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Azrieal Kain (Takashima Jin)

"People keep acting like this is the worst thing that could possibly happen to them... How naive..."

0 · 408 views · located in Babylon

a character in “Conquest of Babylon Online”, as played by The Illusionist

Description

Azrieal Kain



Image
Nickname:
The Hunter, Devil of Vengeance

Age:
22

Gender:
Male

Appearance:
Azrieal's entire appearance is meant to breed fear and intimidate those he comes across. He stands six foot, four inches, and his stance is full of confidence, or more precisely arrogance. He is always at full height and despite his seemingly laid back demeanor he is always prepared for a fight, the constant struggle to survive making it necessary to always be prepared and able to react in an instant. His looks are slightly deceiving, his build tall and toned but he doesn't look nearly as strong as he is. In fact compared to many avatars Azrieal seems lanky, something he uses to his advantage against those who have forgotten that in the game appearance doesn't mean as much as it did in reality.

Azrieal's features speak to his race, an overall demonic aura spilling off of him. Pale skin and white hair give him an eerie appearance, and the creepy grin often present on his thin face distorts the handsome features into something much more intimidating. His eyes reinforce the atmosphere the rest of his appearance creates, being a pale near yellow and turning a pure black when he casts spells and red when he becomes angry, which is a very rare and horrifying sight. As with many of the avatars his wings are not always displayed but released when he has need of them, keeping with the theme of his demonic appearance. The only solid part of his wings are the bones, the skeleton of the wings with a spectral blue glow filling in the rest. Due to the skeleton being the only solid part the shape is difficult to pin down but the spectral outline appears to be that of a crow or a large bird.

Azrieal's clothing is more for protection and intimidation than practicality. While his lower body is protected by mere boots and cloth pants his upper section, more vital to survival, is always coated by his armor. While looking cumbersome it is in fact quite flexible, joints of the armor being positioned perfectly to allow for maximum protection with minimum limitations on movement. The steel chest piece almost covers his arms going all the way down to the edge of his forearm, his hands and head being the only unarmored portions of his body when he is in his normal mode. He also wears a long tattered cape that goes over his armor, it is made of a thick leather though it is more for show than anything else.


Takashima Jin



Image
Nickname:
Nerd, Geek, Smartass, etc...

Age:
18

Gender:
Male

Appearance:
Jin's appearance is a testament to who he is in the real world, the kind of guy who does his own thing and throws things together in the moment. As in the game he stands a tall six foot, four inches, tall and is deceptively strong despite his semi-wiry build. His hair is a reddish brown and generally is worn whatever way it falls when he wakes up, bedhead being the best term to define it. His clothing is made up of whatever he finds interesting, Jin not being interested in name brands and focusing more on cultivating an interesting look to go along with his odd personality. As for other things he tends to go through phases, painting his nails odd colors one week and the next going around completely normal depending on his mood. One constant are his glasses, a pair of black framed glasses that serve no sight purposes and are purely decorative, Jin just felt that they fit him. The biggest similarity between him and his avatar is his personality and the expressions that come along with it, a grin and arrogant expression presenting itself quite often and he is known for his signature smirk.


Personality
Jin's personality is often times seen as abrasive by people in the real world as he says exactly what he is thinking and most of the time he comes across as incredibly rude or arrogant. For the most part that is how Jin intends to come off though as he believes he is superior to most people in his life and usually he can back up such a claim. Of course while his intelligence is quite substantial his lack of social skills and utter lack of motivation often lead him into trouble. Not only does Jin often find himself in trouble but he is always alone, driving other people off with his lack of social filters and dislike of most social events, though video games are one of the exceptions, an outlet to absorb all the spare time he has. Jin's personality is actually taken better in the virtual world and for that reason he was always absorbed in games to the point of caring more about what happened when he got home and began playing than what happened during the day.

As Azrieal his personality only became more intense, he used his cleverness and arrogance to create quite a name for himself and became obsessed with the game, finding every aspect, especially how easily accepted, incredible. However some parts of his personality did change when the game turned into something more sinister, he became an altered version of himself. The arrogance was still there and so was everything else that made Jin himself but he gained a new outlook, one where he realized he couldn't do everything alone. As people died he began to dabble in the social aspect of the game, even becoming an avenger of sorts. Ultimately though he looks out for himself, his motive being the same as everyone else, he was looking to survive. At the current point in time even Jin isn't aware of how much he had truly changed, his personality as with many others within the game has changed forever and the choices in the days to come, as he continues to struggle to survive will be what defines him forever. Whether he will be selfish and continue as a loner or find others and cooperate to survive, that will be what makes the difference.

Background
Jin was born into a rich family, the oldest of two children. He was happy, in fact he was an incredibly nice guy and was kind to everyone, especially his younger sister who he cherished more than anything else. He lived that way for years, a happy normal life with friends, he was even a bit of an athlete. Then all that changed, a single moment in his life that made Jin into the person he was, a car accident. He doesn't remember exactly what happened, he only knows that he was in the back of the car messing with his little sister one moment and waking up in hell a few weeks later. The news when he awoke was enough to shut Jin down, both his parents and his sister had died in the accident, he was alone. For some time after that Jin fell into darkness, he didn't go to school he barely slept and nothing gave him any happiness. Therapy and time eventually brought Jin back around but by then it was too late, he wasn't the same person. Instead of going back to being the happy socialite to being the loner in the back of the class who stuck to himself and spouted smartass remarks to anyone who tried to talk to him.

