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Allan Denton

"This sucks."

0 · 1,082 views · located in The Garden

a character in “The Garden: Rise of The Nameless”, as played by Zalgo

Description

|| Allan Denton ||




"I swear my life just wont stop getting worse."



Image
|| Theme Songs ||
Normal||Rjd2 - Ghostwriter||
Fighting||Apocalyptica - Path||



|| Age ||
18
|| Gender ||
Male
|| Sexuality ||
Straight
|| Role ||
Security Guard



|| Hair Color ||
Black
|| Eye Color ||
Deep Dark Brown
|| Skin Tone ||
Light
|| Height ||
6'2"
|| Weight ||
182 Pounds
|| Appearance ||
This guy is sort of a tall lanky fellow. He stands with a forward slouch and generally dresses down, his aim more for comfort than style. As a matter of fact he tries not to stand out by generally wearing plainer colors such as black, grey and white. Overall people who know him would describe him as a rather miserable looking guy. He rarely smiles and he keeps his eyes mostly down to the floor more often than not. His most identifying feature is his set of black fingerless gloves with blue straps.




|| Personality ||

It wouldn't be wrong to call him apathetic. It also wouldn't be wrong to call him pathetic, though maybe less so depending on circumstance.

The most notable attribute of his is that he is dispassionate. This is very often mistaken as laziness as he rarely likes to put any effort into day to day things. He isn't truly lazy as when he believes in something or wants to truly accomplish something he'll work tirelessly at it. His only goal is to defeat the forces which threaten his home world, he is quite reluctant to assist any further than that.

A contributing reason to his lack of passion is that he is shy. He doesn't like talking with people in general. Large crowds bother him and the more frequently people talk with him in a day the worse he feels. He is anti-social without a doubt. He can overcome this shyness to function within a group and get what needs doing done but he will avoid socialization if at all possible.

Due to his frustration with interacting with others he is just a very unhappy individual. He doesn't smile often and gets annoyed quite easily. He does have a temper but perhaps a quality of his is his ability to think through stress. No matter how agitated, how angry or how much in pain he is in his brain will always be thinking. He tends to think a lot, spending most of his days in his head just thinking about things. It is one of the few things he enjoys doing.

Though he may be a generally unpleasant character towards people he has a kind side to himself as well. He believes life is hard enough already without people going around making peoples lives harder. If someone is in trouble he'll help out, even if he isn't happy about it. He likes to help people out in general too but he often doesn't because he dislikes the attention helping brings more.

A notable trait of his is that he rarely ever lies. He believes that honesty is a quality best not squandered. Well, that and he is a terrible liar. He's never lied once in his life and gotten away with it. He can keep a secret well enough but if he's forced to deceive someone he almost always fails somehow, sundering his faith in his ability to lie. Being that he doesn't believe he can tell a convincing lie he's opted to be honest and turn a personal failing into a quality.

A real quality that's buried deep down in him is a sense of humility. He doesn't see himself as higher or stronger or even better than everyone else. To his eye he's just a guy with a neat trick in a world of people with various stuff, many of which is probably better than what he's got. It can be argued whether his shyness drives his humility or if his humility spurs his shyness but not even he can really answer as to which aspect came before the other. He'd probably say shyness since admitting to being humble would just seem arrogant to him.

In addition to all that he's got a rather strong sense of personal honor, not one born from society or expectations but rather by his hardships. He outright refuses to do things he considers wrong even though this can often times be used against him.

In the end he doesn't want any part in this war of the multiverse. He fights only out of the obligation he feels to protect his home world from the destructive forces that threaten all worlds, he takes little to no joy out of any part he has in this conflict.

|| Likes ||

- The night
- The cold
- Rain
- Working with his hands
- Solitude
- Birds
- Spicy Foods

|| Dislikes ||

- Sunlight
- Conflict
- Heat
- Demons
- Righteousness
- Arrogance
- Fish
- Angels
- People who fight at a range

|| Personal Weakness ||

Firstly he is bound by a strict code of honor which he follows regardless of circumstance. For example, he will never hit a lady no matter how dangerous she might be.

Secondly he doesn't work well with others. If others can work around his brusque, unrelentingly negative and just downright miserable demeanor then he might possibly be able to be worked with.

Thirdly he does not get along well with angels or demons given his history with the two factions.



|| Abilities/Magic/Tech ||

Allan's main power is that he possesses an internal reservoir of divine energy which functions to empower him, giving him enhanced physical abilities and the power to heal himself amongst other such abilities that lay within him. This power's main restriction is it's "Inner Focus", a facet of the powers nature which amplifies it's power whilst inside him but weakens by at least half it's potency if not more when externalized. Besides enhancing himself he can imbue others with his energy but the strength of the effect would only ever be half as much as his own. The further away from him the target of the effect goes the lesser it's power becomes. This energy slowly but constantly replenishes itself. It takes a couple hours for his reservoir to completely replenish from zero to full.

Divine Might:
His main ability, he channels his power into his fists giving them a divine glow. This grants him superhuman strength and one other particular effect. This effect is that his fists cause anything with demonic taint far greater damage than anything else he hits because of the energy present. In addition, he can channel this ability into any weapon he holds, enhancing the qualities of the weapon based on how he wants to use it. By channeling this power into a weapon however it weakens the strength of the enhancement as well as the extra damage towards demonic forces by half. Unless he's using unusually exceptional weapons he can do more damage with his fists than he can when using any form of weapon. He can extend this power to someone else's weapon but the strength of the effect begins at half it's original value and only goes down the further away from him the weapon is.

Divine Protection:
This ability grant's him enhanced toughness, making him harder to wound. All his flesh in this state is as tough as hardened leather and his bones become as strong as iron. Most weapons find difficulty even drawing blood from him while this ability is active. This ability is on passively since it consumes very little energy when it's not being stressed by being damaged. Like his Divine Might, he can extend this ability to another person giving them about half the durability that it would give himself while still exacting the same amount of energy from his reserve. Just like his Divine Might this ability also wanes in potency as the target moves away from him.

Healing
Perhaps his most important ability. This ability draws on his internal reserve to mend flesh and purify ailments. The greater the wound or ailment the greater the energy cost as well as a the time it takes to fully heal. Scratches and bruises as well as basic illnesses take seconds to heal and do not require too much energy. Deep cuts and serious illnesses require larger amounts of internal energy and take minutes to fully heal. Lost limbs, fatal wounds and mystical afflictions require exorbitant amounts of his internal reserves, his complete undivided attention and it takes hours to be fully healed. The best part of this power is that it can be transferred into other people by touch. The cost of the healing is doubled as well as the time it takes to fully heal but the result is ultimately the same. Unlike the other abilities he absolutely has to be touching the target he wishes to heal in order to heal them. He CANNOT resurrect the dead using this ability.

It is possible that he has more abilities but he has yet to be made aware of them.
|| Weakness ||

- He has a low capability of dealing damage from afar leaving him often out-ranged by ranged fighters and casters who can keep their distance.

- If pressed without any chance to recuperate his internal reservoir can be exhausted leaving him quite vulnerable.

|| Biography ||

From the beginning Allan's life was a hard one. He was raised an only son with only a mother to take care of him. From an early age his mother had to dedicate more time to the flower shop she ran in order to keep the family afloat. He only really ever saw his mother early in the morning before he went to school and even then she was much too busy to properly take care of him. He did everything himself since he was forced to take care of himself since his mother was simply too busy to help.

Life at school was no easier. Being as shy as he was he never really made any friends and many of the other students took great delight out of tormenting him as well as anyone else who was unlucky enough to not fit in. He learned very little in the classrooms but out in the playground he learned to be hard, to be tough and to survive. Needless to say the days of his life when he was supposed to be enjoying life and having fun were spent in misery, fear and social isolation. Still, despite all the terrible things the people around did to him he vowed never to become like his tormentors.

Many years of this life he spent like this, resolute on trying not to become the scum of the earth which he had to endure the company of in the hallways and streets. It was at this point he started to realize he had strange powers he wasn't aware of. He went to the places he usually went when he wanted to be alone, places no one else typically went to such as abandoned junk piles, abandoned buildings and the sort. Outside the prying eyes of his peers he practiced, examining these strange new abilities he could now wield. In these places he practiced, testing the boundaries of his strength and improving them. Even with these new gifts he still continued on with life, keeping the power he wielded as a secret only he knew, or so he believed.


Eventually he was starting to come around to an age where he needed to worry about his future. After some web researching he figured his best course of action would be to take the security guard license test online and become a certified security guard. The test was insultingly simple and with a bit of searching he found himself a security company willing to hire him. When he arrived to the job orientation class he found that the teacher there also ran a Muay Thai class over at his studio.

Allan was quite interested in studying this since learning more about how to control his body in combat might help him understand his abilities better, plus the fitness involved was also useful. He trained and practiced but he made sure never to use his powers in the studio or anywhere else where he could be seen in order to keep it a secret. He would just go back to his own hideouts and practice what he learned with his powers on his own.

About a year or two later and he's kept a steady pace in his life. He was no master at Thai Boxing and he still trained there but he'd grown to be quite competent at it. His job had him working as security for the local mall on the night shift. Within recent history he had managed to save up enough money to rent himself a place of his own: A single room apartment with a bathroom. He had himself a futon to sleep on and a laptop with a charger. That's about it.

And then the robbery happened.

A group of three demon blooded gangsters broke into a curio shop in the mall he worked at to steal a rare stone which was kept hidden away in storage. He tried to stop them but their powers were just as potent if not more so than his own. It was all he could do to escape the confrontation alive as the demon bloods were more interested in retrieving the stone than they were in killing him. Quite a pivotal night it was for him as he quickly discovered that not only was he not the only one with supernatural powers but there was something going down in New York that he, whether he liked it or not, was now apart of.

Not too long the police brought him in where he was filled in on what was going on by the government who were following the recent supernatural activity going down in town. For countless years the angels and demons have been having a secret war on Earth using angel bloods or Nephilim as they are known and demon bloods or Hellions as they are known as like free agents to do fight their battles where they cannot go. The barriers that barred the afterlife from the mortal realm kept such spirits at bay so it was necessary for them to use humans infused with the blood of their kind to fight on their behalf.

At that point it all came together for Denton. The reason why his mother was alone in raising him was because his father was an angel. His father was the reason why he had these strange super powers he never fully understood as well as the reason why he was now stuck in the great battle between heaven and hell. Allan never really liked his father to begin with and all this new information only served to further sour his feelings towards his father further.


