Hidden 1 mo ago Post by thedman
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Michael and Franklin

Level 4- (17/40) EXP / Level 3- (11/30) EXP
Location: Lumbridge ---> Forest Temple
Wordcount: 555



The shopkeeper was quick to repeat what he had said to the kid- a missing person's case, apparently. Before they could ask about the specifics, however, the kid in question turned to glare in their direction before rushing outside, leaving the two criminals in her wake. "What the- hey!" Michael shouted out to her in vain. He was too late, and in a matter of seconds she had ran off far away from the store. The two shared a look, both confused by this turn of events. "What the hell was that about?"

Franklin stepped outside and looked into the distance, where the kid was leaping over people's heads to get out of town as soon as possible. "Whatever it is, she doesn't want us getting it." He turned back to Michael. "So, we going after her or what?"

"I...ah, shit, alright. Let's go!" With that, the two ran out of the store in a desperate attempt to catch up with the kid. While they ran as fast as they could, the kid was much faster than them. Their hesitation beforehand had given the kid a decent head start, and they could barely keep up with her as they ran through town, towards the gate. Eventually, she got on her scooter and drove away, leaving the two in her wake. Franklin stood at the gate and watched her drive off before Michael appeared behind him, breathing heavily. "Damn it, she's fast..."

Franklin eventually snapped out of it, realizing that they were letting her get away. "Shit, we gotta go! Get on the bike, I'll trail her." He ran towards the group's assembled vehicles, hopping on the Wario bike and starting it up.

"Yeah, just give me a sec!" Michael ran past Franklin to the monster truck, hopping up to the door and reaching inside to retrieve Needles' machete, sticking it on his belt before hopping onto the back of Franklin's bike. "Alright, let's go!"

Franklin sped off, trying to follow Hat Kid's scooter. They drove a decent distance away from her, close enough to see where she was going but far enough that she couldn't try to attack them, although they hoped that whatever this hourglass was, it wouldn't drive the kid to the point of attacking her teammates in order to keep it from them. The bike allowed them to keep up easily, at least for the opening stretch. As the terrain got rougher, Franklin had to resort to some creative driving to avoid the obstacles. Despite a few close encounters with wild animals, they had managed to eventually trail the kid to some sort of temple, where they had stopped off judging by the scooter parked outside. Parking the bike, the two dismounted and headed inside, weapons at the ready. There was no telling what was inside, but it was probably dangerous.

Their suspicions were confirmed as they walked inside. One of the first things they noticed was the demented spider creature. Looking up, it seemed that the kid had snuck past it somehow, and had moved on to the next room. They could see no way past it, though, which left only one option. Raising their weapons, the two took a few steps closer before they both fired several shots at the creature, Michael firing his Uzi and Franklin firing his pistol.
Hidden 1 mo ago Post by MULTI_MEDIA_MAN
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Geralt of Rivia

Lumbridge

Lvl 2 (0/20) -> Lvl 2 (2/20)

Word Count: 818 words



Geralt's eyebrow rose about as high as it could go when 'BOWSER, THE KOOPA KING' responded. Why was it that he always found himself working with the most....boisterous personalities? Cutting off that line of thought, he responded to the 'King' with a nod. "Aye. Know her a bit. Not overly friendly, mind, but I've done my share of supply runs for her. Bagged some deer and rabbit here and there. It's a living, and I get my choice of cut when I order there, no extra charge." Looking over the two so-called minions that Bowser had motioned to, Geralt gave an appraising look.

The girl looked like she would be more at home as an inn wench than a minion, but a closer inspection allowed him to spot a pattern he'd noticed in some of these 'Legendary Heroes': the hair, the ears, the clothes, the rustic look about her. Sure, she seemed a bit young, but those Four Sword boys were a damn sight younger than her, and they did some serious work when they went out. And it wasn't like he didn't notice how those ears tapered off. He suspected they had some kind of elf blood in them, giving them a bit of extra longevity and youthfulness to them. He smirked a bit when he saw her crossbows as well. Oh, this girl had taste. He could only wonder how the hell she reloaded those things, though....unless she had extra hands hiding somewhere.

Ignoring the thought, he turned his eye to the man with her. Internally, he was screaming. Every instinct in him told him that this man was trouble. He had an air about him that spoke to his lethality, and his thoughts were nearly inscrutable. Was he just a common bandit who'd gotten lucky once or twice, or was he more like a force of nature, something you simply couldn't fight?

It was like looking in a mirror, in a way. Somebody forced into a life of hardship, battle and struggle, only to become stronger for it. Again and again and again, killing and scavenging just to survive another day. He was sure that if he saw underneath that coat of his, there'd be plenty of scars to find. He wondered if the other man had ever been killed, idly, but dismissed the thought. How ridiculous would that be, two men who'd been as good as killed, only to come back later?

Finally, he gave this 'King Koopa' a good look. He hoped that 'Koopas', whatever they were, made him king because he was the biggest. If not, he did not what to encounter others of that kind. Man had to be at least a dozen feet tall, easily. The shell looked like it'd cut you for looking at it wrong, and each of those claws could probably punch a hole through his chain mail with a solid enough hit. The clothes were odd, but when you looked like that, it didn't really matter if your choice in clothing was fashionable or practical, was it? You just did what you wanted and anybody who argued with it got batted into a wall.

"So I could show you to her. Even pitch in on the job, if you'd like." Turning again to Linkle, Geralt shook his head. "He's not south, no. If we run into him, I'd be more surprised than you all would, I imagine." Best not to give too much information up, lest these folks be the sort to hunt down a 'rabid monster' at the first sign of life. He hated the sort. Always so quick to jump into action when there could be some glory or treasure involved, but just as quick to turn their heads and walk away as soon as things got a bit complicated. Skelligers were his favorite people for just that reason: they fought for plenty of reasons, coin and honor just being two.

The more he thought about it, the better this idea sounded: he could pick their brains about where they'd been, what they'd done, who'd they seen. And if he was lucky, he might get some information on Ciri or Yennefer. Meanwhile, he could try to squeeze in a bit of extra work, and...wait...he gave a sniff, and his nose wrinkled as his eyes widened. Oh. That's...that's going to come in handy.

His nose worked again. Actually, now that he looked around, things seemed...more serene. Calmer. Slower. His senses were coming back to him. Giving a test sniff, Geralt nodded. "Well, we're burning daylight now. Let's head over to Mina's, find out exactly what it is she needs." Gesturing to the exit of the Guild Hall, Geralt started to lead. "Shouldn't be too difficult to get what she needs. Just take some time, is all."

For once, things might have actually been going well. That was probably bad news.
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Lugubrious
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Forest Temple

Location: the Land of Adventure


Confused by its brush with an intrepid child, the parasite spider was on edge, but that didn't mean much when two men arrived with guns. It released a horrific hissing noise from its mouth as it advanced, only to be met with a torrent of small arms fire. While it took a good few shots, the carcass-spawn went down without much of a fight, oozing vile ichor from its wounds. The smell, if not the very sight of the wretched thing, drove the two men to figure out a way around the collapsed staircase and into the next room.

There, the same scene awaited them that Hat Kid beheld not long before. Within a bizarre, rather unnerving arrangement of colorfully-burning braziers, the still form of a young girl could be glimpsed. To someone with their modern sensibilities, the hazard seemed minimal, but any amount of inspection would prove the flames uncommonly difficult to breach, let al one quash. Whatever the solution might be, it lay not in this central chamber.

Without the kid's familiarity with such flames, however, the two friends were at a loss long enough for the fires to begin contorting in fascinating shapes. In a matter of moments, distinct creatures could be seen dancing within the blaze. They twirled and frolicked in merriment, and over the low roar of burning, eerie voices sang out one after another.

“We want to die...! Yaaaaay! We want to burn bright, then burn out. Become a cloud of smoke...! Our bonfires needs more fuel...only the finest paintings will do...” So saying, the fox spirits laughed and whirled about their respective fires, eagerly awaiting their demise.




The orange flame brazier pointed Hat Kid down a corridor, straight and bare of obstruction save for plant growth and cobwebs, until the hall opened up to a larger, cavelike room of dirt and stone. Well-lit by torches, it sported a single distinct furnishing: a tall hut of irregular stone bricks bearing ancient -in fact, nonsensical- machinery of rock and wood. On its side were a number of large wooden buttons, each adorned with a painted depiction of a pizza with some sort of topping, including pineapple, bell peppers, sausage, mushroom and cheese. Heat, noise, and light from inside the hut indicated the presence of an oven. Beyond the pizza hut, three trolls could be seen languishing atop some boulders, which along with the painting hanging above, suggested some semblance of a living room.

Upon seeing Hat Kid, however, the shortest, roundest troll leaped to his stumpy feet. “Fleen!?” he exclaimed, before narrowing his eyes and getting a better look. “You're not a fleen,” he remarked, confused, before giving an exasperated shrug. “Well, whatever you are..” he knelt, wringing his hands in a desperate plea. “MAKE ME A PIZZA!”

The others looked on, probably not hungry. Smirking, the thin one announced in a creaky, female voice, “I'd hop to it if I were you, miss. Arno gets awfully cranky without his pizza.”

Stuttering slightly, the last one piped up, “B-but he's very picky! W-well, we all are, really...” he gave a bashful grin. “He'll only likes one t-type, though he won't know it 'til he gets it. B-but you can probably figure it out. If you do, I'm sure he'll be r-really grateful.”

Nero

Location: Intersection outside fire station, Dead Zone


With the Tank primed and ready to explode, a short window had opened for someone else to get in there and show his stuff, and Gene stepped up to bat. The sight of him caused Nero to look twice in disbelief. Just what was he wearing!? His eyes widened. Had...he used the van's shower? That meant possibly infectious zombie gook in the plumbing, and more likely than not he hadn't cleansed himself of the disease, either. Gene could present quite the problem, Nero guessed, if his party ignored the chance of contamination. For now, however, he stood back to watch Gene fight.

At first, his blows practically bounced off the monster, even in its weakened state. Once the brawler dodged out of the way and collected himself, however, he re-engaged the raging Tank with a comically-effective move aptly named the 'ball buster', compromising the rotten hulk completely. Nero snickered, unable to deny the technique's humor, if not its crassness. He kept his eyes on the visibly-glowing, beeping Exploder, however. Gene proceeded to unleash a cascade of blows, growing in strength and volume, but not in situational awareness. Seeing this, Nero furrowed his brow. “Hey...” Beep. Beep. Beep. “Don't you think...?” Beep-beep-beep-beep. “You oughta get outta there, pal.” Beepbeepbeepbeepbeep.

He put out a hand, but the Exploder went off with theatrical aplomb, reducing the battered Tank to odious chunks and sending Gene hurtling off to the side. Waving at Blazermate to come over, Nero jogged to the fallen fighter's resting place, worry etched on his features. When Gene's first sounds were a complaint, however, the demon hunter knew he'd be fine letting the medic patch him up. “You saw me stick it on,” Nero replied, incredulous. “Plus, I thought you were a professional. If you can't avoid one bomb with a ten-second fuse, or survive being near it, you should ride back to Hammerhead.” Nero didn't exactly mean for his Exploder to serve as a test, but if worked well enough, and Gene failed it. That sort of situational awareness would make him zombie chow before nightfall.

