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Sunaarashi

An Unstoppable Force of Nature sent from the desert to destroy his enemies

0 · 833 views · located in The Horat-verse

a character in “The Great Guild Fortune”, as played by DarKnight36

Description

"They took everything from me. I returned the favor."

Image
Name: Sunaarashi
Sex: Male
Age: 45
Race: Human

Physical Description: Sunaarashi stands about 6'5", with grey-green eyes hidden behind a glowering brow, and dark skin from the desert sun. He shaves his head regularly to honor the oath he took years ago. He is very muscular, and due to both this and his height, Sunaarashi stands out easily in a crowd.
Clothing: Sunaarashi wears a conglomeration of armor stripped from his fallen foes. Although he has heavier pieces of armor he carries with him, he usually keeps to lighter wear, preferring mobility to defense. Underneath he wears a light tunic and cloth pants he sewed himself.
Height: 6'5"
Weight: ~300 lbs.
Skin Colour: Dark brown
Hair Colour: Bald
Eye Colour: Grey-green

Occupation: None
History/Bio: Sunaarashi was born in the deserts of Sune, learning over the years to be a prosperous hunter-gatherer. His tribe kept to themselves, only trading with the nearby townships when needed. Over the years, Sunaarashi gained a family of his own, becoming chief of his tribe. However, this life was taken from him. Slavers from Sune looking to sell men and women to the Ashurans after the invasion and subsequent truce attacked his clan: hopelessly outnumbered, Sunaarashi was grievously wounded and left for dead as the rest of his tribe was either murdered or captured to be sold as slaves. Recovering from near-death, Sunaarashi hunted down those who had taken his family and tribespeople, carving a bloody path through slavers and Ashurans alike. Despite this hatred-fueled rampage, Sunaarashi never found a single member of his tribe alive. Sunaarashi has traveled to Poyo chasing after another rumor, but doubts plague the man's mind. Will he ever find his missing family?
Home Town: A desert tribal town lost to the sands
Home Country: Empire of Sune

Personality: Sunaarashi was a stern but good-natured man before the slavers attack on his tribe. Afterwards, he has been nearly consumed by rage and hate for what happened to his family. Bitterness and anger fill much of his days, but behind it, there is still traces of the good man he used to be.
Fears and Desires: Sunaarashi hates slavers and slavery, and he is somewhat of a horror story among those who practice its trade (although mainly contained to Sune, rumors of his deeds have spread to other kingdoms). If Sunaarashi learns of black market trade in an area, he will hunt down and murder those responsible without mercy. However, Sunaarashi fears that these deeds, even though in the name of vengeance and justice for his tribe and others who have been hurt by the slavery trade, have instead damned him. He fears he has sullied his tribe's legacy and that he is the last of his tribe alive.

Equipment and Weapons: Sunaarashi carries a large bag that contains bits of armor that he has obtained from his murdered enemies. He has a large sword that was a weapon of his tribe, a spear and several javelins, and a shortbow with a quiver of arrows.
Styles and Abilities: Sunaarashi's fighting style is like that of a monster of the dark. He attacks quickly and ferociously, without mercy.
Chi and Augmentations: Sunaarashi's chi is that of shadows and blood - twisted by his rage and hatred from its initial beginnings as camouflage for hunting, Sunaarashi wields darkness as a shield and a weapon.

So begins...

Sunaarashi's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Sunaarashi
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Poyo: A small port town that spread haphazardly from the banks of the Gan River, the city looked a bit like a trapdoor spider from the hills that rose above it. The docks were the long legs, and the bulging abdomen, full of light and life at this time of year, housed the guts and lifeblood. Not that anyone besides Sunaarashi would probably make that comparison, but the desert warrior was a unique presence to the land, a presence that was not altogether wanted.

It was subtle, to be sure, just an odd look here or there, or the way people shuffled out of his way as if he smelled badly (which he most certainly didn't after that scrubbing he'd given himself earlier). Sunaarashi didn't blame the townspeople for their hesitation - he stood a foot above the majority of them, and his dark skin, bald head, and perpetual scowl certainly did him no favors.

Sunaarashi wasn't the only one getting the cold shoulder, though. The Emperor's birthday celebration had brought in travelers and rural citizens from all across the area, swelling the population of Poyo to double, or perhaps even triple, what it would normally be. If there was one thing the Yune Empire was proud of, it was their Emperor, and strangers from all across the land were participating in the parties.

