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The Age of Gifted

The Age of Gifted

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The world has devolved into chaos, driven by two main superpowers. Small groups survive away from their control, while others work under them. Where do you stand?

4,038 readers have visited The Age of Gifted since Miss Echo created it.

VitaminHeart, ianna_334, MisterMagicMuffin, FranklyLorelle, and scoundrelboots are listed as curators, giving them final say over any conflict & the ability to clean up mistakes.

Introduction

NOTE TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE ROLEPLAY:
Please check all OOC boards for notes about the ball, the factions, and so on. Thank you!



This war hasn’t been the first involving Gifted- the superpowered, the blessed, the cursed- as a species, as active participants using their powers for bloodshed.

Throughout history, there have been traces of humans talented with special abilities, capable of feats unachievable by the average man or woman. Prophets, creatures of lore, those blessed with incredible luck, or who could read people completely, or those regarded as magicians...Of course, many were unaware of these abilities, and those who did were either regarded as gods, or kept their secrets under lock and key in fear of the consequences. It was only recently- several hundred years ago- that they began to appear more frequently, with more intense powers, more obviously “special”.

The Gifted.

As with anything unique, tensions rose, with humans declaring the Gifted dangerous. Their children could easily be harmed by one with super strength, and robberies could become even more life-threatening when performed by a pyrotechnic. War soon broke out, the recorded beginning dating to around a century ago. However, this story is not about then.

Humans, those who were unfortunate enough not to have such powers, not only lost; they were wiped off the face of the earth, with only tiny pockets remaining. In the chaos and anarchy that followed at the lack of any real stable civilization, two factions emerged.

Erubesco, the faction of culture, monarchy, grace, and science.

Liberty, the faction of order, efficiency, unity, and progress

Given the clash of their ideologies, lifestyles, and many other factors, it did not take long before both declared war on one another. They scrambled to collect land, stronger Gifted to fight under their command, and to gain an upper hand when both were equal in strength. Both groups even found themselves relying on tampering with genetic code, hoping to unlock something which would strengthen their own side. The war has currently been raging for eight years in total, in which many lives have been lost, and many atrocities committed.


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Much like the fairy tales which parents tell to their children at storytime, Erubesco is based around a concept of nobility, kings and queens, and an idealized view of “good” and “evil”. Towns cluster around grand castle bases, soldiers are dubbed as the “knights in shining armor” for the weak and defenseless, and many civilians go about their life with art and song heavily involved in their schedules. At face value, it appears like a beautiful utopia of prosperity and life.

However, the truth is far darker, as one might expect. Not only are the general issues that tend to come with a monarchy present- inequality, a very unlikely chance of ascending to another role, etc.- but civilian experimentation is very much the norm. While the entire process tends to be kept rather hushed, what occurs beneath the beautiful tiling of the castle floors is very real, and very active. While the glitz and glamor of movie stars and storybook towns may be appealing to many, it is a thin veil to what Erubesco truly stands for underneath it all. The ranks are as follows:

King

Viceroy/Lord/Lady

Grand Chancellor

Chancellor

Knight Commander

Alchemist

Knight/Acolyte

Infantry

Conscript

Serf

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The first impression which tends to fall upon the viewer of any Liberty city is a certain...blandness. Nigh-identical buildings and streets, all made up of a monochrome color. A majority of the population reside in their own apartments, and a lack of real vibrancy. However, Liberty’s morals are the main reason so many are drawn; preaching fair rights for all, scorning the pointless harm of her populace, and pushing the belief that, with enough hard work and care, even the weakest can grow into a potential Councillor.

Of course, while Liberty preaches patience towards its people, caring for them and providing for the needs of the loyal, they also push for extreme devotion. The rebellious are carefully groomed into fiercely loyal citizens, and the unity which is so focused upon can have the unfortunate side effect of damaging individuality. The ranking system is a fair deal more complicated when compared to that of Erubesco’s, but retains somewhat of a pattern. There are several sectors of Liberty, with each having seven ranks or less; ranging from the lowly Trainee, to the grand Councillor. Each sector is headed by a Councillor, which work with the Founder- and Leader- on near equal terms to make decisions for Liberty.

The sectors are as follows:

Espionage

Loyalty Affirmation

Interrogation

Economics

Defense

Genetics

Healing

Training

Education

Infrastructure

Agriculture

As there are are many different offshoots of these sectors, as well, and would take far too long to go through as is, it shall not be placed on this page. Instead, feel free to message the GMs if you want specifics on the rankings.



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Of course, what with the fact that quite a number of the Gifted population disagree with the beliefs of the current superpowers, many splinter groups have formed. None have been unable to reach the strength that the factions possess, but manage to survive in the harsh wastelands nonetheless. Ranging from tribes, to mercenaries, to rag-tag bundles, it is common for these small communities to often be at each other’s throats.

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While the term “wanderer” itself applies to any group or individual roaming the wastelands that is not a Mercenary or Faction goer, there are currently only three groups that are being followed at the moment. They are known as the Wanderers, the Striders, and the Bunker goers, with the Wanderers group being the largest in number, and the Striders being the smallest. They do not have any real reputation among the wastelands, as all are quite tiny when compared to others, and the wastes are quite expansive. Each have their own goals as of the moment, with a main one being shared among them; survival.

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While mercenaries tend to work under the factions, doing the dirty work that their bosses can’t spare the resources to do, that does not stop them from forming clusters of sorts to make jobs easier. There is only one current mercenary group that is being followed, however, although there are quite a few who work alone or work in other gatherings of sorts.

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[center][img](Image URL goes here.)[/img] (An image isn't needed, but feel free to add one if you want one in. Otherwise, you can delete this bit.)

    [color=#000000][size=100][b]Full Name:[/b][/size][/color]

    [color=#000000][size=100][b]Nicknames/Aliases:[/b][/size][/color] 

    [color=#000000][size=100][b]Age:[/b][/size][/color]

    [color=#000000][size=100][b]Gender:[/b][/size][/color]

       [color=#000000][size=100][b]Gift:[/b][/size][/color]


[color=#000000][size=100][b]Loyalty: (if Erubescian or Liberty, please add their position if you can)[/b][/size][/color]


    [color=#000000][size=100][b] Description:[/b][/size][/color] (What do they look like? Even if you've got a picture, a bit of writing would be nice.)

    [color=#000000][size=100][b]Personality:[/b][/size][/color] (A brief outline of their demeanour.)

   
    [color=#000000][size=100][b]Skills:[/b][/size][/color]

    [color=#000000][size=100][b]Weaknesses:[/b][/size][/color] (Achilles' Heels that can be exploited by enemies.)

 
    [color=#000000][size=100][b]Brief History:[/b][/size][/color] (Any notable events in their background that might have shaped them. If you don't want to reveal too much, that's fine.)




    [color=#000000][size=100][b]Other:[/b][/size][/color] [/center] (Anything else you think everyone needs to know about your character.)


Events of the Roleplay so far... http://www.neopets.com/~aggiebluemint


Toggle Rules

I know that this section is usually quite boring, but it's a necessary evil. I'll try my best to make this somewhat bearable, but I'll probably fail miserably~
*clears throat*
  • Basic rules apply here, too. Be legible, no PPing, no veering wildly off canon, etc.
  • Please ask me if you have an idea for the plot/factions/story-line. I really dislike it when people think they can get away with doing something extremely ridiculous.
  • Be polite. Inside the RP, your characters can be at each other's throats, but outside we're all responsible, mature people(I hope), who should act that way.
    No stealing other people's characters.
  • Please try to be unique with your Gifted's powers.
  • If you plan on making a character with a specific Gift(ex; Elemental, Mind Manipulation, etc), ask the person who made it for permission and specifics, so you do not break the established pattern.
  • No fantasy. Anything fantasy ish (ex; dragons, something that seems demonic) must be explained with Gifts. No straight out magic exists.
  • Certain character ranks (ex; anything above Agent in Liberty, anything above Knight in Erubesco) must be approved by a GM.
  • Powerful characters must also be approved by a GM.
  • Humans have been practically wiped out for a /while/, meaning that having human parents is a no-go, unless I give permission. Same with human characters; and, in connection to that, humans do not belong in the factions.
  • Please don't have your character show up automatically a part of one of the current wanderer groups. This RP isn't new, but has been moved, which means being part of a preexisting group is a no-go. Having them already be a merc, faction goer, or general random wanderer is alright, however.
  • These factions have intricate cultures and laws, and so it may be wise to start as a character who may be easily led around, to put yourself in position to learn. Good examples are a low-level trainee, a prisoner, an experiment, or a tribal Ashlander who has managed to survive outside of faction reach. If you want to begin with a more culturally informed character, be prepared to ask the GMs a lot of questions.

The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 16 authors

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It was a lovely morning, really.

