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Suiken

A wandering street musician who doesn't quite seem to be all he appears...

0 · 599 views · located in The Horat-verse

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

Description

"And this is the important part...I hope you're paying attention..."

Name: Suiken
Sex: Male
Age: 49
Race: Oni

Physical Description: A tall, but fairly stout looking Oni. His horns appear partially sawed off and by the look of them, it wasn't his doing. He also has two blue tusks and a more than a couple of scars on his face Due to the blue hue of his skin, one could easily tell he belongs to the Snow Oni tribe. You know the one's that seek to conquer with war. Despite the negative connotation, he's so popular a street musician, most don't care. Unless an invading Oni army arrives the next day...
Clothing: Sports several shirts and leggings carved from various arctic beasts. Most notably tiger's fur. Sports either a green or black stormcloak during rainy seasons.
Height: 6'0 ft
Weight: 447 lb
Skin Colour: Blue
Hair Colour: Black with gray streaks.
Eye Colour: Black.

Occupation: Wandering Street Musician/Storyteller
History/Bio: He leaves town as quickly as he arrives, playing music and telling stories is how he thrives. Reciting legends from far and wide, honing his craft in every land he spies. The reason he does this is largely unknown, but...there is one thing that his exploits have shown and it's that he's no simple wanderer, no traveling fool. His martial skills are too great, too complex and he's not one to loose his cool. Perhaps he was a warrior in a past that goes on unsaid, but if you'd ask him about he'd sigh and say the past is long dead...
Home Town: Grand Onikuni (capital of Onium)
Home Country: Empire of Onium

Personality: Suiken is contemplative, stubborn, and kind. Especially to those in misfortune. Occasionally, he tends to overcalculate things though.
Fears and Desires: He fears oppression from those with the power to do so and how that they'll abuse their power to manipulate others. HE also despises cheap pork buns. He desires more knowledge of secretive matters...as well as crafted pork buns.

Equipment and Weapons: In Suiken's case, his element and weapon coincide. He sports twin Fang Daggers. Oni built weapons ripped from the maw of the largest of mountain dwelling beasts. They're so permanently cold to the touch that only oni of ice can master such an unorthodox weapon. Once they hit an opponent, they get a cold feeling of intense cold, but it doesn't literally freeze their bodies.

These daggers seem to have special properties when around spirit-realm energy...

Styles and Abilities: Drunken Master Style. An irregular martial art, utilizing the staggering posture and fluidity resembling that of a drunkard's movements. His styles appears unorthodox, when in fact, it is highly calculated, capable of lulling his enemies into thinking they've found a vulnerable point, only for him to launch a counter-attack.
Chi and Augmentations: Suiken can use his chi to augment his body into a being a solid force, not easily capable of being knocked over or pushed aside.

So begins...

Suiken's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken

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The serene music drifted throughout the town like a cool breeze, failing to be drowned out by all the noise and merriment and instead blending in and creating atmosphere on such a warm evening. Children and adults alike stood by the ponds, attempting to catch fireflies alongside the pond, while the elderly exercised their minds as they tried to out-maneuver each other in slow and calculative games of Móu Zhi. Crowd's gathered wherever money could be spent as fireworks decorated the sky, leaving trails of of embers burning up the night sky...

"It was on an evening like this..." the gravelly voice of azure skinned oni, sporting tiger fur leggings and loin cloth recounted. He sat on the ground, inclined, up against a small house. "That they say the first emperor was born...." Gathered around him was a crowd consisting of townspeople and tourists alike, young and old. The oni had long wild hair, black and gray, with equally wild looking eyebrows. He was a rather portly one, though upon inspection one could tell that he was quite sturdy. In his hands were two mallets, and sitting before him was a large drum. With a thwack of his mallets, the blue oni, Suiken's, story began to be accompanied by the methodical thwack of the mallet against the drum.

"It was over three hundred years ago and there was deadly drought spreading the land..." Suiken began to sing, as the mallets hit the drum. "The livestock were dying, the crops became sand. The people prayed to the Heavens for an end to this drought," Suiken recited. "And the gods, they heard them, they heard them plead and pout," Suiken's pace along with his rhythm began to increase and intensify.

This crowd was the biggest Suiken had seen in at least a decade. Which, given that this was the smallest town he'd even seen to date was more than a little disappointing. He always did what he needed to draw in as many people as he could. Today's story was no different from his usual routine. As loathe as Suiken was to admit it, regardless of his opinions of Yune's... most honored Emperor, reciting the tale of the Imperial Family's lineage on the Emperor's birthday would be the biggest draw he ever had. And draw meant more coin and more coin meant more food, particularly pork buns. Quality ones. The kind you could never find in a small, forgettable town like Poyo.

Although, for all of his complaints about the town...he couldn't help but admire it's people. They were not the best and brightest of Yune...but they were a simple folk. They wore their emotions on their sleeve and that was something Suiken could respect. At least as a storyteller. "The gods gave their answer within a beacon of light!" Suiken shouted in his guttural voice, almost frightening away some of the younger villagers who had gathered around to hear his tale. "It descended from the heavens, the clouds, through the sky of night! A golden dragon had appeared," Suiken sang, his mallets scraping against the drum in broad swipes, giving out a unique echoing sound. Thwam! Crakk! "His appearance was frightening, but he alleviated all fears, for with a single roar and a shake of his mane!" Thwam! Crakk! " The cloud ripped open and at once...there was rain"

Suiken stopped his drumming to let another sound rest itself within the ears of his audience; the slight dripping noises lightly tapping the drum, tapping them. The children in the audience looked up in astonishment at the rain that had just come forth as the more wizened among them realized that the smirk on Suiken's face told that he had consulted the local scholars and water shrine monks about the weather prior to his performance.

Regardless of what happened, the performance went over perfectly. Suiken stood up and bowed in gratitude at the applause he received and took the coin he had felt he'd earned with much gratitude before letting the applause of his audience die out behind him as he went to further explore the town. "Where to next...?" he sighed to himself. "Hmm. Maybe an inn...That'd be better than sleepin' in the pond again..."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi

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Malao


The Festivities were well into their stride. Fireworks were set off every couple of minutes, and the general chorus of laughing and singing could be heard even deep into the forest. Though, for some odd reason, the forest, which was usually filled with the chatter of it's inhabitants, was oddly silent on this night. For on this night, the Golden Monkeys of the Great Houzi Forest were absent from their lofty canopies. Instead they were in a different kind of forest. One made of dense moving people and quick moving carts. Yes, dozens of Golden monkeys moved relatively unseen or ignored through the great crowds of Poyo this evening.

As per usual, the Golden Monkeys were helping themselves to every thing they liked. They distracted food sellers while their friends stole from their carts. They weaved through the thick crowds, nicking purses and valuables with ease. Some even pretended to be injured to distract people as their comrades stole the lot right from under the poor villagers noses. Some monkeys even went after some people no pick pocket in their right mind would.

A Golden Monkey leaped down from a tree onto the rump of a galloping horse just coming into town. The gilded armor of the rider attracted the Monkey's eye. When the rider slowed down and entered the village, he climbed up onto the riders back and began lightly tapping and scratching at the armor. He even looked at the rider a few times, as if to convey to him that he wanted his armor. As he was begging and looking cute, his long tail made it's way down to his coin purse and gently lifted it from his waist. The second he got the purse off the waist, the monkey leaped off of his shoulders and began running through the crowd.

A couple of monkeys spotted a very tall man wading his way through the crowds. Two monkeys leaped in front of his path and began walking backwards just staring at him. Every time he made even the smallest gesture, the two monkeys would mimic it, even if he growled or yelled, the monkeys wouldn't be intimidated, they just kept copying him. As this was going on, one monkey had snuck up from behind and had ever so skilfully nicked his coin purse off of his belt, like it had done a million times. It then leaped up onto one of the near by buildings, screeching a mocking screech, coin purse in hand. It then took off over roof tops.

Even the Giantess was not safe from the Monkeys. As she walked along, she would definitely begin to notice several monkeys gathering around the roof tops, seeming to be following her. One approached her from the top of a lantern wire and screeched at her to get her attention. It then held out what looked like a sapphire. It waved it at her and seemed to try and hand it to her. But, it wouldn't let it go. As this was happening, several monkeys tried and grabbed her coin purse. But, many of them were too scared to get that close to her. One leaped at it,but got scared halfway through and ended up clawing at it, ripping a hole through it causing several of her coins to go clanging to the ground. Several of the monkeys panicked and fled in different directions.

As the Rabbit girl was making her out, a monkey fell in her path. It groaned with pain and even had tears in it's eyes. When she got near it, a monkey sneaked up from behind and lifted her purse. The moment this was done, both monkeys ran and leaped to the trees.

One lone monkey nicked a peach off of a child and scurried to a roof top, there a young man sat and looked out over the festival. He wore a red monkey mask. It was in fact, a Monkey King mask he had gotten at one of the stalls that were selling items. The monkey got back to the boy and plopped the peach into his hand. The boy tussled the monkeys fur then lifted his mask to reveal incredibly sharp teeth. He bit into the peach and his body shivered a bit. He munched on it for awhile, listening to a story told in the distance a big blue Oni. He snickered when the rain came down for a few moments. It was pretty funny. Malao decided he wanted to go talk to him. It was easy for him to blend in with the crowd a events like this, with a simple mask. Though, if anyone ever looked at his feet, they might get suspicious. But, no one looks at feet in a crowd.

A golden monkey dropped down from seemingly nowhere right onto the big Oni's shoulders. It picked some things from his hair for few moments, until a young man in a monkey mask approached him. He also seemed to have a large monkey like tail sticking out from the back of his trousers. The tail seemed stiff and in an odd position. Obviously fake.(Locked with Stone Monkey)

"Hey, Grandpa Rumble." He said, sounding more affectionate than anything. "Know any good tales or stories 'bout the Monkey King?" He said, pointing to a colorful poster of The Monkey King. The boy then held his palm out and a coin purse suddenly dropped into it. it looked rather full. "Ive got coin."

Setting

Characters Present

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

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


"You know, you're pretty cute."

Hyuna glared at the two guardsmen, whatever the heck they were guarding, she had no idea. She had come to ask them if they had any idea where Yuwen Lu-Tan went, but they wouldn't tell her anything. She had been trying to get the news out of them for hours, badgering them, because she knew that they were from Yuna-Yae, and that they were most likely her best option. Still, a girl in mostly loose clothing, with a large cloak covering most of her body, it was easy for anyone to mistake her as an enemy, especially since her spear was obviously of Tengala make, despite the smaller handle, weight, and size of the weapon to most Teng weaponry. And now, after they had a drink or two, both guards had gone lewd in the head.

"Hey girlie," The second guard said with a guffaw. "Why don't you spend the night with us? We'll tell you what you want to know, hm?"

His eyes glimmered coaxingly with lust, and Hyuna shivered with disgust, and tightened her grip on her spear. God knew she needed it even tonight.

Would it be worth it? Spending a night with those... for answers? Should I?

She looked up at the guards, both of them obviously taller, and tried to make herself look as small as humanely possible. It worked quite well, and it sparked even more lust within the slightly drunken men, seeing such a submissive young girl in front of them, vulnerable and alone in the night.

"Please take care of me, sirs." Hyuna half-whimpered in a small voice, and made a nervous frown and a slight wriggle. Both guards looked at each other momentarily and nodded, making moves to grab the girl before she could change her mind.

Idiots.

With a sudden burst of speed, Hyuna channeled the the air around her as she jumped, to guide her high into the air, and to gracefully land almost directly behind both guards, twirling her spear out. The air bent and fractured, making the illusion that she was some sort of strange demon-beast, large, and ominous, and she drove the spear into the backs of both guards, then leaped between them to grab at their coin pouches. All of this happened in a split second.

"Oh, don't worry 'bout the wound." She said coldly back to the two fallen guards. "I didn't hit anything vital." She made a little flick of the spear to get the blood off, and went headed into the town proper, wondering if there were some sort of inn where she could stay the night in this ridiculously small town. Hyuna sighed and supposed that it'd be stupid to think her old friend, Yuwen, would be here, in some place so small. And would she even recognize him? Or the other way around? He did leave her for dead, after all, forcing her to break past the border on her own. Would he even care? Or does he even remember at all, that he had a friend many years ago?

It was then that she heard the sounds of a drum playing. Slightly curiously, Hyuna looked ahead and saw a gigantic blue oni, terrifying to see, but strangely, he looked somewhat comforting and gentle.

A travelling entertainer, huh? Maybe he's got some answers.

Hyuna shoved her spear back onto the pouch on her back, hidden underneath the cloak, and made to catch up to the oni before he could really get anywhere, after his performance. A strangely clothed was beside him- were they friends? Did they know each other? As she approached the pair, she couldn't help but make aside glances at the man- were those ears? Is he a beast kind? But there's no way- he's not animal enough to be Beast Kind. But, then, what?

"Hey, oni." She said casually, with a small smile, of sorts. "You travel a lot, I bet. Have you heard anything of Yuwen Lu-Tan of late, some time after he left Yuna-Yae?"

She was slightly apprehensive of the massive oni at first, but Hyuna wouldn't let that get in her way. She wouldn't be cowed by something like that; her arrogance was too great. And plus, if the thing got violent, Hyuna did have her unbeatable spear, after all, just in case.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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Suiken didn't even make it two blocks away from the inn before something odd occurred. Something rather peculiar landed on his head. Moving through his hair. Someone's runaway pet, no doubt. Or perhaps a raccoon with a death wish. Either way, Suiken would have none of it. He reached behind his head to grab the vermin. That was when someone, who's attire and appearance suggested he was undoubtedly a part of this predicament approached him, calling him grandpa no less... and asking him to recite a tale about the Monkey King.

"A fan of his, are you?" Suiken began to grumble contemplatively as he accepted the coin with one hand whilst halfheartedly grabbing what he now assumed was a monkey of some sort behind him. Strange as this request and the beast-man's appearance may be, coin was coin. "Well, I don't have any shortage of tales about the legendary Monkey King. Illusive target of bounty hunters and mercenaries across the country..."

And that was when another new face walked by. A human woman it seemed. And she had a request herself. Not for a song, but for an answer. And those were generally free. "Sorry," Suiken stated with a shrug.. "Haven't been to Yuna-Yae and never heard of this Yuwen person. However, if you're interested in a tale of the infamous outlaw, the Monkey King, I suggest you pull up a seat! I'm about to begin a rendition!" he offered. So he couldn't answer her question, regrettably. No reason to turn her away as a possible customer, though!

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

"Just seeing some old friends," Yuwen replied, patting the man on the back before cornering into the bright lights of the festival. The smell of fried foods and fire overwhelmed him as he made his way through the crowds beneath a sea of lanterns, different instruments heard around each corner. Yuwen could have even sworn to see an Oni telling stories down Waban street. "Poyo's getting cultured," He commented to himself before crossing over the main bridge to the square, where a large crowd was gathered around performers executing the dragon dance, sweep the large, pole-shaped dragon through the festival grounds. But Yuwen wasn't there for any of that. He wasn't there for the food or the celebrations or to see the Mayor Loy-Qui make his speech. He was there for business. And he knew the one group of people capable of conducting his type of business.

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

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

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

"What do you wanna do?" The voice asked. Yuwen smirked. "Just a bit of... illusion."

***

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

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

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

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

Trouble – she could already tell. From a pocket the Goblin whipped out her authorization papers. "This is the Bako Trading docks: I’m authorized." She explained.

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

"I am," The goblin replied before walking again. The man moved in front of her. "I don't think you are," He continued. "I think you roasted your master, slave. And you stole his damn ship like the criminal you are... so I figure if I bag you and take you to my friends at the Rat Den we might get you back into the market you belong in."

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

their woes and complaints about the Monkey King

That fiendish mammal surely can swing

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

'He's conniving!' they say!

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

'He's deadly!' I hear!

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

Ooooooooooh Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii've heard every mercenary and assassin sing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

"Whats a monkey king?"

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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Malao


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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


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

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

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

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

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

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

Not that I even paid the song any attention.

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

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

Oh well.

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Keeflo

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A firework shot off and exploded into a burst of blue stars, creating noise that sought to imitate thunder in its wake. Keeflo paused for a moment to watch as the brilliant light fizzled away. The fireworks were pretty, even if the reason for their vibrant colors was not. It was the Emperor's birthday. Keeflo could honestly care less about the Emperor. The man definitely had something wrong with his morals, as he allowed slavery. Keeflo knew that most other countries allowed slavery, so maybe it was fashionable? Whatever the reason, it was wrong. The Emperor probably had hundreds of slaves at his disposal. All of those people who had no control over their lives and were considered the property of another, just like they were a horse to be ridden until they were unusable. No, not quite that, even. Some horses were treated better than slaves.

Another firework rent the night sky's darkness with red and purple sparks. Shaking his head, the orca beast-man readjusted the hood on his cloak and stepped forward. While he doubted the reward posters for him had come this far yet, he couldn't be certain. His cloak could hide many of his distinguishing features. It couldn't hide his height, but hopefully no one would pay attention with the other oddities present with the celebrations.

Yes, this festival certainly was bringing in an odd crowd. Monkeys scampered through the streets, stealing money. An armored giant even taller than Keeflo had made quite the show by pounding one of the furry thieves into a pulp. Heck, he had even seen a guy leading around a dancing moose with a ridiculous pink tutu on.

Luckily Keeflo's plain garb had declared him unworthy of the monkey's mischief, so he still retained his few coins and possessions. At a small stall he bought a couple sushi rolls before walking further along the streets, munching on the food that was reminiscent of his childhood meals. The business of Poyo sent him slightly on edge for he wasn't used to such crowds, but he wasn't about to let that faze him. Here he could enjoy the varied sights of the land, its peoples, and its wonders one last time before he returned to the ocean.

Then he saw something that almost made him drop his last sushi roll.

Wanted

Escaped Orca Beast-man Slave

Responds to the name of Keeflo

Reward: 1000


Below the words was a fairly accurate picture of him.

The posters are here too? Damn it! Shoving the last of his food into his mouth, Keeflo pulled the poster off the post it was pinned to, crumpling it up and shoved it into the folds of his cloak. Luckily no one seemed to notice his actions amidst all of the other things going on. Damn it again. When there's one poster there's usually more, but it would look suspicious if I went around tearing down all of them.

Although his instincts screamed at him to leave, Keeflo was worried that it would be suspicious if he left now when the festivities were at the peak. So he casually continued to walk on, thankful that his shaking tail was hidden by his cloak. Eventually he found his way to a group gathered around a drum playing oni. A storyteller, perhaps? The wide variety of stories, in Keeflo's opinion, was one of the the landspeoples' greatest treasures. They were lessons as well as amusement. Unfortunately, Keeflo seemed to have missed the last one. Approaching the oni, he asked, "Could you tell your favorite story, sir?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Keeflo

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An incredible sigh entered Suiken's field of vision. Another beastman. Of the marine variety! You don't see many of those! Suiken hadn't seen one...ever! He did, however, recognize the species he took his features from. The orca. A familiar animal where he comes from...

"An orca beast-man," Suiken chuckled. "Forgive my rudeness, but I haven't seen any of your kind before!" he explained. "Or a sea beast-man of any type! But you asked for my favorite story? Well, hmm. That's a tough one...." Suiken muttered contemplatively. "Even tougher on an empty stomach, so I'll tell you what!" Suiken nodded snapping his fingers as he quickly came to an idea. "I've been singing all day and gets tiring after a while so I'm gonna eat! But, since I cannot turn down a story request I promise, I will think of my favorite story and recite it once I am done. Sound fair?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Keeflo listened to the oni voice his surprise about seeing an orca beast-man. While the storyteller seemed to be surprised, perhaps even pleased, to see an aquatic beast-man, Keeflo was not so happy. He had not even thought that people shorter than him could look up into his hood and see his features. He allowed himself a quick mental curse before he returned his attention to the oni.

When the oni said he was hungry, Keeflo couldn't help but feel that the oni wanted him to get some food for him. As Keeflo had momentarily forgotten, stories from those who told them for a living usually cost something. The orca beast-man hardly had any money on him after buying the sushi. Nevertheless, in a voice that held only a slight quiver, he said, "Sir, do you want me to buy you some food? I could not get you much, but I have enough to get something small."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Suiken blinked in surprise. He hadn't intended for the beast man to spend his own money on him. "What, no! I think I might've minced my words up a bit! I may live on the road, but I'm no beggar! I'll buy my own dinner, thank you! You see, I'd like to get to the pork bun vendor before he closes shop. I hear he closes early on celebrations such as thi--," Suiken stopped mid-sentence, as his eyes drifted to that very same pork bun vendor, as he began to shut down his store for the night. Suiken hung his head down slightly, defeated. He had spoken too soon it seems.

"Ah..." Suiken sighed. "They will have to wait another time I imagine. But, I do have some good news! A story does come to mind now. A favorite of mine, I mean! Have you ever heard...of the Treasure of Eoling?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Keeflo nearly sagged in relief at the oni's indignant burst of words. Was it rude for him to have offered to pay for food? As a slave Keeflo had learned to give and almost never receive and when another slave did a favor for him he was expected to return the gesture. Thus he had little knowledge of how the outside world worked. Lord Shien hadn't been a terrible master, given horror stories that Keeflo had heard, but he had been far from kind.

Or perhaps it was his underlings who ordered the slaves around who had been malignant? Keeflo didn't know, he had only seen Lord Shien on rare occasions. Nevertheless, Keeflo was aware that he was inexperienced even compared to some children.

The storyteller asked if he had heard of the Treasure of Eoling. Keeflo shook his head. Most of the stories he had heard as a child had to do with exploring the ocean or hunting, and the only stories he had heard as a slave were a few well known ones.

"If it is a favorite of yours, sir, I would be happy to hear it."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Keeflo

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'Sir', the beast-man called him. Formalities like that, he wasn't used to, although by all accounts, he should've been, given what he had back home...Ah, well. Now wasn't the time to dwell on the past. Now was the time for a story and an old favorite at that. He wouldn't need his drum or any other instrument for this one, so he put them away. He closed his eyes as he began to recall, the story he'd heard once as a child. A story that still stuck with him today.

"The Treasure Of Eoling...

In the midst of the Second Era, the Emperor of that time suffered a great betrayal.

Eoling, soldier of high rank and great reputation in his army, rebelled against him.

The Emperor despised Eoling and looked down upon him with disdain...

Every strategy the Emperor enacted, every time he had his foe cornered...Eoling bested him.

Eoling had gathered a team, capable of opposing even the Emperor!

Chief among his allies was the Necromancer Shén Yin. A wizard the Emperor's forces dreaded to face.

Eoling and his allies faced the might of the entire Imperial army, decimating them, despite their small numbers

They stormed into the Emperor's palace, killed him, and raided the palace before they left the city, parting separate ways

The Emperor's son, furious, hired assassins to hunt them down.

One by one, they fell, even Shén Yin...

