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Farren Leinfelder

"Circumstances change... and he is no longer needed."

0 · 98 views · located in Aethes

a character in “Skinwalkers: Resonance of the Lost”, as played by Cienpher

Description

Farren Leinfelder
Image

Role
First Lieutenant

Type of Changer
Lupus

Nicknames
By everyone but other officials, he is to be called Lieutenant...

Gender
Male

Age
26

Personality
Farren is of a solemn nature, cool in demeanor and calm in countenance. There is very little that will make him anxious and he faces any trouble from an objective perspective. As the first lieutenant, he values his authority and won’t hear any other opinions unless it is presented with enough logical support. He is slow to show anger but, in exchange, very quick to show irritation. When irked, his usually professional words take on a slightly more emotional, scathing edge. Although he isn’t quite as eloquent as some other changers, he is rather good with words in his own respect.

His virtues are distorted and difficult to define. In his mind, his ideals and his goals are the only ones that matter. As this, there are only two kinds of people in the world – those who will help him reach them, and those who get in his way. The outward distinction between these two is difficult to define, but in the long run, it means everything. He is always devising methods to ruin and rid of those who hinder him. Those who are useful to him, however… he will do everything in his power to keep. He is surprisingly faithful to those who put their faith in him. Despite what he might lead others to believe, Farren will keep his promises to these select few. Even though he works with other changers more out of necessity than want, if he deems them his allies, he will never abandon them, regardless of the danger, unless there is simply no other alternative for survival. This, however, often means that he be indecisive under pressure, which he considers a poor trait to have.

The few he trusts are the closest thing to friends he will acknowledge… but he does not express this outwardly. These allies most likely do not even know that Farren considers them as such. On the outside, to everyone, he is simply the cold and objective Lieutenant.

He always considers all possibilities before choosing a course of action, and this aspect of him is only enhanced by his resourcefulness. However, on the rare occasion where he does get angry, in those rare moments, he has a tendency to have emotion overrun his rationality. This has yet to happen. His genuine smiles are just as rare, if not rarer, as he is generally somber in expression. Farren values tactics and mental with higher than pure brute strength and believes that strategy is key to any operation, no matter how simple.


Brief Description of Human Form
Farren is taller than most and has a paler complexion from a long history of nocturnal tendencies. His black hair is slightly overgrown, but seeing as he isn’t bothered by it and because it’s a hassle, he doesn’t bother to cut it. He has gray eyes that border on blue which often retains a shadow of tiredness as a result of his reluctance to sleep. Farren has a preference for darker clothing which helps him to blend into the night and refuses to wear anything that restricts his movements. Most commonly, he wears a black coat over a layer of the change-fabric, which might be suitable for the freezing nights of the wastes, but is a bit too much for the heated daytimes.

Image

Brief Description of Animal Form
In his changed form, Farren becomes a large dog of unknown breed. It has a thick coat of a soft black hue that fades at his plumed tail. His blue-grey eyes seen bluer in this form, but they retain the same coldness as before. He is a menacing presence, not the largest of Lupus, but has an air of danger about him – cruel fangs, long limbs for a longer stride, and a strong build looking more intimidating from. Those with keen enough animal instinct know to stay away from this dog.

Human Skills/Abilities
Strategy – Farren is good at quickly formulating detailed plans of action, which is important if the changers are to survive. He is able to keep calm and rational under most any circumstances, which is important when others are prone to overreact.

Endurance – while Farren is average in stealth or speed, his stamina is unrivaled. His tolerance for pain or fatigue is greater than most others, and coupled with his strength, he could make for a rather difficult opponent. He has received no real training in terms of combat, but he is experienced. He takes a rather unsophisticated but effective approach in hand to hand combat.

Awareness – he is more perceptive than some others. This by no means is an indication that he has keener senses than others, but rather that he is more observant. He has a better sense of self and his surroundings, and thus is more aware of what is going on around him during meetings, training, travel, or battle.


Animal Skills/Abilities
Keen Senses – although this carries over to his human form to some extent, Farren’s changed form has exceptional hearing and a heightened sense of smell. Not only can he hear a wider range of frequencies, he can also pick up on quieter noises. He is also able to distinguish different scents and as well as most other Lupus, and is a fair tracker. However, he often has others do the tracking business for him.

