from the gushing currents and taking a better look around her surroundings. "Not that I have anyone to blame but myself." She suddenly realized how freezing cold she was, now biting deep under her skin when it had been there the entire time. At this rate, she was going to catch her death of sickness before she bled out. She'd wring out her clothes, but the rain didn't seem like it was ready to let up just yet so she just trudged onwards. She stumbled a little, barely catching her balance at the last second. I'm sure Fortune would enjoy seeing me like this, though all the blood might be something of a turn-off. She smiled weakly to herself at the inappropriate thought that popped into her head at an equally inappropriate time. She'd taken worse hits before, but the weather and, well, more or less the entire situation at hand was certainly doing her no favors. She headed for the smoke, trailing along some distance behind Illyria.

We'll see how this all works out.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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"As much as I would like to join in this conversation about loyalties, I do believe there are injuries to tend and clothes to dry," Lo-muna muttered as she cast a distasteful glance at her drenched clothes. "Talking in the open like this makes us more vulnerable to attacks from other enemies. As much as you all like to fight, I don't believe it is in our best interest with innocents about and bodies too worn for even a quick battle."

She had been referring to the goblins she assumed someone had saved, the unconscious girl she was didn't know, and the other little girl Ann had brought along. Lo-muna herself was thankful Hyuna had used her chi for her own legs were tired. There was also a weariness beginning to show, her sleepless nights slowly catching on.

"I suppose you'll be riding Yuwen? The rest of us are walking probably and carrying those who are unable. I'm willing to carry someone I suppose. Civilization will do us good."

She paused, turning to Hyuna with a small bow, "Thank you for your help, and for the compliment."

Then with a final smile, she followed along, deciding to go pick up the strange, unconscious girl. There was still strength in her arms after all.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi

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#, as written by Nulix
"Yuwen, it'll be hard to get everyone to get even close to trusting you again, if any trusted you in the first place," Hyuna called out, the last line in what Yuwen took as an onslaught of attacks from what were essentially his employees.

"Well there's not much I can do about that, is there?" Yuwen replied to Hyuna, raising his arms as though unsure what else to say. "

"I suppose you'll be riding Yuwen? The rest of us are walking probably and carrying those who are unable. I'm willing to carry someone I suppose. Civilization will do us good," Lo-muna called out.

"What? no I won't be riding," Yuwen said, more than a bit annoyed. "Put the injured on Wang Chang, he can carry them... he's a good boy." Yuwen stroked the stallion before bringing him over to the goblins and carefully beginning to pick them up and place them on the saddle...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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Keeflo nodded as he was thanked. If there was one thing he could do well it was swim. Fortune denied that he had any connection with the hooded chi user as was predictable. He then pointed at some smoke in the distance, saying they should travel to it in hopes of finding an inn. As tired as he was Keeflo couldn't help but agree. It was hard to believe that the sun hadn't even set yet with all of the action that had happened.

Keeflo helped Yuwen lift the goblins onto the horse. He looked around, trying to see what else he could do to help. Noticing that Ann had many cuts and scrapes he pulled off his shirt, wrung it out, and held it out to her. "Take this," he said, meaning for her to wrap it around herself or rip in into pieces to bandage some of the bigger wounds. The orca beast-man wasn't cold. His kind were built to live in waters far colder than any little river.

Next he picked up the limp body of the unconscious girl he had towed in along with Ann. "I can carry this one." Then he knelt down by Ann's little friend. "Millie, are you tired? Do you want to ride on my shoulders?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune

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#, as written by Nulix
"Is that a human slave?" Yuwen questioned, referring to the new girl Keeflo had picked up. "If it is then Jensu has broken national law, which would make her a criminal and a slaver." His gaze glanced over the still unconscious goblin captain at the back of his horse now laying next to the very slaves she was trading. "Come on. We can reach that smoke before it gets too dark." With that they began to walk through the pine forest, a few minutes in the sunset completed and the area was consumed by darkness. Owls howled and the sounds of night creatures unseen took over as the group remained silent, everyone's ears alert to the world around them. On the back of the steed Jensu's eyes flickered open. Bouncing... she was on horseback. The goblin shifted her head to see the dark form of Yuwen leading the creature forward. Jensu swallowed closing her eyes once more...

The trees began to clear as the group continued, and soon they emerged onto a sea of grassy fields. Below them, at the bottom of the hilly landscape a collection of huts stood, each spread out with wide farm land until at the centre they came together in a few, muddied streets. The windows were alight with life, and out of chimney's smoke raised. "We made it," An exhausted Yuwen whispered as they overlooked the village. "Civilization."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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Ann took the orca beast-man's shirt and grasped it in her hand for a moment, staring blankly at it for a few moments before pulling it over her head. She looked a little ridiculous in it considering she was several times too small for it, but it worked. She'd rip parts of it up and use it to cover up some of her other wounds, but she was planning on returning it to him after they'd found a place to settle so she refrained from doing so.

"Thank you," she said quietly. "I appreciate it."

"Millie, are you tired?" he said, now speaking to the little girl. "Do you want to ride on my shoulders?"

"I..." The girl glanced briefly at Ann, who was still slightly limping and trailing blood behind her, seeping from the makeshift bandages wrapped around her body. "...I can walk, but thanks anyway," she answered gloomily, though she remained by Echo's side. It was strange - these were all people who had seemed so distant to her in the past - fighters, killers, beast-men, onis, tengus, but all of them seemed so kind, even if some were more reluctant than others. She began to wonder how much of what she'd been taught was a lie, keeping her pace and looking back over her shoulder every now and then.

