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The Land Of Xetraylia

The Land Of Xetraylia

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a part of The Land Of Xetraylia, by Specmarine.

None

Specmarine holds sovereignty over The Land Of Xetraylia, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

1,305 readers have been here.

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

inspiration from bloodborne hunters and beats. the rising moon for other reasons.

Setting

Default Location for The Land Of Xetraylia
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Minimap

The Land Of Xetraylia is a part of The Land Of Xetraylia.

13 Characters Here

Mahina Grosvenor [47] I stand here alone to fight the monsters that want to rip y'all throats out.
The Hunter [45] "Why did I create a guild? Its because it is something I want to do."
Beau Geste Bellatroix [37] "Come to me dear child, away from the savageries of man, and be rid of the bonds of their sin."
Apan Sudrosi [35] One expects those like myself to shepered the flock.
Rafar The Red [32] "Hehe... All this is just a battle for prey"
Valzis, Prince of the Slain [26] “Honestly, all crows are not ravens.”
Baleful Moon [26] When the shadow strikes, Only death remains.
Tutac Sarani [23] And left foot, right foot...AND A BRANCH!
Sir Hodrick of Ironsguard [22] "Heroes never die."
Constable Elyn Collard [19] "The church needed a weapon. So that is what I have become."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rafar The Red Character Portrait: Valzis, Prince of the Slain
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Val clicked his tongue.

"Never good when the little birdies dare not listen to a bloody old crow like yourself, isn't it?"

Jumping down from his perch in a tree only a few paces away from Rafar's overlook, Val stooped into a bow. His landing stained his lower legs with a sickly mix of mud and ash, clinging to his skin like moss on trees, and his rags like powder in water. Once his childlike feet hit the dirt a chatter erupted within the trees, birds of all types squawking and shrieking, suddenly abuzz in the dark. "Yes. It is indeed I, you can stop gawking and praising now." Then cocking an eyebrow, and flashing a particularly fierce grin. "No really. Stop."

Several birds of color and monochrome flew from the trees, their light cawing ceasing as soon as the words left Val's mouth. Soon, only the black shadows of ravens remained, who quickly silenced themselves, but made no move to fly away. Standing upright in a pose much more noble than the one carrying it, Val stepped into the moonlight, the pale-blue light highlighting his childlike form, and bringing a faint glossy sheen to his darkened rags.

"Rafar, Val began again, "All your little chicks have fled. Leaving you; the beholder of these lands, bringer of death, and most fearsome of creatures, to sit and observe."

Val fell to his knees, drooping his head loosely. "Oh dear Rafar... How I fear for the poor mortals and immortals you have woefully cursed on this day with your actions." Then a sneer marched across his face. "Or should I say... inaction? How do you dare respond to the hastiness of the others, Father?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Tutac Sarani Character Portrait: Beau Geste Bellatroix Character Portrait: Apan Sudrosi
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Interrupted mid-thought Apan stood up as the hunter came back already. He'd expected he had more time the hunter worked quickly. Well he needed hard training in combat to get good samples so a hell of training would have to do. The hunter certainly lived up to his reputation of hasty resolving but didn't think much of the lone adventurer's social sense. Par for a leader he supposed.

A loud whine of confused wards sounded in his head. The wards went off constantly but what had interested so many of them now? He looked up to find his crows circling in confused wobbling paths. The wards had little of the intellect from their living brethren and he knew his formulas needed work. What went wrong that had confused so many of them? While wondering if he'd screwed something up a nagging sense of survival insisted abnormal things were hardly ever mild. Apan's face soured and glanced at Mahina then to Tutac swinging in the door.

