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Kaor, The Mourned

The Meandering She-Bear of Many Scars

0 · 118 views · located in The Horat-verse

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

Description

"I'm just a wanderer, I look for jobs, and bring in the food. Trade the pelt and meat, and make the bones into what I need."

ImageName: Kaor; KaKa; BearLady!; Scar face.
Sex: Female
Age: 48
Race: Beast-man

Physical Description: Being a freakin' BEAR, Kaor is tall, broad, and sometimes startlingly quiet. Her face is sparsely, if deeply, scarred. With pitch black fur and a 'smudge' of brown on her face, Kaor is the child of a grizzly and a what looks like black bear. She is sometimes called beautiful, though that quickly changes once Kaor 'expresses' her displeasure at any one person.
Clothing: Kaor nigh constantly wears her very, charitably called, slapdash armor. Numerous belts, uncountable leather wraps, and the skull and claw bones of a slain polar bear. The kilt that makes up the waist of her armor set is a strange cloth, thick and nearly canvas like, it could charitably be used as a ship sail. She forgoes the kilt while hunting. Her fur is braided along her throat and the back of her head, with blue leathers holding the braids together.
Height: 7'3"
Weight: 303
Skin Colour: Black as coal under the fur
Hair Colour: Black throughout the body, grizzly brown along her muzzle
Eye Colour: Black sclera and sky blue irises contrast Kaor's face

Occupation: Wandering Huntswoman, Interpreter for a certain mute woman
History/Bio: Kaor once had a family. Had a husband, a wife, and three children she loved more than life. She had a home, deep in the boreal forests of Gwanalai, that she defended until her last breath. She was the hunter, along with her daughter, Iaor. She loved her life, loved what she was doing, and loved what they were accomplishing within their secluded home. Then there was a fire, flashing eyes and bared teeth...

Then she found herself on a caravan, bandaged and sore, and once white fur permanently soot-stained into pitch black. The caravan lead, a fire oni of remarkable fashion tastes, told her that she had been a raging, weeping, mess when they found her. They had stopped near the river by her home, almost a week ago, to resupply on wood for fires, and game for the caravan. They found the river overflowing with ash and debris, and heard the bawling of a being in the throes of grief.
Kaor still isn't quite sure what happened, and the memories from the time are fuzzy and fogged over in her mind.
Home Town: A hunting cabin, deep in the taigas of Gwanalai
Home Country: Gwanalai

Personality: Kaor is friendly, if quiet, and loves to share (made up) stories of adventure. Or (completely true) hunting stories from what she can remember in Gwanalai. She's a relatively warm individual, not shy to give or receive hugs. With a rough voice, deep as expected from a bear her size, its a pleasant surprise to hear almost bell-like laughter from her maw. She is, however, fiercely protective of children and those who may not be able to defend themselves. The kindness and pleasant personality disappears under the scouring rage she can bring to the surface.
Fears and Desires:
- The fear of losing any more of her memories.
- Illusion based Chi manipulation.
- Fires.
- Necromancy.
- To remember more of the night she lost.
- To find a new family, a new purpose.
- To change and become better.
- To find a stable occupation, gods be damned!

Equipment and Weapons: A massive bow, nearly far too large to any other that Kaor, an Oni, or a specifically augmented being could use. Along with a wood and steel spear and hard-bone knife. A maw filled with teeth meant to crush and carve. And claws meant to rip and tear!

Styles and Abilities: Kaor fights like a beast when cornered, wielding her spear, claws, knife, and teeth with savage efficiency. She prefers to impale foes from afar with her bow, though she isn't the absolutely most accurate by any means, she seldom misses what she aims for. Watch out for that beastly strength.

Chi and Augmentations: To supplement the way Kaor fights, she has trained her Chi over the course of her life to turn her strikes from mere cuts and stabs, to bleeding wounds that leak blood like no other. To receive a slash or stab from Kaor is to run the risk of bleeding for far, far, too long. This doesn't stop the wounds from healing, but it certainly keeps them bleeding. She still has yet to figure out how to properly channel this to her arrows.

So begins...

Kaor, The Mourned's Story

Setting

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Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned
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A silhouette twisted mid-air. The afternoon sun caught a golden mass of frizz and curls, and two firework crackers narrowly whizzing right past them. A man roared a curse. The figure touched down on a rooftop with a tap of her hand, and flipped onto her feet. She looked back at the sky to see her the instruments of her narrowly-avoided death explode. Red light framed her surprised, then amused face, and she opened her mouth in a laugh that made no sound, and scampered off.

