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Captain Jensu

A moderately washed up sea ship captain

0 · 628 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: Female
Age: 33
Race: Goblin

Physical Description: Jensu stands slightly taller than the average Goblin woman. She has wavy brown hair with loose bangs, large green eyes, bushy eyebrows, a wide nose and a buck-toothed smile, though wrinkles of age have now started to caress her eyes and mouth. Jensu has a typical Goblin body, bony but curvy, flexible but durable, and she is in good enough shape to take a hard landing or a punch. Her skin is a yellowish green and is tanned from her time in the open ocean.
Clothing: Jensu likes black, and is never seen without her leather trench coat, a ripped up uniform kept from her 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. She wears a pair of geta sandals or boots in the snow. All her clothing is designed to be light and unconstrained for sea-fairing.
Height: 4'5"
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 her mother's servitude contract all off-springs would be free, and so Jensu was born a citizen of the Empire. She grew up and worked with her mother and the other slaves in the Jensu-Ty's household, the difference being she could leave. When Jensu was twelve her 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 her mother moved to the main town. Jensu had understood something that day. Her mother had struggled and worked her entire life and in the end she had gotten what she had wanted. She was free. Hard work could get you anywhere, Jensu realized. And it was this view that drove the rest of her 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 she worked in low-class positions for most of her 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 her free time to focus her chi and practice defensive combat, a focus that would carry on in the jobs she 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 girl-Goblin was rejected at almost every job opening she tried to for. Eventually though Bako Babu, the owner of a small dock and trading vessel, gave her a chance and she became a dock-worker. Her commitment, focus, and the strength from her years of Chi training made her not only an equal but superior in skill to most of her coworkers, and soon Bako offered her 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 she knew it she was aboard the Chorus, leaving Poyo far behind.

The next eight years of Jensu's life were a roller-coaster. Aboard the Chorus she saw it all: friendship, romance, betrayal, drama; while outside the journey continued, Captain Veng fearlessly leading his crew across the seas to maintain 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. Her skill and commitment rose her through the ranks until she became Third Officer of the Chorus: the fifth Goblin to ever achieve the rank in the Imperial Trading Company. Most wouldn't have let her come so far, but Captain Veng was a good-man. A mentor, a master, and a friend. Of course, the day after she was 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 her former position and outstanding record the now twenty-eight 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 she quit and bought her 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, 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, 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 her own life haven't quite proved yet. Jensu isn't happy, but she manages to be a happy person to those she meets. Her life at sea has made her a bit worn of the world though, and she hasn't been seen without a pint in her hands for the past few years. Her adventures have also made her believe she knows how the world and everything in it operates, which she does somewhat, but not nearly to the extent she thinks.
Fears and Desires: She fears being stuck in the same: staying where she is until the day she dies, and lusts for success more than anything. To Captain a ship like Veng had and live in comfort and prosperity. Like all Goblin's she does 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 her training is usual enough to defeat attackers. She and her Fire Oni first mate Mohan crew the Milkweed sketched below:
Image

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

So begins...

Captain Jensu's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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#, as written by Nulix
As soon as he had passed through the south gate a creature had flung itself onto his steed and stolen his sack of gold before disappearing into the darkness. "This place hasn't changed at all," Yuwen frowned as he continued down the cobble-streets toward the festival.

At a post Yuwen slid off his horse and handed a coin to the watcher. The straw-hatted man glared down at the copper.

"I know it's not a lot, a monkey stole my money," Yuwen admitted.

"This'll get you an hour," Old straw-hat said, 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. "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 wanna do?" The voice asked. Yuwen smirked. "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 her fist mate at the glistening town before them, disbelief in her voice. "Back in Poyo."

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

"Hey!" A voice called. She glanced up to see a muscle bound man march down the dock. "You have permission to dock?"

Trouble – she could already tell. From a pocket the Goblin whipped out her authorization papers. "This is the Bako Trading docks: I’m authorized." She 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 her. "I don't think you are," He continued. "I think you roasted your master, slave. And you stole his damn ship like the criminal you are... 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."

"Is that so?" She muttered, taking a sip from her 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 her pint in the air and jabbing the man in the throat. She landed back on the ground, carefully catching the falling mug and the rum raining down from it as the thug collapsed before her. She shook her head and continued on. It had been years since she had returned to Poyo: her 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 she had thought until she spotted a complete foreign sight.

"Oh shit, an Oni in Poyo outside of the docks," The Goblin commented as she took a sip. He was surrounded by what from a distance appeared to be two humans. "You live here?" She called out to the man, very interested to see if Poyo had gotten an immigrant populace since she'd last been.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


The Oni shrugged before answering the question, after accepting a coin from that not-quite-beast man beside her. "Sorry, haven't been to Yuna-Yae and never heard of this Yuwen person." However, before Hyuna could curtly turn away and look for more leads, the Oni almost seemed to will her to stay, with what seemed like genuine kindness. Still, kindness doesn't really exist, at least, not to someone who's seen what Hyuna has, and her eyes narrowed momentarily. "However, if you're interested in a tale of the infamous outlaw, the Monkey Kind, I suggest you pull up a seat!"

Outlaw, huh? I've been gone for a while, but... hmmm...

"Sure, I love hearing stories about him!" She chirped innocently, still trying to act weak so she can pull off her surprise attack justn in case. Just in case. And, well, if an opening makes itself apparent, why not try and kill the oni and take his money? There should be no harm of that, especially if she can make another illusion of a beast, right before the strike. So maybe rumors will arise of a shape shifting demon, rather than a young girl, and she can continue to move around safely. Take any advantage, right? And, hey, more money means more food and carriage fares, which means more chances to hunt down Yuwen. And, just maybe, Yuwen might be trying to go after the Monkey King, if he's still the fun-loving adventurer at heart that he was years and years ago.

If so, then Hyuna would definitely go on the hunt for the Monkey King.

In the corner of her eye, she saw a goblin-woman, eyeing the entertainer oni, at the port. Somehow, this goblin was distinct from the other people in the area, but Hyuna couldn't exactly place why or how.

"You live here?" She called, and Hyuna answered for him.

"Nah, he's just a travelling entertainer." She replied, cautiously, prepared to whip her spear out at any moment. If there's anything Hyuna hates, of course, it's goblins. It's always goblins. The damn things, too weak to even fight back in their slavery, and too pathetic to really warrant any help. It's almost as if the things like being slaves, or something, the ones that still are. So, when seeing a seemingly free goblin, Hyuna couldn't help but be at guard and have somewhat of a knee-jerk distrust reaction.

She then turned back to the oni impatiently, muttering under her breath for him to hurry up and tell the story, still acting outwardly as an innocent female peasant. However, a careful onlooker could see that she was analyzing the area, and almost endlessly calculating the best way to escape if a fight broke out, which they are want to.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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Out of all the strange things Sunaarashi had ever seen, this night was giving him a wondrous exposure to the downright weird. First, there were the monkeys. They had appeared out of nowhere and blocked his path, hooting and hollering whenever he tried to sidestep them. Then they'd stolen his wallet, which he didn't really care about, but the fact that monkeys of all things had done it was bizarre. He'd sworn he'd seen a half-breed Ashura, whom he'd avoided, he had definitely seen a girl with bunny ears, and now he had somehow stumbled across another interesting scene.

For in front of him was an Oni, a girl with a spear, and a man with... monkeys.

Sunaarashi wasn't stupid. It didn't take much to put two and two together. Scowling, he advanced on the monkey man with the very real intention of receiving his money back. However, he paused as a goblin, in a captain's uniform of all things, called out to the unlikely trio.

An uneasy prickling flickered over his skin, and he paused, his eyes narrowing. Something told him to wait, and so he did, standing silently at one end of the street, his attention fixed on the group before him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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"Ah, excellent," Suiken grinned, happy another spectator would join him. Turning towards the goblin who asked him if he was a native, he shook his head. While he appreciated the woman answering for him, he would rather answer the goblin himself. "Afraid not," he said, quite thankfully. Poyo wasn't awful, but it was just a little...well, way too small for him. "I'm a traveller and musician. Never been in one place too long," he added, before returning to the task at hand. his next performance!

He reached into his pack and drew out the drum he had used in his recent telling of, "The Tale of the First Emperor," and placed it on the ground in front of him. He then drew out a peculiar instrument, a set of reeds of various size, tied together by vine and attached to a stand placed in front of the drum. With his mallets now in hand, his arms raised high over his head and slammed down on the drum with such force that the impact, caused air to blow through the reeds, giving them a unique sound.

"Ah, this will be...the first time I've used one of my specialty instruments in a while. Should be fun," he grinned as he began to create a steady beat on the drum, 'BAMbadabadaBAMbadabadaBAMBAMBAMbadabdaBADABA!' while at the same time causing an odd but rythmic tune to flow out of the reeds as he began his song.

Ooooooooooh Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii've heard every guard in every town, in every kingdom sing

their woes and complaints about the Monkey King

That fiendish mammal surely can swing

Through every tree and every vine as he takes ev-er-y-thing

'He's conniving!' they say!

'He's stolen the shine from the stars and robbed the light from the day!'

'He's deadly!' I hear!

'He drinks bowls of blood and his laugh lives on in your fears!'

Ooooooooooh Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii've heard every mercenary and assassin sing

that it won't take long before they catch the Monkey King

They've traced his en-ti-re crime ring

And they feel it won't be long before they clip his wings

'He's just a dumb monster!' I've heard one assassin say!

'I've slain three demons every night, so what's one big gorilla today!'

'I hear he's half god!' I heard one mercenary tell.

'But hey my uncle is the River god, and he can send that ape to a watery hell!'

And then....there was one old noble with an unbelievable tale

He said the Monkey King destroyed his farm and any attempts to stop him failed.

But what was it, this great conquest of the Monkey King? What was the goal of this mischievous ape?

Why did he destroy the village and wreck this nobles farm? Why, he was hungry and started searching for some grapes!

OOOOOH IIIIIII'VE traveled far and wide and heard many things!

But from what I concluuuuuuuuude! No one knows a thing about the Monkey King!


And with one final slam at his drums, Suiken concluded this song. "This was one that started around a while back," he muttered. "But, I've added a bit of my own lyrics based on some traveling experiences I've had," he grinned nostalgically. "So, how was it?" he asked.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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"Another drink, sir?" The cocktail waitress asked as Yamato placed the shot glass down on the small table beside him. He had been making a tower of them for the last few minutes, preferring to order his shots in increments of 5. He nodded as he waved the girl away without a second thought.

A few moments later the waitress returned with a bottle and one glass. "This is on the house tonight," she said with a smile, trying to get his attention as she bent down to pour him a glass of the Sake. Yamato rolled his eyes and tossed two gold pieces on the table. "For your trouble." She smiled at the large tip and stood there for a second. "I'm fine, I don't need anything else." His tone reflected his irritation. She bowed deeply, "Thank you for the tip, sir. Please continue to enjoy the town's festival. If you'd like me to I can show you around when my shift is over." He shook his head, sipping the sake. She walked away, unsure why her advances hadn't worked. "Pitiful girl." He muttered, draining the glass. He grabbed the bottle and stalked out into the busy streets filled with merriment. He found himself slightly disgusted with the number of people, "So many peasants. What have they to celebrate? This is just an excuse to forget their pitiful lives."

He threw the empty bottle into the gutter as he staggered though the streets, his mood improved slightly. It was then that he saw the monkeys, and what he thought looked like a goblin. "This should be interesting." A small smile crossed his face as he followed the goblin. Soon he found who the goblin was looking for, an Oni, a Monkey-boy, and a girl who seemed to be readying herself for combat. He wasn't the only on looker either, a man stood on the opposite side of the bridge, and he seemed just as confused as Yamato.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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#, as written by Nulix
"Eh!" Jensu exclaimed with warm claps as the Oni finished his song. She quickly pulled out handful of gold coins and handed it to the large blue creature before her. "Whats a monkey king?" She added after a second before taking another shot of her drink and noticing the crowd gathered around her. The black-haired Human standing tall beside her had given her a glare or two during the performance, and seemed very tense for someone at a small villages festival. "Are you okay?" Jensu asked, elbowing the girl in the side to get her attention...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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Suiken nodded thankfully at the goblin. "Thankyou kindly," he said, before listening to her question.

"Whats a monkey king?"

"It's a mystery..." Suiken shrugged, giving an aside glance at the Monkey King wanted poster hanging off the walls near the docks. It didn't take long for him, to catch the thing that caught the goblin's attention, however. The Tengu's red faces tended to stick out like sore thumbs in a crowd and this one was no different. They didn't tend to come off of their 'perch' much. "Friend of yours?" Suiken questioned Jensu.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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Yamato smiled coldly. "I assume you're referring to me then, Goblin?" He stepped closer to the mismatched group. The Oni was a sight to see. "I'm doing well this evening, yourself?" He asked Jensu before turning his gaze to the Oni, "No, we are not aquatinted. I saw her running this way and thought I'd follow." He then took out a gold coin and tossed it to the Oni. "Your song was good, Bard."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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#, as written by Nulix
Jensu turned from the Human girl and the Oni to the approaching figure of a Tengu, his wings flinching slightly as he walked. "Holy shit, seems the war is bringing in all types," She muttered as she downed her drink.

"I assume you're referring to me then, Goblin?" The Tengu called out in a cold voice. Jensu almost choked on her drink before shaking her head. "No, I was asking the girl here if she was- it doesn't matter," Jensu replied as the Tengu continued to speak, his words causing her to squint harder. "Wait, wait what? You followed me?!" She spat after a moment, smashing her glass to the ground. "Listen I already dealt with your asshole buddy at the docks-" She continued angrily, pausing for a moment. "Or... unless you're unaffiliated or- sorry, what is it you want?" She said in a more civilized tone, trying to figure out if the Tengu was a friend or foe. "...I'm doing fine, also. Thanks for asking."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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Since Sunaarashi had no talent for music, he wasn't sure if he knew what to think about the Oni's song. But he did understand drums, and could appreciate the tempo. Sudean music tended to be spoken in low tones, with accompanying layers of percussion, and was strictly kept to religious ceremonies or private rituals like burials.

He shifted from one foot to the other uneasily, his thoughts leading him to remember how there had been none to bury the bodies he'd left behind. Only thirsty sand and wind. He shook his head, attempting to rid himself of the memories, instead focusing on the conversation before him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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Yamato narrowed his eyes, "I have no friends, no associates. Whoever you dealt with at the docks was not with me." He shook his head, "I'm not after anything here, I was simply curious as to why you an a monkey were going the same direction," he shrugged, "I know there's a carnival going on but you seemed to out of place, Captains uniform, these three, excuse me, four individuals. If I didn't know any better, I'd say you were up to something."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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Malao


After the Oni finished his song and asked him how it was, Malao slowly put the mask onto his head and revealed his face. He had a big grin showing off his fangs. He then extended a thumbs up to him. He gave a quick monkey laugh. "That was great! Just what I wanted to hear! I'd ask you to write it down for me, 'cept I can't read! Haha! Definitely worth the money!"

Some others began to gather round and soon enough, a girl, a goblin and even a red bird man.....thing. He was wondering what was going on, until one of his monkeys ran up to him and began howling at him. Malao looked at him, seeming like he was listening to the monkey. His face lost his smile. He hung his head low. "Show me." The monkey then ran off. Malao then leapt incredibly high into the air over the row of buildings to their right, ignoring the group.

After a few moments, the monkey showed him the scene. The monkey lied dead, his body completely smashed, there was blood everywhere. Still, he recognized. He was always very brave. He even stuck his head in a sleeping tigers mouth once. He jumped off the building and landed silently next to his body. He saw a big blue monster like woman next to a girl. He ignored them. Malao knelt next to his body and pulled out a piece of cloth from inside his robe. It was made of silk and etched with gold leaf. He draped it over his body and wrapped it up. He then stood up and cradled the body. The monkey that led him here just pointed at the monster woman, baring his teeth. Malao simply nodded and began to walk off. All the monkeys that had come into the village with him were now surrounding him as he walked.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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#, as written by Nulix
"I'm not a criminal or a rebel slave if that's your thinking," Jensu replied harshly as she glared up at the Tengu. After a moment of tension she decided to let her guard down. These were people at a festival, not criminals. The drink may have gotten to her more than she'd like to admit. "I'm, uh- I'm a sea Captain, I have a junk called the Milkweed. She's small but she can go across the sea and down rivers so I've got a pretty good market." She gave a small smile and shrugged. "I'm from here, born and raised in Poyo so I thought I'd head back for Emperor-"

Suddenly out of nowhere one of the groupies lept into the air and onto a rooftop with a monkey. Jensu stared at the scene for a moment before turning back to the Tengu. "What about you? Don't the Tengu hate the Empire or something? Strange to celebrate our Leader's birthday, eh?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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Yamato scowled and folded his arms across his chest, "I'm not here to celebrate. I have no desire to. I'm here simply by coincidence. I cannot say that I'm not entertained though. I mean what with monkeys everywhere you look, a drunken sea captain, the monkey boy himself jumping from roof top to roof top." He chuckled, "Forgive me, I must be going now. I've grown tired of this rather anticlimactic scene." He turned to go back the way he came, "Besides, I have a bar maiden that offered to show me a good time." He waved over his shoulder, "Ta-ta now, don't have too much fun in the Emperor's name. God knows he could care less about you all anyway."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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Suiken nodded thankfully once more at the monkey-beast-man's praise, but said no more as the ape soon bounded off. Suiken didn't really pay much attention to where he went. People had places to be, especially in times of celebration, after all. Though, his ears were sharp enough to detect the angry chattering of monkeys and as his eyes over, he would see the odd sight of the primate beast-man, surrounded by a large amount of...well, monkeys. "Hmm..I wonder..." Suiken muttered to himself, as he raised an eyebrow at what the beastman appeared to be carrying in his arms.

But his attention was soon called back to the tengu and the goblin. The goblin seemed intoxicated and jittery, but fairly well meaning in her wording. The tengu, however..."Bah. Obnoxious..." Suiken snorted snidely at the bird-man.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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#, as written by Nulix
Captain Jensu stared at the Tengu as he walked away, his wings calmly narrowing as he shifted through the crowd. He called her a drunk. She felt humiliated, she was humiliated, in front of the entire group gathered. Humiliated by that prick. But it wouldn't be the first time. With a smile she turned back to the Oni and the human girl. "That's why the Emperors making their mountains into an elevated tea-room," She joked with a weary smile. "...I really liked your song, son of Onium." She added after a second, slight sadness in her voice. "You're good at what you do."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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"Thanks," Suiken nodded. "And what of you and your captaining? How does it work for goblins? Did they refuse to let you captain a...more impressive ship?" Suiken inquired.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


Truth be told, the moment the Tengu appeared, Hyuna completely stopped paying attention to the song the oni was playing. Her eyes narrowed into two angry, vengeful slits, and now she was almost certain that she’d have to get out of here soon, before she lost control and moved in for the kill. And, since fighting alongside Tengu for years, Hyuna knows all about their weak point and blind spots. And she’s more than ready to exploit each one to kill the terrible monster.

Bump. The goblin-woman elbowed her and, before the shock could wear off enough for Hyuna to slay her, the goblin asked if she was okay. Momentarily confused and not knowing if she was genuinely kind or not, Hyuna muttered that she’s just fine, that’s all. Totally fine.

That was when the Tengu joined their little circle completely, making a snide remark at the Oni. Sparks flew as the tension rose, and it was incredibly hard not to brutally slaughter the flying dastardly creature, too beastly to even consider it sentient. That race ruined her life, after all, so there’s no way she’ll make friends with any Tengu.

Somewhat at a distance, and still watching the group, is a man with a drink. He looked grizzled and experiences, and Hyuna didn’t honestly know what to think of him. And she still was conscious of the not-quite-beastman, who laughed at the Oni’s song with some strange sort of satisfaction. Is he just a fan of the Monkey King, or maybe a friend? His appearance, obviously, does not match with the slant details she heard in the song before the Tengu showed up, of course, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that he may be connected. And that he may know Yuwen.

Still. The goblin-woman and the Tengu seemed to have some sort of tense, cautious, and suspicious exchange, and when the winged monster turned to move on to another area, Hyuna made sure she was closely following it. To get revenge, perhaps? Who knew? Still, chances are, if the damned Tengu could see the spear from under her cloak, he’d be able to tell that it’s of Tengu make, and that Hyuna probably stole it from their lands. Before going on the hunt against her hated natural enemy, she put on her passive, cheerful mask and bowed and smiled nicely at the Oni.

“Thank you for your song, Oni.” She said politely. “I appreciated it very much.”

Not that I even paid the song any attention.

She also laughed a little at the goblin’s little joke, and decided that maybe this goblin was an exception to the rule of the pathetic goblin race. It’d be nice if they could meet another day, so they could perhaps make friends- but more importantly, Hyuna had a Tengu to hunt.

So she disappeared into the bolster of the festival; for Emperor’s Day, where the rats and dogs danced and pranced to celebrate their Fat Cat leader on the Fat Cat Throne. They’d be better off working this day off to get enough money to maybe rise up and remove said leader from the picture. That’s what she would do if she was considered a citizen of Yune anymore. Chances are, she wasn’t, and that’s just fine for her. No taxes, or any of that other bullshit. And despite being a tiny little place, Poyo still revered their Emperor. Farther south from her homeland of Leiya, but the culture was still somewhat the same, from what she remembered. Who knows if it’s still the same situation today.

Oh well.

When spotting the Tengu once again, Hyuna brandished her spear with triumph, before leaping through the air with cat-like agility, landing in front of her hated enemy.

“Tengu.” She scowled. “Remember the Battles for Leiya? Was it fun, screwing up my life like that, you disgusting beast?”

Fracturing the air around her to create an illusion of a giant fearsome demon, she side-stepped the winged creature and re-appeared behind it, before aiming a kick into its back.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Nulix
"My ships plenty fine - it's the Milkweed, come back to the docks after and I'll give you a tour!" Jensu called with a wave to the musician Oni, passing by a freaky-fish man as she did. She smiled as she walked, approaching a road leading away from the water and into the hilly residential streets. She hadn't come here just for Emperor day. She knew someone here, some she hadn't seen in a long time: an old Goblin woman with a small apartment overlooking the fields. The woman her raised her since she was young. Jensu smiled as she continued on. Five years was too long a time to not see ones mother. She'd fix that today. She'd surprise her.

***

The drums tempoed 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. He approached the backdoor where a large, muscle-bound Snow Oni glared down at him.

"You're back," The Oni whispered with a smirk. Yuwen gave a half-smile in response. 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," The Oni said as he escorted Yuwen down another hall. Yuwen nodded, glancing at the supplies, and paused when he saw a large cage filled with Goblins gagged. He locked eyes with one, an elderly Goblin woman, before swallowing and continuing on.

"He won't be happy to see you," The Oni 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. "Yuwen Fortune." He pointed to a velvet chair opposite his. "Please: join me." Yuwen nodded and moved toward the seat. "And tell me why I should speak to you," Ting Po continued.

"Because you owe me a favour," Yuwen replied. "We got rid of the bandits for you, Ting. Your little operation was taking a hit and you promised me you'd set it right."

"And how do you suppose I do that?" Po asked. Yuwen leaned forward and put his hands together nervously. "I need you to forge a report. From a village outpost."

"Oh no," Po sighed, shaking his head. "You're not doing this again. Remember what happened last time?"

"I'm getting a Guild together," Yuwen said with a shrug. "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. "Fine. I'll get you your report in an hour- and then we're even."

Yuwen nodded. "Then we're even."

***

A loud whistle suddenly shot across the street, causing Yamato, Hyuna, and Sun to all turn. Villagers began to run as a man in red Imperial armour marched toward them. His dark hair was tied in a clean ponytail and his moustache was finely trimmed. The brass whistle dropped from his mouth as behind him from down the streets a duo of other, matching armoured men strode. They were all equipped with short-swords at their hips and shields on their back, the leather wrapping tight across their chest, marked with the Dragon of the Emperor. The leader approached, pushing Hyuna back roughly as he inserted himself in the trio.

"What the hell is this?" The man asked, his voice demanding but also layered with heavy undertones of not giving a shit. "We've gotten citizen reports of a human girl fighting a Tengu right here on this street," He informed, looking over them each one by one. "And you're the only two of that description I see. My name is Prefect Ro of the Raging Rivers Province. Do any of you have an explanation for these reports?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Nulix
Ro folded his arms as Yamato stepped forward. “You’ll hold an entire race at fault for the actions of a few?” The Tengu said, shaking his head.

“Sir, I don’t think you quite understand the situation,” Ro barked, smashing his sword in it’s sheath angrily. “There has been a Tengu attack on Yutan soil, we do not know who these attackers were, we only know their race. I have twenty-four hours to gather information on my report and is it now stands it appears that any disguised Tengu in Yutan could too be planning an attacker. Sleeper agents throughout the mainland. I’m trying to save your people a lifetime of deportation, jailing, and being sent to interrogation camps. I’m trying to keep this foreign war with your ridiculous tribal summits away from becoming a concealed war against innocents of all our races, and I urge you to understand that my report is all that’s standing in the way of this issue becoming it!” Ro glared at Yamato intensely. “People are dead! Tengu caused it! Now I have to know why and your words are integral to that, so I need you to cooperate or face the punishment of not.”

“Idiots. All of you,” Yamato replied. “Right now you should be worrying about the few who actually handled the problem here. We just killed a group of bandit Tengu, why do you believe we aren’t capable of killing an entire town guard? Or the Imperial army?”

The words made Ro flinch and from his hip he again pulled out his short-sword. “Oh right. Some of these warriors probably have morals,” Yamato continued, folding his arms and looking away.

“Are you threatening me, Master Tengu?” Was all Ro managed to say before getting pushed back by the armoured form of a tower figure. Ro swept around to see the Ashuran half-breed behind him. “Get off me,” Ro began when suddenly blood hit his face. He turned to see the girl beside the Tengu had her spear out and ready. Suddenly the ground ignited into a large, fiery barrier – or at least it appeared to, causing Ro to step back. “She’s elemental!” Ro spat as he raised his shield. “Formation!”

“I thought you didn’t want to fight them!” A lieutenant said as he came next to Ro. Ro shook his head grimly. “I didn’t.”

Suddenly the girl jumped out of the fires and began attacking along with the Ahsuran freak of hateture.

