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Masks of the Soul: Fragment of Truth

Liron River Pier

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a part of Masks of the Soul: Fragment of Truth, by Cienpher.

Liron River Pier - The largest pier on Liron River

RolePlayGateway holds sovereignty over Liron River Pier, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

433 readers have been here.

Setting

General Information:
Address: 130 Liron Avenue, Riverside District, Throme
Height: 4 m
Owner: Public


Background:
A remnant from Throme's early days, this wooden pier has seen a lot of visitors come and go. Just eight years ago, with the city flourishing along the river, soon private yachts and sailing enthusiasts joined the ranks of the delivery barges that cruised along the river. This soon changed with the construction of the later, and much more elaborate Riverside Pier just a few miles down the river. That became the next hub of both trade and entertainment, leaving the older Liron abandoned.

Design:
The pier itself is very simple in design and function. With its wooden floor and posts, it is accompanied by a large dock and a long pier where all the boats are docked. It is located near L'il Maybelle, but is found in a depression that connects it to the water, whereas the road above lies tens of meters above the river. This makes the pier itself invisible to passerbies on the road. A single long staircase was created to assist with getting to the port, which connects to the sidewalk above. Warehouses and other structures from its heyday dot the area, but most of the goods that pass through the area are bound for Riverside Pier.

Current Events:
The pier itself does not get many visitors in this day and age. While some have been arguing for its destruction, its supporters are lobbying for it to be turned into a historical site for the city. Even then, it's rarely visited or mentioned, and is a corner of Throme that remains quiet. At the same time, it remains in perfect quality - oddly perfect quality.
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Liron River Pier

Liron River Pier - The largest pier on Liron River

Minimap

Liron River Pier is a part of Throme.

1 Characters Here

Calanthia Rozenmare [6] "Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to despise you?"

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3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Chariot Character Portrait: Hideaki Takao Katsuro Character Portrait: Hermit
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Hideaki Takao Katsuro

Liron River Pier's bank - 6:30 PM - November 21st - Raining

It was raining. Each heavy raindrop fell down from the sky to his outstretched hand and broke into hundreds tiny water droplets. Briefly, the young man wondered if it was possible for a person to collect all these beautiful raindrops and keep them for himself because he wanted them. Chuckling at his silly thoughts, he took a deep breath. Watching silently from the river bank as another raindrop fell on his index finger and rolled down his palm, the young man raised his right hand and looked at the water droplet, his eyes shone with mild interest. He kissed his index finger gently, the raindrop broke and the water made his lips wet. The young man’s lips curled into a mysterious smile. The raindrop tasted just like tears… but without the pain. Sighing, he let his hand drop to his side and the other hand tightened his grip around the dark purple umbrella.

Pushing his headphone up slightly, the young man ran his hand through the messy purple hair, his violet eyes closed for 10 whole seconds, just enjoying the music in general. Humming the lyrics of his favorite song, he brushed a lock of hair off his eyes. “ Take me down to the river bend… Take me down where the fighting ends… Wash the poison from off my skin… Show me how to be whole again” He opened his eyes and looked around. Several people were staring at him but the young man paid them no mind. A giggle caught his attention and he turned back to see a group of girls looking at him, giggling girlishly. The young man gave them a slight wave and a bow, inwardly rolling his eyes when they fell into another fit of helpless giggles. Girls… Sighing deeply, the young man decided to go home. It was getting late anyway.

He took out his cellphone and stared at the date. Oh, today was November 21st. So, it had been a while since he last called his parents then. He wondered if he should give them a phone call tonight, just enough to ease their worry but not enough to give anything away. His adopted parents would have a heart-attack if they knew their precious son had practically become a mercenary and a gang member. Just imagine, ‘Hideaki Katsuro – Adopted son and the only heir of the Katsuro Company was a gang member’. Oh, that would be a shocking news. The young man – now could be identified as Hideaki Katsuro, chuckled at his own imagination. Pursing his lips, Hideaki considered if he should just call his parents or wait for them to call him. If his guess was correct (more often than not), his parents would just call him tomorrow if he didn’t call them tonight. ‘The joy of having protective parents…’ Hideaki thought with another heavy sigh.

“…'Cause I'm only a crack… In this castle of glass… Hardly anything left for you to see… For you to see” Hideaki sang loudly again, earning even more looks from the other people. Smirking, the young man thought ‘Maybe I can become a singer… that will certainly earn me more money than working for this Itex organization…’ Taking another deep breath, Hideaki kicked a small stone on the river bank, finally decided to move his feet. He opened his mouth to continue his song “Bring me home in a blinding dream… Through the secrets that i have seen… Wash the sorrow from off my skin… And show me how to be whole-” He was rudely interrupted as the alarm mode of his cellphone began to beep annoyingly. “What now?” Hideaki asked, mostly to himself, his eyebrows furrowed disapprovingly when he read the message he had saved days ago. “Oh, come on… It’s today? Again?” Sighing, Hideaki rubbed his eyes tiredly and put the cellphone back to his pocket, the message ‘Itex Meeting’ still shone brightly as the young mercenary speeded up to go back to his own cozy home.


Hideaki's house - 6:45 PM - November 21st - Raining

Hideaki’s house was surprisingly neat and cleaned for a young man living by himself. The house wasn’t big though its structure was nice. The outside walls were painted white. There were several wooden windows and a big wooden door. Fumbling with his keys, Hideaki bit back a curse when he realized he had forgotten to cook dinner. Pizza, then… He really hated that thing. Opened the door to his house after exactly 30 seconds messing around with his keys, Hideaki walked into the house and turned on the lights. Smiling grimly when he spotted a messy stack of homework and unfinished projects on his table, Hideaki decided he would do it tonight, after he had finished the meeting and the phone call to his parents. He only hoped he would be fresh enough to do the tasks.

