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Hanzo Susanoo

"Taste the power of flesh -- at the cost of humanity."

0 · 1,149 views · located in Modern Fantasy

a character in “Branches of Power”, as played by Crooked Thoughts

Description

Hanzo Susanoo : The Onimusha
Image
"Taste the power of flesh -- at the cost of humanity."


Profile

Name: Hanzo Susanoo

Nickname: Haze, Haze-San, Han

Alias: Onimusha

School: Conjurer

Race: Japanese
Age: 27

Gender: Male

Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual

Theme Song: [url=/]Song Name[/url]




Details

Hair: Cut to fall just at his shoulders, Haze's hair is jet black and always managed and well groomed.

Facial Hair: Usually, haze prefers his face to be smooth and void of facial hair. Other times, he will grow in a full goatee. In rare cases, he can be seen with gruff beard when he has not got around to shaving.

Eyes: An inherited trait of his family, Haze's eyes are a brilliant emerald green.

Build: A rigorous training routine and dangerous lifestyle keeps Haze in peak physical condition. He is lean with muscle evenly distributed throughout his body.

Skin Tone: Haze has a healthy olive skin tone.

Height: Another Susanoo family trait is being tall and long, and Haze is no exception, appearing taller than the 5'10 he stands at.

Weight: With 0% body fat and 100% muscle Haze weighs in at 190 lbs.

Handed: Although Haze is naturally a lefty, he was taught to be ambidextrous.

Body Markings: Haze is covered from head to toe with colored tattoos, which because of his unique skill set, they are in constant motion and roaming his body.

Scar Tissue: Haze, surprisingly, doesn't have a single scar on his body.


Clothes

ImageHead
Oni Mask: When not relaxing, Haze can be found with a mask covering his face that resembles an oni demon. The mask covers his entire face and has long white falling from the back. It surprisingly sturdy and has not been broken since he first donned it many years ago.

Neck
Jade Serpent: The only thing he has left of his parents, is this small trinket that hangs from neck. It is quite valuable as it is made of jade and embed with emerald jewels. But, Haze would never part with it.

Chest
Hooded Cloak: A simple black is the only piece of clothing that ever touches Haze's upper body. He has taken to it more so since his departure from the shroud. The fabric blends nicely with the shadows, allows his body to breathe, yet insulates him comfortably.

Back
Lamentation: When not masked and hidden, his sword is always on his back if not in hand. It is wrapped heavily in bandages to stop prying eyes, but unravels without hindrance when killing must be done.

Arm/Shoulder
Arm Guards: Metal guards protect Haze's forearms. They are fashioned of steel and custom designed with the head of an oni resting on the wrist. The oni's fangs protrude just far enough past the fist to be used as weapons.

Right Hand
Nothing.

Left Hand
Nothing.

Right Accessory
Nothing.

Left Accessory
Nothing.

Waist
Rope Belt: A simple rope belt is tied around Haze's waist. There are sometimes pouches tied to the belt as well that contain various objects. No matter what, he always has his pipe and notepad on him, though.

Legs
Hakama: A black hakama is the most clothing you will ever Haze wear. The moment it becomes publicly acceptable to be nude or without pants, he will be the first to do so. Until then, he will continue to wear this.

Shin Guards: Much like his arm guards, Haze's shin guards are made of the same material and feature the same design. Except, the oni's horns are used as weapons instead of the fangs.

Feet
Tabi: Haze wears tabi around his feet, to further muffle the sound of his footsteps as well as offer comfortability.

Geta Sandals: Haze is not a big fan of shoes, so when he is not barefoot he is usallly wearing a pair of steel plated geta sandals.


Weapons

Primary Weapon

ImageWeapon Name: Wrath of Bishamon

Weapon Type: Magic

Material: Spiritual Essence

Weapon Description/Info: The Wrath of Bishamon is a tattoo design featuring a series of images which cover Haze's entire body. The ink used is made of the rarest ingredients... besides being made from the ink of a Kraken (giant squids that dwell in the deeper parts of the ocean); it is enchanted and imbued with the blood of Bishamon. Thought to be a god in his time, Bishamon was a powerful oni warrior. As a king, he ruled over a vast kingdom which spanned across the world, and was general to the fiercest army during that time period. He eventually met his demise, though, and was banished to a different plane. In spite of this, one of his devout followers managed to store some of his blood. With this blood, two things were done: a series of phylacteries were made and scattered throughout the world, and the blood was infused with the follower's bloodline to forever forge a connection with the banished god and what is left of his following. This bloodline still thrives as the Susanoo Clan, also known as the Jade Serpents of which Haze was born into, but unaware of.

Haze is a rare breed of conjurer, who has the aptitude to use the infamous technique of Tattoo Summoning. It is known throughout the world by many other names and can be performed through various methods, but what it all comes down to is: the ability to bring one’s own art to life. With the aid of the special ink, magic, and alchemy, this is all made possible. Even with all that, one could not reach the level of animation Haze has. This is because Haze's ink is possessed by the spirit of a powerful being. Not only does this give his art superb sentience, but it has made his body a living canvas. Every image on his body is in constant motion and has the same tangible effects it does as its real life counterpart.

There are a number of feats Haze can perform with this skill, all revolving around unleashing a variety of beast. What he cannot do is create things freehand. If he is not in possession of more ink or already inked on his body, then he cannot give life to his creations. Where this is counter-balanced, is the quantity of which he can summon from his body. But, just like any other mage, performing magic can take its toll.