By the crowded mayor Lt. Burrow-Li glanced over his shoulder at the commotion by the pit. “Oh dear,” He muttered at the fire. A fight had broken out, exactly what the commander had wanted to avoid. He turned back to where Keeflo had stood, the spot now empty air. Down the square he saw the orca beast-man corner violently into a side-street. “Hey!” He screamed, running after him at full-speed. “Come back here!”

Burrow-Li cornered down the street and began to pelt down the narrow way, avoiding festival carts and lanterns now fallen on the ground. With the chest still under his arm he struggled to get his whistle to his mouth and was forced to simply pursue as fast as he could. Another corner came, one the lieutenant barely made, and another onto a bridge toward the village outskirts. The lieutenant continued down the road to the farmland, ignoring the river he’d just passed over…

As Keeflo swam down the river with the tide he heard a sound grow, a sound of a female voice cracking drunkenly in song from the waters above. He passed below the dark shape of a boat steadily floating down the river, and on that boat's deck a drunk Goblin named Captain Jensu lay, her feet in the water as she looked up at the morning sky. From beside her she grabbed one of the dozen bottles and chugged it down before letting it fall off her and into the river. It plopped down, hitting Keeflo on the head as he swam below.

"O' who has my heart so taken
That I cannot hope to show.
How much I have been taken
So she can truly know.
What I feel insi-i-ide...
for such a gentle soul.
It matters not what I do now
For she is too high a toll..."


Jensu lay back as she finished the song, sobs following the last verse, and only growing heavier and heavier until they could be heard in the waters beneath...

***

"Scatter!" Ro screamed back in the square as the Ashuranish woman smashed his head backward and flung him to the ground. He attempted to stand when suddenly some old, idiot Blu-Oni interrupted the scene. "How funny my young friend is!" The oni chuckled like a chump. "Joking about attacking you like that. Wasn't that a funny joke, my friend?

"There's no need to start off another fight. As mentioned already, so many people were already lost this day, and most of those who lived are injured and mourning for those they lost. Is it not impractical to at least let us who have fought for this town to rest up before you all start interrogating us?" A beast-man added, coming to the diplomatic Oni's side. Ro was about to respond when suddenly Yamato, the villain-Tengu from early, placed a hand on his chest and knelt beside his downed form.

"I know you can hear me, so listen good. We are not coming with you so easily. You have other things to worry about. Like that concussion you got there."

Ro's hand reached behind to feel a slight patch of blood seep through his black hairs. The Prefect glared at Yamato. "...You have no idea what you're doing," He whispered, his words echoing ones spoken earlier. The Prefect's men stared at the mercenary heroes, each look rising the tension, and each side knowing the bloodletting would once again commence at any movement made.

"This is all a bit violent, isn't it?" Yuwen commented. The somehow impeccably clean man maneuvered his way through the bloodied and beaten forms before biting out a large, red apple. He glanced at each of them nonchalantly before turning to face the downed Ro. "So these guys are criminals, huh?"

"You're a criminal," Ro spat.

"Uh... can you prove that?" Yuwen replied with a grin, one larger than he had intended. "I said the village was in danger and the village was in danger."

"Oh please," Ro said. "You orchestrated a massive deception and by chance were interrupted by acts of planned terrorism."

"A bit harsh, these lies," Yuwen said as he moved forward. "Of course what's not a lie is that these men and women have attacked members of the Prefecture and thus the Empire. And you better believe they'll stick the Tengu attack on all of you too."

He glanced around at the faces of those present. "Luckily for all of you I have an escape. I am creating a Guild!" He began, pulling out a leather certificate which opened up, revealing the scrolls beneath. "A Great Guild Fortune! And if you sign you will be exempt of the crimes you've committed or they claim you've committed to this village."

"Who's the noble who signed for that paper?" Ro demanded, pushing Yamato off him as he stood.

"I am," Yuwen replied. "And seeing as the Mayor has yet to classify this as a national issue it still remains a village issue, and if these people are in a noble-signed guild the only way for you to prosecute them in response to these events is through the village judicial system. Now, who do you think will win there, Ro? The people who saved the village or the man trying to arrest them?" Yuwen winked at the man before turning back to the crowd. "What say you?!" He exclaimed, the applications scrolls hanging from the leather binding he held. "What say all of you?! A three-month contract with the Great Guild Fortune! I promise you riches, adventure, battle, and of course, more riches."

Ro glared at Yuwen before slowly shaking his head. "Are you serious? This team would be a bomb in a candle-factory. Its fuse next to a flame. Look at these people. They're outsiders, they're freaks."

"So am I," Yuwen replied. "And I'd rather be king of the freaks than another man in normality."

Ro chuckled. "No you're not... you're not one of them, and you're not nearly as special as you think you are."

Yuwen swallowed at the words before turning again. "What say you?!" He repeated louder: the ticket to their escape in his hands...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Eventually Keeflo felt his weariness get the better of him so he simply let himself drift down the river. He dozed on and off, measuring the time he had been underwater by the tightness in his lungs. Then something hit him on the head, startling him into awareness. He grabbed the falling object and sprayed a couple clicks on it. The echovision revealed the item to be a beer bottle. Keeflo looked up and saw some feet dangling in the water and off the side of a boat even heard a water-garbled song followed by sobs. Was someone really that upset about losing an empty beer bottle?

No, it was more likely that whoever dropped the bottle was unhappy so thus they drank the alcohol to get away from whatever made them unhappy. At least that was the hypothesis Keeflo had. He had never drank any alcohol himself so he didn't quite understand its affects.

Maybe, just maybe, this person who was on the boat was so drunk that they wouldn't mind hiding him so he could get some rest. Perhaps they had food he could eat. Keeflo admitted this was mostly wishful thinking, but maybe...

Beer bottle in hand, Keeflo popped up out of the water. The person in the boat turned out to be a goblin woman. Keeflo was used to goblins, he had been a slave alongside quite a few. "Here, ma'am, you dropped this," Keeflo said, placing the glass bottle on the side of the boat. He tentatively added, "You wouldn't happen to have anyplace on this boat I could hide in and rest, would you?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Nulix
"Here, ma'am, you dropped this," A voice said. Jensu raised her torso at the words, spotting some sort of talking whale in the water by her feet. Her large and now very red eyes widened at the strange sight before a hand reached out and placed the bottle next to her leg. "You wouldn't happen to have anyplace on this boat I could hide in and rest, would you?"

"Oh!" Jensu said with a soggy sniffle, a large, tired grin growing on her face. "You're a fish beast-man..." She sniffled hard again before wiping her eyes and hauling her feet onto the deck, trying to collect herself. "Sure, hi," She said as she stood to her full height and extended a hand. "...You can come aboard... I was just..." She paused as she began to sniffle harder. "It doesn't matter. Come aboard, please."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo

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When Keeflo saw the goblin's face the first thing he noticed were her red, inflamed eyes. Something's sure got her upset. By the looks of it she's been crying for quite the while. "Oh!" the goblin said, grinning a little. "You're a fish beast-man..." Keeflo wasn't about to correct her mistake, the less she knew about him the better. She sniffled before wiping her eyes and hauling her feet onto the deck. "Sure, hi," She said as she stood to her full height and extended a hand. "...You can come aboard... I was just..." She paused as she began to sniffle harder. "It doesn't matter. Come aboard, please."

Relieved, Keeflo couldn't help grinning as he took her hand and placed the other on the deck and heaved himself out of the water. "Thank you, ma'am. I appreciate it."

Keeflo looked the goblin right in the eye, despite their height disparities, wondering how he could convey his gratefulness. But as he looked at her red rimmed eyes he couldn't help remembering another time he had encountered such sadness.

Fifteen year old Keeflo was lifting sacks of grain into a cart to be transported away when a keening wail suddenly pierced the air. He dropped the bag haphazardly on the ground and rushed in the direction of the sound. It can't be Grandmother, it can't! he thought. The one he referred to as Grandmother was an old, motherly goblin whose job was to watch the younger slaves. As she was advanced in her years, Keeflo had overheard older slaves talking in worried tones about her.

He reached Grandmother's room, where the goblin lay on the ground making choking noises. As he had seen others do to people with things stuck in her throat he whacked her on the back. This seemed to help a little, but Grandmother kept crying. Keeflo, already twice the size of the tiny goblin woman, picked her up and cradled her, feeling for a pulse and listening for a heartbeat. Although her heart was beating fast, otherwise Grandmother seemed fine. "Keefy, they're selling Silas," Grandmother said in subdued tones, quietly hiccoughing.

Keeflo felt his tail stiffen in surprise. Silas was Keeflo's friend as well as Grandmother's last blood relative. Grandmother had had a daughter who had died in giving birth to Silas and the father was the property of another lord. Silas was only thirteen. At the time Keeflo thought it was bad enough to lose one of his best friends and how much worse it must be for Grandmother to lose her grandson. He had spent a good while sitting in the small room, rocking the old, heartbroken goblin.


He had been beaten for abandoning his job after that, but the intensity of Grandmother's sorrow hadn't been knocked out from him. Now he saw a similar look on this goblin's face and despite his exhaustion he had to keep himself from reaching out to her and placing a hand on her shoulder.

"Ma'am, is there something you need to get off your chest?" he asked, the words out before he could stop them. Now, though he couldn't back out on them, he just hoped he could stay awake long enough if she decided to start talking.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo

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The goblin woman sniffled some more as she told Keeflo that her mother had been grabbed by slavers. Keeflo nodded. "I'm sorry. I know what that's like. Per'aps I could help you," he said, sleepiness slurring his words as much as drink and tears did the goblin's.

Any other time he would have been alarmed at the words coming out of his mouth but at the time he was already half asleep. Gotta get hidden... Just gonna close my eyes for a moment. In the back of his mind Keeflo remembered the key that was still hidden in his belt. He placed a hand over the key and curled up in a fetal position around it and fell deeply asleep.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen cooly took Malao's hand in his and scribbled down a signature. With a wink he wrapped the scroll up. "Welcome to the Guild," He said to the man with a smile. He flung around to the rest of the group. "Alright team! With that the Great Guild is assembled!" He exclaimed loudly. "Get yourself some food and we'll regroup at the docks in an hour," Yuwen said as he jumped off of the boulder he'd stood on to add to his height and flung a pair of wood framed tinted-glasses on. "And trust me," He added with a smile. "We'll be doing lots of jobs and missions... but what we're going after in the end will make you all rich beyond your wildest dreams." He gave an eager nod at the group before continuing on toward a side-street...

***

Jensu looked down in horror as the fish-beast curled up. "Oh god," She exclaimed, kicking the creature lightly to see if he died. "Mohan!" She exclaimed, calling for her Oni first-mate. "Quickly! We have to get him below deck..." She glanced down at Keeflo and swallowed. "He needs rest... and he needs to hide."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen made his way down a side-street from the square. The cobblestone was still covered in lanterns, banners, foods, and other objects from the hastily abandoned festival. He combed his hair back with his hand as he looked down, carefully dodging a puddle of chestnut stew. Still, the cleaners were working, and the villagers had begun to come once more. The stores had reopened, and the new day was arriving sure enough, if not with more of a stagger than usual. As for the group it was a bit early for Yuwen to really have an opinion on each of them, though that hadn't stopped him.

Suiken, the first to join. A Snow-Oni from Onium, one of the few societies he could name that had more conquest in their culture then the Yune Empire. And yet he seemed balanced, level-head, and compared to the rest of the group: sane. If he had a life of war, which given his age was quite possible, it seemed to have been set aside for travel and storytelling. And peace. Suiken was one of two people he regretted dragging into the operation, one of the two he was unsure would benefit from where the Guild would lead them, the other being Malao. But he seemed eager, and he was skilled. Yuwen shook his head as he passed by a family. No, Suiken wanted to join. And his life would be for the better.

Sunaraashi, the Sudean man next drew Yuwen's thoughts as he turned down an alleyway, a grouping of cats scattering away from rotting fish as he passed. A good fighter, that much was apparent. Though of what past. Sudean's were a shifty bunch, and a man outside of Sudea with such skill had a very high chance of being a criminal. Or a hero, perhaps. Regardless what Yuwen wanted to avoid most was chaos and unpredictability within the ranks of his Knights, as he had begun to think of the Guild. And right now Sunaraashi was an enigma to him, an unknown. And that was the most dangerous.

Illyria was the second enigma to the group, though while Sunaraashi was a friendly unknown she was a hostile. Who or what she was Yuwen didn't know, though a half-breed was the most logical answer. Ashuran's were a rarity to see outside their territory. He had only seen a dozen or so in his lifetime, and a half-breed... well even rarer. From what he had gathered so far her interests included money and violence - fortunately two things his guild provided. The challenge Yuwen in future had to face was when the money would be divided, and the most monetary and violent answer would become to cut them all down. He'd have to talk to her... and find another way to counter.

Lo-muna, Yuwen thought to himself with a small smirk as he made his way onto the sunny docks filled with sailors and ships that polluted the massive river beyond. Lo-muna was the most appealing type of beast-man in his eyes. Animal, but not by much. Human skin and animalistic features mixed in. Personality wise he hadn't gotten much other than good-natured. Or at least non-confrontational. She'd helped the citizens when the others fought, and had seemed quite friendly when she had joined. Of course that was just the surface... who she really was and how she could be invested still had to be seen. Ability wise all Yuwen could say was fast. She was faster than most of them, though the Monkey King could probably give her a run for her money...

Next came Malachi. Another beast-man, this one much more animalistic than Lo-muna, and the animals involved much harder to tell. An archer, from what little he saw. And being a great archer required patience, control, and reflexes. Features most the rest of the guild lacked, Yuwen could already say. Though he knew little about his personality he knew the beast-man's skill as an archer and the virtues that came with it would force Yuwen to rely on Malachi heavily in future. And he'd never rely on someone he couldn't trust. "Must find out more..." Fortune whispered to himself as he approached a large, red painted junk: it's deck filled with tables and food stands.

Then there was the dynamic duo themselves: the most obvious entries into trouble territory: Yamato Hibiki, the Tengu Samurai, and of course Hyuna. Hyuna, Hyuna, Hyuna. She used to be a true follower, one of his friends. Perhaps more, with the things he'd managed to talk her into doing. They'd been to Poyo before. It was where he had last seen her before they had parted ways, she for island home of Leiya. Yuwen glanced down at the restaurant-boat's menu sadly. She had changed... he had too, admittedly, only he was better at hiding it. The island had been a war-zone with Tengu rebels for some time... and presumably she had been caught up in the chaos. Yuwen had been busy with his old guild at the time, with his own glory, and now seeing her again the girl he'd befriended was overwhelmed by hostility and hate. "Vegetable noodles, please," Yuwen nodded to the man behind the counter before searching his pockets for coin. But beneath the hate... she had to still be there. The same friend he had, and more importantly, the loyal follower. And he'd get that back.

Yamato. Dangerous, arrogant, and a bit cruel, were the main things Yuwen had gotten from him. Hyuna's master, apparently. The first sign that the Tengu attacks had changed her, she was under the training of one. Of course how far the term master went with the two of them he still had to determine. He'd fought alongside Yamato before against the Tengu in the square, and his skill was unquestionable. As was his arrogance. He was strong, but not as strong as he believed himself to be. And Yuwen would like nothing more then to prove it to him. Picking up a piece of broccoli with his chopsticks Yuwen sighed. He shared glory, as long as those he shared it with acknowledged it would never have happened if not for Yuwen Fortune. And Yamato, he foresaw, would not. He'd carve his own glory... and that was the problem.

Ann'Razul, or Ann as she had called herself, was one of the four he'd already put in the friendly category, alongside Suiken, Malao, and Lo-muna. A skilled fighter, perhaps a mercenary, or a criminal, who'd taken the call with the others. So far she'd gotten along with Yuwen, and if the group got a bit unstable he could see her being one of the solids he'd be forced to rely on. Yuwen pushed his shaded glasses lower on his nose to look up at a passing time-board. At fifteen minutes to noon their hour of eating was almost up and they should reconvene at the docks. Hopefully Suiken could point them to his goblin and once again they'd be on their way.

Last was Malao. A funny beastish-man was the best way he could describe him. Gravity just did not seem to hit him, both in situation and physically. He seemed to want one thing, to have a good time. And in all truth that's what Yuwen wanted as well. For himself and his guild... though the price for his happiness was a grave one. Malao fascinated him: where did the monkey-man come from? What was his life like? He couldn't write, which seemed to place him outside society in general, as Poyo had been an educated village for quite some time. Malao was on the list for further research, and one of the few Yuwen would enjoy researching.

At his bench on the dock Yuwen smiled to himself. His Guild...

"Sir," A voice exclaimed. Yuwen glanced up to see a plainly uniformed man approach, letter in hand.

"I'm an aid to the Mayor," The man said.

"Decided to pay us, did he?" Yuwen questioned as he leaned his head back.

"Yes," The man responded, handing Yuwen a sack of gold. Yuwen rose an eyebrow at the scene before pocketing the money. "And he wanted me to give you this," The aid added, a neatly tied up scroll in his hands.

"What's this?" Yuwen asked. "It's for an orca beast-man," The aid explained. "His eyes only."

Yuwen glanced up at the aid as he began to walk away. "I don't know such a beast-man."

"You will!" The aid called back...

***

Jensu scurried down a street, desperately searching the open stands of the shops before spotting a familiar face. The old Oni story-teller from earlier, walking and talking with some sort of group. "You!" The Goblin exclaimed, running up to Suiken hurriedly. "Hey, listen, you wouldn't happen to know where a second-hand doctor is, do you? I've got a fish who just passed out from exhaustion..." She glanced at the crowd the Oni walked with. Some she recognized. Most she didn't. "Hey," She added, giving each a small nod before turning back to Suiken...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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Suiken turned as the goblin captain quickly approached him. "Ah, Captain Jensu! I've been looking for y-," Suiken paused as the goblin spoke, apparently distressed.

["Hey, listen, you wouldn't happen to know where a second-hand doctor is, do you? I've got a fish who just passed out from exhaustion..." ]

"You've...got a fish?" Suiken questioned as he raised his eyebrow, an action he had begun to do alarmingly more often ever since he entered this town. He hadn't quite understood what the goblin meant at first, but he soon pieced it together. "By any chance do you mean...a beast man? An orca? If so, he's an ally of ours. I've traveled a great deal and have some basic medical knowledge to spare. His wounds aren't too severe, are they?"

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Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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#, as written by Nulix
"What?! He's an Orc?" Jensu spat in disbelief, looking at Suiken like he was a massive idiot. "No, no... he's like a dolphin. I don't know whats wrong with him, he just passed out." She glanced between Suiken and his allies before nodding down the street. "Quick, come with me!" She called, beginning to pelt down the cobblestone, dodging villagers as she did. "My ships by a bridge not far," She called back as they ran. "Don't tell anyone, alright? I think he was trying to keep low."

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Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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Suiken gave Jensa an exasperated look, before following her. "Trying to keep low?" he asked as he took after her. "What for?"

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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#, as written by Nulix
"I don't know, he just said he couldn't be found!" Jensu exclaimed, flinging down a side-street. After a second she ran back out and down another, having gone the wrong way. She pelted down a path eventually leading to a small river between the shops of the docks, and at a bridge a tiny junk floated. A large, bearded Oni first mate stood watchful, his hands across his chest. as he glared at the newcomers.

"This way!" Jensu guided Suiken, jumping over the bridge railing and onto the deck, her force causing the entire ship to bob. "He's below deck, in my room," Jensu explained as she opened the wooden hatch to the downstairs. "He just collapsed from exhaustion."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Suiken rushed to the scene, prepared to assist in some capacity, only to almost let out a laugh at what he saw. "Calm yourself, Captain. The kid's just asleep," Suiken shrugged. "Out of tiredness or hunger most likely. Give him something to eat when he wakes up and he'll be fine..." Suiken advised, before turning around and beginning to leave, giving a slightly wary, but still friendly nod to the fire Oni first mate.

And then abruptly, he turned back around towards Jensu. "Ah, wait! I almost forgot! I'm in need of your ship. Well, not me. But my guild. You see, we're heading to Jiefong and would prefer quick transport by boat. Mind taking us there, if you're up to it?"

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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#, as written by Nulix
"Uh, do you have money?" Jensu replied, squinting at the harsh sunlight as they walked back up onto the deck...

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Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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"Our boss is covering the expenses," Suiken shrugged/assumed/lied.

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Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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#, as written by Nulix
Jensu raised an eyebrow at the reply. She glanced from Suiken to her first mate behind him, the white skinned, red-bearded Oni, who gave a solemn shake of the head at the offer. Jensu scratched her nose before glancing back at the blue story-teller before her. "...What route?" She continued after a moment.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo

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The gentle rocking that woke Keeflo made him at first think he was back in the ocean. Then, as he became more aware, he noticed the blanket around him and a wooden floor beneath him. He slowly opened his eyes and looked around, finding himself in a cabin. A cabin of a boat, he remembered now. He was on the goblin captain's boat.

He stretched and took off the blanket. Since there was a pallet of some sorts nearby he folded the blanket and put it on the pallet. Although he didn't feel totally rested, he was well enough to function properly. In the ocean when one had to come up every half hour or so for air one had to sleep deeply for short periods of time.

Keeflo's belly rumbled, reminding him of his hunger. His back itched, too, but it didn't hurt or feel inflamed. The tengu sword was still at his belt, wrapped in cloth, as was the key to the chest. Keeflo felt obligated to give the key back to Loy-Qui, but he didn't want to risk being brought back to slavery. To go back into town to seek the mayor would be to risk that.

The orca beast-man exited the cabin and saw some stairs leading to a hatch. He poked his head slightly out of the hatch and saw the goblin captain, a fire oni, and the oni storyteller from before. What was he doing here? Was he after Keeflo as well? For whatever reason Keeflo doubted that. The oni had recognized him as an orca beast-man earlier and had made no efforts to apprehend him then.

"Excuse me, Captain," Keeflo said. "I'm sorry to ask more of you, but do you have any food I could eat?" Keeflo hated to ask for something he couldn't repay, but he needed food. Some of his tiredness came from hunger. In any case, if the captain replied negatively, it was possible that he could catch some fish in the river.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo

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[Jensu scratched her nose before glancing back at the blue story-teller before her. "...What route?" She continued after a moment.]

Suiken folded his arms in thought. "Er, I'll wait for the rest of my guild to arrive to convene on which route we'll be taking," he decided eventually. He turned his head and nodded at the whale beast-man when he awoke. "Did the guards give you trouble as well?" Suiken inquired, remembering the goblin mentioning something about him wanting to stay hidden. "Because if so, you can join the rest of us in signing up with Fortune's guild. It's essentially just gotten us out of a major misunderstanding with the town guard."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Nulix
"You're alive, are you?" Jensu said, turning to face the beast-man with a smile. The tears from earlier were gone, though a hint of a stuffed nose still remained. "Mohan, some food for the man."

The Fire Oni flung Keeflo a peach from behind his back. "Here, we've got some fish and bread," Jensu added, pointing to a table beneath the outdoor roof section of the deck. "What happened to you, friend?" She asked, before pausing at Suiken's words. She glared at the man before turning back to Keeflo. "I don't know if I'd trust this offer..." Jensu whispered. "Signing contracts you don't understand only leads to trouble."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo

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"You're alive, are you?" the Captain said, turning to face Keeflo with a smile. The tears from earlier were gone, though a hint of a stuffed nose still remained. "Mohan, some food for the man."

The fire oni threw a peach at Keeflo. He caught it and took a bite out of it. Delicious. He quickly finished it and nodded gratefully when the Captain indicated more food. The Captain asked Keeflo what had happened to him and the storyteller said something about signing up for a guild to stay out of trouble.

The Captain whispered a warning about contracts leading to trouble, but this offer got Keeflo's hopes up. He tore off a bite of bread, thinking. "I... got into some trouble with the guards, yes. Could I meet up with Fortune?" Keeflo remembered Fortune to be the flamboyant guy who wanted to take volunteers for culling bandits before the tengu attack. Maybe this contract could allow him to be free from the law's tangles.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Nulix
"Guys name is Fortune? Yeah, that sounds real," Jensu muttered skeptically as she collapsed in a rocking chair on the deck and grabbed on of the bottles lined beside it. "Listen, no offense Mister Oni but this whole set-up seems shady," She commented before downing the drink in a few, deep gulps. She pulled the empty bottle out of her mouth and threw it in a pile. "Now, I think you're a nice guy," She began drowsily. "But this deal sounds like it'll end very badly for all of you... don't take this the wrong way but I don't think I'd take you guys to Jiefong for a fortune... not even a Yuwen Fortune..."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Suiken first turned to look at the beast man. "I'm sure when he gets back from whatever he's doing, he'll be happy to sign you up," Suiken said. He then turned to the goblin and sighed, "Look, there were a couple of knuckleheads who got rowdy almost had us all branded enemies of the Empire of Yune. He was seen with us, so there's a chance that he'll probably be included among that number," Suiken explained. "Joining a guild was essentially a way for us all to avoid getting out of these charges. Especially for those who caused no trouble to begin with, such as this beast-man."

"Please, captain," Suiken stated, respectfully bowing. "We would vastly appreciate it, if you would at least ferry us to Jiefong. I sense many a dark past among our guild. Perhaps many of us would like to pave our way to a bright future. What better way to do that than sailing across the great rivers of Yune, eh?"

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Nulix
"At least? Jiefong is days away and the rivers leading to it pass through all types of valleys and mountains. Bandit territory," Jensu replied coldly to Suiken. "I'm not your Captain, Oni. And I'd advise you to find these contracts and burn them as soon as possible... the law is as good a kidnapper as a knife, nowadays."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo

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"Ah, forgive me, then," Suiken sighed bowing to the goblin again. "Well, who knows? Maybe we'll meet again!" he grinned. He then turned to the orca beast-man. "As for you...join the Great Guild fortune or not. It's all up to you. If you do, then follow me and we can meet up with the rest of the group. Er, after you finish eating ,of course."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo

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About this point, Sunaarashi stepped into the conversation.

"Excuse me," he said politely. "But did I hear you say something about bandits?" He scratched his scruffy cheeks thoughtfully. "How much could I pay you to take me down river to fight the bandits?"

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Nulix
Jensu rose one of her bushy eyebrows high at the Sudean man who had tagged along with the Oni. "I mean no," Jensu replied. "No, why would I do that? This vessel is small and defenseless, why would I take it into bandit territory? Its hard to navigate the mountain rivers and its hard to get out of them again. I'm sorry but there's nothing you can do that will convince me to take you guys." She nodded toward the bridge the Milkweed floated beside. "You guys can leave whenever you want," She said before popping the cork off another bottle...