As sunlight rose above the horizon, stretching its fingers lazily across the ash, the world itself appeared to get painted a soft golden hue. The rubble, the corpses, those who made their homes within the Wastes, in favor of taking a chance and seeking shelter from the factions. Some of these residents scowled as the light rose, turning over and hiding their faces in an effort to get just a few more moments or rest. Some had opted to rise earlier than the day itself, taking the time to go through their supplies, make themselves a meal, ascertain that whoever made up their company hadn’t fled or died off in the middle of the night. There were the nomads who quickly made to leave their camp as soon as possible, the tribes certain enough in their strength to linger, and, even then, some who simply chose to stay in one place because it was the only best option at the moment.

Two of these latter groups, the grounded, soon found themselves disturbed by the sunlight, while the third, while untouched by any sort of natural glow beneath the earth, were made to rise by other factors. The first of this trio, from where they were in Hellton, had both early risers and night owls among its ranks, although many found themselves waking at the same time as many else- for a multitude of reasons. While a few might have chosen to prepare breakfast for the others, scrounging through their supplies to find enough proper ingredients, there were still several who busied themselves dealing with a more pressing matter.

Namely, the prisoner, who refused to speak whatsoever on the details of her “mission”.

Another group, residing in a far less...morbid setting than the former training facility, might find themselves waking up at far different times. The disgruntled hostess and her company (and her company’s plant) hardly knew each other for long enough to set up a proper schedule, after all, and it was doubtful that they really could. The third group, for the most part, were just as unpredictable- albeit for other reasons than a lack of cohesion. From where they were, deep beneath the ground, surrounded by propaganda of a time forgotten, they lay- stricken with illness, and left vulnerable.

Nevertheless, all within the wastes survived. This was very much their life, after all, and a life they had worked far too long to lose now.

The setting changes from The Wasteland to The Citadel

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Character Portrait: Nicola Varren
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The same sun waking up the wastelands also illuminated the proud castle of Erubesco's Citadel, and the surrounding city around it. The scene here wasn't so desolate as the wastes outsides. The early risers were up and about, whether by necessity or personal choice. Robotic cleaners and their minders finished polishing the streets to perfection and slid out of sight. The civilians, rich and poor alike, began to fill the winding streets with motion and colour, and the Citadel rose above them all, a sunlit goliath watching proudly over its children.

Inside the Citadel, only a few of the halls received any sort of natural light. The fluorescence of the overhead bulbs was already flaring to full brightness as tired night shift workers stumbled to their beds. The refreshed day shift flooded in in much larger droves, spreading through the offices and the labs to continue Erubesco's never ending work. In the holding labs, experiments woke as well, those who had a mind wondering if this would be the day they'd be pulled from these holding cells. Because it was early, the prisoners slept. There was nothing to do in their rooms anyway, regardless of whether it was morning or night.

Mostly unheard except by supersensory gifts, a soft music began to play through the speakers integrated in both Citadel and city. It was nothing special, just the same notes played on a loop, no vocals or anything remarkable. However, it grew steadily louder over the next hour, until anyone could hear it in a quiet moment. And then, abruptly, it tapered off, only to be replaced by a voice.

Good morning, citizens of Erubesco. This is Viceroy Varren, starting a city-wide broadcast.

The workers in the radio towers scattered in the city took their cues to begin recording the broadcast to send out to the other cities and strongholds once there was time.

As many of you are aware, not long ago, Erubesco was subjected to a devastating terrorist attack on our beloved Citadel. Many were injured and the structure was damaged, but we have rebuilt and we have healed and now, we honour the fallen. A moment of silence, please.

The quiet minute implied the speaker had his head bowed, expecting others listening to do the same.

However, through the darkness of death and war, shine the light of Erubesco's heroes, our Knights who prove their valour and worth most in times like these. Today, significantly, we honour Knight Commander Derrick Avalon, who was instrumental in the defense of the Citadel. Without him, the threat would not have been neutralized as quickly or as effectively. Therefore, it is Erubesco's joy to award Knight Commander Derrick Avalon with a promotion to the rank of Chancellor. As is tradition, a ball will be held to celebrate his achievement, and all of Erubesco is welcome to celebrate with us. Glory to Erubesco! Long live the King!

Inside his office, Nicola turned off the microphone and removed the headset, still scowling despite expertly masking the growl in his voice. In his opinion, Derrick Avalon did not deserve to be honoured by the King. He'd left the base immediately after the attack and had yet to return, which was why no date has officially been given. He sighed, rubbing his temples, and turned back towards his desk.

Well, at least, if the Coleman boy accepted his Lordship, he wouldn't have to offer the Knight Commander another house.

The setting changes from The Citadel to The Wasteland

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Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Oren Kovalenko
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Eyes and whispers. All around the place. Even if you could keep your eyes closed to block out the deranged sights that littered this place, you would never be able to escape the voices.

Pierrot's pocket dimension was truly the work of madness.

But Oren Kovalenko was an Erubescan, she stared madness in the face every day without blinking.

As a result, what might have driven a wastelander entirely out of their wits, had instead just resulted in a sleepless and uncomfortable night for the speedster, now a captive of The Wanderers.

The woman had no definite ideas about what it was that these terrorists planned to do with her in the long run, but she didn't really see herself getting out of it alive. Not now she'd lost her running ability, the one thing that kept her kind safe of the battlefield.

The group's medic, some apparent deserter, had patched her ruined legs up sufficiently that she had not bled to death overnight. There were bandages wrapped around the knife wound in her thigh, and taped around the almost surgical gashes across the tendons on the back of her legs. Pinkish stains had begun to seep through the dressing. These wounds would not kill her, but they were painful, and, far more pressing, they prevented her from standing, let alone running away.

Hands tied behind her back, Oren had opted not to risk the indignity of some graceless sprawl on the ground, even for the sake of comfort. The woman instead kneeled on the floor of the bizarre place, despite the pain it was causing her, and waited the return of one of her captors. In any honesty she had no idea how much time had passed...or even whether it passed the same in this wretched place. Maybe time shot by here and she'd have long expired and crumbled to dust before that damned man came back again.

Probably wishful thinking though.
Eventually, you always had to answer for your crimes, and Oren suspected that today would be the day when her misspent past was finally going to catch up with her.

----

The sun rose over the Erubescan citadel, the voice sounded out over the speakers, and in a small room somewhere in the Knights' accommodation, Knight Kora Norrevinter awoke to a hangover and the news that one of the people she used to regularly wipe the floor with in boot camp was now a Chancellor.

And having a ball thrown in his honour.

And here she was, even after having nearly thrown her life away in the now resigned to the rank of Knight, waiting to be sent off too the front lines, and blowing the rest of her wages on the strongest alcohol she could get her hands on.

And to add insult to injury she hadn't even managed to get drunk on it.
Gift-accelerated metabolic processes were the worst sometimes.
Though at least it meant her headache would probably be over in half an hour.... not that she really had anywhere to be.

By the Viceroy's order she had a few more days to wait before she was being shipped out to settle her affairs, but most of them had been settled. She'd gotten rid of most of the things already. Either given away, thrown into a charity bank, or discarded to the incinerator bins. The only thing that remained still in limbo were her family's sword...and her little aesir and vanir idols, sat in a box by the door. Whilst she did not see much reason in calling upon those old, half-remembered gods now, she still held enough reverence towards the little wooden figures that she could not bring herself to condemn them to burning... even though she could not think of anyone to pass them onto.

She supposed the time was also supposed to be for bidding fairwell to friends or relatives or the like. However Kora had spent most of the last few days hiding away from the general population of the base. Wishing to avoid another public dressing-down by an Acolyte, Kora had remained in her room when she didn't have specific tasks to do, only slinking out from time to time to acquire what she needed before retreating back. It had rather taken its toll on her, if nothing else because she'd never managed to summon the courage to visit any healers after her disgrace.

As such, the Knight's body was marked by the messy patches of bandages over partially-healed wounds, and her face was scarred along one side and stained dark purple with bruising. Her ginger hair was rather in need of a wash, and she'd not changed her clothes in a couple of days, partly because she'd ended up giving away most of what she'd got, and she did't really want to expose herself to public derision over the long period it would take to wash any clothes, though mostly because she just didn't see much point. It was not as if she needed to make a good impression on anyone. That ship had long sailed.

Kora lifted her face up off the pillow and pulled her six and a half foot form into a sitting position on the edge of the bed, grimacing a little as the sudden movement tugged at the now old bullet wound in her midriff.

It was less that the woman didn't have anyone she cared about, more that she'd made few attempts to reach out to them lately.
Mostly out of guilt.

Lulu, for one. Kora had been so consumed in her desire for revenge that she'd put her work before helping one of her oldest friends when she needed it, and that made her feel sufficiently ashamed that she'd not dared go and talk to the woman.

Then there was Skip.
She was going to miss Skip.
In fact, maybe he'd like her old statues? Hopefully he'd take at least decent care of them if no-one else would.

Maybe she would go and track down the little glowstick and hand those over that morning.
Maybe. Though not right now, she thought, as she flopped back down onto the mattress.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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  1. possible wrong location

    by scoundrelboots
  2. Should be in Helton, but I don't know how to move it.

    by scoundrelboots

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Mina was not one for useless expenditure of energy and time, and by extension not one to lie awake in bed when sleep refused to come. 