It was quite inevitable that the angels soon came and requested that he start fighting on their behalf. Their goal was to retrieve all the pieces of an ancient gateway that could be used to open doorways to other dimensions. The stone that was stolen by the Hellions was actually a piece of the gate they wanted to construct. It was easy to see why the portal was an asset eagerly sought after by both sides. Whichever side controlled the portal could open a door to either heaven or hell and either unleash hordes of demons or hosts of angels upon the world, deciding the future of earth entirely.

Allan wanted neither. To him the angels were no better than the demons as their plan was to come to Earth and purify the unclean from the face of the planet, remaking the Earth into their own little Eden. Their idea of unclean people were Allan's idea of just average people living their lives from day to day. The idea of working under his father didn't help Allan's choice either. In the end Allan told the angels that contacted him to go collectively soak their heads in a pool of mud, a request which was received as warmly as expected.

Thus Allan was forced to ally himself with the human government who wanted as well as he did to keep the outsiders from taking over Earth. He fought hard against the demon blooded and his fellow Nephilim but despite all the battles he managed to win the stones eventually all came together in the hands of the Hellions. A major battle was fought as both the Nephilim and the military came down hard on the sight where the portal was being assembled, Allan being on the front lines of the fight. At the apex of the conflict the gate had been conflict and was on the verge of opening before Allan struck a decisive blow upon the gateway, shattering it and creating a maelstrom where he and many other Hellions stood. Just like that Allan and many others had simply vanished.

Where Allan went is where this tale ends and another begins.




"I don't want money, fame or power. I just want outsiders to stop trying to ruin my home."

So begins...

Allan Denton's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anima Lumen Character Portrait: Charmeine Lucifen d'Autriche Character Portrait: Allan Denton
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#, as written by Zalgo
Anima

"I'm afraid not... I've already scanned this place for such a door. Even looked under the glasses at the banquet table.. Our best bet is to just find a... semi-quiet corner, and try to get some rest."

Anima nodded in agreement to the notion. It was quite strange that they'd been lead into a zone with no apparent exits. Despite the festive ambiance this place was giving her an oddly uncomfortable feeling towards it all, the lack of any ability to voluntarily leave being the most disquieting notion of this whole event. "Let's see which place is suitable. Hopefully we'll be able to find a peaceful enough location to comfortably rest."

She looked about for some time for a tent which fit the criteria of mostly unoccupied and available for them to rest in. Her green eyes scanned through the sea of varying energy signatures which filled her like an aroma fills a dog's nose, each energy identified despite the sheer volume of energies surrounding her.

Finally she found it. It was a tent that was far away from the noise and party-goers, was open and available for company and only had one occupant. What particularly drew her attention was the fact that this occupant radiated divine energy much like herself and Charmeine. Surely a person with holy energy within them would be happy to see others of a familiar energy type! She thought to herself with no shortage of optimism. Leading the way forward for Charmeine she slowly crawled on the foot of her body up the somewhat distant hill to the open tent and tenant.



Allan

How did I even end up here in the first place?

That was a question which had entered his mind time and time again. It's not like he didn't remember the events which led him to this point. From the robbery to the government's big reveal to even the big brawl at gate point he could readily recall everything that he had the misfortune of getting sucked into. No, the question wasn't to ask where he was as though he were lost. He wanted to know why he of all unlucky sods had to be the one to of been unlucky enough to be born the son of an angel.

In the tent he sat, a sort of semi clearing on top of the table formed by apparently having moved the various tchotchkes before he had set his feet up on it. He was quite leaned back and slouched in his chair at the far end of the table, one hand supporting the back of his head while the other held onto a bottle of hot sauce. In this instance he was dressed in a plain set of blue jeans and a black logo-less T-shirt. He had sort of old worn out looking black running sneakers on his feet and his all too familiar set of fingerless gloves with blue straps which he's been wearing almost non-stop these past few months.

He wore a rather bored looking frown on his face as he looked on at the party. Being a character few wanted to even associate themselves with he's earned at least some privacy thanks to his 'Attitude Problems' as some might put it. Well, that was the case up until the present where some figures were coming right up to the tent he was in.


"Greetings sir. My friend, Her Royal Highness Princess Charmeine and I were hoping that we might come and rest within the confines of this tent for the time. May we please come inside?" The weird minty green blob thing that vaguely resembled a person said to him in an odd high voice that was like if rubber bands could talk. It looked like he wasn't going to escape the evening without having at least someone come on in and disrupt his relaxation.

"Sure, whatever." He spoke in a rather rough brusque manner, his general disgruntlement visible in his voice. He was never any good at masking anything, very much an unsubtle man outside the battlefield. The green slime creature looked over and motioned to a friend though he couldn't see who due to the fact the angle of the entrance to this tent obscured his view of the second guest. Waiting for whatever strange, messed up creatures that were coming up to make his table several people too crowded he brought the opening of the hot sauce bottle right up to his lips and rocked his head back, knocking back a large swig of his very spicy makeshift beverage to drown his discontent in a roar of burning sensations running from the point where his mouth met the bottle all the way down his throat.

It was just pain, nothing he didn't know in surplus.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elena Greywater Character Portrait: Anima Lumen Character Portrait: Charmeine Lucifen d'Autriche Character Portrait: Wayland "Brimstone" Smith Character Portrait: Kira Character Portrait: Ivan Witherbane Character Portrait: Shane Vegas Character Portrait: Rosa Gerzon Character Portrait: Mister Man Character Portrait: Allan Denton
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#, as written by duramon


Kira
Kira was impressed to say the least, frost was rare and unwieldy, it wasn't often she saw it in action. Although she hadn't expected such a direct approach she couldn't help but laugh and nod at her question. Perhaps this world wouldn't be so bad after all, good company, good alcohol, and only an unforeseen amount of eldritch horrors and their minions between her and the good life. Sounds easy.

She eventually extracted herself from the maiden of war and drunkenly spun, holding out her hand to the woman and pointing towards the very edge of the camp. "Come on then, we'll want a good spot for the fireworks!" She said with a gleeful grin, she'd spotted River walking off by himself and from what she gathered the box read out strength, so if he was going to be alone to do something the show had to be good.


Lazarus
Lazarus grinned and brought his hands up in a boxing style happy with her choice of dance. The Vampire ducked under the blows and sent two quick jabs her way aiming either side of her head before kicking straight up in front of her face and settling again. He settled into the pattern of the dance, dodging punches and blows and following her strikes and then returning his own. Slowly increasing the tempo of the spar dance until it matched the flurry of death he revelled in.

With each round of their dance he grinned wider and before he knew it his fingers were showing the first signs of excitement, glowing red pinpoints of flame that danced and left wispy trails of light as he moved, and so their dance became in his eyes exactly what it should be. Some of the other party goers had even stopped to watch the dance and a few of the more physical Nameless began to copy them, making a sloppy job and accidentally dealing glancing blows or direct hits with jovial laughter.


Luka
Luka had to hurry, there wasn't much time until the seals were gone and they came back. She ran out into the plains, trailing decay behind her as she went and pulling her clothes tight to her body trying to contain it for as long as possible. Eventually she reached a point far enough away and pulled off her head, letting the first wisp of green smoke float free as her fur and cat ears were free to enjoy the cool air. She waited for a few seconds and then it began, a column of green light roared forth from the base of her feet into the sky and within moments everything around her withered and died, the ring of destruction extending so far as to reach the edge of Lazarus and Elena's dance. Within the centre of the decay continued to stand Luka, and with a swing of her hand like a conductor green string-like tendrils extended from her finger tips to the ground, she had learned the quickest way to burn the energy was to summon it but each time she did she lost more control.

It seemed however she didn't have a choice, as the strands of energy met the ground and searched through the earth they were suddenly yanked. With a yelp of pain Luka held on, holding her hands in place and refusing to move, she'd changed her mind. It couldn't come out, not now, not ever, but it was too late. With slow painful yanks the first hand tore through the earth and dug into the earth, followed by another. Finally as the decayed ground fell apart what she had feared came to ground, he stood in a purple suit and was immensely tall, an obscenely tall crooked top hat sat atop his head and wild flowing black hair extended from under it. He wore white gloves, unsullied by his nap in the earth and a gasmask like breathing apparatus that he tore away liberally to reveal what marked him the most as something to be feared. No matter how you looked at him there was no face, there was nothing, just glowing orange eyes of some bestial monster and a row of razor sharp yellow teeth that grinned madly.

He took a step toward the terrified Luka and his presence seemed to permeate the very air around him, the sky darkened and without her consent the border of decay began to skirt into the Nameless camp with every move he made. He took in a deep breathe into nothingness and sighed "It's good to be home.".


Image


River
River could sense he was being followed, but he didn't care. He had decided to exit the party and show Vinn's test how The Nameless fought and for that he'd need to seal himself up anyway, it was Rosa who was on his heels, the cat girl. She may have felt some kinship or curiosity about him and his lineage and he would be happy to indulge her, but first he needed to remind The Nameless of who they were, and that would require more than words.

As he found an empty spot, he noted the beam of light that began from Luka and the ring of decay and knew what it meant. She had run out of time, she'd just burn it off and be back to her normal cute self, it was such a shame to be burdened at such a young age. He had offered to try and fix her soul if it was the issue, but something in her made her say no even though her eyes screamed for help, he had no choice but to accept her choice but had always wondered. As he continued to walk his body became slowly encased in a purple aura that waxed and waned like a candle in the wind, slowly growing and growing, before he could turn and warn Rosa something else caught his attention while his mouth was open. The sky had darkened and Luka's ring had grew and even from this distance he could feel the darkness that penetrated the soul of the creature she had summoned. He shrugged to Rosa and snapped his fingers "Sorry madame, I'll be back, I've got a bone to pick with this terrible lighting, ruins the mood so to speak." he quipped with a click of his tongue, and then he was gone.

Across the plain he landed, encased in his aura as he grabbed Luka, throwing her behind him unceremoniously as a gigantic wall of ice formed in an instant and became a cubed cage. The wall reached beyond the clouds above and was densely packed, without a single expression or even a sarcastic quip he threw a punch packed with his full strength at the man, no, the monster, Luka had brought back and to his surprise his fist stopped centimetres short of a white glove clenched in mid attack itself. Between the two hands was two fingers and an oversized wizards hat pierced by two horns stood out to River as he glanced at the interference, Vinn stood in his full glory, as tall as River was and in a tight black outfit that clung to his lithe body. All at once the power that had been contained fired back from the blockage, behind River an onslaught of unadulterated burning anger flooded the gigantic cube. An explosion of lord level power that cracked and buckled the gigantic ice wall as the purplish-red energy leaked out. Behind the monster was simply the shockwave of air that originated from his punch, air that tore apart the dirt and buckled the ice wall behind it much like Rivers soul-charged attack had. Vinn waited until the two lowered their hands and the ice wall crumbled and before it fell he shrank back into his tiny form, toddling towards Luka and putting a comforting hand on her furry head as he helped her up. He looked to The Nameless camp and then back to River.