She bounded over rooftops, skidding down slopes, leaping over the celebrating streets. She tightrope walked over ropes stringing up decorative lanterns. Whistling. Something big and slobbering was following her call from below, hurtling over produce and charging through revellers without care. The woman kept to her rooftop venture until she spied a furry, hulking mass among the crowds.

Kaor felt a little weight land on her shoulder and perch there. Three meat skewers were passed down to her. The woman perched herself there, sliding the meat off her own stick with her teeth, then spitting it out - right into the hungry maw of a tan mutt big enough to be a mount for her. It chomped it down eagerly and perked up, its tail thumping loudly against the dirt and creating a dust cloud. The woman kicked out her legs as she chewed, still heads above the rabble from her perch and looking quite smug about it.

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Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned
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Kaor jumped, blinking away her surprise before gently nudging a group of people away from her path with a massive paw. Her head twisted upwards and back, one paw taking the offered food without pause while the other began reaching into a satchel at her hip.
Delightful! Thank you little gecko.” She called up to the weight on her shoulder. Her attention shifted to the mutt, the clawed paw in the satchel coming out and giving the hound some love.

She had been people watching, observing the crowds of Poyo with a friendly smile. There were some who were too terrified of her to even hold her gaze, regardless of any cheer or benevolence she put forth.
Others had watched her right back, or even approached with good cheer and kindness to them.
Like the huntsman who, just the other day, pointed Kaor and the friendly weight on her shoulder in the proper direction of one of their marks. He had been nice. For a bit.

Then he had taken too much interest in why her traveling companion didn’t speak, why she “moved her hands all funny like,”
He had been introduced to a smile that would have curdled the blood of gods, if it could be so.
But it could not, so instead he ran with the coin Kaor had given him for his charitable assistance!
All’s well that ended without bloody noses!
That’s what she thought at least.

The second thing to grab her gaze was the sight of a woman dealing with her pickpocket issues. In the few days that she and ‘her little gecko’ had been in Poyo, she had seen so many new sights. It had been months- MONTHS- since she had taken a proper bath. Poyo was, of course, maybe not the place to find such a luxury, but the fact that she was able to eat meat not skewered by her own spear was amazing.
It didn’t help that Kaor loved festival foods.
Oh! What a rambling thought; right. Woman with a pickpocket.

The beast-woman prepared herself to move, letting the drumming of her heart send her muscles into decisive action. She opened her mouth, lifting a hand as if to reach out and touch the woman in question, even if she was far and away.
Then she came to a stop as she watched the woman pay for both the boy, and herself.

Hm!

The third thing to draw her attention was a small clamoring commotion. Ice-blue eyes shifted away from people in the crowd, away from people in the thoroughfare, and towards the Golden Peach Inn.
People were stopping, gathering even to gaze upon… something! And that something was apparently amusing enough to draw laughter. Laughter tinged with spite and a lack of empathy. Interesting!
Then she saw it, and even if she WANTED to resist the urge to wiggle her shoulder for the wonderous trickster who perched upon it, she couldn’t. Her laughter was a strange thing; bell-like and gentle… Even if her face scrunched up into a hilariously ugly grin with the sound.
Xanth! Oh! Hehe! Sweet gecko look, some poor bastard is out and about with his pants down! And gagged no less! I wonder what he was up to, yes?” She laughed up to her sticky fingered partner.
Oh! That reminds me, where shall we stay tonight oh lovely Gecko? Perhaps the inn ahead? I feel like being under a roof tonight, if we could be so lucky!

Setting

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

***

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

He raised the mug in thanks, "Cheers."

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

Setting

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Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned
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Xanth responded to Kaor's chortling with a shrug and ran an affectionate hand through the bear woman's fur. Then she threw the rest of her skewer to the dog and began making enthusiastic hand motions in Kaor's peripherals, her mass of hair wobbling precariously atop her head. Quick, precise gestures that would lend themselves well to the hands of a pickpocket. Her hands swiftly tapped around her chest and lips, which expressively but clumsily mouthed words like they were lyrics to a song she didn't know. Her one sided conversation continued on into the tavern her bipedal mount lumbered to, parting the crowds with ease - when a waitress shouted over her.

