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Okumi Chrysanth

"... ...! ..."

0 · 364 views · located in Cre' Est

a character in “Assassin's Pledge: Awakening”, as played by Tanman

Description

Okumi Chrysanth
Image



Age: 22
Height: 5' 2"
Weight: 113lbs
Voice Example: Rachie
Basic Personality: An honourable and kind shrine maiden, Okumi used to be a bundle of positive energy. Nowadays she has tempered her personality somewhat, but she still tries to maintain an optimistic outlook. Although somewhat talkative, Okumi frequently limits herself to gestures and written communication, as the medical mask she wears tends to become uncomfortable if she speaks too much. As such, many believe her to be mute, and might find themselves surprised to hear her voice. Determined and hardworking, she arduously does what needs to be done without complaint, and quite enjoys simple and peaceful living.

Basic Background: Born to a scholar and a priestess in Gweynura, Okumi had a loving pair of parents and two younger brothers. With her mother hailing from Triveila and mildly ostracised in Gweynura due to her beliefs, the decision was made to migrate back to Triveila with her new-found love and establish a worshipping shrine. The first born in the family, Okumi helped with the daily life and running of the shrine - their lives self sufficient as they grew their own food, cared for the animals, and only rarely headed into town to trade. It was a simple, peaceful life; catering to and allowing travellers rest while praying to the gods for peace and prosperity.

This lasted for quite some time, until tragedy struck. It had begun innocently enough. Okumi had been enjoying a morning walk through the forest when she saw it. It seemed to sparkle and shimmer in the sunlight, a vibrant piece of flora. In the end she brought the strange purple flower home, as it was quite pretty, and she'd never seen anything like it. No one knew the consequence such an action would have. A sickness spread through Okumi and her family, leaving all of them but the young girl bedridden and ill. Suddenly, life became harder as the work to maintain their livelihood that had been split between the five of them was now handled by Okumi alone. Not only that, but the girl was now responsible for caring for the four of them. It was unsustainable.

Desperate, Okumi made a journey into town, but with little to trade and fewer coin to share, she was left to fend for herself. One by one, her family succumbed to the illness over the coming months. They fought valiantly, but it was too much for them. She was alone. Shattered, shaken and broken from her ordeal, Okumi decided to move into town and see if she could perhaps find work and start a new life. What greeted her was a valley of death. The town was abandoned, decaying and diseased, the sickness having swept through while she'd remained in the mountains. She'd brought it to them. Unbeknownst to Okumi, she'd developed an immunity to the illness of the flower through exposure to the other plants of the forest. But it was still within her. She had been a carrier. She'd brought this plague to her family and the town.

Still, Okumi did not give up. Though she despaired for a time, her will to live was stronger. She'd carry on her family's memory herself. Over the next month, Okumi prepared herself for her journey, collecting up all manner of items. Most notable among them was her mother's ceremonial Naginata, but more than that, she discovered her father's journal. He'd been studying the flower and illness that had struck them, and although unsuccessful in cultivating an antidote, the information about the disease and how it was carried lead Okumi to one conclusion. Everything was her fault. She couldn't risk exposing anyone else to its fatal sickness. Having gathered everything she needed and buried the dead, Okumi gave a final prayer before taking herself into a voluntary exile, crossing the land all the way to Cre'Est and making a meager, peaceful living in a shack in the mountains.

Despite the occasional aggressor, for the most part, travellers to her small shrine were grateful for a place to stay and free food. Having learned more of her nature as a carrier, Okumi adopted a face mask over her mouth and nose at all times, which seemed to prevent its spread. Those that were hostile found that her time alone had made her strong and capable of defending herself to some extent, though she was certainly no combat expert. With her home somewhat near to Atlum and knowing of the plight they experienced, Okumi made way to help bury and honour the dead. It seemed like the only way she atoned these days.

So begins...

Okumi Chrysanth's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

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#, as written by Tanman
Okumi Chrysanth
Image



Wiping her brow of sweat, Okumi sighed to herself as she sat up, resting on her shovel. Briefly tugging on the collar of her outfit to air it out, she looked over the work she’d done so far. There had been so many dead, a mass burial would have been the easier method. Out of respect for the people here however, she’d been individually digging graves since her arrival. It was exhausting work, and she was thirsty and hungry, but she wasn’t about to risk removing her mask in public like this. These people had been through hell these past few days. If they had to deal with a plague like the Wilt after all that, well… She didn’t wish that on anyone else.

The makeshift graveyard was fairly bare, apart from the small set of sticks she’d been using to mark each mound, and the notes left flapping in the wind with a short description of the person buried and where they’d be found. Hopefully it would help the families find and mourn them, as there wasn’t time to allow everyone to identify the dead. Cadavers were a breeding ground for disease and illness, and so it was prudent to get them buried as soon as possible, especially with so many wounded still throughout the village. Grimacing slightly as she lifted the dead weight of the man and laid him into the hole, Okumi swiftly got back to work, refilling the hole and planting a small candle of incense as she gave a short prayer. May they find peace in rest.

Sitting up from her kneel, Okumi returned the shovel she’d borrowed to the earth, leaving it half buried nearby the grave to mark the spot. No doubt there would be more dead to come, but until a further delivery, there was no more work to be done. Perhaps she could move to assist in carting the dead? Even though many foreigners had come to bring aid, most were concerned with the less gruesome chores. Taking a few careful steps over to where she’d left her travel bag of meager belongings, Okumi returned her Naginata to her back. Taking a stride down the main street, it didn’t take her long to stumble on something of a scene. A medicine woman, one that had been something of a celebrity in the town for a variety of reasons, seemed to have been set upon by a pair of men. Disgraceful.

Continuing a steady walk past, she kept her gaze level on them gauging whether anyone was about to take action to assist the woman. As the man atop her became a bit more hands on, she’d seen enough. With a practiced grace, the still sheathed polearm was removed from her back, the shrine maiden seemingly walking with it as an aid. Then, just as she came into range of the two men, a simple jutt and hook was enough to pull the leg out from the one holding the woman. Not speaking or stopping her stride, Okumi hoped that the gesture was enough to convince the two to clean up their act and realise how idiotic that were being. Tragedy didn’t need to breed further conflict - now was the time for harmony and working together. Acting as if she hadn’t done anything, Okumi continued to walk up the path, though her senses were trained on the woman and two men behind her if they decided to become more aggressive towards her or the lady they accosted.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

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Aetrius smiled at the woman who had given her directions for where she could find a place of respite, she gave the woman a nod as a thank you, and was about to head over the direction she had been told of. When suddenly a group of men were starting to harass her, in ways not acceptable to anyone, even a Bounty Hunter such as herself, but just as she was going to give her aid, another woman came walking by and tripped one of the men causing a small smirk to appear on her face. The other men seemed shocked, but for Aetrius, their behavior was unacceptable and needed to be dealt with further. She looked at the men and shook her head, with simple ease she dismounted her horse and landed with grace, as she stood up she spoke to the men, "You there, you bastards. What do you think you're doing? Do you think it's proper to treat a woman in such a way? One that was willing to give you honest aid, and yet you prove to be all the same, disgusting pieces of shit that deserve to be wiped off the earth." she said as she spit at one of the men, aiming for his feet.

She casually placed her hand on her hip, by one of her swords making it obvious that she would be willing to take up arms if need be, even for a complete stranger. As cold hearted as she could be, she knew when justice and good deeds, or even just common human decency were needed and this was one of those times. She stepped infront of the woman and then looked back at the men, surveying how many there were, if they had any weapons, or if they were even really worth the trouble, which in reality they would be no more than simple novice practice for the huntress. "You alright, m'lady? Did they hurt you in any other way?" she asked the woman that had been assaulted by said scumbags, never once taking her eyes off the men as she spoke to the other woman, just in case the men tried anything at all. Which, to the gods, she prayed they didn't, for their sake as it would not end well for them.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

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Hawk’s nervous clopping snapped Lonán back into reality. As he was about to scold his horse for interrupting what one would call a momentary daydream, his eyes came upon the scene of relative tension. His eyes narrowed as he thought out in his head what was going on. A smaller man and his larger brutish friend are accosting the Angelic Knight, a woman with a strange spear had casually knocked down the smaller man as a warning, and a strange person was shielding the woman the men they were accosting.

The smaller man seemed agitated at being knocked down as the bigger more muscle bound man was about to do something. Lonán considered pulling out his one handed crossbow, but he felt his fist and his sword can make a point, possibly. Besides, he had to find a blacksmith to make the bolts to replace them and he wasn’t sure how much it would cost with the hard times in this village! So calmly he stood up to his full five foot ten inch height, gave a silent prayer to Heresta to dedicate the fight to her name;

And bolted straight for the big guy as the big man looked distracted by one of the defenders of the angelic knight spitting at his direction. Taking this opportunity he took a swing with one fist, aiming for his head and then drawing his sword. ”Right then big fella! Gonna give ya a warning!-” said warning was interrupted by a solid blow to the face.

“Either fight or shut up, vagrant.” The big man said. Lonán stiffened as his pupils seemed to visibly shrink, his free hand not holding his blade trembled. Then it grabbed the hilt of the sword and he spun to strike him in the leg with the guard of the sword. Pommel met knee with a solid, cracking thunk. Then raising up one hand he gripped him by the shoulder, bringing the man down on his good knee, blade at the man’s neck the whole way down.

