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Montanax

These heights aren't impossible to attain.

0 · 420 views · located in LAIOS

a character in “Welcome to LAIOS Part II”, as played by MisterMagicMuffin

Description

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Real Age:

27

Occupation:

Intelligence/Counter Intelligence Operative

Gender:

Male

Orientation:

Fluid

Appearance:

Montana's features hearken from a position on the globe far away from his current area of operations. His strong, linear jawline, full lips, black hair and high cheekbones are reminiscent of the romanticized Indian brave. These features are muted slightly, lacking the extreme proportions of the pure blooded, rendered subtle by distinct European ancestry. Mirroring the ink blackness of his locks, Montana's eyes are the colour of the night sky, with pupils indistinguishable from the shade of his Iris. Standing at 5'10, he boasts a figure honed by martial and strength training. Hard bodied with compact muscle, he prefers to keep his figure trim and functional.



Reason for playing LAIOS:

Montana's reason for playing LAIOS was vastly different from the majority of the online populace. Most joined for leisure, others to escape the monotony of lives they weren't content with; he, on the other hand, joined for work. Intelligence was a dangerous business, with its operatives often dealing with tense situations under a wealthy countries’ skyline, or trading gunfire in the deserted streets of an abandoned settlement. In the 21st century, various agencies- Government, or private like his own- looked for ways to exchange information digitally, minus the egregarious footprint. LAIOS, in it’s essence, was about information exchange; sharing adventures, experiences, and an entire reality with an online community. The limitless possibilities of a world free of international law wasn’t an opportunity he was wont to miss.

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Avatar Sex:

Male

Level at Start of Roleplay:

80

Race:

Beast

Element:

N/A

Class:

Hand To Hand

Role:

Guild Leader

Occupation:


☄

Guild:

Lunar Glade

Hex code: #726E6D


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In Game Appearance

Montana base appearances served as the building blocks for his online avatar, but it was the subtle differences that made this new man. His original face was one that seemed effortlessly calm and collected; emotions that conflicted with this calm nature laid on his features in a believable way, rarely stressing the parameters of what one would expect. This was partly practiced due to his work in intelligence, while the rest was simply how his face worked as a man. When he stepped into the game he kept his black hair, long and raven hued, his face structure remained extremely similar but his features changed. His mouth and eyes became more expressive, able to convey feelings of contempt, anticipation, desire, and amusement with a palpable exaggeration that made judging his true emotions impossible by sight alone. The same was true with his mouth. It could stay in a polite line or curl and twist with a romanticism he never cared to use. At times parting to reveal his rows of sharp teeth in a cheshire grin, or lifting to move into an easy smile. Montanax's beast traits didn't end there, a pair of soot black ears lay nestled in his flowing black locks, and his tail, colored with grey stripes, was often coiled around his left leg. His eyes, once pools of black ink, served as the most drastic change to his face. The matte remained, but selected red on the colour pallet to replace the original colour. Different from the glowing oculus some had, Montanax’s were closer to a stationary pool of blood, a circle of sedentary red on a white backdrop.


His in game outfit mixed fashion and function. Above everything was a faded grey trench-coat, slim around his waist, with red trim that was especially evident where the collar flared to cover the back of his neck. Beneath this was a similarly coloured collared shirt, with cuffs of a sanguine red, which were flipped up where the trench coat ended. Only the collar and cuffs of the shirt could be seen, as a thin metal breastplate, form fitting like the trench-coat, obscured it from view. His pants are more of the same, form-fitting as they hugged his thighs in a complementary fashion, loosening around his calves, where a pair of thin metal shinguards sat, ending just before his polished black shoes.


Cloth armour often served as a better defense against magic, and was worn by mages. An obvious way to offset the inherent weakness to magic those of the beast race experienced.


Montana was a hand to hand user, and due to the same hereditary traits that caused his weakness to magic, he sports retractable claws, perfect for light armours and giving him complete freedom to use his digits, along with various items he was prone to use on the fly. For heavier opponents, he used a pair of metal knuckles that ignored a percentage of defense value, because their design indicated they were meant for shattering bone, rather than cutting flesh. Finally, there was his obligatory claw blades, pure obsidian and put to use for their bleeding effect which sapped mana along with health lost.




Skills:

⚜Punisher - Give the target a devastating final blow. This is only for those in hand to hand combat.


⚜Jump Kick - The ability to kick an aerial monster hard enough to drop them to the ground. Only usable for hand-to-hand combat.


⚜Silver Tongue - Silver Tongue is the ability to talk your way out of trouble and swindle merchants into giving you an item for less gold. The higher the level, the more persuasive you are and most would consider you quite the charmer. Montanax has raised this skill to level 82, meaning that he can barter for lower prices from merchants, and is very persuasive.


⚜Detection - Train your detection skill and you'll have an easier time seeing the sneak and avoid pick pockets. This also helps in fights, allowing you to be aware of your opponents moves based on their stances. Montanax has raised this level to 85, meaning that he has an easier time seeing pickpockets and sneaking players of equal skill, and even more skill in spotting those of a lower level than him.



Enhancements:

⚜Gloves: Increase chance of critical hits by 10% per strike.

⚜Body armor: Coat gives 29% resistance to magic, and an immediate boost 15% of health once overall health drops below 5 percent, although the latter has a cooldown.

⚜Leg Armor: Knee pads increases stamina regeneration speed by 33%.

⚜WEAPON(s): Montanax has two pairs of weaponized gloves, which do two different things. The clawed pair, dubbed Obsidian Fangs, have an MP drain of 5% per strike, with an extra 2 percent during the bleeding effect. The brass knuckles, Mrs. Phoenix and Mr. Moon, ignores 10% stacking of existing defense, and, in connection, has a 5% chance of landing a critical hit. Stacking with each hit made.

⚜Boots: Increase movement speed by 14%.



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Likes:

♦Information

♦Visceral Combat

♦Good Conversation





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Dislikes:

♦Harming Children

♦Pointless Killing

♦Heavy Armor





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Strengths:

♦Savant Esq Hand-to-Hand Combatant

♦Battlefield Strategy/Force Mangement

♦Hereditary Strength and Speed

♦DPS Against A Single Target





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Weakness:

♦ Below Average Magic Defense

♦ Complete Lack of AOE Attacks

♦ Low Liquor Tolerance





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Fears:

♦That Death in the Game World Results in Being Trapped within The Game as an NPC

♦Betrayal

♦Growing too Attached





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Personality:

Intelligent ღ Calculating ღ Intense ღ Adaptable


Montana’s out of game personality was that of Janus, Greek God of January. Many faces, many personalities, many names and many reasons. His line of work called for it. The man he was, the essence of his being was made redundant in the ever changing tide of intelligence. He didn’t simply adopt a role, he became his role. The the expat, the engineer, the bodyguard, the specialist, in many ways logging into LAIOS for the first time was more of the same for Montana. Ever the Intelligence operative he could adopt a role, and live in it, minus the headache maintaining cover at all times. In this world, it was almost taboo to ask someone who they truly were, to dig past the avatar that represented their person in this virtual land. This suited his needs perfectly. He’d play the serious Bounty Hunter, the Watchful Sleuther, The Interested Buyer, whatever role he needed to reach his goal he could adapt. It was easy, at first. There were no stakes in this world. It was the great game of espionage minus the risk and reward of gambling with one’s life. In many ways, it was a liberating experience, one he would highly recommend to the group that had hired him once he logged out.


Then, the lockdown happened. The relationships he had built with other users changed, and with it, his arbitrary interest. People weren’t just looking to him for help, they were looking to survive. To exact revenge for their loved ones, for information that would lead them in the right direction on their quests.


In the outside world he often dealt with men and women of the same vocation, people whose bonds and friendships were as fluid as his feelings for men and women. These people were different. These were kids, most barely in and out of high school, some even younger than that, who logged in with older siblings or friends, only to find themselves alone. Scared. Trapped in a world where there were more frantic users then friendly faces. This caused a change in Montana, he began to genuinely care for the people who had crossed his path, even responsible. His job outside of LAOIS required him to put his life on the line. They hadn’t signed up for that.


He still had his personalities, his emotions he’d call up at will to portray what he wanted, and the face to express it all but oftentimes Montana found himself wondering.


How much of this was an act?.


