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Pele Mele

Relaxed to the max.

0 · 286 views · located in The Horat-verse

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

Description

"Aloha, my brothers!"

Name: Pele Mele
Sex: Male
Age: 31
Race: Fire Oni

Physical Description: A lanky fire oni, whose face is shrouded in an odd helmet, not quite found anywhere else on Yune. He has hair, tied in a topknot atop his head as well as a long fu-manchu mustache that pokes through his helmet and hangs off the side of his face.
Clothing: Blue monks robes and brown monks leggings. Sports no footwear of any kind. Wears an odd looking helmet on his head constantly, though he occasionally sports sunglasses on top of that as well.
Height: 6'4
Weight: 219
Skin Colour: Purple
Hair Colour: Brown.
Eye Colour: Red.

Occupation: Monk/Seven Sons Member/Professional Bounty Tracker/Salesman. Just an oni with many jobs.
History/Bio: Little is known about the elusive Pele Mele in the lands of Yune other than the fact that he was a monk of some renown in the Koru Islands, which despite it's spiritualism, isn't a land quite known for it's monks. Less than one year ago, Pele traveled to Yune, alone by boat, off on a search for something important. He ended up researching various events and organizations across Yune,and eventually came across one only whispered in rumor. The Seven Sons.

Pele Mele traveled across Yune, gathering what information he could about the mysterious groups of assassins. Once he had determined that he knew enough, he decided to join their ranks. But not as one of their assassins. No, Pele Mele proved his worth in other ways, by assisting the sons in combat...and tracking any of their prey, across Yune. He was one of the best trackers there ever was. He'd find a sons bounty target like a hound, and more often then not, his findings reaped big rewards. and so, Pele was granted admittance to the Sons. Though it remains to be seen why his true motives for doing so are...

Home Town: Lea-Koru (meeting place of the various tribes of the Koru Islands)
Home Country: Koru Islands
Personality: Pele is one who does whatever he wants with almost excessive energy and boisterous confidence. And believes, first and foremost, that the best way of accomplishing anything is doing so with a bit of style. He takes his duties as a monk and a top tracker of the Seven Sons seriously, though he carries himself with a levity that many would deem inappropriate for many situations.

Pele is highly interested in exploring Yune and the world, believing that beneath the world's truths, there are layers and layers of secrets just waiting to be uncovered. In addition to being a monk, he had to take up shopkeeping to keep himself fed in Yune. As a salesman, he has an incredibly crafty persona, which often leads to him earning more money than he should've. Pele has a bit of an impulsive streak, which does get him into trouble...if he didn't have backup. Most of his allies would mention....his ego doesn't need to be fed any more...

Fears and Desires: He fears having nothing left to discover or uncover. He also fears enclosed spaces, a restriction of freedom. He might also mention several worries of fearing for a certain key the seven sons are after. Why this is is unknown...He desires to have a fun time in whatever he's doing, and to find what he's searching for in Yune. But his most important goal is a lofty one. The banishment of evil...not the plain evil on the surface...but the one hiding in the dark.

Equipment and Weapons: A Ka'eke'eke (Koru Island Drums made of bamboo) named Seven Heavens Harmony.
Styles and Abilities: Fights utilizing his own spin of style of the famed Oni tribe of Demon Hunter Monks...none of which have been native to the Koru Islands, oddly enough. His abilities involve a lot of fast but heavy and concentrated capoeira style punches and kicks and concentrated chi attacks utilizing his xylophone.Each hit he attacks oddly leaves an opponent feeling no pain, but the hit's impact still takes effect. It does have a painful and quite pertinent effect when used against demons, however.
Chi and Augmentations: Utilizes the sound in his Ka'eke'eke hitting the earth the communicate with the harmonic chi of the earth. When playing music through his xylophone, he can calm minds around him and cause opponents and even cause them to feel ill or drowsy when playing with a slow tempo. With a much faster a upbeat tempo, he can cause an opponent's blood to boil and overheat as if they were a being pelted by magma. with enough concentration, he can tap into the magmic rhythm of the earth, without his Ka'eke'eke. But he needs to concentrate entirely on strengthening his chi.

So begins...

Pele Mele's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Pele Mele Character Portrait: Jeon Oun

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#, as written by Nulix
His eyes flickered open and he was greeted by rays of light gliding through a loosely tied bamboo roofing. His eyes adjusted to the light and soon the brightness between the large opens of the bamboo poles revealing grey overcast beyond. He lowered his eyes to the interior of the space - a small cabin like structure, rocking gently with the flow of a river. At one end the cabin opened into a narrow deck. The man swallowed before glancing back. Opposite him in another hammock, covered in bandages and undressed, lay the man he knew as Yuwne Fortune. Through swollen eyes and a wool covered head the man realized Yuwen was still asleep. He swallowed before glancing to the end of the cabin, where in the shadows a figure loomed. The man almost fell out of his hammock as suddenly the figure stepped. "Stay back!" The man spat at the approaching figure, barely able to move his arm to find a weapon.

"Peace," The figure whispered, stepping into the light to reveal the tower blue-form of an Ashura. Bloody and scratched pink eyes looked down from an imposing, white-robed presences, and with one of his massive six arms he handed the man a robe. "I believe this is yours."

The man caught the robe as it fell onto him before glaring back at the Ashura. "Who are you?"

"I am the Ashura," The Ashura replied in a deep, rumbling voice - it's bass enough to vibrate the cabin whole.

"Seven Sons," The man sighed, squeezing into the robe and quickly covering his head with the hood. "Why'd you save me?"

"Perhaps you'd be better asking the others," The Ashura whispered, pointing to the exit of the cabin. "The young one must still be attended to..." The Hooded Villain rose weakly and began to limp away from the Ashura, who'd turned his attention back to Yuwen.