”Call me that again, and I will shoot off your manhood with my crossbow and then cut off your friend’s nose, ears, arms and legs with my sword. I am of a powerful clan of Saharan Warriors, I am the Grandson of the Iron Wolf, I am Lonán Arzura.” Turning his head towards the woman he was defending. ”At your service. Now then big fella, what’s it gonna be? Busted Knee or Loss of Manhood on top of that?” He enquired to the big man, keeping the smaller man in the peripherals as the big man seemed to sweat.

”Good. Now lie down and stay there for a bit, that’s quite the ouch I gave ya.” He grinned wolfishly as he pushed the man onto his back and continued to hold his sword at his throat for added incentive to make him stay there.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

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Linde had just prepared for combat when not one, not two, but three individuals came to her aid. First was a young woman wielding a naginata, who gracefully swept the homeless man's legs. The second was a man with fiery red hair who took the larger man down after taking a hit himself. Quite impressive, given the man's weight by comparison to the larger one. And finally was the woman who had been on the horse asking for directions.

All were impressive, but it was the girl with the naginata who struck Linde as the most unusual and interesting. She dressed like a shrine maiden, but wore a face mask and carried a weapon. She had never known a shrine maiden to carry a weapon.

Who is this woman? She thought to herself.

Linde looked across the small group who had helped her, and gave a bow.

"Thank you very much, everyone, for your help with these men." She said with a sweet smile.

She gazed at the men on the ground, sighing to herself.

"I suppose now they really do need my help now." She mumbled.

Linde couldn't help but chuckle to herself as she turned and began to hoist the larger man up onto her shoulder. He was quite heavy, but she managed just fine. She laid him down on one of the tables she'd been using to tend the injured and stuck a wooden block in his mouth.

"If you need to bite something to deal with the pain, just bite that." She said.

She turned to the others who had helped her and gave another bow.

"Please excuse me, everyone. But I have patients to attend to." She giggled.

Linde then walked to the homeless man, now thoroughly beaten and bloodied as well as missing some teeth, and laid him on a second table. He needed her attention the most due to his injuries.

"Just lie still, sir." She said, giving his nose a little tweak which earned a grunt of pain.

"This will only take about ten minutes." She said.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

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Lonán was in shock as the smaller guy was given a more severe beating. ”Holy Shit.... I think someone needs a drink and a nap.” he thought as he sheathed his blade. The perpetrator’s comment to him about how admirable and noble the deed he performed was he kinda scratched the back of his neck. He thus fully realized now she was a woman, a slightly scarred yet pretty looking woman all the same. He slightly tilted his head to avoid direct eye contact as her question of Saharan came up.

”Well, it’s work and Heresta willing, ensuring I have enough to get by and kick some dishonorable asses on the way. There wasn’t enough opportunity back home so I decided to travel around. See the world, that sort of thing.” He said casually. But it was a lie and he knew it. He was from a line of powerful and great warriors. But he had to remind the world that it was true. It was his honor bound duty to uphold. He promised the Old Wolf after all.

”Current plans aside, it was an honor and a privilege to help out the Angelic Knight of Cre’est.” He said with a small bow towards the brunette. It seemed the stories never do her justice. She really did look angelic in a beauty sort of way. Fighting the urge to actually say that he cleared his throat and whistled for Hawk, to which the horse came walking towards him. ”Well, I could use a drink after that fight. Heresta has granted a victory over these scumbags after all.” he said with a grin. ”Come join me if you wish, you too Milady once you’ve got...free time.” He nearly fumbled due to the sounds of the smaller man being worked on.

”No doubts about it, his friend got off easy by fighting me, just a busted knee. ‘Intimidation by moderation of pain’, The Old Wolf always said. Though, Mother said spare the staff spoil the child... I remember her quarter staff...ow.” He thought, grasping Hawk by the reins and prepared to head towards the Tavern, only standing there to see if anyone would venture to come along with him due to his open invitation.

He had a strong feeling about them for some odd reason. For the first time in his wanderings, he might have begun to make friends. Mother would be proud for certain.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

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#, as written by Tanman
Okumi Chrysanth
Image



As the events continued to unfold before Okumi, she couldn’t help but shake her head and watch in dismay as the would be rescuers to the woman proceeded to cause more harm than they solved. Her own actions had been slightly forceful precisely because she didn’t want to cause a scene, but also so that the woman wouldn’t be obliged to help them from any greater injuries. Alas, it seemed the saintly doctor had committed to helping everyone – including detestable people like those brigands that attacked her – so she was back to performing medical duties. It was an admirable trait, one that resonated strongly with the shrine maiden, but she wasn’t really in a position to comment. With nothing more than a polite nod and a simple twirl as she returned her weapon to her back, she let the medicine woman make her leave.

Speaking of leaving, Okumi had planned to continue on her way; especially now that the crowd of onlookers was dispersing. And yet something stopped her. It came to her attention that the warrior woman - now speaking with the man that had introduced himself as ‘Lonán’ - had neglected to notice her horse getting a little bit swept away with the movement of the crowd. Slipping her way forward to take the reins, Okumi looked for somewhere to hitch the horse, spotting another mare attached to a rickety fence post. However, just as she was planning to go over and give it some company, the smart thing managed to unhook itself and come over to what must have been its owner, Lonán. Carefully leading the woman’s horse over to join them, Okumi gently rubbed over the horse’s side to calm it as she took a standing position just near them, unintentionally eavesdropping as she did her good Samaritan work. Not that she entirely minded. She did adore animals, and she was thankful that they seemed immune to her illness. With a couple more gentle pats, she turned back to face the two warriors. Seeing them deep in conversation, she took the opportunity to retrieved some oats from her bag, allowing both the horses to partake of the food.

*Mrrgllgrmm~*

Hearing her own stomach voice its protests at being neglected and forced to watch other creatures eat, Okumi took that as hint that it was time to find herself some food to recharge. Glancing up in only mild embarrassment, she noted that Lonán had mounted his horse and was making reference that perhaps the group could go to the Tavern? Well, they would likely have food, but Okumi wasn’t really confident enough to eat amongst other people. Not to mention her financial situation and living off the land didn’t leave her with much in the way of money. Still, it would be rude to refuse such an invitation, so perhaps she could attend and pay by way of some of the trinkets she’d taken from home? As long as she got something, she could probably excuse herself to eat or find some solution. Besides, it had been months since the last time she hadn't cooked for herself. Standing still and waiting, she held the reins up to the woman, smiling behind her mask as a friendly gesture and allowing her to take the lead. She’d follow along at her own pace, as the tavern wasn’t exactly far.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

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Arc 1 - The Worst Of Humanity



Time is a fickle and harsh mistress. The flow seems different for every human being no matter how closely related their lives and lifestyles may be. In the flash of an instant, things can go from good to bad. From bad to good. From good to amazing. Or from bad to the worst it could possibly be.

And in this moment, for all present in Atlum, time suddenly seemed so irrelevant.

"THE BANDITS HAVE RETURNED!!" Came a unified shout from down the South Road.

Dozens of people ran through the streets screaming about the bandits returning to the village. And behind them, just around the corner, the bandits appeared on horseback brandishing all manner of weapons and hooting and hollering at the villagers who were being trampled in their path.

At first Linde was shocked, but part of her was also glad to see them. Glad for the chance to pay them back for what they'd done. But as more and more bandits appeared both on horseback and on foot, she started realizing why it was that the village had been half burned to the ground and why so many people had been injured and killed.

... There were dozens upon dozens of them. Just down the South Road alone from what she could see there were at least fifty or sixty of them.

And from the North Road, another forty to fifty appeared.

"What in the name of-"

Linde couldn't finish her sentence before she beheld one of the bandits decapitating a fleeing woman holding an infant with a poleaxe. The infant fell to the ground into the street and was subsequently trampled by the horses en route with their murderous riders. Linde's heart and jaw hit the floor, and her eyes widened in terror.

"How could they...?" She whispered.

Linde's arm was suddenly grabbed, and she turned to see the one with the brown hooded cloak.

"Kyero. Is that you?"

The figure nodded.

"Can we stop them?"

Kyero shook his head, and Linde's heart sank even further.

"B-but we can at least repel some of them right? Give the people the chance to flee?"

Kyero looked up from under his hood, exposing his glowing red eyes to her.

"No, Linde. There's far too many of them. To remain is to die."

"But the village-"

"Is dead... There's nothing we can do for them now."

He gently released her arm, and her eyes began welling with tears as she looked back to the throngs of people who were being slaughtered in the wake of the oncoming rush of bandits.

"Linde. No amount of warrior's pride is worth your life. You know these are impossible odds. We can't fight them like this. Not out in the open."

She looked back to him with pleading eyes as she gripped his cloak.

"You said 'not like this.' That means you must know of a way to put a stop to the massacre at least! Please, Kyero!"

Kyero glanced to the crowds of people fleeing, then to those being slaughtered and trampled, and then to the bandits themselves as they rushed in with a crazed and eager look in their eyes. He looked back to Linde and gave her a solid nod of his head, walking out into the middle of the street with his hood drawn and down to hide his eyes. He withdrew two small black balls from either side of a pouch hidden beneath his cloak at his lower back, and held them to the sides for a moment before throwing them out at both the North and South bandit leaders at the vanguard of each attack point.

The balls flew through the air and struck the ground in front of their horses, creating a massive plume of black smoke that overtook the entirety of the street at both the North and South ends behind the crowds and stopped the onrush dead in its tracks.

He looked to Linde, and she nodded furiously as she rushed into the streets.

"Everyone! Flee to the alleyways! Their horses cannot follow those narrow passages!! GO NOW!!!"

