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In SPIRITUM 1 day ago Forum: Casual Roleplay

Before Justice had a chance to respond, a bolt had struck beside her. Lightning was always gross. The mist would stretch and groan as a pathway would form. Suddenly, crack--it would rebound and leave nothing but a bolt of electricity. Perhaps it was for the best that a robot had come to intrude. Justice wouldn't have to spend any time immediately.

"We're running." Justice said without an ounce of hesitation. While Justice was confident she could fight it on her own, she didn't want to fight alongside the princess. She knew of the strength of the Barghests. She could, at least in her own belligerent way, trust in them enough to fight alongside them. The princess? She'd not only have to watch the robot, but her own back. Not to mention, she didn't know what the princess could even do.

Well, it was no time to think about the reasons. Justice immediately hauled the princess onto her shoulder and began to sprint away. Such a measure was only temporary. But she'd only fight if she had to. Until then, she'd either regroup with the Barghests after they hopefully finished their fight. If not? She'd put the princess somewhere for safekeeping and then deal with the robot on her own.

"Got any violent talents?" She asked in her sprint.
In SPIRITUM 12 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay

The princess was found, so it would seem. Though, the sounds coming over the communication spell seemed to indicate that she didn't have time for pleasantries. Morden requesting a status update was easily arranged.

Probably found the princess stuck inside an escape pod. Going to try to get her out. Reconvene back at the truck when it's safe.

She had a brief thought.

Don't feel like you have to fight the bots there. Withdrawing to a safer location is valid.

Now came the hard part: dealing with a civilian she couldn't (or rather, shouldn't) muscle.

"Albreich sent me." Justice lied without a hint of hesitation. Actually, was it a lie? Coincidences were a powerful thing as she had come to learn today. If that dying honorguard that Kali heard was Albreich, then it was technically the truth. Either way.

"I'm going to say this one time, so listen closely." Her tone was loud and harsh, but she didn't have enough leeway to pretend to be comforting. "Your ship crashed. It made a minefield of mist. Do not cast spells or everything will explode. There are automatons who will make this area explode. We need to leave. Now. Then we have a proper conversation. Now either slip through the door or I'll pry it open and carry you out, princess."

@Hero@Obscene Symphony@Abstract Proxy@Stern Algorithm

Though, Hollyhock was astute enough to notice Jannick's blush at the mention of a Dahlia. Perhaps she'd tease him about it on the way home. Or maybe she'd head on over to the capital and do a little romantic matchmaking without telling him. It sounded pretty entertaining to do so.

"The good officer is my caretaker," Hollyhock joked.

Throughout the prodding, Hollyhock didn't really speak much. If anything, she frozen in bewilderment. Sure, Hollyhock was a bit of an asynchronous person herself. But this person in front of them was a few fruit short of a fruitcake. Hollyhock had at least a few in her bowl.

She did appreciate it when Jannick stopped Renata before she grabbed her clothes. While she certainly wasn't a misanthrope, she also didn't enjoy the touch of someone she had never met. Though, if Jannick didn't step in, then Hollyhock would have sprinted around Jannick in a circle to act as a physical barrier.
In SPIRITUM 23 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay

The crash was sickening. Approaching it only made the sensations worse. Like hundreds of little needles gliding across her skin, she felt the pockets of mist wax and wane. The soft tarp did little to block the flow of mist. Really, if she didn't some level of duty, she would have simply notified the military and left it up to them. Unfortunately for her, she was the military. She needed--or at least told herself--that she had to investigate. Well, at least she could take solace in the fact that Silje would have the time of her life in the middle of the reactor-based fiesta. Though, it was hardly comforting.

She left the truck alongside everyone else. The corpses were bad news. Of course, for a different reason than the most obvious one. She didn't need Gerard to identify them, though his confirmation at least made it hard for her to deny it. She could feel the presence of mist coming from the bodies. Whether they were alive or mere vestiges was something she couldn't confirm.

"Sabo's more likely." She responded to Gerard. "Whether it was us, them, or some third party? Who knows."