The Hooded Villain emerged onto the deck. The narrow boat was gently sailing through a mountainous river. The Villain swallowed, glancing up at the white-cliff walls that surrounded the narrow waterway before turning around, looking past the bamboo cabin and to the small crew gathered at the wheel at the wheel. "You there," The Villain announced, begin to limp toward them. "Where are we?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Shiisan Character Portrait: Pele Mele

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"What, this?" Shiisan asked, the golden aura encircling his fingers. "It's my chi ability over nature. See, I can restore things to how they once were naturally. Sort of like healing I guess. Like I can heal wounds...guess I shoulda mentioned that earlier, huh?" Shiisan shrugged. "Can't bring any people or animals back from the dead or anything like that. Plants are another story, though."

Shiisan then demonstrated by drawing out the knife that was previously on the turtle's back. Zapping it with the golden chi, it soon began to rattle before it's wooden hilt fell to the ground and became a tree while the metal of the blade split into various natural metal ores.

"'Course as a bandit, I had to find some combat uses as well. Took a while, but I finally honed it. I can bring back any physical pain anyone's ever felt. It's pretty nifty, I'd say...now are we gonna just listen to me talk or move on? C'mon, let's go!"

The guild took a right by the boulder soon was in a completely different part of the desert with several small unmarked graves. Another note was on top of it. "Let's see..." Shiisan muttered. "This one says, 'take a step backwards once and prove your worth'," Shiisan shrugged. "Makes about as much sense as anything else out here..." he muttered, giving the letter to Lo-Muna once more.

***

Suiken smiled at Sha. "Ah, no. I'm no soldier. Just a simple musician. I do know another fire oni woman, who fought for their navy. A chief, really. But...I suppose she's retired by now," Suiken sighed. "Just curious about where you stand. I assume you have no quarrel with the Snow Oni, then?"

Jakkar glared at Tsukumo and flashed her an ugly grin. "Stare all you want little doctor, but y'know the only real thing between you and me is that kimono your wearin'. One of these days my, uh....my knife might slip," Jakkar chuckled drawing out his butterfly knife and tapping the flat of the blade on his forehead. "And cut the sash in half...Then who knows what I'll do? Eheh..." Jakkar howled, his tongue hanging off of the side of his mouth like a wild dog.

***

As the hooded man hobbled onto the ship's deck, one of it's crew, a purple oni in blue monks robes, sporting a purple odd looking helmet, swiveled his head around and chuckled. "Aloha, my hooded brother!" he greeted in a cheerful tone. "We were just discussin' what to do with you!" the oni backflipped and landed on the mast, pointing his right arm backwards to the the rivers and mountainside before them. "We ain't that far from Jiefong, if you were wonderin'. Just took the scenic route by the mountainside. With all the bandits and shit. Kind of a boring trip though."

"In fact...." the oni muttered, turning towards his fellow Seven Sons members, pointing double finger-guns at them. "Y'all can wake me up when we get there! I'm snoozin'..." he informed his compatriots, and with that out of the way he hopped in a fishing net, hanging from the side of the ship, using it as a makeshift hammock. "Y'all better decide...what to do with hooded dude before we get there though..." the purple oni yawned. "It ain't gonna be too good if he goes around causing trouble or whatever..."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Pele Mele Character Portrait: Jeon Oun

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Lo-muna took the letter somewhat distractedly and showed it to her remaining guild mates to inspect. It was a curious power, that of Shiisan, one she had not come across on her travels so far. Admittedly, the ground Lo-muna had covered was limited since she tended to stay wherever she passed. She had to sate her curiosity after all. Shiisan's power was absolutely fascinating as well but, with how silent the Tengu had been, she would have to question him later.

"So, I suppose we simply take a step back," Lo-muna said dryly, looking to Rumelis and Yamato to initiate the action.

~*~

"Really? Hmm, who knows, I might have come across her," Sha shrugged with a grin. "And no quarrel at all! In fact, you could say I have an interest in them."

The guild leader winked, chortling.

"And do what? Hump my leg? Considering how small you are, there's not much you can do is there?" Tsukumo retorted with a sneer. She was completely ignoring the conversation the two oni were having and hadn't even begun to heal Suiken, her concentration lost with Jakkar's idle threats. Buruu sighed.

"No, but, I do not bear any grudges against the ice oni," she continued with an unamused look at her two guild members. "No grudges against anyone really. What I've seen has caused me great difficulty in getting to this point but with how long I've been alive, I have had time to work on it. I would rather compete than fight and as you can see with my insubordinate members, it has to be one or the other as well. Then again, they haven't been with me as long as some of the others."

Daken took in the other conversations, soaking up the information, as his guild mates talked. So he didn't answer Ann immediately, looking off into the distance. His eyes stared at nothing in particular until, with a deep inhale of breath, his eyes focused on Ann once more.

"Let me guess, you are involved with the death of others?" Daken asked, a knowing look in his eyes. "We, ourselves, are not all of good character as some are already displaying. Some of us have rather shady pasts but Buruu understands that blood washes off. Memories linger but if there is anything our leader has taught us, it is that there are things one does, and then they are done. Life continues and she has seen that need we have to feel alive. We regard her highly because she understands and while there are times Buruu can be questionable herself, we acknowledge the risks which are small compared to the rewards."

~*~

"You snooze, you lose," a feathered beast-man called out to the oni as he turned to face the hooded man. Orange was the primary color of his feathers with black coloring his forearms, folded wings, tail and above his eyes. Red accented his eyes in accompaniment of the black.

"Like Pele said, we're in a familiar part of the neighborhood," Jeon snickered. "So I doubt you'll cause much trouble, will you my brother?"

He turned to the other Seven Sons members, crossing his arms.

"I say we just let 'em be for now, deal with them when we have to," the bearded vulture beast-man suggested with a nonchalant shrug. "Executing him wouldn't be too good since we might I dunno, get something useful out of 'em."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Pele Mele

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#, as written by Nulix
"Do not deceive the man for a cheap thrill, Pele," The Ashura's voice rumbled the boat. The Hooded Villain stopped, glancing back as the large creature emerged from the cabin, Yuwen stepping out before him clutching his head. Everyone on the ship paused at the guild leader's entrance to the deck - even the Hooded Villain. Yuwen squinted at the light before adjusting to the levels of the over-cast afternoon. "You guys saved me," He whispered, more confused then grateful. "From him," He added, pointing to the Villain. Hoods gave a slight snarl before turning to Pele. "So you lied to me - let's try again: where are you taking us? Why are you taking us?"

