Hidden 5 days ago 5 days ago Post by Zapdos
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Zapdos Electric Pokemon

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Look around you; the Kingdom of Xeconia is truly a land of endless opportunity! Whether you are a farmer, adventurer, or any other profession, you know you have the ability to be prosperous. Even our criminals are treated well, being sent to one of our Redemption Districts to be given the ability to live a good life. Yes, the Royal Family has made this continent the best place to live for everyone!
Propaganda poster featuring happy citizens, Kingdom of Xeconia

The reality for those in the Northern Redemption District is quite different though; it is a miserable place. The terrain consists of gray rocks as far as the eye could see, both inside and beyond the four walls made of the same material, with similarly-colored mountains visible in the distance. This rock is used for all of the builds there, with the staff buildings distinguished by signs and more care into their design. Those unfortunate enough to be here spend their days waking up before dawn, mining for gold for hours, eating a single meal of soup and bread, and sleeping, only to repeat the same routine the next day.

Now, it was true that nobody wanted to be sent there, but for those who were clever enough, there were minor comforts to be had in this place. One person lucky enough to fit this category was Titus, a thief and alchemist sent here after failing to steal from the government. It was the skills he learned in the latter trade that led the man to be where he was that afternoon; the Guard House.

In that building, one of the guards of the facility was sitting in a wooden chair, taking his break. Zachary was tired today and deep in thought.

It's been a long week. Maybe I shouldn't have taken the overtime; I feel like I'm going to mess something up. But what could I do? The Warden asked me personally! The Divine Blood doesn't lie. If the boss thinks I have potential, maybe I should stop-

"Hey Zach, what's going on?"

The resting man was startled out of his thoughts, but relaxed when he saw the stupid face of Cletus, his fellow worker. The man was wide and short, dim but a good fellow, always finding amusing ways to mess with the slav-er, penitents.

"Oh, not much. Just resting and still kind of worried; it's been a long week."

"Quit that already! Don't you know, tonight's the big day!"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah." Zachary shook his head, a slight grin appearing on his face.

"Ya hear the Warden got us the good booze for the party? Not that cheap shit like last year!"

On and on their conversation went. Vito, leaning against a wall in the Guard House, just wanted Cletus to shut the fuck up. By the King was that bastard fucking annoying, and it made it hard to listen to the man who was talking to him. Titus had good information and better tobacco (made with some alchemal process he was unfamiliar with), so he was actually worth paying attention to. 

Unbeknownst to Vito, the thief was quite interested in what the guard's younger coworkers had to say. A party and booze meant drunk guards, and that meant…


Later on in the day, the usual dinner was being held at the mine's "cafeteria." It was a generous name for a sparse building with its furniture consisting of rocks used as chairs and larger, relatively flatter rocks used as tables, but the prisoners were usually more focused on eating than on the place's naming conventions. This evening, however, the focus of a small group of people was on the resident alchemist, describing in low tones what he had heard and why it mattered.

"...so if they're drunk, that means they'll be less attentive, and that's our chance to get it; the master map." The man continued talking about more specific details related to the Guard House, but the others realized the significance of what had just been said immediately. 

Just by working there long enough, even the lowliest of slaves knew the layout of the District, but the master map was the only one in the complex with the location of the key on it. And this wasn't just an ordinary key; this one was capable of unlocking the cuff each prisoner wore around their ankle that blocked their ability to use magic. The appropriately-named magic key could be used to give the group their spellcasting abilities back, then they could use that power to escape. And it wasn't like there was another way to get this information, so if the group didn't take advantage of this opportunity, another one like it was not likely to replace it.

"With the key, we'll have a chance to finally be free," Titus concluded, "and I intend to take it. Who's with me?"
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Hidden 5 days ago 4 days ago Post by Expendable
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Expendable The Certifiable

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"...I know you would be sorry, if you weren't so very dead," Rizx sang under her breath, "But you never listened to a word I said."

She scooped up a spoonful of broth and a cube that might have been potato, glistening with a thin glaze of meat fat, and shoveled it into her mouth, chewing. It was pretty dismal, even by her tribe's standards. The gatherers would bring in wild onion and herbs - something, she admitted, was very hard to find around here. Even some salt would be an improvement.

Taking her chunk of bread, she dipped it into the soup to soften it, then started chewing on it, her eyes flitting back and forth.