For some time Jin sought things to keep out of his own head, using the immense funds left to him as the sole heir to his families fortunes. He tried everything he could think of but it was a futile search, little could distract him and certainly not for large amounts of time. That was until he found games. Gaming served to fill a void within himself, it took the place of real people and real interaction. The virtual world served as a place for Jin to be himself without people actually having to know who he was, to take on a form and avoid any true friendship with people who wouldn't understand to begin with. So he spent his time playing games, ignoring real people and abandoning those he called friends, retreating into the virtual world to a point of obsession.

The pinnacle of his new hobby came in the form of Conquest of Babylon, it became an obsession and Jin began spending every moment he could playing the game. He didn't only enjoy it because of the incredible game play but because it allowed him to forget about his tragedy and the lonely life he led for some time. Even when the game turned into something more sinister Jin didn't feel sorrow or fear, he felt free. For the first time in a long time he was allowed to leave behind everything, he was forced to forget and focus on the most pressing matter, his very life. While that changed pieces of Jin it still gave him something he had been looking for, it allowed his mind to focus elsewhere, to not think about the real world and his family every time he shut his eyes, he became him character and for him it seemed to be the best type of therapy, assuming he could survive. That was his goal, survival, along with others he strove to survive, Jin wasn't going to give up and whatever that meant he was prepared to do it, even if it meant ending the lives of others in the process as it was unavoidable, a fact he learned quickly. Kill to survive, kill before being killed.

Jin's devotion to the game prior to the insanity allowed him an easy grasp when things changed and he found himself with the front runners of the demon faction, leveling up and surviving because of it. His fame did not come from joining a guild however as he was still the loner he had always been, at least when it started. He had focused on leveling at first, grinding and exploring the massive world to ensure he had the power to survive. It wasn't until several things happened that he gained his fame and his name was known throughout the game. The first of which was a slaughter of low level characters by a human guild, the ruthless bastards going around and thinning the herd as they called it. Mainly demon areas were targeted, high level characters cutting down those below them for sport, to initiate members and to stop other players from becoming threats in the future. Azrieal had come towards the end of one such massacre, seeing an entire group of cowering low level players cut down without mercy as the humans laughed and picked through the meager belongings. Before other high levels could arrive to stop further killing Azrieal had stepped in, a rage burning through him as he watched life be tossed away like it was nothing. He killed near twenty of the humans, hunting them down as they fled through the wilderness surrounding the village, picking them off and tearing away their lives as they had done to so many innocent people. To Azrieal fair combat was one thing but he could never understand killing someone who posed no threat, killing someone who couldn't even fight back and didn't want to.

After that event he began to hunt down any players who killed defenseless people, his reputation and the title Devil of Vengeance originating from his avenging those who were murdered by the hands of despicable characters. Doing this he collected quite a deal of loot and useful items, taking what he needed to further his survival and to help those who couldn't help themselves. In his travels killing those people he deemed guilty he found himself interested in other ways of keeping himself ahead of the game. He began to search for artifacts and items of note, items deep within dungeons and hidden around the game. Doing this he found himself in the possession of items to help himself survive and with skills suited to reach end game, though there was only so much he could accomplish alone. The combination of his hunt for those who killed defenseless players and rare items soon earned him the title The Hunter and while some in the demonic faction, those who truly knew him still referred to him as the Devil of Vengeance, his legend grew as The Hunter. As the hunter he was a story to scare others straight, not that it did much good, people who had no qualms with slaughtering weaklings did so despite the threat, only to eventually learn that the nightmare was a reality.

Now Azrieal pooled his resources and while he still hadn't chosen a guild he had begun to realize he would have to join one to make it to end game. There was only so much he could do alone and that meant finding others of his faction to survive with, others of equal strength who had a chance. Not that he would be looking, he would wait for a chance to come along, for it all to line up as it seemed to have as he played, until the perfect guild just appeared before him, mainly because he hadn't changed completely, he was still a bit arrogant and with his reputation he had no lack of guilds wanting him as an ace up the sleeve.


Equipment



Soul Reaver:
Soul Reaver is a unique and legendary weapon, an artifact, that molds itself to its user. It was a weapon found in the darkest pit of an unnamed and unmarked cavern, a place where only those unafraid of what is hiding in the darkness, who could overcome their own wild imagination and nightmares could step foot. Azrieal was capable of descending and retrieving the weapon as he knew what nightmares were truly like and knew that nothing could be worse than what he had already experienced. It was as if the weapon was made for him and in fact the moment he retrieved it that feeling was reinforced. On picking up the weapon its shape transformed from a large nearly unworldly blade to a one edged black blade. When Azrieal changes form as does the blade and he has noticed that as he levels and as the game goes on that the blade does as well, that it changes as he does to fit the road ahead.

Currently the blade matches Azrieal's skill level, being at the level of an incredibly high A-ranked blade with the capacity to become lower S-ranked fairly soon as he improves and even before transitioning categories it improves with each kill and with the experience its user gains. As the name suggests the weapon does in fact have a special attribute, a special ability granted to it as a demon blade of great power, it literally reaves the souls of those it kills. Unlike some blades which had the ability to capture and store souls the Soul Reaver rips the soul out of the dead body and allows Azrieal to absorb it, replenishing his health and mana with each kill and giving him extra knowledge depending on what the person knew before they died. He uses its ability to not only fight consecutive battles but also to learn vital information on particular groups and creatures through combat alone, allowing him to effectively research and become stronger at the same time.

