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10 mos ago
Current I know that few, if any, people on this site would be interested in it... but... I just got an idea for a SAO/GGO/XCOM/UFO crossover... fun tingles...
1 yr ago
Life has never given mankind sufficient time... nor sleep... nor comprehension. If it had, we would have stopped trying.
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1 yr ago
It can be greatly refreshing to return to a thing that one has long loved.
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3 yrs ago
I am officially on hiatus as regards roleplaying... and it's a bummer. But, I will try to take some comfort in the fact that all of you will continue to have fun without me. That's not a suggestion.
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3 yrs ago
Argh! Life has become complete and exhausting chaos. Anybody waiting on me for posts, I'm sorry. I'll try to get some productive time in the next couple of days. Trying to move two households. Ugh

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Trace Retloth
Transition to Fort Battle {Chapter 1}



The escape from Garleton and the subsequent march toward relative safety was exhausting. Trace was in good shape, but sustained forced marches were not something that mercenaries preferred. It was a good way to tire yourself out before a battle.

The camp was alright. There were enough latrines and there were enough supplies for him to replace the vulnerary that he had given away. There were even people willing to offer training. He had nearly taken Sir Hadrick up on that. Proper lance training was expensive. But, in the end, he had decided to take on a couple smaller jobs to help prepare for the coming battle. Taking a fort was never as easy as one would wish, even if it were only defended by bandits.

Thus, after hardly having time to confirm that Artemisia had survived and stuck with the group, Trace had rushed around taking care of one thing or another. He was not familiar with many of his new comrades. Time would tell who was worth knowing. And time waited just as long as usual.

The morning of battle arrived as soon as it could and Trace found himself arrayed among this strange group of allies.

There was little time to consider too much. The order to attack was given and a cavalry archer moved ahead just enough to line up a shot at the north most axe bandit. Trace knew that that opponent would be down quickly. Either the arrow would finish him or the others would. Trace's own first opponent would be the southern axe bandit. Yet, these bandits were different from those in Garleton. They stood with just a bit more confidence and had better footwork.

He wouldn't underestimate them. He paced himself so that he arrived slightly ahead of the group and swung his lance at full extension, hoping to strike the bandit's side or belly with the razor edge of the lance head. But, he knew the risks of over-extending. Before he even knew the results of his efforts he was already yanking the lance back to a half point grip that would allow him to engage more closely. He also made sure to mind his footwork and prepare to dodge any counter.

Yet, in the back of his mind lingered a worry. Could he evade the enemy archers?


_________________________
Status: Uninjured
Class: Recruit
Inventory:
  • Iron Lance (3/3)
  • Vulnerary


Exp:65
@Stabby @Zeroth

Well, that went well. Femus found himself mildly bemused. It would seem that pixies do indeed have those parts and they do indeed suffer greatly when... well... deprived of their limited dignity. He was also a little surprised that he had managed to mimic wild wisp communication so easily. Though, on second thought, that was the form of communication most native to this body.

Still, and more importantly, both pixies ended up falling. Femus and Nira would both have a clear chance to escape further irritations. He was looking forward to only having to deal with problems that simple force could solve. Even if it was less civilized and less 'human', it felt like this world demanded a certain degree of savagery from the weak. And Femus was weak. He could feel that much. They needed to get going. They needed to get stronger.

Wait, what was she doing?

Femus felt his glow softly and involuntarily shifting back to a deep and vibrant crimson as he realized that... after all their efforts to disentangle themselves from these pixies and their antics... Nira was trying to start up a conversation with one.

This...!? He was trembling with frustration. He really, really... really wanted to yell at Nira. He wanted to vent his anger and irritation. But, he took a breath instead and shifted back behind the cover of leaves. Once settled in place, he began to concentrate on continuing his earlier efforts. He contemplated the attributes of lightning and sought to make his mana take on those qualities. He intended to do this until Nira's... conversation... was finished.

He also concentrated on his breathing... and calming down.
@Stabby @Zeroth

Femus found himself frowning. He had hoped this mess would be resolved efficiently, for his sake, and with minimal violence for the sake of his new ally. She seemed... a little too hung up on gentleness. But, it wasn't necessarily a bad thing. It was just... inconvenient in a dangerous place like this. Also... he didn't have a chance to try and make what he had gathered parts for. If he was right then he should be able to concentrate certain types of local mana into these components and then link them, though he wasn't sure how to accomplish that. That link might allow him to create an array that would concentrate mana and aid the magic recovery of those inside as well as any magical herb growing or perhaps item enchanting that might be needed. Hopefully the parts of this old tree would be enough of a start since the tree had a stronger than average mana level on its own.

But, his frown was doubling down as another pixie entered the picture with typical mischief and then proceeded to head in Femus's own direction. Was his luck really this bad or was this supposed to be a good thing...? Bah, didn't matter. Nira called for him to 'mess with' the thieving pixie. It was almost certain that he could knock it out of the sky with a mana orb right now but that wasn't what Nira seemed to be asking for. Oh, well. At least what he did with Lesser Force was less destructive.

He focused his Lesser Force into two actions that he would take as soon as the thieving pixie got close. The first would grab either the pixie's wing or hair and yank down hard. The second would strike a hard and focused strike up the line defined by the inner thigh, aimed at the crotch. Honestly, Femus wasn't sure that this would hurt any more than a strike to the critter's leg but it would be important to know this kind of thing and this attack would almost certainly hurt the critter and leave it alive. As soon as the strikes were accomplished he flashed an angry and territorial red as though he had simply been disturbed by the pixie's antics and was one more surly wisp.

