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Yuwen Fortune

The Fearless Young Guild Leader of Fortune

0 · 252 views · located in The Horat-verse

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

Description

"You’re gonna be rich beyond your wildest dreams."

ImageName: Yuwen Fortune
Sex: Male
Age: 26
Race: Human

Physical Description: A peculiar looking man, Yuwen is the product of Sunen and Yunish ancestry. He has a curved nose and brow over bright green eyes. His teeth are large and somewhat bucked. He has outward ears and curly, messy, dark-brown hair. He is in good shape, and is quite agile from years of combat training.
Clothing: Yuwen is currently wearing a blue travelling cloak. His wardrobe generally consist of expensive clothing of the Yune nobility with rich blues, reds and greens, now worn and tarnished from years of adventuring. He has a large, brown leather carrying case on his back.
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 160 lbs
Skin Colour: Tanned
Hair Colour: Dark-Brown
Eye Colour: Green

Occupation: Adventurer
History/Bio: Born in the Imperial City of Yuna-Yae Yuwen grew up as a lesser noble to a family with old money from their trading ancestry. Yuwen never knew his mother, though he suspected she was a street worker, and instead grew up in his upper ring estate with his father and elder brother. His brother was always the better of the two in his fathers eyes, or at least that's what Yuwen perceived. His brother was the better fighter, the better student, and all together the more presentable son. But Yuwen didn't need to be any of those things. He just needed to be special, and he was. Quickly becoming popular in school for his exotic looks Yuwen gained confidence and far exceeding his brother in renown. If there was a party, if there was a fight, if you needed a badass of any kind Yuwen Fortune, as he had begun dubbing himself, would be there. By the time he was eighteen and graduating from his noble school he had no interest in the future his father wanted for him (To become a soldier, like his brother had become) or the rest of the nobility was interested in. Yuwen just wanted to have fun, and being an aristocrat wasn't fun. Fighting in a war wasn't fun. But having an adventure was. After a heated argument with his father Yuwen left Yuna-Yae with his entire bank emptied in his coin purse and readied for a lifetime of adventure. And life hasn't exactly been the adventure Yuwen had hoped it was. Money ran out fast and Yuwen realized things were a lot less fun without it. Now, toughened and with five years of worldly experience under his belt, Yuwen has a new endeavour. A new concept he wants to try out: forming a Guild to complete a quest he couldn't alone...
Home Town: Yuna-Yae
Home Country: The Yune Empire

Personality: Yuwen is an outgoing charmer: supremely confident and, though he wouldn't admit it, very manipulative.
Fears and Desires: He fears being imprisoned more than anything, and thusly desires freedom more than anything too.

Equipment and Weapons: Yuwen has dual special crafted ebony blades as well as a small machete. He also has a beloved horse named Master Wang Chang.
Styles and Abilities: Yuwen's fighting style uses his own skill with dual blades and the environment around him against his opponents. He constantly attacks, never letting his enemy relax, until at last they make a mistake.
Chi and Augmentations: Yuwen was trained in fighting academy to focus his Chi through his blades , making his speed of attack and handling of the blades superb.

So begins...

Yuwen Fortune's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune
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#, as written by Nulix
“What makes a great guild? Fortune? No. Power? No. Glory? Not necessarily. It’s the friends you gain, the adventures you have together, and the memories you make along the way. The real treasure… is family. I grew up in the imperial city: Yuna-Yae! The capital of the world. Growing up the entire universe seemed to rotate around our walls. Never knew my mother, but it didn’t hurt my chances much, for my father was a nobleman. You know the type, very honour bound and such. He even met the Emperor once- true story! I had an older brother too. He was the perfect son: rigid, soldierly. I wasn’t like him. I was a trouble-maker, not a solider at all though I sure as hell could fight like one. When I was nineteen my father used that against me, saying I should stop messing around and join the army like my brother had done. How the peasants couldn’t win the war themselves which they can, by the way. We debated my future day in and day out, and I remember looking over that gorgeous city and thinking- is this it? Is this really family? Eventually the old man kicked me out, saying to return when I was ready to fight for my country. Now there are not many occasions Yuwen Fortune makes a vow, but that day I vowed that when I returned to Yuna-Yae it would be on my terms. I’d come back so rich and renowned the Emperor himself would acknowledge me. I’d come back and drown the bastard in my glory.”

