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Captain Jensu

A Moderately Washed Up Sea Ship Captain

0 · 153 views · located in The Horat-verse

a character in “The Great Guild Fortune”, as played by Nulix

Description

"Well, I'm not dead yet."

ImageName: Yami Jensu
Sex: Non-binary
Age: 35
Race: Goblin

Physical Description: Jensu stands slightly taller than the average Goblin. They have wavy brown hair with loose bangs, large green eyes, bushy eyebrows, a few wispy facial hairs, a buck-toothed smile, though wrinkles of age have now started to caress their eyes and mouth. Jensu has a typical Goblin body, bony but curvy, flexible but durable, and they are in good enough shape to take a hard landing or a punch. Their skin is a yellowish green and is tanned from their time in the open ocean.
Clothing: Jensu likes black, and is never seen without a leather trench coat, a ripped up uniform kept from their time in the Imperial Trading Company. Accompanying the coat is a black Captain's hat, loose pants kept up by a thin belt and a linen sewn tank-top or shirt beneath. They wear a pair of geta sandals or boots in the snow. All their clothing is designed to be light and unconstrained for sea-fairing
Height: 4'4"
Weight: 95 lbs
Skin Colour: Green
Hair Colour: Brown
Eye Colour: Green

Occupation: Trade Ship Captain
History/Bio: Yami Jensu was birthed from the unplanned pregnancy of a Goblin slave to the Jensu-Ty family, minor landholders in the fields surrounding the village of Poyo in northern Yutan. The father was unknown, and in accordance to the fine-print in their mother's servitude contract all off-springs would be free, and so Jensu was born a citizen of the Empire. They grew up and worked with their mother and the other slaves in the Jensu-Ty's household, the only difference being they could leave. When Jensu was twelve their mother had raised enough money to buy her own freedom. The Jensu-Ty's, who had always been kind slave owners, agreed and Jensu and their mother moved to the main town. Jensu had understood something that day. Their mother had struggled and worked their entire life and in the end they had gotten what they had wanted. They were free. Hard work could get you anywhere, Jensu realized. And it was this view that drove the rest of their life.

Growing up as a Goblin, a race most often associated with the image of a Snow Oni tying them up in a sack and throwing them in a mine, Jensu faced some measure of harassment. Especially considering they worked in low-class positions for most of their teen years, which ranged from housekeeping to a short-lived janitorial career. To avoid kidnappings and illegal selling, a common practice even in the Yutan mainland, Jensu trained hard in their free time to focus their chi and practice defensive combat, a focus that would carry on in the jobs they performed. By the age of sixteen Jensu had moved onto the docks, Poyo's biggest source of trade and money. The port was populated by Poyo's poorest and toughest, and a small goblin was rejected at almost every job opening they tried to for. Eventually though Bako Babu, the owner of a small dock and trading vessel, gave them a chance and they became a dock-worker. Their commitment, focus, and the strength from years of Chi training made them not only an equal but superior in skill to most of their coworkers, and soon Bako offered them a chance, a real chance, to go somewhere in life. Captain Veng of the Imperial Trading Company had arrived in Poyo looking for additional crew after his ship: the Chorus had been hit by a maelstrom in the Full Moon Sea. Babu managed to get the twenty year old Jensu a position as a deck-hand and before they knew it they were aboard the Chorus, leaving Poyo far behind.

The next ten years of Jensu's life were a roller-coaster. Aboard the Chorus they saw it all: friendship, romance, betrayal, drama; while outside the journey continued, Captain Veng fearlessly leading his crew across the seas to help ensure the Empire's economy flowed. They went to strange lands, fought pirates, escaped war-zones, found treasures - every seafaring adventure one could imagine the Chorus had been through. It wasn't all fun though, in fact most of it was hard work, especially on Jensu's part. But it payed off. Their skill and commitment rose them through the ranks until they became Third Officer of the Chorus: the fifth Goblin to ever achieve the rank in the Imperial Trading Company. Most wouldn't have let them come so far, but Captain Veng was a good-man. A mentor, a master, and a friend. Of course, the day after they were promoted the Chorus found itself surrounded by the Yune navy and forcibly escorted to Yuna-Yae where Captain Veng was accused and tried for illegal smuggling and war-crimes. In light of the case the Chorus was grounded and it's crew dispersed among the company. Jensu was assigned to the Baggot, and it's captain was not as open minded as Veng. Despite their former position and outstanding record the now thirty year old Jensu was made a deck-hand after being the third most powerful person in the company's former most powerful ship. And so they quit and bought their own boat, a small junk named the Milkweed.

