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Old Sep 17th, 2022, 09:50 AM
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Chapter 1: The Coming of the Dark Blight

Mists of Akuma
Mood Music:- Room of Angel

Who is there that has not heard of the despicable Pale Master by one monicker or another?

The man-flayer mage? Sorcerer of the dead and ancient master of these lands? My ancestor Tariko witnessed the foul one’s dark powers at work firsthand, and her stories have been told at our tables since long before my childhood. A courageous and fierce woman in her own right, she followed the fated trio of warriors that assaulted his Crimson Keep, an abattoir of blood and slaughter that once stood northwest of where Kizaki stands today. The sights she witnessed within that awful place were too gruesome to recount to others but I am filled with her dread, so intense I can still feel it in my very bones.

So it is with the Pale Master. None are certain of exactly where he came from or who he was, save that he was once a man of Soburin that fell far from honor; that is known but not much more. There is talk too that he was not truly vanquished, though who can be sure? The poets claim that when Commander Hiroshi Nara won the Battle of Hawksfall, it was by turning the crossbows taken from fallen Hakaisuru soldiers back on their wielders—but not all tales of the assault agree.

There are rumors that the battle went very differently, that the signs of the Pale Master were present. Some say that the invaders wandered in a malevolent haze or sucked at the air as though they were drowning, making every one of the Gekido’s bolts a lethal strike. Talk of the Pale Master has become more than legend however; now they say he walks the streets at night, slinking in the shadows to strike terror once again. Rumour has it that he is abducting children in the night and tearing out their skeletons, animating the bones to carry away other youths and eating their flesh to regain his youth.

Still more argue that he is draining the lifeforce from the city and blighting the lands around it, or that his whole purpose is to drown the land in violent bloodshed that he can exploit to grant untold power—no one can know.

One thing is certain: whenever it comes, the revenge of the Pale Master will be terrible indeed.


~~

It was a time long past, a better time some would say, before the coming of the Ceramians and the corrupting Mists of Akuma that the Sukochi Prefecture was renowned as the heart of nature. Home to nature-wielding kitsune, the Sukochians were well-known for their efforts when it came to tending the lands, and not just their own dominion, but the lands of those around them too. They were dedicated to the preservation of nature in all its forms, and it was their efforts that seeked to thwart the technological assault of the Ceramians, and the encroaching corrupting mists.

Those times are gone now, and of all the lands of Soburi, it was the Sukochi that suffered the most change. Forced to retreat into the wilderness that they championed, the kitsune have become both reclusive and mistrusting. The land itself, once a beautiful yet welcoming place, has begun to show the marks of the blight and decay that has taken hold in its heart. The kitsune have all but disappeared, and troubled by the signs of creeping corruption and doom, Emperor Hitoshi has tasked his bengoshi to ascertain the source of the regions troubles.

In turn, they have put out a call for brave and intrepid adventurers to travel to the lands of the Sukochi and ascertain for themselves the scale of the rot and decay that has begun to crawl outwards from its blighted heart.

It was a call that you answered, and in doing so unwittingly set into motion a chain of events that would not just test you to your very core, but define you as a person.

Gripping your travel papers in your hand, it was with barely a moment's hesitation that you passed through the torii gates that marked the border to the troubled region into the world beyond.


A world where a dark temple and the corrupting Mists of Akuma lay in wait.

~~

There are those who are learned, who say that the land of Soburi is dying. That here we stand, teetering on the precipice of oblivion. A death that is wrought by the crimson folds of the Mists of Akuma. They strike without warning, rising from the ground to entrap unwary souls within the soft, caressing grip of its malevolent tendrils. Words cannot even describe what it does to these poor, poor individuals. Humanity and mortality are stripped away from them piece by piece as the mists tear away everything that they were and remould them into its own image.

An image that is as terrible and fearsome as it is strangely beautiful and compelling, yet for these twisted mockeries of that which was once you and I, there is nothing left of the person they once were. They are both primal and feral, they exist only to feed. They, and the mists themselves, are as implacable as they are relentless. They will not stop until Soburi itself is drowned underneath of monsoon of blood and tears.

If there was a united, concerted effort by the Soburin to defend themselves against this fel haze, then perhaps we would have a chance, however there is not. Divided by the years of war and too pre-occupied with their own maneuverings, the Soburin have doomed themselves to fall.

And yet, despite all this, we are the children of the Soburi. If we must die, we will die with steel in our hands and courage in our hearts.

It has barely been a few hours since you crossed the torii gate leading into the Sukochi Prefecture, and already there are the barest hints of what is to come. The land itself is beautiful, there can be no doubt of that, however there is something misleading about the lush meadows and streams that bisect the grasslands that tugs at you insistently. Like a troublesome itch, as much as you try to scratch it, it is there, and it won't go away. Pressing forwards, you go deeper into the unspoiled grasslands, trying to uncover what it is that seems out of place. A wrongness about this place that suggests that what you see is an illusory facade that is designed to lure the unwary deeper into its lair.