Apan quickly stowed his hand crossbow, grabbed his staff, then went to the door. His worry was interrupted by the swinging happy woman. A weight on a line? Hrm that would be something he'd have to look for. Apan stretched the butt of his staff to the rope dry rot spreading across its length. Apan stepped around her and went inside.

~~~

Three pairs of milky eyes and darting black-feathered heads hop along the ground a orange coral fungus sticking out from between their feathers. The brainless creatures couldn't understand the shining glow to communicate it to apan. Just a burning need to look at the shiny light. Apan's wards looking for nonhuman blood were spread through town to draw the caws of infested crows like shiny objects.

One small carefully engraved wooden box next to a house bearing one of many crow skeletons had caught fire. It had caught fire exposed to something quite as powerful as Bellatroix. Most of the milky eyes in town still lurched that way even as it burnt out.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Tutac Sarani Character Portrait: Baleful Moon Character Portrait: Beau Geste Bellatroix Character Portrait: Apan Sudrosi
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As the Hunters gathered in the building, The Hunter grabbed a nearby knife and with perfect accuracy he threw the knife at the rope holding the woman and released her. Once she was free he began to speak. "Well with all you finally here let me tell you the reason why I returned rather quickly. Whatever creature was in this city was long gone from the scene, a note was all that was left along with the corpse of a man who has killed multiple people. I will not talk more about this issue since this does not concern us for now." After speaking he stood up and looked right at Baleful. "Listen up, I do not care what sort of training you have been through, what sort of hell you have been through or what you have done. But by the end of today you are going to miss your own hell. So for today thanks to our dear freind who thinks this training will be a joke I will make your first day a true living hell." He stated as he turned around and grabbed some papers from his desk.

With a short cough, The Hunter began to introduce the Hunters and give them an idea about how to work together. "I will give you a rundown of your fellow allies who will be with you. We first have Baleful, a cold but powerful fighter. He is quick with plenty of ways to sneak around and deadly enough to take out a target without being seen. With Katana and bow he is deadly at close range and from afar, He however prefers to work alone and does not do well with allies. Next we have Apan, he is a strange one. He can easily suture up wounds without the need of a medical kit and can rot things he touches. He is however a little bit crazy to bear that in mind. Next we have Mahina, She is also cold and quiet but is always ready to better herself as a Hunter. She uses a double scythe and the powers of the moon and shadows. You may think a scythe is not very effective but with excellent reach and great at keeping the enemy away from you it is quite deadly. Finally you have the clumsy Tutac, she is armed witha cane and is knowledgeable in many different Herbs and Powders, however she is not too bright. With all the introductions out of the way let me move onto one of your lifelines when you are out there."

The Hunter Pulled out a small pistol like device. "This here is called a 'flare'. This weapon is used to be fired into the air and sends a red smoke pellet into the air along with a very loud bang. This is used when you require immediate assistance, all Hunters and nearby guards in the area must rush over to assist. Now onto the Monster Ranking system."

"I rate the monsters from F to S from F being the weakest to S being the most dangerous. F rank monsters usually don't need hunters to take them down, any normal soldier is capable of killing one. They are usually quite small and are found mostly out in the woods feeding on leftover meals. D rank monsters are a little more dangerous, a pair of soldiers or more are usually needed to take them out. They are usually about as big as a dog or half the size of normal humans. C rank monsters require one Hunter to eliminate, or need a group of soldiers to effectively drive them away. Even though it may be the weakest actual monster we can face it will still harm you if given the chance. These monsters are usually bigger than humans. B rank monsters require at least two hunters, or at least a massive amount of regular soldiers to drive it off. They are deadly, if you are not careful they will tear you apart. They are usually quite large, their size varies greatly but they seem to always be larger than boulders. Now for A rank monsters, these beasts are immensely strong and can use magical powers. It takes four or more hunters to bring down and even I have some time taking them down without a scratch. No amount of normal soldiers can not hope to bring one down. Finally...The S rank. Unless you have power like me you must all run from it, You must use all you can to slow it down, if you fight you will die. These are very rare creatures, however in the event you ever do see one run as fast as possible and contact me. They can either be massive towering over the tree line, or from some reports they appear humanoid in size and are just as tall and appear human.

With the rankings out of the way, The Hunter signaled them to follow him down into the basement. "I was hoping to do some normal training such as a simple 20 or more mile hike, 1,000 push-ups and sit-ups, training and sparing with me and your fellow Hunters, and all the other basic training activities. Thanks to Baleful I am going to teach you all that you should never take this lightly...." After saying this, he began to walk down a flight of brightly lit stairs leading underground. However before he could, a noblewoman entered the Guild building. He motioned for the Others to walk down without him while he spoke to this woman. "Terribly sorry miss, I was just about to begin training the new recruits. Do you require something from the guild?" He asked.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Tutac Sarani Character Portrait: Baleful Moon Character Portrait: Beau Geste Bellatroix Character Portrait: Apan Sudrosi
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#, as written by Adler
"I'm so terribly sorry for the hard lesson, friends." His words dripped with cold sarcasm as he said them. He followed the others down the stairs. Stealing a glance over at the woman that entered. He noted various things about her keeping them in mind for later use.

"I'll wager right now that I will be the last one to pass out." Baleful said as the group was going down the steps.

He doubted that the training would be anything really grueling until the time came for actual fighting. This was nothing more than physical preparations. The hike would be nothing more than a walk, the push ups and sit ups were near the bottom end of what he was capable of. Maybe if he was sick or dying that would be the least he would get. Sparring the others would not be too difficult, moving past attacks, dodging and blocking, this would be simple. The Hunter may pose a problem but that would be the biggest threat he faced here or at least as far as he knew.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rafar The Red Character Portrait: Valzis, Prince of the Slain
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Rafar allowed Lidia's exit. Simply watching her go without saying a word. Even if his tired nonchalant pose remained, Her words tore at him. It was true, And the only question he could think of was: When did he get this weak? For a moment he pondered to himself before unexpectedly a young child arrived, It was suprisingly as Rafar hadn't sensed him coming.

It didn't take more than a second for Rafar to see trough Val, His apparent control over the nearby birds did not help him. He listened closely to his ramblings not moving from his position. You speak like a priest... He slowly tilted his head observing Val I suppose I understand your words well enough, Yet it seems you know something I do not. You speak like many fates have been sealed by the actions of this evening, and then you ask me what I think of it? A short growl escaped his throat As for the others, I am not one to decide what they do. So please tell me, Dear beast. What are these "Woefull actions" You speak of?

The word Father or the fact he knew his nane did not affect him. Perhaps this young one referred to him as a god? But for now, He wished to find out all the little bits of information Val had.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rafar The Red Character Portrait: Valzis, Prince of the Slain
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Val slowly hobbled to his knees.

"A Priest?" He asked, mulling the thought over a few times.

Finally the thoughts left his vision, and his wild stare returned to him slowly, as he leaned dangerously close to Rafar."Oh Rafar." Val clicked his tongue again. "A beast as old as you..." He trailed off, clearly amazed how the great beast before him stood so far in ignorance. "I'm certain you understand that choosing no action, or allowing others to choose for you, even through the blatant disregard of the threats at hand..."

"Is still an action, with grave consequences." He spoke at just above a whisper, his eyes practically dancing with glee.

Crossing the few paces between himself and the edge of the overlook, Val stood in the pile of still incredibly warm ash and soot, letting it burn his skin as he gazed off into the distance. "I suppose that I can be truly blunt for you, if you so wish."

"The two you have met today are fierce predators, each chasing the same kill. While you may have given your 'blessings' to one, but not the other simply doesn't matter. Not yet, anyway." Val looked back at Rafar before continuing. "Both will eventually make a move at the Hunters, striking one down, or perhaps just leaving one to die. But as all things do, they will begin to fall out of hand.

"Lidia's fate is sealed like a door, shut and boarded. Whether she comes to you or not is of little consequence, succeed or fail, she will be consumed by her own flames of desire and rage. Perhaps the nobler of the two will attempt to seem proud while doing it, asking you for help, and pleading to your call to arms. But you should understand that you have no other choice than to aid them. A beast, no matter how old, wise, or alone, will always return for the kill."