"...We head to the city of Fern Rock," The Ashura admitted.

"That's over a week away," The Hooded Villain spat. "And by the way- this boat can't survive the open sea."

"And yet it's where we are headed," The Ashura replied coldly. "As for why... I suppose you'll just have to wait and see, Hooded Villain."

The Villain paused. "That's not my name?"

"That's what Mister Fortune seems to think of you," The Ashura whispered.

"Well, he attacked me - separated me from my guild, and now I'm being half-nursed to health half-held fostage by you guys, so you - I'd call him a villain," Yuwen said.

"Mister Fortune has knowledge of something much bigger than he - knowledge we need," The Ashura vaguely explained. "That is why we need him."

"What about me?" The Villain asked.

The Ashura paused, cracking a small smile and revealing large, blocked teeth beneath. "What about you?" He chuckled.

Yuwen stepped forward weakly on the wobble deck of the boat. "So who are you guys?" He questioned, glancing around at the members of the Seven Sons...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Shiisan Character Portrait: Pele Mele

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"I think...we're nearly there..." Shiisan muttered. The guild had collected note upon note of various hints and clues, all seeming to guide them somewhere. "So can I ask you guys, a question? Great Guild Fortune? Really? You,bunny baby..." Shiisan pointed at Lo-Muna. "You said your leader was named fortune? Was he rich or something? Or maybe you're some kind of treasure hunting guild...?" he asked, looking form Lo-Muna to the other guild members somewhat suspiciously.

***

Suiken gave Sha a wide grin. "Ah, you don't know how much it warms my heart to see an oni who doesn't subscribe to the mentality that we fire and ice oni should constantly war with one another. But, I must ask...you live for a challenge? Why? Was capturing Ann and myself completely necessary?" he asked while Jakkar looked as if he were prepared to charge at his Tsukumo, only to be held back by his recently awoken cousin.

***

"It ain't lyin' to withhold information from a potentially dangerous individual," Pele called back drowsily, from his makeshift hammock. He sat up once Yuwen inquired as to who they were. "Who we are...ain't important. What we're after....is. You remember Poyo, right? What you found there?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Pele Mele

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#, as written by Nulix
"No," Yuwen replied.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Pele Mele

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A small crate was thrown that hit Yuwen square in the face. "The key, dumbass. Your whaleman found a key," the purple oni explained. "Only one like it in all of Yune...Or that's what they say, at least..." Pele shrugged. "Man, of you knew the shit certain undisclosified parties would go through just to get their hands on that thing..." Pele shook his head.

"Well...it ain't worth discussin' now," Pele chuckled lackadaisically. "What IS worth discussin' now is why you saw fit to keep it..."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Pele Mele

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"It was literally a crate made outta leaves. If that can knock him out, then he might one a consider takin' up the life of a shut in..." Pele shrugged, turning to face Hoods. "Woah, uh....What's a seventh sun? This guy..." Pele snickered,feigning ignorance and shaking his head as he pointed a thumb in the direction of the Hooded Villain. "Crazy, right?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Pele Mele

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#, as written by Nulix
"A fat Oni smashed his head against a rock, I'd image it's... sensitive," The Hooded Villain replied to Pele. Suddenly from above them the distant sound of thunder echoed. "Summer in the north isn't the best for sailing - especially not in the mountains," He informed, glancing to the stern of the deck where the rest of the seven sons members aboard the vessel stood. "Its hard enough to get through the rocky pass, especially with the bandits - if it start to rain or storm it'll be close to impossible so why did you choose it?" The Hooded Villain paced down the deck and leaned over the railing, eying the rocky-landscape around them. "Fearing you're being followed?" He whispered. "Not by Phecda, or by the Guild, that's for sure... you don't fear such things..."

From inside the cabin Yuwen lay eyes open as the Ashura retreated his head-wound, listened to the Villain's words. "...Not by the army or the guards... no, you fear something else. You avoid the easy road for fear of something... greater..." Yuwen swallowed. He had just encountered a greater evil, and if this group of warriors - the seven sons, as the Villain had called them, were transporting him to the other side of the country for information, it was likely they too knew what had happened to him... that they too knew of the necromancer.

The Villain's hood flung gently in the river breeze. "But it's clear I won't get answers from you," He muttered, cracking his neck before turning back to the group. "You've been hunting Fortune since Poyo for that key - I'm not sure he knows where it is, I'm afraid."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Pele Mele

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"Hey, Hoods..." Pele muttered thoughtfully. "You said something earlier, just a minute ago. You said, we don't seem anything like the Seven Sons you heard about? There might be some truth to that..."the purple oni yawned, leaning backwards on his hammock. "See the Seven Sons get paid good money to be assassins and mercenaries and whatnot. But never to ask questions."

"'Cause y'see when people start askin' questions, depending on what answers they get, they may start to perceive things differently..." Pele continued. "Just so happens that the people you see before you are the Sons that had the questions, and as for myself...I'm the one with the answers. Some of 'em anyways."

"What I'm tryin' to get across is...we may sail under the flag of the Seven Sons, but we play to a different set of rules. Rules that the Seven Sons haven't followed for over a century...Before the order's morals were forced to fall apart. So... that greater evil you mentioned? What do you think that's all about. We wanna hear your opinion."

The Seven sons aboard the ship seemed to fall quiet as did everything else around them and their boat. Dead silence.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Pele Mele Character Portrait: Jeon Oun

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Aboard all had gone quiet and Jeon frowned. An itch had started up in his left wing but he refused to move a feather. While the eyes of his companions were set on the Hooded Villain, Jeon's own eyes moved briefly to Pele and the rest of the Seven Sons, or those who called themselves one of the clan at least. The careful words, the apparent dissolution with Maiya's purpose, were words he had begun to hear more often. They were growing comfortable in their isolation. And he was getting more restless.