The people began following her request, leaving the open streets and fleeing towards the alleyways which were too narrow for horses to pass through. Those who were left and able of the village soldier regiment took up positions near the alley entry points, and Linde remained in the streets behind Kyero as he drew a pair of gleaming translucent green daggers with a solid black interior reminiscent of liquid flowing out in thin branch-like strands to the tip of the blade.

... They were made of Orichalcum, a legendary metal which was nigh indestructible.

Linde took her place beside him, preparing herself for a fight by shedding her doctor's coat and taking a fighting stance. Kyero too took a stance, standing almost perfectly upright with his body bladed sideways. His left dagger was held out in a Heaven grip just above his left knee, and his right was held in an Earth grip tucked by his waist just behind him.

"Kyero... Thank you."

"We still can't fight this many in the open, especially with many of them on horseback."

"What do you propose?"

"We need to get rid of the horses somehow. They're too great of a movement and speed advantage. But I only have one of those smoke bombs left and nothing else that could do the job."

"Don't worry. We'll find a way."

As soon as Linde said that, the smoke began to clear and the bandits slowly began walking their horses towards Linde and Kyero. Clearly they weren't as crazed as they had appeared earlier... There was a quiet intelligence behind the eyes of the one who led them. And it was clear he had a warrior's mentality as he seemed intent on getting close enough to speak to Linde and the man in the cloak.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

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After Aetrius and Lolan had all too easily beat up the goons that were harassing the poor girl, they discussed among-st themselves, mainly Lolan telling her why he was there in Atlum. She could sense he was lying, partially, her years studying people and their body language speaks volumes. She could judge from his body movements, while he was telling the truth, it wasn't all of it. As long as he wasn't there for her, she couldn't care less of his reasoning. But as she listened she saw from the corner of her eye the same girl from before with the polearm, she brought Aetrius her horse. Aetrius smiled, and gave the white haired woman a nod as a sign of thanks, and pet her horse, "Who's a good girl." she then corrected herself and coughed, realizing how she was acting, as she adored her horse more than anything. She looked back at the woman that Lonan refereed to as the "Angelic Knight of Cre’est" or so he called her, a name she had never heard of, surprisingly. She nodded at her as well, letting her tend to the men she had ever so brutally beaten to a literal blood pulp, well her and Lolan. May have gone too ham....Nah." she thought, they deserved it regardless.

She mounted her horse again, and was going to follow Lolan to the tavern for a drink, or two, as she would need one. But then sudden shouts sounded from down the road. Something of bandits, again. Her eyes widened as she looked and saw dozens of bandits coming over the horizon. It was an invasion, again. As if this town hadn't been through enough, yet another raid. She growled as she saw innocent lives being taken, as the bandits callously slaughtered the helpless villagers. While some may say it's hypocritical of her as she does kill for a living, she has her limitations, and taking innocent lives of defenseless people is against her rules she abides by. As the raiders drew closer, she pulled Lolan onto her horse and made a mad dash into the town. As they got closer, she put her mask back on, withdrew her bow and steadied an arrow, taking aim she let it free, watching as the bolt pierced one of the bandit's hearts, watching him slump off of his ride and was limp, a smirk on her face appeared as she raced into the down. As more raiders poured into the streets, she slowly rose on the back of her horse, handing Lolan the reins, "Take her somewhere safe, I'll defend you." she said as she let two more arrows fly as two more bandits were easily disbanded of. She leapt off of her horse and rolled into a summersault, and pivoted, as she did so she knocked two bandits off their feet, as she engaged in combat with the two. She took her bow, and with simple ease she turned and smacked one across the face with her bow, disorienting him for a moment as she grabbed the other by the back of the neck and slammed him into the wall as he fell. As the other managed to recover, she withdrew both of her blades, and began to fend off more raiders, seeing Linde and a hooded figure in the distance, "I could use some help over here!" she called out to the two, or anyone ele that would be willing to help her in the fight, which seemed to be for a lost cause.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

0.00 INK

#, as written by Tanman
Okumi Chrysanth
Image



It seemed Okumi was destined to go hungry - There never seemed to be a moment of peace in Atlum. As the bandits poured over the hill like ants swarming over a feed, the priestess immediately began to see the gravity of the situation. This was no small group of highwayman, it was more like a small warband. Tens of men were coming over the horizon to the north, and even though it would have been futile to try and flee them on foot, yet another squad of brigands were closing in over to the south of the town, cutting off the main roads out of the village. A pincer maneuver, to ensure no one escaped. Barbarians.


It seemed the gods planned to test her once more. Either that, or this was one more chance for her to find absolution in death. Maybe… It was impossible odds to fight in a head on confrontation, but perhaps she could buy some time, create a diversion with her life and give the village a fighting chance to escape? Or, if this was to be the end of the village at the hands of these monsters, maybe she should… Unconsciously, she’d realised her hand had made its way up to hold her mask, and immediately she shrunk back as if startled by herself. No. No matter how awful these men were, it wasn’t her place to cast judgement. Not only that, but there was every chance they could spread the plague further before it took its toll. If it came down to it, she’d have to pray that in her passing the cursed flower’s toll would end.


Having stopped to contemplate all these things, the world around Okumi was swimming with movement. Faintly, she felt the rush of movement beside her as the warrior woman mounted her steed and charged into battle, as well as people running past her in a bid to escape. It was something like the eye of the storm, the battle and death all around them, but here, where the storm hadn’t yet reached, there was an eerie calm about the air. As well as an impending sense of dread. With some engaging to fight the attacking vanguard, it was then that the smoke clouds billowed out from seemingly nowhere, coating the area in a fine veil to cover their movements. The female doctor from before made the call to retreat into the alleys, an advantageous position in order to choke the amount of enemies and prevent them making the most of their mobility. It was a wise enough plan. Having lost track of the two warriors in the confusion, the shrine maiden began a cautious retreat to regroup with the remaining forces of the village.


Moving back as one of the last ones to get clear, Okumi did her best to allow civilians to escape before planting herself towards the front of the people set to defend the entryway. Though she wouldn’t be much good for negotiation, her Naginata was well suited for combat in such a space, and it would not be an easy feat to slip past her. With tension filling the air as their adversaries made a slow approach, it seemed that, at least for the moment, they weren’t going to blindly rush in to eliminate them. Appraising the woman next to her, prepared to fight with her fists at the ready, as well as… Well, she wasn’t sure where he’d come from, but the cloaked man with the impressive set of daggers looked quite formidable. They appeared to be in a discussion of tactics, almost like they’d been in this sort of situation before. Okumi wondered about the connection, but there were more pressing matters for the moment. Depending on how negotiations went, this could very well be their last stand. Okumi felt her throat tighten. If death had finally come to claim her, she would do everything she could in her final moments to make amends.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

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Heresta seemed to want to test her wayward Warrior of the Arzura Clan. For why would the Bandits suddenly flare up in many numbers for another raid. The moment Lonán heard the cries of panic and quickly looking behind and in front as he began to realize the tactics. One thing entered his mind before he witnessed the slaughter. ”Shit, I picked the wrong day to assume the Battle I dedicated to Her Name was over. In fact.... I think her Humor is showing.” After that, rage was boiling in him at the senseless slaughter, almost making him ready to blindly charge out, when a hand grabbed him and pulled him onto her horse and rode a bit. They seemed to be going for the men who charged in.

The thought occurred to him, that this large group must have one single leader. Which means he was either strong or cunning. Words of the Old Wolf entered his head, once more reminding him of ways to plausibly intimidate, lie, or hide one’s way out of a fight that one side is outnumbered in. The woman jumped off her horse and told him to guide her someplace safe, thus Lonán realized he wasn’t on Hawk. He was about to call when he saw the Stallion in full gallop catching up to him. Good. If he had to fight he’d rather do it with his horse and saddlebags (where he kept any extra bolts and other such useful items). He rode the Mare to a decent spot where he knew the horse would be safe. He turned to Hawk as he dismounted and went for his saddlebags.

”Hawk we are in some odd trouble again it seems. But now I need you to stay with the Mare. Don’t do anything to her. You know what to do if trouble comes your way. Either kick it in the head or run him over as you escape.” He instructed the horse as he pulled out some crossbow bolts and set them to his belt.

He then moved towards rejoining the woman who helped him, even as she shouted Lonán noted the Angelic Knight and a person he never saw before. Along with a man with the entire group approaching them, meaning the leader was about to talk. With talking, that meant hopefully ending the fight before it got to ugly. He shot a warning shot at one of the masked woman’s attackers.

”I believe your boss is about to do some talking. So if you attack my friend any further, I’m going to seriously think about not missing next time. Or would you like to meet the sharp bite of my sword?” He gave out with deadly, venom-filled sarcasm. The way one of the bandits looked at his weapons and angry look, it looked like he was about to possibly widdle himself silly.

”Intimidation is an easy way to make them stand down, but remember to keep that guard up. They may get bold later.” The words of his grandfather hummed in his mind. Lonán mentally slapped himself. Now wasn’t the time to lose focus. He had to maintain eye contact to the bandits as much as he can without dropping said eye contact.

He also mentally prayed whatever happens with any negotiation happened immediately. If any of the villagers were to see another dawn that is. He had to focus on the intimidation and/or an escape strategy if need be.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

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The bandit leader walked his horse up to Kyero and Linde, stopping around ten meters away and giving a hand gesture to stop all of his bandits from doing anything further until given notice. He remained on his steed, eyeing the pair as they glared back at him.