Pushing the books aside, Hideaki opened his (also) violet laptop and turned it on. Waiting impatiently for the damned thing to work, Hideaki vowed he would buy another laptop as soon as he collected enough money. Oh, speaking of money, he really should ask how much he would be paid for this mission. The world was having an economic depression after all and he needed to have as much money as possible. Opening the chat system, Hideaki muttered in irritation. He hated Hermit with a passion and he was pretty sure the feeling was mutual. However, was it possible for someone to hate themselves? Because it was certainly possible for him. “When the devil grows old…” The mask appeared in front of him, its Grace Stone fragment reflected a soft turquoise color under the dimmed light of his room. Taking a deep breath, Hideaki closed his eyes and put the mask on, feeling the cool texture fit his face perfectly.

A ghost of a smile appeared on Hideaki’s lips as he read the second phrase gently “…he turns Hermit” His purple hair slowly darkened and became longer until it was pitch black and reached the middle of his back. Tying the soft black hair with a white cloth he had already put on the table, Hermit opened his onyx eyes, sighing contently when he felt the thirst for more and more subdued until it was only a slight throbbing pain in his heart that reminded him who his real person was. His long and pale fingers typed the second password gracefully and his smile widened ever so slightly when he saw who was already there.

“ Chariot, reporting for duty”

Hermit’s lips curled into a pleasant smile as he heard Chariot’s voice. He was defeated again, it seemed. Chariot was always earlier than him. Hermit spoke gently, his voice was kind and gentle, betrayed nothing of his own anger at being defeated by Chariot. His stomach twisted almost painfully while his face still had that pleasant smile. “Hermit, reporting for duty.” Finished the formal part, Hermit’s lips curled into a pleasant smile as he asked Chariot casually “Hey, Chariot, how are you today?” Inside, however, Hermit thought sinisterly, an evil glint in his eyes could send shivers down someone’s spine if they stared at those black orbs for too long. Hermit was worthy of his title, pleasant on the outside but ruthless and evil in the inside ‘Kekeke, how I wish I could chop off his head, take out his gut, paint the walls red… oh yesssss, his meat must be really tasty… I wonder if I can rip off his heart with my bare hand… But… it won’t be good… I’m a hermit after all…Kekeke’

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Character Portrait: Caine Strauss
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#, as written by Witless
Caine Strauss, Itex Moon; Itex Voice Chat


"Hermit. Moon. You're going with him. You three are heading to Liron Pier, where you'll meet a contact. They will recognise you, so you needn't worry about finding them." There was more as well, but this was the main portion. His destination. The orders ended, and a click informed him of Judgement signing off. This was a strange form of communication; meeting in person was so much easier, especially if they'd meet eventually anyway. This was too much of a hassle, going from place to place. But Caine always seemed to be cleaning up after Kaden, and his own world was no different. "This is Moon, headed to the destination. I'll see you there," and he was signed off, just like that.

Just in time, the "movie," it was called, was just starting, and overview music was playing. It was probably showing flashes between different scenes which illustrated the points. Over it all was a male voice, theatric, with some echo effects thrown in as well. "In a world that's ended, the remnants of human life struggle to survive... Genetic mutations cause human-animal hybrids, some dangerous and feral. The others... are outcast and have one refuge of their own. There, a battle ensues regarding those humans who cast them out, ...who exiled them. Here... is the story of the Skinwalkers, Changers, and the humans they hate and love... The story... of a cat. ...ehehehehehe..." The voice changed, becoming more childlike and energetic. "See General Man over there? He's freaking out with his posse over there over a little speech. The town needs order, he gives it, but they still need these 'speeches' for 'morale' or some such boring little thing... and boring things they are! He can't even make a speech! Even I could do better! And I'm a cat! Look, over there, that's me, no a little over... there! Yeah, lookout, smookout, there were supposedly 'Rebels' around, but they weren't making a move. It was boring, can you blame me? Here, listen, it's a speech! Anyone could do better! See for yourself..."

Sagaro Mall -> Goatstone Bridge -> Liron River Pier


Ah, he had gotten drawn in, wasting time. And there wasn't any to waste, was there. Without waiting for more, Caine rushed from the aisle where he had paused in irritation and confusion at the voice and headed out the door. He headed through the rest of the mall mostly unnoticed. He had some sort of knack where people would just let him be. However, near the entrance someone said something strange... "The black-silver pretty! Who?" But it was of little consequence, and Caine was out the door and headed through the city, digging through his contact's head for a map of where he'd be going. It needed to be close to exact, or he might make a mistake. Luckily, Kaden never seemed to fail him there, as he visualized everything when he drew it out on paper. Everything was laid out in his mind, and there was a bridge to cross along the way. Why would he start off on the wrong side of the bridge? The idiot...

Grumbling, he walked along, drawing murmurs from his strange eyes. Sure, they'd forget about him soon after, but the less people took notice of him, the better. He remembered something Kaden had told him, about blind people using canes and to use one where possible. Sitting down against a building on the sidewalk, Caine pulled out his sketchpad, sketched what he needed, and muttered a few words before drawing the cane from the sketch. He staggered for a short instant, drawing a deep breath before continuing onward. Magic had a cost, it always did, but the cost was more here. He'd have to take more care than usual, or his life could be at risk. It was just his luck to be pulled into a world of stagnant magic. If only they knew what it could do, there'd be no need for this... "technology" thing. Sure, it was handy, but was it worth it? No technology could have saved her, no medicine. Only magic could, and he hadn't known... No, this wasn't the time. He was on the bridge, and the cane caught on a statue. He pushed his way around it and walked past with little hindrance. Someone may have offered a hand that was simply shrugged away. It was of little importance.

Finally there, he heard the water, felt the change of texture under his feet at the wooden pier, smelt the fish that must populate the water. But no one was there yet, so he sat down, his feet hanging over the edge of the pier. The suspended pocket of air hovered above him, still held in place by its string, a curiosity Kaden had left him but of which he knew nothing. Well, others would know, no doubt. The sketchpad came out again, and he drew a face, a girl's, one of the few that mattered, one of the few he remembered. One which had fled from his hand many times but never his mind. He drew her face and waited, a mask of indifference on his own face, and a wary ear out for anything approaching.

