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6 mos ago
Current Professional wrestling is just shounen anime for dude-bros.
6 mos ago
Normalize asking vampire hunters "How many Draculas have you killed?" Because fiction is only interested in one type of vampire and that's the Dracula type
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7 mos ago
In every time, in every place, the deeds of men remain the same.
7 mos ago
Ding dong! The witch is dead!
7 mos ago
Please consider reading Getter Robo.
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Eater of souls. Reader of minds. Queen of the giant robot horde.

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While her captain sounded the knights' victory against Jeremiah, Morianne did her best to try and stand up. However, her efforts were met with a sharp, shooting pain which ran through her body from head to toe.

"Oh, fuck this," the troubadour let out a pained chuckle as she picked herself up off the ground once more. Once she felt as if she had her feet firmly on the ground, she let out a sigh. She couldn't let her fellow knights know just how poor her condition was. After all, any spell-caster worth their salt knew better than to try that stunt she pulled with a single-target spell.

Morianne forced another laugh, this time loud enough for any remaining bandits or nearby comrades to hear. "And that's why we're the IRON Roses, you dumbasses! Don't forget it!"

The force of her shout was enough to send her tumbling back down.

There was still the matter of the griffin, but the troubadour knew better than to push herself any more than she already had, not with magic at least. Unfortunately, magic was all she had.

Sitting out the final moments of battle? Morianne thought to herself. Goddesses above Mori! You're pathetic.

@Crimson Paladin@Saiyan

The troubadour brought herself back to a stand albeit slowly, with the aid of her sword, which she used as a crutch. Using her free hand, she did her best to snap the shaft off the spear embedded in her thigh.

Morianne smirked. She could tell that her song was doing…well…something to the griffin. She assumed that if she kept her song going, possibly even issuing a few commands to the beast, it would die soon enough.

"Hold still!" Morianne hoped her command would reach the griffin, but it was hard to tell how effective her magic was on the beast. She thought that she might have to repeat her cast again.

However, just as she was about to continue her song, Morianne was distracted by the sight of fellow knights, Lucas and Fleuri, diving from the tower towards the griffin.

Maybe it's time for a new strategy. The troubadour thought. Her effectiveness against the griffin itself was questionable at best anyway. Regular people, on the other hand…

She knew what she had to do; she'd choose a knight and enhance their physical ability. Then...whatever they're doing...might actually work. It was probably a bit of a stretch for her enhanced strength spell to give a more general performance boost, but Morianne was already stretching the limits of what she could do.

The question, however, still remained. Who to sing for? She'd have to pick someone. At her current skill level, Morianne could only cast her spell on a single target. She watched as the two came closer and closer to the griffin. She panicked.

"Come on Mori! Don't screw this up! Don't want anyone becoming griffin chow."

With her time running short, Morianne just sang and hoped for the best end result. She couldn't pick a target in time. It was too stressful to focus. If things went right, well...who knows. In her time with the roses, she'd seen people use her enhancement spell to do some impressive feats of raw physical strength. But without a defined target, Morianne had almost no clue what the end result might be. If she had to hazard a guess, the spell might just fizzle out and do nothing. Still, she had to try, right? After all, if charming the griffin didn't work like she'd hoped, what options did she have? It wasn't like she could throw fireballs or anything.

You just want to see
You just want want to touch

The dreams you keep inside your heart
Before they fade away
Replaced by thoughts of steel
And shrouded by the damned

I know you'll be okay
I know you'll always be…on top

But you'll need a way to get there

For you, I'll give you strength to fight today
'Cause I know the cost the weak all have to pay

You know I'll be okay
You'll know I'll always be…on top

And you know that it's because

I'll aid you to free…
I'll aid you to clutch…

The dreams you keep inside your heart
Before they fade away
Defaced by the surreal

I Will Help You Stand

Morianne tumbled back to the ground.

"Fuck," she groaned. "That hurt cast. That couldn't have been good for my mana."


Fire. War.

Morianne heard the tree crack under its own weight long before she noticed it hit the ground. A fiery wall now separated the battlefield. However, the troubadour's mind was occupied with a separate danger, the griffin. Morianne had heard the tales of such a mighty creature before in her childhood. Stil she was stunned. Not once in her life did she think she'd ever see one face-to-face.