"They all... party?" the goblin asked, hiding her mouth behind the bread. But then where was there to go?
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Hidden 4 days ago Post by Tora
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Tora Swooping is bad.

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Another fucking day in hell. Three months had she been down there with the rest of the lot…three and had made zero advances on her plan. She would be the laughing clown of the assassin’s group, that she would, she could almost hear them, mocking her with their “hey rookie! Too much for ya’?” yes, they would no doubt laugh at her face or —even worse than being their play thing— they most likely leave her down there to root, not being even worth the problem. They sure could have 100 more like her by the next full moon, why bother rescuing a nobody street urchin who didn’t make it out of a place like that? No… she wouldn’t be worth their time. She had to escape somehow.

The little paper note weighed more than ever on her secret pocket. Even when the ink had started to fade and it was smaller than before, it weighed in her mid, made her palms itch with the need to do something…anything that would get her out of there. Her face showed nothing of the chaos that was her mind, she was as stoic and unfriendly as the first time she had been mining, only this time, people around her could feel a change on her, they could almost feel the danger pouring out of her skin, maybe it had something to do with the hard unforgiving way she hit the boulders, but they could feel it. Her rage. And why shouldn’t she be angry? The Crows didn’t even give her instructions, they just “sold” her as disposable gear and gave her a pat on the back for “good luck”.

She hated the mines and the stone, and the sand, and the people there with their odors and smelly mouths. She hated it all. And as always, the day went by with only a few punches to some idiots who thought they were being funny about her ears and a mildly annoyed guard who preferred to yell than actually due anything about a bunch of slaves quarrying.

she found her self sited at a small stone on the far end of the table, where an annoying man —that looked a lot like her usual aristocrat targets did— was talking about being free, as always was the case with the “dreamers” on the mines, he had an audience of people she had worked with before, but couldn’t really put a name to. Her plate rested untouched in front of her, but she made sure to eat the brick that was supposed to be bread, as a fainting assassin was as good as a baby, when her interest was piqued….a party. Her colorful eyes swept to her right, listening to the blond man’s tale, gears already turning in her mind, even as a …. Goblin? Spoke from behind her own bread —at least, her voice seemed of a female, but it was too hard to say—.

If she could steal the map —and she could— she would be out of that place in no time.

-You know…- she finally spoke, not really talking to anyone in particular, her eyes still fixating on the bread, her long lashes casting shadows on her unmatching eyes -a smaller group might be…wiser than a larger one- if she was going to get out of there and had a chance at taking the key, she needed numbers, not that they would be much help, but people were pieces to move and use, so why not?
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Hidden 4 days ago 4 days ago Post by Zora
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Zora A rogue of a mischievous adventurer.

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Can one even call this a cafeteria? Each time the man stepped into this place it caused a little more of his soul to leave his body and he's been doing this for seven years. Seven years. Seven boring years. Stepping into the cafeteria with a sigh, he looked slightly more roughed up than usual. A scuff of dirt was across his face with a little bit of blood. The mines were one thing and the people who worked in them were a whole other thing.
Sitting was not an option at the moment. Why? Unknown reasons. Kristo felt like standing and standing there by the table, he did. ...so if they're drunk - A blink came from the man which allowed his amber eyes to disappear for not even a second. Did I miss something? Internally questioning himself since he came into that sentence. He would figure it out later. That means they'll be less attentive... A thought passed through his mind, No, shit Sherlock... That's what alcohol does to the majority of people... But he was staying quiet for a reason. If he spoke, they would probably leave him behind.
Kristo was not confident in other people and did not know if he was truly confident in himself. Was this worth the risk? Trying to obtain a key that could possibly free them. Inhaling sharply, his chin rested on his knuckles as he looked down at the table. Stuck in thought. What thoughts were behind those fire-lit eyes?

"I appreciate your enthusiasm, Titus, but..." Kristo began to trail off because he didn't know if he should speak up or not. "The only plan I am hearing is retrieving the key, unlocking ourselves, and abra kadabra ~" Kristo got really quiet but really enthusiastic about this last part, "We are free!" He whispered but raised his voice at the same time while dancing hands.

Call him a pessimist, but he was unsure. What if this was a trap? What if he was placed or paid to get people who were looking for a way out of more trouble?