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Character Portrait: Calanthia Rozenmare
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Calanthia Rozenmare
"There is a perfect arrangement for each flower, what will be yours...?"

~~~~~~++~~~~~~


Little Maybelle - The Flower Shop, "Eden" - 7:30 PM - November 21 - Raining - Closing Hours

~~~~~~++~~~~~~

Image

The conversation between Calanthia and Cecil had been quite pleasant that they did not noticed the passage of time. Topics and issues were tackled in a light manner without the need to go into the deep matters. Their teas were all done and even some confectioneries that she had served were all gone. These were some of the indications that their sporadic talk must come to an end. After all, even the nice things must come to an end at some point. As such, the only son of the illustrious Vogel family bid her farewell and in tow were a couple of seeds, fertilizer, and some goodwill advises. All in all, the separation was all in good terms as far as she could deduced.

Once, the car was far from her vision. Thia looked at the dark sky that continued to cry. She could only release a rather frustrated sigh. At this rate, the possibility of her staying inside her store was great. However, she really has no intention to do so. Remembering the folded umbrella inside her drawers, it would seem that she had no choice but to brave through the pouring rain. Shaking her head in disappointment, she closed the front doors and proceeded to do the same with her personal office. Making sure that every electrical appliances inside were properly turned off. She then gathered her purple over-sized tote bag while grabbing her umbrella and coat on the way out.

Walking through the hallways, Calla had decided to exit through the back entrance. Opening the door, she gazed at the curtain of water falling from the evening sky. Her ash mauve eyes had a subtle light of irritation on it. She was also still debating whether to take her chances inside the shoppe or to make her way home through the rain. Yet in the end, she wore her coat and then opened her umbrella. The decision was made as she exited the door and locked it afterwards. Feeling and hearing the rain colliding with her small shelter of an umbrella, she rolled her eyes and paved her way through the busy streets of Little Maybelle.


Liron River Pier - 8:20 PM - November 21 - Raining

~~~~~~++~~~~~~


It was wet. It was cold. It was damp. It was messy. It was still raining. Calanthia was still walking among the people who were also braving through the watery path. She had tried catching a cab or a bus however, the rain made the public transportation hectic which she never understood the reason why it ever happens in the first place. In any case, she was stuck walking to her house. The walk was not troublesome however, it was irritating due to the rain which she blatantly dislikes. Gazing at the side of the road, she was walking along the rails while gazing at the river. There were little waves and there but not scary enough for there were no strong winds. Fortunately, it was like that. If it wasn't, she would be cursing everyone or she would not even dare try to leave her shoppe.

Ash mauve eyes had a certain glint of annoyance but also a certain glow of curiosity, The cause of the latter was probably due to a certain interesting interaction happening at a nearby dock at the pier. Thia was not concerned about it, however, there was this vague feeling of familiarity. It also urged her to slow down her pace as she walked passed them. Yet, there was also another conflicting emotion of wanting to ignore it all together. She did not need to get herself involved in such matter that would only bear troubles to her. The matter about the e-mail she had received earlier popped into her head. It effectively awakened her annoyance. As such, she quickened her pace once more. However, it was too late to just walk away anymore.

"Stupid... This is stupid..."

2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caine Strauss Character Portrait: Crow
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#, as written by Witless
Caine Strauss, Itex Moon; Liron River Pier


It was taking a while. Was everyone of this world as inept as his contact? How long had it been? They all should have made it here by now, the contact, the others... anybody at all. This was taking far too long, but Itex's orders were Itex's orders. They wouldn't be disobeyed, and Caine was not as inept as the others. He would wait as long as needed or until he could wait no longer. The drawing complete, Caine flipped to the next page and noted with slight confusion the dampness of the book. Oh, right. It was raining. Not that it mattered, the rain never seemed to bother him. It calmed him, actually, or tried to. Speaking of, how was Kaden dealing with the rain and his friends? Oh well, he couldn't make a huge mess of things, right? Not as badly as the last time...

No, it was no use worrying about things he couldn't fix at the moment. And at the moment the main problem was meeting anyone at the meeting place. Itex had done its job and cleared the area, so there was no one around. And who would want to be around during such a wet day at a pier? People surely had better things to do. But seriously, where was the contact? There was a package, correct? It needed to be received and delivered to Itex. The contact would meet them; he had no need to move from this spot. But the others should have been here... it took nowhere near this long to get here. Maybe it should be reported? That the... leader of this mission did so well that he never showed? Hanged Man, indeed... and where was the Hermit, being reclusive as its name implied? Idiots. If he'd have to complete this mission by himself... If there were... complications. Did they concern themselves with their own well-being? Idiots, the lot of them...

Caine closed his sketchpad, his pen pressed inside, and sat on the pier, his legs swinging back and forth as he listened to his surroundings. Rain, hitting the water. Ripples from what may be fish underneath the dock; their smell was pervasive as well. The wind blowing around him. No people. Not yet. He waited, and waited, and he waited some more. Eventually, after what seemed like forever, there was the sound of footsteps. Was it finally one of the others? Or was it the contact? The footsteps paused and continued toward him before stopping again.

Suddenly, a sound. A keening, a projectile? A projectile. And... muttering, an incantation? The Magician wasn't sent on this mission; was there another? An invoker of sorts? Curiouser and curiouser... Turning, his head cocked to listen, sightless eyes staring in the direction of the projectile inquisitively, he stood up, his sketchpad catching the projectile mid-flight, his body reacting in "surprise." His fingers felt the projectile, a feather? Confusion likely clear on his face, he spoke in an almost-quivering voice, "Who's there? W- What do you want from me?"

It was strange; if it were Itex, there would be no need for attack. If it were the contact, would there truly be need for attack? And would the contact have a mask, for what else allowed magic in this otherwise magic-less world? Was there a third party interested in Itex, and how had they heard of the meeting? Had their location been compromised? Well, Caine would get what information he could from this person, and then it could be taken care of. Killing was no problem... no problem at all...

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caine Strauss Character Portrait: Crow Character Portrait: Calanthia Rozenmare
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Calanthia Rozenmare
"Why is that doing nothing seems to be such a luxury for me?"

