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2 yrs ago
Current is sexualizing Pokemon a variation of bestiality?
2 yrs ago
lol. lmao
3 yrs ago
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3 yrs ago
hearing rumors that rebornfan is storming the US capitol, looking for whoever's responsible for everyone ghosting his RPs
3 yrs ago
you got a fat ass and a bright future ahead of you. keep it up champ
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Katsuro raised a brow at the curious lot gathered in the smithy. A gaggle of local village children, it seemed, with the shopkeeper nowhere in sight. They froze where they stood. He must've looked a fox to this nest of rabbits with the way their eyes glistened with fear. Off to the side he caught sight of a dirt-stained woman shrinking into a back room. Another stood off to the side, muscles coiled like a snake ready to strike. Those trepidatious first moments of silence were broken by a tall, pale boy beside the forge. His attire suggested this was his place of business, yet Ashida couldn't hide his amusement at the idea that this pretty waif of a boy was a metalworker.

Despite his looks, the boy was polite. Katsuro ought to reciprocate.

"We've traveled a great distance to get to your...humble village. It has been many months since a proper smith attended to our equipment. We'll need horseshoes, nails, hatchets. Many of our blades are dulled as well."

He untied the sheathe and pulled it out of his belt. Holding it out before Tsubasa, Katsuro revealed a few inches of the blade. The uchigatana was clearly well-worn, its edge dulled from lack of care. The metal itself was not of any particular quality; even the basic tools within the shop were made of higher grade iron than this. Whoever had forged it had likely recycled old pig iron from pots and broken tools and the like to form its brittle core.

Re-sheathing the weapon, Ashida pushed it into Tsubasa's hands and continued to speak: "Does your village have a lord, or an elder you look to for leadership? I need to negotiate our stay here for the time being while we comb the valley for our prize." The weariness that had plagued him since he stepped into the shop seemed to subside for a moment, overtaken by a covetous excitement that shone like fire in his eyes. "You lot ought to count yourselves lucky. You will see our liberation from the demon's yolk first hand."


Outside the Crane's Roost Inn, more than a dozen armed and armored soldiers stood still as the grave. All eyes were on the new arrival: a young woman in riding leathers atop a horse of her own. She'd ridden up before Shigeru and answered his boisterous demands with one of her own. The tension running through the village square was palpable. Hands hovered near the hilts of weapons in rapped anticipation, as if one wrong move might bring eighteen blades flying from their sheathes. The air itself seemed to hiss with the possibility of violence- the cold gripping all present like an unspoken threat.

The giant raised his head ponderously toward the squeaking of some angry little mouse. A country girl on a sickly-looking mule had ridden up before Shigeru, defiance burbling in her throat. The surprise on the big man's face was clear as day. He hadn't expected anyone in this backwater to give him lip. But a little girl? It was so absurd he couldn't muster his rage. All he could manage was an ugly, barking laugh. It came from so deep in his belly he nearly stumbled over his own club and fell on his ass. A few of his cronies joined in with laughter of their own, though it was colored with an undercurrent of nervousness.

"What queer sort've place 'ave we found ourselves in, where grown men cower in their hovels while little girls stand their ground?" Shigeru asked between dwindling chuckles. "They even give 'em whole inns o' their own! Ha! Fine, fine."

Onisawa Shigeru gave an exaggerated bow. "You 'ave my deepest apologies, little inn-master," he rumbled. Even his 'speaking voice' could drown out most people's shouts. "I did not mean to offend. I do so 'umbly request that you fetch oats for our horses and sake for our bellies..."

There was a sudden burst of movement as Shigeru lurched toward the rider, reaching one of his massive hands up toward her shoulder to grab at her. He intended to snatch the girl from her saddle and toss her into the mud at his feet.

"Or I'll introduce yer outsides to yer insides."

Denji's accepted!

The cold of the day scarcely grew more bearable as the day marched on. In the time that had passed since dawn, dark clouds had rolled over the valley to cut off what little light the rising sun offered. The venerable Moriyama complained of aches in his bones- a surefire warning of coming rain. Some within the village placed votive offering papers in their households to the kami of rain to forestall its coming until the celebrations had concluded. Others rushed to ensure their windows were closed and none of their belongings were left to be soaked, fearing its coming regardless: some things were the will of the gods, regardless of the whims of men.