Until, finally...Eoling himself.

After the groups defeat, the Empire began to flourish and expand into what it is today.

But the treasures Eoling and his team raided from the castle, were never found..."

"Well, that's my favorite tale," Suiken chuckled. "An interesting one, if you think about it. It's one spread far and wide throughout Yune, although certain lines and interpretations depend on if you hear it in a land that favors the Empire or one that doesn't. Can you see why?"

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

***

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

"You're back," The Oni whispered with a smirk. Yuwen gave a half-smile in response. The two made their way through the back-halls of the Rat's Den, the passages crowded with various shipments of foods, weapon and armour. "Almost there," The Oni said as he escorted Yuwen down another hall. Yuwen nodded, glancing at the supplies, and paused when he saw a large cage filled with Goblins gagged. He locked eyes with one, an elderly Goblin woman, before swallowing and continuing on.

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

"Ting Po," Yuwen greeted with open arms as he entered the lavish room. "Hohoho..." A great voice belonging to a fat, balding man in rich robes chuckled. "Yuwen Fortune." He pointed to a velvet chair opposite his. "Please: join me." Yuwen nodded and moved toward the seat. "And tell me why I should speak to you," Ting Po continued.

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

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

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

"I'm getting a Guild together," Yuwen said with a shrug. "I need your help,"

Po glared at the man before him. "And what happened to the last one?" He asked after a long pause. Yuwen remained silent, and Po knew he wouldn't get anything more out of him. "Fine. I'll get you your report in an hour- and then we're even."

Yuwen nodded. "Then we're even."

***

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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#, as written by Nulix
Seeing Hyuna reveal a spear the Prefect charged forward, attempting to ram in Yamato's face, who expertly moved back. Ro swung his sword furiously, preparing to take a swipe. But he paused as the sound of a bell echoed across the rooftops from the village wall. Ro lowered his blade and looked at the criminals before him as suddenly citizens rushed down the street, pushing past them. "It's the village bell," He informed, sheathing his blade. "There's trouble out there."

"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! Quickly! Everyone to the town centre!" He announced. Ro turned to the trio he was fighting and nodded forward. "Alright: to the town centre."

***

At the street Suiken was performing the bell could be heard loud and clear, the city exit in plain sight. Citizens were running in from outside as fast as possible. "Oh god," One cried as they passed. "I knew this holiday was cursed!"

A guard ran up to Suiken and Keeflo, breathing heavily. "Quickly! Poyo is in a state of emergency: everyone to the town square!" He glanced back at the distant walls. "You want to be as far from that as possible, friends. Trust me." With that he too ran off with the crowd of citizens toward the centre of town.

***

As Amanhã approached the east gate to the village the bell began to ring from the walls above and the guards on it began to run frantically. Something was wrong. "Hey!" One called out as he slid down a later. "Something's happening... I, I think we're under attack." He looked her up and down for a moment and nodded. "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 her and began to run with the rest of the populace, hoping she'd follow.

***

The bells were faintest on the village outskirts: farmlands outside the wall but inside the Poyo's radius. And through the fields sparse families too ran. A single boy pelted down the dirt road toward the walls, ramming violently into Ann'Razul as he did. He stood and backed up slowly, looking from her to Malao. "You guys shouldn't be here!" He exclaimed, his voice trembling. "We have to go to town square!" The boy grabbed both their hands greedily and attempted to drag them. "We have to! It's emergency!" He explained.

***

Yuwen strolled through the streets calmly as the people ran toward the town square in the distance, filled to the brim with the citizens and visitors 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. "Rabbit ears!" He called to a confused looking Muna, who was caught off guard by the sudden panic. "Get your fur to the square, the Mayor's got something to say."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Keeflo

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"Damn..." Suiken sighed. "And here I was, hoping to retire to the inn..." With all the people running around, panicking, Suiken was glad he had packed up his musical equipment beforehand. With a nod to the whale beast-man, Suiken went on his way, jogging his way alongside the pushing and screaming crowd. "I wonder what caused all of this racket, though..."

Setting

Characters Present

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

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#, as written by Nulix
From the wooden stage built in front of the tall town-hall tower Mayor Loy-Qui watched over as the square before him stood scared, packed to it's fullest with over a thousand citizens and travelers summoned by the bells, the last ones now arriving at the edges of the crowd. The town had gone into a deadly silence, the bright lanterns that swung in the winds no longer as festive as they had seemed an hour earlier. Overwhelming all was the bells ringing from each of the village's five gates, them going in near perfect unison. The elderly, balding Yutan man glanced down at the report he held in his hands. After a moment he stepped forward, his colourful purple robes the only thing clear from the farthest back of the crowd.

"The town of Poyo is under attack," He announced loudly. "At the twentieth hour... I received a report from the farthest northern outpost, saying an army of Bandits was approaching... at least three-hundred." Gasps of shock and cries could be heard across the crowd.

"We have tried to make contact with the outpost but none of the guards or messenger sent have returned, forcing us to declare this state of emergency," Loy-Qui continued. "The town of Poyo has thirty-seven guards, as well as the thirty of Prefect Ro's unit… and the bandits have three-hundred men. I am forced to ask upon you, citizens of ability, citizens of our great Yune Empire, to step forward and defend our village against this threat! For what we have not in numbers... we have in gold: three-hundred gold coins to each man or woman of any race who steps forward to fight with us! Three-hundred for each bandit who threatens our home on this holiest of holidays... "

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

"Wait!" A voice called out as the crowd started shifting. All eyes turned to one figure as he pushed past the guards and lept onto the stage. He stood tall with olive skin, striking green eyes, a determined face and glimmering golden armour: a heroic site next to the cowering Loy-Qui, now almost in tears. "I have information!" The man declared as he stepped forward dramatically on the stage. "I know! I KNOW! Where the bandits will arrive!" The human, Yuwen Fortune, announced loudly over the crowd. "I just escaped them... and I heard plans that they'd set up camp at the Renen Swamp outside the north-gate to prepare their attack! Here I will ambush them, and destroy them! I have done so before, and I will do it again!" He paused dramatically. "But only the most heroic of warriors may join me - the rest staying here with the Prefects and the guards." He looked over the crowd as he raised his fingers and pointed to the sky. "So I ask you! Who among you is warrior enough to join me, Yuwen Fortune!" He called, his voice echoing for a moment as it traveled across the square. Yuwen paused and watched, waiting for the willing to step forward and the rest, which he predicated to be around ninety-nine percent of the current crowd, to step back.

Prefect Ro glared at the man angrily from the crowd. "Gods damn you, Yuwen," He whispered, shaking his head as the truth of the scenario sunk in. Fortune had done this before, not too long ago... and Ro wouldn't let it happen again.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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"..." Suiken sighed. This, all of this, was a peculiar situation. Bandits are a common of enough problem among the poorer villages in Yune to make Yuwen's story slightly valid...although something was off about it. It had...a storyteller's quality to it, Suiken supposed. But now he was asking people to join him...Some seemed to try and volunteer, although not many. A rabbit beast-man, the odd monkey beast-man from before, the woman that picked a fight with the tengu and another one he didn't recognize. Perhaps they were formidable enough, if not a curious group. But if the bandits were as dangerous as people seemed to think, then they wouldn't be enough.

"I hope...you do not mind if join as well," Suiken spoke up, stepping to the not-quite-group. "I may be a traveling musician...but I can fight just fine."

Setting

Characters Present

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

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Yamato was surprised to see so many of the people he'd already seen this evening volunteering to help eradicate the bandits. He was glad to be in the presence of so many selfless warriors. He wondered how many could actually kill another living being without a single thought though. He would help, he wasn't above a good fight, but he wasn't doing it for the gold or the glory or even the possible, if not expected, pardon from the Prefect. No, he would do it for the fun. Bandits were never trained well, they depended on scare tactics and torches to get what they wanted. Anyone could brandish a sword in the air and hold it to someone's neck while their friends searched the house, torching it afterwards. It would be child's play.

"Hyuna, I think keeping score is an excellent idea. Should you kill more than me, you can have all my reward money. I don't need payment for a job like this." he smiled coldly as he too jumped from the roof top to land behind Hyuna as she called out the villagers for protesting against the help that was arriving. Once her point was made, she turned her attention to the young man on stage that had given them the call to arms. "This must be the Yuwen she asked about before." He thought as he stood silently behind her, trying to gage the man's reaction to seeing an old acquaintance. She seemed to have quite a few enemies, and that excited Yamato, more people to fight everyday. It had been a while since he had a good fight and he was itching at all the possibilities that came attached to Hyuna.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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After the oni told his story Keeflo clapped his hands, showing his appreciation. Any fortune seeker who had heard the story had probably entertained hopes at one point or another that they could find Eoling's treasure. Keeflo, coming from a place where there no one owned anything, was not quite as allured as a land native would be, but he still like a good story. Someone had risen up against an Emperor before, and successfully at that. Seemed to be a bit odd of a story to be told on the current Emperor's birthday, but then again the oni likely wasn't a native of this country, so he wouldn't hold featly to the Emperor.

Almost as soon as the oni was finished with his story loud bells tolled. A guard rushed passed the storyteller and his audience, telling them to go to the center of the city. The oni packed up and followed the orders. Keeflo, however, was not as quick to react. Maybe in this new distraction he could slip free of Poyo and its wanted posters. He shook his head. No. Now more than ever it would look strange if he left.

The orca beast-man made his way to the town center, where the mayor was giving a speech about attacking bandits. The guy was really emotional about it, even asking for volunteers to help against the bandits. What caught Keeflo's attention was that there was a monetary gain if he participated. Maybe enough to buy his freedom and not have to worry about being recaptured.

Then a young human man in golden armor sprang up to the stage, declaring that he would take out the bandits with only a choice group of the bravest volunteers. One by one people agreed to help: a rabbit beast-man, a black-haired human girl, a beast-man who looked more human than beast, another girl, this one dragging a tengu along, and the oni storyteller from before.

Keeflo considered his options. If he didn't participate, he might have less of a chance of being recognized. Might. But if he joined the fighters he could get money and be a hero. People were less likely to prosecute heroes, right? Making his decision, Keeflo made his way to the stage. "If you still need more help, sir, I would be happy to volunteer."

Setting

Characters Present

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

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#, as written by Nulix
"What say you?!" Yuwen had called out, not only to the girl who had challenged him but to at the crowd. And though first met by silence and greeted only by frightened faces, a voice spoke up.

"You will need to be quick about it then," A female voice said. Yuwen squinted as the crowd parted for the woman to step forward: the rabbit beast-man from earlier. Whispers of concern and of uncertainty swept across the square as she joined the girl at the base of the stage. "For the safety of others, I will aid in this endeavour. There are very few who can outrun me after all."

"Then I will need your speed," Yuwen replied, giving the beast-woman an affirmative nod. He remembered her from earlier: he'd called her beast-ears. She was not that now, not in his eyes.

"It's easy to make a plan sound good on paper," The girl from before commented again. She was doubtful, and with the numbers they thought to face with good reason. But beyond the doubt there was agreement. "However, I will not deny that the idea does not seem too far-fetched given that capable hands will be engaged in this attack. I'm willing to give it a shot."

"Then I will need your... capabilities," Yuwen added to the human-girl with a half smile - one that was more gratefully than anything. Gratefully she'd joined when the hour was most dire.

Suddenly a figure leapt from the crowd, flinging through the ear until he landed on the podium, tail firmly landing as supporting the form of a very human looking beast-man before him. "Tch, you're so LOUD!" The beast-man exclaimed, causing Yuwen to raise an eyebrow in amusement. "But, fire powder does sound like fun. I suppose if ya bribe me something sweet, me and my monkeys could help ya! Whaddya say?"

"The Mayor would be happy to help, wouldn't you Loy-Qui?" Yuwen responded, patting the terrified mayor on the back, nearly causing him to jump. "Yes-Yes!" Loy-Qui spat out. "Three-hundred gold! Three-thousand gold, whatever!"

Yuwen glanced from the Mayor back to the man. "Then I will need your monkeys," He said with a warm laugh.

"GET OUT OF HERE, SCUM!" A voice screamed from the crowd as the man before him ducked an incoming rock. Yuwen turned in shock to see the crowd begin to form an upset. "WE DON'T NEED HELP FROM THE MONKEY KINGS!" "Yeah! Fuck the monkeys!" Another voice added loudly as the crowd began to form in an angry, frightened mass of yelling.

"Hey!" A woman yelled out at the crowd. Stepped forward was a young girl, the people separating around here. "Would you rather die because you wouldn't accept more help?" After spinning it for a moment she aimed her spear at one of the merchants who had yelled out against the man who now stood beside Yuwen on stage.

"Don't turn away help, you fools. You're not in a position to do that, here." She said with a disbelieving laugh. "You should be begging me to help you, too! I'd think I'm worth maybe, thirty or forty bandits on my own, so... I hope you pay me 12300 gold after all this. Unless you want me to leave you for dead." She stabbed the spear frighteningly close to the merchant's throat. "Do you understand your position yet?" She dictated to the crowd, before turning to the stage.

"Then I will need your good worth," Yuwen continued as he adjusted his armour, a bit taken aback by the violent display.

"Been a while, Fortune. If that's what you're callin' yourself now." She called. "What're you even doing in a dump like Poyo, anyways?"

Yuwen paused, squinting to make the girl out better. "I'm sorry... do I know-"

"I hope... you do not mind if join as well," Another voice spoke up. Yuwen turned from the girl to an old Snow Oni stepping forward to join the gathering at the base of the stage. "I may be a traveling musician... but I can fight just fine."

"Then I will need your spirit," Yuwen nodded with a grateful smile to the creature before him. He glanced back at the girl, now joined by a Tengu. "If you still need more help, sir, I would be happy to volunteer," Another voice added. Yuwen turned to see a large beast-man approach, seeming to be mixed with a massive whale or fish of some sort. But despite this he had an innocent look to his face. "Then I will need you too," He said at last. He looked down at the group assembled before him. "I will need all the help I can get," He admitted.

Yuwen stood rose high, his gaze sweeping from the makeshift ambush team to the citizens behind them: heads becoming a blur as they lined into the distant streets. Almost every citizen of Poyo was here, as well as the visitors for the festival. The lantern light reflected off their faces, marked with fear. It reflected the mothers, and the children who clutched hands tearfully. It reflected off the guards: most of them barely seeing any combat at all. In reflected off the Mayor, the leader of this town, who had backed to the farthest edge of the stage.

"Poyo is not built for war..." Yuwen began quietly. "Your community is one of peace and happiness and these bandits have threatened that. And they've ruined Emperor day!" He clutched the hilt of his blades angrily. "And I swear to you! I swear: we will defeat them!"

"Wait!" A voice called. The crowd turned to see a man step up on the stage: Prefect Ro, weapon ready as he glared at Yuwen. "Ladies and gentlemen this man is a fraud!" Ro explained, his words met by gasps in the audience. Ro marched forward, pushing Yuwen back slightly before taking his place at the centre of the stage. "This man has lied and has ruined this festival for his own greedy needs." Ro ripped the report out of Mayor Loy-Qui's hands and raised it high. "This is a fabricated report!" Ro announced. "One of my men just got back from the north-outpost. It's fine; the guard there was tied up by some thugs who wrote it in his place. We scouted the marsh, we scouted the fields - there is no threat!" He threw the paper into the crowd that had grown more and more enraged. The report landed to grabbing hands. Ro turned to Yuwen shaking his head. "You lied."

"Can you prove that?" Yuwen whispered in response, his hand also on the hilt of his blades as the two slowly began to circle each other.

"Yes I can," Ro spat. “My scouts saw nothing, you selfish man.”

"Maybe the bandits moved position!" Yuwen called, more to the audience and the soldiers he'd managed to recruit than to Ro. "Maybe they're attack the village!" Suddenly Yuwen heard iron footsteps on the wood of the stage. Large, armoured soldiers of the Prefecture were approaching, weapons ready. Yuwen turned from the soldiers down to the faces of those he hired, and the citizens beyond. Disgust, anger, and annoyance were the only expressions to be found.

"I didn't lie," He called out as the guards grabbed his arms. "Poyo isn't safe."

"Please," Ro chuckled, stepping forward to the front of the stage. "I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt: Poyo is in no danger!"

Suddenly a massive explosion rocked the stage, blasting everyone on it forward. A fiery piece of wood flung through Mayor Loy-Qui's back, impaling him to the stage as the crowd erupted in screams. Yuwen smashed into the cobblestone ground of the square, flaming pieces of wood zipping past him as deafening bangs roared from behind. He turned to see the town tower blowing apart, engulfed in a massive-fire ball expanding from within. "Oh shit!" He yelled, backing up slightly as the explosion blasted each layer of the hall apart, sending chunks and pieces scattering across town. A gargantuan piece of stone smashed apart the ground beside him as he limped forward toward a house.

"Formation!" Ro screamed in agony as he ripped his arm out from the large town emblem that had once decorated the tower, now a burning mass of molten metal which had crashed down upon the ruined stage. "Unit!" He screamed desperately through the fire and ash, searching for his men. A figure approached. "...Unit?" He whispered. Wings expanded from the shadowy figure's form, and Ro raised his blade in horror. This was no soldier. He stabbed forward, a Tengu hand reaching out and grabbing the blade from him. The unarmed Ro dived as the Tengu proceeded to attack, flying out of the smoke and into the panicked square. "Oh gods, not good!" Yuwen called as he pointed to the sky above. Descending from the mountain of smoke where the town tower once stood were nearly four dozen winged men, their red skin clear and their black robes fluttering violently in the winds. They wore opera masks, each one different, though even with concealed faces their race was clear.

"Tengu," Yuwen said as he turned from the approaching threat to the panicked citizens running for cover. "Someone has to help them! They won't get out on their!-" Before he had time to finish he was grabbed by the throat and smashed back into the cobblestone by a Tengu as he and the other masked figures landed in the square…

Setting

Characters Present

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

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


Yamato joined their little rag-tag group as well, looking ready for a fight, and Hyuna flashed him a grin; the light of competition ready in her eyes. Another known face arrived too- the singing oni from earlier, almost shyly asking if he could join and help fight. If it were anyone else, Hyuna would think it was for the money, but from the scant little she saw of the singing oni, he wasn`t the type to do something like this only for money. Too kindhearted for that, she figured. And finally, another beastman, the third one tonight, some sort of mutated cross of human and whale. Or shark, maybe. Hyuna figured it didn`t matter, but none of the fighters better get in her way; she has a bet to win.

In any case, their rag-tag little army seemed complete, each of them at ease enough for Hyuna to figure them all to be experienced in battle. She clenched her teeth in anticipation, before realizing that Yuwen didn`t recognize her at all. He had squinted a little at her, but that was all.

What the hell, do I really look all that different?

Just in case she had any illusions around her face, she dispersed it all. But it didn't seem like it'd help. In any case, it didn't seem as if Yuwen was all too worried about his old friend, even though they spent so much time together, and were meant to be even closer once Hyuna had enough money to move on her own into Yuna-Yae. After her home town was taken, did he not even care that his friend could've been dead, or even captured? The worst part is, it's exactly what she should have expected. As children, they always played around as adventurers, and it almost seemed as if he paid her no heed unless she supported him correctly as his side-kick. Heck, he seemed more preoccupied with the theatrics and dramatics of their make-believe games, than anything.

After all of this, he doesn't even recognize me. What've I even been fighting for?

It came to no surprise then, when Ro appeared, tearing away the report from the cowardly Mayor, and claiming that this whole thing was a farce set up for Yuwen to bask in the glory. Because, in hind sight, it's exactly the sort of thing he would have done. Frustrated and feeling more alone than ever, Hyuna glanced at Yamato; probably the only one to show her kindness since she returned to Yutan province.

"Kuh, whatever." She scowled angrily. "I don't feel like it anymore. Let's let them rot."

The imperial guards moved in to most likely arrest Yuwen, and Hyuna just watched, numbly wondering if they'd torture him for disrupting Fat Cat day, Emperor's Day. Possible, actually, quite possible. And her numb disbelief only heightened when the Mayor was impaled through the chest and flung to the side. And in the smoke, Ro was flailing around, screaming in pain, obviously in no more condition to fight. Yuwen, panic in his eyes, proving it to Hyuna that at least this part wasn't in his little scheme, was thrown into a cobblestone.

Something snapped in the young mercenary. Was it seeing her childhood friend defeated so easily in a fight? Or was it the appearance of Tengu, and most likely Tengu with some sort of authority? Well, whatever it is, Hyuna started growling menacingly before jumping onto Yamato's back; using him almost as a spring-board to launch herself into the air. Whilst pseudo-flying, she guided herself, and condensed the air at the tip of her spear to add range, and guttered one of the mysteriously masked Tengu. She deflected attacks by spinning her weapon before driving it into the back of another Tengu, and landed with flourish on the ground. She felt momentary dizziness, and clutched at her head for a split second.

Damnit. Did I overdo it today with all the chi I've used?

She did another aerial strike, this time from below, and eliminated a few other Tengu a midst the confusion. This was what she was best at, after all- fighting outnumbered against a small group of enemies, using their numbers against them. This time she fell onto her knees, struggling to catch her breath.

"Yamato." She cried. "I'm all burnt out, Master, sorry.... these bastards are stronger than expected."

She then bent the air around her to make herself invisible, waiting until she regained enough strength to fight,

Setting

Characters Present

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

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Yamato shook his head, hearing the allegations brought against Yuwen. "A subtle lie? What would he gain from this?" It wasn't long before Yuwen's report seemed to come true. In a flash the area was covered in fire, citizens lay around him bloodied, some dead on impact. He growled, seeing the Tengu in the sky above. Their red skin turning crimson in the light of the fires. He drew his blades as Hyuna launched herself from his back. She performed well while airborne for a human. "Her chi control is superior to any I've seen." Yamato muttered as he slit the neck of the Tengu she knocked from the sky before stealing his mask. "No one I've ever seen," he mused when Hyuna fell by his side. "Yamato." She cried. "I'm all burnt out, Master, sorry.... these bastards are stronger than expected," she then fell to her knees and used her remaining energy to render her form invisible.

"Don't worry, killing these bastards is a specialty of mine. Take all the time you need."

He then put the mask he'd taken from the dead Tengu and put it on before flying up and joining their ranks. "Attacking in waves, clever." He seemed to have gone unnoticed and made his way to the back most lines. The Tengu renegades were pushing forward with no mercy. His blade sank into the back of the closet Tengu, and was then hurled at an advancing group of three who'd seen him kill their comrade. "What? A little friendly fire never hurt anyone did it?" He let out a maniacal laugh as he displayed his ashen colored wings. "You know you don't stand a chance in Hell against me right?" He shook his head slowly, standing with his guard down as the trio recovered, hesitating to attack. Yamato focused on the Tengu who'd taken point and using his telekinesis, made the tengu attack the man to his right, running him though before turning the blade on himself. The remaining Tengu stood in horror, unable to comprehend what had happened. He didn't need long though, Yamato rushed the man, knocking him to the ground before finding a blade in his neck. "That's four." He commented, wiping blood across the mask he'd stolen.