Xanth stopped talking. She turned her head down to the woman with an exasperated sigh. Her hands exploded out in several violent gestures before her shoulders shook with amusement like she'd made a joke. It was hard to tell how much was genuine frustration. She whistled a few notes and claws scrambling against bamboo floors answered. The massive mutt that had been in Kaor's shadow skidded to her feet with a bark to attention. Xanth slid down her trunk-like arm and settled comfortably on her smaller furry companion. She held up three fingers, spun one in a circle, followed by quicker and far more incomprehensible gestures, then a tap on her throat and a face like she'd bit into a lemon.

The sound of snuffling caught her ear and she looked to catch the sight of her seat slobbering on the pants leg of their Beast-Man neighbor. Her cheeks bunched up in absolute delight and her fingers wiggled a greeting, while her eyes regarded his for about two seconds before they zipped down to his backside. She moved her hands in the same - interpretive dance? she'd just challenged the waitress with, punctuated with an expectant stare.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned
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"What did she say??" Ruo shouted over the noise at Takai, who whipped his head around at the waitress in bewilderment. As if he knew! Still, he glanced down fondly at the dog beside him, then up at the most ferocious Beast-Man he had ever seen, before his gaze finally settled on the mute lady before him. They were a strange group, to say the least. He decided to hazard a guess.

"You want three...three uhhh...oh, pork buns!" He grinned, thinking he had cleverly cracked the code, "Did I get that right?"

Setting

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Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned
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Xanth's face and shoulders fell a little. She rolled her eyes up before nodding vigorously and flashed the monkey man an encouraging smile. She then slowly mimed sipping from a cup, formed a cross with her arms, then tapped her throat and made an expression like she had downed an entire cup of vinegar. All with the expression and patience of teaching a toddler to speak through picture cards.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned
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"No....drink.....? It will....kill you...?" Takai squinted, his words stupidly slow as he tried to figure out what this lady was miming.

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Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned
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Xanth flung her elbow back into Kaor's hide.

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Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned
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Kaor snapped her head to attention as her Gecko rammed an elbow into her side. She gazed down at the macaque-beastman in front of her and Xanth. He was... Interesting to say the least! He at least was kind enough to try and understand her companion.
She watched as her Gecko and the curious man talked to each-other, with the latter trying his hardest to guess at what she could possibly be wanting. Kaor herself scrunched her nose up into a bemused smile, before cackling aloud at his last attempt to translate what Xanth had said. The bear-woman watched for just a moment longer before finally deigning to intercede on the conundrum.

"What the little Gecko is asking, is if you might have some sake that isn't too harsh for her throat. Something that won't burn on the way down preferably. She also wishes to know if you might have done anything amazing with your tail, sir. She finds them awful useful! She also wishes for three steamed buns, pork, for herself please. I would appreciate whatever you might have that would, ah, feed one as large as myself."
Kaor's voice was booming loud in the rancor of the dining hall within the inn, though her face never lost it's gleeful smile. She finished her speech off with a nod towards the waitress who had interrupted Xanth before. Oh! Speaking of which- "She also asked that you not interrupt her again, please! As would I! You're a dear, and we do not wish to be rude to you!"

She finished this with a wide smile, bowing her head as if to simply accept that the conversation was over, before turning her focus to the macaque-man with a curious expression. Her throat rumbled with a slight huff, before she turned to Xanth with a rapid series of focused hand movements. One claw tapped her satchel at her side, came up and tapped Xanth's chest, before returning to Kaor's chest with slowly wiggled claws.

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Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned
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Ruo, the waitress, nodded stiffly and skittered off toward the kitchen behind the bar. Takai watched in amusement, this being the first time in the week that he'd known her that she seemed placid almost, like serving giant bear lady, small mute woman and large dog had somehow overwhelmed her. His attention turned back to 'Gecko', as the bear Beast-Man called her, and he had to remember what she had asked.

"Hm? Oh! My tail, right. Honestly I don't really..." Takai looked down at it, swishing slowly below, "I guess I don't really take much notice of it. Though it sure has saved my skin a lot over the years. Name's Takai, by the way."

