04:20 <Iri> <--->
04:24 <KevinB> Across Rooftops, through alleyways, and in the midst of crowds- a shadowy figure is trailing a certain lady Mercanary Captain- a man with a strange fascination, with the woman whose life seems to have started so similar to his own- and ended up so.. different.
04:30 <Iri> Pluck plans her ventures from her compound like operations in minutae. In the beginning it was merely to exercise her men and keep them familiar with the lay of the city, but the Haunches feel tense as of late and the security seems mandated. Before she leaves, scouts from her unit deploy themselves along her projected path, occupying rooftops and tea-houses to keep watch along the way. She
04:30 <Iri> marches alone but not alone. Much of today was spent at the local guardhouse, re-negotiating her contracts with the watch commander. Normally she would return immediately, but her face is a black scowl when she emerges, and she swiftly diverges from her pre-planned path towards the tavern known as Little Dreams. Diverging from her routine and her customary protection lends a certain degree
04:30 <Iri> of tension to her afternoon, and her eyes flit about at every step of the way in hopes of predicting the unpredictable.
04:33 <KevinB> And the unexpected does arrive- as a shadowy figure finally decides to emerge from the shadows, and fake a chance meeting as he heads out of hiding... to casually bump into Pluck in the middle of the street- starting back as he does his best to make it look like an accident. "Oh! Damn- I'm sorry, Ma'am!"
04:35 <Iri> "Watch where you're going!" Pluck demands, rearing back. Almost reflexively, she checks her pouches in case this sudden assaliant has made a play for her purse. "You- I know you," she says, narrowing her eyes a moment later.
04:36 <KevinB> The man blinks a few times- before smiling warmly at her. Nothing is missing from her pouches or purses, as he rears back himself. "My apologies- but I do seem to know you to! I'm Nyumetsu, remember from the Funeral?"
04:39 <Iri> "Yes, indeed." Pluck straightens. "Pertamu's friend, no?" The captain is still wearing mourning garb, and much of her face remains hidden behind layered veils. "You should be more careful with your steps. The local guard is on edge and so are many of the locals. The local tempers have lead to scuffles at only small provocations."
04:42 <KevinB> He smiles wearily- then sighs before nodding agreement. "Aye, your quite right. Though- it's quite fortunate we met by chance, even if in so odd a way." He says- trying his best to be charming. He's not very good at charming, sadly. He's good looking, but his charisma is lacking.
04:46 <Iri> "Oh? Do you have business with me?" Pluck asks, raising an greying eyebrow. She seems a little relieved that she is not confronting some adversary.
04:48 <KevinB> He smiles softly- and makes a quiet admission. "Well... you interest me, to say the least- I'd like to talk to you about your business, yes- though perhaps not to hire, I'll admit. If you have a bit of time for a more personal matter?"
04:50 <Iri> The archer frowns for a moment. "I suppose I do," she admits, turning to start walking. "I was looking to have a quiet drink before returning today. What say you?"
04:52 <KevinB> He smiles softly, the swordsman pausing to think. "I know a good place nearby."
04:54 <Iri> "Most people do," replies Pluck, steering the pair of them towards Little Dreams. "What is your profession? It seems you know more of me than I of you."
04:56 <KevinB> He thinks for a long, long moment. "...I do mercenary work myself, though I'm not part of any band- I work with a partner, rather than a group."
04:58 <Iri> "I don't think I've heard of you," replies Pluck, racking her brains for a moment. Intimiately familiar with all the major armed groups in Lathe, it would nonetheless not be odd for a freelancer to escape her notice.
05:01 <KevinB> He smiles softly. "That's not too hard to believe. I dont do much high profile work." He admits calmly- as he starts to walk with her calmly towards Little Dreams, humming faintly. "I'm really just a relatively minor sellsword, to be honest. Good with the sword that I'm selling, though."
05:03 <@Carreau> As they turn the corner to the street that is home to Little Dreams, their expectations of a nice drink are instantly shattered. Three of the satrap's men are standing outside, spears and swords at the ready, with the sound of shouting and smashing of furniture heard inside.
05:06 <Iri> "You would have to be if you have made a career out of it." Pluck shakes her head. "I cannot imagine doing business without a group at my back, but I suppose we must take very different contracts." She pauses in her stride and frowns. "What is this? A raid in the Haunches?" she says, scowling darkly. "Why must the satrap be so bloody heavy-handed?" She stalks towards the guards. "What is
05:06 <Iri> going on here, soldier?" she demands, feeling somewhat overbold.
05:06 <@Carreau> On the other side of the street stands a man dressed in a heavy hooded cloak pulled together about his body, his face barely visible, a scarf pulled over the lower half of his face. He glances at the guards, then at the two, and lifts two fingers close to his ear before motioning to Nyu to continue walking toward himself. A familiar gesture from the assassin's mentor, who then seems to grimace at the >
05:06 <@Carreau> > sight of the woman going to go chat up the guard.
05:08 <KevinB> He nods- and murmurs softly to Pluck. "A moment, I have something to attend to- I apologize for the ah... abruptness." He stares- before very nearly vanishing from sight, as he moves towards his Mentor in a faint blur.
05:08 <@Carreau> The guard looks over to the woman, chewing on a dried vanilla bead, before tilting his head to the side. "That'd be none of ya business, lady. Move 'long now." The young guard pushes a few stray locks of shaggy brown hair from his face, dim blue eyes following her motions carefully.
05:09 <Iri> "Don't you tell me to move along. It most certaily is my business," retorts Pluck, tapping at her shoulder to reveal her insignia. "I am Captain Pluck, and I am on dispatch from the local guard. We weren't notified of any raid."
05:13 <@Carreau> The man lets out a frustrated sigh and glances over at the two other guards. "Ya knuckle'eds didn' inform them locals?" He then turns back and makes a faintly apologetic gesture, though he doesn't even conceal the fact he could care less. "Trackin' a killa from Jade Soma, foul man. One of our eyes saw 'im 'ere recently. Owner says 'e didn' book a room, so we're figurin' all this here mess out."
05:15 <@Carreau> The older man in his loose clothing nods toward the entry to Little Dreams. "Foshoro will be fine, they won't find the den. Just wonder how they got onto you." His voice is a little raspy, and he seems exhausted. "Good to see you, kid. It's been too long."