Nico's van pulled up, and the four friends gathered near. One by one, they expressed their thanks to the heroes, while Nero slid up to the van's window to receive a new arm from its driver. The green-colored device socketed neatly into its port, and he flexed its fingers experimentally. Once the kids' leader said his piece, Nero strolled back over. “Yeah, yeah. Look, you're good fighters, but this place is a hellhole. We're not here to save anything or be heroes, so if something looks rough, you run. Okay?” Noctis nodded. Then, after a moment's hesitation, he offered a hand. Nero shook it without a second thought.

The silence that followed proved awkward, so he pulled away, raising his voice to give instructions. “Alright, people! Let's move out. Street are stuffed, so we'll go slow and quiet, takin' out whatever gets too close.” Using his new arm, he pointed out a twisted organic spire rising into the sky not too far away, near the steeple of a large church. Though like the towering Qliphoth in appearance, it was clearly much, much smaller. “Over there. Guy I'm meeting said to meet by the closest one.” It lay on the other side of the market district, which would no doubt have more clutter, but fewer cars. Three such spires dotted the city, roughly equidistant around the unholy tree in its center.

Visiting them, however, was not on the four boys' radar. “We'll find some other monsters to take out. Not getting sick if we can help it,” Noctis told him. After a few moments, he returned to the Regalia, and the fancy car sped off the way it came.

As everyone else packed up, Nero happened to glance at the remains of the Tank. Even in pieces, the wretched thing kept moving. A couple things had emerged from the remnants of its torso, little pods with lots of legs and a few red-fronded antennae, like those protruding from the monster's belly early. Sighing, Nero pulled out the Blue Rose and fired, turning them one after another into flesh-colored splats. “Time to get lost,” he advised before climbing into the van. Before long the noise from the Exploder would bring a horde here, but there would be no heroes left by the time it arrived.

The Master of Masters

Location: Peach's Castle, the Mushroom Kingdom


The loss of Kamek's attention led the Master of Masters to assume he'd be stepping out and warping right back to his master's side, but instead he gave the room another thorough look. From the start the Master noticed his guest's interest, not too unlike the curiosity of an apprentice upon his or her first admittance to his old study. His remarks provoked a pleased chuckle from within the black hood. “Heh, well, I'm glad you think so. From one magician to another, I know you mean it. Betcha woulda blown your mind seein' my old stomping grounds.” Beyond that, however, he did not seem eager to recall it. Instead, he called upon his full focus to answer Kamek's next question.

“Darkness, huh? Ya don't know? Well, it's a subject near and dear to my heart, so pull up a chair while I bend your ear.” After standing up himself, the Master of Masters flipped his chair around and leaned forward across its back. Straightaway he began gesticulating, using his hands to punctuate every point. “Well, it's basically a universal force, opposite light. There's a whole realm of it, but it can be found anywhere. Even in here.” He prodded the koopa's shelled chest with his finger. “There's dark and light in every heart. It's natural, but that doesn't mean ya get to rest easy. It can be dangerous, ya know. Certain people might use it for power, throwin' crazy dark spells! A sure road to great power, if one's willing to lose oneself along the way. But it can be tricky for normal folks, too. Slow knife cuts deepest, and all. If people give in to darkness, they become Heartless. Then there's Nobodies, and...well, I could go on.:

Laughing, he gave shrug. “To put things short, it can be a kind of magic, influence, or place. Corridors of Darkness, through the dark realm, are a real easy way to get around, but'cha need something like this if you're gonna waltz around in there. Capiche?”
Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Stern Algorithm
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Stern Algorithm Loquacious Aggression

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Din
Level 4 - (21/40) EXP
Location - Lumbridge
Word Count: 413

@MULTI_MEDIA_MAN @ProPro @Lugubrious @DracoLunaris @Gentlemanvaultboy

Wiping some sweat from her brow, Din smiled at the approaching fortuneteller. "It's a pleasure to meet you too, Menat. Name's Din. Advice, huh? Well, the usual advice is confidence and practice. As for these wings...they're real, I guess. It's magic." Although that was her explanation, no magic she knew of in Hyrule involved fusing parts of fallen enemies to oneself. Thinking about it that way, the whole process seemed rather morbid. But Menat's description of her dancing as part of her fighting style threw Din for a loop, rendering her previous advice almost laughable. "In that case, you've probably got me beat. I don't fight with my dancing, not really." Though as she thought of it, she realized that that was no longer true. "I guess the main thing is to get your opponent into your rhythm and then do something off-beat. It's so easy for people to look for patterns that setting up an easy pattern and then going against is a great way to throw an opponent off balance. I guess, ironically, that's advice for bad dancing, but knowing how to dance well involves knowing what to avoid. Otherwise, I would say use your agility, and use your sash to hide your intentions."

When Menat offered to read her fortune in return, she was delighted. Hyrule had many fortune tellers whose advice were often spot on and led one to exactly what they needed. As Din noticed her allies coming out of the guildhall, she motioned for Menat to follow her as she approached Bowser, Linkle, the Courier, and the white-haired man. "Hey Linkle! While you guys were in there, I danced for some money. I earned quite a bit of money to help you with your debt. I also met this fortuneteller. I thought we could ask her to look into our future and guide us on our quest." Though she addressed her allies, she gave a the ruggedly handsome Geralt a shy smile, acknowledging his presence. Din hoped Linkle would be as enthused about the fortuneteller as she was, though she was afraid the Courier might be too jaded an individual to believe in fortunes. She didn't know what Bowser's thoughts were in reading the future, though the fact that he employed a wizard was a positive sign. She had no idea that a signifcant part of Bowser's past was defined by a botched attempt by Kamek to change an unfavourable future that the old wizard had seen.
Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Stekkmen
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Magnumus Agoston, Centurion.

Level 3 - (17/30) EXP
Location: Lumbridge
Word Count: 262




Agoston had been listening intently to the Guild Masters offer. There were quest to embark on, rewards to be had. Like Agoston was some kind of...common mercenary! Pouting silently in the corner as yet another individual joined them on their quest to save the entire universe, this time a white-haired elderly man in remarkable shape...hardly the most remarkable thing in the room. The scale of this conflict was hard to grasp. Each one of these individuals came from a place so alien to Agoston's own. If anyone back home believed him, the bards would have enough material to write a hundred thousand ballads.

Begrudgingly, Centurion stalked up and began silently flitting between different quest cards. One in particular caught his eye. Something he could understand, something that wasn't even really mercenary work. A travelling warrior named Ryu was looking for a fight. The Centurion had run into many types like him before. Infact, it was a common thing on his world. Most of the time, it did not result in the death of either party, but sometimes the warrior was disgraced or simply looking for extremely high stakes dueling. This Ryu wanted to give a reward, so it seemed death was off the table. That was good. Fights like this should be fun and carefree. Rematching an opponent that previously bested oneself, and then besting that warrior in return was a truly remarkable feeling.

"This Ryu," Agoston began, clearing his throat and leaning toward the guild master. "Is he nearby? I am interested in accepting his challenge." He asked.
Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Gentlemanvaultboy
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Linkle


Level 5 - (2/50) +
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Location: Lumbridge ~ The Land of Adventure - Outside the Guild Hall

Word Count: 400

@ProPro@Lugubrious@DracoLunaris@MULTI_MEDIA_MAN@Stern Algorithm



Linkle walked back out of the guild hall with the rest of the group, passing Agoston on the way, and back into the warm sunlight. She thought it was awfully nice of this Geralt fellow to agree to help Bowser on the quest he'd chosen. Big and bad as Bowser held himself to be he wasn't invincible. It always paid to buddy up on an adventure.

"You think we should go see her to?" She asked 6. "That way we could be on the lookout for anything Bowser needs while were out saving people from wriggling fish monsters."

Before she could get her answer though Din came walking up with a new friend in toe and told them she had performed a dance in the town square. "Aww man, a real performance and I missed it?" Linkle said, disappointment played across her face. She'd never really seen Din's skills for real what with being caught up in the fight. It was a shame, because judging from the way Din's wallet was jangling when she came up it was a real sight to see.

Linkle looked touched, but pensive, at the thought of Din helping her out with the money she'd earned. After all, even if Din had gotten those cool new wings out of the ordeal it was Linkle that had started the whole thing. It was still ride to refuse such an earnest gift though. "Thanks Din! We're about to go out and make some money too. Turns out they pay you for doing heroic deeds around here. We were just getting ready to set out. Geralt here," she said, presenting the white haired man and keenly noting that shy smile she'd given him. "Gallantly offered to help us out a little, since he's a local."

In that case Din's new fortune teller friend was a real boon. Fortune tellers could see the webs of destiny that bound all things, especially the bonds between people, or at least that's what grandma had told her. Getting her fortune told by a real professional might come in handy. Though, of all the fortune tellers she had ever heard of she didn't think any of them were quite as beautiful as this one. She smiled at her. "This is so cool! I've never had anyone tell my fortune before." She, of course, already knew her destiny in the broad, unspecific terms, but it always paid to be pointed in the correct direction.
Hidden 1 mo ago Post by DracoLunaris
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The Koopa Troop

wordcount: 1,065 (+2)
Bowser: Level 5 EXP:////////////////////////////////////////////////// (23/50)
Bowser Jr: Level 3 EXP: ////////////////////////////// (23/30)
Kamek: Level 2 EXP: ////////////////////////////// (10/30)
Location: Lumbridge


The master seemed pleased when Kamek complimented his magical redecorating. The hooded magician also mentioned that his old haunts made this bit of sorcery look positively mundane in comparison.

”Who knows. Maybe we’ll run into some of them on our travels” he noted as he took a seat sideways on his broom to listen to the Master exposition about the darkness. The Magikoopa absorbed it all with relish, though the warnings contained within mostly on deaf ears. Both the Mage himself and his lord Bowser used dark magic all the time after all, though this was seemingly a different breed of power, one much to in depth to cover in such a short time. Such was to be expected from something the man considered a fundamental force in the universe.

”Sounds like you could write several books on this particular shade of darkness. I’ve, mmm, encountered a few dark sorceries and artifacts in my time, though if they are of any relation to the Darkness you have studies I can not say. I certainly haven't encountered these heartless or nobodies you speak off. Perhaps our worlds have different laws of magical laws despite having the same physical laws. I’ll have to study that possibility as we travel.” he pondered before hopping off his broom based seat.

”and for these corridors of darkness. We have, and I know off, safer ways to get around of course, so we’d be best to avoid them unless they lead to somewhere we can not yet reach. It's also good to be aware that others, particularly those dressed like yourself, might be able to use them too.” he said, before picking up his hovering broom.

”I’d love to discuss it further with you but I must really should return to my King’s side sooner rather than later. This has definitely been an interesting visit, so I’ll be sure to see if I can squeeze in a social call sometime down the line.”

After a short farewell the Koopa taped his broom against the ground and vanished once more




Geralt did indeed know where Mina could be found, which was good. He also offered to help, which the king took pause before accepting, the king scratching his chin dully while mulling the offer over. It meant an extra pair of hands to pawn off the more monotonous tasks onto, but also meant sharing the cube shaped rewards. The dinner was probably scaling to the number of quest completers. His glacial contemplation was interrupted by the appearance of his son through the guild hall’s doors. The boy waved to his father but was initially focused on the man who he was talking too.

”Oh so you’re guy who all the people were talking about. Your fanclub’s a nuisance you know that” Jr complained, having had to shove his way past the small crowded, including the lunch interrupting children and some Rabbids, that had loosely tailed in the Witcher’s wake and was in the process of dissipating now that he was in the Guild.