Ultimately, Haze can summon Bishamon himself. Appearing in the form of a ghastly pair of arms with hands and a floating head, Bishamon lends his power to Haze. Strength, and innate magic, are the gifts bestowed by this summoning. Haze receives a boost to his overall endurance and strength, enabling him to do more damage and lift heavier objects, as well as increase his damage and pain thresholds. Every blow from Haze has the power to shatter earth and stone. His hands also grow phantom claws that are sharp like daggers. In addition to his other enhancements, there are a few innate magical abilities. For instance, Haze's sight becomes so potent that it can penetrate the darkest night and discern the strongest magic. He is also able to spew forth a phantasmal torrent of flames that have no sound and burn coldly. If touched by these flames, the burning will not cease until the summoning has ended.

While summoning Bishamon grants Haze a plethora of abilities, it is not without its downfalls. The cost of such power is dire, one that must be paid in blood. To sustain the summoning, a constant flow of souls is required otherwise the summoning will come to an abrupt end after only a few minutes. Whether this debt is paid or not, the summoning takes quite a toll on Haze's body. Often, he is left weary and severely drained in power and stamina. Also, any injuries sustain before or after still exist and can become greater; though the boost in endurance allows him to push through the pain. Haze's body has not yet adapted to this change and so he cannot withstand the strain brought on by the summoning, nor has he gained enough power to summon Bishamon at a moment's notice or twice in a day. So summoning Bishamon is always his last resort, usually only happening when he is in need.

Secondary Weapon

ImageWeapon Name: Lamentation "State of Sorrow"

Weapon Type: Broadsword

Material: Enchanted Steel

Length: 6 ft

Weight: 15 lbs

Weapon Description/Info: The words here are just filler, or stuffing used to supplement descriptions and explanations until a later date. Until then, they will be as you see and used by me as a visual aid to show the outcome of the design scheme. Once I find time I will edit this, so check back regularly for updates.

The words here are just filler, or stuffing used to supplement descriptions and explanations until a later date. Until then, they will be as you see and used by me as a visual aid to show the outcome of the design scheme. Once I find time I will edit this, so check back regularly for updates.

The words here are just filler, or stuffing used to supplement descriptions and explanations until a later date. Until then, they will be as you see and used by me as a visual aid to show the outcome of the design scheme. Once I find time I will edit this, so check back regularly for updates.


Bio

Marital Status
Single

Occupation
Master Assassin
Birthplace
The shadow of Mt. Fuji, in a small unamed village.

Relatives
None: With his original family dead and his adopted family disowned, Haze has no one left to call family.






Bio/History

Haze was born to a powerful and wealthy family, known as the Susanoo Clan. He had parents and siblings, and a lot more relatives who all loved him dearly. His life would have been full of joy, unfortunately, he never got to experience it. On the same night Haze was born, also happened to be the same night his entire family would be murdered.

-Born to Susanoo clan
-Family murdered night of his birth
-Taken in by killers
-Raised by the Gokudō, Oyabun and Wife who could not have kids, became his parents
-Taught the assassin arts and how to use his powers
-Prominent and humble member, part of elite branch called the Shadō
-Eventually learns the truth about his past
-Seeks revenge, murders father and steals prize sword
-Hunted by brother and clan
-Has been on the run for years, thought to be free of them
-Joins group's cause for lack of anything better to do

So begins...

Hanzo Susanoo's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hanzo Susanoo Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Jaida Knowls Character Portrait: Rita Saotome Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: David Young
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#, as written by Basta
Branches of Power-The Beginning


This was it. Her first recruit. Lily Crishon attempted to look normal, sipping her tea and casually glancing over the passersby, but inside she was wound up tighter than a rubber band ball. Any one of them could be the government agent, a fact that made her even more nervous. What did this person look like? Were they here with backup? Too many variables were unaccounted for and she didn't like it.

Less than three months ago, Lily had been a part of a crazy, Goddess worshiping cult that wanted to take over the world. When she'd found out, she bailed faster than a sprinter off of the starting line. Of course they tried to track her down, but after losing four agents to her, they just decided to deal with her when the time came, if ever. Bad choice on their part.

As soon as she left, Lily started spreading fliers and job offers, informing any one who would listen that she wanted to train up an elite group of mages to combat an "evil rival faction of bastards", as she called it. Disclosing the true intent of the cult would only cause them to re-locate and go underground, ruining her chances of finding them. Last week she hit pay dirt when she opened a mysterious e-mail from someone she'd never heard of before. The message inside was simple.

"Is the offer still open?" Of course she'd replied in the affirmative. Lily wasn't going to pass up an opportunity to get someone to her cause. The next day, another e-mail arrived, this time stating that a high ranking government official was interested in working for her. They'd asked for a time and place to meet. Being a bit suspicious, Lily told them to meet her in two days at her favorite café in her new hometown, Fagiolo Birrai, at three PM. The name always made her chuckle a bit, but they had the best coffee in town. That, plus home field advantage was always nice to have.

Lily pulled her long-coat closer around her body, trying to hide Holimel's Eye. While most people weren't unfamiliar with magical artifacts, the mundane human being still acted wary around those that possessed them. One never knew when such a device might backfire and explode. She didn't want to scare away this newcomer after all, seeing as to how they would be her first recruit if they met the bill. Just as she looked down to check Holimel's Eye for the time, someone plopped into the chair opposite her which caused Lily to jump and swear loudly.