On the western edge of the village, where a handful of logger's camps and hunting lodges meet the edge of the Mumbling Wood, something stirs. Small animals rush from the safety of their dens and into the dirty streets of the village. Birds flee from their nests for distant horizons. Even a handful of Yokai follow, leaping into open windows or scratching and yipping at closed doors for the villagers within. People more curious than afraid peer out of the safety of their doorways into the dark clump of trees.

Hoof beats sound in the dozens. The voices of men, loud and abrasive, bay in similar number. Mounted soldiers break the treeline at a trot. Banners mounted on their backs flap in the wind as they ride: on them, a burning, steel fist on a crimson field. They wear mismatched armor of scavenged scraps, hastily slung together to patch holes in old, worn lamellar. Weapons of all kinds hang from their hips and backs: from clubs, spears and swords to bows, and a handful of long, metal tubes attached to odd handles. Panicked screams filled the air at the sight of these tools of blasphemy. Villagers sprinted away in terror, some headed deeper into town with warning cries on their lips, and others running for the safety of the wilderness. None of the horsemen gave chase. They simply continued down the main avenue, more of their number exiting the treeline to follow. Perhaps twenty men in total rode into Heiseina.

They came to a halt in the center of town before the Crane's Roost Inn. Some dismounted, taking their horses by the reins and making their way toward the pitifully small stables attached to the building. It could barely house half their mounts even if it was empty, and a few visitors from other villages had come in to partake in the celebrations. "This place is a sorrier sight than we thought. Largest village we could find and this is the best they've got? Its barely bigger'n a chicken coop." A giant of a man with a belly big around as a barrel grumbled, loudly.

He pulled a spiked war club nearly as tall as some of the other men around him from its holster on the saddle bags, much to his horse's relief. It was a massive beast itself, yet even still it was a wonder it could carry the man on its back for any time at all. "Where's the damned stable boys? Or in the innkeep, for that matter?" He thundered, his voice booming for all the world to hear. He leaned his impressive weight against the club as he stood beside his horse, waiting impatiently for someone to appear.

Another rider dismounted and left his horse's reins in the hands of another man so he could make his way across the village square. He strode with purpose toward one of the only groups of people still out on the streets. They were milling about around a squat, long structure. The hand-painted sign outside- and the clanging sounds from within- told him it was the shop of a metalworker.

"Good morning," he called out as he allowed himself inside, his voice straining to maintain a polite authority through his exhaustion. The heavy bags beneath his eyes and sweat-slicked forehead even in this chill reinforced this well. He wasn't a particularly tall man, nor was he sweet on the eyes: his face was scarred, his nose slightly crooked, and his expression ever dour. His armor appeared to be in better shape than he was. It had fewer dents and ad-hoc repairs than the rest of his cohort, and was even painted in the same red crimson of his banner, that flaming hand adorned on his chest piece. On his left hip a sword hung from his belt. Simple, unornamented, yet its like had not been seen in the valley for over three hundred years. On his right hip was a leather holster containing an alien device- a metal tube attached to a cylindrical chamber and a curved wooden handle.

"I am Captain Ashida Katsuro of the Blazing Fist," Katsuro bowed slightly in introduction. "I was hoping you could help me."

Takamori Kenji sat on his knees before his hearth, a kettle suspended on an iron hook over the open flames. He pulled his haori tighter around his chest. The morning was far too cold for his liking, especially this late into the new year. Another ill omen to add to the other, he knew. The size of the Takamori estate did little to help things: the first floor was a large, open space, as was traditional of the oldest homes in Heiseina. Paper screen dividers on rolling racks could be put up to split the chamber into multiple, smaller rooms, providing privacy for those who wanted it. Kenji had drawn the screens closed around the central hearth in the hopes that they would keep in the heat. It was better than nothing, he thought with a sigh, watching the shadows from the fire dance on the partitions. The light danced on the painted paper, accentuating scenes from Heiseina's history.

One painting showed the founding of the village, with the first Takamori patriarch kneeling before Miorochi and five other gods at the foot of the shrine. On another, the legendary swordsmiths of the Takahashi family fashion the Takamori blade from sacred dragon scales. Running along the bottom of every dividers was the Shimmering River, its life-giving waters filled with fishermen, kappa and villagers washing their clothes or simply swimming away the hot summer days. Along the top was an image of Miorochi soaring through the clouds, his body so long that he wrapped all the way around the dividers so that his nose met his tail.