As a demon blade however it weighs heavily on Azrieal and on the real Jin as well, the information he gathers comes at a cost, it also feeds him the fear of the person before they died, their pain, and even who they are. It makes the user see who it is they killed, relate to the person life and know the mental and physical pain of their end. Few would be able to bear such pain but with his past and ability to shut sections of his emotion away Azrieal manages, having some remorse but shutting it away deep inside himself, moving forward while forgetting the past as he had always done.
Image
Garbs of Vengeance:
While Azrieal's armor may seem like an assortment of random items they are in fact a set he had put together after a tremendous amount of work. The set is made up of: Cuirass of Vengeance, Leggings of Vengeance, Vambraces of Vengeance, and Cloak of Vengeance. The armor itself is an S-rank set of medium armor, not being cumbersome enough to qualify as heavy armor. The pieces provide decent defense bonuses, both to magic and physical damage, able to withstand numerous blows without breaking or needing repairs and allowing some damage absorption naturally. However, the defensive capabilities are nothing outstanding, the set is truly remarkable only due to the individual bonuses and the set bonus that unlocks for one who manages to collect all four items. In fact the entire reason Azrieal obtained the set was because the bonuses, and particularly the set bonus, fit what he needed to compliment his playing style.

As a set the armor provides the wearer with a tremendous increase in speed when chasing a fleeing target and the ability to move quickly towards any specific target marked by the user in a previous post. The user cannot change the specified mark until the target is dead or has effectively escaped, though the latter is unlikely due to the bonus the armor provides.

The Cuirass of Vengeance is perhaps the most useful piece of armor in Azrieal's collection. It allows him to envelop his entire body in the armor that covers his chest and back in an instant, raising his defensive and offensive capabilities dramatically but also draining his mana until it is depleted and then draining his health at a steady percentage based rate. While it can be incredibly effective in short bursts it can also be fatal if used for too long and be an incredible drain combined with Azrieal taking attacks. However, if in combat with low health or easily slain foes the armor can be activated and the upkeep can be satisfied with the health and mana restoration with each kill from his blade Soul Reaver.

The Leggings of Vengeance are another unique item and the only item among the four that do not provide any defensive stats. Instead they allow Azrieal to either jump incredibly high or fall from a great distance and take no damage, absorbing the impact and allowing him to ignore the usual penalties and damage. While this effect rarely comes in useful during combat it allows Azrieal to avoid many stupidity based deaths and to traverse difficult terrain with ease. Other than that it allows him to be thrown or dropped during combat and avoid further damage and gives him the ability to drop down from the sky instead of flying which is not only much quicker but also incredibly thrilling for Azrieal, something he uses just to have some fun or surprise other players at random.

The Vambraces of Vengeance have superb defensive stats but the true value is in the ability it provides, allowing Azrieal to absorb a certain amount of damage and inflict it upon the one who dealt it to him, both negating the damage on himself and inflicting it unto another. The damage does not have to be used immediately but another blow cannot be absorbed until a post after it has been released, meaning it can be used tactically as a surprise boost of damage or as a defensive item.

The Cloak of Vengeance allows Azrieal to slip between worlds and renders him camouflaged. While not completely invisible he is difficult to see unless someone is looking directly at him and he is transparent. In addition it causes the next attack landed on him to do only half its damage though being hit in the camouflaged state reveals him and causes the cooldown on the ability to be significantly longer.

Ring of Resonance:
The ring allows Azrieal to connect with creatures and nature. It allows for the control of lesser creatures, monsters without enough intellect of strength to overpower the mental control aspect of the ring. He mainly uses it to control low level hounds for reconnaissance or as an extra kick in battle. A maximum of four creatures can be controlled but the closer to his level the fewer creatures he can control, at his level only one and creatures just below his level two, and so on. The other use of the ring it to feel vibrations from powerful creatures, locations, and items. While it does not lead to a specific location or item it resonates with any strong presence within a certain distance. A very useful item for a loner like Azrieal and coveted by guilds who wish to know of such items and creatures.

Other Equipment:
Other items dear to Azrieal are a set of valuable paints and parchment used for cartography and hobby. Also he carries a bone flute of which he has great real life skill and of which he has also maxed out his skill in game using. Furthermore he has a set of silken clothing which he wears whenever he takes a break, some bone dice from a high level dragon, and several restoration potions for emergency use, though he generally relies on other methods of recovery.



Magic Abilities




Hunters Mark:
The mark of the hunter is Azrieal's most basic spell, it requires nearly no mana and merely marks the target. This mark allows Azrieal to follow his target wherever they go, able to see through camouflage and invisibility and to focus in on the target from far distances. In addition it reveals the classification and weak points on the enemy, exactly what Azrieal needs to take down his prey. The mark is magical in nature and cannot be removed by anything but the targets death or a magical curative or removal spell. While this spell is active Azrieal's senses are also increased to the point that he can hear his targets breathing and the flow of their blood and can even small them from afar. The spell can also be cast on an item to activate when it is picked up by another person, allowing it to be used to track without the target having a chance in hell of seeing him.