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History:

Montana initially played LAIOS as part of an Intelligence contract. This new digital age was changing the landscape of his business. People were looking for alternatives to the high stress situations, and danger that international travel held. Government and Free Lance surveillance were at their peak, and the decline internet anonymity had caused a surge in traditional spying methods. This is where LAOIS came into the picture. The high security, easy access of the user interface told of a possible playground for various agents to interact around the world. These operatives could the roles they took IRL, the company who hired them saw a cabal of capable people exchanging information under the guise of consistent players, ranging from mercenaries to blacksmiths, all varying levels, all with their own sets of online friend’s who’d be none the wiser.


Which is why he chose Information Broker. As the potential pioneer of this new age of spywork, he found the skillset rather fitting. A silver tongue to bridge the relationships and gain the information he wanted, along with the detection to serve as his buffer against the real spies and assassins of the game world. Counter Intelligence.


First he learned what he could from experienced players, while he had been briefed and had practiced plenty on available rpg’s and mmo’s, there was only so much one could learn without a crash course. These players served as the building blocks for his character. He learned how to optimize his skills, and negate his weaknesses as best he could. As a hand to hand combatant, Montanax found he was especially tuned for one on one confrontations. The various arenas showed him that his knack for fighting in the real world had translated into Player Vs Player confrontations in the game world. The beginning jitters that players faced when entering their first fights was nonexistent for him, giving him the edge in many of the earlier duels that took place.


When Pking began in earnest, and players began to lose their items and pride to those preyed on them, Montanx saw a shimmering opportunity amidst the carnage. While his official title wasn’t “Mercenary” there was nothing stopping him from heading out of town safety, and into the open world to confront the players who he would affectionately refer to as “marks” upon the request of a jilted player.


What could he receive that was more valuable than gold? Information that was freely given, loyalty, friendship, and respect. He’d slay his marks, and return with what griefed goods he could. Instead of gaining the ire of players for simply Pking, he gained the network he had set out to create when he first set foot in LAOIS.


Then. The Rules changed.


The simplicity of the words made him a believer the moment they were spoken. A rogue AI, how many people had feared such a thing before this technology was ever available? Enough that it had been represented in media for the better part of sixty years. A distant fear that the technology we created would one day destroy us. A fear that was well founded It changed everything, he felt confined within the parameters of spywork again. The risks were back, and the rewards were higher than they ever had been.


It was now a race to the top, a race that claimed the lives of over half their standing population. Numerous friends, contacts, and even friendly rivals. Once the initial shock had died down along with the clamour of voices that all had different opinions on how they should proceed, the push to escape started in earnest.


It was the players who assumed the PKing would stop that ventured into the wilderness. They became some of the first victims post lockdown.


It was those who survived them, friends and family who came to Montanax, filled with anger, fear and sadness. Montanax became the agent of their retribution, slaying his marks, and returning with mementos of the fallen. They hadn’t forgotten who he was, few in number as they were. Tt was with these players that Lunar Glade saw its dusk, around the same time the Pheonix rose from the ashes, and the Knight stood to defend the players.


Lunar Glade’s mission was simple to say, and difficult to execute. Find an alternate route out of LAIOS without killing the Game Master. The reasoning behind this was four fold, one, having your eggs in one basket was a waste of resources, two, he’d rather not have a possibly all powerful AI breathing down the collective neck of the guild, three, wanting to end the game would shut the guild off from those who wanted to stay in the game (Montanax reasoned that players who wanted the game to continue would be more inclined to help those who wanted to leave without destroying it, thus allowing them to play indefintely,) and finally, it was entirely reasonable work /with/ the AI when it was found.


Leading the guild was different for him. He rarely, if ever took the field anymore, unless it was to oversee and partake in a major battle. A lot of his time was taken up managing various routes of communication, and organizing events to level up his players (with the help of his guildmates of course). His methods ranged from dungeon power leveling by pairing lower level players with some of the guild's finest, to setting up safe questing routs that saw their lengths routinely patrolled by Lunar Glade members, along with the members of other allied guilds. He worked closely with the other guild leaders, as to draw from their mutual experience to serve their common goal.


His network is sizeable and boasts contacts whose titles range from solo to neutral.


The only thing that’s left is to find a way out.


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Face Claims:

Byakuya Kuchiki - Bleach

Alucard - Hellsing


CS Design:

© By: FaddedFox ©

Played By:

By: MisterMagicMuffin

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So begins...

Montanax's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Goliath Character Portrait: ArcticFire Character Portrait: Accido Character Portrait: Psychedemo Character Portrait: Cain Character Portrait: EclecticPrince Character Portrait: Minuet Character Portrait: Shade_Strider Character Portrait: NocturnalKISS Character Portrait: Mononoke Character Portrait: Lilac Sin Character Portrait: Granite Character Portrait: Seraph Character Portrait: WindsFate Character Portrait: Angus Character Portrait: Montanax Character Portrait: Augur Character Portrait: EveEverlasting Character Portrait: Leviathan
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╚═╣Hello all Players! This is your Game Master. I would first like to wish you all Happy Holidays! I would like to inform you all of an event that will be occurring shortly. The first Christmas event will commence on December 25th. During this event, the town of Vael will become a battle zone where event specific monsters will appear. If you do not wish to participate in the event, refrain from visiting Vael that day or stay indoors so you are not attacked. Regardless of participation, all players will receive a box of candy canes (12 canes) as treats, 10 health and 10 mana potions as a present from me. The event also has two parts. Once the monsters appear, midnight on the 24th, there will be a competition of who kills the most event creatures. The winner with the overall highest kill count will receive a mount of their choosing, a Christmas dinner that can be shared with 5 people, and 20 health and mana potions. The person that comes in second will receive the same things except the mount.

The second part of the event will happen at midnight on the 25th. A boss will appear in the town and will not attack anyone unless it is attacked. The player that does the greatest damage and takes down the boss will receive a dragon egg, the Christmas dinner, candy, and potions. I thank you for your patronage and hope you are all happy with your gifts! Happy Hunting!
---Game Master Time stamp December 18 5:00am
╠═╝

₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪



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Occupation:
Mercenary

Guild:
Night's Guile

Level:
72

Hex Code:
#CC1100

Location:
Vael tavern - Gold Gallion



December 24th. It was a peaceful, normal day for the most part in Vael. It was two in the afternoon so most players were up and awake doing whatever they needed to get done that day or doing some grinding in the field to get ready for the event. The sandy beach town had been transformed for the season and snow fell from the sky as realistic as if it were really happening. The snow flakes were delicate and cold to the touch and the air had grown chilly enough to allow the snow to rest on the ground. Some players had even stuck their tongues out to catch the falling snow. The NPC children had a lot of fun gathering up the multitude of ice on the ground and tossing it around at each other in a fight and engaging players, begging them to join them or throwing random snow balls at passerby. Playersand NPCs alike were making snow angels and building up snowmen. It really was like a winter wonderland and Shade_Strider wasn't a huge fan. The cold sucked but he supposed cold weather was better than blistering heat. Over all, things had been cheery. There was even a giant tree in the middle of town that hadn't been there before covered in lights and decorations that towered over the buildings and in every town. The game music had changed to the instrumental of Chirstmas songs but thank the Game Master that he only applied that feature in the town square and not everywhere else in the game. Shade might have actually wanted to die in game just to escape the overly cheery lullabies of the holiday. He thought Christmas music in real shops had been annoying. Even the fields had snow falling everywhere.

A lot of the players were talking about the coming event and what it meant. They remembered all to well the event that had trapped them in the game. It had been an event to welcome all players but it really hadn't been an event at all. It had just been the Game Master removing the log out feature and giving them a few potions as a starter kit. It made the players wary if anything. What would happen this time? Was it really an event? There were other players that ignored the event and others that were excited for it to. It was all a mixture of emotions like everything else in LAIOS.

In Vael's tavern, the Gold Gallon, 'life' went on as usual though even the tavern was decorated with Christmas decorations and stockings. It was almost sickening how Christmasy it all was. Shade_Strider wanted to cut something. The drink was good however and the bard singing? Stunningly gorgeous as usual. Shade loved everything about his Princy and his voice was amazing to though he always found himself lost in the tenor or the man's voice or his deep hypnotic eyes rather than his lyrics. EclecticPrince was singing as was his occupation, standing in front of a game table where many of his friends were already gathered. Shade_Strider did sometimes start staring at the man, game in front of him forgotten momentarily.It almost made him oblivious. Almost.