"Sorry I'm late!" He chimed happily, waddling off back to the camp with Luka as his escort, comforting the teary eyed girl. The monster chortled and slowly lumbered behind the pair in pursuit, following his "master". River looked back at him in disgust and began to follow his friends before a dark guttural voice whispered through the air from the sickening beast. "You know you'll never find her...." The Incubus bristled bitterly but trudged on all the same, unable to do anything for now he simply walked back to the camp in silence. In turn the creatures smile widened and a horrific chuckle floated through the air. Step by step the returned monster began to clean up, his suit mended, the dirt had been blown away, his mask returned to cover his mouth and a cane found its way into his hands as he walked until he strode forth tall and confident while River tailed bitterly behind.

At the top of the camp, the box buzzed to life in a pentuple feedback of numbers. "8,10,10, 11,7" but this time nobody cheered, the party would have to wait for a moment.


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Allan Denton
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#, as written by Zalgo
Allan

Before there were any responses to be had it seemed there was some stuff going down.

Fantastic Allan mentally groaned in utter sarcasm as he lazily pushed himself out of his chair and on to his feet. With what was for him a short hop he jumped over the table and started on his way to the site where all the commotion and what-not was going down.


Casually strolling over towards the scene he watched as some weirdo in robes summoned a dude in a top hat. Allan just cocked an eyebrow at the figure as he cast off his gas mask revealing the features underneath. Stupid looking top hat? Check. Ridiculous colored suit complete with poor stitching? Check. Scraggly hair? Check. Yellowing teeth? Check. Well that just about says it all. He looked the stranger up and down, taking in the various details.

"This guy looks like half of the people at a steampunk convention." He spoke aloud, no one but himself being his intended audience. He continued to watch as a guy with selective cat features in an outfit almost as pretentious as the guy he was squaring off against built a really big cage made of ice. After a few seconds two waves of force impacted the ice, causing it to crumble into pieces revealing the bunch inside.


With a bored expression he casually watched from the edge of the dead zone as Vinn escorted his gaggle of bizarre looking strangers along up into the camp. Now that whatever the heck that was had happened Allan was seriously considering going and sitting back down since nothing important was really happening anyways.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elena Greywater Character Portrait: Anima Lumen Character Portrait: Charmeine Lucifen d'Autriche Character Portrait: Wayland "Brimstone" Smith Character Portrait: Kira Character Portrait: Ivan Witherbane Character Portrait: Shane Vegas Character Portrait: Rosa Gerzon Character Portrait: Mister Man Character Portrait: Volga Argonar Character Portrait: Seth Magnus Character Portrait: Allan Denton
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More for me, he thinks. Lamenting his inability to get drunk with every drink. It had been nothing but one question after another since coming here. This world, this Garden. The fighting didn't phase him. The death. The killing. Those things were nothing to him. They passed into and through him. One moment to the next, not burdening his soul for even a fraction of an instant. He would drown this world in an ocean of blood if that is what it would take. One world, for the fate of all worlds. Fair trade. He breaths out a long solemn sigh, smoke spilling out of his mouth, and from there escaping under his arms as it hits the table. Weighing the lives of the few against the lives of the many... Yeah, he was good at that.

"Get your head in the game, Smith." He growls at himself. His voice ragged, brittle around the edges like broken glass. He was beginning to doubt he even knew who he was anymore. He was comfortable here. That's what scared him. What set his teeth on edge. He was never comfortable anywhere. Not in a long time. He was a predator. A self wielded sword, poised at the throats of everyone around him. He was irreparably broken. Those were the facts as he knew them.

At least. Before he came here. Now. Now, he felt sluggish. Off kilter, like he wasn't all of himself. The familiar beat of hammer on steel in his head, in his soul. No longer as comforting as it should be. The tempo felt wrong, the echo of the steel tinny too his ears. The fire. Felt cold. Like he was used to the sun, and all he had for warmth was a candle. It had never felt wrong before, now he felt like a stranger in his own skin, he remembered things he couldn't remember and white noise bled into the space where the memories should be. Blackness gnawed at the edges of his soul, oozing like disease into a gaping wound in his soul he was only now seeing. Accompanied by the screams, the plea of his name from a womans voice into his mind. A voice that filled him with such a sense of failure and loss that it was almost a physical thing. And the laughter. Always the laughter. As insane as it was evil. Laughter that made him want nothing more than to set the world ablaze and drown it in a sea of swords. Alien feelings assaulting him in such magnitude that he didn't even know what were his and what were not. He grunts as molten blood dribbles from his nose, only to be reabsorbed a moment later. he shakes the feelings off.

Fishing the card from before out of his breast pocket he idly traces his name with his thumb, the jagged brittle lettering almost seeming to mock him. "Why do you distress me so." He whispers to the world. Barely registering the man who had declined from sharing a drink from him before looming over him. Until he speaks. Wayland's eyes settle heavily onto the man, talking in his features again from closer up. Wayland laughs. The sound as brittle and as sharp as the pieces of a shattered sword. He wanted to ask how he planned to help him, when he(Wayland) could not even help himself, then strange man lay his pipe on the table and Wayland's world came screeching to a halt.

With a sound like crashing steel, hammer glanced off the side of the anvil and the notice of a thousand thousand blades turned towards the source of the discord. It settled into his forge like a thorn but the hammer started again. It was something he could only just grasp, because the pipe that was not a pipe still held the concept of metal, and that put it in his purview, if only just.

A rent opened where it touched, into shadow and nothingness and fire screamed forth to meet it. But, how do you burn chaos. Beasts moved beyond the shadow, stalking along in the wake of the dark. Twisting this way and that. Their movements incomprehensible to a mind built on structure Too many eyes, too many legs, too many arms, too many heads. They peered into the light, eyes curious and amused. Mouths filled with too many teeth smiling far too wide their ruinous hunger clear to all, and still the hammer carried on, the beat slow and heavy as if unsure, but every echo of steel carrying a note as inevitable as the tide, and ever so slowly his world twisted to find a place for them. Somewhere in the dark, away from the others they settled, ever watchful, ever patient and ever hungry.

Wayland came back to himself with a low roar. The sound like someone raking through shattered steel, but there was an undertone now. Something alien and unfathomable. Color and sound come rushing back all at once, it takes him a second to realize the lack of noise and he takes it as an excuse to be away from the disconcerting man, and his pipe that was not a pipe.

As he stands he realizes the feel of the air had changed. A chill seemed to have settled into the world and there was a feeling... Like, something familiar, something that shouldn't be familiar, something that. Could. Not. Be. Familiar. It set his teeth on edge. Made his blood flare in heat, his eyes coming to glow with inner light as his core respond to the sudden unexplainable hatred. He rakes his vision across the assembled people, all the while a constant growl comes from his mouth with every exhale, accompanied by copious amounts of choking ash and smoke, the growl slowly growing louder as his breath comes faster and faster. The sounds like tortured steel, like death, swords piercing flesh and the screams of those dying. The noise in his head almost deafening as the hammer strikes faster and faster.

He stalks forward almost against his own will, the grass curling and turning to ash from the heat being emitted by his body, leaving smoldering footprints in his wake. He moves toward the people coming down the hill with purpose he can't fathom. The box buzzing to life as he passes, flickering between "1-2", but the number are like shadows upon the screen, as if not really there but any looking could see them. His eyes scanning those returning, raking across Vinn and Luka as if not seeing them, glancing across River until they rest upon.

"You!" He roars, voice echoing across the hill like the ringing of blades. A taloned finger pointing at the thing in the suit and top hat, the heat rolling off Wayland's body making portions of his clothes catch fire, and the ground in a circle around him to burn, the air distorting around him. As he Points right between the twin orbs of orange light sitting in the middle of shadow that were its eyes. The shadowy numbers on the box ghost higher, flickering between "3-4".

"I know you." His mind, his very soul rebels against the statement, white noise and static deafening in his mind but it's met by the roar of fire. Fire that burn even him with its brilliance. It makes even the laughter stop, until it starts to howl in anger and for an instant he can hear laughter like the tinkling of bells. A sound that lift him up in ways he can't explain before he's drowned in the roar of the flames.

"I hate you." But I don't know why... The thought is poisonous, bringing the static back to his soul. His anger is like a physical thing, pressing into the back of his eyes. Willing him forward, willing him to shred the grinning monster before him as his voice carries across to those assembled. The heat from his breath so great that it was almost heavy, the shadowy numbers on the box creep ever higher, flickering between "5-6".

Words flee him in a rush of heat, with a clashing of hammer and anvil, a roar of fire, a thousand different battlecries, in a memory of steel. He's confused, terrified of his own mind. He does the only thing he can. He roars long, and he roars loud. Leaning towards the abomination before him, the creature hiding behind a smile. His taloned hands splayed at his sides ready to rip and tear, his feet set to fight, to charge into his enemies. The sound is different than before. Like a monster, a dragon made of swords and steel. Ash spills from his mouth as he howls, settling to the ground before him. Blanketing the grass that isn't already burned, the heat wave that follows after blowing it away from him. And the box ticks up a final time, a shadowy "7" appearing before Wayland simply stops. Toppling backward to stare at the sky, clothes smoking, his body cooling rapidly as the glow leaves his eyes, his soul/mind in turmoil trying to, once again reconcile itself. The numbers disappearing at the same time, the box goes dark.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anima Lumen Character Portrait: Charmeine Lucifen d'Autriche Character Portrait: Wayland "Brimstone" Smith Character Portrait: Kira Character Portrait: Ivan Witherbane Character Portrait: Rosa Gerzon Character Portrait: Mister Man Character Portrait: Volga Argonar Character Portrait: Allan Denton
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#, as written by duramon


Vinn
The furball that was Vinn strolled towards the party, or more, waddled, one hand holding Luka's comfortingly as the other two trailed behind. Vinn eventually waddled his way to the box and sat Luka down to relax, patting her on the head good naturedly, as Thedas and Nero came to her side to comfort and offer aid. Apocalys and River stood at the very edge of the camp, both of them stared at the flickering ghostly numbers and grinned wide fanged grins for entirely different reasons, Apocalys would not reply to Wayland's assertion of hate instead he would continue to just grin. River eventually noticed Rosa's current state amidst the unfolding events. He took tentative steps towards her and let his ears and tail swish up and out, crouching low and holding a gentle hand out to her to try and coax her into calming down.