For the last five years Jensu has Captained the Milkweed, it's small size letting it easily navigate through the tight rivers of mainland Yutan, allowing it to reach many towns typically out of range for sea-fairing vessels. Money isn't exactly flowing but Jensu continues to ship trade port to port, and can consistently able to find new contracts and work.
Home Town: Poyo
Home Country: Yune Empire

Personality: Jensu believes hard and constant work are the keys to success, a theory which their own life haven't quite proved yet. Jensu isn't happy, but they managed to be a happy person to those they meet. Their life at sea has made them a bit worn of the world though, and they haven't been seen without a pint in their hands for the past few years. Their adventures have also made them believe they know how the world and everything in it operates, which they do somewhat, but not nearly to the extent they think.
Fears and Desires: They fear being stuck in the same: staying where they are until the day they die, and lusts for success more than anything. To Captain a ship like Veng had and live in comfort and prosperity. Like all Goblin's they do have a weakness for gold, and does have an instinctual desire for it.

Equipment and Weapons: Jensu carries a small knife but nothing else, as their training is usual enough to defeat attackers. They and their Fire Oni first mate Matsyan crew the Milkweed sketched below:

Image

Styles and Abilities: Jensu's combat style is characterized by their focus and agility. They can flexibly dodge blows at quick speed and attacks with hard jumps and jabs to quickly disarm an opponent, a job they have lately done while balancing a drink.
Chi and Augmentations: Jensu has trained to have their Chi greatly increase their focus, speed, and agility.

So begins...

Captain Jensu's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Captain Jensu
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#, as written by Nulix
As soon as Yuwen rode in through the south gate raindrops began to dribble on his head. Yuwen looked up and laughed at the passing storm-cloud, reaching out and touching the warm yunish rain. The bright-grey horse Yuwen rode let out a cheerful nay and shook its coat-tails at the drizzle. Children consumed the cobble-stone street, chasing each other as the rain dried and Yuwen continued to ride toward the festival.

"Big sword!" A young human boy yelled as he began to run beside Yuwen's horse's trots. Yuwen laughed, placing a hand on one of the double blades sheathed at his hip. "Are you a samurai?" A girl with pigtails called, trying to keep up as fast as her little legs could carry her. "More of a manurai," Yuwen explained. The children laughed and ran off as Yuwen approached the stables.

At a hitch Yuwen slid off his horse and handed a coin to the watcher. The straw-hatted man glared down at the copper. "Sorry, I don't have any more Yunish money, " Yuwen admitted. "You don't take Sunen silver by chance?"

"This'll get you an hour," Old straw-hat muttered in response, taking the coin. "What brings you to Poyo, sir? You won't get much out of the festival without any money."

"Just seeing some old friends," Yuwen replied, patting the man on the back before cornering into the bright lights of the festival. The smell of fried foods and fire overwhelmed him as he made his way through the crowds beneath a sea of lanterns, different instruments heard around each corner. Yuwen could have even sworn to see an Oni telling stories down Waban street, and around the corner at the Golden Peach Inn he spotted all types of internationals.

"Poyo's getting cultured," He commented to himself before crossing over the main bridge to the square, where a large crowd was gathered around performers executing the dragon dance, sweep the large, pole-shaped dragon through the festival grounds. But Yuwen wasn't there for any of that. He wasn't there for the food or the celebrations or to see the Mayor Loy-Qui make his speech. He was there for business. And he knew the one group of people capable of conducting his type of business.

"Officer," Yuwen nodded as an armoured prefect strolled past, giving him a suspicious look as he did. Yuwen watched the man disappear into the crowd before heading toward an unmarked door in the town square, a door only those who knew what they were looking for would find. It was the basement entrance to the Rat Den. After a few quick knocks a pair of white eyes came to the viewing hole.

"Oh no!" The voice began, the annoyance obvious. "He's not dealing with you any more, Fortune."

"He owes me a favour," Yuwen quickly countered. "He still owes me one favour."

"What do you need done?" The voice asked.

Yuwen smirked as a firework echoed in the distance. "Just a bit of... illusion."

***

Away from the festival at the dark port of Poyo boats of all kinds sat docked and swaying in the gentle night breeze, banners and flags from all over the Empire flying and falling as the wind lapsed. And between two large mercenary frigates a small junk carefully glided forward.

"Good gods," The Captain whispered to their fist mate at the glistening town before them, disbelief in their voice. "Back in Poyo."

Anchor was set and a Goblin strode from the gangplank, one hand in the pocket of their black leather trench coat and the other clutching a large pint. They sipped, their head down and hidden by a large Captain's hat.

"Hey!" A voice called. They glanced up to see a muscle bound man march down the dock. "You have permission to dock?" Trouble – they could already tell.

