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Old August 26th, 2017 (12:41 AM).
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Parivir Parivir is offline
rage, rage against the dying of the light.
 
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KINGMARCH
rated M for violence and sexytimes but mostly violence
no spots remain | best viewed with forever standing (style)


"...and so it was that the Occuria rose from their exalted thrones,
earth and light grasped within one palm;
within the other: darkness and Mist.
There shall be twenty-four, decreed the Undying,
and so, there were twenty-four."
- Of Ivalice and the Undying: a Tautology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


current setting



Fort Besselat sits at the border of Ivalice and the Ordallian league of vassals, making it a hotspot of international aggression even during peacetime. Situated on a snowy hill that provides vantage point into Ivalice, Limberry, and Zeltennia, it is a chokepoint of enormous strategic importance; in fact, it is thought to be largely responsible for Queen Ritz's victories in the Seven-Year War. In its heyday, the age-old fortress was home to three of Ivalice's strongest orders and armed to the teeth besides; with the royal family up in arms, however, its personnels have been reduced to a skeleton crew with the exception of the Order of Kingmarch. It has thus far remained safe from foreign invasion through sheer reputation, but with whispers of Ordallian troops mobilizing into Zeltennia en masse, tensions are reaching its zenith.


Bessel is a military town situated at the heart of Fort Besselat; it is small and purposeful, housing no more than 20.000 souls, most of which reside in shared quarters capable of accommodating up to twenty people apiece. It is built with the sole purpose of keeping Fort Besselat self-sustaining, and is dominated by non-combatant mages whose main tasks consist of growing crops, fortifying the masonry, healing military personnel, and other such supportive roles. It is also home to a bustling clan population, who receive requests from places as far away as Zaland and Bervenia. Consequentially, it is also home to a number of pubs, smithies, and equipment shops--all of which serve the Orders well, both by providing easy access to important goods, as well as in allowing them to keep themselves sharp and in fighting form even during peacetime.


The White Wing is one of the three sectors in Fort Besselat, the other two being the Black and Red Wings. It is the largest and most defensible of the three sectors, encompassing roughly half of the fortress and containing most of its wartime weaponries. It was home to the Order of Magna Ende before the civil war; as its leadership left to serve under Grand Duke Ferre's banner, taking most of the Order with it, control over the wing was cordially handed over to the Order of Kingmarch (who formerly resided in the Black Wing). The White Wing's facilities include a war room, where General Lorr and his lieutenants can usually be found, barracks for the soldiers, training grounds, administrative offices, an elaborate medical facility, luxury suites for visiting dignitaries, a small church, and even a team of Astralcasters that can teleport personnels back and forth between the wing and nearby Bessel.


current goings-on


It seems a day like any other has descended upon the somewhat peaceful Fort Besselat. Though most everyone is feeling at least a little bit tense at the prospect of the imminent civil war, General Lorr's stance of non-aggression has convinced residents that their home will be yet to experience the flames of war, at least for the foreseeable future. The clans of Bessel are as busy as ever, with the mobilization of Orders bringing an influx of jobs to the pub's request lists; as well, battle cries and the sound of metal clanging against metal could be heard from the training grounds scattered across the fortress. Members of the Order of Kingmarch have been somewhat concerned that their leadership has holed themselves up in the war room for over 24 hours now, but are otherwise enjoying what seems to be a perfectly normal day for soldiers of the most powerful Order in all Ivalice.

A Day in the Life
This first post should give us a glance into what the daily life in the Order of Kingmarch means for your character.
  • The more straight-up military types among you might be enjoying a morning in the training grounds, clashing swords with other Kingmarch personnel or getting some of the newer recruits into fighting form.
  • Others may opt to study the extensive arcane literature collection present in the fortress' Black Wing.
  • As well, the town of Bessel is sure to provide many distractions for the less straitlaced among you, with monster season in full swing just beyond the fortress walls, and clan work in general seeing a sharp hike in volume in the Orders' absence.
  • Or perhaps, you were outside of the fortress' walls on the Order's payroll, instead of through a request at the pub?
  • Less wholesome alternatives are also an option to spend your day, with a small gambling den and a makeshift whorehouse (this is an M-rated roleplay, yes?) both a stone's throw away from Bessel's biggest pub.
However your character chooses to fill their timeslot, as the sun is setting they should receive a summons to the White Wing's war room, where Kingmarch's council has been locking themselves up for a worrying amount of time now. You wonder what could drive them to call a meeting for all seven of the demon knights...


people you may (need to) know


General Lorr Klauser of Weissmont
Race: Hume | Age: 30 | Class: Paladin-Doomcaster
Once known as The Blade of Silence, Lorr is a decorated military man of noble blood whose prowess is without peer. Before the advent of the demon knights, it was said that in all Ivalice, only Queen Ritz herself could give him a run for his money in a one-on-one fight. In fact, when the Ivalicean civil war seemed at its likeliest, she famously said that she could conquer all of Ivalice's castles even should they rise against her at once--all except Weissmont, where Lorr of Weissmont resides. There was never any need, however: Lorr would become one of Ritz's staunchest allies both in court and in the battlefield, and she rewarded him in kind, making him head of the strongest Order in all Ivalice. He has since cultivated a reputation for being a charismatic yet elusive leader, and entirely obsessed with following Ritz's last missives to him--whatever they may be--to the letter.


White Thunder Monty
Race: Moogle | Age: 28 | Class: Astralcaster
One of Kingmarch's two field commanders, Monty is by far the most knowledgeable soul in Kingmarch when it comes to lore and solving arcane mysteries, with Mana a distant second. While he often relegates himself to a supporting role--he is, after all, an Astralcaster, and one that the Order cannot afford to place in much danger--he is also a potent offensive mage due to his ownership of the White Grimoire. Written in an ancient tongue lost to all but a very few selection of arcane students--an exclusive category under which Monty falls--it grants him the ability to use devastating thunder-based skills on the same power level as Thundaga or Thundaja. Despite his manifold boons, the man himself is very much a down-to-earth sort of fellow, with an affable disposition and affinity for bad jokes. He is also easily flustered, and a subject of endless teasing by his fellow field commander Scar.


Scarlet "Scar" Maywind
Race: Gria | Age: 27 | Class: Falcon
As the Order of Kingmarch's designated taskmaster, Scar runs a tight ship and is extremely good at her job, despite what gria stereotypes might imply. Leading a team of just nine people, Scar's administrative quarters single-handedly handles any and all concerns regarding deployment, scheduling, finances, and paperwork--all this, while still leaving her enough time to lead Kingmarch deployments every once in a while. She credits it all to competent subordinates, but one has to wonder whether her experience as the leader of the now-disbanded Clan Maywind may have gotten her accustomed to the job. Nevertheless, aside from her astounding administrative prowess, she is still a force to be reckoned with in battle. As the ace of her top-ranking clan back in its heyday, she is capable of zipping above the battlefield,-and homing in on her targets to deliver devastating physical beatdowns.


Mana
Race: Viera | Age: 32 | Class: Rift Mage-Holycaster
Mana is considered one of the most talented healer in all of Kingmarch, despite being primarily an offensive mage. Her main role in the Order is to serve as an attache of sorts to the seven demon knights, accompanying them on certain missions when her healing capabilities might come in handy. Though she is a budding youth by viera standards, her talent in magic led to her being selected as part of her viera clan's expedition party some five years ago; their missive was to investigate the arcane occurences plaguing their land. She had determined that allying with Kingmarch was the best way to accomplish that goal, and so she offered her services to the Order. When not accompanying the demon knights on a mission, she can usually be found accompanying poring over yellowed tomes with Monty in the fortress' libraries, or assisting the healers in the White Wing's medical bay.
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  #2    
Old August 27th, 2017 (10:01 AM).
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Parivir Parivir is offline
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Post reserved for archive-keeping.
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If you cut me I could shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees. I bleed.
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  #3    
Old August 31st, 2017 (4:20 PM).
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Garet Garet is offline
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    Swords and Books - The Usual
    Janek Tibor Kovac

    “‘Tis the Onion Sword of legend, honest,” the twig of a hume asserted, beaming as Janek held the sword up. Looking along the edge of the yellow blade, he doubted the storekeeper’s claim. It looked too clean and unused, almost like a sword fresh out of the forge. “I bought it meself from a respectable trader outta Dorter, an’ he assured me of it’s authenticity.”

    Slightly interested now, Janek glanced at Harish and asked, “How much did you pay him for this, then?”

    “It can be yers fer five-thousan’ gil.” The storekeeper was a little quick to answer that question.

    “Hm…” Janek weighed the sword in his hands, then swung it a couple times, taking care to avoid the other displays of equipment in the shop. “How about this? I can pay you that, but first…” As he spoke, the Jack Knight pulled a pouch out of his satchel and set it on the counter; it jingled with the movement, causing Harish’s grin to grow wider. He then pulled another pouch out, this one substantially larger, and set it next to the first pouch.

    “One thousand, or five thousand,” Janek explained, his eyes leveled at Harish, whose grin began to falter. “It depends on the sword’s authenticity.” Then he lay the Onion Sword on the counter and drew his own talwar. Despite the protest leaving Harish’s lips, Janek slowly dragged the talwar’s edge along the other sword’s blade, shaving off a thin layer of gilt. Beneath it shone bright steel.

    Avoiding Janek’s stare, Harish mumbled, “Mm, I musta gotten tha’ confused wit another sword…”

    “One thousand gil.” He dropped the larger pouch back in his satchel, then sheathed his talwar and grabbed the gilted sword with its scabbard. “For the sword and your trouble. Good day, Harish.” Leaving the shop behind, Janek shrugged to himself. Just sunk half of what I earned yesterday. Oh well, better than someone else being fooled.

    ...Where was I going? Oh, yeah. He had been distracted by the fake ‘Onion Sword’ display while walking to Rolf’s Reads. The bell jingled as Janek pushed the bookstore’s door open, drawing the attention of a scholarly nu mou. “Good day, Kovac,” he greeted with a nod, setting a book down. “Day off, I take it?”

    “Yes, sir, Niketas,” Janek answered, smiling back. “It’s been a while, but I’m back to see what new books are here.”

    Niketas nodded again. “Take your time, then. We have had a number of books come and go through here.” As Janek passed by, the bookkeeper drummed his fingers and blinked a few times. “What was it… I may have something for you, young man, but I need to find it again…” He shuffled off through the bookcases, leaving Janek to his usual perusing.

    That was how his conversations with the nu mou often went, so Janek made a beeline for the collection of books on magic theory. Soon a nearby table was littered with books and his own journal and pen as Janek looked through book after book, looking for something he hadn’t learned already. Or tried to learn, rather.

    He was busy scratching another note in his journal when Niketas came around a bookshelf and shook his head. “You’re still trying to reach beyond your bounds, Kovac?”

    “Hm?” Janek looked up mid-thought. “Oh. If you want to call it that, yes. I’m just trying to learn what the theorists are talking about. Some of it is still gobbledegook to me.”

    “If you say so.” Niketas lay a pair of books in front of Janek before easing himself onto the bench with a grunt. “I daresay these may be related to what you described before.”