With an awkward cough Vinn clambered on top of the box with the aid of Nero's outstretched arm and began what seemed to be a prepared speech "Hey there folks! I uuuh..apologize for being late, I'd like to introduce the ex-leader of The Nameless, Aizen, or Apocalys if you'd prefer to use his real name. He'll be leaving very soon...right?" Apocalys laughed and waved him off, but the look Vinn gave him said that staying wasn't an option. "Now then....the way this world works is simple, guilds or cities create terms for a "Game", that can be anything from betting on cards to a tournament to the death, and The Wager. The Winner or Winners gets the wagered prize and raise their standing on the guild ladder, the ladder is determined by The Garden itself and the difficulty of the wager and the game. By determined by The Garden, I mean that the place you are currently in, and will be for the foreseeable future, is in fact a living entity. It runs this worlds laws, it monitors the games and it is what keeps the lords here cycle after cycle." He paused for a moment to take a breath and let it sink in before tapping the box below his feet.

"Currently The Nameless are on even terms with everyone else, in exactly two months the first guild game commences and usually the lords would awaken...this cycle as you already know, they're early. In those two months you must achieve one thing, and that is making this box read out a 1. This box takes in every factor of ones power, whether your strength is physical, magical, healing or toughness, it will take it into account and give you a general reading. This level is a basic term, if somebody achieves a higher level that does not mean you cannot beat them, keep that in mind. To survive and participate in this game however...I'm setting the minimum, without achieving a reading, you will surely die."

Vinn wobbled off of the Box and pointed to Apocalys "Right, now begone!" He commanded, Apocalys grinned and shrugged, winking at the terrified Luka before dissapearing in engulfing green flame, Vinn coughed awkwardly and adjusted his overly large hat.

"So....uhm..oh right! The Game! The upcoming game is a tournament, you will be randomly given an opponent and a match time, each win is two points, each loss is no points, each draw is one point. Before you get excited Blitz, the rookies will be handling this tournament, with supervision, the rest of you grab a number and move out! Not that I don't trust you guys, but with the Lords awakened so early we can't take any chances. The Tourney will be fulll of new people and guilds so its the perfect opportunity to get used to this world and its rules, you'll be staying here for the month but feel free to enjoy and explore the city while you train. I think I've talked enough, so I'll save some of the other stuff for the end of the month!" He rambled on, as he came to a stop he held his hands behind his back, as if waiting for any questions.

Finally he clicked his fingers and the camp was surrounded by a myriad of doors, each with a name or a label on it, one for each person, a workshop, a kitchen. Vinn was footing the bill for training, and each room was custom built for its occupant, if two people entered the same door they'd find their rooms merged for that time. Living and utility rooms however would be universal, the rookies would have to learn to live together.


Kira
Kira grinned and nudged her Viking companion "Told you it'd be quite a show, too bad about the following monologue. How about we get wasted and start on our own 'training' lover mine? I saw a rather busty angel floating around the place who might be worth checking out....entirely professionally of course~" Kira jested, cupping her hands in front of her chest suggestively at the word 'professionally'.

She wrapped her arm around Volga's and cheerfully, and quite sneakily, lead her towards the tent she saw Charmeine enter before the monologue began.


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Character Portrait: Allan Denton
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#, as written by Zalgo
Allan

Lots of stuff happened. None of it really worth noting.

Before he started considered the possibility of trying to punch holes through reality in order to escape this seemingly never ending frat party the midget hopped up on the big black box and started laying down what was going on. Finally, an explanation as to what's going on.

And so he listened. His scowl couldn't possibly grow any more pronounced so his face simply settled for furrowing his eyebrows as Vinn continued on with his spiel. Remember when I said it couldn't possibly get any worse? It's too late to take that back isn't it? He waited until Vinn was finished speaking before giving a heavy sigh of annoyance. He walked forward, stepping out from the faceless crowd and into view to say his part.


"Right, I have a question. What's the point?" He folded his arms across his chest as he continued. "What I mean is why are we even doing the tournaments in the first place? I get that we wanna keep the lords in check so they don't get off this hunk of rock but where do these competitions fall into place? Are we just doing them so the lords don't get anything? Is this just some game of tug of war for resources?"

All questions he needed to ask. Given his purpose it was important to know exactly what it is he's even fighting to accomplish. He just wants off-worlders to stay off his world regardless of where their from. Heaven, Hell, The Garden and anywhere else, anyone and everyone who wasn't native to his earth were well invited to scram. After the amount of damage the two sides had done to humanity in general he was not well disposed to the idea of other things entering the fray.

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Character Portrait: Ivan Witherbane Character Portrait: Allan Denton
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Finally, this was exactly what Ivan needed. An explanation, vital information, perhaps more than he strictly needed, but with his appetite for knowledge awakened by this information it felt lacking, left him wanting more. Like everything so far, every shred of information and every experience, it just led to an ever increasing maze of intertwined questions. How much power would you need to accrue to get that reading of 1, and how does it scale upwards? How did that box even know who and what to read... Oh, how temped he was to try and take it apart, make it reveal it's secrets to him. Who were these lords Vinn mentioned and how strong are they? But no matter how many questions came up in his mind, there was a faint feeling in the deepest part of his mind that kept telling him that it did not matter, that all would reveal itself in due time, and that there were more pressing matters at hand. It was quite a disturbing feeling as it went against the very nature of his self to not pursue knowledge wherever it presented itself, made even more disturbing by the fact that he almost didn't notice it's existence as it hid in his sub-conscious.

In a sense however that feeling was correct as there indeed was a more immediate matter at hand. No matter how that box calculated it, he still needed to get that reading, otherwise this vault of knowledge right within his grasp could very well lock shut in his face, and he only had one month to achieve it. If at all possible, he not only should prevent being shut out of this vault, but also consolidate his standing in the future by aiming as high as he could.

Then his thoughts were disrupted by a voice from the crowd, who for the most part voice some very reasonable concerns about the necessity of a tournament. Personally Ivan wasn't quite thrilled by the prospect of a tournament either. Especially since by the sound of it, it would consist of multiple one versus one duels. He had combat training and experience, though a bit light on said experience as he'd been kept busy with work in the labs for the most part, but a duel style was completely foreign terrain for him. He could hoard as much power as he wanted and his lack of experience could still end up being fatal.

Keeping some of his attention on what Vinn's response to this cry for answers would be Ivan looked at the doors that Vinn in his usual fashion had made appear. They were labeled, a lot of names, some of which he was sure he had seen on some of the lazul cards, presumably this meant they were personal rooms. It didn't take long for him to spot the door with his name on it and what appeared to be commonly shared rooms, most notably the workshop. Hopefully it had the tools he'd need to create his own, if not that could become quite the time sink. Not exactly an appealing prospect, however one way or another he, like any other, needed the tools of his trade to do anything significant. As he felt quite similar to how an archer without a bow must feel.

Still waiting for an answer from Vinn he walked off to the door that had his name. Not sure if sound would carry through into the room beyond that door he decided to just lean on it for now whilst he awaited the answer.

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Character Portrait: Elena Greywater Character Portrait: Allan Denton
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#, as written by duramon
Vinn
Vinn knew the question was coming, but he still wasn't entirely sure about the answer himself. So he settled on giving the best one he could "It's how we decide who will fight the lords in the end, and how The Garden throws around its rewards. It has its own vassals just as The Lords do, what makes them scary is their ability to alter Games at will. A game is a divine contract not just a competition, it makes us fight and grow stronger, and in the end the top guild and their allies will stand alone against The Lords. Every other guild in The Garden will be needed just to defend from the Vassals and their minions who are nothing to sneeze at, as I understand it took three of you and Blitz to temporarily disable KH4 when he was a Vassal, and a low one at that. In short, its the best system we have to decide our leader, doll out resources, earn The Gardens boons and challenge The Lords on their own turf before they build up their assault." Vinn ranted, spouting his lengthy drivel as nonchalantly as he could.

It was hard to explain something he barely understood himself, The Garden was a mysterious entity, and although everything he said he was true. He couldn't help but feel the most honest answer was 'because that's how it wants it to be'. In the end they hadn't much choice in the matter anyway, millenia of prep couldn't be swapped, not only that but The Garden wouldn't allow it.

"Before you ask, no I'm not a Vassal, one of the Vassals summoned you all here, for a hefty price I've heard. As for your supervising buddies, they'll be Nero, Laz, Dom, Luka and Riv, you'll be stuck with us for the foreseeable future so now might be a good time to make some buddies." He commented, tipping his head in a motion that might have been meant to be a tip of his hat, had he not a reason to keep his hat so firmly in place.


Lazarus
Lazarus slowly calmed down his dance, surprised the Naval Officer kept her composure and continued the dance despite all that was occuring, he grinned again and decided he definitely liked this girl, the addition of the water was a nice touch and its use surprised him. Eventually he halted entirely, spinning out of her reach and raising his leg directly skyward before slamming it down, a small pulse of bloody liquid bursting in a ring to reflect her own ring of geysers.

"You continue to surprise and impress, I look forward to seeing you in the fields of battle. Keep me in mind if you ever want a sparring partner for real, or if you just want someone to drink with." He said with a grin, nodding his head towards Vinn as he listed off the supervisors "It seems we'll be in close company regardless." he commented.


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Character Portrait: Allan Denton
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#, as written by Zalgo
Allan

He was quite well prepared to not be happy with the answer he had asked for and not in vain as he listened to Vinn's little spiel. The more he spoke the more Allan disliked the very thought of it. The Garden, these games and especially the idea of being signed on a divine contract were all bitter pills he was now being handed. He wouldn't of gone through with this but unfortunately as the old adage goes he has to swallow.

After all the lords needed to be stopped right? But in order to stop them they needed to appease the Garden by going through it's little games. It was a big puppet show and much like a hand-puppet he definitely did feel as though something had metaphorically shoved it's hand somewhere uncomfortable and was moving him, and the rest of the newcomers for that matter, about as it pleased.

"Riiight, best system... What a load of crap." He muttered as he turned and started on his way to his door.
Someone should tell that vassal he should get his money back 'cause he sure as hell paid way too much to wind up bagging me of all things. He thought to himself as he walked up to the door with his name on it. Coming to a standstill in front of his door he looked it up and down, sizing it up.