So, by the time the sun rose over Helton, the young doctor had thoroughly cataloged, sorted, and stowed the contents of every fallen Erubescan’s supply pack.

The vast majority of the medical supplies were stored in her own hulking backpack, but some had been left out and dispersed amongst six smaller piles on her bedroom floor, along with food rations, ammo, weapons, and basic survival equipment. Each pile had a stick-it note above it, with the names of various Wanderers on them: Dawn, Toby, Soren, Montana, Kayla, and Talin each had a pile assigned to them, which Mina would distribute when the respective owners woke up for the day. 



It was silly to keep all of the supplies on one person, after all, and so Mina had deduced which members of the group were best suited to carry a spare store of supplies in case the group was separated or left in an emergency situation. There was another notepad, kicked off in the corner of the floor beside her bed, on which she had calculated an algorithm for the decision of who was to carry the emergency packs.



The choice had been a logical, mathematical one free of moral bias or preference: Black and white. 



Very unlike the practice of bandaging a torture victim without a word to her, or the captors. 

In fact, Mina had not said a word to anyone since Montana had requested she bandage the Erubescan, save for “Fine,” and “Get me if she opens the wounds again.”

When the sun peeked through the bedroom window, though, she managed to push that thought out of her mind with more practical matter: Breakfast, for one. Hel would be up soon, and someone ought to make her breakfast other than Soren’s leftover cookies.

Still fully dressed from the night before, 

Mina made her way to the kitchen as quietly as possible, opened the cabinets, and set to work at boiling water in a pot for oatmeal while humming softly.


The setting changes from The Wasteland to Helton

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Character Portrait: Toby Schippers
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Rosy-fingered dawn.

Toby thought about the Odyssey as the pinkish light stretched over the gray sky and the light warmed the top of his wavy, mouse-brown hair. Odysseus. Huh. He couldn't qualify as a hero in the most favorable sense of the word, but could probably pass as a Greek hero, he thought. Some of them were terrible people like him. Fatal flaws and all that.

Except he had no Ithaca to return to. Hellton was probably the closest thing to Ithaca he had.

The young man paced the perimeter of the central Hellton training facility to keep himself alert for his shift. After the ambush, not to mention Oren's attempt to kidnap Hel, Toby and Dawn had set up a rotation for the sensory-Gifted among them--that is, Toby, Dawn, Allen (Toby had gladly left Dawn to convince her rascal brother), Talin (Toby asked nicely, and a little bit nervously), and Pierrot (Toby asked nicely and a lot bit nervously - even as an empath, he was never sure what Pierrot thought of him) in the form of any of them. Somebody needed to keep a wary eye at all times. Hopefully Roxy and Dutch were on their way to fixing the anti teleportation technology and hacking the Erubesco communicators.

It was as Toby completed another circle  that he realized he had company. Not company he could sense--it was no Gifted.

Toby didn't know it, but he had made his first grave mistake of the day:
Earlier, he had picked a ration pack of sealed tuna to take on the road. He had finished the package and had folded it over, crinkling the foil-plastic idly.

His stalker had smelled it and trailed him around the building.
Toby turned around when he heard the whimpering mewls, turned to see a skinny adolescent cat. Its matted short fur was probably white, with blotches of black on the nose, paws, and tail, but it was rather difficult to tell what was dirt and what was markings.

"Hi," Toby said glumly, wondering how the pathetic creature managed to survive in the deserted city. Probably on rats that had in turn subsisted on garbage and human remains. Which he supposed indirectly meant the cat might have subsisted on human remains.
Which might have even bothered Toby a bit if one of his best friends among the Wanderers wasn't a cannibal.

Mrow?

Toby looked at the empty package in his hand. "Nothing left," he said apologetically. He vaguely remembered a resident cat and a few dogs from the bunker days, back when there were a fair number of humans, enough to be called a community. He'd always liked that cat.

The stray persistently crept forward.

"Sorry, c--c--cat," Toby said, unfolding the package and holding it down where the feline could poke its black nose into the opening. "Beat you to it."

Toby had made his second grave mistake.

With a tiny pink tongue, the bedraggled feline licked hungrily at the remnants on the package, pushing the wrapper out of Toby's hand with its little ash-stained paws. Its head didn't quite fit inside the opening, so after watching a moment, Toby took pity and pulled the wrapper apart to reveal the last juicy bits of fish.

Mistake number three.

By the time Toby made it back to the door of the training center, the cat had claimed him and flagged him with a dusting of dirty white fur on his ankles.

It was far too late for "Go away."

The setting changes from Helton to The Citadel

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Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Lulu Botrelle
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Commander Botrelle had been engaged in a calm, if not uneventful walk to her office when the Viceroy’s announcement rang out over the speakers. She paused in her stride, as did the others in the Citadel walkway, and hung her head in remembrance for the fallen. When the Viceroy announced the news about Avalon’s promotion, however, it was all that Commander Botrelle could do to keep her face from contorting into a scowl.



Not that she thought he had been slacking in his duties, of course. She knew very well how hard Avalon had worked to “earn” his new post.



Lulu joined the other workers in their applauding and chipper utterances of “Long Live the King” as they passed one another on their way to their morning duties. There was no need for bitterness. 



She did, however, take a swift turn down a west-bound corridor as quickly as possible, tapping something rapidly on her tablet as she rearranged her schedule to accommodate an almost clean slate for the day. Her heels clipped against the polished hardwood flooring as she headed into and elevator and traveled back up toward the base’s housing district. 



At the 27th floor from the top, all five feet and four inches of Lulu Botrelle (for she was wearing her tall heels,) strode out of the elevator and down the hall with the determination of a wildfire through dry grass. She took a left turn, paused to read a room number, and then tapped against the door with the back of her knuckle.



“Norrevinter?” 

She paused a moment, then tapped again.

“I know you’re in there. Open up.”

The setting changes from The Citadel to Liberty Base Alpha A

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Character Portrait: Samon Cauldier
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“Honey…wake up…”

Once again pulled from the embracing arms of sleep, Samon groaned and shut his eyes even harder, concentrating on re-entering the sleeping comfort he’d been so rudely taken out of.

“Wake up…” the voice continued, slightly more demanding this time.

Samon continued to ignore the command, trying to focus on sleeping once more. Why didn’t this person want to leave him alone? He was in comfort hiding under the warmth of the bedsheets. The pillow was so soft. The bed was just right for him. Besides, it felt a little early for him to be waking up anyway. So why should he?

He heard a sigh, “Okay, fine…but you made me do this…”

Proud of the voice’s defeat, he snuggled up and began to drift off once more. He focused on breathing. That’s how he always did it. In…and out…in…and out…in…and-

ZAP!

Samon bolted upright in the bed, more out of shock than out of pain from his left ear. He was too surprised to even yell or scream. Immediately clutching his ear, he looked for the bastard who decided to use a friggin’ Volt Gun on him. A small chuckle caused him to look left and see…

A blob…no, wait. A person. That’s right. He had yet to encounter a shapeless blob of energy in his lifetime and he was pretty sure he wasn’t going to. This patch of energy had a head, a torso, two arms, two legs, and two round bulbous things in front, signifying not only that this person was a human…she was a female. And only one female would be in his room at this time in the morning.

“Mom!” Samon cried out half angrily half surprised, “What the hell?! Why’d you do that?!”

She shrugged her shoulders nonchalantly, “Do what?”

Samon sighed irritably, “Oh, come on. You’re the only one here who can zap me without a Volt Gun.” He looked beyond her to spot another human blob on the same floor level but further away. “And Dad is over there doing something.”

Again, her voice had innocence and a slight undertone of laughter in it as she replied, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She got up from her sitting position which Samon implied was on his nightstand and walked over to him. “Breakfast will be ready soon. Get dressed.” He felt her lips on his forehead and saw her walk away, presumably through his doorway.

“But why wake me up so early?”

Ignoring the statement, his mom walked out of his room and over to where his dad was as he was doing something with his left hand. He appeared to have a grip on something as his hand was tense, but not balled up in a fist, as if he was holding something. His dad continued to shake his hand so slightly, left and right, until suddenly he popped his wrist upward. From his position, Samon assumed Dad was in the kitchen, meaning that what he was holding was probably a pan and that the motion he was carrying out was him flipping a…

He caught the smell the moment he realized what his dad was cooking. Pancakes! Of course, Lance thought as he slid out of bed, feeling his feet hit the cold floor. It was his birthday! How could he forget he was turning fourteen today? His parents must’ve woken him up earlier so they could all enjoy a breakfast meal together…something that rarely happened in their lifetime.

Now it wasn’t because they hated each other that their family seldom ate together. There just simply wasn’t enough time in the day. Like everyone and everything else in Liberty, the family was all doing something for the good of the community. Work, training, school, war efforts…on most days, the only time all three of them were under the same roof was when they were all sleeping. Even that happened only a couple times a week. Everyone had to do their part and stay efficient even if that meant sacrificing some quality time with the family. That’s just how life was in Liberty. And he was okay with it.

It was the love the family shared. It was the love he was comfortable with.

