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  #251    
Old May 2nd, 2017 (10:22 AM).
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aeternum aeternum is offline
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'A monster named Deja'

Jebediah Kleutsch-Sanders, Bounty Hunter & Supposed God in Training
Level 3, Air and Water, $1,320
Who the psyduck knows anymore


Jebediah flapped his wings and sprung into the air, blinking his way closer and closer to the water titan. Out of all the ones that were there, he figured that the water titan would be the easiest to get rid of due to it having relatively less power than the others. Even though the fire titans were roughly half the size of the other five, getting close to them and dealing damage to the hosts would have been more troublesome at the moment. At least with the water, the native controlling the monster was still visible. All he had to do was cut his way into it and take the native down. Of course, things are never that easy.

As Jeb drew within arm’s reach of the water titan, he was swatted down by one of the fire titans like a fly. Throwing up a shield at the last moment, his body was spared the direct damage of the fiery slap. As the shield dispersed itself, the tips of his wings caught flame and he was forced to make a retreat higher into the sky. He quickly patted out the flames which were growing wilder by the second and just barely noticed one of the titans pulling back its arm, readying to throw one of the spears.

A massive spear of lightning hurtled towards Jebediah so fast that when he attempted to dodge it, it ripped through his coat and tore away a small chunk of his side, cauterizing the wound on its own as it passed through. Jebediah watched as the spear flew past him a few more hundred feet and then burst into thousands of pieces which began to rain down on him like a shower of arrows. The bounty hunter tucked his wings and sped towards the water titan once more, hoping that it would offer some protection with its body.

Taking a deep breath, Jebediah ripped through into the center of the water titan and waited for the storm to pass. But for the titans, there was no rest. The shards of lightning continued to fall, ripping into and through the water titan’s body as it did so. The other titans started to close the distance on Jebediah and his current cover, readying the rest of their spears to strike down their own brother. All at once, the elementals jabbed their weapons into their comrade, tearing apart its body as Jebediah swam out of the weapons’ range. The water titan began to boil as the two fire titans intensified the heat of their flame-covered spears and snakes of electricity began to swim quickly through the water in all directions, closing the distance between Jeb and his death.

The bounty hunter quickly shot out of the leg of the water titan as it began to lose form due to its host dying. A trail of blood followed behind him as the boils began to rise up on his leg, having been caught up in the intense heat for but a moment before escaping. The water titan collapsed onto the two fire titans, dousing their flames and crushing the hosts within.

Jebediah chuckled as he glided to the ground. “Y’all really lack communication. I didn’t even have to do anything there and you just killed all your friends.”

The bounty hunter’s wings withdrew into his body as he crashed into the ground, having been burned and eaten away at by the lightning in the water titan they resembled only a skeleton of what they once were. Jebediah propped himself up against a rock as he watched the lightning and ice titan absorb their fallen brothers. As they did, the two became even taller, their chests reaching the clouds as multi-colored spears formed in their hands. The sky began to grow dark as these natives manipulated the weather around them with their very presence.

Jebediah smirked as he recalled his first fight with Vereryl and the titans in Wrench. They had caused a similar phenomenon to occur, but the bounty hunter doubted those ancient beings would appear from the sky this time. The entire feel of this battle was different from the time before. Even if the ancients were natives themselves, Jeb could somehow tell that their motivations were different from the natives of his time… even if they were both still trying to kill him.

“Hey, look guys,” Jebediah began, sputtering blood as he spoke, “I don’t really have the energy for this right now. I would really appreciate it if we could just call it a truce for now.”

A loud boom echoed from the sky above, rattling the rocks around the bounty hunter and causing him to wince in pain. It seemed they were finally willing to talk, but only because they knew it could cause Jebediah to die. Boom followed boom as lightning began to streak across the sky and a black hail began to strike the ground, causing hundreds of explosions every second and creating craters in the sand.

Jebediah tried to stand, not wanting to get caught in the bombardment of exploding ice crystals. As he rose to his feet, he wobbled and fell back to the ground hitting his ribs against the stone he had just propped himself up against. Choking on his own blood, he tried to stand once more. Rising uneasily to his feet and swaying from side to side, the bounty hunter slowly made his way away from the titans, using his sword as a walking stick. Before he had even made it twenty feet, one of the multicolored spears fell from the sky and impaled the ground in front of the bounty hunter.

“Oh psyduck me.” Jebediah shook his head and bit his lip, fighting back tears of regret as he realized he would actually be dying here. “Just give me a break already! I can’t do this anymore.”

As the bounty hunter spoke, five more spears fell from the sky and created a hexagon around the man. As the final spear hit the ground a milky white wall formed, connecting each of the spears together and ensnaring Jebediah within it like a cage. On every side, and up above the white walls had connected and completely trapped the man inside with no way out. He walked towards the wall and placed the tip of his sword against, causing the entire blade to bubble up and fall to the ground. The hilt of the weapon fell from his hand as the howling of a wolf echoed outside the prison.

“I’ll give this one back to you Kleutsch. It’s over for now. Our body is completely and totally spent… our only hope now is that you might be able to talk your way out of it. That is after all, one of the only things you’re good for now.”