Like honey dripping from the petals of a venomous, yet beautiful flower, and yet still you press on, irrespective of the dangers that may or may not lie ahead.

And then, after a time, it becomes clear.

The tips of the grass stalks that bend in the slight breeze as you walk onwards, the colouring is slightly off. They are not a pure green colour, they is a yellowish tint to the grass. The occasional tree that passes you by looks at first glance to be healthy and tall, and yet the bark is discoloured, with strange, russet-like splotches that can be seen running up and down its wood.

The land itself is diseased.

As more time passes, and afternoon becomes evening, there is one more unsettling sensation that begins to creep into your bones, spreading its way through you with its disconcerting presence. Seconds become minutes as the sensation becomes ever stronger.

You are being watched.

For now though, there are more pressing concerns. The sun has faded into the sky, and the moon now shines brightly, casting its silvery radiance over the land below its watchful gaze.


Soon it will become too dark to see, and you must rest for the night. But, is it safe to do so?

Last edited by Ballingray; Sep 17th, 2022 at 09:52 AM.
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Old Sep 17th, 2022, 08:17 PM
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Yasuraka Toreeru
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Memories of the trip bloomed shortly towards the soft light above, then faded - living no trace of their burden on the Monk's heart.

Visions of death, tales of evil and doom, danger - he knew their kind well, and of his own he found in their midst nothing: not fear, not anger, not the hardening of his soul... He but looked up from them with gentleness, blooming himself - as if, for a short while:

Did you take sides yet, oh Moon? Or are you still innocent of this world's harm...

Torēru lowered his thoughtful eyes and turned towards the group.

He had found others - as he believed he will - by taking the assignment. And together they should have more chances to survive the dangers out there, but... whether they had any useful knowledge of the Mists, or not, remained to be seen.

He gambled - on Heaven's guidance, or just his fate - when following them deep into wilderness. He had no plan for this moment, when fog could rise unbeknown. But did they have?

Compassion and worry found way into his searching look...

Two pairs of lights pierced the darkness, bravely, defiantly. The Cleric, the Druid - Could nature spirits have entrusted them with more than his little share of blessings? And the other Monk, the pale fellow... who seemed much more at home in the wild than himself - Did he face the Mists before? Has he, perhaps, learned some of their secrets...

The Ninja and that machine being, then - Their mysterious ways could hide any means beyond hope of guessing... The former, especially, he expected, would be the last to reveal her hand. And for that they may well have to wait until a time of crisis...

And what if they just gambled, like he did... Well, there was something about them still, he felt - a presence: of strength, of inner power - their spirits pitted against the unknown and its perils. And that may be enough for luck, when they would have nothing else to rely on...

Torēru stood there a while longer, leaning on his staff - as if a mast to their raft, cast adrift in that sea of grass. He thought of their priorities and, at an end, smiled and asked modestly: "Should we... make camp?"

 



 

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Last edited by writelite; Oct 2nd, 2022 at 09:53 AM. Reason: one word fix in character information
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Old Sep 17th, 2022, 11:01 PM
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RinkaThere is no denying that the road is a dangerous place. There is, naturally, fear of the unknown, combined with fear of beasts and rogues. Travelers love to share their dreadful tales, rife with blood and woe. The last troupe Rinka met in passing wouldn’t stop rattling about the horrific deeds of the Pale Master. Honestly, she couldn’t understand why folks told stories that would keep others awake…that’s kind of rude. Although, it never hurts to be on edge. In fact, that may well be one thing that saves you in the dead of night.

After all, boogeymen do exist.

Lifting a cold smile, Rinka glanced downward at a worthless lump of flesh at her feet, her lone eye gleaming meanly at the gutted corpse of yet another grubby bottom feeder. How unfortunate, for this one, that he preyed on the wrong fish. Traveling alone proved to be a hassle, as many times as she had been ambushed by witless thugs.

Wiping the blood from her sharp wakizashi, with one kick the lug went rolling off into the ditch…and off she trundled on her merry way back to Chi-Chi’s rest stop—and to the newfound group of adventurers she had ironically just fell in with. What luck to run into fellow Bengoshi-stamped heroes…though nowadays anyone with a blade and some grit could call themselves an arbiter of justice. Gnawing on a toothpick, having just finished off the last of the takoyaki snack, the cheerful girl sheathed her blade beneath the grassy confines of a Mino cloak. It had nothing but rained since leaving Sanbaoshi, drowning an already dilapidated countryside.

Broken battlefields, rife with bones and shattered machinery were commonplace. Once watery graves were now thriving fields of green rice paddies. Heaps of rusty and charred figures, some giant in size, freckled the lonely hillsides and glens; felled killing machines that now resembled little more than overgrown markers, frozen in time. Echoes of the Kengen War were often hidden in plain sight, thankfully, decades before her time. Surely, Izuki and Bip would’ve made a game of it—spot the killbot—sadly, they couldn’t accompany her on this job.