"No one escapes." - 3 word chant.

Spider's Entanglement:
The spell can be used in two parts. It can be used primarily as a magical trap, one that can be placed along a certain area or between two solid objects. When a target comes into contact with the trap they become immobilized and must make a strength check to escape. Each turn that passes and the more an enemy struggles the harder it becomes to escape until finally they are unable to resist. On the other end it can be used as a projectile though that costs significantly more mana to cast, the web being shot in one direction and capturing the first target it comes into contact with. The web is thin and almost impossible to see unless one is being observant. The web itself is also incredibly resilient, resistant to both physical and most magical attacks, only the sharpest of blades and fire based magic being able to effectively destroy the magical trap.

"Embrace the bitter end." - 4 word chant.

Nightmare Tendrils:
Azrieal summons upon the horrors living within his mind and the nightmares that plagued him, unleashing them upon his enemies. The tendrils rise up out of the ground and assault the target, attempting to immobilize the enemy and inflict constriction damage, damage that while not incredibly high is inflicted each turn and deals more damage on opponents with lower strength or already slowed or immobilized enemies. If the tendrils are allowed to overtake the target it unleashes their darkest nightmares upon them as it slowly strangles the life out of them, bringing them the most horrifying end possible. While being one of Azrieal's most effective spells he tends to only use it on those who he finds particularly disgusting or unworthy of life. Above all else the spell is a form of torture and causes the target more emotional trauma than physical before they are finished, and while he has only done it once Azrieal can disengage the spell right before the moment of the targets death, leaving them broken and defenseless.

"Allow the darkness of the world to overtake you." - 9 word chant.

Share the Pain:
This spell is the most powerful and dangerous spell in Azrieal's current repertoire. It is a spell that when cast envelops the caster in a red aura and draws the next attack targeted at himself or an ally to automatically hit him. He takes full damage from the attack but then sends the damage doubled back at the enemy who launched the attack. This ability can be used as often as Azrieal wants and costs low amounts of mana but comes at a great cost. He cannot block any of the damage from the attack by any means and if it happens to be a critical he cannot call it off, he must take full damage. That means he must be careful when using it despite the immense damage potential of the spell. At the same time its ability to defend his allies cannot be ignored, his armor level and endurance being high enough to withstand several strong attacks and can bring the full attention of enemies attacks onto himself in place of others.

"Experience the suffering you have inflicted upon others before you die." - 11 word chant.



Skills




Rend:
A strong calculated strike at the most accessible vital point of the target, causing some superficial initial damage but inflicting a viscous bleed effect on the target. The bleed effect ticks for a large amount of damage each post until either healed by some means or the target runs out of blood. This technique can be stacked to increase the damage per post but up to a maximum of five stacks. All stacks can be healed with one spell which is the techniques biggest weakness, only a single spell or curative item being needed to remove even five full stacks of Rend.

Hell Hound Strike:
A combination attack where Azrieal launches ten swift strikes in a matter of seconds, increasing his speed to its upper limits to shred the foe in front of Azrieal. While each strike on its own is not powerful if all ten land it can have devastating effects. If all ten of the strikes lands the physical and spiritual trauma from repeated hits with the Soul Reaver can lower the targets defenses and ability to avoid future damage. If used with a regular blade the effect is merely a tiny bit of extra damage inflicted when all strikes land.

Pursuit of the Avenger:
This attack utilizes Azrieal's armor and he quickly closes the gap between himself and his target, launching a crushing slash with his blade increased in deadliness by the speed of which he approaches. The attack sends him past his opponent, right behind them where he can resume his attack after landing the initial blow, ending in a downward slash aimed at the back of the foe. If the enemy is large enough to make reaching its back impossible the strike simply moves to their side and he launches another downwards slice from beside the enemy. In addition the attack can be used to slice through a line of enemies if they are in close proximity to each other, moving through each of them until he reaches the back of the line.

Lone Wolf:
A defensive technique learned so that Azrieal could combat multiple enemies without being overwhelmed. It is a technique that utilizes both his speed and his keen senses to react instantly to the slightest movements around him. If successful he can block multiple attacks and hit the attacker in one swift movement, both avoiding damage and inflicting moderate damage to the aggressors. While using this ability Azrieal doesn't rely on his sense of sight and instead closes his eyes, allowing his other senses and his skill in combat to take over. Alternatively the ability can be used to protect another, allowing Azrieal to protect another in a similar fashion almost flawlessly but when used in such a manner he cannot see attacks coming for himself meaning he cannot block attacks launched at himself.

Cataclysm:
The pinnacle of Azrieal's physical skills and one meant to obliterate the target utilizing his speed, strength, and perception. In an instant he activates his armor to transform Soul Reaver and flies up into the air, dropping down from above and bringing the sword down upon his enemy, unaffected by the drop due to his leggings but achieving incredible power using the drop. Then in one swift motion he slices upward from the ground and brings the blade across for a third powerful strike, then before his opponent has time to react he slides around and launches a final slice across the targets back. While normally it would take some time the attack is accomplished in seconds and with so much force that he cannot use an ability in the next post.