Samon felt around the blackness and his fingers brushed across a curved piece of wood. Knowing it was his cane, he picked it up and started moving it across the floor to get a whereabouts in his position. Hearing the slight scraping noise, he heard a bump and felt a jarring sensation spread through his hand. He knew he’d just hit his chair, where his mom helped lay out his clothes for him the night before. Walking over there, he felt around the chair, his fingers rubbing against the polyester material his solid black shirt was made out of. Next he felt the denim of the slightly faded blue button-up shirt he preferred to leave unbuttoned. The thick and sturdy material of charcoal grey work pants was next followed by some unmentionables and classic black cotton socks. A somewhat standard outfit for a Liberty citizen with a little bit of what he called his “personal flare” thrown in.

He had other clothes, of course. Grayscale was what he felt most safe wearing while out in the city, but he had many colors of clothing, some more vibrant than the others. It wasn’t like wearing bright colors was a crime here, but it was massively frowned upon. Most people here believed the world didn’t need such distracting colors, but Samon disagreed. What kept him from expressing himself through clothing outside the house was the war going on with the Erubesco faction, who saw vibrant colors the same way Samon did. He knew it would put a target on his back should anyone come in and open his closet. So, he only wore his brightest when he was at home, more for his satisfaction than for anyone else’s.

Putting on the clothes, Samon glanced around at the neighboring apartments. Now that he had a baseline to where everything was when he sat in the chair, he could match blobs with names. Two stories below him, the Jullians, a wife, husband, son, daughter family, were sleeping except for the father, who had something in his hand. He was holding it in such a way for Samon to assume it was a cup of coffee. To the right of him was a more active family: The Deerlings. Despite their last name, they were tough son of a guns who loved to work out. Even now, he could see the son and the father doing squats together while the mother was lying on what he would assume was a bench press, pumping her fists up and down. Two apartments to the left of him lie the Brown’s place, which was occupied by one man. Strangely enough, it was in the same condition as it was two weeks ago…empty. He must be on a really long mission, Samon thought.

Realizing he’d wasted enough time looking at people, he picked up his cane and made his way to the table, where he could smell breakfast waiting. “Did you get syrup?” he asked.

“But of course,” his dad replied, “It’s already on the pancakes. Happy birthday, Algy!”

“Thanks,” he smiled genuinely as he sat down and started chowing down on the food. His blindness used to make eating extremely difficult for him, but now it was muscle memory that did the trick and guided the fork to his mouth without stabbing himself. His mother and father sat down at the ends of the table and began eating.

All was silent for a few moments, minus the forks occasionally scraping against the plates and the smacking of lips as the three enjoyed the food together. Samon could feel the connection there. This was a family moment.

Finally his mother spoke, “We have a surprise for you.”

Samon had a massive slice of pancake stuffed into his mouth when she said this and he nearly choked on it. A surprise? This was news for him. His family didn’t do surprises. Clearing his throat by coughing up a lung or two, he finally looked at his mom and answered, “A surprise?”

She nodded her head, “As you know, you are now fourteen, meaning you only have a couple more years of school left before you graduate and start truly working in your field. Our superiors have been watching your progress since the beginning and have been very impressed with your results. Despite your disability, you’ve proven you have the intelligence needed to move on to the last stage of the training process…Apprenticeship.”

Samon set his fork down and looked in what must’ve been awe at her, “I’m going to be an apprentice already?”

“Well, almost,” his father cut in, “You see, you still need to complete the required course material to graduate from school. That can’t be skipped. But because you are showing us, our superiors, and the Council that you can maintain the workload much better than the other students, they’ve decided that you can be an apprentice part-time and go to the school the other part.”

“It’s like half and half,” his mother added, “And you will still have to do your daily Gift training and other stuff on top of this. But if you can keep this up, you’ll be the youngest Interrogator in all of Liberty. All while being blind.”

“Partially blind,” Samon corrected her.

His mom nodded in agreement, “Right, right, but still. That’s quite the achievement to uphold. Before you know it, you’ll become a Councilor! Isn’t that exciting?”

A part of Samon was excited about the future he was creating for himself. He’d be the very first Councilor with a disability. In a world of progress, that spoke volumes about his initiative and focus. But another part of himself was skeptical about the idea. What good could he bring to Liberty City? He felt like a lot of people would be unhinged at the idea of someone leading them blindly to the future that awaited. Another thing, and he knew this was awful, was he simply didn’t care about Liberty’s end result as a faction. His interests weren't as invested in this way of life as a majority of the people around him. Of course, he spoke about these things to no one. Rather, he kept them in his head, put on a big smile, and told Liberty what they wanted to hear.

And that’s exactly what he did with his parents at the table. “Yeah…that would be amazing.”

The setting changes from Liberty Base Alpha A to The Wasteland

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Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Lulu Botrelle
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  1. possible wrong location

    by VitaminHeart

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A knock on the door.

The Knight lifted her head towards the sound, as she heard a very familiar one.

Lulu?

She rose to her feet, uncertain how nervous she should be about this. She had not exactly been the best friend in the last few weeks, and, if she was going to be honest, probably did deserve to get chewed out. It would not be the first time that Botrelle had told her off. However Lulu was also a Commander, and Kora wasn't...not now anyway. Whilst she was not. Though the woman was not exactly looking forward to the prospect of hearing what Lulu had to say about her conduct, she was more concerned that she might be bringing some worse news in an official capacity.

Still that was enough to get Kora on her feet and over to the door, snapping the lock and pulling it open a little way to regard her old friend. Even with her tallest heels on, there was still over a foot of height difference between the two. People might have laughed at the comical nature of the two next to each other, if one were not of of the most ruthlessly efficient Commanders on base and the other one had not torn enemies clean in half.

"I'm here." she replied, her eyes settling their gaze down at her own feet as she was reluctant to look the woman in the eye.
"Uh, morning."

She shifted awkwardly, in a somewhat futile attempt to sound like everything was normal even if her appearance contradicted it entirely.
"I er...take it you heard about Avalon just now?"

The setting changes from The Wasteland to The Citadel

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Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Lulu Botrelle
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The Commander raised one impeccably groomed brow as Kora appeared in the doorway, looking up and down the entirety of her form. Her old friend was a mess, and if the Knight’s bloodied bandages and filthy hair weren’t enough cause for concern, the soreness that plagued her body was: Before Kora even came to the door, Lulu could feel that the berserker’s nerves were raw, pulsing with stiff aches and exhaustion.



On top of a pitiful hangover.

“Hey,” she said quietly, deciding not to mention that Kora looked as if she had crawled out of Hell through the sex worker’s service door.

Norrevinter already knew that.

As Kora brought up Nicola’s announcement, Lulu’s lips pursed into a grimace. “I heard the good news,” she responded in a dry, chipper tone, folding her tablet and placing it in her pocket, “If he’s getting a ball, you can probably be promoted again in a matter of days. I hear Skylar’s giving bonus points, too, if you throw me through a wall.”

She put one hand on the doorknob, and pulled it open a crack more than Kora had. Her expression softened as she looked at her friend, not sure what more to say about the situation at hand that could improve it even marginally.



“Have you been eating?” 



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Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Lulu Botrelle
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"Well in a matter of days I should be offer to the front...on what I guess amounts to an indefinite tour of duty...if you hadn't heard already. And I'm not sure I have it in me to out-bastard Derrick at this point in time.." she responded n a slightly feeble attempt at a joke.

Kora stepped back, in order to allow the commander inside as she was edging on the door a little. She wanted to demonstrate on some level that she hadn't just spent the time since the mission doing nothing at all. She had managed to clear nearly all the stuff that was in there. Kora had never been the most orderly person, and had had an enthusiasm for impulsive purchases, so it had not been easy to get rid of the items. Self loathing helped.

"Uh..not really been hungry." she mumbled in response to the question. She could have lied about the fact that she'd not really eaten in days, but the red-head was not a brilliant liar at the best of times...and they'd been friends long enough that she knew it would not hold up.

She really didn't feel hungry. She also hadn't been certain how well it would have gone initially after all the gunshots she'd taken to her abdomen. Her interest in anything had waned rather a lot.

The berserkr reached up, awkwardly rubbing the grubby hair on the back of her head. Kora was really not accustomed to apologies.
"Hey uh.. Lu..I'm..I'm really sorry. For what happened. For me not helping out.. it wasn't right. I was so obsessed with going after... I should have helped you after that. And I didn't...and if you're pissed at me I won't hold it against you."

She spoke quickly, as if trying to force the words out as soon as possible, before returning her gaze to the floor.
"So yeah...just though I'd get that out there so you didn't think I was okay with it. I would've punched Avalon in the face if I'd seen him but he took off pretty quick."

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Character Portrait: Rosette Eschelia Crimson
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As Ruby got to the ground floors of the Citadel, she narrowed her eyes due to the sun shining at her through the windows. She truly must have been underground for quite some time, she mused, but then again, it didn't seem all that long. Not that that said anything, as her sense of time had been rather skewed to begin with, but it was the sentiment that mattered.