By this time, another group had taken notice of Yamato's actions and made a semi-circle around him. "The Clan Killer...Yamato Hibiki. I've been searching for you for a very long time." One Tengu stepped from the group and removed his mask, the scarred face didn't mean anything to Yamato, but he was pleased someone recognized him. "Yes, men, here we have one of the most infamous Tengu there is, a man with Ashen wings that killed his entire family. I believe we owe it to my lovely sister, Menoa Hibiki, to kill her demon son!"

So, the man was his mother's sister. "Interesting, mother never mentioned having siblings. You must mean nothing." Yamato began, blocking against his uncle's men before fighting them back with ease. "Your men are tired, dear Uncle. Its a shame they won't live through this night." Using his chi, he drew a third blade, a dagger from his belt and sent it around, slitting the throats of the men who were unable to move in time. Only a few men and his uncle remained. "You see? You mean nothing, you are worthless. The only advantage you had was numbers. Now you have noting." Yamato looked around, seeing the other Tengu falling to the various men and women who rose to Yuwen's request. Even the city guard was holding their own, some better than others. His mind wondered to killing Prefect Ro, or allowing his death. That's when his newly found uncle struck, catching his right arm, forcing Yamato to drop the medium length katana. "Bastard!" Yamato cried out, Thrusting his blade wildly, catching his slower uncle in the gut. "You are a disgrace, Hibiki. I curse your existence, and pray nothing but death on your soul."

His uncle fell, blood pooling around him and Yamato's feet. Yamato clutched his injured arm, relying on his chi to hold his blade. "Oh dear Uncle, I should thank you, death is what I seek to be the cause of most. With every death I cause, I gain more power than those who have fallen. I prove my existence is greater than their's, just as I am greater than you or the rest of my unfortunate family." He grit his teeth, focusing on the remaining Tengu that surrounded him, each wishing for revenge.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Of course things went awry quickly. That....Yuwen fellow's report of bandits seemed sketchy at best. And when the guardsmen approached to reveal Yuwen's seemingly fraudulent nature, Suiken was all ready to pack up and leave. But the tides of fate work in strange ways. As the city seem to explode with fire, tengu, and a lot of fighting.

Suiken didn't fight just yet...there were plenty people for that and none of those stupid crows attacked him, yet. What he needed right now...was clarity. He looked around and ran across town, observing the situation, with surprising speed for someone his size. A rabbit beast-woman was evacuating citizens and the orca beast man who he'd met earlier was helping the severely wounded mayor. Who seemed to be talking.

["The boy was wrong. They are not bandits," The Yutan man continued. "They blew up the tower because of whats... inside... but they cannot get it." He rose his hand to his collar and carefully pulled out an old, brass key. With another cough his hand drifted down, still clutching the object, until it met Keeflo's. "...They cannot get it..." He repeated, releasing the key for the beast-man to take.]

Ah, there it is. Clarity. Now that that was over, it was the time for action. Suiken drew out his mallets, the ones he'd used in his performances this morning. He lifted the metallic covering around them to reveal their true nature. Instead of mallet's, what was truly attached to the metallic sticks was a pair of two giant fangs covered, ripped from the maw of a great beast, coated in a sheet of ice that didn't melt once, even in the wild fires caused by the tengu.

Swinging the fangs around, Suiken managed to douse the flames down, every time he swung, making a cold breeze fly through the air. He wasn't just aimlessly swinging at flames, however. He had a goal. A path. The tower. Or whatever remained of it. Several Tengu were still flying above it. Suiken smirked and arched his arm back, ever so slightly...

With a mighty swing, he threw the fang as it swung in a circle like a boomerang, knocking the wind out of three tengu before it pierced the wing of the fourth, who crumpled to the ground as t felt a cold chill throughout his body. Suiken approached the wounded tengu and stepped on his chest. "Hey, how's it going?" Suiken asked casually, like he was talking to a new friend. "How about telling me what you..." Suiken began, pointing at the tengu. "...want in there..." Suiken continued, pointing at the tower.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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#, as written by Nulix
"Brother I don't know who or what the hell they are or is going on," Yuwen replied, catching a Tengu spear between his dual swords and flipping it, before pushing forward and diving it into the creature's shoulder. The two Tengu left circled them as Yuwen and Yamato continued to counter their movements, remaining back to back. Yuwen glanced over his shoulder as his Tengu attacked, Yamato quickly flipping to block, leaving his back exposed. The other Tengu too thrust his blade forward, but Yuwen slid to where Yamato had stood and too blocked the strike. The Tengu released in unison and began to circle again, leaving them exactly where they had been before. "These two are different.." He whispered to the man as they circled. "They know the art of combat well and they have us stuck. We need a distraction..."

***

The bloodied Tengu coughed heavily as Suiken pressed down on his chest down. "Hey, how's it going?" Suiken began, his voice relaxed. "How about telling me what you want in there..." He continued, pointing over the Tengu's head. Suiken's finger was hard for the Tengu to see through the smoke and ash, but he knew where he was pointing. The Tower Site.

A sickly laugh began to croak out of the wounded Tengu's lips. "...We attack towns..." The Tengu hissed. "Don't over think it..."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Sunaarashi

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[A sickly laugh began to croak out of the wounded Tengu's lips. "...We attack towns..." The Tengu hissed. "Don't over think it..." ]

Suiken pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed briefly watching the bald human head into the tower. "Let's try again, buddy...What is in the tower?" he asked more intensely. "You know...my weapon is still lodged into your wing. If I removed it the wrong way...that could end up pretty painful..."

Setting

Characters Present

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

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#, as written by Nulix
Ro looked up as the massive man pelted toward the fire. "You silly bastard," He spat, before dodging an attack from an incoming Tengu. He then turned to the girl who'd shown up, the criminal from earlier. "Shall we go, then, Prefect Ro?" She called to him, nodding toward Sunaarashi. "You can follow him into the eye of the storm if you want: we have to secure the area!" Ro spat as he sliced the Tengu to the ground.

Yuwen did what he was told, leaping out of the way as Yamato attacked the fellow Tengu. He adjusted his armour collar and began to walk through the battlefield, looking around for enemies when suddenly he was smashed into by a large man running toward the fire. "What the hell are you doing?!" Yuwen called, running after him.

From a distance Ro looked back as Yuwen began to follow the man toward the fire and smoke where the tower once stood. "If you go with them you'll have three against the Tengu who are down there," He muttered to Hyuna. "Maybe you'll even have a chance." With that he ran off toward a chaotic cluster of Tengu attacking the guards...

***

The Tengu glared up at Suiken coldly. "...We are the Hatago warrior, Oni... we seek the chest... that's all he spoke of..." He lay his head back down carefully. "I hope you kill me, Oni... it is the only true way for a Hatago to die..."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken

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Suiken closed his eyes and though. The chest...? All this for treasure? Can't be that simple, though... "I'm sorry, friend. I don't take the lives of those who dwell on the mortal plane. It's just not my way..." Suiken shrugged. "Besides...fight on. Live through this to see another day. A death such as this doesn't befit a warrior. I hit you with a sneak attack and you fell. But you can heal, you can fly again. Fight again. Perhaps we will meet again one day on the field of battle. And then, when I beat you...you can decide if you want to have a real warrior's death," Suiken informed the tengu, knocking him out on the shoulder, rendering him unconscious for a bit. He then harmlessly removed the fang from the tengu's wing.

Suiken then turned to face the tower, before heading into it, without a moment's hesitation.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


Two more tengu approached. Hyuna dodged one, and send a slight gust of air at the other to knock him off his balance, and lunged with her spear at the katana-wielding one, while the second one, armed with a bow, hissed and readies arrows after righting it's balance. She easily dodged the katana strikes, and drove the blunt end of her spear upwards at the ribs of the katana tengu, using him as a makeshift shield against the arrow shot, and it pierced it's wing, forcing it onto the ground. She spun her body, twisting it to dodge a slash and to gain momentum with her weapon, hefting it towards the tengu to give herself more space, knowing it could dodge it. This forced an opening as she shot up an illusion of herself going left, and she leapt up and guided herself towards the bow Tengu, firing an arrow through the illusion. With a quick jab, the archer was crippled, and Hyuna snapped its neck, breathing hard.

That makes seven...

Maybe they saw her fatigue, but maybe not; several imperial soldiers came to back her up. Hyuna panted and tried to argue that she was doing just fine- it would be a lie. Her vision swam in the corner of her eyes when she remembered to catch up with Ro and the old guy, not even knowing his name. She took another hasty drink, almost choking on the lukewarm water pouring down her parched throat.

"You can follow him if you want." Ro said testily, and turned to his men, yelling that they had to secure the area. She nodded curtly, barely registering Yuwen in the distance, but glad that he somehow survived this mess so far. She also saw the story-telling Oni, looking grave with important information. Still, she figured he could catch up if he wanted to warn them. The sooner she and the older man headed into the ruins, the better, after all.

I'm pushing myself, aren't I?

She caught up to the strange old man, and she could also see a small unit of imperials alongside them, ready for anything. The first thing Hyuna thought was that it was dark. And eerily empty- almost as if the Tengu had already searched for whatever the heck it was they were looking for. Still, whatever it was, maybe if Hyuna could grab it and let Yuwen get the glory- if he was even still alive-, then maybe he'd recognize her again.

A faint, and probably vain hope.

"It'd be nice if I knew your name." She grumbled, not really having the energy to start an argument with him, but also not wanting to appear weak in front of him. "You stay in front, okay? I'll guard the flank."

She was talking quietly, because in the dark, a single sound was pretty easy to pick out and target. And who knew if the Tengu were lying in ambush, waiting for them. She knew she had her own strength, but now, she had to trust in this man as well, the man with no name, so far. The man with the scraggly beard, and the bloody shirt. Hyuna absently looked and saw her cloak, splattered with blood, silently reminding herself to buy a new one later on. She liked the mental image of it billowing behind her as she descended on a victim, so of course she'd get a replacement later.

I'll get more kills than you, Master... just you wait..

Up ahead, Hyuna heard the sound of flapping wings. She warned the man right before a small party of about four Tengu assaulted them from above, and Hyuna deflected an arrow by twirling the spear before using the man's back to propel her directly into the wave of them, scattering them about as they crashed into the ground, hoping the man was smart enough to follow the sounds of the bodies hitting the floor and kill them before they could recover. She stuck her spear into one's chest, huffing hard. She raised her spear enough to parry another strike, but she almost didn't have the strength left to counter attack.

Eight.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi

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#, as written by Nulix
A figure stalked them as in the dark cloud of smoke Sunaarashi and Hyuna walked across the fiery ruins of where the tower once stood. The figure plopped out of the shadows, ramming into Sunaarashi's chest head first and bumping off as it were a brick wall. "Hey there," Yuwen Fortune said as he recovered, looking from him to the girl. "You guys are investigating too, huh?" A fourth figure joined them. Yuwen turned to see the Oni step forward through the smoke.

"Hey," Yuwen greeted before taking a few steps forward. At the edge of the ruins of the tower, surrounded by dying fires, was a massive pit going into a dark chamber below. Yuwen ducked as a Tengu dived down into the chambers revealed below. "Whatever they're after is down there," Yuwen whispered, turning to the group. "...it's quite a drop..." He paused, looking at Hyuna with confusion for a moment before giving her a small smile. "Your name... starts with a Hyuna," He said, a massive grin growing on her face. "This is a weird way to meet, huh?" He said just as a Tengu leapt from the smoke. He quickly stabbed it in the chest and kicked it off his blade before smiling at her again. "I'm Yuwen Fortune, by the way - everyone," He added, nodding to Sunaarashi and Suiken.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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The enemy lieutenant did not seem to appeal to the idea of dragging on the fight any longer, spreading his wings wide and boosting himself into the air, coldly eyeing the dark-haired girl that had been caught in the shadow of his massive wingspan. This was becoming further and further from manageable and it didn't help that everybody else seemed too preoccupied with their own little skirmishes all across the square, not to mention the fact that several other tengu began closing in from behind her. Deciding that the tengu in front of her was the bigger threat, she turned her back to him and began heading the other way; the group of assailants that were blocking her path attacked in unison.

The first one was split clean in half at the waist as it attempted to charge at her. Ann swiped the dead tengu's weapon out of the air as it fell from its hands, now sporting two swords. She hadn't had the chance to practice too much with a dual wielding style, but if one thing was certain, it was that she wouldn't stand a chance with her default combat strategy. She took a moment to swap the weapons between her hands, transferring her own sword to her offhand considering the fact that it was shorter than the one she'd just taken. For someone who was so used to fighting with a single blade, she felt mildly uneasy with her current stance. It wasn't that she lacked confidence in her ability to wield the two swords properly, but rather that the sudden change of pace was likely to throw off her usual maneuvers. She killed the remaining tengu warriors in the blink of an eye, dashing between each kill in a seamless dance of death. While she found that two weapons proved to be more effective than one, it was exponentially more exhausting. When she was done fighting the lieutenant, she would have to ditch the second sword.

Looking up into the sky, Ann prepared herself as she watched the tengu lieutenant soared down out at her, only to be shot down from the sky by an arrow. He dropped like a stone and crashed into the ground, writhing in agnoy. Squinting, she spotted a beastman standing on one of the rooftops armed with a bow. He fired off a few more arrows before vanishing back down into the lowers floors. That made things much easier. She tossed away the scavenged weapon, swapping sword hands again before placing her weapon into its scabbard. The masked lieutenant had gotten up to his feet by now, engaging in a combat stance with an arrow still lodged in him. Unfortunately for him, the fight was already over. Screeching, he swung his blade at her diagonally. He was fast, but he was not as fast as he was before. Ann immediately stopped the tengu's blade with the pommel of her sword's hilt as she drew it, staring him dead in the eyes through his mask. She knocked his sword away and kicked in his knee, resulting in a sickening crack as he buckled. She separated his head from his shoulders as he toppled to the ground. Ann sheathed her sword once more.

Somewhere in the distance, she spotted the man on the stage that had called himself Yuwen and approached him, as well as the group he was standing with. She stuck around long enough to hear the gist of the situation.

"Are you all planning on going down?" she asked, raising her voice just enough to hear over the chaos in the background as she wiped her blood-soaked hands against her clothes.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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Malao


"YAHOOO!!!"

Malao yelled at the top of his lungs, dozens of feet in the air. It seemed a lot had happened since he was thrown from the stage. Currently, he was standing on the back of an obviously unconscious Tengu with his sash through his mouth with Malao hold onto them like reigns. Malao had forcibly stretched out the Tengu's wings and was now surfing on the Tengu like a reverse glider. His left had held the reigns and his right held the Jingu Stick. He had a massive grin across his face, as he was having the time of his life. Sure over a half-dozen Tengu were constantly diving at him, trying to kill him but, that just made it more fun!

Right at that moment, Malao had been tactically surrounded by the Tengu, all of them eauther wielding nasty looking spears or those weird slim slightly curved swords. They all stood at battle positions, looking as if they were about to dive. Malao's grin just got wider and more devious. He quickly thrust out his arm behind him and the Jingu began to glow.

"JINGU!!" One end of it suddenly extended incredibly far, at least 12 feet pass the Tengu behind. They all looked at it oddly, eyes wide. "PINWHEEL FESTIVAL!!!" He then spun his golden staff with his great strength in a quick 360 degree circle, smacking into the taken aback Tengu. Malao then returned it to it's normal size of 3 feet.

It seemed the Tengu weren't done with him though, as several of their soldier recovered and flew at him from below. Feeling an updraft coming, Malao quickly dipped down for a moment, then pulled back up hard, casuing him to ascend several dozen feet higher. While he was in a vertical position and the Tengu all below him, he turned around and aimed his staff at the group. The Staff began to glow, yet much brighter than before. "JINGU, HAIL STORM!!!" The staff then began to elongate and retract at such a fast speed and a high rate, it seemed as if the staff was a simple blur. The staff managed to strike several of the Tengu multiple times before they headed back towards earth, though he made sure to not hit any of them in the head.

Though, it seemed he hadn't gotten them all. Two seemed to have deviated from the flock just before the attack and had gotten ahead of him as he leveled out. They both came at him with spears, diving straight on. Malao reeled into himself as the spears struck his body. The Tengu seemed pleased for a moment. Until Malao looked up at them with a mischievous grin. The two Tengu looked down at their spears. It seemed th espears had made contact with his torso, but only just. A very small trickle of blood came from the wounds, well more like scratches. His markings were glowing as he spoke. "Stone Monkey!" He then grabbed the spear shaft and used them to slam the Tengu's into one another with his monster like strength, then pulling them both in for a Monkey Palm to their chests, sending them flying.

"WOOOO! Today, a Monkey out flew birds!!!! HAHAHAHA!!!" Malao let out a very monkey like laugh. When he stopped laughing, he realized he was descending quickly. Malao readjusted himself and braced for impact.

He managed to land well, gliding the Tengu to the ground and sliding across the ground on it's back. It slid right up to a group of people. He recognized several of them as people he had met across town today. When he came to a stop, he hoppped off and gave them all grin, which looked a bit silly with his hair all wind blown. "Who said monkeys can't fly? Ha!" He then noticed they were all standing around a huge hole. He ran straight up to it and peered down it, his hand over his eyes like visor. *Whistle* "That's a hole alright..." He then turned around and faced them all.

"Well......what are you waiting for?" He then back flipped straight into the pit, doing his trade ark monkey call.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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["Whatever they're after is down there," Yuwen whispered, turning to the group. "...it's quite a drop..." He paused, looking at Hyuna with confusion for a moment before giving her a small smile. "Your name... starts with a Hyuna," He said, a massive grin growing on her face. "This is a weird way to meet, huh?" He said just as a Tengu leapt from the smoke. He quickly stabbed it in the chest and kicked it off his blade before smiling at her again. "I'm Yuwen Fortune, by the way - everyone," He added, nodding to Sunaarashi and Suiken. ]

Suiken nodded at Yuwen Fortune. "Suiken," he introduced, looking down at the pit apprehensively. Soon they were joined by two more. A human woman who had approached the stage to question Yuwen earlier as well as that strange beast-man. The apparent Monkey King, who unsurprisingly, invited himself to be the first to dive down the tower's depths.

"Reckless, that guy..." Suiken noted, turning around to see someone else join them in the tower. The orca beast-man, this time.

["The mayor entrusted me with a key to open whatever's down there," Keeflo said softly so only the group could hear him. "I think we should bring it to safety.]

"Has to be the key to the chest that tengu was speaking of..." Suiken noted aloud. "That's what they came for," he spoke, turning to the others, informing them. "A chest that lies at the bottom of this tower. If they're going through these lengths to get it, I think it's a pretty safe bet that we shouldn't let 'em. And if that's the key, then we have one advantage already. I suggest we don't wait around any longer..." he spoke, leaping down the pit, leaning his arm against the wall, hoping to use his rough oni skin as a break.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


Three flashes of a sword later, and Hyuna let out a breath of relief, joking a little about how she could have finished them on her own, and that Suna's aid wasn't really needed, calling him, amongst others, a kill stealer. That doesn't mean she wasn't thankful, but just that she didn't want to express it so easily. Especially not to someone who stood and watched as she and Yamato were being cornered by the imperials a few hours back. But, she had to at least apologize in her head to him for thinking he was weak- this guy was skilled and precise in his attacks. Not the fastest, of course, but Hyuna figured her speed was near the upper human limits, with a self satisfied air.

"Counting kills." She answered him in a subdued voice, trying to preserve energy. "What say we wait for a bit at this hole, in case others want to come with?"

So they waited in a nervous sort of silence until eventually, two more people arrived, first of which was that Yuwen Fortune. The story-telling oni, introducing himself as Suiken, came by almost directly behind him, as if they entered together. She smiled a little bit to herself to see him again, but then quickly remembered that he didn't even know who she was; forcing the scowl back onto her small face. Yuwen greeted them, not even trying to explain that these Tengu were obviously not simple bandits, and that probably means his bandits were a total fabrication. It went pretty much as expected until Yuwen called her by Hyuna, giving almost an apologetic-but-not-quite smile at her. She stood there, completely blank for a second; having no idea how to react whatsoever. She finally settled with a radiant grin, and a failed attempt to respond until she gulped hard, slapped her cheeks, and sputtered out a "took you long enough, you idiot" at her old friend. She nodded as he exclaimed the weirdness of their reunion, hardly even noticing the newly dead Tengu that leaped out of the dark.

"Are we all planning to go down?" A quiet voice from somewhere behind them. Hyuna turned to look, and saw that it was that sword girl on the stage with Yuwen. Before she could answer though, the Monkey King, all of a sudden, leapt down the hole. Heck, Hyuna didn't even know when he got with the group in the first place, let alone how he knew there was a hole. Still, it answered sword girl's question well enough.

So then Hyuna followed the Monkey King down the hole, cushioning her fall with her chi, landing gracefully with flair to her imaginary audience.

She could hear some people talking up above, something about a key, or a chest, perhaps? It was pretty far down, and there were a lot of echoes so it'd be incredibly difficult to clearly hear anything from either end of the pit. But her eyes accustomed themselves to the dark pretty quickly, and she could see intricate stone linings in the wherever they were, as well as multiple paths.Was it possibly a labyrinth, to try and hide where the chest was? If so, whatever's inside had to be valuable. And if it's valuable, couldn't it be sold for a lot of money?

Sure, it's main purpose isn't the price... but still. How rich could I be if I did get it before anyone else..

But then she remembered that she was running low on energy already, and shook the temporary greed out of her head. It was then when the oni, Suiken followed, making it three on the bottom. And along with the heavy crash of the oni, Hyuna suddenly heard the excited, frantic sounds of Tengu wings, almost a whole squad of them, faintly hearing the Tengu words for 'found' 'chest' and 'hurry'. After they passed them by, Hyuna called up to the others up top. But of course, such a loud sound as a giant oni landing on his feet wouldn't go unnoticed, and some of the Tengu split off from their squad, maybe nine or ten of them, she couldn't keep count. Hyuna condensed the air and expanded it out as it reached the attackers, forcing them back, and giving her, Malao, and Suiken some much needed breathing room.

"Hurry up and get down here, stupid!" Hyuna called up, sucking up her pride. "We- we kinda need help!"

Together, the three of them could keep the Tengu at bay, but they couldn't take advantage of any opportunities to get attacks in, forced into a frantic defensive position, backs to each other. She felt as if she was on the verge of fainting, the corners of her vision going all blurry, and here vision itself going completely monochrome. All she could really hear was the sound of her pulse pounding in her head, reminding her that she was still alive.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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Ann watched as they dropped down one by one, each devising their own landing strategy. She kicked a spear into one of her hands, testing its sturdiness before holding it out in front of her to get an eye for its length. She set it vertically on the ground slashed off a small portion of the end, reducing the size of the spear. Sheathing her blade, she grabbed the weapon and, without a second thought, leaped down the pit with the shortened spear held horizontally over her head, using it as a frictional brake, both ends fitting perfectly against the opposite sides of the hole's walls.