~*~

Daken considered Ann's words carefully and looked over to where Tsukumo had begun healing Suiken. Her face was grim in concentration, carefully guarded emptiness in her eyes. She was a healer who had grown up among violence, a dissenter who had learned violence was a part of her nature and continued to fight, and yet still rebel against her nature by healing any and all. His eyes then moved to Sha whose eyes sparkled with a barely contained excitement initiated by the talk of competition. She was friendly to most who crossed their path and was not as angry as the world as she should have been. It would have been hard to imagine the large oni in a cage once, beaten and bleeding. Even her words now betrayed no bitterness or malice.

"Why?" Sha repeated with a chuckle. She threw her hands up and that chuckle quickly became a loud, obnoxious laugh which her guild mates had long grown accustomed to. The question was always one of the first things asked of their guild. "For the thrill! For the rush! I live for the adrenaline rush!"

She balled her hands into fist and started pacing back and forth, mirth in her eyes. Her hands would be thrown up in exaggerated gestures that emphasized the excitement tingling in her system.

"A challenge is nothing if not something to excel at! To have great difficulties in overcoming and grow to surpass past challenges! For that, a new thrill is needed, new elements! And for that, new competitors are vital!" the oni continued, her voice growing louder. "And one cannot have a good challenge, if an opponent is injured! I wanted all of you at the peak of your competitor's spirit! And, well, if your friends come looking for you, then clearly it'll be a fun competition! If they come, then there must be some teamwork that ya'll can throw together and so it won't be so dull when we beat you! I mean, come on, a disjointed guild might as well be killed for all they're good for in a race."

The last words brought Sha down and there was dead seriousness in her voice. She had come to a stop and regarded Suiken with an objective glance, measuring up the ice oni's reaction to her words. The tension in the air was quickly broken when Sha grinned once more.

"But we won't know that till they get here! Which should be soon now that I think about it..."

Daken looked back at Ann as the conversation went back to the ice oni. His expression softened, just a little.

"I quite like that," he finally responded with nothing to confirm whether it was genuine or sarcasm. "It gives you a clearer image of others for you never know what they've been through. It also makes my remark about blood on your hands quite rude when you think about it, thinking all have empathy or sympathy to degrees where it'll regret the spilling of blood. Not that it is technically a thing either way. Sometimes there are those who require extermination."

~*~

Lo-muna smiled warmly at Shiisa, "Is Yuwen Fortune rich? I do not know. I haven't pried into his past quite yet, not sufficient time you see...But what I do know is that I don't mind coming across treasure every now and then and neither does the guild. Though, if we do happen to know there is treasure abroad, we will most likely go after it. It is natural after all."

She paused, regarding the bandit with a raised eyebrow, "Why do you ask?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Pele Mele

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#, as written by Nulix
The Villain swallowed as the eyes aboard the boat fixated on him, and in the silence that followed Pele's words he became much more aware of his surroundings. They were ruthless killers, the Seven Sons were, and he knew that in the event of fight three against one were not favourable numbers. He had to be very careful. "...So there's a rift in the sons..." The Villain mused before focusing on Pele again. "I don't know what this evil is... I just recognize when someone is running away," He explained. "But Fortune might... it seems he's destined to be important one way or the other..."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Shiisan Character Portrait: Pele Mele

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"...Crown?" Shiisan asked suddenly. "What crown?" Any further inquiry was interrupted as an odd man tackled Lo-Muna into the ground. "Man, the forest just keeps on bringing me the weird one, huh?" Shiisan asked no one in particular as he grabbed a beetle from middair and began to chomp on it as a snack and glanced from the guild members to the newcomer.

"Welcome to the cursed desert forest of Gangamai, by the way," Shiisan informed the newcomer, still chomping on the beetle. "And try and stick with us. Otherwise, you ain't gonna be leaving any time soon. At any rate, we should get a move on."

***

Suiken pondered Sha's question carefully...before bursting into uproarious laughter. "Ahaha!" he bellowed. "No, no...not all of them." Suiken then turned to Tsukumo and bowed his head gratefully. "I thank you! Your healing skills are amazing."

***

"Forget about being destined to, Fortune IS important. OR at least he wormed his way into being so when he found that crown..." Pele explained. "There is something that happened to him. This monk gettup isn't just for show. A shadow looms over him now that we're currently unsure of how to deal with."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Pele Mele

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#, as written by Nulix
"A shadow," The Hooded Figure whispered as a gust of wind swept across the deck, the sound of creaking wood accompanying the deathly chill that came with it. "And what do the Seven Sons plan to do about it?" The Villain questioned. "My friends."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Shiisan Character Portrait: Pele Mele

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"Oh hey, Brother Bear is back," Shiisan greeted. "And he brought a scrappy drunkard, 'cause that's what we need right now." Shiisan pointed to the right towards a clearing. "We'll be headed that way," he informed the bear as the group marched on....and soon found themselves face to face with two of their kidnapped comrades, Ann and Suiken. along with another group that they had to assume was the other guild that had left all of those cryptic directions for them to find.

"Oh, hello!" Suiken greeted as he turned around. "It seems we've found ourselves a bit of...'friendly' competition," he sighed.

"Well, there's the fat lookin' one and the quiet lookin' one..." Shiisan noted. "But where' the neurotic lookin' one, that's the question. More importantly, who's gonna go out to look for her? Not me, definitely, 'cause I believe I just heard something about a challenge? So..." Shiisan began, clapping his hands together. "What's the challenge? I love challenges."

"It ain't for you, bandit," Jakkar spat, still not taking his venomous looking eyes off of Tsukumo. "We saw ya at the entrance to the forest, beggin' for someone to cut ya loose! We issue this challenge to the Great Guild only!"

"Oh," Shiisan laughed. "Shit, well why didn't ya say so? I'm a member of the guild! Ain't that right...?" he asked Lo-Muna, elbowing her.

***

"Well, if you asked our leaders...then nothin'," Pele shrugged. "But us? We plan on playin' this smart. No way can we accomplish an endeavor like this alone. We need allies, Hoods. Big time allies. And with the Empire and it's surrounding allies and enemies constantly on the brink of war? Maaaan, that shit's no easy feat."