05:16 <Iri> Pluck frowns. "A killer," she repeats. "I see. And instead of contacting those familiar with this area, the choice was made to smash up everything and call it a day, no doubt." She restrains herself from directly insulting the intelligence of the Realm's enforcers. "Who is in command here?"
05:17 <KevinB> He smiles, and nods softly. He bows his head wearily. "Aye, it has been too long." he says quietly, as he moves to lean next to him, a faint gleam in his eyes, and a quiet smile on his lips as he finds himself in the presence of the man he respects most in this world. "Glad to hear their safe in there.. and aye, I wonder to.. Tch."
05:18 <@Carreau> The guard thumbs inside. "The commander is in der, but wouldn't go in if was ya, meself. 'sides, seems that they 'ave ears in the local guard, didn' wanna spook 'em. Ya follow?"
05:20 <@Carreau> The man thumbs along the length of his spear and then gives the woman a slightly more serious look. "Iffin ya go in, it'll get ya in trouble. Seem like a noice lass, dun want that on me. Just go, mm?" He seems rather sincere.
05:23 <Iri> Pluck looks irritated. "How old you are, legionnaire?"
05:24 <@Carreau> "Iffin ya want to pull age on me, 's not gonna work. Am just sayin' that thru this 'ere door is a trip to the dungeons. Dun want that. Please go." His tone has shifted even more serious, brows starting to furrow and posture starting to straighten up.
05:28 <@Carreau> "You finally moved on from her?" The old assassin grins under his scarf and nods his head toward Pluck before jabbing at Nyu's arm teasingly. "You should try to get your ladyfriend out of trouble, the satrap's bloodhound is in there, sniffing around. Might smell you on her."
05:30 <Iri> If Swift Raven was still alive, they would never dare to treat her this way. Would that? More importantly, however, if he were still alive, he would not hesitate. "You will not stand aside?" she replies, curtly.
05:30 <Iri> *Would they?
05:30 <KevinB> He nods slowly, as he notices the issue she's in. "Aye... we should talk more later, though. I saw your face on a poster, and that worries me as well.. the bloodhounds get ever closer." He says with a grimace, before bowing his head in respect -and then gathering his cloak about him- moves towards Pluck, gently slidin---
05:31 <KevinB> --- Sliding out of the shadows to walk up beside her, and gently smile. "...Pluck, this might not be the wisest of battle to choose, I'd think."
05:31 <@Carreau> The man shrugs his shoulder and shifts his spear over his shoulder before stepping aside, glancing over to the arriving man with mild curiosity.
05:38 <KevinB> He smiles warmly, as he leans in towards Pluck- and speaks in a warm voice. "Well.. perhaps there are other places we can go for a drink and a chat, aye? If this one is.. occupied, by the realms men- may as well go find another, aye/"
05:39 <@Carreau> The guard looks at Nyu very blankly, as if saying 'really?', before he rolls his eyes and stretches out his arms to a yawn, turning to the other guards. "Well then, is it going to be fried noodle today after the shift?"
05:40 <Iri> Pluck shifts irritably. "I will be stopping at the barracks tomorrow. If your lord commander has a moment to discuss the matter," she says, stiffly, before turning and stalking away, fists clenched.
05:42 <KevinB> He sighs as he moves to walk away with Pluck, praying that they didn't catch onto him quietly, while seeming calm. "..Sorry about that. I heard from a freind who I saw outside, a regular. Jagamaru's in there, and... Jagamaru is bad news." He whispers once their out of earshot.
05:42 <@Carreau> The hooded man has changed positions, moving closer to the residential district, leaning against a wall and waiting for the two to follow, apparently.
05:44 <Iri> "The Tiger?" Pluck purses her lips. "Yes, I know. That reckless idiot," she says, angrily. "Every time he descends into the Haunches, he kills one dissenter and creates a dozen more. There will be riots," she says, blackly.
05:44 <KevinB> He nods, sighing as he changes course to follow the man. "Aye.. that there will. He's an endless source of hate for the realm."
05:46 <@Carreau> After a small while, the man stops by rather run-down looking noodle bar that seems to have closed for the day. He moves his body to block the view and soon enough the door opens. He pushes in, the glow of a yellow nuga lighting up inside.
05:47 <Iri> "The last satrap knew to let us handle our own affairs," continues Pluck. "Their interference prevents us from keeping order." She glances at Nyumetsu wryly. "I suppose that such order is not altogether of much value for an independant fighter like yourself." She frowns, as she realises she is being led away to parts unknown. "Where are we going?"
05:49 <Mad> At the bar, loudly slurping noodles, sits a tall, bronze-skinned man with dirty blond hair. He has a katana in a sheath of black wood leaning against the bar next to him, and seems oblivious to the newcomers.
05:49 <KevinB> He gestures to the Noodle Bar. "To have something to eat, with the drink." He explains warmly, before sighing faintly. "And as for that- I dont mind order. Order's good for business,i n some ways- or more importantly, makes it safer." He admits. "Beyond that.. I agree with you on the Satrapy.. though I'm.. not old enough to remember the last one."
05:51 <Iri> "The city cannot function without it. And if it is lost, the Realm will restore it by force. Which means blood in the streets," continues Pluck. "Drink, please," she adds, leaning on the bar.
05:53 <KevinB> He nods- smiling.. and notices his Sensei. He pauses for a long moment to quietly stare at the man, as they find themselves sitting at the bar beside him. "Well, what a welcome suprise Sensei."
05:53 <@Carreau> The hooded man has gone behind the counter and calmly unrobes himself, down to a tight-fitting black gi and a sarong skirt. His arms are covered in thick, protruding surface veins, reminiscent of burn scars. The whites of his eyes are dark amber, gray hair tied to a ponytail. He pulls down his scarf to his throat and flashes a grin, neatly groomed beard the same color as his hair.
05:54 <Iri> The sight of another greyhair reminds Pluck that she, too, is getting old. "Good evening," she says, curtly. "A surprise, eh? Master Nyumetsu, you appear to be remarkably fortunate when it comes to chance meetings."
05:55 <Mad> "Hmm?" He looks up from his noodles. "Oh, Nyumetsu, how are you? And who's your friend there; you'll have to introduce me."