The last piece wasn't as tasteful as the others. Depicted on the off-white paper screen were a dozen swords thrust into the earth before a shadowed, bottomless pit. Standing on one side of the pit was the grandfather of Kenji's grandfather, family sword sheathed at his hip. He held an accusing finger toward a man on the opposite side of the pit. The other man was on his knees, hands wrapped around the hilt of one of the earth-bound swords as he tried in vain to pull it from the dirt.

Fujiwara Ichiro had made his opinion on the art clear many times over the years. Kenji understood why he took offense. If the original piece wasn't over two and a half centuries old he would've considered replacing it or taking the shoji down. It was not his place to paint over his family's history, even its darkest times; he was merely its conservator.

It was all of excellent quality, he had to admit. He noted a few places where the paint had chipped or dulled from age. He would need to have someone touch it up. Perhaps he could ask Hayashi once the week was up. It would be better to have it done before then, of course, but it would be cruel to drag her away from the festivities. This was one of the few times in the year that the young could truly relax and enjoy themselves. The shoji had waited this long- it could wait a little while longer.

After a few minutes of silent contemplation before the burning coals, he lifted the kettle off its hook and poured himself a cup. The near-scolding tea helped to fight off the chill, at least.

His gaze shifted across the room to the ornate wooden stand where the Takamori sword rested. Its sheathe was bone white wood ornamented with teal-blue streams of water flowing the length of the sheathe. Kenji wondered if that ancient weapon could possibly still hold its edge. That was the legend he'd learned since he was just a boy on his father's knee. Dragonscale would be sharp a thousand years from now, and a thousand years from then. It did not rust or decay, as metal or mundane animal hide might. It was an odd gift the kami had given them. Why would the thing to seal a pact of nonviolence be a weapon- and one so potent? Kenji's father, Senshi, had always insisted it was not their duty to wonder about the kami's will. Theirs was merely to honor it until the end of days.

"Pardon me, master." A familiar, nasally voice dragged his attention back to the world around him. The source of the soft-spoken words had pushed one of the paper partitions aside and gave a deep bow of respect. It was Takamori Yoshie, one of Kenji's great nephews. The boy was here to provide any assistance Kenji may need throughout the day while Fumiko was out readying things for the festival. He was a few years older than Fumiko though he stood perhaps an inch and a half shorter than she did. The boy was as handsome as his father had been when he was the same age. Yoshie's smile was polite yet it did not reach his eyes- they were as cold as stones, ever evaluating and studying. They reminded Kenji of what a hawk looked like when it was hunting.

"Yes?" Kenji returned the smile with one of his own, broad and deep and filled with love. He loved his nephew as if Yoshie was Kenji's own son. Or grandson, he supposed with a grimace. He was getting too old.

"We have visitors. Would you like me to invite them in?"

Kenji gave several slow, deliberate nods. "Of course. And get me a few more cups, one for yourself as well. There won't be anyone in this house who doesn't have tea to warm themselves in this terrible cold."
@Supermaxx With a day to spare, here's one of two hunter twins dabs

Half the twins are accepted!

As the sun rose across the western mountains of the Heiwadani Valley, a dove took flight from her nest. She soared above the treetops of the Mumbling Wood, where the Kodama were just beginning to shake themselves awake with the dawn. Frost covered their leaves, a final present from winter as it gave way to spring. Those tree spirits groaned out greetings to one another in a language more ancient than men. Other, smaller animals scurried from their dens to get an early start on the day's foraging. A pack of fūri- feline, monkey-like beasts with more arms than sense- leapt from branch to branch and cried out in voices eerily close to human speech if not for a certain, monstrous quality to them. The dove knew to keep well clear of the pack. It veered to north, where it joined briefly with a flock of other birds headed toward the mountains. There was safety in numbers, after all.

The dove broke off from the flock to crest the mountains, carried on wings that could not tire. It glimpsed the world beyond the valley, illuminated by the early morning light. The sight filled even its heart with an equal mix of awe and terror alike. It did not linger long to wonder at the world, however, for it saw something else that caught its attention. Far below it- where the mountains split and a pass descended into the valley- it saw movement. The dove descended to land on a nearby rock, watching with curiosity and apprehension alike.