Apparently, to be a hero of Soburin, you need to be registered with the Imperial Prefecture Office of Internal Affairs. What did fancy lawyers know about the brutality of everyday life? Most of them looked like they had never poked their nose outside a book. True, Rinka didn’t quite fit the mold of your average Hanzai-Shah, but they simply wrote up some paperwork and stamped her ID with their official seal…no questions asked. Bizarre as it felt to stick her neck out like this, Tetsuo thought the call to defend Sukochi was the big time opportunity they had been waiting for…Success would undoubtedly bring them one step closer to gaining the Emperor’s favor, though she had no idea how that would help them reclaim Akaibara.

Surely, with the promise of fortune and glory, many like-minded opportunists would be crossing the Torii Gate, if they haven’t already. Simply, she disliked having a number tacked to her shadow. Supposing, of course, it may prove helpful identifying their bodies, should the Mists of Akuma gobble them up. Beyond the Torii Gate is a veritable no-man’s land. A truly lawless place, where dreams come true—mainly, for psychopaths. Hopping through the threshold, Rinka didn’t feel any different on the other side, but gone was her lackadaisical haze.

Rinka fixed her wary eye on the steametic, the one who went by Mascarade. How was he any different than the other mindless war-machines the Ceramiens built? Despite her reservations allying with one of their fiendish constructs, she’d walk on fire for this job…there was too much invested to give into petty murderous inclinations. What irked her far more, was the fact that somehow the priest, Torēru, saw through her masterful façade…at least, she suspected as much. Outed shinobi aren’t long for this world…its kill or be killed. For that reason, though he appeared harmless enough, she would have to keep a very close eye on that one. Rinka felt more relaxed around Kamiya, a fellow enthusiast of the arts, and Vix reminded her a lot of Izuki—outspoken and feisty. Yue brought balance to the foray and was otherwise fascinating.

The further they journeyed into the wilderness, it became apparent that the Kami over Sokuchi were either long dead, or themselves twisted aberrations, like those who are caught in the mist. Death resided over the land, draining it of life like a festering cancer. The prospect of nightfall did not bode well.

Torēru raised a good point with his question. Rinka nodded, doffing her bamboo hat. “The sun is going bye-bye, lots of bad things wake up at night.” Tugging her ear in thought, Rinka raised a nervous smile. “Maybe not here, so-says my gut. Not sure why, but I listen.” Gesturing to their surroundings, seeing that they don’t have long to explore, Rinka meandered over to one of the few trees in their midst. It looked sturdy enough to climb.

With gusto, the lithe girl contended with the tree, finding the bark weirdly slimy…perhaps from it being diseased? Regardless, determined as she was not to embarrass herself, Rinka kicked and scrambled up as far as she could and squinted from her awkward perch, hopeful to find some vestige of civilization. Sliding back down, inwardly cursing, Rinka then searched along the ground and perimeter, hoping the land might reveal something, anything that might help them.

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Actions: Acrobatics 7 vs tree, Perception 9, Survival 17

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Last edited by DaniLore; Sep 17th, 2022 at 11:07 PM.
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Old Sep 19th, 2022, 03:32 PM
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Mascarade


Mascarade look Rinka climb up a tree while Toreeru suggesting to find a secure place for the night.
He just finishes to project in his mind the last days he just lives and all information gather, each time comparing his program mindset of Humanity, Curiosity and Relentless. He tries very hard to react correctly with each interaction he observes but it’s the one with The Prefect that dazzle him more since his coming to life

 


Since the last two days Mascarade was of silence, finally express his mind.

“OHh WE just understand that one of you state something just for the better of our Gathering … but WE are still a little confuse”

“When the answer, “IT IS under my order… not program to answer anyone else”
was giving to the Imperial Prefecture bengoshi while request to show our papers… What is the ‘paper’ they request?”

“…and WE like to know who is the one WE should answer? because it is obvious that, since we are now partnership with Imperial Prefecture bengoshi and that he keeps a good eye on our works, like he said on our depart, he is obviously a sorcerer too and able to spy on us with a floating eye”
Mascarade stop and look left then right then UP … and behind him, before continuing
“But I didn’t see any floating blue eye of his own here, but IF HE find that WE answer to somebody else… He obviously knows that we tell him a lie… and good partner don’t lie”

Mascarade take time to face each one around him for a few awkward second like waiting someone to make a move about his request.

“While waiting, WE raise barricade for the dark side of the days”

HE raises his left mechanical hand and make some occult sign with his finger. The ground begins to move beside him cast Mold Earth to begin to borrow a hole to make a secure camp .. but do it very choatically ... he is abviously NOT an architect unburying the earth and putting it aside like a child playing with sand on the beach.


 

 
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Last edited by KhamLuc; Sep 22nd, 2022 at 02:38 PM.
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Old Sep 19th, 2022, 04:23 PM
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Kamiya - Peaceful Night
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“Yes, Torēru I agree we should find a safe spot where we might rest peacefully.” She answered. Then watched Rinka head up a tree faster and with more ease than might a squirrel. The woman was human and yet clearly quite capable of amazing things. Indeed her entire party was filled with those she would consider blessed by the Kami and she wondered if it was possible that the gathering of this group was not chance or fate but instead A naturally foreordained event. A state in which other outcomes are impossible. A result which can only be obtained by a single causality, and all other causalities would necessarily create different results.hitsuzen

She decided she would meditate on it this evening. Meanwhile she took out her incense sticks and lit them, letting the sage smoke purify the area as she beseeched the local kami for their blessing upon the camp this eve.