05:56 <@Carreau> "Sensei?" The obvious wyld-mutant glances at Platinum, then to Nyu. "I thought I was your 'sensei'. A few weeks off the map and you're already getting yourself a new teacher and a new girlfriend. Tch." He turns around, pulls on elbow-length cotton gloves and then starts working with the wok pans, pulling noodle from a boiling pot into it and pouring in some sauces.
05:56 <Iri> Pluck scowls. "You presume too much," she says, curtly.
05:57 <@Carreau> "I jest. Nyu-nyu's heart is not so easily won over." He flashes a broad grin and chuckles a little, before starting to chop radish with a large kitchen knife.
05:58 <KevinB> He laughs at that- and turns to look at the old man. "You teach different subjects." He says wryly to his old mentor- as he rises up to give the heavily scarred old man a bow. "Regardless- this is a new aquaintance of mine, by the name of Pluck, my old freind." He says softly, as he sits back down, and then looks over at Platinum, continuing o-
05:59 <Mad> "Oh, are you the man who taught Nyu his technique? I must thank you for his skill in Single Point, though I'm not sure how I feel about you teaching him the Steel Devil"
05:59 <KevinB> n to explain. "This is Pluck, a freind of mine- and my old freind here is the man who taught me how to live, after my father left this world." He explains softly.
05:59 <Iri> "Are you also freelance mercenaries?"
06:02 <@Carreau> The man chuckles a little under his breath at Platinum's comment. "Yes, well, I guess those styles have names too. Never was one for ceremony, with me it's all utility, utility, utility."
06:02 <@Carreau> He chops up a few carrots and flicks them all in the wok pan, flipping the pan around with a sizzle.
06:03 <Mad> Gripping his cup almost imperceptibly tighter at the comment, Platinum responds, "That's a philosophy I can't agree with. Each style is an art form, to be honed and passed on to your students"
06:04 <@Carreau> "My main focus was to have my students survive so that something could be passed on in the first place." He seems to be in a good mood, cooking happily while talking over his shoulder at times.
06:05 <Mad> "Is it really that bad here? I'm not a local, so I've no idea"
06:06 <Iri> "You cannot tell? Just down the street, the satrap guard is raiding a tavern. Murderers run rampant," replies Pluck, sounding dispirited. "It is not a good time for Lathe, I fear."
06:06 <@Carreau> "Here, less. Below, well. It's so bad I had to get out. I don't know exactly what happened, but the place has gotten an influx of new people. Nobody goes to the Lily Pits voluntarily. Boggles my mind." He adds a tiny hint of cumin, mixing the noodles before picking up a second pot and starting to fry some fish.
06:07 <KevinB> Nyumetsu nods darkly. "Aye.. I was born in the Lily Pits, myself.. so I can speak for the truth of that, aye."
06:07 <Iri> "You don't say? Another trait we share."
06:07 <KevinB> "It's as close as you can get to hell on earth, in my opinion." He admits softly, as he smiles at the old man after the brief grimace. "So! I see your cooking skills have only improved over time, eh old man?"
06:09 <@Carreau> "I've had a lot of time on my hands since you decided to become a responsible father for that sweet little girl." He flips the fish around and turns to take a look at the three, evaluating them carefully.
06:09 <Mad> "Oh dear, this is something I hadn't been aware of. I'd rather not rouse the anger of the Satrap myself, though". Platinum sighs
06:10 <Mad> "What's that Nymetsu, are you a father?"
06:10 <Iri> Pluck's chin is dropped up on her palm, and she seems to be studying the bench, a little lost in her own mind.
06:10 <@Carreau> "There's some really troubling news, though. You know Greensand Cove, at the end of the island?" He motions to Nyu with one hand, still trying to figure out the two.
06:11 <KevinB> Nyumetsu chuckles at that. "And is that a good thing or a bad thing in your eyes, old m- Hrm? Well.. the childs adopted, but.. aye. Lost her mother. I'd been planning to marry the woman- but we hadn't quite gotten that far- still.. I was the only one available to take in the ki-?"
06:11 <KevinB> "Aye, what about it?"
06:12 <@Carreau> "Well, the Sword of Daana'd is out fighting the raksha. Rumor has it, last night a Lintha ship was seen there. This morning, some of the fruitpickers saw smoke coming from the village."
06:13 <KevinB> He frowns darkly, making quick calculations. "..So the Lintha are raiding while our navy is busy with the Raksha..? Damnnation..."
06:13 <Mad> Platinum drops his chopsticks with a clatter. "Lintha? If you need any help, just ask. I hate Lintha more than any Satrap"
06:13 <KevinB> "Who doesn't. Seems like something to get to work on."
06:14 <Iri> Pluck purses her lips. "Just the two of you?" she asks, wryly.
06:15 <KevinB> "Well, no. We'll need to bring in a few freinds- but I doubt the realms competency to handle this with their main force distracted."
06:15 <@Carreau> "Seems like the dynasts don't even care. There are some tensions between the satrap and the Imperial Navy, so the satrap just sits on his hands and makes the Navy take the blame. Nobody is doing anything."
06:16 <KevinB> "Then I suppose we'll have to rally anyone who we can to aid in this..."
06:16 <Mad> Platinum nods along with the conversation. "I know a man who would probably help"
06:18 <Iri> Pluck stands up. "I will pass on the dinner. Gentlemen," she remarks. "The Lintha killed my beloved. If they have grown so bold to land upon the island itself," she vows. "I will set out against them. With me are two-hundred men, but I would not turn down another sword."
06:19 <Mad> Standing up as well, Platinum adds to her words. "The Lintha attacked the dojo I was a part of on my old island. I wouldn't wish that experience on anyone. I will join you and your 200"
06:19 <@Carreau> The man smiles, happy with the reaction, before making a motion with his hand. "I've got transporation arranged to leave in two hours. Before that, though, you should eat." And with that, he starts pouring his fried fish noodles into small bowls, setting chopsticks on top and moving them over the counter.
06:20 <KevinB> He grins a bit. "Well... I know a lady who might be willing to lend her own sword to ours, Platinum seems in the mood- and I think that Fine Lady we met at the Funeral might be able to lend a hand." He says fiercely to Iri, a grin on his face- before looking to is Mentor.
06:20 <KevinB> "Two hours, eh? Let's eat fast."
06:20 <Iri> Pluck raises an eyebrow. "You've prepared for this," she remarks, frowning. "I take it noodles are your hobby, then?"