    With a curious glance at the nu mou, Janek pulled one book toward him, checking the black leather cover and inside of it. “No title...this is an old script, Niketas. Where did this book come from?”

    “An old friend who trades here often… I forget her name…” Niketas began drumming his fingers again, lost in thought. Janek waited for more, but it was apparent that Nik wouldn’t say anything until he remembered the name or moved on. So he picked up the second book; this also had no title, but it was bound in blue cloth and wood, and the first couple pages were in modern Ivalician script. “I shall have to ask her again,” Niketas said, returning his gaze to Janek. “I do not remember where she picked up these two books, but the contents are sure to interest you.”

    “I’ll take your word on it. I didn’t realize how late it was getting,” Janek added, glancing at a grandfather clock against the wall. The sun must be setting by now. “I’ll put these other books away, sir.”

    The bookkeeper waved his hand dismissively. “Don’t bother, young man, that is my job. And those two books are yours, now.”

    “No, sir, not after the effort you made--”

    “Consider them a gift, then,” Niketas interrupted. “I have already told Rolf, after he looked at them.”

    Janek was speechless for a moment. From what he had heard about Rolf, the owner of this bookstore, he hardly ever let any books go without a price. “Uh, thank you, Niketas.” He put his new books inside his satchel and waved at the nu mou. “Have a good evening.”

    “And you as well, Kovac.” Niketas pushed himself up and began recollecting the scattered books as Janek left. Just what might these two books contain?

    Outside the door to Rolf’s Reads, Janek stopped. A green chocobo stood in front of him, ridden by a moogle dressed in the attire of Kingmarch messengers. “Sir Janek Kovac, kupo?” the cavalier asked. “General Lorr Klauser has summoned the demon knights to the White Wing war room, pronto, kupo!”

    “All seven of us?”

    “Yes, kupo, so don’t dawdle!” Glancing at the second sword on Janek’s waist, the moogle asked in a more casual tone, “What did you find, kupo?”
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    Old August 31st, 2017 (6:25 PM).
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    Greiger Greiger is offline
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      Morning Acknowledgements

      The Lich


      KNOCK KNOCK! “Hey! Get your fat ass up! I’m not waiting out here all day!”

      A loud groan of discontent answered the shouting. For a moment there was silence, then a weary voice spoke out, “There is no reason to arise this early.”

      “I say there is. So you better get that faaaaaat ass up and come with me.”

      There was more silence, “You’re enjoying this far too much.”

      “You know the rules. That geas will be going off in, oh how long? A few minutes or so? Better get dressed quick.”

      On the other side of the door emanated the sound of a being rolling off onto the floor from his bed, and the pattering of rushed footsteps. The hume took to leaning against the wall, a grin on his face as he whistled softly. He had to admit, that geas was perhaps the single best thing that guild had done to his ‘captive’. Within thirty seconds the door was opening, revealing the brown robed Nu Mou who looked weary. Not as weary as he had been during his first week here, but weary enough to look slightly ticked off. His clothing had been hastily thrown on and he took the time to adjust them. “What is on the menu today, Lieutenant? Hm? Another gay day of frolicking? Perhaps a decent view this time of the lovely smoke filled air that surrounds this begotten fort?”

      The Lieutenant smirked, “Oh, not today, fat ass.” His grin widening as he saw that all too familiar twitch of anger from the Nu Mou’s brow. “Today is a special day. The general is busy with a meeting. No doubt they’ll be needing me to escort your fat ass over to them later. So, Lich, today is your day to behave. You’re going to be nice, and sweet and making sure you don’t do anything stupid. You do something stupid, and I’m in full rights to whack your head for it.”

      “Oh my, Lieutenant, I thought you had gotten over this anger some time ago? Isn’t that what you said?” Eckert offer him the smuggest of smiles, “Besides, you said that there was nothing you could do to bring Benjamin back, wasn’t that correct? If I am mis-” The Nu Mou didn’t have time to finish as the Lieutenant whipped out his sword, and in an act of swordsmanship, twisted it about so the butt of the handle slammed harshly into Eckert’s throat. Eckert’s words quickly turned into a garble of coughing and wheezing as he doubled over, gripping his windpipe in pain.

      “You know what, Lich? I don’t mind you talking about him all that much. Sure at first, it really stung. But ever since the General relinquished that particular order of his, I actually find it relaxing now. Go ahead, say one more thing about him.”

      The Nu Mou coughed and hacked, glaring now at the Hume, “I don’t have to-cough! It won’t matter soon enough.”

      The Lieutenant rolled his eyes, “Figures. You have no threats over me, Lich. Now come on, fat ass, I need to get you over to the walls. You’re on lookout today. And guess what?” His smile grew creeped into a sinister leer, “It’s perched right on top of the walls. You shouldn’t worry too much though. You’ll be with Private Mills. I’m sure he can find fun things for you to do out there.”

      “Oh joy.” Eckert let out a meek sigh, “I ever so look forward to such tactics. You know….” He paused, then shook his head, “Never mind. It’s not that important.”

      “Come on then. Let’s get moving.”

      As the hume led the way Eckert couldn’t help but glare into his back with all of his hatred. He had wanted to sneer at him, to declare eagerly that the war would eventually cause all of the orders to be so overwhelmed that they wouldn’t pay to a lowly single person, such as Eckert. They wouldn’t keep track of his geas progress. They wouldn’t bother to send someone out to check on him once this war got really going. Once that happened, he would make sure to personally approach the Lieutenant and smirk while slowly twisting a knife deep into his heart.

      Of course, that was for the future. He could fantasize and desire it all he wanted, but for now he would have to play things safe. Sure, the geas had a strong hold over him, and he didn’t feel like throwing up today, especially with the news that the leaders were deep in conversation. Had the enemy finally struck close by? Possibly, but such information wouldn’t be released just like that. The general was, unfortunately, a very smart man. He would keep this entire fort calm. Eckert hated calmness. Every since his stunt five years ago he found that he missed it all so terribly. The sounds of battle, the sounds of screams, the sound of flesh being ripped apart.

      “Hey, you daydreaming back there? Pick up the pace!”

      The sweet memories were snapped away for now as Eckert picked up his speed. The Lieutenant kept a very quick pace, knowing that as Nu Mou Eckert already had a difficult time with walking fast, and his lack of true physical exercise only made matters worse. As they moved toward the walls they passed numerous soldiers, most who booed at the Lich with a majority yelling out numerous cusses to the necromancer. This… this was nice. The attention caused a smirk to form along Eckert’s lips as a bit more energy was put into his stride. “Yes yes, try not to be too quiet now!” He called out to the soldiers eagerly. Such resentment, such hatred… he enjoyed every second of it.

      Such anger, especially with what he had done to several of their former comrades, caused a fair number to raise questions to the general as to why Eckert was even here and not already buried in a grave. Oh, the look of conflict as the general had to reason with his very troops! If the geas hadn’t been in place Eckert would have shed a tear of joy during his first week here. Back then the anger was unbridled. He had to be quarantined in his room for a few days at one point when several soldiers threatened to slice his throat clean open. Oh, if only they had! He would have laughed at the aftermath.

      Their attitudes had, unfortunately, calmed down over time. He was here to stay, and to his displeasure even his most vocal critics no longer leaned in to whisper the grotesque manner in which they would defile his corpse. It was all such a shame. “Alright, fat ass, up here.”

      Eckert couldn’t help but grumble a bit under his breath as he waddled up the staircase that led to the upper area of the fort. There was a continuous section of flooring here that was made up of the outer fort wall. It was here that guards would be posted to ensure no attackers could make a surprise attack on them. There was a good length of stone with holes in that where the soldiers could fire arrows at anyone outside. Eckert followed the hume as they finally made it to one particular lookout amid one section. “Ah, Private Mills! Pleasure to have you out here.” He gave a nod to Eckert, “As per my commands, you are to look after Eckert Dravius here and ensure he follows his orders. And by ‘his orders’, I mean by doing whatever you tell him to do.”

      Eckert huffed, crossing his arms as the other hume gave the Lieutenant a nod, “Yes, sir!” He gave the office a salute. Mills turned to Eckert, smirking, “So, my rules, huh?”

      “Try not to waste your breath.” Eckert muttered out. “Worst men than you have tried. Say… you wouldn’t have happened to know Bein, Yunto, or Paul, would you have?” He smiled sincerely, “I hear they had a lot of friends here.”

      “.... Shut up, fat ass.” Mills muttered. “Just… watch for people or something. Also, you can’t take a lunch break while up here.”

      Eckert rolled his eyes, about ready to speak again when he felt his geas tingle in his soul. He clamped his mouth shut and peered out through one of the arrow slits. As could be expected, the view was very very… very boring. Of course he couldn’t complain, so he decided to turn his attention from the arrow slit… and to the soldiers practicing down below among each other. He wasn’t the least bit interested in wielding a sword himself, but Eckert couldn’t deny that the more bloody aspects of warfare always intrigued him.

      Eckert turned away from the practice warfare and peered outside of the slit again, wondering just how long he would have to stay up here. If that stupid Lieutenant had any further say, it would probably be the entire day! Without his tongue to aid him, he would have to figure out a new way to torment this private. Perhaps writing down an elaborate death for him would help things out?

      “Er… stay right there. I’ll just be over here.”

      Eckert idly glanced at the hume as the soldier backed away. Maybe the idiot had finally figured out to not make a fool of Eckert? Bah, it was too late for that now! Eckert always was commemorating this Mills to his mental death list when he heard something that could best be described as a bang. It didn’t come from outside the walls… but inside. In fact behind hi-

      The sensation of dirt, soot, and all manner of uncleanness hit Eckert hard. The Nu Mou’s entire body froze as his mind began to process what had just occurred. Slowly, he lifted an arm, glancing down as he saw a fine layer of soot on his arm. He tilted his head a bit, the soot falling from his hood and onto the stone beneath him. Loud laughter emerged from the courtyard and Eckert turned about, his eyes flashing as he saw a handful of soldiers all grouped up. Many of them were cheering on a smaller Moogle armed with a gun. Of course it would be one of those small plush balls!

      Eckert managed a wide smile and shouted down, “Go ahead and laugh while you can! I spur you all on! You all will remember the name of Eckert Dravius far better th-” He paused, the sensation of rising bile quickly hitting his throat. He snapped his lips shut, the geas activating due to his breaking of an order. He closed his eyes, tearing up a bit as he struggled wildly with his willpower.

      “The lich is gonna throw up again!” A soldier jeered up.

      Eckert kept his mouth closed, shuddering wildly as he forced himself to swallow. He turned back and pressed his head against the arrow slit, taking in deep breaths to calm himself down as the tingling from the geas began to die down. A few disappointed cries echoed out at the lack of action. Eckert grit his teeth all the while. He had almost broken again. A week back he had pushed past the geas’ bounds and had thrown up in the mess hall. Oh, the laughter he had been subjected stung far more than anything else. It had taken all of his acting to ensure that none of the soldiers knew how deep that wound had hit him.