"We made it," Fortune said at length, stopping to take a good look at the village below them. "Civilization."

"Let's just hope they're friendlier than our ship-wrecker," Ann said.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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Yamato pulled himself up onto the beach. His armor and wet clothes made walking difficult, but he was accustomed to the difficulties of traveling. He stood apart from the others, arms folded across his chest. While they laid the bodies of the unconscious onto Yuwen's conveniently timed horse, he started walking towards the smoke. From their vantage point it seemed too thin a trial to be anything more than a campfire, but he couldn't help but hope it was an inn. It wasn't cold, so a large fire wasn't necessary.

"I'll, scout ahead." He said to no one in particular. He walked into the woods, one hand on the hilt of his blade the other digging his hemet from his bag before donning it.

"Fortune has a lot to explain, but do I really care?" He spoke to himself as he walked, a clear cut path though the woods at his feet. "This entire guild was a mistake. I'm out of the city, I can get out of this god-forsaken empire. I could go back home and take what is rightfully mine again. Kill the damn squatters that call my house their home. Leaches." He said, disgust in his tone before coming to clearing. A couple small buildings stood before him one clearly an inn, the other seemed to be a pub. "Clearly a tourist area." He rolled his eyes heading down to the inn.

"Rooms for the night please, four should be enough. I'll just be in the bar all night anyway." The woman handed him four keys and he made his way back to the beach, where the others were getting ready to move out. "Look at that, room keys and everything. Here you go Fortune." He tossed the keys to Fortune and made his way back through the woods, "This way, don't want to get lost in this treacherous forest."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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"Ah, an inn. Should be a decent place to rest at the very least..." Suiken breathed a sigh of relief as he spotted the inn and Yuwen and Yamato heading near it. Suiken was very tired and for one reason or another, he felt very cold. Which for a snow oni was odd, but he attributed it to having taken a long dive in the river, yet the feeling felt familiar as well. Suiken merely shrugged the feeling off for now.

Suiken looked back at the others. "Well, we have ourselves an inn. Are any of you planning to retire now? I could use some tea before I head to bed myself..." Suiken sighed as he made his way into the inn. As he entered the establishment, he noticed this town didn't seem very lively. Well, it WAS night, but whoever's on shift at the inn at the moment shouldn't look so...sleepy. The woman at the greeting booth, the tea servers, the rest of the staff all appeared as if they were about to pass out from exhaustion.

Perhaps they spend long periods keeping awake at night, trying to keep the inn open because they were understaffed. The village didn't appear to be that big after all. Suiken shrugged and took a seat at the table where a tired old man, serving tea and other beverages went to make the rounds around the table.

Suiken looked around. The members of the Great Guild appeared to be the only guests...aside from two tall figures sporting identical black conical hats and dark green silk shirts. They appeared slumped over in their chairs, their table covered with dozens of emptied sake cups and bowls of soup. One of the two, thin and lanky, was slump over to his left, out cold. The other one, more muscular, was leaning against the wall, his arms folded as he snored rather loudly. Both of them had conical hats draped over their faces that only moved very slightly through their loud snoring.

"Hmm," Suiken shrugged, before signalling the server. "Ah, tea if you don't mind." The server halfheartedly nodded and left to comply.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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#, as written by Rann
Upon joining the others, Muna quickly declared her distaste for conversations of loyalty where there were the injured and innocent to take care of. So, thankfully for Hyuna, Muna went to tend to them, after saying something to Fortune involving the horse, and bowing to Hyuna, thanking her for the compliment. The Falcon viewed her new friend? Acquaintance? Regardless, she looked at Muna as she tended to that small other girl, human, still unconscious and unknown. Why did she tense up at the idea of Muna getting closer to Yuwen? Does it even matter?

I don't even know why I care anymore.

She frowned as she regarded the ebbing pains of her burns, knowing that she'd probably need to get them treated once she could. But seeing that Muna was around where the injured her laid out, well, she decided that she could ask later. Need to get away from that infuriating rabbit girl. And as a group of strangers, they headed into the town; to civilization, a motley crew, of course. She faintly heard Yamato mutter that he'd go scout ahead, and, well, Hyuna figured she wanted some time alone as of now. So she could figure things out in her head- she already declared her previously unknown to even herself allegiance, Yuwen, but she also told pretty much everyone that it was a temporary until she was ready to move on to whatever life had next for her, and the sooner she could get there, the better.

"Damn, Fortune." She muttered, wandering idly as the others more or less dispersed into the town. Biting her lip, Hyuna swung her spear against a three with a jumping slash, before twisting her body to have her feet land on the trunk, leaping off of it like a spring. She made a quick turn in midair using her chi and slashed at a different side of the tree, and once again sprung forth from it, and landed back on her feet on the ground. Immediately after testing out her capabilities she almost crumpled as her body was weakened from lack of sleep and injuries.

So goddamn weak. Gotta push harder, train harder, so I can be strong like Master.

Ah, Yamato. How amazingly strong he was, in his quick yet calculated way. Hyuna wished her skill extended as far as his did, but no matter how she looked at it, the gap in skill was too wide. And that's not even adding Illyria into the equation. Or even that old guy, who also likely outmatched her in a fight.