And then the man's face suddenly went pallor. Forgetting that, on this glorious day of celebration and joy, he was still a wanted criminal. An outlaw. He sipped from his drink and nervously wondered if they knew him, "Ahem, what brings you both to Poyo?"

Setting

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Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned
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Suiken knelt down for a moment and studied the links binding the the two very carefully, Standing up and scratching his chin, his face immediately broke out into a smil, which spiralled into bellowing laughter before long. "Well, I can't say you didn't get what you deserved after mocking a village like that!" he chuckled, pointing at Namari, tears now welling up in his eyes.

Then, within an instant, he sobered up, briefly bowing to both of them. "Er...sorry. But about these chains. ...Needless to say, they are cursed..." he quieted down a little. "There are ways to break such things, after all...but as I said, let us head to the Golden Peach. It's right up ahead..." the oni remarked as they neared the doors of the inn.

He pushed against the doors, greeted with the sight of a handful of patrons, including a couple of beast-men and a dark skinned woman. Looking over and finding an empty table, Suiken led the two bound humans to a seat. "First thing, I'd like to have you two do is place your cuffed hands on the table and spread both of your wrists apart as wide as you can," he explained.

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Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned
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"No need to rush our business, we've only just arrived."

"You don't think he can do it," Shuin accused with a disgruntled huff. He dropped his weight into a seat and folded his arms, Namari smoothing out the lower folds of her kimono as she more gracefully joined beside him. "Everything's just a waste of time to you, huh? It's 'cause he's an oni, isn't it? I've seen the way you look at oni. Well, not 'look' look with you being blind and all, but..."

Her eyes closed, the noblewoman's expression was calm. Peaceful, even. Patiently, she adjusted the pins in her hair as the man trailed on with his ill-advised rant. She did not wear the face of a woman who had grown accustomed to circumstance. That was much too gracious for having to share company with his ilk. No, instead it was the face of a woman who veiled something terrible underneath. Thoughts perhaps beyond mere cruelty.

For three weeks, she has suffered the utter indignity of his wandering hands and eyes, peeling away any layer of privacy or comfort.

For three weeks, she has suffered harsh and sleepless nights -- during which the oaf seemed to snore all too soundly.

For three weeks, she has suffered mishap upon mishap, dragged into his personal affairs as a consequence of his hare-brained impulse.

For three weeks, she has suffered this fool's grating presence with no end in sight.

This was no 'no matter' matter. If things continued in this way, there was going to be a murder in Poyo; perhaps two, if her mood was foul enough. A forgettable life, a forgettable death, in a forgettable town. He was right about one thing. Everything really was just a waste of time.

Meditation was all but impossible with this subhuman around, so there was only one thing left that could put her mind at ease, at least for a time. She ordered a bowl of noodles with eggs and enoki mushrooms, several pieces of salmon, a dish with sesame oil, and a cup of baijiu.

"Order something," Namari said, addressing Suiken. "I'll pay."

"Hm, now what should I get... ?" Shuin mused while stroking his chin, squinting at the various women within the establishment. "You know, I can't lie. Everything here looks pretty good."

"Get? Get what? You don't have money." Namari scoffed.

His eyes settled on a certain familiar looking monkey man, and a mischievous grin slowly spread across his lips.
"Not yet I don't."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned
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"Well those pork buns, while still delicious, were a little light on the pork, so..." Suiken mused for a moment, before deciding on a menu item. "Chanko Nabe it is!" he grinned. A favorite of many Oni, particularly those who partook in their favorite past time, such as he. "A taste of home...didn't quite think they'd have it in Poyo, but let's see if there's is up to snuff!"

Suiken looked from Namari to Shuin. "Aren't you going to feed your er...friend too?" he asked. "A full stomach may at least resolve any ill will between you two in your, er, temporary circumstances." Suiken glanced around at all the bar patrons. "Speaking of which..." he lowered his voice. "How long ago was it that you were you cursed?"

Setting

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Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned
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"Hey punk, what did'ya say?" A voice bellowed from behind one of the extreme racists. He turned to see a monkey man, arms crossed with a frown, staring down at him menacingly. Kaor and Xanth would blink to see their new friend suddenly gone from the table.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned Character Portrait: Samyan Zaheer Character Portrait: Ren Van
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The dimming sky glittered with the sparkles of fireworks cascading through the air above Poyo. The town glowed a bright, golden orange, with faint hues of red from the reflection upon wood painted in a bright crimson color. Ren Van gazed out at the village as the boat drew closer to the docks, letting his hand gracefully graze across the silky glass surface of the waters. There appeared to be some commotion at one end, someone falling into the water? Seemed as though it was being taken care of though as a nearly buck naked figure staggered to the shore.

