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Xanadu | Xan | That asshole | etc
21 12/13/1997
University Student: History & Philosophy
Forum Based RPing for 8+ Years
Who Art Tho?

The man known as Xan
Hello there! You can call me Xanadu through originally on Old Guild I was known as Fa11ing Phoenix. I'm a University student that lives on the East Coast of North America studying History and Philosophy with aspirations of either becoming a History Professor or working in the Digital Humanities. I used to be really into forum based roleplaying when I was younger starting out on Neopets before moving to Max-Dan-Wiz and finally ending up on the Old Guild.

As I entered college though, I found it hard to find time to allocate time to writing posts when I have to write essays for grades and the like. Recently though, I've decided that for the sake of my own mental health that I have hobbies beyond work in an attempt to help keep myself sane. And thus I have returned with the expressed intent of continuing to do this weird collaborative writing experience that I love so much!

Current Projects
RPs That I GM:

RPs That I Participate In:
  • N/A

Genres that peak my fancy
  • Fantasy: [High | Low | Urban]
  • Sci-Fi: [Mechs | Science-Fantasy | Space Operas]
  • Historical [Westerns | Wuxai | Chanbara]
  • Punk [Steam punk | Diesel Punk | Post-Cyberpunk]
  • Fandom [DC & Marvel | Dragon Age | Mass Effect]

Fun Facts
▶ I play the Kantele, Tenor Sax, and Clarinet
▶ My favorite color is Orange

Most Recent Posts

“Looks like it,” Koyla answered Sully as he knelt down and stripped the corpse of its omni-tool and tossed it his way. “tell us if you find anything interesting.”


I would kill for some tunnel schematics right now.

The ticking timer in the corner of his HUD reminding Koyla how much limited time that they actually had. If he had more credits to spare he might of been able to acquire the plans from some information broker. In his current financial status such ideas had to be chalked up to well-intended pipe dreams. It seemed no matter where he turned that his financial burdened seem to impose itself upon him. The only thing that kept him going forward was the small reassurance that things would be easier once they finished the job.

It was the credits in the first place that pushed him towards Sarsi in particular. Any sane individual with even an ounce of combat experience could of told him that sending an untrained crew against a Matriarch that could probably snap all of their necks blindfolded wasn’t the best of ideas. On top of that there was no way that they could level the playing field as they were forced to storm her castle. Going into a fight against an enemy that had the experience and the combat advantage wasn’t something that was exactly a recipe for success. It reminded Koyla of a time they were chasing after a particular group of slavers in the Verge. The slavers themselves didn’t put too much of a fight, but they lost three of their squads just trying to fight through the traps that the bastards had set up.

All Koyla could do was assure himself that this time it was going to be different. It was a Catch-22, he could back down and lose it all or risk it all. And the thing was at the end of the day Koyla wasn’t much of the type to lay down without a fight. They had to do this because it was the only way. He was an animal with his back cornered against the wall and sometimes that desperation, just maybe lets you do something miraculous.

Slowly the team began to advance through the tunnels ahead of them. As Sully worked on cracking the maintenance worker’s Omni-tool, they worked their way deeper into the sewage system through sheer intuition and guess-work. The entire system looked identica from one tunnel to the next. Huge cylindrical tubes made up of a gray colored composite concrete, a series of pipes and tubing ran on the ceiling and a single channel of thick slurry like waste drifting through them along their fateful journey to the drains built into the cliff face. While the waste stream probably wasn’t toxic each member of the team made the self-conscious decision to do their best to avoid stepping directly into the slurry

It was probably for the best, as the rebreather built into Kolya’s helmet was able to filter out the toxins in the air it unfortunately wasn’t able to deal with the smell and it was unpleasant to say the least. Koyla could detect faint hints of sulphur in his nostrils reminding him of his days back at BAaT when some idiot decided to hide eggs from the canteen in the ship’s ventilation system as a prank. Vyrnnus made them clean the latrines for a month.