~~~~~~++~~~~~~


Liron River Pier - 8:23 PM - November 21 - Raining

Image

It would be wonderful if what Thia was seeing was just a mere illusion of the falling rain. The other reason was that her eyes were no longer the perfect 20/20 vision. Although, the two reasons she had provided herself were far from the truth of the happenings. At the same time, she was certain that her mental capability was not compromised at the moment considering what she had been through. There within her line of sight, she saw two rather unnoticeable individuals upon the pier. One seemed to be simply passing time despite the dreary weather. She would never understand people such like them who are not bothered by the seemingly unending rain. It was annoying and downright spiteful for her tastes. In any case, she also noticed another individual yet this one alarmed her greatly. Out of thin air, an arrow was crafted that should not have existed in all the known logic of the world.

"Magic...? It couldn't be..."

Her words came out of her lips much like a hushed whisper. Calla's grip on the handle of her umbrella tightened while her other hand held on sternly onto the provided stainless steel railing on the pedestrian bridge. Eyes of ash mauve widened in disbelief and surprise. The memories from the old times which she had desired to be effectively removed from her head played before her like a phantasm reserved only for her viewing pleasure. For the first time in her life, she wanted the sound of the rain to drown the voices from her past and the loud beating of her heart into nothing. Yet, there are certain wishes in life that no matter what one does, it will never come true. For in the end, life had always been the biggest disappointment of all.

"Get away. It is not your business. Don't get involve."

Thia kept repeating these words much like a protection mantra as she slowly faced the road before her. There was still a long way to go before she reaches the safety of her house. She had decided a long time ago that she would never get herself involved in all these fantasy matters reserved for the darkness. As she finally continued with her walk, a flashing glint caught the attention of her eyes. Instinctively, she looked towards it and saw the crafted arrow pierced through the air with the intention of hitting its predetermined target, a person. Her sense of morality could not allow her to simply stand by on the sidelines and do nothing. Especially when the one who crafted the magical arrows had another one in hand once more.

"You're a fool, Calla."

Upon saying that to herself, Calla threw away the umbrella as it was going to be a hindrance to her next actions. She propelled herself over the protective railings of the bridge and to jump down. Fortunately, the terrain was angular and littered with green foliage for a soft landing. She slid down allowing the combination of mud, grass, and rain to cling to her dress. There was a certain feeling that she would regret her actions later on. However, it was better than to allow her sense of right and wrong be the one to keep her awake all the way through the night. After all, she truly desired a good night sleep more than anything else.

"Stop right there! If you do not, I'm calling the police!"

To prove the authenticity of her threat, Thia showed her phone while placing it on her ears. She had already yet to press the number however, her finger just needed to press the button to make the call. In her mind, she knew that if her conclusion about the identity of this magic-wielding person was right. The police would not be able to handle this so easily. It would certain get messy. However, the only advantage was that these people who wield such unreasonable powers in science. They intend to keep it a secret from the general public. That was the ace that she was betting on and if it turns out to be a ripped off. Well, she could do of another plan.

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???; Liron Pier

“Don’t kill the messenger, eh?” the young woman scoffed as she nudged the limp body with her foot – red shoes, no heels, practical. After all, she was a very practical person. Don’t kill the messenger because, after all, he’s only delivering a message. That’s what he’d told her after their brief little exchange. Well, it seemed that for once, she’d actually listened – she hadn’t killed him, at least. However, the drying brown hue at her heel was a testimony to what she had done.

A note of trivia: she might not kill, but she didn’t have anything against a bit of blood.

Really though, in the end, she was sure no one would have minded if she’d chosen to off this particular messenger… especially when he didn’t seem to have a damn clue who he was supposed to be delivering to. After all, the young woman now possessed the ‘delivery’, a plain little package, right in her hands, and she certainly wasn’t the recipient. Well, she wasn’t unless her name had changed to ‘Itex Pawns’ overnight. “All I had t’do was flash a smile and give a nod,” the woman chuckled under her breath, tossing her prize into the air.

Finally, it something interesting was brewing in Throme at last.

This seemed worth observing.



The pier was dreadfully calm as the second half hour ticked past. So far, all the young woman had seen from her high off little perch was the occasional sailor trudging by with rods, reels, and who knows what else – hardly ‘suspicious recipient’ material.

Boooooring.

Hell, was that messenger so incompetent that he’d been on a rendezvous at the wrong place? Pff. She wouldn’t have put it past the gap-toothed creep. Or… perhaps he was… a decoy? A red herring sent out in the world to confuse any – hell no, if he was a member, this shady Itex organization couldn’t possibly be so cunning. Besides, the package was waaaaaay too much of a disappointment to even be a decoy – a decoy would’ve been… what, like a bomb or something.

Hm? How did she know it wasn’t a bomb?

Well, she had long since carefully opened and its contents thoroughly examined for her curiosity, but… well… there hadn’t been much to examine.

Packing peanuts.

Packing peanuts.

More packing peanuts.

Siamese twin packing peanuts.

And then just a small drawstring bag with an even smaller little sliver of… some kind of rock?... inside it. It wasn’t even anything significant – dull grey, not stronger than the concrete, not pretty to look at, nothing. Really. Way too boring to even be a decoy. The young woman creased her brow at that, her mouth twisting into a pout. What, that was it?! This was what that shifty incompetent was so suspiciously trying to deliver?

Booooring…

… or maybe, just maybe… it was important?

She couldn’t exactly rule out that possibility either. Hell, what did she know about geology? She hadn’t even finished high school. Maybe it was something important. Yeah.

And in that case, she was going to hang onto it… oh, but she’d be delivering the package alright… just with a little switcheroo.

***

The true package is hidden in the yet unopened exhibit of the MTAH. Good luck finding it.

With this, she could see how big a deal these Itex people were. If they called her out, then no big deal. If they took the message seriously and actually paid a ‘visit’ to the museum… well…

“Stop right there! If you do not, I’m calling the police!” a woman’s voice rang out. Startled, the observer flipped her position, again staring down by the riverside. Oh? How had she missed such an interesting development?... But all the same…

Throme just got a lot more fun.