06:21 | Iri is now known as Pluck
06:21 | Mad is now known as Platinum
06:21 | KevinB is now known as Nyumetsu
06:21 <Nyumetsu> "Well. I did say he taught he how to survive, Pluck. And I did tell you I'm a mercenary, eh? He found me when I was about seven, after my parents died of their work." He says briefly- before digging into the food to load up on energy for the fight.
06:22 <@Carreau> "I tried to pull some strings in the Lily Pits, get people that way - but looks like a certain organization is quite busy with some internal strife at the moment. I didn't expect it, but I am glad of this coincidence."
06:23 <Nyumetsu> He nods slowly. "Ah.. I take it we're stuck with what we can get in two hours, eh?"
06:23 <Pluck> Pluck nods tersely. "I know another captain who may help on short notice," she notes. "She has a ship and a battle-ready crew as well. What can you tell me about the Lintha raiding parties?"
06:26 <@Carreau> "The rumors say there was just one ship, black sails, wasn't pulled by a sea beast so it avoided detection except for a few fishermen who saw 'men with green skin' on board. Should be about three hours by sea with these winds. Expect twenty to thirty lintha, possible hostages and likely a sorceror of some sort."
06:27 <Nyumetsu> He nods. "I'll go for the sorceror- they tend to be remarkably squishy up close, and getting up close is my speciality. Are you coming with us, or just arranging things like usual, Father?" he says calmly- refering to the man who raised him as what he, in the end, may as well be to him.
06:27 <Pluck> "You'll need to be wary of demons," replies Pluck, pursing her lips. "How are you at swimming?"
06:27 <@Carreau> "I would get strung up and hung before I made it to the Blue Esplanade, haven't you seen the posters?" The man grins a bit. "I'll look after Foshoro once the satrap's mens are gone, get him a stiff drink and patch up any bruises he might have."
06:28 <Nyumetsu> He nods. "Alright then. Where do we meet the transportation? And- hey. Watch out for yourself, eh?"
06:29 <Platinum> "Don't worry, I can swim"
06:31 <@Carreau> "Jolly Lavender, third pier of the orange dock. Pretty good ship, sails under An-Teng flag but is actually independent."
06:31 <Pluck> Pluck pauses, and glances at the man behind the counter with a critical eye. "I didn't get your name," she notes.
06:32 <Nyumetsu> He nods sternly. "I see. Well then- shall we get to work?"
06:32 <@Carreau> "Mor'dral." He nods a bit to Pluck, glancing over to Nyumetsu, then back to her. His expression is stern for a moment, as if asking her to take care of the man.
06:33 <Nyumetsu> Is a rougish looking, moderately reckless- apparently deeply moral- man carrying swords, who just happily agreed to /go hunt Lintha/, /before/ he knew there was an army. His request is likely reasonable.
06:34 <Pluck> Pluck stands up. "I'll meet you at the dock in two hours, then," she says, curtly. "I must arrange my forces and dispatch some messages. Excuse me."
06:34 <Platinum> "Yes, we should. My dojo is closed for the day, so I have no obligations, but I'll leave a message for my second to continue training if I'm not there." Platinum stands up and turns to leave, saying "Meet in two hours at the boat"
06:36 <Nyumetsu> Nyumetsu nods to both of them- and waits for them both to leave. "Farewell- meet you there.." He says. He waits until both are long gone- to turn to Mor'Dral- and sigh. "...So... I'm sorry. It's propably my damn fault you got blamed for one of my Kills, somehow- I'm not sure how I fucked up, but it's obvious I did. Tell me how to make it right, and I will."
06:43 <@Carreau> "Don't worry about it. It was my sloppiness that got me implicated. Now go there, make me proud and come back alive, you hear?"
06:43 <@Carreau> The old man turns to clean the pots.
06:44 <Nyumetsu> He grins. "Have I ever dissapointed on the surviving part of the business?" He wryly comments, as he gives a bow in the movement of rising- and heads out. Immediatly- he spends his first hour, plucking the cities heartstrings- calling out through the beggars, through those who owe him favors, through the hearts and minds of those who know who and what he is. And it is a simple message he sends, to those he knows in this ci
06:44 <Nyumetsu> "The Lintha are coming- and we're going to be all that's standing against them. Let's go fuck em up."
06:48 <Pluck> Pluck soon returns to her compound. The guards let her in on sight, of course, and she is almost immediately bawling orders upon reaching the mess. There aren't enough people here, she surmises instantly. If she could, she'd bring her whole force, but with so many on assignment throughout the city... no matter. "Get your shit together, ingrates! Hands off cocks! On with socks! Mayfair, throw
06:48 <Pluck> out your bloody whores and grab your gear! A few dozen Lintha are at the arse end of the isle and we're going to get some sweet revenge! Rudy, run over to the docks and tell Sugar we've got a job for her! Liam, you run to the navy liason! Tell them we're cleaning up the Lintha for them. Tell them I'd like to see them soon." She flexes her palms. "Bring the harpoon guns and pavises! We're on
06:48 <Pluck> water for this job. Muster in one hour!"
06:53 <@Carreau> Within two hours, two boats are making their way along the coast towards Greensand Cove, one with a big yellow lateen sail and the other a heavier trade junker. Dozens of warriors prepare for battle on their decks, polishing weapons, checking arrows and fixing strings onto their bows.
06:55 <Nyumetsu> Among them is a man in a black, heavy leather coat. His chest is padded by heavier lethal, as he stands in the buff-coat- looking to his freind Roderick with some concern; the older man currently cleaning out his flamepiece. "You sure your still up to this kind of thing..?"
06:56 <@Carreau> "Killing lintha? It's like rowing, once you learn it, you'll be good at it for life." The man flashes a broad grin and looks over the sea.
06:56 <Platinum> Elsewhere on the boat sits Platinum, his only protection the loose clothing he always wears. Crosslegged, he meditates with his sword over his legs.
06:57 <Nyumetsu> The Younger man chuckles, then look's out towards his comrades. He sighs- as he adjusts his two blades.. and others might note something odd.
06:58 <Nyumetsu> He's wearing four times as many sheathes, as he is swords.
06:58 <Pluck> Pluck has clambered onto the crow's nest, spyglass in hand. "Get those harpoons on the port side!" she exclaims. "That other ship will be getting in close with the flame pieces! Our job's to cover them," she swears. "If they board the Lintha vessel, I want their deck cleared! Let's not give them any work to do!"