The purple oni monk looked over at the mountains a their ship passed them by. "Recruiting an army massive enough for us to make use of 'em is highly improbable and highly illegal given the current wartime situation. Don't matter to us though, 'cause if we wanna save the world, we gotta do the improbable. And we need to work quickly but diligently though. We don't know how much time we have before the true threat makes their move."

***

In a decent sized, but relatively unknown village hidden in between the mountains to the north, a militia had formed and gathered in a defensive position in front of the mayor's mansion under the dark thunderclouds draped over the sky. Their home was under attacked. They had lost two hundred militia members before they made their retreat to what they assumed would be their final stand. Only a good eighty or so remained. The hired contingent of bounty hunters and ronin had been almost completely slain, the few of their remaining number deciding to cut their losses and flee the town, even at the cost of their honor.

All because of two men. Two monsters, seemed more accurate in the captain eyes. She looked upon her militia soldiers, who didn't have the veteran training in the Yunish army like her. They looked afraid. One of them turned to her, "How can this be, captain? "one young soldier asked. Not much older than thirteen by the looks of it. "How can an entire army be overturned by two?"

"Things aren't that simple anymore it seems..." was the captain's bitter answer. She recalled two days ago when the two had barged into the mayor's office, demanding he hand over the town to them and their unaccounted for benefactor. They were laughed off at first, but something in their tone indicated they would return. The mayor had assumed they'd bring an army. They did not.

So the captain raised her axe and prepared for what would be their villages' last stand. She looked at the young soldier standing directly beside her and her grimace turned to a grin. "I want you to flee. Go as far as your legs will take you. Should you live, you'll be our town's legacy. That we'll live on, even when faced with horrors unspeakable."

The child gulped and nodded and slowly, very reluctantly, then not so reluctantly at all, turned away from it all and ran.

The two assailants slowly, made their approach towards the mayor's mansion. Where eighty militia members stood with weapons and chi spells at the ready. The captain stared the two attackers in the face, raised her hammer and gave a battle cry that rang across the mountainside as she raised her axe and the rest of the militia charged.

"Hey, Hei...heh," one of the assailants, the lanky Bai Zhao, chuckled, seemingly unconcerned with the remnants of the militia rushing towards them. "Heheh..."

"...what?" the more muscular Hei Zhao queried somewhat irritably, as he clamly held his hands behind his back and his pale lifeless eyes stared down the captain and her forces raise their arms.

"Brother, how many are left in this village aside form the militia?" Bai asked.

"Well...let me see..." Hei murmured, tapping his talon-like fingers on his chin. "There's still the mayor and his family. And then there's all of the villagers, too stupid to evacuate, and still holed up in their houses, hoping for this all to pass over."

"All in all a good harvest then," Bai shrugged. "The call of death commands you..." the lankier brother spoke quietly, menacingly. "Reaper's Whisper..." he said as an icy chill necromancing his emitted form his body, causing a chill to fly through the air. A chill that pierced the very spirit of the informally trained militia members, causing some of them to panic in fear, and making osme of them lose the will to fight and stand still, frozen. As if mesmerized by fear.

The only one who stood was the captain. The veteran among the militia. She had the proper chi training to withstand such an assault. Though it still affected her. She still felt the deathly cold chill, felt the instinct to panic, but she held on steadfastly. She futilely swung her axe at the two brothers who lithely dodged with inhuman contortions.

"Enough," Hei yawned. "No more of this nonsense. Let's end this village. And keep the woman's corpse...she may prove useful to the master, yet...: Hei ordered his brother. "The tide of the afterlife...Black Hole Sun..." the elder brother whispered as a mass of black and violet flame emerged from his hand, it's shadow large enough to overtake the village. The ball of ebon flame rose slowly into the air and begun to create a vacuum as it radiated fire which struck out and hit the captain and her militia members.

Slowly but surely, people, both militia, and civilians, buildings, livestock, trees, all began to be drawn into the fiery center of Hei's attack. Quicker and quicker until all there was left of the town was rubble. Then, in a flash, it released everything it had drawn in. Not that what it released was recognizable as what it once was. The two undead brothers stood, their ground the entire time, their hands reaching and holding down their conical hats as the an ill tempered gust of wind blew vibrantly through the now demolished village.

They stood and glanced upon their success, not proud, but generally unfazed. "Well..." Bai muttered, looking down at the militia captain's corpse. The only one they had bothered to purposefully spare. "The master's experiment appears to be a success. Provided your orb of death there had collected this town's chi...?"

"It never fails at that," Hei answered simply. "Not only do we have a whole town's worth of chi, but another strong candida for the master to inflict an unfortunately long-lived existence in servitude upon," he added snidely.

"Well, when you put it that way, maybe we shoulda let her lie in the rubble with the rest..." Bai Zhao pointed out, slinging the captain's corpse over his shoulder.

"While, I would wish this fate upon no one, it stands to reason that for every new corpse of a capable warrior we deliver to the Master, the more likely it is that he'll keep his damn word..." he explained to his still skeptical sibling. "Come on. We head to Furoe next. Things...will be handled a bit differently there. I'll fill you in on the way."

And thus the two jiang-shi hopped away from the mountains and towards the sandy coast to the east...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Pele Mele Character Portrait: Jeon Oun

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Yuwen's eyes faded open gently, the aching that had plagued his head now settled and replaced with an uneasy feeling in his stomach. He wobbled to his feet and leaned over gently. He was shirtless, further bandaged then the morning, and his armour was nowhere to be seen. Instead he pulled the rough silk robe off a barrel and put it on. He then took hold of an oaken walking stick and made his way through the small cabin lined with tightly with medical and food supplies. The red cloth hanging from the doorway and acting as a makeshift door blew in the wind revealing beyond the rickety cabin walls a blood-orange sky and the endless mouth of the sea.