"So... Obviously you wish to appeal to my humanity and stop my attack, is that right?"

Linde was about to speak, but Kyero held his arm out to the side to stop her. He stood up straight to his full height from his previous partial turn, and faced the bandit leader fully. His hood was still down, but he tilted his head up just enough to partially squint to hide his eyes while he peeked at the man to analyze him before speaking.

"Why are you here?"

The leader scoffed.

"Why would any group of bandits raid a village ripe for the taking when its mother nation is on the brink of war?"

"... Profit."

"Exactly."

The leader hopped off his horse and walked towards Kyero.

"You see, I'm a businessman. True, my business lies in thievery and killing those in my way. But business is business in this cruel world. And my business is booming. The more we take, the more wealthy we become. It's a simple formula, really. And it doesn't require a lot of intellect. Just one clear mind and a following large enough to see that mind's vision through to the endgame. Efficiency, my good man. Efficiency."

"What right do you have to take these people's lives and homes like this you monster?!"

"Darling, calm down. This world is cruel. If it wasn't us, it would be someone or something else. The way I see it, we're just saving them some time."

Linde's stomach dropped and she felt like throwing up.

"You're a twisted piece of garbage!"

Kyero remained silent and glanced around to take in the situation.

All of these men are fighters, if a bit rough around the edges. It's their numbers that are the danger. If we can find a way to fight them in a more controlled environment...

He looked back at the people Linde had met earlier.

... We might just have a chance to save this place.

He looked back to the leader.

Now, how to make him-

"I'll make you an offer, hooded one." He said as he pointed at Kyero.

"You give us the woman next to you, and we'll be on our way. I'm sure all of us would be able to show her the time of her life back at base."

Thunderous laughter and cheers erupted from the bandits as they all eyed Linde with hungry eyes.

Really, why wouldn't they? A voluptuous full bust. A tall and lean frame. Softly muscled legs and arms indicative of a woman who knows how to handle herself. A gorgeous face. Long flowing hair, great for pulling and tangling their hands in. She had everything that a group of lecherous men like this could ask for.

Kyero's eyes narrowed slightly beneath his hood.

"Here is my counter-offer."

He pointed one of his blades at the leader.

"I'll make you a wager, and if I win your days of raiding villages such as this one are over."

There was silence for a moment, but once again thunderous laughter erupted from the bandits including the leader himself.

"You really think we'd do that, wager or otherwise? What kind of honorable fools do you take us for?" The leader yelled.

Kyero smiled.

"Fine. I knew you were cowards."

... The laughter ceased, and all of them now had their eyes glued firmly on Kyero.

"... What did you call us?"

Kyero's blade remained pointed at the man.

"You're a businessman, and businessmen, as everyone knows, make terrible warriors. They're too soft."

He lowered the blade and turned his back to the leader, sheathing the daggers behind his back.

"I suppose the idea of challenging your best 'men' was expecting too much of you."

The bandit leader pulled out a pistol and pointed it at the back of Kyero's head.

"You dare mock our courage as men and fighters?! We may not have any honor as you see it, but we have our pride! What is your wager?!"

Kyero's head turned, the lower half of his face visible beneath the hood carrying a confident smile.

"Send twenty of your best forward. If they can defeat me, or defeat those who share my desire to see this end," he said, gesturing to Linde and the others.

"Then your raid may resume. But if your best fail to defeat us..."

He turned to face the leader, and his smile widened as he gripped the handle of his right-side dagger.

"Then your life is mine to take, and your men will disband and never again cause trouble like this for as long as they live... Deal?"

The leader glared at Kyero, his finger obviously itching to pull the trigger as he fought the urge. He dropped the pistol to his side and placed it in its holster.

"Deal!" He shouted.

He turned to his men and began pointing to them one by one to select his chosen fighters. Kyero glanced to Linde, who nodded at him with a smile and walked a little closer to him, still in her stance.

Kyero turned and looked to the others.

"I apologize for putting you in this position, but I saw no other way out. Will you stand with us?" He asked.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

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Lonán watched the negotiations, and watched how the tension build and fester. The man in the hood just managed to do something to gain a possible chance of saving the village. Now all he had to do was survive fighting more bandits, but these are guys the leader was picking. Anything could happen. The men could fight dirty. It was a gamble, and if there was a chance he’d use his gambling purse he would have done so. He’d bet on himself to win naturally. When the man in the hood asked his question Lonán smiled and loaded his crossbow.

”I’m with you. Heresta help us all.” He said as he set the Crossbow to his waist and grasped both hands on the blade, his left hand grasping with only his thumb and first two fingers, as he got into a stance as the men got picked out one by one. ”Right, twenty of them, a small handful of us..pick out five, and fight them. Save getting angry for the last one standing if you can.” That was his strategy. He just hoped it’d go that smoothly.

If Hawk could talk, he’d say that two times out of ten does his master’s planning go so smoothly.

“Finish them off quickly!” Shouted the Leader.

Five men charged towards Lonán, who smirked at the thought of luck being partially on his side. But the moment two of them pulled out crossbows of their own, he knew he had to adapt quick. Quickly he grabbed at his own and took aim and fired. A pain shot in his arm as he felt enemy bolt do a decent scratch on his arm. ”Shit... Got him in the chest though.” He thought as he saw the other crossbowman decide to hold off in case he hit his melee comrades..wait where were they?!

WHAM!

A club struck him on the side of his face, sending him flying three feet back, causing him to glare at the one responsible and getting back into his stance putting his crossbow away again, noticing that his arm was indeed bleeding. The one with the club chuckled as Lonán gritted his teeth and used this moment of taunting to his advantage, slamming the point of his sword into the bandit with a snarl, twisting once before pulling it out.

”Screw saving anger for last man. I’m letting go now or I’m a dead man.”

”Little Raven, if they don’t wish to fight fair, remember the golden rule at that point.” the words of advice rang in his mind as a grin formed. The next man who tried to attack him got a kick to the groin area before swinging his blade into his neck, sending the Bandit’s head flying into the ruins.

A sharp bite into Lonán’s side was returned with a pommel to the nose and grabbing the perpetrator by the neck and pulling him in front of him, as he felt a thunk hit the bandit. In dropping him he glared at the final crossbowman, who by now was becoming nervous that he began fumbling with resetting it. And thus, finally Lonán let go of his rage.

”This is for the Children you’ve killed, and the people you’ve widowed! RARRRRRGH!” He cried out as he charged at the bandit who by this point dropped the crossbow and tried to bring his sword out. He desperatly swung when Lonán closed the gap on him, and swung down with all his might.

The Bandit backed away before falling into two pieces, whilst Lonán clenched his teeth. His leg caught that blow, and standing on it was getting painful, in fact he believed it stabbed his leg more then sliced it. His left arm was bleeding as that same hand pressed on an open wound on his side. He slammed his sword on the ground and glared Forward, leaning on it to survey his part of the fight.

”This is a fine mess I’ve gotten myself into, all to help people. The level of brutality they’ve caused though. I’m not going to ask for money.... this time.” he angrily muttered to himself, ”When you make it to Heresta’s domain, Tell her, that An Arzura sent you there, and that the Clan is still powerful. Heresta’s breath I’ve got a headache...”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

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How'd she get roped into this, was one of the bounty hunter's first thoughts. Always one to get caught in the cross hares no matter where she went, apparently. Was it worth it? Fighting for people she didn't even know, lest cared about? Maybe, but was getting herself killed like this what she wanted? No, of course not. But she had to fight, for herself as well as the others. She listened to the hooded man's words, and begrudgingly nodded, looking back at the men that were selected. Five looked at her, they were big, tall, strong, larger builds than her, of course. Naturally she'd get the bigger enemies, right? Was her luck after all, as it always happened. Two melee, two cross bow, and one had brass knuckles. Take out the cross bows first, then the knuckles, melee last as I can easily fend them off, she thought. She could determine who was a bigger threat easily in mere seconds. She closed her eyes and took in a deep breath and exhaled slowly, calming herself and surveying the surroundings and what she could use to her advantage before they would start.


Finish them off quickly!” Shouted the Leader. At that instant she unsheathed her twin blades, and got into a defensive position, the cross bows would need being extinguished first. As the one with brass knuckles charged at her first she grinned, she easily flipped over him as she grabbed his shoulder and pushed him using his momentum against himself, resulting in him getting a mouthful of dirt. She grinned, as one of the crossbow users started to steady a bolt, she took a bolt of her own and swiftly threw it with all of her might, causing it to pierce his right eye and lodging itself comfortably in the eye socket, his body slumping soon after as blood pooled around his corpse. One of the swordsman charged at her, almost catching her off guard, but she managed to parry his first blow, but only received a metal gloved fist to her left cheek. "Ugh..." she groaned, as blood was spat out of her mouth and onto the ground in front of her. She countered and returned an equally if not harder blow to his jaw, managing to stagger him, as the other cross bow user aimed at her, releasing his bolt, she managed to grab the swordsman who was staggered and using him as a human shield she hid behind him, the bolt piercing his chest. She swiftly dropped his body as his last breath existed his lungs, the man with the knuckles managed to come out of nowhere and get in a punch himself, causing her to stagger backwards, her mask falling off as his fist made contact. She groaned yet again, as she looked at her mask that now lay on the ground, she tightened her fist, seeing as how the mask was now cracked in half. "You bastard." she said as she looked at the man who grinned at the now unmasked Aetrius.

