"Mmm," Sev hummed thoughtfully to himself as Allard offered some food that another patron had walked out on, "I'm not one to accept charity but I don't want to insult your hospitality... I know!"
A smile spread across the pale face as he reached into a pocket and, after a bit of rummaging, produced two coins, one silver and one copper which he held up for the barkeep to see.
"How about a game?" said Sev, taking one of the coins in each hand which he held out, palm up with the coins clearly displayed, "we're going to leave this in the hands of fate, in a moment I'm going to mix these coins up and hide one in each hand."
Sev demonstrated by covering the coins, flipping his hands over and bumping his hands together before presenting the coins again. However it seemed that in that simple movement the two coins had switched hands, the hand that had the silver now held the copper and vice versa. After letting the barkeep get a decent look at this he once again hid the coins and bumped the sides of his hands together.
"Now you pick a hand, which ever coin you pick is how much the meal costs," explained Sev in a slightly excited voice, it wasn't often he got to use his skills for something other than theft but it was more enjoyable this way. With his thieving his marks, hopefully, never noticed they'd been stole from. But with games like these his skills with slight of hand and magic could be demonstrated in such a way that left observers confused. He was very careful to cover his tracks, ensuring his use of illusions was never noticed in such a way that could out his aberrant blood.
He smiled as the barkeep picked a hand, after a moment's thought, which Sev turned over to reveal a silver coin.
"Looks like the meal costs one silver," he smiled, showing that the copper coin was in his other, unpicked hand, before putting the copper back into his hidden pocket and placing the silver on the table.
"Oh, you mentioned something about people going missing?" Sev asked a moment later as he accepted the food and drink, "I guess if a band has already headed out after the bandits I probably can't help there. But I don't have much to do till the next convoy west leaves. Maybe I can put my skills to use?"
Both coins were silver coins, Sev simply covered one or the other with an illusion of being a copper as he needed.
The desert heat sucked, Sevuid thought to himself, wiping away the sweat from under the brim of his wide hat. His pale skin was not built for this kind of sun either, like many Sylve he grew up in The Scar, where it was cloudy more often than not and nowhere near as hot. Sadly, The Scar was no longer welcoming for him, and Portea was far too crowded.
Thankfully, despite his misgivings, he’d finally arrived at Kalla, meaning some semblance of shade and drinks. Maybe he could cool the drinks with his ice magic, he often heated food with the little fire magic he knew so why not the other way? If he was stuck here till the next convoy out of town he might have to learn to do that. Military magic training never covered the truly useful stuff.
Next issue, coin. Between the cost of a seat in the convoy that brought him here, food and drink he was low on funds. And it was remarkably hard to steal a drink and room to sleep.
Turning to look at the sights Sev blundered shoulder first into a human.
“Oh gods, I’m sorry,” Sev apologized, holding out a hand to help the man up, cradling his six-foot wooden staff against his shoulder.
“Not an issue,” the man grumbled, taking the offered hand before checking himself with a scowl, “where’s my coin purse?”
“Did you drop it?” Sev asked innocently, patting himself down before pulling a felt pouch from a pocket, “I’ve still got mine. What’s it look like?”
“Leather,” the man grunted, eyeing Sev skeptically, “got any others on you?”
“I should hope not,” the Sylve replied in shock, “though you’re welcome to check.”
The man angrily checked Sev’s pockets, sleeves and hands before grumbling something that sounded like an apology and turning back the way he’d come. Sev gave his well wishes as he walked into town himself. Once he was around the corner he smiled as the pouch waved, turning from felt to leather as he canceled the spell. He retrieved the coins from the pouch before carefully dropping it in the sands where no one could see.
Now with nine silvers, by his counting, Sev made his way through the city, looking for an Inn. Or Tavern. Or really anywhere with drinks, beds and shade. Like many desert cities Kalla was laid out haphazardly, clustered as close around the small oasis as possible. After a short walk through the market district he eventually found a building marked ‘Inn.’ Eager to be out of the heat Sev quickly entered, sighing as he entered the shade, removing his hat to shake free the sweat that had gathered in the fabric.