Nighttime Camouflage – although this is true to some extent in his human form with his preference for black attire, as a dog he is quieter, stealthier, and his black fur gives him natural cover in the darkness of the nights in this new, demolished world.


Weaknesses
Heat – he becomes sluggish and tired when it is too warm. Farren becomes considerably more irritable as well, affecting his ability to think clearly and rationally. This is even more so in his changed form than his human one, as his Lupus nature has a thick black coat.

Hypersensitivity – despite Farren’s superior endurance, he is sensitive to things such as strong smells or loud noises whether he is in human form or changed. Certain smells such as that of ink or medicinal herbs can make him dizzy to the point of incapacitation. Loud noises can severely pain his ears and disorient him as well.

Sleep Deprivation – Farren is an insomniac or, rather, he fears the vulnerability of sleep. He rejects rest for days at a time, instead choosing to have a moment to himself at his favorite site – the reservoir. Something about the stars above and the countless glowing lights within the water soothes him. The feeling of mutual insignificance for both Skinwalkers and Humans in the presence of these two mystical lights puts him at ease and lets him think. Thanks to his endurance, he is able to function without too much mental or physical strain without sleep for days, but of course he won’t be able to last. When he does sleep, he will always do it sitting up. Something about it helps him feel more secure.


History
If one goes through the trouble of piecing together the fragments of information about Farren’s past, they’ll learn relatively little. He was born into a relatively stable human settlement with hopeful citizens looking forward to a new beginning. It was for this reason that there, Skinwalkers, the heralds of something evil, were more violently and adamantly rejected than anywhere else. Every new born babe was carefully examined for any sign of changing and if found, killed on the spot. After all, simply abandoning them left room for survival. Farren was the sort who has no physical characteristics of his changer nature, which was the loophole to his system. Because he was raised with the people believing he was human, they didn’t notice the behaviors that indicated his true nature – how quickly he learned to walk, how well the dogs of the settlement obeyed him… they should have been clear signs. Here they say that upon discovery, he killed everyone in the settlement. Others say that he had plotted to kill them all along. Some say he wandered the desert and became the leader of a band of skinwalkers, targeting the human settlements out of hate before being recruited by the leader of the Army. However, only he knows the truth, and it is not one he is willing to divulge.

Rumors:
Farren is famous for being unreadable, with none of the public knowing what exactly he is thinking. There are rumors about his intentions floating about amongst those of his past and perhaps there’s a fragment of truth to each of them. He is famous, or infamous, for his unyielding and commanding nature – not a single infraction of order goes by without his hearing of it.

Attitudes:
“Judgement before observation is pointless.”

Other
Farren feels extreme discomfort when he changes. He can actually feel every change in his body, even the bones twisting and rearranging themselves. Most others would be incapacitated by the pain, but with his tolerance to pain and sheer strength of will, Farren can withstand it. In exchange for this discomfort, the transformation process is significantly faster, taking no more than two seconds, and unlike some others, he change while on the move.

So begins...

Farren Leinfelder's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lorelai Kieran Character Portrait: Tenko Kieran Character Portrait: Farren Leinfelder Character Portrait: Atra Von Galbri

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Farren Leinfelder; The Fortress


The nights in the wastes passed far too quickly in Farren’s opinion, and Aethes was no exception to this fact. It felt as if only mere moments had passed since moonrise, since the stars had appeared, since the reservoir had lit up with those strange, ethereal glows… but he had seen the lights fade into the waters as the sun peaked the horizon. Another night had come and gone. It had been yet another sleepless night for the First Lieutenant, and now the calm of the cool darkness made way for the blistering heat and the commotions of The Army.

Exactly which imbecile’s idea had it been for Tenko to make a speech on such a day?

The preparations were tedious – the positioning of the soldiers, the distribution of the people, they were all things that to be arranged specifically for the occasion… this pointless occasion. They’d gone through the motions before. Farren still remembered the leader’s last attempt at oration. His grey eyes narrowed at the memory. With such mediocre words, he wondered how Tenko had managed to inspire such confidence, such support from the people. Well, then again, if the speeches were successful, there would have been no reason for bloodshed in the first place. These ‘rebels’ would have been rooted out by the outraged citizens of Aethes themselves. That man had far more than a mere army at his disposal – he had a whole city at hand with all its people, yet the he lacked the will or simply the thought to use it. The fool.