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caine Strauss Character Portrait: Crow Character Portrait: Calanthia Rozenmare
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Crow, Caine Strauss, and Calanthia Rozenmare | Liron River Pier
(Post co-written by Butterfly Princess and Witless)


The second arrow was launched through the air soon after - this time aimed at the silver object that floated there. Like a moon, but really, probably more like a familiar. Still murmuring foreign-sounding words under her breath, Crow snapped her eyes towards the new arriving body. It was of the female gender with -

What was that she was shouting about? Or holding?

No matter. Magic wasn't going to fear the interferings of some outside force. There was no way.

Allowing her sparkling fingers to weave through the air and pluck out yet another feather, she tossed it, singing, into the air at the object the new arrival was holding at the side of her head.

There was another keening, a feather aimed toward Caine? He listened to it in confusion, its trajectory not at all toward him. What was this person's goal? And there was another, some newcomer who had no idea what was happening... by the sounds of it, at least. The police, she said? Well, just another problem to get rid of. This was beginning to be a pain. When would anyone of use arrive? Caine sighed and turned his attention back to his attacker...

*BANG*

Caine clutched his ears in suprise, and, well, pain. That pocket of air, the feather... it was aimed at that? Why would someone make a device to explode air? And why would Kaden keep it hovering close to him?!? That idiot! The least he could have done was explained how it worked! Ouch! ...and there was another to complicate things... What would she do?

Searing pain radiated to the side of her face, Calla's eyes widened in surprise. Her cellphone just blew up into pieces. More importantly, she could feel the heat of it still remaining on her face. There was also the terrible ringing in her ears. Such an explosion could have shattered her earbuds, thankfully it didn't although, there is a bit of bleeding as expected from such a close proximation of explosion. Even some fragments stuck close to her skin, fortunately, it was not deep enough to be a scar issue in the future.

"Ah!"

Looking at her hand, it was very burned and had cuts all over. She looked at the woman who was definitely behind such an act. This is why she hated being involved in such fantasy mumbo-jumbo. But, it just didn't sit well with her to just walk away from all of these. She swore that this was entirely Arthur's fault to begin with.

"This is why I hate Masks..."

Now that both were... well, taken care of, and that familiar certainly had an odd way of dying, Crow narrowed her pale eyes. "Hail there," she called out to the fellow on the bridge, disdain dripping from her uneven tone of voice. "Which name would your body like to carry in death and in life?" With her greeting done and over with, she stepped closer, merely a few meters away from the wooden platform now. "What brings thee to the home and haven of magic?"

Coldly looking forward, Crow saw that water lapped at the sides of the bank, even as more cold water poured down from the sky. It showed no signs of abating. None.

Who were these unwelcome intrusions anyways? Perhaps - this was the promised blade twixt the ribs that she had known was coming. Yes.

The ringing in Caine's ears was abating... "...Masks..." Wait. What had she just said? This newcomer, the one threatening to call, she knew of masks? Great, just great. More enemies and more to take care of. This was getting to be too much. Way too much. Oh, the first one was talking, was she?

Something about names, something about magic. What to answer, what to say? "I'm sorry, do I know you? Magic, you say? That's in... books, stories... paintings, right? Would you like to see?" The sketchpad was opened, his pen drawn. What would appear next?

A sound of cloth being ripped rang ever so briskly. Thia had a piece of her attire torn to wrap around her injured hand. It was still stinging yet it was something that could be ignored. On the other hand, she was also thankful for the falling rain as it managed to cleanse the trickling blood from her ear and face. Although, she hoped this will be the last time she would feel such a thing towards this dreary weather.

In any case, her main concern now was the white-haired girl who clearly had explosion and arrow issues. Scratch that, magic issues from the look of it. Calla glanced at the boy and took noticed of him showing his sketchpad. "I wonder..."

Blah blah blah.

Now that she asked the question, she didn't really know what was going to happen next.

What occurs when a traitor-assassin-betrayal is unveiled? Shouting, name calling, or even the debasement of magic?

Watching the distant horizon, she saw the round white building of some sorts perched on high stilts. Some inner voice in her head named whatever in this moronic magic-less world. Water tower. More importantly, -she vaugely caught sight a shadowy figure that sat there with bright red shoes dangling off the side.

Curious. This plot just got deeper. But whatever happened, against these mere mortals, magic would blow them all way without trouble. Arrows arching through the air, the sparkle of an extraworldly power - yes.

What, neither was doing anything? Hmm... was it even worth it anymore? The feather-arrow girl had this sickly-sweet smell about her that was really getting bothersome. It reminded Caine of that time- Nevermind. At what seemed to be some sort of standstill now, his hands went to sketching, the most recent thing of importance: the feather. It was probably a good representation, not that he could see it, with as much detail as could be managed with his pen and the degrading paper.

But really, did Itex expect him to handle two people on his own? Especially when their own contact was late? Screw them for screwing up everything! Really, they should have been more competent than Kaden at least... Or was everyone in this world so idiotic? Caine pulled the second feather out of his painting and twirled it around in his hand. Not that either had even seen the painting... What to do next?

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Character Portrait: Caine Strauss Character Portrait: Crow Character Portrait: Calanthia Rozenmare
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Calanthia, Crow, Caine Strauss, and ??? | Liron River Pier
(Post co-written by Nivosity, Cienpher and Witless)


"You are truly an idiot, Calanthia."

This was the ringing statement within Thia's head. It seemed she was way out of her league and judged the situation wrongly. The boy suddenly took out a feather out of nowhere. Scratch that. He took it out from his sketchpad from her observations. This was just great. She was caught in between two mask-wielders. Describing this situation as mere getting out of hand is quite the insult. She should have just walked on, minding her own business. But NO, she had to play hero and let her morality took precedence than her safety. Now, look what got her? Injuries all over her face and a broken phone which contained important contacts for her business.