”Fan club?” Bowser asked

”Guy’s kinda a big deal around town. Apparently.” Jr said dismissively as he joined the party. He was presently presently unarmed, but did have Mimikyu riding on his shoulder. The small ghost was easily distracted by this new and strange place, and its eyes did not linger on anyone or thing for long.

”Hmm” the King contemplated this information. On the one hand he did not like the idea of potentially being overshadowed by some local legend. On the other hand such a popular guy had to have some clout to back him up. Having him on side might be provided more than just some free help to dump bits of the task on.

While the party had been speaking Din had also arrived, bringing with her woman who she claimed was a fortune teller who she had attracted with her money making booty shaking. Bowser wasn't sure how to feel about the prospects of using Divination again. Kamek, who arrived in a puff of smoke just as the king thought about the old wizard, had the ability to see the future but they’d never had much luck turning the prophecies into success. Not that they’d had much luck turning anything into success.

”Ah, Sire. Your still here. ” the Magikoopa noted flatly only to be interrupted by a ruder version of the question he had been about to ask

”Do we have a plan yet Papa?” Jr asked impatiently.

”What? Yeah obviously.” The king insisted while hardly making a decision.

”GERALT GUY. YOU’RE WITH US NOW, SO TAKE US TO MINA!” he ordered/informed their new ally/guide before turning his attention to the gaggle of heroes in the party.

”OK EVERYBODY LET’S MOVE! YOU CAN GET YOUR FORTUNES TOLD ONCE WE GET TO WHEREVER GERALT’S LEADING US” he commanded the group before heading out the door, the King’s family following after him a few moments later.

”The Master of Masters has informed me that he and the Guild master don’t have anything in common other than their outfits. Apparently the masters he is the master of are actually a bunch of kids with colorful robes and animal masks. The garments the two masters use is for protection against a force he called the darkness. Powerful and supposedly dangerous stuff,” Kamek said once they were on their way and out of earshot of the Guildmaster ”Has all sorts of uses and drawbacks, including the ability to rapidly travel great distance through ‘Corridors of Darkness’ if you have protection, like the masters garments, from the corrupting influence of the passageways.”

”Sure sure right,” Bowser said dismissively, the king well practiced in ignoring Kamek’s explanations, before telling him too. ”Remind me about it if it ever comes up”

The royal advisor, equally used to re-explaining things to his king, simply nodded his head as they continued onward.

They found Mina in a place called the cookhouse. As soon as they met her Bowser brought out the guild card with her quest on it from a breast pocket for her to see before she could worry about there being a turtle dragon in her kitchen or ponder how one might taste.

”WHATDA YA NEED?. the king asked, more than ready to receive a grocery list. ”AND WHAT ARE YOU MAKING ME ONCE WE GET IT FOR YOU?.
Hidden 29 days ago 29 days ago Post by Lugubrious
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Lumbridge

Location: the Land of Adventure


Din's initial response left Menat feeling a touch put off, since 'confidence and practice' was something anyone could tell her, if by some incredible fluke she didn't realize it herself. When the dancer launched into more thorough advice, however, the fortune teller listened at rapt attention and with gleaming eyes. Clearly, the enthusiastic girl was no stranger to instruction. She made mental notes of what Din said about how to approach fighting versus dancing, and when Din mentioned using her sash as a literal veil to mask her movements, Menat nodded vigorously. “Ah, that makes so much sense!” However, before she could say anything else, a number of other strangers appeared from the guildhouse, not too far away. Din headed over, beckoning, so Menat followed behind.

As she got closer, she recognized Geralt, though not from having met him personally. The witcher's entourage had subsided by now. Everyone had got their fill of him, it seemed, which meant he could enjoy more professional company. Apparently the man would be aiding the strangers with a quest that involved the restaurant owner, but not before Menat -at Din's suggestion- would be reading them a fortune or two, despite the scar dragon-turtle's irritating attempt to tug everyone along.

While not yet an expert, the purple-haired girl was happy to help as much as she could. “Of course! I may look young, but don't underestimate me.” With a flourish, she threw up her hand, and a see-through orb of bluish-purple energy, like a glowing bubble, appeared above it. “I shall present your prophecy!” Lowering the orb, she caressed it with her other hand, causing its energies to spin and undulate. When they settled, they took form without changing color, leaving a little bit of interpolation to do with the figures that appeared within the orb. The shapes moved and flashed in quick succession, offering just a momentary glimpse at the future.

First came a tall, slender figure with what appeared to be long sleeves. Menat narrowed her eyes. “I see...fear. You'll come to understand the task you've been given.” She appeared to be running from something, and after a moment, a wave of flame blanketed her, consuming her completely. Next came two humanoid figures, both with long ears atop their heads. The one with thinner ears had a smaller cape, while the other, with ears more like a giant cat's, wore a cloak that obscured her body. “A betrayal that will somehow work in your favor.” As the heroes watched, two giant blades lashed out from behind the cat-eared one and into the other, but then the scene faded. After that, a large shape that could only be Bowser stood atop some promontory, with Kamek hovering by his side on a broom. “Taking sides. A discovery, long avoided, of your own nature.” Many other shapes surrounded them on all sides, some familiar. After that, a glimpse of a smaller, stubbier shape staring at a bright spark in its hand, which it then placed into its heart and began to grow. “Becoming not what was supposed to be, but what was meant to be.” Finally, a man and a woman talking a short ways apart, matching swords drawn. “A single thought: how could it have come to this?”

Menat blanched. “Whoa!” Hastily, she shoved the orb aside to float behind her, devoid of any contents. “...Sorry to say, it looks bad. B-but don't worry. Fortune telling can be a guide, but the path is yours to walk. Just be careful, alright?” Looking sheepish, she took a step back. “Er, maybe I should...you know, be on my way. It was nice meeting you, especially you, miss Din. And thanks for the advice. But I need to find my master.” With that, the fortune teller left, leaving nebulous fates hanging in the air.

It didn't take long for Geralt to lead the others to the cookhouse. Stylish and cozy, it was a home and restaurant combined, not the sort of thing one would expect in a civilized place but not too unusual for the World of Light. There, a number of patrons were wrapping up their midday meals, and Mina herself could be found in the kitchen working alongside a fellow chef. A server bid the newcomers remain in the public space while she went back to fetch Mina, and the battlechef appeared a few moments later. “I'm so glad you're here!” she sang, clearly thrilled. “I was starting to think nobody would take my quest! I've been so busy that I haven't gotten a chance to go out and restock, but the best dishes need the freshest ingredients. And for the adventurers taming this land, I'll accept nothing less. I do have a list for you, here.” She produced a rolled-up parchment and, rather than giving it to Bowser, handed it to Geralt.

“Aptonoth meat is...fine, but it gets bland quick, and it's a bit gamey. Food needs to have spirit! So, the number-one thing on that list is Baurun meat, both ribs and steak. They're actually from my home world, so I'll really be able to whip up something special. There forest near the mining canyon out east that'll have plenty, plus beans and herbs. We've got some wheat fields around town, but the scouts found wild wheat a way south-southeast of that forest. That'll be just the stuff for my noodles. Get everything together, and I'll treat all of you,” she gave Bowser a sidelong glance, “to Baurun spare ribs and steak noodle soup. Please bring back as much as you can!”

A thought occurred to her, and she crossed her arms. “I forgot to tell you. If this is your first time, you should know how hunting works. Getting one portion from breaking a spirit isn't enough. The most important thing is precision. If your rough an animal up, its body will dust quicker once it's dead, so you need to be careful. Take it out without a lot of damage and you can get pieces before they dust.” Mina looked a touch worried, no doubt unhappy to be putting so much of a burden on these strangers. “I'm sorry to make you do this, but I'm so busy that there's really no other way.”






The guildmarm answered Agoston's query with a nod. “Yes, I believe he spends most of his time training around the hill by the town's eastern edge. It has a couple trees on it, there's a pond nearby, and water flows from a spring in the hill.” She pointed the Centurion in the right direction, helped him sign the quest card, and waved him off.

True to the guildmarm's word, Ryu could be found on the hill across the town's titular bridge, resting in a meditative position in the shade of the nut tree growing from the hilltop. Even at peace he looked intense, as though strength and fighting spirit filled his entire building, and when the Centurion approached Ryu seemed to sense it. With a grunt, the man rose from his position, no consideration given to the long white bag laid beside him. Turning to look down at Agoston, Ryu crossed his arms. While stern, he bore no trace of aggression or boisterousness, instead wearing a polite smile and giving the impression of a quiet, steadfast, humble soul. “Good afternoon. Are you here to help me on the path of my destiny?”
Hidden 29 days ago Post by Stekkmen
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Stekkmen Cold pizza is better than no pizza.

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Magnumus Agoston, Centurion.

Level 3 - (17/30) EXP
Location: Lumbridge
Word Count: 264




"Thank you, guild master." The big man said as he inhaled. He gave a nod to the others in his company as he left, mainly Linkle, Din, and the Koopa King. Giving them a half of a salute he trotted out of town.

It was a relatively short treck to Ryu, certainly nothing compared to the marches of his past. The meditating man looked like he came right out of a storybook. Approaching, Agoston was about to clear his throat when Ryu noticed him anyway. Immediately the Centurion took a liking to the man on the hill. Someone he could respect. While their paths were not identical, they both followed the path of the warrior. His seemed more spiritual and self-perpetuating. From the sounds of it, Ryu fought for the sake of fighting, while Agoston served a greater cause. Still, it was no shame on the man in white's part.

"I suppose I am. I'm always looking for a good fight." He said, smirking up the hill at Ryu, looking him and down and sizing him up. The levity left Agoston's face and he glanced down at the gladius that was a bit too small for his hands. "Perhaps not, if this is a fight to the death. Too many comrades have thrown themselves to their deaths for honor. A callous waste of blood in my opinion- a life is best spent on other things. So, is this a fight to the death or submission?" Agoston asked. He looked back up at Ryu, his eyes glinting brightly in the midday light.

Hidden 28 days ago 28 days ago Post by Dawnrider
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Level: 4 (10 -> 12/40)
Location: Forest Temple
Word Count: 1220 (+2 EXP)

(In collaboration with @Lugubrious)


Hat Kid’s chosen path took her straight through a mostly empty hall into an apparent dead end at a barren hollow, where all that awaited her within was a trio of small, lethargic trolls and an inexplicably functional conveyor belt brick oven that didn’t look like it belonged there. In fact, the scene itself seemed out of place for being within an eerie haunted manor-esque temple; a surprise it wasn’t something creepier or more dangerous. The creatures appeared to be harmless enough when, upon noticing the child enter, one of them begged only that she make pizza for him, but logically, the request didn’t make sense at first. They had the means to ‘make’ whatever they wanted (as long as they wanted nothing else) right there in the same room with them; what stopped them getting up and using the machine themselves? Were they really just that lazy; didn’t know how to operate it; couldn’t reach the buttons; some combination of all three? Furthermore, how--by his companion’s testimony--could he only want something specific without knowing specifically what he wanted? Again, this was something he probably could have figured out on his own if he actually tried. As unnecessarily frustrating as the idea was when thought about like that, the task she was given sounded simple enough to fulfill without fuss, as she was otherwise unlikely to get any answers or clues out of them regarding what to do next.

She walked up to the machine to inspect the options displayed on its side, easily arriving at her initial conclusion after but a moment of thought. She knew it to be a near universal fact (having traveled much of the old universe, which provided an oddly supportive consensus) that pineapple was a relatively unpopular choice of pizza topping. A ‘picky eater’ was statistically unlikely to relish the idea, and might similarly reject the inclusion of crisp greens, ruling out bell peppers. She was less sure of the latter, but still considered it a safe gamble to proceed as intended with a simple two-topping of mushroom and sausage. From the bottom up, she jumped to press every button short of peppers to produce the desired combination before moving around to the front of the hut to catch the pie as it shot out and run it over to the waiting troll.