Last edited by Ysolde; Sep 19th, 2022 at 04:24 PM.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2022, 01:39 PM
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Yue
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It had only been a few months since Yue has returned to the world, and every day it was hard to resist the temptation to find another tree. People were awful. Long, slender, fingers reached up to play with the moonstone necklace he had been wearing since then. He had lost his village and then the tree, both the places and people he had grown up with. To this day, he still didn't know the fate of his parents. As he left his home and entered into this new land, the homesickness only got worse.

The group he was traveling with was odd to say the least. They were still in the stage of feeling each other out, of wondering who was trustworthy, of who to watch out for. Yue hadn't talked to them much and certainly not spoken about anything personal. He didn't really trust any of them yet. But the least trustworthy was that machine. Having grown up somewhere rural, isolated from world, machinery wasn't something he was very familiar with. Least of all machines that seemed like people.

They were discussing stopped for the night, as it was soon to be getting dark. Both the hair of the back of Yue's neck, and his feathers, were standing on edge. He was very familiar with the feeling of something watching him. But whether it was an innocent animal, or something far more sinister, he couldn't tell. Wordlessly, Yue raised two fingers and tapped the side of his head. Anybody who was watching him would notice that for a brief moment, one of the magical designs on his arms glowed. Yue blinked a few times as his already bright silver eyes became brighter. The incoming darkness of night no longer an issue.

As others began to meditate, or set up camp, or climb into the trees, Yue did a slow circle. Scanning the world around him for any signs of whatever was watching them.


 


 
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Old Sep 24th, 2022, 12:11 AM
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Vix Lockhardt
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It was a long day's traveling. Some people were made for traveling, some people were terrible at it. Vix was good in short stretches, but this hadn't been a short stretch at all. It was truly unfortunate that they hadn't been able to convince the bengoshi to provide them with a cart.

Vix had taken the lead. Sukochi was where she was born after all, and she recognized every herb, flower, tree that they passed. At first, it was great coming home. But as they continued mile after mile, she couldn't help but notice the lack of people. It might have simply been her company. Kitsune were shy even in the best of times. But a growing certainty rose in her gut that these were anything but the best of times.

It was subtle - at first. Coming deeper into the lands of her birth, she first noticed a bush that was... sick. A little yellow. A little later she noticed a tree that had a fungus infection she'd never seen before. There were other signs, but the kicker was the lack of music. No birds sang. No squirrels berated or lobbed acorns as the trespassers in this domain. As they traveled deeper the signs were more obvious, and the other party members began to take notice as well, if the dearth of conversation were any sign.

She'd heard about the mists of course. Who hadn't? Nobody knew what had caused it, but she suspected rogue Ceramian or Kengen alchemists. If they couldn't rule the land, they would see it destroyed. It was the way of war.

Torēru was the first to suggest they make camp, and others quickly echoed the sentiment. "Well, let's look around for a place. But regardless of what we do or don't find, we're going to need to setup a watch. I could take first..." Vix yaws. "on second thought, maybe it would be better if I could take second watch." Second watch was when the baddies came for you anyway. She wished they wouldn't wait, but that was simply the way of things... and she would be ready for them regardless. There was no such thing as a bad time for fighting.

But for now, some sleep. Afterall, if she didn't get off her feet soon, she'd be too sore to walk in the morning.

 
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Last edited by anamiac; Sep 24th, 2022 at 03:13 AM.
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Old Sep 24th, 2022, 01:09 PM
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Making CampThe tree was awkward to climb, as Rinka found no doubt to her immense dissatisfaction. The bark of the tree was rotten, with flakes peeling off as she tried to ascend. And yes, the trunk of the tree itself was too slimy, and too difficult to grab a handhold, so in the end she had to settle with going halfway and peering out from a crook where she could get a comfortable vantage point.

Sadly, the land was not forthcoming with its secrets, particularly under the blanket of night, even with the soft silver glow of the moon in the night sky.

And while Rinka attempted to scout the surrounding area, Vix did indeed manage to find a suitable campsite, one away to the side from the strange, diseased-looking trees that dotted the landscape. It was at the base of a hill, a suitable place to make camp and shrouded from prying eyes by a grove of trees further on ahead. At the discovery of the campsite, Mascarade conjured up a trick of his own, pointing at the sodden ground which began to shift and tremble from the power that he summoned. And the earth did move....somewhat haphazardly anyway as dirt and rock made way to make a slight hole in the ground. It was rudimentary yes, but it was something that would provide at least a small modicum of protection against the elements that night.