After a moment of thoughtful calculation he threw a powerful kick at the door, his foot slamming into the flat surface with a loud wham. The force of the hit produced a large rush of displaced air, the sound of his supernaturally strong blow echoing outwards. If it weren't for his socks and pants observers would be able to see his foot now a shade of light sky blue and glowing brightly like a neon sign. Still, despite the force behind the kick the only thing that moved was the air. It seemed magic doors weren't going to be victim to his angst today.

"Bloody hell." He swore under his breath as he took his foot off and opened the door by it's handle as it's maker intended. With his back to the party he stepped in and shut the door behind him, happy just to be out of there.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elena Greywater Character Portrait: Charmeine Lucifen d'Autriche Character Portrait: Kira Character Portrait: Rosa Gerzon Character Portrait: Volga Argonar Character Portrait: Allan Denton
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#, as written by duramon


Vinn
Vinn winced as Allan made his dramatic exit, readjusting his wobbling hat "Well...someones a bit cranky....as for signing contracts, maybe contract was the wrong word...The Garden makes a big fancy scroll with all the rules on it for each individual game as its made, and the participants agree to abide by them and The Garden sets the stage!....so to speak. Kicking them out kind of defeats the purpose of the reality converging anomaly that keeps them trapped here instead of reaving across existence. This place apparently used to just be a meeting point for each world, but then the lords came and well...now its a battlefield, and it takes everything The Garden has to keep it all in check. " He paused and pondered his options for a moment.

"No they have to be dealt with for good, and its up to existence to deal with its own problems. The Vassals are...well on nobodies side, they run the high end games and punish corrupt guilds, The Lords Vassals are either mind-controlled or corrupt inhabitants filled with portions of the lords power, they work on their behalf and can bend the rules of games a bit. Lords are....powerful, pure evil, the classics of your average reality ending creatures, they may look like a human, they may be a giant winged monster, they're all different. Whether you believe it or not or trust the system, we need you, and otherwise we can say goodbye to life in advance."

Vinn nodded at the doors and it looked like his eyes smiled "For now, welcome to a new home!" He chimed happily.


Lazarus
Lazarus smiled at Elena's comment and began re-wrapping himself up in bandages starting with his hands "That's true, but when your supply is infinite and your need few, you learn to adapt. I have no shortage of bandages either, the biggest struggle is keeping the blood in check, adrenaline control and all that." He joked, almost halfway up his arm with the bandages.

"Water may not be my thing, but liquids and biology in general? I would be happy to oblige with helping you play with that. " He offered, grinning again and letting a 'spark' of blood dance across his skin.


Kira
"Ssshhh~ Lets just...when I open this flap lets introduce ourselves and pretend that a hug is the greatest sign of respect for our people and then...then we can get a reaaalll close look, and whenever we see her from now we can just...take a lookie." Kira whispered to Volga drunkenly, counting down on her hands, 5...4...3...2...7...1! Kira dramatically flipped the tent flap up and strolled in, coughing awkwardly as she entered, taking a deeep breath and lining up a little trick she'd learned as a slave at parties.

"I'm sorry if we startled you madame, my names Kira, me and my companion simply wanted to greet you and extend our admiration for you in the previous battle with a show of respect from our people, and invite you to rest and train with us while we're together in this world, there are rooms just outside with our names on them which we would be honoured to escort you to if you wish to retire." Kira said with a low bow, trying to put as respectful a tone in her voice as she could manage, being able to manipulate fine metals was a blessing when it came to finding a way to temporarily keep alcohol at bay, and a neat trick to boot. She held a thumbs up discretely behind her back to Volga and waited for her to follow along. If they were stuck here then they might as well enjoy it as much as possible after all.


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Character Portrait: Rosa Gerzon Character Portrait: Allan Denton
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Rosa grumbled under her breath, though she didn't make a scene like a certain other pugilistic person, Human of course. Allan's little fit only confirmed that she was better than these humans. She still didn't understand what the furball was talking about, and it appeared neither would she get a clearer answer. The only thing that she could comprehend in the entire spiel was pure evil. Pure evil like that death-monster. She shuddered against the creepy bug feeling again, though by now that monster had been banished, hopefully, back to where it came from. Still her claws itched to make the killing blow. Even though she reverted back to her original form, the claws hadn't retracted. Closing her hands into fists, she forced the claws back. They can't function when her hands are closed.

Because she couldn't get a better answer, she gave up and turned back to the plains, or where she thought the plains were. "Oh! For crying out loud! How the hell am I supposed fight ANY evil monsters if you keep changing the landscape on me?!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anima Lumen Character Portrait: Charmeine Lucifen d'Autriche Character Portrait: Volga Argonar Character Portrait: Allan Denton
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#, as written by Zalgo
Anima

"I am not ailed young healer. Unfortunately for myself, this is not that kind of pain. I am Volga Argonar, Captain of The Flight of the White Crow. It is good to know you young comrade. What do wish me to call you?"

Anima was mildly confused as towards her talk of pain however that was quickly glossed over as introduction were made. With her hand outstretched to her it seemed to her that she wanted to shake hands so she daintily took the hand with her soft, sticky tentacle.

"I am Anima Lumen. It is an honor to meet you, esteemed captain."

She lowered her head and frame as a bow of respect to who she assumed was the leader of a fleet of ships as the title would indicate. Given the difference of customs she wasn't entirely sure how to behave before this high ranking naval officer so she maintained a suitably humble station. Still the woman's demeanor was more relaxed than that of the princess's so there was some comfort in that regard. She waited until it seemed appropriate to withdraw her tentacle.

"If I may be of any service to you I would be pleased to assist if it is at all possible."



Allan

Bloody magic.

Pretty much the most appropriate words to summarize his feelings towards his new holdings. It wasn't that it was exceptionally flashy or magical, no, it was quite the opposite. It was a facsimile of a ratty New York apartment with no small details left untouched. Faded wallpaper partially torn from the walls, tiles in the bathroom old and chipped, lights all dim and prone to flickers, pretty much nothing was left out. In one of the corners on a pile of wooden packing slates was a television set that was about ten years out of date. Over in the middle of the room facing the television was an upside-down cardboard box serving as a coffee table and an old brown couch covered in stains and frayed at some of the corners. Hanging from a hook set in the ceiling over in an open portion of the room was a rather plain punching bag.

Casually strolling over to the couch he picked up the remote and hit the power button. Static. It seems whatever furnished his room couldn't of been bothered to of sprung for a decent connection. He couldn't pick up a single channel from Earth. With a disgruntled grunt he shut the noise box back down and moved over to the punching bag. He looked the bag up and down, sizing it up with a couple casual jabs. Nothing about this punching bag was different from most standard bags he's hit in the past back before he was busy being used as a human punching bag himself.

Without turning on his divine strength he laid into the sand bag, hitting it hard and fast as he ran down his personal list of moves. He had built up a decent sweat from the exercise as he finished his routine. With the bag still swinging upon a hook hanging from the ceiling Allan walked back over to the couch and just dropped down on a cushion, draping his arms across the back as he looked up and dwelled on it all. Despite it all being quite obvious that something must of been mucking about his brain in order to have pulled a room this close to his apartment out something about the traditional New York apartment atmosphere helped him relax, a reprieve from all the nonsense.

"A way to make that box read me a one huh..." I'll be damned if I somehow pull that off.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elena Greywater Character Portrait: Anima Lumen Character Portrait: Charmeine Lucifen d'Autriche Character Portrait: Wayland "Brimstone" Smith Character Portrait: Kira Character Portrait: Ivan Witherbane Character Portrait: Rosa Gerzon Character Portrait: Volga Argonar Character Portrait: Allan Denton
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#, as written by duramon
Kira retired to her room with Volga, the stress of the day had worn her out, however, she could still think of more intriguing things to do with her new attractive companion, and would set about making such things a reality.

So many things had happened, a future was set before she couldn't change, and she knew the cost. If River knew everything he'd get in the way she knew that much, but things had to happen this way, they all knew the cost. It was going to be a long month, and she was looking forward to testing the 'assets' of recruits like Volga and Charmeine. Although she too would enjoy 'playing' with Wayland, in a scientific manner, he was a forge and she was a metal type of gal after all, although she figured asking "Can I play with your body?" Would come with all sorts of interesting conversations. Tinkering was where she would be, Tinkering, Sparring and the Bedroom where what called to her. For now an attractive viking and a warm bed called her name, and she was going to answer.


Vin stood beside River as he usually did, clapping his hands to send the plane into the dark of night. Those who stayed to look after the recruits would be training too, amongst themselves and the recruits. Lazarus would open himself as a target and sparring opponent to those who needed one such as Rosa and Allan, River would appeal to Volga and Charmeine in teaching them the guttural and radiant styles of angel and demon combat routines, his ice playing second fiddle, regardless of Charmeine's complaints of his racial status. Dominic would assist those who wished to Tinker, dolling out resources and knowledge from his pool of artifacts, partnered with Nero who would duplicate himself in order to spread between the groups, utilizing an intuitive form of hive mind to fill the role of his fellow guild mates when they were occupied elsewhere and cataloging information from those absent to fill needed roles. Luka would sit at the centre of it all, a well of magical energies and stamina restoring aura's that would make her ideal for training, she was a pool of innate magical knowledge, everything down to her blood cursed with the purest of necrotic magic, glyphs surrounding her purified the energy into a form that would aid in the recovery and strength of all while she battled her own inner demons. Vin himself would be leaving with the rest.

Deep into the training River would open his door to those who were interested, an "excursion" to a battlefield of old on the menu, offering the recruits a first look at the strength of the nameless, and the power a lord required.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elena Greywater Character Portrait: Anima Lumen Character Portrait: Charmeine Lucifen d'Autriche Character Portrait: Wayland "Brimstone" Smith Character Portrait: Kira Character Portrait: Volga Argonar Character Portrait: Allan Denton
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After Volga's first night with Kira partnered by the next morning and various other engagements, she quickly grew to enjoy her new environment and the people within it despite not understanding much of them. The only thing she would often struggle with in this was her fading memory.She spent the first few nights regaling new friends with fireside tales of battle, mischief, and debauchery but did so less and less as it slowly crept away from her before eventually stopping altogether. This is not to say that her spirits were gone from her as she started many new memories of mischief and debauchery with Kira and her new friends and comrades as she spent her time preparing for the events to come. She spent most of her time sparring with Wayland among other swordsman among The Nameless as well as testing her ice with River but left the rest of her time to Kira. Her lessons being with Charmeine proved difficult as she often did not know how to approach her socially and instead chose to act as her own culture would dictate. She had however, grown fond of Anima as a young comrade and would converse with her when given the opportunity. She would even tell her a tale or two if prodded to do so, either reciting her own, one she'd learned, or spinning a new one as a kind of game to play. As for other members she did make it a point to spar with each member at least once but eventually favoring to spar with the more spirited skirmishers.