“Isn’t this about a guild?” An accented voice interrupted. Yuwen glared at the short Sunen man at the end of the packed table who sat clutching a flask of arak. “It’s about family, he just said,” Another voice belonging to a lanky man with a mouth half full of swine corrected.

“Horat, Bari- this is about the tale,” Yuwen said, combing his hair back with his hand. “The full tale.”

“Yeah, well the full tale better finish by one. My shift starts soon,” Guardsman Hao, one of the dozen patrons listening in to Yuwen’s story, said as he leaned back in his chair.

Yuwen frowned. “Well, unfortunately epics like this don’t take twenty minutes to tell,” He replied. “This isn’t some fable a drunk could vomit up, this is inspired by true events. Art imitating fight!”

“…I don’t think that’s right,” Horat chimed in.

“Just shut up and let me finish my story,” Yuwen said as he leaned forward on the table. “I emptied my bank into a burlap sack and rode north; a wet spring chilling me to the bone. The elements were against me. Oh what a night it was, my friends. Nothing but me and my horse, headed for a village. But in the cold I formed a plan. A long-term plan. I’d start a guild, a great one, and we’d-“ He paused again, his gaze sweeping across the faces lined before him, most uninterested in his dramatics. “…Are you guys listening?”

“No!” Long Chong exclaimed as he stood. “No, for the love of god. No one’s listening!”

“Hey!” Yuwen protested, his voice going high. He looked to have tears in his eyes. “Aren’t you guys meant to be my friends?!”

“No! We came to the bar to have drinks, like everyone else!” Chong said, raising his hands to the rest of the tavern to their left where there were tables upon tables of other, happier people drinking with their friends. Golden candlelight flickered off rounded limestone walls. A girl in the corner sang and played the tambur as laughter echoed throughout the establishment. Even Old Man Chagan behind the bar seemed to be having a good time as he patted his large stomach. “Everyone is having fun but us,” Chong continued. “I didn’t come here for another one of your fantastical lies, Yuwen.”

“What, you’re leaving me?” Yuwen whined.

“…Yeah!” Chong said, pushing his chair in and heading toward the music. The rest of the table turned to Yuwen in guilty unison. “Sorry Yuwen, he has a point,” Nel said as he stood. “Drink up. You have the afternoon shift tomorrow,” Hao added playfully as he and the rest rose. One by one they left the table. Horat, the last to walk away, paused and turned.

Yuwen looked to the man. “You don’t want to hear about the guild, do you?”

Horat’s response was a tired smile. “Let’s get out of here,” He said. “We’re village guards. We shouldn’t spend so much time drunk.”

Pushing aside the worn cloth hangings of the doorway the two strode out into a sandy courtyard. Beyond the stone fence a dark desert stretched out until it became one with the black night sky. “The Lonely Tavern earns its name,” Horat commented as he began to wrap bindings around his boots for the long, sand-filled journey home. “Makes you wonder why they didn’t just build it closer to town. I heard Chagan stole money to build it. Used to be a silver lender to the Prince or a treasury guard or-” Horat glanced up to notice Yuwen sitting on the rocky fence, gazing up at the stars.

Carefully, Horat approached his friend, who seemed fixated on the sky above. “Are you... trying to pray?”


Yuwen shook his head left to right.

“Did you ever go back?”

“Sorry?” Yuwen muttered, facing his companion.

“You ever go back to Yuna-Yae?” Horat asked. “To your father?”

“I never saw him again, no...”

Horat furrowed his brow. “What happened?”

A small smile grew on Yuwen’s face, almost disbelieving that Horat both believed and wanted to hear his tale. “It’s not a short story,” He warned.

Horat responded with a shrug and leaned against the fence next to Yuwen’s hanging legs. “I have time.”