As a mage of some skill he could likely make money in other, less illegal, methods, but this was more fun. Maybe some day he’d settle down, get a ‘real’ job, but for now if he was forced to travel, he might as well explore the world. So far, however, this whole desert thing was a bust. Still better than guard duty, but not by much.
“I need a cold drink, and a room for the night,” Sev explained after he made his way to the bar, placing two silver on the surface. Sighing as he almost collapsed onto the stool he continued, “anything interesting going on in town? Don’t know how long I’m going to be here, might as well see the sights while I’m here.”
Appearance: Sev's actual looks are very normal for Sylve, pale skin with short black hair, an unassuming face and stature. The only notable part would be his eyes, which are fully a brilliant gold, a mark of a distant Grusk ancestor. Using his illusions he almost always keeps his eyes looking more normal, but when stressed or low on mana his eyes will revert to their true colors. Likewise Sev prefers simple clothing that can be easily altered with his illusions, typically functional, if uninteresting, cloth tunic and trousers. The most distinctive item his carries with him is his spear, a token of his, admittedly short, military career and focus for the magic's he isn't gifed with.
Bio: Born to a poor family living in The Scar his parents quickly realized that some dormant Grusk blood had come to the forefront to give Sev eyes of a bright gold. Not wanting him to be persecuted for this heritage they kept him sheltered in their rundown home, only their most trusted friends knowing about his condition while others were simply told that he was 'unable to go outside due to a deformity.' As he grew older, Sev became envious of those outside, coming to hate his own eyes and wishing they were more normal. One day his Grusk blood manifested again as his years of desire and pleading manifested his first Gift, that of Light magic. His parents were hesitant at first, knowing that a Gift of light magic was as much of a tell as his eyes, but eventually they were forced to allow him out as his father grew ill in his age.
Sev quickly gained a reputation as something of a prankster, learning to use his illusions in subtle ways that others wouldn't even recognize as magic. Pranks quickly turned to petty theft and pick pocketing out of a desire to provide for his parents. During this time his second gift manifested, a more standard Slyve gift with Air magic. This continued for a while, but he wasn't as skilled with his air magic as he was with illusions and was caught when trying to rob a low ranking officer in the Sylve military. Sev was given the choice of losing his hand, a standard punishment for theft, or being drafted into the army due to his gift with air.
He didn't take long to realize he wasn't one for the military. His pranks were no longer considered 'amusing' or even just 'annoying' but earned him punishment. When he was caught anyways. Sev managed to squeak through the training, keeping his light magic a secret, learning a decent amount about how to use the air to assist him in combat. He also got a chance to learn magics from other elements, being given a magical spear to use to channel these other spells. He didn't get very far beyond basic summoning of fire and ice before he was shipped off, first to guarding some shrine and then to border duty, being told to 'keep practicing' so that he might become worthy of further training.
If military training wasn't for him, manning a border post was even worse, trapped in the middle of nowhere with a couple of humorless mooks. He lasted a month before he decided to slip away while out on patrol at night. He didn't even hear if the other guards reported him missing, they may have been glad he was gone after dealing with his pranks. Between his illusions, military knowledge and a life growing up on the streets he was easily able to find his way to a town outside of The Scar. Some minor pickpocketing to earn enough for a change of clothing, maintaining illusions on his whole body would get tiring after a while, he quickly moved on. Deciding to simply see where the road takes him.
-One Sylven arcane bladed spear used for casting in combat (typically covered in an illusion to look like a walking staff)
-Light leather armor
Basic military training: While Sev knows which end of the spear to point at the enemy and can handle the basics of fighting he isn't a combat powerhouse by any means, relying more on trickery and speed than strength or technique to get through most fights.