"Harder." Hyuna muttered as she mustered all her strength into her thin arm, bashing the spear against the ground. An aching pain rang up to her shoulder, but she ignored it stubbornly, grunting as she wiped sweat off her brow. "Faster." She growled as she leapt in a sort of somersault, chi propelling her body higher and farther than any normal human, before twisting strangely in the air; a painful twinge in her chest. "Higher." Instead of letting herself land softly on the forest floor, she used chi to bring her even higher into the air, feeling dizzy and worn out all at once. Bending her body at almost an unnatural angle, she positioned herself for the descent. "Sharper." She wheezed, somewhat gliding down, ignoring the white hot stabs of pain throughout her body, and landing cleanly on the blunt end of her spear; point embedded into the ground. Hyuna let herself fall to the ground, wondering if this little improvised training helped anything at all, when she heard the ruffle of leaves. They were heading out. Might as well join in.

Hyuna carefully masked the hitch in her breath as she fell into pace beside Yamato.

"How you doin', Master?" She asked him. "The shipwreck and stuff. You didn't get injured, huh?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen had been quiet since arriving in the town, and though he sat now at the end of a full table he had not felt so alone since the adventure had begun. While the others conversed and began to eat he simply stared down, as if the surface he looked upon could somehow show back to him his own face, as cold it was. His golden armour, heavily beaten and cracked in the rapids, hung off the chair, and he now sat in a thin, green tunic, huddled in his grand cloak for warmth. Something had changed in him, his demeanor, typically outward in an attempt to organize and control those under him, was now dead and reclused within himself.

Yuwen looked up at the guild members, and after a moment of watching he spoke, the noise of the world pausing as he did. "...Do any of you have faith in me?" He questioned quietly, his voice clearly shaken. "The man from earlier was a liar... I want to make us all rich, I want to make us all happy, and I have a plan to do it. I will fulfill every promise I made to you, and I wish you would believe me." He swallowed. "Do any of you have an ounce of faith?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken

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"You've yet to prove yourself, fortune," Suiken explained between sips of tea. "So far on this adventure of yours, there's someone spouting how untrustworthy you are at every turn. At this point, I don't know what to think...and I'm tired. But how about you follow my advise, kid? Prove to us that you aren't a charlatan and maybe our faith in you will follow."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi

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"I am not one to doubt people upon sight," Lo-muna began as she pushed the pork to the edge of the plate. "But I do not trust so easily either. Everyone has given me a reason to doubt you Fortune and your way with words makes you a dangerous character. You're suave, you're cunning, you're ambitious. And yet..."

She smirked, "I did say I was you're ally when you were a liar. I will place faith in you now for you, yourself, have given me no reason to believe these claims yet. There are instances when you expose yourself and I cannot ignore that. I will go the opposite route of Suiken and trust you until you prove me wrong."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen glared at Suiken. "You want me to prove myself?" He replied in a hostile tone. "I'm afraid that can't be done... and there in lies the problem. You see there are a great many questions I present, questions that can't be answered, and you can't trust something you are unsure of..." From his pocket he pulled out a worn, linen paper, folded many times over to disguise its contents. Fortune swallowed as he placed it down on the table. "Do you know of Eoling Mel-Fong? The warrior of the second era in the army of the Emperor who went rogue and was hunted like a dog by the Emperor..." Yuwen began slowly. "But he was too good... too fast. He was unkillable, and soon others joined him. He formed a Great Guild and the hunt turned so fierce a war was declared against one rebel and his followers." Their leader swallowed at the words and glanced up at those present. "And Eoling won. With the Imperial Army massacred he stepped into the palace and took everything in it, including the Emperors crown... and that was the high. That was the greatest moment he would achieve for after that the Emperor's son took over... and he hunted the guild until they all fell dead."

Yuwen's finger tapped the folded paper hesitantly. "The treasure of that palace and the Emperor's crown were never found. The treasure of a lifetime, of ancient Emperor's, of all Yune's history... lost." He paused. "But I know where it is," He tapped the paper once more. "It's right here, on this map," Yuwen explained, a small smile creeping onto his face. "And it leads to Jiefong." He began to stand higher, the cloak falling back on his chair as he did. "And that is why I need your faith... because this will not work if you do not have it," He said to his team. "I've given you all a chance, I just ask you give me one too... and we will be rich."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken

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"Eoling's treasure..." Suiken mouthed the words as he glanced over the map. "This is what you're after?" Suiken asked quickly. "And you're sure this map is accurate?!" he continued. If Fortune wasn't full of it this time...then this guild may have the spark of something remarkable after all. "Hmm. And you want to get rich off of it?' Suiken questioned, scratching his chin.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken

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#, as written by Nulix
"I want to get rich and I want to wear the first King's crown," Yuwen replied, his spirit seeming to raise heroically at the prospect. "I have spent my life getting this map. I am very sure it's accurate," He continued. "Now Eoling's treasure is vast, and I will need people to share it with. You're all different, you're all flawed - but at the square you worked together to defeat an enemy that outnumbered you all. At that square, together, you showed greatness." He smiled. "I'm just here to show you the direction, really... I hope this is the direction you want to go."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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Ann was already on her way up when Yuwen began speaking to the guild as a whole. She stopped at the base, one hand laid firmly on the gnarled banister that outlined the outer edge. As he continued talking, she backtracked her steps and leaned against the railing, arms folded over her chest and her eyes fixed on the ambitious guild leader.