Morden ran off with Silje. Well, he was probably looking for a fight under the guise of searching for survivors. Fights often found him, as was nature for someone built like a brick wall. Not that Justice really cared. A long leash meant that she didn't have to micromanage. As long as he didn't run into a pocket of mist and go through a flower's lifespan in a moment, he'd probably be fine.

Of course, Val didn't need to point of Justice's newfound ability to manifest situations. Though, she did shoot Val a glare when her theory was called wild.

"Sometimes I wish I was more like you lot." Justice said with a sigh. "You know--wrong about things."

It also didn't help that one of the honorguard wasn't actually dead. Justice watched as Kalina approached one of them men deeper in the wreckage. Of course, that also meant that she watch someone who should have been a corpse grasp her like some sort of undead. Silently, she was hoping--silently manifesting--that he'd confirm the opposite of what they were thinking.

When Kalina returned and gave the news, Justice could only give a frown. It was every ounce of confirmation that she didn't want. Unfortunately, Justice's powers of foresight and manifestation only worked against her. She held her head in her hands and did her best to not immediately explode.

Still, she wasn't about to be an awful leader. "Thanks for checking," she told Kalina.

Of course, Morden's warning came. There were automatons. It was certainly new. An ill omen of the future of combat? Maybe the theory of a third party wasn't just a throwaway joke. Still, Justice couldn't dwell on it. No point in speculating a sprout when you were dealing with a forest. Though, perhaps she should have used sand and rocks in her analogy instead.

"I'm going to check if we have to deliver a princess-sized casket." She announced to the remaining Barghests. "Lord knows we let the kitten and hound find a sparrow. Regroup with them. Val, you have command until I return."

Manifesting a breaching hammer from her pocket thanks to Morden's warning, she dashed away to look for survivors. She carefully avoided the pockets of mist. They were really sickening, especially this close. It wasn't enough that they aggrieved her skin. They also blocked her from sensing anything behind them. It was like traversing a field filled with obelisks. She could only feel what was behind them as she moved past them.

That's when it hit her. A massive presence. It was far greater than Silje's. No, it burnt her skin.

There's someone or something with a massive signature at me, she communicated to the group. I'm going to check it out.

She approached it in a sprinting caution. Whether it was something she had to save or something she had to fight was a mystery.

@Hero@Obscene Symphony@Abstract Proxy

Unlike Jannick, Hollyhock's experience as they travelled to Croia was quite pleasant. The fog was certainly something fierce, but she didn't let it bother her. Though, the cold weather would from the new year and fogged out sun did. Hollyhock's outfit was considerably more bundled up this time around. A big ol' white wool coat, a windbreaker above that, and multiple sets of pants.

She did have a nice talk with Sara and Dom with Jannick piping in to make some small talk. Though, the piety of everything felt a little stilted. While Hollyhock was devout, she was also much more insular than the other two about her faith. Of course, being 1/8th of Incepta's chosen whilst not being raised by the church afforded her that privilege.

Of course, she had brought gifts for the spirits. Any diplomacy required some gifts! While not as heavy as a gift ham--both physically and in a type of meal sense--she brought two mason jars filled with candy. One was filled with honey drops while the other was filled with candied fruit.

After all, spirits should have a sweet tooth! Or at least, that's what general media would tell her. Who actually knew--maybe the spirits were like butterflies and the sweet illusions were soon to be replaced by the grim reality of biology textbooks.

Arriving at Croia left Hollyhock stretching and hungry. While she did munch on a few meals on the train, she could still go for another. Still, there wasn't much time to rest. She had immediately been ushered to follow the old man. She couldn't blame the mayor for his panic; there was no telling what the fog meant. Well, there was telling. It just required the Scions to speak with the spirits.

The argument they approached was something new. Hollyhock couldn't describe it as anything but odd; the innate human sense of self preservation specifically screamed out "do not go into foggy, forested woods."

"An old friend of yours, Jan?" Hollyhock inquired. Though, his belittling words made it a bit obvious that she seemed more like a recurring nuisance than an old friend.
🎕 Talia of Roses 🎕
//O11 - Deserted Backstreets

While Talia's options were vast on paper, they were actually deceptively slim. Predictably, each of her zero-cost hideaway options had downsides.