      That was perhaps the most entertainment he had all day. The following hours were boring as hell, and Eckert honestly hoped that another soldier or two would try to shoot a bullet past his head, or shout some sort of demeaning remark his way. Something to give him attention! Without his ability to speak all he could do was talk to his own thoughts. The lack of a lunch break twisted his stomach about wildly. The Private wasn’t as harsh thought to deny him some dinner, which Eckert quickly wolfed down despite it being some of the worst slop the mess hall had to offer. Still, he remained on the walls with no permission to rest his legs for a while.

      “Hey, fat ass! You’re back under my command again.” The Lieutenant announced as he walked along the wall. “Private Mills, thank you for your excellent work today. As for now, lich, the general wants you in a meeting. Now. No dilly dallying.”

      Eckert huffed, “Your little private there thought it would be hilarious to deny me lunch. Do you honestly want me to starve to death?” He smirked a bit, “I imagine that would make the general a bit peeved. This procedure was sooooo expensive. Do you truly want that burden on your shoulders, lieutenant?”

      “You will get a bit of a snack before the meeting.” The Lieutenant answered. “But first and foremost, you must act cordially before the general. That’s an order.”

      “Alright, alright. No need to be so serious.” Eckert stated as he placed a hand sincerely against his chest, “I know how to be cordial! I shall be as cordial as I can muster, dear Lieutenant.”

      “I doubt it.” The Hume muttered under his breath.


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        #5    
      Old September 6th, 2017 (4:42 PM). Edited September 6th, 2017 by aeternum.
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      aeternum aeternum is online now
      Not Suitable For All Ages
       
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      Inquiry​ ​of​ ​Hunt
      Labanar Byron Barborda

      “Oi!​ ​Labanar!”​ ​Gigramor​ ​waved​ ​his​ ​hand​ ​from​ ​the​ ​back​ ​of​ ​the​ ​tavern,​ ​a​ ​frothing​ ​mug​ ​in​ ​his​ ​other arm,​ ​resting​ ​against​ ​the​ ​counter​ ​where​ ​he​ ​was​ ​sitting.

      The​ ​Demon​ ​Knight​ ​walked​ ​slowly​ ​through​ ​the​ ​crowded​ ​tavern,​ ​slipping​ ​slyly​ ​past​ ​rejoicing​ ​groups of​ ​commoners​ ​and​ ​clansmen​ ​alike.​ ​The​ ​knight​ ​sat​ ​at​ ​the​ ​bar​ ​next​ ​to​ ​his​ ​old​ ​friend​ ​and​ ​picked​ ​up a​ ​matching​ ​mug​ ​that​ ​had​ ​been​ ​ordered​ ​for​ ​him​ ​in​ ​advance.​ ​“Gigramor,”​ ​the​ ​knight​ ​nodded​ ​and
      then​ ​tilted​ ​the​ ​mug​ ​back,​ ​taking​ ​a​ ​large​ ​swig​ ​of​ ​the​ ​tart​ ​beverage.

      “How​ ​fare​ ​you​ ​my​ ​friend?​ ​​ ​I​ ​take​ ​it​ ​the​ ​last​ ​hunt​ ​was​ ​successful?”

      “I​ ​would​ ​assume​ ​so,​ ​otherwise​ ​I’d​ ​not​ ​be​ ​here​ ​now.”​ ​Labanar​ ​smiled​ ​and​ ​took​ ​another​ ​large​ ​gulp of​ ​his​ ​drink​ ​before​ ​setting​ ​it​ ​back​ ​on​ ​the​ ​table​ ​and​ ​rubbing​ ​the​ ​base​ ​of​ ​his​ ​glass​ ​in​ ​a​ ​circle​ ​around the​ ​initial​ ​sweat​ ​ring.​ ​“I​ ​suppose​ ​you’d​ ​know​ ​best​ ​though,​ ​seeing​ ​as​ ​how​ ​you​ ​were​ ​its​ ​petitioner.”

      Gigramor​ ​showed​ ​his​ ​teeth,​ ​yellowed​ ​and​ ​rotting​ ​from​ ​his​ ​skull​ ​with​ ​nearly​ ​half​ ​of​ ​the​ ​bottom​ ​row completely​ ​absent.​ ​“Aye,​ ​I​ ​suppose​ ​I​ ​am.​ ​The​ ​beast​ ​had​ ​been​ ​terrorizing​ ​my​ ​father’s​ ​land​ ​for quite​ ​some​ ​time​ ​before​ ​you​ ​and​ ​those​ ​clansmen​ ​came​ ​about.”

      Labanar​ ​nodded​ ​and​ ​then​ ​took​ ​a​ ​small​ ​sip​ ​from​ ​his​ ​glass,​ ​watching​ ​as​ ​the​ ​last​ ​of​ ​the​ ​foam dissipated.​ ​“It’s​ ​unfortunate​ ​I​ ​wasn’t​ ​able​ ​to​ ​see​ ​him​ ​while​ ​I​ ​was​ ​out​ ​there.​ ​The​ ​hunt​ ​drew​ ​us further​ ​to​ ​the​ ​North​ ​than​ ​originally​ ​anticipated.”​ ​The​ ​knight​ ​swirled​ ​his​ ​cup​ ​around,​ ​creating​ ​a small​ ​cyclone​ ​with​ ​the​ ​liquid​ ​inside.​ ​“Thankfully​ ​we​ ​didn’t​ ​lose​ ​anyone​ ​in​ ​the​ ​fight…​ ​how​ ​is​ ​the​ ​old man​ ​anyways?​ ​Have​ ​you​ ​received​ ​any​ ​word​ ​following​ ​the​ ​completion​ ​of​ ​the​ ​mark?”

      Gigramor​ ​shifted​ ​the​ ​weapon​ ​at​ ​his​ ​side,​ ​an​ ​item​ ​which​ ​continuously​ ​shifted​ ​towards​ ​the​ ​weapon at​ ​Labanar’s​ ​waist​ ​as​ ​they​ ​sat.​ ​“After​ ​you​ ​defeated​ ​the​ ​Queen​ ​Antlion,​ ​the​ ​workers​ ​became furious​ ​and​ ​quickly​ ​fell​ ​upon​ ​his​ ​land​ ​once​ ​more.​ ​He​ ​was​ ​in​ ​dire​ ​straits​ ​for​ ​a​ ​few​ ​days​ ​until​ ​I
      arrived​ ​with​ ​news.”​ ​The​ ​man​ ​smiled​ ​and​ ​tightly​ ​squeezed​ ​the​ ​grip​ ​of​ ​his​ ​weapon.​ ​“Not​ ​many things​ ​have​ ​been​ ​sufficient​ ​enough​ ​a​ ​challenge​ ​for​ ​me​ ​since​ ​we​ ​took​ ​up​ ​our…​ ​unique,​ ​arms.” The​ ​fellow​ ​knight​ ​paused​ ​for​ ​a​ ​moment​ ​as​ ​he​ ​gathered​ ​his​ ​words.​ ​“I’m​ ​no​ ​Demon​ ​Knight,​ ​but​ ​a
      dozen​ ​or​ ​so​ ​antlions​ ​are​ ​no​ ​cause​ ​for​ ​my​ ​worry.”

      Labanar​ ​smiled​ ​and​ ​shifted​ ​the​ ​spiral​ ​blade​ ​at​ ​his​ ​waist​ ​at​ ​his​ ​friend’s​ ​mention​ ​of​ ​their complimenting​ ​weapons.​ ​“It’s​ ​unfortunate​ ​we​ ​weren’t​ ​able​ ​to​ ​fully​ ​rout​ ​the​ ​beasts,​ ​but​ ​the​ ​clan​ ​I was​ ​aiding​ ​had​ ​only​ ​just​ ​formed.”

      Gigramor​ ​let​ ​out​ ​a​ ​hardy​ ​laugh​ ​that​ ​caused​ ​a​ ​number​ ​of​ ​the​ ​other​ ​patrons​ ​to​ ​turn​ ​their​ ​heads towards​ ​the​ ​duo.​ ​“Certainly​ ​their​ ​eyes​ ​were​ ​larger​ ​than​ ​the​ ​lengths​ ​of​ ​their​ ​steel!​ ​An​ ​antlion​ ​in itself​ ​is​ ​more​ ​than​ ​enough​ ​of​ ​a​ ​challenge​ ​for​ ​some,​ ​but​ ​to​ ​hunt​ ​a​ ​Queen​ ​shortly​ ​after​ ​forming​ ​your
      ranks​ ​is​ ​pure​ ​stupidity!”


      “I’m​ ​sure​ ​the​ ​fault​ ​is​ ​my​ ​own.​ ​I’ve​ ​become​ ​a​ ​regular​ ​in​ ​situations​ ​of​ ​these​ ​sorts​ ​since​ ​leaving​ ​the program.”​ ​Labanar’s​ ​eyes​ ​dulled​ ​slightly​ ​and​ ​his​ ​voice​ ​faltered.​ ​“Being​ ​of​ ​such​ ​a​ ​rank​ ​as​ ​I​ ​am,​ ​it’s hard​ ​not​ ​to​ ​draw​ ​a​ ​crowd​ ​at​ ​times.​ ​When​ ​such​ ​a​ ​challenging​ ​mark​ ​rears​ ​its​ ​head,​ ​I​ ​am​ ​often
      sought​ ​out​ ​to​ ​fill​ ​a​ ​role​ ​for​ ​the​ ​various​ ​clans​ ​both​ ​new​ ​and​ ​old.​ ​Especially​ ​since​ ​there’s​ ​not​ ​been much​ ​in​ ​terms​ ​of​ ​responsibility​ ​within​ ​the​ ​Kingsmarch​ ​as​ ​of​ ​yet.”

      Gigramor​ ​fell​ ​silent​ ​as​ ​he​ ​slowly​ ​downed​ ​the​ ​remainder​ ​of​ ​his​ ​drink.​ ​“Well,​ ​the​ ​marks​ ​will​ ​always continue​ ​to​ ​roll​ ​in,​ ​so​ ​long​ ​as​ ​beasts​ ​roam​ ​the​ ​lands.​ ​Even​ ​if​ ​we​ ​were​ ​to​ ​exterminate​ ​every​ ​one​ ​of these​ ​foul​ ​creatures​ ​which​ ​plague​ ​the​ ​common​ ​folk,​ ​I’m​ ​sure​ ​new​ ​danger​ ​would​ ​simply​ ​crawl​ ​up
      from​ ​the​ ​depths​ ​of​ ​the​ ​sea​ ​to​ ​terrorize​ ​them​ ​and​ ​put​ ​valuable​ ​coin​ ​and​ ​experience​ ​in​ ​your pocket.”

      Labanar​ ​nodded​ ​his​ ​head​ ​repeatedly​ ​in​ ​quiet​ ​agreement.​ ​The​ ​knight​ ​downed​ ​the​ ​last​ ​of​ ​his​ ​drink and​ ​then​ ​wiped​ ​the​ ​back​ ​of​ ​his​ ​arm​ ​across​ ​his​ ​face​ ​before​ ​rising​ ​to​ ​his​ ​feet.​ ​“I​ ​suppose​ ​I​ ​should go​ ​and​ ​see​ ​if​ ​there’s​ ​not​ ​another​ ​such​ ​creature​ ​then.​ ​Not​ ​as​ ​if​ ​I’ve​ ​anything​ ​else​ ​to​ ​do​ ​at​ ​the
      moment.​ ​I​ ​assume​ ​you’ll​ ​remain​ ​here?”