Farren had decided for himself that such ‘public speeches’ were to be treated simply as a front. After all, it was the perfect opportunity to bait out those rebels and be rid of them once and for all. If it was up to him alone, he would have issued a kill-on-sight command to all the soldiers should they notice any rebel activity. However, he had been opposed. Kill-on-sight would have ‘disrupted the peace’ and ‘caused a commotion’.

Really, in that case, the commotion would have started a long time ago. If done right, there would have been no problem… and Farren made sure he did things right.

… The heat was getting to him, irritating him… otherwise he wouldn’t be thinking such thoughts so early in the day. Unlike some other changers, like those soldiers lazing about in the shade as animals, Farren had no such option. The dark coat of his lupus form would have simply absorbed the sun’s rays to irk him all the more. However, the fact of the matter was, his uniform was not much better.

Now that it occurred to him, what excuse could these soldiers possibly have for shirking their duty in favor of rest? Surely they would have learned by now that his orders were not to be taken lightly, and with his current level of irritation, they might just all find themselves in the fighting pit for no reward at all… no. He couldn’t lose his head over a little bit of sun. With such a big event, every soldier mattered. He slowed to a stop when he passed one of the buildings within the fortress, with concrete slabs arranged into a sort of tilted overhang.

“The four of you,” he stated slowly, staring down at their heaving forms. “You’re stationed by the main gates.”

Startled by the sudden appearance of their lieutenant, the soldiers bolted upright. Two dogs cringed, ears flattened back and head dipped in some vague degree of shame. The miao took to slinking further into the shade, at which Farren narrowed his eyes further. The cat froze.

Only one soldier was in human form, and he wore no shirt in an attempt to salvage some degree of comfort. Clearly, from the heavy breathing, it helped very, very little. This changer opened his mouth to stammer some irrelevant excuse – something about the heat, something about the speech… pointless and useless nonsense. His ramblings were cut short when Farren stepped forward, slow enough to see the next excuse die on this soldier’s lips.

“Some fine soldiers are braving this heat in the fighting pit. If you do not wish to work, you are free to join them,” Farren told them. The heat of the sun did little to warm the coldness of his words. “If the sun is all it takes to bring you to your knees, perhaps you need more training.” He cut the next excuse short. “Do not try to justify your actions. If the heat is your excuse, it is for every other changer in Aethes. Tell me, then where would the Army be?”

Closer to where he wanted it to be, that’s where. If only the Army were so weak and feeble, everything would fall into place as he wanted it. However, Farren knew better than to linger on impossible thoughts. The fact of the matter was, Aethes was Tenko’s. Farren was simply the commander of the forces. Well, with some patience, all that would come to change… but for now…

“If you understand me, get to your posts,” he ordered. Swiftly and silently, the four did just that.

Farren grimaced and looked about him at the Fortress. To one side was a line of makeshift warehouses, each seemingly secure and guarded. To the other side were the crumbling barracks, where it seemed more soldiers had taken refuge from the beating sun. He would deal with them later. As of now, Farren had to report to the leader for duty.

The walkway was one of the main features of the Fortress, but really only ever used on occasions such as this. It was here, as always, that Farren found the others. He noted how that other Lieutenant had yet to arrive. However, Tenko and his wife was, along with Atra, that half-blind ariad bodyguard. Ah, yes, he was always near the leader. That was his role after all… He was good at what he does, perhaps did his job a little too well for Farren’s liking.

Then again, Farren had to admit that observing this bodyguard was a great deal of help in training that pair.

Drawing closer, Farren nodded to Tenko, raising his hand in salute. How much longer would he have to play this little game…? “Sir, the base is secure and the people have begun to gather. All we await is your speech,” he said in as proper a voice as he could manage. It sounded reasonably respectable.