The machine expelled a fully-made, fully-cooking, thoroughly-impossible pizza from the horn at the top with a burping noise, but a quick reposition from the kid allowed her to catch it before it hit the ground. Arno watched with hungry eyes as she approached and handed him the pizza, and he took it from her greedily. As he looked it over, however, and sniffed it, his face turned from eagerness into revulsion. “Eugh! Some of that stuff is yuck!” Shuffling over, he lifted the pizza above his head and cast it into a shallow pit.

Hat Kid’s default smile straightened out with an expression of taken aback confusion at Arno’s rude and wasteful rejection, voicing his disgust with ”some” of what he was given. He wasn’t exactly forthcoming with what about the presented dish he didn’t like, but her guess was the mushrooms; he probably didn’t like the texture. With this in mind, she returned to the oven to repeat the process with one less step, this time omitting the mushrooms and returning with a revised product.

Upon its reception, Arno let out a thoughtful, “Hmm…” Clearly, nothing about this pizza turned him off, but something in the twist of his mouth and the dark of his eyes told Hat Kid he wasn’t quite satisfied. After a couple seconds of consideration, he finally said, “More toppings.” With that, he waddled over to the rock he’d been resting on and set the new pizza upon it, perhaps saving it -an admissible but inferior offering- for later.

The half acceptance of the newer product proved the child’s intuition correct, and brought her a step closer to figuring out what the troll wanted (and helping him to figure out the same). Moreover, it gave her the impression that this was definitely more of a test than a favor, but for what purpose, she could only speculate. So long as she could pass and press on with desirable expediency, it made no difference to her. She made another lap to the machine and pressed the bottom two buttons again before taking a second to consider what to add to it next. She had narrowed it down at this point to pineapple and/or bell pepper, sparing a thought for the former. Was sweet and spicy his flavor? Was he perhaps among the minority who liked a fruity ‘za? At this point, it couldn’t hurt to try, so she jumped on the machine, ran up its side to reach the top button, and slapped it to confirm her selection. Once produced, she caught the ejected dish mid-jog and promptly raced it over to its finicky recipient.

Her proffered pizza received just a single look from Arno before the troll hurled it into the reject pit. “Something must go!” he proclaimed, before turning to look back at Hat Kid with an impatient expression. Crossing his twig arms, he began to tap his foot.

The spindly troll saw this and chuckled. “Ooh, he’s starting to get angry. Better figure out what he wants.”

Figures she should have stuck with her initial instinct: not to trust pineapple. That’d be the last time she trusted to possibility of a minority selection to please. Regardless, she finally had her answer. All she had to do now was replace pineapple with bell pepper and she will have fulfilled the troll’s oblique request… hopefully. She moved to make the necessary modifications and tried once more.

Arno’s face lit up at the sight of it. “The perfect pizza! Gimme gimme gimme!” He reached out his little arms, but he’d be hard pressed to take it from the far more agile kid if she didn’t want to give it unconditionally, which she, of course, didn’t. She took one step back and held out a halting hand, bearing a semi-stern expression. She didn’t work for free! She would need something for her trouble; instructions on next steps would suffice. In accordance with her demands, she quietly explained through gesture non-specific word that she needed to move forward through the dungeon, allowing them to fill in the blanks on how she might do that.

With a confused look, Arno shrugged. “Look, I dunno how this place works. All I know’s pizza. If you want, you can have that painting. It’s not ours. Willa can get it for you. Just give me that pizza, please!” The troll dropped to his knees, a full half-inch less of height, and held up his hands to receive Hat Kid’s creation.

Looking up at the aforementioned painting, it became clear to her what she was supposed to do. There could be no doubt that it wasn’t a coincidence. The difference this time being that the three trolls--who were all depicted in the painting--weren’t trapped inside of it. They were luckier than they realized, in part for not realizing why. Reasonably satisfied with her answer, she happily relinquished the pizza unto the pleading creature, gently setting it down into his open palms before sauntering over to collect her reward.

The thin troll, evidently Willa, had gotten to her feet. Putting her hands on her ‘hips’, she told the kid, “You know, all that logic’s made me hungry. Tell you what: get me a pizza too, and I’ll knock the painting down for you.”

In between gigantic bites of pizza, Arno guffawed. “Hah! Good luck. She never likes anything I like.”

At the lady troll’s added request, Hat Kid stopped mid-stride just shy of her forward foot touching the ground, her expression and mood lowering almost unnoticably as the obvious frustration of an unexpected delay caused a hairline crack to form in her psyche. She would normally just take the painting down herself, but it was too high for her to reach with no means of climbing to it. Begrudgingly, she silently agreed to serve the taller she-troll, since she was apparently at her mercy. Luckily, Arno helped rule out the previous combination right away. Rather than jumping straight to a guessed combo, she would play the field more carefully by working her way up again, starting with mushrooms only.

With a spirit a touch lower than before Hat Kid presented the mushroom-only, cheese-devoid pizza to Willa. Immediately, the troll accepted the pizza, saying, “My compliments to the chef! You really know your stuff.”

Already done with his meal, Arno gaped. “What? You got hers first try and you took so long to make mine!?”

Laughing, Willa held the pizza in one arm as she walked over to the cave wall and punched it. The entire room shook, and the painting fell to the ground with a clatter. For a moment the third troll looked as though he might join in, but instead he waddled over the painting to present it to Hat Kid with a smile. “C-come again sometime! We d-do like seeing people, really. Maybe if there was a way out of this p-place…” With Shyler’s gift, the pizza puzzle had been solved.

Both surprised and relieved with her first answer being the correct one, even with the uncommon omission of cheese (a lucky mistake on her part), Hat Kid accepted Willa’s compliment, playing along by miming a proud mustache stroke. Obviously, she didn’t actually have one (that was a different girl), but to her, it fit the visualized stereotype of her new title ‘Chef’. She then ceased her clowning and went to retrieve the painting from the third troll, who had no request of his own, but expressed an understandable desire to leave. Her eyes moved from him, to the exit, back to him, then she pointed a thumb to the exit as an implicit signal to follow her out. If they chose to heed her command, they would see just how much easier it was to leave than they seemed to think. Either way, Kid would head back into the central chamber to throw the painting into the encircling flame, sparing a few following seconds waiting expectantly to make sure the orange flames disappeared before moving on. By this time, the two grown men from before had arrived, previously unbeknownst to her. Whether she would return in time to encounter them, or they had come and gone by then, she would make her way into the blue-lit room next.
Hidden 28 days ago 21 days ago Post by Genon
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Genon

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Donnie
Location: Intersection --> Following Nero
Word Counter: 349
EXP: +1. Current Total: 17/30

The battle was going fine. Everybody was doing great, the giant zombie was being worn down. But Nero's robotic arm apparently doubled as a bomb of some kind, and Gene was getting uncomfortably close to that bomb.

Donnie tried yelling at Gene to get the fuck away, but between all the gunshots, magical blasts, and being 120 feet in the air, it seemed Gene couldn't hear him.

The bomb was beeping. Audibly. Why didn't he hear it? Was he that blind to his surroundings?

He admitted that kicking the musclebound beast in the nuts was a nice touch (at least, that's what it looked like he was doing from so far up), but when the thing went off, he got rather concerned for his safety. Thankfully, he survived and Blazermate was patching him up.

He was worried though. His First Aid knowledge had vanished, but he still knew enough about biological diseases to know that taking a beating like that would do a number on the immune system. Of course, Blazermate's medi-beam would be enough to heal him up, but it was already keeping the disease at bay. Overtaxing it like this could allow the disease to progress, however slightly. But what he was he going to do? Spam Vivify when his wounds were already healing by the second?

He descended to ground level. What the hell was Gene wearing? Where did he keep that...bizarre thing? Did he have another magical bag? Where on Azeroth did he keep it, though? The man had no equipment other than the clothes on his back? And how did he change so quickly?

He looked at the Tank's Spirit, floating in the air. He got off the platform and walked over to it. It gave him an idea to help Gene...but it was a long shot at best.

And this Spirit definitely wouldn't do. Much too powerful for what he needed. It would be better as an item. So he crushed it and put it in his Luggage.

Nero was moving on by now. He hopped on the Disc and followed after them.

Hidden 26 days ago Post by MULTI_MEDIA_MAN
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MULTI_MEDIA_MAN

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Geralt of Rivia

Lumbridge

Lvl 2 (2/20) -> Lvl 2 (3/20)

Word Count: 465 words



Geralt watched Menat's fortune telling with interest. Sure, plenty of folks around here had their own grand, epic destinies to pursue, but it was always interesting to get even a glimpse of what that actually entailed. For him, it meant fighting and killing Eredin, King of the Wild Hunt, among other things. For others, it meant fighting other nigh-insurmountable foes, or building a country, or taking on an army, or some similar great task which clearly required a legendary hero, blessed by some god or cosmic force or what have you.

What a load of hogwash. Menat was very clear that even she didn't quite believe in destiny as some might tell you. Her fortunes were a guide to where your path would take you, not a definite marker of where you'd go or how your story would end. He was a perfect example: just as his epic tale ended, here he was, in some strange world, surrounded by strange people and this even stranger cycle of rebirth and replenishment that the world experienced.

He was actually somewhat relieved when Menat left, not that he had anything against her. He just wanted to get this job done, especially considering how the last one went. Thankfully, Mina was quick to tell them just what she needed, and her list was more useful than most offered him in the way of direction or assistance. Not needing to memorize half a dozen things to collect or hunt made his job a lot easier, frankly.

But Baurun? Ugh, of course it was. There was a reason he avoided the beasts since he'd arrived here. Annoying things, too much effort for the reward. Sure, they had some nice meat, but the damage they could do with that horn was immense. A single mistake would leave even him badly wounded. Taking the beast head-on was a pretty bad idea, which left the old-fashioned ways: either hit it with a good bolt and hope it was enough to kill or daze it long enough to land another shot...

Or swarm it with his newfound 'pack'. Hmm, given the size of 'King Koopa', that was a legitimate possibility. "Alright, Mina, you can count on us." Turning to the others, Geralt gave a nod. "I'll show you to the forest Mina here just mentioned. It's not overly far, but it's a bit of a trek, so if you have anything left worth doing, now's the time. If not, we can get there fairly easily."

And once they'd managed their preparations, their journey Eastward began. It wasn't long to the forest, and Geralt made sure his crossbow was cocked and ready as they reached the edge of the forest. '29 bolts. Oughtta be more than enough for some overgrown beasts, especially given the company.'
Hidden 25 days ago Post by DracoLunaris
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DracoLunaris Multiverse tourist

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The Koopa Troop

wordcount: 564 (+1)
Bowser: Level 5 EXP:////////////////////////////////////////////////// (24/50)
Bowser Jr: Level 3 EXP: ////////////////////////////// (24/30)
Kamek: Level 3 EXP: ////////////////////////////// (11/30)
Location: Lumbridge


”Well that was vague” Bowser said after the fortune teller had left them with her predictions.