"Just as ugly as I had imagined. The mask is a good look for ye, girl." he said with a grin as he prepared to go in for another hit. Aetrius growled and caught his punch, only resulting in her to growl in pain as a sharp pain rippled through her wrist and forearm, it was broken for sure. "You fucking bastard, you're going to die." she yelled as she charged him, smashing him into the ground. She proceeded to give him at least three solid punches to the nose, and then the jaw, landing a solid last punch that gave a solid crack as her fist made contact with his horribly disfigured face. As she slowly stood up, she looked down at the man, and swiftly stomped his head in once, then twice, then thrice. She heard a click sound from infront of her, she looked up to see the other crossbow user taking aim at her, a small grin on her face.

"Just go for it, you bastard. Have the bollocks and just go for it alread-" she began, but suddenly felt an all too familiar feeling in her right side. She looked down to see a crossbow bolt had lodged its way into her side, a chuckle erupting from her mouth as she looked back up at the raider. "Wha....what? You're fuckin' nutts, ya know that?" the man said as he looked at the woman he had just shot in the side with his crossbow. Aetrius chuckled more, "You're all the same. You think because you have something I don't, that you're instantly better. Well guess what?" she started, she looked down back at the bolt, and with a swift motion she snapped the bolt in half, leaving the bolt side in, as anyone knows if you are stabbed, shot, or land on rebar, you never pull it out or try to get it out. You leave it in until you can get proper medical attention. "I've been shot, stabbed, trampled, burned, sliced, whipped....et cetera, et cetera. You can't kill me so easily." she said as she slowly made her way to the man, who only looked on at her in horror and awe, as she was certainly a sight to behold. She grabbed the man by the throat and hoisted him into the air, grinning, "You make a fine decoration, what says your friend?" she grinned, the man struggled to get out of her grasp, the last man with the sword charged Aetrius, who grinned and swiftly turned, to see the eyes of the man who she was holding widen. As it turned out, he had been impaled through the chest by his own comrade. She used the swordman's surprise to her advantage, and swept his feet from under him, and swiftly plunged her two swords into his chest and neck, watching him choke on his blood, and then go still.

As Aetrius looked around, she saw that Lolan had finished off his five by now, and nodded. The others had been fighting their own onslaught. But as the pain and blood loss finally hit Aetrius, she fell to her knees, gripped the crossbolt wound tightly, becoming weak and her vision clouded she fell onto her back, trying to help stop the blood flow, as her wound wasn't fatal itself, but if she kept losing blood without proper attention soon, she could very much so expire.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

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#, as written by Tanman
Okumi Chrysanth
Image



As the discussion and negotiations between the Bandit Leader and Kyero as he was known continued to a crescendo, the shrine maiden remained on alert, but she felt something rising in the pit of her stomach. And it wasn’t the fact she was hungry. Was it dread? Fear? As it was decided that she and a few others would fight for the livelihood of this town in such desperate odds, Okumi couldn’t misplace it. Twenty men, and to be divided evenly, that would be four or five each. Sure, she had fought off the occasional stray bandit or mugger in her time, but that was individually. She was practically self-taught, and by no means a professional. Instinct and quick judgement was all she had, and these men fought, murdered and pillaged for a living. She had no doubt that the warriors could handle their own, but if she fell here, would that ruin everything and the bandits would launch the all out attack? Who even knew if they’d keep their word even after this ludicrous fight?

It was at that point that Kyero and Linde turned to her and the other two warriors, apologising, but making a final plea for their assistance. At that point, there was no turning back. Giving a simple nod before holding her hand up, Okumi made a simple ‘Okay’ signal, leaning down to remove her travel bag, retrieving her Naginata and making a few steps forward into the street as her wooden sandals clacked on the ground. Undoing the clasps and string holding the sheath around the blade, Okumi tossed it back behind her towards her bag. Planting her staff, Okumi made a short but silent prayer with her hands. If this was to be another test by the gods, she would just have to find a way to meet it. Opening her eyes and pulling her Naginata from the ground, Okumi spun it twice through her hands, once again becoming accustomed to its weight. Compared to her burdens, it was light as a feather. With the pointed end pointed towards her enemy, she lowered her body, ready to face the bandits to the end. No matter what happened, this would be a defining moment of her life. It was time.

The shout of the Bandit leader to finish them rattled Okumi, and it was only then that she realised her leg was trembling. That brief moment of hesitation to glance back was almost the end of her, an arrow ripping through the air just narrowly missing her head, making her eyes widen in fear and surprise. Recoiling back as if she’d actually been hit, she barely managed to keep her footing and correct herself in time to see the two men coming at her, a longsword on one and a handaxe and shield for the other. Her hesitation was giving plenty of time for the archer and his companion with the crossbow to notch up and prepare another shot, and at this point, the last man with his pike was simply standing back and smirking. Did they not take her seriously?

“Look at this one, she’s shaking like a rabbit.” The swordsman spoke, and as the two got closer, they began to circle around her, staying wary of her range advantage over them. They knew she was scared, but they also knew that didn’t mean they could completely let their guard down. Inching about as they circled her, Okumi continued to glance between the two, while simultaneously trying to keep an eye on the three at a distance. They could fire again at any moment, and if she made a careless advance or step that could be her end. “Shame we have to mess her up. But maybe we can still have some fun if she’s not dead by the time we’re done with her?” The brute with the axe spoke that time, and made a despicable face Okumi wouldn't soon forget.

The swordsman or the axe wielder? Which would move first? Seconds later, she got her answer as the man with the blade attempted to rush forward. Immediately, Okumi adjusted her naginata, but as the man moved to the side she quickly came to the realisation that this was a feint. Attempting to turn as quickly as she could, she choked up her spear in a bid to increase the turn speed, but it was far too unwieldy to get back in time. The horizontal slash was interrupted as he caught the shaft, and in that moment, she knew he was upon her as the axe was bearing down on her shoulder. Dropping her Naginata and ducking to the side to avoid the brunt of the blow, Okumi cried out in pain as the man swiftly brought his knee into her face, sending her sprawling into the dirt as she fell back. Mocking laughter came from the man, who simply tossed her naginata to the side.

“You lost girl. Just surrender peacefully, and I’ll make sure it’s not so bad for you. It’ll be fun, trust me.” Okumi winced as she remained on the ground, glancing around her. By now, the three at the back were practically holstering their weapons, and the swordsman was letting his friend take command. Just like that, she’d already lost. She’d let everyone down. Trembling still, her hands clenched into fists as she attempted to push herself up off the ground, but she could only give out a sharp cry of pain as she was wrenched up by her hair, now looking deep into the brigand’s face as he eyed her over. Instinctively, her hands had moved to claw at the ones on her head, but she froze as she saw he’d tucked his axe into his belt and was now reaching towards her mask. “Let’s see that pretty face of yours-”

“..!” All at once, the adrenaline began to hit Okumi and her body moved. With her left hand, she lobbed a cloud of dust into his face, staggering him a moment. Next, she followed with a kick to his stomach. It wasn’t particularly strong, but it distracted him long enough for her to flick her sandal off. It was a move born of desperation, and the bandit never saw it coming as his handaxe was knocked into the air. Catching it with her right hand, Okumi swiftly switched to a reverse grip as she brought it down into his throat with a desperate war cry, punching the sharp side into a lethal cut as she fell forward with his body, the bandit’s hand going limp as she was released. Rolling forward with her momentum, she could hear the cries of alarm and swearing from the other Bandits, so she only had a few seconds to take advantage of the confusion. Getting up into a pirouette she leapt, and with surprising precision, the handaxe flew through the air, striking the man with the crossbow in a shoulder gash - not enough to kill by any means, but for now, he was incapacitated.

Her breathing heavy, Okumi continued her spin as she reached her weapon, spinning in time to look up at the swordsman approaching her. “You bitch!” He swore at her, but in his anger, his approach was predictable and he hadn’t noticed that she was once again armed. A quick thrust was all it took to pierce through his stomach, Okumi grimacing at the blood, but quickly retrieved her Naginata as she turned to look at the remaining three, now scrambling to take her down. An arrow was loosed, but Okumi was ready, her arms moving just in time as the shot became entangled between her long sleeves. The outfit was a bit ruined, but that was the least of her worries now. Both sandals lost to combat, Okumi was now sprinting up on the pike wielder, and like her, he’d moved to hold his ground and let her own momentum work against her. The difference was that Okumi knew her own weapon’s weakness, and learned from her mistakes. As he planted himself to deal with her assault, Okumi shifted, instead taking a berth around him as she didn’t stop, closing in instead on the ranged attackers of the group. Seeing Okumi so close before he could draw another arrow, the archer already had his short sword out, and charged to meet her. In this sort of scenario however, she had the advantage. Before he could get anywhere close to striking her, there was a flash of steel as the Naginata cut through the air, slicing at his torso.

Not content to stop there, Okumi was moving to follow up on the crossbowman, who was bringing his weapon to level against her despite the pain from the axe that had struck him. At this sort of range, there was no avoiding his shot, but- Crying out in pain as the bolt ripped through her shoulder, Okumi fought through the injury as she closed in for another decisive slash, stumbling a bit as she took him down. Skidding across the dirt, panting, sore and exhausted, she forced herself back up again to look at the last enemy. Raising her Naginata, she couldn’t stop her gasp of agony as it felt like a fire had been lit in her shoulder. Damn, she couldn’t wield her weapon properly with that sort of injury. Shifting her weapon to her non-dominant hand, Okumi knelt for a moment to recover before making her approach at her last adversary, her injured arm trailing somewhat limply behind her.