From a pocket the Goblin whipped out their authorization papers. "This is the Bako Trading docks: I’m authorized," They explained.

"Looks fake to me," The big man said, folding his arms over his protruding chest without even glancing at the paper. "I don't think you're allowed to dock here."

"I am," The goblin replied before walking again.

The man moved in front of them. "I don't think you are," He continued. "I think you've got blood on your hands, gobo. Prolly' roasted your master, then you stole his damn ship- like a criminal! So I figure if I bag you and take you to my friends at the Rat Den we might get you back into the market you belong in, maybe get a reward from the prefecture whilst we're at it, eh?"

"Is that so?" They muttered, taking a sip from their drink. "And how... do you plan to do that?"

At the words the man shot his fist downward. The goblin bent backward, dodging the blow, before leaping up, throwing their pint in the air and jabbing the man in the throat. They landed back on the ground, carefully catching the falling mug and the rum raining down from it as the thug collapsed before them. They shook their head and continued on. It had been years since they had returned to Poyo- their hometown. And from the scum at the dock to the festivities that awaited Captain Yami Jensu could tell it hadn't changed a bit. Or so they had thought until they spotted a completely foreign sight.

A Yunish man with a thin moustache, stark naked save for a silken loincloth, hopping along the docks, with his hands and feet tied together with rope. The goblin watched the man and took a long sip.

"You live here?" They called at last, walking up and startling the poor nudist.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned Character Portrait: Captain Jensu
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"MMMMRRRFFFF!" The nude man screamed through his gag, begging the goblin to take it off.

***

Laughter and merriment continued on in the Golden Peach Inn, Ruo sliding a drink over to Takai as he took a seat at the bar, "It's on the house!"

He raised the mug in thanks, "Cheers."

Beside him approached a large bear and a small woman on the Beast-mans shoulder. Ruo waved at them, shouting through the noise, "Ho there travellers! Can I get you anything? A drink perhaps, maybe some freshly steamed pork buns?"

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Character Portrait: Captain Jensu
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#, as written by Nulix
Captain Jensu glanced up at the noble slobbering through his gag. They placed down their drink on the dock's uneven wooden planks and leapt up. Their switchblade swung open and sliced through the saliva drenched gag. And as quickly as they had leapt up Jensu landed again.

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Character Portrait: Captain Jensu
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"GGUUHHH oh thank the EMPEROR," Yuxuan Fu cried out, "You will be rewarded handsomely, my dear gobbo! HANDSOMELY!"

He turned around and bent over, showing Captain Jensu places that they never wished to see, "My binds! Please! And if you want to be RICH you'll capture the scoundrel who did this to me!"

Setting

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Character Portrait: Captain Jensu
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#, as written by Nulix
Captain Jensu squinted as he blabbered. There was something familiar about the man back from their teenage years in Poyo. He was a noble, they remembered that. An owner of fields. He'd tried courting half the young women in town... the young human women, at least. Goblins and beast-men were another story. In fact, Jensu remembered a specific incident in which their mother was walking them down the village path and Yuxuan's spit from his litter as he passed.

Jensu gave a half smile at the memory before leaping up and delivering a mighty kick. Their wooden sandal imprinted on the side of Yuxuan's face. He flew out into the river. "Happy Emperor Day!" Jensu exclaimed as he landed with a splash. Yuxuan Fu's head bopped out the waves, he spitting water out like a fountainhead. A group of nearby sailors began to laugh. Jensu took a chug of their drink and walked up the stone steps, away from the docks and toward the village square. A large smile was plastered on their face.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ginchiyo Lao Tzu Character Portrait: Captain Jensu
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#, as written by Nulix
One moment Lo-Muna was being harassed by the shady vendor, and the next moment a mountain of a woman had launched into the merchant's cart and broken it in two. The merchant grabbed his hair as his wares fell to the ground, goblin and human children alike grabbing the items scattered at Lo-Muna's feet. The gathered crowd watched as Ginchiyo drunkenly rose and demanded a drink. From the sidelines Captain Jensu watched the scene bemused.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ginchiyo Lao Tzu Character Portrait: Captain Jensu
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#, as written by Sepokku
Ginchiyo scrunched up her nose and did her best to look indignant at the vexed merchant, though his awkward ire was making it hard to take the moment seriously. The shopkeeper started sputtering and blaming her for the scene, and while her crash-landing was technically her fault, he caused this entire mess by being a racist bastard. She cocked her left arm back slightly and shoved her index finger into the man's chest, "What? What I did? Ruining your wares would be like crushing dry weeds." She cocked her arm back a bit more and shoved her finger into the man's chest a bit harder. "A mild breeze would do the same!" Her accusatory tone was attracting stares from everyone not immediately trying to escape the scene.