”Unsurprising and but probably for the best.” Kamek replied, having both foretold and witnessed quite a few prophecies in his time. More importantly, unlike his king, he actually remembered quite a bit of the details involved in the predictions and their eventual outcomes ”The other alternative is highly specific but both lacking context and entirely self fulfilling. Either your actions create a fate you are trying to avoid, or a fate you want comes true and then is immediately undermined.”

”or its super cryptic hints at where to go to make progress. Bet if Mario where here she’d have said something like ‘go to where two streams meet and stomp your feet’” Bowser gave an appalling impression of Menat ”Instead of showing us a vision of me back at the stupid cliff again and spouting a whole bunch of vague nonsense.”

”History does have a tendency to repeat itself” Kamek noted. ”and enjoy returning to where things first began in one reflection of that tendency. A rematch ending in defeat for Galeem on the same spot where it first claimed victory seems like the kind of sentimental poetic justice or irony is something prophecies seem rather fond of.”

”Also how come I wasn’t there with you!” Jr complained

The two elder koopas both thought about this with a touch of worry.

”Perhaps you were simply elsewhere in the crowd? You have been going off on your own a lot lately” Kamek suggested

”Off leading your own army!” Bowser said, before his son could complain about being lost among the masses.

”Yeah! Coming from the side with the cavalry in a daring flanking maneuver” Jr perked himself easily enough with the thought. While the boy fantasizes about his legendary generalship his guardians exchanged concerned glances and a nod. They’d keep a closer eye on him, just in case.

”If there's anything safe to take from all that, it’s that someone needs fireproof gear, and someone else a tough shell to avoid backstabbing. If those were literal events anyway.” Kamek noted to try and move them away from the prediction involving them. As was foretold the discovery about their true nature continued to be avoided and no comments were made on the matter.

Idle conversation about the prophecies eventually ended as they arrived at the cookhouse. There they met Mina and received her grocery list. Or rather Geralt did. There was a bit of grumbling over that as king and mage looked at the list over his shoulder.

The ingredient’s locations were then compared to the locations of the other quests. Even without knowing about them Geralt suggested the logical starting point of going to the forest first, to which they agreed.

”A simple arcing path seems advisable, we can pass by the mining quest at the canyon, hit up the forest, swing south for the wheat and then take on any of the southern quests after we’re done. Take a shot at the caves and field parts whenever we come across them.”

The plan was made. Before setting of they first got descriptions of some of the plants and monsters they did not recognize and then acquiring some cheap sacks for transporting the ingredients. Then they ”finally” set off on their first real foray into the land of adventure.
Hidden 25 days ago Post by Lugubrious
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Tora & Poppi

Level 5 Tora - (8/50) EXP and Level 4 Poppi - (7/40) EXP
Location: Forest Ravine, the Land of Adventure
Word Count: 734


Powered by Poppi's energy, Tora's drill tore through the earth and stone, ripping heaps of it from the ravine walls. After trying with astonishingly little success to excavate without her Blade energy, and realizing the incredible tedium that would be, Tora was having fun now. A bit too much fun, in fact; Poppi watched with an annoyed expression as the bit veered through some exposed iron ore, cutting a groove into it. “Masterpon, please stop playing and focus on not damaging ore.”

“Tora know, meh.” Sighing, the Nopon reigned himself in and focused his energy on extracting the iron from the cave wall. With the current dig site only a dozen feet below the ravine's top, the plentiful sunlight -even through the trees of the forest that surrounded the ravine- made it pretty easy to see what he was doing when he wasn't in his own shadow. After a few moments, the energized bit lopped off a load-bearing prong of rock to send the ore chunk tumbling to the ground. Poppi lurched to get it, expecting Tora to fall off the nearby edge in his attempt to save the material from falling to the canyon bottom, but he scooped it right up in his wing. “Nice! Meh meh, three down. Still, even with Poppi power, job is tedious, meh.” He offered it to Poppi, who held open her burlap sack for her partner to dump it inside.

Tora turned around to find a pillar-shaped green creature staring him in the face, dead silent. “Muh!?” It didn't move, its empty black features fixated on the Nopon before it. Composing himself, Tora gave a weak wave with his free wing. “Uh, hello...?”

In reply, the creature began to hiss, swelling up. Tora held up his shield, drill extended, just in time before the creature exploded. The force sent him flying out over the edge, eliciting a cry from Poppi as she dropped her sack. “Masterpon!” She snatched at his wing, but her metal fingers closed just short, and Tora sailed -screaming- into the void. A second later he smacked against the ravine's opposite wall, sticking there for a moment before he started to slide down. Poppi grit her teeth, mind racing, and grabbed a rock. Energy flooded her systems, charging it with the power of earth, and with explosive power she hurled the stone at the wall below her master. The impact blew apart the rock, creating a crater, and as he fell past it Tora reached out with his wing to latch on. When the dust cleared, Poppi spotted him hanging there, breathing heavily.

After a moment, he grunted from the exertion, then called out, “Am okay! But grip not going to last, meh.” Nodding, Poppi launched from the canyon wall she stood atop, carefully maneuvering in the cramped space to get close without a collision. Once near enough, she simply grabbed Tora and carried him back. After setting down his drill on the solid ground, Tora wiped at his brow and gave Poppi a solid pat on the back. “Whew! Great thinking, Poppi. Not know what would do without.”

Poppi smiled, closing her eyes. “Poppi not know what Tora would do without, either.”

Ignoring the snark, her companion pointed at the wall. “Look! Boomy thing destroy rock like was paper.” He stepped forward and peered at the remains. Instead of normal debris and dust, the blast left behind perfect cubes of stone, and a few of ore. “Ooh. Boomypon blast excavate ore very easily!” Excited, he scooped up the ores and turned to Poppi. “Tora know exactly what should do!”

Brows furrowed in disbelief, Poppi ventured a guess. “...Masterpon want to get blown up more to make digging easier?”

Tora flapped his wings in anticipation. “Meh meh meh! Poppi right on money. Find enough boomies and we get back in time for lunch with motherlode of metal!” The shake of Poppi's head prompted him to wave a stubby hand dismissively. “Meh! Poppi know we can take it, no problem. Is great idea!”

Discreetly, Poppi peered over the edge of the ravine cliff. At the very bottom, red-hot lava churned and sputtered. She then glanced back at Tora, her dubiousness more than apparent. The Nopon had, however, resumed his descent, the promise of untold riches obliterating what little common sense he possessed. With a breathless, theatrical sigh, Poppi transformed into QT mode and followed him.

Forest Temple

Location: the Land of Adventure
@Dawnrider


“Thank youuuuuuuu!” Sang the orange spirits as Hat Kid flung the troll painting into their flames, shortly before combusting themselves. The demise of the orange fire marked Hat Kid's trial one-fourth complete, and with all haste the left the central chamber and its frolicking fire foxes behind in favor of the one indicated by the blue brazier. At the end of the hallway, empty except moss, mushrooms, and the odd crab, she found a dark curtain she could push through in order to entire. Inside, an incredible sight filled her eyes.

On the chamber's domed walls and ceiling lay the image of the cosmos. Planets, meteors, and countless stars dotted its curved surface, glimmering in the dark. From the central point shone a single, larger light, meant to emulate the sun. It was a far cry from the dingy cavern of the first puzzle. The child knew space well, of course, so what lay beneath held more intrigue. The entire floor appeared to be a perfectly flat plane of glass, and beneath it lay a world in miniature. Rolling waves, islands, active volcanoes, and more formed an area that would have stretched miles were it real size. In the very center of the room a mountain rose from the see above the glass floor, and on it rested a tablet.

The villagers await you: the Breath. Answer their summons by placing your hand over their ritual, and bring their god to life. You must guide them to the passageway, but it is a long way away, and will open only once the totems have been reclaimed and the earth blanketed with green. Shape the land, give commands, and beware the coming disasters.

At the foot of the mountain, on a large bank of vegetated sand, lay a village, its people not an inch high. Nearby, a group of them surrounded a floating black orb with lanterns and horns, inundating it with prayer and song. Not far off, the sea turned restlessly, trapping the people on their island home. To the south, across the shallows, a desert island lay with a pool of water at its center, a long white totem within. In the map's northwestern corner, on the other side of a volcano island, stood the vital passageway on a tall, lonely isle.




The green brazier lit the passageway into a third chamber, small and square in layout with a grassy floor and walls of impenetrable hedge. The ceiling extended upward so high that it might as well have contained the sky, but other than that the room sported just one anomaly: the five black monoliths arranged in a semicircle near the room's middle. On the ground in the semicircle's center was a giant, five-petaled blue flower, upon the center of which words were scrawled in chalk that moved ever so slightly in an impossible jitter.

Puzzle is five. Five is win is you is winner.”

A few seconds after arrival, drawings began to appear on the first monolith, in the same living chalk. First, there appeared a flower, which broke apart to reveal the word 'BABA' in red. Immediately after, a white rabbity thing appeared on the monolith. Next, the word 'WALL' with an accompanying stone wall drawing extending in horizontally both above and below BABA. 'ROCK' appeared from another flower, and three rocks materialized in a vertical row to block BABA's path. 'FLAG' heralded the arrival of a glittering gold flag on the opposite side of the rocks from BABA. More words came after all together, creating 'WALL IS STOP', 'ROCK IS PUSH', and 'FLAG IS WIN'. Lastly, a big red flower appeared near BABA, and when it came apart the words 'IS YOU' were left behind. After that was nothing, leaving the visitors to make the first move.

Ryu

Location: Lumbridge, the Land of Adventure
@Stekkmen


While his potential challenger's look didn't bother Ryu, the subject of a fight to the death constituted a cause for great concern. The fighter crossed his arms and, with a worried look, explained, “I do not know where you hail from, stranger, where that would even be a question, but this is not a fight to the death.” Raising a fist, he clenched it. “There is nothing like a fair fight. It improves both competitors.” After moving down the hill to the flat ground, Ryu held his fist out for Agoston to bump. “Let's begin.”

When the Centurion accepted, Ryu stepped back into a ready stance, his well-trained muscles filling with power. Immediately he jumped, vaulting over Agoston's head and twisting about midair to fall with an extended kick on his opposite side. After landing, Ryu transitioned near-instantly into a one-two punch. For a moment it looked as though an opening had appeared, but with incalculable expertise the wandering warrior rerouted all of his momentum into an uppercut, rising from a crouch. “Shoryuken!” His fist blazed with flame as he launched upward, impervious to attack but vulnerable after as he came back down to earth.
Hidden 24 days ago Post by Simple Unicycle
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Simple Unicycle ???

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Level 3 - (0/30) + 1 = (1/30)
Difficulty Level 1
Location: Dead Zone (Redgraccoon City)
Word Count: 246





Gene began to roll his shoulders to relieve the tension in them, grunting slightly. Man, that bomb really hurt, but at least he didn't die or something. As he continued to stretch to get all the kinks out of his body, he let out a quick "thanks" to Blazermate. Then, Nero came up, and Gene let out a small chuckle in embarrassment, scratching the back of his head sheepishly. "Uh, sorry... I was getting so into beating the crap out of that thing I forgot all about the bomb. I'll keep on the lookout better from now on."

Then, Nero went and talked to the pretty boy band members. Gene couldn't hear what they said, but Nero and their leader shook hands, so obviously it was good. It was then that Nero called out to everyone, saying that they were moving on, and Gene quickly got into the van after him.