The last of the light in the sky seemed to vanish, swallowed by a great expanse of clouds. They rolled across the landscape before them, stirring up winds and keeping the entire world blanketed in the dark. There, only Ironsguard remained, glistening in it's golden light. While the darkness threatened it, with the lamps and fires in place, the town would not fall to it. And while the fires would falter in the wind of the night, they held steadfast, as everlasting vigils against the treachery of night.

"So... what shall you do next?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rafar The Red Character Portrait: Valzis, Prince of the Slain
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A low monotone growl was heard from Rafar, Now he was getting lectured. He lowered his head placing his eyes to the same level as Val. What could be seen in them could only be called something primal. Do not look down upon me young one! The mightiest of birds always falls because they underestimate the wind.

I know very well how this will play out. I know how the beasts will flock to this challenge. I myself was one of the very first to attempt it! When the beasts realise they face something that they can't slaughter they will flee. Some will band together, seeking protection from the strongest ones. Rafars eyes finally diverted from Val's instead looking out over the landscape, Just as previously Some will let their Pride, wrath or perhaps grief get in the way. Wich will only lead to death. You wish to know what role I will play in this? Then please, atleast tell me what role you fill. And do not tell me you are a simple observer, Because those will only end up dying.

These flames. These fanged sheep, Protecting the herd. Their role was set. Some would perhaps deviate, but only slightly. The ones who would shape this story, They would be the ones that realise the story. But who was the ones that truly realised what role they played? This world was after all more treatorous than anyone could possibly imagine

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Tutac Sarani Character Portrait: Baleful Moon Character Portrait: Beau Geste Bellatroix Character Portrait: Apan Sudrosi
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#, as written by Sambea
Image

Mahina jumped, looking back at the girl and narrowed her eyes to see if she might have known here. She didn't and smiled softly as the girl was freed from the snare. "Poor girl won't make it." She thought. Slightly blushing as she was introduced to the bunch, she gave a small nod and listened to everyone was introduced.

The second he mention the intense training because of the food in the room she curled her hand into a fist. "Gotta work hard because of on idiot who is going to be the first," She looked at Tutac who was now getting to take a seat, "second person to die." She thought furiously. When he motioned for people to go down stairs she waited to be the last one before The Haunter. Someone walked in and when he motioned for the rest to go on without him she stayed behind.

Peeking around the corner she saw a noble lady. "Terribly sorry miss, I was just about to begin training the new recruits. Do you require something from the guild?" Asked The Hunter. Something in her didn't feel easy, so she stayed, just in case.





Image

Tutac giggled as she watched the guy pass her up. "Sorry guys! I just wanted to HANG." She laughed at her pun. Her eyes went straight to The Haunter and saw him lift his knife and readied herself. Once cute she curled her body, life a flip, and landed on her feet. Rubbing her ankle she stood up and turned to face the rest of the people. Walking to a seat she sees the girl Mahina looking back at her with worry, but she smiles any way.

When she heard The Hunter talk about an intense workout she tilted her head. "Intense?" She thought wondering what he had in mind. He motioned for people to walk down some stairs and she followed behind some of the people.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Tutac Sarani Character Portrait: Baleful Moon Character Portrait: Beau Geste Bellatroix Character Portrait: Apan Sudrosi
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Bellatroix had apparently come in just in time to witness one of the female recruits be dropped from a snare by the veteran hunter. She had sensed too that she had triggered something in her presence, but few of them seemed alarmed, she could immediately dismiss veteran based upon his body language. She caught the observant eyes of one of the recruits who is adorned in overly elaborate assassin's vestments, a proud destroyer of men she surmises by his gait. Another suspicious gaze came from one of the two females, presumably more combat focused and older. An eccentric selection, to say the least, she thought.

"No, pardon me for my intrusion, I did not realize you had taken on acolytes," she says with a voice like silk reinforced by a genial smile. "Or a successor perchance? Surely, though, you do not seem near past your zenith yet." Her flattery comes as neither halfhearted nor sarcastic, as she wrote in her letter she bore no inimicality towards the hunter, and none for his flock for that matter.

She takes a brief moment to glance over the hunter's guild, the recruits, then back to the Hunter himself. "Excuse me again, I am Beatrice Alighieri," she says with a curtsey and seamless finesse, skillfully hiding away her small lie. "I was on my way to alert you of a beast upon the streets, but it appears you have already dispatched it. So I suppose the only thing that is left is to offer gratitude to you for keeping Ironsguard safe, something I fear is underappreciated."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rafar The Red Character Portrait: Valzis, Prince of the Slain
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Val's smile vanished, for once a look of seriousness resting on his face. "Oh, dear Father, you simply mistake my critiques as mockery. I promise I dare not talk down to you."

As if to emphasize this point, Val let himself fall backwards into the mud, ash, and leaves. Bringing his arms behind him to rest as a pillow, his mischievous grin returned. "But..." He began, closing his eyes. "You tipped your hand. I now realize my fears are to go on down the stream, to slip from my mind. For my true purpose, my only reason from leaving my own roost to alight upon this one, is nothing more than a primal, simple hunger."

Val chuckled. During his mild pause he felt several of his own disheveled ravens slip free from the trees and take to the air. Another dropped from it's perch, only to flutter down to Val's side, eventually landing on his chest. Another soon followed, with another behind it. Within moments, Val held an assortment of ravens in his grasp, each of their small, ragged bodies feeling like an extension of his own.

"I heard of the formation of a formal Hunting guild of sorts, and decided that not only would it be worth a little look-see, but perhaps that a few of those would-be Hunters wouldn't mind parting with a few... things for my appetite. I figure the heart of a great Hunter to be a favorable meal, if not a rather tedious meal to acquire. The closer I got to the city, the more I felt of not only your presence, but that of your associates.

"All of us here at once, chasing after a similar goal... it's almost storybook. However, I would never have been able to live with myself had I not seen you in action. While Lidia might have a knack for carving into and through a town in a single, blazing night... Nothing compares with a unstoppable force slowly, painfully ripping your own kin away from you."


"However." Val stood up, ravens scattering slightly, giving him room to move. "With your words... I am quite convinced that you shall not be sitting out here for too much longer."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rafar The Red Character Portrait: Valzis, Prince of the Slain
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Rafar continued his search across the landscape. Scanning the large, dark forest surrounding Ironsguard. Slowly a small crooked smile appeared on his lips. If you even could call them that. ..Surely I cannot simply sit around. As you said, A beast always returns for the kill.

He gently lowered his head down towards Val. But I must say, I have taken a liking to you young one. You have a certain cunning wich no normal eye can see. A cunning Wich will be mistaken for madness. This makes you by far one of the most terrifying beings here. despite his words and violent presence Rafar displayed a certain warmth Wich could only be seen as strange

I certainly look forward to seeing what role you will have taken in the end.

This beast was so very interesting. He knew much. Perhaps too much, Rafar didn't hesitate about the fact that he might have to one day pluck this bird. Still, For now he seemed like someone valuable, someone who could genuinely hurt both him and his enemies. And that.. Impressed him.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Tutac Sarani Character Portrait: Baleful Moon Character Portrait: Apan Sudrosi
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Face mask pulled down he was quiet going down the stairs even as haggard murmurs landed on the windowsills. A small murder of milky-eyed crows sporting their orange coral fungus as well as one or two living ones meandered inside in chase. Others stared at the hunter from windowsills while looking for Apan. Running from trouble never ended well when trouble was watching on its own but his dim pets insist danger was here somewhere in uncomfortably large numbers. He thought it unwise to argue about it in favor of going deeper inside the hunter's guild to ponder a course of action. He was used to watchers in the dark and fear left uncontrolled usually got one subsumed. That however left the problem of what trouble now lurks.

He'd expected the monsters were something beastial and designed his wards so. It was why half the time they'd spotted a rabid badger a few would start cawing at him from rooftops about it. He hadn't the skill yet to make them more discerning. However with the advent of this class "S" Apan wondered if he missed the obvious. Did even the basest monster have as much nascent humanity as their monstrous intellects? Well, now he supposed he knew where the part of his own humanity sacrificed had gone. Perhaps he needed to qualify his quarry further.

Half listening to Bale the yellow-masked Apan responded with a lilting voice, ♫Noone sacrificed, nothing gained!♫

He continued quietly to those on the stairs, "There's something wrong in town but I don't know where or what. My wards must have all lit at once."