The setting changes from the-fortress to Aethes

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lorelai Kieran Character Portrait: Sevrin Massengale Character Portrait: Tenko Kieran Character Portrait: Farren Leinfelder Character Portrait: Atra Von Galbri

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Sevrin Massengale - The Fortress

Sevrin had just gotten out of a quick shower and finished pulling on his shirt, pants, and shoes. With that done with, he ran his hands through his black hair. It was still noticeably wet, but that would come in handy with the heat threatening to fry anyone who stood out in it too long. Sev especially hated warm weather - dry air like this was just pushing the matter. But he kept his composure. It'd cool off eventually. And, usually, nothing bothered Sevrin for that long. Definitely not something as unimportant as the heat and the sun. No, what mattered today was Tenko's speech. It wasn't hard to figure out public speaking wasn't their leader's favorite activity. Most people probably couldn't handle the action. Sevrin didn't blame them, even if his job required talking so well you got your enemy to spill whatever secrete they thought they could hide. The thought gave him a proud smile as a drop of water rolled down his face. He rubbed it off with the back of his hand and walked out into the sun, letting it warm his already uncomfortable body.

He wasn't suffering alone, though. Soldiers were either fighting, trying to earn some extra food, or lazing about. He could already see Farren getting onto some soldiers. Sevrin watched for a moment before watching the Lieutenant leave. Probably heading to Tenko. That would make sense, considering the whole speech thing today. The Fortress was filled with changers, all awaiting the same moment. All standing around unless told otherwise. Sevrin let his disgust at the notion of doing nothing show for a split second before he continued walking again. Laziness was something he just couldn't - wouldn't - understand.

Sevrin started walking again, just going through the Fortress and looking over things. He wasn't going anywhere in particular. There wasn't much for him to do at the moment besides wait for orders or the day's planned event. How many Pack members were also waiting for today's speech, he wondered. It seemed like it would be easier for the pack if they stayed in their usual hideout. Why take the risk of getting stuck with the Army? No doubt they'd be killed on sight. The heat was making everyone a little edgier today. But Sevrin never doubted the nerve of other people. A Pack member could be standing behind him, or in a tree somewhere - whatever - waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Cause a commotion. A distraction. Kill somebody. Get some information.

His mind was making up scenario's a little too fast now.

Sevrin ran another hand through his hair, which was now dry. He'd cross the bridge of Pack members when it came up. Although, he wouldn't mind having someone to crack under pressure.

It'd give him something to do.

Sevrin continued walking through the fortress and, with a smile, greeting everyone he passed who bothered to listen, only stopping for a moment to spare a few extra words with children. He liked talking to them... finding out who'd turn into a future fighter and who'd end up too soft to harm anything. It was always interesting watching them grow up and seeing your predictions come true.

He thought for a moment. Was that weird? Eh, coarse not. He glanced at the sky, then around him, and before he knew it, he was making his way down the walkway. Sevrin wasn't necessarily needed or commanded to be there when Tenko decided to make his speech, but it was a hell of a lot better than standing around in the crowd, wasting his time. With unintentionally quiet steps, he was soon standing near the others. He gave them all a respectful nod, a courteous smile, and looked around him again. Gathering his surroundings for a moment. So this was what it felt like... to have a little more power than Sevrin actually did. He raised an eyebrow and took in the sight of Tenko.

"The vast majority of them are rooting for you, sir," Sevrin told him, popping one of his knuckles, "but you being nervous won't keep them on your side."

The setting changes from aethes to The Fortress

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lorelai Kieran Character Portrait: Sevrin Massengale Character Portrait: Tenko Kieran Character Portrait: Farren Leinfelder Character Portrait: Atra Von Galbri

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#, as written by ZenMon
Tenko Kieran - The Fortress


The time was now at hand. A sizable crowd had filled the open ground below the walkway; most of the crowd milled about while waiting for Tenko to give his speech. Some were bored, others looked around nervously, and others still were shuffling around while waiting for their day to continue. With one final nod to his lieutenants, bodyguard, and wife, he ascended the steps to face the crowd. From his position in front of them, the crowds size seemed to triple. Tenko felt exposed and vulnerable. He almost considered just backing off and letting his propaganda officer take care of public relations, but that was no way to run a nation. Especially the kind of nation he hoped to create. Yet how to proceed still eluded him. A thought bubbled forth from the backs of his mind. After hastily clearing his throat, he spoke out to the crowd.