Gifts of Air and Light: Sev is gifted with Air and Light magic due to his mixed Slyve/Grusk blood. In fact he is so adept with light magic that only the most stressful situations can disrupt the illusion over his eyes as he has been maintaining that spell for years without break. While the uses for these gifts are manifest, Sev likes using them in subtle ways that others might not even recognize as magic. Between these two gifts he has a number of preferred techniques.
-Appearance Alteration: Sev can cloak any object he touches in an illusion making it appear to be something it isn't. The illusions need to be the same general size and shape of the item in question as it doesn't alter the physical properties of an object and often simply touching an item cloaked in such an illusion will make it obvious the object isn't what it seems. The duration of the illusion varies based on the complexity of the item and mana invested, but can be refreshed so long as Sev keeps touching the item.
-Quickening: a Sylve army spell, it causes the winds around the caster to flow with them, allowing them to move faster, jump higher and pull off otherwise impossible moves. This ability speeds up his movements but not his mind, and while he has received training with Quickening he isn't overly skilled with it, preferring to use it for short, pre-planned bursts of movement rather than keeping it up throughout combat like many gifted Sylve do.
-Spell Mimicry: When all else fails, using his Air and Light magics together Sevuid can create the illusion of casting almost any spell he can think of. Be it summoning a dragon from thin air to darkening the sky with storm clouds, using light to create a visual illusion, with air magic to add gusts of winds and basic sounds to add realism to the effect, all while waving his arms and chanting can give the impression of casting spells of any sort. Of course it is all simply an illusion, there is no dragon or storm, as such Sev uses this ability only when needed as part of a greater trick.
Basic Fire/Ice Magic: Due to his affinity with Air magic he was taught the basics of fire and ice magic in the military, even being given an arcane spear to cast with, but he didn't get far. He can summon fire or ice at the tip of the spear, and even shoot them from the end (to middling effect). But he hasn't progressed much past that, often using these magics only to augment his combat ability.
Life on the Streets: Sev grew up as a pick pocket and petty thief, making him quite skilled at slight of hand and misdirection which he uses to augment his illusions. He is also something of a prankster, enjoying the challenge of pulling off generally harmless tricks on those around him without getting caught.
Lakavia is a city situated on the banks of the Lakavia river. Well-known for its large lake and even larger aerodrome, the city-state is one of the more cosmopolitan regions of the Confederation of Rivaravia. Compared to other city-states, Lakavia was one of the largest, having a population of over 1.6 million people. The most well-known feature of the city is its large aerodrome situated on the outskirts of the city near the coast. The Lakavia Aerodrome is the largest in Rivaravia, housing several dozen airships. Alongside its large aerodrome, Lakavia became the center of airship production and maintenance in Rivaravia. For anyone wanting to hire the best airship captains or otherwise purchase their own, Lakavia was the place to go.
“I swear, if these valves don’t fit I’m going to strangle that mechanic,” a deep voice grumbled from within the chaotic nest of brass pipes.
“Hal, If they don’t fit, I might just level his shop,” Jac replied, doing his best to angle the lantern so his engineer could see what he was doing. It was rare that the Libertas’ boilers were cool enough to work on and being at dock was one of those times. Unfortunately, parts for the Amperan frigate were hard to come by this far west, the other side of the world from the shipyards that built her. It didn’t help that there was no standard for airship construction.
“I think I got it,” the engineer rumbled, his prosthetic arm hissing as he released his grip, “blow a test tank Capn, make sure it holds.”
“Got it,” Jac nodded, placing the lantern on the ground and walking over to a connection point where a young woman was already connecting a tank of pressurized gas.
“Thanks Anna,” he nodded and motioned for her to continue. She pulled a release lever and the tank hissed as gas poured into the pipe system. Pipes rumbled as they were suddenly pressurized, the entire engine shaking as though angry its rest was disturbed. A few moments later a release valve near the top of the stack blew with a high pitched whistle.
“Looks good here Cap’n,” Hal called from where he lay within the pipe works.