Once he was in the van, he quickly went to his outfit. It was still wet, which meant he couldn't wear it just yet, but he still had more changes of clothes in there. He pulled out one of his other outfits, before heading into the van's shower to change. A few moments later, he emerged, wearing something far more respectable. Folding up the other outfit and sticking it back into his normal outfit's pocket, Gene sighed, before sitting down. "I will never wear that thing again. I'm sorry you all had to see it."
Hidden 22 days ago Post by Stekkmen
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Stekkmen Cold pizza is better than no pizza.

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Magnumus Agoston, Centurion.

Level 3 - (17/30) EXP
Location: Lumbridge Outskirts
Word Count: 2,113

Collab with Lugubrious




Agoston frowned, thinking back on his home. It was good to know that not all places were like his own. Even though he missed it dearly, there were some things that needed to change that never would. ”It’s a sad state of affairs, my friend.” He agreed, nodding. Accepting Ryu’s challenge, he expertly threw his gladius into the ground, the blade embedding itself into the dirt. Centurion took a few steps to the side, distancing himself from the blade and getting into his unarmed battle stance. It was similar to that of a boxer or an MMA fighter, his hands by his head, body tilted to the side.

The last thing the Centurion expected was for Ryu to jump and sail over him. He had to get used to fighting opponents of extraordinary ability. Infact, he was now one of those warriors with extraordinary ability himself. The kick landed between Agoston’s shoulder blades, and he stumbled forward. Whirling around he took the first punch to the jaw and just managed to block the second. Preparing to counter attack, Centurion was took off guard as Ryu exploded upwards. The Shoryuken made impact, and the bigger man was knocked into the air, off his feet. Landing with a thud on his back, Agoston growled in frustration, chastising himself. He was giving off a poor first impression! Getting to one knee he punched the ground to psych himself up, and pushed off in a lunge towards his opponent. He brought his boot up to kick Ryu in his center of mass to push him off balance. The kick was filled with power that made it difficult to catch or parry, most people simply had to get out of the way and Centurion was hoping that his opponent would dodge or get hit. These two outcomes were preferable, as he could quickly continue his offence in either outcome.

Agoston’s mighty kick surged forward, but it didn’t exactly take Ryu off guard. The world warrior did, after all, fight superhumans often. Inhaling deeply, he transitioned to a sidelong stance, leaning forward with most of his weight on his front leg with the back stuck straight out behind at an angle, like a support strut. Ryu bent his elbow, bringing bicep and tricep together to block, and he pressed his wrists together so that the off hand could support the former. The Centurion’s kick landed with a great smack, sending dust flying from Ryu’s gi and sliding him back along the ground, but the man did not budge. “Impressive.” After a moment the kick’s force came to a standstill, and Ryu pushed his arms to the side as he came around with a roundhouse kick.

The kick connected as the surprised Centurion spun, turning with the impact to disengage. He took a moment to collect himself, and raised one eyebrow. ”Apparently not that impressive.” He admitted. Ryu was powerful. Agoston would have to be smarter. This time around, he took the initiative. Lunging in, he made as if to do another kick, only this time he shifted his momentum hard and brought his foot down into a stomp against Ryu’s foot. Then he went to do a series of quick jabs against his opponents face.

Ryu’s face hardened as his opponent’s foot landed on his own, the intense impact fairly painful. Stepping backward, he tightened his focus, immediately internalizing the lesson. He stood ready as the Centurion jabbed three times in quick succession, blocking the first two. By the time the third of the series came out, however, he’d picked up on the timing. This time, he dropped as he whipped his forearm against Agoston’s knocking it to the side in a deft parry. Already tensed to move, Ryu launched off the ground into a spinning kick. “Tatsumak!” The force of his spin suspended him as he delivered two spinning kicks, the final impact knocking the Centurion away.

Centurion steadied himself, grinding his heels to halt. He was beginning to feel out his opponent, and it wasn’t looking to be an easy fight. Guard up, Agoston walked tensely towards Ryu. He threw a quick jab low towards Ryu’s abdomen, then brought his other hand to punch Ryu across the face. Centurion was hoping to get enough momentum going to lay on the assault, but his opponent was a wall, so far preventing him from gaining the advantage.

As Agoston approached with a high guard, Ryu waited half a second before preparing a low sweep. However, Agoston’s guard came down just then, and his quick strike landed on Ryu just as he started to attack. It flowed seamlessly into a the next, a strong cross. Recognizing his error, the fighter backed up, and without wasting a second brought his hands together to spark a mote of blue energy. “Hadoken!” He launched the fireball at Agoston with ease, and immediately jumped forward. If the Centurion blocked and then tried a counterattack, or tried to avoid the fireball by jumping himself, Ryu was ready.

As the warrior backed up, Centurion was ready, happy to finally have gotten some hits in without immediately taking some himself. His opponents next trick was a strange one, and a fireball was on his way, his opponent following behind it. This reminded him of a Shinobi who would harass him with ranged strikes and follow up swiftly behind him. The solution to that? Centurion lunged forward, his feet leaving the ground. He brute forced his way through the fireball with a grunt, taking the damage and emerging through the flames, delivering downwards punch to Ryu’s shoulder. Using the momentum from this he crouched a little low.

A flame started at his shoulder and trailed down his arm. ”Incredibilis!”
He shouted, delivering a massive uppercut against his foe.

The armored move caught Ryu off-guard, smacking him out of his jumping attack. It left him off the ground just enough for the Centurion’s incindiary uppercut to cannon squarely into his gut. Ryu flew a short distance with a hefty gasp and tumbled along the ground. No stranger to brutal blows, he ended up on one foot and one knee, but the strike left him rattled. Immediately he set about restoring his breathing, and to do that he needed a little space. “Hadoken! Hadoken!” One after another, more fireballs flew Agoston’s way.

Centurion cracked his knuckles. As the fireballs came his way, he dodged one and blocked the other, crossing his arms infront of him, the flames colliding and dissipating across his form. Usually, he was able to follow that punch with a pounce attack, but Ryu was no usual foe. Clear of the fireballs, Centurion ran towards his opponent, trying not to let him regain his footing. Seeing the crouching Ryu, Agoston raised his foot and attempted to boot Ryu directly in the face.

Just what Ryu was waiting for. From his crouch, he executed a neutral jump, soaring over Agoston’s boot. As he fell, he let loose a weighty straight punch at his adversary’s head, then combo’d into another dragon punch. This time he landed before the Centurion, and he couched his palms to summon a brighter azure flare. He threw the EX hadoken into his foe’s path.

Centurion had planted himself on the ground after the missed kick. the fist hitting his bald head with a thwack. Turning around, he barely blocked the dragon punch and stumbled back. At the last moment, he charged, aiming to crash his fist down upon the crashing Ryu. Only then there was a massive ball of shining energy that filled his entire vision. His momentum was cancelled and he realized he was off his feet, the ball collided with his abdomen and pushed him backwards. The air was knocked out of him and the EX hadoken exploded, sending him flying through the air. ”Wooooaaaaahhhh!” He cried out in surprise as he crashed down on the ground onto his back. For a moment he stared up at the sky, blinking. After a moment, breathing heavily, he propped himself on his elbows and looked over at Ryu.

”Wow! Bene pugna!” He exclaimed heartily after a moment, struggling to his feet. His whole body hurt, but he felt rejuvenated. Eventually he wobbled upright, rolling his neck and shoulders, trying to squeeze out some of the aching.

Seeing this, Ryu relaxed. He crossed his arms, gave a smile, and said. “You fought well. I was honored.” Though his eyes bore Galeem’s red irises, the world warrior did not fight on. He approached, and offered Agoston a clap on the back. “After a bout like that, you’ve more than earned your reward. I have two spirits in my bag, but the other is for another challenger. Or, if you want another round later.” For his part, Ryu appeared to have broken a sweat, though he did not seem to be tired or in bad shape. A life of constant battle, at the expense of all else, truly did breed results.

From his bag, resting beside the shade tree on the hilltop, Ryu retrieved three spirits. Inside one’s core was a young woman with sparkling blue hair. Another harbored a burly man with a shock of blonde hair, rising like a pillar atop his head. Whichever one Agoston wanted was his for the taking. The last held a lithe man with brawling mitts and a cape.

Agoston smiled sadly, seeing the man’s red eyes and realizing his condition. All Ryu strived for was a good battle, and even now he continued on his journey, but despite that his will was not wholly his own. It wouldn’t be, not until this war was over. Still, in a way he was helping the good fight by offering his reward, even though Agoston lost the fight. Somewhere inside, there was a flare of indignity, as if him losing this fight was somehow wrong. That the Centurion deserved to win. But those thoughts were inappropriate, and Agoston had been in many fights like this before, and new how to act properly.
”Thank you, warrior. May our paths cross again.” That being said, three people were available to lend their strength to the Centurion. He did not recognize any of them, so he had to judge on their appearance whether or not they would be particularly useful to him. The blue haired woman he had no idea what powers she possessed, but the two men looked like strong fighter types. Gingerly, he reached out his hand to the Spirit that contained the man who was sensible enough to wear a fashionable cape. Palming it, he nodded gratefully at Ryu. Turning his back with a habitual flourish, he stalked back down the hill and towards Lumbridge, seamlessly removing his gladius from the dirt and placing it back in its sheathe.

A while later, he came to a stop, sitting on a stump in a clearing. He rolled the core between his hands after a little bit, hesitant. He still hadn’t gotten quite used to his new dragon based abilities, and he was already going to modify himself further? Were these changes permanent? Sighing, he decided it didn’t matter. There was a war to be one, and he wasn’t strong enough to win it as the Centurion he once was. Adapting to new circumstances was the key to victory. Resolved, he took the Spirit between his two palms and placed it carefully against his forehead, and pushed the mote into his head.

The reaction was immediate. Another surge of iridescent power filled him, altering his being, though not as wildly as it had the first time when he absorbed megadragonbowser. Agoston’s hair shortened, becoming interspersed flame red and sharp silver. Growing a touch paler, he decreased in size just a little, though not in terms of musculature. A stone-gray core appeared in his eyes within the brilliant orange. Turning bright red, his cape got larger and more elaborate, and his metal gauntlets turned to metal-studded red boxing gloves. Expertise flooded him; suddenly, boxing prowess was etched into his muscles. Adaptable, punishing, high-speed hand-to-hand combat felt like a part of him, as if it had always been there.


Hidden 22 days ago Post by Gentlemanvaultboy
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Gentlemanvaultboy

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Linkle


Level 5 - (2/50) + 3

Location: Lumbridge ~ The Land of Adventure ~ Outside the Guild Hall --> Mina's Kitchen --> Southern Exit

Word Count: 1770

@ProPro@Lugubrious@DracoLunaris@MULTI_MEDIA_MAN@Stern Algorithm@Stekkmen



Linkle clapped her as Menat flourished her orb, a jolt of excitement racing up her spine as shaped began to form within the glowing thing the fortune teller had summoned. she leaned in eagerly, grinning wide, to get a close look at the future playing out in front of them. That grin, though, gradually faded into a concerned frown as the woman's grim predictions began to flow. A slender girl was engulfed in flame as Menat proclaimed that they'd understand their task. That through her for a loop, because Linkle had assumed they already knew what they had to be doing. Who was that girl, as well? Linkle couldn't make up the hazy figure, but if this was a prophecy for their group then there were only four options; her, Din, Poppi maybe, and the princess.

The next vision made her scratch nervously at the base of her rabbit ears, still tucked up under her hood. This one was easier. She was the only one in the group that had ears like that, but who was this person that was supposed to betray them. At first she thought it might be Ratchet, but no. That person was clearly a lady even through that cloak that obscured her form. Were their lady Ratchets? Should she be on the lookout? No, wait, the fortune said they'd get an advantage out of the betrayal so maybe she should just take one for the team. After all, Linkle already knew she couldn't be killed until after she'd saved Hyrule.