"Bullshit!" Shade_Strider called out suddenly with a grin, his smoldering ruby colored eyes narrowed on Granite. He so did love playing cards with Prince's brother. And his jokes were fun to when Granite decided to chip up. "I call your bullshit, Granite. I don't believe you put down 2 Queens! Flip them over, you liar. Don't you agree, Demo?" he asked and glanced at the other player at their table. They weren't exactly friends but gaming with her was fun to. "You call his bullshit to, don't you?" Shade_Strider's leather black wings fluttered behind him in his confidence. He was positive the other demon didn't have the cards he professed. This would be a good turn in the game since Granite at that point had far fewer cards than he or PsycheDemo.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Montanax
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Occupation:
Information Broker

Guild:
Lunar Glade

Level:
80

Hex Code:
#726E6D

Location:
Vael- Outside of Lunar Glade Guild Hall

Christmas. A time of year that had once stalled the advancing forces of two armies hell bent on destroying one another, for a night of carols and sports. What was a time of merriment and good cheer took a rather sinister turn inside of this virtual world, at least from Montanax's perspective. What was designed a community event was perhaps more akin to a nightmare. Those who feared for their lives would stay huddled behind the safety of their walls, while the rest of their player base joined the hunt, seeking to test their mettle in combat for reward and recognition.

If a member of his guild was to win, they could see a substantial rise in their recruitment efforts. However this potential byproduct was secondary to Montanax's true goal during their festivities. This event proved an ample opportunity to train the lower leveled players in their guild, and level them up from the relative safety of Vael, where sanctuary was an open door away.

To facilitate the umbrella of relative safety, he'd have the stronger members of his guild party with open slots, in the event the odd player got in over his head. The spirit of competition wasn't enough to condemn a player to death, and each member had strict orders that the preservation of life, theirs, and others, took precedence over bids for individual glory.

Not that he expected everyone to listen. The more warlike in the guild, those who's thirst of battle outweighed their sense and fear of death would likely be among the first to assault the boss when it arrived. Along with the the members of their sister guilds, and all the neutral and solo players who fell into the same spectrum as they.

"Ah. There you are." Montanax stepped out of the guild hall, and was met immediately by the cold air of the season. It wrapped it's arms around his neck where the collar of his coat was turned skyward, and caressed his cheeks in equal measure. Rather then enjoy the snow for what it was worth, its presence raised questions in his mind. Would the terrain dictate the types of monsters summoned, would it effect their weaknesses? Perhaps attire resistant to cold would be useful as a precaution.

There was a sudden blur, a projectile aimed for his temple, spiracle and maintaining it's speed as it moved. Montanax reaction was immediate, and his head snapped back, avoiding the attack before it hit. The snowball disintegrated as it hit the wall, falling into a small pile on the ground.

He turned to lock eyes with his assailant. It was a small boy, cheeks rosy from the cold. He ran off once he had been spied, giggling maniacally into the distance, no doubt looking for more victims to ensnare in his impromptu snow fights. Montanax made no effort to hide the small smile that ever so slightly lifted his features. Children, coded or flesh and blood, would always enjoy themselves if the situation left them able.

Tis the season.

He decided to wait on the Guild threshold before he moved on, in the off chance that someone wanted to speak with him beyond the normal pleasantries and small debates that erupted once their meetings had adjourned. His plans for the evening consisted of making his way to one of the cities establishments to mingle with the player base, and he welcomed company.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cain Character Portrait: Lilac Sin Character Portrait: Angus Character Portrait: Montanax
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Occupation:
Enchanter

Guild:
Lunar Glade

Level:
54

Hex Code:
#8565fa

Location:
Vael - Skies






Once the message from the Game Master was sent out, reminding Lilac of the fact that time was still passing, that Christmas was just around the corner, it... honestly wasn't a good feeling at all. If she hadn't gotten this dumb game, she and Aria could've been spending time buying gifts for the family, for mutual friends, they could've been happy. They could've been together. Now, Lilac had no idea if her sister was safe, alive, or trapped in the game under an unrecognizable name, or perhaps even already dead. That last possibility was a particularly devastating one that honestly, was better off not thought about lest she overwork her heart in the real world.

She was flying in circles above the ocean city of Vael when she sent private messages to all the guild members barring Accido and Montanax, asking for updates, preferred allies and formations and the like, knowing Montanax valued survival over all else. The information slowly trickled in and Lilac kept a mental notebook of what class combinations worked well together, which people could naturally cover each other's weaknesses, and which people didn't get along at all. Pairing the more war-happy people with a higher level yet level-headed player, pitting weak with the strong, doing whatever she could to ensure the maximum amount lives were retained as well as optimizing the amount of estimated experience gained per group. It was tough work, yet Lilac enjoyed it as she seemingly danced through the sky, flapping her wings as she went, fluttering gracefully. Her face remained mostly expressionless, only the faintest flicker in her amber eyes to show how much fun she was having.

It felt good to be able to contribute, to do the bulk work that allowed Montanax and Accido to focus on other things, for them to think of the big picture. They accommodated her despite her age and Lilac was incredibly thankful for that, for the opportunity to be helpful and prove her worth. Even if it was somewhat tedious, Lilac didn't mind at all. Her mind wandered as she organized names together, thinking of someone who she thought was going to be a good friend. Angus, the bull. His name floated in front of her face on her friend's list, near Accido's name and she wondered if maybe, maybe, once she was stronger, once she was smarter, maybe she could send him a message and show her old friend how far she'd come.

That'd be nice, right? In any case, it was good to know he was still alive. Someone tough like Angus would definitely be able to survive long enough for the Lunar Glade to find an escape. Even if they never spoke again, it was fine. Maybe if she was lucky, she'd catch a glimpse of her former friend during the Christmas event.

Her mind then went to Cain, her teacher and mentor. That reminded her, she'd soon have to turn in the latest homework assignment of 30% Fire resist boots. Honestly, it was easy, and she wanted to do something harder, something more complicated, but the experience would eventually add up. Hopefully he'd be proud of her, and give her a big assignment next time. Still, there was time to worry about that later - for now she sent Cain a little PM that she'd completed the task and then finished organizing the team formations. Once that was dealt with, Lilac spied the Guild Hall and swooped down to it, maintaining her expressionless face.

She sent Montanax her arrangements via a PM and requested for him to look it over and tweak whatever he thought was necessary. With that done, Lilac entered the guild, offering Montanax a subtle nod and a little smile, hair slightly a mess from the flying. She rearranged the crown on her head, enjoying the fluff of her hair. "Hello there." She said sagely, noticing the smile on his lips. "I'm glad to see you're enjoying yourself." She paused a little, wanting to be more useful if she could. "If there's anything further you'd like me to do, do you mind letting me know? I'd be glad to help out more."


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Accido Character Portrait: Lilac Sin Character Portrait: Montanax
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Occupation:
Blacksmith

Guild:
Lunar Glade

Level:
79

Hex Code:
#FF7C77

Location:
Vael – Training Grounds


Calm. Many often question Accidos way of the Swordman class. Who would gladly exchange safety for speed with a class that was meant for powerful strikes and not speed? Accido found that hard to explain; to her it was the normal way of the sword. Focus. She was swinging a sword much larger than the one she normally wielded. For a bystander it would look like she was preparing for some sort of a show, but what she was doing was far different from what those sword dancers you could see in a circus did. Feel it. The blade gracefully but fast flew from left to right hand followed by a swing; ground to air. A fast spin combined with a low kick. She was too focused to even feel the snow that attached to her leg as an effect of her kick. After a couple of maneuvers and swings, she stopped and sheathed the sword in the leather sleeve at her side. Interesting. She went back to a table where her bag and her own sword was lying, switched sword and started doing the same routine with her sword. Normally Accido did not like to be alone. It was only for those times where she felt she was in need of training or testing out theories that she could get herself to do stuff without company.

After what ended up as an hour training session she went back to her bag pulled out a book, far smaller than the ones she was normally writing in. She opened the book labeled “Theories” and flipped through the pages until she found what she was looking for. Picking up her trustworthy ink pen, she started scribbling down some notes. ”I need to look further into this” she stated followed by the realization of her body temperature being far cooler than what was good for. ”Prrr… Can my avatar get a cold?” Not really in the mood to find out, she picked up her stuff and trotted towards the guildhall.

Accido tried to cover as much of herself with her jacket as possible. The Lunar Glade guildhall was not far from the training grounds, but it was far enough for her to hate herself for not having a pair of gloves on her. Furiously trying to heat up her hands with her breath, she did not realize that her left leg was soaked from the snow that had now melted from her body heat. I am in dire need of a fireplace and a warm beverage, both of which was in the guildhall.