~~~

Two living crows wandered with the fallen ones while they wandered from object to object. Fallen ones pecked at a wood flat thing but they left, it wasn't shiny. They found a tasty bug! It still wasn't shiny? We ate it anyway. The fallen ones didn't eat. They made bad calls and stared. Their roost was tended by the yellow skin and there was food there sometimes. The flock moves! Fallen ones went up to a metal skin and sharps then pecked the legs! We did not join them it was dangerous to peck the metal skins! Fallen ones stared but my flockmate didn't look to them either so the fallen ones must not see shiny there. A fallen one stayed to stare at the metal skin and sharps but the rest of the flock moved on.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rafar The Red Character Portrait: Valzis, Prince of the Slain
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Val smiled gleefully. Whatever Rafar had been saying slipped his mind, as a Raven landed on his shoulder. For a moment, Val closed his eyes. The world faded away into the background, and soon he was alone. There was no Rafar, no ashen mud, even he ceased to exist.

Then it all came into focus. He was no longer standing beside a beast as old as man itself, but instead he was standing alone, peering through the eyes of another creature. Soaring just overtop Ironsguard, his eyes landed atop a building just ahead and below his viewpoint.

The Band of Hunter’s guild. Light poured out from the inside of the room, spilling over into the dark. Shadows danced between the light of the windows, showing a small scene of people talking, others moving away from the window, presumably into other rooms. At the doorstop, a large creature lay, almost wolfish in appearance. A massive gash and a pool of blood betrayed the cause of its demise.

But another thing caught his eye. Small, frail skeletal structures atop surrounding buildings. Crows, frail and weak, moving unnaturally, controlled by something.

Val chuckled to himself once more, closing the creature’s eyes, allowing himself to return to his own body. He slowly felt the beastly presence by his side, the warm embrace of the ashen mud, and the tranquil quiet instilled by the unlit night return. Before severing his connection with the young raven, Val left a final, barely audible message.

”Kill them.”

Val stepped closer to Rafar. ”Father.” He began, looking up to the sky. Why do we continue to stand here, enveloped by the nightly fog? Is this even nightfall, or a ravenous black abyss? I went down into an abyss once… it was decorated with the corpses of beasts, demons, and mortals so great it could make even Lidia rethink her step.”

He took a breath. ”Now that fool had a knack for decorating. Unfortunately, it took me several long years to claw my way out… and by the time I had, I was a monster. Gone was my soft, fleshy body, replaced by something else, something much more fitting of a horror like myself.”