Gravity took her down most of the way before finally slowly down to a stop, probably meaning that it had probably become more narrow on the way down or that the spear had caught itself on something along the way. Regardless, she released her grip on the rod and landed lightly on her feet, the distance between the ground herself having been drastically reduced. Whoever came down next could probably use it as a makeshift landing platform given that they had good balance and the spear would take their weight. Several tengu had already taken notice of the group and were beginning to head their way. Her hand found its way to the handle of her weapon.

"Get ready," she said quietly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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Malachi watched with his covered eyes as one by one they went down the hole in the ground. Crazy. Insane. Even more crazy. Then off he was pushed into the long, dark pit. Malachi was able to maneuver himself where he was facing head first down the pit. There was many times as a child where he'd play outside with some of the rabbit-beast-kids and they'd go in and out of the holes in the forest. This was much like that, yet extremely different. Still, he was able to maneuver enough to make it...almost safely to the bottom. Once there, he nearly toppled over the spear that seemed to have came out of nowhere, though he used to to flip himself over and land on the ground, feet first. Malachi stepped forward slightly, running into the girl that had come ahead of him. He instantly stepped back and over to a wall.

Pressing himself back against the wall, Malachi could hear the sounds of the Tengu, and could hear a few of the group members talking. Malachi went into yet another one of his 'fighting-trance' stages and prepared himself for the best way to fight in these conditions. In this space underground, it'd be a godawful move to prepare his bow, and his eye-coverings weren't helping either. He removed the eye-mask from his horns and eyes, stuffing it in his pocket before taking a stance.

That's when he saw the ghostly green mist of a light start from behind him and the far off voices of those long gone six feet under. Sure, it will make things a hell of a lot easier on the rest of them, but this is not a good time for Malachi to be in a fighting mood as he'll allow his chi to spit out the energy to activate that which is not allowed. Forbidden. "Let the souls from long which have gone go forth first." Malachi said in a hushed voice as a slight breeze of ghostly green energy shot off down the tunnel towards the voices of the Tengu. "The souls shall stun them long enough until all else is up to us."

Setting

Characters Present

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

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Yamato swept the town-centre one last time, making sure the Tengu that had attacked were all dead. The body count was staggering, Tengu and Human alike, some of the human's moaned in pain as their friends and family franticly tried to make their last minutes comfortable. Many were giving him looks of fear, he smiled coldly. "Pests." He muttered, making his way to the tower just as all the other warriors had before him.

It wasn't long before he came to the pit, an odd addition to a tower he felt. After all most towers went up, not down. The echoing voices and sounds of weapons scraping against stone peaked his interest, and he dove into the pit. The darkness wasn't a bother to him and he quickly made his way down the corridor, happening on the skirmish with the few remaining Tengu in the city.

"What's going on?" The Rabbit-woman asked. He chuckled, "Isn't it obvious? This group seems to be winning, and soon we will find what these idiots were after." He kicked the body of a fallen Tengu as he headed down the corridor, blade in hand. He stopped at Hyuna's side, sensing her chi was depleted again, he knelt down to her. "You really shouldn't push yourself like this. Not in a real fight. You've done well though, I'm up to thirteen, you?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Suiken turned as the rabbit beast-woman arrived through the tower's bottom level, inquiring upon the situation. "We've got the last of the tengu invaders cornered," he informed as the tengu allied to them soon followed . "They're after a chest inside the tower, but we have the key. They locked themselves inside, but..." Suiken glanced over at the trail of green energy leading down towards the tightly shut door. Glancing slightly over towards the beast-man who initiated the spell. "I wish you wouldn't have used such a technique...Such magic never bodes well," he growled.

From the other side of the door, the invading tengu remained silent, save for a minor flash of purple that was seen through the cracks behind the door.

"...Regardless if they're paralyzed or not, we should move cautiously," Suiken noted, contemplatively, slowly moving towards the door and nodding at Keeflo. "We're gonna need that key."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan



Soon, pretty much everyone dropped in, something which was deeply grateful for. She knew she couldnt keep fighting any more for the night, having no chi left at all. And without chi, all she was was a fast but not particularly strong spearman. And that alone was hardly worth any notice- she relied far too heavily on splendor and fanciness with her chi, despite having a generally average body in terms of muscle, or maybe even less so.

A strange goatman archer was there, doing some sort of chant, which strangely soothed and yet creeped her out at the same time, while Suiken warned against using necromancy, a grave shake of the head. Hyuna looked around fervently, not seeing Yuwen drop down, but her heart lightened somewhat when Yamato went to her side, telling her that she's done well, but that she's pushed too hard. And that he was at thirteen.

She grimaced before deciding on being honest, with a headcount of only nine. She felt something between shame and disappointment when she realized she lost, but, then again, Yamato is Master for a reason.

"I think I'll... sit out the rest of the fighting, Master." She murmured. "Moral support from the sidelines, I guess." She struggled a little to lift up her spear and put it back in it's sheathe on her back, and draped the cloak around her because of the sudden chills she got. Probably chills from over extending her energy, and now paying the price for it. Hyuna cursed her need for flourish with her illusions, but she knew that it helped her mentally in a fight, so she'd never really be able to be rid of it. The only solution was to slowly build up stamina.

First things first though, stopping the Tengu from getting to their goal. As the group prepared to head out, Hyuna stayed close to Yamato, hopefully close enough to garner a few tips from him.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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Entering the room where the tengu were hiding, the group could see only four more of their feathered nemesis remained. Three seemingly regular troops and their commander. The tengu's old leader looked upon the group with a frustrated scowl.

"Well, I'd have to admit....I wasn't expecting this much resistance from pathetic little Poyo," the old, wizened looking Tengu spoke, his red wrinkled face, glaring upon the would-be saviors of Poyo. "Ah...now, I see it. Beast-men. An oni. An asura... Hmm, one of our own. All of you outsider's who happened to pass by. Or perhaps partake in the celebration. ..." the old tengu muttered, scratching his bristly gray beard. "I pains me to admit your arrival was not one I anticipated. Nor did I anticipate the use of necromancy..."

The old tengu smiled cruelly. "Times must be bleaker than I thought, for such abilities to exist nowadays. Luckily, I hold enough power to banish such dark magic!" the old tengu beamed as his entire visage became coated in flame as he commanded his three remaining subordinates, "Do not let them live! Do not let them reach the chest!" And with that he darted down a hallway opposite of Poyo's defenders were standing, in pursuit of the chest and whatever treasure lied inside.

The three remaining tengu, each got into a formation. One drew twin blades and flanked the group on the left, while another brandished a large battle axe and flanked the group on the right. The third stayed in the back, armed with a bow, and used his mastery over fire magic to light the arrow heads aflame.

"These three will be tougher than the ones outside..." Suiken noted. "But not too much of an obstacle!" Suiken shouted as he charged at the battle axe brandishing tengu. "We have to make this quick! We can't let their leader slip through our fingers! Some of us can hold these three off while the others follow their leader!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Keeflo watched as the others jumped in the pit. Unfortunately, the hole looked rather deep. Keeflo peered over the edge and sent a click down. The sound returned to him, revealing depth and width of the hole. At the age of five he had been augmented by a pod elder to be able to use echolocation, and now and many other times it had proven useful.

The hole wasn't quite as deep as it looked, although it was deep enough that Keeflo didn't want to jump down into it without something to cushion his fall. He still clutched the key as well, his massive webbed hand completely enveloping the small artifact. Something had to be done about that. He couldn't drop into a hole with more possible hostile tengu and have one hand useless. Not caring about respecting the dead, for that was a land person's qualm, the orca beast-man stripped a corpse of his clothing and used the cloth to bind the key to his belt.

This gave him an idea. Taking clothes from other dead, he made a rope of sorts. When he was satisfied with his handiwork he took a spear and drove it into the ground by the mouth of the hole. To the spear he tied one end of the makeshift rope and then he climbed down into the pit.

At the bottom of the hole lay a door, which a human abruptly bashed open and killed the tengus inside. Some more tengus came out to fight and one fled.

"These three will be tougher than the ones outside..." the oni storyteller said. "But not too much of an obstacle!" he shouted as he charged at the battle axe brandishing tengu. "We have to make this quick! We can't let their leader slip through our fingers! Some of us can hold these three off while the others follow their leader!"

Keeflo accepted the one's change from storyteller to commander in a heartbeat and ran of in pursuit of the fleeing tengu. In the dim light he was probably one of the best suited to the chase with his darkness piercing echolocation. He followed the tengu leader, constantly sending out clicks to keep track of him. While speed on land was not Keeflo's strong point, he did have plenty of endurance. As the running opened up the wound on his back again, Keeflo was reminded of his ineptness as a fighter. He hoped that someone else was coming too in case this lead to a fight.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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The silence of a grave stood between the two for several moments, weighted in the tension that resonated between the two as the armored giant seemed to gauge the situation. At length, she finally ended up walking past her with a hefty greatsword rested against one shoulder, passing up on a confrontation. Ann, acknowledging the answer, locked her weapon back into its sheath and smiled as she heard the words "Thought about it," grunted as she passed by. She crammed her hands into her pockets and turned around, following after her.

"That's no good at all, is it?" she said. "I really should start meaning everything that I say. Or perhaps not? You're quite scary, to be honest. I almost certainly wouldn't win if I fought you." Ann was still smiling as she walked further down the hall, gradually catching up with her pace. "Almost."

It wasn't long before the passage ended and they caught up with rest of the group, faced against three tengu who actually appeared to know what they were doing this time around, each wielding a different weapon. One of them even looked to be adept in the use of fire magic. The tengu leader dashed off, leaving his guardsmen behind to defend his escape. Ann leaned against a wall near the back, crossing her arms. She decided she'd rather watch the fight unfold rather than engage in it herself. The group that had dropped down with her had seemed capable enough and figured that intervention was all but unnecessary.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Malachi nodded at Oni that had warned against his use of chi. Malachi understood it well enough. The 'art', as Pollo liked to call it, was widely looked down upon and forbidden. But if this small act of such could by the group even a fraction of a second more, then it was willing to be used, especially by Malachi in his state and mind. After what seemed like a while, though it was hardly even a few minutes, the door to where the voices were coming from was knocked down, revealing four remaining Tengu. One fled down the corridor, only after giving an effect to his men and mentioning a chest once again.

Malachi could care less about this chest they spoke of, but just the way the Tengu seemed to want it so bad meant it must be something extraordinarily important, and he made it his duty to not let that happen. Stepping back to position himself behind the group, Malachi drew his bow. He, unlike the Tengu how had equipped a bow as well and found fit to control the element of fire to light the heads of the arrows, Malachi only had his plane handmade arrows. They wont light the Tengu on fire or burn as much as fire headed ones, but they will due in the long run.

Right off the back, Malachi let three of his arrows fly at the bow wielding Tengu. The arrows could have just as well hit any of the group, piercing through the air with the power only an arrow can and nearly skimming the edge of the people of this rag-tag group of defenders. One nearly hit the orca Beast-Man as he ran on after the one that fled. That caused Malachi to cowwer, covering his eyes with his hands until he heard the groan of a Tengu and looked up to see that two of his three arrows his the archer with wings, the third being stuck into the wall behind him, the two being pierced in his skin, one in the shoulder, one in the chest. That sent a few arrows Malachi's way, one nearly hitting his head, the other deflecting off his left horn.

That was not the least bit fun. Malachi though before shooting two more arrows at the Tenu. One hitting him directly in the head, the other nearly missing his neck and piercing into the wall. Luckily, Malachi will be able to retrieve two of the five arrows he let off, that being the two in the wall as he didn't want to disturb the dead any further than he would need too. He'd have to wait until after the other two Tengu are strike dead before he does anything though. He nearly dashed off after the orca Beast-man to help, but decided against, deciding he wouldn't be much help. Instead, he stood back behind the group for a moment before drawing his eye coverings back over his eyes, deciding that was enough chi use for today. Maybe for the week. The month. Hell, the year.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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#, as written by Nulix
The Tengu leader glared at Yamato as he charged, quickly raising into the air with the large, oak chest tucked away beneath his arm. "You misunderstand, brother," He began to his fellow Tengu. "I needed to blow up the tower to access these passages beneath..." The bearded Tengu spoke as he circled the black stone chamber: the dead end all the passages reached. "This place was built many years ago, long before the town, the people... to store one thing, and the only way to unearth it again was with fire."

The Tengu swallowed as his eyes drifted between the human girl, the other Tengu, and the rabbit before finally settling on the Orca who'd pursued him first. "You are right though. Many of our sides have died..." The old Tengu whispered, before carefully holding the chest forward in the air. "But if you have a key... it must not all be for in vain..."

***

One of the Tengu lieutenants was smashed into the ground by arrows, breaking their formation, while the other went off on the defensive, leaving the adviser in the middle unarmed. "Wait!" The adviser yelled, realizing he was both out-numbered and outmatched. "Perhaps we can... talk about this?" He croaked and stepped forward, giving a large, yellow-toothed smile to the team...

Setting

Characters Present

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

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#, as written by Nulix
The defeated Tengu wheezed heavily as Yamato's boot landed down on his chest. The winner of the duel stood over him now, the leader knew. And as Yamato looked down upon the elder's worn and beaten face he'd see something he'd not expect. A smile grow through the blood. "...You think you're powerful," The man whispered. "You think you're great... you have no idea what you've stepped into." The leader closed his eyes. "The underworld is a cruel place Yamato Hibiki... I will be waiting for you there..." And with that last breath the figure went cold, dying as if to rob Yamato of the final blow. The room seemed to fade with his passing, fade from any of them or what they had to say to the presence of one unspoken guest. The chest, hinged in iron and made of old, sunken wood...

"Please... can't we speak!" The adviser pleaded to the group of warriors before him. Suddenly footsteps caused the entire group to turn. From the passageway Yamato, Hyuna, Keeflo, and Muna emerged. The chest bouncing lightly in the rabbit-girl's arms. The adviser swallowed before turning to the other Tengu warrior remaining. "So he is dead..." The adviser whispered. Before anyone had time to react the two Tengu whipped out daggers and plunged them both into their hearts. "...As are we."

The two collapsed and outside a new day dawned. The Tengu were defeated, and far beneath the surface where the rising sun could be seen in the large passageway beneath what was once Poyo's town-tower the victors were gathered with their prize.

The chest.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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Malao


After all was said and done, Malao gave out a big sigh and plopped himself on his ass as he leaned back on his hands. A lot had happened tonight. A lot. A lot more than has happened in most of his life, he felt good.....and something else. He looked up and around at his comrades who might not be anymore since the fighting was said and done. He looked at eachone individually and then said to the lot of them.

"......I'm hungry. Anybody else hungry? Who's up for breakfast?"

Setting

Characters Present

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

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


And with that, the Poyo Conflict was finished, with all the filthy Tengu killed in the end as the sun rose. This strange motley group, almost standing around the chest as if it were this sacred, precious monument; shining in glory. And Yuwen was still somewhere else, not that it mattered right now. What mattered was this chest- apparently harboring a big secret that everyone around was going to be dragged into- a huge massive conflict that may even be invisible to everyone else. Only an idiot would ignore the onus coming from the chest, and the significance it symbolized. There was a lot of death, for something like this. So, even if it were just a small useless trinket, it'd still carry and be worth the death it cost to save it.

This is not something to be taken lightly.

Perhaps the most important question of all would be, who would own it, in the end? Assuming it's a worthwhile treasure, and assuming that they'd even decide to open it in the first place.

Would it belong to the Giantess, bloodstained and brutal in her might? Half-ashuran, half-sudean, she was certainly a sight to behold. And it seemed as if she killed more people in her life than words she spoke- something Hyuna was sure to keep a note of; to not make an enemy out of this woman. She looked thoughtfully at the massive greatsword, and wondered if it could snap her spear like a twig. Hyuna wasn't really hoping to test that out. She also wondered if anyone here could stand up to the Giantess in a huge confrontation, if she decided that the treasure belonged to her?

So Hyuna had to put the spotlight on her, somehow. She looked at the others in the group, like that Suna.

Also Sudean, and also a brilliant fighter in his own right; at least what she saw of him. He's assuming to most, and probably because of his look of age, he'd be underestimated. Even now, she couldn't exactly pin point what his fighting style is, unlike the Giantess, who's specialty is pure and brute strength. Suna, most likely, was a strange amalgamation of different styles, leading to unpredictability and an opponent that can counter most anyone that came at him- as long as he knew they were coming. He was formidable, for sure, and deceptively so.

And what of the goatman? He wielded a bow, so he could use his speed to his advantage against the giantess while shooting arrows. He'd be more of a distraction than anything, something to divert and diffuse her attention so she couldn't fully focus. And if that failed, there was always necromancy. Hyuna honestly didn't know much about the forbidden chi art except that it was forbidden, and probably with good reason. She couldn't decide if she could trust someone who used such power.

And there was the tall human girl, obviously Gwanish of origin? There was a strange look in her eyes that Hyuna couldn't quite place. She looked probably too calm and distanced from the group, and Hyuna wondered exactly why she didn't participate in the fight once down the pit. And obviously this Gwanish girl was intelligent- she used spears to slow down her fall when going down the hole in the first place. Her katana, however was of inferior make, and she wondered if it could really harm the Giantess in hostile combat.

And of course, at full strength, she and Yamato could be more than a match for the Giantess. Her speed and chi mastery alongside his experience and expertise, she felt confident they could eliminate the largest threat, but not without some injury.

Then the Monkey King spoke up, breaking the uncomfortable silence.

"......I'm hungry. Anybody else hungry? Who's up for breakfast?"

Hyuna considered. Yes, she was starving and needed both nutrition and rest in order to regain her strength. She was worthless otherwise. But on the other hand, what if while they were all eating, one of the group made off with the treasure? That'd be unacceptable, to her at least, since she wanted at least some part of it if anyone as going to have any. And, unlike the others, she had possibly two allies to back her up- Yamato, her mentor, with whom she made a quick friendship with, as well as that Yuwen, who finally recognized her from his past. She didn't fully trust them, but she figured the three of them could work together and outnumber the others.

Still, her stomach growled, and she decided that no one would be stupid enough to try and steal the treasure away just yet.

"Then let's... let's eat." She said pensively to the group, and then specifically turned to Yamato. "I still have coin, Master, if you, um, wouldn't mind letting my ride on your back to the surface, at least. I'm too tired to move." She held out her stolen coin pouches from the guardsmen earlier, offering them.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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It was over. The tengus had died, some even suicided. At the end when the tengu wanted to talk Keeflo had been willing to listen but apparently Ashy Wing Tengu had had other ideas. He had killed the leader of the attacking tengus. Although Keeflo was glad the fight was over, he couldn't help feeling unhappy at all the lives lost just for a chest. What could it hold that the tengu had died for it? What could it hold that the mayor had trusted its key to a nobody?

Keeflo still had the key wrapped in his belt. It was fairly hidden, so he doubted anyone would be able to see it and try to steal it, but he kept his hand in its vicinity nonetheless. Some of these people had proven themselves to be clever and unpredictable.

Then the monkey man said something about being hungry, garnering a gurgle from Keeflo's stomach. Yes, he was hungry, but no, he likely didn't have the money to pay for it. Unlike the monkeys he had seen in the night, Keeflo didn't want to steal. That would just bring more people chasing him. He sighed. So close to entry to the ocean, yet so far...

The girl who had taken the chest from the tengu lead asked Ashy Wings to carry her up the hole. "I have a better way. I made a rope out of clothes. It should still be here," Keeflo said. He went to the part of the hole where he had climbed down and sure enough the rope was there.

"I'm strong, I'll carry the chest up," Keeflo said. He picked up the chest and held it in one arm and climbed up the bloodstained rope, using his feet, free hand, and tail to grip it. Not once did it cross his mind to open it and claim what was inside. It wasn't his. In his mind it belonged to Loy-Qui, who hopefully was still alive. He didn't have much need for it, as he planned to soon return to the ocean, and it wasn't owned by him or anyone else nearby, either.

Thus when he climbed up the makeshift rope he paused only for a moment to make sure the others were not having any trouble before heading to where he left the mayor. Loy-Qui was still lying where Keeflo left him and, judging by the people flocking around him, was still alive. Keeflo was still a little ways off, so he quickened his pace and headed towards the group.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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Lo-muna raised an eyebrow as she was relieved of guarding the chest, the orca beast-man already heading back to the surface. The concerns raised over their stomachs, three of the group so far, amused her but didn't incite the same curiosity as the chest that had caused so much of a fuss. After all, the leader had warned them they were not ready for the conflict. What conflict that was, Lo-muna wished she had asked. She cursed her own ineptness.

"I suppose the mystery can be resolved after a meal. Although I am low on funds due to a certain.. incident from earlier," Lo-muna said to the group, glancing at the monkey beast-man. "And it will give us a chance to discuss the dead Tengu's warning. I don't think our association with each other will end here."

Setting

Characters Present

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

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The tengu lay defeated. A shame it took the loss of their lives to so, but the town was saved nevertheless. Well, there was the matter of what to do with the treasure, but that can be decided later. For now, it seemed the others had other pressing matters on their minds. Namely food.

"Yeah...food sounds good about now," Suiken remarked, patting his stomach as he remembered that he hadn't eaten dinner. "Perhaps those of us who do have coin can split the bill, so everyone gets a chance to eat, eh?"

Setting

Characters Present

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

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Ann was still standing near the back, silently watching as the orca beastman took hold of the chest and began hauling it up the pit. She didn't really care much for what was in the chest or why so many lives had been lost to try and obtain it so she had nothing to comment on the situation regarding the treasure. It was highly unlikely that she'd end up getting her hands on it anyway so there was no point in thinking about it further.

"I'm hungry," the Monkey King finally spoke. "Anybody else hungry? Who's up for breakfast?" A few nods and phrases of agreement accompanied by growling stomachs were audible in the quiet depths of the underground sanctum. The rabbit-eared woman mentioned something about being low on money and while Ann would normally have spared her some coins, she figured the woman would work something out with the the Monkey King who had robbed her during the festival. She briefly wondered if the giant would contest ownership of the chest, glancing her direction and then at the beastman. The thought only lasted for a while and she found her gaze drifting elsewhere, casually inspecting the others in the room with her.

The oni suggested to the group that they should split the bill for a meal among them and she simply shrugged and said, "I've some coin to spare," her eyes still drifting around the closed space.

She wasn't in much of a mood to challenge the Monkey King anymore but wondered if she should do it anyway, since there didn't seem to any better time than this. On the down side, she had a feeling that the others would not be too happy with that turn of events and it didn't make much sense to peg several capable fighters on herself all at once because she was too impatient to wait for a better opportunity. Still, she was likely to miss out on her bounty at this rate. It wouldn't be so bad to give up on it she supposed, considering how much the last one paid anyway.