This influx of new people was both closely watched and taken advantage of by the Poyo natives. The Nightflower Guild's representatives had a large tent set up in the village square, selling fireworks by the dozen to anyone with enough coin. The smell of smoke from the small firecrackers permeated the air, and the stacks of larger rockets forecasted an evening to remember once night fell. Vendors selling street food, balloons, candy, or handing out prizes to rigged carnival games, were on nearly every corner, luring the coin out of pockets and into locked boxes.

Inside the inns, the noise from the streets only seemed amplified. Waiters and waitresses bustled around to the filled tables, the smell of food, alcohol, and tobacco mixing and bursting out the open windows to draw in more customers. Outside the town, tents had been erected to host the many visitors, and both women and men wandered these tents, offering services of a more sensual kind.

In short, no one in this city expected to sleep tonight, and the noise and carousing would only get more rambunctious as the night grew later.

Sunaarashi wasn't here for the entertainment, however. In truth, it was just a coincidence that he happened to be here, on this most ostenatious of nights. The dark, tall man took a deep breath, and cinched the large bundle strapped to his back a little tighter. The threads knotted at the end of his sword's hilt, the blade itself strapped to his waist, swayed as he walked carefully through the crowds.

Right now, Sunaarashi simply wished he could find a quiet inn somewhere in the back of town to lie down, and get a good night's rest for once, but even the smallest inn would be doing everything they could to rake in the influx of cash this night provided. No one could afford to let this opportunity slip by.

And so it was that instead of sleeping, Sunaarashi wandered the streets. Although not a stranger to the city life, he held no love for it, being from Sune himself, fond of the wide open spaces and the isolation of the desert. Here, it was a different kind of isolation, one of culture. He didn't enjoy this latter kind near as much.

His eyes scanned the crowds listlessly. He wasn't in the mood for this. Having arrived earlier this day, he'd found that the town was already filled to capacity with traveling family and friends. As the sun had set, even more had appeared, until the city was nearly bursting with screaming, crying, shouting insanity.

Quite suddenly, Sunaarashi found himself nearing one of the gates of the village. Sunaarashi hesitated, wondering if he perhaps could find a tent to lie down in, one preferably free of bugs and other occupants, and while he paused, a rider caught his eye. Dressed in golden armor that glinted in the light from the fires and lanterns hung throuhgout the city, Sunaarashi could tell the young man was of mixed descent even from this distance.

"Must be a noble," Sunaarashi muttered, wondering to himself what a noble would want with Poyo. After a moment, the desert endemic shrugged and smiled. Whatever the young wellborn was doing in Poyo, it would be fun to watch him get sucked dry of all his coin. Perhaps he would remain in the city just a bit longer...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Sunaarashi
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4.25 INK

As Yamato turned from the sake booth, new bottle in hand, he found himself walking into a wall. Perhaps this surprised the half-tengu, because there certainly wasn't a wall there before, for the bottle slipped from the inebriated man's hands as he rebounded from Sunaarashi's chest, hitting the ground with a crack and spilling a good portion of the sake onto Poyo's dirt street.

Sunaarashi, for his part, also looked rather surprised, as the desert warrior thought to himself, with some embarrassment, that he was entirely too used to other people getting out of his way.

"Sorry about that, sadiq," the taller man said, his thick accent betraying his origins easily. He raised a hand in reconciliation. "Allow me to buy you a replacement beverage, bithiqa."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Sunaarashi
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1.00 INK

Yamato staggered for a second, his body out of sync with his mind. He blinked a few times and stared at the brick house of a man he'd run into, before looking at his new, broken bottle of sake leaking out into the dirt. He made a face and waved his hand, "New bottle would be the least you could do. Not many people get that close to a man with wings and swords, wasn't expecting to bump into anyone as I turned around." He bent down and picked up the broken bottle, turning to face the vendor again.

"I'm going to need a new drink, this guy's paying for it." He pointed over his shoulder with his thumb at Sunaarashi.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Sunaarashi
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"You do have wings, don't you?" Sunaarashi said, eyeing the feathery limbs with interest. "Don't see many wings where I come from. Thought they were some kind of costume, I'll be honest." Sunaarashi glared at the vendor off-handedly, who blanched and gave him a new bottle free of charge.

"Oh, thank you sir, very kind," Sunaarashi said, his glare only intensifying unintentionally as he reached for the bottle. The vendor quickly switched to a more expensive bottle and fiercely wiped perspiration from his forehead. "Well, here you are, then."