Glancing at a girl with two different colored eyes. Heterochromia ~ How beautiful and rare. Kristo thought to himself for a second before his eyes sharpened and he looked back at Titus, she was making a point. The more people that knew. The more likely they would be caught in their plans.

It was now or never, "I suppose I am in," Kristo wanted to get out of this prison as much as anyone else or even more so. The biggest thing he wanted to do was kiss a tree or admire a stream or something. He hasn't been able to play instruments in forever. Last week a guard took a piece of straw that he was using as an instrument. It sounded fine and he could get a tune but they were displeased with his actions.

Interactions Titus
Mentions/Acknowledgements Mhin
Current State Uneasy - Pessemistic
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Hidden 4 days ago Post by Saiyan
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Before writing the letter for Kruger...

Stood in the Guard House, not for the first time, Titus handed over the satchel of tobacco. It sure was a fortunate coincidence to find Solanaceae moss growing in abundance around all over the grounds. Solanaceae moss AKA 'Nightshade moss;' a perfect subsitute for tobacco if one could extract and seperate the poison from the pulp and then make it smokable. Not an easy task, but such a problem-solving exercise was a nice way to stave off the boredom and monotony of prison life. Making tobacco-substitute would most certainly have made him a rich and influential man in the prison... that is, if the so-called Redemption District was as advertised. In reality, the place was nothing more than a slave camp. The prisoners had not enough things of value to make a tobacco trade worthwhile. And so he found himself simply handing the fruits of his labour over to the guards for a few minor comforts and favours. It was the best he could do, for now.

"There's a lot more there this time," Vito noted.

"I had the materials, tools and the space required to prepare more, this time around," was the explanation from Titus. In truth, he'd never wanted to make so much for Vito. He'd purposefully been making smaller batches to keep himself needed - keep his value high. But this time around, he had the materials and tools to make something else too - Something that required a large quantity of the poison he'd been seperating out of the Nightshade moss. "As for information: On the fourth sub-level, in the south-western corner of the mine, there's a hideaway where some of the miners are taking extra breaks."

"Is that so?" Vito put the satchel aside and was sufficently distracted by the snitching. Good.

"If you don't mind, wait a few days before you bust them. I'd rather not be, in any way, linked to it."

"You giving me orders, you little shit?" Vito leaned in toward Titus threateningly. Titus didn't even blink. For some reason, fear or doubt rarely showed on his face. The young man was seemingly unshakable, with a piercing glassy gaze to boot. It was one of the reasons his old gang called him 'The Snake.' That and the poison antics. If they'd seen him now, casually snitching on others, this would be yet another reason for his nickname. "I could make your life a living hell. Know your place."

"Of course," Titus agreed. "I only wish to be valuable, so that our current relationship might continue."

"Anything else?" Titus shook his head. "What about other prisoners? Like that Mortika woman. She seems up to no good."

"She's fine," Titus said quickly. Mort was one of the few people Titus actually enjoyed talking to, in this shit hole. He'd do his best to protect her at any cost. "I've..." he searched for the right words. "...seen her around. She causes no trouble. Gets on with her work. You won't find anything untoward with her."

"You seem certain of that," Vito said, a suspicious look on his face. These fucking guards and their first instinct to be suspicious. It was correct. But annoying as hell.

"She is strange," Titus relented. "A cult leader, so I hear." Vito nodded in agreement. "I'll keep a closer eye on her, and quickly report anything worthy of note. Such a savage must be hiding something."

Misdirection complete. It was not out of pure altruism that Titus felt loyalty to her. It was not just that he respected and even admired her as an intellect and conversationalist. Mortika d'Arce had a unique set of skills and knowledge that made her a crucial piece in a potential prison break. She had to be protected. For the good of the small group of allies that were forming - allies who might seriously consider an escape attempt. Allies who might just be able to execute one too.

And speaking of prison breaks; did the guards in the Guard House just let slip the mother of all intel...!

After writing the letter for Kruger...

"They all... party?"

Titus looked in the eyes of the tiny goblin girl and gave her a couple of very purposeful nods. This one would also be as crucial a cog as Mort. She was small and she was a little thief, with goblin instincts. Heist gangs would call her a 'grease guy.' She could fit through small gaps, climb and scramble, with finesse in her hands too. Her type of team player was often someone sent into a building to unlock it from the inside. Coaxing her to talk was not easy, she was distrustful and bullied in a similar way that Titus had been when he first arrived, but finally she had spoken to their group. Good.