The beautiful sight of the crescent moon emblem met Accido as she turned the final corner. Seeing not one but two of her guild mates outside as if they were waiting for her. Definitely not by chance or anything. Her eyes locked on her target, she picked up the pace and as a furious predator attacking its prey with claws she unleashed her arms and dug them in between the well-known grey trench coat and her guild master. Knowing that Montanax was a lover of the cold *cough* she embraced him in a hug and start feeding of his body heat. ”Heya Nax.” She said with a wide playful smile. She leaned her head to the side, still locked on her target, and got eye contact with Lilac ”And Heya! to you too Lily.” Suddenly realizing that she had important matters to talk over with Lilac her playful smile disappeared and she continued the conversation ”By the way Lily. I believe your plan is good for leveling and teambuilding the guild, but I was thinking whether or not we were going for the win?” Accido had been thinking about a tactic, another player she had met before the lockdown had told her about. ”Have you ever heard of Final Blow Grinding? It is some kind of leveling grind strategy used by pros in other MMOs. I was thinking about using that to win the first event tomorrow, since it is whomever gets the most kills that wins that event. That is if we actually need a specific mount for anything.” She turned her head back to Montanax. ”Why are we standing outside the guildhall again?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Accido Character Portrait: Lilac Sin Character Portrait: Montanax
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Occupation:
Information Broker

Guild:
Lunar Glade

Level:
80

Hex Code:
#726E6D

Location:
Vael- Outside of Lunar Glade Guild Hall

"Hello Miss Lilac" Montanax's eyes lingered where they had sat for a few moments longer, then moved toward her with an easy movement. He was pleased to see his strategist in good spirits. Her aptitude for tactics coupled with her processing power had catapulted her through his ranks despite her age and relative level. Ability was more important to him then the trappings of a laymen's perception. This wasn't to say he was unaware of her age, it certainly played a part in how he interacted with her, but it wasn't a cause for him to hold her back from her potential.

"Taking in the sights. The frost holds different meanings depending on where one is. Frivolous play for some, survival for others." This was only a brief insight into his musings, as per her request, he sat down beside her, and opened up his messages. He was greeting with organized layers of player names, levels, personality types, classes, and their formations. "These formations are finely tuned, too many alterations on my part would be redundant. I've launched a line of inquiry as to the nature of our terrain, just to see if it brings any damage buffs/debuffs with it". Meaning he saw no flaws in her arrangements, and, he trusted her judgment. The only change he made was to reassign a few guild members to 'Free Roam', meaning they could travel where they were needed as they saw fit. These would be the players who were largely solo before joining the guild, and a few of their power houses.

"I hope you've found some enjoyment in the frost, are you fond of building snowmen?" Montana stood up, and brushed his outfit free of any lingering pieces of snow. He was mid brush when the his left, feline ear gave a small flick as he heard an approaching body grow closer. It was closing in at an alarming speed as well.

Touch confirmed who it was before eyesight did, not to say his hearing wasn't attuned to the particulars of his seconds footsteps after all their time together.

"Swordarm." Montanax's affectionate name for Accido stemmed from his trust in the girl. A warrior trusted their sword arm above all else, to protect others, and keep themselves alive. She was brilliance and brutality in equal measure. He had seen her carry out her duties with deadly efficiency, all while maintaining the hub of information that had kept the players informed, and alive.

He returned the hug in kind, drawing her into him as he placed one hand between her shoulder blades, and the other on the small of her back. Body heat emanated from him, quickly dousing the coldness between them. He wouldn't break the embrace until she had gotten her fill.

"Is that a technique that requires one to land the last hit on an enemy another is fighting? As for winning, well, our main objective is guild priority, but I'd love to witness one of our own, win." His answer to her first question was purely from context clues, and Montanax wouldn't be surprised, or offended if he was wrong.

"I was standing outside, wondering if fate would deliver some close friends to me before I traveled to one of our local taverns, unless you both would prefer the hospitality of our guild hall."

He smiled, but kept his mouth mostly closed. The sight of his teeth could be disconcerting at times.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Accido Character Portrait: Lilac Sin Character Portrait: Montanax
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Occupation:
Enchanter

Guild:
Lunar Glade

Level:
54

Hex Code:
#8565fa

Location:
Vael - Outside of Lunar Glade Guild Hall





The snow was certainly pretty, Lilac had to admit that. In the real world, she was never allowed to play in the snow because of her illness. Honestly, she rarely allowed to do much at all in the real world, her heart being her cage, preventing her from enjoying much of her life at all. But LAIOS itself was a cage, though perhaps even more deadly, and it gave her chills thinking about possibly being trapped in the game for the rest of her life, never again waking in the real world. Lilac wanted her parents, she wanted her sister, she didn't want them to have yet another reason to always worry about her.

Lilac listened to her leader's appraisal of the formations and the plans, her eyes flickering with pride and pleasure at the praise, at knowing she did well and was of help. She almost apologized for forgetting to create a 'Free Roam" section but knew that if she apologized too often it'd be troublesome, so instead she nodded silently, wanting to smile and twirl but carefully bottling it in. Actions like that were childish and silly, weren't they?

"I haven't built a snowman before." Lilac said honestly, glancing at the white falling from the sky in gentle winds. She looked almost wistful. "It'd be nice to, in the real world."

Then the second in command arrived and Lilac tactfully averted her eyes before they touched. If not for her emotionless nature, the girl would've likely blushed heavily at this, so she stepped a little bit away to stare at the snow. She enjoyed Accido and Montanax's company though, and they were probably the closest thing she had to a family until there was a way out. It'd be nice if somehow, she could keep in touch with them after they escaped the game.

Lilac recognized Final Blow Grinding - she had done it before with Aria in a multitude of games they played. It would be one way to try to have the guild win, and Lilac liked the idea of being a part of the winning guild of the event, as well as the rewards that it would entail - not to mention the influx of new recruits that would be impressed by the victory. Lilac lowered her head slightly, feeling mildly ashamed for not thinking of victory when coming up with her plan when Montanax reassured her that survival and slowly strengthening the guild was the top priority.

"I'm aware of it." The girl said quietly, her eyes slightly downcast as the only indicator of her embarrassment. "I would also like for someone of our guild to win! I'm sorry if I was too focused on team building!" She twirled her foot in the snow, but raised her eyes to look at Accido - who could very well be her big sister if luck would have it. "If Montanax agrees, I could make adjustments to prioritize winning in order for either of you to go for the kills?"

Then came the question of why they were standing there in the first place, when Montanax mentioned heading to the local tavern with close friends - referring to the two of them, it seemed. Lilac liked the idea of that, so she nodded at the guild's leader, giving both him and Accido subtle smiles, stepping back out into the snow, doing a little spin, enjoying the feeling of the flakes landing on her, even if it was fake. It was an alien feeling, something she never really did in real life, and perhaps this was one of the few perks of being trapped in the game.

Until she noticed how silly and childish she must have looked. "I - I apologize." Lilac mumbled, almost letting her inner kid show. The girl composed herself, brushing snow off of her sleeves and shaking some of it out of her crown. "Shall we head to the Gold Galleon?"


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Accido Character Portrait: Psychedemo Character Portrait: Cain Character Portrait: EclecticPrince Character Portrait: Shade_Strider Character Portrait: Lilac Sin Character Portrait: Montanax
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Occupation:
Blacksmith

Guild:
Lunar Glade

Level:
79

Hex Code:
#FF7C77

Location:
Vael – In front of Lunar Glade Guildhall


What was supposed to be a prank of some sort to her guild master had turned out to fail. Just as she felt a hand between her shoulder blades her mind was screaming ABORT MISSION! But as she was pressed deeper into a much needed warmth, she couldn’t deny that what had started off as a prank had achieved her more than a small laugh. In the arms of the beast, she knew so well, she could not deny that she felt a combination of relaxation and protection. She let out a sigh of joy without realizing it.
”Exactly.” She replied to Montanax and gave him a small pat on his chest as a reward of having the correct answer. Mostly because it would feel awkward to pat the high beast on the head.

Accido cut the hug short as she heard the reply of Lilac. She walked over to the little girl and squad down to equal height of her. Putting her hand on the crown Lilac was known for wearing and changing the angle slightly to match what Accido thought of as being cuter. ”It was mostly to bring up an idea in case we have a need for a specific mount.” She brushed off the last couple of snowflakes that was stuck to the crown. ”We are the Lunar Glade after all. If someone have an idea of an alternate way out and is in need of a special mount, we have to prioritize that above anything else.” Her hand changed from the crown to the top of Lilacs head and she softly started petting her. The coldness of the surroundings reflecting on the fluffy yet silky hair ”But unless you two know something I don’t, then I believe that your plan would be the best one to go for. United we stand. Divided we fall.” Accido realized the cold hair of the small girl ”By the way aren’t you cold?” Without a warning she pulled Lilac into a close hug ”I just stole plenty of warmth and I’ll gladly share some with you my Lily.” She did not know why, but she really enjoyed being together with Lilac. Every time they were together, they seemed to bond.