07:00 <@Carreau> Sugar glances up toward the mast from the ship's wheel, leaning down against it to look at the woman barking orders before hollering. "You do realize I will charge the Whistlers if my ship takes any damages, right?"
07:01 <Nyumetsu> Nyumetsu begins to adjust his sheathes, assuring himself all are properly buckled in place- along with the two blades on his hips.. a faint smile on his lips. "Well Roderick. We'll be having a lot of rowing to do, aye? Let's make sure it's smooth slaughtering."
07:03 <Pluck> "Heaven forbid you set sail against the demonspawn for free," replies Pluck, her voice oozing sarcasm. "Come now! The Lintha are a direct threat to your business! I should charge you for eradicating them!"
07:04 <@Carreau> The two boats turn almost side-by-side around a small island peninsula to a crescent-shaped beach. Dried seaweed that washes up is probably where the place has gotten its name. There are no ships in sight, but the shore rises up in a rainforest-covered slope to an opening that seems to be host to a village. Or was, for now it is aflame, the wind carrying the smoke to the opposite direction so that it was
07:04 <@Carreau> >
07:04 <@Carreau> > not visible from where the ships came.
07:05 <Pluck> Pluck grabs her spyglass, and squints through it towards the burning village.
07:06 <Nyumetsu> Nyumetsu scowls at the flames burning in the distance. "...Seems we didn't quite make it in time." He admits softly, hands gripping the hilts of his blades- as he makes his own gestures. "A'RIGHT MATES! YOU ALL KNOW WHAT THE FUCK TO DO! LETS GET TO IT, EH?!" He roars at the assorted scum and villainy aboard his own ship.
07:07 <Platinum> Seeing the blaze, Platinum remembers his home. He stands up, and heads to the prow of the ship, quietly looking for the Lintha
07:07 <@Carreau> A strange contraption has been built over the village's well, some sort of a whalebone altar - ribs sticking out from the ground and five rather dirty looking villagers tied to them with black rope.
07:08 <@Carreau> Both Platinum and Nyumetsu hear a strange, low-frequency hum, barely audible. Like very distant thunder echoing from the village.
07:09 <Nyumetsu> He frowns... and immediatly makes a conclusion. "Ritual sacrifice, likely to summon something /big/...." He trails of- reached with a hard call. Blow it up from range, and kill the villagers- or make the riskier move and try to save them.
07:09 <Pluck> "Disgusting," Pluck swears quietly to herself. "There's no sign of the Lintha themselves. Sugar! Bring user closer to the shore," she calls.
07:15 <Pluck> Pluck purses her lips, and turns her spyglass in the opposite direction. The Lintha ship could not have gone that far, could it? It must be lurking about somewhere sight unseen.
07:16 <@Carreau> The woman steers closer to the shore, before dropping anchor close enough for people to swim or take a rowboat to where the shallow starts. The Jolly Lavender, being smaller and lighter, is able to get a lot closer.
07:17 <@Carreau> There is no sight of the Lintha ship, but as Pluck aims closer to the village, she can see a tall, green-skinned woman with long flowing white hair now joining the tied up villagers, holding a long ceremonial blade in her hand and lifting her hand up at times as if to rouse a crowd.
07:17 <Nyumetsu> As it does- Nyumetsu looks around- as Roderick sorts his men out and gathers them up; they dont answer to Nyu, after all- but rather the elder Sailor.
07:18 <Platinum> With only his sword, Platinum waits impatiently for the boats to get closer to the shore.
07:20 <Pluck> "Alright, men! Get in the boats!" Pluck announces, shimmying down from the crow's nest. "Sugar, pull out from the cove and head back the way we came," she advises, bumping shoulders with the captain. "The Lintha ship could be 'round the other side of those mountains. You're dead if they catch you in here. Come back and pick us up in a few hours."
07:20 <@Carreau> Several rowboats detach from both the Jolly Lavender and Sugar's ship, rowing toward te shore.
07:20 <@Carreau> *the
07:21 <@Carreau> Within minutes, the thirty or so people from Lathe rendevouz by the path leading to the village and hatch a plan.
07:21 <Nyumetsu> Nyumetsu joins with the others- saluting the others with a faint bow and a grin. "So. I dont do tactics too well with groups- thats your forte, aye?" he says to pluck.
07:23 <Nyumetsu> The assassin, shortly after saying that- begins to compare his recently gained knowledge of demonology with old folklore about the Lintha- and start thinking of tricks to be wary of.
07:28 <Pluck> Pluck nods shortly. "It is my profession," she says, with a grunt. "The village itself is a deathtrap," she says, a moment later. "The Lintha have hidden their forces somewhere nearby. If we march into it blindly they will surround and kill us." She clucks her tongue. "I'll have my archers take up position on the eastern hillside. Your brigands should assemble on the opposite side and see if
07:28 <Pluck> they can smoke them out. We'll try and push them into the village first, then surround them ourselves. Nyumetsu, Platinum," she adds. "Are you able to sneak in and assault the Lintha sorceress as a prelude to our assault?"
07:29 <Nyumetsu> He smiles warmly. "Oh, sneaking in is.. something I'm quite good at it. I'll get right to it- I know what to expect from the bitch."
07:29 <Platinum> "Sneak, unlikely. Kill before she can act, yes"
07:30 <Pluck> Pluck pauses. "Wait. One more thing," she adds, grinning ferally. "Someone take a bundle of firedust and ignite the northen forest. We'll cover every angle."
07:30 <Nyumetsu> He pauses for a moment- then grins. "I like ittt."
07:32 <Pluck> "No mercy for the Lintha," vows Pluck, fists tightening. "Let us move."
07:33 <Platinum> "Well Nyumetsu, let's go kill that bitch"
07:34 <Nyumetsu> Nyumetsu grins almost savagely. "Aye. She'll likely have elementals guarding her, and make use of Thaumaturgy. She'll have weather magic- but I dont see a use for that here, y'know?"
07:35 <Pluck> "High winds could distort our arrows, or direct the fires towards our forces," cautious Pluck, as she readies her men. "Deal with her quickly." And with that, her troops march off the path and into the woods to take up their positions.
07:41 <@Carreau> The village is eerily silent as the two practitioners of the same swordsmanship style creep up the path, forking off from the Whistlers going east and the sailors going west, with Nyumetsu's friend carrying a keg of firedust. He winks to Nyumetsu before disappearing into the rainforest.