Or something?

She wasn't quite sure of her of her thoughts at the moment, the time spend in near-isolation still weighing heavy on her mind. Aside from the scientists she hadn't seen many people, and she had had much time to ponder about things. It had caused her thought processes to be somewhat jumbled and her mind to make jumps she wasn't entirely sure could be followed by most people.

Nevertheless, she headed towards her home, a small apartment near the citadel. As she held up her keycard the lock sprang open. Getting inside was a bit harder than that though, as it seemed the hinges were rather rusted. 'I'll need to oil those', she thought absentmined, while making her way through the dusty, cobwebbed rooms.

She decided to open a few windows to let fresh air in, once again wondering how much time she had spend down there, as it looked like the apartment had been deserted for quite a few years. She shrugged it off. A few years were still nothing to her. Thankfully her pay was good, and it had continued to accumulate throughout her times in the lab. She could easily afford a cleaner.

Once she reached the kitchen she grimaced, some moron seemed to have closed the fridge. Lovely.

"Definitely that cleaner", she muttered, as she wouldn't touch that with a ten foot pole.

Adjusting her initial plan to order some groceries and have them delivered, she decided to just go eat elsewhere during the next few days.

"I hope that Italian Restaurant is still in business..."

The setting changes from The Citadel to The Wasteland

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Character Portrait: Larke Sterling Character Portrait: Nicola Varren Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Eugene Melberg
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#, as written by Hyro
The dark-haired boy had awoken rather early after much tossing and turning in his bed. Or perhaps it only seemed that he had awoken, seeing how he had trouble sleeping throughout most of the night. He had a lot to think about, after all, and not a lot to go off of when it came to solid answers.

His roommate had seemed nice thus far, so that was good. He could only hope he wasn’t disturbing the latter as he moved to the nearest window, especially with it being such an early hour.

It’s just… He wanted to watch the sunrise, that was all.

As he sat on the window sill, one leg propped up and the other on the floor, millions of thoughts reached his head, making it hard for him to focus on the lovely view before him. He had so many questions left, all of them clawing and wracking his brain, destroying any and all chances of a sturdy and substantial conclusion. Being told one could be royalty was… Well, overwhelming. He wasn’t even sure he could take such a role in the first place. Being a leadership position, he certainly didn’t feel qualified, no matter how much free schooling he was expecting to receive in the process.
Not to mention, it would be pretty hard to focus on schooling with everything else going on in his head. The memory block being the biggest hurdle of them all.

He still couldn’t remember a thing.

They said he was in some terrorist group, but… How does one even manage to do that? What interest could he possibly have with terrorists? And mind-manipulators? That sounded simply insane. Maybe a little scary, too. What did they make him do? And more importantly, why him of all people? There was nothing extraordinary about him, so why? What had been their intentions? Did he do anything awful? Had they really planned to use him and throw him away? And why the hell couldn’t he remember a single thing? Surely there should have been bits and pieces, at the very least, but it was all just a haze.

That memory of Larke… The only memory he had thus far. They had been prisoners, from what he could gather. He could sort of make out the pain he’d been in, as well as Larke’s concern. Were they in a militist cell? Among Liberty, perhaps?

That was the only thing that made sense.

His thoughts trailed off pretty abruptly as a slight groan escaped him. He clutched his head with one hand and gripped the window sill with the other, fighting an oncoming migraine. The pulsing and sudden fogginess made it hard to think much further on his amnesia.

What a pain.

Well, whatever. The viceroy had mentioned something about medical reviews or… examinations or something along those lines, and while it felt odd to look forward to anything hosted by Erubesco, some small shred of hope led to the possibility that perhaps he would get some answers there. Maybe they could even help him with this whole amnesia thing he was going through.
Maybe.

This all still felt very strange. Being in Erubesco, living inside the walls...
He felt out of place.
Surely his father was rolling in his grave right now.
The thought of this was satisfyingly spiteful, at least.

As the music came on, followed by a rather formal announcement, the boy listened somewhat absently. He had only really caught the end of it out of sheer amusement.

They were hosting a ball.

Much like Cinderella, Drake had never been allowed to go to such an event. Not that he had much interest in it to begin with.
Then again, as potential future Lord, perhaps he should consider attending just this once.

The setting changes from The Wasteland to The Citadel

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Character Portrait: Rosette Eschelia Crimson
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  1. Whoops, I had assumed the most recent post before this was in the Citadel instead of the Wastelands. Sorry for the double post.

    by ElusiveAuthor

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The Italian restaurant was still in business indeed. Maria, the young waitress she had befriended before her stint in the labs, had taken over the place from her father a couple of years ago, and her children were now on the serving staff. While the woman was a bit shocked to see her again, not having aged at all, Ruby assured her that her youth was due to her Gift. And indeed, in this current society that answered all the questions the woman might have had.

After catching up, learning the current date and ordering her Spaghetti Bolognese, she mused she would have to have a few words with her superiors. Yes. She had agreed to examinations in the lab once in a while. And yes, she knew those could be for longer periods of time. 23 years was ridiculous though.

Still, that was neither here nor there, as the savoury food was placed in front of her. Ah, it seemed she had lost track of time again. Not that it mattered, it merely meant that she wouldn't have the boring wait to go. She dug in with gusto. Oh how she had missed this. The food in the labs was filled with nutrients, sure, but the taste often left something to be desired.

It was only when Maria asked her if she was going to the rumored Ball that she learned of it. Would she go? Probably... She might as well go see if there were any familiar faces left in one swoop. She grimaced at her next thought. She wouldn't get to wear her armour.

But at least there would be good food and company...

She decided to head back to the Citadel after paying for her meal. She might as well go weasel some more information out of someone. When she got there she was heading towards the offices acquaintances of hers had previously worked in. Most of them seemed to have been replaced though.

After not finding anyone she knew, she absentmindedly began to wander the hallways, too lost in her thoughts to notice she didn't have set goal in mind. She came across various people she didn't know along the way, but their existences blurred together after a while, as she moved past all of them.

It took her a while to snap out of her melancholy, and by that time she had reached one of the newer sections of the Citadel, the location of which she didn't recognize.

Goddamnit, she was lost.

It seemed to be a residential area, judging by the numbers and name plaques next to the door. Huh. That was new too. She wondered if it was wise to have all the Erebuscians of note gathered in one place. One terrorist attack, and most of them would be dead. Nevertheless, she did see a few advantages, namely that the travel time would be less, and everyone could be readily called to duty at any time of the day.

That realization didn't help one thing though.

In the end she decided to just ring one of the door bells, a bit lost as to what else to do in this situation.

Maybe the person who opened -while probably cranky at being awoken this early- could give her directions.

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Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Lulu Botrelle
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Lulu entered the room with a careful tread, stepping lightly so that the signature click of her heels was all but absent. “There’s nothing to be sorry for,” she replied to the apology, though she had been waiting for some time to hear it. She shut the door softly behind her, and headed promptly toward Kora’s kitchen to check for groceries.

The cleanly emptiness of the apartment was unsettling— Lulu was used to sidestepping piles of things when she dared to visit Kora, and the bare floor only served as a reminder that this would not be the berserker’s home for much longer. 

It was far easier to focus on finding Kora a meal, and ignore the rest of it.



“You had family matters to attend to. I understand that. And, really, my situation was nobody’s fault but my own— I wasn’t well to work, and I mistakenly thought I was. You can’t blame Derrick, either. He was just doing his—“ Her voice caught, and she swallowed whatever word she had planned to end that sentence with.



“Well, you know.” 



After another moment of fruitless searching, Lulu pulled out her tablet and began looking up the menu of a delivery service. “Go get yourself cleaned, Norrevinter. I’m ordering you food, and while we wait on it, I’m fixing your sloppy bandaging.

“You stink.”

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Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Rosette Eschelia Crimson Character Portrait: Eugene Melberg
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Anyone who had served as a Citadel guard knew why the latest patrol was called “the graveyard shift:” After shuffling back to the apartment around four AM, Mel had collapsed onto the couch, still in his uniform, falling as still as a corpse upon impact.



On nights like these, even his nightmares kept themselves at bay.

The early rustlings of Coleman, his temporary houseguest, did nothing to stir him. As the Citadel announcement music sounded over the loudspeaker, he rolled over for a moment, mumbling something about “two more minutes.” Mel tugged a pillow over his head as the full speech was given, and there it stayed as he fell back asleep despite the noise. 



‘Ten o’clock,’ he thought to himself as he drifted off again, ‘I’ll get up and get on with the day by ten.’

Then the doorbell.

There was a groan, (as well as a scarcely intelligible string of obscenities,) from the pile of blankets on the couch, and then a thump as Mel rolled out and onto the floor. “Coming!” he called, though he really wished he were not. He glanced back toward the bed and found Coleman not in it, but rather at the far end of the room by the window. 

Mel offered a nod and a vague grumbling that may have been supposed to come out as “Good morning, Drake,” and then pulled himself to standing by the arm of a chair.

He paused by the mirror next to the door, running a hand though his hair, fixing where it had been crushed flat on one side while asleep, and then rubbing his eyes. 