As she felt that she had given enough warmth to the little mage she stood up and hold her hand gently in her own. ”Sounds like a good idea. Let’s go to the Gold Galleon! Onwards!” She turned her head to Montanax waiting for him to walk up beside them. ”Nax I bet you would gladly treat your girls to a good meal and some warm drinks right?” A bright smile emitting on her face, it was Christmas after all and she was going to celebrate it with family and friends like always.

On their way to the Gold Galleon, they small talked about the beautiful Christmas design that had been thrown over Vael. It was a VR game and made unrealistic things easily realistic but there were still a lot of work in the making of it. The Gold Galleon was not far away from the Lunar Glade guildhall so they were cut short in their talk just like the amount of snowballs Montanax had to dodge from mostly NPCs.

As Accido entered the familiar tavern her eyes made a fast scan to allocate known players. Her eyes fell upon a group of players playing some sort of cards, in which she knew two-three of them. At first glance they seemed to enjoy themselves but at second the tension seemed thick. Deciding to relieve them from the tension she turned to Lilac and Montanax ”Could you guys find a spot? I got some business to attend.” She pulled of her bag and threw it to Montanax before heading out to get a handful of snow.

Silent. Accido approached her target as a predator sneaking up to its prey. Just a little further. The target was close but felt far away in conversation. You make it way too easy. And with those last thoughts she pulled in the collar of a well known white haired man in order for her to make contact between weapon and the flesh of said prey. In this case the weapon was the snow in her hand and the flesh was the naked back of Cain. At the same time she whispered into the back of his right ear. ”Revenge is sweet isn’t it?” Her comment meant to remind him of their last meeting. She made sure to splash the snow as best she could in the situation in order to make it harder for him to chase her instantaneous.
After her assault Accido looked around at the table making a fast greet to everyone with a big playful smile ”Merry Christmas everyone.” She turned her head to Psychedemo ”Psy I need to talk to you in private after this event.” With those words, she snuck away from her prey trying to get as far away from him as possible in case he was in the mood for a counter attack.

Accido returned to the side of Montanax and Lilac, furthest away from the white haired demon disguised as a human. ”So what did you order for me?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Accido Character Portrait: Psychedemo Character Portrait: Cain Character Portrait: EclecticPrince Character Portrait: Shade_Strider Character Portrait: Lilac Sin Character Portrait: Granite Character Portrait: Montanax
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Occupation:
Information Broker

Guild:
Lunar Glade

Level:
80

Hex Code:
#726E6D

Location:
Vael- Outside of Lunar Glade Guild Hall-Gold Gallion



Montanax released Accio when she moved, his hands finding a new home in the deepest reaches of his coat pockets. The shadow of fondness lightened the intensity of his features. It was the kind of look that wasn't reflected by a simple smile, but with the subtle parts of ones facial muscles. It was moments like these that reminded him that behind the steely exteriors, warriors gazes, and strategic minds that who they were pre lockdown remained. It was a warming thought, one that couldn't be extinguished by the season around them.

Montanax didn't allow himself to dwell on the sentimental aspects of their organization for too long. There were things to be done this eve and such thoughts had their time and place. The small amount of appreciation was enough for him. That being said, the look lingered for a short while after Accido embraced Lily, it faded once he began talking, through his tone stayed at a lighter depth.

"An individuals desire for accolades, personal or in the name of Lunar Glade will dictate their, or the parties actions well enough. Particularly players who bond over playstyle and requested their own parties, vs the guilds preference. Accido brings up a valid notion, anything we can use as leverage is important, especially if a silver tongue is unable to coax the information we need." In other words, as trusted, and ranking members of his guild, their opinions were trusted, and within reason, they were both free to act upon their feelings.

Montanax followed his two companions with a nod, walking beside Accido and nodded serenely as she spoke. His eyebrows had raised in a playful way as he replied."It would only be appropriate, given the season, to treat 'my girls' to food and drinks." Next he addressed Lilac, who had fallen in beside them. "There's no need to apologize for enjoying yourself." In said in reference to her actions earlier. "Enjoying your time makes everything we fight for worth it, I'm inclined to believe." Survival in and of itself would make them little more then animals after all, a belief, that was ironic in context, given his choice of avatar. His hand left the cradle of his pocket and pushed into the door, opening it for his two companions.

The first thing he did was scan the room. Scanning in the literal sense, as his detection skill, always in use, showed him information that extended far beyond the regular players scope of vision. Gear sets, status, class, everything that encompassed the player character was on display whenever his eyes beheld another form. It was an overwhelming skill that had become second nature due to its near constant use.

"Of course." Like Accido, he had noted the familiar faces in the in the tavern, Pyche, a trusted confidant, Cain, her high leveled and near constant companion. There was Shade, a former rival of his on the circuit of death, turned close ally, Granite ever measured, and the eminent bard Prince, all in their familiar trappings. In their background was a famous defender, hero of the plains, and other faces known to Montanax.

He caught the bag thrown at him without casting a glance in the direction from where it was thrown. He was focused on selecting a spot, a booth with its side to the wall. In place of pulling out a chair, he motioned toward the comfortable seats, and waited for Lily to take hers. After, he made his way to the barkeep, and made a simple request.

"Good Evening, the usual for my companions, table service if that's available." Of course it was, the NPC's were able to accommodate the full tavern experience, he asked because, well, being polite was a habit.

When Accido returned from her escapade, and asked him what he had ordered, he responded with his initial request.

"The usual." Montanax smiled.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Accido Character Portrait: Psychedemo Character Portrait: Cain Character Portrait: EclecticPrince Character Portrait: Shade_Strider Character Portrait: Lilac Sin Character Portrait: Granite Character Portrait: Montanax
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Occupation:
Enchanter

Guild:
Lunar Glade

Level:
54

Hex Code:
#8565fa

Location:
Vael - Outside of Lunar Glade Guild Hall - Gold Galleon





Lilac remained silent as she listened to Accido and Montanax's points, somewhat glad that they seemed accepting of her plans, but also somewhat worried that maybe she didn't think of every angle correctly. This was her duty, it was her responsibility, wasn't it? If something went wrong, if they lost anyone, those lives would be on her head. Perhaps it was out of cowardice of this responsibility that she was unable to prioritize victory like some others might be. She didn't want to be seen as incompetent, not again. She already lost a friend before, her favorite beefy friend - the wind mage didn't want to be cast aside a second time. Were they secretly disappointed but were sparing her feelings due to her age? Lilac wasn't sure how she felt about it, but she made sure none of her introspection was shown outwardly. All of her inner doubts and fears manifested in one line. "Okay."

Then without warning, Accido hugged her. At first it was a harmless shake of the crown to help remove snow, and then a head pat that Lilac didn't mind - it felt warm and nice, but also gave her painful memories of her sister in the real world that she may never see again. Could it be her, could it really? But she couldn't ask, she wouldn't bring herself to ask the ultimate question. And then was the hug, full of concern and affection and it wasn't uncomfortable. Lilac didn't resist, returning with a little snuggle of her own.

Once the destination was decided - Lilac wondering how she felt about being considered one of Montanax's girls... wouldn't that term fit Accido much more? She wouldn't be surprised if the two ended up becoming more than just guild leader and second in command. If that were to happen, would Lilac be the awkward, unwelcome third wheel? More doubts spun in her mind - should she feel happy for them if they found a connection like that? Or did she dread that possibility? And then Seraph's face popped up in Lilac's mind for a split second and her cheeks flared up the tiniest bit. She didn't understand why that happened, but the girl decided not to worry about it, forcing those concerns out of her head.

The Gold Galleon was nice as always. She recognized a few faces - her mentor and teacher, Cain, and her friend from the Knights, Psyche, both playing with others she didn't quite recognize, some sort of gambling thing. A small part of Lilac's mind wondered if she'd be good at gambling, if she had a good poker face, if she could use her small stature as an advantage to make others underestimate her. But then she decided against joining. She wanted to think more about the event up ahead, after all. Montanax went to a seat and Lilac followed him, sitting not-quite-across-slightly-to-the-left, to give space for Accido to sit next to him if she wanted.