"My, my...A bit skittish are we?" chuckled the man. "Lorry, Roger Lorry. At your service," he declared, as if he expected her to gasp in surprise and begin to fawn over him. Lily simply raised an eyebrow at her guest, saying nothing. When she finally did open her mouth, she simply muttered something under her breath and looked at the man intensely. After a minute, she frowned and tried again. Lorry smirked at her, as if he knew something painfully obvious that she didn't. After she tried a third time, he made a small amused sound and put his hand on hers. Before she could recoil and smack him, a small trickle of energy seeped into her arm, causing her eyes to widen.

"Satisfied?" he asked with that same cocky grin. "There's not many of us around, Lily Crishon. I think you'd like to have someone with my talents on your side. However, before we go any further, let's talk...Rewards. I don't work for free, after all." Lily frowned at Roger, but still said nothing. She mulled it over in her head for a second, her eyes wandering over his form absentmindedly. Finally, she sighed and pulled out her wallet.

"How much?" Roger regarded her cooly for a moment, then replied with "Two hundred thousand a month." Lily's eyes practically boggled out of her head as her mouth spluttered and grunted, uncomprehending. That was more money than she'd ever seen in her life! How was she gonna pay him such an exorbitant fee? Lorry couldn't keep a straight face any longer, however, and he guffawed at her expression.

"I'm joking! Five thousand a month will more than cover my bill. Your expression was priceless though! When do we start?" Desperately restraining herself from jumping the table and strangling the man, Lily shook her head and exhaled through her nose, trying to calm herself.

"Now. You get your government fingers onto the Internet and find anything you can about other magically gifted people. Come to my place when you get your equipment. It's on Fiore che Sboccia street. The third floor, fifth door on the right. Big stone apartment building, you can't miss it. I'll leave the door unlocked."

Lorry nodded and unfolded himself from his chair, stretching out the kinks in his legs and sauntering away. Lily quickly made her way home, setting up a good area to meditate in her living room. Just as she was about to settle in, Roger budged the door open and dumped a steel suitcase onto the floor, letting out a breath he'd been holding.

"Just set up anywhere, then? Right. I'll be here in the kitchen," he stated, more to himself than anyone else. Lily ignored him and plucked Holimel's Eye out of its socket. Letting out a deep sigh, she allowed herself to tune into the magical device, plugging herself into the Ley Line that ran under the street next to her and let her mind expand itself along the entirety of the system.

Over the next 36 hours, Lily and Roger worked diligently, using their respective talents to compile a decent list of potential candidates. They narrowed the list from hundreds to twenty, and ultimately to the final six.

"So, we've got a Necromancer, one David Young, a Conjurer named Hanzo Susanoo, an Elementalist named Isabel Fayth...pretty name...Two Alchemists, Jaida Knowls and Rita Satome respectively, and a Blood mage named Zhang Xiao. Everyone else was either too far off to make it worth it or not talented enough, huh? I guess it'll have to do. Let's get moving, Lily. We've got a lot of work ahead of us.

First on the list, David Young, wasn't hard to track down once they knew his name. Lily and Roger attended Sunday Mass, waiting until all of his "flock" had left before they approached him. While skeptical of Lily's so called cult, he was more attentive when Roger let slip that he knew David was a Necromancer. Since it wasn't exactly common knowledge, he concluded (correctly) that these two strangers either had a lot of power, or were telling the truth. Since the first option didn't make much sense taking into account Lily's story, he told them that once he'd arranged a replacement Father for the church, he'd accompany them. Lily handed David a plane ticket for the end of the month and told him that she'd come to pick him up from the airport in Italy at the appointed time.

Next, they hunted down Isabel Fayth. Likewise, knowing her name put her up on a registry for a bar. The duo ordered a pitcher each, and a bowl of peanuts. When Izzy brought out their order, she caught a glimpse of a stack of papers that Lorry was leafing through with her name and photo on it. Roger had figured that this girl would be very down to earth, and possibly a bit cynical, so he figured the best way to get her co-operation was to show her that they knew everything about her, but were still willing to ask for her help. Isabel was of course on her guard and more than a little bit confrontational towards Lily and Lorry, as expected. She calmed down a bit when Lily pulled out Holimel's Eye and showed her that she was similarly a mage. Lily explained why they needed her help, with Lorry helpfully interjecting that it was a paying job. He named monthly salary with a four figure sum almost double what she made in her current job. Isabel turned in her two weeks notice on the spot. Lily produced another plane ticket, repeating the instructions that she'd given David.

Jaida Knowls was the next one in their sights. Her shop was harder to find, since it was one of those hole-in-the-wall places, but find it they did. Jaida proved to be one of the more striking individuals that Lily had the fortune to meet up with, what with her pale complexion and white hair. Still, she looked good spirited enough. Jaida didn't seem to be much of a conversationalist, but Lily wasn't surprised since she was asking the other woman to pack up all her things and just go with a complete stranger, on an unknown mission that may or may not cost her her life, so all things considered the Alchemist was quite friendly. Still, it took a bit of negotiating (and some legal background hint-dropping by Lorry) to convince the girl to come with them. While Lily didn't like strong-arming someone into a potentially deadly situation, she needed this woman. Lily planned to make it up to her later...somehow. After it was all said and done, Jaida had decided to accompany them instead of taking the plane route.