Finally perking up, he asked. ”Would you like to see?”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Tutac Sarani Character Portrait: Baleful Moon Character Portrait: Apan Sudrosi
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The Hunter chuckled when Beatrice mentioned him reaching past his zenith. "I may be growing old, but I still have a long ways to go before I retire. As for the recruits, someone has to take over the monster hunting work. If I am the only Hunter and I grow too hold to fight, then the people here would be in danger, but with these new recruits I have hope that they can carry on the work to fight." He stated as he gathered a bunch of papers off his desk. "Anyways, no thanks are necessary for the work we do. Its appreciated but knowing people will have one less thing willing to eat them its all the thanks I need...Well that's just my opinion of course. Anyhow, anything else you would like to ask of me? Or shall I wish you a good day?"



For the Hunters that wandered into the basement, they would find themselves in a rather large underground arena. It was eight stories high and two football fields wide. The Arena had many obstacles from pieces of stone resembling cover to buildings and random debree. The arena was also well lit with torches filling the place. Along the walls there were massive closed doors that were barred with beams of metal. They would easily note this was some sort of training ground.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Tutac Sarani Character Portrait: Baleful Moon Character Portrait: Apan Sudrosi
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#, as written by Adler
"I hope there are large amounts of faith in me, sir" Baleful heard the Hunter while he was stopped on the stairs. He shot back his remarks in hopes of increasing the intensity of the training.

Baleful simply leaned against the wall for a moment waiting to see if he got a roar out of the hunter at all.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rafar The Red Character Portrait: Valzis, Prince of the Slain
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Rafar simply watched Val as his out-of-body experience commenced. Observing every detail of his frail body. Rafar had a pretty good idea of what Val actually was doing since he has several, yet clearly weaker beasts with similar abilities.

Val then spoke in more riddles. Rafar quite enjoyed this. Thinking about the meaning behind most words. He patiently allowed Val to finish. An abyss enough to make Lidia back down... That would change someone, for better or for worse is for you to decide. You ask me questions wich you do not require me to answear. You simply wish for someone to think.

Rafar slowly shook his head, before leaning in, enough for Val to simply lift his arm and touch him. Spare that "Horrific" form of yours. Spare it until you face something you truly require to face. Perhaps the one you wish to face would be me... Still this is not the time for such, "Leisure" we have prey to hunt, right? Rafar's eyes shifted slightly, looking out across the forest connecting to Ironsguard. His small crooked smile remaining

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rafar The Red Character Portrait: Valzis, Prince of the Slain
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"Perhaps we should get on with the hunt. Can't let our friends have all the fun..." He trailed off for a moment. Then, a smile came to his face and a giggle burbled up and out of his throat. "Or, I could simply have a little more fun. That'd be the thing wouldn't it? Walking right on up to that vicious Hunter and giving him a great, big hug."

He broke into laughter again. "Only imagine the surprise when I sink a claw into his chest."

Then, finally looking back over at Rafar, he simply smiled. "Perhaps I'll take you up on your offer. Though... it wouldn't quite be fair, now would it? You've got at least several hundred years over me, and what sort of, monster would dare hurt their own Father? Certainly not I... Not, yet anyway."

He stepped onto the very edge of the overlook. "Perhaps we shall meet again once inside the city, I'll be sure to deliver you something nice. Farewell!"

And with that, he stepped over the edge of the cliff. Only a single black feather remained.

The darkness swallowed him immediately, soon after the trees consumed him as well, and in the cover of darkness, nobody was able to see his skin peel away, and have his humanity taken, replaced by a covering of black feathers. Before he hit the ground, two powerful, ragged black wings pushed him back from it. He redirected his course, now moving through the forest, dipping in between the trees as the rest of his raven-like form pushed through.

A sharp, pointed beak jutted from his head, forming through a covering, almost like bone, that traced his skull perfectly. Beneath it, darkened feathers poked through, rippling across his body like smoke, and weaving with the wind like dust in a cloud. No longer was he bound to the ground, now he was free, able to twist and careen through the air at his wish. He dodged between the trees, flying violently fast, with no concern for safety. In this way, he hurtled towards the outer walls of Ironsguard, with complete reckless abandon, thinly veiled by the cover of the moonless night.

Soaring up and beyond the wall, Val easily landed within the city's borders. He kept low, tracing his frame over rooftops and just missing chimneys. Finding a single, lone tower, he spiraled up around the sides, coming to perch upon the eastern edge. Below him, a great clock hummed and ticked slowly, vibrations pulsing through the walls as the hands slowly recounted the time, the powerful gears hidden just below the surface. Just above the clock, the tower twisted up into a pointed roof, warped and battered from weather and time. From there, sat Val; a great monstrous raven, surveying the city of which he would begin his game. Thousands upon thousands of little lights sprawled out beneath him. Each and every light held a home, which in turn held families, noblemen, prostitutes, and somewhere among them all... a clan of Hunters.

If Val had possessed lips, they would have been twisted up into a wicked smile.

'So many delightful little treats.'

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Tutac Sarani Character Portrait: Baleful Moon Character Portrait: Beau Geste Bellatroix Character Portrait: Apan Sudrosi
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#, as written by Sambea
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The sound coming from the idiot behind her made her eyes roll and duck more into the shadows. "This idiot." She thought before glancing back. It wouldn't be smart to open her mouth and draw attention to herself so she went back to the mysterious lady that entered. "If she knew about the monster why is she so calm? She didn't even run here." Mahina thought to herself. She looked over the woman again. but closer. "I see no evidence of sweat. I also didn't see her on the way here." She thought once more before looking at The Hunter. Her feels about this woman was becoming ill. If The Hunter couldn't sense something was off maybe she was in the wrong hands.