Thinking of his BAaT days reminded Koyla of two of his new companions Jace and Bel. He knew the both of them at least in passing, it was kind of hard not to considering the cramped quarters and small class sizes. The marine wondered what the odds were of three BAaT kids ending back up together like this. The cynic in him figured that it was quite likely, all BAaT was good for was preparing you for jobs like mercenary or military work. And once the program fell out from underneath them they really didn’t have any other options. And they were the lucky ones who didn’t end up mentally damaged, maimed, crippled or dead in the process It wasn’t like the Alliance was about to provide them with useful ways on how to reintegrate themselves back into regular society. It wasn’t like Koyla didn’t appreciate everything he gained from his service, but the unanswered things that happened at Jump Zero stilled tasted more rotten than the waste water drifting down the tunnel.


As they pushed deeper into the tunnels they began to see more signs of life, particularly along the walls in the form of scribbled graffiti. Most of the messages was in the form of documentation performed by the maintenance crew, sequences of numbers as they recorded measurements from the pipes above or other small notes.One diagram that caught Koyla’s eye sketching out in detail the operating mechanism of one of the above pipes next to it was a simple message written in big bold letters: YOU TURN THE DAMN THING CLOCKWISE TO LOCK IT, THE NEXT PERSON THAT CAUSE ANOTHER LEAK BECAUSE THEY TURN IT COUNTER-CLOCKWISE I SWEAR BY THE SPIRITS...

Some of the others remained more humorous or personal. The maintenance crews having used the message as some from of hobbled-together messaging system with their colleagues. As entire small dialogues were etched into the stone work. In one corner in particular Koyla saw a long list of chess moves following one after another until in the end a single MATE was scribbled at the bottom and circled. Next to it a new game seemed to be halfway through.

The messages made Koyla think of the Corpse. He wondered if any of the messages belonged to the unlucky sod, if his chess game would never end up being finished. Koyla tried to make a habit of thinking about casualties on missions, but he couldn’t help. Getting shot in the head and having your body shrivel up from the head in a tunnel full of crap wasn’t necessarily the worst way to go but it certainly wasn’t something that he could recommend to anyone. Not to mention the more selfish thoughts of what the corpse might be a harbinger for in terms of problems for the mission at hand. And with just his luck, Koyla would get his answer earlier than he anticipated.


As they approached left-leaning bend in the tunnel, the static glow of a series of bright lights shined from around the corner. Feeling his stomach churn, Koyla quickly brought up his omni-tool and began to type. Not wanting to risk potentially giving away their position with his voice, he typed up a quick series of commands that would quickly flash across the crew’s visors. They came across as a few simple lines of orange text that read.

]//- SLOW

As the group’s movement pulled back to a crawl, Koyla used the opportunity to navigate his way back to the front of the group. Taking a deep breath he slowly pulled himself forward inching along the tunnel wall as he slowly pulled his head just enough around the corner so that he could peer down the next hallway. Almost immediately Koyla was suddenly blinded by the floodlights that shined in his face. He pulled away blinking waiting as the visor on his helmet automatically began to react to the light being cast, as the faux-glass began to tint itself.

As his vision cleared, Koyla found himself looking down at a large circular intersection where several tunnels seemed to converge with one another. Large floodlights erected on stands stood near the entrance to teach tunnel projecting down them. Surrounding these floodlights were several stack crates of supplies currently being looked after by a dozen or so heavily armed soldiers decked out head to toe in Jormungand heavy hazard gear. Two sentinels leaned against crates near the center of the circle, sentry turrets already deployed. A pair closer to the tunnel that Koyla and the rest were coming up from could be overheard talking to one another.

“Why the fuck do we have to wear this cumbersome shit?” Asked a gruff voice

“Because otherwise you would fry from the heat within an hour idiot,” A more high pitch voice responded “and then you wouldn't exactly be doing your job of watching these tunnels would you.”

“I get that, but why do we have to be the ones on tunnel duty?”

“Because we need to block all of the targets potential escape routes, she doesn’t get out of here alive boss’ orders.”

“Hmph” The gruff voice snorted “Y’know, if I ever piss her off just do me a favor and shoot me.”

Koyla felt his heart get caught in his throat as he saw the color of their gear. It was different from the standard kit, but the black and yellow color scheme and the E emblazoned sun still perfectly announced to the world who they were - Eclipse.