***

The first of June in the year four-four-four. The land of Yutan in the Yune Empire. The sun set behind the mountains on the horizon, the foreseeable distance covered in bamboo trees and green fields. Fireflies bobbed up and down in the summer's afternoon before flying apart as a black horse ripped across the road. At the reigns a man in golden armour rode, determination on his face. His brown hair fluttered violently in the winds and his green eyes focused forward. With one last bridge he crossed the isle scatted Gan River and cornered in the dirt for the sight ahead. Red and green houses lit with lanterns consumed the immediate horizon, ships big and small crowded its docks. Laughter, cheering and crackling could be heard as from the village centre a large firework shot up into the sky and exploded in reds. Yuwen laughed at the sight, relief coming over him. "Happy Emperor day," He whispered to himself as he began to ride his horse into the celebrating village of Poyo. This village housed his future guild, he knew it. And on this day, the Emperor’s birthday, everyone was out celebrating...

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: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Captain Jensu
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#, as written by Nulix
As soon as Yuwen rode in through the south gate raindrops began to dribble on his head. Yuwen looked up and laughed at the passing storm-cloud, reaching out and touching the warm yunish rain. The bright-grey horse Yuwen rode let out a cheerful nay and shook its coat-tails at the drizzle. Children consumed the cobble-stone street, chasing each other as the rain dried and Yuwen continued to ride toward the festival.

"Big sword!" A young human boy yelled as he began to run beside Yuwen's horse's trots. Yuwen laughed, placing a hand on one of the double blades sheathed at his hip. "Are you a samurai?" A girl with pigtails called, trying to keep up as fast as her little legs could carry her. "More of a manurai," Yuwen explained. The children laughed and ran off as Yuwen approached the stables.

At a hitch Yuwen slid off his horse and handed a coin to the watcher. The straw-hatted man glared down at the copper. "Sorry, I don't have any more Yunish money, " Yuwen admitted. "You don't take Sunen silver by chance?"

"This'll get you an hour," Old straw-hat muttered in response, 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, and around the corner at the Golden Peach Inn he spotted all types of internationals.

"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 need done?" The voice asked.

Yuwen smirked as a firework echoed in the distance. "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 their fist mate at the glistening town before them, disbelief in their voice. "Back in Poyo."

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

"Hey!" A voice called. They glanced up to see a muscle bound man march down the dock. "You have permission to dock?" Trouble – they could already tell.

From a pocket the Goblin whipped out their authorization papers. "This is the Bako Trading docks: I’m authorized," They 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 them. "I don't think you are," He continued. "I think you've got blood on your hands, gobo. Prolly' roasted your master, then you stole his damn ship- like a criminal! 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, maybe get a reward from the prefecture whilst we're at it, eh?"

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

A Yunish man with a thin moustache, stark naked save for a silken loincloth, hopping along the docks, with his hands and feet tied together with rope. The goblin watched the man and took a long sip.

"You live here?" They called at last, walking up and startling the poor nudist.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ginchiyo Lao Tzu Character Portrait: Captain Jensu
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0.25 INK

#, as written by Nulix
Prefect Ro looked Ginchiyo up and down. Neither he nor his men made any attempt to search for the criminals she so described. "A bet?" Prefect Ro said, squinting his eyes at the tall woman. "What was this about?"

"Yeah, what was this bet about?" One of the teenage guards on the sidelines added, trying to get in on the prefects imposing presence.

Ro glanced to Lo-Muna, giving the impossible creature a quick one over. "And where does she fit in?"

***

The drums beat 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. Yuwen adjusted his collar and gave a sly smile to the shady characters. He approached the backdoor where a large, muscle-bound Snow Oni glared down at him.

"You're back," The Oni spoke out thick lips. "I thought the Brothers Grimschi threw you in the ocean."

"Tayadori! It takes more than twuo of tengu twins to keep Yuwen Fortune down," Yuwen replied with a self-assured grin.

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," Tayadori said as he escorted Yuwen down another hall. Yuwen glanced at the supplies, and paused when he saw a large cage filled with goblins. Yuwen locked eyes with one, an elderly goblin woman, before swallowing heavily and continuing on.