The Hedonism of some of these Yune seemed to have no bounds. Ren looked back to the town, paper lanterns were now more clearly visible, as were the revelers running about and enjoying themselves. What an exciting time, a chance to celebrate and cheer on the great accomplishments of the Emperor, of Yune! Great feats like invading Yeuxkyen and stealing parts of their land! In truth, there was only so much bitterness Ren could still feel towards that, his home felt much less homely these days than in his youth. Still, that did not entirely erase the sense of indignity the whole celebration brought with it.

Never mind that though, this was his first time being in the lands of Yune Proper, a chance to see new lands, peoples, and hopefully make a little extra coin.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________


The boat finally docked, and Ren began to step out onto the peer, boots touching down on the wet planks. It had been trickling down a little, but not so much to be a problem for the swordsman. He tossed the coins he owed to the boatman, grabbed his bag, and made his way down the dimly lit docks towards town.

Once he reached the cobblestone streets connected to the waterfront, he was greeted by the sights and sounds of crowds of men, women, and children of every race. There was running about, singing, eating, shooting off fireworks. It would almost be a wonderful thing, and Ren might just have to stomach putting on a happy face to avoid conflict, but he rather hoped he could simply avoid doing anything that would even remotely please Yune's emperor.

Some of the stalls he passed were filled with wondrous items, some from different corners of the known world. He'd even spotted some clothes from his home land! Golden robes with bright right embroidery throughout them, probably worth a small fortune, and not something that seemed practical for him to own right now. There was also a food stall he noted had noodle dishes like pho and xoi, and even had a plate of lettuce wrapped goi cuon rolls. The familiar temptation of home called to him, but he saw the stall owner was a fellow Yeuxkyenan. Dressed the way he was now, Ren suspected it might not be the best way to meet a fellow countryman.

Skipping past the stalls, Ren decided to stroll past the many columns of merchants, through the brightly lit streets and thin fog of firework smoke, to try and locate some sort of tavern or inn.

”DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLS!!!!”

Ren was startled by the screaming as he watched a towering white figure speed past him in the street. He slowed down, looking towards the crowd the individual had disappeared into, only to hear another startling shout from behind him.

”DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLS!!!!”

A deranged man, eyes ablaze, pulled back his arm, winding up for a powerful punch, aimed for no apparent reason at Ren! The fist flew forward, all power released in a forward projection to the Yeuxkyenan's face. But in a move both swift and almost undetectable, the dark armored swordsman had brushed his arm up and to the side, knocking his assailants arm to the side, gripping onto the wrist, and quickly responding with a firm slap across the screaming man's face.

A slight trickle of blood came down from the screaming man's now split lip, his eyes now glistening, lip quivering. Ren shook his head.

"You're going to need to calm down and get a grip over yourself, whatever your problem is. You go around throwing fists at random men in armor, and you're going to end up with something broken." He patted the shaken Yunean on the shoulder. "Happy Emperor's Day." Ren spoke softly as he walked away. Almost immediately after the confrontation, his eyes landed upon an inn.

The Golden Peach.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________


As he reached the doors, watching a pair of punks leaving, with hands up to their noses for some reason, he felt a sense of relief, a chance to finally relax, get something to eat, and hopefully a place to sleep. Upon entering, he was almost immediately greeted by the sight of a Snow Oni in the room.

Ren felt his heart sink a little.

Of all the places and times on this planet he had to come across another one, it had to be here?

He cast his gaze away from the blue monster, eyes catching sight of several interesting other folks here too, the Beastmen (Beastwomen as well?) in particular. One of them seemed pretty big, but despite their unique nature, Ren didn't really have any good or ill feelings towards them. He hadn't really interacted with many before, so as far as he was concerned they were just strangers.