"My fellow Changers! This harsh world we have been born into nearly destroyed all of civilization as we know it! Our human ancestors grouped together for their survival in their small groups. They fought, they warred, yet they endured. They continued to see themselves as the superior beings in the world." Tenko slowly began to pace back and forth. "And then we came along. We, the Changers, who are the next step in the evolutionary chain! We who were cast out of our old lives among the humans out of their fear of us! Their fear of knowing that they were threatened! The fear of being obsolete! Yet our exile did not mean the end of our kind! Our exile from the humans has only made us stronger! Look!" Tenko spread his arms out. "Look what we have accomplished! Our budding civilization that the humans could only dream of!" Tenko rested his hands on the rail of the walkway and leaned forward towards the crowd. "Imagine what we could do if we continued to grow! To welcome our fellow Changers into our fold! To expand our nation! To retake this desolate world for ourselves! We can take this world from the inferior humans! We can reshape the world in any way we wish! This is our time! This is our task! This is our duty! We can create a world where our children and their children can live free of oppression and hatred! They can live in a world where life and death do not hang in the balance every day! A world for the Changers! Brothers!!!" Tenko raised his right arm. "Sisters!!!" Tenko raised his left arm to match the height of his right. "This is our destiny!!!"

The crowd was silent. Every face was staring towards him with some sort of emotion that he couldn't read. He felt rather out of place and even more embarrassed than he had at the start. But then an explosion of sound burst forth from the crowd as they cheered. Tenko gave a slight smile before turning back to the steps and went back to Lorelai, Atra, Farren, and Sevrin. He gave another one of his rare smiles as he looked at them.

"Well that went better than expected."

The setting changes from the-fortress to Aethes

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Liron Aldaine Character Portrait: Lorelai Kieran Character Portrait: Sevrin Massengale Character Portrait: Kiarna Elmm Character Portrait: Tenko Kieran Character Portrait: Farren Leinfelder Character Portrait: Atra Von Galbri

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Atra Von Galbri; The Fortress



Atra scanned the perimeter as Tenko began his riveting speech. He could see an Aveis overhead, but couldn't tell if it was Liron or one of his minions on patrol. No doubt the spymaster would have agents littered about the crowd today, keeping close monitor of anything suspicious. Kriana, the army's physician, had wiggled through the crowd and found a place up front just minutes before Tenko began. Atra grinned as he recalled their bickering in the past; His stubborn nature to continue over training when heavily fatigued, and her strict medical advice against it. He returned her nod with a casual wink.

Tenko's words continued to rain down like a crackling thunder storm, echoing into the open area of Changers as they listened in silence. Astra scoffed as he took note of the crowd's reaction - their barely contained excitement dancing behind cheerfully glazed eyes and hopeful smiles. It made the Ariad uneasy. Naive fools...

"Look at them eat it up," Atra snapped quietly over to Sevrin and the first lieutenant, "As if they march our marches and fight our battles. So long as we have a reservoir, they could care less about a proper civilization."

A sudden clamor of cheers and applause ignited the air. Atra glanced over to see Tenko raising his arms as if he had just won a war. The deafening sound of support continued to shower the leader as he turned and walked over to Lorelai and his subordinates.

"Well that went better than expected."

"Naturally." Atra nodded, walking past his leader while surveying the many faces in attendance. He delicately placed his fingers along the handle of one of his knives as he watched Changers in human and animal form exit the gathering site.

The setting changes from aethes to The Fortress

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lorelai Kieran Character Portrait: Sevrin Massengale Character Portrait: Hiibel Talcen Character Portrait: Tenko Kieran Character Portrait: Kora Neverwinter Character Portrait: Farren Leinfelder Character Portrait: Atra Von Galbri

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#, as written by Witless
Hiibel Talcen; The Fortress


Oh, look! Motion from the walkway! General Man was arriving with his posse! Heh, pussy... Oh well, like it or not: speech time! "My fellow Changers! This harsh world we have been born into..." ...and boring already... Surprise them all! Catch them by surprise! With such a boring introduction, well, who wouldn't lose interest immediately?

There was the introduction-of-yes-we're-awesome, followed of course by the here's-what-should-happen-next-which-we-already-say-we-do. Then the remention-of-awesomeness that has to be inserted everywhere throughout... And it finally ends with the plea-of-let's-all-work-together-for-the-benefit-of-all... But don't forget that in order to show others that he's done, he must do the wait-for-applause-because-we've-all-seen-how-it-works-out-when-you-don't position, hands raised, egging them on... Been there, done that.