      Gigramor​ ​nodded​ ​his​ ​head​ ​and​ ​rose​ ​to​ ​his​ ​feet​ ​as​ ​well.​ ​“Aye.​ ​Unlike​ ​you,​ ​I​ ​actually​ ​have​ ​some duties​ ​to​ ​see​ ​to​ ​within​ ​the​ ​Order.​ ​Besides,​ ​monster​ ​hunting​ ​is​ ​more​ ​of​ ​your​ ​calling​ ​than​ ​mine. Your​ ​half​ ​of​ ​the​ ​relic​ ​is​ ​more​ ​suited​ ​to​ ​it​ ​as​ ​well.​ ​There’s​ ​only​ ​so​ ​much​ ​I​ ​could​ ​do​ ​against​ ​the
      swarms​ ​that​ ​you​ ​tackle​ ​with​ ​such​ ​ease.”

      The​ ​Demon​ ​Knight​ ​placed​ ​his​ ​hand​ ​upon​ ​the​ ​fellow​ ​knight’s​ ​shoulder​ ​and​ ​produced​ ​a​ ​half​ ​strung smile.​ ​“I​ ​wish​ ​you​ ​well​ ​on​ ​your​ ​hall​ ​cleaning​ ​then​ ​my​ ​friend.”

      Gigramor​ ​slapped​ ​away​ ​his​ ​friend’s​ ​hand​ ​and​ ​smiled,​ ​chuckling​ ​as​ ​he​ ​shook​ ​his​ ​head.​ ​“You know​ ​full​ ​well​ ​I’ve​ ​surpassed​ ​such​ ​trifles​ ​long​ ​ago.​ ​My​ ​time​ ​as​ ​a​ ​squire​ ​and​ ​a​ ​housekeeper​ ​are long​ ​since​ ​past.​ ​I’ve​ ​squires​ ​of​ ​my​ ​own​ ​now,​ ​my​ ​friend.​ ​Perhaps​ ​you​ ​too​ ​should​ ​look​ ​at​ ​settling
      down​ ​and​ ​taking​ ​on​ ​a​ ​disciple?”

      “Aye,​ ​I​ ​once​ ​had​ ​imagined​ ​passing​ ​on​ ​my​ ​knowledge​ ​and​ ​skills…​ ​alas…”​ ​the​ ​knight​ ​felt​ ​at​ ​his waist​ ​for​ ​the​ ​plain,​ ​wakizashi​ ​style​ ​sword.

      “Fate​ ​has​ ​other​ ​plans​ ​for​ ​us​ ​my​ ​friend.”​ ​This​ ​time,​ ​it​ ​was​ ​Gigramor​ ​who​ ​placed​ ​his​ ​hand​ ​upon​ ​the shoulder​ ​of​ ​his​ ​friend.​ ​The​ ​knight​ ​knew​ ​of​ ​Labanar’s​ ​lost​ ​child​ ​and​ ​the​ ​betrayal​ ​of​ ​his​ ​wife,​ ​yet​ ​it still​ ​often​ ​slipped​ ​his​ ​mind.​ ​“Perhaps​ ​in​ ​time.​ ​My​ ​squires​ ​often​ ​ask​ ​about​ ​you…​ ​I’m​ ​sure​ ​that
      should​ ​you​ ​take​ ​on​ ​a​ ​disciple​ ​and​ ​cease​ ​the​ ​simplistic​ ​group​ ​lessons​ ​you​ ​offer​ ​to​ ​the​ ​younger knights,​ ​you​ ​would​ ​have​ ​no​ ​trouble​ ​filling​ ​the​ ​positions.​ ​If​ ​your​ ​monster​ ​hunting​ ​is​ ​anything​ ​to​ ​go off​ ​of,​ ​then​ ​you’d​ ​make​ ​for​ ​a​ ​wonderful​ ​mentor.”

      Labanar​ ​nodded​ ​his​ ​head,​ ​a​ ​scowl​ ​fighting​ ​its​ ​way​ ​onto​ ​his​ ​face,​ ​threatening​ ​to​ ​overtake​ ​the​ ​calm smile​ ​he’d​ ​worked​ ​so​ ​hard​ ​to​ ​bring​ ​up.​ ​“Aye,​ ​perhaps​ ​in​ ​time,​ ​Gigramor.​ ​For​ ​now,​ ​I​ ​shall​ ​take​ ​my leave.​ ​There​ ​are​ ​many​ ​clans​ ​in​ ​attendance​ ​today…​ ​I’m​ ​sure​ ​the​ ​boards​ ​will​ ​be​ ​slim​ ​pickings.”


      “Actually,​ ​word​ ​around​ ​the​ ​tavern​ ​is​ ​a​ ​new​ ​mark​ ​was​ ​placed​ ​only​ ​just​ ​this​ ​morning.​ ​An​ ​elderly man​ ​rushed​ ​forward​ ​shortly​ ​before​ ​the​ ​tavern​ ​opened.​ ​His​ ​mind​ ​was​ ​gripped​ ​with​ ​fear​ ​and​ ​his back​ ​was​ ​covered​ ​in​ ​blood.​ ​Seems​ ​he​ ​placed​ ​the​ ​bounty​ ​moments​ ​before​ ​bleeding​ ​out​ ​from​ ​a wound​ ​apparently​ ​incurred​ ​from​ ​the​ ​very​ ​same​ ​beast.​ ​As​ ​of​ ​yet,​ ​there’s​ ​been​ ​no​ ​claims​ ​to​ ​the monster’s​ ​head…​ ​nary​ ​even​ ​a​ ​proclamation​ ​of​ ​an​ ​attempt​ ​on​ ​the​ ​creature’s​ ​life.”

      Labanar’s​ ​brow​ ​raised​ ​as​ ​he​ ​leaned​ ​his​ ​head​ ​to​ ​the​ ​side,​ ​intrigued​ ​by​ ​the​ ​knight’s​ ​story.​ ​“And? What​ ​of​ ​this​ ​beast?​ ​Tell​ ​me​ ​it’s​ ​name.”

      “Jubulech.​ ​A​ ​behemoth​ ​class​ ​monster.​ ​A​ ​four​ ​star​ ​mark,​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​strongest​ ​to​ ​come​ ​through these​ ​parts​ ​in​ ​a​ ​few​ ​months.​ ​Should​ ​be​ ​much​ ​more​ ​of​ ​a​ ​challenge​ ​than​ ​the​ ​three​ ​star​ ​I​ ​placed up.”

      “A​ ​behemoth?​ ​I’ve​ ​not​ ​much​ ​experience​ ​hunting​ ​beasts​ ​of​ ​that​ ​kind.​ ​In​ ​truth,​ ​I’ve​ ​only​ ​taken​ ​down two​ ​in​ ​my​ ​life,​ ​and​ ​only​ ​one​ ​in​ ​the​ ​last​ ​ten​ ​years.​ ​Have​ ​you​ ​word​ ​of​ ​any​ ​clans​ ​looking​ ​to​ ​take​ ​the beast​ ​on?”

      “Not​ ​a​ ​one.​ ​I’m​ ​afraid​ ​if​ ​you’re​ ​looking​ ​to​ ​tackle​ ​the​ ​creature,​ ​you’ll​ ​need​ ​to​ ​take​ ​from​ ​a​ ​number​ ​of the​ ​clans​ ​around.​ ​Not​ ​a​ ​one​ ​is​ ​fully​ ​dedicated​ ​to​ ​taking​ ​on​ ​the​ ​beast…​ ​but​ ​I’m​ ​sure​ ​that​ ​should you​ ​ask​ ​around​ ​you’ll​ ​find​ ​plenty​ ​a​ ​willing​ ​soul.”​ ​Gigramor​ ​smiled​ ​and​ ​then​ ​scanned​ ​his​ ​eyes across​ ​the​ ​tavern,​ ​taking​ ​in​ ​the​ ​various​ ​races​ ​and​ ​classes​ ​of​ ​warriors​ ​present.​ ​He​ ​shot​ ​Labanar a​ ​look​ ​from​ ​the​ ​corner​ ​of​ ​his​ ​eye​ ​as​ ​he​ ​slowly​ ​dragged​ ​himself​ ​to​ ​his​ ​feet.​ ​The​ ​knight​ ​slammed his​ ​fist​ ​against​ ​the​ ​bar,​ ​causing​ ​an​ ​echo​ ​throughout​ ​the​ ​room​ ​so​ ​loud​ ​that​ ​every​ ​conversation immediately​ ​ceased​ ​and​ ​attention​ ​was​ ​drawn​ ​completely​ ​to​ ​him.​ ​The​ ​knight​ ​swept​ ​his​ ​arm​ ​out towards​ ​his​ ​friend,​ ​and​ ​with​ ​a​ ​smile,​ ​said​ ​a​ ​few​ ​words​ ​under​ ​his​ ​breath.​ ​“Labanar,​ ​make​ ​your​ ​call of​ ​arms.”

      The​ ​Demon​ ​Knight​ ​rubbed​ ​at​ ​his​ ​temples​ ​and​ ​sighed.​ ​His​ ​hand​ ​fell​ ​from​ ​his​ ​face​ ​and​ ​his​ ​eyes narrowed​ ​at​ ​his​ ​friend​ ​as​ ​he​ ​hesitantly​ ​took​ ​a​ ​deep​ ​breath.​ ​As​ ​he​ ​rose​ ​to​ ​his​ ​feet​ ​and​ ​the​ ​side​ ​of his​ ​old​ ​friend,​ ​the​ ​eyes​ ​of​ ​every​ ​man​ ​and​ ​woman​ ​in​ ​the​ ​tavern​ ​were​ ​upon​ ​them.​ ​“Attention​ ​to​ ​my fellow​ ​hunters!​ ​Clansmen!​ ​Mercenaries,​ ​and​ ​​ ​dishonored​ ​knights!​ ​I,​ ​the​ ​Demon​ ​Knight​ ​of​ ​the Kingsmarch,​ ​Labanar​ ​Byron​ ​Barborda​ ​beseech​ ​you!​ ​Any​ ​who​ ​would​ ​seek​ ​coin,​ ​honour, experience​ ​or​ ​glory​ ​in​ ​the​ ​art​ ​of​ ​the​ ​hunt,​ ​join​ ​with​ ​me​ ​as​ ​we​ ​take​ ​on​ ​this​ ​mark!”

      In​ ​an​ ​instant,​ ​the​ ​entire​ ​tavern​ ​was​ ​overtaken​ ​by​ ​an​ ​excited​ ​and​ ​overpowering​ ​roar.​ ​Various​ ​races and​ ​sexes​ ​raised​ ​their​ ​glasses​ ​to​ ​the​ ​sky​ ​and​ ​cheered​ ​for​ ​the​ ​Demon​ ​Knight’s​ ​declaration.​ ​One of​ ​the​ ​Gria​ ​who​ ​was​ ​sitting​ ​nearby​ ​rose​ ​slowly​ ​to​ ​her​ ​feet​ ​and​ ​looked​ ​Labanar​ ​over​ ​before scanning​ ​the​ ​rest​ ​of​ ​the​ ​tavern.