Morianne was shocked. She stood motionless as she watched the creature with awe. She had to play! She had to do something! There had to be some kind song she could use against the beast.

Think, Mori! Come on!

Morianne's thoughts were interrupted by a bandit entering her peripheral vision.

She was too slow to draw her shield, only managing to narrowly redirect the tip with her sword.

She felt the spear's tip strike her in the thigh. Had she missed her timing entirely, it surely would have ended her.

Doing what she could to retaliate, Morianne sprung on top of the bandit, tackling him to the ground.

She sang a note.

A crystalline sword fell from above, impaling the bandit through his mouth. It killed him instantly.

Morianne rolled off his dead body and onto the ground. She looked up at the sky; the smoke and embers obscured any possible details. Surely she could just play dead for a moment. It'd give her enough time to sing.

Damn it. The troubadour gritted her teeth in frustration. If you don't think of something quick Mori, you're going to die out here. She sighed. So much for elves being talented and graceful…Wait! Graceful. That's it!

If she could charm that big, dumb bird, she might be able to get it to sit still for someone else to land a killing blow. The griffin should be dumb enough for that to work, at least, Morianne thought so.

Please, hear my song
I am your wind
Your pushing gale
I will guide you
Without a fail

I am your home, your motherland
You shall follow my command

Soon you'll see

You'll Fall For Me


Morianne looked on as Tyaethe had called down her armor onto the battlefield. No matter how many times the troubadour had seen the vampire's magic, she was always impressed by the pristine beauty of it all. Tyaethe now stood tall, gallant. She was the ideal image of a knight that all great storytellers dreamed of. It made Morianne jealous. Her desire for fame drew her to that form of gross incandescence.

Morianne recalled how, in her early days of knighthood, she had attempted to replicate Tyaethe's armor with her own skills. However, try as she might, the troubadour could only produce fragile swords of pure mana. Armor seemed impossible.

While the other knights had begun their charge, Morianne furiously tuned the strings of her lute, only occasionally gazing upward to see if anyone was upon her. The Knights were continuing their steady push. She spotted a few familiar faces, wincing whenever the blood which began to cake the battlefield became too much for her to withstand.

Morianne sighed. This was embarrassing. Being a user of spellcraft came with a special caveat: Mana. Even as a practiced bard mystic, Morianne knew she risked eventually running out of mana. Without mana, she'd be incapable of fighting and little better than a civilian. Thrash had made it quite clear that musical spells, unlike their traditional counterparts, consumed an incredible amount of mana. This was due to how the casting ritual for musical spells was, unless under specific circumstances, continuous. The duration of the spell coincided with the duration of the casting ritual. So unless Morianne wanted to have her soul recycled into a bunch of dumb fairies, she best be wise about her spellcasts.

Morianne thought back to Tyaethe and ultimately came to the conclusion that, at least for now, she should follow her senior's example. It'd save a considerable amount of mana.

"A copy can be just as good as the original, Mori," the troubadour reassured herself.

She began to play a tune that, had anyone been actively listening, was obviously improvised.

Sharp, staccato rhythms played in quick succession. Droning cords smothered the beats of clashing steel and cries of war. Eventually, the sound settled on a horrid ostinato that chilled the bones.

Come to me
My protector, dearest steel
The one I abandoned in lives past
Your deadly edge, sharpest zeal
I've come to see

The cold you give is better
Than my own displeasure

Goddesses above
With your power I cast
A spell which shall make me an equal peer
So I may stand…No
So that I may be
A iron rose who knows not fear

I ask that you deem me

A Worthy Knight

A single sword of crystalline, transparent blue flickered itself into existence, its hilt firmly in Morianne's grasps. The sword itself had taken the shape of a rapier. A shield would soon follow, a round buckler, materializing in much the same way as her 'sword'.

"It's no armor, but it'll have to do." Morianne said. The troubadour gave a silent prayer to the goddesses before charging into the fray herself.

She changed through. Keeping her shield up, she made way through the entrance that her fellow mage, Katarina, had opened. She sliced and poked her way into the fight making quick, speedy work of any bandits which stood in her way despite her swordplay being quite average. Turns out, shields were pretty useful.