"Finally." Ashida Katsuro muttered as he dismounted his horse. Hours of riding left his legs cramped and burning with exhaustion. He pulled off his helmet, his dark, sweat-slicked hair falling down the sides of his face. His jaw was covered in something too long to be stubble but too short to be a beard. His ears were bleary with a lack of sleep. It had been too long since he'd been to a proper barber, he noted with distaste. Too long since he'd slept. Too long since he'd been home. Katsuro let out a sigh and took a few moments to stretch on the cold, rocky surface of the mountain's 'road'- if one could even call it a road anymore. Its pavement was cracked and covered in holes deep enough to break a horse's leg if it misstep.

"Do you fair well, captain?" Another man asked as he walked up the road to stop beside Katsuro, who answered his concern with only a grunt. He was ten years Katsuro's junior, barely a man, yet their commander had insisted he ride with the company for this journey. He was Ogata Hotaru, a short, slender boy as pale as porcelain that might've been pretty if not for the horrific burn scar that covered the left side of his face. He looked away from the other man and down the pass, to the giant, red structure that dominated the pass. "This must be the gate of the gods..." He muttered, awestruck.

"The gates to hell, more like." A third voice rumbled as Onisawa Shigeru lumbered up beside them. He was an oxen of a man, taller than anyone else Katsuro had ever met and just as wide. His gut nearly burst out of his robes, and the leather straps of his hack-job plate armor looked ready to snap. He clutched a gargantuan war club in his right hand that no one else in the company could even lift, let alone swing. "I do not like this place, captain. Feels like my skin is crawlin' off my bones just standing here."

"I never knew you for a craven, Shigeru." Katsuro grinned up at the man. Despite the lightness in his tone, Katsuro understood what his second meant. Something about that gate made his heart leap up into his throat. There was power here, for a certainty. He took it as a sign that they were on the right track. With a heavy sigh he tied back his hair once again and slid his helmet into place. "Break the wards on that thing, Hotaru, and be quick about it. I want to make camp before midday. Half our warriors will be dead in their saddles soon enough."

The young Hotaru nodded solemnly and approached the gate, and the dove watched in abject horror as the boy's skin began to glow beneath his robes and the magical wards that had protected the valley for three hundred years dimmed for the first time. A column of mounted men in patchwork armor of leather lamellar and steel plates rode through the gate unopposed. The dove took flight with all haste away from that place, soaring through the pass and straight for the Mumbling Wood.


To the east of all this, in the center of the valley, the village of Heiseina began to awaken, slow and trepidatious as it was. Roosters call to one another at the coming of the sun. Villagers lit their lamps and rose from their beds to make breakfast. An old man, eyes still heavy and red, steps outside his door with a giant sack in his hands. Reaching within he produces a handful of roasted soybeans, tossing them out into the street in front of his house. A neighbor on the opposite side of the road chucks them from the safety of her window; perhaps never even leaving her bed at all. Just about everyone would join them soon enough- those with the common sense to understand the Yokai and the bad fortune they can bring down on the disrespectful.

"eight weeks," the old man grumbles, his voice like the rasp of rocks grinding against rocks, "eight more weeks of winter! Salt the shimmer, I told Takamori- told him that girl was no good."

A broom cracked him over the shoulder, causing him to shout in a mix of pain and surprise. His wife lowered it to the ground, still rubbing the sleep from her eye. "Pull the turds outta yer teeth. What if the lady heard ya gobbin' off? If she was willin' to do her own kin in-"

"Balderdash! T'was the hag that did them in. That dumb, poor girl couldn't get a tanuki to scratch its scrotum. We never had long winters when the shrine maiden was around. I remember this one autumn, perhaps twenty years ago, when..."

And on and on they went as Heiseina slowly, gradually dragged itself from its restful sleep and set about preparing for today's festivities. This marked the first day of a week long celebration of winter turning to spring, culminating in the Dance of the Serpent- when Miorochi is meant to awaken and take to the sky, tearing the cold from the air and begin the changing of the seasons. The week would see the village gathering to eat, dance, compete in games and go through all number of religious rituals to bring good fortune on the year to come. Broken relationships would be fixed, old enemies would make amends, and newborns would be blessed at Miorochi's shrine.