07:42 <Platinum> "It's just the two of us now, isn't it."
07:42 <@Carreau> They establish line of sight to the white-haired, green-skinned woman chanting a ritual, her jaws glistening with gills that carry multiple silver piercings.
07:42 <Nyumetsu> Nyumetsu gives the man a salute, and a reckless grin of his own- before he crouches low.. intent on melding into the shadows, and preparing to pass without noise. He shifts into the eerie stillness of the village- going to the shadows that are his home.. and always have been, as he is well aware He grins, as PLatinum speaks- and chuckles.
07:42 <@Carreau> The village is built around the plaza, one or two storied wooden buildings, half of them on fire, black smoke flooding over the village north-east.
07:42 <Nyumetsu> "..Aye. Now... let's get to work. Hope we can get in before she summons whatever the hells she's sumoning and kills those villagers."
07:46 <@Carreau> Platinum notices that there are two lintha men with white ponytails and long pearl necklaces crouched in the openings to the buildings, laying in wait.
07:49 <Platinum> Taking note of their positions, Platinum tenses up his whole body in preparation of moving, of exploding. He plans on taking out the sorceress in one shot before she can kill the villagers.
07:51 <Nyumetsu> Meanwhile- the shadow, already silent, moves as close as he can without being noticed with his current grade of stealth... and then coiling. He prepares himself- sliding into the void as he crouches, readying himself to explode from the shadows as a lethal arrow.
07:57 <@Carreau> The lintha woman dances about, kicking up sand, howling in a strange language to some forgotten, dead god. The tied up villagers weep.
08:00 <Platinum> Calm, and in the void, Platinum moves into the open, with a direct line of sight to the Sorceress. He puts his hand on his sword, and takes a step forward, a step that will bring him next to her. The step after that, and she will be dead, his sword sheathed again.
08:01 <@Carreau> Three steps before Platinum reaches sword's reach from the sorceress, he notices that he's been had. A straw poking out of the sand near the sorceress suddenly takes shape, a face, limbs, torso - and suddenly the slender, elongated body of a pierced, muscular lintha reaver explodes from the ground, equipped with an ornate seashell gauntlet with calcified rainbow gossamer that meets the man's blade to >
08:01 <@Carreau> > protect his mistress.
08:08 <Nyumetsu> Meanwhile- at almost the exact same time as his current Sensei makes his own attack- from the shadows, and an entirely diffferent angle.. another steel edge strikes from the void, shining blade lashing out towards the Sorceress.
08:18 <@Carreau> The wounded lintha gets shunted aside by Platinum's flashing blade, but he is quick on his feet enough to leap to parry the attack meant for the sorceress' back.
08:19 <@Carreau> The sword plunges through him, as he sacrifices himself for the woman who lets out a terrifying scream at that.
08:19 <Nyumetsu> The grim man smiles faintly- as he cleaves the bodyguard in half in a smooth motion- sheathing that blade in a sheathe atop his right shoulder, as his other hand pulls from the hip on the same side to ready his next move against the sorceress.
08:20 <@Carreau> The two lintha who were hiding in the buildings leap out, and hurl barbed whalebone javelins at the two.
08:20 <Platinum> The second step concludes, the sword sheathed. Platinum removes his hand from his sword, as his anima flares and an image of a grand gate appears behind him. So bright that none could mistake him for anything else, a Solar Exalted.
08:22 <Nyumetsu> Nyumetsu blinks a few times- his defense against the javelins impaired by the blinding light in his face, as he raises a hand to shield his eyes, grinning faintly despite himself. "G-gy- Holy SHIT!"
08:24 <@Carreau> The javelins get hurled off-course because of the shining light, the lintha reeling back in surprise at the blaze.
08:25 <Pluck> Pluck and her men quickly take up position within the forest bordering the village. Pavises are pressed into the ground to form a defensive barricade, and arrows are notched to bows! The hills and undergrowth will mar any attempt to charge towards them, whilst they can free rain fire onto their opponents below.
08:27 <@Carreau> The sound of screaming lintha echoes from the rainforest to the north in response, followed by an explosion that sends leaves and underbrush yards into the air above the canopy.
08:27 <@Carreau> Then, the forest itself seems to start to move.
08:28 <@Carreau> The sorceress notices the blade incoming, and simply closes her eyes, as if accepting her faith, hands behind her back, waiting to be skewered.
08:28 <Platinum> Turning to the woman against whom his first strike didn't kill, Platinum makes for a final attack, in a swing that will remove her head
08:30 <@Carreau> The head rolls off, eyes still closed, blood shooting up in a fountain from her throat. Black, noxious blood, that seems to start to taint the ground. The captives start tossing and flailing about as much as they can, screaming against their gags.
08:30 <Nyumetsu> Nyumetsu curses- moving to start cutting bonds with this two Katana's as fast as he can, trying to free them.
08:33 <@Carreau> The village square is bathed in golden light and the image of a giant translucent gate of orichalcum.
08:35 <Pluck> "Gods in heaven," whispers Pluck, staring at the sunlight that is spilling out from the centre of the village. "We are allied with a demon-god." She grimaces, and pulls her string back taut. She makes a high-pitched whistle, instructing her men to take aim at the Lintha!
08:41 <@Carreau> The rainforest starts rumbling, trees shaking violently, the sound of inhuman screams, shouts and howls echoing from the edge. The two lintha pull out second whalebone javelins from their backs and shout in a barking, high-pitched tone. One of them prepares to hurl his weapon, one keeps screaming at the top of his lungs, gills at his neck flaring. Then there is a split-second of silence, before three >
08:41 <@Carreau> > dozen Lintha emerge like a crawling mass of green-skinned, white-haired death. From rooftops, high braches, running straight out of the jungle, leaping through the air - their entrance followed by a hail of whalebone spears that pincushions the entire village square.
08:47 <Nyumetsu> Nyumetsu notes the giant hail of spears, and pauses in his liberation of the ritual sacrifices- to stare for a long moment. "...Holy /shit/." He gasps- still conflicted about the Anathema fighting by his side. To complicate matters, he has suffering victims to save. To further complicate them- it's raining spears. Then again; life is never easy.. as he makes a bold choice-
08:48 <Platinum> Platinum disregards the spears, only turning his attention to those that would hit him, and cutting them in half or turning them away.