@VitaVitaAR @HereComesTheSnow

The troubadour smirked upon hearing the bandit give up so easily. Usually this spell took a bit of work to function properly as Morianne hadn't quite mastered it.

"Palisades," he said, "there's palisades set up around the camp, but it's not a complete wall... a watch-tower too…"

Jackpot! Morianne thought.

The troubadour could only guess as to how long this sort of information would have taken to get if Gerard had his way. Judging by his looks, Morianne assumed Gerard would simply kill the bandit if he refused to talk. Morianne couldn't help but think such behavior would be… unbefitting of a knight and just downright vile.

"Oh my," Morianne exclaimed with a theatrical gasp, continuing her little show while Gerard, having conceded to Morianne's way of doing things, walked off. "I can only imagine what other dashing plans you have it st-"

Her act was cut off by a biting jab from the 'Murderhobo'.

"If you're gonna smooch him, wipe your mouth after. Don't know where he's been."

Morianne looked back at the bandit, only now beginning to notice the grotesque, swollen features of the bandit's face. She gagged, just now realizing what she had initially promised the spellbound bandit. Revolted, she slammed the man's head into the ground with a resounding thud. He was out cold.

"Alright. My fun's over," Morianne said. The troubadour pointed at the, now unconscious, bandit. "Somebody help me lug this damn ugly bastard into a ditch or something! I can't carry his fat ass by myself!"

However, it seemed that the other knights were going about their duties disposing of the bodies, leaving Morianne's demands unanswered.


Once the battle had died, Morianne briefly looked up to the chaos the knights had caused. Even after years of refining her own magic for combat, the troubadour still wasn't used to seeing the brutality of her 'concerts'. It's why she always played with her eyes closed; there was a world of difference between warfare and bar fight.

Morianne shook her head, doing her best to divert her thoughts. Damn it Mori! You're a knight. Don't get scared of a little blood.

To distract herself, Morianne ran up to the wall of knights that had formed around her. She laughed as she barged into the group.

"Those bastards don't even know what hit them!" the troubadour said, the enthusiasm evident in her voice. "Really taught them not to fuck with the Iron Roses." Turning to her right, she recognized a familiar face…though apparently not familiar enough to remember his name. "Hey…" she trailed off. "Quarrel? Quincy was it?"

"It's Qui-"

Morianne's voice cut the knight off.

"Not bad guarding work…For a rookie," she teased. "A bit more work and I'm sure your ability to stand rock-still with that steel slab will get you known the world over!" Morianne smiled. "I might even write a song about it. I'll call it The Ballad of Sir Quilt. What do you think?"

"Thanks, but no thanks," Sir Qui- said. He clearly wasn't playing any of the troubadour's games.

"Fine!" Morianne sighed, pushing past Sir Qui-. "I'll just go find someone with a sense of humor to talk to, Sir Stick-Up-My-Ass!"

Turning her attention away from the annoyed knight, Morianne stumbled around, averting her gaze from any corpses. Her mindless wandering eventually brought her to Gerard. Pinned under him, one of the many bandits. Although to Morianne's surprise, this particular one didn't seem to be dead…yet at least.

"Hey! Just what do you think you're doing over there, Murder-hobo!" Morianne yelled, chastising the man's treatment of the survivor as she drew closer. "There's easier ways to get information out of someone than threats like that." Morianne placed a hand over her chest, gesturing to herself. "Especially when you have a lady of magical talent like me around. Watch this." Morianne knelt down, facing Gerard's captive and cracked her knuckles. Soon enough, a small tune escaped her lips.

Please, drink my wine
I am all you see
I command your soul
Your will
Your senses, three
All is mine
My looks control

Fall For Me

Her voice was slightly off the proper key, likely due to her previous performance, but it didn't matter. Most people wouldn't notice. The important part was that her singing was just decent enough for the spell to have at least some minor effect. At least Morianne had hoped so.

"Now," Morianne grabbed the bandit by the chin, "would you be a darling and help a fine lady like me out? I just want to know what Jeremiah has planned for the Iron Rose Knights. If you tell me, I just might give you a kiss."