The only coherent thoughts going through Koyla’s head were profantines as he pulled his head back. If the Eclipse were assaulting the compound that could only mean one thing: that they were also there for Sarsi. An already difficult mission was steadily getting more and more impossible by the second. Now they didn’t just have to deal with the Matriarch they had to compete for her with one of the most well-known and well equipped merc groups in the Terminus. Koyla tried to think optimistically about the situation thinking about how they could leverage the chaos for their own benefit. It didn’t matter what little benefit they might of gained would be diminished by the same negatives that the situation provided.

The sane part of him wanted to cut their losses and book it and at this point he might of just done that. The problem was that wasn’t an option anymore. They were too far into the tunnels at this point, there heat sinks would fail long before they got back to the Achilles. The only way that didn’t end with them getting killed was pushing forward through the Eclipse, it was to continue the mission. Part of him felt bad for dragging a bunch of unsuspecting souls into what was quickly amounting to a sucide mission, but they knew the risk when they signed up, you didn’t become a mercenary if you were looking for a high life expancity.

He furiously began to type into his omni-tool sending a message to his squadmates.



And slowly Koyla drew his Kessler and peered back around the corner. His eyes focused in on the pipes running above the pair that were still standing by the tunnel entrance. His mind latched on to one of the pipe’s release levers remembering the diagram he had seen sketched in the hallway earlier. He took a deep breath and extended his free hand forward and as he did a pulsating field of blue-energy surrounded him as the Element Zero in his body began to react. Across the tunnel pulled by a distortion of gravity, the lever swung counter-clockwise letting a column of noxious gas into the air.

“Huh?” said high-pitched voice in surprise.

Before they could react further Koyla let out a single shot of his Kessler not directed at them but toward the stream of gas as Koyla hedged his bets based on the sulphurous smell earlier. And as the round came into contact with the gas, the two mercs screams were swallowed as the noxious gas ignited into a fireball, the sound of the explosion echoing like thunder down the hall. The rest of the Eclipse troops began to yell and pull out their weapons, the Sentry turrets now trained down the tunnel began opening fire at Koyla.

Even as they did Koyla was switching out his Kessler for his Storm and charging forward letting his shields take the brunt of the impact. He took two more steps yelling as he did before he vanished in a burst of biotic energy as he charged forward into the Eclipse soldiers. He didn’t want to risk having their position pinned down, the Eclipse most certainly were packing more heat than them and could certainly fend off any pushes. There only chance was pushing the surprise they gained from the explosion and just hoping that slight nudge was enough to knock them off balance. Koyla with his Vanguard skill set was perfectly adapted for such situations, a fact attested to by most of his career with the Alliance having been spent storming heavily guarded positions. He could make it in and could only hope that the rest of his crew was following through with the push.

Otherwise... we are all going to die in these blasted tunnels.

Alright! Y'all can expect the next plot post sometime todayish after I sleep cause it is nearly 3 AM and sadly I have places I need to be in the morning! The writing part is done. I just need to look it over, edit it, and make it look like the prettiest gal at the ball for all of y'all!

In the meantime great posts everyone and I hope we can keep up the good work!
2179 CE, Tasale System
03:00, Illium, Near the Equator
Onboard The Achilles

Under the cover of darkness, the Achilles began to head towards Illium’s equator. Each change in latitude leading to a corresponding increase in temperature. All across the ship, you could hear the whine of its cooling system struggling to combat the heat. For those members of the crew that were not used to the heat, the experience was rather uncomfortable. And yet, the Achilles pushed onward with its descent as it chased after its bounty.

Salisa Sarsi was staying in one of the corporate arcologies that dominated Illium’s equator. In particular, she was currently serving as a hired consultant with a subsidiary of the Armali Council, specializing in experimental military technology. The company having decided that the expertise that the Matriarch brought to the table outweighed the several bounties that were currently hoisted over her head; it was the kind of cold business calculus that could only occur on a planet like Illium. The profits mattered more than anything else in the end.

At the same time such an arcology would serve as the perfect hideaway from the Matriarch. Each built with a “cradle to grave” design philosophy that made them self-sufficient citadels. They had everything from their own schools, farms, and even their own security forces. All the while, transport in and out was closely controlled. The colossal towers being an ideal mixture of comfort and security for Sarsi.

