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I've been pretty clueless as to that myself for... quite a while, I suppose. It's gotten to the point where I don't even readily remember who was doing what, or even who various characters belongs to (luckily it's easy to check up on, I'm just pointing out that I can't immediately recall a lot of things). I've honestly been contemplating doing a soft reboot of the RP (basically forming a new party of characters but continuing the story in the current worldstate), but it both seems like the "easy" solution and a sub-optimal one.

Sigh. I suppose we could... I don't know, make some very rough transitions to get the RP to a playable state again? Sort of just going "Aemoten, Thaler and Olan left" (since that was already in the cards), and otherwise, eh... figure out what to do with the remaining characters? I mean, Claw is still off on whichever adventure he's on all on his own, Iridiel and Angora are sort of just there, now playerless (honestly, I'd hate to think how devastating it would be to Jaelnec if he ended up losing Aemoten, Thaler, Olan and Angora all at once; he hasn't grown quite as attached to Iridiel, but Angora certainly made an impression).
On the bright side we have Domhnall still around (though I suppose he goes wherever Iridiel goes), Jaelnec is determined to complete his quest, and Yanin's group is waiting to join. There's also a few readily available courses of action, even if the group wants to stay in Zerul City for a while; they still have the Sister's of Torment in the city (though I don't think they've heard about that yet?) as well as a couple of other things waiting to be discovered, and the next stop on the journey - Mount Zerul - is all but decided already.

Another effort should be made to recruit new players, but as I said after the last failed attempt, I'm not going to do that unless I know the current players are ready and able to resume at least semi-reliable activity.
Eh... so mostly, I guess my plan would be to handwave stuff that would require input that would be too troublesome/slow to get, and mostly just brute-force the characters into positions that would allow the story to continue as unimpeded as possible.
Not going to lie, I'm starting to get rather... nervous and frustrated.

Anyway, I figure it would probably be fitting to throw in a CS for the new Hunter:


Eastern Yharnam, Hunter's clinic

“Aye, I'm alive,*” the newly awakened Hunter groaned from underneath the heavy form of the bestial creature he had just somehow managed to break the neck of. Not only did he speak with a pronounced dialect, which on its own could make him a little hard to understand, but also suffered from a speech impediment that muddled his words even more. Hearing himself speak immediately saddened him as he felt his hopes that becoming a Hunter would restore that old injury – a broken jaw that had healed badly – fall apart. He did not remember how he had broken his jaw, and generally remembered very little about his life before tonight, but he did recall signing the contract and receiving the blood treatment.
Pushing against the back of the beast on top of him with arms and legs, he and the other Hunter who had come to help him managed to roll the nerveless body off him. He let out a sigh of relief, standing back up and looking around at the devastation that had befallen the room. He automatically tried to angle himself so that his crooked jaw and the scar he knew he had on his right cheek would not be too visible to the others, self-conscious about how unflattering it made him look.

“Thanks. I'm Torquil. Was that all of them?**”

(What Torquil actually sounded like:
*“Ahye, ah'm 'lahve.”
**“Thanks. Ah'm Torquil. Wahsh tha' ahl ah thahm?”)
I'll probably do that, but I'm hesitant to call attention to the RP while things are... well, the way they currently are. I doubt it'd seem all that attractive to potential new players.

@DrabberRogue and @Ashgan?
Coming up on the day marking a full week since last IC post... just pointing it out, if someone would like to write one.
I'm very happy and relieved to hear that. I'm sorry, but I sort of intervened in the situation with Arcturus so that your absence wouldn't stall the RP. Arcturus is still there, though, ready to be picked back up.

I'd also like to bring up again whether there is a consensus on whether we/I should try to make an effort to recruit more players in the near future, and how such a recruitment effort should be handled.

Eastern Yharnam, Hunter's clinic

Victor took a deep breath in his final moment of physical and mental preparation for what he was about to do, eyes shifting even faster than usual as he struggled to find the perfect emotional state between frenzy and focus, working himself up in enough of a rage to stop himself from holding back, but staying enough in control of himself to remember that he had an objective, even in the midst of combat. This was not a simple skirmish in which the only goal was to take down everyone else; attacking the huntsmen could very well be a waste of energy as long as the Pthumerian was ringing his bell, so stopping that was going to be the highest priority. That guy had to die.