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Character Portrait: Allan Denton
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#, as written by Zalgo
Allan

After that night life for him was a holding pattern, a constant struggle to maintain normalcy and routine in a bizarre and dangerous realm.

The days that followed were uncomfortable to say the least. While at the very least his living quarters were isolated the same couldn't be said of the training zones. He had done well in keeping conversations minimal and maintaining his personal space however there was the issue of Luka sitting in the center. The weird necromancer emitted a revitalizing aura to the area, benefiting those within it by replenishing their various energies. He would have none of that.

His reasoning was that if he wanted to train himself he should be allowed to exhaust himself. If he simply suckled on the power spawned from Luka like the rest of them then his own power would have less difficulty replenishing itself and adapt based around the surrounding conditions thus becoming weaker when he's not near a replenishing aura. It is a simple fact about the body really. If he gets exhausted lifting a certain weight then his muscles will get stronger so it doesn't exhaust him in the future. The human body is inherently lazy, hence the necessity of exercise. Recovering faster may allow them to shave down the time lost between training routines however he believes that developing his own ability to recover is also necessary.


Well, that was the reason his mind gave him. At heart however his reasons were quite different. Aside from wanting to keep a large distance between himself and the rest of them he did not want to rely on anyone else's efforts or abilities, only his own. True, she didn't seem to mind projecting this power across the training area however if he were to make use of the energy the glyphs have modified for their use then he would have to admit that he had help from her at some point in his training. He couldn't allow himself to willingly accept the benefits this rag-tag team of characters had to offer, especially not for training.

His goal was to stand between the lords and the worlds beyond the garden. He had only just made this his target after learning of them not too long ago however it made little difference to him. Whether it was on the smaller scale, keeping Heaven and Hell from destroying his world in their war or on a much larger scale, fighting beings of undetermined power so they don't go and wreck stuff across the multiverse, he would stand and fight until his last breath. Outside of fighting for the safety of the worlds beyond however he had literally no attachment to the beings surrounding him and little to care about from them outside of matters directly pertaining to the main job. He saw little point in going about sizing himself up to the others and his disdain for company certainly didn't help. Despite Vinn's words making friends was rather low in his list of priorities.


So he trained, mostly by himself when he could get away. Whether it was punching through large rocks, running great distances or doing an ungodly number of sit ups he managed himself with a great deal of isolation. He was fairly dedicated too, spending almost all his time from sunrise to night honing his physical prowess.

Some say a person's appearance reflects their character, that there is a connection between how the events in their life had shaped a person and the manner in which they present themselves. While that is debatable there is undoubtedly a connection between the power of his soul and the effort put towards bettering his body. As he had learned back when he was young the more he practiced with his super powers the more powerful they got. He hadn't ever put forth this much focus and dedication on solely improving his abilities before however he was concerned. He had only two months to get a reading from the box. In all the years he had spent back on earth he had only gotten as far as where he was at upon being thrown into this place by the portal's explosion. He didn't know for sure if he could meet that deadline which meant he'd be out of the loop before this sick game could even begin should he fail to meet the boxes standards. That would nullify the point of him being here if he were to just get put out on the bench while the others fought the lords.


One day as he was getting ready to get back into training he noticed that River had opened his door, a number of folks gathering. He himself was not immune to curiosity, the matter as to what he was up to drawing him nearby. From a distance he leaned back on something and folded his arms, watching and listening from where he was at to determine whether or not what was being discussed was worth his time.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elena Greywater Character Portrait: Anima Lumen Character Portrait: Charmeine Lucifen d'Autriche Character Portrait: Wayland "Brimstone" Smith Character Portrait: Kira Character Portrait: Ivan Witherbane Character Portrait: Rosa Gerzon Character Portrait: Volga Argonar Character Portrait: Allan Denton
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Wayland drifted, in mind and body. Wandering around the camp almost absentmindedly devouring ingots of steel as he went, every time he finished one he'd pull another out of his pocket and devour it. It was frustrating for him, watching the others grow, and yet, it made him swell with pride that they were getting stronger, even if his own growth seemed to have stagnated.

What am I doing wrong? He'd ask himself, posing the question to his inner world, talking to the flames, to the presence he knew to be there. The closest thing he ever got to an answer was a feeling of amusement and a single errant thought. Everything, he was doing everything wrong.

So, he wandered, eating ingots as he went. The days flashing by in a flurry of training and comraderie.

Of the older member, Dominic was the one that Wayland actively spoke to the most, mainly due to his need for a steady supply of metals and Dominic being the guy to ask for them. Other times he would simply sit with Luka as he assessed his inner self and attempted to strengthen his inner world, as he let her innate energies wash over him in relaxing waves, he never spoke to her, if she spoke to him he would respond but usually their time spent in each others company would be in companionable silence. The other old timers he mingled with, feeling drawn to do so for some reason he chose not to think too hard about.

The new members, those summoned for this cycle were busy busy, all training like mad. He supposed he would look a little too laid back in comparison, but his muscles did not atrophy from lack of use, nor did his skills dull from a lack of training. Still, he made an effort to get to know every person that he would be fighting next to, to the people he may very well die next to. Whether that be through sparring with Volga, doing his utmost to push her to the limits of her swordsmanship, calling up the knowledge of every Nordic fighting style he could think of he did his best to pass them on to her.

Or through simply chatting with Ivan, using his own innate grasp of metals and metallurgic theories to discuss the interworking of all forms of engineering and how they pertaining to the world and his magics, trying to help him in any way he could with his projects or simply to sit and chat with the young man he felt he knew but didn't know why.

Kira approached him herself. Making him laugh so hard he actually nearly fell, when she asked if she could play with his body. He consented, for reasons that were still beyond him she felt familiar in a way that simply set him at ease, and nearly unable to deny her requests that weren't damaging to himself or others.

The ladies Charmeine and Anima saw little of his attention, he felt that the angel would likely not appreciate it and as she seemed to always be in the slimes company he didn't get to know her either. Whenever their paths did cross he would drudge up memories of meeting VIP's on his home world and treat her the same, polite and cordial, but in the end they were building a shallow relationship, he regretted it but could see no way to correct it at the time.

The rest he did his best to get to know more. Getting drinks like promised with Elena and asking her for tales from her time as a sailor, wiling those hours away in a relaxed state as he listens to the words. Doing his damndest to approach the seemingly skittish Rosa whenever he saw her. He wasn't entirely sure how that went but he figured he had to make the effort.

And still there were more people. He'd tried to approach the young man, Allan, he recalled, but could never bring himself to interrupt his training, as he seemed driven, Wayland could appreciate that, respect it, and thus didn't bother him.

And so he spent his time, struggling to get stronger and seeming to make no progress, frustrated but proud as those around him got stronger and stronger as he stayed the same. Nothing interesting happening until one day River left his door open.

Something like amusement raced through his soul as he looked at the door, making his way almost without thinking about it towards it, the others crowding around, waiting he supposed to see what was going on, seeming to form a perimeter around the entrance. He strode right passed them, the beat of his soul shifting for a moment to a different tempo as he looks into the room and an unfamiliar, to himself at least, grin pulling at his lips as he catches River's eye and in one motion grabs the door handle and closes the door with a single sharp move.

He barked out a laugh, alien amusement swelling in his chest as he walks back towards the crowd of onlookers, until he comes back to himself.

The hell did I just do?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elena Greywater Character Portrait: Anima Lumen Character Portrait: Charmeine Lucifen d'Autriche Character Portrait: Wayland "Brimstone" Smith Character Portrait: Kira Character Portrait: Ivan Witherbane Character Portrait: Rosa Gerzon Character Portrait: Volga Argonar Character Portrait: Allan Denton
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#, as written by duramon
River found his door shut in his face, by Wayland of all people. He slowly opened it back up and ruffled his own hair awkwardly, coughing once or twice before with a wide grin speaking. "Ahem, well...I'm glad some of us are in high spirits." He commented with a chuckle.

He moved towards the group and slammed his door shut, the room beyond had looked remarkably like Vinn's Oasis.

"Well, now that the majority of us are here I guess it's time for the announcement. I want to take you guys on a field trip, to a battlefield from the last cycle. Give you a first-hand glance at what the war is really like, and to meet an old friend of The Nameless." He said plainly, glancing at Wayland "For some of you the trip isn't optional." He finished.

"For some of you it'll just be a battlefield, for others it'll be a veritable supernova of magical energies, at worst, it'll provide a distraction from endless training, and a fair bunch of you need one." He stated, clicking his fingers swiftly to re-open his door, a duffelbag flying into his hand to be slung over his shoulder.

"Sorry to dissapoint if you were expecting a grand booster for the final haul towards the black box test, but you'll get something out of this anyway, if you're interested, pack yourself some gear for a day and meet me over on the hill by Luka. We'll be crossing an Apocalypse Zone so it won't be a walk in the park getting there and you'll have to hold your own as a team unit. " He said, readjusting his duffelbag of gear and smiling, finishing his little announcement and curbing off to move towards Luka and the hill. After all, he had to let her know she could take the day off herself.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elena Greywater Character Portrait: Anima Lumen Character Portrait: Charmeine Lucifen d'Autriche Character Portrait: Wayland "Brimstone" Smith Character Portrait: Kira Character Portrait: Ivan Witherbane Character Portrait: Rosa Gerzon Character Portrait: Volga Argonar Character Portrait: Allan Denton
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Ivan reached the gathering of people near River's open door, just as Wayland made his effort to slam the door shut. Like River he was amused by this rather silly act of Wayland and had to make an effort to maintain composure. In the brief time thereafter he could see through the doorway it revealed a place that looked remarkably similar to Vinn's Oasis. However by now the idea of recreating a space that looks similar to an almost uncanny degree had decreased to something hardly worth noting. The field trip River announced sounded like a good opportunity to learn more about the true extent of this war. The mention that the field trip wasn't optional for everyone made him even more sure that it'd be something worth spending some time for, but for some reason it also felt like that statement was also meant for him. However it wasn't like he'd need anything beyond a supernova of magical energy to give him motivation to go. At the very least if nothing worthwhile came from it, he could harvest some of that energy.