"Faith, treasure, none of that really matters to me," Ann said from her spot by the base of the stairs, her voice eerily filling in the silence of the inn. "I'm just tagging along for the ride. It could be interesting. It could totally suck." She shrugged. "Either way, I don't mind sticking around. I'll be your sword arm, Fortune. I won't ask any favors, either. However, I will say that if it comes to it, between my life and yours, the decision will always be mine. No heroic sacrifices. No questions asked. I won't ask you to do the same for me." Her gaze drifted to the other guild members, giving them the same look she'd given to Yuwen. "The same applies to the rest of you. Doesn't mean I won't try to save your skin if you're in a tight spot, but I meant what I said."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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"So the crown of the first Emperor is your goal?" Suiken questioned.'A fine prize for any adventurer...but what I seek from that treasure is worth more than any crown...that one spark of immeasurable hope,' Suiken thought, before speaking aloud once more. "Your goal is a worthy one..." Suiken nodded to Yuwen. "I can't honestly say that I've got full faith in you just yet...but your resolve is admirable," he said, finally finishing his tea. "You may be a good leader, yet."

["Faith, treasure, none of that really matters to me," Ann said from her spot by the base of the stairs, her voice eerily filling in the silence of the inn. "I'm just tagging along for the ride. It could be interesting. It could totally suck." She shrugged. "Either way, I don't mind sticking around. I'll be your sword arm, Fortune. I won't ask any favors, either. However, I will say that if it comes to it, between my life and yours, the decision will always be mine. No heroic sacrifices. No questions asked. I won't ask you to do the same for me." Her gaze drifted to the other guild members, giving them the same look she'd given to Yuwen. "The same applies to the rest of you. Doesn't mean I won't try to save your skin if you're in a tight spot, but I meant what I said." ]

"That's...understandable," Suiken sighed. He found Ann a bit perplexing. She seemed to take a liking to Millie and even offered to protect her, yet generally she seemed to distance herself the other guild members. "But, you know...saving eachother's skin requires a coordination we don't have. As a guild we could stand to learn a little teamwork," Suiken suggested, scratching the back of his head as he ate his meal. "Though, that's a talk for another day, I suppose..."

Around this time, one of the two figures in the black conical hats awoke, the more muscular one. He nudged the lanky one lightly, who merely nodded indignantly as he awoke. The two then stood from their seats and quietly left the inn. Outside and all around the town, it appeared that people were heading home. The bar was quickly cleared out, some dishes being left unwashed and lying on the counters and the townspeople started to head home as the streets quickly became very foggy.

Suiken watching the hurried commotion from out of the window, raised an eyebrow and turned to the tea server, who was busy refilling Suiken's cup. "This town has a curfew?" he asked the sleepy server. The tea-master seem to suddenly jolt awake, wide-eyed and all. He didn't answer Suiken's question, however, opting to stutter and stammer nigh-incoherently instead. The tea he was pouring had long overflowed from the cup and was spilling over relentlessly onto his hand.

After a moment or tow, the tea server seemed to snap out of it, and ignoring the scalding hot liquid currently dripping onto his hand, he placed the tea back on the table and glanced up at the members of the Great Guild currently assembled in front of the tables, tears welling up in his eyes. "I...I overheard you speaking earlier. You said you were heroes?" the old man asked. "Please...you've got to help us," the old man finally stammered, doing all he could not to break down in sobs. "Please! You must!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken

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#, as written by Nulix
"Heroes?" Yuwen questioned, standing up and approaching the man. "You're damn right we are. What seems to be the problem, elder council?" The old tea server seemed nervous, as though he wasn't supposed to speak about whatever it was he was speaking. A cry for help, words that he seemed to want to say since they had first entered the inn. Yuwen's green eyes darted to the left of the inn, where around the lights the peasantry sat. He then went to the right, where at the bar more lined. All eyes were on the old man, who had begun sweating and stammering. He struggled to get the next words out, as though they could be his last.

"Of course we'll help you with your roof!" Yuwen exclaimed with a large smile, beating him to the next line. "It's our honour." He reached forward and grabbed the elder in a tight hug. "...Come to our room at midnight and tell us the rest..." Yuwen whispered as they hugged, his eyes darting across the room where the villagers began to look away. "Explaining what the hell is going on." With that Yuwen released the man and gave a nod.

"Suiken," Yuwen began, nodding for his lieutenant. The Oni approached. "It seems there's more to this town then meets the eye. Assemble the others... we need to rest."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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#, as written by Rann
Master appeared to be looking her over, and Hyuna instinctively hid the burns, although Yamato had probably already seen them. She didn't want him to think she was weak, or anything like that, so it was almost shameful, admitting that she was injured, even considering the strength of that hooded figure who even outmatched Illyria, a nigh-impossible feat. Yamato shook his head then, in response to her query of injuries, giving the girl at least some bit of relief. "Not too bad." Yamato said, a little proudly. "The armor seems to have done it's job... which reminds me, we will be giving you some proper armor first chance we get."

Hyuna didn't know what to think of that. Sure, some good armor would help a lot for surviving attacks, but, wouldn't that hurt her current strengths? Using her chi, she excels in mobility and speed, but with more armor, her already crap stamina will be even worse, and she'll lose a lot of her dexterous edge. Hyuna wondered briefly if Yamato had considered it, before receiving a small cannister from him.