      “And​ ​what​ ​mark​ ​might​ ​we​ ​be​ ​hunting,​ ​ser​ ​knight?”

      Labanar​ ​pursed​ ​his​ ​lips​ ​and​ ​lowered​ ​his​ ​hand.​ ​“Jubulech.​ ​​ ​A​ ​behemoth​ ​class​ ​creature​ ​of​ ​the fourth​ ​rank.”

      As​ ​soon​ ​as​ ​the​ ​tavern​ ​had​ ​grown​ ​to​ ​a​ ​roar,​ ​even​ ​quicker​ ​so​ ​did​ ​it​ ​fall​ ​silent.​ ​Many​ ​of​ ​the interested​ ​men​ ​and​ ​women​ ​quickly​ ​retook​ ​their​ ​seats,​ ​bowing​ ​their​ ​heads​ ​in​ ​shame​ ​as​ ​they heard​ ​the​ ​beast’s​ ​name.​ ​Several​ ​minutes​ ​passed,​ ​and​ ​nearly​ ​every​ ​man​ ​and​ ​woman​ ​who​ ​had
      once​ ​stood,​ ​now​ ​retook​ ​their​ ​seats.​ ​The​ ​Gria​ ​who​ ​had​ ​at​ ​once​ ​stood​ ​to​ ​question​ ​Labanar​ ​was now​ ​completely​ ​white​ ​in​ ​the​ ​face,​ ​but​ ​removed​ ​their​ ​weapon​ ​and​ ​raised​ ​it​ ​to​ ​the​ ​sky​ ​nonetheless.

      In​ ​one​ ​corner​ ​of​ ​the​ ​room,​ ​two​ ​Moogles​ ​raised​ ​their​ ​hands​ ​into​ ​the​ ​air​ ​and​ ​began​ ​walking​ ​towards the​ ​Grian​ ​and​ ​the​ ​Hume​ ​knight.​ ​Another​ ​Gria​ ​rose​ ​from​ ​the​ ​same​ ​table​ ​as​ ​the​ ​first,​ ​and​ ​from​ ​a table​ ​a​ ​few​ ​spots​ ​away​ ​from​ ​them​ ​a​ ​group​ ​of​ ​three​ ​Humes​ ​also​ ​arose​ ​followed​ ​closely​ ​behind​ ​by
      a​ ​Seeq​ ​and​ ​Bangaa.

      “Very​ ​well​ ​then.​ ​The​ ​nine​ ​of​ ​you​ ​should​ ​gather​ ​whatever​ ​supplies​ ​you​ ​believe​ ​you’ll​ ​need.​ ​We’ll​ ​be heading​ ​out​ ​in​ ​an​ ​hour,​ ​so​ ​prepare​ ​yourselves​ ​for​ ​the​ ​battle​ ​ahead.”​ ​The​ ​men​ ​and​ ​women​ ​who had​ ​gathered​ ​around​ ​Labanar​ ​and​ ​Gigramor​ ​all​ ​raised​ ​their​ ​weapons​ ​to​ ​the​ ​sky​ ​and​ ​grunted before​ ​dispersing​ ​in​ ​a​ ​frenzied​ ​rush.
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        #6    
      Old September 7th, 2017 (7:12 PM).
      Cactusmancer's Avatar
      Cactusmancer Cactusmancer is online now
         
        Join Date: Jul 2017
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        The Liar

        Gelazela 'Gel' Khamzour

        "You're ssso ssscrewed," Gelazela lied.

        "Oh, am I?" smirked a young moogle through a cartoon mask of a chocobo.

        Gelazela slowly put her hand to her Queen Ritz mask and let it rest on her snout, protruding from the disguise clearly built for the face of a hume.

        She was holding two threes, a jack, an eight, and a copy of the rules that had somehow made its way into her hand. Gelazela was determined to bluff her way to victory even before she drew her hand; the absurdity of winning with the rules card was just the icing on the cake.

        The moogle fanned himself with his own set of cards. "You might want to just drop out now, kupo. I've been playing this game since before your grandkids were born."

        The bangaa pushed all of her chips to the center of the table. "Joke’sss on you, kupo," Gelazela mocked. "I don't even have kidsss. All in."

        The two were seated at what looked to be a discarded dinner table with green felt and makeshift wooden borders haphazardly glued on. The table sat up to six comfortably and on the weekend about twelve or so uncomfortably. On this weekday afternoon, it was sitting five.

        The gambling den primarily only attracted the local game addicts and the most spoiled and bored children of fortune during this time of day, but the odd traveler would swing by infrequently. These travelers were Gelazela’s favorite opponents to play against; they were the easiest to toy with.

        The moogle adjusted his chocobo mask with his small furred fingers.

        The three already-eliminated players sat quietly at the table, watching intently. What had begun as a jovial game had evolved into a high-stakes showdown.

        All eyes were on the moogle.

        He shifted his head and puffed out his chest, emitting a series of faint cracks. "One more chance - don't throw away all your cash, kupo. I know a loser when I see them."

        Gelazela tightened her face, took a deep breath, lifted up her mask, and flashed a smirk at the chocobo mask.
        "Me? I don't think ssso."

        The scene held itself for what felt like an eternity. Gelazela bit her lip and widened her eyes at the chocobo mask.

        The mask tilted thoughtfully. "Damn, kupo. I can't compete with that. I fold."

        A sigh sounded around the table. The spell of the game was broken, and the other players began to murmur amongst themselves.

        "I was bluffing, kupo," laughed the moogle as he placed his cards face up on the table. “All I had was a pair of eights."

        Gelazela began to slowly place her cards on the table, face up. "I had one jack...one eight...one three...two threesss...and..." The trembling bangaa failed to keep the facade any longer. She tossed the rule card across the table as she laughed into her hand.

        "What's that?" asked one of the other players.

        The moogle furiously grabbed at the card. "What the hell is this? That's not fair! You should have said that you had the rules card! You're disqualified!"

        Gelazela shook her head, put her arms onto the table and drew in a mountain of clacking chips. "Ya’ folded, you're out. I win."

        The moogle lifted his mask off of his face and looked at the other players expectantly. "Are you all okay with this?"

        "It's not a huge deal," shrugged one of the players, a young nu mou. "Let's just get on with the game."

        The moogle turned to face Gelazela again. "This garbage is why no one likes playing with bangaa, kupo. You’re too stupid to follow the rules. When there's dead cards in play, it throws the whole game off."

        Gelazela balanced her chin on her fist and haphazardly pushed her chips back into the center with her other hand. "That'sss not fair. I think people like playing with me. Take your money back; I've won enough today already."

        The moogle’s face twisted into frustration. "Don't make me the bad guy here, kupo. The other guys say you won. No one will play with me if I'm the guy who doesn't pay up."

        "Oh, you're right. I didn't think of that," Gelazela lied. "I sssuppossse we'll have to compromissse and figure out another way ya’ can pay me."

        The moogle furrowed his brow. “What do you mean by that, kupo?”

        “What do I mean by that,” Gelazela turned to the three regulars, “What could this old bangaa want instead of money?”

        The nu mou spoke first, “Gelazela hordes information like a baron hordes land, you’ve gotta tell her something she doesn’t already know. Something good.”

        The moogle only grew more puzzled, “Like what?”

        The nu mou shrugged and gestured back towards Gelazela, who was wearing a toothy grin.
        “I’m sure you’ve been someplace I haven’t or met someone interesting I’ve heard of,” she leaned into the table and trembled with excitement, “or know some spells I haven’t seen before.”

        The moogle squirmed in his seat and looked towards the door, over the old bangaa’s shoulder.

        A hume at the table had begun to deal new hands, after making sure to exclude any anomalous cards, “Are you two... still playing?”

        Gelazela’s eyes stayed locked on the moogle, waiting for her payment.

        The hume looked back and forth between the two of them with concern.

        The nu mou looked down at his new hand, trying to stay disconnected from the situation.

        “Gelazela Khamzour?” a voice yelled from the doorway.

        The tension was lifted and Gelazela turned the side of her head towards the door, “Who’sss asssking for such an old worn out lizard?”

        A viera dressed in the fine Kingmarch messengers’ uniform stood timidly in the doorway, “A summons for you, ma’am! An urgent one, please hurry! We’re already late.”

        The hume at the table slowly moved his hand to take back the five cards he had just placed in front of Gelazela.

        Gelazela looked back at the moogle as she stood up and collected her things, “Well, come on then. Thisss shouldn’t take too long.”

        The moogle stayed planted in his seat, “What? You want me to come with you? That’s ridiculous, kupo! Just take my money.” He held up a single poker chip.

        Gelazela walked up to the moogle, because of the chair’s height and her stature the two were almost at eye level.
        “C’mon, I already sssaid that I’ve won enough money today. Thisss’ll only take a second, you can wait outside the meeting so you have time to think of how you can pay me.”

        “Ms. Khamzour, please.” The viera had taken a few steps into the den.

        Gelazela turned towards the messenger and clasped her hands together, “Pleassse grab the moogle’sss thingsss, dear. I’d do it myssself but I’m quite frail thessse daysss.”

        The viera shot Gelazela a glare and muttered to herself about not being a delivery girl as she hoisted a bag resting beside the moogle’s chair onto her shoulder.

        The moogle scowled at the two women and grumbled to himself about the lack of respect in this den.

        The bangaa smiled at the door and whistled her favorite song.
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          #7    
        Old September 9th, 2017 (7:48 PM). Edited September 9th, 2017 by aeternum.
        aeternum's Avatar
        aeternum aeternum is online now
        Not Suitable For All Ages
         
        Join Date: Mar 2013
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        Tackling​ ​The​ ​Beast​ ​-​ ​Jubulech​ ​the​ ​Behemoth
        ~​ ​Ruins​ ​outside​ ​of​ ​Zaland ~
        Labanar Byron Barborda

        The​ ​hunting​ ​party​ ​had​ ​formed​ ​outside​ ​of​ ​the​ ​walls​ ​of​ ​Fort​ ​Besselat​ ​and​ ​set​ ​of​ ​on​ ​a​ ​small​ ​flock​ ​of chocobos.​ ​Their​ ​destination;​ ​the​ ​outskirts​ ​of​ ​the​ ​city​ ​of​ ​Zaland.​ ​Labanar​ ​strayed​ ​to​ ​the​ ​back​ ​of the​ ​flock,​ ​his​ ​head​ ​on​ ​a​ ​swivel​ ​as​ ​he​ ​kept​ ​an​ ​eye​ ​out​ ​for​ ​any​ ​hostile​ ​enemies.​ ​On​ ​foot,​ ​the​ ​journey to​ ​Zaland​ ​would​ ​take​ ​nearly​ ​a​ ​day.​ ​However,​ ​on​ ​the​ ​backs​ ​of​ ​their​ ​armoured​ ​chocobos,​ ​the​ ​trip would​ ​take​ ​but​ ​eight​ ​hours.