“Need any more help?” Jac called back.
“We’re good, should have the engine back together in an hour if you need it.” “Alright, don’t take too much time rubbing your pipe,” the captain replied, earning a snort from within the engine. After using a rag to try and clean the oil from his hands, and likely only spreading it around more, Jac climbed the steep staircase from the engine room to the main hall of the AC-244 frigate he called home. Some of the crew was on leave still, but most had returned, exhausting their pay and eager for the next job. Metal clanked under his feet as he made his way down the hallway, pushing open the door to the small bridge.
The mooring tower dominated the view out the front of the large windows, obscured slightly by the bow sprites and fore turret. Beyond that muddy grass and other ships stretched as far as the eye could see.
“Beatrix!” Jac called over his shoulder as he pulled a small book from a shelf near the control wheel, “damnit, Beatrix! Did you find us work?”
Beatrix's quarters on Jac's frigate might not be the most luxurious and they definitely were much more... compact than the one she had in her home, but still they were indeed quite cozy. Despite his snarky personality, he was still a good guy. Surprisingly, he had agreed to Beatrix's demands of having a good place for her to stay and thus she ended up with one of the best quarters of the frigate.
Since they had stopped to change some valves and fix something in the ship that Beatrix both didn't know what nor she cared, she was simply maintaining her equipment in her room. After cleaning her armor and checking her weapon and ammo, she was leisurely brushing her hair as she listened the echoes of Jac and the engineer's voices, threatening to strangle and leveling his shop if the valve didn't fit. Having fiercely refused to help with fixing the ship, under the pretense that 'if oil spills in her hair it would take her half a day to clean it', she was mostly left to do whatever she wanted by Jac... Or at least that was what she thought, having forgotten that she had asked something of her before she went inside.
"Noisy, as usual." Beatrix said to herself, with a sigh and a hint of amusement in her voice. It was, in some ways, quite refreshing to be around people like Jac and the rest of his crew, as they were notably less... 'strict' than the people back at Legio Ater Ferris. With a rumble that resonated through the ship, she could feel the vibrations of the engine shaking as it was turned on. A high pitched whistle indicated that whatever repair they were making was succesful, much to the mechanic's luck, which had both his neck and his shop saved. Coincidentally, she had finished maintaining her armor, which was on display on an armor stand on the corner of her room. Putting the hairbrush on top of her bed, she looked at her reflection on the mirror. Wearing a beautiful, black, gothic lolita style dress. Her hair, which was carefully braided in two pigtails gave her quite an adorable appearance.
Just as she got out to see how Jac was doing, she heard his angry voice calling her name. Calmly walking towards him, she found him with his hands completely dirty with oil, reading a small book near the control wheel.
"I did hear you the first time, you know... There's no need to shout!" she said, rolling her eyes as she walked towards him.
"Work? You mean... a contract?" Beatrix asked, raising an eyebrow as she stopped nearby Jac, confused.
"Was I supposed to?" Beatrix asked, waving her hair as she tilted her head. Her confusion was clearly not just her being bratty though, it was clear thanks to her expression and her voice that she honestly didn't remember him having asked her to do so.
Without looking up Jac pointed to a board on the back wall of the bridge which normally indicated who was on which shift. While at port he used it to delegate various jobs that needed to get done while docked. Next to Beatrix’s name Jac had written ‘find contract’ with the grease pen tied to the board. Most of the crew had similar short jobs listed.
“You didn’t check the shift board?” Jac asked, finishing marking down the repairs in the ship’s log. He closed the book, replaced the pen’s cap and returned both to their shelf.
“Well, lucky for you I’m free now,” he continued with a sigh, finally turning to face the young woman with a snarky grin on his face, “so I hope you got your shopping in, because it’s time to put your… preparations to the test.”
Nothing quite pulled interested parties like a good-looking woman which, though Jac would never admit, Beatrix was. That’s why he often gave her that job while they were between contracts. Between that and her combat skills she was a good member of the crew, though at times he had to remind himself of that.