Upon recalling that, Calla's self-preservation slightly lowered itself closely to a nil. The girl just broke her phone. Her connections to important clients which she has yet to save on her laptop. Furthermore, she now also remembered that the falling rain continued to drench her. Everything about this situation was annoying. She could already fill her temper beginning to grow out of proportions. More importantly, this twist of events reminded her one of the person, she hated above all.

"I have enough of this hocus pocus. This is all that guy's fault to begin with!"

At the end of her statement, Thia took out a small handgun she always carry with her. It was safely secured in one of her boot and without much hesitation shot two bullets. One flew towards the feather-throwing woman and the other one towards the boy who she had ought to save before. Her mind was now corrupt by her rage and she blames the irony of this situation to one man in the end. Unknown to her, there was another onlooker who was witnessing this events from a distant perch with such stunning red shoes.

The said onlooker, meanwhile, looked down at the scene with eyebrows raised. Her chin was propped in her hand as she leaned (rather dangerously) forward, near pitching over the platform of the water tower, in interest - for once reality had far exceeded her expectations. This wasn't some trick. This wasn't some stage show. This was an outright candid happening, and either cosplayers took things a step too far... or her eyes weren't deceiving her and this was unnatural - magical? Hell, no, that word held too many light and happy connotations for what she was seeing.

This was fascinating... and she had no doubt that her little stray package was meant for those bizarre, outlandish figures.

But what of that girl with the gun? Reckless. That one didn't seem to have a plan at all - looked out of place too. Probably wasn't meant to be there.

However, when two shots rang out through the pier, the mysterious onlooker tensed. 'That princess has a death wish,' she thought, before tucking the package into the large inner pockets of her long coat and springing into action. Some might have called her cazy, the way she simply leapt off the ledge... but then again, most people didn't realize that she wasn't one of those thoughtless people who called themselves 'spontaneous' like it was a title of honor. No, she planned her 'spontaneity' meticulously.

As she fell, she grabbed the length of the ladder, merely wincing when the old peeling paint cut into her palms as she continued her rapid descent. "Oi, costumed freaks!" she shouted, catching footing on a rung and spinning to face them once close enough to the ground. They would be able to see her clearly now, pale brown eyes, eager grin, free dark hair and all. Her striking red shoes were a clear contrast to the dull paint of the water tower ladder. Bracing herself, with her free hand she pulled out the package from the inside of her coat, flamboyantly as if she were pulling a rabbit from a hat. "Gotta delivery for'ya!"

"That guy?" It wasn't Caine. He hadn't known this interrupting woman before this. As she fired another projectile with a bang, Caine dove aside immediately. Suddenly, the sound of someone coming closer, hitting the ground from a fall; he turned to face the newcomer. "Oi, costumed freaks! Gotta delivery for'ya!" Finally. That person had taken far too long to arrive. And of course she would arrive when there was not one but two distractions that had to be taken care of first. Itex had better compensate for this... This was more than they had prepared him for, and they were the ones at fault.

"It's about time..." Caine raised his hands to the two disturbances and spoke, "Ningens." From his hands came a spray of ice shards, darting at their respective targets. Meanwhile, he began walking toward the delivery woman, his cane forgotten on the pier (no need to keep up the blind act), it returned to ink. This had better be worth it, or he'd be getting much better assurances from Itex that things would go as planned the next time. As he neared the newly-appeared (late) woman, "That's for me, if you would."

Crow was feeling quite irritated the entire time.

Flying gunpowder and lead was a despicable trick. No honor in civilians at all. And the complete lack of magic? Shocking. Hateful. Horrible. Drawing another arrow in hand, she threw it at the strange flying cylinder - and as magic was so much more precise, the two impacted perfectly. The strange object shattered into hundreds and hundreds of pieces, litering the ground. The arrow fell on the ground, before disappearing in a few sparkles of light.

Then, things became more complicated. Yet another... mundane mortal moron entered the scene, mocking magicians with her obvious tricks. Disgusting, indeed. But as soon as the reverberations of her voice faded away, she had to defend from yet another attack. This time...

Magic?!

Throwing up Avalon haphazardly, she was grateful to see the majority - no, all - of the ice shards hit the reflective waterfall and get enveloped by the force of the water, before melting harmlessly and joining the torrent. Of course, that also meant that whatever the guy was doing.

And why in the world did she protect the first complication in the first place?

Pale white eyes narrowed. "I don't like dying," she stated with a frown. "But no matter, bodies. You'll be there soon enough." She hated defending. Absolutely. Yes.

The self-proclaimed messenger quickly stopped her grin and merely quirked a brow at the young man who approached. "Hm, so you're the one they're givin' this mission to?" she mused, letting out a long whistle for emphasis. "Got your luck cut out for ya." With that final remark, she flung the (carefully resealed) package to the said costumed freak. Of course there wasn't really a mission, but she knew her stuff - set the scene and run with it. Mention it now and her false little message inside the box would be that much more credible.

What, at least it was more credible than some little stone shard.

"Anyway, mind fillin' me in on the scene here?" Flat expression, flickering glance to the young woman off scene. "The higher ups'll wanna know." Okay, and that last line was a risk - who knew where this crazy's position in the It... (Itek? Damn, she forgot) hierarchy was and for all she knew, he could be the higher up... but she was curious. What was this group? Hell, she was already going in blind, so she might as well go all out.

In a world where fudamentals of logic and illusions cross the dimensions of reality, Thia really wondered if what she had assumed as existing does not belong in the realm of truth. Perhaps, it was also the other way around. Well in any case, such lingering thoughts did not matter at the moment. What was importnat was the fact that her apparitions of destruction were flatten with the wave of magic.

"This is why I never agreed to such a thing in the first place."

The meaning of those words lost in translation in the folds of her consciousness. Moreover, ice shards as the only viable identification of those crystalline projectiles she could think of. Actually, there are those glass toothpicks, marble spears, and the likes. However, she hardly consider the fact that people who think of themselves so highly with just the mere magnification of their egoistic fantasies.would lower themselves with such things. Well perhaps, they would. She would never know and really did not care to expand on that topic anymore. For now, those projectiles from the boy headed towards her as well. It would be in her best interest to dodge. Yet, her reaction time would not allow it.