As River mentioned that they'd most likely would have to fight along the way Ivan went back to his room to pick up the lantern. Slightly dusty from laying around, but otherwise in perfect condition, as shown by the ever so eager flame that appeared as soon as he laid his hand on it. He cleared the dust off the lantern and grabbed the pouch of crystals on the desk. Then went off to the gathering spot near Luka, where River was already waiting for them. Seeing as most of the others were on their way to the hill too, he asked the obvious question that River failed or rather deliberately forgot to answer. "So, you mentioned that for some this wasn't an optional field trip... Would you care to elaborate who of us are among them?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elena Greywater Character Portrait: Charmeine Lucifen d'Autriche Character Portrait: Wayland "Brimstone" Smith Character Portrait: Kira Character Portrait: Ivan Witherbane Character Portrait: Rosa Gerzon Character Portrait: Volga Argonar Character Portrait: Allan Denton
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#, as written by Zalgo
Allan

He looked on at the antics of Wayland as a few people laughed and such. His face was pretty much neutral throughout the event. It wasn't particularly funny yet others seemed to find it quite mirthful indeed. He just simply counted the seconds until River got to the point of why they were gathered.

After a short time River stopped talking on started up towards the hill while prompting everyone else to get stuff for the trip given how he says it's going to be a whole day outing. Unfurling his arms he started back towards his room. Unlike the others he did not need much in the way of maintenance. The only thing he was going to get for this was a bottle of water.

Stepping inside his run down apartment he lazily threw the door shut behind him and drug himself over to the fridge to see if he had any. Looking inside the rusty old thing all he saw was a half empty bottle of hot sauce he procured earlier that month. Other than that it was pretty much empty given how he typically ate as he went, never really taking things back. Of course this was inconvenient as of right that moment since he would have to keep looking for a water bottle. For a guy who worked as hard as he did he could be pretty apathetic at times. Being forced to put effort into doing something was a nuisance for him. With a grumble he shut the fridge and went back out to continue looking.


After a halfhearted search he couldn't find anything resembling what he wanted anywhere. This set back was vexing if only because he knew the easiest way to resolve this quandary was also one of his least preferred methods: Talking to the people around here. Given how he's had to talk to people even when he was actively avoiding being spoken to the idea of seeking information out of them was even less appealing. Still, not one to struggle pointlessly on purpose he swallowed his concerns and walked up to the general group.

"Hey, anyone know where to find a water bottle?" He asked the group in general, not necessarily aiming his query at any person in particular.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wayland "Brimstone" Smith Character Portrait: Kira Character Portrait: Rosa Gerzon Character Portrait: Volga Argonar Character Portrait: Allan Denton
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A smokey chuckle rumbled it's way out of Wayland's mouth as he follows after the group, something like anticipation rolled into excitement and smashed into a feeling that could only be explained as 'SOON!' pounded in his gut and set his teeth on edge, River said his participation was mandatory, he was eager to find out why, maybe he could find some answers, something to push him forward, something that would let him push these limits, clear the static in his mind. He wanted, no needed something, something unfathomable, just beyond his grasp.

White hair, red lips, love, agony, pain, crazed laughter on the edge of his soul, whit noise as he reaches for the foreign thoughts. The sound of swords scraping against swords as he stops next to River and growls, lips pulling across his teeth in a vicious snarl, the air suffusing with heat and smoke. He needed to figure out why he could almost remember things he'd never known, why the laughter in his soul/mind set in him a rage so profound that it could set the world alight, a rage so old and cold that the fury he'd known upon setting eyes upon the top hatted abomination was as a candle to the sun in comparison.

Calming himself he looks to River next to him and nods as if they were old friends, a grin alien to his normally stoic face pulling at his mouth, before he turned his eyes back on the horizon as if searching for the answers out in the world, nodding once again to himself he waits for them to set out.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anima Lumen Character Portrait: Charmeine Lucifen d'Autriche Character Portrait: Wayland "Brimstone" Smith Character Portrait: Kira Character Portrait: Ivan Witherbane Character Portrait: Rosa Gerzon Character Portrait: Volga Argonar Character Portrait: Allan Denton
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#, as written by duramon
River turned to Rosa, rubbing his jaw. It seemed he got to talk a lot today, all business and no pleasure, what a terrible time for an Incubus. He glanced at Kira, still being carried by Volga and grinned Atleast one of us is making up for it. He mused inwardly.

"Buckle up kids, River's gunna give you a lesson on Garden lore." He started.

"Cycles are what we call the combination of the break periods and game periods in The Garden. Each Cycle usually lasts a thousand and a bit years, at the end of the thousand years the Lords begin to awaken along with any Vassals they kept and start to amass resources and regain their power. Usually through absorbing souls, although others have unique methods, the man in the top hat who forced his way out of Luka is one of them, he feeds on fear, anxiety, hopelessness. During the breaks we rebuild, rearm, train, try to find where the Lords went to sleep and total the body count." He paused and scratched at his cat-like ears, tail freed from its position as a belt and swatting back and forth in agitation.

"Over the cycles they've been getting shorter, we're down to about a hundred years now, and as you experienced, a lord or two have woken up even earlier. Based on the warning signs, duration, and results of high-level divination spells, this is the last cycle, ever. We find a way to waste them here, or we lose, on top of that we have to defend the four cities so we've got something to come back to. I joined last cycle along with KH4 and a few others, out of the crew we've got on deck, this is about a fifth of The Nameless. Everyone else died, in fact, almost everyone except me and K died. At the game start of every cycle, agents of The Garden itself can be hired for exorbinant prices to summon newbies from other worlds, and to revive some of the dead, its a random lottery who comes back, if you don't make it into the next cycle after you die, you're gone for good." He explained, taking a deep breath to continue the final stretch, man explaining so often turned into rants, he had to wonder how these rants would look on paper. One giant wall of blabbering text, going on and on.

"If we're lucky, revival restrictions will unlock once The Garden's clear, if we're unlucky....well don't die. Nobody knows what happens when The Garden is clear of Lords, we were all summoned or born here to clear them out. We didn't even figure out the timer was shortening until dozens of cycles in, so who knows what'll happen to this prison once it's empty of prisoners. Most of us are accustomed to living here, being ejected back to my homeworld by force doesn't sound fun, I'm dead there." He mused, tail flicking faster in agitation.

"Final warning for Cycles 101, most Lords don't make it through more than a few cycles, new lords are made from corrupt individuals or warped from a corpse of a dead one, so stay pure and don't leave anything behind. Those who do make it through cycles get names and start developing from mindless monsters into creatures of personality, they're the most dangerous, there are one or two of them who can even resist The Garden's will and never sleep. We don't know how they get so strong or what makes them different, but if a Lord introduces itself, run. Even if I tag-teamed with Blitz we'd struggle to take a Named One. Take notes kiddies, Apocalys zones hold the highest chance of holding a Lord, this is important, they're made from a Lord scarring the earth with a game, or from when it takes a nap." He finally finished, taking an exaggeratingly large breath in and breathing it out, holding his arms at his side and puffing jokingly.

"Class dismissed, good question Rosa, I'm more likely to give you a straight answer than anyone else. Mainly because I've still got all my memories, huzzah for not dying right?...or not again, like that other time...and the other one. Don't do death kids, it's not so great for your heart." He joked, grinning and scratching at his ears again "But I hope to god that answers that, I'm not sure what I could have missed." He mused thoughtfully, ruffling through his hair as he always did when he was thinking.


Meanwhile in the temple of doom...better known as Kira.


Kira held her hand up in the shape of a mouth and moved it everytime River spoke, rolling her eyes sarcastically and mimicking his awkward scratchings everytime he paused. She was so caught up in her playful jab that she'd entirely forgotten she'd been so huffy previously, realization hit her when the grandiose class was over and she turned to Volga, awkwardly pecking her on the cheek (Unsure of showing affection still and still not 100% okay with touching) and grinning "I'm fine, just not super excited for mandatory field trips, I'm sure it'll be fun." She reassured her companion, filtering through her assortment of junk and tossing stuff aside she didn't think was useful. Realization hit her again and she whispered into Volga's ear "Sorry about the magnet." She apologized plainly, afraid she'd wound the warriors pride if she mentioned it further than that.

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Character Portrait: Allan Denton
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#, as written by Zalgo
Allan

As soon as he caught the water skin he was caught in a moral dilemma.

While he had asked for a water bottle having taken someone else's was a favor to him, one he would have to repay. The thought of being in debt, even in the slightest, to any one of these bizarre freaks was an unpleasant thought to say the least. His mind raced as he tried to conceive of an excuse to refuse the favor or somehow avoid it without coming off as a complete jerk.

After some deliberation he figured of a way to sorta-semi mediate the situation he had landed himself in. Popping open the cap to the water skin he drank his share before closing it up and tossing it back to the barbarian chick. "Thanks." He said, hoping the water that was left was adequate enough to get her through whatever trouble they were going to be strolling knee deep in soon.


Though soon might of been an optimistic thought as River rolled into his spiel, Answering Rosa's question in more words rather than less.

Allan stood and took in all the information he was dished, his armed crossed in front as he watched River speak. He was largely unphased by the majority of what he had to say as it was pretty close the same as the demons & angels business he had gotten himself tangled in back home. His expression pretty much remained a bored frown throughout most of it, however not all. While some of the others seemed downtrodden by the info one particular piece of it put a smirk on Al's face.

So this is the final cycle... Good.


He was pleased to hear there was a deadline to all this. The entire time before he was deeply concerned that he had just been dragged into some strange skirmish he was doomed to fight in for eternity. He wasn't the most impatient man but when he does a job he likes to get the job done completely so he can put it out of his mind after. Never did the idea of constantly looking to the horizon, waiting for some new world threatening danger to rear it's ugly head, appeal to him. With this however there was promise of an end, of some measure of certainty. True, the difficulty that was involved was likely going to be steep however that mattered little to him. There were few risks that would dissuade him from stopping whatever the heck these things were from coming to his world.

Of course his smirk vanished almost instantly as River started to joke around. Not being an overly humorous sort himself didn't help ease the painfully unfunny quips as they went down. As it stood while the knowledge regarding the state of the cycle was welcome he was starting to wonder if the guy was ever going to get on with this day long escapade or if he was just pulling their strings.

"So, are we going or what?"

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Character Portrait: Wayland "Brimstone" Smith Character Portrait: Rosa Gerzon Character Portrait: Allan Denton
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Wayland's fire boiled to the surface again, and Rosa flinched, like he struck her. Then she retreated to the back of the group and curled her hands in fists again, while the fire cooled. The smell never faded but the furnace did rise and fall with the man's moods. Another part of this challenge was dealing with him. He was on the required list, but she chose to come anyway. The werecat took a deep breath of cooler, fresher air, reminding herself that this was NOT a forest fire, and focused on River's spiel.