No one in the room particularly caught her eye, but it was rare to see so many competent fighters all gathered in the same room. She wondered how many of them she could best in a one-on-one duel, but kept it strictly to a thought. No point in starting a fight just for the sake of challenging each others' skill. Even if the curiosity lingered, battle was no thrill to her: It was simply a necessary means to an end. One that she found herself engaged in constantly. It was what she was good at, after all.

That wasn't to say that she possessed no other talents, but it had always proved to be both her greatest skill and money-making tool. Escorting high-profile figures, acting as a bodyguard, assassination, bounty hunting; if it involved violence, it was more than likely she could pull it off.

Perhaps another time. But for now, all that was left to do was wait.

At length, Ann left her spot at the wall inspected some of the bodies, settling on the higher ranked ones, kneeling by them and closely examining their weapons. She held one of them up the air, drawing it neatly from its scabbard. The quality was excellent, to be sure, but after a few experimental swings, decided that it was far too heavy for her. She slid it back in and set it down on the ground. The age old of dilemma of fighting a balanced weapon that would actually be of use to her. In all honesty, her sword was garbage, but it did its job well enough given that it wouldn't break any time soon. The only reason she hadn't replaced it yet was because of its incredible lightness, which she found much difficulty finding in other blades.

She gave up on the search for now, deciding that this wouldn't be a problem if only she'd spent more time physically conditioning her body. Of course, there was still time for that, but it would be something she'd have to work towards. For now, she'd have to stick with what she had without complaint. She'd been told time and time again that her potential was incredible, but she'd also been told that it was vital to improve her physical performance to unlock it. Her skills alone had carried her this far so she wasn't in any rush, but the thought of becoming a much more potent fighter than before was definitely of intrigue. Not only that, but if she could also figure out how to manipulate chi, tides would certainly turn in her favor. She gave those distant thoughts a rest for the moment.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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Suiken was silent for a moment, but then spoke up. "Do the bodies of the tengu lying on the floor within and on the grounds outside not provide enough explanation as to what happened here?" he asked, his hand pointing to the dead Tengu in the pit below. "I'm certain none of us has anything to gain by involving ourselves in such an assault."

Setting

Characters Present

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

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By the time Amanhã had caught up to the rest of the group, it seemed they had already made short work of the remaining tengu fighters. More importantly, as they emerged from deeper within the tunnel, one of them, the rabbit beast-folk, was toting the chest along-- Amanhã's eyes zeroed in on it. It was a hefty-looking trunk, fairly bulky but light enough to be carried in the hands of the slight-built beast-folk, fashioned of oak by the looks of it with a keyhole securing the latch. Amanhã frowned. A keyhole-- and she very certainly was not in possession of the key. Perhaps force would be sufficient in divorcing the two halves of the latch and unveiling whatever 'treasure' was contained therein, but that would necessitate addressing another issue.

Amanhã was not unfamiliar with fighting multiple opponents-- she had made a point of mastering her ability to adroitly and effectively fight numerous adversaries simultaneously. But multiple foes of this magnitude? Amanhã's confidence in her skills did not extend that far, for good reason: avoiding overt self-assuredness was necessary to survival, and Amanhã had always made sure to be aware of the battles she almost certainly could not emerge victorious from. A legion of tengus? That was child's play. But these warriors were more than a cut above those faceless mooks. In the case of at least five of them, they would individually have made quite a pleasure to fight and kill: altogether, the battle's outcome would have been... significantly less clear-cut. Perhaps if they had all been fighting amongst themselves, it would have been possible for Amanhã to eventually emerge victorious from the battle royale-- but making herself a target of all of them? That would have been the act of a fool, and Amanhã had not been a fool in more than thirty years.

She scowled. This was a predicament. She wanted that chest. Whatever was in there, the tengus had thought it significant enough to slaughter a town for. Granted, there was just as good a chance it was some trifling cultural relic of the tengus, stolen from them during the war by the avaricious Yune, worth nothing to anyone but the Teng Kingdom-- but then, she could simply sell it to them for a hefty price. Either way, she emerged with a profit... but only if she got that chest. Only if she could separate whoever was bearing it-- it had changed hands from the rabbit beast-folk to the orca beast-folk of before-- then acquiring it would become... very straightforward, as it were.

But it seemed for the time being, much to Amanhã's distress, she would have to linger with this group and await that opportunity.

When it emerged, she would be certain to act swiftly, decisively, and brutally-- as always.

At that point, they were beginning to return to the surface-- the orca beast-folk had fashioned a rope of sorts and had already clambered up, though Amanhã, who had been the last to enter and was now therefore at the head of the group, was not certain if it could bear her six hundred and fifty pound bulk. The uncertainty was put to silence, however, as a shrill whistle from above tunnelled down through the dank halls of the tower. And shortly following on its heels was a voice, reverberating down the passage. "Attention, warriors! This is Prefect Ro ordering you to exit the pit with your weapons sheathed!"

Ordering me? To hell with the others-- ordering her? Her scowl intensified in vehemence. It sounded almost as though Ro intended to arrest the group collected here-- which had to be a ludicrous proposition. They had just slaughtered their way through an attack force of highly-trained tengu warriors: what made this damn bureaucrat think his little town guard could possibly put up a fight against them?

"You are under investigation for involvement with the attack..." the prefect continued, initially in no way assuaging Amanhã's discontent. "But if you are cooperative and are found to have aided in the defence of the village, you will be paid by me, on behalf of the Emperor of Yune in his absence."

That was marginally more appealing, though still not without concerns. The bureaucrats would undoubtedly seize the chest from whoever was in possession of it before Amanhã ever had a chance to glean the nature of its contents, and in Imperial hands it would be much more difficult to acquire. Furthermore, they spoke of a reward, but really, when could you ever trust bureaucrats? This Ro character was probably planning on having them all killed so he could take the chest for himself-- it was what Amanhã would have done in his position. Well, no-- in his position, Amanhã would probably have made sure not to end up serving in a shitstain town like Poyo, but that aside, he was in a very good position to take the chest for himself.

Now that she thought of it, the orca had already proceeded up to the surface-- they might already have killed him and seized the chest.

The snow oni had begun to reply to the prefect's words, but for Amanhã's part, sheathing her weapon was clearly not on the agenda. Another battle was in the cards, she knew it-- but she was not going to be the first to go up. She would wait until two or three had already gone up and gotten themselves arrested-- kept the other soldiers occupied by the time Amanhã went up with absolutely no intent of letting herself get arrested.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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#, as written by Nulix
"I'm afraid not. Not until we have a clearer spectrum of events," The voice echoed down through the cavern. "Don't worry. If you are truthful and heroic in action you will be free and paid by midday."

In the small, half-destroyed courtyard of an abandoned restaurant in the square Yuwen sat at a table and sipped his tea, watching the Prefect talk to the heroes below with great interest...

Setting

Characters Present

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

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


Hyuna, while grateful, just curtly nodded at the orca-man when he gave his suggestion to use the cloth rope he made to get down in the first place. She was more than exhausted, but once at the surface, she could just nab some coffee to regain her energy. Never know when she'd need to be ready for battle again, especially with certain members of the present company. Still, when the orca took the chest and ran ahead, she narrowed her eyes briefly, wondering exactly what the orca could want with it. Seriously, he didn't seem like the self-interested type in the least, so it baffled her.

"Yamato." She muttered back at him once exiting the tunnel. "Keep an eye on the ashuran. You and I can handle the others ourselves, but... she's a threat."

Hyuna then quickly dived into a diner on her own, masking her exhaustion; not willing anyone to see her weak, especially these civilians she just recently helped save. She ordered imported coffee from Sudea, and not long after it was ready, and she sipped the bitter, thick liquid, feeling it swishing down her throat and almost burning at her stomach. Still, it gave her more energy to last a few hours, and she also carried with her some sweets, enough for her and Yamato to share. Upon leaving the diner, she gave haf of the sweets to her ashen-winged friend.

"They're good." She said amicably to him, taking a bite out of one laced with vanilla icing. She moaned with pleasure feeling the delicacy sweeten her tongue. "Ish r'lly g'd!" She exclaimed, rubbing her stomach with content and licking the soft crumbs off of her fingers.

But then, when regrouping with the others, it was all bad news- Ro, the idiot, had come and accused them, accused their freaking saviors of planning the whole thing! It was probably a farce for the Imperials to save face, and Hyuna was quick to voice her opinion angrily at someone who really shouldn't try to fight her on a good day.

"You shamed yourselves when the Tengu got in." She said scowling. "Damned Imperials let the mayor get hit, and we had to step in to save everyone. And this is how you treat the heroes? You're just a bunch of ingrates who should be begging at our feet to accept the money!"

There was no way in hell she'd just surrender- not to a pathetic man like Ro.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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Suiken sighed as he'd heard the Tengu's words. Inevitably, the ashen-winged tengu ended up choosing the path of no resistance, though his tone was intensely antagonistic. In the end, it was good that he chose to yield. While, Suiken didn't doubt that the majority of them would be able to put up a fight against the prefect, he was also certain that there were just as many who didn't want to be branded as criminals for acting against appointed Imperial officials. After all the guards had already associated them with eachother. A criminal act against the guards by one of them could be interpreted as an attack from all of them.

The half-Ashura was the first to climb out of the pit...which gave Suiken a slightly uneasy feeling...He didn't presume to know her, but given her demeanor...well, she didn't seem the type to listen to authority...or reason. The girl he'd met earlier, the ally of the ashen winged Tengu seemed to be speaking now. Suiken climbed the rope to access the situation, assuming she'd take the side of her master. Hopefully, she'd agree with his choice to stand dow-

[She created an illusion of a flaming barrier, and with a gust of wind, pushed both Yamato and the Gwanish girl across it after handing the bag to her mentor. Then, Hyuna flashed a grin at the Giantess, who she hoped, was ready for a fight.]

Suiken then nearly fell back into the pit when he saw what was occuring back above ground. What was she doing? Attacking the guards would prove no purpose other than that they were indeed guilty. "Wait, uh, I don't think you're...."

["Ashura, let's see how good you are, huh?" She muttered darkly, trying to see how much of a threat the giantess was in person. "Let's kill them, shall we, the arrogant bastards?"

She lunged at one of the Imperials- but it was a feint, and she leapt at the last second into the air, and landed back to back with the Giantess, grinning excitedly. ]

Suiken nearly dived forward from the edge of the pit, wedging himself between the tengu's apprentice and the half-ashuran, landing in front of the Prefect and his forces. "Ahaha," Suiken laughed loudly, scratching the back of his head as he pulled himself up. "How funny my young friend is. Joking about attacking you like that. Wasn't that a funny joke, my friend?" he asked the Prefect, whose face now reeked of tengu blood.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra

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After some of the group already headed up and out of the hole, Malachi decided he might as well leave too, even though his mind said otherwise from the voice echoing down the pit. But when did Malachi ever listen to his mind? Most of the time, he listened to his gut, and at the moment his gut was telling him to get his ass out of this hole. So, he did such. Slowly yet surly dragging himself up the makeshift rope and up to the surface cautious of those behind him and those already out and ahead of him. Once to the surface he slowly peered up through the hole, seeing a human and the rather giant...giant, as he shall call her until a name is learned, and the Oni.

So, there Malachi was, the top of his head and his horns peeking up over the edge of the hole looking around and seeing everything with a tinted red due to his eye coverings. Before doing anything, he looked up to the sky to see where the sun lay. He was surprised to notice it hasn't been up that long. "We must have spent an awfully long time down there. How puzzling." He said before hoping out of the hole like a rabbit.

He looked around to see what was occurring. A fight? How unnecessary. Malachi merely walked forward, standing beside the Oni who had just tried to calm things down in the hope another fight wont break out between the group and the guards, which would most likely end badly for the group in the long run.

"There's no need to start off another fight. As mentioned already, so many people were already lost this day, and most of those who lived are injured and mourning for those they lost. Is it not impractical to at least let us who have fought for this town to rest up before you all start interrogating us?" Malachi said to Perfect, trying to sound as normal and clear as possible.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra

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Amanhã had figured on waiting for the bureaucrat to respond before making her next move. For what it was worth, she estimated the prefect would not be willing to step down quite so easily-- Amanhã had never exactly been the best at reading people, but she suspected Ro was much too proud to back down so willingly. Irritating, indeed-- and currently very much in her way. But proud, and unwilling to relent-- Amanhã supposed such was the way of anybody who spared themselves a shred of dignity, unlike those who permitted themselves to be restrained and treated as inferiors.

However, the bureaucrat didn't react first-- the tiny human from before did. Amanhã had been glaring at Ro's face, ready to shove him aside and daring him to stop her, when suddenly, his face was splattered with blood. As taken aback by the prefect-- though making much less indication of it outwardly-- Amanhã turned her head, and her gaze, through the slits of the faceplate, fell upon the smirking mien of the human, holding aloft her spear, still slick with the blood of the tengu. When she put two and two together, Amanhã could not restrain a hidden smirk pulling at her own lips-- this one, it seemed, was less willing to bandy about wasting time with words.

The soldiers around them were less amused. In outrage they began to close in on the human, moving away from the stranger and the tengu as they did. "Yamato, you'll get to eat soon," the human called back to the two. "Hold the sweets for me; I've got this covered. I suppose I'll help you too, Gwanish. I'll catch up with you later!" And with that, a barrier of flames sprung up around the soldiers that had moved in on Amanhã and the human-- a subsequent gust of wind seemed to then propel the tengu and the stranger to security behind it, leaving the soldiers now alone with the half-Sudean and the human of indeterminate race.

"Ashura, let's see how good you are, huh?" the human remarked to Amanhã, a wide grin brimming across her slight features. "Let's kill them, shall we?"

Amanhã did not respond. Instead, she turned back to Ro, lifted him entirely off the ground, brought him level with her, and then headbutted him violently between the eyes. Then, letting him crumple back to the ground, she drew her sword from its sheath, more than prepared to demonstrate to the small human just how 'good she was'. Unfortunately, the snow oni seemed to have other ideas. He placed his hefty blue bulk between the (rather displeased) soldiers and the two resistant warriors, treating the whole thing like a farce. "How funny my young friend is!" The oni gave a mockery of laughter. "Joking about attacking you like that. Wasn't that a funny joke, my friend?"

It was anything but a joke. Amanhã was not going to allow herself to be arrested-- she had just demonstrated as much. The others, they could let themselves get executed if they damn well wished, but Amanhã had made a point of indicating it was not in her interests to be arrested.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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Yamato stood with his head in his hand. "I have the upmost confidence in Hyuna's abilities," He replied to the tall Gwanish girl. "However, I beleive the Oni just made the proper choice in stopping her from acting on my threat. I can only blame myself for instigating this. She's had a histroy with Ro in the past it seems, and I'm not surprised she wants to settle that score, however, this may not be the time." He sighed, "I should stop this." He stepped through the fire illusion and behind Hyuna, where he rested his hand on her shoulder. "You've done well today and are still not fully rested. Right now isn't the time to settle the score with Ro, some day you will get even, I promise you that. I will see to it personally. Right now you need sleep, coffee and sweets," He held up the back of baked goods, "Are not enough to prove to me that you are truly in fighting shape. I wouldn't like to see you run out of Chi so soon in the fight."

He patted her back, seeing Ro on the ground behind the Oni. "Seems the Ashura has beaten you to the first punch, and I know you want to handle Ro alone anyways." He stepped around the Oni and knelt by Ro. "I know you can hear me, so listen good. We are not coming with you so easily. You have other things to worry about. Like that concussion you got there."

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

***

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

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

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

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

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

"You're a criminal," Ro spat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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Suiken shook his head in agitation, as he picked himself up to his feet. The situation had calmed now. Although the Ashura and the woman with the spear's actions had essentially branded them all as criminals and the ashen-winged tengu's arrogance seem to not help matters any, the man from earlier, the one branded as a fraud, Yuwen Fortune had arrived to settle the matter, it seemed. His appearance right now at the moment of their would-be arrest was a bit too convenient for Suiken at the moment...but being branded as a criminal by the Empire was not high on his list of priorities at the moment. And Fortune had a way out of it. By means of a guild. A 'great guild' as he called it.

Suiken raised an eyebrow. "Great Guild Fortune?" he repeated, sounding somewhat resigned, before laughing hardily. "That's possibly the vainest name I've ever heard given to a guild! I figure most people would ask some pretty critical questions at this point. Namely, why would the join such a guild, especially one that propped up at during such tumultuous events just in time to save the day...But as I see it. The only other prospect would be facing these guards. All of whom, I could surely defeat, but have no real reason to," Suiken stated, glancing back at the others, making sure they understood that they really had no reason to do so either.

"And if I refuse to join this guild, I'd pretty much be branded a criminal anyway now, thanks to those numbskulls," he stated jokingly, pointing a thumb back in the general direction of the half-ashura and the spear-woman. Possibly, the tengu as well, the thumb was just pointing in a general direction after all. Suiken sighed. This Yuwen Fortune was a sketchy one. But..this guild could be the push he needed. "So, what the hell! I'll take you up on your offer, Fortune!"

Setting

Characters Present

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

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen stepped forward toward the Oni, pulling out one of the contracts and handing it to him. "Please, use my quill," he said warmly, pulling out a quill and dipping it in a pocket-case of fine blue-ink. He handed it to the old Snow-Oni. "Good job trying to defuse the situation," he added. "Shame it didn't work. What's your name, Oni?"

Setting

Characters Present

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

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Sunaarashi walked up silently to Yuwen and Suiken. He'd been the last one up the rope, and since it had taken him FOREVER (rope climbing was not a skill he entertained), he'd only arrived for really Yuwen's speech. From what he'd heard while he was climbing, he was slightly exasperated that things had escalated to the point they had.

He hadn't really expected anything different. Yune had a lot of security, which is why it was able to survive in the midst of all these wars. He, fortunately, had made sure to go through all of the proper paperwork and guard posts coming from Sudea to Yune, and so was certain he wouldn't have a problem with the prefect and his group. Sure, they hadn't been able to do much in the fight, but that was what everyone else was there for, right?

However, the problem was, Suna was in need of a job. And this one seemed... interesting, at least. If it wasn't profitable, well, he'd never been the one to fancy after riches, anyway.

"I'll sign as well," he told Yuwen. "But I hope you know what you're doing. There's a lot of competition with guilds. And you have to fight some serious stuff." He smiled. "If you're okay with that, I'll be fine following you. If you're a strong fighter, I'll even enjoy it. Either way, I need the job, and my skills..." He shrugged. "Well, they're not exactly normal."

Setting

Characters Present

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

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Suiken took the quill. "Actions without thought are actions that break nations, y'know?" Suiken asked Yuwen, scratching the back of his head with his free hand. "That's what I was trying to teach anyway. Dunno if the message got across," Suiken stated, signing his name across the contract. "Suiken is the name, by the way. I'm a musician and story teller by trade."

Suiken nodded at the bald human as he also approached.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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#, as written by Nulix
"I like stories," Yuwen nodded as the Oni's large fingers held the quill and signed gently with the fingers of a musician. "And I like music," He added, flipping to another contract and handing it to the large man. "I'll sign as well," The man began. "But I hope you know what you're doing. There's a lot of competition with guilds. And you have to fight some serious stuff. If you're okay with that, I'll be fine following you. If you're a strong fighter, I'll even enjoy it. Either way, I need the job, and my skills... Well, they're not exactly normal."

"I specialize in non-normal," Yuwen replied with a small smile as the man signed. "Whats your name, warrior?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Sunaarashi

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"Sunaarashi, but most people call me Suna," the Sudean answered, signing. "You probably can tell but I'm Sudean." He looked at the Oni. "You probably hear lots of tales of our bloodthirsty population."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Sunaarashi

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"You hear the worst about every nation...depending on where you travel," Suiken shrugged at Sunaarashi. "You'll find that no one nation quite agrees on everything another says."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


It was going good. Great, even. Hyuna had psyched out one of the guards, and the Giantess successfully gave the Prefect a concussion with a vicious headbutt. Upon seeing her illusion, which, most likely, fooled the idiots, they assumed a formation that could theoretically take advantage of an elemental chi user. Presumably, fire, which unfortunately was way off the mark- at least, unfortunately for them. Apparently Ro didnt even want a fight! Come on, that's a pretty blatant lie. The greedy power tripping bureaucrat. She gave the Giantess a look of slight companionship as she rushed forward, only to have her way blocked by that damned interfering pacifistic Oni, trying to play it off as some huge joke! And then the necromancer the hypocrite appeared, almost preaching nonviolence, and that they were tired. What, did they want to be arrested and questioned? Were the brave warriors she fought alongside this weak in the face of corrupt authority? Sure, she never knew them all that well, but she respected them enough to consider them fighters! Not surrenderers!

She shook her head angrily and continued her assault when her mentor stepped through the illusion, showing the trick of the fake blazing fire. This was a shock for two reasons: first, he was supposed to have run away and wait for her at some place. She didn't really specify where, but he was too injured to fight. And second, why didn't he indulge in her gift? She had wanted him to eat those sweets, it was like a present! So a strange mixture of hurt and betrayal flitted across her face when he came in to essentially tell her that she was too weak to continue fighting for now.

Too weak? Too weak?!

He then patted her on the back- showing that he was still proud of her. So that calmed her stormy anger, at least a little bit. She was still raring to spill blood, and was more than eager to prove that she was still strong enough to manage it.

Then, goddamnit, That Guy appeared. Yuwen Fortune, at the most opportune moment, and she wondered if the timing was deliberate- purposely timed to make himself the glorious hero. To put him in the spotlight and bask in everyone's attention, whether hatred or admiration. And despite their past, Hyuna found herself leaning towards the former, wondering why he always always always showed up when, and only when it was most convenient for him, let alone anyone else. A true selfish man, and still immature and naive about the world, she figured. He probably didn't have the answers she was looking for, and she wondered if it was even worth it to get involved in this whole mess. Yuwen offered a sort of legal loop hole, on the condition that they joined his guild, and the Oni was quick to enter in, probably to protect himself. But she did learn that the Oni's name, at long last, was Suiken, and she made a mental note to remember it. Suna also approached Yuwen, being the last to climb up that rope left by the orca.

Prideless warriors. All of them.

"Fortune." Hyuna hissed. "I wouldn't be surprised if this was all your doing... to try and get us into your guild. All this death and destruction" She waved to the destroyed and bloodied courtyard, and to a lone scavenger looting a dead body of what looked like a wealthy woman in life. "You have the most to gain from all this..."

A fierce battle waged inside of Hyuna's head, both of them arrogant and haughty. She had two options- continue to resist Prefect Ro and join up with the guild, or resist the man she once promised to marry as a little girl, in favor of showing him that this damn world was no longer his stage; his plaything to be made in his honor. That the real world was a pretty terrible place, filled with terrible people.