"It's good for the body though - they have this oil and they rub it on the muscles, it really helps loosen things," The voice of the Hooded Villain spoke between mouthfuls to the left of Yuwen's ears. He cornered the cabin and spotted at the back of the deck the Villain and their three captors / rescuers sitting on stools eating rabbit around a magical bowl of fire. Yuwen swallowed a the sight and carefully moved to the edge of the deck. White cloaks were hanging from the side of the long-boats's hull, and beyond it the massive green-country side of the raging rivers province. Ahead the land bordering disappeared and the open ocean stretched forward. They were about to wash into the sea, Yuwen realized.

"He's awake," The Hooded Villain's voice rang. Yuwen turned to see the members had taken notice of him.

"Indeed he is," The Ashura whispered in a rumbling voice. "Please, one of you - fill him in."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Shiisan Character Portrait: Pele Mele Character Portrait: Jeon Oun Character Portrait: Rune Iyora Character Portrait: Fie Kurai

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"Alright, wait!" Shiisan said, raising a handing front of Terra. "Uh, guild meeting! Team meeting! Captain Spastic and The Fat One are who we're sending in, but uh, we want a team meeting first!" Shiisan muttered, calling the Great Guild members over to him. "Hey, look guys," Shiisan muttered quietly as they approached. "I dunno if you've all picked up on this or not....but these guys are crazy!" he whispered, pointing a thumb at the Hunters Guild.

"They WILL get us killed. And as someone whose spent months trapped in a net, lemme tell ya, I'd like to live out my life as much as possible," Shiisan whispered. "Look, I've been in this temple before. Even before the curse hit, it was pretty deadly. And now that the whole place is cursed, we won't be able to turn without danger lurking at every turn."

"So here's my idea...you two!" Shiisan decided, pointing at Terra and Suiken. "Will still do the race. As a distraction. While the rest of us...go with the members of their guild not competing and watch the race with them for a while. The some of us will stay with the spectators as a second distraction, maybe compete in some of the other challenges while a small bit of us sneak off and try to find the map, which leads to both a massive horde of treasure AND a curse-free ticket out of here."

"And what about gathering the rest of the guild after the would be treasure thieves find this map?" Suiken asked skeptically.

"That might be the only hard part as these loony tools are liable to attack us," Shiisan shrugged. "So we yell out a signal and the rest of you follow us and book it! So...whaddya think, gang? Who should do what?"

***
Pele Mele nodded at Jeon to inform Yuwen of the situation as he got a better look at the sea before them. "Gonna be a long voyage. Might have ta go for a surf if things get too boring..." he noted, drowsily.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Shiisan Character Portrait: Pele Mele Character Portrait: Jeon Oun Character Portrait: Rune Iyora

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"Suiken and Terra are both powerful enough to compete and escape so that stays as Shiisan has confirmed," Muna began. "I will be part of the initial group staying along with Rune and Yamato. Ann, Rumelis, and Suunarashi can accompany Shiisa to find the treasure. After all, I trust you know your way around the temple since you've been through it before, Shiisa."

She smiled warmly at the bandit before looking over at the others, "Any complaints? Objections? Suggestions?"

~*~

Jeon sighed and looked at Yuwen, saying, "Since my companions aren't in a talking mood, how very unlike 'em, I guess I'll be up to flap my beak."

"See, it seems you finally gained what most are looking for- a bit of specialness to ya. You have a few things of interest to us that would include the key and whatever you have inside you now. Now, before you start cheering, this is not the good kind of special. Well, it is if our plan goes the way we want it. We're travelling across a sea for this, for the good ending, and you and him-" Jeon pointed at Yuwen and Hoods. "Might really be able to help us save the good old world. Well, if we can figure out how to rid the evil in you first cuz as he mentioned, you may not know the key and I hope he's wrong on that, but you are a key. A pretty vital one to our plans."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Pele Mele Character Portrait: Jeon Oun

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#, as written by Nulix
"what the fuck are you talking about," Yuwen asked after a long silence.

"The KEY," The Hooded Villain barked. "These are members of the Seven Sons... or, associates rather. They're taking us to Fern Rock... we'll learn more there, I'm sure."

Suddenly a loud brass horn deafened the sounds of the river. Yuwen turned to the shore where a camp was set up, red-armoured soldiers resting in it. A horn-blower blew at them again. "Unmarked vessel! You are passing into Yunish seas and outside the Raging Rivers Prefecture! Come ashore immediately for questioning!" The man yelled at them. "By order of Prefect Ro!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Shiisan Character Portrait: Pele Mele

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"Sound good to you or what?" Shiisan asked Rumelis, Suunarashi, and Ann.

***
Pele lazily glanced over to the Prefect yelling at them to dock ashore. "What? No," he shrugged lethargically as Seven Sons continued to sail on.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Pele Mele Character Portrait: Jeon Oun

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"What the hell are you doing?" Yuwen demanded as they sailed on, the soldier continuing to blow his horn at them. The Hooded Villain gave no note and continued eating with the others. "Hey!" Yuwen screamed, running as best he could to the edge of the deck and waving furiously. "Help me! I've been kidnapped! I'm of noble birth and I've been kidnapped by members of the Seven Sons Mercenary Gang! HELP ME! HELP ME!" He screamed loudly...

At the words the man dropped his horn and pelted into the camp as fast he could...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Pele Mele Character Portrait: Jeon Oun

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Pele sighed a gave a withering glare to Yuwen before looking at the rest of his crew. "Leader of a great guild, ladies and gents," he sighed, tapping the side of his helmet with his index finger in irritation. He turned to the Ashura. "See if you can calm him down, painlessly..." he asked.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Pele Mele Character Portrait: Jeon Oun

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"Admittedly you did kidnap us," The Hooded Villain commented. Yuwen dived overboard and began to swim away.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Pele Mele Character Portrait: Jeon Oun

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"Yeah, but it's for a good reason," Pele replied, sighing as one of the Jeon scooped him up from the water and tossed him back on deck. "But, really you tried to kidnap him first. Why are you not makin' your grand escape attempt, by the way?" Pele then turned to look at Yuwen. "Hey man, can you just chill for a sec. Just chill. We've just gotta explain shit some more and it'lll all make sense. Hopefully."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Pele Mele Character Portrait: Jeon Oun

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The Hooded Villain glanced out at the river they slowly drifted out and shook his head, deciding not to comment. Yuwen breathed heavily as he lay there. In his injured state there was nothing he could do, he realized. Yuwen glanced to the hooded figure who sat on one of the stools. And perhaps he realized that too.