"Yes," he said to her, then echoed her words. "All party."

-You know…- Titus' attention was drawn to another who was hard to coax, but for completely different reasons. Nobody bullied Mhin. The elvish-looking woman was a certified badass. -a smaller group might be…wiser than a larger one-

"True enough," was the alchemist's response. "But we need the right combination of skills too. Nobody here is dead weight. We are all going to be needed if this is going to work.

Mhin was like the big guy, Maxim: Two people who did not need magic to be extremely effective at incapacitating any potential obstacles. Titus also found the play on words of 'Min and Max' to be amusing, although he'd never dare mention that for fear of offending them (particularly Mhin. Maxim had a decent sense of humour.)

"I appreciate your enthusiasm, Titus, but..." Kristo began to trail off. "The only plan I am hearing is retrieving the key, unlocking ourselves, and abra kadabra ~" Kristo got really quiet but really enthusiastic about this last part, "We are free!" He whispered but raised his voice at the same time while dancing hands.

"I understand your concerns, Kristo." Titus wished the fool would sit down and be normal. "Unfortunately, without the map, we have limited intel to work with. And once we have the map, we have to move quickly before it's absence is noted. This means, we have a small window in which we can put a plan together and execute. Unortunate, I know. But there's no other way. All we can do is be as prepared as possible, with the right collection of skills to problem-solve in real time."

Speaking of dead weight - someone who didn't know any better might think that Kristo was such. The man had no obvious talents other than having the gift of the gab. But, after arriving in the big city as a teenager, Titus had quickly managed to learn the lesson: It's who you know, not what you know. An old adage that rang truer than most would like to think. Nepotism ran in all circles, and a good friend in the right place could take you where talent alone couldn't. The more Kristo told stories about his former life (never to Titus, but Titus was always listening) the more Titus realised that this man seemed to 'know a guy' in just about every city on the fucking continent. Where hadn't Kristo 'Silver Tongue' Vosu been? Once the team had broke free of the prison, they would become fugitives, and help would be hard to come by. That's when, hopefully, Kristo's knowledge and connections would shine.

"I suppose I am in,"

Titus suppressed his urge to let out a breath of relief, and simply nodded.
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Hidden 4 days ago 4 days ago Post by Riffus Maximus
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Riffus Maximus Big Zs

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Another day done, another meal to be had. The giant of a man Maxim, nicknamed “the bear” by the other penitents, let out a heavy sigh and wiped the sweat from his forehead. Man, this sure was another busy day. Not that they all were much different. Always the same task, over and over again. Just how long has it been? Months, maybe years? Maxim wouldn’t know. He wasn’t very great at numbers. Not that it mattered anyway, he’ll simply keep on doing his best here. There wasn’t much of a choice in the matter. If it meant keeping the kingdom off his village, he’ll die mining gold.

The bear looked at the pickaxe he used today. He brought it closer to his face, examining the tool. It was a rather nice one they gave him today, but he could already see the splinters in the handle. And what’s that? It felt like the iron was starting to bend slightly backwards. Shouldn’t take long until the head gives up and breaks off from the shaft. He’ll have to be careful tomorrow, make sure nobody works too close to him. Last time they gave him a shoddy pickaxe, someone nearly got impaled from the pick flying off after striking a gold vein.

Such a thing probably wouldn’t happen if they actually made use of his blacksmith skills to repair the overused equipment around here. But could he really blame them? Maxim was probably just as more efficient eating through the rocks with his powerful swings. There really weren't a lot of people of his build around here. Most of the large guys had a rebellious streak and were quickly put down.

And so there he was today again, eating at one table with a group of friends he made during his time here. Or at least he imagined they were his friends. After all, they were in the same boat, sharing the same food, lodging and misery, why wouldn’t they be comrades. Company sure made this life less dull, and he was intent on making everyone’s time less miserable if he could help it. There were some gloomy gals in their group that sure seemed like they could use a little cheer. And then there were some guys who were funny to listen to their antics.