Sunaarashi paused as Yamato took the bottle. "You fight much, sadiq? Usually those who carry swords do so for show around here, or so I'm told."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Sunaarashi
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Yamato took a deep swig of the expensive Sake and nodded his head, "Fighting is the only reason I'm alive. Without these blades, I'd have been cut down a long time ago. I assure you these are not for show," he said with a mischievous grin. "What about you? Man of your size has likely seen his fair share of fights or at least been offered a few gigs to protect some rich yahoo who's afraid of their own shadow."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Sunaarashi
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"I've killed my fair share of scum," Sunaarashi agreed, although he didn't return Yamato's smile. "Though I've never took any noble's coin for it. My business keeps me aloof of the more well-to-do. Still, I've done well enough to keep myself alive this far."

Sunaarashi dipped his head to Yamato. "Well, enjoy the rest of your evening, my fellow warrior. Hafiz ealaa nasil had. Keep your sword sharp."

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

"And?" The prefect asked.

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

"And your name, miss?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sunaarashi
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Sunaarashi glanced down at the child and smiled. "Not today, kid. Best get to the center of town like the guards are saying." The child scurried off after the others, and the ogre-like man followed at a more leisurely pace, enjoying the snacks of leftover food the worried people of Poyo had left behind.

Setting

Characters Present

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Ren Van
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10.00 INK

Sunaarashi eyed Yuwen Fortune and gave a small sigh. The bandits were probably the ones he had... business with, but it seemed he was a little behind. He didn't figure they'd caught wind of his arrival in Poyo, but he also hadn't had time to really do much investigation yet. Perhaps due to the festival, his source had never arrived.

It's almost not worth my time, Sunaarashi thought to himself, eyeing the others who had volunteered. But it's probably better to go with them directly than follow behind.

Raising a hand, Sunaarashi stepped forward, and called out. "I will join you, bithiqa."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Samyan Zaheer Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Ginchiyo Lao Tzu Character Portrait: Ren Van Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned
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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen squinted at Sunaarashi across the lantern-lit square. He'd seen the man before, upon entering the village. "Then I will need your sword."

"A Sunen and a beast-man? We don't need to hire a bandit to fight bandits!" A bearded man screamed, his hands around his mouth like a cone.

"Then would you rather die?" Yuwen exclaimed. "Because you would not accept the help of a beast-man? Or a foreigner? Because you will not admit one can thieve and still do good?!"

The crowd quieted as Yuwen spoke. "Wise men ask for help when it is needed. I can stop these bandits, and save Poyo, but I know I can't do it alone," 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 said, his words met by gasps in the audience. Yuwen rose and eyebrow at the prefect and pointed at his own face in disbelief. Ro marched forward, pushing Yuwen back before taking his place at the centre of the stage.

"Yuwen Fortune is a liar and has ruined this festival for his own self-serving needs." Ro ripped the report out of Mayor Loy-Qui's hands and raised it high. "This is a fabricated report." Ro announced. A prefect rose another parchment in the air. "Sent via carrier hawk we've just received a message from the forest prefects. Bandit activity in the area is, and I quote, 'completely nominal.'" He threw the paper into the crowd that had grown more and more enraged. The report landed to grabbing hands. Ro turned to Yuwen grimly. "There are no bandits."

"Can you prove that?" Yuwen asked in response, defiance in his voice. "Bandits can be... very evasive." His hand lay on the hilt of his blades as the two men slowly began to circle each other on the stage.

"The prefects in the woods saw nothing," Ro spat. “You are a small, 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! Maybe we have to go to the swamp and find the entrance to a secret tunnel! A tunnel that leads to the ancient cellar below Poyo! Doesn't- doesn't that sound fun!?"

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.

"Look, I didn't lie!" He called out as the guards grabbed his arms. "There's something below this village, something worse men than me will try and get! 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 the statue beside the stage began to glow. Yuwen's eyes were consumed by light as the stone shone. And then, it blew apart by fire. 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 Sune!" He screamed, 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 three 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. "They were in the crowd! They were planning this!-" Before he had time to finish he was grabbed by the throat and smashed back into the cobblestone by a Tengu. One of many masked figures landing in the square. The figure who held Yuwen looked down at him. "Hello there Yuwen Fortune."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Ren Van
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Suiken raised a brow in surprise as the walls of Poyo crumbled beneath a massive explosion. Over a dozen black winged individuals descended upon the small town, weapons in hand. Possibly a bit more about but not...three hundred as advertised. Well, that was good at least. A curious distinction between what was said and the reality of the situation but these were at least better odds. This was no longer a timer for observation. "I'm off," he nodded at the armored human. And leaped from the wall to a nearby rooftop with a heavy thud. Running as fast as he could, he couldn't help but wish it was Fall again. That was a much more suitable climate for Snow Oni, but it seemed he would have to make due.