Looking to the board that Jac pointed at, Beatrix indeed saw her name, together what what she was supposed to do written right next to it. It didn't help that she didn't have a habit of looking at the board herself.
"Oh... It is indeed there." Beatrix said, shrugging.
She was surprised to notice though that Jac didn't give her a long sermon or scolding for having forgotten her task, nor did he said anything about her wearing a dress, going as far as to even offering to go with her in search of a job. In fact, he seemed to be strangely satisfied that she was wearing nice clothes.
"I honestly thought you were about to scold me and give me a sermon." she said, with a chuckle.
"Good looks do attract stares. Lucky for you though, I'm here." Beatrix said with a smug look on his face and a chuckle.
Truth be told, the initial reason for her to wear her dress instead of her armor wasn't to attract stares and help to find a contract like she claimed to Jac, but simply because it was undeniably more comfortable than her armor and she was still a girl. She enjoyed looking pretty when she wasn't working.
“If I did chew you out again, would it help?” Jac asked with a raised eyebrow. Wiping his hands once more on his pants before grabbing his jacket from where it lay next to the wheel, he made for the door leading from the bridge to the main deck. Normally the door was closed in flight, but they tended to leave it open while the ship was moored to let some air through.
“Better to use you as bait. Just hope we find a good job or I’ll have you helping Hal clean the oil system,” Jac chuckled, in a decent mood despite the lack of work currently. Normally he was rather solemn between jobs, seemed like every other day that the bank was sending him telegrams reminding him of the money he still owed on the Libertas, but with nearly everything on board working for the first time in recent memory he figured he could enjoy the relaxation before it all went downhill again.
Turns out the feeling didn’t last long, the moment he climbed down the ladder from the ship’s deck to the ground a messenger on a bike pulled up.
“Mr. Bashford?” The man asked.
“Depends on who sent the telegram,” Jac said with only a slight groan.
“Says ‘Federal Reserve of Amperta’ sir.”
“Then no, Mr. Bashford isn’t here right now. In fact, you may have the wrong ship as there is no Jac Bashford on this ship.”
"I do like the nice Jac that doesn't scold me much more though..." Beatrix replied to Jac when he asked if it would help if he scolded her. Normally, Beatrix knew how solemn Jac was between jobs so it was a rather nice surprise to see him in such a good mood.
As she followed him outside the bridge, on the way to the main deck though, she heard quite a worrying sentence from Jac... If they didn't find a job even when using Beatrix as a bait, he would have her help Hal to clean the oil system. Something that Beatrix would definitely hate. Despite it being followed by a chuckle, Beatrix didn't doubt at all that he would really do it in case they didn't find a job.
"What?! The Oil System? Do you know how much time it would take for me to clean the oil stains from my dress and clean my hair? Almost an entire day!! I just finished brushing my hair too!" Beatrix said, clearly unsatisfied.
"Ugh... I hope we find a job..." she said with a heavy sigh as she followed him to the ladder in order to get out of the ship.
"Don't you dare to look up by the way..." she said as she got down the stairs, holding her dress near her body with her free hand.
When they got down though, much to Beatrix's dismay, a messenger on a bike pulled up asking for Mr. Bashford. While it seemed to be something quite trivial, she would learn by the short exchange of words between both man that it would completely ruin Jac's good mood for the day. While she knew Jac's general background, lots of things were still a secret for her. What the Federal Reserve of Amperta could possibly want with Jac was one of them.
"The Federal Reserve?" Beatrix repeated in a low tone.
"I can hand him the telegram if you don't mind. " she said, walking towards the messenger. The tone of her voice and how she walked made it clear that she wouldn't take no for an answer.
The messenger glanced between Jac and Beatrix for a moment before shrugging and handing over the letter before hopping back on his steamcycle and peeling away, already pulling another letter from his bag.