The swordsman found himself an empty booth, placed his bag down in a corner, took a seat, and settled in. While he waited for a server to come greet him, he started milling over what he might be able to do in Yune for work, and also what he could do to avoid the Snow Oni. The fellow seemed tough, but he'd fought with them and against them before, he knew he could handle himself against them if he ever had to. Still, Ren had no interest in being someone's 'unpaid warrior' again.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned
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Xanth's hair drooped at Takai's reply - it, just like she, was bad at hiding disappointment. She shifted around on her seat and gave a few limp-wristed motions towards Kaor before squishing and rubbing the dog's jowls fondly. Then she squinted at the beastman and shook her head, gesturing back to Kaor with the same demeanor as a teacher scolding their underling. She disarmingly laughed off whatever that conversation was, it must have just been a joke, nothing to worry about, and hopped off the dog. She opened the small pouch on her side. From within it, she retrieved a small scroll, which she splayed out on the table before them.

'For hire.'

One finger jutted up in the air, and the sound of metal unsheathing cut through the air right before two shiny daggers were plonked down on the table beside the message. Xanth's elbows slid across the table, her hands squishing her cheeks together and making her seem all the more harmless. Her eyebrows wiggled suggestively.

The commotion finally took her attention and potential employer away. She slumped, brow twitching as she watched the merriment being disturbed. Ugh, annoying. As she turned her head back, steam hit her nostrils. A bamboo basket of freshly steamed buns were laid before her. She beamed, quite alright with letting things behind her get out of hand, and did the hot potato with the bun she'd picked up.

'Good for business,' she signed casually to Kaor after catching the bun with her teeth, and jutted her thumb back towards the Snow Oni's company, 'Fear and prejudice. There's money to make off of that.'

She dropped a bun down into the dog's jaws, nodding thoughtfully, then gestured towards the noble-looking woman chained to an idiot. She tapped her pouch, then Kaor's chest, then returned to her own chest with wiggling fingers and a wink.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned Character Portrait: Ren Van
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Ren looked up to the waitress that approached him, stifling a grimace at the 'Happy Emperor's Day'. He politely smiled and gave a bow of his head to her. "And a Happy Emperor Day to you. Could I perhaps trouble you for a green tea to start with? And perhaps some water too, I've had a rather long journey." He briefly admired the garb she wore, momentarily wondering if she paid for it, or the Inn did. Seemed expensive, especially with the fine embroidery.

"As for food... How about we start off with two pork buns, two spring rolls, and some huoguo." As the waitress took his order and went to relay it to the kitchen, Ren took a moment to further survey his surroundings. This Inn seemed well established. Ornate carvings crept up the walls of the separated booth he found himself sitting in, with a thin dragon head spouting from the top to connect with the ceiling.

The whole room seemed bright and lively from all of the candles and lanterns, bringing out the full colors of wall dioramas that illustrated various scenes. From calm, agrarian romances, to epic historical battles, to deals made with dragons. Of course, today the whole area seemed to be particularly fraught with effigies of the beloved Emperor as well, many of which were hung on the red support pillars that bore lovely gold colored dioramas and designs of their own.

The inside of the Inn itself (in the main area at least) was quite spacious, filled mainly with low built round tables and chairs. Their dark oak and equally ornate carvings made Ren nearly wonder if perhaps all parts of Yune had this kind of elegance, or if perhaps it was just the result of a healthy population of skilled craftsmen throughout.

Finally, his eyes were drawn back to the Oni and his companions. Ren still felt uneasy about the situation, though he tried to ignore. Tried to, until he noticed the metal chain hung between the woman and the boy with him. Were they....

Slaves?

He tried to wrack his mind, trying to recall the Empire's policies on that. He had thought it was illegal to enslave humans here. Had things changed? Or was this perhaps some less than legal affair? Either way, Ren was starting to feel a few too many familiar feelings associated with Snow Oni.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Ginchiyo Lao Tzu Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned Character Portrait: Ren Van
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Kaor blinked at her companion, humming and watching her go about her conversations with a nod before simply smiling and leaning forth to speak with ‘her Gecko’ as privately as possible.
Well… As privately as a crowded inn/bar could be considered.
The final signing that Xanth gave to Kaor wasn’t missed, and the bear woman beamed a bright smile at her companion. “Ahh… Yes. Why not. Shall I be a distraction for you my dear? Let me see if I cannot play the part of a good woman for once, hm?

She turned her attention to the Snow Oni at hand, smiling vaguely before letting her expression darken into a mask of fury.
Two, maybe three, teenagers were giving Takai grief, and an old woman was harassing the Oni as well. Her gaze turned to Xanth with a wink, before returning to the commotion behind with that same fury bubbling up to the surface.