        The​ ​Demon​ ​Knight​ ​kept​ ​watch​ ​over​ ​his​ ​company​ ​as​ ​mobs​ ​of​ ​enemies​ ​fell​ ​at​ ​the​ ​wayside.​ ​Few monsters​ ​approached​ ​them​ ​on​ ​their​ ​journey,​ ​but​ ​many​ ​watched​ ​as​ ​the​ ​chocobos​ ​sped​ ​on​ ​by. Flans,​ ​skeletons,​ ​floating​ ​eyes,​ ​chocobos​ ​and​ ​even​ ​other​ ​clans​ ​watched​ ​from​ ​narrowed​ ​eyes​ ​as the​ ​hunting​ ​party​ ​passed.

        “Pay​ ​them​ ​no​ ​mind,”​ ​Labanar​ ​shouted​ ​from​ ​the​ ​back​ ​of​ ​the​ ​ranks,​ ​prompted​ ​by​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the Humes​ ​beginning​ ​to​ ​drift​ ​out​ ​towards​ ​the​ ​monsters.​ ​“They’ve​ ​no​ ​interest​ ​in​ ​us,​ ​nor​ ​we​ ​in​ ​them. We​ ​can’t​ ​afford​ ​any​ ​loss​ ​in​ ​numbers​ ​or​ ​power​ ​here​ ​if​ ​we’re​ ​to​ ​take​ ​down​ ​this​ ​Jubulech.”

        The​ ​Hume​ ​looked​ ​behind​ ​him​ ​and​ ​nodded,​ ​driving​ ​his​ chocobo​ ​back​ ​into​ ​the​ ​pack.​ ​Several​ ​more hours​ ​passed​ ​by​ ​as​ ​the​ ​hunting​ ​party​ ​grew​ ​ever​ ​closer​ ​to​ ​their​ ​mark.​ ​As​ ​the​ ​Zaland​ ​ruins​ ​came into​ ​view,​ ​Labanar​ ​rushed​ ​to​ ​the​ ​front​ ​of​ ​the​ ​formation​ ​and​ ​threw​ ​his​ ​fist​ ​into​ ​the​ ​air,​ ​motioning​ ​for the​ ​other​ ​hunters​ ​to​ ​slow​ ​their​ ​advance.​ ​The​ ​Demon​ ​Knight​ ​rode​ ​ahead​ ​of​ ​the​ ​halted​ ​formation, leaving​ ​his​ ​mount​ ​behind​ ​him.

        “Ssssir!”​ ​The​ ​Bangaa​ ​rode​ ​his​ ​chocobo​ ​up​ ​next​ ​to​ ​the​ ​knight​ ​and​ ​immediately​ ​hopped​ ​down, planting​ ​his​ ​knee​ ​in​ ​the​ ​dust​ ​covered​ ​dirt​ ​before​ ​bowing​ ​his​ ​head.​ ​“Isssn’t​ ​it​ ​sssmarter​ ​to​ ​stay atop​ ​the​ ​chocobo?​ ​If​ ​the​ ​beast​ ​were​ ​to​ ​rear​ ​its​ ​head,​ ​sir…”

        Labanar​ ​smiled​ ​and​ ​placed​ ​his​ ​hand​ ​atop​ ​the​ ​Bangaa’s​ ​head.​ ​“I’ll​ ​be​ ​quite​ ​alright,​ ​Tiero.​ ​I​ ​plan​ ​to sneak​ ​around​ ​the​ ​beast​ ​and​ ​-​ ​if​ ​need​ ​be​ ​-​ ​use​ ​my​ ​abilities​ ​to​ ​escape​ ​its​ ​grasp​ ​while​ ​I​ ​signal​ ​for your​ ​combined​ ​assault.”

        The​ ​Bangaa​ ​pressed​ ​the​ ​tip​ ​of​ ​his​ ​snout​ ​against​ ​the​ ​ground​ ​and​ ​nodded,​ ​digging​ ​his​ ​face​ ​into​ ​the dirt.​ ​“Forgive​ ​me​ ​for​ ​my​ ​insssolence.”​ ​Tiero​ ​closed​ ​his​ ​eyes​ ​and​ ​pressed​ ​his​ ​snout​ ​further​ ​into the​ ​dirt,​ ​unearthing​ ​a​ ​small​ ​chunk​ ​of​ ​soil​ ​as​ ​he​ ​buried​ ​it​ ​in​ ​deeper​ ​beneath​ ​the​ ​layers​ ​of​ ​sand​ ​and topsoil.

        Labanar​ ​moved​ ​his​ ​hand​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Bangaa’s​ ​shoulder​ ​and​ ​lifted​ ​him​ ​from​ ​his​ ​position.​ ​“It’s​ ​no​ ​matter to​ ​me.”​ ​The​ ​knight​ ​smiled​ ​at​ ​Tiero​ ​and​ ​patted​ ​both​ ​hands​ ​against​ ​the​ ​sides​ ​of​ ​his​ ​shoulders.​ ​The lizard​ ​man’s​ ​face​ ​was​ ​covered​ ​in​ ​small​ ​amounts​ ​of​ ​dirt​ ​all​ ​over,​ ​and​ ​had​ ​a​ ​single​ ​worm​ ​wiggling frantically​ ​across​ ​his​ ​snout.​ ​“I​ ​was​ ​once​ ​the​ ​same​ ​as​ ​you,​ ​so​ ​pay​ ​me​ ​no​ ​mind.​ ​Whatever​ ​it​ ​is​ ​I’ve been​ ​through​ ​in​ ​this​ ​life,​ ​I’ll​ ​never​ ​become​ ​so​ ​snobbish​ ​as​ ​to​ ​accept​ ​such​ ​groveling.​ ​Out​ ​here,​ ​I am​ ​no​ ​more​ ​the​ ​noble​ ​than​ ​you.​ ​On​ ​the​ ​hunt,​ ​we​ ​are​ ​all​ ​equals​ ​in​ ​the​ ​eyes​ ​of​ ​the​ ​beast.”

        Tiero​ ​smiled,​ ​seeing​ ​the​ ​sincerity​ ​in​ ​the​ ​knight’s​ ​eyes.​ ​“Sir.”​ ​He​ ​nodded,​ ​grabbing​ ​the​ ​reigns​ ​of​ ​his chocobo​ ​before​ ​hopping​ ​back​ ​atop​ ​its​ ​back.​ ​“I’ll​ ​rejoin​ ​the​ ​formation​ ​and​ ​await​ ​your​ ​ssignal​ ​then.”

        Labanar​ ​watched​ ​as​ ​the​ ​Bangaa​ ​rode​ ​quietly​ ​back​ ​to​ ​the​ ​rest​ ​of​ ​his​ ​group.​ ​The​ ​knight​ ​sighed​ ​and rubbed​ ​his​ ​head​ ​as​ ​he​ ​turned​ ​his​ ​back​ ​on​ ​the​ ​clansmen​ ​he’d​ ​assembled.​ ​The​ ​mark​ ​they​ ​were hunting​ ​could​ ​be​ ​anywhere​ ​around​ ​the​ ​ruins,​ ​or​ ​it​ ​might​ ​have​ ​even​ ​headed​ ​off​ ​in​ ​some​ ​other direction.​ ​He​ ​couldn’t​ ​be​ ​sure​ ​until​ ​he​ ​found​ ​some​ ​sort​ ​of​ ​tracks​ ​for​ ​the​ ​beast.

        The​ ​knight​ ​pulled​ ​the​ ​wakizashi​ ​from​ ​his​ ​waist,​ ​holding​ ​it​ ​in​ ​his​ ​right​ ​hand​ ​as​ ​he​ ​cautiously navigated​ ​the​ ​ruins​ ​in​ ​search​ ​of​ ​any​ ​type​ ​of​ ​clue.​ ​As​ ​he​ ​turned​ ​around​ ​the​ ​sides​ ​of​ ​a​ ​number​ ​of broken​ ​columns​ ​and​ ​pillars,​ ​he​ ​couldn’t​ ​help​ ​fighting​ ​the​ ​feeling​ ​that​ ​the​ ​ruins​ ​seemed​ ​a​ ​tad​ ​more ruinous​ ​than​ ​usual.​ ​He’d​ ​been​ ​to​ ​this​ ​point​ ​a​ ​number​ ​of​ ​times​ ​on​ ​previous​ ​hunts​ ​both​ ​before​ ​and after​ ​his​ ​time​ ​in​ ​project​ ​Bel,​ ​so​ ​the​ ​territory​ ​was​ ​somewhat​ ​familiar​ ​to​ ​him.​ ​As​ ​Labanar​ ​entered​ ​a small​ ​clearing​ ​he​ ​knelt​ ​down​ ​and​ ​dug​ ​his​ ​hand​ ​into​ ​the​ ​sand.​ ​The​ ​knight​ ​pulled​ ​up​ ​a​ ​small​ ​pile​ ​of the​ ​fine​ ​particles​ ​and​ ​let​ ​them​ ​run​ ​free​ ​between​ ​his​ ​fingers​ ​as​ ​he​ ​surveyed​ ​the​ ​area​ ​around​ ​him.

        “There’s​ ​hardly​ ​any​ ​sign​ ​of​ ​struggle​ ​around​ ​here.​ ​No​ ​blood,​ ​nor​ ​stench​ ​of​ ​decay.​ ​The​ ​air​ ​is​ ​quiet and​ ​still...​ ​“​ ​The​ ​knight​ ​slowly​ ​stood,​ ​staring​ ​at​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​nearby​ ​columns​ ​which​ ​had​ ​been​ ​broken eroded​ ​by​ ​years​ ​of​ ​violent​ ​sandstorms.​ ​Labanar​ ​stroked​ ​at​ ​his​ ​beard​ ​as​ ​he​ ​spun​ ​slowly​ ​in​ ​place, taking​ ​in​ ​every​ ​detail​ ​and​ ​comparing​ ​it​ ​to​ ​what​ ​he​ ​could​ ​recall​ ​of​ ​the​ ​place​ ​at​ ​a​ ​time​ ​before.​ ​The more​ ​in​ ​depth​ ​he​ ​looked,​ ​the​ ​more​ ​that​ ​it​ ​seemed​ ​the​ ​ruins​ ​were​ ​off.​ ​Not​ ​off​ ​in​ ​the​ ​way​ ​that​ ​they’d been​ ​trampled​ ​upon​ ​by​ ​a​ ​hulking​ ​monster,​ ​but​ ​that​ ​they’d​ ​been​ ​tampered​ ​with​ ​by​ ​human​ ​hands to​ ​be​ ​made​ ​to​ ​look​ ​more​ ​normal​ ​than​ ​they​ ​should.​ ​As​ ​Labanar​ ​began​ ​to​ ​lose​ ​himself​ ​in​ ​thought, he​ ​was​ ​dragged​ ​away​ ​by​ ​a​ ​loud​ ​scream​ ​coming​ ​from​ ​behind​ ​him.