A warning flashed across the heads up display as the Achilles drew closer to the skyscraper. At the helm, Kolya directed the ship downward into a thick layer of steam and noxious gas. He switch off all non-essential systems to decrease the ship’s energy profile. With each switch, the running lights began were replaced with the red hazard lights built into the floor. The steam forcing Kolya to be reliant on watching the ship’s sensors to not bottom out. At last though, the ship shuddered as its landing gear made contact with solid ground.

Letting out a small sigh of relief, Kolya picked up his helmet from the dashboard snapping it into place. He did one last preliminary check of the cabin, before making his way to the lower level where the rest of the crew were told to assemble. As he walked down the ship's halls, he drew his shotgun from its magnetic holster. He flicked his eyes to his HUD checking for the ammo counter, signaling to him that the two pieces of equipment were communicating. After dinner, Kolya had spent a majority of the evening cleaning his armor and his weapons. The routine drilled into his head by the Alliance, to the point that some soldiers he knew treated it with superstitious intensity. One lieutenant in particular blaming entire failed encounters on improper cleaning techniques. Kolya thought thinking like that was worthless at best and dangerous at worst. Even so, he still performed the routine using it to organize his thoughts for the coming mission. Holstering the shotgun, he made his way down the small set of stairs that lead to the lower level of the ship.

Sully, and Hann had quickly made the small space into their own over the past few days of their residency. Kolya stayed back on the stairwell looking out over the space. At the far side of the room facing away from him, the crew clustered by the loading doors geared up and ready to go. Kolya took a deep breath forcing down any residual adrenaline from the descent. As he focused on his breathing, Kolya went through a last minute mental checklist. Weapons, gear, meds, he continued down the list checking each one off as he patted himself down. Nodding to himself, he stepped out of the stairwell and went to join up with the rest of his team.

Hopping atop a large storage crate Kolya began to address the team.

“Alright! It’s time for us to get to work.” Kolya stated clapping his hands together in excitement.

“For those of you that were asleep during the briefing this morning, I will provide a brief synopsis. We are heading up through one of waste treatment’s exit drains, the smell isn't exactly going to be great, but it will help us bypass some of the initial security. Once we are in, we work our way up through the skyscraper and make our way to the living quarters. Vash since you so kindly volunteered to take on the role of handling the injector this is for you.”

From his belt Kolya produced a large cylindrical object about seven inches in length. Kolya pressed a switch on the top of the cylinder revealing a syringe built into its bottom. The vanguard clicked the button again and the needle retracted. He reached down and handed the cylinder over to Vash to place where he saw fit.

“We adjusted the dosage to her available biometrics,” Kolya explained, “I could only afford one though, so we got a single shot at this. That’s why I’m making the call that we use it up close instead of trying to make it into some kind of projectile, there is less chance of mistakes that way.”

“After Vash does his thing and we retrieve the target. We make our way towards a landing pad and the Achilles will be able to home in on our position for Evac.” Kolya summarized the plan making the entire procedure sound easy in comparison.“We can expect resistance from the building’s security force, deal with them as you see fit, as far as I’m concerned they already made their bed when they choose to protect a war criminal. That being said, anyone that isn't trying to kill you is off limits. We are professionals here people, and I don’t want senseless blood on our hands. Now let’s move.”

Stepping down from the crate, Kolya punched a command into his Omni-tool causing the exterior doors to open. Leading the pack, Kolya was the first to exit the Achilles and step onto the surface. And almost immediately his HUD began to throw out heat warnings at him. They had an hour to to get back inside a climate controlled area before the heat seals on their suits busted. To keep a mind on the time, he pulled up a timer on his HUD that began to count down the time they had remaining.


Ahead of them built into a rising plateau was the place they were looking for. A significant amount of care had gone into the skyscraper design, despite the minimal number of people that would actually see it. This careful care produced a colossal structure that blended well with the environment, like a large rock formation made of metal. From their angle the structure disappeared beyond the clouds of steam, but there entry point was visible. Sixty above them built into the cliff face was a large circle intrusion of metal from which a constant stream of brown colored liquid poured out of.

The isolated and self-sufficient nature of the compound extended even to its waste treatment protocols. Instead of dumping the entirety of the wastewater, most is filtrated back into the system. This filtered water used from drinking to watering the gardens that grow the food. The waste at the end of this process is that which was too contaminated to be treated. And so they built an elaborate system to direct the waste away emptying through large drains built into the side of the plateau. If they followed the drainage system, back to its source, there would be a way into the arcology proper.