"They seem to be having fun." Lilac said, a harmless comment with no real meaning once Accido returned after whispering something to Psyche. A cynical part of the girl's mind wondered how many would die in the event, if she would die during the event. This was supposed to be a fun occasion, it wouldn't do to think such thoughts but the girl didn't exactly know how to have fun, especially in a group. If she relaxed, her childish side might come out, right? She had to keep her guard up. Once Lilac's french vanilla shake arrived she lifted the mug with both hands, drinking it in small sips so she could avoid talking if possible. As she did this, she decided to take a second look at her party formations, just in case there were some edits she could make to improve efficiency and give them a better chance of winning. A smaller part of Lilac's mind wondered if possibly, she forgot how to have fun with others. It was just for a second, but there was some longing in her eyes as she glanced once again at the card game table.


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Accido Character Portrait: Psychedemo Character Portrait: Cain Character Portrait: EclecticPrince Character Portrait: Minuet Character Portrait: Shade_Strider Character Portrait: NocturnalKISS Character Portrait: Lilac Sin Character Portrait: Granite Character Portrait: Montanax
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Occupation:
Mercenary

Guild:
Night's Guile

Level:
72

Hex Code:
#CC1100

Location:
Vael Tavern - Gold Gallion




The demon looked up when he heard Prince and couldn't help but grin at the man. He sat back in his seat and set the cards face down on the table as he waited for his princely bard package to finally be delivered. Shade happily allowed the man to wrap his arms around his neck while he wrapped his around Prince's waist. EclecticPrince was warm against him and he was the only present that he could really ask for. Out in the real world, he didn't have this, couldn't have this. Here in the game, he could be himself and he found someone that he could cherish and actually enjoy the holidays with. They wouldn't be judged here and life... life was good. People may think him insane but he was happy here. He was happy he was stuck in the game. It was selfish, he knew but there it was. He did wish that those who wanted to return home could, but he was happy where he was with EclecticPrince. He settled his head on Eclectic's shoulder and nuzzled his face softly and put a ridiculous grin on his lips. He could care less what everyone else was saying at this point. He actually started to ignore Cain's presence even. That was a bonus.

Shade looked up only to notice that Granite had left the table. He blinked and glanced at Demo who was also talking to him and Cain. Oh and Prince had asked who Cain was. Well then, he was rather observant wasn't he? He hadn't even realized the conversation was going on without him. Prince always did nab his attention, didn't he? He gave a sheepish smile before he leaned forward to kiss his bard's cheek. "That my dear, is a very annoying priest, but then again, what priest isn't annoying?" he mused. "He's come to preach our ears off." Why, yes, yes he did have something against priests but Cain only seemed to aggravate him all the more. Huh, maybe Cain did get a rise out of him after all. "He's no one important, my Prince," he answered him.

His tail whipped behind him as he turned his attention to PsychDemo and gave a nod. "Yes, I know him. We've had the displeasure of meeting a couple of times. I am surprised you know him though I am not quite sure why." And then she folded and left the game. Well then. Cain was quite the repulsive magnet. He had forced both Granite and Psych away from the table! And to his chagrin, the damned priest sat down. Damn it, Cain wouldn't leave them alone, would he? He sighed exasperated. Jealous? He was not jealous of Cain in any shape or form. At least he seemed polite enough to his prince. If he wasn't, Shade would not take kindly. For now, he'd just grin and bare Cain's annoying onslaught and unyielding speech of how great he was. At least Psych came back. He did wonder what was wrong with Granite. He had seemed perfectly fine a moment ago. Cain's appearance had just... made him poof. Did Granite know Cain from somewhere? Cain didn't seem to recognize him. There was something eating at Granite and Shade couldn't begin to know what. He wasn't very close with Granite after all. Especially not after their first meeting. Ah, now that had been fun. Shade had only just managed to kill his mark and protect Prince when Granite had rushed in accusing him of trying to PK his brother. Prince barely managed to stop the other demon from attacking Shade while he was down. Yup. Fun times.

Shade snapped out of his revere when he noticed the doors open. He looked over to see Montanax and his crew. When the guild leader looked his way, he gave him an incline of his head in silent greeting. It was good to see him and his crew healthy and well. Man this tavern was getting more and more patrons by the minute. It was getting crowded and Shade didn't much like this many people around; especially since his name was currently red. No one could kill each other in town, but he still didn't want an issues coming up because he was a PK and the only PK currently in the tavern. He wanted to go but he didn't want to be rude to the company they were currently keeping. He looked up at his lover and pressed his lips against his neck to get his attention. When his blue haired elf looked down, he sent a private message.

"It is getting crowded here and I want us to leave before shit lets loose with the spawning monsters. The Game Master didn't say what level the creatures were going to be and I don't want any of them attacking you. Besides, it is Christmas Eve. I do want to spend some time alone with you. I have a present for you," he smiled.

He turned to PsychDemo and Cain then. "Hey, are you guys going to be participating in the event? The prizes do sound pretty enticing.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Accido Character Portrait: Psychedemo Character Portrait: Cain Character Portrait: EclecticPrince Character Portrait: Shade_Strider Character Portrait: Lilac Sin Character Portrait: Montanax
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Occupation:
Information Broker

Guild:
Knights of Lore

Level:
73

Hex Code:
#461B7E

Location:
Vael Tavern--Gold Galleon





It was with a begrudging amusement that Psyche let out a few snickers in regards to Cain’s words- in particular, the remark on “rising” that their newfound company had cheerfully given. A gloved hand had flickered up in a weak effort to hide it, but from both the soft sounds that had escaped her, to the light tremble of her shoulders, it was obvious as to what she was doing. For all that the priest annoyed her, watching someone else- especially a PKer such as Shade- get the same treatment held an undeniable entertainment. It was like falling for some kindergarten bubble-gum prank, only to keep silent as it was pulled on another and falling into a fit of laughter at their expense. It was petty of her, perhaps, but a pettiness that she held little shame in holding. Prince’s following wisecrack brought a more open peal of laughter from the mage, and, busying her hands with reorganizing her cards, turned her gaze upon the little group.

“Contrary to popular belief, even we of little sin get harassed by LAIOS’ witnesses.” The comment was made cheerfully as Psyche reclined into her chair, shuffling the deck absentmindedly before replacing it, face-down once again, onto the table. “I’m a bit curious as to how you two met, though; with how well you’ve been treating each other, I’m guessing that you’ve known each other for some time?” From over the mumbles and general babble of the tavern’s crowd, Psyche picked up the sound of the door opening. Intrigued, she turned to see who had entered, and caught sight of a trio of familiar faces; namely, three rather notable members of the Lunar Glade, and three that she was on good terms with. Giving a warm smile, the purpette raised a hand in a salute before turning back- although, out of the corner of her eye, she could spot Accido approaching the table, rounding about with a handful of snow.

Psyche did well to keep up a decent poker face, continuing to keep eyes on those surrounding her.

At Prince’s remark of Granite needing to go and brood, she smiled, resting a finger lightly against her jaw. “Well,” she began, “I think that he really needs to learn how to manage his stress; wouldn’t want him to crack anytime soon.” In spite of the godawful pun that had just left her lips, Psyche kept up an innocent expression, crystal blue eyes wide and guiltless.

And then, the snow had been planted. Giving a bit of a grin from under her hood, Psyche watched as her fellow Second in Command skipped away, wishing them all a merry Christmas before adding that she needed to speak to the other after all had unfolded. Intrigued, Psyche nodded before giving a slight wave in Accido’s direction. “Merry Christmas to you, too,” she laughed, a certain note of dryness having slipped into her tone.

Once Accido had left, Psyche’s attention was once again brought back to the group- namely, Shade’s question. She mulled over it for a moment, as if only now just considering whether she should join in, before giving a roll of her shoulders and thumbing her cheek lightly.

“I don’t see why not. I know a lot of my guild will end up joining in, so I won’t really have anything else to do tonight, anyway. Besides,” her smile widened, almost mischievous in appearance, “I need to remind them why I’m Second in the first place.” Of course, while her reputation was more based about skill-related abilities over any sort of fighting prowess, that didn’t change the fact that the event would undoubtedly provide a source of entertainment throughout the game.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Accido Character Portrait: Psychedemo Character Portrait: Cain Character Portrait: EclecticPrince Character Portrait: Shade_Strider Character Portrait: Lilac Sin Character Portrait: Granite Character Portrait: Montanax
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Occupation:
Enchanter

Guild:
The Knights of Lore

Level:
120

Hex Code:
#5E2612

Location:
Vael Tavern - The Golden Gallion





Cain stiffened as an arm was shoved down his back, but he stayed obligingly still while Accido got her so called revenge. Then, with a dramatic sigh and eye roll, the priest stood up and began to strip off his layers of gear. Off came the cloak, the backpack, the high collared robes and the sweater...and with the sweater came the snow, barely a tingle against his skin, leaving him in a loose turtleneck.