A big enough commotion was sure to hurt the man's business, but before Ginchiyo could decide whether or not that was how she was going to spend the rest of her night that White-eared Rabbit returned and urged discretion. Deciding that a drink with a fellow Beastman would preferable to harassing an ignorant merchant, she prepared herself for a short sprint. However, a piercing whistle demanded her attention as one of the Yune higher-ups began swaggering over to the scene, retinue in tow. Ginchiyo had been ran out of towns before, but never out of an entire prefecture on Emperor's Day. With a sigh, she straightened up to her full height, the night suddenly seeming painfully sober. Sparing a short glance to the White Rabbit, Ginchiyo said a quick prayer to the ancestors that she would know a place with strong drink.

"Ah good," A practiced smile appeared on Ginchiyo's face as the prefect approached, "You got here just in time prefect. As I was just going to explain, some wastrel courting death lost a bet with me, but before I could collect he had his, goon," she spat on the ground for emphasis, "Toss me into this crowd, and the two fled."

With a shrug she closed her eyes and flicked her nose with a thumb, "I've heard it's bad karma to renege on a bet on Emperor's Day, and even worse luck to allow such a reneging to go unpunished." Crossing her arms, she put her nose in the air and scoffed out, "Emperor willing, you could still catch the pig-faced thief, if you're quick on your feet."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ginchiyo Lao Tzu Character Portrait: Captain Jensu
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#, as written by Nulix
Prefect Ro looked Ginchiyo up and down. Neither he nor his men made any attempt to search for the criminals she so described. "A bet?" Prefect Ro said, squinting his eyes at the tall woman. "What was this about?"

"Yeah, what was this bet about?" One of the teenage guards on the sidelines added, trying to get in on the prefects imposing presence.

Ro glanced to Lo-Muna, giving the impossible creature a quick one over. "And where does she fit in?"

***

The drums beat rapidly as a choir of lutes strummed in the background. Yuwen nodded his head at the sounds as he shimmied through the underground tavern. The thugs of Poyo danced and drunk, some of the men trying to get in his way, and more than a few women laying a hand on him as he crossed the oak floors of room. Yuwen adjusted his collar and gave a sly smile to the shady characters. He approached the backdoor where a large, muscle-bound Snow Oni glared down at him.

"You're back," The Oni spoke out thick lips. "I thought the Brothers Grimschi threw you in the ocean."

"Tayadori! It takes more than twuo of tengu twins to keep Yuwen Fortune down," Yuwen replied with a self-assured grin.

The two made their way through the back-halls of the Rat's Den, the passages crowded with various shipments of foods, weapon and armour. "Almost there," Tayadori said as he escorted Yuwen down another hall. Yuwen glanced at the supplies, and paused when he saw a large cage filled with goblins. Yuwen locked eyes with one, an elderly goblin woman, before swallowing heavily and continuing on.

"He won't be happy to see you," Tayadori chuckled as he opened a purple curtain away, revealing a warmly lit room beyond.

"Ting Po!" Yuwen greeted with open arms as he entered the lavish room.

"Hohoho..." A great voice belonging to a fat, balding man in rich robes chuckled from within a cloud of opioid smoke. "Yuwen... Fortune... alive after all."

"I'm shockingly hard to kill," Yuwen replied.

"Join me, smoke," Ting Po breathed deeply. Yuwen nodded and stepped forward, into the crime-lords den. "And tell me why I shouldn't have Tayadori finish the job the Tengu brothers could not." Ting Po's voice was stone cold.

"Because firstly you and I have no quarrel, and secondly: you still owe me a favour," Yuwen replied, raising a finger. "We got rid of the bandits for you, Po. Your operation was taking a hit and you promised me you'd set it right."

"Last time you stood before me I got you on a ship out to sea, isn't that favour enough?"

"You got me on a ship full of people who wanted me dead!" Yuwen exclaimed. "Look, I'll find my own way to settle with the triad. As far as I'm concerned you still owe me a favour."

Po was silent for a moment. "And what is it that Yuwen Fortune wants?"

Yuwen leaned forward and put his hands together nervously. "I need you to forge me a report from the forest outpost."

"Oh no," Po said, shaking his head. "You're not doing this again."

"I'm getting a guild together!" Yuwen exclaimed. "And I need your help,"

Po glared at the man before him. "And what happened to the last one?" He asked after a long pause. Yuwen remained silent, and Po knew he wouldn't get anything more out of him. "I'll get you your report. But after this we're even. No more favours for the unkillable Yuwen Fortune."