Reaching the final soldier, she knew she wouldn’t be fast enough to outmaneuver his pike in a joust, nor was she strong enough to brute force it away with her Naginata in her weakened state. As she closed the range, her Naginata dragging slightly along the ground in front of her, the Bandit gave his own war cry as he thrusted straight at Okumi’s core. And then, the clang of metal as it was dragged to the side, Okumi unable to stop herself from smiling behind her mask as her plan came to fruition. Using the the hook on the back of the small hand axe she’d concealed behind her, she’d managed to drag his shaft out from hitting her, even with her injured arm. Unprepared for such a close range attack, the bandit could only cry out as his final breath left him, Okumi having choked up her Naginata once more for close range stab to his neck.

As his weight fell against her, Okumi twisted and pulled her weapon free, taking a step back to let him drop to the ground as she panted, dropping the handaxe to her side. She was injured and bleeding in various places, but she was alive. And she’d won. Staggering slightly back towards the group, she felt a little dizzy, but was stable for now. Faintly, she realised she could taste blood in her mouth, likely from when she’d took that knee to the face. She’d need a new mask. Using her weapon as something of a walking stick, while her other arm clutched her shoulder, Okumi made her way towards the alleyway, stealing a glance towards her other comrades to see how they were fairing. Hopefully better than she had gone. Finally, as she reached the alleyway, she gave the faintest gesture. 'V for Victory'.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

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The battle had begun with the words "Finish them quickly!"

Kyero, keeping his gaze on the leader, didn't move a muscle as five large and well-armed men rushed at him. What followed was almost like watching a ballet. Kyero, keeping his left foot rooted in the same spot the entire time, spun, ducked, and leaned out of the way of all five as they went sailing past him.

They all spun and turned to face him again, only to hear a 'CRACK' behind them as one of them fell to the ground holding his jaw and growling in pain. They looked up and saw that Linde had just retaken her stance with hands up ready to fight.

"Take my word for it. You're nowhere near his level. So try me instead!" She goaded them.

The bandits looked to each other, looked to their comrade who was in the process of getting up revealing a now broken jaw, and then back to Linde as they all cried in rage and rushed her at the same time.

Linde quickly backpedaled away from them to keep the distance safe, and waited patiently until she saw what she was looking for.

Don't ever let multiple enemies spread out around you. It's a losing situation. Try to move until they start lining up behind one another in their desperation to reach you. It's safer, and you deal with fewer enemies at a time. Their momentum and positioning both work against them.

Linde skidded to a halt as three of them lined up with one another while she had been turning to the side, and slammed the heel of her boot in a spinning kick into the lower abdomen and upper groin of the first in line. She quickly used his momentum to spring launch backwards into a backflip, landing gracefully on her feet, and watched as they fell onto one another in a pile.

The other two, however, had gone around and were now on top of her.

Linde rushed to parry the blow of the one on her left, but received a sharp punch across the face from the one on her right sending her sprawling to the ground and skidding across the dirt. The impact and friction tore off a small layer of skin over her left cheek and forced her to bite the inside of her mouth causing blood to begin seeping inside. She spat out a mouthful of red liquid and tried to stand, but was pushed down onto the ground by the one who punched her. He straddled her, his groin above her posterior and his hands holding hers on the ground.

"How now, girlie? Still all full of that bravado, eh?" He asked.

Linde struggled to gain some form of leverage, but it was no use. The other bandit walked up beside her as the others stood up to watch with sick smiles on their faces. The one who walked up beside her kneeled down and grabbed her hair, forcing her head up so he could look at it.

"Damn. We fucked her face pretty good already."

"Well, now we're just gonna fuck her. Sound like a fair trade?" The one straddling her asked.

They started laughing and both picked her up off the ground and made moves to take off her clothing. But in doing so had to release one of her hands, and that was all she needed. The instant her hand was set free she reached up and back over her head to grab the hair of the one holding onto her and pulled his face into the back of her head, breaking his nose and staggering him. He let go, and Linde was 100% free as she ducked down and punched into the other man's groin as hard as she could. She felt something give way beneath her fist, which was rather sickening, but didn't stop there. She launched herself up and drove both fists into the underside of his chin and extended her fingers to rake his throat.

Her nails dug in deeply and slashed open eight long, neat lines of flesh along the throat which were instantly red and bloody as he staggered backwards holding his groin. As he staggered, she spun around kicking across his temple which resulted in his being knocked out. The other was just now starting to recover, and the other three were rushing in as well. She had to move fast!

She rushed to the one who was recovering and pulled his dagger from behind his back, slamming it all the up to the hilt into his kidney before pulling it free and doing so again into his lung. He would not last long, now. She pushed him forward towards his companions who went around brandishing their own weapons against her. Two swords and one double-bladed axe.

Linde jumped back to avoid the axe swing, and parried one sword stab off to the side. But the third swung down hard at her head forcing her to attempt another parry. But he was too strong and put too much force into it. The sword pushed down against her dagger and dug into her shoulder about half an inch before she managed to get control and stop him. With his blade now in her shoulder, she was free to take the dagger under his arms and slash his throat. He staggered back, gripping the now gaping wound and choking on his own blood, and fell to the ground.

Linde pushed the sword free, but was too late to stop the other sword user from slamming into her and knocking her to the ground once again. She turned and saw him aiming to stab straight down into her chest, but all she could do was roll to the side to avoid a direct blow. But he still managed to get part of the blade to slice down through the flesh of her shoulder blades causing her great pain. She rolled onto her stomach and tried to stand, but was kicked onto her side by the axe wielder who stood off to her right and aimed to decapitate her with a downward swing. Linde swiftly lurched her body sideways, scraping her fresh shoulder wounds against the dirt opening them slightly farther, and reached up to grab his groin.

He froze as his axe hit the ground next to her. She squeezed hard for all her worth until she felt two pops in her fist. She let go and rolled to her feet before pushing him around and in front of her as she sensed a stab coming behind her. She was right. The sword impaled the bandit she was using as a shield, but still managed to puncture part of her lower abdomen by about an inch or two. Linde let the two of them fall to the side after pulling herself back and off the blade, and as she tugged them both off balance she picked up the axe, held it high above her head, and drove it down into the spine of the final sword wielder.

Both men went still after a few moments, and Linde dropped to her knees panting deeply and hissing through her teeth at the pain she was in.

...

It was over.

The leader was dumbfounded and left gawking at the results.

"How-... How could this happen?"

Kyero's smile beneath the hood never left. It only grew.

"I believe we had a deal." He said, approaching the leader with both orichalcum blades drawn.

Not only was orichalcum the strongest metal on Earth and nigh indestructible, but if it was forged properly an orichalcum blade could slice through even other metals as if they were nothing but paper. A human body stood no chance.

The leader was still in shock, but he looked up at Kyero and drew his own blade to defend himself. He rushed at Kyero, and in a blink he had raised his weapon high above his head and came down aiming a slice down Kyero's middle. But for Kyero, the attempt was laughable. He simply turned his body and stepped slightly to one side, and the man's blade struck nothing but air and dirt as it embedded itself into the ground.

The leader looked up at Kyero, who pulled back his hood revealing his face, his raven black hair, and his glowing red eyes for all to see.

The leader's face went pale as a sheet, and he stammered incoherently as Kyero raised one orichalcum blade up to his throat.

"All businesses fail eventually. It's just a matter of how? And the how for you... Was hubris."

The orichalcum blade was then pushed forward with great speed force, slicing through flesh and bone before emerging behind his neck and being pushed skyward. Kyero had guided the blade through all of the soft tissues in his throat and in between the vertebrae of his spinal chord to make the cut that much cleaner. The leader's head slowly fell from his shoulders and rolled to the ground at Kyero's feet, who turned towards the others with a deadly glare.

He held the bloody orichalcum blade up and pointed it at them.

"Let this be a warning to all of you," he said loudly as he pointed his second dagger at the leader's body. "This man led you to murder the innocent for nothing but pleasure. There is no business here. Wealth comes with a price, and the price for him was death."

He turned the blade he pointed at them, blood still dripping from it to the ground.

"What will the price of whatever wealth you have accumulated be?"

The other bandits had also gone pale as sheets not only because of Kyero's eyes, but because their leader was now headless and very, very dead. Almost all of them had followed this man because he promised them wealth as part of his "business." But now... Now he was dead. And they were face to face with the Red-Eyed Demon. Sure he was just one man, but he was also the legendary assassin of their time. Even in a group of five or six they would stand no chance. Not against those orichalcum blades, and not against those eyes.

The bandits all turned on foot and on horseback and began to flee the village, disappearing beyond the buildings as they raced back to whatever hole they crawled out of.

Kyero sheathed his blades and walked over to Linde, helping pick her up and brush her off.

"The female warrior needs your help at once. I'll get started on the others."

Linde nodded, and rushed over to Aetrius.

"Just hold on miss. Keep the pressure there. I'll be right back!"

She raced to the medical tables, and thankfully her tools were all still there. She quickly gathered them all, throwing them into a bag and raced back to Aetrius' side as she began to tend to her wound.

Meanwhile, Kyero approached the others slowly and with a calm and as non-threatening an expression as he could muster. He was well aware that many of them, if not all of them, either feared him or loathed him for his reputation and the stories about his exploits as a "demon assassin" who was as evil as the creature which inhabited his body. Reputations aren't everything, but for many people they were the only impression of him they had.

He looked over towards Okumi.