Running from one rooftop to the next , he made his way closer towards the center of town, where the black winged bandits had landed.

When finally he landed on the ground, after a few huffs, a few of the Tengu looked on at the sudden appearance of the Snow Oni.

The Oni huffed, looking more than a little winded by his trek across the rooftops. "I hope...you do not mind if join the fray as well," Suiken spoke up, stepping to the not-quite-group on stage and bowed, lowered and extended one hand. "I may be a traveling musician...but I can fight just fine."

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Character Portrait: Sunaarashi
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Sunaarashi threw up a hand instinctively when the statue exploded, managing to save an eye as a piece of shrapnel bounced off the fleshy wall and nicked his eyebrow. A few other pieces of rock and wood struck him, but he'd been struck worse by material thrown by sandstorms in Sune.

Climbing up onto the ruins of the stage, the large man quickly moved to the mayor, who had gotten the brunt of the blast. Unfortunately, the mayor seemed to have died nearly instantly, which was perhaps a blessing considering the amount of blood he'd left on the stage.

A gust of wind betrayed the presence of one of the Tengu attackers, a sword blade cutting down at Sunaarashi. Suna twisted superhumanly fast, his knuckles colliding perfectly with the blade in midair, knocking it to the side and sending the Tengu off-balance. Quickly recovering, the Tengu landed on the stage and brought his weapon to bear once more.

Sunaarashi clicked his tongue in exasperation. "You had best not be the one I shared my drink with, dkhyl. It would be masir musif... an unfortunate fate."

The Tengu said nothing but attacked again, but this time Suna drew his own sword from the scabbard at his waist, the blades resounding off each other with a sharp clang that echoed above the cries of the Poyo citizens.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Samyan Zaheer Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Ginchiyo Lao Tzu Character Portrait: Ren Van Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned
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Lo-Muna's ears were ringing. She had managed to duck when the explosions went off but one of her ears got caught by some shrapnel. A drop of blood fell on her shoulder as she looked up just in time to see the Tengu descend from the sky. The sound of the snow oni's voice cut through the ringing as she got to her feet, looking over to see Yuwen being choked on the ground by one of the mysterious Tengu.

"Then fight!" Lo-Muna yelled at the snow oni as she raced over to Yuwen, delivering a swift, powerful kick to his assailant as she yelled, "Hands off!"

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Samyan Zaheer Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Ginchiyo Lao Tzu Character Portrait: Ren Van Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned
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Ren had been taking in the commotion of the city from the walls with the Snow Oni, the disconcerting news of the 'army of bandits' soon being relieved as some Prefect took to the stage to declare some fellow, Yuwen Fortune, a fraud? He was prepared to fight if he had to, but Ren supposed it was for the best that the tiny town wasn't forced to fight off 300 bandits. Numbers that were this skewed rarely translated to success.

Before he could truly relax though, the tower at the center of Poyo erupted into flames, bursting apart and sending bits of stone and wood across the town square. Hoped too soon it seemed, but the arrival of Tengu warriors struck the sellsword as odd. A fake attack immediately followed by a real one? Strange timing. And that Goblin that had been running away from the town, what was that about? Had they helped coordinate this?

The Snow Oni had darted towards the battle, leaving Ren with the briefest of moments to consider what he would do. There really was no alternative but to fight, but what was the best way? He took a glance around the part of town he could see, noting several men, women, and children cowering. The men, while not exactly impressive warriors, had the strength one would expect from farmers. Good enough? He hoped.

Ren dropped down from the wall, making his way around some of the hidden corners of the side streets, signalling to the men in hiding. "You men, get a hold of yourselves. Your wives and children are in danger, time to step up to defend them. Go grab some tools and weapons. Knives and short blades, make sure you have them tucked into a belt. Grab spears, shovels, pitchforks, and knock the metal parts off. It'll weigh them down and slow your attacks. Use the spears and makeshift poles to keep those Tengu at a distance from you, and when they get too close, use your knives to stab at them. Aim for the heads, don't bother with the armored areas."

They looked terrified at the Yeuxkyenan. "But... We're not skilled enough to fight them! What are we supposed to do!"

The warrior raised a hand to calm them. "This isn't about fighting them, it's about controlling the battlefield. They already blew up the tower, we do not want them burning the whole town down. We keep them here in town square. Guards and Prefect's can deal with any saboteurs, and town's folk can help prevent fires."