With no time to waste, the team began setting up the grappling hooks. Each of the hooks, fit into large canisters launched by Vash’s ML-77. Numbering three in total, they made quick work launching each of the canisters. The three hooks would end up embedded in a triangular formation above the entrance, two on either side and one above.

Turning to Ardan, Kolya placed a hand of the Turian’s shoulder. “I want you to be the last man, make sure they all get up soldier.”

It was a sign of trust, Kolya couldn’t be everywhere at once so he needed to be able to break up the load a little bit. Picking Ardan was a simple enough decision. He was a military man like Kolya and from what little interactions they had with one another at this point, the two of them seemed to think very much on the same level. And that level of predictably was something that as a commander, Kolya knew was essential to lean on when things got rough.

After his quick words with Ardan, Kolya attached himself to the middle rope and lead the first group to ascend up towards the entrance. Already sweating from the heat, the moisture only increased as he began to pull himself up the wall. Drops of wastewater from the small waterfall fell and collected on his helmet as they made slow but steady progress up the cliff face. Throwing an experimental gaze over his shoulder, the Achilles and the rest of the crew seemed like tiny miniatures atop of a game table. Kolya didn’t have a problem with heights necessarily, the Alliance kind of knocks any such fear out of you after you do your first training for a HALO jump, but even then he could feel his stomach lurch a little bit. Turning his attention back upward, he picked up speed for the last half of the journey.


Kolya pulled himself atop the ledge at the end of the drain. The space he had to maneuver in was cramped especially with the rest of his team starting to pull themselves up. The ground slick with waste forcing careful foot placement as he approached the large iron grate that blocked their way forward. There was a gate built into the grate that was intended to be used by maintenance crews in case of a blockage to be able to push it past. From that point onward, it would be a simple matter of cutting the lock on the gate and letting themselves in, but as he approached the gate to examine it, Kolya immediately noticed that something was wrong. The gate which was meant to be shut closed was ajar and just beyond it was a body face down in the stream of waste.

“We got something here.” Kolya warned as he drew his Kessler.

A closer inspection of the gate revealed that the lock had been cut. The cut metal was still warm to the touch. Gripping his Kessler tighter, Kolya experimentally pushed on the gate which opened without protest. He raised a closed fist in the air with his free hand, signaling the rest of his team that was slowly assembling on the ledge to hold their positions as he pushed deeper in the tunnel. His eyes swept across the tunnel not knowing what to expect. He let out a breath that he didn’t even realize he was holding when he made it to the body.


Kneeling down, he looked at the corpse. They were dressed in a dark blue hazard suit, a single entry wound in the back of the skull a premonition of the violence that must have occurred. Looking around, Kolya noted that there were no bullet holes or blood on the tunnel walls, so he could only assume that whoever, the victim was they were killed further in the tunnel and their body was dropped into the runoff to be carried away, only for them to get stuck. Reaching a hand out, he flipped the corpse over to take a better look.

The first thing that Kolya noticed was the exit wound. The bullet having pierced through the skull and out through the helmet shattering the visor. The face or what was left of it at least, was human, maybe mid-to-late thirties, skin that he could only assume was tan underneath the coating of blood. From his experience with these kinds of things, Kolya assumed that whatever weapon had done the damage was racked to a high-caliber bullet and probably was using shredder rounds at that, a Carnifex maybe if he had to guess. On the front above the right breast, was the etched logo of the Armali Council, probably a maintenance worker that was doing routine work in the tunnels.

All of it was giving Kolya bad vibes. Kolya knew what a random killing looked like or what a pirate or some thug would do. This was professional work there was no joy or malice in it, it was someone dealing with an obstacle because they were in the way. And by all likelihood whoever or whatever it was, was still in the tunnel ahead of them. It wasn’t the type of position, that Kolya liked leading a team into. In such a scenario, Kolya would of liked to take his team, send in recon teams to see if they were still there and if they were flush them out. But the ticking timer in the corner of his HUD reminded him that he just didn’t have that luxury right now. The team had to move, and they had to move quickly. All he could hope for was to try and minimize the amount of sound that they made as they pushed in and hope that they weren’t walking straight into an ambush.