"That bolt needs to be removed, carefully... Will you let me?" He asked her.

That bolt was the priority here. The other wounds received were not life threatening, but that bolt to her shoulder could be if it had either nicked or severed her brachial artery.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

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Okumi Chrysanth
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Watching Kyero engage in combat with the Bandit Leader, the girl could only wince slightly as the man was beheaded in a single clean slice. Clearly, that hooded figure was leagues above her own capability in combat, but that didn’t make the way he went about it any less gruesome. Not that she could really talk. She’d killed five men today, more than she’d intentionally done in her life up until this point. It made her stomach turn, but the alternative of leaving the innocent civilians here to die would have still stained her hands. With a few words of threat, the example that Kyero had made of their leader seemed to be enough of an example to scare them off - after all, it didn’t look like she or any others of the elected warriors would be much good against the remaining 79 or so bandits. A relief, to say the least. She didn’t much feel like dying, though her body might be arguing otherwise with the amount of pain it was in.

Having staggered slightly away from the crowd, Okumi planned to make her leave. There were too many risks in staying amongst this many people in her state. She’d established that the Wilt could be spread through the air and had taken precautions for that. When it came to her injuries however… Although contact with her blood didn’t necessarily spread the illness, no doubt if it got into someone else’s wound or was ingested the effects would be catastrophic. Gritting her teeth as her shoulder flared once again, Okumi knew she was in trouble. This wasn’t the kind of thing she could patch up with a set of bandages and medicinal herbs at home. She’d saved this village, so perhaps it was time to be a martyr. Slip off unnoticed and meet a peaceful end. Had she done enough to deserve that..?

"That bolt needs to be removed, carefully... Will you let me?" A deeper voice sounded beside her, startling Okumi slightly as she turned, pivoting around the pole of her weapon. She’d been kneeling down to retrieve her bag, and hadn’t fully realised his approach or concern for her. Looking up, she met his red, glowing eyes, and was suddenly struck with tales from her childhood and travellers she’d met at the shrine. The Red-Eyed demon… Even as a priestess, she’d always assured herself that those rituals she performed were more of a tradition than any sort of actual method of containing or stopping a demonic presence. Somehow, the stories seemed a little more real in that moment. Slowly pushing herself back up, Okumi did her best to force a smile behind her mask, shaking her head slightly. She couldn’t risk having someone else deal with this and becoming infected. Gesturing with a point to herself, Okumi made the simple ‘okay’ symbol again, hoping that her message was clear: ‘I’m okay’.

Except she wasn’t, and that would be clear to anyone that looked at her. She was disheveled and barely managing to keep herself standing and moving. In fact, she thought she might faint if she stopped, so that was why she refused to. Making a pulling motion towards her heart, Okumi then pointed to Kyero, putting her hands together in a clasp, then pointed at Lonán. She wasn’t sure if he got the message, but what she was trying to say was thank you, followed by directing Kyero to help Lonán rather than prioritising her. Then, while he was busy with that, she’d make her escape from the scene.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

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Kyero observed Okumi carefully, his eyes narrowing at her gestures.

"If you mean to tell me you're all right, you're not fooling anyone. If that bolt isn't removed it will become septic, and you have given too much to these people and this village to allow that to happen."

Kyero flipped his hood back up just in case any villagers came back, not wanting to cause a stir. But he stepped forward and scooped Okumi into his arms and carried her over to Linde who was finishing helping Aetrius with her wound. He set Okumi down, and Linde shared her tools with him. He carefully cut the fabric of Okumi's outfit around the bolt and applied the same tactic Linde had. Applying a bit of numbing paste and creating two small incisions to remove the bolt before inspecting it for tissue and arterial damage before sewing it shut.

Linde was fast running out of supplies though. But with Okumi's most significant wound treated for the time being, Kyero helped her to her feet and looked to the others.

"We don't have enough supplies to treat all of your wounds. You should head to the local clinic. It's just down the South Road."

Linde had just finished helping Aetrius as he made the announcement.

"You won't come with us?"

He shook his head.

"It would be unwise for you all to be seen with me, regardless of what we accomplished here. You and the local doctor can finish this without me."

"Okay, but will we see you again?"

He nodded.

"I intend to follow those bandits to see where they went and what they're planning to do. They retreated for now, but there's no guarantee my threat will keep them away. I need to be sure."

"Then wait for me. I wish to be sure of that as well. Once I have seen to their injuries, and my own, I will come with you."

Kyero was clearly hesitant to take her up on her offer.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

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Lonán’s head was swimming at the moment. He felt the area where his head was struck swell, making a good lump on his head and making the pain feel like his head got hit by a wagon. He caught glimpses of the other fights but it seems by some miracle, they survived the onslaught, and the hooded man began his assault on the leader as he promised to do. The short work of the leader and the sudden fear in the now broken gang made it clear this man was no ordinary human. In fact, all the rumors and ghost stories began to flood in his head, though it ached his mind so.

About a man with red glowing eyes. If this man had them, then Lonán knew he was in the presence of someone who could kill him and end his Clan Line without even a second thought.

Then the Angelic Knight and He began to help others, the masked woman being the more seriously injured being tended to by the former and the spear wielder being approached by the latter. Lonán needed a drink, but his flask was in his saddlebag. Hooking his good arm around his blade handle, he gave two sharp whistles to signal Hawk it was safe to come to him. He watched as Hawk came out of the hiding place, leading the Mare he had been instructed to protect, causing him to sigh in relief. ”Hawk. Come.” he simply said. The sooner the drink came the sooner he can take the edge off his headache and concentrate on his other injuries.

Hearing the Hooded man talking to the mute woman, who almost told him to tend to the red haired warrior first, caused a chuckle to come out of Lonán. ”I’ll be fine, A good drink and a little visit to a doctor will fix me up...and cost me a bit from my gambling purse..” The latter part he muttered to himself as he watched both The Angelic Knight and the Red Eyed Demon fix up the two women.

Then the Demon announced his intentions and next instructions and Linde almost interjecting her insistence to go with him. ”Some of those wounds on you need rest to fix. And plus, I’m in this as much as you both are now Milady. Allow me to accompany you whilst he scouts ahead. If he is who I think he is, he can handle himself for a while.” He said, trying to intercede and come with a better plan of action, one that gave a bit more strength in their numbers as well as a second opinion. ”It’s just a thought-ow my brain box...” Hawk seemed to whinny a chuckle, causing his owner to glower at him.

Someone was not getting sugar with his oats tonight, that was for certain.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

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Okumi Chrysanth
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The man eyed her over, and Okumi felt like he was appraising her somewhat. Either that or her curious mannerisms was leading him to become more scrutinizing. Okumi wasn’t aware that what Kyero was actually doing was working out how to deal with her. It seemed he was determined to assist her, so she’d simply have to get her parchment roll and spell out why that wasn’t a good idea. As he flipped up his hood and stepped towards her, Okumi’s thoughts raced as she tried to work out what he was doing, as she’d only just started kneeling towards her bag. “..!!..” Moments later she felt her legs swept out from under her, and found herself somewhat embarrassed but equally surprised how firm he felt as he carried her across the street. Firm… But still gentle. Not wanting to fall, and not quite knowing what to do with herself in being treated in such a manner, Okumi held on until she was set down nearby Linde and the other woman, the warrior who seemed in worse shape than she was.

Now seated, Okumi could only watch as Kyero set about getting the tools he needed to remove the crossbow bolt. Taking the time to look him over herself, she could tell he was indeed greatly concerned, but what she was more concerned with was the presence of any cuts or injuries on him. Seeing none, despite her initial embarrassment she reluctantly relented, turning her body to allow him access to her main wound. Even with the numbing paste, it was a painful extraction. The process was uncomfortable, not the least of which was after he’d cut into her maiden’s outfit she was forced to slide it down her arm, leaving her shoulder and an uncomfortable amount of her side showing, her chest bandages apparent to keep her dignity, as did the way she held her arm. Still, he was respectful enough in treating the wound, and Okumi couldn’t deny she was grateful. The white of her outfit was stained a deep red from blood, and Okumi was aware that she didn’t have too much else to change to; especially with her travel bag. She’d have to acquire cloth and dye and make herself something new when she returned to her little abode.

Once he was done and helped her to her feet, the shrine maiden took a loose strip of cloth from her sleeves, tying it tightly to hold the shoulder of her outfit up and into place to reduce her amount of exposure. Turning to Kyero, Okumi made the same gesture she had before to indicate thanks, however, his attention was diverted to Linde and the others, and she self-consciously stopped herself from doing anything more to distract him. The talk moved to following the bandits, of which Linde and Lonán planned to accompany Kyero when given a chance. Depending on which way that lead them, she might be able to provide them some modest accomodation at her shrine. Still, if she was going to be attending another clinic, she’d have to make preparations. Retrieving the long roll of parchment in her bag, she unfurled a small portion, writing out a simple message dictating the danger of her blood before tearing along the base and rolling it up. Tying it with a simple rope, she cut that with her Naginata in a practiced motion. Seemed she wrote stuff like that regularly.

For now, she was set as she’d ever be, but even as they meandered towards the clinic, Okumi’s thoughts turned to the people she’d met. Who was Kyero? Was he really that notorious figure, the red-eyed demon? And what was his connection to Linde? If he was a demon, why had he been so kind to her and the people of the village? She had a lot of questions playing across her mind, but she’d become so used to her solitude and remaining silent she didn’t really know how to speak and ask them anymore. So instead she’d simply follow. Maybe she’d get her answers if she remained with them a little longer. After all, she did miss company. And if she could aid and thank them for that by allowing them to stay at her place on the mountain road, that would make her happy. For now, she wandered to retrieve her sandals and the other bits of belongings she held before they completely left the area.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

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Kyero and Linde nodded to one another before turning to the others. Kyero walked away, disappearing around the corner of a nearby building while Linde faced everyone.