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Suiken sighed at Sunaarashi's question and the goblin's drunken rebuttal. "Well, I had hoped to part more amicably, but what is done is done. Farewell, Captain," he bowed, before turning to Keeflo. And beast man...it's like I said. Come with us, if you want."

Suiken then began to walk off, nodding at Sunaarashi to follow him. Turning towards the bald human he sighed, "Well, that went worse than expected. I suppose we'll be walking to Jiefong then...." Shaking his head, Suiken soon heard the rumbling of his stomach and furrowed his brow. "Ah, it's been so long since I had a decent pork bun," he half-chuckled. "Sunaarashi, I'll meet you and the rest of the team soon. For now...it's time to hunt for pork buns."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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#, as written by Nulix
Jensu glanced at the bearded fire-oni as they left. "What do you make of that, Mohan?" She whispered. "The Great Guild Fortune."

"Troubling, ma'am," He replied in a deep, calm voice. "Very troubling..."

***

As Lo-muna acted like a criminal a figure watched from the shadows of his balcony. It overlooked the square, and had during the entire attack. He'd left up once to drink a cup of tea but had since stayed, perfectly still the entire time. Observing, watching. Taking note of what would shape the future. As they dispersed he moved through the small hotel he'd stayed at, taking his dirtied white cloak from the stand and slipping it on.

"Enjoy your stay?" The perky attendant questioned at the entrance. The cloaked figure simply handed her the gold and moved on. Almost thirty-pieces worth, more gold then she'd make in a week. The hooded figure continued on through the midday streets, blending in with the crowds as he continued to follow the rabbit'd thief to her next destination...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Keeflo half listened to the banter between the goblin, the oni, and the human who had come to the boat. His mind was mostly concentrated on an internal debate. Would he be freed if he joined this guild? Would he be turned in? Some of the people in that group seemed pretty self centered and violent, so the bounty on his head might prove tempting.

He still had the key to return to the mayor of Poyo as well. Keeflo figured that in the ocean he would lose it and it wouldn't be of any use to anyone. Maybe this guild would give him the freedom to bring the key back to the mayor. The oni had said something about a contract, though. Keeflo shrugged. He had waited over a decade for freedom, he could postpone his reuniting with the ocean in order to stop being chased.

Thanking the goblin Captain for her hospitality, Keeflo got off the boat, feeling dreadfully conspicuous. He managed to find Fortune without trouble, although he did get a few odd looks on the way. Keeflo approached the man and said, "I heard you were offering a way to get out of trouble in exchange for joining a guild. Can you tell me more about this, sir?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Nulix
"Her mothers been kidnapped?" Yuwen muttered, his mind reaching for the night before. After a moment he looked out over the dock. Maneuvering past a massive, Imperial freighter a small junk sailed. Raising the sails was a large, white-skinned Oni with fiery red hairs, and at the wheel a small figure stood, pausing to raise a drink in the air. They were sailing - out of town.

"Hey!" Yuwen called out, running through his team and down the docks. "Hey! Goblin!" He screamed, pelting his feet against the ground as fast as he could to catch up with the ship. "Goblin!"

"Secure the masts Mister Mohan, in a day we'll be back in the open sea!" Jensu called from the wheel as she weaved between two ships that trumped hers many times in size. "Goblin!" A faint voice screamed. She glanced toward the dock where a man in gold armour was sprinting, trying to keep up and wave at her.

"...Can I help you?" She called.

"Yes!" The man yelled desperately. "I know who took your mother! My name is Yuwen Fortune, and I can get your mother back!"

Jensu released the wheel, her gaze shifting to Mohan. She gave a tight swallow. "Great Guild Fortune..." She whispered to her first mate, as if unsure what to do. "Troubling ma'am," Mohan repeated. "Very troubling."

Yuwen reached the end of the dock, by the town's western wall, and the Milkweed had continued sailing on down the river. "Damn it," Yuwen spat, kicking a bucket into the water. "I thought I had that one..." The sound of a horn blew to him. He glanced up as ahead the Milkweed had turned round, sailing back toward the dock. It reached the wooden platform and the small goblin captain jumped off, the flaps of her long-coat flailing behind her. "You know where my mother is?" She demanded as she approached the man.

"No," Yuwen replied. "But I do know who took her."

The goblin gave a half-smile. "...And if I take you to Jiefong with you you'll tell me who has her?"

"No. If you take me to Jiefong I'll do more. I'll get her back to you," Yuwen said, placing his hand on his heart. "I promise."

Jensu looked over the man, trying to determine who he was, and if he'd keep a promise. Still, it was her only lead, so she didn't really have a choice. She glanced to the Oni behind her, who remained silent, and then back to Yuwen. "Fine. My name's Captain Jensu."

Yuwen gave her a smile. "Well Captain Jensu, welcome to the guild."

***

Back down the dock the others were waiting. Yuwen had just kind of run off yelling like a maniac, quickly disappearing and leaving them alone and confused. Through the ships on the river a small junk made its way forward, stopping beside them to let Yuwen Fortune jump off. "Ladies and gentlemen we have a ship to Jiefong," He said with a smile. "Welcome to the Milkweed."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


Hyuna viewed Millie and Razul chatting together somewhat wistfully. Millie, the little girl, she was so innocent. So naïve. Something oddly precious in this world, and it'd be nice to have her along, she figured; it's not like anyone's let her die except for Illyria. Hyuna figured she needed to be more honest about how she feels instead of just blurting out random things to try and look tough. But, well, maybe a tough front would be great just about now. Better not look weak in front of anyone here, especially Master. She had to make him proud of her; make him glad that he decided to take her in. There's no way he'd regret it, that's for sure.

The person in question, Master, he asked Echo what happened to the chest, accusing him with a little joke, and Hyuna quickly nudged the ashen-winged Tengu.

"The Imperials took the chest, Master." She explained. "Not Echo's fault, right?"

Then Yamato attended to her query of training. "Everything seems to be here yes, and every opportunity we have will be spent training." That made Hyuna grin. Every opportunity spent training? So, she'd be able to work off her pent up frustration, as well as improve at the same time. She knew it'd put her in a better mood if she could train, and maybe she wouldn't start fights all the time, with pretty much everyone. "The only way to make sure we are on top of our enemies is to train ever, using your chi will take a lot of energy. To counter that, we will need to work on stamina. We could both serve to gain from increased chi flow. When we get settled on the boat, we will start your training."

It sounded like things were beginning to pick up, and she gratefully edged a little closer to Yamato, knowing that it wouldn't be too long until she could be facing off against him again, in a fair training match, perhaps. She made a mental note to remember to keep a strong grip on the spear rather than the loose one she usually used for spinning it with flair- the stronger the grip, maybe Yamato wouldn't be able to use his chi to rip it out of her grasp again. She flexed her fingers, wishing she could've had stronger muscles at the very least.

Hyuna then rested her gaze on the pleasant on the eyes bunny girl. Seriously, why couldn't she stop staring at Muna? If Muna had noticed, she'd probably think Hyuna as some creep, or something. Something she hoped wouldn't happen- she actually did want to get closer to the eye catching rabbit.

"-...blackmail her? Entice her somehow?"

She turned her attention to Yuwen, who was discussing guild stuff with the damned "I'm better than you" Oni. And, well, Fortune himself was asking about ways to make someone do what they wanted... that goblin woman from the night before. Apparently she had a boat; go figure, right? And of course Yuwen would want to take that advantage. A boat makes for generally quick passage into Jiefong, after all. The conversation turned, and answered the question: Her mother was kidnapped, and, well, she wanted to save her. But how could they? No one could possibly know who had- of course, right on cue, Yuwen went closer to the docks, screaming 'goblin, goblin' at the top of his lungs until the goblin finally hailed him and docked the boat once again. Hyuna couldn't help but roll her eyes scornfully. The goblin was totally going to sucker for Yuwen's oratory skills, it was already guaranteed the moment she decided to listen to him.

Seriously. And as the boat neared them, and when Yuwen jumped off to greet his guild, the boat was already theirs for the taking. And Hyuna couldn't do anything but wonder: how much of an idiot was that goblin?

Before entering the boat, she stopped in front of Yuwen, suspiciously leering at him.

"So, how'd you do it?" She murmured. "What was the bait for this sucker, Yuwen?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Nulix
Captain Jensu watched as the Great Guild members began to board onto her small ship. She recognized a fair amount of them from the festival the night before, a festival she'd heard had gone fairly wrong after she'd blacked out in her mother's house. And she was willing to bet that the Great Guild had something to do with it.

"So what happened exactly, Fortune?" Jensu called as she steppe down from the wheel and strode across the deck to the man. "Tengu attacked the tower," Yuwen replied as he helped Lo-muna aboard. "We stopped them but were accused of participating in the attack so to escape the law they joined... I know how to exploit loopholes."

"I'm sure you do," Jensu muttered before stepping forward in front of everyone. She stuck two fingers in her mouth and gave a loud whistle, causing everyone to turn to her. "Alright everyone, welcome to the Milkweed," She began slowly. "Now this is a cargo vessel, and it's got six rooms in the hull. Two are bedrooms, the Captain's quarters and Mohan's. One is a bathroom, and the other three are storage hulls. One of them's full so you'll have to divide the other two for yourself."

"Do you have hammocks or something?" Yuwen asked.

"Hammocks, sheets, and covers," Jensu replied. "I'm sure you'll be able to fix something up. Now sailing down rivers is dangerous so that brings us to the rules. One, don't disturb the Captain. And I'm the Captain. Two, don't take any of the Captain's food or especially drink without asking. That means that-" She pointed her green finger toward a large pile of drinks on the outdoor table. "Is off-limits. Is that understood?"

"Yes ma'am," Yuwen said under his breath.

"Alright. Jiefong is about two days away, the mountains about one. One we hit the mountain river pass we have to be careful, it's bandit country," Jensu continued. "Again, I'm the Captain. That's the first mate, Mohan." She nodded her head toward a large, shirtless fire-oni with white skin, large, wild red hairs and beard. His eyes were blue and very tired. "Welcome to the Milkweed." With that she gave another whistle, signalling them to dismiss.

"Oh boy," Yuwen muttered to the team as Mohan went to the sails and Jensu grabbed a bottle from the table. "Sailors are always a bit strict..."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Yamato listened in on Yuwen's conversation with Hyuna and the Goblin captain they'd met the night before. From what he gathered, the goblin's mother was being held by a group of slavers. To Yamato, slavers ranked as some of the worst cowards. Why go through the trouble of capturing people and keeping them in cages? It made no sense, it served no purpose in Yamato's eyes. Salves became mouths to feed. If one wanted to rule over people, they needed real power. A slaver was nothing but a weak man wielding a blade in the presence of those who could not.

He stepped onto the boat after Yuwen, Echo, and Hyuna, settling in fairly easily as the rest of the guild filed onto the boat. The thought of a battle excited him, and he could tell the idea of slavers set something off in Hyuna's mind. "Good," He thought "This will be a good testing ground to start training. For now I need to teach her meditation in order to strengthen her chi flow."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Keeflo climbed into the boat with the rest of the guild. When the Captain was finished giving her orders he went up to her and said, "Thank you for your hospitality earlier, Captain. We will get back your mother." It was infuriating how some people thought they could own others. Keeflo understood the concept of the strong lording over the weak, but to go so far as to say you owned them? That was unnatural as city sludge in a river.

There unfortunately hadn't even been time to send the key over a messenger. Keeflo considered asking if he could take the key to the Mayor and then swim down the river after the Milkweed, but he didn't. Yuwen seemed pretty dead set on going now. Well, maybe they would return to Poyo sometime. For now Keeflo decided he would protect the key with his best efforts.

Keeflo watched as the guild began to disperse. The Angry Blue Giantess (not that he would call her that to her face) sat under the mast. Hyuna and Yamato looked for a place to train. The others still seemed to be getting used to the change of pace.

The orca beast-man looked around, trying to decide who to ask to mentor him. Giantess - Illyria was her name, he thought - didn't seem to be the best. He had hardly heard he communicate at all and she seemed terrifyingly violent. She didn't seem to have much patience, either, so Keeflo didn't feel safe asking her. Ashy winged Yamato was a good fighter and had shown willingness to teach, but he already had an apprentice. Keeflo was not sure if Hyuna would want to share her 'Master' as she devoutly called him. Yamato seemed impatient as well, though not as dangerous to an ally as Illyria.

Perhaps the bald human, then? He was the other one who Keeflo had seen fight well. Would he take a student? The only way to find out was to ask. Keeflo found the bald human and said, "Sir, would you mind teaching me? I am a beginner when it comes to fighting, and in this guild I'm going to need some sort of skill."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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#, as written by Nulix
With the members aboard the Milkweed was off down the massive river. It swerved through the docks of Poyo, carefully maneuvering around the gargantuan sea-bound ships that surrounded it until at last it escaped the fray - the river all that was before them. On the port side the wall of Poyo stretched passed them and was soon replaced by open farmland and patches of forest in between. "A beautiful blue-sky, wouldn't you say Mister Mohan?" The goblin captain called to her first mate as they sailed.

"Indeed ma'am!" The Oni first mate replied as he tightened ropes at the mast. They began to move swiftly up the waters, and at the front of the ship leaning on the railing was Yuwen, his eyes wide as he took in the land before him. The coast of the river: the animals, the forest. He'd never traveled to Jiefong by boat before. It was a different way to see things. "How exactly are we going to divide the rooms?" A high-pitched voice called. Yuwen glanced back to see Lo-muna approached, a worried expression on her face. "We have what, eleven members so far?"

"...Well I was sort of assuming I'd get one room and the rest of you cram in the other," Yuwen replied dismissively. He held it for a second before smiling. "I don't know," He shrugged. "We could divide it by boys and girls. Did you have an idea in mind?" Yuwen questioned as he patted the railing beside him, hoping she'd join him watching. "This is really cool... just seeing the world," He said, glancing over at a passing field where muddied children ran with their mother and a fish they'd caught. "It's peaceful."

From the mast the white-skinned fire-oni Mohan leaned back and watched the scene. "They're quite irritating, aren't they?" He commented to the half-ashura resting against the mast...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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#, as written by Nulix
"Well I like being called a man of the world," Yuwen replied with a large smile. He had a very good smile. "For me life's just about having a good time, and being who you want to be... I want to be a hero..." He leaned out over the railing and began to drum the wood of the boat restlessly with his palms. "I just can't live bored. I need change, I need something new to get my heart racing.. I want to be free to have fun, to do whatever it is I want to do whenever I want to do. And money is that freeing factor, in the end. Money and the courage to take risks..."

Yuwen paused, as though lost in his own thoughts for a moment, before glancing back to Lo-muna. He shrugged. "I want to have fun, and there are a lot of things that contribute to having fun. Money is a big one of them." He settled on at last. "Of course its not the only thing..."

At the wheel Jensu squinted on the horizon where grey clouds were forming...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen wrapped himself in his green, velvet cloak as the winds picked up and a coldness grew over the world as the sun disappeared behind the clouds. "That overcast looks pretty bad," Yuwen muttered. He glanced off the port and starboard sides and saw only trees aligning the wide open river. "Maybe we'll reach a village or something. The Milkweed will get pretty thrashed around in a storm..." He muttered, before giving her a smile. "...Who are you exactly?" He began while huddling inside his cloak. "You seem good, which is more then I can say for some members of the guild, but there's something off about you... something odd." He circled her and leaned on the railing, looking up at the sky as if to think of another descriptive term. "There's something dangerous... you know you're pretty enough, you know how to be fast, a combination usually reserved for spies or thieves, and yet you seem to be morally centred." He leaned toward her. "So tell me exactly who you are?"

Mohan stood like a silent statue waiting for the Ashuran-Human to respond, but got nothing but a scowl. He did not reply, simply looking away at the sea and continuing to stand beside her at the mast as to respond to the captain's commands when they came. At the wheel Jensu held her hat as the wind set in. "I don't like that overcast," She muttered as she began to step down the steps toward the deck. "If there's a storm coming we've got to get off the Gan and onto one of the smaller rivers. Maybe find a town," She called to whatever member of the Guild was listening. "Any of you know this area well?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen glanced down as Hyuna spoke, his hair getting slicker and slicker in the rain before he glanced back up at her. "I don't really need warriors... I mean, I didn't hire warriors," He admitted after a moment, his voice cracking slightly. He shuddered in the rain as sniffles set in. "...I just wanted friends for an adventure."

Suddenly the ship rocked to the side. "Sorry!" Jensu called from the wheel. "We're going off the main river Han and onto a smaller one, I don't know it's name!" Her gaze went back to the Han as lightening rocked in the distance, the echo of thunder not far behind. "You should all get below deck! Me and Mohan will find a port!" She called.

Yuwen nodded at the woman before looking around. Illyria was still at the mast, and Sunaarashi and Echo seemed to be using the storm in their training somehow. Ignoring the rest he turned to Yamato and Hyuna. "After you two," He said with a smile, squinting as the rain came down harder and harder on his face...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


The storm really was picking up. It added more to Yuwen's little pathetic look, the hair slicked down to almost cover his eyes, and his little sniffles making the illusion that he was crying when he said all he wanted were friends for the adventure. Knowing him, hell, that may just be true. But could she really be considered a friend, and has he really been a friend to her? It was obvious in hindsight that she liked him more than he liked her, when they were still innocent kids. Hyuna scornfully regarded her younger self before returning her attention to Yuwen.

"Lets try and make these three months... not terrible, Fortune." She muttered to him, slouching again as she heard the goblin, Jensu, scream about the storm, and how they should head down. Yuwen then smiled at her and Master, inviting them to head down first. But, well, down, in the over is where bunny girl was. Did Hyuna really want to deal with that? She was too tense and riled up to want to confront anything regarding Muna just now. So, she tried to think of an excuse to let her just avoid that problem 'til later. Then, it came to her. She could help make the ship go faster with her chi, couldn't she?

Lightning cracked the sky impressively. Hyuna watched in awe, somewhat wishing she herself could conjure electricity with her chi. Nonetheless, her air chi was good enough for her purposes, being the thing she relied on probably way too much in battle.

"I'll help out up top." Hyuna said with a confident grin, and used her chi to help her jump up to the top, where Mohan and Jensu were dealing with the Milkweed.

"Captain, I'll make us go faster, to outrun the storm." She said cockily. "I was getting stir-crazy, anyways, without danger."

She took a safe position somewhat behind the Captain and began focusing the chi, to add more wind behind the sails. This sped up the Milkweed, whether the goblin wanted the help or not.

Well, I feel better now!

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Obeying Sunaarashi's command, Keeflo looked around the boat. "There are allies I do not want to hurt. There's rope I could trip on. The wind's picking up," Keeflo said. "...And it's starting to rain."

Rain came down in sheets and lighting arced across the sky, making Keeflo's simple statement obvious. The Captain yelled for everyone to get below decks. The orca beast-man wanted to help, but he was inexperienced with ships. His strength could come in handy but the old slave's habit of obeying orders was kicking in.

"Sir, I don't think we should continue with this right now," Keeflo said. He wasn't concerned about his own safety, after all he had been born to swim. Rather, he was concerned about the human who likely had no experience with large storms of this type.

The Captain had said she didn't know the name of the river. Keeflo worried that she didn't know it well, either. Adjusting his walk to the rolling of the ship he approached the Captain and offered, "I can swim ahead to see if I can find a place to dock and scout for any dangers in the water."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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#, as written by Nulix
"I don't need to go faster, I need to steady her," Jensu replied as she rapidly adjusted the wheel at each motion, skillfully weaving them through the barley big enough side river they'd retreated onto. The rain soon turned to a chilling hail as the Milkweed tumbled through the narrow water, dodging walls of rock, beach and tree as it did. On-board it was chaos, both Jensu and Mohan working superhuman speeds to adjust the rudder and sails at each unexpected change in wind or direction. Her coat fluttered violently against her body and if not for a green hand Jensu's hat threatened to fly off, but she managed to sail on, just as the beast-man approached the wheel.

"I can swim ahead to see if I can find a place to dock and scout for any dangers in the water," He suggested. Jensu glared at him over the wind. "You will die!" She called back. "But go ahead!"

"Guys, we've got to get below deck!" Yuwen called to Suiken. "Take the girl!" And with that he slid down the hatch, cornering the stairs until he reached the hallway of the hull. It was dark and wooden, made of bamboo bindings against curving walls of oak. Gravity seemed uncertain as the hall shifted to and from, downward changing step by step as Yuwen walked. He approached the first door, open with an iron-bound lantern flailing rapidly from the unsteady movements of the ship, and entered. It was fairly large, though not nearly large enough, filled with a few sparse crates, piles of woolen blankets for sleeping on and covering, and several hammock's tied up already for Jensu's usual travelers. On one by the far wall Ann lay asleep, and beside her Lo-Muna was hanging her coat up in the corner. "This place isn't so bad actually," Yuwen said as he stepped onto the creaking wood. "If there was a rug or someth-" He paused, his ears picking up a sound. A distant moaning soon washed away by the waves. He swallowed, before dismissing the thought. "It's getting pretty bad out there," He added, sitting against a wall and folding his knees to his chest. "If we don't make port soon we may end up grounded." He paused, as the moaning came back and disappeared just as fast. "...I just hope nothing else goes wrong."

Outside, in the blistering river, something else was going wrong. Gaining on the Milkweed with intensity was the black kayak, it's small and nimble design allowing it to speed through the narrow river where the large Junk was hindered. As the vehicle approached the back of the ship the cloaked figure inside kicked open the protective elephant-bone cage and stood. He began to run forward along the nose of the kayak and leapt off it, just as lighting came down and struck the wood, igniting it into flame.

"What the hell was that?!" Jensu yelled, looking back as some sort of burning wreckage flung into the rapid waters behind them. The hooded figure stabbed into the red wooden back of the junk, beginning to scale up it with a knife in each hand...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


The captain had said that they didn't need more speed, but Hyuna didn't really get it. If they moved faster, then there'd be less opportunities for them to capsize, right? And, well, capsizing would be bad. Sure, she could climb onto Yamato and they could try to fly to safety, but what about the little girl? Millie, or whatnot. She definitely wouldn't live. Yuwen might end up dead to, as well as Muna. Echo'd be perfectly fine, but that's if he survived jumping into the water in the first place. But she saw stress showing up heavily in the sails, and when Suna told her not to; that they needed to bind the sails, she found herself grudgingly agreeing.

"Fine." She shrugged. "Let's bind the damned sails then!"

She looked at the main deck and saw Yuwen rush inside, with the annoying Oni carrying the girl to relative safety. Could she trust the oni? Most likely not. But, still, what choice did she have? Hyuna wanted to try and help her if possible, but she also felt an idiotic need to do her best to keep the Milkweed afloat. She went back to the deck, and slipped down the hatch, looking for any spare cloth laying around. It was pretty frantic; but she didn't want the boat to go over. That'd just be stupid. Hyuna flinched when she heard the loud roar of something going on outside as she gathered up a few bedsheets to use as support for the sails. She caught a little glimpse of Muna, blushing fiercely and forcing herself to focus on task, climbing back up the shaft into the storm. Hyuna frantically pushed the sheets into Suna's arms, mumbling that she didn't know how to really bind a sail, and went back to the captain and first mate.

"You doin' okay?" She asked, a little worried. "Captain?"

That was when she noticed it, of course. The little kayak catching up. Hyuna glanced at it with distaste, and tried shooting balls of condensed air; missing each time with the rushing tides and vicious winds.

"What the hell was that?" The goblin exclaimed, turning back to see what it was while Hyuna kept trying to attack at range, shivering with the cold.

"Illyria, someone's climbing up!" Hyuna called over to the Giantess, who donned her helmet and sword in anticipation. "Deal with it, okay?"

With the winds increasing even more, illusions would be dispersed immediately, automatically. So really, if the fighter was as skilled as expected, Hyuna wouldn't be able to deal with it with just her spear. So she waited for Suna to set up the supports for the sails in order for them to be able to accept extra wind pushing against it to speed things up.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Nulix
All eyes focused on the stern of the ship, waiting for a figure to leap over or call out. They waited as the rain continued to pour down, covering the red painted wood in water, but no one came. Captain Jensu swallowed as he squinted in the rain, trying to see a figure climb up against the grey skies, but there was just nothing.

"GUILD!" A voice cried. The gang turned to find great balls of fire flying toward them. In a black leather cloak lined with silver coyote fur a figure ran along the railing, his head hidden beneath the cloak's hood. The cyclones of flames smashed into the deck, their fire spreading weakly under the rain. "Where is he!" The man spat, kicking outward. The air around his foot combusted into fire and flung forward violently toward Jensu, who smashed to the ground to see it hit the wheel of the Milkweed, instantly engulfing it in flames. The man jumped off the railing and slid along the wet deck until her reached the mast, which he grabbed with two hands and began to burn. "Where is Fortune?!" The hooded villain screamed...

***

"Man, she's really yelling those commands up there?" Yuwen commented, listening to some screaming above deck. He glanced between the girl, Suiken, and Lo-muna nervously as suddenly the faint moaning came again. "You guys heard that, right?" Yuwen questioned, standing at the sound. "It's the third time since I've come down here."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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Yamato eyed Sunnarashi, "Looks like he doesn't want to talk." he said with a slight chuckle. "Why not go down and give him a hand?" He grinned, seeing the annoyance in Sunaarashi's face. He was about to investigate himself when a voice boomed behind them,

"GUILD!" He turned around in time to see massive fireballs flying towards them. The man was dressed in a black leather cloak lined with silver coyote fur, ran along the railing. His face hidden in the shadow of the cloak's hood. Yamato gripped his blade, moving at the last second.

The cyclones of flames smashed into the deck, their fire spreading weakly under the rain. "Where is he!" The man spat, kicking outward. The air around his foot combusted into fire and flung forward violently toward Jensu. "This guy has some serious issues..." Yamato muttered as he leapt up to the cockpit in time to Jensu smash to the ground to dodge a fire ball which hit the wheel of the Milkweed, instantly engulfing it in flames. The man jumped off the railing and slid along the wet deck until her reached the mast, which he grabbed with two hands and began to burn. "Where is Fortune?!" The hooded villain screamed...