"Am I going to die like this?"

Without flinching, Thia's ash mauve eyes became vacant resembling that of a lifeless doll. An acceptance of fate? Or the denial of consequence? Whatever it may be, the said shards were enveloped in a liquid glass object. Regaining her earlier fragmented attention, she noticed it to be of water. Soon, it was washed away with the falling rain into the nearby river.

"Did she just save me?"

Looking towards the direction of the arrow-maniac girl, Calla was not certain what to think now. Furthermore, she now noticed an arrival of someone. From the look of things, this was something she never wanted to be part of. As of now, the cozy office at her store was beginning to be a place of heaven for her. In any case, she knows when she had to pay her dues and such.

"Thanks."

It was spoken with a slight tone of appreciation but more of a begruding inclination. Well, this was the one who destroyed her phone and even caused her injuries from the get-go. Seeing as of now, this place was out of her league. It was not a place for humans like her and that is just that.

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caine Strauss Character Portrait: Crow Character Portrait: Calanthia Rozenmare
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#, as written by Witless
Caine Strauss, Calanthia, Crow, and ??? | Liron River Pier
(post co-written by Nivosity, Cienpher, and Butterfly Princess)


"Hm, so you're the one they're givin' this mission to?" Something was tossed to Caine, and he grabbed it. The box. The package. It was slipped in his bag, and his attention was turned once again to his opponents. The projectiles had been stopped with the sound of water, and of course the lack of cries of pain helped confirm that. Well, if that didn't work... "Fulmen." The hands turned once more to his opponents, and from them shot bursts of electricity.

With a startled gasp, Caine's hands jerked back at the shock. That was going to be more dangerous than normal... Why, was there water around beside the river? Had one of the others done something he hadn't noticed? Well, they'd react to this attack at least... Meanwhile, the messenger was speaking again.

"The higher ups'll wanna know." Hmm? This messenger wanted an explanation? Of what was happening? If the higher ups wanted to know, they could be told by him. And believe me, they'd find out what happened here... When I question the disappearance of the leader and the third on such an important mission. This was not supposed to have as many complications, and of course the higher ups would be told. But now was not the time to hold idle conversation.

Taking the box away from the meeting place, Caine broke into a run, the memories of Kaden telling him when to turn, as he tried to lose the others. Once it was secured, the delivery could be completed...

Angry out of her mind, Crow was not in the best of moods to deal at the incoming wave of energy. The muffled thanks was just to be expected, as she was the magician in this scenario - but really, she paid it no mind.

What was the best way to get rid of this mage?

The lightning bolt spread, jumping from drop of water to drop of water before - whelp, getting a little charred isn't going to do anything, right? Angling her body so that the least amount of surface area was facing the wave of energy, she made sure that her left hand was stuck at her side and was rewarded by a - albeit irritating - shock. The energy transferred directly down the right side of her body, making it feel temporarily numb.

But mind over body, so she shook off the effects pretty quickly.

Then dancing fingers plucked two arrows this time and slung them through the air towards the running mage. What a shame. Magic was rare enough, but killing the apprentice would be necessary. Allowing the two to weave together, this time making sure that the singing of the arrows was deliberately confusing and slightly disorienting, she saw the two feathers speed through the air - faster than last time - one right after the other.

The fake messenger could only watch as the eccentric young man hurried off with the package. "Tch, knew that was pushing it," she sighed... but no, she was far from done. Her attention was drawn to the other figure, who seemed to be readying some magical attack. It was too dangerous to step in, but too interesting to miss - she'd adopt a spectator's seat once more.

Something sparkling caught by her vision, Thia's attention as she angled herself sideaways. There she saw bolts of lightning heading towards them. She instinctively opted to dodge which she did at the nick of time. Although, she could feel the close call as it passed ever so closely to her face. The fizzle of the air among with the watery environment they were in rather added a logical effect to the lightning sent from the boy's hands. Thinking about it, she smelled something singed and noticed that some portion of her hair were not so lucky to dodge the tender licks of lightning.

However, before she could do anything about it. Another set of feathers were released by the woman who had protected her from the earlier attack. This time all she could do was watch in silence and worry if it would connect with its intended target. It seemed that her morality was once more battling within her once more.

More feathers. They'd never hit with that sound. That one wouldn't hit him... Caine dodged to the side, muttered the command to his next spell: "Obturberis morerisque," and a shimmering emanated from him. There. If they weren't distracted by- Ouch! There was? Another one? It had hit Caine in the shoulder, cutting and drawing blood... that would need to be covered up soon, or he'd be as easy to follow as, well, kids who left breadcrumbs in a forest.

As he was saying, if they weren't distracted by whatever distractions resulted from that... it wasn't called a shield for nothing. It would help him get away, though they wouldn't forget about him. All that mattered was that it lasted long enough for him to complete his delivery. The box was safe. It was with him. Now, he only needed a return to the chat room... Then Kaden could be back to clean up his mess, and all would be good. There was no need to look back to see if they were still chasing; they wouldn't be for long, but he'd find out soon enough.

Coldly, approaching the runaway apprentice boy, Crow -

What was that?

Turning her head to the side, her cold, empty white eyes glanced down at the creaking wood floor of the pier. It was an annoyance, something to be destroyed, yes. But, there was somehing that she could just not remember.

The dark haired human was some sort of clue, right?

Oh, the apprenti -

...

The red shoes were really obnoxious. Really. Maybe it would be better if Crow helped the girl out of them. And destroyed them for good measure. Crow, stepping forward to do just that, suddenly remembered the package that was whipped out so flamboyantly.

Where had it gone in the first place?

She just couldn't remember. Even thinking about it was hard -

What was going on?!

The false messenger, who had been enjoying the spectacle, noticed the peculiar shift in the air as well. Her smile faded as she narrowed her pale brown eyes - strange. There seemed to be something like... a glitch in her memory? She knew that something was amiss because there was a hole in the mental print of her plan. She never had holes in her plans.