Saotome Sundries came up as their following destination. They made quite a name for themselves in the world of potions and poultices, but Lily hoped that Rita wouldn't be one of those types that believed she was too good for adventuring. Roger and Lily had tried to brainstorm a way to get this girl on their side, but their salvation came from a direction they weren't expecting. Jaida started chatting Rita up about various alchemical techniques and methods, warming the other girl for Lily and Roger's approach. Lily appealed to Rita's desire to improve herself, claiming that she'd improve another hundred fold in her time with their group. Lorry touted Lily's imaginary fountain of wealth, claiming that Rita would get paid compensation for having to leave her business and mother behind. In the end, why Rita decided to join were known only to her, but she agreed. Lily gave her the now standard plane ticket and explained what was expected of her.

Zhang Xiao, daugher to the famed Vice Commander Hetaigo Xiao was deceptively hard to track down. After Vice Commander Xiao died, his wife and children fell upon his earthly goods like carrion animals, leaving nothing for his youngest. Luckily she was well known in the city, and the trio traced her to an inn downtown. Zhang, after having lived on her own for a year, had hardened up and was a little belligerent towards them, however when they offered her a chance to gain back the riches she'd had before plus interest, as well as a journey to prove her strength to herself and the world, she changed her tune. Xiao, having very little in the way of worldly possessions, took up travels with Lily's growing crew.

The last man on the list, and certainly the hardest to locate, was the mysterious Conjurer, Hanzo Susanoo. They decided that the most plausible way to find an assassin was to put out a hit request, however, and that's just what they did. Roger Lorry subtly spread a rumor that someone was looking for a man named Haze and wanted to kill him. Lorry left an address at each place he visited, hoping that one of them would do business with the shadow man at some point. Apparently, word didn't take long to travel, as the next night one of the wards that Lily had rigged up in their temporary staying place alerted her of an intruder. Lily got a lucky shot on Haze with Holimel's Eye, catching him off guard and giving her enough time to convince him that he wasn't really wanted dead. Quite the opposite, actually. Lily explained that she wanted someone of his talents to accompany her on her journey to stop a crazy cult from destroying the world. Haze accepted immediately, simply because he had nothing better to do with his time. While surprised, Lily was pleased that she didn't have another person to owe exorbitant amounts of money to.

Finally, the time came to unite everyone and get started. While each of them were gifted in their own way, they still weren't a coherent team and they all had room to grow. Once back in Italy, Lily hijacked a large flatbed truck and picked up the remaining three members of her new group from the airport. The ride to her hidden castle was long, boring and dusty, but the view of the Italian countryside was beautiful. As she pulled into the tunnel that led to the front gates, she explained that she discovered this place during her search for everyone, and that it was ideally located in the center of a square of the Ley Line gridwork. The tunnel went under the hilly environment, occasionally opening up to show the sky or to allow in a small stream.

As Lily parked the truck, she told everyone to find a room in the castle and get settled, but to watch out for bugs or snakes, as the place hadn't been cleared completely yet. The group took the time to stretch and unload all their cargo, filing one by one into the castle.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hanzo Susanoo Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: David Young Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Arke
Reminiscing about the past wasn't must of a favorite for Roger Lorry, the self-proclaimed mercenary. The day he caught wind of Crishon's efforts to find some sort of Cultist Group, he hopped onto the opportunity- the girl seemed desperate enough, and with desperation comes a higher paycheck. There wasn't much else to say, though tracking down Susanoo was quite tricky even with his fingers dipping into one of the most comprehensive archives in his country. He almost thought the girl had been joking when she decided to recruit him, but a job was a job.

For better or worse, it worked out in the end. They've had a fairly strained response, but when one was digging up mud to "incentivise" them to join, it was to be expected. By the time this was all over, he'd certainly would have made some enemies. Lorry didn't mind it too much, because he was good at vanishing, and based on the records, the only one who could possibly track him was Susanoo. The funny thing was, the elusive assassin seemed eager to take Crishon up on her offer, so he didn't need to threaten something so ineffective as an arrest- the best thing Lorry could think of when considering how best to get the wet boy on his side. For the sake of allowing the conscripted to get to know each other better on the car trip, Lorry sat shotgun. A countryside up in Italy wasn't what he expected for a base, but it was a nice alternative to hiding in some sort of drab bunker system. If a little bit conspicuous.

Even as the car parked, he smiled and look back to the disgruntled passengers. "Hey hey, we're here! Anybody need some help with their luggage?" He asked, opening the door and stepping out. There wasn't much to see, but being nice Italian landscape he could appreciate it all the same. Grabbing his suitcase full of packed belongings, he took note that everyone was already trudging off toward the grand building. "Tough crowd." He commented, noting the necromancer with the large rucksack. "'specially that guy."

Well, for whatever reasons this group had to act mostly anti-social, he didn't mind. Eventually they'd warm up. With most of the group already on their way or inside the castle, he took the time to make sure that they weren't followed. Without so much as a word to the fraülein Lily Crishon, he walked back down the side of the dusty road in the grass, eventually reaching a fork. From there, he kicked at the dust, wiping away the tire treads and replacing them with false trails leading away from the detour to the castle. From there, he walked back down the road, destroying evidence of the car ever passing by. It was a lengthy procedure, and would probably have to be repeated every time the car made a trip- but it did decrease the chances of them being tracked down. If only slightly.