"You know," he called out, loudly enough for her to hear even where she'd fled, "There are much easier ways to get me to take off my clothes! You could have asked, if I'd known you were interested, I would have complied!" he finished, and waved over at both Montanax and Lilac, who'd be used to his antics.

It wasn't even jest, Cain truly was the sort who would let a friend stare at his avatar's body if they expressed such an interest. However, no one had asked, and Cain had a few secrets to keep of his own. Quickly, he stuffed his sweater into one of his inventories and pulled out a new one, donning it quickly before a chance movement of his neck and hair could reveal the level markings that had by now crept over most of his body. They were moving up his neck last time he checked, and the only parts of him not covered were his feet, his hands, and his face. Soon there would be no more pretending he wasn't high levelled - but he could worry about that when it happened, in about 80 more levels' time.

Still, markings now firmly hidden, he could take his time with the fussy robes and their millions of buttons. He sat again and began to work on those from the bottom up, speaking as he worked. "No, I won't be fighting, though I'm free to team up and provide healing support in exchange for the usual arrangement. And of course, if I manage to choose the victor, I expect part of the prizes. None of the rare ones though, I have little need for those." he flexed his fingers a few times, as they were going numb from the repetitive motions. And then, as the bard spoke up, Cain looked up, blinked, and laughed.

"Great comeback~" he praised, after calming the chuckles the comment had brought on. "But that's not my thing. It's really not, hence priest and all the implications." he again waved his hands in his habitual way. "Well, at least that specific implication. I think I've crashed and burned most of the other vows. Good thing this isn't my actual career." he said brightly, though it had been, once upon a time when he was younger and full of faith and hope before he had seen the darkest parts of the real world and found himself hypnotized by the abyss. The path of priesthood had been taken by his brother, who was doing just fine in the holy order. Just as well that it hadn't been him, Joseph was always the naturally nicer of the two of them (And outside of the game? He was pretty damn nice.)

The white haired male blinked, dragging himself out of his mental meandering.

Psychedemo was laughing, and the bard was explaining that his brother just needed fresh air. "I used to seek him out on a regular basis." he admitted easily. "Not anymore, now that the big bad PKer is actually a threat of sorts." he finished his sentence with another severe look at Shade, then began to wave wildly. "Hello Goliath!" he called out, then gathered himself to report what they had been doing.

By framing it the most awkward way possible, because that was just what Cain did.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Goliath Character Portrait: ArcticFire Character Portrait: Accido Character Portrait: Psychedemo Character Portrait: Rakugo Character Portrait: Cain Character Portrait: EclecticPrince Character Portrait: Minuet Character Portrait: Shade_Strider Character Portrait: NocturnalKISS Character Portrait: Whisper_Rose Character Portrait: Mononoke Character Portrait: Lilac Sin Character Portrait: Lucive Character Portrait: Granite Character Portrait: Wachter Character Portrait: Seraph Character Portrait: Nightingale Character Portrait: Man-O-War Character Portrait: Angus Character Portrait: Montanax Character Portrait: Augur
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Occupation:
Alchemist // Tailor
Guild:
None// None
Level:
182 // 200
Hex Code:
#00008B // #388E8E
Location:
Vael Town




Seraph was probably the person most excited for the event even though he wasn't going to be down in the town actively participating. This was his first real event and he wanted everyone to enjoy it, even those that weren't taking part in the battles. It was almost time! The Game Master was grinning ear to ear as he peered down at the town from his perch on the balcony of a random house. He didn't have the high level of the acrobat skill to get up here but he was the game master so he had a few cheats he could utilize when needed; Like getting to places he shouldn't be able to. He wanted to be able to watch everything happen as they unfolded for the event and a high perch was the most advantageous. He smiled to himself and leaned against the balcony as he stared down at the center of town. Those that were going to participate were already gathering in anticipation. Some players had locked their doors and shut off the lights but he could see a few staring out their windows, interested in seeing what was going to occur.

"I thought I might find you here, Seraph," said a voice behind him.

Seraph sat up and looked behind him to see his favorite person in the world; Nightingale. She was the reason why he had locked the game the first time after all. He waved excitedly at her and rolled onto his heels and then back to his tip-toes. "Nightingale! I thought you weren't going to come into town because of the other betas that gathered. They are all here. But do you like what I have planned for the event?"

"Neither of us should be here and I advised you not to come, but I knew you'd come anyway. You never listen. And of course I liked the event. You did a good job," Nightingale answered with a small smile. Seraph really was like a child, her precious baby. She had to protect him should the other betas spot Seraph and turn their attentions away from the event and try a full on attack on Seraph. They would all have higher levels this time around and unlike Seraph, she couldn't see what level they were. It worried her a bit but Seraph was Seraph. He was still the Game Master and there was no way he'd be able to resist coming to the center of the activity in the game. She knew first hand how much he loved his players and everything he did was for them to enjoy. Who wouldn't want to see the results of their efforts?

"I had to come. Tonight is the event! I want to watch everyone. I want to know what I can improve on next time. I have already gotten a lot of feedback! I went a little overboard with decorations it seems," he chuckled and raised a hand to rub the back of his head. "And that is not fair, Nightingale. I do listen. I just decide not to follow your caution," he answered. He had to make sure everything was running smoothly after all.

The archer walked over to Seraph and reached out a hand to ruffle his hair then. She couldn't help the grin that played on her rosy lips when the boy blushed and tried to dislodge her hand. "Nightingale!" he called out exasperated and took a step back to try and fix his hair. He hated it when she did that. Nightingale on the other hand loved watching him get flustered. He was just too adorable. The Game Master huffed and crossed his arms. He glanced back at the center of the town. "It is almost time." Seraph took in a deep breath and closed his eyes to center himself a moment before he completely turned his back on his companion. When he opened his eyes, his once expressive gaze were blank, code rapidly flitting through the blue hues. It was time to send out the message that would initiate the countdown.

╚═╣Good evening all players, this is your Game Master. The first half of the event will be initiated shortly after this message. I hope you all have a happy holiday and enjoy the event. Before they spawn, here is some extra information for you. The monsters that will be appearing do not have a predetermined level. The level of the strongest player in your team will be determining the level of the monster for that party. This means that if the highest party member is level 100, the monsters will also be level 100. This is a feature set to give each group a fighting chance and the most exp. If someone joins your battle, the monster level will not change and both parties will get half of the exp. The party or soloist that kills the most monsters will be determined at the end of the event. Thank you for your patronage and enjoy the event!

--Game Master Time stamp December 24 11:58pm.
╠═╝

Once the message had been sent out, Seraph blinked four times before his personality reemerged and he twirled in a circle and stopped to face Nightingale. He clasped his hands behind him and leaned against the balcony. "Will you be joining the event?" he asked her then.

Nightingale placed a hand on her hip and gave a nod. "Yeah. I think I will. This event is a good way to level up. I won't miss the chance. Meeting the other betas however will be quite the inconvenience. Good thing I have a few things to help disguise myself unless they directly come in contact with me," she mused. At least the betas wouldn't be able to attack her in town since she to was a PC. If they saw her here though, they'd immediately seek Seraph out. She had to stay on guard. "I guess I'll change," she mused and started to leaf through her equipment to pick out the best equipment for this event. She quickly put on her dark blue light armor with the crimson trimmings. A cape hung behind her and she tugged at her finger-less gloves to check the fit though she didn't need to and tapped her boots on the ground. It was a little cold for such a thin outfit but it was a game. She wouldn't freeze to death and it was only a little nippy. She equipped her second choice bow and arrows and caressed the pale blue feathers. She would use her rare item but if the betas saw it, they would recognize who she was immediately. She didn't need to use it. Lastly, she equipped her head gear that looked more like a winged masquerade mask that covered her entire face. Like the rest of her current outfit, it was a baby blue with red trimmings and the feathers themselves looked like they were dipped in blood. It might not look like much, but the outfit was reinforced with a variety of enhancements. That was one thing she loved about the game; you could wear clothing like this and still be well protected if you knew where to purchase and who to ask to craft them for you. Nightingale then hung her hair up in a messy pony tail and smiled at Seraph.