"When you get a chance, put this over your burns." Yamato said, back to his usual self. Hyuna was glad that their little disagreement back on the ship hadn't ruined their friendship. She needed the Tengu, after all, and didn't know how she'd really cope without his help. "It's aloe, at least it'll take the sting out."

Hyuna nodded her head in gratitude, and started rubbing the cream onto her injuries, almost sighing in relief as the soothing ointment took the edge off of the continuous pains. She felt a little awkward rubbing in onto her miniature chest, but, she didn't really have much of a choice. Yamato probably wouldn't care, anyways, for the female human body. After eating, Hyuna as always, hung on Yamato's shadow like an annoying little bug, finding solace in him. At least she didn't feel the same thing she did when looking at Muna. What's the deal, anyways? The uneasiness, the blushing and the difficulty at saying even simple words, or forming coherent thought, what does it all mean? She briefly considered asking her Master, but, well, Master probably wasn't well versed at emotions. Particularly not a human's emotions and thoughts. She put her head down, almost sourly, as Yamato entered a bar. Obediently, she entered after him, into the dark and quaint bar. A puffy eyed waitress approached, and Hyuna, not in the mood really for drinks, walked away and left Yamato to his own machinations, trying to ignore the musky scent that wafted throughout the bar.

Hyuna focused primarily on the couple with the too drunk girl and the mostly sober, and self satisfied male. And it was obvious what his plot was; Hyuna wouldn't be surprised even if there was consent- don't trick her into getting drunk and make some ridiculous parody of love to each other! She glared at them, bristling, and wanting to step in and spear the male before he could do anything disgusting. But that would only set more Imperials on her ass, and that wasn't a part of the plan.

"Hey!" She said brightly, to the girl. "Sis, c'mon. Mom wants you back at home now!"

With a dark smile, she hooked the inebriated girl over her shoulder to support her, as they stumbled out of the bar. Once there, Hyuna used her chi to take them farther to the outskirts, near the forest's edge, and steadied the girl, who mumbled something that no sane person could hear or understand.

"Saved you." She said quietly. "Idiot. Where do you live, I'll escort you there, okay?"

The girl pointed randomly in a direction, vaguely south west, still giggling and tripping over herself with various hiccups and strange glances. The spear girl, with a bit of a sigh, took the drunk girls hand when she first saw it. The... thing that made no sense. The strange monster. The two girls just looked at it in shock, as more and more of them appeared, almost like a mass gathering of impossible creatures. They were terrifying. They were... they were horrors. And as one noticed and started moving at a slanted step towards the two girls, the drunk one pointed and laughed.

"so drunk... hey Daddy...."

Then she vomited all over Hyuna's wonderful cloak. With distaste, Hyuna threw the girl off of her, and whipped out her spear, rapidly lunging it through the horror as it slumped to the ground. She stabbed it a few more times, frenzied and confused, not knowing how to even tell if it was dead or not, before taking the girl and summoning a strong wind to take them back into town.

A few minutes later, Hyuna burst into the inn, pale and shaking, with a girl being somewhat dragged by the ankle behind her, the odor of vomit caking the air.

"There's... these monster... things." She growled. "I don't even...Fortune, what the hell's going on here?"

Still, her shock was broken through by seeing the bunny girl, and Hyuna nervously gave the drunk woman to her; already passed out. "Um, she's, uh. Drunk... so... take care of her, and... yeah." She murmured, before pointedly turning back yo Yuwen.

"Dunno if it's safe here, Fortune." She said to him. "This place is goddamn weird. And I need a new cloak, there's this shit all over it!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Malachi nodded slowly at what Suiken had said. After everything else that's happened, it made absolutely perfect sense to him. But that can always change in the next thought. He stood back slightly from the group and looked them over.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi

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"At least that gives me time to tend to this creature," Lo-muna said about her charge as the two made their way into the bathroom. The others were likely not going to bed any time soon and it would seem their help was not necessarily needed immediately.

The smell of vomit was strong and she wrinkled her nose, grabbing a moist towel from her bag and carefully wiping away any traces from the girl's mouth and hair. Then a quick combing of the hair, a cleaning of the face, and setting the clothes right on the young woman's body left her looking presentable. Lo-muna even added a small scrunchie she had made herself to tie up the woman's hair in case she threw up again. Despite all of the fussing and grumbling, the girl was still knocked out.

"Can't have any more stragglers," the rabbit-girl muttered as she pulled out a small container from her bag. Inside was a powerful smelling mixture that she held under the woman's nose, her eyes immediately snapping open in alarm and confusion.

"W-where amI?" the young woman asked, a slight slur in her words indicated she was still intoxicated.

"You're in an inn. One of my..." Lo-muna paused, not really able to classify Hyuna yet. The rest were merely acquaintances so far but Hyuna and Yuwen, she had actually talked to them more than anyone else in the group. Calling them friends however seemed a bit of a stretch. Lo-muna didn't like using terms loosely because it helped keep distance between herself and others. Automatically assuming someone was a friend led to a hasty attachment and an even hastier detachment. "One of my companions brought you in, intoxicated and covered in vomit. I assume you were in danger and-"

"Danger?" the woman repeated, looking increasingly alarmed. "What time is it? Oh god, I need to get home and-"

"And you will. My companion did say there were some kind of creatures and I'm hesitant on letting you go alone," Lo-muna frowned, staying firm, and deliberating on the predicament. They had enough people to deal with and bringing another was idiotic.