By the time he made it back, Lorry had been gone for a solid fifteen minutes. At this point, the vehicle was empty, and he proceeded to examine the car briefly. Whatever tracking devices that may have been slipped on would be removed. After a thorough checking, he decided that it was good enough. Magic may have done this automatically, but there was nothing more reassuring than doing it manually. And he did not have the luxury of accessing magic either, so there was no point.

"Well, time to check up on the gang." he said cheerfully, beginning his trek toward the castle. By this time, everyone should have scoped the place out a bit. He didn't see anybody as he walked in, and the place was pretty huge so wondered if he ever would outside of Crishon's speeches or something. It wasn't much to worry about, but if the situation is as bad as the girl's mannerisms lead him to believe, teamwork would be key. Can't have teamwork when everybody is at least fifty feet from each other at all times. The reception hall didn't feel so accepting either.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hanzo Susanoo Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Image
Thick white smoke filled the air, making everything slow and hazy as it drifted lazily about Hanzo Susanoo while he sat high in the rafters, looking down upon the world, shifting expanse upon the wooden beam. He was clad in a black robe and hakama, with geta sandals upon his feet. His legs dangled loosely under him, back curved, one hand resting on his knee while another held a long, wooden pipe to his lips, its smoke twisting and twirling before disappearing into the greyness about him. Meanwhile, a large, scruffy black dog lay next to him, head resting upon its paws as he too watched the scene below. One might wonder how the two of them managed to reach such heights and sit so comfortably, especially a dog. And those people, Hanzo would think lowly of... for if it were a cat, they would not think it odd, but because it was black dog, the beast simply could not be capable of such feats?

"Racists," he mumbled under his breath, with a slight shake of his head.

Hanzo continued to ponder over his assumptions about the narrow mindedness belonging to the smattering of individuals. He always did find his thoughts to be more... elevated, when he was on opium. Then again, it could be the reason why he thought a group of strangers were cat supremacists, plotting against his beloved pet. Either way, it was best that he put his vice away and replace it with another. With that, the dragon shaped dream stick was stowed away within the confines of his robe only to be supplemented by a drawing pad along with a small paint brush to accompany it. The paper, was simple parchment, but the writing utensil, however, was something different entirely. It was an elegant magical device, capable of painting in any color and giving life to his art. The resulting animation would be of no equivalence to the dragon soaring on his chest or the semi-nude woman dancing on his forearm, but sill quite impressive.

A quick sketch was done of each person that came into the building. Though he never meant them personally, he could identify each one, including a fact or two about their lives. One of the benefits of not partaking in the road trip, was that Haze was able to research his soon-to-be comrades. It was all a simple task of compiling dossiers; after-all, being an assassin had required him to discover details on much more seclusive and protected persons. It was a talented motley crew of mages at best, a gathering of unique individuals that spanned the entire globe. What they were all needed for, he was unsure of, but it sure to be just as impressive.

Haze had now finished his drawing, the end result was a mass of bodies flailing about in a cloud of punches and kicks. It seemed their differences had not united them, but instead was the cause of many problems that lead to the brawl before him. He wondered if this was a peek into the future or the result of his own internal conflict expressed artistically... one thing was for sure, it was not perfect. The image was tore from the pad and discarded to the floor. A blank slate now in front of him, he began a new creation.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hanzo Susanoo Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Michael Vizi Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Arke
Something had caught Lorry's eye as he entered, a lone crumpled piece of paper. Usually, he would assume it was lost paperwork from a comrade, but being crumpled, it was likely trash. Walking over, he picked it up to discard it, but curiosity got the best of him. He laughed at what he saw. An ink drawing, likely Susanoo's or Xiao's, though he may just be generalizing by race. Instinctively, he looked up, wondering if there was a balcony he missed. Instead, he got a slightly washed over ceiling, the supports and beams shaded by a layer of unknown smoke. The castle building was large, and Lorry did believe he saw a figure, but dismissed it. It was likely the assassin, as enemies with actual hostile intentions would not be so careless. Sporting a quick wave to greet him and what looked like an animal next to him, Lorry briefly amused himself by attempting to guess what kind of animal it was. Too big for a housecat. An ocelot?

Upon closer inspection, it was revealed to be a dog. Raising an eyebrow, he decided not to press the issue, as he recrumpled the drawing without a second thought and pocketed it to trash later. He opened his suitcase, withdrawing a map of the complex he drew for himself. Unfortunately for Lily, he had no qualms of hiding these kinds of things from her. He decided to take a ground-floor guest room as his abode, which would allow him the most accessibility to the rest of the castle. Rolling the paper back up, he put it in the suitcase just as he heard the door creak behind him.

His first reaction was to grab the gun in his sleeve, and dispose of the intruder, but circumstances seemed too strange for that. Why did he show up through the front doors, while it was populated? Instead, he clicked the suitcase shut, and looked to face the blonde haired man. Lorry did not recognize his face, and he was sure all those who were recruited by Lily was accounted for. Silence was met between them, and Lorry had the uncomfortable, distinct feeling that the man seemed to know him somehow.

"I suppose you're here to sight-see too?" Lorry asked, deciding to mask the silence with a hesitant, poorly pronounced Italian dialect. Perhaps the man would believe he was a foreigner on vacation.