There was no ambiguity about the next ones subject, though. Bowser and his wizards silhouettes were unmistakable as they stood together, surrounded by forms mysterious and not so, and the proclamation that he would discover something long avoided about himself. The small figure, growing into something he wasn't supposed to be. The two figures, speaking swords drawn. "How could it come to this." The last three, on their own, we're less ominous. After all, no one was dying in them. Combined with the other two, though, cast a dark pall over them. She looked at Bowser for the first time with unease. She couldn't help but worry for their their self-proclaimed leader, couldn't shake the feeling that something awful might be in the stars for him.

Even if Menat tried to give them some words of encouragement about how fortune telling was a guide, even revealing herself to be an apprentice fortune teller under her own master, Linkle didn't doubt for a moment the accuracy of her predictions. There was no one in the party that took matters of fate and destiny more seriously than she did. You could say she'd precariously stacked her entire life on top of her belief in it. The words and images dangled over her like swords, ready to plunge in.

All in all, he first fortune telling hadn't been nearly as pleasant of an experience as she'd imagined. Still, it was good to know that a monster was creeping up behind you. So as the fortune teller hightailed it away from the group, which seemed like a pretty good idea all things considered, Linkle waved and called out, in as cheery a voice as she could muster. "Thanks Menat! Hope we see you again!"

Sighing, she turned to Din. "She's sweet, but a real downer." She shook her head, trying to play her worries off. "So, you wanna come hunt fish monsters with us?"




Bowser started hurrying them along so quickly after that that she almost missed Agoston as he came out and started making his way out of town. She didn't know where, but she assumed he'd found one of those quest to his liking. She returned his salute as he left, wondering whether she should tell him about what they'd just leaned. After all, Agoston was a swordsman. She decided against it though. There wasn't any need to worry him while he was on the job. Prophesies, in her experience, tended to unfold slowly. After all, she'd waited her entire life for hers to come true.

There was nothing really for her to do as they walked along except listen to the conversation between Bowser and his wizard. Unlike Bowser she listened intently to whatever the diminutive Koopa as talking about. She took special interest in the masters apprentices. His real ones, apparently, that didn't dress at all in the dark coats him and the Guildmaster wore. She made a mental note to keep an eye out for anyone that looked like that. The coat apparently defended you against darkness, too. That would be a great tool for fighting evil. If she got ahold of one she resolved to dye it green and wear it all the time.

But then they started talking about the predictions, both incredibly dismissively in her opinion. Both of them, though, seemed to start taking it a bit more seriously after BJ wondered where he was in their prophecy. While it was true he might have been off leading his own army or off in the crowd as his elders suggested Linkle decided that maybe she would keep a closer eye on the boy than before. It wasn't that much of a change, she'd been doing it since the little turtle had joined up with them.

It was when they brought up the other predictions that Linkle decided to pipe up. "I think that second one might have been me." she said, pulling off her hood and shaking her head to let the ears on her head flop around before replacing it. "But you guys don't have to worry about that. It's not like it's gonna kill me. I still haven't beaten Ganon."




The chefs restaurant was as cozy a place as the rest of the town with a big egg shaped purple thing hard at work. At first Linkle thought that it was the client, but soon the real chef appeared. She gave off more of a warriors vibe than a chef vibe, but she was so confident in what she was saying that Linkle couldn't doubt her. In fact, she had been wondering how you were supposed to butcher an animal in this world, what with everything dissolving as soon as you killed it. All you had to do was kill it in one precise strike. If she had been the Linkle of one day ago that would have been a problem, but now she was confident she could actually manage to put a bolt right between somethings eyes.

Kamek suggested that, instead of splitting up, the whole group head around in a big circle taking out all the quests they heard about along the way. That would definitely be safer of all of them, but would they have the time to get everything done? "Sorry wizard." Linkle said regretfully. "Missing people can't wait all day. Me and him were gonna head south anyway." she gestured at the courier before continuing confidently. "Tell you what, at the latest we'll meet you at the fish people. Maybe even before that. We'll have that wheat and..."

She looked back at the grocery list they'd been provided, and what was in the same area as that wheat.

"What is a chocobo?"




As they parted ways, each dedicated to doing a half circle of the quests around Lumbridge, Linkle just stared at the ground frowning as she trudged down the street. The big nice chickens. It just had to be those fluffy kweehing things that they'd spotted as they rolled in. "It'll be okay." she said to herself. "Just think of it like a regular monster and...make it painless."

Was it bad form for part of your solution to make up for killing a bird involved killing another bird? To Linkle that seemed as though it should some kind of bad luck. Especially as cute as those big birds were. They were almost like big versions of...

"Cucco Cucco."

"Yeah." she said despondently. "Almost like that." She continued on for a few more steps before lifting her head curiously. "Wait a minute." she said, looking around. Then she spotted them, right there. In the pen just next to the Guild Hall, a flock of black feathers and beady little red eyes pressed up against the paddock, staring at her and cuccoing in chourus. To anyone else this might be a scene right out of a horror story, right before the heroine screams and is devoured by a ravening horde hidden in the darkness, but Linkle let a wide smile sprawl its way across her face. "My girls! Ahhhhhhh!" she squealed, rushing over to the sid of the paddock where they piled up on top of one another to get a closer look at her.

"That is you, right?" she said to the mass, trying to pick out individuals. "Naburu? Mido?" she asked, like a worried mother fawning over her children. One in particular jumped up and managed to get some air time, landing on the post. She narrowed her eyes and scowled at it. "Ralph..."

The bird just looked back, mindlessly. Mindlessly menacingly.

Oh well, she wasn't about to let one bad egg spoil this reunion.

"Oh man, who found you guys?" she asked. She'd have to talk to them and straighten this whole thing out, let them know that they'd picked up something that belonged to her.

Not right now, though. She couldn't get distracted. They were safe, that was all that mattered. It's not like anyone was gonna try and eat them, some poor soul had already probably taught the rest of the town what a bad idea that was.

The endless noise was beginning to attract stares. She motioned with her hands for them to quiet down, picking up Ralph while he jittered and clucked and tossing him back into the pen. "I'll be back. I'll figure this out. You guys wait. here." She stared at them, nodding her head as they quieted and seemed to get the point. "Good girls. I'll be back for you." She lingered a few more moments, just to make sure they were calm, then trotted off toward the southern exit.

She wasn't sure they were all hers, but a few in their definitely were and it only took a few to get the whole flock riled up. She couldn't believe it. She'd been so wrapped up in Menat's predictions she must have missed the paddock the first time they'd passed it. It just went to show: if you focuses on the negatives, you missed out on the things that were important.

"Sorry." she said to 6 as they made their way out. "I know them. They're good friends."
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Hidden 21 days ago Post by Simple Unicycle
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Simple Unicycle ???

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Level 3 - (1/30) + 3 = (4/30)
Difficulty Level 1


And
Donnie

Level 3 - (17/30) + 3 = (20/30)
Location: Peach's Castle Kitchen
Word Count: 1,959

(Note: This post is a flashback, and a collab between myself and @Genon)


The toad tilted his head to the side at Gene's question, indicating curiosity. "Stronger?"

Gene's face fell. Oh great, they definitely didn't have anything stronger. Still, maybe...? "Y'know, alcohol! It gets you drunk! Don't you have any?"

The toad still looked confused. "Alcohol? Drunk? I don't know what that is."

... Perfect. They definitely didn't have any alcohol. Gene reared his head back and let out a groan. "... Great. Just great. Well Donnie, guess we're not getting beers."

Donnie paused from inhaling a plate of chicken parmesan and seemed to visibly deflate. “Ugh. That’s a shame. So, you first or me?”

"Hm. I'll go first I guess... Jeez, what should I even talk about though?" Gene cupped his chin in his hand, contemplating, before snapping his fingers. "Let's start at the beginning. You wanna know how I got this," Gene clapped a hand on the God Hand, "In the first place?"

“Oh, sure,” Donnie said, his interest audibly piqued.

Gene grinned. "Well, to put it simply, I saw some thugs harassing a girl. Now, me being the stand up guy I am, I went in to save her...and got my ass kicked. Those guys were looking for this thing called the God Hand, and were cutting people's arms off to find it, so they decided to see if I had it." He paused for dramatic effect. "So, long story short, I got my arm cut off."

Donnie looked at him like he had three heads. “Wait, so the God Hand is your actual replacement arm? That thing doesn’t have any caveats, does it? In my experience, objects of that level of power tend to have a catch of some kind.”

Chuckling, Gene took a drink from his juice, then continued. "Yeah, it's my actual arm. Turned out the girl I saved was carrying it and planted it right on my stump, no clue how that works though. As for drawbacks...well, I kinda have to keep this on," he pointed towards the Deistic Brace, "or else the God Hand's powers will weaken. Y'know, let it build up before letting it burst. Other than that? Nothing of note."

“Really now?” Donnie said as he chewed on a piece of chocolate cake, “You lucked out. Anyway, what happened next?”

That question got a simultaneous sigh and chuckle from Gene. "Well, it turned out the girl, Olivia, was crazy . She said that if I didn't follow her around and do as she said, she'd cut my freaking arm off with an axe!" Gene let out a groan, taking a long, long drink. God, he wished that the Toads had alcohol. "So from that point onward, I was basically her slave. She had me hunting down whatever bad guys were in the area, and, well... Let's just say that's where most of my stories come from."

“Oh Gods, that sounds horrendous. Still though, if you want to, you mind recapping a few of those stories?” Donnie was now up to his second apple turnover.

Gene nodded. "Oh, yeah, that was the point of this whole conversation right? Well, to give the highlights reel..." Gene began to list them all off on his fingers as he went along. "I fought two gay twins in freaky outfits, a fat demon named Elvis, a giant crane, those assholes that cut my arm off, that fat demon Elvis again, a gorilla wrestler, a team of midget superheroes, a succubus named Shannon, those assholes who cut my arm off again, the other God Hand user Azel, a robot named Dr. Ion, a wannabe rockstar and his friends, fat Elvis again, a psychic midget, the midgets again, Shannon again, a samurai, an old guy who turned into a fly, some fat ninjas, a guy with an afro, then Azel again, and finally, the king of demons Angra... Phew, I fought a lot of people."

Donnie looked like he was halfway between laughing at some of the stuff Gene said and being generally impressed. He didn’t know what a “superhero” was, but he just chalked that up to universal differences. “God, some of those fights sound like they must have been epic. On my end…I guess I’ll start at the beginning as well.”

“The first thing you need to know about my world,” Donnie said, “is that it’s wracked by war. There are two huge factions called the Alliance and the Horde. The reason they’re fighting doesn’t really matter for our purposes, but for some asinine reason, it has shades of a race war. Humans tend to be on the Alliance side, and I was raised in one of the last human bastions, a coastal port kingdom called Stormwind. My dad was a maritime trader, and he took me along on merchant trips. So then a massive storm hits, destroys the ship, and I end up clinging on to a piece of driftwood. I held on for what must’ve been days, and when it was over I found myself on some kind of island. The island was actually the shell of a giant, sapient sea turtle that had people living on its back. I faint immediately, got taken in by the natives. Oh, and the natives were talking pandas that walk upright. They’re called pandaren. Seriously.”