Yuwen nodded at the crimelord's words. "We're even."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ginchiyo Lao Tzu Character Portrait: Captain Jensu
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0.25 INK

Lo-Muna kept an even look on her face, wanting no more than to skedaddle out of the situation. Her legs were fast enough and the inebriated woman seemed capable enough. Yet she stayed.

She stayed even though she knew Prefect Ro likely wouldn't believe anything she said. And if he did, he would likely try to find some way to twist it around on her. It would be her words against a human merchant after all. Her best choice was to be as truthful as possible.

"I was barely walking by the stall when this woman was thrown into the stall," Lo-Muna lied as she tried her best to look as meek as possible. She crossed her arms, pushing her breasts together, glancing at the young guards with pleading looks.

"She's lying! She was touching my stuff with her grubby little hands!" The merchant exclaimed with a huff.

"I was only looking as i passed by! Any of the people around could tell you I had no problems today until this merchant got his stall ruined and now he wants to pin it on me!" Lo-Muna insisted.

"You little liar! I knew you were no good!" The merchant shouted with an accusatory finger at the bunny girl. "Arrest that rabbit and that woman, Prefect Ro! They have caused damage to my property and I demand they get punished!"

Setting

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Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ginchiyo Lao Tzu Character Portrait: Captain Jensu
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#, as written by Nulix
The two teenage village guards' eyes were stuck to Lo-Muna as she spoke. "Prefect Ro, she's- she's telling the truth!" One blabbered. "Yeah, we can handle her!" The other added.

Prefect Ro rolled his eyes away from the two before turning to Ginchiyo. "I do indeed," He nodded to the woman who stood a good two inches taller than him. "My fathers a prefect there. Still is as a matter of fact. Why?"

Setting

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Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ginchiyo Lao Tzu Character Portrait: Captain Jensu
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#, as written by Sepokku
Ginchyio's gaze lingered on Ro's face, searching it up and down before she let out an entertained laugh and started smiling wildly. "Hahaha, you're kidding me! Little River Ro?!" Still grinning, she looked the prefect in the eyes for a moment before whispering, "You do have his eyes, though."

"Your father is one of few Yune officers worth their salt," she spared a look to the two prefects on either side of Ro, "No offense." Suddenly in great spirits, Ginchiyo clapped a hand across the Vendor's back and barked out another laugh.

"Your dad made it seem like you were fresh out of Agoge, still a boy, but you're definitely of age to be looking for a bride..." The sentence trailed off thoughtfully as Ginchiyo rubbed her chin with her right hand. "...Er, anyways, you heard from the two guards that were here, and though I can't be held entirely responsible for being sent sailing into this man's wares, I'm not an unreasonable person."

She stood to pick up a splintered piece of what used to be the man's table and gave it a quick once over. "This looks like Huali wood," She gave the splintered wood a quick sniff before continuing. "Doesn't seem to be decorated or lacquered... I'll give the unlucky oaf," She paused to grab a pouch from her belt, "Three silver, for-" Her offer was cut short by a pale Ashura, in a dark yukata who had a man, "trying to kill her."

As the Ashura began to disappear into the crowds, Ginchiyo raised a questioning eyebrow and looked towards Prefect Ro, waiting for his reaction.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ginchiyo Lao Tzu Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Samyan Zaheer Character Portrait: Ren Van
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2.00 INK

#, as written by Nulix
Prefect Ro searched Ginchiyo's face for a moment, his brown eyes meeting hers. "I'm- married to the job," He explained, displaying perhaps the most humanity he was capable of. Despite the officer's awkwardness his demeanour towards Lo-Muna and Ginchiyo seemed to shift. It was in small details: the way he lowered his parchment pad, or how he'd uncrossed his arms. Prefect Ro suddenly seemed less threatening. It was a warm summer night after all, and the smells and sounds of the festival beckoned for him to return.

Small footsteps clacked. The trio of prefects turned to see a goblin in sea-fairing wear approach. "If it helps I saw everything," The goblin spoke up.

"And?" The prefect asked.

They smiled at Ginchiyo and Lo-Muna before turning back to Ro, staring up with cat-like goblin green eyes. "The truth. Every word," They replied. "A game of mahjong with two shady characters. She won. The pair of sore losers caused a scene and threw her straight into this man's cart."

"And your name, miss?"

"Not a miss," The goblin corrected. "And it's Jensu. Captain Jensu."

"Well," Prefect Ro began, turning from the goblin captain to the vendor, the beast-man, and the wild-woman. "Seems cleared up to me."