The temperature dropped, and a distinct chill began to permeate the air as night moved onwards. It was not cold, per se, but it was the sort of chill that crept into a person's bones and made them shiver irrespective of the actual temperature.

Yet it was the ever deepening sensation that would prove to be more pervasive. It was hard to say what was causing it, but there was a definite feeling of wrongness here in the air. It was a deeply unsettling, disconcerting feeling, and one that far from receding, was growing stronger.

Ever stronger.

The snap of a branch from the cluster of trees ahead shatters the illusory peace of the night.

Someone, or something, is lurking inside the shadows.

 

Last edited by Ballingray; Sep 24th, 2022 at 02:14 PM.
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Old Sep 25th, 2022, 12:54 AM
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Vix Lockhardt
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The moon was setting in the western sky, a semi-halo of gold. The stars glittered like so much treasure, and the night was promising to be a long one. Vix had slept well during the first watch, even if it hadn't been enough. It was never enough. That was normal. She'd sleep a plenty when she was dead.

Clearly, someone else wasn't asleep either. It was time to find out who their visitor was. Perhaps a kitsune, too shy to approach the camp? That would be boring, but they would have information. They sure could use some information right about now.

Vix could be sneaky when big, but she preferred a smaller size. It's easy to break a twig underfoot when your eyes are four feet away, you only have two legs, shoes on to mask your foot sensitivity, and you weigh 100 lbs. Slipping into her fox form, Vix whispers to her watch partner. Stay here, I'll check it out. If I start yelling then wake everyone else up and come get me. If I start yipping then it's a friendly, and you can come talk to them but don't have to wake up everyone.

Vix leaves the camp in the opposite direction of the intruder, then circles around behind them. Using her nose to guide her, she sneaks up to where she can determine what manner of individual the uninvited guest is.

 
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Old Sep 25th, 2022, 04:19 AM
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Yasuraka Toreeru
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Torēru stood there observing the others as they went their own way, taking hold of the circumstances. Were he by himself, he would just sit or lay on the ground, and - redrawing his senses from the world - leave everything to spirit's care. A group, however, would have more complex requirements... he reasoned. Like guard duty - as Vix pointed out.

Facing her, the Monk nodded and was about to answer - when she turned her attention to their surroundings. Not much to discuss there... he figured, curbing his thought. And he went on in his mind that it was perhaps better to see what the others decide and match their plan. Weighing these, he found himself leaning slightly against the quarterstaffbo. It seemed tiredness had caught up with him...

"Rest peacefully..." / "Not here..." / "One we should answer..." - The replies' echo bounced randomly in his head, which too began to feel heavier - as before sleep. That... will have to wait a bit, he said to himself, drawing a couple of breaths... The veil of drowsiness once scattered, reformed - however - only moments later. That darkness... He could use something to focus on...

Just then, the Druid announced her discovery: a sheltered place - trees, a hill. He heard Yue agreeing.

They all started that way, and Torēru followed - as he could. Guided by little more than sound and smell, he soon was taken over by this funny feeling - as if... he walked in a dream. Each step appeared to sink him further: past and away from the surface of sleepiness real, into an odd other world where anything might be possible...

Arriving last, or among the last - he could hardly tell, he found the others silently preparing to rest. To a side, blue shine revealed the ground turning, parting, as if under the pressure of strong, invisible hands. That image of it - laying swollen and caved out in the cold light - stirred his mind: ...Mud walls? he thought, raising an eyebrow - A trap, likely, for those hidden within them, Unless... the height would be enough to keep us out of the Mists' reach, up there.

His eyes on the ramparts - while he attempted to guess the group's means of climbing, Torēru advanced slowly towards Mascarade. The Sorcerer had just asked something, he remembered.

"about thatAno..." he began, having reached its left - "We need not concern ourselves with it now, I'd say. If we'll face the Bengoshi as a group, there should be just one report to give," he shared, in a subdued tone. And while speaking, his mind prompted a searching side glance towards the Steametic. How heavy was the machine being? he wondered - should they have to hoist it...

...But did he do all that, really? Mind seemed awake, yet his body felt almost like... it wasn't there...

Cold, it was getting cold. He sensed that, yet it was more like a mist of temperature drop that he floated in - shrouding him, fold after fold, ever denser... A shiver! suddenly, where his spine would be - Danger? Was that what he really sensed?

His core, his heart was at peace, unmoved by what might be signs of trouble. Could it be that... His thought dissolved then into silent acknowledgment, as it was revealed to be just the reflection of higher mind. "Yes," he might have told himself - "there was danger, for there was also the gentle hand of spirit, guiding him."

As if swayed by a quick breeze, his attention was moved at once to the soft scent of sage reaching his nostrils. He turned, moving his gaze onto the barely visible ascent of incense smoke. How strange... he mused, touched by the faithfulness of that soundless avowal - so foreign looking on the background of bleak darkness. Will their own essence remain as fresh and as clean long, when mixed with the smoke-like ghosts of decay, of dying? went his mind...