"You think you'll get him that way? Sink this ship and you lose him with it. He's under the deck right now, but perhaps I can keep you busy?" He rushed the man, swiping at the cloak as soon as he was in range. The mast continued to burn behind the man, and Yamato knew they didn't have long to save the ship from going up in smoke, rain or not.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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#, as written by Rann
She heard the squabbling behind her. The Giantess, prepared for a fight, ready to bathed in more blood; more than obviously enjoying slaughter, with old man Suna, trying to calm her down and make for a more passive, careful route, putting his hand on the broadsword and calling down to whatever the hell was making it's way up. Master even stepped in calling out Suna's idiotic but good intentions with his own swift logic, receiving an insult from the old man. Hyuna felt anger pulsate in her forehead, but she concentrated on keeping the wind channeled on the now bound sails. An insult to Yamato was pretty grievous, but she understood that it wasn't her fight. It was up to Yamato to defend his own honor. The Giantess was losing patience again, and made to push Suna out of the way when it happened.

An unearthly voice screeched through the sharp whipping winds of the storm; easily heard over the heavy patter of the rain and the crack of distant thunder. "GUILD" Was the cry, and from there, at great speed, flaming balls crashed into the hull where most of the guild above deck were located, and Hyuna almost lost her balance if not for using chi to keep her balanced at the last second. She felt the intense heat graze her, singeing her cloak mercilessly, but she used a powerful air blast to keep it away from her Master, just barely on time before he was scorched. The hooded figure cried out again, asking where someone was, sending flames flying towards the goblin captain, who collapsed to the ground; the wheel of the Milkweed burning in the blaze. He leaped off the railing before Hyuna could react, burning the mast with his hands, yelling for his true target- Fortune. Hot anger blazed in Hyuna now, an anger she could hardly contain.

First, Falcon turned to the Captain, and helped her up, alongside Mohan, the first mate. "Jensu." She murmured in a low voice. "Keep her safe, Oni, okay?" She then rushed shortly after Illyria onto the main deck where the cloaked enemy was.

Illyria made the first move, executing a combo that had a rather high chance of killing it immediately. Yamato was close behind, swiping with his katana at the figure's back, reminding the enemy that burning the ship wouldn't help capture Fortune. However, there was a weak point where it could dodge safely and counter-attack, so Hyuna whipped out her spear with a click of her tongue, and lunged at the vulnerable flank of the figure in conjunction with Illyria and Yamato's attack; her free hand gathering condensed air to shoot as a projectile, aiming slightly to the right of it.

Check and mate, bastard.

"Only I'm allowed to kill Fortune!" Hyuna exclaimed viciously. "He's my rival, no one else!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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#, as written by Rann
Fire exploded all over her after watching in shock as the figure survived the stab to the ribs. It was excruciating, as she fell backwards, dropping her spear in the chaos. Hyuna grunted to keep her screams in; red tingeing her eyesight, and having trouble just focusing on breathing, let alone summoning her chi. It was really damn hot, and she couldn't take it. Hell, Hyuna was already frail enough. But when she heard the first mate cry out, and then a distinct heavy splash, she knew that things really were going badly.

"Do you even know who this Yuwen Fortune is?" The figure asked menacingly. "Because I promise you, staying aboard with him is no less deadly than staying aboard with me."

That snapped Hyuna back to reality, blowing the flames away with a circular wind, and she dashed to pick her spear back up; ignoring the multiple burns over her body, mainly her chest, nape of her neck, and most of her left leg. She winced as she stood up, agony exploding throughout her body, and glared at the attacker.

"Yuwen Fortune." She screamed like a wild beast. "Is my childhood friend! So there's no way I'll let the likes of you touch him!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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#, as written by Nulix
"You can't fight the current!" Yuwen spat to Suiken as they desperately hung on. "The ships gone! We'll go back to it when we reach a village..." He paused, staring at the unconscious goblin child that the fat, Oni idiot had rescued. She was kind of big for a child, and wore a long captains coat. "Hey, I think that single slave you managed to rescue was actually the slaver," Yuwen said to Suiken through the rain, as it was indeed Captain Jensu who Suiken had rescued...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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"Ah, an inn. Should be a decent place to rest at the very least..." Suiken breathed a sigh of relief as he spotted the inn and Yuwen and Yamato heading near it. Suiken was very tired and for one reason or another, he felt very cold. Which for a snow oni was odd, but he attributed it to having taken a long dive in the river, yet the feeling felt familiar as well. Suiken merely shrugged the feeling off for now.

Suiken looked back at the others. "Well, we have ourselves an inn. Are any of you planning to retire now? I could use some tea before I head to bed myself..." Suiken sighed as he made his way into the inn. As he entered the establishment, he noticed this town didn't seem very lively. Well, it WAS night, but whoever's on shift at the inn at the moment shouldn't look so...sleepy. The woman at the greeting booth, the tea servers, the rest of the staff all appeared as if they were about to pass out from exhaustion.

Perhaps they spend long periods keeping awake at night, trying to keep the inn open because they were understaffed. The village didn't appear to be that big after all. Suiken shrugged and took a seat at the table where a tired old man, serving tea and other beverages went to make the rounds around the table.

Suiken looked around. The members of the Great Guild appeared to be the only guests...aside from two tall figures sporting identical black conical hats and dark green silk shirts. They appeared slumped over in their chairs, their table covered with dozens of emptied sake cups and bowls of soup. One of the two, thin and lanky, was slump over to his left, out cold. The other one, more muscular, was leaning against the wall, his arms folded as he snored rather loudly. Both of them had conical hats draped over their faces that only moved very slightly through their loud snoring.

"Hmm," Suiken shrugged, before signalling the server. "Ah, tea if you don't mind." The server halfheartedly nodded and left to comply.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen scratched his now very messy hairs as the elder told his predicament. After he was finished shook his head. "...Two hours. At two in the morning the next villager will be called," He sighed heavily, sitting down on one of the beds. "Our eyes are red, sir. We've been in fighting and wrecked in a river and traveling for most of the day... we need rest, and we need to bathe." He sighed and cracked his neck. "Plus it seems most of the village is against your theory of asking for outside help... or too afraid of angering your ancestors. If we all go at once it'll seem suspicious. No, we need someone else... someone to go alone..."

Suddenly a creaking could be heard from the door beyond. Yuwen put a finger to his lips, and at his command the room went silent. He crept forward carefully, and from below the door the faint hall light that streamed in was blocked by shadow. Someone was there. Suddenly Yuwen kicked open the door, swinging his sword at the being who skillfully dodged and jumped up to attack. Yuwen grabbed his opponent's striking fist fist and rotated, using the force of his opponents strike to fling them into the room. "It looks like we have our first volunteer!" Yuwen said as the long-coat wearing Captain Jensu flung onto the wooden floor of their room. She rose angrily. "You ruined my ship!"

"Oh, sorry we interrupted your slave trading," Yuwen replied, locking the door behind him. "But it seems it lead you to a greater purpose. Jensu will go investigate," He called out. "But we'll need some people to join our little green friend to ensure she doesn't make a run for it. I know some of you have slept already, who here has gotten the most rest? Or is willing to spend a few hours out while we all sleep?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Kathuel Asatori

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The black haired woman began to talk. "As far as I'm concerned, you fell out of the sky. If you were trying to get me killed, you almost succeeded. You landed right on me while I was being pulled along by the river running through the outskirts of the town." When Terra heard this, she felt rather ashamed, but the woman held her arm out, the stains of blood still wet and visible beneath her clothes. "Honestly, the things I do..." she muttered to herself.

Seeing that made Terra feel even worse, and she began to say some kind of apology, but the woman made direct eye contact (thankfully, no comments about Terra's different-colored eyes) and addressed her again. "You want to thank someone, thank the orca. I'm sure he'd be happier to hear it than me. After I snagged you, he carried us both to shore and this was the next stop."

With these words said, she didn't wait for a response and turned back to the little girl. "Let's head upstairs so we can hear what Fortune has to say." The girl nodded in acknowledgement, and they began to ascend, leaving Terra behind.

"W-wait, where's the whal...um, I mean, orca?" Terra called after them, but she didn't get much of a response. The hooded girl gave an apologetic look to the chef who had been sitting with her and hurried after them. The woman didn't really give any acknowledgement, but the little girl noticed Terra and whispered something her. Hopefully it didn't mean anything bad.

As soon as the woman entered the room, which had nearly all the strange visitors Terra had seen in the bar earlier, it seemed their meeting had begun. As she wasn't technically part of the meeting, Terra simply stood outside the doorway to listen. An old man began telling a rather troubling story about how by some cruel trick of fate, the village's fortune had turned bad.

"First our crops began to wither and die. Then, anyone who attempted to leave the village was entrapped in a maze of mist, wandering for hours until they arrived back here. And lastly...they started to demand that every night that one or more specific villagers wander into their gravesite, alone, or else they'd attack. Sometimes, we never see the again....and sometimes," the old man shuddered. "Sometimes they come back....different." The old teamaster paused as he glanced around frantically as if someone heard him. "In two hours time, the next villager will be summoned to the grave site. Oh, I don't understand how this could've happened.."

"Hmm..." It was the snow oni who began to speak at this time. "More than likely,your ancestor's spirits have been corrupted. Not too uncommon for those that used to be among the living, but...still, it's unusual they would turn on your village when you were once so close. Has anything been done that would anger them?"

"No! None of would ever do something like that! Not that I'm aware of, at any rate," the old man cried out.

"That's honestly the best case scenario, since the only other real causes are a demon or a necromancer. The former...is possibly not an issue. The latter is a problem." The snow oni glanced around at the others. "Well...what do you all think?" As the other members gave their thoughts on the matter--and most of them seemed to agree that they should do something about the matter--Terra wondered just what she should do.

Suddenly, she heard a noise coming directly behind her. The next moment, a tall, brown haired man came bearing through the door. Terra almost shrieked as the door nearly crashed into her, but the man blazed past and grabbed the fist of...a goblin? As Terra wasn't very fond of goblins for reasons we will not discuss now, she instinctively jumped back...and fell rather unceremoniously into the room.

The brown haired man stalked into the room after having thrown the goblin in, not paying attention to the other intruder. "It looks like we have our first volunteer!" he declared, obviously angry over the eavesdropper.

The goblin lady rose to her feet, equally angry. "You ruined my ship!" she retaliated.

"Oh, sorry we interrupted your slave trading," the man replied sarcastically, slamming the door shut and locking it behind him. "But it seems it lead you to a greater purpose. Jensu will go investigate. But we'll need some people to join our little green friend to ensure she doesn't make a run for it. I know some of you have slept already, who here has gotten the most rest? Or is willing to spend a few hours out while we all sleep?"

Terra looked around at the tired faces, starting to make up her mind on the matter. It certainly wasn't her problem, true, but if she helped, she could potentially get enough money to get back onto the road, hopefully away from the horrors. And besides, if it was to help people...well, that was compelling enough on its own.

Terra rose to her feet and cleared her throat, directing all the attention in the room upon herself. Hoping she wouldn't stammer too much, she began to speak. "E-Excuse me for intruding...I would like to help with this...in any way I can."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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#, as written by Nulix
"An affordable loss?" Yuwen said with a small smile. "We're not villains, here." He rose and turned to his team. "Can any of you vouch for this girl?" He questioned. "Because I don't like the idea of sending kids off to their deaths."

"Hold on!" Jensu exclaimed, standing up and brushing herself off. "This is besides the point. I'm not a slaver!"

"Aren't you?" Yuwen replied, almost laughing. "Then how do you explain the cages full of slaves at the bottom of your ship?"

Jensu shook her head as she secured her captains hat. "I don't know... I had a deal with these business men in Poyo, they didn't let me see their cargo."

"Right, that sounds realistic," Yuwen muttered.

Jensu glared at the man. "Do you honestly think I'd sell slaves if my mother was kidnapped by one?"

"I just don't think you'd be so stupid as to not check your cargo," Yuwen replied, before turning back to the girl who'd broken in. Terra, she'd called herself. "Anyone know this kid?" He repeated.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Keeflo Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Kathuel Asatori

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Keeflo listened as Yuwen talked to the elder. The old man seemed to be describing some sort of supernatural occurrence. The orca beast-man thought that ghosts and such were mostly nonsense stories meant to scare little kids, but sometimes he wondered. Chi was the energy of the living, what would prevent the remnants of the dead's chi from lingering in the world? Perhaps necromancy was the manipulation of the dead's chi. Keeflo shrugged. He didn't need to know right now.

Then Yuwen opened the door and swung in Jensu - in Keeflo's mind she no longer deserved the title of captain. A small girl fell in as well. In fact, this was the girl he had carried to the village. The goblin accused Yuwen of ruining her ship. Yuwen retorted with a sarcastic apology. Keeflo had half an urge to bite Jensu, perfectly aware that his teeth were capable of shearing off a finger or two if not more. But that would be savage and he was tired, so he remained seated.

Yuwen said that Jensu would be their scout to see whatever this was that was harming the village and asked for volunteers for accompanying her. Keeflo shook his head. He needed sleep. Then the girl, the same one who had stumbled into the room, volunteered. She said she could fight and defend herself and called herself a more affordable loss than the rest of them. This jolted Keeflo out of his half doze. He had much experience with the selfishness of others but little with the selflessness. "Do not belittle yourself. Your life is worth as much of any of ours," he said to the girl.

-----

Kethuel watched as the strangers walked upstairs. The girl he had invited, Terre, finished her food and went up after them. Quickly he gathered up the remaining plates and put them in the kitchen for someone to wash. Menial tasks finished, he went upstairs as well. He entered his room and drained his glass of water. Placing the cup the side of the wall, he held his ear next to the but of the cup and listened.

He seemed to have missed some pretty important parts. Now they were arguing about who would go somewhere. It was a bit of a disappointment to not know what they were doing, but it was probably better. He shouldn't have been eavesdropping in the first place. With a sighing a little, he continued to listen, hoping to hear an indicator of what this group was doing.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Kathuel Asatori

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Yamato sat in on the meeting, vaguely understanding that they had a new member, and that she was going with the Goblin girl to investigate the strange things happening around town. Hyuna seemed eager to fight, but he knew that's the only reason she wanted to help. He leaned against the wall, drifting in and out of sleep. He couldn't remember being so tired, but it had been nearly three days without sleep and the Sake wasn't helping.

"Let's get this moving then. Let the Goblin Slaver and Terra go and do what they've been instructed to do by the ever knowledgable Yuwen Fortune." He stood to leave the room so he could venture to his own and sleep until he decided to wake up.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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"I don't believe we should let them loose on their own," Lo-muna frowned. She was tired herself, having escaped sleep's clutches for a few days now, but the limit hadn't been reached yet. "I'll go along if permitted. After all, I did say we can't let this matter go without some sort of intervention. I'm fast and it will be useful for this task. If either the new girl or the goblin decide to try something, I can either retrieve them quickly or come back here for help. Assistance is also something I can lend to them. Either way, I'm useful and am more awake than most of you."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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"I'm going," Suiken sighed, looking at the others who volunteered. Or "volunteered" in Jensu's case. "There are situations like these I've encountered before...in the past," Suiken shrugged, thinking a bit before coughing out, "Occasionally. Such occurrences are more common in Onium than in any human province, generally..."

["I-I can fight and defend myself...and it seems I'm a more...affordable loss than any of you if I can't get out of here. So please, let me help."]

Suiken shrugged, glancing over at the newcomer for a bit. "Ah...you're the one who fell off that cliff. Glad to see you didn't die from that," he greeted. "Don't be so quick to throw away your life after surviving something like that." Suiken then looked at the others. "Well...any other volunteers?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen nodded. "Okay then. Lo-muna and Suiken, you guys keep an eye on Terra and Jensu. Make sure the kid doesn't get hurt," He said with a stern nod. "Find the old man again, find out which villager is going where." Yuwen glanced at the three and then the rest of the team. "Everyone else go with them or get some rest... its late." He moved over and collapsed onto a bed.

Jensu glared at the man before turning to Lo-muna, Suiken and Terra. "Well isn't this quaint," She muttered, before stepping toward the door...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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"You have a lot to answer for, Captain," Suiken stated, turning over to look at Jensu as they left. "And, yes, while I know that you claim to be innocent, I hope you can see why that answer isn't good enough." He then looked over to the newcomer and asked, "So, what was with that whole falling off the cliff deal?"

As they left the rooms and entered the front hall of the inn, the old man was nowhere in sight.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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#, as written by Nulix
"Yeah I hope you can see why I don't care," Jensu spat back as stepped down into the dully lit bar of the inn. "They offered me a lot of money, they said it was Imperial merchandise. It was two fellows from the Prefecture... they offered me a lot of money." She glared around. "So where is this geezer? And is there some whiskey around here we could buy?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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"He most probably has already left," Lo-muna guessed with a shrug. "And there will be no whiskey until the mission is complete. It is bad enough some of us require sleep. Drinking will only further dampen our efforts at rescuing this town."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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#, as written by Nulix
"Yeah you know what else you further dampened? My ship!" Jensu spat, again, as she pushed past Lo-muna. "You know, when you crashed it in the river."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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"Lo-Muna's right. Alcohol isn't a priority tight now..." Suiken spoke calmly. "Considering what we're here to do. How about you hold off on it until after we've solved this town's predicament? That way, you'll be more aware once we encounter danger."

Making their way out of the inn and outside, into the street, the only noises that they could hear was the occasional cricket and hoot of a bird. Other than that, it was deathly silent. Fog covered the town like a gaseous blanket, rendering it difficult to see clearly. From what they did notice, a lone figure was making it's way through the fog, which seemed to be slowly but steadily, opening up a path for him.

From the person's silhouette, they could clearly tell he was a child. Suiken approached him. "I'm sorry, but...what are you doing out here this late?" the Oni cautiously asked.

The boy turned to the oni and put on a brave face, despite the growing dread in his voice. "My mother says it's my turn next. Doing this will save the town and I'll be a hero. See?" the boy pointed at the fog, which seemed to be forming a path for him towards the grave site.

"Ah, I see..." Suiken said. "Well. You won't have to head through this path alone. We're coming with you."

"You can't," the boy frowned, sounding somewhat skeptical. "That's...that's against the rules?"

"The rules've changed," Suiken answered simply. The boy shrugged, not wanting to dawdle any longer as he headed off into the path.

Suiken nodded at the others to follow him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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Surprisingly, Terra found she was joined by the snow oni and a woman with rabbit ears. Speaking of the snow oni, both he and the whale-wait, how long would she keep making that mistake?! The orca...scolded her, in want of a more fitting word, for calling herself expendable, and the brown haired man, whose name she had learned to be Yuwen Fortune and who seemed to be the leader, ordered for the ones accompanying Terra to make sure she didn't get hurt. It felt nice that they were taking so much trouble for her...but also a little embarrassing.

And worrying. The horrors were still somewhere out there, and if she had a run-in with them, it'd go less than smoothly. Especially because now that these people were accompanying her, the horrors would almost certainly target them.

"Find the old man again, find out which villager is going where." Yuwen glanced at the three and then the rest of the team. "Everyone else go with them or get some rest... its late." He moved over and collapsed onto a bed, almost immediately beginning to snore.

After watching him, Terra looked with guilt at the oni and rabbit woman-if she had heard correctly, their names were Suiken and Lo-Muna, respectively. "U-um..." She was about to ask if they were really alright with staying up so late, considering the state their leader was in.

But Suiken asked his question a bit faster. "So, what was with that whole falling off the cliff deal?" As he spoke, the others began to move towards the door, prompting Terra to hurry and catch up to them.

"E-eh? I didn't, um, say it loud enough back there?" Terra repeated her recollection of the first encounter she had with the horrors, hoping that they wouldn't spring up by karma right in front of them.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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#, as written by Nulix
"No. No you didn't," Jensu commented to Terra as they began to walk through the night after the child...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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Lo-muna frowned at Jensu's sharp tone but knew the goblin had gone through quite a lot. She called after the female's retreating back, "Apologizing for the ship would be useless since we can't save it anymore. We can however save your mother. That, I can assure you."

She then turned to Terra and gave her a reassuring smile, "What our captain means is that not all of us have sensitive hearing like myself. Hyuna also mentioned seeing the horror terrors and I'm curious as to why such a young girl as yourself is involved with these creatures? Not that I've ever personally seen one but I have heard rumours on my travels. Their infrequency made me doubt their existence. Now, however, I would like to know more. If they pursue you while you're with us, I would like to be armed with knowledge to help protect you."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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#, as written by Nulix
"Spirits and ghosts... horrors in the night," Jensu whispered before sipping a wooden flask she had gotten from somewhere, as if an endless supply of alcohol seemed to follow the good captain. The fog was thick, and the dirt roads that crisscrossed across the sparse farming community were empty. Every time they approached a house or a shack the fires were out, but through the darkness they could spot cracks in doors and windows - eyes looking out, watching. "...Hey kid, what do you make of all this?" Jensu called out as they walked. "All this... strangeness."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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"Ah, yes, my mind must've been on other things when you mentioned this before," Suiken shrugged as Terra recounted her tale again. "For such creatures to be involved with you, you must be in a heap of trouble..." the Oni sighed in an exasperated, but somewhat humorous, manner. "Not that we don't have plenty of those in our guild as well."

It was then that voices began to emerge from the mist on each side of the path being carved out for the boy. "Stoooop. Tresspassers. Gobackgobackgoback..."

"Not welcome here. Stay away. Gobackgobackgoback..." the whispering voices hissed.

The boy turned back and looked at Jensu, shrugging, "I don't know. All I know is they used to be nice, but now they're not. A lotta the townspeople, who went to the grave site used to be nice too. The ones who came back came back mean though. I hope I don't come back mean..." he sighed, looking down at the ground worriedly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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#, as written by Nulix
"I'm not the only one who heard that, am I?" Jensu whispered, taking another drink as they approached the circular door to the grave-site, built into the side of a large, grassy hill...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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"I'm hearing a lot of things," Lo-muna frowned. "Then again those voices are making a rather loud argument. How can a child be sent to this?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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Let us simply say that by complaining continuously about matters such as whiskey, Jensu caused Terra's opinion on goblins to drop even further.

However, they saw a boy walking down the same route their little group. When questioned, he put on his best face of courage and explained, "My mother says it's my turn next. Doing this will save the town and I'll be a hero. See?" the boy pointed at the fog, which seemed to be forming a path for him towards the grave site.

That's too cruel! Terra looked up at Suiken and Lo-Muna, hoping they thought similarly. As it was, Suiken said, "Well. You won't have to head through this path alone. We're coming with you."

"You can't," the boy frowned, sounding somewhat skeptical. "That's...that's against the rules?"

"The rules've changed," Suiken answered simply. (For some reason, Terra found this reply funny.) The boy shrugged, not wanting to dawdle any longer as he headed off into the path. Somehow it ended up with the boy at the front of the group, and Terra and Lo-Muna right behind him. Jensu followed them, and Suiken brought up the rear to keep an eye on the goblin lady.

As they walked, Lo-Muna began to speak to Terra, putting on a friendly smile. "What our captain means is that not all of us have sensitive hearing like myself. Hyuna also mentioned seeing the horror terrors and I'm curious as to why such a young girl as yourself is involved with these creatures? Not that I've ever personally seen one but I have heard rumours on my travels. Their infrequency made me doubt their existence. Now, however, I would like to know more. If they pursue you while you're with us, I would like to be armed with knowledge to help protect you."

The horrors had been seen before? Either way, Terra shrugged when Muna noted it was strange for someone like Terra to be chased by them. She didn't know what they wanted at all. "And, well, haha...if you were in my place at that time, I, uh...don't think you'd like to know that much more."

"Ah, yes, my mind must've been on other things when you mentioned this before," Suiken shrugged as Terra finished recounted her tale again. "For such creatures to be involved with you, you must be in a heap of trouble...Not that we don't have plenty of those in our guild as well."

It probably wasn't Suiken's intent to make Terra feel guilty, but, well, she did. "...sorry if it causes you all trouble," she sighed, bowing her head.

"Stoooop. Tresspassers. Gobackgobackgoback..."

"Not welcome here. Stay away. Gobackgobackgoback..."

When she heard the voices from the mist, Terra's entire body froze. She looked around frantically for the source of that voice, but there was no one. But wait, were those glowing red eyes in the mist? All of Terra's courage vaporized. She involuntarily took a step backwards, almost ready to bolt away back to the inn.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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#, as written by Rann
Not willing to group up with the damned Oni, and terrified of facing the rabbit girl, Hyuna faced a predicament. Sure, she hated Muna for messing with her head like she did. But on the other hand, well, it's not as if she wanted her to die... and the idea of bad things happening to her, of the monsters getting to her, it really really messed with her mind even more. Why did she even care so much, what happened to the rabbit girl? Why did she desperately cling to her ear during the shipwreck? Her emotions were in turmoil, but it didn't stop her from stalking the group that headed out, including the ironically slaver goblin, as well as the weird new girl that grated on Hyuna's nerves more and more. What was her deal, anyways, acting like her life didn't matter? Because, well, it really didn't matter in the long run, but it's not something you just out and admit! That's just being pathetic and spineless. If your life is worthless, you fight to give it worth, you don't just.... anyways.

There she was, body feeling sluggishly slow, and nibbling tensely on more of those sweets that she bought from Poyo, incredibly thankful that somehow, not all of them were ruined. The fog was dark and oppressing, but still she trailed behind the four, gliding through the air with every part of her except for her eyes invisible in an illusion.

Why does Muna have to get so friendly with the others? Why is she putting herself at risk? She's so stupid!

Well, it was technically a group of five, but that boy was so inconsequential to Hyuna's mind that she discounted him. Chances are he'd get himself hurt and Muna'd have to fret over him. He was so in the way- at least the the singing and dancing Oni could fight too, and the stupid nervous girl has weapons. But a civilian, a damned villager? He might even be leading them into a trap. And when those stupid wispy voices began, trying to make them go back, her sense of unease grew. At least more sugar entered her system, giving her back her springy speed and agility, feeling lighter than ever in this night- even the slight irritation of the burns felt minimal; wind caressing her body and rejuvenating her now fresh mind.

For some reason none of those monsters from before were here. And that was really weird- there were dozens upon dozens of them earlier. And then the villagers and their whole thing was all creepy and suspicious- it was a better idea to just get out of here as soon as possible. Or else a stupid bunny might end up dead in a hole, and Hyuna would feel-

She almost stumbled in the air. What the hell would she feel? Why would it matter if the rabbit girl died, what's it mean to her, anyways? And now the bunny even managed to mess up her focus on surfing the wind between the trees, just a little ahead of the four.