He did not bother checking the peep hole- the Citadel was a security masterpiece.

So, when the tired, slouching Acolyte in his crinkled uniform swung open his front door, he was more than a bit surprised to see a tall ginger in full armor standing in front of him. He stared at her with a bleary, dazed look for a moment, and blinked hard. 


“Um.”



His brow knitted together.



“Good morning?” he asked, fairly certain he had never seen this person in his life, “Is um… I’m sorry, but can I help you?”

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Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Rosette Eschelia Crimson Character Portrait: Eugene Melberg
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Ruby momentarily observed the man, taking in his disheveled appearance, before sheepishly rubbing the back of her neck, smiling awkwardly at the equally awkward question of the tired-looking man. She decided to be blunt.

"I apologize for waking you at this godforsaken hour, but I find myself lost in this maze that is the Citadel. Could you be kind enough to give me directions to the main entrance?"

She shifted a little, and added with an apologetic look, "I haven't been back here for a while you see, and a lot seems to have changed in my absence..."

Like the adding of residential areas... stair columns that had practically disappeared while she was in the labs, and elevators that only seemed to reach a few floors out of many. The first she was ambivalent over, the second she thought unwise, although like the third, she could see some tactical value in it.

But while it made it harder to navigate for potential intruders, Knights returning from a long stint elsewhere would evidently experience the same fate.

Ruby sure as hell hoped she didn't come over as too suspicious. While the upper echelons would probably be able to clear her in case of an incarceration by a grumpy-looking acolyte, she wasn't to sure about that, still slightly bitter over the fact that her 'few months' in the labs had been extended to '23 years' without so much as a by your leave. They might even have forgotten about her altogether, what with most of the people that knew her being either dead or happily retired.

The setting changes from The Citadel to Helton

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Character Portrait: Soren Pelacour Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour Character Portrait: Mina Aldridge
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There was a certain surrealism about this group at times. On one occasion they could be sitting together, enjoying dinner. Laughing, joking, discussing events just as a particularly distant family would at a reunion. In the next, they could just as casually be peeling away the nails from an attacker’s finger. Snapping bone, parting flesh, tossing the body away as if it were little more than scraps for the dogs. Clockwork had been made aware enough of the circumstances of the woman’s appearance and punishment, and more so as to why she had not been called in to tend to the Erubescian’s wounds. A waste of energy, for one. A matter of mistakes was another- after all, who was to say that she wouldn’t heal more than necessary through pure accident? Even then, there was still the risk of her becoming compelled to heal the other completely…

Nevertheless, the stranger had been mended. Mina had seen to that. And the others had paused in their...methods for the time being, having decided to let the woman rest for the time being.

They were coming up with a new plan of attack.

There was a chance of that being true, correct, but there was still the fact that they could very well be looking into a less gruesome approach. One that could keep the process as short as possible, and get as much information as deemed necessary. After all, from what had been floating about the base, the prisoner had refused to let a single thing slip through whatever was done to her. It was possible they could use one of the Memoli siblings somehow, and simply search through her mind.

That’s true. Although…

It’s best not to put much thought into it, now. The matter is out of our hands. For now, we must provide anything that is required from us by the others- emotionally or otherwise. You’ve seen how they’ve been lately, after all. And with Hel being at the brunt of it all…

Yes, I understand.

Good.

A gentle smile upon his lips, Soren finished his work in braiding his adoptive daughter’s hair, and planted a kiss upon her forehead before rising. “Come, now,” he began, helping Clockwork to her feet. “It’s breakfast time, and we wouldn’t want to keep anyone waiting, would we?” To his dismay, the child still appeared bothered- brows furrowed ever so slightly, thumb running a methodical circle on palm- but, nevertheless, she accepted the hand and allowed herself to be led into the hall.

“I suppose we shouldn’t,” she eventually said, and the furrow faded as quickly as it had appeared.

Hand in hand, the pair walked into the kitchen as they did every morning- although, much to their combined surprise, someone else had beat them to the punch. Standing before a pot of water was Mina, obviously distracted and humming a song beneath her breath. They stood there for a few moments, silent, lingering just outside the doorway and minds mulling on what to say. While both had been asleep during the attack, it hadn’t taken long to discover what had went on in their absence, and, well…

At any rate, it was rude to stare, and Soren soon broke the silence with a polite clearing of his throat. “Good morning, Mina,” he greeted warmly, taking a step onto tile. “How are you today?” He spoke without judgement, hands clasped behind his back, head bowed slightly as he waited for the doctor to respond. Clockwork, on the other hand, had completely passed the threshold into the room, eyes locked upon the pot set on top of the stove.

“Would you like any help with that?” While making any steadfast assumptions tended to be something she was warned against, the box of oatmeal set neatly aside appeared to be a large hint that Mina wasn’t there to practice her skills in professional accordion playing.
At least, unless one planned specifically on using basic cutlery to play accordion music.

The setting changes from Helton to Liberty Base Alpha A

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Character Portrait: Samon Cauldier Character Portrait: Colt
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The pounding of boots across the floor of Training Room Sigma-38 had started out strong at the beginning of the session, maintained moderate momentum for an hour after, and then dissolved into various forms of shuffling and dragging for the most recent fifteen minutes.

The pacer signal beeps had begun at an easy rate, granting the students ten seconds to make it from one end of the gym to the other, crossing the line and avoiding punitive action by their supervising trainer. Then, after five minutes, the pace increased. Thirty minutes, again. 

At the forty-five minute break, they had been granted a three minute pause to don ankle weights.

By the time the bleeps sounded only three seconds apart and the weights had been raised to fifteen pounds per leg, two trainees were left standing— A boy with enhanced endurance and a bedraggled looking speedster girl, both likely moments away from falling to their knees.

The rest had given up on the course, and become additional obstacles to dodge.

And over it all, on a raised platform off to the side, the hulking form of their trainer loomed with a laser pistol at the ready. His name, as dictated on his uniform, was Trainer-Agent Colt, and there had never been anyone known to call him anything different.

Colt was strict, but none could say he was unfair— His treatment of trainees was decided by protocol, and a system that worked: One failure to meet the line warranted a shot from his gun on a light setting. Two resulted in an increased voltage.

Most of the trainees collapsed of exhaustion before he had to bother with a third.

“Picking up your feet, now!” he hollered over the sound of the two remaining heroes, “Five more minutes! And you are done for day.” 

If anyone had ever made fun of his thick, distinctly Slovak accent, he had not noticed. Colt was a machine of a man, a model of efficiency constructed without room for a grasp of humor or spite. His hands did not fiddle as he stood, his massive frame did not shift or shuffle, and the hard features of his face gave no indication of ever having turned up into a smile.



“Three minutes.”

The speedster tripped and fell over another trainee, and did not attempt to get up. She was promptly fired at (a second warning voltage,) and shoved herself up onto her hands and knees, only to slip in her own sweat and collapse again.

“One minute,” said Colt, and recorded the girl’s collapse at the trainer’s pad on the wall, and added a tag stating that she had met a new record for her age and gift class. He would not tell her, of course. 

Making her head big would not teach her the value of humble service.

“And done running.”



The boy fell to his knees, and Colt crossed to him in four quick strides, grasping him under the arm and hoisting him to his feet. “I did not mention ‘done with working’,” he said, voice short but not cross, and then began helping the other fallen students up one at a time, saying things like, “Walk it out,” and “You have done well,” and “You run like pregnant Erubescan man,” as he did so.

He cast a glance toward the clock on the wall, and then the door. 

There was supposed to be another student arriving shortly. A new boy- some specialty case assigned to him for supplemental training. 

Who would be doing fifteen laps for every minute he decided to be late.

The setting changes from Liberty Base Alpha A to The Wasteland

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jake Vale
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  1. Well, hopefully this was good enough. For the record, he was just remembering what his brother said.

    by LookingAtPerks

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It wasn't pretty, and it did not seem like it was operational. It looked dangerous, almost haunted. But to be fair, it wouldn't be a stretch for it to be considered haunted. After all, a large amount of people did die here. Their skeletons picked to the bone, either by animals or people, and was desolate. Everything appeared to be rusted, broken, or worthless.

But a true scavenger knows better. A true scavenger sees beyond looks, beyond appearances. Like detectives, they see the truth. And Jake was one of the best. This was an old pre-war....something. Battlecruiser? Hover Carrier? Command Building? A third of it was ripped off, which was the only way you could enter, because the other two thirds were pounded into the ground so far it was not even clear how it got stuck like that. No one could even tell what it used to be. It was also tilted slightly.

Whatever it was though, it seemed important. It had a lot of communication and computing equipment, and there was a variety of other facilities, from bio-labs to robotics bays, but most of it seemed to involve command and communication, as well as a large amount of defense systems. And it was clearly built to last, because once you got far enough in, it still had power.

Jake turned on his wristlight to look around. Jake could see in the dark, but the light included a blacklight, and would also cause objects with electricity to glow when it shined on them. It was a simple tool for scavangers. He came across some functional equipment, including what he believed was a Drive Core, and collected it.