Her attention was diverted by the sound of weight on pavement, someone stepping towards her. Potential danger. Move.

In almost a reflexive response, the outsider spun on her heel to face the other 'costumed freak' - the girl - keeping wary watch for sudden movements. See, this false messenger knew the street life well. She didn't even forget to smile and pretend like she was calm, even though she was far, far from it. Inside, she was frantically searching for the missing piece of the puzzle - it almost felt as if she wasn't supposed to, with everything else, every movement, every sight and smell assaulting her senses, but she wasn't about to just gloss over the glaring inconsistency in her thoughts.

What was she missing... maybe this other girl had some answers. Oh, it was dangerous for sure - what could she do when the enemy could use magic? But hell, she was willing to take the risk.

"Hey," she started with a tilt of her head. "You there, freak number two - mind filling me in on what just happened?"

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caine Strauss Character Portrait: Crow Character Portrait: Kaden Jannsen Character Portrait: Calanthia Rozenmare
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Calanthia, Crow, Caine Strauss, and ??? | Liron River Pier


It seemed that the boy was now escaping the scene. However, he did not leave unscathed. One of the feathers connected with his skin and the sight of blood made Thia feel an amount of guilt. Still remembering the earlier events, she justified it as something deserving for his likes. Which goes to say, the woman who seemed to suffer a certain amount of anonymity both in the mind and presence appeared to be bothered. Thinking about it, this woman might have saved her yet, it does not change the fact that she destroyed her phone from the very beginning.

Fortunately, Cala was not able to linger on the emotions of irritation as the mysterious woman who had suddenly appeared out of nowhere was now before them. Along with that, the woman had a question. She would have taken the initiative to answer the query. Unfortunately, she was not also certain what was going on or why did she ever think to intervene on the matters where magic and mumbo jumbo ruled the possibility of all things.

Caine looked behind him, pausing in his run and listening. There didn't seem to be anyone following him. Now was the time to stop this infernal bleeding, give an end to the trail that would lead them to him. He could spare some more time using this wasteful power, but he was getting tired, from lack of energy and lack of stamina. Blood loss wasn't really a factor; it was a minor wound. Caine brought out his sketchpad and drew once more: a roll of bandages, used to cover his wound, stop it from bleeding, and above all stop that blood from falling. With a gasp, he drew it out and applied it, getting rid of the excess as ink, mixing with water and new-fallen blood on the ground. His time here was running out, and this disastrous mission would have to be completed soon. There'd be no more interruptions. Not if he could help it.

The bleeding stopped, Caine continued a ways, stumbling here and there in his fatigue. But that magician... who was she? Not that it mattered... Far enough from the trail, he muttered "finis" and took out the writing tablet and headphones Kaden had instructed him with, that he'd used so often before. For the second time that day, Kaden signed into the Itex voice chat and spoke. "Moon, signing in. There were t- two complications. Neither of them Itex. And I can't say much about your messenger. Or the rest of our crew... Hanged Man and Hermit never showed. I have the package, though. Where to?" Someone had to be on, right? Someone who knew what was happening, what to do? Because Caine sure didn't, and his time here was running ever shorter.

Freak number two? What was that supposed to mean?

Her eyes flickered towards the calm smile that the second mortal wore. Somehow she had the feeling that she was being mocked. Yes, somewhere behind that smile was a joke at Crow's expense. She balled her hands into fists, colorless sparks flying from her fingertips. Then, taking a step forward, she licked her pale lips. Her voice came out absolutely neutral. "What do you intend, mortal?"

Her fingers twitched again, violently. It just didn't feel right not to be slinging arrows and pulverizing the bodies. But, with the hole in her mental facilties, she needed some cannon fodder. Who knew what was going on right now? And there was something important going on.

"Mortal?" the stranger echoed, before giving into a bout of snickering. Spinning on her heel, she turned away from the masked woman, throwing out her arms. "Ahh, Throme really has become more interesting!" the mere human exclaimed, laughing all the while. Glancing back, she added, “I don’t ‘intend’ to do anything. I’m more of the spontaneous sort, myself.”

Lies. She never acted thoughtlessly.

“Do tell me though. What do you intend to do, hm?”

Reckless and sometimes, stubborn, those were Thia's ever present traits. However, she was not an idiot not to to understand the there is trouble brewing between the lady with red shoes and the woman with magic syndrome. She was certain things could get ugly in an instant with one wrong move. Still, she had no more energy to interefere with anything at all. The recent events had drained most of her spirit and more importantly, she was too cold and too battered to care anymore. Why was she here anyway? This was not her jurisdiction.

"I will leave you two now but I suggest you two do the same."

In the distance, one could heard the closing sound of sirens. It would proper to conclude that those were police cars and all. Cala did not find that odd as they did cause some ruckus with all the explosion and all. Even with the falling rain that could be used to mask such noises. There ws still a distinctive sound to differentiate it. Adding to that ongoing increase of crime rates in the city, the citizen and its security forces are quite vigilant nowadays. Turning her back at them, she walked away but not before stopping midway.

"I hope to never see all of you again."

After stating that, Calla continued on her way without looking back. She definitely would need to take a bath and to remember never to interfere with anything again. This was going to be the last time she would have an encounter with Masks and such things called magic. She returned to the pathway above and continued on her way wanting to take a cab, After all, she had no more energy left to walk towards her home.

Yes. The mortals were really laughing at Crow. Her white eyes narrowed as she took in the two females that dared tell the resident magician what to do. What courage. Stupid courage. She refused to answer, merely -

The damn apprentice.

It was all his fault.

So there had to be some magic going on, if he was able to escape without anyone remembering anything. With balled fists and pursed white lips, Crow twirled on the ball of her foot away from the red-shoed stranger. How would she be able to find him now? He had left with something - something important. There had to be some clue that would lead straight to him.

All the same, before she made her escape, she took careful note of her two new 'acquaintances', committing to memory their faces, their figures, their movements... because in a small world and an even smaller city like Throme, one never knew who they'd run into again. She'd learned to be careful.

With that done, the stranger merely gave a mock salute before darting off away from the pier.