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8 days ago
Current 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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16 days ago
In every time, in every place, the deeds of men remain the same.
18 days ago
Ding dong! The witch is dead!
28 days 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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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..."

With Alba having arrived at the central market square, she began to sort through the various vendors, hoping that any of them would be willing to barter with her sack of assorted dead animals. After a few failures, she seemed to have found someone willing to purchase.

"So what ya' thinkin' big guy?" Alba asked, slamming her arm onto the merchant's counter. "How much coin we talkin' here? Forty a' piece? Fifty?" The merchant looked down at the wolf-woman's offer then looked back at her. He seemed unimpressed. "Come on. Gimme somethin'!"

"I was thinking about fifteen," the merchant answered as he stroked his beard.

"Per squirrel?" Alba shot back. A dopey smile of sharp teeth grew on her lips while her tail began to wag back and forth. "That's perfect! Now I ca-"

"You break it you buy it, you stupid dog!" The merchant pointed at Alba's tail. "Watch where you swing that thing!"

Alba turned to notice that, in her excitement, her tail had knocked a few small trinkets from the merchant's booth on the ground. Thankfully, none of them seemed to have suffered any significant damage.

Alba swatted her tail back down. "Sorry. Habit."

"As I was saying," the merchant glared as he attempted to regain some composure, "I'll charge about fifteen pieces for the whole bag."

"What?" Alba growled. "C'mon, you've gotta be kidding me. It's all perfectly good squirrel. That's good eatin'."

"It would be if they didn't all look like they were dragged out of the local pet cemetery." the merchant retorted. "What'd you use to catch these anyway? Bear traps?"

Alba averted her gaze. "Uh…no…"

The wolf-woman knew it was probably best at this point to avoid stating that she had been looking for bigger prey...because she did, in fact, use bear traps.

"Right…" the merchant said, giving Alba a skeptical look. "So are you going to accept my offer or not?"

"Fine." Alba groaned. "I'll take fifteen for it."

The merchant scooted a pouch of coins across the table.

"Pleasure doing business with you. Now, get out of my booth."

Alba left the merchant's booth with her head hung low. However, her dour mood didn't last long as she was easily distracted by a few familiar faces not too far away.

"Is that Cap'n Noriko over there?" Alba waved, shouting loudly across the market square. She cupped her hands around her mouth just to be sure Noriko heard. "Hey, Cap'n! Over here!"

Interacting with: @Lady Lascivious, @LetMeDoStuff, @dwyer austin


To most people, the light bustle of the early morning crowds, the absent-minded people which scoured the city streets in search of mundane tasks to perform, and the animated wisps that invaded the noses of travelers -- making them nostalgic for their childhoods -- would have likely been a welcomed and pleasant experience, especially for those of weary hearts. However, such was not the case for the Wolfskin woman, the infamous Snow Devil, Alba. To her, such pleasantries were little more than an unearthly cacophony which overwhelmed her enhanced, animal-like senses. Even in her human-like form, Alba still found the ordeal to be an unending subtle annoyance, the kind which could wear down the spirit and undermine the physical body's performance. She wanted nothing more than to avoid such experiences.

As such, to completely evade the grumblings of the waking city of Drakesfoot, Alba had arisen before dawn and prepared for a morning hunt. Alba's plan had been to hunt a bit of game for the bulk of the early morning. Then she would return to the city by the time that most happenings had already come to pass and sell her haul to the local traders. Needless to say, with the winds of the forthcoming autumn season throwing off her smell, Alba hadn't managed to catch anything of merit all morning. She had no luck with her spear, meaning that her bag of catches consisted of squirrels and a few rabbits which her traps had snapped up.

Dissatisfied with her performance, Alba returned to Drakesfoot far sooner than she had intended. Her ears continuously twitched in frustration as she made her way into the city proper.

"Just my luck…" Alba groaned under her breath. "Damn this wind! Beato's gonna have my efin' head for all those traps I wasted. She's gonna be like: 'Where's my money, Fur-ball? You can't just keep wasting it.' And I'll have to say: 'I dunno! Must've run off.' Damn my luck!"

At this point, Alba's beastial growls had managed to frighten a few commoners as she passed. She lamented their reactions, but was not surprised. Alba was a Wolfskin and a brutish-looking one at that. In particular, Alba's attention had been drawn towards a mother who was doing her best to console her son after seeing the wolf-woman and her blood-soaked sack of cute and cuddly rodents. The mother in particular was glaring at her. And while it may have been Alba's paranoia speaking, she believed that she saw that same mother signal some guards her way. Alba, who was not particularly keen on finding out the truth, decided to poke her way through the tight alleyways just to be sure.

Alba sighed. "Noriko doesn't have to deal with this shit."

After making a few sharp turns, Alba had managed to find her way back onto the city's main roads with the intent of making it to the main market square.

"Let's try to get into any trouble today..."
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