Exhaling his breath, Victor had to resist the impulse to quickstep forward, covering the few steps in a normal run to conserve his strength for attacks, and approached the right flank of the line of Yharnamites, the one furthest from the wall that was most likely to allow him to simply bypass as many enemies without fighting them as possible. His heartbeat quickened and he started sweating profusely as he felt his muscles swell, his veins feeling as though they were filled with ice and fire, alternatingly, rather than blood. He leveraged the giant blade of his transformed weapon on his shoulder by pulling down with both hands, swinging the sword with all of his strength at his target – the pitchfork-wielding huntsman that still bore the cut and bloodstain in his clothes from when Victor had last slashed him – diagonally from right to left and downward.
The huntsman, sneering fearlessly as he glared at the Hunter with his unnatural red eyes, moved to counterattack, but the way he gripped his pitchfork – as a farmer would, halfway up the handle – meant that Victor's holy blade had longer range. Before the Yharnamite's improvised weapon could find Victor's flesh, Ludwig's Holy Blade came down full-force onto his left clavicle with a sickening wet, crunching noise, causing him to forget all about taking offensive action. Victor pressed on, forcing the blade almost halfway into the unfortunate fellow's rib cage, actually cutting through the ribs on the way as well as rending the vital organs within. Just before it would have cut all the way to the sternum the blade seemed to get stuck on something, likely having lost too much momentum from cleaving through bones and muscle... but then Victor took another step forward, flicking the sword – still embedded in the man's chest – to the left, effectively flinging the Yharnamite off the blade and sending him stumbling into his fellows.
Victor actually had to take another second to compose himself at this, struggling to resist the wet spray of blood from the wound he had inflicted and stop himself from assaulting the injured opponent. With a barely audible whimper the Hunter turned away from the huntsmen, fixing his gaze – no longer shifting, but keenly focused – on the bell-ringing bastard in the corner.
Die, he thought, his heartbeat getting to be painfully hard and fast, his restraint falling away as he felt the bloodthirsty rage consume him now that the way to his prey was unobstructed. Die, die, die, die, die, DIE, DIE!

He rushed forward with the holy blade at his left hip, his body still bulging obscenely from his supernaturally rippling muscles
-ding-
which, as the ringing of the bell grew closer and seemingly much louder than it logically should have been, felt... pretty strange? It felt as though every fiber in his body was vibrating softly, charged with an energy he did not understand. He ran a step ahead
-ding-
and the vibration seemed to get stronger, faster, as the bell got almost deafeningly loud to Victor's ears, even as its actual volume remained unchanged. A hatchet was swung by one of the Yharnamites at Victor's back, but missed and went unnoticed by the Hunter. He itched all over, and as his foot came down in another stride
-ding-
he suddenly got the distinct impression that something was moving under his skin. His mind turned inward, even as his eyes remained trained on the Pthumerian, and with a strange mix of fear and fascination he thought of all the horrid beasts he had encountered, of the invisible thing that had taken Raine, of the one that had crippled him... and felt this knowledge spread through his body like an electric current, both painful and pleasurable, a sense of strength and vulnerability. He kicked off against the ground with his front foot
-DING-
when a toll of the bell hit him, causing his eyes to go wide as he felt everything inside of him clench – muscles, tendons, bones, even his teeth – and then, all at once, shift to a hundred different forms than the one they were meant to have, changing so quickly that it would probably not even be perceivable to the naked eye. With a feeling that was a mix of torment and euphoria, his body seemingly spontaneously self-destructed, his skin cracking and splitting in countless wounds in a cascade in what seemed like an entirely excessive amount of blood.

His vision fading and his thoughts growing foggier by the second, Victor knew with grim certainly that this damage, whatever had caused it, was more than his regeneration could handle. Yet he did not even consider using his final blood vial; even now, as he was essentially flying through an explosion of his own blood, he felt his blazing fury carry him forward, a feral growl rising to his throat as the blurry visage of the Pthumerian swiftly came closer.
He had neither the ability nor the inclination to exercise finesse in this situation. As he landed right in front of the Pthumerian – trying desperately to back away, but being unable to do so from having cornered himself – Victor swung the holy blade, putting every last shred of stamina left in his body into that singular strike.
The sword cut through the bell-ringer's midsection with surprising ease, practically ripping off the entire top half of his body and sending it sprawling across the floor toward the center of the room, both the bell and the cane falling from his hands and clattering to the floor, as the Pthumerian's legs remained standing for another couple of seconds before they went limp, collapsing in the corner.