Passives/Techniques




Predator:
His experience with hunting prey and his knowledge of nature allow him heightened natural senses, boosting his movement speed and dodge ability, and a sense of direction that could be be seen as unnatural. He has also developed the ability to sense with reasonable accuracy the intentions of people or creatures around him, able to tell whether they intend him harm or are genuinely in peace, or at the very least neutral.

Embraced the Darkness:
Azrieal is a demon and as such has increased speed, strength, offensive magic, and darkness elemental resistance. Also his ability using healing or buff magic is decreased and he has a reduced resistance to light elemental magic.

Vampiric Embrace:
While not a blood sucking vampire every attack that sheds blood heals Azrieal for ten percent of the damage dealt. Also when Azrieal gets blood on his skin of blade he can sense the health of the one who shed it, tell whether they have any status ailments and how much health they have left.

The Hunter's Aura:
A non-personal passive that gives allies close to Azrieal passive to movement speed towards fleeing enemies and allows them to receive a half of the effect of his Vampiric Embrace. It also allows him to sense the health of all those sharing his abilities and keep tabs on each and every ally, whether they are under the effects of an ailment and how much health they have left.

A Culinary Ramsey:
Has maxed his cooking ability and has even collected the tallest chef hat, one without any special ability except somehow being able to not call off despite its ridiculous size.

Nightmares:
Azrieal doesn't sleep but has learned to meditate out of necessity, unable to sleep without waking up in a cold sweat and worse than when he went to sleep. The upside to this is that he awakes much easier when danger is afoot and no longer has to worry about nightmares, though neither does he ever dream.





So begins...

Azrieal Kain (Takashima Jin)'s Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: John Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmidt (Richard Lee) Character Portrait: Azrieal Kain (Takashima Jin)
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Azrieal Kain

Ever since the game had taken it's twisted turn things had seemed to go well for Azrieal, that meaning he was still alive. On top of that he had managed to get his hands on a rather impressive set of gear and had maintained a high level. Proof of his success was currently scattered about around him, bodies of nearly ten angels who had been stupid enough to wander onto Demon controlled land. Hell, if he hadn't finished them off someone else would have because nothing was as easy to spot as light in the land of the dark. Yes, they had been begging for death and Azrieal had delivered it to them, though not without help. He had a partner, someone strong enough to rely on and oddly trustworthy despite his strange personality. Not that the man wasn't annoying but he got the job done and that was all Azrieal cared about. The Devil of Vengeance stayed on guard for a moment, listening to and observing his surroundings, wanting to ensure he had eliminated all of the pesky angels. When nobody came to avenge the fallen pests and seeing as he found no signs of further life he dropped his guard. The Demon looked down at his blade, the black metal shimmering as the blood from fallen foes seeped into it, feeding the gluttonous object, Azreal's own health unscathed after such an easy fight, his blade returning the favor for the meal.

With a smirk he put the sword away, his hand going up to his mouth and a sharp whistle echoing seconds later. He was informing JJJ-S that it was all over, that it was safe to come out. He had considered not doing so, leaving the man waiting and retaining some of the peace that he found when alone, but knowing The Unwelcome Guest he would have popped in to check up on things rather quickly and all the more disruptive. With his sword put away and his companion signaled Azrieal looked towards the mouth of the cave he was currently standing in front of, inside was a quest item, a player quest, a mid-level character requesting an uncommon sword from inside but being too cowardly to get it themselves. He generally disliked cowards but the mission was easy enough and the pay was substantial, though he was suspicious of the higher than average compensation for such a simple mission now that he had found angels. He took a deep breath, sighing as he looked down at his now glowing ring, the ghastly blue hue alerting him to something more than an uncommon item, something on the rare side. He hadn't noticed it earlier but if it was deep inside the cave still that would make sense and combat distracted him beforehand.

Azrieal didn't like the idea that somebody sent him into an ambush, or at the very least lied to him about the true value of what was inside the cave, it wasn't something he would accept in the real world and even less when the game had the stakes of his life. He did however like the idea of what could await him inside, a smirk on his face, anything that caused his ring to react was going to be worth the trip, even if it was simply valuable and not of use, and even if he had to fight something strong and claim whatever he could from its body. Of course it could have been a monster, ten angels would make more sense for fighting a strong creature than searching for an item, though the numbers could have been due to the location, either way there was promise beyond his original expectation. Still he was curious enough to continue on even with the risk of things going south, turning down when there could be a reward wasn't his style, besides if he were to go back and question the quest giver without all the information it would get him nowhere. If he was right and the offer on the mission had been above average because the angels, or the increased difficulty, were already known to the one who requested help he would have to show his displeasure of that fact. For the moment he just began speaking, assuming his partner was already behind him, an often occurrence with JJJ-S that often made Azrieal feel a bit ridiculous, especially when he was incorrect and in the middle of a crowded area.

"It seems our temporary employer sent us into a more interesting situation than he led us to believe J." Azrieal's hand reached up and ran through his hair, there was no point in staying outside when the good were inside, or best guess it was inside. He had one thing to do first, he had to search the bodies of the dead. "You look at those, I will search these." Azrieal went to the right and began searching through the corpses. As he had suspected there was little of value, a few low quality potions and some assorted armor and weaponry that didn't come close to being worth the inventory space. He did find a few coins, a decent ring that he could sell or trade, but nothing really desirable or special. With a sigh he stood up and turned back to JJJ-S, "Nothing good over here, looks like we are going to have to go inside to get anything out of this trip." He didn't wait for JJJ-S to respond and instead moved towards the mouth of the cave, going inside and trusting JJJ-S would be following in his footsteps as usual, doing his best to block out whatever his erratic companion decided to say.