All of a sudden a daze of exhaustion overcame her and she hit grassy hill, just out of sight of the group with a thump. It was loud and obvious to hear, even through those damn weird voices. Normally, she'd be able to recover from something like that easily, but this time, maybe because of that annoying rabbit girl again, she felt incredibly skittish and nervous as she regained her senses and gobbled down another confection. The best idea would probably be to meet them, and apologize for the scare, but she really didn't want to risk Muna's ire, or her annoyance. But maybe even worse than that, Hyuna didn't want Muna to be afraid or on edge. So, she really only had one option, and after dispelling the almost invisibility, she stepped out into the path, in front of the grave door.

"I did that on purpose..." She mumbled in a low voice. "I wasn't here because I'm w-worried or anything, okay, so... I just felt like fighting things!"

She was subconsciously looking at the rabbit girl as she said it, and frowned at herself in her foolishness, and decided to send a vicious glare towards the weird new short unknown girl; the pathetic one, and felt just a little better about herself.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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Just as Terra's nerves were about to completely burst from fear, there was a rather loud noise of something falling upon the leaf-covered ground about 15 feet away. She almost screamed at that point and fled, but then the person who ended up coming out of the mist was...that girl who she encountered while being chased by the horrors?

"I-I did that on purpose..." The girl muttered awkwardly. "I wasn't here because I'm w-worried or anything, okay, so... I just felt like fighting things!" She seemed to be paying a lot of attention to Lo-Muna for some reason, looking incredibly embarrassed.

Terra sighed and put a hand on her heart, quite sure its beating speed had doubled. "Y-you seriously scared us, you know-" For some reason, the other girl glared viciously at her, silencing Terra at once. "...u-um, anyway, glad w-we have another person," she stammered out. "...s-so, should we keep going?"

She still wasn't sure if the horrors were actually there or not, but Terra wasn't keen on dashing ahead.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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Lo-muna laughed. She quickly covered her mouth but it was hard to stifle the giggles emanating from her. The others could give her all the strange looks they liked but it didn't detract from her sense of humor. They didn't know her that well after all.

"Sorry, sorry," she apologized as the laughter subsided. "It's just, you came out of nowhere Hyuna and scared a couple of us and I just thought that was humorous because it was like a prank of someone who couldn't go through with it! With how grave the situation is, it just seemed so out of place and I couldn't resist. My apologies, I know this is a grave situation but I needed a bit of a distraction. I was starting to get conscious of how dark it was."

She frowned for a second, looking up, before turning to Hyuna again, "Like the new girl said, it's good to have you here. We do intend to keep going if the child stays on this course. We have little choice in the matter."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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"Eh..." Suiken responded, more annoyed than anything, at the screeching voices coming from the fog at them. The stone door leading to the grave site seem to rattle slightly with movement as the boy approached before it. It slowly pulled itself open, causing puffs of green mist to emit from the ghastly tombs. Suiken frowned.

"Hmm," the snow oni groaned. "That green aura. Telltale sign of a necromancer's handywork. Great..." Suiken sighed, glancing over to the others in the group. "Listen up, I forgot to mention this earlier, but now's as good a time as any. Any spirits we encounter, corrupted or otherwise, aren't' going to be hurt by simple physical hits. They're not like demons, who have a solid form. They can only be harmed by chi. And luckily, I sense that all four of you are proficient in chi...Wait. Four?" Suiken questioned as he noticed Hyuna approaching through the fog.

"Ah, Hyuna, glad of you to join us," Suiken nodded. "Watching after your rabbit friend, I see? At any rate, it's fortuitous that you've arrived. We're dealing with a necromancy here and we might need assistance."

The boy, not wanting to waste any more time listening to strangers argue, began to walk through the gate. It was then that the voices in the fog spoke once more, "Step no further..." they called out.

"Well...that's our invitation, then," Suiken shrugged as he glanced through the gate and saw where the boy was headed. To the very top of the hill, where the largest tomb sat high above the others, crumbled and broken. Sitting on it as if it were a throne was a ghastly vision of a human being. Transparent, paler than the moon light, and with empty eyes that appeared to gaze into the souls of the guild members (plus Jensu and Terra).

Soon, enough, hundreds of similar ghastly figures all erupted from the grave site, all staring at the intruders. They said nothing, but one could tell by the looks on their faces, what they were intending to say was, 'We dare you to take one step further...'

***

Back at the inn, the guild members would hear the sliding door open abruptly as they got to their rest. A kind faced woman approached, carrying a tray. "Evening tea...?" she hissed at them like a serpent, asking them a simple in question in a needlessly aggressive tone.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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#, as written by Rann
Muna could have been terrified, she could have been angry, or even indignant. So, why, exactly, was the rabbit girl covering her mouth and shaking just a little? Was she crying? Did Hyuna make her break down in bawls? Her mind, on panic mode, as she tried to say something, or anything to calm her down. And in the corner of her mind, she noticed the weird girl, murmuring some nervous pleasantries about being glad she was there, earning another glare, this time more of desperation and nervousness than anything. Before Hyuna could do anything to make Muna stop crying, the rabbit girl spoke, a jolly look in her eyes.

"Sorry, sorry, it's just, you came out of nowhere Hyuna and scared a couple of us and I just thought that was humorous because it was like a prank of someone who couldn't go through with it!" Was that what Muna thought of her? Just a prankster? After going through all the trouble to try and make sure she was safe and all, too! She just marely managed to settle her gaze upon Muna's soft face. "With how grave the situation is, it just seemed so out of place and I couldn't resist. My apologies, I know this is a grave situation but I needed a bit of a distraction. I was starting to get conscious of how dark it was." With a little frown, she seemed to welcome Hyuna into their group as well. "Like the new girl said, it's good to have you here. We do intend to keep going if the child stays on this course. We have little choice in the matter."

She felt happy, oddly enough. And very much relieved- Muna wasn't crying at all. So she made her way in, brandishing her spear with a quick flip of the wrist, until the Oni had to ruin everything with one statement.

"Ah, Hyuna, glad of you to join us," The singing dancing Oni looked her over. "Watching after your rabbit friend, I see? At any rate, it's fortuitous that you've arrived. We're dealing with a necromancy here and we might need assistance."

Hyuna ground her teeth, but stayed silent. She knew if she spoke, it'd only make a fool out of her in front of Lo-Muna, and that was unacceptable, no matter how much she hated the bunny girl. Thus, with that strange village boy up ahead, the group of now five members got to the peak of the hill... and were met with oppressive strange creature things. Pale in the moonlight, and definitely a threat, peering at them with piercing gazes. Hyuna shuddered, but knew this was what she came for.

"M-M-Munna. Muna, I meant, get back." She clicked her tongue at the new foe, stepping ahead of the beast-man, with her spear in a defensive position, gathering wind together in her free fist in preparation, and turned to the apparent leader, the damned bard oni. If she was on her own, sure, she'd charge in and attack recklessly and probably come out victorious. But this was different. Muna was here, and she didn't want to risk her safety because of a stupid battle instinct.

"Whats the plan, Oni?" She growled. "How do we get outta this mess?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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When Lo-Muna ended up giggling from the other girl's sudden appearance. most of the tension in the air disappeared. Of course, that didn't help Terra's mood any when they neared the gate, especially when it swung open by itself.

"Step no further..."

The moment those voices returned, Terra felt her blood run several degrees colder. If she had been closer to any of the others, she would've been clutching their hands, but of course she wasn't. "Well...that's our invitation, then," Suiken muttered with a shrug, and began to trudge up the hill. Terra had to force herself to follow.

At the very top of the hill, there was a gigantic tomb. It was several feet wide, but most of the decorations were crumbled and broken. Sitting on it as if it were a throne was a ghastly vision of a human being. Transparent, paler than the moon light, and with empty, emotionless eyes that suddenly made the hairs on Terra's neck stand up.

Then, hundreds of similar ghastly figures all erupted from the grave site, all staring at the intruders. They said nothing, but one could tell by the looks on their faces, what they were intending to say was, 'We dare you to take one step further...'

Hyuna...was that her name? She looked very nervous as she muttered for Lo-Muna to get back. Her spear was levelled at the ghosts, but Terra could swear the tip was shaking as fiercely as her own body was. "W-what's the plan, Oni?" Hyuna growled, though it sounded more like an empty threat now. "How do we get outta this mess?"

Chi moves work against the ghosts...? Would that mean elemental chi? Terra glanced between the ghosts, finding herself unsettled with each passing second that she had to make eye contact. She then gazed at the others around her. The boy looked absolutely terrified, as did the goblin lady. Hyuna was glancing nervously between the ghosts, Suiken, and Muna. Muna herself...well, Terra couldn't see her expression. Suiken seemed to be in deep thought, and still had not answered Hyuna.

Well...you won't know the tone of a bell until you ring it.

Terra pointed at the stones on the ground, and they began to rise just in front of Suiken, Hyuna, Jensu, Muna, and the boy. She wasn't sure if these hastily-constructed ramparts would work on spectral enemies, but she had to try. "Whatever happens, please stay behind there for now. I'll..." Swallowing hard, she choked out the last words. "...go first."

Ignoring any protests, Terra took one step forward.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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As much as Lo-muna wanted to pull the new girl back, she made no move to do so. Instead, she retreated behind Hyuna as asked and slipped a hand inside her bag just in case. Suiken and Hyuna were capable fighters after all. Adding more to the bunch would simply cause confusion and in their tired states, it would not bode well for the group. The goblin probably wouldn't be much help in her state. Terra was an unknown quantity. She seemed fresh though and was already using her chi to lift stones. This piqued Lo-muna's interest. She would have to investigate the extent of the girl's power later for now, she would see a part of it first hand.

"Please, be careful," Lo-muna whispered, eyes glittering with concern.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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#, as written by Nulix
Jensu was just gone, having slipped away as fast as she could from the ridiculously evil shit happening at the gravesite.

***

Yuwen watched over the sleeping guild members lazily from his bed. Nearly four in the morning and he still hadn't gotten an ounce of sleep. He had tried, but the insomniac in him forbid rest... and each time he closed his eyes his mind would flash back to memories, regrets. Times he was humiliated, moments he wished he could change, all manifesting up into a agonizing feeling of self-doubt. Suddenly the sliding door to the room opened. Some sort of old crow entered carrying a tray.

"Evening tea...?" She croaked.

"What is wrong with you, its four in the morning," Yuwen replied, rolling over onto his feet preparing to aggressively negotiate the woman out the door. "Go to sleep you psychopath."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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#, as written by Nulix
"Are you alright?" Yuwen called to Ann from the room over as he propped a bed on its side and pushed it into the hall. "Careful, there's no knowing what these things will-" Suddenly a large shake rocked the hall. Yuwen paused, preparing for combat. "...They might be here..." He whispered as another shake rocked the hall. He placed a finger to his lips, trying to determine which way they shaking was coming from, and as he did silence washed over the hall. The creatures outside seemed to make no noise, and whatever was shaking the structure seemed to have stopped for the near minute Yuwen listened.

Yuwen lowered his finger. "If I say something - something bad's gonna happen," He whispered to his teammates. "That's usually how these things-" At his words the wall from beside them was ripped off by large, flying Tengu villagers and the floor beneath them began to collapse. Yuwen and everything else in the hall was sent sliding down the hanging hall floor into the fray of villagers. Yuwen landed on his fleet, slicing down two villagers as he grounded, before dodging the outgrown finger-nail claws of another. "This isn't good!" He yelled. "I hate to imagine how the others are doing!"

***

One of the others in particular, a small goblin, was doing pretty well. Or rather, pretty well for the Great Guild. In that she wasn't in immediate danger. Captain Jensu scampered across the misty fields on all fours as fast as she could. Her shoes had fallen off as had her captains hat, her hair had become undone and now hung messily across her face, and all four of her palms were dirtied from evading the village of terror all night. But now she ran up the final slope away from that hell-hole just as the first light of a new day dawned over the approaching tree-tops. "So long Great Guild," She spat between heavy breathes as she bustled into the tree-tops. "Never to see you again."

At her words she suddenly pelted straight into the stomach of a tall figure, the impact hitting her like a rock. Jensu flung backward and stared up at the cold face of Sunaarashi, who looked to be in even worse face than she was. "Oh... oh hey," Jensu said, giving a large, desperate smile at the man as she began to crawl backward. "You uh... you washed up, did you?" She commented nervously...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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Sunaarashi stared at the goblin captain, taking in her highly agitated state, the sound of yelling and fighting from the village, and the guilty way in which she was looking at him.

"Ah," he said. "You're running away. Well, I guess that's expected. I won't stop you, but before you run off into the woods, you might want to be aware that there are things out there popping out of the ground. Things with nice sharp teeth, a few tentacles, red eyes, and black skeletal armor that you probably won't be able to damage. No idea what they are, but I'm sure they're carnivorous and hungry, and you're about the right size for a meal." He shrugged. "You might make it past them. Or you might get eaten. OR you could stay with me, tell me what's going on, then stay behind me so you don't get hurt. Your choice."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen backed away as the villagers he'd been fighting collapsed and began to spew acid, after being taken down swiftly by Ann who continued to run forward, taking out the creatures left and right. Yuwen watched on as the girl decimated their foes, before dodging the attack of another creature. He flung himself next to Yamato and the two cut a villager down in unison. And then all the creatures paused. "Yamato, look!" Yuwen called, pointing to the horizon, where from beyond the distant mountains the sun's first rays shun out. The cursed villagers screamed in horror at the light and began to flee, running past the Great Guild as they sought shadow as from which they were transformed. Yuwen glanced at his friends and gave an exhausted laugh. "...The light repels them," He said with a smile. Suddenly a burst of fire rocked a distant hill, its outline faint in the fog. "But I bet it's not repelling whatever is keeping Suiken and the rest," He muttered. "Come on!"

***

"Tentacles? Sharp teeth?" Jensu swallowed as her eyes darted along the ground before her, hurriedly trying to figure out what to do. After a moment she flung upward and glared up at Sunaarashi. "Listen, your friends at the Guild kidnapped me and accused me of being a slaver. Then took away my drink, and forced me to risk my life in some undead village... the villagers are creatures and there are ghosts attacking everything." Jensu shook her head. "I don't have much choice but to stick with you... but if you run down there I don't think either of us will last very long."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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"Well," Sunaarashi said. "Sounds like you've had a crappy day." He paused, thinking. "Ghosts, and crazy villagers... I can't really fight stuff that requires chi."

He looked around. "Maybe it would be better if everyone else took care of this one. I'd probably just get in the way." He shouldered his bag, and gestured to the goblin captain. "C'mon, I saw a broken down house out in the woods a little ways. It should provide us some shelter until it's full morning."

He began walking back into the trees, wondering if this was the end of the short-lived guild...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

0.00 INK

#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen was lost in the midst of the actions. Battle had broken out on the burning and the Guild members fought the destructive power of the super summoning bros. Necromancers of some kind, as ghosts swept down upon them. Their power seemed to come from the lantern one of them held. Bai, he believed. Yuwen gripped his sword tightly, trying to get an angle on one of the brothers when suddenly a fist rammed his face into the ground. Yuwen's blade was released as the hooded villain was upon him, beating him relentlessly. "Its good to see you!" The man yelled out, socking Yuwen in the eye. "My old friend!" Yuwen elbow blocked the next punch and headbutted the man off him before raising himself.

Wiping some blood off his cheek Yuwen smiled. "I don't know who you are," He said. The hooded villain paused. "Then let's test that!" The villain raised his palms forward and sparks began to form. "Let's see if you remember how to dodge this maneuver: the cone of fire, Yuwen Lu-Tan!" He announced loudly. Suddenly a wall of fire shot out, speeding toward Yuwen at ferocious rates. The guild leader swallowed. He could not outrun it. But he could run.

Yuwen's hand went to his hip and he pulled out his second sword and held it high before sprinting toward the oncoming fires. With his free hand he reached up and pulled the hood of the cloak down hard, holding it in place so that the velvet garment cradled his running form. On the opposite side of the fire the hooded man stood with his blackened hands guiding it, which suddenly through the flames a fist emerged. Smashing him directly in the gut and collapsing him to the ground. The hooded figure collapsed as an on-fire Yuwen Fortune ran forward, his burning charge aimed at brother Bai.

Bai turned just in time to see Yuwen fling his flaming cloak onto him, catching him off guard before stabbing his sword into the lantern. Impaling the magical device. Yuwen then continued to run over the hill and dived into a well, a loud splash being heard as he hit the bottom.

***

Jensu watched as Sunaarashi began to walk back into the dark forest. She glanced back at the foggy village before following. "Why are you taking care of me?" She called out, she having to speed up considerably to match his pace. "Don't you think I'm a drunk and a no good slaver? Like your friends?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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"I'm not the type of person that makes rash assumptions," Sunaarashi said, slowing down enough that Jensu did not have to run to keep up. "Nor am I one to judge others when the situation is unclear." He looked down at Jensu and shrugged. "Why wouldn't I help?"

The house appeared out of the dark woods, and Sunaarashi stepped inside, spot checking for inhabitants. Seeing nothing, he motioned Jensu inside, and unzipped his bag, pulling out a few wet blankets.

"I'll get a fire going," he said, gathering some broken pieces of wood from old furniture. "Then I can dry out and get some rest, perhaps."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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#, as written by Nulix
"Whatever!" Yuwen replied, pushing past the guild members toward the the villagers as the local healers stepped forward to attend to its members. "You've been burned," An old, accented Sudean woman whispered as she walked next to Yuwen. "Your arm."

"Yes, I have," Yuwen said, extending it as he walked so she could treat it. He approached the elder, who was overseeing the horses for the guild. At the back of the attached carriages the townsfolk loaded them up with fruits, vegetables, milk, juice, and baked goods. "Wow," Yuwen muttered as the woman finished bandaging his arm. "This is looking pretty grand."

The elder turned and bowed. "All for you mighty heroes. Enough food for three days, and its only two to Jiefong."

"You suggest we take the Bioling road?" Yuwen questioned as the elder pulled out a map. "Yes, you take it south until you hit the River Rann, then you go east along it until you reach the mountains and hit the Touhan forest at the base of the mountains."

"How are we supposed to get up them?" Yuwen muttered. "The mountains are bandit country."

"The Imperial Guard have a machine there, its a marvel of technology. A man-made platform is pulled up by weights at the top and pulls up passengers all the way to the top of the valley. At the top past the arid farms you should see the walls of Jiefong."

Yuwen went over the route through his head and nodded. "Alright," He said, taking the map and bowing. "It was an honour, village elder."

He then turned and approached the Guild members as they were being treated. "Alright guys we have a new route! We're taking horses and carriages to Jiefong. We head south until we reach the river Rann," He explained. "Also, has anyone seen Illyria or Sunaarashi?"

***

Jensu leered into the abandoned shack before stepping in. "How'd you find this place?" She questioned before stumbling in.

"So like, are you not part of the Guild anymore...? Because I have to find the Milkweed, she grounded somewhere down river... and I could use your help." Jensu exhaled and shook her head. "I was hired by a man named Cha'Valkar. Five-hundred gold and a generous gift of alcohol for one shipment in country, it sounded pretty good. His boys in Poyo loaded the cargo and the only condition was I wasn't allowed to check it..." Jensu swallowed. "If I never saw and I got there a day late, or something put us off course... or even if I managed to take you guys to Jiefong, they would have starved..." She looked down at the fire, wishing she had a drink...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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Sunaarashi said nothing for a moment as he started the fire with a piece of flint from his bag.

"Starving," he said after the fire had started, "would probably have been a blessing compared to what they were planned for." He looked at Jensu. "I won't tell you not to feel guilty over it. I won't tell you everything will be just fine. Because you should feel bad. It's how you can tell you still have a conscience." His fists clenched. "Unlike the slavers who set you up for this."

They sat in silence for a few minutes, then Sunaarashi sighed.

"We should regroup with the others," he said. "Most of them are lowlife villains in a rut at the moment, and I don't trust the vast majority of them, but I did make a promise to stick with the guild for a few months. If you come back with me, I'll look out for you. Vouch for you." He smiled. "After all, I could have let you run away. There really aren't any monsters in this forest. So, think of it as repayment for the lie I told you. And... for telling me the truth, Captain. You didn't have to."

Silently, Sunaarashi engraved Cha'Valkar's name into his mind. A man he would be very interested in meeting... His eyes glittered with flames not entirely from the embers in front of him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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#, as written by Nulix
Jensu stared into the fire as Sunaarashi spoke. "I can't go back," She swallowed, her eyes darting up to the large, Sudean man. A slight smile flashed across her face. "I think my contract with the Great Guild has come to an end, anyway. I can't take you far without a ship."

The large man stood up and passed by the embers for the shack's entrance, turning and giving Jensu a bow as if to respect her decision. Jensu rose and bowed back. "Perhaps I will see you again," She called to the man as he exited. "Great Guild..."

Hours passed, and at midday a ship stood cradled in the forest, its front hull once damaged now being repaired by a large, white Oni nailing logs together to seal the gap. "Mohan!" Jensu called. The Oni turned to see his captain pelt down a hillside and head toward him. "Is she sea-worthy, mate?"

"Yes ma'am!" Mohan replied, giving the logs a smack and stepping down from his make-shift ladder of bark and cuttings. "She is now."

"Excellent," Jensu said, examining the repairs. "Well, at least she'll float. Where are the slaves?"

"On board, ma'am," Mohan explained, matching her steps as they walked around the ship to the starboard ladder. "I've saved most of them."

"Excellent. Get us in the water," Jensu ordered, climbing up onto the deck. "I need a drink. And I need to find Cha'Valkar." At the base of the ship Mohan began to push the craft forward with all his strength back toward the river from where it had come...

***

"We left the village with as much haste as we could muster given the circumstances. Something awaited me in Jiefong... I hadn't known it at the time but it would come to change everything I mission was. It would shape it, define it... we rode across the province. The raging rivers in summer were humid, wet. Warm, sticky. Especially when stuck in wagons. But with some members still injured from the incident with the guards we didn't have much of a choice but to keep to the carriages and after a day of travel past farmlands, forest, streams, rivers, waterfalls, and hills the rich mountains of Jiefong could be seen on the horizon - their peaks stabbing up into the sky until they surpassed the clouds. And I knew then our goal would soon be reached... Its a nice country, Yutan. Its rich, lush, full of life and people and things... its very unlike here," The words rested on Yuwen's lips as he leaned against the wall, the world white from the brightness of the sun.

"...You should really stand up right, Yuwen," Horat whispered in response, the shorter man standing opposite of him in matching uniform. "Sudean guards cannot be shown as weak."

"Why? Afraid you'll get invaded again?" Yuwen said bitterly.

"Isn't that Yune's thing now?" Horat replied with a half-smile. "Look. I know this isn't the ideal place to be but sometimes that's just how life is. You can't escape into your fantasies, friend."

"Fantasies?" Yuwen muttered, pulling his leather helmet off and slumping against the wall, dirtying the blue-Sudean uniform against its dusty brick. Their post was a small-archway in the market, remarkably giving them no-shade for ninety percent of the day but an ideal guarding post for the village bank. Their swords were plain and rusted, and armour consisted of nothing but worn linen never cut the correct size. The life of a Sudean guard in an obscure village in the middle of the desert was not one of luxury, Yuwen Fortune had found out. But perhaps it was all he could get. "The Guild of Fortune was a real organization founded by yours truly, my friend."

"So you claim," Horat muttered. "Like your map? Or you nobility?"

Yuwen swallowed. "Like my map."

The Sudean man folded his arms. "Alright then. What happened next?"

***

Wet, rice-fields surrounded them, rising and falling with the earth broken only by elevated farm-huts. Workers and farm-hands stood knee-deep in the wet soil as they harvested the rice, looking up only to see a band of three wagons pass through the muddy-road that cut down the middle of the farms. And leading them, barefoot with his pant legs rolled up to his knees and wearing nothing but a loose tunic was Yuwen Fortune himself, a large smile on his face as he walked beside his black steed. He whistled as he marched, giving the farmer's daughters a wink as he and the caravan passed. Through the clouds a high, yellow midday sun shun down, and Suiken, the large snow Oni who sat at the helms of the first wagon, seemed to be getting increasingly irritated by it.

"How we doing, first officer?" Yuwen questioned, running beside the Oni as he lazily steered. "Oh, not too hot huh?" He muttered, seeing the creatures irritation. "I suppose high twenties aren't the nicest temperatures for a snow Oni, huh?" Yuwen paused, as though realizing something. "I'll be right back," He said with a smile, giving the Oni a hard pat on the arm before maneuvering around the narrow road and running toward the back of the first wagon, mud splashing up with each footstep.

"Is it in here?" Yuwen questioned, opening the curtains of the wagon and peering in. Malachi, the silent necromancer, and Sunaarashi stared back at him, as if he was interrupting their conversation. "Oh, sorry guys," Yuwen muttered, backing away. "Wrong wagon." He began to sprint toward the second one, giving a quick wave to Malao who was also outside in the mud. "Hey!" He said, opening it. The medical wagon, housing Hyuna, Lo-muna, and Yamato. "Oh, wrong kart," Yuwen repeated, glancing at his teammates. His eyes darted between Yamato to Hyuna to then Lo-muna, and before he closed the curtains he made a slight mental note of the situation.

He then made his way to the third kart. "Echo!" He called to the large orca-beastman who sat on it's front seat. "You doing alright?" He questioned, before making his way to the end of the caravan. The curtains to the third wagon. He pulled them open and revealed what he was looking for: a massive bundle of food, there for them. "Perfect," He smiled, giving a happy nod to Millie and Ann'Razul who sat opposite the feast. "I've got a surprise for Suiken he's going to appreciate," He muttered, searching through the piles. "They had this food wrapped in paper - it was like flavoured ice, it was really delicious," He tried to explain to the two as he searched through. "Ah ha!" He exclaimed, pulling a cone covered in paper out victoriously. He unwrapped and his hand was instantly drenched by warm, fruity water that seeped out of the cone. He frown, dropping the worthless item and licking his hand. "I guess things melt," He stated. Like an idiot. Suddenly something caught his eye. A foot beneath the food. "Um Ann," He commented, removing a basket to reveal the body of a teenage girl beneath. "...I think I found some sort of corpse."