Bowing slightly, he raised one hand in prayer and called before his inner eye the imagery of a purple-green field. His lips then joined the silent chant, moving as if he uttered: "Spi-rit-of-sage, / Of-pure-and-peace, / Of-Hea-ven's-grace, / Our-strength-in-crease..."

Out of soul canvas, leaves, petals - here, there, in turn - claimed the dim light, the shadows, as so many soft brush returns. Depth and tone variations - answering his wish, drew him gradually from troubled grass waves to a restful shore: Fine stems like sand-strands round his ankles, clear fragrance round his cool brow like the halo of stars, and the ground, firm - where he would guess a Kami's shoulder, and for a while let threat be...

Odd-dream, beautiful-dream... Among people and things, yet not altogether... Altered sense of time and of space... And then, out of that, noise? ...A voice calling?

 



 

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Last edited by writelite; Oct 10th, 2022 at 09:36 AM. Reason: had written Bo instead of bo... hm
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  #11  
Old Sep 25th, 2022, 01:02 PM
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Kamiya - Peaceful Night
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Of all her new companions Kamiya had spent the least time with Vix. The red haired Kitsune reminded her of family and friends long gone the priestess had a hard time coming to terms with seeing another of her kind and actually speaking with them. This night she was determined to get past her own issues and actually speak with the other Kitsune. So, given the opportunity she said, "I...ahh I'll take second watch with you if that would be okay?"

She took time to begin the ritual of spirits, removing bad kami, asking for aid from good kami, and apologizing to any kami who might be offended by their presence here. A single stick of sage incense burned as she circled the small camp and then Kamiya felt the cold, the sense of something wrong and perhaps even unclean in the area. She is closest to Vix and now and says, "My apologies that we did not speak much before however I do hope we are at peace with one another yes?"


She looks out to the forest and speaks louder, with more authority as she holds a piece of paper in hand, "Our peace will not be shattered easily. Whatever is out there I ask in the name of Omikami herself that you come closer and make peace with us as well?"


 


 
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Old Oct 1st, 2022, 03:11 AM
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Yue
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His slow circle paid off, Yue caught sight of something moving in the woods. He informed the group of this information, stating that he thought it was just an animal. But they should still keep an eye out. Camp was set and Yue, taking advantage of the Darkvision spell, offered to take first watch. During his watch he stood, as to not accidentally fall asleep, and kept his magically sharpened eyes on the surroundings. Keeping an eye out for the creature he had seen before. Everything seemed to pass by smoothly as the others got the chance to rest. When his watch was over, he gently shook awake Vix and Kamiya for their watch. "Good night." He said politely before slipping into his bedroll.


 


 
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Old Oct 1st, 2022, 01:07 PM
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Mascarade

Everyone in the newly form compagny begin to give a hand to built a camp with a touch of their own. Mascarade know the thing of secure a camp, but dont necessarly understand exactly why not just shut down the body. But His concept of Humanity force him to give a hand to other while they find something important, so he has offer to dig some hole to those who want some after have dig 4 in a square that can easily been climb letthing some earth in some corner serving as ladder

"If it little cold , we can build the fire in here ... earth will keep the warmth around and block the direct light from distance. If you request any other service you can call our name"

Mascarade sat down in his box hole and all his body suddenly drop about 1 inch, like if he shut down. wake up only if his name will be call




 

 
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Old Oct 1st, 2022, 05:22 PM
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The MessengerWhile the others rested, Vix whispered to Kamiya to stand guard while she slipped around to see who....or what was in the vicinity. There was nobody has specified that they made oneno campfire set, so there was no fire to guard against the cold of the night, or perhaps more importantly there were no tell-tale signs of smoke winding upwards into the night sky.

The stars gleamed in the night sky, twinkling brightly. A series of pinprick dots that, at least from the ground, seemed to pierce the carpet of blackness that stretched overhead.

Vix circled around, moving out and away from the camp to begin with before coming back in at the top of the gentle incline that led downwards to the place where, right now, Kamiya was standing, watching and waiting for her companion's return. At first Vix could not see anything untoward as she moved closer back down to where her companions lay. But then, her sight made something out against the gloom. A form that, at first in the gloom looked small and animal-like on its fours, but then as she got closer she could make it out clearly. It was another fox, stalking forwards towards the camp slowly.

It was not yet in a place where Kamiya, or indeed anyone else in the camp if they were awake, could see it, but Vix clearly could.

perception 18 beating stealth 13The fox stopped, and then turned round to face Vix. Sitting down on the hill, its yellow eyes gleamed with human-like intelligence. And then, a second later, a yellow shimmering glow engulfed its form. The shape of the fox was swallowed up by the a light that can clearly be seen by anyone else in the camp who is still awakeyellow light before it grew. In mere seconds the fox took on human shape and form.


A young man dressed in blue robes stood, holding his hands out to either side. His long black hair was tied back in a ponytail which fluttered in the slight breeze that permeated the air around the camp. He looked to Vix with his piercing blue eyes and bowed his head respectfully before looking back and acknowledging Kamiya as she shouted over.