Hopefully, this wouldn't escalate further. If it did, Femus really didn't have many non-lethal tricks up his... ... glowing ball sleeve.
I'm tempted to attack again... but it would be selfish and redundant at present. Trace's primary role in this fight right now is to keep the guy's attention and create openings for others anyway.
Trace is going to keep working on staying alive and getting paid... I also have to think about what to do with the exp... once I have a final tally. He has questions for Artemisia but he knows that he isn't going to get answers anytime soon. So, he'll probably make sure that she's still alive and opinionated.
Trace Retloth
Western Street Boss Battle



Trace landed a good strike and pulled back quickly, slipping to the side to evade the dying bandit’s counter blow. Still, Trace wasn’t enough of a novice to leave an enemy alive so he prepared another strike. But, he didn’t end up having to deliver it as the impatient swordsman stepped in to finish the bandit off.

It seemed that he was arrogant as well as impatient. Maybe that nonsense before the fight wasn’t a strategy. Maybe it was just his personality. Unfortunate.

Trace did notice what the man mouthed but was already turning by then. With the archers and the front line bandit eliminated there were only two threats remaining and the little lordling could probably handle the regular bandit that he was squared off against. The Bandit Leader, though… he would be trouble and he was presently behind the Prince’s back. It was a bad moment. But, the situation improved with strong wing beats as the wyvern rider decided to dive in and attack the bandit.

Good. She was faster than Trace was and could probably finish that fight in an instant.

This left Trace free to concentrate on his chosen target, the bandit leader. The leader wasn’t really paying attention to anyone other than the Prince but he was probably a better fighter than the others. So, Trace stayed light on his feet and struck with a sweeping blow as soon as he got in range. Hopefully, he could slash the bandit leader’s dominant shoulder and weaken him. If the leader’s abilities were below what Trace expected, then he would commit more fully to the next attack. But, for now, he focused on preparing to evade the likely counter-attack.

_________________________
Status: Uninjured but Cautious
Class: Recruit
Inventory:
  • Iron Lance


Exp:10


Work and winter prep has been crazy this week but I have tomorrow off so I'll get a post in by the end of Friday at the latest.
Yeah. Don't stress. We all write differently.
Trace Retloth
Western Street Boss Battle



There was no overt response to Trace’s report, but that was not much of a surprise. After all, there wasn’t anything in the report that was more important than the impending battle with the savage who seemed to be the bandit leader. Trace was not one to care about gaining attention. He didn’t enter the battlefield to gain fame but rather power and a living. Standing out too much was a good way to get targeted, just like his employer was proving during his ill advised chat with the savage.

Though, the chat did have two beneficial effects. First, Trace was able to assess the capability and numbers of the enemy. Two archers of little skill, one axe wielder of little skill, and the leader himself who likely had some little skill. Second, he was able to assess his allies in this fight. The prince carried a sword but was taking a back line position and wielding magic at present. There was also an impatient and undisciplined man with a sword who seemed likely to make the first move. Above the field was a lance wielding wyvern rider. And last was the only one in official guards armor, a man with an axe who stayed close to the prince and seemed wary of anyone who wasn’t as overtly devoted as he was.

That was fine. Trace didn’t need to get close to the Prince to accept his coin and kill his enemies. He just needed to wait for the right opening and then capitalize on it while the guardsman held the line and kept the Prince safe.

Sure enough, it wasn’t more than a few moments before that impatient swordsman leapt into the fray, bypassing the frontline bandit and attacking one of the archers instead. It was a good move, opportunistic and aggressive, and quite likely to be very effective as well.

Trace followed behind, staying quiet and avoiding any bold moves until just after the swordsman passed the axe bandit. The bandit was vulnerable. His axe was low. He was still recovering his stance after missing his first strike. And, his attention was diverted by the swordsman’s brash charge. So, Trace took advantage by sliding into the bandit’s blind spot and striking from a low angle as he had with his previous opponent. Even if the first target moved out of line, a second and third lethal strike point waited just behind to receive his spear.

However, this wasn’t a simple duel but a small battle. Whether or not the bandit actually died was irrelevant. The strike would either kill him, wound him, or keep him off balance for the wyvern rider to finish off. No matter which occurred, Trace would proceed to engage the other archer, keeping a wary eye on the leader at all times.


_________________________
Status: Uninjured and Unimpressed
Class: Recruit
Inventory:
  • Iron Lance


Exp:10

Trace Retloth
Merchant Row transition to Western Street



Trace had said the obvious. Perhaps he was more shaken than he thought. It really wasn't like him. Still, this wasn't the time to dwell on it. Artemisia had taken the vulnerary and was following the logical course of action, one that she had probably already decided on before he spoke. She didn't seem to have any intention of continuing their acquaintance and disappeared with nothing beyond a non-committal reply. But, Trace had a feeling... that this mess wasn't going to let either of them avoid the other.

A moment after she disappeared into the crowd of evacuees Trace was moving. He held his lance low and ready as he avoided trouble while getting to the western street of the town as quickly as he could without exhausting himself. A swift and steady ground eating jog got his feet on the western street in a matter of a few minutes and his eyes swept the chaos in search of that prince's flashy attire, or a spot with enough people and trouble to be a sign of his presence.

What he found was a mild surprise. There was a small oasis of calm where his employer and several others appeared to be organizing themselves in preparation for a push into the center of the bandit presence in town. Yup, Trace had been right. This was the kind of employer who jumps into dangerous situations. But, at least he didn't jump alone.

Trace closed the distance at the same efficient pace and bowed his head to the prince briefly before giving an extremely brief report in a matter-of-fact voice, tacitly placing himself as an additional warrior in the Prince's assault squad. "Your Highness, the evacuation continues at a good pace. Small engagements continue throughout town but capable citizens are assisting the guards and losses seem minimal."


_________________________
Status: Uninjured and Resigned
Class: Recruit
Inventory:
  • Iron Lance


Exp:10
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