Once inside the cave he didn't notice anything out of the ordinary, the cave had been designated for people of a lower level than himself and it was unlikely there would be much of anything to challenge him unless his ring was reacting to a creature as opposed to an object. There was no reason to assume things would be easy though, arrogance was always his state of mind but stupidity was not and he quickly used his ring to enthrall several of the lesser creatures keeping their distance and sent them forward as advanced scouts. He didn't move forward, he stopped, allowing his controlled minions to search the dark depths, waiting patiently for new on what lay ahead. He wasn't thinking about that though, whatever lay ahead would be revealed shortly enough, the current thought going through his head was what JJJ-S would decide to pester him with during the wait. He never talked about anything Azrieal wouldn't mind talking about, always something random, for once Azrieal would like silence or some conversation that helped their survival like which guilds they should be looking into joining and what other missions they could take down to earn a bit more cash.

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Character Portrait: John Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmidt (Richard Lee) Character Portrait: Azrieal Kain (Takashima Jin)
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Lord of Pie


As the whistle came, John Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmidt dropped down from his perch and skipped merrily towards Azrieal and the decimated angel group, his animate mask grinning happily. It was another good day to be a part of their two man team. The angels were dying, the treasure was making Azrieal's ring thing glow, and there was never a shortage of people or creatures for JJJ-S to shoot. It wasn't that he enjoyed killing people or angels, though he didn't feel particularly conflicted about their deaths. What he did feel was the warmth of the higher experience point gains killing players yielded as opposed to monsters of comparable levels. The experience and the twin prospects of action and adventure set his spirits soaring. In fact... "Oh I believe I can fly!" His skip turned into a graceful ballerina leap, complete with the front to back split and arms splayed out with his legs. Mid leap, he activated his dark energy wings, the razor edges materializing from his back and allowing him to take flight and glide over to corpses and his teammate. "I believe I can touch the sky!" "It seems our temporary employer sent us into a more interesting situation than he led us to believe J. You look at those, I will search these." Flaring his wings, JJJ-S swept himself straight up into the air they vanished and he dropped nimbly among the bodies. "Searching bodies every night and day!" The looting took almost no time thanks to his necklace-enhanced perception. That their employer may have lied to them about their mission didn't really bother JJJ-S. He was just having fun now.

"Dropping fools for way low pay! I believe I am bored! Let's go already these guys didn't have jack!" After finding nothing, JJJ-S abruptly dropped the melody and planted his foot on one of the angels as he pointed the way forward heroically. However, he dropped his pose and slumped forward when he realized that Azrieal had already continued forward into the cave. He sighed audibly. His traveling buddy had gotten much less interesting since he started ignoring him. Still, it was possible to get a reaction out of him and in the end the difficulty made it all the more worthwhile. JJJ-S set off in a run to catch up with his partner. "Azrieal! Azrieal! Hey! Hey Azrieal! Wait for meeee!" Sprinting to catch up with the other demon, he slowed down as he got closer, finally catching him when he ensnared the lesser dungeon creatures and sent them forward to scout for him. Instead of stopping though, JJJ-S abruptly sped up and passed him, slapping him on the back as he passed. "Tag! Your it!" Cried JJJ-S over his shoulder as he ran further ahead into the cave after the summons. When Azrieal caught up to him, he would be at a fork in the path, scratching his head in confusion as he pondered which way to go. Of course he knew which way to go, his necklace helped him follow the creatures Azrieal was using. That said, he wasn't so foolish as to charge too far ahead of his battle buddy when they had already encountered one group of angels in the area.

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Character Portrait: John Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmidt (Richard Lee) Character Portrait: Azrieal Kain (Takashima Jin)
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Azrieal Kain

JJJ-S had proven to be capable but rather annoying, his rendition of 'I Believe I Can Fly' not being nearly as pleasant as he seemed to think it was and his general actions always being puzzling. Azrieal had already ignored that bit though and now that he was in the cave he could focus on what was ahead, or so he had thought. Yet JJJ-S was going to do what he always did and make things more complicated, make even the most serious or calm situations into something much more strange and confusing. This time it was screaming and sprinting, "Azrieal! Azrieal! Hey! Hey Azrieal! Wait for meeee!" The Demon sighed, he was trying not to engage in the ridiculousness that was 'The Pie Lord' a title JJJ-S had given himself and a name that explained a good deal about the Demon's personality. He really was a person of random nature, though there could be a method to the madness Azrieal had yet to find. He doubted it but still, one could hope. "Tag! Your it!" "Of course..." He muttered, taking yet another deep breath and trying to calm his frustration. Much like a child his partner was only encouraged with a reaction, if he acknowledged the man and got angry or tried to chastise him it would become worse, that was guaranteed. So instead he let himself calm down, keeping his irritation under wraps and allowing the guy to move ahead a ways, hoping he would tire himself out or find another thing to entertain his short attention span.