08:48 <Nyumetsu> He chooses to stand his ground, so to speak.. and begin a fevered blade dance- intent on not allowing a single spear to /touch/ the villagers lined up for a sacrifice, as he begins to interpose his body or his blades between them and harm in a frenzied blur of a motion, feeling his body strain from the motions- and disregarding that pain.
08:53 <@Carreau> The javelins get cast aside or evaded, including the one hurled by the pearl-necklace wearing lintha. The villagers are unharmed, a thicket of whalebone surrounding the glowing Solar and his student.
08:55 <Nyumetsu> Nyumetsu pants lightly.. as an almost feral grin spreads on his face, as the rush of adrenaline begins to fill him, as he makes as quick work of the task of freeing villagers as possible- speaking rapidly. "Get to hiding! We'll deal with the Lintha BASTARDS!" He'd snarl- as he moves as quick as possible to free them- before turning to throw his body towards the javelin throwers- charging them head on...
08:55 <Nyumetsu> After all. It's a bit late for stealth.
08:57 <Platinum> Their spears only emboldening him, Platinum moves to engage the Lintha. Each strike is a flash of light with the destructive power of a falling star
09:02 <@Carreau> Flawless Platinum Daimyo cuts swathes into the Lintha's ranks, severed limbs flying about as the battle rages on.
09:10 <Nyumetsu> Meanwhile, Nyumetsu reaches one of the forerunners of the horde- and his blade rings out to begin dancing with his foes own choice of weapon.
09:10 <Pluck> Pluck whilstles a tune that only her men would understand; the exhortation to attack, mingled with the sadness and rage felt from the loss of their onetime commander. The first arrow from her bow is only the signal, and it adds a melody of its own when it slings forth from her bow to land amongst the onrushing crowd of Lintha. The orchestra of arrows will soon follow behind it to pierce each
09:10 <Pluck> and every one of those foul creatures!
09:11 <@Carreau> The lintha who hurled the javelin gets quickly forced to retreat, blocking with his curved dagger and spitting at the assassin's face as he does.
09:14 <@Carreau> One Lintha takes an arrow to his forehead and drops. Then, the archers follow.
09:16 <Nyumetsu> Meanwhile- Nyumetsu smiles, as the blade that was blocked by the dagger twists to hold it there- as his other hand frees the blade sheathed by his shoulder to bring it out in a ring of blinding steel for the Lintha's neck- a grin on his face, a gleam in his yees, and the adrenaline of battle making him one with his blades, as he roars- charging forth to defend those the Lintha came to slay.. and to slaughter the monsters.
09:16 <Nyumetsu> Because finally- here against demons.. he can murder to his hearts content without any guilt- a liberating feeling indeed.
09:17 <@Carreau> Unfortunately the lintha scatter at the sight of the arrows incoming, moving into circles around their enemies.
09:18 <@Carreau> The Lintha forced to his back foot pulls back just enough to keep his throat from slit, but gets a nasty wound over his chest.
09:19 <@Carreau> The howling Lintha points at the glowing dawn and screams some sort of curses and orders, before climbing onto a rooftop with surprising agility to keep himself from being hit.
09:23 <Nyumetsu> Nyumetsu grimaces, as the swarm comes for him- and he responds with a whirling dance- blades flashing in and out of his eight scabbards- the two swords changing sheathe with every draw, as he melds his two styles- hoping to parry and dance with the countless strikes coming to him- and praying, praying in his mind; not to anyone in specific.. just to anyone, anyone at all who could listen.
09:23 <Platinum> Platinum weaves through the mass of Lintha, cutting them down with arcs of starlight, the blade removed from its sheath for mere instants.
09:31 <@Carreau> Two crescent flashes of starlight leave dozens of lintha dismembered as Platinum's impeccable swordsmanship carves a path into the horde.
09:32 <Nyumetsu> Nyumetsu smiles wide- his foes momentary pull backwards buying him a few moments- but little more than that, the Assassin has already decided- as he laughs merrily in the act of sliding the sword drawn from his shoulder back into it's sheathe- and letting free another from beneat hthe arm sheathing a blade into the Lintha's path- forcing him to parry the Iado strike, or take it.
09:35 <Pluck> Pluck bites her lip. The Lintha are already decimated, but she takes aim at their commander in hopes of striking him down before they can rally!
09:36 <Pluck> *ex that
09:37 <Pluck> Pluck bites her lip, and then bellows a command to her forces! "Stop fucking around, you ingrates! That one man makes a mockery of us by slaughter twenty a blow, but you couldn't hit one!" She throws her finger at the commanding officer. "Turn him into a hedgehog! This instant!"
09:41 <@Carreau> The lintha commander shrieks at the sight of arrows and has to slide down the side of the building to get into cover.
09:43 <@Carreau> The commander skitters behind a building, only to face the sailor Roderick and six flamepieces pointed at him. "Goin' somewhere?" And then there is fire.
09:48 <@Carreau> The lintha goes to ground at the sight of flamepieces cocked, his hair scorched but leaving him flat on his stomach in front of the men.
09:50 <Platinum> Moving as though it was a chore, Platinum mopped up the last of the group of Lintha.
09:52 <@Carreau> One or two might've slipped away from the massacre, disappearing into the jungle as the man's blade flashes in arcs that kill one or two at a time.
09:54 <Platinum> Moving from the tail to the head, Platinum leaps towards the Lintha's commander striking for his abdomen
09:57 <@Carreau> The commander turns around, his hair now on fire, stabbed in the gut, curling up and starting to burn to death.
09:58 <@Carreau> The sailors cheer, and everyone starts moving toward Nyu.
09:59 <Nyumetsu> As Nyumetsu.. decides to simply open his foe for a finishing blow- knowing he's not positioned correctly to land one himself, as he makes a pair of feints for his sides- forcing him to move to avoid both, and thus leaving him wide open for further assault!
10:02 <Pluck> Casting her bow at the sky, Pluck fires an arrow the soars towards the moon. When gravity once again asserts its hold, it plummets towards the fallen commander as a bolt from heaven!
10:08 <@Carreau> The second-in-command that Nyumetsu was dueling takes a step back, sees an opportunity to run, and then gets an arrow right through his eye that explodes out of the back of his cranium. The lintha's body goes limp and he collapses.