The warehouse of the rats was free from human pests, but the natural guards had no qualms about the new self-proclaimed owners. Not only that, but the rats would eat any stowed away ration or leather goods. Not only that, but if the rats began to covet shinies for their lustre then she would have to constantly fight for her spoils. To die from a rat bite would be a pathetic way for a thief to go; the best death that a thief could have was one that was fake.

While the outskirts had an awful smell, the sewers were even worse. Talia simply couldn't bear to exist down there for long periods of times. Not only that, but the sewers offered little protection beyond the smell.

The abandoned watchtower was moments from collapse. At any time, their coffers could be buried. Not to mention, if they were inside it, they would join their riches in the afterlife.

The offer from a slumlord was the final option. It was a ball and chain, but one made of gold. While they had aligned themselves with a gang, it was as equal an opportunity as it was a risk. It was a great connection to more thieves. With silver tongue and perhaps a more earthly glib, she could convince the gang to be under her instead. Though that would come in time. If things went wrong, the local nature of the gang would make cutting and running to the other side of the city a simple option.

As such, Talia and her remaining two men had begun their renovations to make their suite a base worthy of a thieving divine. She'd continue this until either something interesting happened, her pickpocketing merry men came back, or they finished their renovations.
Mae Ah-ryeon

@Rune_Alchemist@Eisenhorn@Izurich@VitaVitaAR@Raineh Daze@PKMNB0Y@Psyker Landshark

With the return the rear team, Mae did not have to do much. It was good, considering that she had nearly ran out of incense. The perimeter of spears were an annoyance. As she had not charged like Numako, she was not at risk at suddenly skewering herself She always hated it when beasts and ghoulies did such things. Being corralled was a definite annoyance.

Of course, as the team's doctor, she wasn't about to woefully charge in to combat. No, that'd be quite daft of her. Not to mention, she didn't carry much ammunition with her. While she could take down a few ashigaru, it would be better if she saved her very limited ammunition for dire circumstances. Not to mention, she couldn't get occupied with something drastic; if someone got injured, she would need to tend to them.

Though, she did suppose that she could prepare a larger ritual. Of course, those took time. In the brief respite that the change in numbers gave her, she had quickly burnt plain white papers and threw them in the air to scatter. It was an act of purification to both herself and the surrounding area. Without much delay, she ignited a small firebomb and threw it above the ooze. With a fierce crack as its fuse ran out, streams of embers and flaming char began to repel the ooze.

Mae, however, was not done. With her thumb placed on the opening to a small flask, she swung towards the flames. The small stream of water met the flames of the firebomb, crackling and bursting as the two collided into a sanctified smoke.

"This should weaken them," she unceremoniously said.

Poor Numako, really. They really were complete opposites.

Thankfully, the matter with the marshal ended simply. Of course, when Morden opened his gob in front of the marshal, the air became palpable. Justice had slowly turned to face him, eyes filled with annoyance and a vein nearly bursting from her head.

Justice ate slowly. Peculiarly slowly, in fact. She didn't listen to Gerard's story, either. Not like she needed to; she was there. She had a bad feeling. Of course, she couldn't figure out what it was. It was a creeping sensation on her skin; a distant wind that carried ill omens.

Then the wave came. Like an ocean of disaster washing over her. She shot up to her feet, fists clenched as it came. Something was definitely wrong.

Such feelings of mystery were quickly lost when fire lights and smoke plumes blotted out the stars above. Screams permeated the air. It was the end of their relaxation.

The earth shook as the airship crashed down and shook once more as its engine erupted.

Kalina's observation gave Justice pause. There was no reason for a non-military ship to be crossing over here. Airspaces were heavily restricted. The only thing that came to her mind was the broadcast. They really were going to get in over their head with this, weren't they?

"Some midnight peace," Justice commented. "If that princess is on that ship, I'm going to explode."

And Val was right. As much as Justice wanted to simply ignore the troublesome prospect of a crashed airship--especially on this date, they still had their duties as WARDENs. Plus, it wasn't like the itinerary was a must-experience trip. They could cut the last leg of their journey and have the same experience, really.

"Fire up the truck. We're going to check it out."