"What if I refused your offer, Fortune, and put myself in the Prefect's custody?" She asked. "Was I really so insignificant to you; just a pawn for your self glorification?"

She stared him down menacingly, needing no tricks or fancy illusions this time.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen looked down at Sunaarashi's words with a raised eyebrow. "I lived and worked in Sudea for the past five months, Sunaarashi." He said, looking up at the man with a smile. "I've heard tales, and I've lived enough to know which are and aren't true. It'd be my honour to have a Sudean warrior by my side."

***

Jensu sat with her knees to her chest, staring out over the water with red eyes as the beast-man sat beside her. After a moment he placed his hand on her shoulder, dwarfing it in his size. "Ma'am, is there something you need to get off your chest?" The beast-man spoke. Jensu glanced at the beast-man and opened her mouth, though nothing came out. She quickly closed it and glared back at the water, rather facing it's calmness than the ever changing face of another living being. "...I grew up in this village," She whispered as the boat gently glided around a bend in the farmlands just outside Poyo's walls. "And I've been away for many years..." She continued, her words slurring slightly from both the crying and the drunkenness. "So for the Empro- Emperor's birthday I thought I'd come visit my mother... she lives on the Teo-Poyo street... but when I got there her door was broken, and her baggy was on the ground..." Tears began to stream again. "They bagged her... one of the visiting sailors probably saw her at the market and followed her home... they bagged her and sold her and I don't know where she is..."

***

"Fortune." A female voice suddenly hissed. Yuwen turned to see Hyuna, battle-worn and bloodied, staring at him. "I wouldn't be surprised if this was all your doing... to try and get us into your guild. All this death and destruction" She continued, pointing to the streets where bodies, mainly of Tengu but also of citizens, lay. "You have the most to gain from all this..."

Yuwen swallowed at the woman. They'd met as children, her much younger than him, when he had already found his identity. When he had already carved himself out as something popular, something special. And she had joined the fans, more or less... but as time went on she was more than that. She had become a friend to Yuwen. Yuwen swallowed, for to her he had always been the friend, not just a.

"What if I refused your offer, Fortune, and put myself in the Prefect's custody?" She continued unstably, staring him down as she did. "Was I really so insignificant to you; just a pawn for your self glorification?"

Yuwen began to march toward her. "Hey," He began with a half-smile as he approached her. All of sudden he opened his arms. She went on guard for a moment before getting engulfed by a tight hug. "You're giving me a lot of credit, you know... thinking I could plan all this," He said with a grin as he released her. "Unfortunately I am not so brilliant in planning. Or in mass-murdering, that's still not quite my style." He paused, and glanced at the other warriors that had gathered. "I'm still pretty good at talking though, huh?" He added with a wink, giving her a reassuring look, and old look he had ever since he was a child. A look that meant he had a plan, a crazy, dangerous plan that in no way would succeeded, but would still be a lot of fun. And with that he handed her a contract and turned back to the others...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Sunaarashi

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Suna seemed surprised, then smiled and nodded at Suiken and Yuwen's reactions. Then he heard something that sounded like a strangled cat, which of course made him turn around to discover Hyuna spluttering vicious accusations that made no sense. Swallowing his laughter, Sunaarashi said as much.

"That seems a little farfetched, don't you think?" Sunaarashi said, shaking his head. "Honest, I didn't figure you for the fanciful type."

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Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Sunaarashi

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"Ten bucks says he doesn't remember her," Sunaarashi said to Suiken, nudging the oni and chuckling.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra

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Suiken raised an eyebrow at Sunaarashi's odd sense of humor, and didn't respond much, only giving a simple shrug. He then gave a nod of respect towards the two beast-people who just joined. "Hey, Fortune! As soon as you and you're, ah...old flame, are done reminiscing, I want to talk some about guild matters!"

The tengu seemed to make up his mind about joining Yuwen's cause as well.

["When this is over Fortune, I expect to have the highest body count."]

"Wow, you're certainly reaching for the sky with those goals..." Suiken spoke to the tengu in a flat, seemingly bored, mocking voice as he nonchalantly picked his ear.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen watched as Tengu took the scroll and signed, Hyuna behind him. "When this is over Fortune, I expect to have the highest body count. You will not question my methods, and I will try not to question yours. You give me the fight and I'll give your guild results. You give Hyuna a fight and she'll give you results. That's what we are here for."

"Aren't you two a pair?" Yuwen whispered with a raised eyebrow, slightly cautious of his old friend and her relationship with the man, giving them both a smile. "Well welcome to the Guild. What are you called, my winged friend?"

"While I have a chance..." The rabbit-girl's voice interrupted. Yuwen flung around to face her. "My name is Lo-muna Vanhi although you may call me Muna, Fortune. With this lively lot you're gathering, you may not have to look for trouble anymore. I look forward to working with you."

"And I you," He responded with a bow, kissing her hand before raising up again and turning to Suiken as he spoke about ranking. "Do you?" He called to the Oni. "Well come here then, we'll talk."

"I can't believe this," Ro muttered, shaking his head as he and his men regrouped beside the forming Great Guild...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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["I don't recall questioning your motives, Suiken. Of course, you will gain many new stories on this journey and subsequently coin once our contracts are up." He shook his head with a sigh, "You get to gain coin and I get to do what I do best, in the end we are serving ourselves here. Spin it however you want, justify however you like." He shrugged, "I'm happy that I can be part of your stories someday."]

"Coin?" Suiken questioned. "Hmm, yeah, I guess that's sort of important," he ended up shrugging. He was beginning to go over the possibilities in his mind. Things that brought up possibilities for things much bigger than simple coin. And speaking of those possibilities, Fortune began to speak once more.

["Do you?" He called to the Oni. "Well come here than, well talk."]

"Ah, yeah," Suiken nodded. "I was wondering if you had a goal in mind, travel wise. Where do you think we'll be heading from here?" Suiken asked.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken

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#, as written by Nulix
From his pocket Yuwen pulled out a map of Yutan and held it open for Suiken to see. "We're in Poyo now. From here we head to Jiefong, the ancient city of the old Yutan. When the Yune people were two separate ethnicity the old King's of the northern tribes lived in Jiefong, a city that stretched from the valley to the mountains. It's a grand place, full of interesting people and history. It's about a week away by horse and two or three-days by boat, if we can find one to traverse the rivers," he explained to the Oni...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


"Yamato, I can already tell." Hyuna said with a stretch of her arms. "Stuck with these kinds of people for three months... once it's done, let's leave their lives for good." She eyed the Oni in particular, who she once thought was just a simple travelling bard, but isn't nearly as gentle as he appeared once, a time before the Tengu attack; it felt like years ago. "They probably don't want our help anyways, you know?"

She then turned directly to Yuwen, peering furiously at him. "It ain't your business, y'know, if we were a pair, stranger. Let's just get these months over with."

A pair? Like, romantically? With Yamato? Who knows, it's too early to tell, but the obviously xenophobe against Tengu, the idea of her having a Tengu as a romantic interest was pretty laughable. But if it bothered Fortune, then, why not just play it up? She'd have to ask Yamato is he was okay with it, sometime in private of course. She also wondered briefly if he would have wanted a more peaceful guild life, but, it was going to be pretty impossible to keep inter-guild relations at a positive. And this Yuwen thought he could make some amazing guild? Hyuna could hardly trust any of them to even sleep easily in the same area, and she was sure the others were wary of her sneaking in to slit their throats at night too.

Her ears pricked up at the thought of heading down south to Jiefong, though. It's been a long time since her father had shown her there, and she wondered what old enemies she'd have to meet up with there, if there were any. She didn't know if she hoped for enemies or not, at this point. But as long as she had the ashen-winged Tengu, the two of them could defeat any other pair if warriors. In this, she was fiercely confident.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken

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"Jiefong, eh...?" Suiken smirked, scrathcign his chin as he listened to Fortune's explanations. "Works just as well. I have business in Jiefong..." When Yuwen mentioned the two methods of travel to Suiken, an idea rang in his head. "Three days by boat, you say? That might not be too hard to accomplish. Y'see...you know that goblin? The boat captain?"

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Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken

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

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Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao

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"Well, there's this goblin boat captain by the docks. I have no idea where she is right now, so we should find her as soon as your done recruiting," Suiken informed Yuwen. "She's kind, but has a bit of a complexabout people looking down on her. Er...not literally, but..."

[He decided to jump up and hang from on of the intact lantern wires, wrapped his tail around it and hung upside down right in front of Yuwen's face. Completely interrupting any conversation he was in the middle of.]

And then monkey dude showed up. He did overhear what the primate beast-man had said previously about the tengu left alive. Suiken never killed any of his opponent either but he was reluctant to inform Ro of that. He didn't particularly wish them to be captured.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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Yamato sighed, Hyuna was very worked up over Fortune and his opinion. "They many not want our help and should that be the case, then we won't help them. We can travel with them, share in the riches to be gained, but on the battle field we leave them to their own devices."

Truthfully, he only wanted to get out of this town and let his arm heal. No one seemed to be in a hurry though as one by one they signed on to Fortune's guild. A Guild, another group of people with a similar goal. Maybe this one would have a similar outcome as well? Would he be the only one left standing when push came to shove? So many personalities clashing, it seemed inevitable. He would make sure he wasn't defeated, he'd learn their secrets, gain their trust and one day, if it came down to it, burry their bodies or scatter their ashes. It was at this point he recalled Yuwen's question, "I'm Yamato Hibiki. Head of the Hibiki Clan, and its only surviving member." He flashed a cold grin.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen listened as the snow-oni talked while overlooking the half-breeds contract. Illyria, he read. Cool name. "Well, there's this goblin boat captain by the docks. I have no idea where she is right now, so we should find her as soon as your done recruiting. She's kind, but has a bit of a complex about people looking down on her. Er... not literally, but..."

Yuwen flashed a smile and put a hand on the oni's shoulder. "Don't worry, a lot of people have that complex," He began. "I think I can handle her."

"Thanks, monkey-king," Ro nodded at the Malao as he informed him of the living Tengu, the Prefect not quite realizing what he had called him.

"Whats a Guild and why are people joining it?" The monkey-man exclaimed as he interrupted the conversation Yuwen and Suiken were having. "A group unified by contract to complete missions together, take jobs, and split reward," Yuwen explained. "And people are joining because you'll be arrest otherwise, mainly."

"I'm Yamato Hibiki. Head of the Hibiki Clan, and its only surviving member," The Tengu's voice called. Yuwen turned to the man to see him grinning. "Well then," Yuwen said, his eyes shifting between Yamato and Hyuna. "I'm sure you were the strongest of them." He gave a slight nod before turning back to Suiken and the monkey-lord, as if the brief comment was all Yamato was worth...

Setting

Characters Present

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

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


It had taken a while, but she had finally calmed down to some extent. A long night with no rest, coupled with being basically dragged into Yuwen's schemes once again, and of course, running out of chi during a fight, none of it particularly helped. And when the prospect of giving into the damned Prefect came up, she couldn't help herself .She still can't, now, but at least she wasn't raring to fight like before. She eyed the others- her new guildmates with a sour expression, not really liking most of them except for her mentor, and she was pretty ambivalent to the gwanish girl- Razul, but she didn't much care for the others at all. And, for all she knew, the orca had run off and gotten the chest to himself, probably with the key. She figured he wasn't a threat to the treasure, but, well. He had it all to himself now, the damned beastman. Still, at best this was only a temporary team up with the others, and then she could go and journey with the Tengu for who knows how long, and at worst it'd end with bloodshed. Hyuna was particularly worried about getting on the Giantess' bad side, Illyria. An oddly pretty name for such a strong and dangerous looking woman, but well, it's her name after all. So she sauntered carefully over to the Illyria, minding to not look like a threat.

"Sorry." She said in a subdued voice. "For gettin' you into the fight. There's still a treat left, if you want it." She held up the bag while Fortune discussed their plans to get to their next destination with the Oni. "Let's have a hopefully peaceable three months with each other." She finished, and bowed to her physical superior (not like any of them could be weaker to her in the physical sense), and went back to Yamato She even saw the Monkey King joining the guild, and figured that trying for the bounty was useless now, but, she wasn't really planning on killing the thief anyways. And, she supposed in some strange way, her assumption of the Monkey King leading her to Yuwen was found to be true, just, not in a way anyone'd really expect.

She felt the same panic rising as an animal cornered into a trap would've felt, and forced herself to concentrate on her Mentor's wings. It was an odd comfort, for sure, that the one she trusted most was a Tengu. She allowed herself a small smile in his direction.

It'd actually be interesting if this ended up as a in-fighting. I wonder who if I could survive that.

Illyria? Most definitely not. So it'd obviously be better to at least try to make friends with her. With Yamato, she'd be able to survive Suna as well, slaying the old man. At least, that's what she figured. They'd have to tr and predict his movement, wouldn't they? What about Yuwen, did she stand a chance? He was always skilled at combat, but she never really saw him fight recently, so she has no way to gauge his current skills at all. That was particularly miffing.

I'll get lots of money too, from this, even if it doesn't end up as a fight.

Yes, when adding the coin rewards into the equation, she felt even more at ease. Or perhaps her sugar rush had finally died down. Hyuna suppressed a yawn, and hoped desperately that whatever powers may be would find mercy on her and let this end quickly, at the very least.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

***

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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"Well...anyone else hungry?" Suiken asked, as Yuwen began to stride off. "Perhaps in addition to food, we can gather supplies for our journey."

Setting

Characters Present

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

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Yamato, his arm still around Hyuna, looked down at his young apprentice, "Since we've eaten, we should start gathering supplies. Money is no obstacle, what every you may need, we can get. Same for you all." He tossed a small bag of coins to Suiken, "That should cover meals for now plus allow you to get some food that we can travel with. I'm not picky on what you buy but remember it should be enough for the group, be easy to transport, and actually give us some energy in the field. I know you're a traveler, but some people just don't understand what proper traveling food is."

He then started to lead Hyuna down the road, he'd seen a small shop when he'd first arrived to town that carried a mixture of supplies and he felt that was a good place to start.

"If you need any armor repair or weapons, don't hesitate to ask," He said, without looking at her and opening the door to the small general goods store.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi

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"Ah, that reminds me. I have to get more thread," Lo-muna muttered upon hearing the oni's remark about supplies. She could already tell where the jacket was wearing thin and knew a journey would shred it into pieces if she didn't repair it. Stitches already made up a majority of the design.

Digging into the bag, Lo-muna could feel where the hidden coins lay. They were stitched under a panel of the same material making up the interior of the bag and were secured by buttons on the underside of the panel. Peeling away the panel revealed her hidden reserve of coins for cases of thievery or just plain carelessness. Of course, the amount that could be hidden away was limited. Only two glittering coins showed in the dim light and Lo-muna secured them in her hand.

"Excuse me," Lo-muna said as she walked up to the monkey beast-man, her gaze directly on him. While a confrontation was not something she wanted at the moment, Lo-muna knew she had to at least try to get her coin purse back. The spool of thread, that particular gray that matched the material she wore, was still within the bag. That, and coins would make things a little less stressful considering they had already run into the law tonight. She wasn't keen on another run in.

"Don't mean to intrude, I'm sure you have other monkey business to attend to, but I need my purse back," she began, glad there was only about an inch difference in height. Of course, her ears made her taller but she never really counted them. "Two of your friends played the sentimental trick on me and made off with my coins. That, and I'm afraid the last spool of thread I had to repair this jacket. I would like the coin purse, with the coins in it, and my spool of thread back. Or at least the thread. Either way, I will be recovering those items but I thought the diplomatic route would be appropriate as a first move."

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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

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

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

Setting

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Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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

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Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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

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Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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

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

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Characters Present

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

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

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

Setting

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Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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

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Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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

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Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Captain Jensu

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

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Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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Characters Present

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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About this point, Sunaarashi stepped into the conversation.

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi

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#, as written by Nulix
A sinister hand slammed down on the counter, grabbing the key. "I'll take it..." The man whispered...

***

As the bells rang Yuwen sat and waited, still starring up at the seagulls above with his arms stretched out across the top of the bench. And though he did not seem nervous or afraid to the common man or woman walking past, inside he was very much unsure. The bells stopped, and he was still alone. Suddenly in the distance he spotted something, a figure towering forward through the dock workers. Illyria. He rose his head upward at the sight.

From the top of an wooden storage house painted in worn green another figure landed lightly before sliding toward them. Hyuna had come too, though her Tengu was nowhere in sight. "Yamato will be late." She called out, stopping short from joining the two. "He has to go pick up some of his things before we head out." Yuwen smirked as she began to munch on some sort of sweet.

"Oh hello!" The soft voice of Lo-muna called out. Yuwen turned next to the rabbit-girl, who seemed to smile especially at him. "An hour flows by really fast, doesn't it? I hope none of you had trouble finding what you needed?"

Yuwen carefully pulled his glasses off and gave her a half-wink before turning to the rest of them. A smile was plastered on his face, and his eyes were slightly red... as though they'd been teared up by happiness. "...I can't believe you guys came," He admitted after a moment, in the softest voice he'd ever use. He turned from Illyria to Hyuna to Lo-muna. "Thanks."

Suddenly a bag was flung onto the ground between them, at Yuwen's feet. "There is a bunch of money and jewelry and other shiny stuff in there, anyone can help themselves. Though, I think some of the money belongs to different people in the guild." The friendly voice of an approaching Malao said as he stepped forward. "Malao!" Yuwen exclaimed, flipping his tinted glasses back-on and hiding his eyes between a wall of dark-amber. "Good to see you, my friend." Emphasis on the friend.

Suddenly Yuwen's gaze was caught by Suiken giving him a wave, Suna and a killer whale Beast-man with him. "I heard you were offering a way to get out of trouble in exchange for joining a guild," The Orca said as the trio approached. "Can you tell me more about this, sir?"

"Uh, basically any arrests relating to the attacks last night have yet to be declared national issues, thus are still regional," Yuwen began, trying to explain as best he could. "If you're in a noble endorsed Guild it is illegal for any law enforcer without absolute authority to arrest you without a trial, because it's taking money away from some noble, is the theory... and any trial relating to the events of last night we'll win, because we saved the village." He paused and leaned forward to the man. "...listen, I don't know what type of trouble you're in but I know the law. And I know how to use it to pummel my enemies into the ground. I cannot guarantee an outcome, but I can guarantee to try. If you're hunted, its better to be hunted together then alone." He gave a bow to the Orca. "Yuwen Fortune, by the way."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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Ann's eyes drifted back to the scene of the massacre. Nameless as they were to her, they were all alive at one point, each with their own stories to tell and relationships to hold, until they met their fate this day. A child was sitting over one of the corpses, head lowered and body quivering. Ann knelt down by her and lifted her hand, holding it warmly in her own. The girl let out shuddering breaths, faint tears staining her face. She felt the child's fingers tightening around her own, her eyes closed, unable to bear the truth any longer. Ann wrapped her arms around her in a gentle embrace, humming softly in her ear. She remembered that someone had done this for in the past at some point in her life, but it was all lost in a haze. All she recalled was that she was alone and afraid, succumbing to despair in a strange and terrifying world that seemed all to alien to her, tears in her eyes. A silhouette appeared before her and took her hand, an angelic smiled adorned on her face as she sang that same, haunting melody. Ann slowly opened her eyes.

What am I doing?

Ann took another bite from the apple in her hand, one leg folded neatly over the other with her eyes fixed nowhere in particular. She'd bought some rations, but that was the extent of her purchases. She'd wandered around through some of the equipment shops, but couldn't find anything to her liking and left without buying anything. Prior to that, she'd removed all of the blood stains that had been left on her clothes from the fight in the town square. She took another hearty munch. When it was down to the core, she tossed it into a waste bin and rose from the bench she'd been resting on for the past half-hour or so, dusting herself off.

As the sound of the town's bell reached her ears, she began making her way back. Several people had already gotten there before her, it seemed. And it just so happened that the girl from earlier was now following closely behind her, tugging onto the hem of her shirt as she walked. She hadn't said anything at all, simply pacing Ann's steps all the way until she'd hit the docks. She presumed that the girl didn't have anywhere else to go and was now looking to her to figure something out. Whether or not she could actually help was beyond her jurisdiction. Yuwen would probably have to settle the matter himself.

Ann placed her hand against the girl's back and lightly pushed her forward in front of him. She sported light brown hair that straightened out down to her waist and had pale blue eyes. She looked to be around ten years old. The girl avoided eye contact, her back slightly bent and her head turned away. If the crowd wasn't making her nervous, the towering armored giant was just as good of a guess.

"Room for one more?" Ann simply asked.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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Having eaten his fill of fresh pork buns, Suiken had spent the rest of his coin on various supplies and necessities for the journey before heading for the docks, passing by an extraordinarily sinister looking cloaked individual. Once there he saw that some of the others had already gathered there, including the orca beast man, so that was one more to their number. He couldn't help but be a bit concerned, when Ann brought what appeared to be a child along with them.

"I don't believe that such a potentially dangerous journey such as ours is any place for a kid," he began, warily eying Yamato and the half-ashura before shrugging. "Eh, but it's not my place to decide. I only say that if you care for the safety of this child, having her join us may not be the best of options."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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Ann shrugged in response to the statements made by the oni and beast-woman.

"The girl decided on her own. It wasn't my intention to bring her along, but I don't think she has anywhere else to go. If she does end up coming along, I wouldn't mind taking care of her. If she's not coming, then, well, I suppose that's that." She crammed her hands into her pockets and looked down at the child. "Understand?" A small nod.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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Suiken listened as the conversation unfolded about the child with Ann vowing to watch over the child and Yuwen deciding to drop her off in Jiefong after mulling it over a bit. "Well, I suppose it's settled then..." Suiken nodded. "If you need any assistance in protecting the kid, I'll be happy to help," Suiken informed Ann, before looking over to see a sort of small conflict developed.

["Hey." Hyuna snarled angrily in the direction of the orca. "What'd you do to the chest? Why'd you steal it?" She approached him threateningly, not quite pulling out her new and maintained spear, but making it sure that she could have it out in a flash. "If anything, that chest belongs to us all, you damned water monster thing!"]

"Woah, woah! Settle down, kid," Suiken told Hyuna, almost lackadaisically. "That treasure never belonged to us, for one thing. It belonged to the town, which may need such a treasure to cover the expenses of the damages it took during the tengu attack. Going around and pointing fingers just breeds too much unnecessary conflict and not enough actual answers, so how about calming down and letting the beast-man explain himself, eh?"

Setting

Characters Present

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

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Keeflo listened as Fortune explained how the guild worked as an escape from the law. If he had been like the other people here, his problems would be solved. But he had more problems than that. Did he dare ask a question that pertained to his personal circumstances?

"Hey." the spear girl snarled angrily. "What'd you do to the chest? Why'd you steal it?" She approached him threateningly, not quite pulling out her new and maintained spear, but making it sure that she could have it out in a flash. "If anything, that chest belongs to us all, you damned water monster thing!"