10:10 <Nyumetsu> Nyumetsu begins to laugh wildly, as he sheathes both of his blades back at his hips- and then looks down to notice he's covered in Lintha blood. He procedes to laugh louder. "RODERICK! ARE YOU ALIVE? YOU BETTER FUCKING BE ALIVE!"
10:11 <@Carreau> The older sailor shrugs and tucks his flamepiece into his pants, grinning as he shows up from behind a building, waving. "Of course, of course. I don't think we have any casualties, in fact. One guy tripped in the forest and hurt his ankle, that's all."
10:12 <Nyumetsu> He laughs louder, at hearing that- about doubling over, clutching his sides. "I don't even have a scratch on me! It's a fucking MIRACLE!"
10:16 <Pluck> Pluck lowers her bow, staring warily down the hill at the still-glowing Solar with squinted eyes. "Look at that power," she says, glancing across the scores of death Lintha. "On that account, the stories of Anathema appear to be true." She folds her arms. The pillars of Lathe will surely tremble should this demon-god do battle within.
10:16 <@Carreau> The villagers are freed and rounded up. Unfortunately many of the buildings hold sad stories of slaughtered men, women and children. The five tied were the only survivors, apparently a family of a husband, a wife and their three daughters. They shakily explain that the Lintha came in the night and were talking about how this ground was sacred for them, and how the Great Mother would have to be appeased >
10:16 <@Carreau> > with spilled blood. Some of the sailors and whistlers tend to the family while the rest round up bodies; the only thing worse than a raiding party of lintha is one composed of hungry ghosts. One of the sailors says that he can perform the rites for Siakal, Western God of Battle, Slaughter and Sharks. The bodies are to be dumped into the cove and the hungry predators will keep their spirits from >
10:16 <@Carreau> > remaining in this world.
10:18 <Nyumetsu> Nyumetsu at least, approves of Siakal's ritual. He gives the man the go-ahead, if no one else will.. then looks for Platinum- not yet bothering to wash the blood of the battle from himself- though it is cleansed from his blades by now, as he moves looking for the Monstrous Golden Giant, whose blade cut through countless beasts in a single swathe- and finds...
10:21 <@Carreau> The sailors find a cart and start piling up the bodies, taking them downhill and dumping them into the sea. The family, huddled up together, then approaches the still-glowing man, before suddenly falling to their knees and pressing their faces into the sand before exclaiming; "Thousand Song, Thousand Song, the one who takes on the form of a god, the one who burns like the sun - our prophecies have >
10:21 <@Carreau> > foretold of your return! Glorious Thousand Song reborn!"
10:23 <Nyumetsu> Nyumetsu pauses as he notices them falling down and bowing to /pray/ to his Sensei- and begins to wonder just what in all the manifold lands of creation, the Anathema really are- as he stares at the mans golden glory- as he recalls his brutal slaughter.. as he stares at the men and women pressing their faces into teh sand and praying. He stares on silently- staring in quiet.
10:24 <Platinum> Still practically a miniature sun, Platinum responds with all the bravado he can, "I know not of who you speak; I am not your Thousand Song. Please, raise yourselves from the ground"
10:26 <Pluck> Pluck cannot fault them for that reaction. After all, they were saved- belatedly, perhaps, but saved all the same. "Thousand Song," she says, at that revelation. "The legendary slayer of Heart-Cleaving Lathe, the grand behemoth which we now call home. Indeed, with a golden light she shone," she says, recalling the story. 'Angry light bursts from her face and blinds Heart-Cleaving Lathe,
10:26 <Pluck> Thousand Song reaches to the sky and becomes immense like the beast!'"
10:27 <Platinum> "It sounds like something a chosen of the sun would do", mused Platinum
10:27 <@Carreau> The man stands up and clutches his chest at Pluck's words. "Thousand Song is the hero of our myth, the greatest warrior, who with her spear..." And he motions toward Lathe, and the sight of the wrapped-up Spear of Triumph rising from the corpse. "Slew the wicked Heart-Cleaving Lathe. The Immaculates speak of the dragons, but we of the islands know the true story. You have the sun's glow, just like her."
10:27 <Nyumetsu> Nyumetsu slowly turns to face Pluck, and thinks for a moment. "...Anathema shine golden. To be precise, golden light bursts when they fight, as we just saw- and it's huge.. like a.." He trails of- remembering the poem. "....Lathe was carved out of that beast /by an Anathema." He says, pausing, staring at Pluck- then Platinum. "That has.. interesting Implications."
10:28 <Platinum> "I do hope that neither of you plan on telling any of the Immaculates. I like my life and livelihood, I don't want to uproot it again."
10:29 <Nyumetsu> "I most certainly have no intention of telling a soul who isn't also Anathema." He says calmly.
10:31 <@Carreau> The family gets up and holds together again, smiling as if a god had descended among them to save their lives.
10:33 <Pluck> Pluck's voice is bleak. "I do not know the truth of any of the old legends. However, I am glad you have turned your sword upon the Lintha. Truly glad. But do you intend to make your home in Lathe, Anathema?" She looks at the ground. "Your presence may one day bring us ruin. When the Immaculates do find you, will not that battle shake the Haunches and bring the world crashing down around us?"
10:34 <Platinum> "Do I intend to make my home there? Hah, I already have! Fear not, the last thing I wish is to rouse their wrath. Nor would I fight it in the haunches, but on their own territory. I will take the fight to them"
10:34 <Nyumetsu> Nyumetsu sighs wearily, and quietly begins to think. "...If he wasn't here, would we have done half so well against the Lintha..? Besides. He's not the only of his kind at work in the city I already. He's the third I've met, that I know of- though the first I met is now dead, executed by the Immaculates without a whisper to the city."
10:40 <Pluck> "Which is it? Do you plan to go and fight them, or will you avoid rousing their wrath? You cannot fight them without doing so!" Pluck sounds frantic. "And there are others, you say? A host? Will you storm the Caldera and lay waste to the Realm entire? Civil war? Revolution?" She turns and shakes her head. "I need to think. I need to think," she mutters, signalling at her men and starting
10:40 <Pluck> towards the shore.
10:44 <Nyumetsu> Nyumetsu, meanwhile- looks to Roderick and the Sailors. "I s'pose I can trust you lot to keep quiet, eh?" He offers with a weary smile.