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Tutac looked at the yellow masked man, her smile faltering. She knew something wasn't right, but pushed it back. She kept going though, taking once step at a time. When coming into view of the arena a high pitched laugh echoed through out, "Oh my gosh look how big and beautiful this place is." She said. "Have you guys ever seen such a thing? You could not tell this thing was down here just by the looks of it outside. Oh goodness." Tutac was too in awe to be concerned for who was upstairs or outside.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rafar The Red Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Tutac Sarani Character Portrait: Baleful Moon Character Portrait: Beau Geste Bellatroix Character Portrait: Apan Sudrosi
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Rafar once again listened without any hesitation to Val. Or. .. Val's words finally made some impact on him, He would attempt to kill the shepherd? His now more specific use of the word "Father" was also something that caught his attention. He doubted that he meant the simple thing that Rafar actually was his father. Perhaps some interesting metaphor from the youth.

Those simple things was the focus of Rafar. He didn't care much from the simple teasing threat Val had proposed. It wasn't something he himself hadn't ever said.

He watched Val leave without uttering any kind of objection. He was actually unsure if he preferred the company of his fellow beasts.. or perhaps he enjoyed the silent sounds of solitude.. To think such an eerie night as this still could be so peaceful.

Now two quick questions was present in Rafars mind. Either he would return to his clan, gather his beasts and wipe these sheep out before they could do anything hurtful.. or perhaps he could play a little. Challenge some sheep and see if their bravery would be enough?

And with that, he decided on the latter. Suddenly using his oversized arms and claws to propel himself forward. Following after the distinct smell of Val. Lunging, more or less dragging himself using his arms he soon reached Ironsguard.. but he decided to stay back for now. Simply stalking the city from the forest outside. He could feel the presence of many beings. And he would enjoy war ching what kind of move they would make.

He didn't want to get involved just yet... so he was content in simply watching for now.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sir Hodrick of Ironsguard Character Portrait: Lidia, Born of Embers
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#, as written by glmstr
While the distant chatters of an impish crow-child briefly drilled into her ears with its incessant tones, once out of earshot Lidia slowly returned to a somewhat more relaxed state, one which consisted of a tepid irritation at best. Her footsteps no longer singed the ground below her, and many of the embers clinging to her form temporarily ceased to glow.

Instead however, a faint glimmer of lantern wicks caught the corrupted knight's eye. A village, likely still populated. She knew what needed to be done.




On the outskirts of a humble farming community, a knight stood under a lamppost with several hastily organized militiamen speaking to him. His armor glinted under the flickering wick above as he listened to the locals' story. He previously caught word of some sort of monster abducting livestock and even sometimes people in the night, and he came to defeat this beast.

"Ser knight, I believe it's upon us," one man dressed in heavy linens clutching a pitchfork gestured towards one of the many farm plots, the baying of hounds and several other unrecognized sounds coming from that direction. Hodrick picked up his shield and followed the townsfolk to the commotion. Several beasts surrounded a flock of sheep, taking the forms of some sort of wolves. The aged knight drew his pistol and steadied it on his shield, quickly aiming in on one of them and pulling the trigger. As the ball hurtled through the air with a crack and embedded itself in the torso of one of the monsters, the others shifted their attention to Hodrick and company and began to charge.

"To arms, men!" the Stalwart holstered the flintlock and drew his gleaming longsword, and the militiamen lowered their pitchforks to brace against the wolves' assault. A handful impaled themselves upon the makeshift pikes, while others circled around the sides or came directly for the knight leading them. A bone-crushing shield bash deflected one leaping wolf harmlessly to the side while he hacked and stabbed at the others around him with his blade. Their fangs were not quite powerful enough to pierce his chain mail, only rendering themselves vulnerable for the kill. Once free, Adalhard turned his focus towards his allies, helping fend off the beasts that were trying to bite and tear at their exposed flesh.

With no time for respite, however, a deafening howl echoed from just past the treeline. From the tangled and thick undergrowth burst a final corrupted being, a canine easily larger than a stallion. Its originally gray and white fur mottled with an abyssal black, the color radiating from the creature's chest as if a hellish tentacled darkness clung to its flesh. Its eyes were open wide, pupils shriveled in a gaze of unnatural rage.

"Return to the village, protect the other citizens. I shall fell the beast," Hodrick dismissed the other militiamen and began to approach the monster, his companions nodding and fleeing as instructed. The canid's pace quickened to a thundering gallop directly towards the knight. Once the distance closed the beast leapt, its maw opening as it hurtled towards Hodrick. He ducked and rolled to the side to avoid the attack, staying knelt on one knee briefly to pick up his talisman and briefly pray.

Gods, grant me strength.

He stood up, the armor feeling almost weightless on his shoulders once the prayer concluded. Sir Hodrick the Stalwart clanged his sword against the front of his shield twice, a gesture of ultimate defiance as he charged into battle.




As the village came closer into view, Lidia sneered. A simple farming community, and several guards strolled along one of the roads, several of them limping slightly. Calling them guards felt insincere, they were little more than men with pitchforks, lumber axes and helmets. Resistance would be laughable. She drew her sword, the embers dotting her person reignited and her blade glowing once more of molten steel. The ground below her hissed and charred beneath her steps as she entered the village. A handful of retreating guards noticed her, breaking into a jog to stop her. In response she turned to the nearest home and simply pressed the point of her sword against it, the wood quickly smoldering and catching fire. The men began to shout and charge after the arsonist.

The revenant remained still, only turning to face the militiamen when they drew near. She tensed up slightly as the one in the front lowered his pitchfork, watching with a scowl as the prongs impacted against her cuirass and bent to the side uselessly. Her gauntlet-clad arm reached up and grabbed the pitchfork's handle, shattering the wood in her grip, tossing the weapon and wielder aside with ease. Another man stepped forward and tried to swing his axe down at Lidia, which she responded to with a single slash of her greatsword to slice him horizontally in twain. She turned to the prone man and stomped on him once, swiftly crushing his torso and ending his life.