Keeflo tensed under the sudden verbal attack, ready to the fight to turn physical. This girl seemed to be as safe as a swarm of sharks. Although Keeflo was taller, heavier, and likely stronger, he had far les fighting experience.

"Woah, woah! Settle down, kid," the oni storyteller said. "That treasure never belonged to us, for one thing. It belonged to the town, which may need such a treasure to cover the expenses of the damages it took during the tengu attack. Going around and pointing fingers just breeds too much unnecessary conflict and not enough actual answers, so how about calming down and letting the beast-man explain himself, eh?"

The orca beast-man in question nodded gratefully to Suiken. "I brought the chest to the Mayor. Then some guard took it away. I don't know where it is now. The guard... he... recognized me, so I fled and didn't challenge his possession of the chest." Deciding to risk his freedom, Keeflo continued, "Some of you may have seen wanted signs for an escaped orca beast man slave. Sir," he said, turning to Yuwen Fortune, "If I joined your guild, could you guarantee my freedom?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


"That treasure never belonged to us, for one thing. It belonged to the town, which may need such a treasure to cover the expenses of the damages it took during the tengu attack." Why even care about the damn town? It's a dump full of boring worthless people that didn't know how to defend themselves in a fight. Weak, and insignificant. It bugged her to think that anyone would really care for the weak. "Going around and pointing fingers just breeds too much unnecessary conflict and not enough actual answers, so how about calming down and letting the beast-man explain himself, eh?"

She growled when the Oni said his lines, trying to make her seem like a total fool. Hyuna wouldn't have any of that, almost spitting out her next retort, spitefully.

"You know, we're the ones that killed for the treasure." She glared at them all as if to dare them to challenge that fact. "And the town, you know what they did to their saviors? They tried to prosecute us! So, the treasure was rightfully ours, the damned ingrateful Imperials and that bastard Prefect..."

Seriously. Prefect Ro. Just the name pisses her off, and reminds her one of the reasons she liked to fight. To get rid of idiots like that. She'd relish being able to tear his armor off, using her spear, making his worst nightmares come to life with illusions and psychological mindgames; listening to him beg and scream and-

Okay. No, she may be bloodthirsty, but at least she wasn't that far gone. Not like the giantess.

The nameless orca beast-man nodded then, saying something about a guard recognizing it and taking it, when she registered the look of the guy. A strong sturdy frame, intricacies where rubbery flesh molded with human-like skin, the great fins and of course, the ever sharp teeth, enough to grind someone's bones to powder, she figured. And don't forget the large webbed hands, and those stripes...

Fine, she had to admit, although he was different from most beast-kind she's seen, he still looks pretty awesome. And then she snapped back to reality, back into the conversation, and regained her scowl, backing off.

"God, fine, it's the damn Imperials fault." She said in exasperation. "Sorry, Orca, I take that back. Sheesh."

The orca then spoke about the signs of an escaped slave, and that sure sparked Hyuna's attention. Not because of the bounty, but because of the fact that he's an escaped slave. He managed to gather the strength to escape from his bonds. And, don't forget, he's a beast-man, and they're always fun to just stare at and admire how it all goes together. The orca turned to Yuwen and asked, wanting a guarantee of freedom. Hyuna flashed a little grin then, realizing that having a fourth beast-kind, and one that was strong enough to attain some form of freedom, that he was awesome, and that she liked him. At least, a little bit.

"He's in, right, Fortune?" Hyuna demanded. "He seems strong, and plus, he looks cool. The freedom better be guaranteed." She turned back to the beast-man, this time with as close to a sincere face she could make. "Sorry again for just now, Orca."

Setting

Characters Present

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

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Yamato rushed to the hotel, and gathered his rucksack and armor. He felt the armor would be easiest to carry if worn, so he put the Obsidian armor on. He caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror, and a surge of pride washed over him. It was a custom suit, devoid of scratches despite its many battles. The near mirror finish allowed his opponents to watch their final moments as he took the lives. The suit had been made just before his uncle turned on him. He'd felt the armor would convince Yamato to renounce his bid for power and see the path to enlightenment. It only furthered his passion for fighting and fueled his aggression. Such a brilliant suit of armor belonged on the battlefield, not on a mannequin.

"Right. Let's get this over with." He attached his katanas and slung the two messenger style packs over each shoulder. One full of the supplies he'd just bought, the other with clothing, extra coin purses, and various other items. He paid the Hotel manager, but kept the key. He'd had a standing deal with the owner, the hotel was a sort of second home for him. He had other deals like this in other towns, but never stayed for long. There was some comfort knowing no one else could use the Hotel's most grand room in such a city as Poyo.

He stopped by the bar he'd been in the night before, and purchased two bottles of their finest Sake and stuffed them into his personal bag. "No need to share this." He chuckled, finally making his way to the docks.


"My apologies for holding you up, supplies took longer than expected and my hotel was slow on letting me check out." He approached Yuwen, "I hope I didn't keep you too long." He held out his hand, a gesture he didn't partake in often. However, he and Yuwen were on the same side, for now, and he knew being Civil would ultimately work in his favor more than usurping power. Not that he wanted the Guild for himself.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


It was almost like a mini face off between old friends, Yuwen saying that the freedom wasn't guaranteed, Hyuna staring back with narrowed eyes and fire blazing in her eyes. She figured that there'd be many more such standoffs between the two in the future, but knowing Yuwen, he'd use his magic of words to keep her just barely hanging on the edge of actual violence within the guild. If only he could just own up to his mistakes and faults, then maybe they could get along, but to Hyuna, the bastard was like a taunting reminder of the happier days, way back then.

Surprisingly, it was the quaint and eye-drawing (in Hyuna's own prideful opinion) bunny girl who spoke up, breaking the tension between Fortune and Falcon. She looked stressed yet worrying and reassuring all at once; Hyuna's eyes basically glued to the soft quirky features of her. "Oh come now, it's probably just nerves isn't it? It is quite stressful being thrust upon such a chaotic situation and with so many new people too!" Muna offered Hyuna a delicate smile, and kept on talking, "At least she apologized, Fortune. Not many apologize so quickly after realizing the mistake they committed." Honestly, Hyuna wondered if she ever really owned up to her mistakes. Probably very very rarely. Still, she couldn't really think much as her attention and curosity was pinned on Muna. "Although, I really do hope we can avoid such rash confrontations in the future. We can't let the enemies see weak spots in the guild, now can we?"

Hyuna blinked blankly for a few moments, still bristling with anger, but also incredibly confused. Muna didn't like her, did she? Probably thought, along with the other more passive members, that she was just an attention drawer; dumb impulsive muscle? And yet she still defused the situation pretty well, with Hyuna making a soft but surrendering 'hmph' to Yuwen; not giving him the satisfaction of her backing down.

When... Echo decided on his new identity, who was Hyuna to deny him his chance for true freedom? If he wanted to be Echo, he could be echo. And she wouldn't let any damn imperials take away such a cool looking beast-man out of her grasp. It wouldn't surprise her if Ro kept some people trailing the guild, trying to watch if they ever did something that warranted arrest despite the current loophole protection they had. Not like she understood the law, anyways. And as usual, the giantess Illyria just avoided conversation completely. She shrugged her shoulders, wondering if it was really worth it to try and get on her good side. Chances are, Illyria didn't have a damn good side. Just a murderous brute, perhaps.

"Thanks, Muna." Hyuna said quietly to herself, before slightly panicking. "I mean- not like I couldn't handle Fortune on my own, it's- oh, whatever, nevermind."

She brightened considerably, at least, when Yamato joined them, completing their guild. She quickly gestured to Echo, introducing them to each other, before subconsciously drifting closer to the ashen-winged Tengu; her mobile comfort zone.

"Got your stuff?" She asked him. "Can you help train my illusions once we find spare time, Yamato?"

She hoped he agreed- she desperately wanted to figure out what her weakness was with the illusions, and how he saw through it instantly. And the sooner she could cover up that unfortunate hole in her main ability, the stronger she'd be against more enemies. The physical aspect could wait- she needed to make her illusions fool-proof, and indistinguishable from reality. And once she could do that, she'd be able to use them without any worry of the foe being able to see past it, and just pretending to be fooled; a fatal mistake, if there ever was one. And no way was she going to die like that.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken

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Suiken sighed. "Ah,yes. There lies the main problem. The goblin captain was more stubborn than I thought. She refused to allow us access to her boat," Suiken scratched the back of his head. "Sorry, I may have overestimated our chances in getting a ride from her a bit."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen let out a long sigh before scratching his arm. "I mean can we blackmail her? Entice her somehow?" He glanced over the water at the boats on it. Many of them fully manned, out of their price range, and too large to fit down the narrow inland rivers. "Is there something she wants, something she talked about we have? A problem we can solve?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken

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[Yuwen let out a long sigh before scratching his arm. "I mean can we blackmail her? Entice her somehow?"]

Suiken sighed, "If it's all the same to you, I'd rather not. She's stubborn, but not a bad person at all. I'd prefer if we didn't deceive her, but you are the leader of the guild after all..."

["Is there something she wants, something she talked about we have? A problem we can solve?"]

"She seems to distrust the very idea of the Great Guild, Fortune," Suiken explained. "That's our number one obstacle right there."

Setting

Characters Present

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

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Yuwen reached out and clasped Yamato's hand in his. "You didn't keep us at all." Yuwen then turned his attention to the young girl who seemed to be with Ann, "Glad to hear it," Yamato muttered under his breath before turing his own attention to his fiery apprentice. Who introduced him to the Ocra-human, Echo. "Ah yes, the one who managed to escape with the chest after the battle. Clever, you are. I trust you hid it someplace safe?" He joked, as Yuwen made his way over to talk to Echo.

Hyuna smiled up at him, "Got your stuff?" She asked him. "Can you help train my illusions once we find spare time, Yamato?" He smiled, he could tell she'd been eating the sweets they bought and by the look in her eyes, she'd been confrontational, but had calmed down before he'd gotten there. " Everything seems to be here yes, and every opportunity we have will be spent training. The only way to make sure we are on top of our enemies is to train ever, using your chi will take a lot of energy. To counter that, we will need to work on stamina. We could both serve to gain from increased chi flow. When we get settled on the boat, we will start your training."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken

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"Slavers..." Suiken spat grimly, his brow furrowing heavily. "I'd be proud to aid the good captain's mother in escaping from that hellish institution," He nodded at Yuwen.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken

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Suiken climbed aboard the Milkweed. "Hmm. Been a while since I've been on a boat," he muttered.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken

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'Send us flying through the blue

Through waters that hold our path true

Through the flowing rapids we go

Through the Raging Rivers flow

We set our path and sail away

Past the dawn, past the break of day...'

Suiken had begun his song after securing a spot near the front of the boat, his drum held out in front of him as he played a beat to go along with his melody. 'Across the Raging Rivers' was an oddly popular song in many provinces. Not one of Suiken's favorites particularly, but it seemed appropriate for the Guild's current state. After his song finished, Suiken played a few more lyricless songs on his drum, before putting his instruments away.

Suiken then sat up and looked out across the river, leaning against the Milkweed's railing, but not too much so, he was fairly heavy after all. The wind had picked up finally and Poyo wasn't exactly the least hot village around, especially with the fires the Tengu attackers started, so the cool breeze was welcome. Suiken sighed and lowered his head. For all of the reservations he'd had about this Great Guild Fortune, he knew this was it. The sign he was looking for. Now he has a chance to finally set things right.

But first was Jiefong, which was good. He needed to head there to re-acquire what he'd lost so long ago. Things were turning up for the better, it seemed. Then, for a brief moment, the wind became ever so harsher, causing the grass alongside the riverbanks to sway back and forth quickly, before suddenly returning to normal. Suiken didn't like it at all, narrowing his eyes as he stared off into the distance at whatever lay ahead of them on the river.

He returned to where he sat before, appearing slightly more agitated then normal, but his overall position wasn't all too negative. "Been a while since I traveled in a group..." Suiken mused nostalgically to no one in particular, leaning his head against the ships railing.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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Millie was now on the ground beside Ann, holding tightly onto her hand. The girl seemed captivated by the scenery as they traversed up the stream. She overheard the conversation between Lo-Muna and Yuwen and looked down at the girl. Guess Millie wouldn’t really be worried about going inside right now she supposed.

“Is this your first time on a boat?” Ann asked.

“This is my first time out of town,” was the distant reply, her eyes still fixed forward as she observed the river bank with silent but clear enthusiasm. “It’s really pretty outside, isn’t it?”

“It gets better,” she smiled, bringing her in a little closer. “In other places, the life around you can be so vibrant and dazzling that you’d think you were in another world.” She paused a moment, one hand gripping the edge of the boat as she looked out along side Millie. “Maybe the idea isn’t so far-fetched. Or perhaps premature? The world is so big, I’m sure there are many more sights to see and things to learn that we couldn’t have possibly imagined would exist. But sometimes…I’m a little worried that the world might be too big.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“Because then I’ll have a hard time finding what I’m looking for,” Ann sighed, now turning around and leaning against the side instead of facing toward it. The blue oni seemed present with them as well, singing to the beat of his drums. Millie’s attention was drawn away, shifting to Suiken as he played his instruments. She seemed enraptured by the performance, applauding when he had gone through several more songs.

"Been a while since I traveled in a group..." the oni said.

“That’s a shame,” Ann replied without looking in his direction. “You seem to be the kind to enjoy company, are you not?” Otherwise, who would listen to his music, after all? She tossed a few coins in his direction. “I can’t say I’m particularly one for music…” she started, glancing down at a delighted Millie, “but our little friend here seemed to enjoy your performance.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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[“That’s a shame,” Ann replied without looking in his direction. “You seem to be the kind to enjoy company, are you not?” Otherwise, who would listen to his music, after all? She tossed a few coins in his direction.]

Suiken nodded appreciatively as he caught the coins with a quick movement of his hand and placed them into his pouch. "Well, every town or village I visit has an audience I can entertain. Some generally more receptive than others, but..." Suiken shrugged.

[“I can’t say I’m particularly one for music…” she started, glancing down at a delighted Millie, “but our little friend here seemed to enjoy your performance.” ]

Suiken gave a friendly smile. "Well, I'm honored that you think so! Always glad to have a fan!" he chuckled. "And if you want to hear another song. All ya gotta do is ask!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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"How about it?" Ann said, thoroughly ruffling Millie's hair. "You want to hear another song?"

The girl slowly nodded, her attention now fully turned away from the scenery around the boat as they traveled along the river. "Well, that's what the lady says," Ann shrugged, waving as she pushed away from the side of the boat. "I think I'll take a break inside. You two have fun." She entered one of the two available rooms at random, taking a seat on a lightly swaying hammock. She set her sword aside, resting it vertically against the wall as she took one last glance back out the doorway before lying down and shutting her eyes.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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Suiken concluded yet another few instrumental songs, on the request of Millie, after a while he decided to simply rest for a moment and drew some pork buns from his backpack. Not one to simply stuff his face while in the company of other,s Suiken offered Millie some. "Take one if you want. I don't know when we'll be eating on this voyage," he shrugged. "So...Millie, was it? I assume it's your first time traveling by boat?" the snow oni asked as he took a bite of a pork bun.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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Millie observed in silent appreciation as she watched Suiken complete his remaining songs, clapping audibly when his performance had concluded. At length, the snow oni handed her some pork buns, to which she accepted his offer, nodding lightly as she listened to him speak.

"First time on a boat?" she murmured, taking a bite. "I suppose it is..." She paused a moment, chewing in silence. "...pretty good," she finished, inadvertently changing the topic. "This is pretty good. I mean, um, yeah, it is my first time on a boat. I've never stepped a foot outside of the city so this is all kind of new to me. I don't even know how I ended up here, really. It just sort of...happened. I felt like Ann was somebody I could trust, and since I didn't have anywhere else to go I thought I might...oh, I don't know anymore." She popped the remnants of the bun into her mouth, munching noisily with some semblance of minor frustration. "I don't know what I'm doing. Do you think I made the right choice?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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["First time on a boat?" she murmured, taking a bite. "I suppose it is..." She paused a moment, chewing in silence. "...pretty good," she finished, inadvertently changing the topic. "This is pretty good. I mean, um, yeah, it is my first time on a boat. I've never stepped a foot outside of the city so this is all kind of new to me. I don't even know how I ended up here, really. It just sort of...happened. I felt like Ann was somebody I could trust, and since I didn't have anywhere else to go I thought I might...oh, I don't know anymore." She popped the remnants of the bun into her mouth, munching noisily with some semblance of minor frustration. "I don't know what I'm doing. Do you think I made the right choice?" ]

Suiken's head turned as he went to acknowledge the quick change in weather, though he was still listened to Millie speak. Turning back to her, he stated, "Now that, I can't answer. You really feel like it was safer or better to come travel with us than to remain in Poyo?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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"It's not safer, I know, but I feel safer," Millie replied with a downcast gaze. "Ann makes me feel safe. You all make me feel safe. There's nobody to look after me in Poyo after the tengu took them all away. Without...without anyone by my side, I don't know how I could cope with the loneliness." She looked up at Suiken, a soft look in her eyes. "I don't want to be alone." She let out a deep breath, crossing her arms over her chest. "I hope that doesn't make me sound stupid because I know it'll probably dangerous out there, but still...I guess I can't imagine things being any other way"

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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Suiken turned to look at Millie and spoke quickly, "C'mon, we'd best get to the shelter." Then as the storm increased in ferocorty, he simply carried Millie to the shelter with the others.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna Ka-Nan


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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"If something does arise, I am sure we're in suitable hands. The goblin seems to know what she's doing," Lo-muna said soothingly as she found a secure place herself. The oni and the child were entering the shelter as well and her jacket was secured safely on the wall. It was safe down below but her ears twitched with every thump and creak and moan and she wondered how much humans were better off without this heightened hearing.

Most of the guild was still on board but Lo-muna made no move to join them. A rabbit who runs into the hole at the first sign of danger. Hyuna came in briefly and Lo-muna smiled before the girl quickly made her way back up into the storm. She added Hyuna's face reddening to the list of strange actions she had committed so far, noting to inquire about it later.

"And here I thought swimming was a skill I could do without," Lo-muna muttered absent-mindedly. She looked over at the young girl, Millie, and added quickly, "But I'm sure the boat will remain upright. The rest of the guild is still on top so it can't be that bad. They must like getting drenched is all."

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

***

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi

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"I was hoping that was the wind," Lo-muna frowned, her hopes dashed as soon as Fortune spoke of the moaning. She stood up, digging her nails into the wall for support. "Considering the sound of it, it might be inside the ship but not in this room. Up on the deck there is trouble though. Do we purse the ghost or join the ruckus above? There are enough fighters on deck. We have maybe two down here."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul

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"The voices upstairs...they don't sound like the Captain's," Suiken noted. "The tone is different. I can't quite tell, but it sounds like someone else. Maybe Sunaarashi or..." he paused. Suiken suddenly became more alert as he switched topics. "About these noises down here...when did you first start hearing them exactly?" he asked, now standing up, looking around the room agitatedly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi

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#, as written by Nulix
"Captain Jensu told us to stay below deck, so I'm staying below deck," Yuwen replied, kicking open the room door and entering the long hall that lined the spine of the hull. The wood creaked as he put his foot forward, a small sound compared to the eery flowing of the waters that held them. He swallowed as he stared into the darkness and quickly turned around. "You guys crumbing?" He asked after a second to Suiken and Lo-muna, who stood at the room's entrance.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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"Wake up," Millie whispered urgently, taking a hold of Ann's shoulder and shaking her. "Something's going on up there, they might need your help!" No reaction. She was either an incredibly heavy sleeper or simply couldn't be bothered to be moved from her resting spot. Millie took a few steps back, looking around the room as her eyes met with the other guild members around her. What was going on topside that was causing so much noise? Some of them seemed to consider running up to the deck. She figured it would be safer down here away from the ruckus above so that's where she stayed, keeping her eyes on the doorway as if anticipating some unknown figure to barge right through. "I-I think I'll stay put," Millie stammered. "If someone comes down here by any chance, I think Ann could take care of them, right?" She turned nervously to the girl and let out an anxious sigh, finding that she was still fast asleep. "Right...?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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"Millie," Suiken sighed. "Please wake Ann up if you can. We'll need her if something out of hand is going on up above. The three of us-," Suiken paused to nod at Yuwen and Lo-muna, "-are going to investigate the noise down here. I have...an odd feeling, to say the least."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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#, as written by Nulix
"It may be, though I'm more worried about another Chi'ing," Yuwen replied, adjusting his collar as they crept down the dark hall. A moan echoed from one of the farthest doors, one of the storage rooms the Captain had said was full. But yet moaning came from it, becoming more and more distressing the closer they came. Yuwen approached the dark, locked door and glanced back to his employees before ramming it. It pushed him back but after another few tries he smashed the lock open, falling into the dark room. "Ow," he muttered, raising slowly to look up. In the darkness before them cages stood, filled to the brim with gagged Goblins. One little girl was crying loudly into her gag, the muffled cry he recognized from the room over. "Oh... shit," Yuwen whispered as he stood.

***

The cloaked man flung his body back violently at Amanhã's attack, dodging each attack up until the last, a smack from the pommel of her blade. He'd dodged, but not far enough, the blow enough to smash him onto the ground.

"You think you'll get him that way? Sink this ship and you lose him with it. He's under the deck right now, but perhaps I can keep you busy?" A voice cried. The cloak figure blasted himself up off the ground with a swift burst of fire as another blade slashed at him, the hooded man barely fast enough to lean backwards and dodge it. Suddenly another spear came out from the side, jabbing the hooded figure in the rib-cage. He let out a scream before grabbing the spear and blasting fire up it to engulf the girl who'd attacked. He then stepped back and rose up a wall of fire between him and his attackers. Unfortunately, he hadn't looked behind him. A gruff, white hand grabbed him by the back of the neck and began to lift him in the air by it.

Mohan stood lifting and choking the man simultaneously from behind. "You've come to the wrong ship," The large fire-oni spat. Suddenly Mohan received a kick to the chest, causing him to release the man, who landed agilely opposite him.

"Hey friend, about your ship," The cloaked figure began, raising his hands. "Don't sweat it." Suddenly the sweat on Mohan's body ignited, causing him to start burning alive. The Oni cried out before diving overboard, and the figure turned back toward his opponents. "Do you even know who this Yuwen Fortune is? Because I promise you, staying aboard with him is no less deadly than staying aboard with me."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi

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"The goblin owes us an explanation," Lo-muna muttered quietly as she rummaged about in her bag. A small kit came out with tools normally associated with lock picking. She took out two pins from inside and looked over at her companions, "I don't suppose you two know anything about opening locks?"

Not even bothering with an answer, she knelt by one of the cages and began her work. It was done in under a minute. The lock opened with a soft click but Lo-muna was already on the next cage.