"Well, time to join the fray. I'll talk to you after the event, Seraph. I look forward to seeing what you have come up with."

Seraph beamed at her and gave her a wave. "Enjoy the event!" Nightingale used her acrobat skill to hurry away from the current balcony and took up her place instead on top of the tavern of Vael and readied herself.

7...6...5...4...3...2...1... The clock struck midnight and a firecracker shot up into the air from the center of town and exploded above the area as the bells rang. The sky was illuminated with red and silver lights from the fire cracker. Almost instantly, monsters began to spawn in the town all around the people standing there. Of course, they were all Christmas themed. There were tiny Santa Elves running about, Polar bears with ribbons and bells, China dolls and jack-in-the-boxes hopping about, and growly snowman clawing with their stick arms and angry expressions. At fist, they didn't attack anyone but after they finished spawning, they went after who ever was closest. Nightingale was quick to target one of the toy wolves with her arrow and took in a steadying breath before letting her arrows fly. The wolf howled and turned in her direction but using her rapid shot she was able to get some good hits in and the wolf couldn't reach her where she was so she had pretty easy pickings. She didn't want to win the event. She just wanted to gain experience so being solo made her a bit slow, but that didn't matter. She had a goal and wouldn't waver.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lilac Sin Character Portrait: Montanax
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Occupation:
Information Broker

Guild:
Lunar Glade

Level:
80

Hex Code:
#726E6D

Location: Golden Gallion





Montanax's eyes roved over to Lilac, her small form, coupled with the wistful look that gave her face the undertones of want was very reminiscent of the expression she held on her face during their discussion about Christmas conduct. Despite this, he wasn't one to repeat words, much less those of comfort. Once they had been spent he felt, it was better for their message to reemerge sometime later, rather then rehash for the present. The present was such a livid time to live in for Montanax, full of vivid characters and their equally vivid personalities. In his future they were mute, covered by the darkness of a thousand possible deaths, an eventuality, and even an opportunity branched out for every situation he planned for.

Every situation. His predator eyes left Lilac, and the thoughts that came with her, and met with Shade's. Bete Noire. His simple gesture of respect was returned, he too nodded his head, acknowledging him. The simplicity of returning ones attentions was normal for most who partook in society. Their shared gesture stretched a far beyond that. The gravity of one Montanax, leader of Lunar Glade, made famous through his ways of vengeance, exchanging pleasantries with a famous Player Killer was sure to widen the eyes of those who noticed. Their hushed whispers would no doubt carry out of the Gold Gallion, offering what they had seen in exchange for the first part of the taverns name. Montanx knew this. He anticipated, and expected it. Along with the small bit of reprieve it might offer someone he viewed as a potential ally, it cultivated a certain air of mystique around his persona.

He raised the glass flagon too his lips, eyes moving away from Shade and his companions, and into a distance where he could collect his thoughts.

Moments later, after the arrival of a few other public figures he recognized, the all too familiar call of the Game Master sounded, the cheerful tone of the AI always a contrast to the doom it's announcements had gripped the players with ever since the game had locked them inside.

Adjustments needed to be maid. Modifications to their established rotation. Montanax's claws fingers flexed as he sent his message to his captains. He expected them to respond accordingly, changing their paths, anticipating what he'd say before his own announcement was send out.

'All higher level players are to party, keeping close to the parties of lower level players, stay vigilant, and assist guild members and those in dire need of help alike, assure your hearts are true, and weapons steady."

"Lilac."

"I'd like you to stay inside of the Golden Gallion, I'll send a troupe of our Lunar Glade members to escort you to the guild hall shortly. Given the nature of the challenge, I'm loath to send you out to level with the stakes as they are." Montanax rose from the table, the low hum of speech between the surrounding players was interesting when he idled, but he was not idle right now. He had killing to do. At the very least he wanted to thin out the monsters ranks to prevent his people from getting swamped.

The warm music and hot drink of the tavern gave way to the harsh winter air, and the crash of combat. Almost immediately Montanax was assailed by a toy wolf, it's whirring parts, coupled with the howl it made as it attacked cast it in an uncanny aura that would have disturbed some.

Such fear was utterly lost on the Lunar Glade leader.

Crouching low, and twisting his torso skyward, he caught the mechanical wolf by it's throat, dug his claws into it's fur, and crushed it. Still holding it aloft, he racked his claws into it's underbelly, slaying the beast with his second attack. When the machine went limp in his arms he dropped it onto the snow below. The second wolf fared no better. Mid-jump Montanax caught it in his arms, and proceeded to drive his foot into the monsters back, and snap it's neck simultaneously.

When more came, they were all treated to the same brutal fighting style that made him famous during the games infancy.

He looked up from the carnage around him, sensing another enemy of a different type approaching him. This time, it was a Jack-In-The-Box, who's massive face loomed over him, wearing a painted face of evil, reaching with it's giant gloves hands.

"How absurd.' Montanx mused.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: ArcticFire Character Portrait: Accido Character Portrait: Psychedemo Character Portrait: Rakugo Character Portrait: Cain Character Portrait: Mononoke Character Portrait: Lilac Sin Character Portrait: Lucive Character Portrait: Man-O-War Character Portrait: Angus Character Portrait: Montanax
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Occupation:
Information Broker

Guild:
Knights of Lore

Level:
84

Hex Code:
#9C6B98

Location:
Town of Vael




Rakugo couldn't help but laugh. Lucive, huh? Well he was a cutie. He didn't have much time to focus on that however. His little dwarf friend was already running gun-ho out the door. Of course, his favorite jelly was always running head long into things. He would really have to watch out for him. He didn't want to turn around and find his friend dying because he couldn't keep up with him. He took most things in this world as fun and games since LAIOS was supposed to be a game, but matters like this were less silly. Stranger or no, Rakugo wanted to ensure that as many people as possible survived to reach the outside world again. The fox put a smile on his face and put the Noh mask back on before he rushed after Man-O-War and brandished his blade. "Don't leave us behind!" he called out. Of course he was the only one lagging. Lucive and Man-O-War were already fighting a Toy Soldier. Rakugo let out a battle cry as he spun, slicing at the giant toy. He was the one doing most of the damage considering his level matched the monster while the others were lower level, but with the three of them, the battle ended quickly.

Rakugo beamed as they got their exp and items. "Good job, boys. We make a good team," he mused. Rakugo took the moment to glance at everyone else in the direct vicinity. Ah, he saw that white fox again. His only clue. He was 90% sure she was a beta and he wanted to approach her and try and glean some information from her, but he could not. Not yet. This event wasn't going to be conducive for that right now. And oooh, who was the priest beside her? He remembered seeing him out and about but he hadn't really investigated him any. If he was partnering with Ms. Foxy, then he needed to be on his list to. He would get to the bottom of this. Though he liked LAIOS and all it offered, it was a game. He couldn't let appearance wipe away the memory that he was really out there, not in here. "I will find you, Game Master," he cooed to himself more than anything.

The fox's ear twitched when he heard a jingle and turned just in time to catch the massive scythe that was coming at him from a deceptively adorable rag doll. "tsk, tsk, darling. Such rude manners." Rakugo was forced on the defensive as he blocked the onslaught of rapidly moving swings. "A little help, guys?" he called to his party. He was relieved when the doll was finally stunned thanks to Man-O-War and Lucive. Rakugo coated his blade in poison then and began a flurry of attacks of his own.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The first part of the event lasted a few hours with the monsters never pausing. They just kept spawning just when you thought the mob was thinning. There was an infinite number and the only way to escape the war zone was to hurry into the tavern or into one of the houses that covered the streets. Players and monsters were vanishing left and right. Rakugo and many of the others that were higher leveled tried to help those weaker but even they had limits. Many players were losing their footing against the mob. Thankfully however, the GM did finally allow a brief reprieve. A message went out to the players signally an hour break so people could go ahead and stock up on potions and the like. The damage had still be done however.

Lilac Sin, Psychedemo, Mononoke, Angus, Accido and Lucive were gone. Yes, even Lucive. And Rakugo blamed himself for his death. Rakugo had gone off to protect a little girl that was running from a monster and when he had turned around, he wasn't able to get to Lucive on time. He had tossed a potion only to have it touch Lucive after his HP hit zero. He was shaken about the death of his party member and could only imagine the guilt and hurt Man-O-War would be feeling right about now. Rakugo put away his sword and tore off his mask as he walked over to his friend and gripped his shoulder. "Man-O-War..." he called softly, "I... I am so sorry for your loss. I should have paid more attention to you and Lucive."

cron