"I don't live far, I'll just run or something. I need to leave though, please."

The woman was insistent and considering how the people in the bar had cleared out earlier, Lo-muna had no doubt she would stay true to her word. She was also a lot more alert now that she realized how late it was. Plunging into her bag yet again, wondering how her whole life fit into the small thing, Lo-muna pulled out a wooden cylinder that was smaller at one end than the other. The larger end had some sort of covering while the smaller end was tapered off into a mouthpiece. The woman took it with some confusion.

"If you need help, just set the mouthpiece on your lips and blow into it. It'll make a loud, piercing sound which will bring you aid. If it's not used, it can also make some nice music by humming into it instead," the rabbit smiled. "Now, hurry and run at the slightest bit of danger, understood?"

Clutching the handmade instrument, the young woman nodded and made her way out of the bathroom. She seemed a bit shocked at the collective group in the inn but made no move towards them. Instead, she went around and was out the door, not noticing Lo-muna had followed. The rabbit stood outside the inn and observed the woman walk until she stopped at one of the domiciles and entered. With a relieved sigh, she went back inside to join the others already immersed in conversation...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Keeflo Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Kathuel Asatori

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Keeflo ate his food the cook prepared, hardly paying attention to the taste. He wanted to rest with a long, uninterrupted sleep. It was hard to keep his head off the table. He vaguely noticed some old human fearfully stuttering something and Yuwen hugging him, loudly declaring they'd fix his roof. Was that really necessary? Couldn't the old guy get some other villagers to help?

Then Fortune declared they'd have a meeting about fixing the roof. Keeflo finished his food and groaned softly. He felt he might fall asleep during this meeting. Okay, he probably wouldn't, but still, he hoped it wouldn't be long. He pushed the plate away and headed up to the rooms the guild rented and entered the one he found Yuwen in. "Your a fine guy and all, but you better have a darn good reason to keep us up much longer," Keeflo said to Yuwen. He sat down with his back to the wall and dozed, waiting for the other members of the guild.

-----

Not a single one of the visitors commented on the food. Kethuel wasn't mad or anything about that, but it was nice to hear if they liked it. Heck, he would rather them say they didn't like it than them say nothing at all. Oh well. He ate the food he had set aside for himself and looked at the members of this group. They were definitely an odd bunch. What were they all doing together? One of them yelled something about fixing a roof; perhaps they were a traveling roof fixing company? He chuckled at the thought. That probably wouldn't get much money.

He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. He was a little sleepy but certainly not as wiped out as some of the group were. He was going to bed soon in his room. His free room.

A hooded girl came into the room and looked about. "I have a seat you can sit at," Kethuel said, gesturing to a chair. "In fact, there's some food left over, too, and as I made it, I say you can have some."

As the girl came closer a small, involuntary shudder washed over Kethuel. He didn't know what the feeling meant, other than that ones like it sometimes preluded him going unconscious. No. That would not happen now. "Don't be shy, I don't bite anything other than my food," he joked.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon"

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#, as written by Nulix
"Dunno if it's safe here, Fortune. This place is goddamn weird," Hyuna muttered as she approached Yuwen.

"Yeah, well we can agree about that," Yuwen replied, careful not to draw too much attention to himself in the sea of villagers. He swallowed. The colours of the tavern were dulled, greenish fires lighting the room. In the middle of it all the guild members stood out as if they were the only vivid colours.

"And I need a new cloak," She added. "There's this shit all over it!"

"Well, can't help you with that," Yuwen muttered, patting Hyuna on the back before making his way to the stairs."

"You're a fine guy and all, but you better have a darn good reason to keep us up much longer," Keeflo commented, leaning against a wall by the stairs.

"Trust me, there's a reason," Yuwen replied before making his way up the stairs. He entered the dark upstairs hall and unlocked their door. "Hey!" He whispered to the sleeping Guild members, quickly lighting a lantern and locking the door behind him. "Hey wake up!" He repeated, slightly louder. "Things are not safe here. Suiken's getting the others... there's something wrong with this village."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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"Alright, I think everyones here..." Suiken muttered. "Well, almost everyone. Illyria's still asleep, I think," the oni noted. Hw then nodded at the old tea server from earlier, who still appeared to be on the verge of a complete breakdown. Suiken folded his arms and asked, "You stated before that you needed our help?"

"Well...n-not just me, but my entire village...what's left of it anyway...." the old man sighed. "It all started around...I-I don't know, a month and a half ago? We always had our troubles, bit as a village we always pulled through. We had made ourselves into a successful respite for passing travelers and the spirits of our ancestors would rain blessings upon our farmland, allowing our crops to flourish."

He sobbed, "But then something changed in the last on and a half months! Our ancestors...they became venomous towards us! First our crops began to wither and die. Then, anyone who attempeted to leave the village was entrapped in a maze of mist, wandering for hours until they arrived back here. And lastly...they started to demand that every night that one or more specific villagers wander into their gravesite, alone, or else they'd attack."

"Sometimes, we never see the again....and sometims," the old man shuddered. "Sometimes they come back....different." The old teamaster paused as he glanced around frantically as if someone heard him. "In two hours time, the next villager will be summoned to the grave site. Oh, I don't understand how this could've happened.."

"Hmm..." Suiken sighed, heavily scratching his chin. "More than likely,your ancestor's spirits have been corrupted. Not too uncommon for those that used to be among the living, but...still, it's unusual they would turn on your village when you were once so close. Has anything been done that would anger them?"