Next came a shoulder check from the ashen knight into another guard, sending him careening into a nearby building while the attacker turned to the fourth and final townsman. He had begun to run for his life once his companion was halved, but the humanoid monster did not intend on letting him escape. She raised her blade with both hands with the tip pointed down, then drove it into the ground, creating a geyser of flame that burst under the running man and reduced him to little more than cinders.

Now that the resistance was gone, Lidia visited each house, lighting them all ablaze and cutting down anyone that tried to exit the buildings. One by one they all joined together in roaring and crackling, the screams of the buildings' occupants a twisted symphony to accompany the gruesome sight of vengeance.

Unceremoniously, Lidia turned and left the village behind. Her deed here was completed.




In the nearby field, Sir Hodrick and the beast remained locked in combat. Both were beginning to tire, but the corrupted wolf's fur began to mat with blood and it moved with a limp. It leapt towards the knight again, this time he was able to deflect the creature slightly to the side of him with a carefully timed shield bash, sending it tumbling from its own momentum into the ground.

He turned at the momentarily prone creature, it was his opportunity to strike. Hodrick broke into a sprint, panting heavily already from exertion, raising his sword and leaping into the beast. He drove his sword to the hilt into its skull as he fell upon it, brackish blood clinging to the steel as he delivered the death blow.

The beast was finally dead, struck down by his hand.

Adalhard stood up and removed his blade from the skull of the former monster, throwing most of the blood from it with a brief flicking motion before finally sheathing it. He turned back towards the village, his eyes widening and jaw dropping behind his visor as he saw the hamlet in flames. He scrambled towards the center of the community to find the guards he previously fought alongside, crumpled and slashed and strewn about the town square while the homes burned.

Then the screams came. The dying wails of dozens of men, women and children echoed around him, each one ceasing their cries when he approached their crumbling homes. Not a single soul remained. He collapsed to his knees, suddenly alone in a desolated village. These were people he was entrusted to protect and he failed all of them.

For the first time, Sir Hodrick Adalhard the Stalwart was defeated.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rafar The Red Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Tutac Sarani Character Portrait: Baleful Moon Character Portrait: Beau Geste Bellatroix Character Portrait: Apan Sudrosi
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Apan finally got down to the large arena putting his suitcase down with a deep sigh not of amazement as much as of worry. Such an open room with monsters likely to be able to climb. But then if some were humans that left questions of anyone he met with wards gone mad. His mind raced with his limited options for reasons that would cause all the wards to be so irritated. It was best to assume the worst until he could look at them all. That something of enough power to trip them all somehow. Still, he couldn't yet get information from the wards at range but perhaps he could create some useful motivation to them. As much as the Hunter seemed irritated perhaps he could stand to irritate the man a little more.

While setting his suitcase open he looked over to Tutac, "Miss, if you would be so kind as to keep an eye on the stairwell. I would prefer the only large angry monster we meet tonight be the one that's on our side."

He knew two names that would be in range of the creatures upstairs. One wasn't a name per se but known to enough blood in the soil it might as well be. His suspicion rapidly grew but didn't have means to test Tutac.

He pondered the small slate that emerged from his suitcase wreathed in crow feathers and albino redwood. The parasitic redwoods tainted by himself and carefully metastasized across town. Each left pale spots but the wards needed to be fed of rotting earth. Especially since the damned crows somehow puzzled out how to infect their dying using pieces of other wards. He wasn't sure their efforts were terribly effective by the corpses of old birds he'd found but then he'd only made a handful to start. Now there were dozens off scarring foxes trying to eat eggs. Even the new ones had the rotting breath of his initial experiments.

As long as he wasn't too far away he could affect the wards infected by eldritch disease in orbit of albino redwoods be they his own or not. The reverse was the different matter yet discovered. Words welled up from the earth into disease infesting them. At least he could hide the trees for now they didn't need light after all. They worked just fine in fine carved stone coffins underneath roosts hidden in town. Chalk in his hand scratching out a message he wished he could use instructions with more nuance. It was hard enough to push a fleeting piece of his memory to name those he'd just met. He'd have to ask them their names again later.