Hiibel sighed and stretched his arms, waiting for that general dude to say something not-quite-rehearsed-sounding... Or maybe one of those minions from behind would do something? The lieutenants, what's-their-faces, Fairy and Coral, right? No? Whatever. Oh, hold on a second. One of them wasn't there, but she was sure to come rushing in later, making it seem like she wasn't late at all, or that she had a good enough reason for it... But it was a boring speech, so... he couldn't quite blame her.

Also in the background was the wifey, something-or-other. Mrs. Lordly. And the spider-someone-or-other was there as well. Arty. Oh, and another cat. Umm... what was his name? Something Mace-something. Well, Mace would do if they ever talked. That was probably all, he didn't recognize anyone else up there. Just Mr. Man up there with his squad of supporters. There to make him look better, more important. There to hold him up in case he collapsed from the hard work of making up something original.

Well, the good news was, the speech was short. No hey-I'm-saying-something-to-say-something-so-you-think-I'm-saying-something-important-and-hey-don't-I-sound-cool-saying-my-speech-thing-all-long-and-such. Nothing long and winded, but nothing interesting or attention-getting either. Which was pretty obvious by the long pause where they think 'wait, is he done now? he is? wow, that's fast... are you sure that's all?' followed by the over-loud applause of hey-let's-cover-up-our-inattention-by-sounding-even-louder-and-more-enthusiastic!

They were obviously bored, and as a loyal member of the Army, it was his job to give them something to be excited about, make them walk away feeling satisfied with the whole speech thingy. Quench their thirst for excitement, draw their attention away from the heat of the afternoon and leave them satisfied with the day's events. Even if the speech didn't quite speak for itself, the town clown would leave them excited for the city they were in, or at least not dissatisfied. Well, he would try his best to make it so, see how they all reacted.

Hiibel stood up on the roof and took a running start, jumping off the edge and flipping in midair before landing, tumbling, and getting to his feet to make a proclamation of the leader's awesome abilities! ...well, that's how it was supposed to be. But there was this piece of rubble, you see? It was on the roof, and, well, it was small... So it became this awesome-jump-that-turned-into-a-trip-and-fall-in-which-he-somehow-righted-himself-and-landed-on-his-hands-and-knees-crumpling-to-the-ground-in-a-heap. Getting up and wincing slightly, he spoke loudly to cover his mistake, projecting loudly enough that he'd be heard above the dying applause.

"Ladies and gentlemen, an appendix I do give! For we as Changers live in peace here, united in our goals. See those humans, flighty, warlike, scavenging. Watch them struggle amongst themselves for comfort when what they want is right in front of them. And what we want is right in front of us as well! Water, food, shelter. Friends and family. Those who accept us as we are, who do not fight us in an attempt to get what they do not need. We work together, not against each other, in order to survive in this harsh world, in order to build a community, a nation, a world. Killing each other for no reason? Goodness, no! We're not savages, like those who birthed us! We don't send out our own family simply because they appear different!

"No, we accept each other, for our differences as well as our similarities. We fight as one, and together, we can change the world, make it adapt to us instead of the other way around. Thanks to our all-powerful leader, the great Tenko Kieran, we can live in safety from the grudges of those savages. Thanks to him, we can support each other and make our world an amazing place! With his protection, with his help, we will not scavenge. No, we will thrive in this city of ours, in this kingdom. Please, applause, applause for our city, for survival, for dominance! Applaud once again for our leader!"

He brought up his hands, applauding for his speech, for the reprieve from boredom that he had tried to provide. Whether alone or with a crowd, he would continue applauding until someone else broke the calm.

He applauded, hands facing, raised up to the platform, the walkway. Where the leader and his posse had retreated. Sure, there was a slight mocking tone to his voice, sure, he was being theatrical and trying to draw attention, but... what he said was true enough, and it gave a positive light to the army. Well, if anyone took offense, he'd deal with it, react as needed. If someone came back out onto the platform, he'd applaud up to them, applaud them for their great work in actually attracting the interest of the crowd. Well, for his work, but whatever. Let them react as needed, for today at least would not be boring. No, he would do his best to make it as interesting as possible! Well, maybe not that interesting... He had his own welfare to take care of as well...

So he continued with his applause for the leader, applause for us all, and the hey-join-with-me-and-praise-our-all-powerful-leader-who-can't-quite-speak-as-well-as-me!