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Character Portrait: Hanzo Susanoo Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Michael Vizi Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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As he entered, Michael saw what there was to see, nothing of interest besides the excessive and unnatural fog of the ceiling and the paranoid magician trying to speak some sort of pseudo-Italian. With the question lingering in the air, he simply looked around for a few moments. Most of this careless action was spent looking at what was eventually determined to be a dog in the rafters–poor thing– until he figured that his opportunity to use ignorance as an excuse was waning. He decided to begin with an introduction rather than what he had originally planned; he would prefer not to have to bring the castle down at the moment. "My name is Michael Vizi, Magician, and if you are to speak to me again you are to do it in a way that does not cause my very existence to tremble with anger at your tongue."

At the moment the last syllable began to reverberate amongst the air, his eyes finally returned to meet those of the man upon the last who had spoken the annoying words and he spoke an intention he had not determined until less than a minute ago. Without so much as a change of tone or a flutter of the eyes Michael spoke again. "The reason I'm here is to remind certain people of the consequences of their actions. The owner of a now-stolen truck is currently searching for a way to take his friend to the hospital–strokes can be rather frightening when you can't do anything."

The driver's friend would probably be fine, but a fact as minor as that was no reason to allow these people to just disregard the effects of what they do. The only thing to do now was hope that a divergence hadn't occurred while his vision was obscured by the illusion known as the present and that the person he now spoke to wouldn't turn violent at such words. After all, he hadn't had the time to observe all that he had wished and to simply end it here was to ruin his efforts so far. He hadn't had the chance to see the world under a god's reign or the visage of an amber limb swept away for what it was in the Grand River, irrelevant.

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Character Portrait: Hanzo Susanoo Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Michael Vizi Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Arke
Lorry couldn't help but object silently when his client showed no fear to the man that threatened to kill them. Whether this home was actually his or not was not Lorry's problem, as he assumed it was Crishon's when she confidently strode up to the doors and showed it off. However, such a misunderstanding would probably amuse Lorry himself more than the blonde Italian, who gave a pretty intimidating glare. Truthfully, Lorry wasn't too afraid. Vizi did reveal himself to be a magician of the sort, and though his card tricks were very cute, they were naught but spitballs against the Nullifier that stood before him.

Even as he made the threat, Lorry's gun had whipped up once more. However, once again the girl had saved the Italian's life by striding forward fearlessly to examine him. A chronomancer? That might explain his calm attitude. Perhaps he foresaw that Crishon would come to his rescue. Admittedly, Lorry was not very good at telling mages apart at first, so he assumed he was some sort of Conjurer using his cards as a foci.

"Right, right. The cards. Chronomancers always did like to take on the fortune-teller stereotypes." he said absentmindedly, lowering the weapon once more and sighing. Ignoring the Amber orb that flitted around the blonde man like a wasp, he put the weapon back into his shirt and scratched his head. Never would he understand his client's whimsical actions. The assassin that spectated above was probably getting a kick out of this, him his darn dog Scooby-Doo. The girl was actually inviting this man to spectate this important meeting, when she's known him for a total of fifteen seconds. Lorry winced as she whistled two harsh notes to alert the rest of their companions. Well, whatever. Lorry decided to take her lead for now, but Vizi was acting fairly hostile- and he would not take any chances if he decided to attempt to kill his partners or his client. He grabbed his suitcase back off the ground where he dropped it early to draw his gun, and slung it over his shoulder lazily. Striding off to the side, he leaned on the cold stone walls and waited for everyone to gather.

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Character Portrait: Hanzo Susanoo Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Michael Vizi Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Zhang Xaio Character Portrait:
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The question of proof would have likely been painfully predictable even if Michael had not already heard its ripples through one of his trances. While nothing even remotely like his name was to be found, a family crest engraved above what he assumed to be the courtyard's entrance held his mother's name, Acerbi. It was quite obvious that each and every one of these people were foreigners, except for maybe the dog in the rafters, so such a name may have just failed to register in the squatters minds. Before he would have a chance to point that little fact out, he would have to actually figure out which deviation was going to occur, and as such was perfectly ready to surprise the endlessly confident Magician with the fact that nullification doesn't work on a collapsing building. He located and targeted each of the structural weak points necessary to bring down the entirety of the castle and listened apathetically to the Tower's worthless words.

After such words, Michael would have to stand being haphazardly examined by a thief who still referred to his mother's castle as being her own property. With her seemingly blind eyes finally deciphering what a set of tarot cards looked like, she exclaimed a guess at what type of magic he could be; you don't need to be a Chronomancer to use a tarot deck as a catalyst, and the weaver assumption had seemingly no basis. While still attempting to figure out exactly which way this would all work out, the Tower just continued her rambling and ended her statement with the upward inflection that marks a question.

With the comment from the Magician the scenario was set and it was decided that bringing his property down around him wasn't part of it. But since the cards had already been charged with the historical event of the moment, the raising of Persepolis, they needed an outlet and a nullifier was there to provide storage. The cards each returned to their proper places amongst the deck and fell into the Chronomancer's hands, only to be immediately aimed towards the gun toting Magician. "Tell me, what's the stereotypes you foreigners have for Black Magic?" The Ley line nexus that this castle was built on certainly proved its worth when a torrent of energy burst forth from the deck of cards and impacted their invulnerable target.

As the storm of power struck the Magician, Michael walked after the thieving Tower, even after his pained ears desperately wanted to get as far away from her as possible. He would find himself amongst a group of people, a few of which had already been gathered into the courtyard. The next major concern was the revealing of the deception at play to the Moon, as that would confirm specifically what derivation this was.