Ginchiyo had begun to negotiate a small reparation fee to the man when screams cut through. The prefects turned to see an pale blue figure a head above the rest of the crowd, running toward the town square. Just then, a sound began to echo out from the gate. The village bell.

The street stopped dead at the sound, the festivities and merriment of the festival drawing to a close. And then came the panic. Ro frowned as suddenly the citizens of Poyo rushed down the street, pushing past the mini crime scene. "It's the village bell," One of the two teenage guards informed nervously as they began to run off with the crowd. "There’s some sort of trouble out there!"

“I knew this holiday was cursed!” The other guard screamed as he ran after his partner.

"Quickly!" A voice called through the crowd. Ro turned to see the town crier yelling out over the citizens. "A state of emergency has been issued! Everyone to the town centre!" He announced. “To the safety of the village square!”

"Altan! Huo!" Ro commanded his two lieutenants. The prefects snapped to attention. "Forward by my lead."
Ro turned to face Lo-Muna, Jensu, Ginchiyo and the racist. “Stay with us,” He said before hurrying forward down the street. The brass whistle that hung from his neck bounced at his step. His long green armour rattled. His hand held down a short-sword, and on his back a tower-shield swung with each step. Upon it's bronze ribs were the yunish characters for the raging rivers province and the word prefect. Poyo was a small village, and the handful of prefects in town were perhaps the only skilled lawman in miles.

Ro pushed passed a screaming crying citizen, making way for the four to follow toward the town-square. All the while the bell rang on…

***

Inside the Golden Peach Inn the bell was heard loud and clear. And it was though the mood of the tavern shifted all in one moment. Takai, Suiken, and Namari were suddenly struck by an onslaught of patrons rushing towards the exits en masse. They pushed and shoved as they did, nearly knocking Ren’s booth in.

A guard on the street outside stuck their head into one of the inn’s shoji curtains. He was breathing heavily. "Quickly! Poyo is in a state of emergency: everyone to the town square!" He called out to the inhabitants. “Trust me. You want to be as far from the walls as possible." With a heavy swallow he too ran off with the crowd of citizens toward the centre of town.

The waitress too hurried, avoiding the cook who leapt out from the kitchen and collided face first into Kaor’s side. The cook fell to the ground before Xanth and Kaor as the waitress making a swift exit.

***

As Yamato drunkenly approached the east gate to the village the bell began to ring from the walls above. The loose assemblage of guards atop the wall’s ramparts were running frantically. Even in his drunken state, the tengu knew something was wrong.

"Hey!" A guard called out to the ronin as he slid down a ladder and staggered to into a run. He was a young man, late teens, perhaps early twenties, covered in spots. And looking like he’d never before wielded the spear that was now gripped between his sweaty palms. "Something's happening... I, I think we're under attack." He blinked at Yamato, noticing his trio of blades. "You've got to get to the village centre. We could use your help... and the Mayor will pay anyone who helps!" The guard nodded at him and began to run with the rest of the populace, hoping he’d follow.

***

The bells were faintest on the village outskirts: farmlands outside the wall but inside the Poyo's radius. And through the fields were sparse families too ran. A single boy pelted down the dirt road toward the walls, ramming violently into Sunaraashi as he did, who’d wandered outside the festival grounds. The boy stood and backed up slowly, looking at the strange Sunen in fear. "…Are you going to eat me?" He whispered, his voice trembling.

***

Samyan and her two dolls had run from the scene of their crimes directly into the cobblestone laden village square. To Samyan’s surprise, she was not the only one running, as beside her crowds began to pour into the square in panic. Bells were ringing from the village walls.

Before her towered the town-hall tower, and standing before it was a figure of red-stone decked in ancient armour, holding out a banner high in the air. His face was expressionless, his body unmoving and built out of glistening red stone. It was a statue of a noble yunish man from ages passed, propped up in the centre of the square. The stature stared Samyan down as if to tell her she did not belong here, in the heart of Yunishness. And perhaps the gods were about to make her pay for her deceit.

***

Several streets over Yuwen strolled calmly as the people ran forward toward the distant town square. It was filling to the brim with the citizenry and visiting guests to the port village. A small smirk grew on his face: both because he knew how badass he looked walking calmly in the chaos, and two... because he caused this.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ginchiyo Lao Tzu Character Portrait: Captain Jensu
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Lo-Muna looked to the raven haired woman as the people hurried around them, having no real reason to follow after Prefect Ro except his urging. Well, that and the possibility of danger coming to the people. As much as the rabbit woman saw this as a chance to escape, she couldn't turn away from the panicked faces all around them.

"In case I don't see you again, thanks for your help," Lo-Muna said to her rescuer with a slight bow of her head. She gave a small smile, and then, she was gone.