"Oh," she paused, turning to Yuwen and Suiken as casually as she had before. "You two can set about undoing the bounds. Unless you have some sort of argument against it? I must admit, I don't think we should have this large of a crowd out and about with the sounds I hear from above. I do believe I hear fighting."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi

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Suiken pinched the bridge of his nose. "I think...I may have misjudged our captain," he sighed rather calmly, though those around him could sense the seething anger in his tone. "I'd like to hear her side of things first, however..."

With Ann having gone upstairs, Suiken could hear more clearly the goings on outside the ship. "We've got even more trouble it seems. I hear fighting and I smell fire," Suiken grimaced, the absurdity of how much things have escalated to terrible was almost too much. "But first, I say we free them, so they don't get caught in our mess," Suiken nodded at the captives, worried for their safety amongst the flames.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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#, as written by Nulix
"Yuwen Fortune," The burnt girl began angrily, clearly injured from the attack. "Is my childhood friend! So there's no way I'll let the likes of you touch him!"

"Well he does have a lot of friends," The hooded figure replied between heavy breathes. The attackers had clearly left him weakened.

"So, tell us, Fire-boy, who is Fortune?" The Tengu with the sword added, stepping beside the injured girl in the rain. "Because honestly, right now, neither of you seem very appealing or "safe.""

"I'd say you're being quite convincing so far, though if you keep at it, you'll probably be convincing a dead audience. And that wouldn't be any good, now would it?" Another one added, a girl who emerged from the lower decks.

The cloaked man looked between the group before stretching his neck. "I met Mister Fortune in the village of Ya'ei-Choen a good few years ago. It was festival, I don't remember for what, when the village went under an emergency call," He began, loosening his limbs as he began to pace the stern of the junk. "He said Tengu attackers were coming from the North... and that he wanted the bravest of warriors. That he had a surprise attack and that the Tengu were camping in a field not far from town... when I got there with the other warriors there were no Tengu. We were confused, but soon understood... It was a setup, and the guards, when they arrived, were convinced that it was we who had been plotting to attack the town. And joining his guild was the only way out... the one loophole."

The man looked up as thunder clapped above them, his face almost slipping out from beneath the hood. "I am here to help you!" He announced loudly, opening his arms. "I know it may not seem it, but you have to trust me! There are men and women of great power after you! After that key you stumbled upon! And they will not rest until they have it!"

Suddenly the Ashuran-thing jumped forward, coming down with her blade directly on him, from the other new the new girl almost attacked, both at an angle he could not dodge on the current playing field. And so he had to widen the playing field. Suddenly the air surrounding his fists began to spark and flame violently, and as she flung forward he smashed them down into the deck, blowing the wood apart beneath him...

***

Yuwen looked at the cages and swallowed. "Wait," He said, raising a hand to his comrades. "Don't... don't free them, we don't know what they are," He said, turning to them. He had to tread very lightly with this one. "We... don't want to make a mistake and have to pay for it later," He carefully explained. "It's not like they're going anyway. Besides, we-"

Suddenly the wooden ceiling blew apart in a fiery blast and a hooded figure smashed down between the cages. The burning hole in the deck above spread, revealing the room below wider and wider. Yuwen squinted as the harsh rain and day-light flushed in, and the figure stood, raising his hands to the cages filled with gagged goblins. "Don't come one step closer!" The hooded villain spat to Amanha on the deck above as the air surrounded his fists began to spark. "Or I will incinerate every one of these goblins! If the lack of life doesn't disturb you I'm sure the lack of profit will."

Yuwen looked in disbelief at the figure to the massive hole above where the other members of the Guild stood, battle worn. "Ideas?!" He called to his fellow guild members. The figure looked down from the large gap in the deck to Yuwen at the end of the room, a smile growing beneath his cloaked face. "Yuwen Fortune... still playing these games?"

"Ideas?!" Yuwen repeated desperately to his team, ignoring the psychopath...

Setting

Characters Present

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

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna was struggling. The burns felt raw and open upon her skin, but she nodded to Razul anyways, channeling her weariness and anger and hatred all into the palms of her hand; eyes shut. One problem they had to dealt with was the goddamn fire on the boat- otherwise they'd all die. She managed to gather together a strong breeze, and whipped it more and more above her in a vicious circle, making a makeshift tornado. Directing her arms towards the flames, the tornado tore into the inferno, hopefully dealing minimal damage to the ship itself as it cleared away the bulk of the flames.

When she was finished, it seemed the bastard was in a talking mood, after listening to both Razul and Yamato's queries.

The enemy regarded them all with some sort of mad desperation glinting. "I met Mister Fortune in the village of Ya'ei-Choen a good few years ago. It was festival, I don't remember for what, when the village went under an emergency call," Hyuna scowled as the man paced around, and she held the dug the spear into the deck, leaning against it for support, listening avidly. Because a few good years ago would fit in well with when Leiya was captured... meaning Yuwen was playing around in Ya'ei-Choen when she threw away her innocence to fight for her life. "He said Tengu attackers were coming from the North... and that he wanted the bravest of warriors. That he had a surprise attack and that the Tengu were camping in a field not far from town... when I got there with the other warriors there were no Tengu. We were confused, but soon understood... It was a setup, and the guards, when they arrived, were convinced that it was we who had been plotting to attack the town. And joining his guild was the only way out... the one loophole."

Dead silence as Hyuna registered the information. Was the whole thing planned, then, by Yuwen? So, was she really a pawn the whole time? But, she had tried hard for the past few hours to at least be kinder to him; try to let him in at least a little bit. Hell, she screamed out loud for all to hear that she wouldn't let anyone kill him. The man then drove his fist into the ground, revealing what appeared to be scores upon scores of caged goblins... meaning... was Jensu a slaver? Was she behind the capture of her mother, in fact? Also below were Muna and Suiken, and Hyuna blushed again upon seeing the contours of Muna's body.

"Don't come one step closer!" The hooded figure yelled to those above deck, specifically the giantess. "Or I will incinerate every one of these goblins! If the lack of life doesn't disturb you I'm sure the lack of profit will."

All Hyuna knew was that Yuwen was desperately asking for ideas; for help. And hell, she couldn't care less for the goblins anyways, if they couldn't fight back.

"I've got your back, Fortune!" Hyuna cried as she tackled the hooded figure, using more chi to hopefully block the slaves from being incinerated; a barrier of raging wind. She shot Yuwen a neutral glance, eyeing him, the look saying 'you better explain it to all of us after we save your ass', and then turned back to the person she was flinging herself at. "I'll be the one to defeat you, after all!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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[Yuwen looked at the cages and swallowed. "Wait," He said, raising a hand to his comrades. "Don't... don't free them, we don't know what they are," He said, turning to them. He had to tread very lightly with this one. "We... don't want to make a mistake and have to pay for it later," He carefully explained. "It's not like they're going anyway. Besides, we-"]

"Don't free them?" Suiken snapped at Yuwen. "We don't know what they are? Are you sure?! You see children imprisoned in the back of a boat and-," Suiken paused.

[Suddenly the wooden ceiling blew apart in a fiery blast and a hooded figure smashed down between the cages. The burning hole in the deck above spread, revealing the room below wider and wider. Yuwen squinted as the harsh rain and day-light flushed in, and the figure stood, raising his hands to the cages filled with gagged goblins. "Don't come one step closer!" The hooded villain spat to Amanha on the deck above as the air surrounded his fists began to spark. "Or I will incinerate every one of these goblins! If the lack of life doesn't disturb you I'm sure the lack of profit will."

Yuwen looked in disbelief at the figure to the massive hole above where the other members of the Guild stood, battle worn. "Ideas?!" He called to his fellow guild members. The figure looked down from the large gap in the deck to Yuwen at the end of the room, a smile growing beneath his cloaked face. "Yuwen Fortune... still playing these games?"]

Suiken, more annoyed than anything at this point, looked form Yuwen to the hooded man. "Kid, I don't even want to know why you know a villain, but...you," Suiken turned to the hooded man as he stepped between him and the tied up goblins, blue chi beginning to encase his body. "Won't be touching them."

The insanity continued and Hyuna and Yamato dropped down to join the fray. Suiken spoke to Yamato, who seemed to accuse Fortune of harboring the goblin slaves. "Calm yourself, tengu. These state of these poor goblins is something for the Captain to answer for. Not that Fortune doesn't have a few things to explain himself..." he sighed, taking a fighting stance, his eyes never leaving the hooded maniac.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki

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Yamato shook his head, "Until two seconds ago I didn't know these Goblins were here, I don't care about them. All I want is Fortune and this guy to talk." He retorted to Suiken before turning his attention to Lo Muna. He levitated off the ground slightly, "so what if the boat burns, seems like your problem not mine. If these two go down with it, even better." He touched back down to the ground, feeling Hyuna's chi around them all, suppressing the fire user's chi.

He put his blade to the Elemental's neck. "Keep talking, you may just save your life." He turned his attention to Lo-Muna again, "How about you hold on to Fortune? The rest of you focus on the fires. Make sure we can still sail. Some one get Mohan out of the river." He shook his head. "This is shaping up to be quite a day Fortune, and my patience is running then."

Setting

Characters Present

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

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#, as written by Nulix
"Elabourate," The half-Ashuran whispered coldly, with her blade still ready to strike.

"He took us to the ends of the Earth and back for a single treasure, and he failed to get that treasure," The figure summed up as the ship shook. "You don't want to know where you will be taken... you do not."

The cloaked figure swallowed as the Oni stepped forward as well, his hesitation only heightened as Hyuna and Yamato dropped down and joined. He did not want to kill them, and yet he could not risk lowering his hands. He was tired, and more injured then he'd like to admit, and he knew the sparks on his hands was all that was keeping the enemy at bay. And in the corner of the room Yuwen stood, staring him down. "Do you know what you found, Yuwen? In Poyo?!" The Hooded Villain asked. "I saw it all... in the village." The figure sighed. "You won't survive very long, my friend."

Yuwen stared at him, before shaking his head. "I don't know who you are," He called out desperately. And for a moment the words took the villain aback. Suddenly the ship rocked to the side, the cages beginning to slide across the increasingly wet cargo room. "We're reaching the rocks of the river Baotongu," The hooded villain said as he adjusted himself against the imbalance. In the river the burning junk known as the Milkweed sailed violently toward white rocks.

The hooded villain looked away from the rocking ship as a blade came to his neck. "Keep talking, you may just save your life," The cold Tengu whispered. He then glanced to the beast-woman, "How about you hold on to Fortune? The rest of you focus on the fires. Make sure we can still sail. Some one get Mohan out of the river." He shook his head. "This is shaping up to be quite a day Fortune, and my patience is running thin."

"You're telling me," Yuwen muttered.

"This ship has no wheel and burning sails, we will crash!" The villain spat out desperately, trying to convince them. And as though at his word a tall, sharp rock penetrated the hull, ripping through the scene like a passing wall of stone. It smashed into the hooded villain, plunging him into the sea before the Milkweed adjusted, flying off the rock violently. The entire front bow of the ship began to collapse, the wooden planks that held the junk together becoming undone.

Yuwen frantically tried to dodge but was soon smashed by a piece of wood and flung into the river, each of the others following suit until they were all in the water. Behind them the burning Milkweed uncontrollably crashed into the rocks before hitting a patch of trees on the river coast. "Guys!" Yuwen called desperately, his head popping in and out of the water as he swam toward a large piece of driftwood. "Guys!" He called again, grabbing hold of the wood, the burning, grounded junk disappearing in the storm behind them

Setting

Characters Present

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

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#, as written by Rann
Shit. She completely forgot about Master.

"He doesn't have yours." Yamato said to her, angrily, almost looking betrayed. "He never has, he never will. He conveniently vanishes during the battle only to show up with guild contracts later. Seems he's done that exact same to this hot-head. not to mention leaving you years ago. Yet you remain loyal until you get your shot. Take it. Why wait? Kill him now if you want him gone. Hyuna, you don't need him or this guild."

While it was true that she didn't need the guild, she still figured that Yuwen was a requirement. He was her life as a kid, the one thing she looked forwards to the most. And until she could come to terms with what happened during the war, wouldn't it be best to let the last childhood tie live? She was going to try and enunciate this to her Master when she saw the little smile aimed up at her from Muna, immediately ruining her concentration on her thoughts. It was all she could do to keep the winds blowing.

"M-Master..." She said apologetically, turning to him, almost begging that he'd let it pass for now. "I can't settle my past and move on with my life if it's not me who kills him. Please understand?"

Multiple things happened at once, then. First, the ship crashed, sending shockwaves of pain even farther through her small body. She eyed Yuwen flailing in the water, as well as tried to keep a bead on Muna and most of all, Master. While focusing too hard on too many things at once, Hyuna couldn't keep herself afloat, tumbling into the river, wondering exactly where in her life that she messed up enough to end up in this predicament.

Kuh. Damnit.

She couldn't even swim, and she lost the connection to her element while in the water. Still, she tried to keep her head above the tides as best as she could, feeling the blisters forming and the aching bones begging for rest. At the very least, she felt her hand wrap around a bunny's ear, and she allowed herself a little grin.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken

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"Dammit," Suiken muttered, quickly turning around as the Milkweed exploded into splinters behind him. He made a grab for all of the goblin slaves he could and wrapped his arm around the remnants of the very tree that splintered the boat as the river raged around them. "Fortune! Suiken shouted angrily. "You better come up with a plan quick!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken

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#, as written by Nulix
Fortune swam up to a large piece of what was the hull and hung onto the side. "Here's a raft!" He yelled, noticing Suiken holding one of the goblins, unconscious from the wreck. "You got one!" He called happily. "We can go to the ship later, it grounded downriver. Then we'll save the rest!" He swallowed as the water engulfed his head. After a moment he popped back out, breathing heavily. "But first we have to save ourselves!" He called to the Oni. "Swim over!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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Suiken frowned as he saw Yuwen grab onto what was clearly a big pile of wreckage and not a raft in any sensible way. Nevertheless, he put the goblin child on his back, circled around and grabbed Millie as well, who was floating on a piece of wreckage nearby, and swam over to Yuwen, his chi field resisting the fierce water trying to work against him as he reached the non-raft.He placed the children on and went back to look for more when...he saw the half-ashuran begin to sink.

"Oh, she's drowning," Suiken stated dully. "Well..." he sighed as he dove down to pull up the most unstable element of the group that wasn't sporting ashen Wings. It wasn't the easiest task, but Suiken managed to pull her over near the raft. "Here, pull her up," he stated, the stress causing him to briefly forget no one else would probably have the strength to do so. "Damn, I hate carrying Ashurans..." he muttered as he pushed her onto the raft of wrath.

Looking over, Suiken was certain Echo would be fine and able to rescue some of the prisoners himself due to his swimming ability. Still, he might need assistance. "I'm going to get the other goblin kids. I see land we can save ourselves on not too far away! But, we need to get out of this accursed river first!"

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo Character Portrait: Terra Himene

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Keeflo watched as the human scaled up the boat and proceeded to be attacked. The hooded human lashed out with fire, the real thing, not an illusion. Then he started to talk and ranted about Fortune being some sort of crook with elaborate plans and setups. Keeflo half listened, half watched as the boat careened down the river. Then an explosion rocked the ship and goblin slaves were revealed in the below decks.

The orca beast-man felt his eyes widen in surprise. Slaves? The Captain was a slaver? No. Just no. Keeflo froze as he stood trapped in an internal conflict. Part of him wanted to wring the goblin captain's scrawny neck for dealing with slaves. A more logical part insisted that he hear her out first. He would hear her part of the story but it better be a pretty dang good one.

While he was thinking the ship toppled over after hitting a rock. Keeflo dove in the water, his water lids covering his eyes. Underneath the water the current tugged at him, pulling him away from the crash. Would this river lead to the ocean? He could ditch this whole land guild thing and resume his original quest.

The idea was tempting, but he couldn't bring himself to do it. Even if Yuwen had a corrupted reason for creating the guild, Keeflo would still hold his part of the bargain. Or at least more of it.

He tried swimming to alternate depths of the water, searching for the current's differences. He cast clicks into the darkness, letting his echovision guide him in the depths. Most of the guild members were already on their way out, but some were still in the water. One girl, Ann, he thought, was floating with a large piece of wood and holding an unfamiliar person. Keeflo swam over to them and slid underneath them on his back, grasping them to his belly so they lay on top of him. He kicked and pumped with his tail and feet until they reached the shore.

Dropping his cargo on the sandy banks he dove back in the river. All of those goblin slaves needed help. They had been gagged and tied up, making it so they would have a difficult time swimming. He retrieved goblin after goblin from the murky depths, bringing them to shore and hoping they would live. When he couldn't find anymore he stopped on shore to rest. He had exhausted himself again. The brief sleep he had had on the boat hadn't been enough for a long period of time.

But still there wasn't everyone there. Yuwen, Suiken, and Illyria were not on the shore. Keeflo slipped back into the water and found them on a raft drifting down the current. He grabbed onto the edge of the raft and pulled it, slowly combating the current to heave the raft to shore. After making sure they were alright he sat down heavily on the shore and closed his eyes. He was ready to do more work if it was asked of him, but he needed to catch his breath. "Do we have everyone?" he asked wearily.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken

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"Many thanks, Echo," Suiken yawned, exhaustedly. Sitting up, he shook his head and coughed a bit before speaking again. "Once everyone is ashore, I say we don't waste any time here and leave before Fortune's hooded friend find us. We need to find an inn and recuperate and then...we all need to talk," Suiken sighed heavily.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken

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#, as written by Nulix
"Well why don't we talk right now, Suiken?" Yuwen replied in a harsh tone as he stood. "We're not going anywhere, so let me clear my name. That man wasn't my friend, I don't even know him, and every single thing he said was a lie." Yuwen shook his head, trying to think of how to explain the situation. "Look," He began at last. "That man said he was watching us - that means he knew what to say in order to break us apart. He wanted something, and he wanted us to fight among ourselves to get it. We can't second guess each other, we have to stay alive."

Suddenly at his words a black horse emerged from the trees, quickly trotted up to Yuwen's side. The Guild Leader turned to the creature and began to comb its mane. "My horse, Master Wang Chang," Yuwen explained as he rubbed the creature. "He was following the boat since it left Poyo. He's an expert tracker, otherwise he'd just be called Novice Wang Chang." Yuwen paused, something catching his eye in the distance. "Look," He said, elbowing Suiken to catch his gaze. In the distance towards the mountains smoke rose in the near-night air. "That means fire, and fire means people," He said, turning to his guild. "We head east."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat

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"This isnt the last time we'll talk about this," Suiken sighed. "That maniac was certain he knew you, but I'm in no mood to argue this now. Once we're rested, I'd like to hear the Captain's story too..." Suiken looked ovrt to see the ashuran head towards the smoke.

"You should gather everyone and get a move on, boss," Suiken stated, adding boss in a slightly comtemtuous tone. "I'm sure the unconscious would rather wake up in a warm bed at the inn instead of the wreckage of the Milkweed."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi

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#, as written by Nulix
"Yuwen, it'll be hard to get everyone to get even close to trusting you again, if any trusted you in the first place," Hyuna called out, the last line in what Yuwen took as an onslaught of attacks from what were essentially his employees.

"Well there's not much I can do about that, is there?" Yuwen replied to Hyuna, raising his arms as though unsure what else to say. "

"I suppose you'll be riding Yuwen? The rest of us are walking probably and carrying those who are unable. I'm willing to carry someone I suppose. Civilization will do us good," Lo-muna called out.

"What? no I won't be riding," Yuwen said, more than a bit annoyed. "Put the injured on Wang Chang, he can carry them... he's a good boy." Yuwen stroked the stallion before bringing him over to the goblins and carefully beginning to pick them up and place them on the saddle...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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Keeflo nodded as he was thanked. If there was one thing he could do well it was swim. Fortune denied that he had any connection with the hooded chi user as was predictable. He then pointed at some smoke in the distance, saying they should travel to it in hopes of finding an inn. As tired as he was Keeflo couldn't help but agree. It was hard to believe that the sun hadn't even set yet with all of the action that had happened.

Keeflo helped Yuwen lift the goblins onto the horse. He looked around, trying to see what else he could do to help. Noticing that Ann had many cuts and scrapes he pulled off his shirt, wrung it out, and held it out to her. "Take this," he said, meaning for her to wrap it around herself or rip in into pieces to bandage some of the bigger wounds. The orca beast-man wasn't cold. His kind were built to live in waters far colder than any little river.

Next he picked up the limp body of the unconscious girl he had towed in along with Ann. "I can carry this one." Then he knelt down by Ann's little friend. "Millie, are you tired? Do you want to ride on my shoulders?"

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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The man in the red longcoat removed the white and black mask from his face and replaced it upon his chest, smirking. "Well, well, well. I found you. And you've even got friends now, how lovely!"

He scowled at this point. "No thanks to those Umbral Horrors, of course...ugh, I should just resort to doing these things myself now. Still, they'll serve their next task perfectly!" Raising a hand that glowed with black energy, he sent a command to the Umbral Horrors that still were searching the cliffs, telling them to head towards a new location...

------------------------

"...ea, if you don't mind."

The scenery Terra Himene saw when she woke up was completely different from what she had seen earlier. Whereas earlier she had been at the edge of a cliff, gazing into a forest filled with demonic beasts, now she found herself laid in a comfortable chair, in an unfamiliar room that was softly lit with amber lights.

Looking around, she found herself sitting at a table with a very young girl with brown hair and clear blue eyes. Not too far away were a number of very bizarre and out of place-looking characters at different tables, namely a snow oni. What was Terra supposed to make of the scene? She already felt awkward, even when the little girl was almost acting as though she wasn't there.

Then suddenly, the little girl turned towards her, tilted her head a bit to the right, and asked, "What happened to your eyes?"

With a gasp, Terra's left hand shot over the pale green eye on the same side of her face. The other eye, a brilliant emerald green, had a frightened look. Quickly, with her right hand, she pulled her hood over her eyes again.

(OOC: I may or may not have bungled Millie's personality. :/ Also, because I screwed up very badly, Yamato, Muna, and Ann do not actually appear in this scene, and Terra magically teleports away from Keeflo/Muna carrying her...both of them said they were picking up "an unconscious girl that got picked up alongside Ann". Sorry everyone.)

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Kathuel Asatori

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"Ah, dinner as well?" Suiken yawned, as someone approached carrying trays of food. "A good feast will make for an easier sleep, I'd say!" he spoke over the two conical hat wearing figure's obnoxious snoring.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken

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"You've yet to prove yourself, fortune," Suiken explained between sips of tea. "So far on this adventure of yours, there's someone spouting how untrustworthy you are at every turn. At this point, I don't know what to think...and I'm tired. But how about you follow my advise, kid? Prove to us that you aren't a charlatan and maybe our faith in you will follow."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi