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Thread: The Fire Rises: Attack on Tylmerande

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    Shinsou Vaan Osiris's Avatar

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    The Fire Rises: Attack on Tylmerande

    Firstly, this thread will only address the Brotherhood’s attempted occupation of the barony of Tylmerande, and (for now) will be considered non-canon, to get around some issues revolving around closed member participation.

    Once the FQ begins in earnest, the Brotherhood’s main coup will begin in Radasanth and will give people the opportunity to jump in and out to either help defend Radasanth or assist the Brotherhood. It is at this point, when the FQ thread is dealt with, that I will apply to have both the occupation of Tylmerande and the events of Panorama of the Endtimes listed as canon. I’m hoping Dirks or Lye will allow this.

    Please see this thread for rules ect.

    -


    It was the night before the biggest day of his leadership.

    Shinsou Vaan Osiris only realised how dark it was when he had finished penning his plans for the Brotherhood’s future, the scrawls barely visible in the dim candlelight. After a minute or two of posturing, he pushed the pen across the oak table-top, slid his back up the rest of his chair and sighed with relief at having gotten to the end of that monstrosity. He had already done a satisfactory head count of the men who had returned to Whitevale after the acrimonious Gisela split between Shinsou Vaan Osiris and Storm Veritas, and the numbers of those on strength left the Telgradian with a smile. Out of the ten thousand men he had started with, only a tenth hadn’t returned to the Brotherhood. A further two hundred and fifty were off the active duty roster due to injury or leave, which left Shinsou and Storm with a solid eight thousand, seven hundred and fifty strong force.

    What he intended to do with that eight thousand, seven hundred and fifty strong army was unprecedented, absurdly ambitious and extremely dangerous. But, in his heart of hearts, Shinsou Vaan Osiris knew that it was the first rung on the ladder to the greatness that Storm Veritas had insisted they were due to obtain. Flicking strands of matted hair out of his eyes, he stood up to ease the pain in his back from being sat in one position too long. As he did so, he caught a glimpse of his reflection in the Whitevale office window. A pair of soft, golden eyes eyes stared him back, ones with black circles of weariness capping his cheeks. His features were still boyish and handsome, but he could have sworn his forehead had just a few more creases than usual.

    With a groan, he redirected his gaze beyond the pane to take in the surroundings of the Brotherhood’s base in Whitevale. The square outside was soaked with pools from the constant drizzle that had plagued the hills during the afternoon. The Brotherhood guards stood still, looking rather miserable as the creeping cold seeped into their joints. One stretched out of the position that he had remained motionless in for all of the past two hours. The horizon beyond the guards and high walls remained obscured by the rolling, dark clouds that had haunted the skies all day, but here and there patches of bleak light reminded the dusk that there was sunshine to come for dawn. On the fringe of those clouds, the parts of the hills that were visible were rocky and treacherous, monotonous in their continuity around the Whitevale area and served only to add to the claustrophobic feel of Whitevale’s county. Shinsou remembered marching through the coarse grasses and bracken with his soldiers not long ago, a whole army choking the carpet of dull greens and browns for miles around, and he could not decide whether it was natural or arcane to feel as good as he did at the helm of that force. Either way, though, it felt even better being part of a united Brotherhood once again.

    “Evening Shin. Still up doing your homework for school? Bit past your bedtime, isn’t it?”

    The sudden chime of a familiar voice assaulted Shinsou’s senses like the clamour of a thousand hammers smashing glass, making him almost leap out of his skin. As he snapped his body round, Shinsou’s eyes met the cold gaze of a blue-eyed man. The unmistakable slicked back salt-and-pepper hair and Fallien finery, the ironic shit-eating grin and faint scent of perfume, presumably rubbed off from one of his conquests, confirmed the presence of Storm Veritas.

    “Well, someone has to do the spade work around here,” Shinsou retorted, pretending not to have been bothered by the interruption. Storm pulled up the only other chair in the room, seating himself as Shinsou’s table, before putting his feet up on the oak, “Speaking of which, I’ve just finished running the numbers for our jaunt to Tylmerande. We’re at about eighty seven percent strength, which is well above what we hoped.”

    “Yeah, but I’m still left wondering if it’s it going to be enough?” Storm lit up his trademark pipe as Shinsou walked by and gently slid the man’s boots off of the furniture, “I mean, we’re talking about kicking a hornet’s nest here. The Rangers, Corone’s Navy and any other bleeding heart have-a-go heroes will all want to hose us off their doorstep like a turd the minute we hit the port. It’s risky.”

    “Yeah, it fucking well is,” the Telgradian took off his coat, throwing it over a nearby varnished wooden stand, “But, for what we need, it’s necessary. Remember, that port is a key trade gateway and a shipyard to service the Coronian Navy, and we aren’t going to hold it with a handful of pissheads from the Rusty Anchor, sadly. Else, we’d be throwing fodder at them. This needs a professional, tidy and determined approach. We get down there, blockade the place and hold it until our window of opportunity arrives.”

    Shinsou reached into his coat, into a sheathe woven into the inner lining, and produced his sword, Stygian. The aquamarine blade almost sung with the notes of the Raiaeran bards as he carefully placed it, finger and thumb between tip and hilt, on the table in front of the electromancer. Storm raised an eyebrow as if to question what new madness had crawled into the Telgradian’s mind now. The room fell quiet as his eyes flicked from left to right, absorbing the inferred plan, which the Telgradian then confirmed.

    "We don’t need to roll up to Radasanth with an army. Just a small unit – ten, maybe eleven men, and Stygian. Either you or me leading, depending on how Tylmerande goes. We hit the assembly, and the rest is history.”

    Storm readjusted his position on the chair as his partner emerged from behind the desk. He wondered, for a moment, what Shinsou was really feeling, knowing that this ambition would likely lead him into direct conflict with many of his friends and allies. Would he stand, knowing that most of them would abhor such an abrupt change of course? The electromancer knew his past well. He knew that five years ago, Shinsou had been subjugated and had been forced to turn on his own people. He had murdered millions, he had turned against the Telgradian capital of Garah and he had tried to kill the Council of Five but Osiris had always professed everything he had done had been by the hands of someone else. Proving it had been impossible. There was no way to explain to all those that watched his rampages that Shinsou Vaan Osiris was not the man behind it all.

    Now, looking at his friend, Storm Veritas wondered whether he was now seeing the Telgradian’s true colours; a man whose life had been spent in the upper echelons of power, who needed to return to that level. It suited him to be partnered to a man who shared his drive, his will and ambition, but up until now perhaps he had underestimated just how little Shinsou had really changed, and how much the Telgradian had lived in denial.

    Eventually, Shinsou ruffled his hair with a calloused hand, and turned to face his friend.

    “I’m going to ask Hayate Amatsukami to come with me to Tylmerande to head up the Immortals. He’ll be instrumental to the operation down there. You ok with that?”

    Storm shrugged, his eyebrows raised. “Stands to reason. Just make sure he doesn’t shit the bed first time out.”

    Shinsou collected his coat from the stand he had just thrown it over, and pulled his arms through the thick sleeves. After a moment of studying his friend’s face, searching for any signs of doubt or reluctance, the young man nodded.

    “This is our chance, Storm; this is what we’ve been building up to all this time. Let’s not strike out on our first innings. Let’s get down there, raise hell and really put it up the assembly.”

    ***

    It was a damp day when a cutting wind whipped around the hilltops a couple of miles south of Whitevale. Stood on horseback, Shinsou, Storm and Hayate Amatsukami stared at the road which led southwards to Tylmerande.

    Everything was dark as the precipitation drove into the hillsides. Behind him stood those loyal companies of Brotherhood infantry. They were well drilled, well disciplined and loyal to a fault, but more than that they were the men who had re-united for the common good of the Brotherhood. They would would give everything they had to capture and hold Tylmerande, and those who would finally bear witness to a new era spearheaded by Shinsou Vaan Osiris and Storm Veritas.

    The beginning of their journey? the Telgradian knew, was five minutes away. In a few moments, they would haul themselves up the path and on the road to Tylmerande. That's when everything would be at its most tense. Should word have gotten to anyone of their plan, Shinsou knew that there was a risk that they would meet resistance. This is why he had chosen this route for the march south, well out of the way of prying eyes.

    If any party dared to try and intervene, they would have to come to Shinsou and his soldiers through poor conditions and rugged terrain.

    "Sir?"

    A captain of the 95th Foot light company, Shinsou's own detail, spoke.

    "Yes captain?"

    "Your road is clear.”

    “Excellent. We shall move at once,” Shinsou waved a gloved hand forward, grabbing Slepnir’s reins with one hand whilst turning to Hayate, “So, my friend, how does it feel to be a part of this journey? Soon, we will be in Tylmerande, and you can show us what you are truly made of.”

    As they travelled, Shinsou was steadfast in his belief. The Brotherhood would be a better solution for the people than the inept assembly, who caused chaos with their indecision and allowed too many to lose to their whims. The road to government was dark and clouded, and would be capped on the end with blood and bedlam, but this was the way it needed to be to effect real, tangible change.
    Last edited by Shinsou Vaan Osiris; 07-17-2018 at 06:47 PM.

  2. #2
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    Storm Veritas's Avatar

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    They say even the most ordinary of gentlemen need a bare minimum of two suits to survive in decent, polite society. There needed to be one suit for darker affairs, such as funerals and courtrooms; one of black or perhaps dark grey, reflecting the somber colors of such occasion and lending the moment gravity. The second suit was lighter, a bit more bold, and fitted for celebrations – weddings, gala events, and inaugurations.

    As a genuine, first class diplomat, such pedestrian decisions were somewhat foreign. He’d owned two dozen or more bespoke suits since he was eighteen, and had filled closets with shined shoes and silken ties. All the same, he was a man of two suits in and of his own existence: one for his political life, and one as a commander of war.

    He’d had to put on his battle gear far too often of late. Following his reunion with Shinsou Vaan Osiris, the next critical piece of political jigsaw was folding into place. Smiling at himself as he fixed his leather overcoat above his thin mesh armor, Storm thought of his long game and how opportune the moment.

    Finally, a chance to free Radasanth, and make things work the way they were meant to operate. No more idiot Congressmen ignoring the country to squabble over an extra streetlight for their goddamned corner. No more flighty, vacillating leaders kowtowing to reactionary morons. Instead, we can bring stability. Global respect. Enhanced trade, and no more Old-World zealot-driven, morality codes.

    Led Whitevale through its downfall and recovery. Raised our armies through Gisela. Partnered with Shin and now recruiting young talent. Take the port, win the people’s love, and then take the crown jewel to the roars of applause.


    The fantasy of the moment was broken by a sharp knock at the door, which broke him from the moment of self admiration. Adjusting his cuff to push the dragonscale gauntlets under his leather, Storm sharply called back to the door with a curt “Yes!?”.

    The large wooden door of the Whitevale bedroom opened no more than six inches, allowing the short, olive skinned servant to peek her white-haired head in. Annoyed, her employer summoned her in, frustrated with her meekness in spite of his patience.

    “For the Gods, Seline, what is it? I don’t shoot messengers, my dear.”

    “It… it’s nothing sir. Attila is ready for you, groomed in dress metals as you had instructed.” She immediately deserted the room, backpedaling quickly with her eyes focused on her toes.

    “Thank you.” Now go and swear at what an asshole I am to your coworkers.

    His eyes returned to the mirror, finalizing the details of his gear. A man that could look equal parts warrior and diplomat drew attention among the rank and file, and allowed Storm to keep from making examples of soldiers that underestimated the lithe, older charmer.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~

    “Well, shit, Shin. Not so much as an introduction to the kid?”

    Smiling again, Storm was tall in the saddle upon the precisely massive horse Attila, a large black steed covered in thick metal strips. The steel was layered to reduce weight while rendering the great beast nearly immune to passive arrow fire. The presence of metal upon the horse would not be lost on Shinsou, however most others there saw only a shiny horse that looked difficult.

    Without a moment’s hesitation, the wizard pivoted his attention to the slender young man aside Shinsou, who he knew to be a promising special known as Hayate Amussasomething-or-other.

    “Storm Veritas. Hope Shin’s brought you up to speed, and hope you’re ready for the big time. Tylermande is quite likely going to be a goddamned shit-show.”

  3. #3
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    Hayate_Amatsukami's Avatar

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    The sun had just crested over the coniferous horizon waking up the local song birds ushering in the new day. Hayate Amatsukami, last of his line and leader of the Immortals, had been backing his rucksack and other miscellanies supplies for a while now in preparation for the day to come. He had received Shinsou’s raven the night prior interrupting his peaceful stroll thought the new Amatsukami estate. He was both stricken by a wave of excitement and grief knowing that he had been called to action. A lot had happened since he was first inducted into Lord Osiris’ Brotherhood and he wasn’t the same man he was before, but regardless he swore an oath.

    As he listened to the gentle birds singing their songs and watched the morning dew drip softly off the cherry blossoms the young man wondered If this would be anything like last time. He paused for a moment before continuing to haul his preparations to the horse stall out back. Even though there had been many offers Hayate hadn’t found the time to hire help and did everything around the estate by himself. It wasn’t easy work but it kept him calm and out of trouble most of the time, better than letting his sorrows get the best of him.

    Are you really going to do this? the disembodied voice of Yamato, his most trusted partner, echoed though his mind as Hayate drooped his stuff at feet of his Hallowmane. Yamato meant well but never knew what to say when.

    I don’t really have a choice. Hayate answered as lifted his bag with his good arm and tried to toss it over his horses back.

    You always have a choice, cut your losses and let’s get out of here. his spirit partner quickly lashed back. We may not be able to go back home, but we could stay out of this man’s war.

    And do what? Have another reason to look over my shoulder at night? I need his help and if this is how he wishes to use me then so be it. Hayate wasn’t sure about any of this but he knew that the best way to find out what happened to his clan was to get and keep Shinsou and his Brotherhood on his good side. I’m not afraid anymore, I know it sounds crazy but not having the lives of my family dangling in the balance, or at least not in front of my face, I can… I can finally be free.

    Yamato didn’t respond. How could he?

    As the young man finished securing his belongings he leapt onto his mighty steed and began to ride. First through the Yandel forest, then Underwood, and finally he would meet the main force outside the capital. It wasn’t too rough of a ride, might have been nicer if he left with the main army but that was neither here nor there. Hayate, a newly established general, was greeted with open arms and escorted directly to the front lines. Upon arrival he met with Shinsou as his other subordinates gave him the green light to press forward.

    Besides Shinsou rode another man, someone Hayate hadn't ever met. He spoke to the young swordsman with a calm consideration.

    “Shit show or not I’m here,” Hayate answered Storm, his newest boss it would seem. “let me handle the heavy lifting.” He said waiving his left nub in the air making his long sleeve flap in thewind. He wasn’t sure how much Shinsou had told this Storm about his powers but he though it fitting to poke fun at himself and lighten the mood.

    Then his attention shifted back to Shinsou, the man who started him down this road, and began searching in the folds of his coat. As his fingers located what they were searching for Hayate pulled out his mask. The same mask he wore the first time he ever left Akashima, the same one he wore when he met Lord Osiris. He held it tightly for a second before tossing it to his mentor.

    “Don’t think I need this anymore.” the young Amatsukami said as a huge burden was lifted from his shoulders. “Who am I trying to protect now?”
    Last edited by Hayate_Amatsukami; 07-19-2018 at 04:55 PM.
    "Just shut up for once! What the hell do you know about it?! It's not like you ever had a family in the first place! You were on your own right from the beginning, what makes you think you know anything about it?! Huh?! I'm suffering now because I had those ties, how on earth could you possibly understand, what it feels like to lose all that!" -Sasuke Uchiha

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    Philomel's Avatar

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    It was dark, and the wind howled around the crags of the Lily like a beast caged. Hidden somewhere deep within the Concordia Forest it was a secret forbidden by many to even seek. Jagged and bare, the rockface with its natural ledge upon which the fortress was precariously perched was battered by harsh, cold rains and horrendous hail, sounding like a thousand lost voices crying for sympathy.

    It was dark, and four warriors stood at the apex of the cliff itself, wrapped in leathers and furs, the soft side turned against their skin. Together they huddled, their fire long past able to live in the precipitation, staring out and down towards the fortress and it's long, angled path that was cut into the rock. They were watchers, dedicated women of undying resolution, who would remain here until fire fell from the skies, signalling the end of all things. Yet tonight of all nights was their task essential; to watch the twisting road, to signal should an attack come straight to their doorstep.

    It was dark, and within the narrow keep of the fortress, the Matriarch of the Gilded Lily glared madly at the paper before her. Ragged and torn it had already been thumbed to a limp rag, despite the fact it had been preserved in its journey there within a leather scroll case. Not even the savage storm could compare to the faun's rage, however, as she seethed with eyes burning, fingernails scoring deeply into the woodwork, teeth cracking as they were shoved unnaturally hard together.

    From the shadows of the small, private chamber - all bare stone and simple wooden furniture - stepped two creatures. One was a human man, his face cut by a myriad of scars on his cheeks, and the other was a lithe, russet red creature, akin to a fox but standing upon his hind legs and six feet tall. Silently, they looked to one another as the faun curled a hand into a fist and raised it with tension springing tight to every muscle, and wincing, they watched as the hand came down and slammed into the table, immediately breaking it in twain. Paper flew high, candlesticks clanged to the floor, their light quickly snuffed out. Ink spilt, pens broke, sighs came.

    "Fucking HELL!" she roared. "How could he - how - how?!"

    "Princess..." the man with the scars - Rameses Vaeron - spoke, in a soft voice. He was both the father of her daughter, her general and her best friend, outside of the fox.

    Quickly she held up a hand, shoving it, palm side in his direction, as the table lay before them, now useless with splinters still spiralling to the floor.

    "I don't want it. He has [I]no[I] excuse."

    "But how do we know ... It is him?" Vaeron dared to speak further. "Was there not a split in the Brotherhood forces. That other lover ... Storm?"

    "'Lover'? Bah, one night he got, that was all," Philomel kicked hard at a table leg, sending it wildly crashing against the wall. The fox being leapt lightly into a close by chair, huge brush tail swinging to and fro.

    "Yet still ... The missive says 'forces are gathering' at Tylmarande's border, not who commands them. It might not be Os-"

    "Don't say his name," she snapped. "In fact ... I forbid anyone to say his name. He's nothing more than dirt to me."

    Vaeron glanced at the fox, who now leant against the back of the chair, his rump at the apex. Golden eyes blinked back at him. Still, Vaeron was not used to this new form of Veridian, Philomel's soul partner, and thus it was unnerving to see a second bipedal animal in the room. Veridian made no verbal comment, and the human took a few seconds to glance back to Philomel, knowing that when all was well, she would be back within Shinsou van Osiris' bed.

    "It will be a misunderstanding, surely," he stressed. 'This," he gestured at the paper, "is ... just a stretch of the army's legs, a practise, an argument they have with the Baron there, or, as I said, the other one, Storm, trying his luck. I could go to Whitevale and ascertain-"

    "No," Philomel shook her head, and a great crack of thunder briefly illuminated her face. Bold, eyes silver with fury that hell could not even be compared to, horns that were ready to gore. "No, go straight to the city in the barony, it's called Tylmarande itself, I think. Go the harbour, take the ship. Take ..." she looked down at the table, now in two large pieces and many more jagged splinters, "a hundred of the Lilies from here. It won't be enough, we have never had an army comparable to his but we will do."

    "We will?" Vaeron looked confused. Though he did have questions about her recited plan, this was the most pressing.

    Philomel nodded once, "We will. I will go to Radasanth itself. If he even dares to try to take my country one edge of land ... He'll have an army of whores to contend with."

    Vaeron blinked. "Wait ... all the Lily whores?"

    "Nobody makes an army and has it threaten my homeland. Now, you go, the rest of the army will follow close behind on foot, and I will arrive later. With our full force." Philomel spat. "It's their home as much as mine. I did not train them all to fight for nothing."

    "You trained them to defend themselves," Vaeron answered, daringly.

    "And they are defending themselves in this," she hissed, "Their livelihoods, the peace I hold with the rangers and the Assembly in Radasanth ... I have not worked this hard so an ex lover of mine can take it all away!"

    Vaeron blinked at the pre-determiner 'ex' but said nothing on it. "As I said, Princess, it might just be Storm."

    "Either way, he doesn't threaten my country," she pursed her lips, and then threw her gaze to Veridian. She spoke in a calmer voice. "What are you doing, beloved?"

    Golden eyes turned from the papers on the floor. Slowly he blinked, huge pupils lights of glory. "I go with the mage," he said carefully, in a voice that rumbled like the thunder outside. "then you see the truth."

    "Truth?" she frowned, "what truth?"

    "Is yet to be seen," he shrugged as he leant forwards and skipped from the chair towards her. "Armour and sword please."
    Last edited by Philomel; 07-19-2018 at 01:38 PM.
    Matriarch of the Gilded Lily and of its brothels, associated establishments and the army.

    --
    Characters:
    The family triplet: Philomel, Vaeron and Celandine.
    The god and kenku triplet: Stare, Avin and Vixen.

  5. #5
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    Storm Veritas's Avatar

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    The trio rode towards Tylermande, moving fairly quickly with only minor chatter breaking up the tension. The youngster, a funny clipped-wing kid named Hayate, had gotten Storm’s attention immediately. Some self-deprecation, a little too much confidence; the kid had brass ones to match the shiny shirt buttons that kept his nub from getting sunburned.

    Who are YOU going to protect? I’ve had a hundred notches on my belt since before you got off the tit.

    Smoking now, he pulled the warm flavor off his cherrywood pipe as he considered the words of the brazen boy. Perhaps the kid was onto something; Storm had let plenty of younger, dumber kids stand before him fighting the masses in Gisela. Still, he sort of liked this one; there was no sense allowing the lad to sacrifice himself before he could finish sprouting hairs on his chest and finding out what type of monsters really laid within him.

    “Easy, kid, no need to play bodyguard here.” Storm removed the pipe to spit some juice; occasionally the leaves in his satchel picked up some moisture and hurt the smooth taste if he didn’t suck them out. “I presume that Shin wouldn’t have brought you along if you weren’t special.”

    A wry smile was all that Osiris offered; there was no need to elaborate. Between the two of them the Brotherhood was already a force of nature. Adding new members meant choosing wisely; there was no desire to dilute the power of the group by creating easy marks for kidnap, hostage, or murder.

    “One arm and he still carries more weight, I’d bet.” Shinsou couldn’t resist the ball-breaking of his old friend, as everyone knew Storm to be well above the peasant labors.

    “Easy! Nowhere for you to vanish to this time when push comes to shove. Besides, I can’t carry the lumber when I’ve got to strap you to my goddamned back.” Storm’s retort was good natured but retained some point to it; Shinsou was prone to vacate duty at times.

    The sun rising wasn’t as warm as Corone would usually warrant. It was a mercy, given the heavy gear Veritas had strapped about Attila. The horse moved easily and smoothly, the gleaming armor about him no burden about his incredible breadth and power.

    “Plan is simple, kid. Just look bad-ass enough, and Tylermande will fold. These are traders, shippers, and businessmen. They’ll have a few guards, but we can pay them better. Cut a profile that makes no doubt that if they push back, we tear the city apart. Once we own the port, Radasanth has no internal support from the citizens; we will roll the city and own the entire goddamned continent from there.”

    Storm’s fingers crackled with electric delight at the notion, his fingertips pulsing white and blue through his thin leather gauntlets. He inhaled the odor of ozone deeply, considering what type of elaborate terror he could show to the port to make this entire exchange very simple.

    In parallel, Shinsou had grown silent again, his body tall in the saddle and cheekbones set high beneath narrow, deep set eyes. His eyes looked infinitely focused upon the horizon, as Tylermande began to roll into view.

    The port city emerged on the edge of the world before them, rising slowly as the horses marched forward. A thin, beautiful hardwood fence of eight feed framed the port, large cement stanchions serving as strong foundations at each turn of wood. A few guards stood atop the front gate, their shadows against the rising sun the only detail available. The wide, smooth, white road was paved ahead with crushed seashells, an idyllic and luxurious detail of a town which attracted traders and vacationers. It was a port and resort, and appeared entirely unprepared for battle.

  6. #6
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    Hayate_Amatsukami's Avatar

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    It wasn’t long before the three of them approached the ever expanding port town and as they got closer it soon became clear there wasn’t going to be much opposition. All it took was a handful of coin each and the brave men tasked with protecting the port city were easily persuaded to look the other way. Shinsou and Storm were both very smart men and their decisions to avoid any unneeded conflict would make it a lot easier to reach the magistrate and make their demands. But that didn't stop Hayate from seeing that in the event fighting did break out they would have a clear advantage.

    Are you sure about all this? This may be the last chance you get to back out? Yamato implored Hayate to consider his options as the three of them rode on horseback through the streets of Tylermande. They drew a lot of attention and everyone’s eyes were fixed on them as they made their way to the town hall. They rode alone as a small concise until but were not without back up. Hidden among the commerce and scattered across town were about thirty or so Brotherhood soldiers. Their orders were to stay hidden and wait for the signal then do that they do best.

    Stop it, Hayate answered his sword spirit as his mighty steed marched towards the magistrate’s office. If you’re not going to let me concentrate then shut up. You know why I’m here and what this is all for, claiming Tylermande is the first step and the next will be Akashima. If things do not go well here then I can kiss the Brotherhood support goodbye and were will be right back to where we started.

    Waves formed in the pit of his stomach as the three of them reached the magistrates office. Hayate was nervous but would stand behind his two allies and do whatever they required of him. The trio dismounted, quickly tied their great steeds to the posts outside and began to walk up the large white marble staircase of the hall. They were clad in their full battle attire and all were intimidation in their own right, but as a unit they were clean and ready for action.

    “Hayate,” Shinsou Vann Osiris got his disciple’s attention as they reach the top of the stairs and stood at the precipice of conquest. “Don’t let that sword get the better of you. Let us do the talking and everything will be over shortly.”

    “Understood.”

    Hayate Amatsukami, the last of his line, did know what that meant. But was he really ready to do it? In that moment he wasn’t sure, but if it meant he was one step closer to his final goal then he would do whatever it took to make sure things went smoothly for them inside. Regardless he didn’t expect to have to do much as they were clearly the only ones ready for a fight here. But only time would be able to tell.
    Last edited by Shinsou Vaan Osiris; 09-14-2018 at 03:07 PM.
    "Just shut up for once! What the hell do you know about it?! It's not like you ever had a family in the first place! You were on your own right from the beginning, what makes you think you know anything about it?! Huh?! I'm suffering now because I had those ties, how on earth could you possibly understand, what it feels like to lose all that!" -Sasuke Uchiha

  7. #7
    Super Moderator

    EXP: 97,145, Level: 13
    Level completed: 52%, EXP required for next Level: 6,855
    Level completed: 52%,
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    Philomel's Avatar

    GP
    18,840
    AP
    0
    Name
    Philomel van der Aart (+ Veridian)
    Age
    30 (+10)
    Race
    Faun (+ Fox/Earth Spirit)
    Gender
    Female (+ Male)
    Location
    Corone

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    Mightily, his heart thudded in his chest like a war drum intent on resounding glory. Moving his chest up and down in a steady rhythm he kept his head high, his shoulders rolled back and his huge golden eyes glinting as their small but glorious army rode towards the city. Sprawled out like a gnarled growth Tylmerande was both a blemish on the hillside, and a beauty to be admired. It was established over the years, fitted with a suitable defensive wall, supported on the port side by lighthouses, war ships and - what the bloody blazes ...

    Sharply, he hissed through his gnashed teeth, eyes spiralling with fiery fury. His mount - a heavy female tera'k - pulled sharply up at the sound of his anger and snorted heavily. The great musk-oxen-like creature of muscle, fur and horn planted her hooves into the dirt, halting with no warning. It was only because Veridian was used to such sudden hesitations from his beloved, partner-of-his-heart-and-soul, Philomel's mount that the fox-humanoid managed to hold on. Even though he was unused to this form entirely. Grinding his claws into the saddle before him he saved his body from being swung head over tera'k horns, just as he also came to terms of what was before them.

    The Broutherhood army had already arrived.

    If they were trying to be hidden they were doing a poor job. A camp sprawled to the east - or at least the beginnings of one. There were so many of the Brotherhood force that even with Tylmerande's greatest and size it would not be able to house the staff, luggage, boot space, horse dung or armoury that was needed. Instead, the start of a rudimentary camp had begun, suggesting that they had been here for an hour, maybe more, and that already things beginning with a 'shhh' and ending with 'it' had gone down.

    "Oh balls," muttered the huge human on the war horse who rose up to be beside him.

    "Yes," grunted Veridian, now very pleased he had persuaded Philomel to give him one of her swords. It was slung across his back like a bard's lute. "Not good."

    The man - Vaeron - paused before looking back behind him, to where their own army of three hundred strong were catching up to them in small packs of ten steeds across. It was perhaps careless to not be in one group, and thus be more protected, but the warrior mage had found that in this manner they could cover more ground. A large forest lay to the north and snaked towards Tylmerande, and some of the groups were able to use this as cover. From his brief view he could spy around eight groups currently at different stages of riding towards them - all female warriors, bared to the teeth with metal and best leather - with the rest probably close by.

    "Look," Veridian said, and Vaeron looked back.

    Following the fox-humanoid's paw he was able to spy the road that just peeked out of the general view of the city; the crest of a hill most convenient. Like an avenue to heaven it led the central way from the gate, upwards to the town hall, and it was on this that the fox and human could see three riders cantering.

    Briefly, they were there, then they were gone, hidden back into the depths of the buildings.

    Vaeron furrowed his brow, but nodded. "We must ..." he twisted, pulling his mighty horse Megladon with him, who huffed. Veridian was left, then, as the human charged down the hill they had crested, aiming straight for the closest group of Gilded Lily warriors. Blinking once more at the sight of the city under siege, yet who seemed to be welcoming their captors with open arms, Veridian gazed at the city, waiting to catch sight of the three riders once more. He had seen the unmistakable glint of the silver hair, the proud posture, the possible grin. Or perhaps the latter was the fox-form earth-spirit's imagination.

    There was the noise of galloping behind him. Looking back Veridian saw that Vaeron had managed to contact one of the groups of warriors, who were now following him, whilst others were apparently hearing the news. With some awe Veridian watched as one rider broke off from the group, galloping at high speed towards that behind them. Then, one or two from that would ride off to others in a pre-arranged manner, creating a web of information that was fascinating to watch as well as worrying. It was clear they had fewer warriors than that at the crest of the hill. Were they simply to barter their way to peace? Spread rumour and gossip like they did this news, until they defeated the Brotherhood?

    No. That was stupid. Yes, it was possibly a tactic that they could use to distract the Brotherhood for a while, but not defeat them.

    "Come," Vaeron said, "we must go meet those barbarians."

    He pointed at the town hall. Veridian paused, but nodded, shifting in his seat, and feeling more comfortable as the nine women now surrounded him and Vaeron. Collectively, they breathed in, as behind them the Gilded Lily prepared for what brilliance would occur.

    There was a dull pause. The dusky sky overhead was overcast, suggesting the probable doom that was to come. A single crow cawed, and beat its way into the air.

    A sigh passed from the fox's black lips.

    Then they began to ride.

    All to gallop fitfully through the city, and meet the Brotherhood 'heroes' at the town hall ... and demand they cease.
    Matriarch of the Gilded Lily and of its brothels, associated establishments and the army.

    --
    Characters:
    The family triplet: Philomel, Vaeron and Celandine.
    The god and kenku triplet: Stare, Avin and Vixen.

  8. #8
    Unleashed

    EXP: 92,057, Level: 13
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    Level completed: 15%,
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    Shinsou Vaan Osiris's Avatar

    GP
    1,770
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    0
    Name
    Shinsou Vaan Osiris
    Age
    31
    Race
    Telgradian
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Salvar

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    “One thing before we go in."

    As they ascended the steps of the Magistrate's office, Storm Veritas and Hayate Amatsukami turned their heads in tandem in response to Shinsou Vaan Osiris’s voice, surprised expressions accompanying the motions as if they had not expected him to speak at all. The Telgradian’s steely eyes examined Storm’s sun beaten expression in particular, looking for the slight giveaway twitches that displayed at the corners of his eyes whenever the electromancer was forming one of his retorts. Nothing but a slightly bemused expression came back, whilst Hayate offered a slightly stern, if not puzzled, look.

    “Do not underestimate what is about to happen,” The Telgradian began, flipping Enpera's sheath from right to left before securing it in his other hand, “we were expecting Tylmerande to be easy work. The town itself isn’t much of a threat – it’s like you said, Storm, we’re dealing with fisherman, traders and at best a local militia. But remember why we are here. This place is a shipyard for Corone’s navy, and a key one at that. The second word gets back to Radasanth of what has transpired here, you can bet your bollocks that they’ll throw everything they’ve got at us a day later. It won’t just be them, either; we’ll be getting every Radasanthian affiliated son-of-a-bitch within a hundred miles baying for our blood. In those numbers? Enemies, former collegues, and even friends. Are you both ready for that?”

    There was a pause as Shinsou looked out beyond the hall, over the glimmering Coronian sea as a dirty harbour tug pushed the bow of one of the navy’s few ships in port around to the south, facing down the channel. The dock that had held the caravel for two interminable months was now just a water filled wooden box, one of the many specifically built for harbouring larger vessels for repairs and maintenance. On the edge, a collection of sailors and dockyard workers looked on without a wave or a cheer, oblivious to the monster that waited on the fringes of their territory.

    “…For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, and a Coronian reaction is quite a fucking thing. That’s what we’re counting on. We want them to throw their resources at this like their lives depend on it, because when the time comes we need as many of their forces away from the capital as possible. That does, however, put a huge commitment onto our forces here,” He gave Storm and Hayate knowing looks, ones that were deliberately not returned, “So, when we ignite the fuse on Tylmerande, we need to make sure we’re ready.”

    With not a word said between them, Shinsou’s gaze returned to the town from the steps, at the end of the stretched of crushed shells and glistening white shale. After a moment of scanning the outbuildings of the port, the Telgradian spotted the flag of the Coronian navy hanging limply from a pole aghast a bevy of concrete buildings to the south of the port. Men in pairs stood like toy soldiers, stiff as boards, to attention at a pair of wrought iron gates leading into the sun drenched docklands complex. That was going to be his second visit, but the more he thought about it, the more he wondered why he wasn't hitting the garrison first. Shinsou had come prepared for it. From within his coat pocket, Shinsou pulled a set of forged Coronian credentials. They had cost him a small fortune, paid to a disgruntled insider within the government who had been told the ruse was going to be used to leak military intelligence to the press. The fool would never know that his selfishness had lit the fire that would burn down the Radasanthian administration.

    “There it is; the Coronian navy’s garrison. Forget the magister; that barracks is the first fuse. I don’t expect much in the way of resistance, but once we take it, make sure you’re wearing your war faces. Now, let’s go talk to the real man in charge, not this jumped up prick.”

    **

    Despite its huge bulk, the navy military accommodations would have shamed a Lornian gaoler.

    The staff consisted of fifteen officers, housed in fairly decent cabins aft, and seventy enlisted men who were stuffed into whatever corners and racks they could find space in throughout the barracks. Indeed, the concrete building’s size was deceptive. The interior of the doubly thick stone shell was crammed with all sorts of navy hardware; pipework, bolts, valves, compressors and configuration levers, cannons and munitions and oil. There were various small arms stocked in cabins that were re-purposed as armouries. The men themselves served as a primary method of assault.

    Shinsou, having been granted permission to enter the building with his “special advisors”, strode purposefully down the grimy length of the barracks, just behind the port’s commander. His name was Galshin, a young, stocky man who came across as both exceptionally well turned out and somewhat naïve to the Telgradian. The short journey to the port’s command room involved swerving overhanging pipes, sidestepping scurrying pedestrians and dodging supply burdened men. Everything stank of grease, sea salt and iron. As they went, Galshin slapped an anvil sized hand on the shoulder of a passing officer, stopping the young man in his tracks.

    “I need you in command in five minutes. Fresh orders from Radasanth. I’ll be along presently.”

    Galshin watched as his men jumped to their orders without question. Any order he gave could make experienced men shudder, and half of his crew were fresh from jails around Althanas, looking for a new opportunity to further their careers and appease the state that had granted them clemency. There were sudden pops outside as the hull of a ship being towed into port creaked under the strain of the waves below, something that Shinsou thought would take some getting used to, had he not been needed elsewhere very soon. Unseen by the giant commander, some of the younger men sat rigidly upright in their seats down the oily hallway. As Galshin, the Telgradian, Storm and Hayate entered and then passed through the room, the crew snapped to.

    So it began.

    It wasn’t long before they arrived at the wardroom. Galshin held the door open for his vice commander, who had joined the party as they exited of the command room, then closed and locked it behind himself. The wardroom was a spacious affair for what appeared to be such a small base, located immediately forward of the command room, aft of the officer accommodations. Its walls were soundproofed, and the door had a lock because the designers had known that not everything the officers had to say was for the ears of enlisted men. It was large enough for all of the officers to eat as a group – though at least three of them would always be on duty. The safe containing all current orders from the government, in case of Galshin’s death, was here and not in the commander’s own cabin where a man might use his solitude to try opening it by himself. It was hardly necessary to open it, as both Galshin and the vice commander knew the orders already, but Galshin was obsessive compulsive about keeping order; unusual for a man in such a profession as this.

    The vice commander, a nondescript fellow who had the most forgettable face in port, poured tea whilst Galshin took his seat, lighting up a choice cigar from his overstocked collection.

    “Thank you for seeing us. We’ve come direct from Radasanth with new orders.” Shinsou stated theatrically.

    “Of course,” Galshin smiled, “Your authority again, gentlemen?”

    “Indeed.” Shinsou slid his fingers beneath the already broken wax seal on the envelope containing his forged written clearance and directive. “As the orders dictate, you are to release one of the anchored caravels to intercept a rogue Coronian merchant vessel named Domine immediately. The interception area is confined to forty square kilometers.”

    Galshin frowned, digesting the orders carefully, before nodding towards his vice commander. “It’ll put a strain on our resources, and I can’t say I’m happy about it, but all is in order. Sooner it’s done, sooner we’re back at full strength. See it done, sir.”

    The vice commander saluted, before disappearing back through the door. Shinsou, wringing his fingers through his hands, looked at both Storm and Hayate with another one of his knowing looks. With a ship crewed by half of the port’s strength out on a wild goose chase, their job would be infinitely easier.

    Just give the vice commander a few minutes grace to organise the boat trip, wave him off at the harbour and then Tylmerande is ours.

    Galshin stubbed the cigar butt out, blowing away the bluish plumes of smoke, before standing. “So, again I am permitted to watch the government befuddle my operations. Anyone would think we were a novice organisation, the way we waste men.” He turned towards the door. “Join me, gentlemen. I think-“

    Shinsou kicked Galshin’s feet out from under him just as he was stepping away from the table. The giant fell backwards while Osiris sprang to his feet and grasped the naval base leader’s bear like head in his hands. He drove his neck downward to the sharp, metal edge corner of the wardroom table, striking the point. In the same instant, he pushed down on the man’s chest. An unnecessary gesture – with the sickening crackle of bones Galshin’s tree trunk like neck broke, his spine severed at the level of the second cervical vertebra; a perfect hangman’s fracture.

    Galshin had no time to react. The nerves to his body below the neck were instantly cut off from the organs and muscles they controlled. He tried to shout, to say something, but the mouth flapped open and shut without a sound except for the exhalation of his last lungful of air. He tried to gulp air down like a landed fish, but this didn’t work. Then his eyes went up to Shinsou, wide in shock – there was no pain, and no emotion but surprise.

    Shinsou laid him gently on the tile deck. He saw the face flash with recognition, then darken.

    That’s the spark that lights the fire. All we have to do is keep quiet for a few minutes until the caravel leaves, then march the whole goddamned Brotherhood into town...

    Moments later, wiping the dust from a nearby chair and seating himself, Shinsou nodded to his men and leaned forward.

    “As soon as that ship leaves port, we leave this room and blast our way through the remaining men, but until then keep that door locked. I want one person and one person alone to find his way to Radasanth to inform the government of what happened here. They’ll send everything they’ve got, and while the Brotherhood holds the fort here, with Hayate in command, me and Storm head to Radasanth alone. With their army distracted here, we’ll get into the assembly and use Stygian to influence the most powerful senators. From there…”

    Shinsou brushed a bang out of his face, revealing his golden, glowing eyes.

    “No-one will be able to get in our way.”
    Last edited by Shinsou Vaan Osiris; 09-25-2018 at 12:14 PM.

  9. #9
    Ride The Lightning

    EXP: 143,759, Level: 16
    Level completed: 52%, EXP required for next Level: 8,241
    Level completed: 52%,
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    Storm Veritas's Avatar

    GP
    21,050
    AP
    0
    Name
    Storm Veritas
    Age
    39
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Corone
    Storm watched with a bit of disturbance at the ruthlessness with which Shinsou dispatched the pirate captain. The entire charade was done so cavalierly, it was almost out of step for the swordsman. To kill a man in plain sight so savagely lacked some of the finesse and discretion that the experienced warrior usually displayed. Still, in the small, locked room, it was an easy, safe way for him to execute the relatively useless Galshin. Additionally, the heavy-handed nature of the thing would likely send the messager with a notion that the uprising was done by barbarians.

    “You could have gotten the safe combination before you stomped his f*cking head off.” Veritas smiled with feigned benevolence, amused a bit at the morose scene.

    Gazing down, the forever-shocked gaze of the dead man peered off at infinity as the new leadership of the Brotherhood gathered about the table. Hayate was learning by fire here, and must have earned some special trust by Vaan Osiris to be privy to such strategy.

    “On the open water, it’s best they not know we’re out there. Let them send the warships; they’ll send the iron-hulled boats and cannoned galleons to crush the uprising if they think they’re dealing with civilians. Between my lightning and magnetic skills, and Shinsou’s new freezy-bullshit, we’ll take the entire Coronian Armada tits-high in twenty minutes. They send the second rate wooden fleets… we’ve got a steeper hill to climb.”

    Looking directly at Hayate, a smirk from the old adventurer.

    "Now, can you think of any particularly suitable messengers that could deliver a convincing word to Radasanth that Tylermande had been overrun by barbarians, and not the most powerful wizards in the world!?

    "I can maybe think of one..." A wink to the young man from the dimpled face of the smiling politician.

    Bemused, Storm rolled a pinch of tobacco across his thumbs before plunging the thumbful into his pipe. Although he didn’t have matches on him, the fire generated by the pipe would consume some of the decaying-corpse fumes being generated in the room. A small vent in the corner allowed for some escape of the otherwise oppressive gray smoke, although the wizard estimated those to not enjoy pipe smoke to be soft and weak-willed anyway.

    Looking at the door, the echoes behind of the growing police force was beginning to fester. Completely nonplussed, both Storm and Shinsou were now standing, leaning against different fixtures in the small room, as though expecting a birthday cake to be paraded in. Perhaps more reasonably, Hayate appeared more tense, and understandably preparing for a showdown of sorts.

    “Kid…” The wizard spoke through clenched teeth and a smile, gesturing with a large hand and long, thin fingers towards the door. “It’s going to take them a few to muster the balls to open the door. You can hear them chattering out there; they don’t have the numbers to just overwhelm us or they’d have rammed the door already. They’ll probably try something cute first; a little smoke grenade or through-door volley of shots to cull the herd.”

    As if realizing the error of his own laziness, Storm gestured towards the safe, twitching his fingers to pop the pins from the metal hinges, gently turning his fingers again the release the tumblers inside the lock. The door obediently fell from the front of the safe, but was caught in mid air by his invisible hand, and guided smoothly across the room to ballast the front door.

    “Won’t be worrying about their two-crown muskets blowing a hole in that bastard, but you’ll want to clear me a path. Whatever they DO manage to push through the door at us is going to taste a special flavor of hell.”
    Last edited by Storm Veritas; 09-20-2018 at 04:46 PM.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator

    EXP: 7,860, Level: 3
    Level completed: 72%, EXP required for next Level: 1,140
    Level completed: 72%,
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    Hayate_Amatsukami's Avatar

    GP
    747
    AP
    0
    Name
    Hayate Amatsukami
    Age
    22
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Salvar
    There was an awful crunch as the man' s neck was severed against the corner of his desk. His body laid limb, settled in a pool of his own blood. This marked the beginning of what was soon to be one of the largest wars to ever befall the island of Corone. Anxiety washed over the last of the Amatsukami briefly submerging him in an ocean of doubt. Storm Veritas broke the tension in the air by cracking a small joke at the corpse’s expense.

    Before long the magician displayed his exemplary powers of magnetism by effortlessly removing the large door to the office safe and using it to ballast the entrance. He mused that there couldn’t possibly be enough man power on the other side to force their way in and based on the muffled chatter outside Hayate agreed. The military police would have rushed in if they thought they had a chance. This gave the trio, Hayate particularly, enough time to prepare themselves.

    “I assume that means I’m up,” Hayate answered the magician’s request. “Clearing paths is my specialty.”

    The shinobi shifted his gaze between Storm and Shinsou as if to ask for permission. Then with his right arm Hayate clutched the hilt of his mighty Nodachi and swiftly unsheathed his partner. Its blade stretched nearly three meters and along its length ancient ruins told tales of magics long forgotten in the recent era. It pulsated to the rhythm of his heartbeat as if proclaiming a deeper connection between the two.

    “Falling from the heavens above, cast out by Thaynes and sentenced to an eternity of despair.” He began to say as the tip of his mighty sword started to fracture, splinter and then turn to dust. “Rise up Corpse King and force your enemies to their knees!”

    A blinding white light filled the room as the rest of his weapon faded out of reality. Around the Shinobi a skeletal visage began to form. Sinews of mussel and flesh lurched out from the boy’s left arm attaching itself to the ethereal armor he conjured. This was a little something he had picked up to compensate for his left arm, a partial manifestation of his avatar granting him remarkable strength and durability.

    “Alright,” he said as the light faded from the room. He flexed his new arm for a moment before placing it up to the safe door. “A preemptive strike then?”

    “Show them what you can do.” Shinsou said giving Hayate the greenlight. He and Storm readied themselves to fallow directly behind him and with a nod instructed Hayate to proceed.

    With a smirk the last Amatsukami dug his ethereal fingertips deep into the solid steel of the safe door. Things were about to get rough for the men getting ready on the other side of the door. Without warning Hayate lifted the safe off the ground and with the extra help from Storm started to walk forward completely shattering the entrance to the office. He could hear a number of men shouting to back up and scatter to get out of the way as he started to pick up momentum practically bulldozing the entire hallway as he pushed forward.

    The floor became slick with blood and with every footfall Hayate and the others started to slide about.

    “Your turn!” he yelled, now at full speed and nearing the opening to the main hall of the structure. He would be able to continue to use the safe door to block off the police forces to the right hand side but the rest was up to the others.

    Whatever happened next would be passed down in tales to the next generation for sure.
    Last edited by Hayate_Amatsukami; 09-25-2018 at 02:59 PM.
    "Just shut up for once! What the hell do you know about it?! It's not like you ever had a family in the first place! You were on your own right from the beginning, what makes you think you know anything about it?! Huh?! I'm suffering now because I had those ties, how on earth could you possibly understand, what it feels like to lose all that!" -Sasuke Uchiha

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