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Character Portrait: Hanzo Susanoo Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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"Well, isn't this an interesting turn of events?" said Haze, thinking aloud.

A smirk tugged on the corner of his lips as he watched in amusement at the events transpiring below. He had the urge to pump his fist and continuously chant 'fight' like a teenager instigating a brawl between peers. In the end, he refrained from such childish antics and would instead, continue to enjoy the show as he was sure this place was lacking a television; in any case, this was to be the highlight of his evening.

The stakes were raised as their saucy leader decided to join the tango. But, his money was still on the delicate pretty-man. The man obviously had home field advantage and probably knew the whereabouts of a secret floor tile, which when stepped on, would release a trap door, sending everyone plummeting toward a pit brimming with crocodiles or sharks. Yup... Haze was sure that would happen. But, in the off-chance it didn't, he would be sorrowfully disappointed.

Minutes later, after there were no gruesome deaths, Haze fell into a state of depression and anger.
"Ugh, they're going to talk things out? Koshinuke." If this had been the Merciful Hand, there wouldn't be any discussion or flashy tactics like stealthily flanking and then pressing a blade to the throat; too risky. Forget asking questions; the gaijin would have been cut down on the spot. To make matters worse, that, obviously insane woman, was summoning him. "Does she really expect me to leave the sanctity of my sky haven and join the general population on that, disgusting floor? Yes, that demented individual, did want him and the others to gather around for a merry little family meeting."

With a heavy sigh of reluctance, Haze slide his mask from the side to the center of his face before taking the large dog under his arm and jumping. As he made contact, his legs buckled before straightening and allowing him to continue. Most would need to recover after such a feat, but Haze did not. He was subject to extreme conditioning, allowing his body to become accustom to the strenuous activity. His dog walking beside him, the pair made their way behind the group and into the courtyard.

By now, the opium pipe had found its way back into his grip and between his lips. Briefly, he lifted the mask for a sample of the drug. He inhaled and then exhaled slowly, releasing a vast cloud of hazy white smoke. But, even through the fog veil, he could see the penetrating stares belonging to the now second hand smokers. He decided it was best to address their obvious concerns in the best way he could,
"What?" he asked lazily.

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Character Portrait: Hanzo Susanoo Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Michael Vizi Character Portrait: Jaida Knowls Character Portrait: Rita Saotome Character Portrait: Lily Crishon
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#, as written by Basta
While waiting for everyone to assemble, Lily went over scenarios in her head. She wanted to word things just right, without making things seem too grim, but she also didn't want to sugarcoat anything. They were in this together, for good or for ill. Her reverie was broken as both Isabel and Zhang popped up next to her.

"I heard your call. That was the signal for us to gather up, or did I misinterpret this? I need to ask for help, when we are done with this gathering." piped Xaio. Nodding absentmindedly, the older woman kept scanning the group as they arrived. To Isabel, she held up a finger to ask for a moment. All would be explained once she was sure they were all there. Lily cleared her throat and adjusted her hat.

"I have some news, both good and bad," she stated matter-of-factly. Mentally she winced at the cliché line, but kept going. "You all know that you're here for an important task, but I want to make it doubly clear. We are here to stop the end of our existence. It won't be an easy task...Hell, it'll probably be the hardest thing anyone has ever done, but it's up to us. You all are the cream of the crop, or have the potential to be."

Lily paused for a moment to gather her thoughts. "First, a warning. I would say that if you don't think you can do it, you may leave...But you can't. Not because I'm telling you that you can't, but simply that if you leave now, everyone will die. Second, your best won't be good enough. Not on its own. We all have to be the best. 'Cause you see, our enemy isn't just this cult. It isn't just a group of crazy mages with insane power. It's that, as well as a Goddess! I don't mean the empty deities that people worship in temples, but a real being with real, infinite power. Well, nigh infinite, actually. The cult of Caernavon is researching a way to bind their Goddess into a mortal shell. If that happens, they will have access to all her destructive power and it'll all be over. In case none of you have researched into obscure occult gods, Caernavon happens to be the Big Boss. Her weapons are Pestilence, Plague and Death, and believe me, she will know how to use them."

Her allies shifted uneasily as her speech went on. Lily frowned slightly, realizing that she was painting a bleak and hopeless picture for them. "Don't worry though! The cultists are only humans, and humans make mistakes. Their first one was letting me in and then not hunting me down when I left. We won't let them make a second. However, in order to stop them, we have to train. They won't be as cohesive as we will. The cultists will be a group of individuals, easily divided...easily slaughtered. We will be one unit, a thresher to their wheat. When I'm done with us, we will be the ones that they will fear!"

Her voice rose in pitch as she neared the end of her pep talk, oozing emotion and confidence. Lily fully believed that this group of eight, maybe nine, could become something more, and she made sure they knew of her faith.

"Today, rest and get set up, because we start tomorrow, bright and early. We'll have to fix up the castle, get supplies, set up training areas. It's going to be an involved task, so prepare yourselves.That's all I have for you."

Lily allowed the group to disperse as it pleased, some breaking into pairs, others alone. After a while, she turned to Xaio to see what the girl needed.