Even without using her chi, Lo-Muna was fast. She weaved through the crowds with ease and hopped over their heads when the throngs became too thick. Her powerful legs even allowed her to beat Prefect Ro, seeing him still running towards the square as she went on ahead. Whatever had the people panicked, the rabbit beastwoman would be the first to find out.

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Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ginchiyo Lao Tzu Character Portrait: Captain Jensu
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#, as written by Sepokku
A slight frown grew across Ginchiyo's face as the bell tolled in the distance. She knew from experience that when people panic, they become little better than animals; gathering the entire village into the confines of the town square was going to result in mass chaos. At least a few people would be trampled to death before the prefects could establish order, an unfortunate fact of human society. As Ro started towards the square, flanked by Atlan and Huo, Ginchiyo turned towards the White Rabbit and gave her a soft smile.

"Don't mention it."

Ginchiyo stood there for a moment longer, looking in the direction the Rabbit had hopped away to; she might have followed after her, if she were fast enough. Instead she decided her best bet was to follow in Ro's wake. She hurried to catch up with him, shouldering past Huo to stand on Ro's left. This wasn't how she had intended to spend her night, but she had an opportunity to put Poyo in her debt and she wasn't going to simply waste it.

Turning to the goblin that had just put her neck on the line for seemingly no reason, Ginchiyo inquired, "So, Captain Jensu, is this a common occurrence on Emperor's Day?"

Panic had already begun to set in, people were stumbling about confused and terrified, merchants hurriedly trying to pack up their stalls and rush to somewhere safe. A little girl sat in the streets, holding a pinwheel in her clenched hand while desperately trying to lead her drunk father to safety. The father stumbled and tripped, while his daughter began to cry and tug even harder. Ginchiyo almost stopped to help her, but this was a Yune village, and reestablishing order currently took precedence. Saying a quick prayer to the Ancestors, she marched grimly on.

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Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ginchiyo Lao Tzu Character Portrait: Captain Jensu
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#, as written by Nulix
"No," Jensu replied before disappearing behind a pair of blue hakamas. The goblin emerged again, running forward beside Ginchiyo, their tiny legs moving at almost double the speed to keep up. "I grew up here," Jensu said, leaping onto an abandoned kart and then off it again onto the cobblestone. "The most action Poyo ever sees is when the river floods."

Captain Jensu looked up, over the tiled rooftops of Poyo. Atop the village wall fresh-faced guards ran along ramparts. Unarmoured and wielding only wooden spears. "My mother lives in the foothills," Jensu explained as they ran, a grim look on their face. "Outside the walls."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ginchiyo Lao Tzu Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Samyan Zaheer Character Portrait: Ren Van
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#, as written by Nulix
Ro rose, looking back at the massive figure who stepped on him, but the chaos of the crowd distracted again.

***

Yuwen turned back to Kaor and Xanth in the street. The lantern-light shined in his eyes. "Follow me... and everything will be alright," He said with a smile. "I promise." The man wore a chest-plate, and had a blade on his hip, but nothing else about him seemed particularly assuring. And yet, when he spoke to the two, for whatever reason, they believed him- or at least, they believed he believed himself.

The super mercenary combo began to follow Yuwen as he marched toward the square.

***

One finally step brought Ren atop the town-wall. Suiken climbed the ladder up after him, and when the snow-oni reached the top he was treated to quite a sight. Over the rooftops they could see the town-square, and almost all of Poyo stretching out around it. And beyond the bright streets was the country: the rivers, the hills, the forests. Calm. Peaceful. There was no sign of a threat.

In the dark path stretching out from town person ran, not towards the safety walls but away- into the darkness of the night. A single figure, with a body belonging to a goblin. "Attention all!" They could hear the distant, echoing voice of the mayor from the town-square as he got ready to address the crowd...

***

"Attention all!" He repeated. On a wooden stage built in front of the tall town-hall tower and beside the statue of shimmering stone Mayor Loy-Qui, a rat-faced man with no beast-man blood in him, watched over the square which was packed to it's fullest with over a thousand citizens and travellers summoned by the bells, the last ones now arriving at the edges of the crowd. The town had gone into a deadly silence, the bright lanterns that swung in the winds no longer as festive as they had seemed an hour earlier. Overwhelming all was the sound of bells from each of the village's five gates, ringing together in near perfect unison. The elderly yunish man glanced down at the scroll he held in his hands. After a moment he stepped forward, his silken purple robes the only thing clear from the farthest back of the crowd.