"He won't be happy to see you," Tayadori 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 from within a cloud of opioid smoke. "Yuwen... Fortune... alive after all."

"I'm shockingly hard to kill," Yuwen replied.

"Join me, smoke," Ting Po breathed deeply. Yuwen nodded and stepped forward, into the crime-lords den. "And tell me why I shouldn't have Tayadori finish the job the Tengu brothers could not." Ting Po's voice was stone cold.

"Because firstly you and I have no quarrel, and secondly: you still owe me a favour," Yuwen replied, raising a finger. "We got rid of the bandits for you, Po. Your operation was taking a hit and you promised me you'd set it right."

"Last time you stood before me I got you on a ship out to sea, isn't that favour enough?"

"You got me on a ship full of people who wanted me dead!" Yuwen exclaimed. "Look, I'll find my own way to settle with the triad. As far as I'm concerned you still owe me a favour."

Po was silent for a moment. "And what is it that Yuwen Fortune wants?"

Yuwen leaned forward and put his hands together nervously. "I need you to forge me a report from the forest outpost."

"Oh no," Po said, shaking his head. "You're not doing this again."

"I'm getting a guild together!" Yuwen exclaimed. "And 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. "I'll get you your report. But after this we're even. No more favours for the unkillable Yuwen Fortune."

Yuwen nodded at the crimelord's words. "We're even."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ginchiyo Lao Tzu Character Portrait: Captain Jensu
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0.25 INK

Lo-Muna kept an even look on her face, wanting no more than to skedaddle out of the situation. Her legs were fast enough and the inebriated woman seemed capable enough. Yet she stayed.

She stayed even though she knew Prefect Ro likely wouldn't believe anything she said. And if he did, he would likely try to find some way to twist it around on her. It would be her words against a human merchant after all. Her best choice was to be as truthful as possible.

"I was barely walking by the stall when this woman was thrown into the stall," Lo-Muna lied as she tried her best to look as meek as possible. She crossed her arms, pushing her breasts together, glancing at the young guards with pleading looks.

"She's lying! She was touching my stuff with her grubby little hands!" The merchant exclaimed with a huff.

"I was only looking as i passed by! Any of the people around could tell you I had no problems today until this merchant got his stall ruined and now he wants to pin it on me!" Lo-Muna insisted.

"You little liar! I knew you were no good!" The merchant shouted with an accusatory finger at the bunny girl. "Arrest that rabbit and that woman, Prefect Ro! They have caused damage to my property and I demand they get punished!"

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

"And?" The prefect asked.

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

"And your name, miss?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

Setting

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Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned
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#, as written by Nulix
Kaor and Xanth began to follow the sparse group of families through the back-alleys. A few ran into open-doorways and grabbing a few precious belongings before exiting again and running passed the mercenary duo, toward the town-square. The crowd of families dwindled until the only followed the mother and the crying child she held. There was a disquieting stillness to the backstreets of Poyo now. A few wind-chimes sung, a few doorway lanterns rattled, but the only consistent sound was the bells.

Suddenly Mutt began to growl from their basket just as a voice called out: "And where are you guys going?"

"Back to our farm. There's a shed we can hide in," The mother whispered to the man. Kaor and Xanth squinted at the shadowy figure: he appeared to be human- with wild hair, green eyes, and a long-blue cloak. His hands were in his pockets, an unfathomably degree of casualness given the situation. "Oh no, you don't wanna go there," Yuwen replied to the family. "There's- BIG danger outside those walls. Rogue elements that want to do terrible things to the denizens of Poyo!" Yuwen leaned in to the child, who stared back at him with watery brown eyes. "You ever hear of crucifixion, kid?"

The mother gasped. Yuwen nodded sadly. "Don't worry, you'll be fine. Just get to the square- it's safe!"

The mother and her child began to run, passed Kaor and Xanth, back down the alleyway toward the square.

"Claws!" Yuwen called out to Kaor as he strolled by. "Get your fur to the square, the mayor's got something to say."