        “Sir​ ​knight!​ ​Sir​ ​knight!”​ ​One​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Humes​ ​rushed​ ​towards​ ​Labanar,​ ​blood​ ​trickling​ ​down​ ​their face​ ​as​ ​they​ ​stumbled​ ​towards​ ​him.​ ​“It’s​ ​there!​ ​The​ ​Behemoth!​ ​Jubulech​ ​is​ ​attacking​ ​the chocobos!”

        Labanar’s​ ​face​ ​turned​ ​white​ ​as​ ​he​ ​pulled​ ​the​ ​other​ ​weapon​ ​from​ ​his​ ​waist​ ​and​ ​began​ ​to​ ​stride hastily​ ​in​ ​the​ ​direction​ ​of​ ​the​ ​formation​ ​that​ ​he’d​ ​left​ ​behind.​ ​“What​ ​happened?​ ​How​ ​did​ ​it​ ​get around​ ​us?”

        As​ ​Labanar​ ​came​ ​to​ ​pass​ ​the​ ​Hume,​ ​the​ ​clansman​ ​turned​ ​and​ ​matched​ ​his​ ​stride.​ ​The​ ​man​ ​had clearly​ ​been​ ​injured​ ​before​ ​coming​ ​to​ ​call​ ​on​ ​the​ ​knight,​ ​as​ ​every​ ​few​ ​steps​ ​he’d​ ​take​ ​would​ ​end with​ ​him​ ​falling​ ​nearly​ ​a​ ​step​ ​and​ ​a​ ​half​ ​behind​ ​as​ ​he​ ​winced​ ​in​ ​pain​ ​and​ ​stumbled​ ​to​ ​the​ ​side.​ ​“It didn’t.​ ​The​ ​creature…​ ​it…​ ​it​ ​wasn’t​ ​there​ ​one​ ​second,​ ​and​ ​then​ ​the​ ​next​ ​it​ ​just​ ​popped​ ​up!”

        “What​ ​do​ ​you​ ​mean​ ​it​ ​just,​ ​popped​ ​up?”

        “I​ ​mean,”​ ​the​ ​Hume​ ​looked​ ​at​ ​his​ ​hands​ ​as​ ​he​ ​walked,​ ​shaking​ ​them​ ​around​ ​vigorously​ ​against each​ ​other.​ ​“Swoosh!​ ​When​ ​you​ ​left,​ ​there​ ​was​ ​nothing.​ ​Then​ ​after​ ​a​ ​while,​ ​there​ ​was something!​ ​I​ ​don’t​ ​know​ ​how​ ​else​ ​to​ ​explain​ ​it,​ ​Sir!”

        Labanar​ ​scowled​ ​and​ ​quickened​ ​his​ ​pace,​ ​almost​ ​running​ ​back​ ​towards​ ​the​ ​chocobo​ ​mounted clansmen.​ ​The​ ​Hume​ ​who​ ​had​ ​come​ ​to​ ​warn​ ​him​ ​slowly​ ​fell​ ​behind​ ​as​ ​the​ ​knight​ ​came​ ​in​ ​to​ ​the clearing​ ​where​ ​he’d​ ​left​ ​the​ ​others.​ ​“What…​ ​no…”​ ​the​ ​knight​ ​slowly​ ​walked​ ​forward,​ ​his​ ​mouth ajar​ ​as​ ​he​ ​saw​ ​the​ ​behemoth​ ​in​ ​all​ ​of​ ​its​ ​glory​ ​as​ ​it​ ​stood​ ​atop​ ​the​ ​crushed​ ​bodies​ ​of​ ​nearly​ ​half​ ​of the​ ​men​ ​he’d​ ​brought​ ​along​ ​with​ ​him.

        The​ ​Behemoth​ ​slowly​ ​turned​ ​towards​ ​Labanar,​ ​letting​ ​loose​ ​a​ ​ferocious​ ​roar​ ​as​ ​Tiero,​ ​the​ ​two Grians,​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Moogles​ ​and​ ​another​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Humes​ ​let​ ​loose​ ​a​ ​flurry​ ​of​ ​attacks​ ​upon​ ​it.​ ​The monster​ ​swatted​ ​the​ ​Moogle​ ​with​ ​its​ ​tail,​ ​sending​ ​the​ ​tiny​ ​being​ ​flying​ ​across​ ​the​ ​sands​ ​before crashing​ ​in​ ​to​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​various​ ​fallen​ ​pillars.​ ​The​ ​knight’s​ ​face​ ​turned​ ​a​ ​bright​ ​red​ ​as​ ​his​ ​pace quickened​ ​even​ ​further,​ ​his​ ​swords​ ​slowly​ ​becoming​ ​engulfed​ ​in​ ​a​ ​swirl​ ​of​ ​black​ ​and​ ​red​ ​as​ ​his emotions​ ​took​ ​hold​ ​over​ ​him.

        “And​ ​just​ ​where​ ​do​ ​you​ ​think​ ​you’re​ ​going,​ ​sir​ ​knight?”​ ​Labanar​ ​turned​ ​his​ ​head,​ ​looking​ ​over​ ​his shoulder​ ​at​ ​the​ ​Hume​ ​who’d​ ​lead​ ​him​ ​into​ ​the​ ​clearing.​ ​“I​ ​never​ ​said​ ​you​ ​could​ ​go​ ​on​ ​ahead, Demon.”

        “What?”​ ​Labanar​ ​slowly​ ​turned,​ ​only​ ​just​ ​catching​ ​a​ ​glimpse​ ​of​ ​the​ ​whip​ ​as​ ​it​ ​cracked​ ​across​ ​his cheek.​ ​The​ ​attack​ ​sent​ ​the​ ​knight​ ​tumbling​ ​to​ ​the​ ​ground,​ ​having​ ​caught​ ​him​ ​completely​ ​off guard.​ ​The​ ​knight​ ​quickly​ ​looked​ ​up​ ​at​ ​the​ ​Hume,​ ​taking​ ​in​ ​the​ ​features​ ​of​ ​his​ ​face​ ​over​ ​the course​ ​of​ ​a​ ​few​ ​seconds.​ ​“You’re​ ​not​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Humes​ ​who​ ​came​ ​along​ ​with​ ​us…​ ​who…​ ​who are​ ​you?”

        The​ ​Hume​ ​laughed​ ​hardily​ ​as​ ​he​ ​wound​ ​the​ ​whip​ ​around​ ​his​ ​arm.​ ​“Oh,​ ​I’m​ ​sure​ ​you’d​ ​like​ ​to know,​ ​wouldn’t​ ​you?​ ​Of​ ​course​ ​you​ ​would…​ ​after​ ​all,​ ​I​ ​am​ ​the​ ​one​ ​who​ ​killed​ ​all​ ​of​ ​your​ ​friends back​ ​there.​ ​Or,​ ​I​ ​suppose​ ​I​ ​should​ ​say​ ​it​ ​was​ ​my​ ​pet​ ​who​ ​killed​ ​them​ ​all.”

        “A​ ​beastmaster.”​ ​Labanar​ ​grit​ ​his​ ​teeth​ ​as​ ​his​ ​head​ ​inched​ ​away​ ​from​ ​the​ ​man​ ​attempting​ ​to loom​ ​over​ ​him.​ ​“What​ ​business​ ​have​ ​you​ ​here?​ ​Why​ ​do​ ​you​ ​call​ ​upon​ ​the​ ​powers​ ​of​ ​the behemoth​ ​to​ ​wreak​ ​such​ ​havoc​ ​and​ ​mayhem?”

        “My​ ​reasons​ ​are​ ​my​ ​own. I've no intention of explaining myself to someone so close to death.​ ​I​ ​can’t​ ​have​ ​you​ ​off​ ​destroying​ ​my​ ​pet​ ​just​ ​yet​ ​anyways,​ ​not​ ​after​ ​all​ ​the hard​ ​work​ ​I​ ​put​ ​in​ ​to​ ​tracking​ ​him​ ​down​ ​and​ ​taming​ ​him.​ ​No​ ​matter​ ​your​ ​rank,​ ​you’re​ ​going​ ​to​ ​fall here.”

        “I​ ​don’t​ ​think​ ​so!”​ ​One​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Gria​ ​quickly​ ​flew​ ​over.​ ​Hovering​ ​over​ ​the​ ​fallen​ ​knight,​ ​she​ ​erected​ ​a violently​ ​glowing​ ​barrier​ ​which​ ​pushed​ ​the​ ​beastmaster​ ​away​ ​as​ ​it​ ​grew​ ​to​ ​its​ ​full​ ​size.​ ​As​ ​soon as​ ​the​ ​barrier​ ​completed​ ​its​ ​formation,​ ​the​ ​remainder​ ​of​ ​the​ ​clansmen​ ​that​ ​Labanar​ ​had​ ​brought with​ ​him​ ​all​ ​rushed​ ​under​ ​its​ ​protection​ ​at​ ​once.​ ​Jubulech​ ​followed​ ​closely​ ​behind,​ ​lunging​ ​at​ ​the remaining​ ​Moogle​ ​as​ ​he​ ​somersaulted​ ​into​ ​the​ ​barrier,​ ​causing​ ​the​ ​beast​ ​to​ ​fall​ ​backwards​ ​as​ ​it was​ ​repelled​ ​by​ ​the​ ​divine’s​ ​protection.

        “Good​ ​going​ ​Mary!”​ ​The​ ​Gria​ ​who​ ​had​ ​challenged​ ​him​ ​in​ ​the​ ​tavern​ ​earlier​ ​that​ ​morning​ ​smiled and​ ​slapped​ ​her​ ​friend​ ​on​ ​the​ ​shoulder,​ ​giving​ ​it​ ​a​ ​tight​ ​squeeze​ ​as​ ​she​ ​shook​ ​her​ ​about​ ​- causing​ ​the​ ​barrier​ ​to​ ​flicker​ ​as​ ​she​ ​lost​ ​her​ ​focus.

        “Don’t​ ​do​ ​that​ ​Morticia!​ ​If​ ​I​ ​lose​ ​focus​ ​then​ ​we’ll​ ​likely​ ​all​ ​die​ ​to​ ​that​ ​monster!”

        “Mondu,​ ​how​ ​are​ ​you?”​ ​Tiero​ ​walked​ ​over​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Moogle​ ​who’d​ ​been​ ​batted​ ​away​ ​so​ ​effortlessly. The​ ​Bangaa​ ​placed​ ​both​ ​of​ ​his​ ​hands​ ​on​ ​the​ ​bruised​ ​leg​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Moogle​ ​as​ ​he​ ​inspected​ ​its​ ​length.

        “I’ve​ ​been​ ​better,​ ​sure,​ ​kupo.”​ ​The​ ​Moogle​ ​winced​ ​in​ ​pain​ ​as​ ​the​ ​Bangaa​ ​put​ ​pressure​ ​on​ ​his bruised​ ​leg.​ ​“Can’t​ ​say​ ​that​ ​the​ ​leg​ ​feels​ ​too​ ​great,​ ​but​ ​I’m​ ​sure​ ​I’ll​ ​live.​ ​If​ ​that​ ​monster​ ​hadn’t eaten​ ​all​ ​my​ ​Phoenix​ ​Downs,​ ​I​ ​probably​ ​could​ ​have​ ​saved​ ​Mallory​ ​too…​ ​I​ ​suppose​ ​that’s​ ​the danger​ ​of​ ​the​ ​hunt.​ ​Kup-kupo. The​ ​boss’ll​ ​most​ ​likely​ ​be​ ​upset​ ​to​ ​hear​ ​that​ ​one​ ​of​ ​his​ ​top​ ​Moogles​ ​didn’t make​ ​it​ ​back.”