"Konbanwa, friend kitsune," his smooth, almost musical voice had a slight inflection to it. "I mean you no harm."

With a smooth, quick motion, he reached into the folds of his robes, withdrawing a furled roll of slightly faded parchment.

"I have followed you from the torii-gate, where I had been waiting for a delegation sent by Emperor Hitoshi. My master, the nature-wielder Yon-ju Banme," the young man hesitated as he made a slight bowing motion with his head at the mention of his master's name, "My master bades you attend him at your earliest convenience if you will."

He lifted his head, waiting for a response as he held the roll of parchment out.

~~~

"Interesting. Very interesting indeed."

An ancient, dry, rasping voice echoed from the hunched, robed figure stood over a large concrete pool of water. Hot steam billowed from the surface of the water, and the figure dipped a single, skeletal digit into the surface of the water. If it was bothered at all by the almost overwhelming heat from the burning water, it did not show any discomfort. Ripples flowed away from the finger as the figure watched the exchange of the black haired man and Vix with almost rapt interest.

The image in the pool changed, showing the rest of the camp. The figure could see Kamiya, standing in wait for her companion, and the rest of the group as they rested or otherwise went about their night-time activities.

"Everything is falling into place, as I knew it would."

With a wave of a white-robed hand, the image in the pool dissipated. The figure stepped backwards from the pool and with a look it surveyed its surroundings. The large, cavernous chamber that the figure stood in stretched upwards as far as the eye could see. Yet, with the exception of the large circular pool that bubbled and frothed in the center of the chamber, it was devoid of all other furnishings apart from a single, stone sarcophagus.

It walked slowly past the pool, and as it did the other small animals in the chamber, the rats and the spiders, fled at its passing. They would not cross this one.

The figure walked a dozen paces past the pool and stopped, staring forwards as the cavern continued onwards forwards, disappearing into bleak, all-encompassing shadow. With a slow, yet deliberate motion, it raised its hand ahead, palm outstretched. His hand stopped, as if encountering a barrier. Luminous blue sparks danced from an unseen surface. From the shadows within the white cowl over the figures head, two pinpricks of red burned brightly from the depths within.

"For a thousand years untold you have imprisoned me here," the rasping voice echoed. "Yet your power grows weak. Soon, I will walk free across Soburin once more."

A second voice pierced the gloom, distracting the robed figure's attention.

"Master, I have done as you ask. I have brought more of the cattle...."

A young man, barely twenty winters old stepped into view, brown hair falling to his shoulders as his dark eyes darted around nervously.

"...I can bring them here to you if you need me..."

A hand cut the youth off from finishing his sentence.

"No. You have brought me exactly what I need already."

The sound of exhaling breath could be heard. From the white cowl on the figure's head a wispy strand of mist came forth. Standing there, paralyzed from sheer terror, the frightened youth did not even have time to react before the tendrils of mist began to wrap its way around him.

Seconds later the sound of screaming began as the robed figure watched dispassionately. Bones snapped as the youth was hurled to the floor by an unknown force. His mouth opened....and the mist entered his throat and nose. His screaming was suddenly cut-off into a bloody gurgle as first his nose began to bleed, followed by bloody froth as it mingled with the saliva that dripped from his mouth. Finally, his eyes themselves began to leak blood as his writhed and convulsed on the floor.

"I infuse you with the essence that I helped create," the robed figure walked slowly up to the thrashing youth as he twisted and contorted on the dusty ground.

The youth's back arched and more bones snapped. Skin began to slough from his rapidly deteriorating body. The gargling noise coming from the youth's throat became low whimpers as the body twisted again, now barely distinguishable.

"This is a gift I give you," the white robed figure knelt before the unrecognisable heap of shredded flesh and bone that stained the ground. "I give you the power that you always craved but never could take for yourself."

And them something rose from the mass of torn skin. Something feral....primal, and monstrous. Dark, scored flesh framed an almost skeletal form with two hollow pits where eyes once lay.

The robed figure reached out, touching the creature's chin gently as it raised the creature's face near its own.

"A single wound will be enough. A single scratch from your claws," the figure gestured to the two clawed appendages that were present in place of where hands once were. "Or a single bite and your victim will also twist and change. They will become like you. Thus I give you your charge."

A hand grabbed the creature's head. It shrieked as the robed figure sank the digits of its nail into its rotten flesh.

"I impart to you the image of the one I want. They are six in number, and they crossed over the torii gate this very day. This one holds the charm, you must bring them to me. The others can die....or you can turn them into creatures like yourself. I do not care either way."

The figure stood and turned its back.

"You will walk where I cannot....yet. Do not fail me and do not return without your quarry. You will find my wrath most displeasing."

The creature's head continued to stare at the robed figure, and although it did not have eyes any more, it still radiated with utter hatred for the one who had twisted him so.

Then it turned and left.


 

Last edited by Ballingray; Oct 2nd, 2022 at 05:19 AM.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2022, 09:01 AM