"Are you alright?" The Ashura questioned. Yuwen rose weakly and glared at them. "I've been captured and am being given half-answers as to why - no I'm not doing alright," He hissed as the long-boat pulled out from the coast and into an endless maze of sea beyond, dark as the sun danced on it's wavy horizon. "I'm not doing alright at all..."

***

"Prefect Ro! Prefect Ro!" The guard called as he pelted into Ro's tent. The Prefect glanced away from the mass of scrolls on his desk to the soldier in his squad. "What is it, Ruon?" Ro questioned before sipping his tea. "Yuwen Fortune." This caused him to lower his tea again.

"Has he been spotted? Ro questioned immediately as the man caught his breath. The soldier gave a frantic nod. "But not as you think," The soldier explained. "He was on a unmarked longboat heading to sea, saying he'd been taken hostage by the Seven Sons."

"Out to sea where we cannot chase him," Ro sighed, scratching his chin in annoyance. "I know Yuwen Fortune... the charges against him and his order, of attempting to blow the mountain apart and destroy Jiefong... they are not his scene. He's a trouble-maker... but not a murderer. If he's been captured by the Seven Sons they may be using his name to cover up their deeds."

The soldier swallowed "... Well what can we do?"

"They head to sea, outside our hunting ground but right into the backyard of the most powerful naval force in existence," Ro whispered as he began to write a letter on a fresh scroll. "Send this order up coast."

"To who?" The soldier asked. Ro finished the scroll and sealed it tightly before handing it to the soldier. "The Reckoning's back from Eoland," Ro explained with a smile. "And they always need fresh prey." With a heavy gulp the soldier took the letter and ran out of the tent, hurrying to deliver it...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Pele Mele Character Portrait: Jeon Oun

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"Look, Fortune. There's a pretty good reason you're being kept in the dark," Pele explained. "Aaaand it's pretty much your fault. you got any memory of what went down as soon as you and your guild found that crown?" he asked. Suddenly, Pele sat up. "Oh! And if you do remember, by any chance, please do us a solid and don't speak about it. Hell, barely think about it."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Pele Mele Character Portrait: Jeon Oun

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"Didn't you cause me further head trauma and knock me out? I don't think I'm gonna trust you," Yuwen pointed out.

"It's true, you did do that," The Ashura confirmed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Pele Mele Character Portrait: Jeon Oun

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"Yeah, good going there Pele," Jeon remarked, immediately ganging up on Pele with the others.

"Listen Fortune, you don't necessarily need to trust him," the vulture beast-man said to Fortune. "Hell, I don't care if you don't trust me. You haven't even laughed at my jokes. But, we will need you to work with us to some degree. It ain't only your life at risk here you know. That crown ain't the only bit of treasure you'll be losing if you keep being such a prude."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Pele Mele Character Portrait: Jeon Oun

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Yuwen kept quiet. "Admittedly, you did kidnap us," The Hooded Villain repeated to break the silence.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Pele Mele Character Portrait: Jeon Oun

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"Admittedly, you did kidnap us," Jeon mocked The Hooded Villain in a whiny pitch, rolling his eyes. "Like you've never kidnapped others for your own gains. Like my friend here said, weren't you kidnapping Fortune here when we got to you two!? Isn't that how he got separated from his own guild!?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Pele Mele Character Portrait: Jeon Oun

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#, as written by Nulix
"I didn't ask him to work with me afterwards," The Villain replied before sipping his tea.

"...If this is about the Necromancer you don't know what you're dealing with," Yuwen spoke up at last, huddled on the deck and staring into the fire. "I don't know what plan you have but it wont work against him... as for the key I don't know where it is... I have no idea."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Pele Mele Character Portrait: Jeon Oun

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"A human makes a massive assumption abut somethin' he doesn't know. Wish I could be surprised," Pele asked. "What is actually surprising is the fact that you seem to know about the Necromancer. Didn't know enough to know what you were doin' in that chamber was stupid idea, but...what do you know? If you're willin' to share."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Pele Mele Character Portrait: Jeon Oun

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"There was a massive letter from Eoling talking about him and then he attacked me," Yuwen whispered. "I've... heard of him before, with the Old Guild... I never thought Eoling was involved with such a dark being."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Pele Mele Character Portrait: Jeon Oun

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"Well yeah, that's the mystery ain't it? What really happened to Eoling and the guild back in the day? Another thing I'm lookin' into. We've been collectin', researchin', catalougin' all we can about this Necromancer dude, but it's all peripheral information. Not one piece of somethin' we can use against him. Well...until recently. But I'd rather not talk too much about it. 'Cause see...the Necromancer is closer than you think."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Shiisan Character Portrait: Pele Mele Character Portrait: Jeon Oun

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#, as written by Nulix
"You can't work a man to death - you can a slave," Saaklemore explained.

"Where are your papers?" The guard demanded coldly of Suiken...

***

"...She tried to come when I was hurt,
Yu-une, where are you o',
She searched so far, but couldn't hear,
Yu-une, where are you now?
I tried to call to no avail
Yu-une, where are you o',
I screamed and yelled till I was dead,
Yu-une, where are you now?
When I awoke I wore all gold,
Yu-une, where are you o',
I was beyond, in land's more bold,
Yu-une, goodbye for now....
"

The words faded from Yuwen's slightly burnt lips as he sat with his feet in the water, the waves of the sea quiet enough to sit as the raft sailed, fog surrounding them. Still the hot summer's sun shun down, and sweat poured off the crew's bodies. The Hooded Villain took a sip of water before wiping himself off with a towel. "I don't like this fog," He frowned, approaching the Seven Son's members who had grouped the helm. "We have no lookout, we can't spot approaching ships."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Shiisan Character Portrait: Pele Mele Character Portrait: Jeon Oun

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"So this...is a punishment?" Shiisan whispered to Saaklemore. "All of these people can't be criminals. Why inflict a punishment as relentlessly cruel as this?!" he asked, as his eyes drifted over towards the guard reprimanding them, his hand slowly reaching for the broadsword that lay at his hip.