Over the top is actually a better definition for these Nameless. She just wanted to know what the word meant to him, to make sure they were both speaking the same language. Many times since her arrival she's heard the term cycle, but her definition of the word didn't fit the context of River's statement before her question. She never asked for the full history of the Guild and Games, as she expected to learn the history on the way.

She shuddered again, clutching her field journal like a life raft. Soul-sucking monsters and dead coming back to life? Prisoners? Her eyes turned back over her shoulder to the quiet camp. Were they the prisoners or the evil monsters? Evil. Evil monsters. That's what she's here for. Kill the evil monsters! Not yet, fierce daughter. You will have your battle, but not yet. Listen and learn. Rosa tipped her head quizzically. She know she heard a voice, a soft female voice, but none of her female companions spoke.

The grumpy human broke her concentration with his latest demand they get moving. She growled under her breath, but faced forward again. Him, she wouldn't let under her skin. "My mother often joked that no answer would ever satisfy my endless questions, so I could probably think of more to ask." She gave a half-grin, "For now, I will give you respite, though don't expect it to keep the whole trip," she teased and bounded ahead of him, where she dipped into a dramatic bow. "After you, Monsieur Guide." She returned to her full height and added, "You're the only one who knows the way."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anima Lumen Character Portrait: Charmeine Lucifen d'Autriche Character Portrait: Wayland "Brimstone" Smith Character Portrait: Kira Character Portrait: Ivan Witherbane Character Portrait: Rosa Gerzon Character Portrait: Volga Argonar Character Portrait: Allan Denton
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#, as written by duramon
River looked surprised when Rosa bounded ahead of him, realization hit him and he awkwardly scratched at the back of his head. "More questions? And here I thought going on a desparing rant would save me." He let out an exaggerated sigh and smiled, saddling up and hopping in front of Rosa. "Almost forgot I was in charge there, you'll have to forgive me, it's been about a hundred years since I was in a guild, I'm a bit rusty." He excused, stepping past Rosa and bringing up a leg to kick forward at the air, the boot colliding with suddenly apparent wood and knocking open a double-door. Revealed ahead was an emerald forest with tall glowing trees that swayed in the wind, dropping green sprites of leaves on the pathway which wove its way through the magical grove. The grass was lush and springy, and the sounds of nature burst forth from the cluster of grand oaken majesty.

River took the first steps in and picked a falling leaf out of the air, sticking it into his mouth to chew. "Well then, let's get a move on, the first zone's a fair bit ahead after all." He mumbled, hand covering his mouth politely. "Eat whatever you feel like here, after this it'll be whatever you've got stowed." He stated, leading the way off the beaten path at a steady pace, deeper into the Emerald Forest. He figured after the demoralizing reality of the cycles, a nice change of scenery was in order to show the beauty of The Garden.

After all, the upcoming Zone wasn't going to be pretty if they weren't careful.

One of them might die.


Sometime later


The walk would be lengthy, and River would accomodate for stops when people needed it, aware not everyone had high stamina or natural abilities to compensate. Likely to people such as Alan's annoyance, River insisted on brief tours through fantastical regions of the forest as "Shortcuts", often plotting for breaks to arrive there when a member tired out. Falls where the water flowed the purest blue, caves brimming with rivers of crystals of fantastical hues not possible on any other world and other locations. Oddly enough, River was in awe of every single location he toured. Kira sometime along the way had extracted herself from Volga and began walking, not wanting to burden or cling too much to her Viking companion. Both Kira and River tried to socialize as much as possible along the way.

The group were finally on the edge of the Apocalypse Zone, and River stood on the precipice of what looked like a clearing surrounded by black obelisks encircled with runes. The guide however pushed his hand towards the clearing, and an illusory wall made itself known as his fist dissapeared . "Holographic projection." He stated plainly, bringing his hand back and dusting what looked like black goo off his fingers with a disgusted look.

"Not that I have to remind any of you but the fun stops here. If you mess up in here you, or your friends, will get hurt. Bad. " He reminded seriously, he pushed a hand to his chest and a small bubble floated outwards, his fingers glowed a gentle violet for a moment and he painted the bubble into a violet pyramid and stuck it through the barrier. Pulling it back after a moment and returning it to a pink bubble to sink back into his flesh. "On the plus side, there's no lord currently in the Zone." He stated with a relieved sigh.

He slipped himself halfway through the projection and pointed through, tossing a small gold crystal, rectangular in shape, to whomever was closest. "I'll be going ahead, no matter what happens to me, or any of you, do NOT try to leave back this way, go straight ahead and follow the rules. The warning'll make sense once you're in, give me 60 seconds, then follow. That'll point you towards me. " He ordered, passing all the way through with a soft "Ding" reminiscent of a retro videogame load screen.

60 seconds later, those who entered would find a barren landscape. Black ash made up the ground and choked the skies above, the air was polluted and coarse but still easily breatheable. Around the entrance point was a dead tree, broken half-way up the trunk and pinning what looked like a wolf which wheezed uneasily. The creature was stained black and its fur looked like ink, its ribs were easily showing under its malnourished frame, beside it was another of its kind, dead. There looked to be a path of clean brown dirt leading straight ahead towards the paltry remains of a city, architecture gothic in style and made of lavish marble materials, stained browns and inky blacks by the polluted atmosphere to barely show the majesty that once was. The city was crumbling under the wheel of time.

The dead city was a maze of peaks and flat-top roofs inter-mixed in highs and lows, a cathedral sat imposingly at its heart in a square, and the city marked a wall-less and grandiose circle with its clear dirt floors. As the group would enter, the Lazul cards all had on their person (Vinn had been entirely persistent they had it at all times.), made a loud beep. Those who looked would see the cards face change, the words "Game Start" appearing before a larger screen projected from its face.


"Team Game: Claim Staker"
Team: [REDACTED] vs Team: Legion

*Announcement*
Sufficient players have entered the zone, Team Game: Claim Staker has begun. Those you have travelled with have been registered as your team, all exits closed until game completion.

-Rules-
The city will serve as the stage for this Team Game. The rules will be explained below.
1: All buildings begin as neutral ground.
2: A team can claim a building by tagging a central core with a card.
3: The goal is to own the most buildings by timer finish.
4: The Cathedral is worth 5 points.
5: Upon timer completion, teams have 2 minutes to evacuate to the exit points, located opposite to entry.



The cards would change face from the "Game Start" to function as an information faucet, written plainly across it in bitty font was.

Buildings: 35
Claimed: 0
Cathedral: Neutral
Time: 60 minutes




The game was sudden, unprompted, and worst of all there was a trail of crimson blood in the ash heading towards the city that abruptly stopped.

River was nowhere to be found.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anima Lumen Character Portrait: Charmeine Lucifen d'Autriche Character Portrait: Wayland "Brimstone" Smith Character Portrait: Kira Character Portrait: Ivan Witherbane Character Portrait: Rosa Gerzon Character Portrait: Volga Argonar Character Portrait: Allan Denton
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Wayland snorts, smoke shooting from his nostrils when River says he'd almost forgotten he was in charge, a hint of amusement sliding into place in his mind as he flashes the incubus a wry knowing grin, before shaking his head to shoo away the alien feelings. Cursing under his breath he clenches his fist hard enough to cause his fingers to spark against his palm, making a noise not unlike nails on a chalk board. Grunting in irritation, and not ready to try and be soothed by his internal rythm he leans over as they're walking and takes a large bite out of a tree trunk, gnashing the bark in his maw as it turns to ash, he finally begins to calm down, the air around him noticeably cooling as he manages to rein in his emotions. He had no need to eat or drink, not in the same way a normal person does at least, but it did always help to calm him down.

It turned out to be quite the walk, long, monotonous and interspersed with random stops for those needing to rest, he wasn't one of them, spending the times they stopped standing vigil over the group of people he barely knew. For now, the thought ghosting through his mind, yes, for now. Having shaken off the distraction Wayland walked along, taking in the sights in a peripheral sense, as he watched for threats that might not be percieved by any of the group distracted by the landscape. Case and point, their leader, seemingly awed by every new scene, that was just like River.

Sharp pain shooting through his mind, Wayland forces himself to not think about the incubus, turning himself back towards his self appointed guard duty, though, this place is certainly beautiful.

Some time later they came to a clearing, Wayland walking ahead slightly to stand near one of the obelisks, examining the runic script, it wasn't anything he was familiar with but something about it, shaking the thought away he turns just in time to see River tossing some sort of golden crystal to the person closest to him and then dissapearing.

Turning to look at the others in their party he grunts, panning his vision across the group, taking them in and grinning slightly as he trots up to the barrier, laughing softly in the smokey way that he does, he steps through without a word, intent on being the first through in case they were attacked first thing on the other side, his confidence in his ability to take and survive a hit was strong, he wasn't sure about the others yet though.

"Well," he starts as he sees the new environment, letting the word hang in the air for a moment as he takes in the rotted state of the world around them, and turns back to the others as they come through, deadpanning, "This is nice," his card beeps just as he's looking down at it, his hand having moved subconciously to pull it from his pocket even before he realized he's need it, this felt familiar for some reason, even as the fore of his mind was twisting into combat mode, eyes narrowing dangerously.

Without thinking he starts spitting out orders as he slides his card back into his pocket, mind flashing through plans and memories of similar battlegrounds at the speed of thought, "I'll take point," He'd already established that he could soak up the most damage, "Melee fighters on the sides, intercept anything coming our way and put it down," He figured this would be Volga, and Allan, but wasn't entirely sure of their capabilities despite the month of working together, but he trusted them enough to watch their 3'o clock, and 9'o clock respectively, leaving it up to them to choose whichever they'd guard, or if they'd even take to his order at all, "Mages and ranged fighters hold the center, you see an enemy at a distance and you think you can hit it, take it out," This would be Charmeine and Ivan if they agreed, "Kira watch our six, be ready to raise walls just in case, Rosa, see if you can't track our would be enemies, and we'll move forward and take them down as a team, securing buildings as we go."

"This good with everyone?" He asked as he moved.

Wayland was unusually tense, this place set his teeth on edge and made him want to do nothing more than to set it ablaze. His orders given, without a second thought he proceeds forward, if the others had better plans he hoped they'd let him know, otherwise he'd proceed as he'd set out to, his military background made him snap to giving orders in a situation like this, especially when there was no other apparent chain of command. He of course meant no offence, whether the others saw it that way or not was up to them. First target the nearest building to them.