The terror remained in their eyes, but Ren's face remained stoic and unaffected. "We will save the town. Do what I said, support the guards and Prefects, and we will be victorious." With that, the townsmen ran off to either follow the sellsword's orders, or to flee, and Ren made his way to the town square, grabbing a deserted guard's spear that had been lying on the ground.

__________________________________________________________________________________


Another Tengu dove towards the female Rabbit Beastman and Yuwen, intent on ensuring their target wouldn't escape. Before it could reach them however, and wooden rod swung past the Rabbit, through the air over Yuwen, and collided with the face of the flying assailant. A loud *CRACK* resounded as the Tengu was pulled along with the spear, being cast down into the pavement head first with a loud thud.

Ren gave a nod to the Beastwoman and the Adventuring Charlatan.

"Happy Emperor's Day."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Samyan Zaheer Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Ginchiyo Lao Tzu Character Portrait: Ren Van Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned
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The Tengu was very good, Sunaarashi had to admit. The way he held his sword, the extra weight behind his blows afforded by the practiced use of his wings, his footwork; it was all impeccable. The Tengu was also smart, Sunaarashi realized, as his opponent broke away from their duel unexpectedly, flipping backwards to hover above the stage, glowering down at the sand warrior.

"You are the shadow of Sune," the Tengu said, the voice holding a hint of confusion. "The one they call the Hunter. For what reason are you in Poyo?"

"Why else would a hunter go anywhere but to hunt?" Suna said, shrugging. "But it seems I've traded one kind of prey for another."

"I have no wish to die today, Hunter," the Tengu replied with what was undoubtedly a sneer. "I draw my blade for coin, not purpose. Perhaps we shall meet again."

The Tengu didn't spare any more time before launching upwards with a blast of air, the opera mask it had wore dropping from above, cracking in half as hit the stage. Sunaarashi watched the black-winged Tengu speed away, then returned to the bag he had dropped.

"To hunt birds," Sunaarashi mused, sheathing his blade and unbuckling a strap. "You need bows." To this end, he pulled one free from his bag, along with string and a quiver of arrows. Quickly stringing the bow, Sunaarashi pulled an arrow free, and with a casual pull, sent the projectile forward and through the throat of a Tengu as it passed.

The winged enemy hit the ground with a heavy thud, and Sunaarashi drew another arrow from the quiver.

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Character Portrait: Samyan Zaheer Character Portrait: Sunaarashi
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"That was an impressive blow, wahid qawiun," Sunaarashi called out to Samyan, striding to where both tengu were attempting to get back to their feet. "But you didn't finish the job."

"Wai-," one of the tengu tried to say before Sunaarashi shot an arrow through his face. The other tengu tried to hobble away, but took an arrow through the leg, sending him back to the ground. Sunaarashi grunted as he picked the tengu up by the pants and slung him into a nearby flame, watching for a brief moment as the tengu's feathers smoked and then turned into pillars of flame that consumed the shrieking man in an instant.

Another arrow silenced those screams, and Sunaarashi turned back to Samyan, shrugging.

"Smells like turkey," the large man said with no hint at humor in his face or voice.

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Character Portrait: Samyan Zaheer Character Portrait: Sunaarashi
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"Is that right?" Samyan asked in a tone which suggested she wasn't really looking for a reply. She looked around at the ruined square, filled with the bodies of the dead and dying, some mutilated beyond recognition, and the people clashing with what tengu remained. This didn't seem like the kind of brawl she had expected.

"Are all Yunish festivals like this? It seems strange that they would demolish their own village like this for a simple celebration." Samyan touched her knuckle to her lip and closed her eyes in thought, leaning forward as a tengu shot through the space she'd just occupied, screaming in rage. "A sacrifice to their emperor perhaps?"

The tengu hit the ground and spun on his heel, swinging his sword hard at Samyan's neck. She bent backward, the blade sailing over her nose, then did a roundhouse into the tengu's side, sending him rocketing across the square and smashing through a building on the opposite side. "What an odd custom. The world really is full of such wonders." She turned her head slightly, regarding the Sunish man out of the corner of her eye. "Who are you?"

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Character Portrait: Samyan Zaheer Character Portrait: Sunaarashi
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"Just a shadow," Sunaarashi shrugged, sending an arrow into the hole the tengu had created in the wall. The arrow was met with a scream. "I sincerely doubt this is a custom of any festival. The Tengu must have a reason for coming here. A few dozen to stir up the villagers while another group fulfills their purpose here."

Sunaarashi pointed at the flaming tower. "They've been pushing to keep people away from the tower they destroyed. Whatever they want must be there."