He sat at one end of the table, on the floor. The Bear was so tall that even on the floor, he was reaching the same height as some of his smaller comrades sitting at the table. Plus, there was a time he sat at one of the tables and the stool just gave up under his weight. Ever since that time, he never bothered using a chair again.

Max listened to the plans unfolding. Was escape really a possibility? He recently started daydreaming so often about taking naps under the shade of a tree, overlooking fields of wheat. How he misses these days…

“You can count me in! I’ll help any way I can!”
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Hidden 4 days ago 4 days ago Post by ProxyInc
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ProxyInc Browncoat

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’Clink.' 'Clink.' 'Scrap.’ The dining hall was filled with little sharp tings and scrapes of crude cutlery dragging against the dingy dishware they tried to pass for plates. Each sharp sound bit at Erith's brain, like dozens if razor sharp teeth gnawing away at his nerves. He couldn’t say he fully hated the mines. He liked the tedious work. Plus, rocks were fun. But the “cafeteria” was a whole different beast. His icy-blue eyes rolled and winced every few seconds with each new sound. Not only that—it was also filled with a myriad of unpleasant smells and bodies that slurped and devoured each meal. Though the gruel was something little better than what he could have dug out of the trash. But at least it was palatable—mostly. Sometimes he’d let his mind wander off to some of the best dishes he had eaten. But not today, today was filled with teeny annoyances that caused the feyling to bounce anxiously in his seat.

”Just chew. Chew. Chew. Chew.” His fevered brain yelled at him while mirroring his own hasty gnashing of teeth against the hard, tacky break. It was desperate to drown out the chaos that was building around him. It felt like little jolts of electricity were itching beneath his skin giving cause for his legs to bounce at a rapid pace. Unfortunately it was to no avail—eating and chewing just wasn’t enough to dispel the torrent of sensations rushing through him. ”Well, that’s enough of that,” he said under his breath, fingers gripping the plate while swinging his legs out from beneath the table. Dinnertime was over. Would he regret not finishing it? Probably. But that was future Erith’s problem. Current Erith needed something better to do to fill his time.

The feyling had made his way partly down the cafeteria before hushed voices cause his attention. ”I know that voice! His tail curled it’s way around his waist, the tip flitting back and forth excitedly. He could feel his shoulders slump away from his ears while relief flooded over him.

To say Erith made his way over towards the nearby table was an understatement. There was a noticeable bounce with each step as he more or less danced his way over; tray still in one hand. ”MHIN,” Erith shouted excitedly before sliding into an empty seat amidst the group. He shoved the plate away from himself before propping his head up on the table. A wide grin plastered across his face while he looked at the elf. Her fiery hair fell around her face with no real sense of direction. He had offered once to braid it for her. To which Mhin had very quickly, and harshly, shot him down. He tore his eyes away from her and glanced around the table. Maybe he was mistaken but if felt as if there was an uneasy air to the table. He noted the darkened and serious looks etched onto their faces. ’Well, Mhin’s face always looks like that . . .’ Erith’s brows knitted together in a moment of hesitation before brushing off the notion.

He lowered his head trying to make as much as eye contact as possible with each of them before whispering, ”Did I miss something?” His forehead wrinkling slightly as his brows drew up. This smelled like a mystery and if there was anything Erith liked it was adventure.

"Can I join?"

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Hidden 3 days ago 3 days ago Post by Expendable
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Expendable The Certifiable

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Rizx glances down at her fingers, rubbing her right hand on her top. She'd tried to pick the lock for her cuff once, but it bit her. Still she felt an ache in her fingers, like the shadow of an itch.

"Hide us in wagons, we no see way. We no see how far, or see water. We leave, we no know road. Meybe do big circle? Supply wagon waits when we all in mines," Rizx sighs, "No one see it. But big people glah, no hold back."

She raises her head, holding each of there eyes for a long moment.

"When go, cuff guards, cuff chief, no cry help. Take sword, take horse. Find wagon, food, water," Rizx added, then took a nibble of her bread. "Time gift. Cannot spend much."

Rizx smiled, remembering the joey in his painted face to said that. She glanced up, wondering if they understood her? Big people always rushing, barely hearing, barely seeing. Always looking down at her.

But even if they got out of the mines, could they find the wagon? If this was forest, wagon would be easy to find. But all around them was stone, she couldn't be sure of right direction. They would not last long without water or shelter. Or if the guards found them first.

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