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Character Portrait: Hanzo Susanoo Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Michael Vizi Character Portrait: Jaida Knowls Character Portrait: Rita Saotome Character Portrait: Lily Crishon
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#, as written by Basta
After hours of tossing and turning, Lily gave up trying to get any rest for the night. In the two weeks that her group had been 'training', progress was little. There were still pieces of the castle in disrepair, the electricity was faulty, and worst of all, her crew still hadn't improved much! Their abilties may have progressed some, but function as a unit, they did not. Lily had been searching in ever widening circles for a test of some sort for the past couple days, and just the night before, she'd found it. A small hamlet, isolated like the castle, had been taken over by a group of mages. They'd slaughtered most of the inhabitants, using the remaining live ones as playthings and experiments.

Throwing on her traveling coat, Lily strode briskly to the main courtyard and whistled shrilly, once and then again after a few seconds. She didn't much care if she was disturbing their precious night's sleep. If Lily wasn't sleeping tonight, neither was anyone else. She took to pacing and muttering under her breath as the rest started to arrive, making her displeasure known.

"Ok since everyone's here, I'll make this quick. You've not been improving...at least, not in the ways I need you to. So we're gonna take a field trip and get some real life testing done. There's a small town to our southeast that's been taken over by hostile mages. We're gonna take it back. Now, some things to remember while we're there. We are a team, and that means we work like one. Use each other's strengths and cover each other's weaknesses. I don't want to see anyone by themselves, and whatever gods you pray to so help me, if one of us gets hurt because someone else wasn't covering them, I'll make you regret the day of your conception!"

Lily stopped herself for a moment, massaging her temples. The last thing she needed was to get angry and lecture these men and women like they were children, but it was hard.

"In the last two weeks, you've all improved individually quite well, but you're still individuals! The culties are individuals too, but there's more of them then us. In order to counteract that, we have to be one unit. I've said all this before, but you didn't seem to take it to heart. Well here's your chance to prove yourselves to each other. You fight together...or die alone. Suit up and meet me at the flatbed in ten minutes," finished Lily with a growl. The end of the world wasn't going to go easy on anyone, and neither would she. These were grown ass adults, and Lily wasn't about to pussyfoot around to spare their feelings. She couldn't afford to.

As soon as everyone was on-board, Lily slammed the heap into gear and took off. The hamlet was about a seventy miles from the castle, so they had to go pretty quick to make good time. About two miles out, the truck puttered out and died. After a couple minutes trying to revive the beast, Lily gave up and had everyone simply take their gear on the march. It'd be stealthier this way anyways. On the outskirts of the village, Lily stopped them.

"We do this quiet like as for as long as possible. Once the alarm goes up, stick together unless otherwise instructed. Remember, under NO circumstance should anyone get separated. Ok, move out."

The moon shone dimly from behind the cloud cover, providing a decent atmosphere for their work.

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Character Portrait: Hanzo Susanoo Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Michael Vizi Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Isabel Fayth Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Arke
The unnatural, shrill whistle instantly roused Lorry from his light sleep. He looked at the watch he left on the nightstand, and sighed. Sleep always did come less for people in power. He got up, dressing himself in light clothes as well as his body armor. Clicking his vambrace in place, he belted his swords to his waist and holstered his gun over the rest. He stretched, assuring himself that he could move quite nicely and checked the mirror.

"Lookin' good." He said, his voice hoarse with sleep. Pointing at his reflection, he left the room, closing the door behind him. He wasn't too worried about being broken into, as many of his devices that contained sensitive data would simply self-destruct if anybody but him accessed it. Though it would be amusing to watch a hacker trying to sift through an eternity code trying to make heads or tails of the gibberish. Moving downstairs with sure steps, he occasionally pinched himself to ensure he wasn't zoning out. As professional as he was, waking up when duty called was still a bit difficult for the Nullifier.

As he entered the courtyard, he noticed that he was one of the first. Leaning next to the door once more, he watched his client pace back and forth restlessly. It was evident a lecture was to come. His lips twisted into a little grin at the prospect. As everyone else arrived, the surly look on the sleepless mage's face became more pronounced. She then exploded. Listening to her rant, he supposed he could give her points for going straight to the point. Lorry had been accustomed to working alone or with very few partners that he didn't synergize well with the others. Not to mention that most of them seemed to regard him with ire. Perhaps he wasn't cracking enough jokes. Lorry raised an eyebrow as her pointed comments became more and more stinging. Threats weren't the best way to make people work together. Nor was he so sure that the proprietor of this estate would enjoy taking this. Or Susanoo. Or that fiery bartender.

What surprised Lorry was the sudden call for action. Retaking a hamlet from a bunch of rogue mages. As Crishon described the problem, Lorry mulled over the rationale behind these mages for slaughtering everybody. What the hell was the government doing about this? People don't just dismiss the disappearance or murder of a group of civilians. His visage darkened slightly. The situation regarding these matters weren't much better back home. He didn't object though. A real skirmish is a better motivator than cheap simulations. He got in the truck with the rest, taking shotgun once more. When the truck spluttered out, Lorry sighed and got out. Judging from the distance, they would be two miles away. And they had to march.

About half-an-hour later of marching, they had finally reached the hamlet, where they received orders to stick together, and stay stealthy. Lorry gestured in affirmation. He moved to the front of the group- as a Nullifier, he would easily be able to absorb weaver traps or magical attacks of any magnitude. Since they had to remain quiet, the Sauer in it's holster would have to remain there. he drew one butterfly sword, holding it at the ready as he proceeded toward the village.