"No! None of would ever do something like that! Not that I'm aware of, at any rate," the old man cried out.

"That's honestly the best case scenario, since the only other real causes are a demon or a necromancer. The former..." Suiken grimly smirked, "Is possibly not an issue. The latter is a problem." Suiekn turned to lool at the others. "Well...what do you all think?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen scratched his now very messy hairs as the elder told his predicament. After he was finished shook his head. "...Two hours. At two in the morning the next villager will be called," He sighed heavily, sitting down on one of the beds. "Our eyes are red, sir. We've been in fighting and wrecked in a river and traveling for most of the day... we need rest, and we need to bathe." He sighed and cracked his neck. "Plus it seems most of the village is against your theory of asking for outside help... or too afraid of angering your ancestors. If we all go at once it'll seem suspicious. No, we need someone else... someone to go alone..."

Suddenly a creaking could be heard from the door beyond. Yuwen put a finger to his lips, and at his command the room went silent. He crept forward carefully, and from below the door the faint hall light that streamed in was blocked by shadow. Someone was there. Suddenly Yuwen kicked open the door, swinging his sword at the being who skillfully dodged and jumped up to attack. Yuwen grabbed his opponent's striking fist fist and rotated, using the force of his opponents strike to fling them into the room. "It looks like we have our first volunteer!" Yuwen said as the long-coat wearing Captain Jensu flung onto the wooden floor of their room. She rose angrily. "You ruined my ship!"

"Oh, sorry we interrupted your slave trading," Yuwen replied, locking the door behind him. "But it seems it lead you to a greater purpose. Jensu will go investigate," He called out. "But we'll need some people to join our little green friend to ensure she doesn't make a run for it. I know some of you have slept already, who here has gotten the most rest? Or is willing to spend a few hours out while we all sleep?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Kathuel Asatori

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The black haired woman began to talk. "As far as I'm concerned, you fell out of the sky. If you were trying to get me killed, you almost succeeded. You landed right on me while I was being pulled along by the river running through the outskirts of the town." When Terra heard this, she felt rather ashamed, but the woman held her arm out, the stains of blood still wet and visible beneath her clothes. "Honestly, the things I do..." she muttered to herself.

Seeing that made Terra feel even worse, and she began to say some kind of apology, but the woman made direct eye contact (thankfully, no comments about Terra's different-colored eyes) and addressed her again. "You want to thank someone, thank the orca. I'm sure he'd be happier to hear it than me. After I snagged you, he carried us both to shore and this was the next stop."

With these words said, she didn't wait for a response and turned back to the little girl. "Let's head upstairs so we can hear what Fortune has to say." The girl nodded in acknowledgement, and they began to ascend, leaving Terra behind.

"W-wait, where's the whal...um, I mean, orca?" Terra called after them, but she didn't get much of a response. The hooded girl gave an apologetic look to the chef who had been sitting with her and hurried after them. The woman didn't really give any acknowledgement, but the little girl noticed Terra and whispered something her. Hopefully it didn't mean anything bad.

As soon as the woman entered the room, which had nearly all the strange visitors Terra had seen in the bar earlier, it seemed their meeting had begun. As she wasn't technically part of the meeting, Terra simply stood outside the doorway to listen. An old man began telling a rather troubling story about how by some cruel trick of fate, the village's fortune had turned bad.

"First our crops began to wither and die. Then, anyone who attempted to leave the village was entrapped in a maze of mist, wandering for hours until they arrived back here. And lastly...they started to demand that every night that one or more specific villagers wander into their gravesite, alone, or else they'd attack. Sometimes, we never see the again....and sometimes," the old man shuddered. "Sometimes they come back....different." The old teamaster paused as he glanced around frantically as if someone heard him. "In two hours time, the next villager will be summoned to the grave site. Oh, I don't understand how this could've happened.."

"Hmm..." It was the snow oni who began to speak at this time. "More than likely,your ancestor's spirits have been corrupted. Not too uncommon for those that used to be among the living, but...still, it's unusual they would turn on your village when you were once so close. Has anything been done that would anger them?"

"No! None of would ever do something like that! Not that I'm aware of, at any rate," the old man cried out.

"That's honestly the best case scenario, since the only other real causes are a demon or a necromancer. The former...is possibly not an issue. The latter is a problem." The snow oni glanced around at the others. "Well...what do you all think?" As the other members gave their thoughts on the matter--and most of them seemed to agree that they should do something about the matter--Terra wondered just what she should do.

Suddenly, she heard a noise coming directly behind her. The next moment, a tall, brown haired man came bearing through the door. Terra almost shrieked as the door nearly crashed into her, but the man blazed past and grabbed the fist of...a goblin? As Terra wasn't very fond of goblins for reasons we will not discuss now, she instinctively jumped back...and fell rather unceremoniously into the room.

The brown haired man stalked into the room after having thrown the goblin in, not paying attention to the other intruder. "It looks like we have our first volunteer!" he declared, obviously angry over the eavesdropper.

The goblin lady rose to her feet, equally angry. "You ruined my ship!" she retaliated.

"Oh, sorry we interrupted your slave trading," the man replied sarcastically, slamming the door shut and locking it behind him. "But it seems it lead you to a greater purpose. Jensu will go investigate. But we'll need some people to join our little green friend to ensure she doesn't make a run for it. I know some of you have slept already, who here has gotten the most rest? Or is willing to spend a few hours out while we all sleep?"