After a brief moment of inner meditation, which consisted of little more than Azrieal thinking about what could be in the cave and potentially worth the trouble, he moved forward. What he had hoped would happen had, JJJ-S had found something else in something as simple as a split in the road and while it wouldn't stop the guy, Azrieal knowing enough to know he was more capable than that, it had given him a reason to stop springing and shouting about for nothing. "Come on, to the right." He spoke calmly, not giving in to the previous provocation and ready to endure the next attempts that would surely come his way. There was something more important and that was the prize at the end of the cave, whatever the ring alluded to. Of course he had hoped his scouts would have some answers, the whole purpose of using them to get to the bottom of the mystery before he ventured forth, but it seemed that wasn't going to happen. Before he could get the information from them the connection was severed which meant one of two things, they had managed to break the control he had over them, which had definitely not happened, or they had been killed. The second option was more reasonable, and really the only possible reason. A smirk crossed his otherwise emotionless expression, he was pleased to know something was ahead and if it was high enough to quickly kill the enthralled creatures then it was surely worth his time, even if still not quite his level. Then again if it was that would be all the better, the higher its level the greater the gear, and as far as he was concerned the loss of minions meant it was a creature, not a random treasure or new location but a monster and one not common to the area.

He did stop for a brief moment though and turned to JJJ-S, "The scouts are gone, be ready, something fun awaits us ahead." He knew the idea of some fun would keep JJJ-S in line and he moved quickly after that, not wanting to give the man time to change his attitude and begin acting ridiculous once more, though chances were that was going to happen anyways. He just had to hope he could figure out what awaited them before his partner decided to go rushing in dancing and singing. Of course as he moved through the cave, using the information gathered before he lost his scouts, he began to hear something abnormal in the distance, a growl of sorts that was still not loud enough for him to make out. He was only getting more eager to see what was ahead and moving quicker the closer he got. Eventually the growling sound was more audible and he realized it wasn't growling at all but the breathing of an incredibly large creature, one he soon got a view of as he turned the last corner before entering a large cavern. It was a humongous beast, hairy horned, a beast twisted by darkness with vicious fangs and claws covered in the gore of the lesser creatures unfortunate enough to cross its path. Bright glowing yellow eyes stared back at him and as he looked at it he could tell it wasn't quiet his level, though one thing was clear, it was a rare spawn. Rare spawns were highly sought after, not because of gear, it could be good but it wasn't nearly as exceptional as the real bosses. No they were sought after for rare ingredients, things specific traders wanted or items that could be used to increase the effectiveness of certain items. Even if Azrieal couldn't use it directed he could get some good coin for the drop, and possibly an extra item or two if he were lucky to fetch some additional coin. "J, let's take this ugly thing out and claim what those angels were after." He liked the idea all the more when he considered the idea that angels probably wanted the item and that they had been there for that reason. So he drew his sword and got ready, running towards the beast to strike at it directly, wanting to test it before going full force and trusting JJJ-S would take care of things from afar.

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Character Portrait: John Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmidt (Richard Lee) Character Portrait: Azrieal Kain (Takashima Jin)
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Lord of Pie


While he was waiting for Azrieal, JJJ-S amused himself by stretching in an exaggerated manner and looking around with an air of obvious boredom. It was a ruse of course. After all, he hadn't always been partners with with Azrieal, indeed he had been a loner for quite awhile before he had partnered up with the man. In that time he had become quite adept at surviving. In his travels, he had found that the best way to do this was to feign ignorance or injury to better lower the guard of those who might seek to take advantage of him or do him harm. Many people had taken him for a common fool or harmless lunatic, and more than a few of those people had come to learn the truth of his deception the hard way. Even now as he stretched and acted bored he was surveying his surroundings and planing how he could use the terrain to his advantage when engaging enemy players or hostile creatures.

After a moment he was interrupted by Azrieal catching up to him. "Come on, to the right." "Right you are my main man! Right you are!" With that he valiantly pointed the way forward and marched off in an exaggerated manner. Sure there were probably better or at least equally effective ways of dealing with people that didn't involve acting like a fool, but John Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmidt didn't really care. He found that his way of doing things was far more fun, engaging, and generally interesting than the ways other people subscribed to.

And off he went, merrily skipping down the pathway, confident in he would detect anything threatening before it posed any sort of risk to him. It helped that he knew there wasn't anything of overtly high level in here, though he kept a special eye out for angels, and of course his necklace of astoundingly deep perception contributed as well. As Azrieal was learning of the minions' demise, so too was JJJ-S as his necklace helped him hear the sound of bones crunching in a set of rather large jaws. He winced comically at the sound. "The scouts are gone, be ready, something fun awaits us ahead." JJJ-S nodded sagely at this and adopted an exaggerated, stereotypical British accent. "I dare say so my good chap. Fun and a fair bit of mangy fur and foul breath. I am sure some creature most dreadful lurks ahead and I do believe we must prepare for battle."

Now keeping an even pace with Azrieal as they walked toward whatever monster awaited them, JJJ-S snapped his neck and entered a subtle, though effective state of battle-readiness. He grasped his rickety-looking bow, and that was about it actually. His natural stealth and equipment bonuses accounted for the rest of his preparation. Of course, when he rounded the final corner and saw the giant mound of fur, fangs, and evil that was waiting for them. "Oh ew! What a gross, ugly, abomination of all that is good and right with the world. Your very appearance is an affront to everything I stand for! On behalf of all people who cry out for justice, I say, 'Hello!'" There really wasn't much of a point to JJJ-S' strange, out of place speech other than for his own benefit. He found it immensely satisfying, but now it was time to actually start fighting this thing.