Then he felt a gun go to his head. "Well well, what do we have here? A desperate orphan scavenging to survive? I bet you will sell for a great amount of money if your this strong".

A lowlife, a vulture, was pointing a gun at him. Of course, he wasn't alone. Jake could hear six other heartbeats nearby. But he was not worried. None of their heartbeats sounded particularly strong, and the vibrations from their footsteps meant they ultimately were failing to sneak around properly. Based on his calculations, there was a 93% chance that half of them would be dead in the next sixty seconds.

"You think I am going to make it easy for you?" Jake mentioned, turning his head back slightly with a sort of devilish smile on his face. This smile, as well as his facial expressions and body expressions in general, was enough to freak the guy out and make him stumble backwards. "You should really be careful with who you fight in the Wasteland".

Before the man realized what was going on, screams were heard from the other hallways. It was the automated defenses having been accidentally tripped by those idiots and resulted in half of them being dead already, with one or two bleeding out at least, and the last one trapped in a room. While distracted, Jake closed the distance between them, kicked the gun out of his hand and down the hall, before grabbing him by the collar and sending him flying into the wall.

"Damn.....damn it. A fucking ten year old brat with this much skill already?" Jake didn't bother correcting the age. He just punched the guy out.

The automated defenses finally shut down, with the other six being dead. "Idiots. If you are going to scavenge, try not to set off any traps. Well, I guess they might have some useful look on their bodies. They kinda owe me for being jerks anyways".

"Cruelty cannot be answered with cruelty" a voice echoed in his head. It was something his brother said a long time ago to him.

"Fine fine, I will give them a funeral. But I am not digging graves, their bodies are burning. And I am still taking their stuff. Waste not, want not after all. Though, I suppose we are in the Wasteland...." Jake mentioned, sighing. At least he knew he was getting some good loot.

The setting changes from The Wasteland to The Citadel

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Rosette Eschelia Crimson Character Portrait: Eugene Melberg
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#, as written by Hyro
Drake heard the ringing of the door and glanced at it hesitantly. While he certainly COULD answer it, there was a very, very unlikely chance that whoever was at the door was for him. Luckily, the stirring of his new room mate assured him rather quicking that he would not have to bother with answering it after all. Which was good, because he certainly didn’t want to.

Mel had offered a disgruntled good morning, in which the only thing Drake could think to respond with at the moment was a simple nod. He still wasn’t used to the social interaction or even being in the same housing as someone who wasn’t family.

He had no idea how to interact with this guy.

As the door was answered and the person in question was greeted with some amount of confusion, Drake’s curiosity got the best of him. He swung his leg back to the floor and stood, silently moving over so that he could peer at the person through the door without getting too close to be deemed intrusive.

It was a female, apparently. She appeared to be some sort of knight, or at least, that was his best guess when taking into account the armor getup. She had bright red hair, too, which was… Well, uncommon, to say the least.

Then again, so were silver eyes.

Listening in on the conversation, he discovered pretty quickly why she was there and why Mel didn’t recognize her. The girl was lost. It was something he could relate with, at the very least. The Citadel was huge, after all, and he knew little to nothing about what all it held in store.

The winged boy didn’t feel any reason to say anything at the moment, so instead lingered and watched with mild interest.

The setting changes from The Citadel to Liberty Base Alpha A

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Samon Cauldier Character Portrait: Colt
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Training Room Sigma-38...

Samon stood just outside the center in which he'd been told to go. He couldn't exactly comment on the structure as he did not know, but he could tell just by how Liberty worked that it was plain and functional like everything else. He used his other senses to gather the atmosphere. Besides the constant smell of concrete that was just the natural musk of Liberty Base Alpha A, there was also a lingering scent of sweat and just a tiny bit of blood. He saw people that entered the building had rather high amounts of energy while those who left had a much fainter silhouette. Samon already knew this should be a place he should hate.

He saw from the people exiting the facility where the doorway was. As he approached, he gazed inside to one figure who probably had the most energy out of anyone who entered the compound. From his energy silhouette, he gathered bulging muscles and a cleft chin. His stance was that like a machine. He didn't move his feet or shuffle his weight from foot to foot. He just...stood there. This told him everything he needed to know about the guy...that he was Samon's trainer and he wasn't going to take it easy on him, no matter what disability he had.

Happy birthday to me...

Samon felt his way along the door and found the handle. Pulling it open, he was blasted by the warm air of the inside training facility, a combination of hot sweaty bodies working out and potentially faulty air conditioning. Whether the latter of the two was on purpose or by accident was a mystery, as Liberty had it's own plans with the trainees. He walked straight towards the man who waited for him. What this trainer would see was a blonde boy with grey eyes (he wasn't wearing sunglasses this time) in a grey spandex shirt with gym shorts. He had changed his attire from the morning, knowing that going into any kind of training compound with jeans or a sweatshirt would be an awful idea, given that there wasn't a place to change nor would they provide clothes. Samon probably wouldn't want to wear them anyway.

"Samon Cauldier, reporting for training, sir!" he knew better than to wisecrack to superiors, although he preferred to be a bit more casual. Still, it left him wondering that despite what he could read off this man, what his training would be like. Would it be like everyone else's training or would it be more specialized given that he was blind for the most part?

The setting changes from Liberty Base Alpha A to The Citadel

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Rosette Eschelia Crimson Character Portrait: Eugene Melberg
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Mel blinked hard. He looked at the woman while she spoke. He blinked again.



“Ah- um. Yeah, yeah,” he mumbled, and took in a deep breath in the hopes that oxygen could bring his mind to wakefulness, “I can um, it’s tangled in here, yeah.” 

The woman’s full armor, as well as her confidence in knocking upon a random door spoke of confidence in her position.

She was likely a Knight, or possibly a Commander, as far as Mel could guess, and likely not someone he had the right to turn down if he had wanted to. 

Not that Mel had any plans of turning her down— Being lost on base was frustrating, and he had hated being in her shoes less than a week ago. Transfer troops frequently misplaced themselves on base, as did those returning from long deployments.



“Gimme a minute to get my boots on, yeah?” he said, offering a tired smile. He stepped back and held the door open with one foot and reached toward the shoe rack beside the entry and pulled on his left boot, and then switched feet to the other, all the whole trying to will himself awake. “And uh, I’m Mel. Well. Accolyte Melberg. But basically Mel. And um,” he pushed the door open further, “This’s Coleman, my roommate. So.”



With his shoes laced, he grabbed his keycard off of the hook by the door and nodded toward the hall, “I can help you find a datapoint, f’you want. We’ve got a few on the floor, to help people around, what with all the new construction and stuff. The resident halls got really jacked up after the fires, and stuff. So, nothing to be sorry about.”

The setting changes from The Citadel to Liberty Base Alpha A

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Samon Cauldier Character Portrait: Colt
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Colt had just finished helping the last straggler to her feet when the new student walked in, but the trainer did not so much as pause before moving into the new session. He turned to the boy with his usual tight jaw, and nodded at the introduction before stepping into a predatory circle around Samon.

His coal-colored eyes scrutinized the boy, taking in his form, posture, and body language before making an introduction of his own.




“I am Trainer-Agent Colt,” he stated, planting back in front of his new charge, “For the next two weeks, you are assigned to be taking with me intensive course in supplemental training. You are working with me from fifteen-hundred hours, until seventeen hundred hours, every day. You are being assessed after this period. If training is success, you are proceeding in supplemental training. If is not, you are terminating supplemental training.” His hands stayed clasped behind his back as he spoke, his posture at attention but not locked— Joints ready, eyes alert. The timbre of his voice was deep and monotone, though his clunky English remained unpolished. He spoke with the tone of one who had given hundreds of similar statements in his life, and would give a thousand more before his death. 



If Samon was something special, nothing in Colt's speech indicated him as such.



“You are future of Liberty. Expectations are being held as such.” 



Colt then drew a gun from his left-side holster— a real, ballistic revolver with a sturdy build and matte black finish— and began taking it apart and tossing pieces of it onto the mat at Samon’s feet.



“Are you having any questions before beginning, Trainee Cauldier?”

The setting changes from Liberty Base Alpha A to The Citadel

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Drake Coleman Character Portrait: Rosette Eschelia Crimson Character Portrait: Eugene Melberg
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#, as written by Hyro
“Drake,” the boy corrected rather swiftly and, perhaps, a bit sternly, “None of that last name non-sense. Drake is fine.” Oh, how he hated being reminded of the kind of people he was related to. Not that he would bring it up. He was still considering the whole Lordship inheritance, after all, and he really didn’t feel the need to bring up how much he loathed the ones he was taking it from.

He gave a nod to the female in greeting, eyeing her outfit with analytical eyes. A knight, most likely, judging from the armor. “You’re clearly not new here,” he concluded. It was a short and rhetorical comment, perhaps even a bit rude if perceived in such a way, considering the implication it held.

"How the hell did she get lost?" was, of course, what he was really thinking.