Internally, Morianne was screaming. She hated this spell. Especially since it meant making flirty goo-goo eyes at random strangers to last longer.

But at least it means less death. Morianne hoped.

Morianne, like most of the knights, had called the ambush before it even began. She had been on the receiving end of similar traps many times before in her travels. However, it was too late to turn back now. Without any horses, the knights were left no chance for a speedy retreat.

Morianne braced herself, her lute firmly in hand as the bandits lunged from the shadows. Before the troubadour even realized herself, several bandits were already upon her. Their weapons glittered in the low light.

One bandit lunged forward. Their hammer swung in a crescent arc overhead. Morianne dived, rolling to the left of the bandit.

Once Morianne got back on her feet, another strike came from out of the corner of her eye, this time a sword. The Troubadour panicked, this time striking a cord on her lute to counter. A trio of spectral swords shot forth from her instrument and shattered against her sword-wielding pursuer, causing him to stagger backwards, dropping their blade. It wasn't the proper way to cast her sword spell, but it helped her to create some distance between her and the bandits.

Morianne gritted her teeth. She couldn't possibly keep this dodging game up. If she wanted to help the other knights, she'd need some kind of cover to do proper casting.

"Come on you dumbasses!" Morianne called to the knights around her. "Help me teach these bastards a lesson." It wasn't exactly the kind of language befitting of a chivalrous knight, but her message was clear: She needed a shield. "It's showtime!"

Soon enough, two knights came forth. They gave the troubadour a knowing nod and turned their back to her. Their shields were held up at the ready to defend from any incoming attacks.

Let's cause a little chaos. the troubadour thought as she began to strum away at her cords. She felt the mana flow from within herself into the lute, its notes growing louder and louder as she played.

From the depths below
A beast draws near
You'll make it grow
Since it feeds on fear

You'll draw your blades
You'll try to do right
But soon you'll know
The meaning of fright

Maddened drunkards
Turn and run
It already has you

Mental Oblivion

As Morianne continued to play, she watched as her spell sowed discord and took hold on the bandits. Many held fast to their senses, but she already saw signs of unease in the crowd of foes. All she had to do was keep this up and perhaps the tide of battle would quickly turn in favor of the knights.


Despite the Captain's orders likely demanding the upmost respect, Morianne couldn't help but let out an audible yawn. It was nearly dark dammit! Most people would likely marching off to the land of nod. Despite being a knight herself for quite some time now, Morianne's chivalrous duty was never her top priority. Something always came first. In this case: sleep. Sure, the troubadour did have to admit that being proactive in this instance did make some sense. Jeremiah was a veteran, not some wannabe chump whose rise to power could be ended as swiftly as it had began. This "Bandit King" was serious business. It sure would have been nice to get an extra nod or two though. Beauty sleep is always important.

"Fucking finally!" Morianne groaned. "Horseback always gives me the worst wedgie."

As she shook off the calls of sleep, Morianne looked around the crowd of knights. Tension was undeniably high. Bodies shrouded in plate armor danced the dances of war that the troubadour was all too familiar with.

Morianne couldn't help but feel out of place among them all. Unlike the others, she not plate armor nor sword and shield. She had no formal combat training beyond what she had deemed necessary for her self-defense. Only a red lute sat in her lap. It may have been decorated with the brutal image of a skull, but it was still just an instrument and nothing could change that. It was honestly a wonder how she even managed to get this far. She was no knight. She was no soldier. She just a musician.

Even the actual fighters don't look ready for this. she thought. I might want to take this a bit more seriously...

Katarina's unmistakable twang brought Morianne back from any potential introspection.

"Awl'right cap'n, who dae you ken tae go about for the flanking party in the auld akelarre?"

"Do you want to repeat that for the people who don't speak hick?" Morianne chuckled to herself. Still, Katarina's comments, while in jest, did bring Morianne to question her own value to this little quest. If this was a stealth mission, the troubadour might just find herself as little better than a liability. Her magic was loud and not exactly subtle... She sighed and began to idly tune her lute, patiently waiting for Fanilly—or anyone—to continue. "Thrash wouldn't believe what I've gotten myself into..."
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