It wasn't a corpse, but instead the unconscious body of Terra Himene.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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#, as written by Nulix
"True, she looks pretty mucked up," Yuwen commented as he stepped through the grass. A few feet further the greenery washed up into the shore of a massive Rann river. "Hey listen, don't back up further!" Yuwen called, reaching out to the teenage girl. "The grass has weeds and wet-spots, you can trip and get tangled under the water! You can come with us but, who are you?"

Suddenly a blood curdling scream echoed from before them. Everyone within the mile paused what they were doing at the sound, including Terra, who turned left toward the source. Yuwen took the opportunity to bend and grab her, quickly pulling her away from the waters and into his arms. The guild leader let out a slight chuckle as he released his hold. "Don't worry kid," Yuwen said to the teenage girl. "You'll be fine. My names Yuwen Fortune, this is my guild." He began to walk forward, knocking on the front wagon's side as he did. "Alright gang, posse up!" He called. "Let's see what this screaming is about."

It didn't take him long, only about four steps past Master Wang Chang to see a cross-roads ahead. A noble-couple surrounded by Beast-men guards stood, the woman crying into the man's arms, as before them the ground was red with blood and bandits of all sorts lay disembodied. "Of course," Yuwne muttered, before turning back around and climbing onto Wang Chang's saddle. "Alright guys, keep a guard up. There's some psychotic shit going on up ahead so be careful." He swallowed. "We're almost at the bridge to the Imperial Camp. Then we take their lift up through the valley to Jiefong." He placed his hand on the hilt of his sword. "Just keep your guard up."

With that he began to ride forward on his black horse, the convey behind him carefully following...

***

Jensu swallowed as they sailed beneath the large-archway of the river reading in rough text Hanshan, and before them in the clearing red-roofed houses stretched out on each side of the tight water-way. The Milkweed had arrived in the Haran fields province after diverting south into the fray of waterways the Swine Valley possessed and eventually sailing back up into the dry-lands Haran was known for. It was harder to find a route in Haran, as the air itself seemed dryer - the globe itself turning hotter as they neared the Anvil Sea, where the great scientists of Yune said the sun rested over the most during each day. Jensu sniffed as she watched the wheat-farmers and shady immigrants wander the streets.

"This is where he said he'd meet you," Mohan commented from the wheel. Jensu turned to the man and quickly pulled her bottle to her mouth. "I know what he said in the letter," Jensu replied, alcohol dripping down her chin as she pulled the bottle away. It had been one of over a dozen that day. "Moga wrote it clearly: the Yawning Yak bar."

"Jensu," A voice called. The drunken captain turned to a frail goblin man approaching, one of a few working on the deck. "...Can you still free us?"

"I don't know," Jensu swallowed. "Maybe... but I'd have to find Fortune again..." She swallowed. "Listen, I'm going to talk to the guy... if I can get you out I'll walk out of the bar like normal, wearing my Captain's hat. If I can't I wont be. And if Mohan senses something is wrong he'll get the Milkweed out of this shithole of a town." She gave a small, toothy smile to the slave. "You understand?"

"I understand," The slave whispered in response before resuming to wash the deck with the other dozen or so recovered from the grounding two days prior. Jensu watched them work before turning to Mohan. "Optimistic," Mohan replied.

"Yeah, maybe," Jensu muttered, downing another half of her bottle.

The Milkweed continued down the narrow river before stopping outside a street. Jensu walked down onto the dirty-ground of the town and began to step forward, her head down and her body cloaked in her long-coat. Eventually she reached the bar in question, a few twists and turns inward of the red-coloured town. The Yawning Yak. The bouncer placed his foot over the curtained entrance as she approached.

"What is your business here, Goblin?" The large man questioned.

"Cha'Valkar," Jensu replied, not looking up. "I got a letter from his second this morning. He said he'd be around the town today and to wait for him at the bar. Has he come in at all?."

"Mister Valkar has left half an hour ago," The bouncer replied. Jensu looked up at the words. "I think he was looking for you too... he didn't believe you'd come."

Jensu swallowed. This man was clearly an associate of the slaver himself. "I believe he was heading to Jiefong," The man finished, before pointing her away...

Mohan watched as the tiny coated form of Jensu pelted down the street, back toward the boat. "He left town!" She screamed as she ran. "They're taking the south route, a road by the river!" Mohan nodded, already knowing what to do...

***

Shades of deep-red coloured the trees of Haran all-year long, with grasses constantly dry and bristly. A harsh province with unusual things growing in it, it truly was. But there was still water flowing through its veins, and thus there was prosperity and life. Cha'Valkar's party paused at the river the dirt road to Jiefong followed beside. Beneath the forest of red-trees they refilled water bottles and prepared to move once more, hoping to reach the great city by nightfall.

Suddenly a loud horn sounded off, echoing loudly in the quiet scene. The birds flew from the trees as down the river the damaged Milkweed sailed. "Cha'Valkar," Jensu greeted as the ship slowed to the camp's resting spot. She carefully flung over the edge of the junk and landed on the road. "Good to finally meet the man who stole my mother," She hissed at the man. "I have your shipment. Some of it at least..."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen rode forward grimly, Master Wang Chang pausing as they approached the six guards who surrounded the couple. "Excuse me," He called over the armoured-beast men. He looked over the head of a black-bear creature to get to the couple. "Excuse me, do you know what happened here?"

The silky haired noble-man stroked the woman's hair before looking up at Yuwen. "No idea... these are our lands, good sir. We own the Bao-Laei estate, this crossroads corners them with the water..." He swallowed. "I went to walk with my beautiful new bride when we saw this... scene."

"Right," Yuwen muttered, carefully passing the bodies by on the grass. "Let's hope that doesn't come back," Yuwen muttered, watching the guards as they maneuvered around the scene. As they began to ride again Yuwen spotted another figure: a man with odd-hair resting against a tree opposite the river. "Hold on, we got another one," He called, before galloping up to the sleeping man. "Excuse me!" He called loudly at the man. "There's been a massacre a bit down the road. Do you know what that's about, sir?"

***

Jensu swallowed as she stared at the blonde-haired slaver. Her head was aching but her concentration felt stable. Cha'Valkar, the man himself. She'd heard of him on and off, and he most likely never her. It was in Poyo that one of his underlings raided the goblins, capturing her mother in the process, and figured out that blackmail was a much cheaper way of getting someone to deliver slaves than actually paying. The deal in the letter had been if Jensu delivered the slaves to Foroe her mother would be set free, a deal she agreed to until meeting Fortune, who claimed to know where her mother had been diverted to. And hopefully he still did, because she had a feeling this encounter would go bad.

"We had an accident on the Gan river, some of the cargo was lost," Jensu continued, her gaze quickly picking up Illyria in the corner. She paused. "...You were with the guild."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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#, as written by Rann
They were proceeding to Jiefong in good measure, the odd trio of slaver man, slave girl, and giant half-ashura monster. They had passed by a travelling merchant, who'd given them an odd look and looked scrutinizing, almost as if he was trying to memorize their faces. Most people at least knew of the girl, Nee, in areas north of Jiefong- she was beloved, despite being a girl. But it was probably thankful that most didn't know what she looked like, since those portraits painted of her were usually idealized and perfected versions of her. Valkar, still hefting the girl over his shoulder, with the wordless Tiamat behind him, figured things were going pretty well so far. He had asked her many questions earlier during the walk; how old she was, how she got so skilled, what her current job was, but it was all met by silence. It wasn't anything out of the ordinary, really. He wondered if Tiamat really liked anything except for murder and killing and murder.

"You're heavy, slave." Valkar said, breaking the silence, and feeling like tormenting her a bit more. He was giving her a free ride, after all, and he was under no obligation to do so, technically. Although the girl was as light as a feather, hardly adding any difficulty to the walk at all. "How will you make this up to me?"

He didn't really expect an answer from the girl who was still playing the silent defiance game, but she replied with a small, but resolute, "I'll save you from this life, that's how."

Well, that was certainly odd. Wouldn't most people be blindly hating him by now, and cursing the very air he breathed? As the sun burned above them, a dull confusion settled in Valkar's mind, but in the end, it didn't really matter. There was nothing Nee could really do except live and die a slave now, is the reality of the situation. And that's exactly how Valkar wanted it. So he chuckled at her sentence, idly watching the red trees drift on by as they got closer to Jiefong, one step at a time.

"This isn't who you are, Valkar." She let out a strained sigh, massaging the bruise forming in her waist from when he kicked her a while back. It hurt a lot, just a little touch would send sparks of pain up, but she tried her best to soothe the abused skin while being carried by the slaver lord.

He slapped her across the face, with a dark expression. "If this isn't me, then who am I?"

"A good person."

This slave really needed to learn a lesson. Tossing her bodily onto the ground, and muttering to Tiamat that they might as well take a little break, they stopped at the riverbank. Valkar took out his axe and started heating it up with his still weak fire chi; a small flame rising up to touch the steel; and told Nee to go and refill their water bottles. Once she was done, Valkar then forced her closer to him; and once in arms reach, he pushed her down onto the ground, face up.

"You still think I'm a good person, slave?" He asked her, and she nodded, with a knowing gulp at the red hot steel in his hand. She had wanted to give him vocal reassurance, but, well, she was honestly terrified of what she knew was coming, but was prepared to take it. She figured she'd need to suffer a lot, but in the end she'd save him somehow. A thought most would consider stupidly naive, or ridiculously brave.

"Good people don't do things like this." Valkar said in a deathly quiet voice, before lifting her skirt and lowering the hot side of the axe onto her exposed thigh. There was a hot sizzling sound and a shrill shriek of agony as the girl writhed and flailed on the ground, drowning out the once calm tinkle of the river and the chirping of the assortment of birds. The smell of burnt flesh wafted through the air, and Valkar released axe, letting it cool off in his hand before sheathing it again tossing the panting girl some ointment.

"It'll stop the scarring." He muttered, and after she hesitantly applied the ointment and gave him a mix of a pleading and piteous glance, she added, "Don't want scars on my slaves, that's all."

Looking numbly at the half-ashuran that was accompanying them, he murmured a little apology for the delay, knowing she wanted to get a move on and get this shit over with as soon as possible. That was when a loud horn resonated throughout the serene clearing, with a worse-for-wear Milkweed sailing by the river, and the goblin jumped off to face the slaver himself. Valkar smiled at her in cautious anticipation, using a hand to keep Nee safely behind him.

"Cha'Valkar." Jensu called. "Good to see the man who stole my mother. I have your shipment... some of it at least."

Now Valkar could get on with his life. He still needed to procure more goblins somehow, to meet the quota asked for by Ohano, but he could still do it in Yune, couldn't he? He knew there had to be some free goblins around a big city such as Jiefong to make up for the deficit. And he also felt a strange pleasure knowing how easy the captain was to manipulate, with his mother as a threat.

Nee gasped in recognition, and made sure to hide even more behind Valkar. The slaver wondered exactly why she was hiding, but it suited his purposes well enough. Was she afraid of goblins, or something? He looked at her in the corner of his eye, and felt that she was sturdy; not even a hint of a tremor. So she wasn't afraid.

"We had an accident on the Gan river, some of the cargo was lost," Jensu continued, her gaze quickly picking up Illyria in the corner. She paused. "...You were with the guild."

"You'll get your mother back..." Valkar said with a smug grin, hands ready just in case Jensu attacked. He knew he could easily take her, but he didn't want to risk his new slave. Dealing with any unneeded injuries on her would be dissatisfying, and ruin the idea of having her in the first place. "After you get me the slaves to make up for the ones you lost. I think we should travel with you, to make sure you don't try anything, okay?" He gave the goblin an innocent smile at that. "I always did like boats, so please treat us nicely."

He felt something rustle behind him and knew Nee was using her chi again to calm everyone down. A tiny amount of inner pride glowed towards her from him, but was quickly snuffed out.

"Or, I could just sell your mother to the client." Another innocent, cheerful smile, and an amiable pat on the Captains shoulder. "Would that be an acceptable alternative?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen gave a half-smile as the purple-haired psychopath threatened him. He leaned back on his horse, giving a bemused expression to his teammates, before turning back to the armed man. "I won't do anything, I'm not the law," He replied dismissively. "Of course over that bridge up ahead in the valley is an Imperial Camp. I'm sure they'll have some words for you." He nodded at the man before carefully turning his horse to face the bear-man. "We're heading to Jiefong, its not far," He commented as he leaned forward on Master Wang Chang. "You can travel in our wagons if you want. I'm Yuwen Fortune, this is my guild."

***

"Don't touch me," Jensu replied to the disgusting Valkar as they moved up the gangplank to the side of the Junk. The deck was empty, save for the large white-skinned Oni Mohan. Slaves were nowhere to be seen. "I dropped them off in the town," Jensu lied as they stepped aboard. "To a beast-man who said he was an associate of yours." Another lie. She'd free'd them outside town, more confident in Yuwen's information on her mother than in Valkar's threat. Jensu swallowed as she quickly went toward the wheel before the slaver had time to respond. Hopefully he'd be more forgiving for incompetence than betrayal, and her mother could still be saved.

"Oh dear," Mohan commented to Amanha as he raised anchor. "You're with him."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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#, as written by Rann
The goblin captain recoiled visibly as they climbed up onto the esteemed and, actually quite run-down Milkweed. Valkar chuckled to himself- this Jensu had some spirit that could use some breaking. However, she was more useful as a tool to manipulate than anything else. So she'd be spared any slavery attempt unless the situation radically changed. A snow oni, pale as sleet, seemed to be the last crewmate, and, feeling a primal need grow within him, Valkar really just wanted some alone time with his slave. He had to make sure she wouldn't try any mind games with him from now on; because deep down, Valkar knew his resolve was beginning to shake. And only a fate worse than death awaited him if he swayed in his purpose.

"I dropped them off in the town," Jensu said grimly, not really looking directly at Valkar. Nee's breath stiffened and she glanced nervously at the goblin- seemingly detecting something but not saying anything about it. Valkar decided not to pay it mind, and let the goblin continue. "To a beast-man who sad he was an associate of yours."

He had several, but as far as he could tell, none of his beast-men were stationed there. Unless they were in Moga's unit, and they passed by the town during the mobilization. It was slightly suspicious, and Valkar knew he'd have to confirm it with Moga after- but right now, there were more important things to do. He looked to his old enemy, Tiamat, and shuffled over more coins; knowing her lure. "Make sure they don't do anything to harm me, you, or Nee." He murmured to her. "And, well, thanks for coming along."

Grabbing the slave by the collar, Valkar basically tossed her into the hall and kicked her into a room, where he locked the door. And to be sure, this wasn't about a man's need at all. No... otherwise, any would do, and be more satisfying. This was something different- a show of power. Valkar had to prove that he was in control; that Nee was utterly helpless. It's his duty, as slave master. And he made sure to choose the smallest room possible.

"So, you're going to do it." Nee mumbled in a dull, faded voice, limp and just sort of staring at the wooden wall. Valkar smirked; the girl really was sharp. She probably knew this was inevitable, after all.

"As an extra bonus." Valkar kissed her light on the lip, his aura overwhelming hers in a show of force and power. "I'll even call you Nee during the whole thing."

She let out a little, tired sigh, but didn't show any signs of resisting. If Valkar was looking at the girl at all, though, he'd have seen the tears start trickling down her small face. "D-do as you will, then."

He picked her up and threw her roughly onto the bed. She didn't really do anything at all.




Valkar was cleaning the bloodied sheets, feeling more or less edified as the girl had completely shut down halfway through her ordeal. He'd been rough on purpose, and she had screamed- probably loud enough for the people out on deck to hear. Valkar didn't really care, though. He had to discipline his favorite slave, after all. At first she'd tried desperately to talk him out of it, saying that he was better than a brutish act like that; that she'd had faith in him and wanted to have a long friendship together. He answered by hitting her small body over and over.

The girl was just curled up in a ball in the corner of the room, but Valkar wasn't bothered. Most girls reacted that way when forced into the act. Unlike most, though, the girl took a brave gulp and started talking again.

"Th-the goblin... she's obviously not... she doesn't like you." She said in a small, washed out voice. "What if she betrays you?"

Valkar laughed contently at his slave's naivety. "She won't. Not while her mother's being held by one of my men."

The girl thought quickly, still not looking at him; and not willing to address what had just happened. "But the man you sent to Poyo, he was just bait, right?"

Sharp. Almost insanely sharp, to the point that Valkar wondered if the girl had some sort of foresight. "Yeah, just a decoy. Wouldn't leave such an easy target out there to someone with a crew, after all."

Something went together in Nee's mind. With a wistful glane at Valkar, she took small steps and exited the room after wrapping a clean sheet around her body. Valkar just shrugged, and decided the girl probably didn't want to see him at the moment. He decided to take the time trying to wonder why he felt like such a monster when he never felt this amount of guilt ever before. It irritated him to a great degree.




"Jensu." Nee muttered quietly to the captain at the helm. "Let's make a deal."

Without waiting for an answer, and looking back to see if Valkar had followed her, she continued, clutching the sheet closer to her body. "I know you lied to V-.. to Master... about the slaves. If you promise that they're safe... I'll tell you where your mother is,"

She then glanced at a map close by and pointed out the rivers. "The man in Poyo is a decoy." The girl started. "So, I thought, where would logically be the best place for her to end up, and still be close enough for him to grasp at, as well as the travel time, there was only one place. Where the river flows north here,' "She pointed, trailing her finger up, and wiping away at more tears. "It leads into a canal in the rather large city of Lyropta. I'll bet my life that your mother's still en-route, not quite at Lyropta just yet."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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#, as written by Nulix
Jensu sat at the wheel of the Milkweed, silently sipping away at her bottle as the sun neared the edge of the horizon, to disappear on its other side until rising once more. Around two hours away, she figured, until sunset. She sipped the bottle again, sniffling slightly as they sailed through the lake. The branches of the red trees brushed against the hull as she slowly sailed down-river, fireflies bobbing gently up and down on the waters around them. But she wasn't paying attention to the beauty of the world around them - no one aboard could, and when the sounds from below deck finally ceased Mohan approached.

"...I feel dirty," He whispered. "And the only way to be clean again is if this ship or he burns."

Jensu looked up at the large man, red-eyed. "Well let's make sure its him," She whispered after a moment. Mohan nodded and after another sniffle she burst into tears, dropping the bottle down on the deck. It rolled away from her as she cried. "Ma'am," Mohan whispered, kneeling a putting a hand on her tiny, shaking shoulders. "Ma'am, please."

"I'm sorry..." She cried, her voice muffled from within her arms. "I'm so sorry."

"It's not your fault," Mohan replied. "You are a good master. You are a good person."

Jensu glared up, her eyes red and her face distorted in anger. "I am an enabler," She spat. "Because I'm too scared to be otherwise..."

"Jensu," A voice called. The goblin looked up past Mohan to the small human girl, clutching a sheet around her body. "Let's make a deal. I know you lied to V-.. to Master... about the slaves. If you promise that they're safe... I'll tell you where your mother is,"

She stepped toward a map laying on the deck beside Jensu's feet. "The man in Poyo is a decoy. So, I thought, where would logically be the best place for her to end up, and still be close enough for him to grasp at, as well as the travel time, there was only one place. Where the river flows north here. It leads into a canal in the rather large city of Lyropta. I'll bet my life that your mother's still en-route, not quite at Lyropta just yet."

Jensu sniffled and nodded. "They're safe," She whispered, before closing her eyes and letting her head sink. "...I don't know who you are, but I know who can free you." Her finger reached to Jiefong. "There's a group called the Great Guild," She explained. "They're a lot braver than me... and they're in Jiefong."

***

Ro looked Yamato up and down as the guards held him. "To who do I owe the pleasure?" The creature quipped. Ro didn't give him a response, instead turning to Fortune once more. "So you lied to me?" He called out, unsheathing his blade.

"Oh him!" Yuwen exclaimed. "I thought you meant foreign Tengu!"

"And he's not?" Ro questioned. Yuwen shook his head. "He's been here from birth, haven't you?" He said, approaching Yamato and pulling him in for a hug. "If things don't go well- fly," He whispered into the man's ear before releasing. "Haven't you, old boy?" He repeated, patting Yamato on the back.

Ro pointed his blade forward at Yamato. "I'm afraid you'll have to back up," He ordered Yuwen. A Prefect reached forward and grabbed the Guild Leader. "Let's see some identification, Tengu," Ro sneered. "Prove yourself."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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Truly, the universe's loathing for me never ceases to surprise.

Amanhã had proceeded in silence throughout the journey-- even as Cha'Valkar directed question after question after fucking inane question at her, even as he stopped to waste time dithering about and disciplining his slave, she said not a word, simply trudging along, her face obscured by her helmet, an obdurate, apathetic figure, a presence more than a person. She preferred it to be that way-- to be a person was something vulnerable and pathetic, and those were not things Amanhã had made a practice of letting herself be in years.

She liked to think she'd been quite successful in that regard. Perhaps not completely so, but... successful enough.

But when that damn goblin from before showed up, Amanhã decided she was clearly not doing something right, because whatever preternatural force was guiding the destiny of each individual on this cursed lump of rock had seen fit to drag back into the bounty hunter's life what she assumed had to be the last living component of her brief escapade with that Glorious Clan Flamboyance or whatever. They'd just stopped for yet another moment of repose, and Amanhã waited with withering patience for Cha'Valkar to burn his slave or call her worthless or some such inanity, when like a bolt from the damn blue, the all too familiar form of the asininely named Milkweed, its damaged carcass evidently successfully recovered, emerged down the riverbank and came to a gradual halt beside their little makeshift resting place.

When the goblin recognised Amanhã, the half-Ashuran said nothing, merely scowling behind her helmet and observing the scene unfold before her. Apparently Cha'Valkar was planning on taking the ship to Jiefong, which... Hmm. That could prove advantageous to me, if I force myself to endure the inevitable inanities that will unfold consequently. After all, it would get her closer to her objective faster than if she made the journey on foot, and she could probably force herself to suffer the asinine chatter of the goblin and her crew mate, or the continued subjugation of the slave girl. I suppose I could think of worse, she mused, glaring through the slits of her helmet at her overly loquacious (and wholly temporary) travelling partner.

Therefore, as the slaver and his latest acquisition boarded the ship with the goblin at the lead, Amanhã followed wearily, looking forward to leaving all this shit behind-- Cha'Valkar, the imbecile slave girl, the goblin, all remnant connections to the guild. And when the white-skinned oni crew mate observed to her as she boarded, as if in passing, "Oh dear, you're with him," she simply strode on past. But even she couldn't help but muse wryly, You're not the only one who's baffled. But then, the world's been all too confusing lately.







The screams echoed up to the deck of the Milkweed like there was nothing between the wooden surface and the scene of torment occurring beneath it.

Amanhã stood as still and resolute as a statue, as simply an inanimate suit of armour, her arms crossed across her hulking torso and her eyes ever vigilant behind the callous apathy of her helmet. The captain, up at the wheel, was indulging what was very clearly a potent alcoholism, the first mate going about his own respective duties. The screams from below deck were the only sound interrupting the otherwise serene, inexorably deep silence of what should have been a lifeless, unpolluted river, tearing through the quietude of nature like a crossbow bolt into flesh.

It was irksome. And a little unsettling even for the bounty hunter.

Time passed. At length, the screams ceased, and the blissful silence once again reigned supreme. The captain was now sobbing into the arms of the white-skinned oni, but her cries were weak and subdued. Amanhã did not turn her face toward them, gave no visible indication she'd even noticed, but her eyes narrowed on the pitiful scene. The goblin captain was in a position of powerlessness almost as absolute as the slave girl Cha'Valkar had just broken-- she clearly loathed what her ship had just been witness to, but was incapable of putting a stop to it, given the slave lord also had her mother in captivity.

She must be wondering if her mother has been subject to the same, Amanhã conceived. If she too has been broken in this manner. The bounty hunter's brow furrowed. She had always held that the weak deserved whatever they were unable to fight back against-- death, enslavement, the indignities enforced against Cha'Valkar's latest acquisition. But she had considered it, she now noted, in a vacuum-- a matter of purely that single individual and the fate they endured as a result of their powerlessness, their pathetic impotence. She had always held that because of that impotence, that helplessness, they deserved the fate meted out to them-- by Amanhã, by bandits, by slavers.

Did the goblin captain deserve this quandary?

That much, the bounty hunter was forced to conclude, was less straightforward.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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#, as written by Rann
A katana, aimed towards the spear girl. She jumped a little, spear grazing the neck of the hated man. Ann'Razul; voice of reason. The scowl returned and the spear trembled as Hyuna's anger built even more. What was the gwanish doing?

"Hyuna, if you do not put your weapon down, I will cut off your arm," Razul said in an almost emotionless voice. "You can cause all the damn trouble you want, but as soon as I'm involved, I will have absolutely none of it, do you hear?"

She heard, but Hyuna was almost beyond hearing, in her furious vengeful daze. She registered the threat, but something in her mind wasn't fully connecting, and equated the loss of an arm to be a suitable sacrifice for the slaying of Prefect Ro. She was about to completely disregard Ann's threat and drive the spear through Ro's throat when she heard;

“Lo-Muna’s on the boat you're about to sink, Give that some thought.”

Why the hell did Ann have to bring up the bunny girl at a time like this? Hyuna hated her, didn't she? So what good would it do to mess her up in the mind, even more than she already was? It already snapped her a little bit of her revenge trance, though, as instead, images of her and Muna prancing across a field of flowers floated through her mind. Hyuna furiously tried her best to shake those thoughts out, when she heard the calm voice of her Master enter her mind.

"Now now, he's only doing his job. Best we just comply this time. After all, you're still weak."

Goddamnit. That word again. Weak, she was always too weak. Too weak to save Yamato here, too weak to protect Muna back at the cemetary, too weak to save the innocent girl she used to be back at the Tengu warfront. She was always too weak- when would she finally have what it took to be strong? She was always, every single time that mattered, too weak to do anything. She couldn't even save her unit in the resistance; not even her brother's lover who was also stranded behind enemy lines.

Too weak. Too damn weak. Every time. And she couldn't even settle a personal score because Master disagreed?

"There's no point to fighting here and now."

Yamato, the idiot. Couldn't he see, by killing Ro, so much in Hyuna's tornado of a mind would clear right up, wouldn't it? Hadn't the battle with him been the one that killed her beloved older brother's lover? So of course she'd have to kill him as retribution. Revenge. She needed it; lusted for it more than anything else in the world.