@Hero@Obscene Symphony@Abstract Proxy

Hollyhock had mixed feelings about Princess Rosemary assuming the responsibilities of the prophecy. Hollyhock knew first hand how much someone's life was controlled by their status and how different her childhood was. However, Rosemary was already a princess and scion. No matter what, she would be forever tied to these statuses. The only thing Hollyhock could do for her was be there for her. As such, she nodded alongside Jannick's words.

Dom grabbing a bit of gift ham was also appreciated. Hollyhock gave her a smile and nod as she spoke and looked towards her. She could agree with her words.

The options made her choice simple. While Jannick and her had been practicing for a fight, she would prefer not to fight all manner of beasts. Frankly, she still considered herself a liability. She was more likely to scoop other Scions up in a storm than deal with the monsters they were sent to deal with. Going to Doumerc was also risky. Of course, not because she was a liability in investigating. Moreso, it was the people that had already declared their intention. Jannick's distrust of Renault had rubbed off on her. Not to mention, she didn't think her heart could take being beside Maya. Even though they had to form connections and bond, that didn't mean immediately. In true Hollyhock fashion, she'd push off that responsibility for later--preferably when Maya and Renault weren't together.

That left the final option being to converse with spirits. That option was much more reasonable and played more towards Hollyhock's talents.

With a nod to Jannick, she declared her intention.

"I'll speak to the spirits," Hollyhock said before adding a little joke, "I'm a little something of a gift specialist, you know."
🎕 Talia of Roses 🎕
//O11 - Deserted Backstreets

Of course, Talia responded to the halfling with her impeccable wit! Her penchant for theatrics was certain to help her escape the sticky situation she was in! She gave her strange reason for following her. In fact, Talia ended up spilling out her entire ethos for why she so strangely chased him down!

The halfling was having nothing of it. With each flowery flèche, the halfling gave a brutalist parry and riposte. It was rather deflating, in all honesty. Talia had began to boringly reply to the halfling by the end of their conversation.

Her conman-like speech didn't really have an effect on him either. In an effort to prove herself as more than a charlatan, she had utilized a drop of her divine power to bring forth a miracle. With a little hum and dance suitable for a woman of a bordello, Talia had invoked a miracle in the deserted backstreets: she had caused coins to glow. While the halfling wasn't too enthralled about it, his companions were more entertained by the glowing coins that had once belonged to the white-haired merchant.

Still, such an ability merited a modicum of respect from the halfling. Rather than be absolutely opposed to Talia's words, he at least saw some value in her. She was likely someone who was going to be found as a ditch-corpse, but she also might have a job for him in the future. They ended up introducing themselves in the end, Talia somehow slinking her way through a sticky situation.

With just as much gusto as before, Talia jumped back through the halfling hole. The grease made it easy--head, shoulders, chest, hips, and all. Her two men outside were surprised to some degree, but also not extraordinarily surprised. She had poisoned their minds with her words already, after all.

Once the halfling plugged the hole back up, Talia realized something. She actually forgot about the coins halfway through. Well, it wasn't like she could glib such an amount from a thief. If anything, she'd have to fight them on their own turf for it. Oh well, she thought. At least she made friends.

"Well, I suppose we should aim to fill our coffers." Talia hohummed to her remaining merrymen as they walked through the alleys.

"So let's find someone on the street and hammer them." The beefcake who seemed to have difficulty wearing a shirt replied.

"Or we can look for a job." Added the chubby one.

"We're thieves. We do thievey things. Though I suppose beating someone up for their coin pouch is also thievery. And not doing our job but collecting pay is also thievery. Marty, Mork, and Glimsby are all out picking pockets. That's good for living expenses. What we need is to start safely raisin' capital."

"By hammering someone?"

"That comes later. Right now, we're doing things danger-like. What we need to do is establish a hideout. Somewhere to stash our goods and prep for bigger plans." Talia posited. Though, how much time she had to ruminate on this idea wasn't certain. After all, who was to say that she wasn't just blindly inspired by the halfling's hobbit hole.

"But that ain't coins?"

"It's property. That's a type o' capital. A place to store our ill-gotten gains. It beats carrying it around in our pockets for another thief to slash and grab."

Silently, the beefy man and the chubby man nodded as if they had learned a valuable lesson courtesy of the white-haired merchant.
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