“The lock on the gate was already cut, and I’ve found a body, likely part of a maintenance crew.” Kolya whispered over the comms. “We aren’t alone down here, so I want everyone to bunch up, check your corners and stay quiet.”

And with that he began to make his way deeper into the tunnel keeping the Kessler trained on the shadows ahead of him.

It’s never easy is it?

@Star Lord@Rtron@Dervish@Heat @Monochromatic Rainbow@Lauder @DJAtomika @Jarl Coolgruuf@Plank Sinatra

And the collab post is officially up!

Work has already started on the IC post proper and I'm expecting it to be up sometime Wednesday in the EST timeframe at the latest. Though if that changes, I will keep you guys up to date.


Aite folks update to you all.

Please make your finishing touches to the collab, since its going to get wrapped up and shipped tomorrow! As work on the IC in earnest has begun!

@Star Lord Marius Faro | Human | Engineer
@Rtron Korpis Can'sobar | Batarian | Vanguard
@Dervish Ardan Parvis | Turian | Soldier
@Heat Drayak Vash | Krogan | Soldier
@Monochromatic Rainbow Firuzeh Khoroushi | Human | Vanguard
@Lauder Hann'Ceedda nar Jalazi | Quarian | Infiltrator
@DJAtomika Karmm "Sully" Sol | Krogan | Engineer
@Jarl Coolgruuf Isabel “Bluegrass Bel” Barton | Human | Sentinel
@Plank Sinatra Jackson "Jace" Pulliam | Human | Sentinel

Yep everyone made it! Towards the end, we had a significant drop in applications that ended up making this process a lot more bearable on my end. And in the end all of you guys ended up brining some pretty awesome idea to the table! And even better then that, all of you were responsive and willing to handle the critiques and questioned leveled at you! You all showed that you care and that matters a lot to me. So at the end with only really one player over budget then I originally anticipated bringing us up to a roster of ten, that is a number that I can work with! Congrats to all of you and without further adue lets get to business!

First order of business! Some Important Links!
The Intro Collab

Taking a page from @Dervish's Gm Guide (which has been like super helpful getting this thing off the ground by the way, so thank you for that!) While I'm commencing work on the first real plot-post in earnest, I have a writing exercise for all of you! It's a big collab post between the crew so that we are able to get those first post introductions and other stuff that would usually slow the RP. This collab instead will hopefully give us a chance to have the same established effect, and allow all of us to kind of play with and see how all of our characters will end up getting along with one another! I ended up giving you guys a bit of background info and other stuff to help dress the setting and establish the mood. You can take from that as little or as much as you want from that. But everyone should at least try to contribute something! Because I think it will be a fun thing to work on while I get that big plot post up!

The Discord

Here is the link to the Discord for everyone! Currently it is a little bare bones but when I have some free time I will spruce it up a bit! The discord is intended for planning, off-topic discussion and the like. Official announcements though from the GM will still be posted here though! So keep a watch out for any important messages!

Alright! Let's have a blast everyone! ^-^
That's completely understandable! Thank you for your active communication throughout and showing of interest! And I will add you to the list of names to call on if spots open up!

In other news...

Applications are officially closed!

I will be with you all shortly to announce the official crew of the Achilles! In the meantime, thank you again everyone for being so cooperative with me during this process and really giving it your all to make your applications the best that they can be! Stay tuned everyone!
Done is always better then perfect! But don't worry we believe in you!

@Monochromatic Rainbow@Plank Sinatra@Rtron@Stormflyx@Star Lord@DJAtomika@Dervish@Heat@Jarl Coolgruuf@Mortarion@Lauder

Alright the last application daily update for all of y'all! We are closing in on the finish line and so far we have some really good applications! As all of y'know or I hope that you do tomorrow is our deadline! ^-^ That being said, I will no longer be performing practice reviews at this time. This is because I don't feel with the short time remaining that it will be productive for me or the applicant to have to wait for the review process. Instead that time should be focused on finishing/making the final edits to your sheet. Until then, I hope that all of you congratulate yourself for the job well done so far! If you any last minute questions you can of course shoot me a PM or @ me here in the meantime!
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