Terra looked around at the tired faces, starting to make up her mind on the matter. It certainly wasn't her problem, true, but if she helped, she could potentially get enough money to get back onto the road, hopefully away from the horrors. And besides, if it was to help people...well, that was compelling enough on its own.

Terra rose to her feet and cleared her throat, directing all the attention in the room upon herself. Hoping she wouldn't stammer too much, she began to speak. "E-Excuse me for intruding...I would like to help with this...in any way I can."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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#, as written by Nulix
"E-Excuse me for intruding...I would like to help with this...in any way I can," Another voice added. Yuwen spun around and glared down at the girl. "Uh... help with what?" Yuwen quickly covered up. "You can't help with these plans. We were talking about things to do in other villages. Sorry who are you? How'd you get in here?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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"Uh... help with what?" The man quickly tried to play dumb about the situation. "You can't help with these plans. We were talking about things to do in other villages. Sorry who are you? How'd you get in here?"

With a gulp, Terra admitted that she had eavesdropped on the entire meeting. "As for who I am...m-my name is Terra Himene. I was traveling, but...well, these monsters..." She tried to avoid the gaze of the girl with green eyes and black hair here. "...chased me off the road, and I fell off a cliff trying to escape. I lost almost everything, but...some of you..." Here she looked in the direction of the black haired woman and the whale-no, orca man. "I ended up here. There isn't anywhere I can go now since I lost everything, though..."

As much as she didn't want to (especially because mismatched eyes were considered an indication of dark magic...which was true except for the dark part in her case), she pulled back her hood far enough to make direct eye contact with the man. At first his fierce expression frightened her, but she quickly steeled herself and continued talking. "I-I can fight and defend myself...and it seems I'm a more...affordable loss than any of you if I can't get out of here. So please, let me help."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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#, as written by Nulix
"An affordable loss?" Yuwen said with a small smile. "We're not villains, here." He rose and turned to his team. "Can any of you vouch for this girl?" He questioned. "Because I don't like the idea of sending kids off to their deaths."

"Hold on!" Jensu exclaimed, standing up and brushing herself off. "This is besides the point. I'm not a slaver!"

"Aren't you?" Yuwen replied, almost laughing. "Then how do you explain the cages full of slaves at the bottom of your ship?"

Jensu shook her head as she secured her captains hat. "I don't know... I had a deal with these business men in Poyo, they didn't let me see their cargo."

"Right, that sounds realistic," Yuwen muttered.

Jensu glared at the man. "Do you honestly think I'd sell slaves if my mother was kidnapped by one?"

"I just don't think you'd be so stupid as to not check your cargo," Yuwen replied, before turning back to the girl who'd broken in. Terra, she'd called herself. "Anyone know this kid?" He repeated.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Kathuel Asatori

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Keeflo listened as Yuwen talked to the elder. The old man seemed to be describing some sort of supernatural occurrence. The orca beast-man thought that ghosts and such were mostly nonsense stories meant to scare little kids, but sometimes he wondered. Chi was the energy of the living, what would prevent the remnants of the dead's chi from lingering in the world? Perhaps necromancy was the manipulation of the dead's chi. Keeflo shrugged. He didn't need to know right now.

Then Yuwen opened the door and swung in Jensu - in Keeflo's mind she no longer deserved the title of captain. A small girl fell in as well. In fact, this was the girl he had carried to the village. The goblin accused Yuwen of ruining her ship. Yuwen retorted with a sarcastic apology. Keeflo had half an urge to bite Jensu, perfectly aware that his teeth were capable of shearing off a finger or two if not more. But that would be savage and he was tired, so he remained seated.

Yuwen said that Jensu would be their scout to see whatever this was that was harming the village and asked for volunteers for accompanying her. Keeflo shook his head. He needed sleep. Then the girl, the same one who had stumbled into the room, volunteered. She said she could fight and defend herself and called herself a more affordable loss than the rest of them. This jolted Keeflo out of his half doze. He had much experience with the selfishness of others but little with the selflessness. "Do not belittle yourself. Your life is worth as much of any of ours," he said to the girl.

-----

Kethuel watched as the strangers walked upstairs. The girl he had invited, Terre, finished her food and went up after them. Quickly he gathered up the remaining plates and put them in the kitchen for someone to wash. Menial tasks finished, he went upstairs as well. He entered his room and drained his glass of water. Placing the cup the side of the wall, he held his ear next to the but of the cup and listened.

He seemed to have missed some pretty important parts. Now they were arguing about who would go somewhere. It was a bit of a disappointment to not know what they were doing, but it was probably better. He shouldn't have been eavesdropping in the first place. With a sighing a little, he continued to listen, hoping to hear an indicator of what this group was doing.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Kathuel Asatori

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Yamato sat in on the meeting, vaguely understanding that they had a new member, and that she was going with the Goblin girl to investigate the strange things happening around town. Hyuna seemed eager to fight, but he knew that's the only reason she wanted to help. He leaned against the wall, drifting in and out of sleep. He couldn't remember being so tired, but it had been nearly three days without sleep and the Sake wasn't helping.

"Let's get this moving then. Let the Goblin Slaver and Terra go and do what they've been instructed to do by the ever knowledgable Yuwen Fortune." He stood to leave the room so he could venture to his own and sleep until he decided to wake up.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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#, as written by Nulix