Still, the mental block stopping her from reason dissipated, and Hyuna, with a dejected and defeated sigh used wind to blow Ro backwards, before floating up and landing back on the side of the guild, blushing deeply when she glanced at Muna.

"Whatever." She murmured darkly, and looked down at Yamato's documents. She fixed any mistakes with a quick subtle illusion before letting the Imperials get their filthy hands on it. Might as well help a little bit, instead of fuck everyone over like a useless piece of meat again.




Nee nodded, still shaking and feeling lightheaded from her whole ordeal. Her whole body was sore; especially that one spot, and the places where he had beaten her were bruising pretty badly too. She would have been surprised that her body hadn't been completely ruined had she not already calculated that a small bit of mercy would show through and let it end before anything permanent had happened. It didn't help the mental anguish, nor the physical ravaging at all, but there was at least that cold comfort.

She thought before answering. If she asked for the help, it'd free her and end this new hell... but it'd also possibly cause Valkar's death, an obvious unfavorable outcome. If she decided to refuse the help and continue on this course, gainig Valkar's strength would be a great help to her family and what they were hoping to accomplish. And that mattered most. The downsides were obvious, though, and the teenaged girl pondered exactly how much of the abuse she could take before she broke altogether. She made a neutral glance up at the living suit of armor named Tiamat, and tried to add her into her mental calculations.

She really just seemed like a neutral piece on the board; not really going to move in either direction without any personal gain. And, well, so far, the only motivation she could think of from the suit of armor was money- something Valkar had in droves, and that she herself currently lacked. She could offer to double whatever Tiamat had with her family's money, but she didn't know if a deal like that would follow through. And if it didn't, it'd reveal her thoughts to Valkar, at least a little bit. And that was out of the question. She'd have to wait and see more of the suit of armor, although Nee was pretty sure she wouldn't end up being anything other than she already is. An impassive force; not really able to consider life at all.

She had made her decision grimly.

"I'm okay." She said quietly to the goblin captain, hugging herself tight. "I'm fine with being his slave... because, I don't think he's a bad person. If my suffering can help him, then so be it, it's worth it."

She smiled innocently, while turning and giving a deep and long scrutinizing glance at the suit of armor, trying to get her impressive mind into Tiamat's own thoughts. Nee's expression narrowed very very slightly, and then she sat herself down next to the giantess after limping up to her.

"Hope you enjoyed the show." She said bitterly, but still with a smile. "Tiamat... right?"

With a failed attempt at a grin, she walked back to the goblin captain, wringing her hands helplessly, scratching at the hated collar. "I'm just... I'll hang out around here, if that's okay. I'm not looking forward to being alone with him right now."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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#, as written by Nulix
"I'm okay." She said quietly to the goblin captain, hugging herself tight. "I'm fine with being his slave... because, I don't think he's a bad person. If my suffering can help him, then so be it, it's worth it."

"Not a bad person?" Jensu spat in disbelief as Nee retreated to the half-breed Illyria at the bow of the deck. "Do you know what we used to do to sailors like that in the Imperial Trading Company?" She continued, her yell turning into a whisper at the realization that Valkar could hear below deck. "We'd crucify and drown them," She whispered to the two as she approached. "Now that piece of shit has a human slave. Within the Empire that's illegal." She shook her head angrily and took another chug of her bottle. "The minute we get into Jiefong I'm going to alert the guards and they'll destroy him."

She glanced up at Amanha and swallowed. "Unless you'll try to stop me," She said, having not before questioned the mysterious mercenaries loyalty.

***

Ro glared at the assembled gang who had threatened and insulted him in the midst of an army camp. Every single soldier had noticed and surrounded the trio of wagons, armed to the teeth and ready. "Well, this all checks out," Ro replied, handing Yamato back the papers. "It turns out if you had just shown me you would have been free to pass. Unfortunately you proceeded to insult me, threaten my life and commit treason in the process. In fact you should all be massively executed."

At the words the five-hundred or so soldiers in the camp prepared their blades and rose their shields for combat. Ro shrugged at the sight and began to walk away. "Good luck," He called.

"Wait, Ro!" Yuwen called, pushing passed Hyuna roughly as he ran up to the man. Ro paused to give the noble his ear. "Look... I'll pay."

"Oh good, you'll pay," Ro chuckled, raising his cup of tea off a bench.

"Listen, we surrender and go to court and then go to prison. Whatever the fine is to get out at that point I'll double it right now if you let us on our way," Yuwen pleaded. Ro was silent in response before taking another sip of tea. "They threatened you, you're in the order of the prefecture not the army," Yuwen said, putting his hands together and falling on his knees. "I am literally begging you to undo this."

"Get up, you silly man," Ro muttered, grabbing Yuwen's hand and pulling him up. "Where's the money from?"

"The account," Yuwen replied, glancing over his still surrounded teammates.

Ro let out a laugh. "The account is locked out for Yuwen Fortune and you know it, old boy."

"Then get the other Lu-Tan to do it," Yuwen said. "Tell him the amount I promise he'll extract it."

Ro pause, finish his tea before marching back toward the guild. "Off them men! They've paid a fine and are free to go!" Ro put his whistle in his mouth and blew loudly, causing the confused soldiers to back away. "I said off them!"

"It's not really an issue for you to decide, is it?" The elderly general muttered as he approached through the crowd. Ro turned, instantly getting into the older man's face. "Isn't it?" He spat. "They insulted the Prefecture, so I decide what the punishment for that would be. Right now I decide its freedom. They aren't a threat so I say they go free."

"I am your senior officer," The general whispered threateningly. "And your elder, young dragonfly."

"Alright then sick the army on me," Ro dared the general before turning to the guild. "Formation!" He yelled followed by a loud whistle blow. The red armoured prefectures surrounded the guild's caravan and carefully began to escort them through the crowd of hostile soldiers. The general watched as they walked through the camp toward it's east exit, shaking his head and dismissing the matter.

"You want to use our lift to Jiefong?" Ro questioned Yuwen as they walked out the east exit of the camp and approached the large, wooden platform built into the side of the rock. Ropes hung off it and stretched tightly along the valley stone above, and beside it large beast-man slaves stood beside handled pulleys with rope weighed down with stones to balance the lift as it rose.

"This'll take you to Jiefong," Ro explained, looking up into the cloudy mountaintops the lift's ropes disappeared into. "But it won't support all this."

"We leave everything except Master Wang Chang," Yuwen replied, pointing to his black horse.

"Okay," Ro nodded as he began to walk away with his man. "Take the moron with you," He added, nodding toward Orion. "I don't think he'll survive a trip back through the camp."

Yuwen nodded before turning to his team, the friendly expression he had with Ro was gone, now replaced by one they hadn't seen before. A mix of disappointment and anger. "...Come on," he managed at last, stepping onto the large wooden platform with his horse....

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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#, as written by Rann
Valkar was having a long introspective moment, usually after completely losing himself in his hatred for pretty much most women he'd ever met. The disgusting, deceptive, narcissistic creatures deserved nothing but pain... but it wasn't like he wanted to feel that way. The man sat prone on the bed as he pondered this. He knew, logically, that Nee did nothing to really deserve this, nor did any of his other slaves, like the mother of the goblin woman, who he'd given to his men to play with as they pleased. He knew it was a terrible thing to do; she was a kindly woman, as far as he'd heard, but he also knew that offering her to his men would help keep them loyal. And that, in general, was more worthwhile than any sort of moral decision.

In any case, the man sighed ruefully as he longed for some sort of strong drink. He'd already passed the moral event horizon long ago, no matter what he did, there was no way Nee could really do anything to save him from his darkness. He didn't even know why she bothered- he'd even raped her and completely ruined her idyllic life. She'd had a lot of potential to be amazing, didn't she? Pretty, funny, and smart enough to bypass the usual gender discrimination within Yune nobles and gain the admiration of most nobles in northern Yune. All of that was stripped away- without her virgin-knot, her worth had gone down at least a little bit. Not that it really mattered; she wouldn't ever be returning to the life of a noble, right?

At least, that's what he was going for.

Still, Valkar did hear the outburst from the goblin captain up above deck. Did Nee somehow plot something? Valkar let out a curse, wondering when he'd learn to stop underestimating the slave girl, and got up, wondering what the hell he was really planning with his life at all.




As expected, the goblin, Jensu, reacted negatively to her urging. Of course she would; Jensu was a good woman, and Nee new very well someone with morals wouldn't let a girl wander around in chains like this, especially with what they all heard below deck not too long ago. Nee absently noted that her step was wavering, her head was spinning, and that if she didn't focus on bottling everything up, her body would tremble almost violently. She felt nauseous, almost as if by physically rejecting what had happened, it could reverse the damage done. She scrunched her toes up underneath the sheet to relieve stress as best as she could without anyone seeing. She tried to smile reassuringly at the goblin as she returned to her, but even Nee knew that her smile was wobbly and shaky, obviously not convincing anyone anytime soon that she was fine. What wasn't fine was hearing Jensu's loud outburst- since her screams had pierced the wood, it was obvious Jensu's voice would too, and that the slaver lord would hear her. The girl's breath quickened just a tad as she wondered what the next torment would be. She'd have to stick by her decision, though, and do her best to dissuade the goblin from doing anything against Valkar.

He was too useful a tool, if she could exploit the seeds of compassion.

"We'd crucify and drown them," Jensu murmured quietly.

Yes, she'd definitely have to try and find a way to make Jensu change her mind. Nee scanned the goblin woman's face closely, full of grief, guilt, and anger all at the same time in a somewhat drunken stupor. Grief at the travesty her ship had been forced to suffer, guilt at being too cowardly to do anything about it, and anger at the red-clad man being housed down below. But if Nee could convince Jensu that she had everything under control, she still had a chance to keep things at the very least, not violent until they hit Jiefong. And, well, she was glad the slaves were saved. It was one less burden to bear, and another fact tot ake into account- Jensu would try to do things behind the scenes to sabotage Valkar, and she'd have to try to outwit and dodge those plots once they hit land.

"I'm really okay." Nee stressed, her voice thin and weary. She was still shivering and looking more than anything, a traumatized girl that had seen too much. It was unfortunate, but there were no plants on board really to take advantage of her chi to make the captain in a more suggestible mood. And Nee was too afraid; too weak and sore; too isolated and alone to really put on her best mask and hide all the pain. "I... please, Jensu, once we hit Jiefong, go and find your mother. Then you can put all this past you, and forget about me; forget about Valkar, and focus on getting things back in order." She spoke in a calm, soothing tone, hoping her voice could undo the weakness of her body. "And, hey, u-uhm-"

Her persuasion powers were interrupted by a man walking up, looking annoyed; a sour frown on his face.

"Don't even try it." Valkar growled to the girl, and although usually she could withstand verbal abuse without a peep, her weakened mental state made her release a small squeak of terror, covering her mouth as quickly as she could. "Captain, she's incredibly manipulative. Best to just ignore the slave."

He laughed lewdly, with a piercing look straight at the girl. "You're probably trying to convince her to let you free in exchange for information about her mother, right?"

He violently gripped Nee by the shoulder, squeezing it hard and making her wince, tears brimming up once again, even as she desperately fought to keep them down and maintain composure.

"Hurry it up, Captain." Valkar murmured. "We have to round up a few more goblins, anyways to ship over.:




Hyuna was annoyed. And feeling more useless than ever. And she still wanted to kill. Keeping mostly to herself, only making a noncommittal grunt in response to Ann's comment of liking her, but not wanting to have to attack her next time she went flying out of control, and she watched as Yuwen, with words, resolved the entire problem with little to no effort.

She looked at the guild itself; the dancing singing oni, who'd unofficially taken his spot as second in command, Muna the... okay, well, Hyuna didn't want to think about Muna at all, to be honest. She also thought about Razul, strong and yet emotionally... cold at the same time. And more and more she realized that she was the odd one out in this group that she really had no place there at all. Even Yamato was finding his place. But Hyuna was still the loose cannon; the one to get everyone else in danger and having them over up for her fuck ups.

What the hell was she doing there, anyways? Why not just blindly wander aroud until she ended up in something way out of her skill level and got unceremoniously killed, all alone? Wouldn't that be better? She smirked a little to herself, even as they got on the lift.

"Well sure, depending on how fast Hyuna gets us executed next time, maybe she'll already have fucked us enough to be arrest by the time we reached the top, eh?"

No kindness from her childhood friend, that's for sure. She faintly heard Muna say something to him, but her mind only registered the latter part.

"I think you should be more considerate of others in the future as we consider you."

The bunny girl, who Hyuna had depended on for kindness, spurned her, hadn't she? Their brief moment of friendship must not have meant much to anyone, then, back on that river in the shipwreck. Shame burned hard, and more darkness and despair gathered.

"I think we could all stand to learn a bit of restraint..."

As if she didn't hate the dancing singing Oni enough already.

She wasn't a hero, like in the old make-believe games back then, when everything was still good. She wasn't even remotely neutral at all. Hyuna scowled as she realized that she was the one that shouldn't even be here at all, not even having enough left in her to try to respond to the voices pestering her psyche.

Useless. Pathetic. Childish.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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Eventually, the slave girl emerged from below the deck, her battered, beaten body wrapped in a small white sheet that did little to obscure the abuse she had endured. Amanhã glanced at her without turning her head for a brief second, noted her ascent to the deck of the junk, and then she turned her eyes from the girl, figuring there was nothing she could really do that Amanhã would have to be on guard for. She heard her light feet pitter-patter against the wooden surface of the deck like raindrops or some equally poetic shit like that, ambling off toward the goblin captain, who had continued to sob and whimper uselessly at the wheel of her ship, and she heard them conferring in tones that were anything but subdued. Her brow furrowed. Aren't they at all trepidatious about speaking so freely in my presence? she considered. After all, in their eyes, she had to be an unknown quantity-- but most likely an ally of Cha'Valkar. Why, then, would they ever believe it was rational to discuss opposition to the slaver lord in the presence of someone who was likely his ally?

The bounty hunter wondered briefly if she ought to do anything about it, when the slave girl broke off from the goblin captain and her first mate, and Amanhã heard her stepping toward her: her eyes flitted toward the former noble, watching her approach almost serenely, utterly undaunted by the monstrous armoured form looming over her. Instead, she simply plopped herself down beside Amanhã for whatever god-forsaken reason, and then, because there simply was no sense left in this world, she began to speak to the bounty hunter.

"Hope you enjoyed the show..." Is she joking? Amanhã refused the urge to turn and glare down at the imbecilic girl. Joking about what just happened to her? A scowl crossed the bounty hunter's features. What a pathetic cretin. Nevertheless, whatever disgust Amanhã felt for the girl, whatever disdain, it was not sufficient to give her cause to actively indicate it. Instead, after she continued to ignore the slave girl, rebuffing her baffling, nonsensical attempts at interaction, the slave simply got up and left, returning to the goblin captain's side, where the lot of them continued to audibly (at points even very loudly) plan to oppose Cha'Valkar.

Well, they didn't look like they had a whole lot of gold between them-- not to mention between a powerful slave lord, and a battered slave girl along with some goblin whose mother was in shackles, Amanhã had little difficulty figuring out which of them deserved to survive and which deserved to fall.

When the goblin captain declared her intent to alert the guards of Cha'Valkar upon arrival in Jiefong, when she actually challenged Amanhã to try and stop her, that was when the bounty hunter at last acted. Like a stone statue coming to life, her arms slowly fell from their crossed position at her chest, and she turned slowly, mechanically, before she approached the goblin, standing toward the front edge of the ship.

In a single swift, fluid motion, Amanhã swept down, grabbed the goblin's tiny leg, and pulled her clean into the air, before holding her out upside down over the waters below. It was anything but an actual attempt to kill her-- Amanhã somehow doubted the captain of a ship would have neglected to learn to swim-- but it did send a clear answer to the captain's question.

She turned her head toward the oni and the slave girl to ward off any possible attempts at interrupting the show of force, but it seemed Cha'Valkar chose then to make an appearance above deck. When the slave lord began speaking to the goblin, Amanhã didn't dither about letting the goblin hang around any longer than necessary (she felt the point was made, and after all she didn't do it for any sadistic enjoyment on her part): she turned, and unceremoniously dropped the captain on the floor between herself and the slave lord, before returning her arms across her chest and watching what would unfold now.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen gave an aside glance to Hyuna before shaking his head like a tool. As they rose higher the sun could be seen over the many lands and waters of the province they'd crossed, nearing the edge of the horizon. The winds began to pick up and the air become colder as they rose higher and higher...

***

Suddenly Jensu found herself hung by the leg, her captain's hat falling into the passing waters and her long-coat flying down over he face. "Hey!" She screamed, flailing drunkenly with her eyes covered. As soon as she had been grabbed she was thrown back on the deck, now at Valkar's feet. Valkar grabbed the girl by the shoulder roughly and covered her mouth. "Captain, she's incredibly manipulative. Best to just ignore the slave," He spoke firmly. "Hurry it up, Captain. We have to round up a few more goblins, anyways to ship over."

Jensu looked up at the man, and then at the giantess who stood behind her. She swallowed and rose, cracking her neck as she did before facing the man head on. Valkar watched her rise unamused, occasionally gripping Nee's shoulder harder to let out a scream. "Stop hurting her," Jensu spat, standing as tall as she could to the man. "Stop hurting her on my ship."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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#, as written by Rann
What the hell was up with weird girl? She knew that if she tried anything, Hyuna'd snap and wreck her day. So, it was really a wonder as to why she tried to smile that stupidly weird smile. Shaking with something between anger and self-loathing, the spear girl kept walking, head down and keeping herself blocked off from the world. Cold winds were coming up now; bitter and chilling. Although it emitted no heat, Hyuna decided to make an illusion of a small flame in her hand, until the wind blew it out.

Damn it. Even beaten by nature. Scowling further, she kept walking until somehow a voice just barely pierced her darkness.

"I'm sorry if what I said before was harsh." Muna said quietly, looking almost as if she cared about if the spear girl lived or died. She probably didn't, and was only trying to trick her into letting her mess with her mind again, right? Before Hyuna could react with hostility, the rabbit kept on talking. "It's just those actions make me worry. I don't want to lose you so early Hyuna. I'm not exactly a benefit to your health in case you hadn't noticed and I would be very saddened if I was unable to aid you in dangerous situations."

"Sure." She looked away and muttered quietly, feeling the familiar but still confusing emotions whirl within her once again, but tried her best to stifle it with the darkness once more. Who'd care for a useless person like her? And knowing her, who'd want to? Hyuna hunched over even more, noticing the rabbit was shivering. It stung at her mind incessantly seeing that Muna was cold. "Not like I'm much of a benefit to anyone here either." She gave a grim smile to Muna. "Fortune here would probably prefer if I left, right?"

Still, she made a barrier of wind unconsciously to cover Muna, blushing as she did so. "You have what you wanted, right? The air barrier. Y-you don't have to keep talkin' to me."




The goblin captain, after being dangled in the air, just over the water by the now acting suit of armor, seemed to have gotten a bit of sense, or lost it entirely, Nee thought sourly, trying to think of how to fix this. If they even let Jensu live, she'd tell the authorities in Jiefong, and not even Nee could plot out the blind points in that big a city, of that many guards. So the only way to try and defuse things was to stop it at the root. When Jensu made her statement, trying to stand tall despite her short stature, sticking up for the noble girl, Nee almost wanted to put a hand to her face and shake her head. It was good, touching gesture, almost helped a tiny bit with the increasing pressure in her shoulder, but she also knew that this was almost a death sentence.

"You're trying to tell me what to do," Valkar lifted the girl and punched her hard in the throat, not even looking at her coughing and gasping like a dying rodent on the wood floor of the Milkweed's deck. He was angry, and the goblin had stepped out of line. She didn't have any power in this situation; her mother was still held captive, and as far as Valkar knew, she had no way to locate the hostage at all without his help. Which she'd only get if she earned it, although the way things are looking, it seemed things weren't going to end well for both of the goblins. "To my slave?" He brutally lifted the gaspng girl intot he air and shook her by the collar. "See this collar, goblin? She's just property, for me to deal with as I... as I wish. If you value your life- and that of your mother, you'll not try undermining the power relationship between us."

He shrugged, releasing Nee, almost tossing her into the railing. "Or, do you want to have done what I did to Nee- I mean, my slave here, to your mother, Goblin?"

Nee shot a worried glance at Jensu, before turning to Mohan, the first mate.

"Oni." She said hurriedly, in a hoarse tone after recovering. "Um. Please, once you drop us off at Jiefong... don't let Jensu get further involved in this. P-please, just, go and rescue her mother and forget about us. I don't want her to get hurt on my behalf... and, um, I'm sorry, I'm really sorry for the trouble!"

She bowed her head. "I'm b-begging you. Please."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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#, as written by Nulix
Jensu glared up at the man who had invaded her ship, who had blackmailed and threatened her, who had kidnapped her mother, and all sense of consequence and worry was replaced by rage and the unstoppable drive to punch the man in the throat over and over until he could no longer breath. Her hand balled into a fist and the weak pleading of the beaten girl seemed to only fuel her rage.

"Woah, woah!" A voice called from the stern. Jensu paused, turning to see where it had come from. "This is all a bit harsh isn't it?" A figure called out, stepping carefully on a pink willow branch that extended across the river. The figure leapt down and rough leather boots landed hard by the wheel of the ship. He rose, his lite black cloak falling down, patches of animal rug woven along with it up until the hood, which was dark and surrounded by coyote fur. It was a figure Jensu and Illyria had seen before. The hooded villain stepped forward on the deck, glancing down at Nee as he passed. "I was looking for Yuwen Fortune, thought he may have helped you with the ship - but this looks like some illegal activity, captain."

***

Yuwen kept quiet as they rose higher and higher until they surpassed the most earthly clouds. The wind wasn't bad but the cold had set in, snow now falling off onto the platform from the rocks of the mountain it disrupted in it's ascent. "It may be summer down there," Yuwen whispered, snuggling up as best he could in his armour. "But it's winter up here."

The lift continued on, above them the torches of the end shinning. It moved over the final curve of the mountain and was pulled onto flat, snowy land at the top. Imperial guards rushed forward and opened the railing for them to step out. Before them was a flat-land of white fields scattered with blue-painted houses made of stone and thatched roofing. Beyond the small farm-land a large, white wall stood.

Yuwen carefully climbed onto Master Wang Chang and turned to his friends. "Come on!" He called, before riding forward through the fields, the Guild running to keep up. After a few minutes they had reached the stone-wall, and an open gate stood before them. White-uniformed guards stood like statues in the cold as the Great Guild passed through.

"Welcome to the upper level," The voice of a greeter greeted as they exited onto a snowy hill. Yuwen glanced at the warmly coated man before looking outward. Below them grand mansions and estates stood, similarly built as the farm-houses. They lined clean stone streets built along dozens of flowing canals which were filled with small boats and bridges. Water flowed everywhere on the rich area, all coming from one titanic river that ran down from the mountainside on which the city was built. At the end of the houses and waterways a large wall bordered with stairways and passages leading into another level of the city lower down on the mountain, again filled with the canals but with tighter and with smaller houses. The city spread even further down on a third level, this one barely visible from the cloudy top. There was no snow and it seemed to spread out on the green valley below, the river still passing through it and eventually out of the city into the farmlands beyond.

"Three levels, thirty-three thousand citizens, and thirty degrees temperature difference all at once," The guide chuckled as he walked them down the snowy hill toward a street on the upper level. "Welcome to the noble quarter," He began. "My name is Jahoul. You used the military lift so I assume you are a group of importance?"

Yuwen looked down the rich street, at the pale nobility wrapped in large, fur-coats giving the group slight looks as they entered the street. "Yes," He said after a moment. "Yes we are."

"Right, the palace of the old King is over there," Jahoul began, pointing to a large building which towered up like the mountainside behind it. "You can find war administration there."

"And a hotel?" Yuwen questioned, shivering slightly. "Clothes as well?"

"Head to the centre of the noble-quarter," Jahoul explained. "Just keep heading down this canal a few streets and you'll reach the Jiefong river. All the shops are there."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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The goblin hit the floor hard, and lay there as Valkar spoke, as he crushed his hand around the slave girl's shoulder and squeezed tears out of her. Amanhã expected the captain to acquiesce at that point-- probably break down into useless sobbing, which she seemed quite prone to. After all, nothing Amanhã had ever seen of her indicated the presence of any semblance of a spine to the diminutive little runt-- she had let herself be dragged into a state of sorrow, her ship could hardly even be called hers by this point, and all she could have done about Cha'Valkar's abuse of the slave girl (which deeply affected her, for one reason or another) was cry about it. Pathetic little thing, she mused impassively, watching the goblin lying uselessly on the floor. It must be quite a pity to endure existence as such a small, insubstantial creature.

It was a thought devoid of sympathy or cruelty either way. A mere observation. Amanhã Tiamat did not deal in sympathy or in cruelty-- only in reality in its true nature.

When the goblin began to clamber up to her feet, Amanhã figured she would skulk off and probably drink and cry some more-- imagine her surprise, then, when she promptly did none of that. Instead, she turned to the slaver, drew herself up to her full height (which was about as imposing as a particularly robust cockroach), and spat, with all the venom of the deadliest snakes that haunted the jungles of Askia, "Stop hurting her on my ship."

Amanhã raised an eyebrow. Is it an anatomic characteristic of goblins to grow a spine when dangled over water? she questioned to herself. No, that couldn't be it-- no other goblin she'd dangled over water had come out of it emboldened by the experience, largely because most goblins couldn't swim and the 'dangling' bit didn't last long. Nevertheless-- the captain's sudden burst of defiance was pointless. She was between a powerful slave lord and a massive bounty hunter, neither of whom had any qualms with turning her existence into one of agony and misery. That she was defiant at least put her on a level above the pathetic slave girl, but that didn't mean a whole lot when, all things said and done, she was still a four foot five goblin built like a weed between two oak trees.

Valkar made a point of this to the goblin by promptly... abusing the slave girl instead of the captain, for one reason or another. The bounty hunter would have figured the point would have been better made by, say, taking one of the captain's eyes, or cutting out her tongue, but this was only her battle insofar as she was paid to make it her battle, and she wasn't being paid to torture the goblin, so she wasn't about to take it on herself to do that. Instead, she simply watched Valkar continue to abuse his slave, having returned more or less to a state comparable to a statue...