His eyes trailed over to Mel who seemed hardly awake. Drake knew how late Mel had come home, having heard the man walk in while he was trying and failing to fall asleep. The winged boy also knew how little sleep his roommate had actually gotten as a result.

“Are you sure you’ve slept enough to function properly?” he mused, his tone making it seem more like a wisecrack than an actual concern. Despite the fact that he was aiming for being concerned.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter Character Portrait: Lulu Botrelle
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Of the few things able to force Kora's long numb sense of motivation into some kind of action, it was a fair amount of shame. Whilst she'd long given up on doing anything purely for her own self-respect, criticism still stirred enough of a sick feeling in her stomach that Kora was compelled to acquiesce to Lulu's demands, and fairly promptly dragged herself into the shower.

Feelings of shame having won over feelings of futility, the Knight pulled off the bloodstained clothes and old gauze, and snapped the shower on, standing there for a few minutes as she watched the water drain away as unpleasant brownish-red.

Most people might hve been more concerned about the risk of infection for leaving fairly significant injuries largely untended to. Normally, even Kora would have...but things had dulled in their priority ltely. All things had.

She washed the worst of the blood and dirt off of her skin and rubbed some shampoo into her hair, getting it clean enough that the water ran through it clean once again, and generally made a perfunctory attempt at tidying herself up before stepped out of the bathroom one again. There was a towel wrapped around her body and her hair was dripping and several shades darker with moisture.
If her demeanour had not improved much, her hygiene at least had. The lack of bandages made the half-healed wounds on her shoulders more obvious, though she'd covered up enough to hide the worst of it.

"Derrick left me some stuff when he left. A uh, basket of candy. Guess he must have been feeling bad though I don't know why it was aimed at me." Kora explained as she tried to find some clean...or at least cleaner clothes amid the boxes she had.

"Well...it was here. Ended up giving it away. Sent it over to Acolyte Piper as an apology...don;t think I ever heard anything back."
The knight stopped for a moment, silent, before she shrugged her shoulders.

"Oh well.Upside of getting sent out is you don't have to worry about folk not liking you, right? I mean, why should I care what they think. It's not like I'm going to be here much longer...not like...not like I'm ever coming back..." Kora trailed off, letting her hands drop while still loosely gripping a couple of items of clothing.

"I mean. I'm sure I'll be fine. Nothing I can't handle. Like Varren said. It's what I'm suited for. Yup. That's what I'm good at."

View All »Arcs

Arcs are bundles of posts that you can organize on your own. They're useful for telling a story that might span long periods of time or space.

A Morning Vistor

The Wanderer's peaceful morning is disturbed when several members detect the presence of another Ashlander at the gates of Helton. A small party converges to meet with and gauge the intentions of newcomer Jake Vale.

West District Conflict

Freedom Fighter/Wanter Terror suspect Rick Ronin is spotted in the Erubescan West District, a residential suburb of the Citadel City. He seeks food and gains help from citizens who seem not to recognize him. After being recognized and reported by Knight Saffir Fisher, an Erubescan Strike team forms and teleports to engage.

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Welcome home, Promethean. Here, you can manage your universe.

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Add Setting » 4 Settings for your players to play in

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The Citadel

The Citadel by ianna_334

The pinnacle of Erubesco glory, don't let the medieval inspiration distract you from the technological marvels it hides

Liberty Base Alpha A

Liberty Base Alpha A by ianna_334

Welcome to Liberty Base Alpha A. We hope you have a productive stay. This is a place for work, not play. Cheer for Liberty, hip hip hooray.

Helton

Helton by ianna_334

A nice safe place to rest... If you don't mind death, decay, and skeletons.

The Wasteland

The Wasteland by Miss Echo

An apocalyptic landscape, most of it is covered by ash, earning the nickname "The Ashland"

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Collectibles

By creating Collectibles, you can reward your players with unique items that accentuate their character sheets.


Once an Item has been created, it can be spawned in the IC using /spawn Item Name (case-sensitive, as usual) — this can be followed with /take Item Name to retrieve the item into the current character's inventory.

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Give your Universe life by adding a Mob, which are auto-replenishing NPCs your players can interact with. Useful for some quick hack-and-slash fun!

Mobs can be automated spawns, like rats and bats, or full-on NPCs complete with conversation menus. Use them to enhance your player experience!

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Character Portrait: Rosette Eschelia Crimson
7 sightings Rosette Eschelia Crimson played by ElusiveAuthor
"The name is Ruby, thank you, not Rosette."

The Forge

Use your INK to craft new artifacts in The Age of Gifted. Once created, Items cannot be changed, but they can be bought and sold in the marketplace.

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View All » Add Character » 81 Characters to follow in this universe

Character Portrait: Dawn Memoli
Character Portrait: Seraphina Iclosis
Character Portrait: Larke Sterling
Character Portrait: Talin Melardos
Character Portrait: Jake Vale
Character Portrait: Samon Cauldier
Character Portrait: Nicola Varren
Character Portrait: Soren Pelacour
Character Portrait: Kora Norrevinter
Character Portrait: Lulu Botrelle
Character Portrait: Clockwork Pelacour
Character Portrait: Robert Greenleaf
Character Portrait: Sierra Iclosis
Character Portrait: Oren Kovalenko
Character Portrait: Allen Memoli
Character Portrait: Azrael Gable
Character Portrait: Heather Laxton
Character Portrait: Cecelia Brocktree

Newest

Character Portrait: Daevas
Daevas

"I got you to look after me and you got me to look after you and that's why."

Character Portrait: Agent Mayday
Agent Mayday

Liberty and Death

Character Portrait: Olive
Olive

A little girl who loves her "parents".

Character Portrait: Ava Thean
Ava Thean

Councilor of Liberty Training

Character Portrait: Tessa Avalon
Tessa Avalon

Innocence mixed with Malice

Character Portrait: Derrick Avalon
Derrick Avalon

Cold Sunglass Wearing Bastard

Character Portrait: Rick Ronin
Rick Ronin

"If your belief is worth dying for, it's worth killing for."

Character Portrait: James Grimori
James Grimori

"Damien, why are you such a handful?"

Trending

Character Portrait: Olive
Olive

A little girl who loves her "parents".

Character Portrait: Temno Shadowveil
Temno Shadowveil

"Darkness shouldn't even be solid. That's why I can do anything."

Character Portrait: Talin Melardos
Talin Melardos

"I'm pretty sure this isn't what they meant by 'Live fast, die young' but okay..."

Character Portrait: Selene Donovan
Selene Donovan

Manicures and emotional manipulation

Character Portrait: Roxy Adams
Roxy Adams

Feathery and fun-sized

Character Portrait: Nicola Varren
Nicola Varren

"MY ORDER!"

Character Portrait: Trenton Adams
Trenton Adams

Won the award for Worst Uncle Ever

Character Portrait: Heather Laxton
Heather Laxton

"...Huh? Sorry, I was asleep."

Character Portrait: James Grimori
James Grimori

"Damien, why are you such a handful?"

Most Followed

Character Portrait: Nicola Varren
Nicola Varren

"MY ORDER!"

Character Portrait: Rick Ronin
Rick Ronin

"If your belief is worth dying for, it's worth killing for."

Character Portrait: Kayla Chandler
Kayla Chandler

The wolf shifter is shy and quiet...until she bites

Character Portrait: Oren Kovalenko
Oren Kovalenko

Biology, Bitchiness.

Character Portrait: Roxy Adams
Roxy Adams

Feathery and fun-sized

Character Portrait: Mr. Tanner
Mr. Tanner

Education is key. Everyone can be taught.

Character Portrait: Drake Coleman
Drake Coleman

"You can kill me, but I'll just keep coming back."

Character Portrait: Selene Donovan
Selene Donovan

Manicures and emotional manipulation

Character Portrait: Larke Sterling
Larke Sterling

Drug addict/Genuinely nice guy

Character Portrait: Gale Eden
Gale Eden

"'Quoth the Raven; 'Nevermore.'"


View All » Places

The Citadel

The Citadel by ianna_334

The pinnacle of Erubesco glory, don't let the medieval inspiration distract you from the technological marvels it hides

Liberty Base Alpha A

Liberty Base Alpha A by ianna_334

Welcome to Liberty Base Alpha A. We hope you have a productive stay. This is a place for work, not play. Cheer for Liberty, hip hip hooray.

Helton

Helton by ianna_334

A nice safe place to rest... If you don't mind death, decay, and skeletons.

The Wasteland

The Wasteland by Miss Echo

An apocalyptic landscape, most of it is covered by ash, earning the nickname "The Ashland"

The Wasteland

An apocalyptic landscape, most of it is covered by ash, earning the nickname "The Ashland"

Liberty Base Alpha A

Welcome to Liberty Base Alpha A. We hope you have a productive stay. This is a place for work, not play. Cheer for Liberty, hip hip hooray.

The Citadel

The pinnacle of Erubesco glory, don't let the medieval inspiration distract you from the technological marvels it hides

Helton

A nice safe place to rest... If you don't mind death, decay, and skeletons.

Fullscreen Chat » Create Topic » The Age of Gifted: Out of Character

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