Suiken grimly looked at the guard. "I have no papers. I've just arrived here, we all have!" Suiken growled, his voice rising exponentially.

***

Pele looked out over the water from the helm, unable to see anything through the thick fog. Frowning from underneath his helmet, he looked over for Jeon, who happened to be asleep, the lazy pheasant. Pele considered waking him up to scout ahead, but that wasn't particularly the bird's specialty. No use risking a life on his crew on by sending them off into the unknown.

"Fog like this...not the best omen out on the seas..." Pele sighed. "And it's gonna be hell to navigate." Pele looked over at the hooded man. He went back to the deck and unloaded the contents of a small cart that rested against the sides of the ship, filled with various supplies. Drawing out a lantern, he returned to the helm and raised the lantern towards the hooded villain, wordlessly, but quite clearly asking him to light it up.

It wouldn't help much in this fog, but it would be better than navigating blindly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Shiisan Character Portrait: Pele Mele Character Portrait: Jeon Oun Character Portrait: Rune Iyora

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"I agree with Rumelis and Lo-Muna," Suiken began. "I will gladly join in freeing slaves, but I will take no part in a mass slaughter."

"Slaughter would imply that the people we'd be fighting would be helpless, Brother Fat. I assure you these slavers'd most certainly fight back," Shiisan then turned to Rumelis. "Brother Bear, only thing that's coldblooded around here is working men, women, and children to until the day they die. If these slavers were warriors they'd expect nothing less than for you to give them an honorable death after a battle. But...that's besides the point. If what Saaklemore says is true, then whether we kill or incapacitate these slavers won't matter. No matter what we do, they'd send an army to raid the town for us."

"To face them now, whether to free slaves or to kill slavers, would mean our death. And that sickens me. What we can do and should do...is deliver a fatal blow to the slavers from the shadows," Shiisan sighed. "Create a wound in their system that they'd never recover from.

Shiisan then turned back to Saaklemore. "Which would be impossible without the help of Brother Saak, since he's the only one here who truly knows Gangamai. So, Brother Saak...your plans?"

***

"See that's the one thing I hate the most, Fortune...somebody who proclaims themselves a 'hero' just give the hell up. Kid, we kidnapped you under orders, but we planned to defy that from the start" Pele began to tell Yuwen. "And I knocked you unconscious again, and I apologize for that. But stop mopin' and listen for one second, will ya? We aren't the den of 'murderers and thieves' you think we are. It ain't coin we're after here, but one specific goal. To rid the world of an evil it's not even remotely prepared for."

"Nameless Ashura's right. You're unfortunately, the best lead we've got to fight this evil, so do what real heroes do and make do with what ya got." Pele turned to face the crew he assembled proudly. "We ain't exactly a Great Guild, but I'd say we're pretty damn great."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Pele Mele Character Portrait: Jeon Oun

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Suiken walked in and gave a slow nod to acknowledge Terra as she greeted him. As she asked him how he was feeling, he exhaled deeply and replied, "Not even remotely..." as he made hsi way towards the beds. Suiken glanced to see ifany of the others were awake. They were not. He'd have to inform Lo-Muna and perhaps, maybe Yamato about Tora's warnings about Shiisan, who also appeared to have gone off for the night. But perhaps more pressing was the warning of the demons attempting to break out of their prison in Onium, seeking something...And if he had been there, he might've been able to stop it.

Another thing began to click in Suiken's head as he sat down on his own bed. The demons began to breach the gate four months ago, the Crane Demon was mentioned to have arrived in the forest three months ago...Was there a connection? Just what was going on in the world? Too much to think about, Suiken could barely sleep. Instead he sat up through the night, pondering.

***

"Not particularly in the mood for tellin' anyone," Pele shrugged.

***

"Wouldja look at this freak of nature?" the Gecko beastman chuckled to a fellow guard as he pointed a thumb at Orion." Orion was escorted down a long flight of stone steps. Eventually they'd reached the front gate of the prison and were greeted with arid winds. "Know what those are, CHUMP?!" the gecko beastman laughed. "Those're the winds of DEATH! Now. You're cart'll be here ANY minute now..."

The two waited for around five minutes. "ANY minute..." the gecko beastman assured. Half an hour soon passed and the Gecko Beastman could feel both himself and Orion get irritated. "Oh COME ON!" the Gecko Guardsmen bemoaned. "What is the meaning of this?!"

"What is the meaning of piss?" an old man questioned, dumping a barrel of urine on the Gecko Guardsmen and Orion. The old man soon walked in front of them. "Oh, hello. I'll be the court driver today. Come on." The old driver made his way to a sick and dying horse. Attached to the horse's saddle was a rope attached to a wooden, but seemingly sturdy looking cart, aside from it missing all of it's wheels. The gecko placed the still cuffed Orion in the cart and huffed off in a reptilian fury the likes of which the Earth had never seen before.

"And we're off..." the old man said, wasting no time in piloting the horse across the old prison courtyard to the courthouse. "courthouse is still a fairways away..." the old man spoke. "It used to be closer but...who knows why they moved it? At any rate as long as we don't run across any unforeseen obstacles, we should get there in no time flat," the old man continued as the horse lazily dragged the cart with Orion behind it.

"You know, I've had this horse for over sixty years? And my grandmother and father before me had her for longer than that? Could you imagine that? A horse that lives this long? I can't either. She looks as fit as a fiddle, wouldn't you say?" the old man said, giving a loving pat to the sickly horse. "Why some might say she's a spirit horse? Perhaps she knows more than even we do about the world today. What do you think, girl?" the old man asked his beloved pet as they were about one fifth of the way there.

The horse keeled over and fell to the ground.

"Oh no. She's dead!" the old man cried out.