She stood from her table with her Gecko, giving the beloved mutt a quick pet upon the head before she quickly made her way towards the accosted group. She took note of a woman of some nobility and a peasant man chained together, of Takai and the poor Oni covered in stew, and of the trio of hecklers making their exit. Her maw opened, and as she was bringing forth a mighty bellowing roar, with which she planned to chastise the three stooges…
Their main-man found his face impacting with a door. Ouch. Hah. Hahaha!

Bahahaha! HAH! That is what you get you little cretins! Begone with you three! Before I set a mind forth for your haunches to meet my paws!” Her voice was nearly deafening to be beside, and she caught sight of more than one patron ducking away and covering their ears.
She brought her bulk over to the Oni, shifting first the massive bamboo and leather strap basket upon her back to reach inside, and then retrieve a somewhat smaller, stitch and leather pack. From within THAT pack, she removed a relatively fair sized swathe of cloth. “Good sir, good sir, please. Take this and clean yourself up some, if you would like! I take it that your night has not been going well, no? And you, Takai! Please! Don’t leave me from the fun next time! I dare say we might be a terrifying duo for those who have no respect!
She snarled out, smiling throughout her words.

She flipped a single coin to Takai, letting her expression soften before it became fierce and lively once again. A massive paw clapped the Snow Oni on the shoulder as the other offered him the ‘towel’. Her gaze slid towards the chained individuals, and as she spoke, she only hoped that her presence was enough to keep all eyes on her from this motley crew. “Now that’s something I’ve yet to see! Why are the two of you all chained up my dears? Would you like me to ah, break those links for you? Or is that what the good sir here was already offering to do? I was trying my hardest not to eavesdrop.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned
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"I can stand waiting a little longer for my food," Namari said addressing Suiken, casually brushing her bangs as the bear viciously mauled the hooligans in the background. Shuin just laughed nervously, scratching the back of his head.

"Wow... real rowdy bunch in here, huh?" he said, rethinking his plans as suddenly they had begun to draw a small crowd of bodies around them. Well, perhaps not so small, considering that same bear was now casting a massive shadow upon them. His thumb hooked instinctually but naturally under his sash, near his sword, as he maintained a polite smile.

Though Namari could not see Shuin, she could sense his unease. No, maybe not unease. More like...

"You want to have a go at these chains?" he laughed, lifting his arm up (and Namari's with it). "We'll welcome more than one challenger! Fifty gold pieces to the lucky winner! She'll be paying, of course."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned Character Portrait: Ren Van
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"Suiken stood up and brushed himself off. He bowed apologetically towards the innkeeper. "Please forgive me. I didn't mean to cause you any trouble. If you don't mind, I would like another bowl of chanko nabe...to go this time. You won't be troubled again."

The old innkeeper studied the Oni suspiciously for a bit, before taking a he took a huff from his pipe and sighed. "Don't worry about it. Just make sure you..." he glanced over and eyed the two handcuffed humans as Shuin had begun to raise an offer to the group. "...or your friends don't cause me any more trouble."

"Thank you!" Suiken stated gratefully, before he walked back towards back at Shuin and Namari. There seemed to be another human that had entered the inn just recently. He too was giving Suiken the stink eye, but the oni payed no mind. He would have a couple of kind Beast-men to contend with if he started any more trouble. "Aha..." the oni, approached his two bound companions, chuckling tiredly at the sight of Shuin's gallivanting. "I think...it'd be best to NOT put these good people up to any er...insurmountable tasks, eh?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ginchiyo Lao Tzu Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Samyan Zaheer Character Portrait: Ren Van
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#, as written by Nulix
Prefect Ro searched Ginchiyo's face for a moment, his brown eyes meeting hers. "I'm- married to the job," He explained, displaying perhaps the most humanity he was capable of. Despite the officer's awkwardness his demeanour towards Lo-Muna and Ginchiyo seemed to shift. It was in small details: the way he lowered his parchment pad, or how he'd uncrossed his arms. Prefect Ro suddenly seemed less threatening. It was a warm summer night after all, and the smells and sounds of the festival beckoned for him to return.

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

"And?" The prefect asked.