        “Don’t​ ​worry​ ​about​ ​it.”​ ​Labanar​ ​slowly​ ​raised​ ​himself​ ​to​ ​his​ ​feet​ ​as​ ​he​ ​stared​ ​at​ ​the​ ​Hume​ ​ahead of​ ​him.​ ​The​ ​beastmaster​ ​snapped​ ​his​ ​whip​ ​repeatedly,​ ​a​ ​grin​ ​plastered​ ​across​ ​his​ ​face​ ​as​ ​he circled​ ​the​ ​impenetrable​ ​enclosure.​ ​“I’m​ ​sure​ ​he’ll​ ​understand​ ​if​ ​he​ ​hears​ ​what​ ​you​ ​tried​ ​to​ ​go​ ​up against.​ ​It’s​ ​my​ ​fault​ ​for​ ​not​ ​being​ ​more​ ​cautious.​ ​I’ll​ ​make​ ​sure​ ​to​ ​pay​ ​amends​ ​for​ ​his​ ​loss.​ ​For now​ ​though,​ ​we​ ​should​ ​focus​ ​on​ ​the​ ​task​ ​at​ ​hand.​ ​There’s​ ​still​ ​more​ ​than​ ​half​ ​of​ ​us​ ​here…​ ​we should​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​take​ ​down​ ​this​ ​mark​ ​regardless.​ ​We’ll​ ​save​ ​everything​ ​else​ ​for​ ​later.”

        The​ ​one​ ​remaining​ ​Hume​ ​wiped​ ​his​ ​face,​ ​clearing​ ​away​ ​the​ ​tears​ ​that​ ​had​ ​been​ ​streaming​ ​so furiously​ ​since​ ​even​ ​before​ ​he​ ​came​ ​in​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Gria’s​ ​barrier.​ ​“Y-you’re​ ​right.​ ​Things​ ​like​ ​these happen…​ ​this​ ​is​ ​what’s​ ​expected​ ​of​ ​hunters​ ​after​ ​all…”

        Tiero​ ​wrapped​ ​his​ ​arm​ ​around​ ​the​ ​young​ ​Hume​ ​and​ ​pulled​ ​him​ ​in​ ​close​ ​to​ ​his​ ​chest.​ ​“Hey​ ​kiddo, don’t​ ​get​ ​ssso​ ​bent​ ​out​ ​of​ ​shape​ ​about​ ​it.​ ​It​ ​hurts​ ​when​ ​you’re​ ​just​ ​ssstarting​ ​out…​ ​but​ ​you’ll​ ​get used​ ​to​ ​it.​ ​Trussst​ ​me.”​ ​The​ ​Bangaa​ ​smacked​ ​its​ ​tongue​ ​against​ ​the​ ​roof​ ​of​ ​its​ ​mouth​ ​several times​ ​as​ ​it​ ​breathed,​ ​trying​ ​to​ ​find​ ​the​ ​right​ ​words​ ​to​ ​say.​ ​“See​ ​that​ ​Seeq​ ​over​ ​there?​ ​Best​ ​friend​ ​I ever​ ​had,​ ​I​ ​tell​ ​ya.​ ​Known​ ​the​ ​guy​ ​for​ ​three​ ​years.​ ​Never​ ​had​ ​even​ ​a​ ​single​ ​problem​ ​with​ ​him,​ ​tight pocketed​ ​as​ ​he​ ​was.​ ​Now​ ​he’s​ ​dead,​ ​and​ ​there’s​ ​really​ ​nothin’​ ​I​ ​can​ ​do​ ​‘bout​ ​it.​ ​If​ ​it’d​ ​happened five​ ​or​ ​ten​ ​years​ ​ago​ ​it​ ​probably​ ​woulda​ ​tore​ ​me​ ​right​ ​up.​ ​Now?​ ​I​ ​just​ ​kind​ ​of​ ​expect​ ​it,​ ​y’know? Those​ ​Humes​ ​out​ ​there​ ​coulda​ ​been​ ​your​ ​best​ ​of​ ​friends,​ ​Travis.​ ​But​ ​none​ ​of​ ​that​ ​matters​ ​now. See?​ ​Sir​ ​Barborda ​knows​ ​what​ ​I​ ​mean,​ ​just​ ​ask​ ​him.”

        The​ ​Hume​ ​looked​ ​up​ ​at​ ​Labanar​ ​with​ ​bloodshot​ ​eyes,​ ​somehow​ ​still​ ​filled​ ​with​ ​wonder​ ​at​ ​the Bangaa’s​ ​words​ ​despite​ ​their​ ​current​ ​position.​ ​“S-sir​ ​knight?”

        Labanar​ ​glanced​ ​down​ ​at​ ​the​ ​boy​ ​and​ ​then​ ​back​ ​up​ ​at​ ​the​ ​beastmaster.​ ​“Now’s​ ​not​ ​really​ ​the time​ ​for​ ​it,​ ​Travis.”​ ​The​ ​knight​ ​fiddled​ ​with​ ​the​ ​weapons​ ​at​ ​his​ ​waist,​ ​having​ ​replaced​ ​them​ ​only​ ​a few​ ​seconds​ ​prior.​ ​“Focus​ ​on​ ​the​ ​hunt,​ ​or​ ​you’ll​ ​just​ ​be​ ​another​ ​body​ ​lost​ ​in​ ​the​ ​sand.​ ​If​ ​we’re going​ ​to​ ​take​ ​this​ ​monster​ ​and​ ​its​ ​master​ ​down,​ ​we’re​ ​going​ ​to​ ​need​ ​to​ ​strategize.”

        “And​ ​strategize​ ​we​ ​ssshall!”​ ​Tiero​ ​slapped​ ​the​ ​young​ ​Hume​ ​on​ ​the​ ​back​ ​with​ ​a​ ​smile,​ ​his​ ​eyes slowly​ ​dulling​ ​all​ ​the​ ​while.​ ​“Although,​ ​first​ ​we​ ​really​ ​should​ ​find​ ​out​ ​what​ ​each​ ​of​ ​us​ ​is​ ​fully capable​ ​of.​ ​Obviously​ ​the​ ​boy’s​ ​an​ ​archer-”

        “Bowmaster,”​ ​Travis​ ​cut​ ​in,​ ​his​ ​eyes​ ​fixated​ ​on​ ​the​ ​ground​ ​as​ ​he​ ​mumbled.​ ​“I’m…​ ​a bowmaster…​ ​a​ ​pretty​ ​decent​ ​one​ ​I​ ​suppose.”

        “My​ ​bad,​ ​let​ ​me​ ​start​ ​again​ ​then.”​ ​The​ ​Bangaa​ ​took​ ​a​ ​deep​ ​breath​ ​and​ ​sighed.​ ​“So​ ​we’ve​ ​a bowmaster,​ ​a​ ​pilgrim,​ ​a​ ​falcon,​ ​an​ ​acrobat,​ ​a​ ​guardian​ ​and​ ​of​ ​course,​ ​a​ ​demon​ ​knight.”​ ​Tiero stopped​ ​and​ ​surveyed​ ​the​ ​room,​ ​his​ ​mouth​ ​clasped​ ​shut​ ​as​ ​he​ ​searched​ ​for​ ​any​ ​other​ ​opening mouths.​ ​“So?​ ​What​ ​do​ ​we​ ​do​ ​with​ ​all​ ​this​ ​information?”

        “I’ve​ ​got​ ​more​ ​than​ ​a​ ​few​ ​ideas.”​ ​Labanar​ ​pulled​ ​the​ ​wooden​ ​knife​ ​from​ ​the​ ​pouch​ ​on​ ​his​ ​gut​ ​and began​ ​to​ ​draw​ ​lines​ ​in​ ​the​ ​sand.​ ​“I​ ​just​ ​hope​ ​that​ ​this​ ​barrier​ ​holds​ ​out​ ​long​ ​enough​ ​for​ ​me​ ​to​ ​pitch a​ ​few​ ​of​ ​‘em.”
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        Old September 11th, 2017 (10:16 AM).
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        Dungeon Maker Dungeon Maker is offline
           
          Join Date: Jun 2017
          Posts: 62
          Crimson feathers of a red chocobo made for lovely down though it wasn't the intention of the demon knight to pluck the beast. This was merely grooming that the tamer needed to do for his pet. This particular red chocobo was one that didn't seem to like people of this continent thus it was impossible for this task to be given to anyone else. Kei Nagai, shinobi of a lost clan, was the only being permitted to do this.

          "Rolling in the dirt and splashing in mud, the burning red of your feathers is dimmed in these ways. Why not consider your pelt to be a treasure of great beauty? Ah you're just having fun aren't you?" The shinobi asked while picking off and wiping away grim from the legs of the tall beast.

          "Kewwwwaah!" It said, bouncing up and down as someone approached. Kei dropped his rag while trying to calm his friend. If only he'd known this creature's past then perhaps one day he could free it from its anger against the people.

          "Demon Knight and Shinobi from the East, there is an urgent summons from the kingsmarch to gather at the war room of the white wing." A messenger said, alarming the red chocobo with every syllable.

          "Thank you. I will go as soon as..." The red chocobo lifted itself off the ground with a mighty leap and thrust itself at the messenger. Kei was quick enough to pull the small moogle out of harms way.

          "Please. The warning posts are there for a reason. Ring the bell next to the gate to get my attention." The shinobi said, taking the moogle to the fence of the enclosed field.

          "Yes- certainly next time I will do so." The messenger retreated back to the settlement.

          Meanwhile the chocobo seemed pleased with itself by running around the field with its wings drawn around. It seemed ready to fly into the air with the speed it was going. But then it stopped at the fence as to not run into the wooden walling. The beast could just leap over it however. But because it didn't, Kei knew the chocobo was holding back as normal. Outside this pen it had many more things to worry about including local beasts and hunters looking for a rare mark.

          "You've already been trained by someone else. I can see the look of sorrow in your eyes." Kei said, approaching the chocobo then pulling its head to his shoulder.

          "There's nothing to worry about within this fence. I've got traps waiting for hunters and your tent is marked with a warning sign of your power. While I'm gone, don't worry about me." Kei said, bringing it back to its appropriately sized resting place. There was fine greens for it to feed on but the large bird wasn't eating.

          "I must go. Please take care of yourself until my return." Kei vanished from the bird's view.

          On his way to the white wing he noticed a strangeness in the sky. A cloud looming overhead like a noose. It was bad luck to stand still under such a cloud. So he hurried even as to push people out of the way, however rude it was or incredibly mean to women or children.

          Arriving to the war room in his full attire he was ready though he paced a bit as to not stand still among the group.
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