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lorelai Kieran Character Portrait: Sevrin Massengale Character Portrait: Hiibel Talcen Character Portrait: Tenko Kieran Character Portrait: Farren Leinfelder Character Portrait: Atra Von Galbri Character Portrait: Kuril Mindon

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Sevrin Massengale - The Fortress

Sevrin stood there, a tight smile on his face and his arms casually folded behind his back. He respected the leader, yes, but right now didn't seem like a time to be stiff and stoic. He listened to Tenko speak to the crowd briefly before they lit up in approval. Upon hearing Atra's comment, he didn't plan on responding, mostly because his mind was kind of tuned into the speech (he liked speeches, for more or less obvious reasons), and secondly because there wasn't much to say. No matter how much it seemed to offend Lorelai, he had the feeling Atra's comment was at least partly true. The majority of them don't know what work goes into making the Fortress run the way it should. What it takes to keep them, at least, somewhat comfortable. Then again, with all they do for the soldiers and other changers underneath Tenko, Farren, himself, even, the least they could do was cheer for their leader when he made a speech.

That's what Sevrin would do.

And that's why he put on his best smile when their leader came back, relieved to have had his speech go over so well. Did they cheer out of obligation or a genuine like for their dear Tenko? It could be a mixed bunch, but it didn't matter. With that pack possibly planning a move, any Army soldiers who didn't particularly like Tenko could also try something with all the confusion.

"Mhmm, it went very well, sir," Sevrin nodded approvingly. At least Tenko got up and made a speech. Didn't falter or stutter. God, being who he was, he hated when changers did either of those.

Just after saying that, he heard the sound of someone speaking again - loud enough to address a crowd - and then start clapping. Who was idiotic enough to do that? Sevrin didn't want to think about that. Surely, someone would deal with him. Maybe not right now, though. It was a good enough distraction for someone to spot some pack members hanging around.

Or maybe hurl something at the speaker's head from a high distance. Sevrin wanted to go up to the railing and see who it was, but a very familiar voice turned his head in the other direction. So his one-eyed friend had made it to the party after all. His face turned into a grin as he walked over to the second interrogator and looked him over. He didn't look like he had been busy, he looked tired. He'd ask him later. "Morning, Kuril," Sevrin gave him a quick nod, then looked around him. "Glad you could make it, though, you should really work on your timing. You missed a brilliant speech from Tenko." Most would probably realize his teasing words towards the end, but he couldn't help but make a joke amidst the many distractions and less-than-serious behaviors. Like an unconscious thing. He glanced at Lorelai for a split second.

He was still waiting for that clapping to cease. Now that he remembered it, it kind of annoyed him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kora Neverwinter Character Portrait: Farren Leinfelder

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Farren Leinfelder; The Fortress


Whatever that fool of a miao had been saying quickly grew unimportant when a monstrous roar rang through the city. It was far too familiar and too unwelcome a sound. Farren could smell the beast before he saw it – it held the rancid odor of blood and gore in its matted fur and on its breath. A vile creature. Before anyone could do anything, it was suddenly there, standing in the crowd. In mere moments, the blood rained upon the people of Aethes. The mutant devoured his recent kill. The citizens’ screams drowned out all other noise as they all thoughtlessly began to race away. Of all the things to add to a blistering hot day…

“Soldiers! Destroy that abomination before it hunts down more civilians! Now!” Tenko shouted. In the time of that lengthy statement, another changer had lost its life. Farren bit back a remark and immediately raced to the front lines and the soldiers nearby immediately worked into vague formation. Several people took charge of evacuation – Lorelai urging some of the soldiers to protect the children while that miao, Hiibel, tried to maintain a level of efficiency as the panicked rabble ran away. It was better this way. This way, Farren wouldn’t have to concern himself with matters of the crowd. That wasn’t quite his role after all.

“Don’t waste bullets,” Farren snapped, glowering at a soldier who’d retrieved one of the Army’s precious guns. “This is one of the lesser sort.” However, that did not mean they could be careless. With mutants, even the weakest of them were vicious and deadly. Now, in emergency circumstances he was supposed to decide with the Second Lieutenant, Kora , what would be the best course of action. However, it was almost always the same with her – she would mindlessly rush into the fray, as she did now, and attack the enemy with pointless brute force. The chances of her reaching that monster’s main vein were slim to none. As she sank her fangs into the mutant’s throat, Farren eyed the creature warily. All she had done was put herself in the mercy of the monster’s vicious claws.