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Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned
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There wasn't anything Xanth hated more than being picked up. That was something Kaor only forgot when things were really, gravely serious. Her fingers had taken advantage of the bell and wormed their way closer to the noble woman's dress right at the moment a giant clawed paw descended and swiped her off the ground. She was thrown in the basket, which was bad enough - then the dog jumped on her. Squirming and fighting for the highest seat, her frantic attempt at whistling getting batted away by its paws. By the time she'd fought her way out of the basket and onto Kaor's shoulders, muddy paw prints spotted her face. She tried to say something, but Kaor's eyes were fixed on the path ahead. Her arms dropped to her sides with a huff.

At the stranger's intervention, Xanth jumped off Kaor and glared up at her, hands on her hips. She made a short, sharp movement, and jerked her hand forward in a demand. Once she was appeased, she tucked her hand back to her chest. She shrugged and her sour expression twisted into a sneaky grin. Her hands danced, then scurried up Kaor's legs without warning. She raised a brow and twirled on the ball of her foot, towards the direction the stranger was walking. A short whistle, and the dog barked and bounded out of the basket to plod beside her.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned
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Kaor came to a halt, glaring at the stranger who spoke. His words were sour tasting in her maw, and the way he frightened the child made her hair bristle on end. She opened her mouth to shout a reply to him, a furious snarl flashing across her face before she had to stop as Xanth came to the forefront.

She watched the Gecko's hands move, taking it all in with a soft hum before a heavy sigh leapt from her chest. Her hands moved, claws and paw-pads moving in fluid motion. "I apologize. I didn't mean to upset you."
She paused, smiled at the Gecko, before once again flicking her hands into motion. She huffed, shrugging after a moment and stepping onward towards where the stranger had walked off.
Kaor shifted her arm around and reached up, grabbing the hefty weight of a spear-shaft in one paw. It came down and out, resting at her side as she turned and waved to Xanth to catch up.

She then moved onward, using the spear as a walking stick while giving a rather abrupt laugh. She turned over her shoulder and called out to The Gecko and Mutt. "Goodness little Gecko! So crass! Haha!" She then kept moving, chuckling to herself as she finally processed what the Gecko had said. To the square she went.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ginchiyo Lao Tzu Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Samyan Zaheer Character Portrait: Ren Van
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#, as written by Nulix
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

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Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Namari Shioh
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Perhaps it was karma, but now it was Namari who found herself to be dragged by the chain. Her feet stumbled awkwardly over the cobble in a half-resisting, half-following motion as Shuin heartily ran on ahead, seemingly undeterred by the weight of his unwilling companion. Not that she was heavy, of course.

They joined the gathering crowds at the back, surrounded by the faces of Poyo and the mounting, indiscernible chatter that filled the square like so much useless noise. Namari didn't hate crowds, per se, but being around people -- especially this many -- reinstated her disdain for the common man. Like a speck of dirt, unpleasing but unassuming on its own, multiplied by thousands. Their combined stench was awful.

She covered her nose with a floppy sleeve, filtering out the odor of the unwashed masses and probably also some diseases. If it were up to her, they would be long gone from Poyo by now, but this man...

The noblewoman glared at Shuin, grinning and oblivious as usual. Though she couldn't quite place it, his stupid, smug face reminded her of someone...

"I have information!"

Her brow visibly furrowed as she leaned her head to the side, getting a better look at the stage.

"I know! I KNOW! Where the banditos will attack!"

After a brief moment of processing, Namari's stare turned into a squint. That's Yuyu.

She'd recognize that mug anywhere, even if it has been years since they last met face to face. A wave of unwanted nostalgia struck her, and she was suddenly back in the gardens near the steps of the old temple, trying to keep up with another one of his 'adventures' into the surrounding woods. Pins of golden sunlight pierced through the dark green canopies above them. The air was warm and gentle, and the calls of cicadas echoed from the treetops as their feet tread across soft dirt and their arms brushed aside hanging boughs.

He never liked being cooped up inside, to deal with the banalities of politics and formality and noble posturing. During those days she was much the same, but time wears its mark on some more than others. But that was all in the past, now there--

"I'M A GREAT WARRIOR!" Before she realized what was happening, Shuin had made his way to the front of the mob and proudly flexed his admittedly remarkable biceps. "Any cowardly bandits try to lay a hand on this beautiful little town, I'll send them all home without teeth!" He paused, and then pointed to Namari. "She's also a great warrior, you don't want to mess with her!"