Looking over his shoulder, Victor watched indifferently as four of the huntsmen approached him, preparing to strike, while a fifth took aim with his rifle – the sixth being the one that had been in the Hunter's way, and who was still dealing with the damage he had suffered – and knew that there was nothing he could do to defend himself. His muscles would not move. His wounds were not healing. He had literally spent the last bit of strength he had left in him.
But then, as Victor kept staring vacantly, a red mist seemed to abruptly burst from all six Yharnamites at once and they all fell to their knees, clutching at their chests and faces while crying out in pain. His gaze shifting, Victor noticed that their eyes were no longer red. He smiled.
Then his vision faded to black, the sword fell from his hands, and Victor fell sideways to the ground.

~~~

The bestial huntsman struggled against the surprisingly forceful pressure clutching its throat, blocking its air pipe and forcing it to clench the muscles of his neck to prevent the nuisance on its back from forcing it backward, potentially breaking its neck. As it moved toward the wall, however, its red, dimly glowing eyes, of which the wounded right one had already regenerated, found Marcus, clearly moving to attack while the echo was distracted with a random sleeping – and now dead – body.
The creature grinned, confident despite its circumstances, as it held out its left hand in Marcus' direction, pointing the tip of its sword toward him as it kept backing up toward the wall, seemingly content to simply let the Hunter impale himself as he tried to attack it.
Its right hand discarded its meat cleaver and went to its throat, digging its claws deep into the arms that were choking it.

And then the bell stopped.

The cane in Marcus' hands abruptly vaporized, leaving him unarmed, as the Mad One behind him suddenly unraveled, collapsing onto itself, turning to dust until nothing remained.
Another second later, and a red mist suddenly burst forth from the beast's body... and suddenly its head snapped back with an audible crack, its neck breaking and its spine being severed by the sheer amount of force applied by the unknown Hunter. With a final spasm of its limbs it dropped its weapon before falling backward, landing with a loud crash on top of the man who had been strangling it.
@Habibi359? I am somewhat reluctant to triple post, so I'd much prefer if someone else posted before I did again.
Went ahead and posted for the other half of the scene to keep things moving. Any input from Adelicia before I post as Victor?

EDIT: Just realized that was the 100th IC post of the RP. Interesting. Especially since we're basically still in the introduction.
While Marcus struggled against the erratic and frenzied echo, the bestial huntsman was left with Arcturus, standing over him while moving to murderously smash him with both of its weapons.
Before the attack could be completed, however, there was a blur of movement behind the creature as one of the people on the cots abruptly sprung into motion, moving without hesitation and confusion to the point where it became clear that this man had only been pretending to be asleep for some time, at least. Clad in plain gray trousers, a short-sleeved white shirt – both of which were dirty, visibly worn and wore numerous patches – and a pair of cheap brown peasant's shoes, the man was a bit on the shorter side, but of a burly build with sun-touched and gnarly skin and short, ruffled black hair and beard.
Rather than run at the beast the unarmed man leaped from a couple of feet away, colliding with the creature's back where he gripped its fur with his hands to keep him there, seemingly distracting the beast for a second. A heartbeat later the man's feet hand found purchase on back of the beast's thighs, using his legs to boost himself all the way up its back, catching himself by gripping the side of its neck with his left hand before pulling himself up high enough to throw his right hand around its head, jabbing its thumb into the beast's right eye with a wet splat.

Howling in pain and frustration, the bestial huntsman kicked at Arcturus at its feet before staggering away, flailing its weapons around it wildly as it tried to get rid of the unexpected assailant on its back.
But while it tried and failed to do so, the new participant in the battle held on to its head with his right hand while he adjusted his left arm, hooking his left forearm under its chin, pressing it against its throat. Once he had his left arm in a secure position he withdrew his thumb from his opponent's eye to hook his right forearm under its chin as well, overlapping with his left forearm.
Letting himself hang from his arms for a moment he drew his knees up in front of him, planted the heels of his shoes into the creature's back... and then he pulled. The muscles of the already somewhat brawny man's arms, legs, shoulders and back clenched all at once, swelling unnaturally under the influence of Hunter blood, as he simultaneously pulled on his arms and pushed with his legs, turning the beast's angry growing into barely audible retching noise as it started choking, flailing its arms and weapons about even more desperately than before as it started staggering toward the nearest wall.
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