“Fine,” Jac snatched the letter from Beatrix before she could open it, shoving it into a jacket pocket, continuing in a grumble, “so much for being able to claim we didn’t get it. You better put that full day of brushing to use then and find us a good job.”
“Well Ma’dam,” Jac said sweeping out an arm with a mock bow for added effect to allow Beatrix to go first, “do try to avoid flirting with the creeps.”
Sorta... I was on here years ago but forgot about it, I now return.
I'm a rather experienced roleplayer, I've had an (almost) weekly irl game of Eclipse Phase that I run and has been going on for years now. I've both played and ran games of pathfinder, fantasy flight 40k rpgs, EP, DnD and more. I tend to prefer more out there fantasy and sci-fi settings when I play, historical periods are... uninteresting to me, don't know why. As far as I'm concerned if you can create a world to play with, why limit yourself to what is or has been?
As for my hobbies, I'm an avid gamer, tech-support apprentice and author. My writing mostly came out of my desire to tell stories and build worlds, hell, world building is my favorite part of telling a story. If you want to read my works this page has most of them, including all my shorts and the completed full length story 'Tides of Magic' that I finished recently. Tides is basically the result of a dare from my friend, after ranting to him about Sword Art Online and how I could do better, he said 'then do it' so I did. I think I did pretty good and am currently editing it for publishing on amazon (some of the early chapters make me cringe now, but it's worth it). I also have a patreon for people to support me in my writing career, but I won't link it here since I'm not that shameless (but I am shameless to mention that it's linked in each chapter post on the site above).
Right now I'm working on a new story called Sins of Ash that's a dark(ish) fantasy in which the gods tried to wipe the world clean and failed. Now humanity and other mortal races are barely hanging on.
In any case, glad to be back and I look forward to some proper roleplay (my EP group is fun, but... well... they figured the best way to break into a secure room on a criminal scum station was to fire a thermobaric round at the two guards... at short range... in a pressurized space station. Hilarity ensued)
Personality: After surviving the war as a child he has a rather dark outlook on the world that he hides behind a somewhat snarky exterior. Dark humor and a quick wit are his friends and have seen him through many years, though often it makes him appear flippant. Despite this outward appearance he is generally reliable in a fight and a good friend to those he trusts, but that trust is often hard earned. To those he doesn't trust he tends to be distant, using his humor to keep a safe distance. In short, it can be hard to take him seriously and earn his trust, but once you do you'll never have a more reliable friend, at least so long as you aren't Cordorian. It should also be noted that if you have his trust and break it, it's nearly impossible to get it back.
Backstory: James dealt with war from a young age, growing up in the southern end of Amperta his parents were conscripted by the cordorian government and, presumably, died in the meat grinder of the Leinstein front. From there he bounced between several distant relatives and family friends before landing in an orphanage at the age of 11. Once he was old enough to understand what had happened to his parents he vowed that he would never allow himself to be in a position to be taken advantage of again.
As soon as he was 16 he joined the Ampertan navy, serving a tour of duty and earning a decent amount while learning about ships of all kinds before he was unceremoniously discharged four years later, largely due to the shrinking navy with the war over. A few years working in factories and James decided he missed the sense of flying and the freedom that came with it. Taking out a loan he purchased a AC-244 class frigate surplus from the same navy he had once served. Now he's a mercenary, a ship for hire, along with a small crew of those he trusts seek to make a living in the sky.
Equipment: -Ampertia Arms .40 cal revolving pistol -Ampertan navy saber -Air ship crew gear (goggles, fur lined jacket, etc) -A pocket watch, no longer working due to age and lack of maintenance kept with him at all times
Ship: AC-244 class scout frigate, the Libertas Length: 376ft Beam: 39ft
Power: 2x three drum boilers 1x direct drive steam turbines 6,000 horsepower
Speed: 31.2 kts in trials
Crew Compliment: 24
Armament: 2 single mount 7lb guns - AX configuration 4 double mount 14mm anti-air guns