Namari's eye twitched.

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Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi
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"Three hundred men and three hundred gold" Lo-muna muttered under her breath with some amusement. Standing near the front of the gathered townspeople, she had listened intently to the mayor and then to the human who loudly proclaimed he would stop the bandits before they attacked. Hand on her hip, her ears twitched to the whispered and muttered responses around her. Some reluctant or doubtful.

Lo-Muna herself considered it for a few moments. The night had been eventful already and this was only adding on. I was rescued so I suppose I should repay the favor... Plus that gold... Lo-Muna sighed but looked herself over, making sure she looked presentable. While the rabbit beast-women wasn't entirely convinced of the plan, she was certainly not going to hide herself away. Just as she was about to walk forward, another human male burst forward, dragging along a rather unhappy noble. Lo-Muna raised an eyebrow as the man flexed some rather attractive biceps. Though the rabbit had to admit it was not as impressive as the raven haired woman or the bear beast-woman.

"Strength certainly is commendable," Lo-Muna said as she stepped forward, chest out, and ears straight. Walking over besides the flexing human, she placed a hand on his biceps and winked at him. "Very commendable."

She let go and smiled up at Yuwen, "You will also need speed. For the safety of the people, I too, shall volunteer in your endeavor, Yuwen Fortune. There are very few who can outrun me after all."

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Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi
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"Heroic, you say?" A loud voice boomed from the crowd. Takai had leapt down from the wall and parted the sea of people around him as he sauntered graciously toward Yuwen Fortune and the stage that had piqued his interest, "Well, there are none more heroic than I, The Noble Shaming Arrow of Flaming Lae Ming Wae!"

Audible murmurs sounded from the crowd. A notorious criminal was here in Poyo. He grinned at the assembled group, "I shall join you."

Setting

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Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi
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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen's lowered his twin swords as whispers grew across the crowd. But soon, voices rose up.

"I'M A GREAT WARRIOR!" Another voice exclaimed. Yuwen swung his heads to see a peasantly man run forward, a chain rattling behind him. Yuwen rose an eyebrow before leaning his head to the side. Dragged behind the urine farmer, attached at the wrist by chain, was a woman dressed as a noble. Dark hair, pale skin. There was something about her eyes... something familiar, something sad. "She's also a great warrior," The man added, pulling the woman forward "You don't want to mess with her!"

"Then I will need your skills," Yuwen said with a warm laugh, giving a graceful bow to Namari and Shui.

"You will also need speed," 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 two 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 Lo-Muna an affirmative nod and a grateful smile.

From the crowd a monkey beast-man walked, a bow swaying as he approached the stage. "Well, there are none more heroic than I, The Noble Shaming Arrow of Flaming Lae Ming Wae!" The beast-man called. A smile grew on Yuwen's tiny freckled face. He'd seen this man before, not in person, but on wanted posters since he'd returned to the Yutan mainland. And though the crowd backed away in shock, this was exactly the type of man Yuwen needed.

"Then I will need your bow," Yuwen said, reaching out and clasping Takai's furry hand in his. He pulled the beast-man onto the stage

"GET OUT OF HERE, SCUM!" A voice screamed from the crowd as the nimble beast-man beside 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 FLAMING ARROW!" "Yeah! Screw the monkeys!" Another voice added loudly as the crowd began to form in an angry, frightened mass of yelling.

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Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Takai
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Takai laughed boisterously at the peoples hatred.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ren Van
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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: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ginchiyo Lao Tzu Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned Character Portrait: Samyan Zaheer Character Portrait: Ren Van
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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: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi 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."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ginchiyo Lao Tzu Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned Character Portrait: Samyan Zaheer Character Portrait: Ren Van
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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: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ginchiyo Lao Tzu Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Samyan Zaheer Character Portrait: Ren Van
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#, as written by 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: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ginchiyo Lao Tzu Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned Character Portrait: Samyan Zaheer Character Portrait: Ren Van
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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.