The best shot they had was to incapacitate it… but how?

“Get it on all fours,” he ordered, “and then heavy lupus target its throat.” It would provide a better chance for Kora, or anyone else for that matter, to reach its vital points. It would also let the miaos and those with weaker animal forms reach the softer underbelly of the creature and aim for internal organs with whatever weapons they could scavange from around them. Farren, however, would be more use in his other form. Casting off the coat of his uniform, the First Lieutenant himself started forward. There was a temporary sensation of coolness, for the fabric of changing-fabric breathed far easier in the heat than that wretched uniform… but it was immediately replaced with sensations of discomfort.

He heard a dull snap from somewhere inside him, resounding through the bones and into his ears. He felt his knees lock for a moment before inverting, the knee caps snapping and refusing in a different manner. His spine seemed to break to pieces as it stretched to accommodate a new tail. The pain distracted him for a moment as his vision blurred, but it as he settled into his canine form, his eyes cleared. The pain, he could ignore – this seemed so long a time to him, but it took a mere two seconds. Without stopping since his transformation, he was soon in front of the mutant, focused intently on just what that fool of a lieutenant planned to do.

The setting changes from the-fortress to Aethes

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kaishi Futatabi (Kai) Character Portrait: Kora Neverwinter Character Portrait: Farren Leinfelder

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Kai Futatabi

Growling with anger, Kai got back on her feet, and almost shakily continued to threaten the mutant. It was a dirty beast, which had killed her leader. It was growing difficult to think clearly, through the anger that she felt and the small amount of blood that had been lost. As she gathered her muscles beneath her to leap at the mutant, another Changer, this one a Lupus, made the first move and leapt, with its jaws clamping around the throat of the mutant.

With a grunt of exertion, the mutant reared up onto its hind legs and shook off the Lupus. Taking the chance, Kai leapt upwards, and grabbed on to the scuff on his neck. The dirty fur of the mutant, covered in muck and blood, pressed uncomfortably against her body, and she scrambled with her blunt nails, trying to stay there.

Get it on all fours…” came an authoritative voice of some man, but she could only hope that they would do something before she fell. The mutant looked at her with its beady eyes, and she felt it shooting her a baleful glare. Then, with a mighty heave, she felt her weakening body start to slide back to the ground. Then, the large paws of the mutant came down closer to her back, intending to break it with a single strike, before she managed to gather the energy to slide away. The blow just managed to miss her, and Kai felt the ground shaking. Giving a high whine, she saw that the mutant was starting to try the same action.

She gave a yelp of fear as she knew that she no longer had the energy to dodge. The fall had caused her cracked bone to fall awkwardly, and it was a dull ache in her side. There was also blood flowing down freely from her flank, and pooling on the ground. Through bleary eyes, she watched as the blow came closer and closer, although, by some strange twist of fate, inches away from her face, the mutant turned its attention towards something else.

A Lupus, in front of it. She couldn’t quite see the features or the details, but knowing that there was almost no hope left for her, she used her final dredges of strength and snapped at his leg - he had to be some Army soldier. Maybe she’d go down, but she tried to avenge Tenko, and tried to take down someone from the Army too. Her eyesight became fuzzy at the edges, and Kai suddenly felt a growing rage. Rage at the mutant, yes, but mostly anger at herself for failing at this. She’d just get up and try again, she decided. Her paws twitched, but her body felt so heavy at the moment. It was so comfortable to just lay here, and Kai’d just rest her eyes.

No! Her eyes snapped open again, and with a grunt, managed to lift her head up slightly to see the mutant’s back facing her. Perfect! He was going to be defenseless. Kai’d just try to do the same move and sweep his legs out from behind him, and then, she’d managed to kill him.

It was just then that the mutant’s back paw crushed down on her back. Crack. Then Kai’s body gave a last shudder, as though trying to fulfill its master’s last wishes, before it became motionless. Blood continued to flow, but without the beat of the heart, started to slow down. The fur of the black fox was almost glistening, and her eyes remained open, frozen in a semblance of anger. Her tail stretched out behind her, as though she was running, and a determined frown marked her last expression. Kai rested close to her beloved leader, and guarded him, like any faithful subordinate, to the very last breath.