Her eyes snapped to the source of movement on her peripherals even before the voice reached her ears-- saw boot-clad feet lightly hopping along the tree branch hanging over the passing ship, saw the hooded figure land on the deck, and immediately decided there would be murder this day. Fuck all of this. First the goblin, now this piece of shit? I've had enough of that goddamn guild to last me a lifetime-- why does it continue to follow me around like this? A growl of brimming rage escaped her lips as she reached back and drew her greatsword, absolutely unwilling to deal with this bastard again.






"It shouldn't be difficult at all. An armoured half-Ashuran, a tall Gwanish human with long blonde hair, and a small girl travelling with them. Pretty sure that ain't a common sight in Yune. We'll make for Jiefong first of all-- it's the largest city in that region, and if they aren't there themselves, some word of their going-ons will certainly be found there."

"Of course. And again, if any payment is necessary--"

"Not at all. Removing the blight of slavery from the land is what we do. We're not mercenaries."

"No indeed. According to Gwanish and Sudean authority, you're bandits."

"Only further proof that law does not necessarily mean right. They believe a sovereign person can rightfully be considered the property of another person, and that to free a slave from their captivity is nothing short of thievery. One does well to avoid confusing lawfulness with righteousness."

"I just want my daughter back-- law be damned. I just want my daughter back, and I want the scum who took her from me to pay dearly. You can promise me that, can't you?"

"Of course. After all..." the warrior once known as Noxchi Soleikh turned away from the anxious form of Me-Hyung and started for the door. "I have a personal stake in this as well."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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#, as written by Rann
The rabbit girl looked at least a little warmer, a fast that didn't know if it wanted to irk Hyuna or give some some comfort, and instead just confusing the hell out of her while she tried to, and unsuccessfully too, deal with her foul mood. Muna herself was slightly frowning when she insisted that she didn't use people for her own ends, and although some deep part of the spear girl wanted to agree, in the midst of her psychosis, there was no way she'd just accept that as an answer. She just made a little, disagreeing grunt, turning away from the rabbit girl as the lift rose and brought them closer to Jiefong.

"Fortune's had a bad day and with all that has happened so far, I'm sure he just needs a bit of rest and he won't be so cross anymore." The voice wormed its way into her head, digging into her thoughts and messing her up even more. She, forcing the blush away, tried to glare at Muna and failed, and instead just looked meekly down at her feet, before turning away again, and wondering if, just maybe, if she had some sort of severe mental problem, because it just wasn't right to be this conflicted about anything. Most of the time, for Hyuna, when she wanted something, she could charge ahead at it without a second thought, so she wasn't used to anything different. She wasn't used to actually being useful and worthwhile.

The rabbit girl continued in that perpetually soft voice of hers, "He's a good man as far as I can tell but you've had prior experience with him. My observation's still in the making after all.. And you are a part of this guild and every bit as useful as everyone else. Don't be so down on yourself! Come now, you have plenty of good traits and are an experienced fighter as far as I can see."

Hyuna let out a cold, bitter laugh. Good traits? She was so bad that even her childhood friend, the kind of friend that was meant to last forever, wanted nothing really to do with her, despite their past. Perhaps he never liked her at all in the first place, and was only putting up with her. Is that why he focused mainly on him during their little make-believe times, and not about her and her feelings and thoughts? Likely, Hyuna scowled deeply, very likely.

She should just impale Yuwen and be done with it. She really wanted to, too, drive the spear through him, drop him off the lift ad then fly away using her air chi, and never meet any of these guildmates again. It was tempting and she felt the desire rush through her. But then before she could get a good grip on her weapon, she found herself staring blankly at a large grin. "I'm so thankful to have such a strong warrior looking out for me. And you still have room to grow! We all do really."

"I don't trust you." Hyuna mumbled with a guarded expression, trying not to tremble and overload with emotions. "You... I, well, you do something weird to my head, and I don't.... I don't get it. It messes me up, and I just..."

Damnit, why was she feeling the urge to burst into tears? Blushing hard and turning away again, she tried to get back into her dark mood again. Anything was better than this.

And yet, once in the magnificent city of Jiefong, in all its glory and splendor up on these Comrade Mountains, Hyuna found herself staring wistfully at the bunny girl once more, not yet taking her opportunity to escape and find a place where she could belong.




A fierce glare- so it seemed Jensu wasn't being cowed by the threat anymore, and instead wanted to keep on fighting. Nee wasn't sure if she felt good about this or not- for one, it honestly felt a little... a little nice, that someone would go to these lengths for her sake. But on the other hand, being released from Valkar would only serve to hamper her plans. And that was unacceptable. But to be frank, she really coudn't think of a way to solve things so easily- maybe it'd be best if, once they got to Jiefong, ignored the contract for the goblin slaves and just escaped, leaving Tiamat behind; this in itself was significant, because by removing Tiamat from the equation, things would be more under her control, and she could, easily trick Valkar into playing the role she had chosen for him.

Valkar felt something similar to vehemence but not quite as he looked at the fuming and raging goblin, and then back to little Nee, begging desperately for the snow oni to do something. His lip curled nastily while he thought inwardly, what if it'd have been better if he just stopped being a slaver, and accepted the offer Nee gave him, what seemed like so long ago. He wished he'd chosen that route, instead of this one... and be free from the burden he carried. But it was too late to turn back and regret now.

But then a new piece entered the board, and all eyes turned to see who the new visitor was. It a hooded man, looking quite confident and powerful as he approached the conflict arising around him. Nee shot a calculating gaze at the figure, as if trying to discern something rapidly in her mind while Valkar immediately went for his axe, seeing something that he currently had no threat against other than brute force. The man made an almost cursory glance at Nee before talking.

"I was looking for Yuwen Fortune, thought he may have helped you with the ship - but this looks like some illegal activity, captain."

Valkar gave no heed to his words; he knew from the hostile sound in his voice that this was an enemy. And, like all enemies, they had to die before they could do any harm. The slaver lord looked aside at Tiamat and nodded in her direction as she drew her greatsword, trying to form a silent agreement with her to attack the man, but not entirely knowing if the message was conveyed. Meanwhile Nee was trying to think quickly, seeing as how the board was quickly becoming unstable. First of all, she made sure to engrave the name 'Yuwen Fortune' into her mind, seeing as this is the second time she's heard it in one day. Chances are they'd meet his Great Guild, so she had to prepare for that eventuality. He, the hooded man certainly looked like a villain, and to be honest, Nee was afraid of the prospect of having being too close to him; that his hands would touch her flesh. She shuddered at the thought, and at her own feelings; she was supposed to be tough enough to withstand something like rape; she didn't want to succumb to it.

Valkar rushed forward, only to see Nee there in front of him, clutching to him in desperation, her frail figure in the billowing winds.

"Let's not fight; let's just go Va-, I mean, Master, okay? We can walk the rest of the way, can't we?" She looked nervously at the seemingly damaged Milkweed. "If we fight, the ship, won't we get a shipwreck? Let's resolve this peacefully somehow." She looked over to Tiamat with a piercing gaze. However enigmatic she was, the giant suit of armor, Nee knew she still wanted to live. "And I doubt you can swim with all that armor, Tiamat. Do you really want to drown, because you started a pointless fight?"

Valkar, feeling even more unsure of himself, and finding himself not wanting to drag Nee into actual life-threatening danger, hesitated. He looked over at Tiamat, wondering what she would do, and decided he would just follow suit.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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#, as written by Rann
When both Tiamat and Valkar charged despite her warning, Nee couldn't really do anything but rub a palm to her face and murmur; "imbeciles" almost silently before returning back to her facade of someone bordering on being relatively emotionally fit, considering the circumstances. The hooded man leapt into the air and fended them off with a wall of flame, somehow not reaching and setting the ship alight. The man said something about needing the ship, and not wanting to burn it down, and Nee etched that bit of information into her mind, making sure not to forget that his task required, among other things, a boat of sorts, and placed the first variable to deciphering this stranger. Nee was about to step in again to try and stop the fighting once again before she felt a pat on her head- and it was from this hooded man.

One'd expect her, since she'd been broken by Valkar, to have this reaction to his touch; from just seeing him. Even Nee wasn't entirely sure why it manifested in a phobia of any other man touching her, but she assumed it had something to do with the fact that she could predict almost with good accuracy the things that run through his mind; and she she could control him once the time came. But still, when concerning trauma, logic doesn't exactly come into play. Regardless of all that, the girl froze up completely, flinching going utterly blank. "So, want to tell me who you two are?"

Seeing Nee's negative reaction to being patted, Valkar feinted at the man with his axe, instead grabbing the slave girl from his grasp; in a protective and gentle hold with one arm. He didn't know who this man was, but he shared fire chi; and unsurprisingly, the man had much better control over his chi than Valkar himself did. Although he had wronged her, he was still her master, and her his slave, and the slaver lord would make sure to fulfill his duties regarding her.

"You don't get to touch her." He said threateningly. "And I don't know why you need this boat specifically; if you really need to find this Yuwen Fortune, I suggest you get your own boat and not disturb us. As for who we ar-"

There was no was Nee was going to let Valkar handle this, so she cut him off after quickly rebooting her brain to overclocked mode. "We're lovers." She said, forcing the tremble out of her voice and making it sound as convincing as possible. "I just... have, well, indecent fantasies at times, stranger, so we act them out at times." She closed her eyes, making herself blush prettily at the hooded man, lying through her teeth. "There's nothing illegal with lovers enjoying each other, is there?"




Though not far away, Hyuna was pretty sure they couldn't see her as they spoke, Razul and Yuwen. She had wandered around aimlessly, wondering exactly how to advance with her life when she stumbled across Yuwen sitting with his horse on a flotation device in the river; and she illusioned herself to mix in with the background, not wanting to deal with her old friend just now, If anything, she just wanted to pretend he never existed at all; or at least just escape and leave all this behind. Not like they'd miss her, let alone remotely being able to find her. It would be easy to just escape and never again look back on her times with the Great Guild. Only Yamato could have a chance of chasing her, by flying, but he wouldn't be able to see her if she made herself invisible and hid as he flew past, would he?

It was somewhat of a shame, but Hyuna didn't want to deal with this anymore. She felt that her mind was weak and even more unstable than it usually was, although she was unable to really pinpoint the source of it- the soul of the necromanced bird filling the depths of her mind; learning her psyche before trying to make any actions.

Nothing could have prepared her for hearing directly from the person she once idolized that she had fucked up. She felt the rage building up, and once again the image of impaling Yuwen mercilessly in the most painful of ways flashed through her mind, before the muscles in her body began tightening for the killing move. In a fit of desperation, she channeled her anger into a burst of air, completely ignoring the stealth she had, bursting into the air to keep her safely out of range of Razul and Yuwen before she didn't something potentially permanent. Grudgingly, Hyuna knew that she didn't want to kill him... just yet at least, but the images flitting through her mind were certainly a marvel to look at, giving her a darkly satisfied rush. The spear girl ended up a few blocks away from where she had been, almost directly in front of a run down orphanage, one of the children that had wandered to the window, glanced at her curiously. Blood still dripped from her hands, giving her a grotesque look, mixed with her slightly unsettling dark scowl. Posted on the wall of the orphanage building was a poster, looking for a renowned daughter of a more northern nobleman.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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#, as written by Rann
"Right," The Hooded Villain began, making the slave girl narrow her eyes in frustration; she's been too shaken up and hurt to lie at full capacity right now, and she was certain the man standing in front of them had seen through her. She, instead of retorting, decided prudently to listen to see what the current adversary had to say, keeping a careful ear out for vital information. Meanwhile Valkar flipped his axe in the air one-handedly before catching it by the cloth-wrapped handle as the hooded man folded his arms. He didn't know exactly, what Nee was trying to accomplish by going the pacifist route, but the slaver lord knew that this man had to die; too haughty and proud otherwise. And he was sure Tiamat would be aiding him in the attack, the beast in plated armor gave off the aura of being... utterly furious, despite being helmeted.

It was tense, that's for sure. Valkar set the girl down on the deck and pushed he a ways behind him, hopefully out of the fight, and also hopefully, so that she wouldn't get any stupid ideas and try to stop the fight again. The villain himself looked as if he was preparing for another attack as he spoke. "First, I can touch anyone I want, brother." That sentence made Nee release something akin to a squeak, before she forcefully kept it down by yanking on the chain of her collar. If Valkar and Tiamat couldn't handle him, would that mean he'd do... that to her? Valkar doing it was already bad and harrowing enough; a total stranger would probably be too much for even her to handle. She started shivering, almost violently. "And secondly, I'm aware this is a slaving vessel. Seeing as I doubt Captain Jensu here is intelligent or wealthy enough to run such an operation and the half-breed seems to lack interest other than fighting, the mastermind behind this little trade would have to be you."

To be honest, it didn't take that much to figure out that Valkar was a slaver lord, if you were given a list of suspects with is name as one of the options. He was rich; he flaunted it and used money almost carelessly, and he was far from a nice person. He smirked at the hooded man, listening to his words. There'd be some special pleasure in eliminating him, wouldn't there? The man then began to walk around a predetermined path, and Valkar shifted position to keep the distance between the man and Nee constant, somehow sensing her fear of him.

"Now, I don't like fighting." The hooded man said. "It's a lot of work, and it's very messy." With a short pause, and Nee made sure to listen especially well so she could detect the subtext behind his speech. "If you take me to Fortune, there doesn't have to be a fight, and we can all go our separate ways." This set off Nee's mental alarms in the same way Jensu's statement about handing the slaves to a beast-man associate had. She couldn't quite pinpoint why she got this feeling, but she had to tell Valkar, now supporting the combat option. Because she was absolutely certain that he'd fight, and try to kill Valkar, which upon success, would ruin the reason why she'd been suffering so much in the first place; ruining the plot she had laid out for Valkar to take once she made him change his ways... not to mention the fear that he'd touch her again. She clutched the sheet closer to her. "What do you say" He spun around dramatically. "You don't want to fight me. It's much healthier to be my friend than my enemy."

Before anyone else could react, Nee piped up in a hard and cold voice, glaring daggers at the hooded man. "He's lying."

It was simple, and yet it made it certain that a fight would most definitely break out. Nee then turned to Jensu and shrugged apologetically. "Sorry, Captain." She murmured. "But there are things that matter more than a ship..."

Valkar nodded at Nee, once again somewhat... if anything, proud of her skills at reading people. And he gritted his teeth, knowing there was only one way to resolve this; the brutal death of a certain hooded fire chi user. He looked over at Tiamat, who most likely was raring to go for the kill, and said, "It'll be fun to see him bleed out, Tiamat. Let's end this, already."

The slave lord than, with his axe, swung in up upward motion, fast enough that it was almost impossible to dodge entirely; aiming straight between the legs of the hooded man. Just in case he somehow dodged it, Valkar, with a hot hand, punched forward at the man's throat, and then quickly followed up the initial cut with a wide slash this time, horizontally, while keeping a forward momentum so that trying to avoid the attack by stepping back would be pointless. Nee, knowing that the hooded man was strong, but also knowing that there was no way she'd let him lay a hand on her, decided to join in with what little she could, calculating the angle in her head before swinging the chain leash of her collar at the enemy, in a way that'd make it wrap around his ankle and hold him in place with a high probability of success.




Changing her appearance slightly, Hyuna decided to head into the orphanage. Why was the little boy staring at her so intently? Was he also planning on killing her? She needed to confront this; to find out why everyone was out to get her; to make her miserable, even a total stranger, a little orphan boy. Whoever he was, he'd pay for plotting against her. Hyuna wouldn't just let it pass, wanting to punish someone after having her spirit brought down further by someone who was supposed to be at her side. Goddamned Fortune.

The boy was still there when she burst into the hall, glaring at him, with her spear in hand. She was going to drive it through his stupid orphan throat; she'd slay him and move on to other parts of the city where people might be against her. She was stopped by a relatively simple phrase.

"You look like me."

That shocked Hyuna enough to not instantly murder him. "Whadd'you mean?"

The boy looked up at her, maybe about six or seven years old and already almost as tall as her. Hyuna frowned at that fact, but listened anyways. "You look lonely. Unliked by people 'round you. Like me."

She was lonely? Was that what all this anguish inside of her was; this growing empty feeling? Was it because she was lonely? She thought this over, following Razul's advice and not just slaying him, instead trying to use her brain to figure this out. If she really was lonely, it'd answer a lot of questions; why she's been resenting Master lately, why she hates Yuwen so much. But on the other hand, even if she was lonely, knowing the feelings inside her won't solve them; the others don't like her anyways. So there was no point in even trying to understand it. She just, to put it simply, didn't belong in the guild.

"So, why are you lonely, kid?"

The kid looked into her eyes soulfully. "Cuz I can do this." He put his hands together and started chanting something in a whole other tongue, sounding more like demons jabber than anything else; and a green glow was there as something akin to the spirits she saw back in the cemetery slowly clawed its way out of the ground. It looked really weak, but the chi behind it was clear. Necromancy. "I didn't want this power." The boy explained. "Nuh uh. And the other kids hate me, say that I'm a monster and unnatural. They say I should not exist."

Hyuna herself was put off by the necromancy.... but on the other hand, it wasn't his choice, was it? He never wanted the power in the first place; he just had it... Like herself. Hyuna didn't want to be stupid, but she was, and that put her at odds with the entire guild. She let out a bitter sigh.

"This's got nothin' do do with me." Hyuna said roughly. "I don't care."

The kid then sat down on the dirty floor. "I told you so you would know there's another lonely person." He explained, as if it was utterly obvious. "So you'd cheer up a little bit."

The spear girl didn't know if she was annoyed or not, but she abruptly stood up, sudden inspiration. She sported a wicked, wide smile that showed off her teeth. "Got an idea." She said. "So the other kids won't be so scared of you anymore."

She began going over the plan.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Ten Fists Tuying Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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#, as written by Nulix
Jensu watched tensely at the wheel, Mohan placing a hand on her shoulder for comfort as the trio of psychopaths talked. Suddenly Nee stepped away from Valkar and turned to her. "Sorry, Captain." She murmured. "But there are things that matter more than a ship..."

From the middle of the deck at the mast the hooded figure stood perfectly still as he waited for a response. The slaver glanced at the half-breed with greeted teeth. "It'll be fun to see him bleed out, Tiamat." He began, readying his axe. "Let's end this, already."

"Ha!" The Hooded Villain exclaimed in almost childlike excitement. "Let's fight." Before the words had even let his mouth the salver was at his feet, swinging the axe in an uppercut. With a burst of fire from his hands the villain propelled himself to the right of the blow, only to dodge backward again at another blow, this one of a burning fist hitting him in the chest. The villain was blown back from the blow, a quick duck flinging him away from the second swing of the axe. The Hooded villain coughed violently for a moment before laughing as he backed up further toward the railing of the deck. "Come on!" He dared, raising his hands to gesture for the man. "Let's see fire fight fire."

Suddenly a chain swung around his leg. The Hooded Villain glanced down at the entangled metal before spotting its source. He looked up to see the slave-girl who had come forward and thrown her chain and gave her a sorry smile. "Are you jok-" He began before ducking down at a swing of the great-sword of the giant who had come by the slavers side. He slid to the side and rose before attempting to dodge once more as the half-breed shoulder slammed him, and act that ironically half-worked as the villain managed to get most of his body out of the way. But impact still hit his side and he went skidding to the bow's railing, the chain still wrapped around his leg causing Nee to get tugged with him. As he slid uneven black orbs flung out of his cloak, at least a dozen rolling across the deck. The villain quickly grabbed Nee and held her under his arm before flowing sparks forward, igniting the fuse of the orbs as they made contact. Mini-explosives, orbs filled with blasting powder.

With Nee held tight he jumped onto the railing and began to run along the narrow foot-space around the two foes as they dealt with the bombs beneath their feet. Around half-way down the deck he lept up and landed by the wheel, immedietly punching Jensu in the face and sending the goblin toppling over the railing and overboard into the river. "Sorry!" The villain spat, going to the wheel and violently diverting their route. The ship, which had just emerged from the trees, began to turn left instead of right, heading away from the lights of the distant city in the mountains and instead to the large lake Jiefong's river eventually led to - the lake of fire.

The ship began to rock as it was swept up in the current, picking up speed toward the mammoth space of water that stretched on into the distance. The villain began to laugh as the ship rocked, before suddenly getting punched in the back of the head onto the wheel. He turned to see Mohan before him. "Let's try fire and ice," The Oni spat, sending a blast of frost at the man, who slid to the side - not far enough though as the villain's left fore-arm was frozen in a block of ice. The Human Hood immedietly punched Mohan backward with the icy club of an arm, and punched him again and again until he hit the railing of the Milkweed's stern. With another kick he sent the man overboard before smashing the arm down on the wood, shattering the ice. "Come on!" He yelled, grabbing Nee by the collar and leaping them off of the wheel.

As the Milkweed entered the rocky, open water of the lake the Hooded Villain landed on it's mast, his clawed boots digging into the wood as he began to climb up it further, still trying to keep the Nee tightly beneath his arm. If she fell she could threaten to rip him off entirely, the chain still connected to his leg. "Alright!" He called to his still living enemies below. "Let's see how well you can swim!" With his boots keeping hooked on the mast and with his left hand holding Nee the Hooded Villain extended his right straight out. After a moment a jet of fire began to flow out of his palm, its sheer power and speed begging to force the ship downward, toppling it over from the mast. "I'll still accept a surrender!" The villain spat...

***

"Woah, you see that Tuying?" The officers partner exclaimed as he focused through a look-glass. He handed the device to his approaching partner. Through it on the nearby lake of fire outside Jiefong a small junk was rocking chaotically, a stream of fire shooting out it's mast at an insane speed. "A chi users making that entire thing unstable," The officer commented as he hoped on his horse. "We've gotta stop 'em."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Ten Fists Tuying Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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"Woah," Tuying commented, quickly scarfing down the rest of his roasted rabbit bowl as he sat up. He then took a brief moment to stretch out his legs. "These perps are getting bolder and bolder, I tell ya..." Tuying shook his head. "Only helps us get 'em to a nice, cozy cell sooner," he smirked, somewhat arrogantly.

"Oh hey. Lu-Tan, you ever see my new import from Sudea?" Tuying asked, before whistling loudly. Clopping not far beyond the campsite, was a strange creature, similar to a horse, but with more...lumps. "This one of those camel things you hear about down there. Pretty sick, right? They say they're faster than horses, y'know? Wanna find out?" Tuying asked, immediately taking off in a rush on the humped beast.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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#, as written by Rann
Coughing viciously as her collar was grabbed, Nee was, once again, helpless as she was taken by another one much stronger than she was- this time the hooded man, and terror struck her. He was obviously a villain, since killing was of no consequence to him... and villains were apt to do villainous things. Like rape. And once was more than enough for a life time; despite her powerlessness. But what could she do? It seemed that impossible acrobatic feats were this man's forte, were they not? And he had the gall to grab an obviously terrified girl so roughly? Nee forced the emotional side of her mind away from the logical side, but failed, and continued to tremble helplessly; whimpering.

Meanwhile, a strange protective instinct overcame Valkar. For some strange reason, he really wanted to see that Nee'd be safe and sound and beside him. Not that this feeling was remotely romantic- it's simply friendship, after all, and guilt compounded even more when he saw the girl's pathetic mewls of fear when the hooded villain took hold of her; knowing that everything about her situation was entirely his fault. And for the first time, Valkar seriously felt the desire to atone for all the terrible things he did. Or at the very least, gain Nee's forgiveness. The threat of becoming a slave was too much, after all. Valkar absently looked to the side; the snow oni and the goblin captain were entirely useless after all. First of all, there was the threat of the explosives. Valkar lunged at them before they could go off and tossed them towards the hooded man, after giving Nee a little nod of the head.

The nod was effective in snapping Nee out of her post-traumatic stress reveries as a single thought echoed in her mind. Valkar is fighting to save me. His good side is starting to surface again. And that was enough to make the girl start to struggle again, angrily fighting against the hooded man's tight grasp on her body, just barely keeping the sheet around her as well as her modesty. "Alright!" The man called down, looking as if he enjoyed the superiority. "Let's see how well you can swim!" A stream of fire extended from his arm, with Valkar and Amanhã both making timely dodges, but making the ship undergo a nauseating downwards lurch. "I'll still accept a surrender!"

Nee closed her eyes tightly, and when she opened them again, she was in a state of force calm, and ruthless anger. "You see what you've done, Valkar." She said darkly. "What you might lose. Do you regret your actions yet? And you..." She turned to the hooded man. "Surrender, stranger?" She muttered in an icy tone. "Stop pretending you have the moral high ground here. A young girl was just raped, and you're holding tightly to her body, with naught but a thin sheet wrapped around her." She gestured at the wind. "And if you aren't careful, you'll expose my tender spots for all to see! You're attacking an innocent captain, destroying her ship, and yet you can claim the moral high ground?" She tsked and forcefully drove her hand in the man's crotch. It was only right that, after having her own tender spot ravaged, that she destroy another's. With a cool smile and boring eyes, Nee squeezed with all her might, before quickly unraveling the chain and leaping down from the mast.

Valkar was about to leap into the air, relieved that the explosives wouldn't hit Nee, obviously being hit hard by her words, and once again knowing deep down that he should have just been her bodyguard from the beginning. Before he could go and attack the hooded man, Nee clutched at him with a frosty glare.

"You're an idiot, Valkar." She said. "He's primarily fire, and we're surrounded by water. And everyone in the Me-Hyung family is taught to swim, you know."

There was a pregnant pause. "Damnit," The slaver lord muttered, then turned to Tiamat, who was already trading blows with the hooded man. "Tiamat, if you can't swim, I'll carry you to shore. We can deal with this villain another time."

Nee, finally realizing that things were going her way again, put the cheerful mask back on; not needing her true colors out for now. "Thanks, Valkar, for fighting for me. I knew you still cared!"

With a knowing giggle, and a sharp glance, the girl wrapped the chains around her body and the sheet to keep it from unraveling, and leapt into the water, with Valkar following after, looking back and ready to help Tiamat swim, just in case she decided to follow. He then turned his gaze to the slave girl, and kept an eye on her just in case the hooded man tried to do something else. In a last ditch effort, Valkar placed his hands on the stern of the ship while afloat, and used his chi to light it on fire, the flame quickly spreading to the deck and mast. Immediately after that, it seemed the half-ashura made her decision, crashing into the water with a heavy splash, still not saying a single word. Valkar took hold of her arm and they began swimming away from the burning Milkweed.