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RinkaThe great Kami of secret things surely did not wish to reveal the goods just yet...The heights divulged nothing, nor was the land forthcoming. While the group set about doing practical things, like searching out a safe place to camp, molding the earth, and speaking forth blessings for safe tidings…Rinka spent the last vestige of daylight meandering playfully about the murky woodland, tromping and stomping in the mud. Though it was difficult for her brain to rightly articulate this pervading sense of foreboding, it certainly felt like this was the right place for wrongness—the mark of something accursed, as Boss would say.

The Onmyōji happen to be experts in the mysteries of the occult. Of late, the Mists of Akuma are chiefest among their fascinations. Tetsuo would often share his spiritual insights, though admittedly most of it flew over her head. Apparently, bad Karma entraps spirits. When many spirits are gathered together, it is said their combined misery create manifestations that can be seen and…felt. That may be one explanation for what they’ve wandered into; yet, there was no denying that something terrible had happened here, for the land to be poisoned as it was. Now and again, she crossed a dead animal. A freshly felled sparrow. Discarded bones.

While on her little excursion mapping the perimeter, Rinka couldn’t shake the nagging sense that they were not alone here. Something hid among the dense thickets and tall grass…Closing her eye and remaining deathly still, trying to pinpoint the source of this otherworldly dread…upon hearing the deafening snap of a twig, a blade swiftly soared in that direction. However, the kunai thud against the bark of a yonder tree, stirring not a sound or sudden movement from the gloom.

Pesky shadow, I feel your eyes.” Rinka muttered, roughly tugging the blade from the tree. A whole chunk of bark broke off with it, revealing more of that disgusting rust-hued slime. Pausing for a moment, mulling it over, curiosity compelled her to collect some of the viscous substance for study later. Though she was not an expert on poisons like her froggy comrade, Bip, Rinka was certainly one to make use of any and every means, if there is an advantage to be made.

Turning her back on the horizon and the dying light, the lingering dread continued to prickle her skin. She hated pins and needles, wishing to stab and gouge out the eyes that even now continued to follow them, eerily watching. Gazing up to peer at the luminous specks in the sky, she caught sight of a glistening web, and the moth vainly struggling against its fate. Scurrying on silken strings, a bulbous and large, rather frightening spider quickly overpowered its quarry and swaddled the moth in a death veil. Though grappling with dejection just a moment ago, the sight inspired a grand idea…

Finding her companions once more, Rinka marveled at the quality of the location and the sculpted sorcery that had clearly ripped up the earth in a most unnatural way. Surely, if adversaries abound, they will take notice—which is fantastic! Why spend the effort of searching for the enemy, when all they need do is lure them out? What better place than their own camp!

“Found nothing out there but shadows.” Rinka declared, quite resolute. Tapping below her eye, gingerly the rogue gestured to their abysmal surroundings. Something is watching. Gut says it’s a no-good something.” Stifling a yawn, Rinka roughly batted any thought of sleep from her mind. Vix offered to take the first watch. Beaming, raising her hand, Rinka volunteered for the second watch, though Kamiya offered too. Leaning close to the pretty Kitsune, she probed, “Do you like spiders?” A strange question, perhaps, trying to stir interested in her game. Creating a squee sound with her lips, Rinka playfully twiddled her fingers by her mouth as if they were sharp little pincers. “Want to play pretend? Anyone? Oh! I need lots of rope!” Frenziedly digging around her overstuffed satchel, Rinka yanked out a bundle, though she appeared unsatisfied with just that. “Can I borrow more? The web will thank you!”

Once she had gathered all that she could, Rinka immediately set to work on constructing her “web”,though it was intended as more of an alarm mechanism rather than a trap. Intricately weaving the rope between trees and guising it along the brush, paying special attention to their weaker points in case of ambush, Rinka crafted chimes from tall grass and discarded animal bones and tied them throughout. Should a pesky ne'er do well trip the rope, the chimes served as their first line of defense. Then the fun would begin!

Though this expended some effort, for a brain as addled as hers, it would be impossible to sleep, exposed as they were. At the very least, this gave her some peace of mind. Hurrying back to camp, Rinka sat with her back against a wall of dirt, covering her body with a pile of brown leaves, blending in with the decaying scenery.

Adjusting to her new disguise as a clump of unimposing debris, as vigilant as she intended to be, the priest’s chants cast her mind adrift to better days, when she and Lady Ahn visited a holy shrine beside a sprawling lake on the outskirts of Sanbaoshi. One of the few outings she had known as a child, Rinka recalled how the water sparkled and shimmered as it mirrored the moon and stars, all at peace as chanted blessings filled the night. Memories of the past were so elusive, Rinka basked in it without regard for the present. Surely, so long as they stay together, all will be well. What irksome moths fly into their midst will collide with her web; and, judging by the size of it, they will know whether to feast or to flee.


ActionAction: I'm not sure what the result was for the 17 survival check, if you don't mind I'd like to apply that to constructing the barrier alarm. Anyone may help Rinka build it as well, can't hurt right?
Bonus: Rinka collects some diseased sap, for curiosity's sake.

 

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