In honor of the occasion, all sorts of decorations were strung from roof to roof, up and around poles, or painted along the cobblestones of the road. Papers dragons were a common sight on top of other imagery of life and spring: colorful bundles of flowers were strung together, cornucopias of fruits and vegetables, and most common were the beans. Hundreds upon hundreds of roasted soybeans being scattered, eaten or spread to make crude shapes. Soybeans were thought to drive away the spirits that brought bad luck.

Unlit lanterns hang via strings running from nearby roofs to the radio tower in the town's central square. Inside them are some of the only electric lightbulbs in the entire valley, wired together and tracing down the tower's side and disappearing into a hole carved into the tinkerer's workshop. More unnatural light shines from behind the curtained windows and under the doorway. Keen watchers might have noticed a similar phenomena on their way home for the previous night's rest. It wasn't unheard of for Anayo to work all throughout the night, though never as often as over this last month.

Near to the shore of Kama's Lake, where the Takamori Estate stands tall and proud, its master meditates in the early morning light. Only one of his students managed to drag herself out here so early, though whether or not she was focused on her inner harmony or struggling to stay awake was yet to be seen. Kenji, despite his age, was as sharp and energized as either of his nephews or his niece. He'd already run the full length of the lake's walking path in the time it took most of the village to drag themselves from their beds. With slow, measured breaths, he took in the morning as he always did.

Yet Fumiko knew the old man well enough to know something was different today. There was an ever so slight tremble in his hands that he was trying and failing to calm. A deep furrow along his brow seemed to form and disperse every fifteen or so seconds, as if he had worries he could not quell. Kenji took a final exhale and let his eyes slide open so he could look to the horizon. Some imperceptible thing clouded his ordinarily cheery gaze, like a grey sky hours before a storm.

"How I wish I could remain in this moment forever." He muttered. His voice was a river, deep and meandering. "Time marches on, however, and there is much to do." He turned his head just so he could catch Fumiko's gaze. "And I'll be delegating a great deal of it to you, Fumiko. I hope you're up for it! Come, walk with me, and we shall talk." Kenji stood, beckoning her to follow him as he began to pace down the manor's steps and into the gardens that surrounded the estate.

"First we must ensure the noon performance is ready. I trust Miss Hayashi is prepared, but it is always best to double check." Kenji lifted a finger, wiggling it a bit- his usual sign to 'note that down' that he gave whenever he was delivering a lesson. "Head over to her abode and ensure everything is ready. Give her any help she needs setting up. She is the opening act of the day, so the tone must be just so. Even the slightest misstep could have disastrous consequences for the rest of the week's mood!" Perfection was impossible, yet always demanded- that was the Takamori code. Yet even as he spoke he seemed...distracted. His vision still clung to western mountains, where the sun rested atop those stony peaks.

Near silent paws patter up old stone steps. They stretch, turn and twist along the hill at the edge of town, passed small shrines covered in offerings, flowers and trinkets of all sorts. Those paws are quiet, yet they're quick-- quick as lightning. They bound up three steps at a time, nearly slipping on wet, broken stone in their hurry to reach the peak.

When the fox finally reached the hill's zenith, where an archway led into the shrine proper, it dropped what was in its mouth and began to make a racket. Its odd yips could almost be mistaken for language, but even as an animal the urgency in its noises could not be mistaken. When the shrine's cartaker finally emerged the creature nudged the object it had carried and dropped to the floor: a scroll case. Kitsune were said to be the messengers of the gods, yet...those were only stories for children. Myths passed down from the ages. In reality they were a bunch of aimless tricksters whose only purpose was to spread mischief...right?

But there was the scroll case. And inside, a message:

Sumiko is accepted! You can move her over to the character tab.
<Snipped quote by Supermaxx>

Alright, gotcha. Lemme know if room opens up later on, yeah?

Of course!
This looks awesome, definitely interested in making a character if there's still room!

Hi! I appreciate the interest. Unfortunately I'm pretty much at my limit here haha, eight is a lot already and I have two players from the previous iteration that also expressed interest.
@Mcmolly@Hero The smith twins are good to be moved over to the character tab!
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