"Poyo is under attack!" He announced loudly. "At the twentieth hour... I received a report from the farthest northern outpost, saying an army of bandits was approaching... at least three-"

"That's not bad!" A feminine voice said from the crowd.

"-Hundred!" Gasps of shock and cries could be heard.

"Poyo has thirty-seven guards, as well as the twenty prefects in Commander Ro's unit... that is fifty odd men against... three-hundred," Loy-Qui explained awkwardly, trying to raise his fingers before realizing he did not have the required digits. "And so I am forced to declare a state of emergency! And forced to ask upon you, citizens of ability, citizens of our great Yune Empire, to step forward and defend our village against this threat! For what we have not in numbers... we have in gold: three-hundred gold coins to each man or woman of any race who steps forward to fight with us! Three-hundred for each bandit who threatens our home on this holiest of holidays!"

A silence went over the crowd as the numbers sank in, despair on the tongues of the people, most whispering where to hide or how to escape the town. "Would all willing step forward... and all unwilling or unable step back and find shelter and hiding," Loy-Qui stammered. "Find somewhere safe."

"Wait!" A voice called out as the crowd started shifting. All eyes turned to one figure as he pushed past the guards and leapt onto the stage. He stood tall with olive skin, striking green eyes, a determined face and glimmering armour beneath blue robes: a heroic image next to the cowering Loy-Qui, now almost in tears.

"I have information!" The man declared as he stepped forward dramatically on the stage. "I know! I KNOW! Where the banditos will attack!" The human, Yuwen Fortune, announced loudly over the crowd. "I just escaped their foul grasps... they've set up camp in the swamp, twenty minutes outside the north-gate, and are currently preparing their attack!" Yuwen nodded eagerly at the assembled citizens. "I will ambush them... and destroy them! I have done so before, and I will do it again!"

Yuwen looked over the crowd and he raised his finger to the sky. "I will save this town! But I cannot do it alone: listen carefully, for my next words are intended only for the most heroic of warriors." He reached back and pulled out a duo of ebony jians. He rose them above his head in a cross.

"Who among you is a brave enough hero to join me, Yuwen Fortune?!" He called, his voice echoing for a moment as it travelled across the square. Yuwen paused and watched, waiting for the willing to step forward and the rest, which he predicated to be around ninety-nine percent of the current crowd, to step back.

Prefect Ro glared at the man from the back of crowd. A frown grew on his face, the truth of the scenario sinking in...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ginchiyo Lao Tzu Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Samyan Zaheer Character Portrait: Ren Van
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#, as written by Sepokku
The olive-skinned man continued to pitch his idea from the stage, holding twin blades high above his head; Ginchiyo had to admit it was an impressive show, she may have even stepped forward to join him if it wasn't for the look on Ro's face. The people who did join the Olive-Skinned Stranger were all a curious bunch, and they seemed to be losing the crowd. If something wasn't done soon, a fight would certainly to break out. Ro started towards the man, and within a minute the Olive stanger seemed to have lost all credibility. She couldn't help but raise an eyebrow at the whole situation; how had this stranger managed to fabricate a report that fooled the entire prefecture?

Before Ginchiyo truly had a chance to think further on the matter, a bright light lit up the night sky as the statue of the Mayor began to glow with the ire that only fire could truly bring. She began to loop chi through her body, bracing herself as the Mayor's steel body double erupted into a conflagration that lit up the town square, seemingly determined to burn down the place he had helped build.

Stone and molten rock flew through the air, bits of it spattering against Ginchiyo like a rain of hot oil. It stung, but no more than it stung when oil popped and landed on your skin while cooking. She raised her left arm to block a large rock, causing it to split in two, landing on either side of her. There was a crunch as the piece on her right landed, indicating it had probably hit someone who hadn't scattered fast enough. There was no time to check, as a littler over a quarter century of Tengu exploded into action.

Ro was nowhere to be found, which was just as well, it was easier to fight without looking out for others. One of the feathered idiots locked eyes with her and darted straight for her, Naginata brandished for a great swing. She patiently waited the second that felt like twenty that it took the Tengu to reach her, and as its blade clanged impotently against her neck she smashed the wooden shaft of the weapon with her right hand. The bird-man left out a caw of confusion and shock as it tried to back up. Her footwork followed his exactly as she moved forward with him. Her left hand cocked back for a quarter second, then she shoved her hand through the side of her assailants skull. Bone gave way with a squelch as she flexed her hand in his grey matter.

Stopping to wipe her gore covered hand on the Tengu's robe, she looked for the next Bird to hunt. The air was hazy with smoke, and only glimpses of the carnage about her could be seen; a pair of white ears here, a tall dark skinned man just over there. But where was the Olive-Skinned Stranger?