In a dank decorated tomb of dirt floor the trees hear scratching from beyond the walls, 'Find Hunter. Test Mahina. Test Bale. Find ichor. Down.'

~~~

The ward at Mahina's feet perked up with a ragged squawk mirrored by many on the sills and elsewhere in the room. The one at her feet pecked loudly at the metal heels in front of it then loosed a gout of burning spore to try and taste bad blood. Other milky eyed fungus-backed crows meandered their way across the room to the Hunter and Bale. The living crows were under a low table now disinclined to follow riled fallen.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Beau Geste Bellatroix
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She observed the hunter's reaction, narrowing her eyes and chuckling herself at his convictions. A droll one this is, she thought as she stifled herself from becoming impertinent. The previous hunter, the one she recollected was far more stoic, while this age's felt in part like an actor upon a play, the fact he was being honest amused her even more. Underneath her psyche another more primal thought creeps into her mind, how easy it would be to end it here. This thought was promptly extinguished. She was above such barbarism.

The creature watched as the hunters-in-training left for whatever resides in the basement, quietly scanning them. Of particular, the arrogance of the assassin growing ever more apparent. An amusing proverb comes to mind, the owl of ignorance lays the egg of pride.

"Nevertheless, how blessed we are to have one so resolute," she coos in response to the hunter, pressing knuckles to her cheek. Her smile slowly fades, a more severe tone replacing the whimsical. "I must confess, however, that my reason for being here is for a few small curiosities only one with a profession of yours can satiate. I apologize if this cuts into your training session, but I simple must know in order to find any rest."

Bellatroix breaks eye contact with The Hunter, her eyes now downcast she now clasps her hands together, taking a deep breath. "For what reason do these creatures live? I find that a part of myself feels pity for them, as it must be such a miserable existence to either be consumed by hatred at birth, or lack any deeper reasoning in one's own existence. I suppose, in a way, yours is something of a mercy in that sense, and I find a part of me finds comfort in that but yet..." she trails off in thought, fidgeting with her hands and closing her eyes. "I find myself in a crisis of faith: Is it truly okay to eradicate completely another form of life?"

As she awaits a response from the veteran hunter she feels the continued fixated gaze of the tan female, taking a brief side glance to monitor her actions. It was clear she had grown suspicious of her from the moment she stepped in. Her guise was perfect, she had the look and smell of a human, she had avoided any threatening actions. Perhaps she had missed some nuance in behavior that has set off the young woman's suspicions.

The beast had resolved herself to avoid violence at this particular junction, could it be avoided. It was a moot point, however, as she sensed the convergence of forces around them that lack her particular sensibilities. Rafar, who is far more poised she could expect to hesitate in his attack, however, another newer inhuman presence had presented itself.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hunter Character Portrait: Mahina Grosvenor Character Portrait: Beau Geste Bellatroix
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"Oh the training, well I have no reason to delay that. In fact..." The Hunter started as he turned to his side and pulled a switch that was installed in the wall. And with the sound of a few gears turning, he turned back to face the woman. "As for why those creatures exits, the same can be said for all living things. I myself am just doing my part in eliminating the creatures that are posing the most threat to us, in fact rather recently I saw a most curious scene. I have reason to believe that a monster is actively hunting down criminals, I do not know what to think of it but at the very least something is changing within the monsters. But eradicating all life...well, the destruction of an entire species may be uncalled for but I know plenty of people that want to see all monsters gone. But I have a question for you miss, when you said you saw a monster and came to warn us...how did you notice it? It may not be the most strongest or smartest but it did keep is form hidden from all the guards and people. Even the most basic creatures know that if they get spotted everyone it the city can hear a scream. So if this one managed to get through without anyone seeing it, how did you see it?" The Hunter Repied and questioned. Even he relized this was strange, no one would remain quiet when they notice a monster skulking around, in fact they would rush here and not be in a state this woman was in. What was going on here?

For the Hunters down in the basement, the door behind them closed with a massive thud. And from the other side of the arena they could hear another gate being raised along with something slithering around. Unknown to the Hunters, it was a class-A monster that had just been released. It's body was like a snake, it's razor sharp talons for arms reflected light. It was invisible, and it sensed that there were people here. The Hunters would soon find that a piece of paper would fall down from the ceiling along with the words. "Pass this test, and be one honorary Hunter. This is your initiation, remember everything I thought you."

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Character Portrait: Valzis, Prince of the Slain
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Val swooped down from his perch. Diving in a mad freefall towards the ground, he increased his speed just before the last critical moment, pulling his body to fly just above the rooftops, his underbelly nearly scraping the tiling beneath him. In a city as large as this one, he would have to fly around for ages hoping to get lucky enough to find the Hunters hidden within the city. But while Val did have the time, he lacked the patience, and kept rocketing straight towards one of the only places that would.



The Church of Ironsgaurd had always been an outstandingly beautiful and opulent affair, with it's towering stone-gray spires, larger-than-life architecture, perfectly showcasing the pride and joy of the city's best builders and designers. The church almost acted as a city within itself, standing behind thick walls, acting as a formidable fortress easily dependable in the case of invasion. The current group in ruling had been much more lenient than the last, allowing more funds and men to be taken from the ranks of the town guard. This left the unfortunate night watchmen up upon the wall standing quite alone, their nearest neighbor being a small silhouette much further than what felt comfortable.

This is the situation that Constable L.W. Bristow found himself that night, staring out into the empty darkness. The air was cool, yet not horribly so, leaving his senses only tingling, slightly numbed from the exposure. Occasionally his posture would break, sending a small shiver down his spine. The wall forced the winds to break, forcing them up and overtop the wall to clash over his head. For the most part, he was left in complete stillness, only experiencing the nightly winds on particularly fierce nights.

Tonight was still as always, even though he could see the torches in the distance flicker and sway, he was left in the quiet of the night. For hours he stood, every several hours he checked behind him, looking for the signal light, then back towards the array of houses arranged before him. For a moment, his eyes unfocused, looking up to the moon. The stars were hidden, missing behind the marching of the clouds. Then, for a brief moment, as he lowered his eyes to the horizon, he saw something. Something swiftly moving through the night, cutting through the air like a knife.

He barely had enough time to light the signal pyre before the creature had him.



Val looked about the interior of the ministry. The dull red carpets flowed down endless immaculate halls, each holding windows that let the faint light stream into the darkened corridor, tainted with bright colors. The main room of worship, was left in complete darkness, save for a single unlit candle, somehow left unscathed during the slaughter. The great massive curtains and banners, some depicting religious symbols and figures, were drenched in copious amounts of blood, spilled from the number of worshipers and guardsmen in the area.

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Character Portrait: Rafar The Red
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Rafar quietly remained outside the city. Patiently watching the guards walk across the walls surrounding it. He was excited, or perhaps happy. All his comrades was here, the Poor sheep would not be given any rest. He wondered if the fanged sheep would even be able to repel all of his powerful kin.

But one fickle thought crossed his mind. It would be no fun if they all attacked now. Just as Lidia had said. He enjoyed hunting his enemies. So for now, He would simply sit outside the city. Soon everything would start, Perhaps he would join.. perhaps not.. But now, he was simply observing

His mind was quite happy with his decision. Until suddenly a small spark flared inside him. He had forgot, Truly, there was one thing he couldn't ignore. If the Shepherd was to reveal his presence... Then he would, without a doubt, Join his kin, and stain his shining claws