JJJ-S stared blankly off to the side in the general direction of an elevated ledge. "What oh what could be over there?" With that he vanished, reappearing almost instantly at the ledge. He turned to face the giant monster that was roughly a hundred yards away. He waved to Azrieal and shouted, "Hey Azrieal! I'll get his attention, if you want to do your thing that would be absolutely lovely!" With that, he bent down and whispered, "It's my jack in a box, my jack in a box yeah!" This planted a jack in the box trap at his feet as a measure of security before he turned back to the creature and hoisted his bow to engage it. He then proceeded to fire a rain of dark arrows at the monster, more interested in irritating it and distracting it than anything else so that Azrieal could do what he needed to do.

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Character Portrait: John Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmidt (Richard Lee) Character Portrait: Azrieal Kain (Takashima Jin)
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Azrieal Kain

Azrieal had learned a few things about his partner since they had decided to team up but most of it had to be vetted. In fact almost everything that JJJ-S said or did needed to be sifted through to see the truth. One of the most interesting things he had found out was that the act put on by JJJ-S was not all he was. Sure he was a quirky individual and perhaps he was as insane and as ridiculous as he would like people to believe, but underneath that was a calculated thinker and someone that should never be underestimated. It was the same with his skill, he was quite impressive and while nobody would believe it at first, or even after some time, he had figured out how dangerous the man really was. It was an advantage though, since Azrieal had knowledge of how JJJ-S truly was he could work with him, expect the man to do well in situations and the enemies would never see it coming. He was always underestimated, it was the last mistake many people ever made. That was good when put alongside Azrieal's more intimidating and dangerous reputation. Of course he had something similar to JJJ-S working for himself. That was that few people were aware of what he looked like, only a few of the top demon players were aware, those who had requisitioned his services or seen him in action. Other factions generally stayed unaware, perhaps a few key players became privy but most would have no clue who he was until they put it together by observing his techniques, at which point it was generally too late and only served to cause panic.

"I dare say so my good chap. Fun and a fair bit of mangy fur and foul breath. I am sure some creature most dreadful lurks ahead and I do believe we must prepare for battle." His knowledge of what lie beneath was enough to allow Azrieal to ignore the man's rather annoying act and focus on what he had said. It wasn't that he wasn't already aware of the smell or what most likely awaited them further ahead but JJJ-S' knowledge of that fact was proof of his true ability, and it confirmed exactly what Azrieal believed. Of course laying eyes on the damn thing was all he needed and as he rushed towards it he only got more of a nose full of its disgusting stench. "Hey Azrieal! I'll get his attention, if you want to do your thing that would be absolutely lovely!" Even before JJJ-S yelled out to him he had heard some chanting, the casting of spells. He had already been aware that his partner was ready for action and the rain of arrows moments later made him even more sure of it. The distraction worked perfectly as well, the beast roared in displeasure as arrows began to pincushion him, the creatures size making it an easy target for a peppering of arrows. Even better JJJ-S' special bow made each of those arrows pierce its thick skin like a knife through butter.

That distraction gave Azrieal the perfect opportunity to strike a powerful blow, moving up to the creature and flanking it, moving as his maximum speed to ensure a strike before the creature could defend itself. "No one escapes." His words came out quick and he marked the target, its weak points revealed and his chance to land a devastating blow increasing. He launched several strikes at it, basic attacks to test its defenses and watching carefully as the health bar reacted to each strike. Barely one-percent of its health decreased per hit and that was with JJJ-S' fire raining down the entire time. It was as expected however, a rare spawn was not an easy monster to take down and the fight was supposed to be drawn out. A drawn out fight was where both him and his partner thrived however and a smirk crossed his face as he began launching rend on his opponent, the bleed damage would soon stack and any foe without a solid heal would fall beneath his blade. The rain of arrows was not enough to distract the beast from such an attack, the over-time damage being more dangerous than a hail of arrows that didn't seem to do more than piss it off and shave a small bit of damage. That was the point really, he was meant to bring the attention to himself after getting in close, that would allow JJJ-S to concentrate on pure damage as the fight went on. With that as his goal he got himself ready, watching as the creature turned upon him and let out a furious roar, a defense debuff hitting him and it seemed it would last for some time.

Then came several attacks, nothing major but swipes and bites, auto attacks but the damage count, barely enough to start moving his health bar downward as he healed himself with his passive. Of course the beast was not so simple minded or weak that it could only swipe and slash at him, eventually it launched a larger attack, one that would have been much harder than the others. Luckily Azrieal had a plan for a large attack and right before it hit he activated his armor, instantly being covered in the heavier suit, the damage from the larger attack being greatly diminished and he also took advantage of the situation to do a larger offensive of his own, not landing a rend, as extra damage didn't help his bleed effect, but instead launched a Hell Hound Strike, eviscerating the beasts front right leg, the slow creature unable to avoid even a single one. The damage was a small chunk, about seven percent, and then as soon as it was over the armor receded and his sword returned to normal, a smirk on his face as the beast gave him a hateful look. Extra damage to it and less to Azrieal, it was worth the bit of mana it cost to suit up for several seconds.