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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: Namari Shioh Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ginchiyo Lao Tzu Character Portrait: Xanth Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Kaor, The Mourned Character Portrait: Samyan Zaheer Character Portrait: Ren Van
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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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ginchiyo Lao Tzu Character Portrait: Ren Van
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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen gasped as a backward bowed leg flung through the air, smashing into the tengu. Suddenly from above them the sound of feather’s slicing through air could be heard as another red-skinned attacker dove. Yuwen rose a sword in the air to block when suddenly a wooden pole volleyed over his head, smashing the diving tengu in the mask. He fell to the ground between Yuwen and Lo-Muna. Yuwen rose as across the cobble-stoned square Ren called out.

“Khe ke balem,” Yuwen replied with the bow of a Yunish gentlemen (or perhaps a scoundrel), Ren surprised to hear a thank you in the tongue of his native homeland. Suddenly an arrow volleyed toward the man. He rolled out of the way before raising his blade to defend against the overhead tengu.

Across the battlefield, a tengu’s masked mouth fell. “Gayamo!” He screamed as Ginchiyo downed his brother in arms. The tengu grunted, unsheathing his tachi and aiming it at Ginchiyo. “Stand and fight!” The tengu exclaimed, his wings beginning to flap. The fires at Ginchiyo’s feet were brushed down by the fan of each flap as the tengu lifted a good story off the air. He then dropped, his blade colliding with Ginchiyo’s as he attacked.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ren Van
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"Happy Emperor's Day."

Lo-Muna looked her latest savior up and down, noting the height and overwhelming amount of black the human seemed to have donned for this festive day. The other one, the human female of earlier, had also worn a lot of black. Perhaps it was the rabbit's lucky color today.

She winked at Ren and responded, "Same to you," before Yuwen gave his response and another Tengu crashed the trio's conversation. As the Yunish human dealt with that, the Tengu she had sent flying came charging back. From her belt, Lo-Muna undid the clasps on her chakrams, the cool silver giving her a sense of calm as their weight rested in her hands momentarily. She flicked her wrist and sent the chakrams in the air before catching them in both hands, tightly gripping them.

"Damn beastman!" the Tengu cried out, swinging his sword at Lo-Muna. She caught his blade with her right chakram, following up with a left swing at the Tengu's neck. He ducked back but Lo-Muna took the opening to deliver a swift roundhouse kick, knocking him off his feet and a few feet away.

"Hey Fortune!" Lo-Muna cried out, readying her chakrams again as she saw the Tengu wasn't unconscious yet. "I don't mean to question your leadership so early but did you have another plan besides ambushing them? I think the element of surprise is gone now."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Takai Character Portrait: Lo-Muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ren Van
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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen leapt in the air, his feet flying over a swing from his tengu assaulter. Yuwen screamed, grabbing the tengu's blade between his own two and sending the sword back at him. The tengu was sent flying back toward Ren. Yuwen rolled to the side, rising to find himself back to back with Lo-Muna. "There were no bandits you funny bunny, it was a ruse! I don't know who these people are!" Yuwen exclaimed. "But I do know what they're after..."

In the ruins of the stage Takai held the mayor. Mayor Loy-Qui's eyes began to open. He saw the stars of the sky at first, and the smoke of the village drifting into it, and then, slightly lower and mixed with the embers of the burning square, Takai's face. Loy-Qui raised an eyebrow at the sight, and though he tried to be still each breath he took turning into a violent cough. "Someone's with me..." A smile forming on his tired, beaten face. "And it's a beast-man of all things..." Followed by more coughing, this time blood coming out in sprinkles on his purple robes. "These are no bandits, for below Poyo... is a great... fortune," The Yutan man continued. "The statue and the tower were built to conceal... whats inside, they cannot obtain." 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 Takai's. "...They cannot obtain..." He repeated, releasing the key for the beast-man to take.

"...I've lived in this village for the last sixty years... my entire life, and I've never left it." Loy-Qui whispered as he leaned his head back again to stare up at the stars. "Now I know I never will.“