Gene blinked once, twice. Giant sea turtles? Panda people? What kinda world did this guy come from? Still, he figured he had to say something instead of just awkwardly staring at Donnie. "... Uh... Go on."

“Yeah, I should’ve figured I’d get that reaction. Azeroth’s a pretty weird place. Anyway, I ended up training on the Wandering Isle as one of their warrior-monks. It’s how I learned all my badass fighting moves. Cut to ten years later, when an Alliance and Horde ship crash into the Wandering Isle--that’s what it’s called by the way--and I took the opportunity to head back to Stormwind after a farewell. I checked up on my family, and well…”
He grimaces. “Remember how I said that Stormwind is one of the last human bastions? Azeroth--my world--has been targeted by the Burning Legion--basically a gigantic army of demons--for ages now, and one of their schemes was to create a puppet ruler in the form of an undead necromancer called the Lich King. And one of the Lich King’s greatest weapons? The Plague of Undeath, basically a magical disease that revives anyone who gets killed by it as a mindless undead under his command.”

He looked Gene in the eye. “The Plague of Undeath was primarily meant to destabilize the human kingdom of Lordaeron, one of the greatest military superpowers and the heart of the Alliance. So it’s designed to kill humans above all other species. Even elves and orcs don’t get revived. That’s why Stormwind is one of the last human kingdoms. And apparently, the bastard had unleashed it on Stormwind while I was off training on the Wandering Isle. My family was among those dead.”

He took a swig of grape juice. “So, with nothing tying me down at this point, I became a freelance adventurer, traveling the world, killing bad guys, and getting paid. I got good. Really, really, good. I killed thousands and thousands of monsters. I’ve saved the world, more than once, but I’m pretty proud of the time I killed Kil’Jaeden the Deceiver, a Burning Legion general and right-hand man of the demonic Titan Sargeras. I fought him onboard his spaceship with a group of 24 other people. Yes, he has a spaceship, don’t ask. Took a long time. We needed a full team of magical healers, several mages and warlocks, and we needed a few paladins and protection specialists to take the brunt of his damage. With all of us working together, though, he went down eventually. A few of us needed resurrection after the fact though.”

Gene was still trying to process the giant sea turtle when Donnie continued on. His story was an epic one, far more exciting than whatever antics he had wound up in, and far more serious to boot. Gene took down a Demon King, Donnie had saved the world several times over. And considering he was told not to ask about the spaceship, the only thing that wasn't rightly explained, he instead decided to just go with simple shock and awe in his response. "... Wow. That's... About all I can say. Wow... There is one thing I'm wondering about, though." He gestured to Donnie's handblades. "How'd you get those?"

“Oh, The Fists of the Heavens? That’s a trip. When Sargeras set his sights on Azeroth again recently, the different orders founded to fight him decided they needed to get some unique magical weapons to take him down. Among those was the Order of the Broken Temple, the monk order that I’m currently the Grand Master of. I set my sights on a few artifact weapons, legendary items that could prove useful. One of those were these.” He put the Fists on the table.

“The Fists were forged by a smith named Irmaat. He was trying to create the most powerful weapon imaginable. Unfortunately, he didn’t seem to have as much common sense as he had skill in forging, because he decided to charge the handblades with power from the Elemental Plane of Air. He performed a ritual that targeted Al’Akir, the plane’s ruler and the strongest air elemental, and basically stole vast quantities of his power. Al’Akir knew what was happening though, and decided to sabotage it. He started donating even more power, filling the Fists with more magic than they could handle. Irmaat didn’t realize this, thought he had succeeded, and picked them up. The next instant, he accidentally creates a gigantic magic hurricane that levels his entire city and buries it in the desert sand, because he couldn’t control them at all. He died in the storm, of course, and they lay dormant for centuries until Al’Akir died during a recent event called the Cataclysm. I’m not going into that right now, but it caused a power struggle in the Plane, and another air elemental called Typhinus found them and used it against his enemies. He wins the war, but controlling chaotic energies for so long drove him nuts and he became a tyrannical despot.”

Donnie grinned. “So I killed him and took the handblades. Turns out that you need inner spiritual discipline to control it, and monks have that in spades. So that means that basically, only I can use them.”

He looked at the pathetically small vortexes in the center of the handblades. “Unfortunately, they’re not actually as impressive as that story makes them out to be right now. Galeem drained their power. A lot. They’re actually pretty weak right now, but I have a feeling they’ll regain their true strength eventually.” He took them off the table and sheathed them, then went back to devouring his four scoops of ice cream.

Gene eyed the handblades, almost wanting to make a grab for them to try them out. Still, he left them on the table, especially after hearing of their awesome power. How was it that Donnie didn't get killed like... Oh, wait, that was the next thing Donnie explained. Good to know.

When Donnie finished, saying that Galeem had drained their power, Gene felt a little disheartened. Who's to say that the other artifacts they may find wouldn't be drained as well? "Well, for what it's worth, they look like they'd be able to kick enough ass! ... I still wanna try them out, too." As soon as the words left his mouth though, Gene let out a yawn. "... Maybe some other time, though. I'm tired. What say we head to bed?"

“Yeah.” Donnie belched right after.. “I’m stuffed anyway.”
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Din
Level 4 - (22/40) EXP
Location - Lumbridge
Word Count: 250

@MULTI_MEDIA_MAN @ProPro @Lugubrious @DracoLunaris @Gentlemanvaultboy @Stekkmen

When Menat left, Din waved goodbye and followed the others to the restaurant.

When Linkle brought up the prophecy, Din agreed. The prophecy was definitely confusing and unsettling, but Din had arrived at the same conclusion concerning the silhouette with the long ears. "Don't worry Linkle, I'll watch your back," she offered reassuringly. Din listened as Mina explained what they were supposed to be gathering, but then the issue of how the party should proceed came up. Kamek wanted to stick together, but Din and the Courier wanted to go look for missing people's first.

Though Din was currently smitten by Geralt's rugged good looks and wanted to go with him and Bowser, the party split was already incredibly off balance, with Kamek and Junior obviously going with their king. It didn't seem likely that Din could dissuade Linkle from setting off on a heroic rescue mission, so she turned to Linkle with a smile and said, "Sure! Us Hyruleans should stick together." She looked back at Kamek, who was clearly the responsible adult of the Koopas and said, "I'll keep them safe," referring to Linkle and 6, and possibly Agoston, as sort of an apology for going against his desire to keep the party together.

When Linkle met her cuccos again, Din was delighted to see animals from her homeworld. As they headed out of town, Din offered, "We could try to buy them. I know the money is for the Hammerhead debt, but I could always just dance again."
Hidden 19 days ago 19 days ago Post by Lugubrious
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Nero

Location: Charnal Lane, Dead Zone


It took only a glance for Nero to come to a conclusion. “That's a can of worms we don't need to open,” he told Nico, and with a nod of agreement the woman began to back up. A few feet in front of the van lay the edge of a giant crater, caused perhaps by some incredible underground collapse. A whole block of cityscape had sunk down into the earth, about eight stories at the very center up to three or four near the edges. Enormous roots, their branches adorned with blood-red leaves, grew from the cracks to snake through the air. Their presence, plus the warm, red glow of bio-luminescence, made it a pretty scene, but this rose boasted more than its fair share of thorns. Zombies utterly swarmed the area, more than likely trapped by the terrain. Going in there would be extremely hazardous, provided the team could get their vehicles back out. Unlike the streets, where one's vision served one well and some semblance of order could be had, deadly foes full to burst with infection could come from any angle in that tangle. Better, thought Nero, to take a detour.

On the other side of the deadwood crater rose the spires of a noble cathedral, and higher still towered one of the Qliphoth's roots. Left, further along the street Nico led the way down, lay a path around the crater and the office buildings that bordered it: the charnel lane. Along the ruined city's left edge lay a strip of land that traced the edge where world ended and Empty Space begin, home to a solemn park bearing countless gravestones, monuments, and mausoleums. Nico's van burst through the wrought-iron gates and jostled down the steps. Turning northward, the party proceeded through the graveyard. A number of zombies wandered about, joined by a new variety, dry and lethargically slow. Nero, walking at a brisk pace in front of the car, cleaved one as it turned to lurch at him. As its bisected halves hit the ground, they turned to ash and sank in, only for the ground to roil a moment later and bring forth a new corpse. Already having moved on, Nero shook his head in bemusement. “Damn things don't wanna stay in the ground.”

Nico opened her mouth to reply only to be cut off by a deafening howl. She and her friend tensed, looking in every direction to anticipate an attack. The sound resounded from everywhere at once, and the heroes weren't the only ones it provoked a reaction from. All around them, the eyes of the wandering undead lit up a foul, unholy greenish-yellow. Together they turned to face the heroes and began to advance.

A moment later, a rumble came from the entrance of a nearby mausoleum, which already appeared to be in shambles. From its mouth burst a huge monster, four-armed and wreathed in skulls, with a large corpse in its hand. Nero sized it up, snickering. “Now that's a demon.” He watched as it chomped on the cadaver, only to frown as a green glow overtook it. Bony protrusions emerged from its flesh, becoming weapons and armor, and when the monster released it the thing barreled at Nero faster than any zombie he'd ever seen. In plenty of time he brought up his right arm and unleashed it, creating a booming shockwave that launched him up and backward onto the roof of Nico's van. He landed, pulled out the Blue Rose, and watched as everything went to hell.

With a thunderous howl, a second Suffering exploded from the wall of the office building on the graveyard's right, bringing all four fists down onto the top of the van. A mighty CLANG rang out, but miraculously the incredible vehicle held firm. Confused and angry, the beast simply thrust its hands beneath and flipped the van over. Nero went flying, and with a terrible racket the van rolled toward the cliff's edge. He watched, helpless, as it barreled straight for certain doom. “Nico!”

“Here!” From inside, the plucky woman hurled another arm. Nero detonated his instantly and sent out his wire to snatch the buster arm and reel it into place. Using his sword's flames, Nero spiraled toward the ground, and ran forward just as the van went over. With a cry, he extended his new arm, blue energy surrounding it as it expanded into a larger, clawed hand. Its talons sunk into the van's siding, Nero dug his feet in, and with a colossal effort he slid to a stop.

It took all of his strength to hold the van there, growling through gritted teeth, but the Sufferings weren't about to let him off the hook. The forward one howled, rallying its undead around it to engage the heroes, and the one in back began snapping up corpses to add to its obedient Swarm.

Forested Canyon

Location: the Land of Adventure


The forest, neither too high nor too dense, contained a wealth of life and beauty. Birds sand, squirrels leaped through the trees, and all sorts of vibrant plantlife filled the underbrush. What chiefly concerned Bowser's party, however, did not take long to find. A small herd of baurun grazed the low-lying plants, evidently not partial to ordinary grass. They munched on roots, herbs, and berries happily, some of those herbs also on Mina's list. No bean bushes could be seen however; no doubt 'king' beans grew somewhere a little more remarkable in this forest.

Only one fully-grown bull appeared among the ranks of baurun, but the females -while lacking horns- looked almost as fierce and sizable. Although without Geralt, Linkle, the Courier, or Din, Bowser and his entourage could still take these beasts on if they used their wits and some caution, but those who remained didn't exactly steal the show in terms of precision. Whether or not they could acquire much meat was the question that hung in the still, cool air.

A few hundred feet farther on, the giant crevasse purported to dominate this area began. Roots and vines curtained its sides, but it nevertheless posed a potential hazard any hunters and gathers would need to be aware of. From within, the distant but remarkably frequent sound of explosives could be heard.
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