"Please follow me, everyone. The local clinic is just down this way."

Aetrius, as she was called, was initially reluctant. But with a little friendly persuasion Linde managed to convince her to accompany Lonan to the stables nearby to tie their horses while they came to the clinic.

Once everyone was present, Linde and the local doctor got to work. They dressed their cuts, applied basic pain killers to some water or tea, whichever was preferred, and had them drink, etc. Other wounds which were more serious were dressed with antiseptic paste, sewn if need be, and given pads and medical bandage wraps.

In total, tending to all four of them, Linde included, took about two hours. But once everyone was fully taken care of they all remained in the clinic in their medical beds to rest and relax.

By early evening, they had all woken up from a group nap and had gathered at the inn just across the way. They shared a series of rooms joined by a central meeting room, usually reserved for VIP guests such as nobles or royals, but today the massive suites had been conveniently rented for them by a 'friend.'

Linde faced everyone with a smile, hoping to break the ice, and stood up to bow to everyone.

"I suppose a more proper introduction is in order." She said, clearing her throat.

"My name is Linde Xe' Almna. I hail from the capitol city here in Cre' Est, and work in the Almna Apothecary and Clinic which I founded four years ago. Since then I have both been running the clinic and doing volunteer work in situations just like today, though usually it had less of a violent ending... It's a pleasure to meet you all."

She sat down, looking to her right where Lonan was seated.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

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The nap Lonán had at the Clinic was well deserved. The treatments helped his injured limbs, head and side. The lump on his head has gone down a tad and now he, along with the other defenders were in a meeting place with the other defenders, minus the man in the hood, whom he had suspicions about his identity but didn’t care at the moment. There were bandits to find and kill obviously. They were scared off but who knows where they went?

Linde got up and felt the need for proper introductions. Lonán silently nodded as she introduced herself completely. Nodding as she explained what she was doing here and what she usually does. Then she sat down and turned to him, to see if he would like to introduce himself. There was a moment where he almost was lost in her gaze for a moment before clearing his throat.

Standing up with a nod he began with, ”Greetings. I am Lonán Arzura. I’m an adventurer of sorts. I wander the continent looking for work from repairs to escorting trade caravans or provide security for when disasters such as that storm several days ago.”

Heaving a sigh he braced himself for the more personal facts. ”I am from Saharan, where I was born to a powerful Clan of Warriors. My Grandfather was rather famous before retirement to try his hands at blacksmithing. If you’ve heard of tales of a person called ‘The Iron Wolf’ that’s him. I picked up skills from both his jobs, but am always willing to learn new sword skills or learn about new metals, to potentially improve my weapons of course. I came here, as I’ve said, hoping to help the town any way I can.”

He sat down with a small, yet sheepish grin waiting for the next person to speak. There was no need to poke into his past just yet. Better to wait until he knew everyone first, and become friends with them first before sharing his life tale.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

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She reluctantly went with the others to the inn and clinic for rest and further healing that Linde could't help provide. As the others were brought to their rooms at the inn and rested, Aetrius sat down and thought, getting lost in her thoughts as she usually would do when alone. While she was here she would try to find answers for her sister, if she could that is, as well as any possible bounties she could acquire, eventually she had fallen asleep for a few hours, if even that. When she was awoken by the others she groaned, as she was in still slight pain as her injury would need more time to fully heal. She slowly sat up and remained in her bed while the others introduced herself, not being one to care for introductions she caught bits and pieces of what they had to say, as she wouldn't be with them for much longer.

She was caught off guard when Lonán looked to her, she blinked and gave him an odd look in return. But as she understood, they'd want her to introduce herself next. She sighed and sat up properly, her arms wrapped around her legs as she held them to her chest, not using her energy to stand up allbeit she was still rather weak. "I don't plan on sticking around Atlum for very long, and don't exactly think it's needed to know who I am. But...Fine." she sighed and looked up at everyone and spoke again, "All you need to know is that I go by the name of Aetrius, Aetri for short...Not that is matters. I'm a Bounty Hunter by trade, looking for more bounties to acquire is why I even came to Atlum, well originally came here for respite...But to only have gotten wrapped up in more trouble than it was worth, I suppose.." she gave a slight chuckle, but groaned as her side began to hurt her again, "I guess...That's all you really need to know...I also don't tend to get very close to others, so there's no real reason for you to try, not that you should though. And, if there's a bounty you need done, I'm your girl for the job, won't be a sloppy kill like most are now a days. Swift, clean kill, usually..." she said rather a factually as she looked at the others again, she looked down and away as she remembered she wasn't wearing her mask, feeling naked and exposed without it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

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Okumi Chrysanth
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The doctor had been highly accommodating, especially when Okumi shared the parchment explaining her condition. Thankfully, she’d been gifted a few masks - a fresh one to wear, as well as a few spares should she find herself needing them again. Her wounds were patched up carefully, the doc taking care to remain clean and wear gloves while handling them before disposing of the dirtied material. Unfortunately, there were no fresh clothes for Okumi, so she had to make do with her tattered shrine maiden outfit for now. The rest she had after did her a lot of good, as did the food she received; and thankfully, she was able to get some privacy to consume it and did not have to worry about her illness spreading.

When the group reconvened to stay at the inn, Okumi had initially been hesitant, but with the light beginning to fade, it would be quite dark before she got home, and the maiden could only hope that it hadn’t been ransacked by the bandits by this point. Not only that, but she wasn’t in the shape to fend off anything dangerous, so it seemed to be the safer judgement to remain for now. Sitting with the others in the meeting room, she listened to their introductions in full despite fumbling around her bag. Those that bothered to watch her found that she retrieved a somewhat sizeable length of parchment before getting to work writing on it, looking up only to nod and express interest in what they were saying. By the time Aetrius finished her little speech and looked away, Okumi was done.

With everyone’s eyes on her, Okumi lifted and flipped the parchment, absolutely beaming behind her mask as she got to show her work. The parchment read with two words: ‘Okumi Chrysanth’. The handwriting was quite fancy, but the shrine maiden really had gone the extra mile, drawing a small flower to further symbolise her surname, as well as a small very simple caricature of herself. Just in case anyone wasn’t sure what the name stood for, she’d also drawn an arrow pointing from the name up to her face relative to how she was holding it. Setting that parchment aside, Okumi retrieved the next one, but rather than hold it up as a presentation, she instead passed it to her left and let it go around the group, as it was more formally written on and explained more about who she was.

‘Local Shrine Maiden. I came to assist in honouring and burying the dead. My home and shrine is out of town within the mountains if you wish to stay on your travel from here. It is not much, but it is all I have to offer in thanks.’ As the parchment went around, Okumi watched and waited for any questions. She probably could have covered why she wore the mask and why she didn't speak, but alas, it didn't really occur to her. For now, she simply gave a pleasant wave as a further greeting to her companions.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

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Linde nodded to Lonán's greeting, smiling sweetly for him as he made his introduction. After he was finished, she gave him a quick, "Well met, Lonán."

Aetrius was next, and Linde repeated her "well met" greeting to her as well. However Linde was somewhat put off and concerned by her dismissive and distant tone. It seemed she didn't seek any kind of companionship, nor want it. And for Linde this was a rather foreign concept. However she seemed polite enough when she wanted to be, so Linde gave her the benefit of the doubt, being a bounty hunter who had just gone through a tough battle and gotten hurt.

And finally there was Okumi, who was absolutely adorable! Linde could hardly contain her amusement and how cute she thought the girl was with her name and drawing. She made an audible "awwwwwww" sound which rose in pitch to the end as she beheld the little doodling on the name presentation.

The information about Okumi was passed around, and Linde gave her a "well met" greeting before the parchment was returned to the girl.

"Seems we all share a desire to help when needed. I am grateful for that. Had you all not been here today things may have ended up very differently. And not in a good way."

She slowly looked around the circle.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth

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Upon being introduced to everyone, and mentally ‘awwing’ Okumi’s drawing skills, Lonán listened to Linde’s thanks for helping out. The young swordsman only nodded. ”Well... I expected to fight them eventually anyway, just later then sooner. This was a surprise.” He said. These bandits decided to come back. Usually bandits don’t come back. And what war was the former leader talking about?

Lonán wasn’t sure. He didn’t catch a rumor of war in his travels, either it was recent or he was dead drunk when the news reached his ears.

”We should also thank our now mutual friend, who is scouting out the rest of them. Not sure if they’ll be back but it’s nice to know where they’re roosting and cut out the problem at its source if possible. Question is, what do we do know?” he asked that part, avoiding the main subject. He didn’t want to ask directly if the man in the hood was the red eyed demon. if the daggers and the red eyes weren’t proof enough, Linde’s words might.

He took a look around the Hotel suite he was in with everyone, and a small bit of nostalgia hit his mind when he joined his grandfather on weapons delivery as a child. He couldn’t help but mentally laugh. It was a reminder of his life before he was on his own. Maybe being with this group was a sign from Heresta to not be on his own, and join up with this group. He’d follow Her will when he felt it was so.

But Heresta help him if it leads to trouble! ”What I mean is if there is a definite plan?” He corrected himself.