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

"And your name, miss?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned Character Portrait: Ren Van
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Suiken sighed, sitting up. "Just what's going on in Poyo? I truly wanted to see the fireworks this year," the snow oni questioned. "Such curious happenings..." Suiken shook his head, standing up from his seat. He took a step outside, just to observe whatever prompted this sudden state of emergency and a horde of people were rushing past in a panic. "Excuse me! Excuse me!" the oni called to one of the panicking citizens.

"What's the cause of all this mayhem?" he inquired.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned Character Portrait: Ren Van
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"It seems the people here are panicked on short notice," Namari noted, with lightly narrowed eyes. "You'd think they were going to war." The words were spoken softly, but there was a bite to them. Like her mother who raised her, her tone was often thick with layers of condescension, a dash of contempt, and maybe some mild amusement. Perfectly suited for the vermin breed in this little town; should it burn to the ground, it will not be remembered as anything more than another one of Yune's ugly wounds on the land. Truly, it was a wonder their warmongering ilk thought themselves any higher than Gwanish savages.

She excused herself from her seat and, without looking, maneuvered with relative ease around the rushing patrons that shoved their way between the tables. "Forget it, I've lost my appetite. I'm going upstairs to lay down."

"You don't want to see what's going on?" Shuin asked through a mouthful after sneakily pinching a snack out of an unsuspecting man's hand and immediately eating it. "Sounds dangerous... right up your alley!" He took another bite.

Namari stared for a moment, annoyed.

"No."

"Aw, come on. It'll be fun! I'm down for a fight! Right, random monkey guy?" Shuin put his arm around the beastman's shoulder, his new best friend. "We can be the heroes who saved, uh -- what was this town's name again? Boyoh? That's a win in my book!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned Character Portrait: Ren Van
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The sound of bells interrupted Ren's careful consideration of the Snow Oni and his 'companions', something was going on outside, and it had the whole town in a stir. A guard had come in, telling people to get out of the building, and the waitress and chef had bolted out of the inn.

Before he got his food or tea.

Ren sighed slightly and gave a faint, half frown. He really wanted that tea, at the very least. But now it seemed like he might not even be getting any rest tonight, depending on what exactly it was that was considered a state of emergency. But... That guard had said something about the walls? Did he mean an earthquake?

He grabbed his bag, placing it back over his shoulders as he placed a hand on the hilt of one of his swords. The two that were chained up (or rather, the one girl) were making their way upstairs, which was admittedly not very 'slave like'. Perhaps the story with the Oni was more complicated.

"That guard said to avoid the walls, miss. I don't wish to presume too much, but I would think the whole building may not be entirely safe based on his assessment."

Ren made his way towards the doors of the inn, giving a polite nod in the direction of the beastmen (the bear and the monkey), and then to the Sunean. "Here's an opportunity to perhaps earn a free meal. Or die. Either way, I'm sure this should at least be interesting." He smiled softly, the only indication he was trying to employ dark humor.

Once outside, he stood next to the Snow Oni, taking in the sight of the chaos, following the crowd of fleeing civilians with his eyes. He took notice of the town's tower, a tall, narrow tower, with red brick walls on the first floor (similar to the pavilion around it), white on the upper floors, red painted wood pillars, and sloping, green roofs, likely made of copper.

The sellsword looked to the Oni, then back to the crowd. "Did anyone manage to say anything intelligible?" He asked of the large blue skin, indicating to the frenzied, panicked civilians.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned Character Portrait: Ren Van
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Ren turned to see the monkey beastman who had joined him and the Oni at the front of the inn, giving a slight smirk as he looked back out at the crowds. "Have courage friend. No wounded or dead by the looks of it so far, meaning our doom has yet to reach us. It may even be that this threat could be quite manageable. That is to say, IF we are all skilled enough to manage." He turned to the Oni once more, reluctantly looking the giant up and down for a brief moment, before giving a nod of affirmation.

"Agreed, and we should move quickly. All the guards seem to be following the crowds, so if they're going to need any help, it looks like they'll need it in town square." As much as Ren still had an innate distrust for the Oni, his current actions seemed the most proactive, and based on the events in the Inn, he was less sure about his relationship to those that were connected by chain.

Any reluctance the sellsword felt was pushed to the 'cautious observation' part of his mind, as he followed the Snow Oni without hesitation.