The howl of the wolf grew louder as streaks began to appear on Jebediah’s face from the tears as they tore through the layer of blood and dust caked on his face. Slowly, his eyes shut and the bounty hunter lost consciousness.

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  #252    
Old May 14th, 2017 (2:49 AM).
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gimmepie gimmepie is offline
 
Join Date: May 2012
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Age: 23
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Elias Stork
Meeting Felix Griffin

Elias and Flint found themselves standing a vast open room with a polished wooden floor. Despite its size however the room was largely sparse aside from the single large table at the back of the room, at which one person sat in an oversized and out of place armchair. That man was Felix Griffin, the unelusive but ridiculously wealthy Big Bad. He reclined in the chair like it was a throne and flaunted his wealth in his attire - a perfectly fitted suit complete with gloves and bowler hat. Felix looked more like an eccentric businessman than one of the most feared criminals in Jeimas.

Behind Felix, two other men stood. A rugged man with greying hair dressed in jeans and a fading flannel shirt and a revolver at his waist and a taller man with a shaven head and dark skin. Unlike the first, he was well dressed much like his boss. He didn't seem to be carrying a weapon but he had a stern gaze and seemed perfectly comfortable in the company of several armed men. Aside from the five of them, one other person remained in the room. A young woman, dressed in black and wearing an amused expression. She seemed to be there for similar reasons as to what they were pretending.

Elias couldn't fathom it, but Flint seemed more concerned about her than the man in front of them who was worth in the neighbourhood of thirty thousand dollars.

"What makes you think I need nor want your services?" Felix said, adressing Elias, Flint and the young woman who seemed to have most of Flint's attnetion. "I might have lost Tess' support, but I stll have plenty of men loyal to me. Why should I hire you?"

"Well, you've got at least one opening now." Elias said, pointing out that Flint had just shot one of Felix's followers in the head only about ten minutes prior. "If people who get killed that easily are who you've got left without Tess' guys then I think you might want to reconsider your postion."

"What makes you think you wouldn't die just as easily." the woman interjected, still wearing the same amused smirk. Elias felt a shiver run down his spine at her words. It was like she could see right through his false bravado with ease. He'd always thought of himself as a master storyteller, but it was like she was looking right through him.

"Says the little girl." Flint interjected, finally seeming to come to his senses. Something about him still seemed off to Elias.

Just who the hell is she? He's hardly said anything or looked away from her. He's going to get me killed if he's that distracted. Psyduck. Elias kept up a constant inner monlogue, although it consted entirely of lines similar to that one. He was terrfiied. He'd been dragged into an incredibly dangerous situation and the one person who might keep him alive wasn't on his A-game.

"I could just have Bellamy and Mr. White here kill you all." Felix's smooth, charismatic voice cut in. Interupting Flint and the woman before things could go any further. However, the debate didn't end there.

"I would really like to see them try." The woman said, her voice equally as mocking as Felix's was captivating. Elias felt completely out of his depth. "They don't seem to be particularly good guards to me."

"What makes you say that?" Felix said, raising an eyebrow. Now the woman laughed, the kind of laugh that was insulting more than mirthful.

"Neither of them have realised that those two men are bounty hunters. They're probably here to kill you."

There was no wait for confirmation, no rebuttal. Flint's revolver was in his hand and aimed at Felix in an instant. In the same breath he pulled the trigger and bullet flew from the barrel. Instead of blasting a hole in the target's head however, it was as though the space between them shattered. Thick shards of something like glass fell to the floor along with the bullet. The ironically-named Mr. White smiled a sinister grin as Bellamy pulled his own weapon from his holster.

Elias and Flint dived out the way as Bellamy pulled the trigger, narrowly avoiding death. In the next instant however, the shards had whipped up into a whirlwind inflicting numerous shallow cuts to both Elias and Flint.

"Damnit Flint, you said this wouldn't get me killed!" Elias yelled, shakily drawing his weapon and firing madly - missing all three of the men in front of him completely. He heard the woman laugh as she simply stood there, soaking up the chaos in front of her. Then, she drew a gun of her own and pointed it at Elias as he tried to escape the flurry of broken glass. She winked at him then, before turning the weapon on Felix who was still reclining comfortably in his chair. She pulled the trigger, only for the shattering effect to happen again. In an instant she was on the other side of the room avoiding a glassy whirlwind like the one tha had caught Elias and Flint.

"What the psyduck is going on!?" Elias exclaimed through gritted teeth as the maelstrom finally died down. Bellamy aimed his gun at him, but Flint came to his rescue - several walls of earth exploding through the floor. Felix and his men were sent tumbling as the table was shattered by one of the walls. The bullet collided with the defense in front of Elias.

"That's Jedediah Rush's daughter!" Flint yelled at Elias, causing him to freeze in surprise only for him to very suddenly return to motion as Rieve appeared beside him and pressed her gun to his head. Elias ducked below the weapon as she pulled the trigger and tackled the woman, the bullet flying into the cieling above them as a result. She was only under him for a moment though, disappearing and reappearing elsewhere once more. Flint ran across from behind his wall, shooting at Bellamy who had taken shelter behind a large chunk of the destroyed table. "You'll have to excuse my granddaughter, she's got a temper like her grandmother."

"Your psyducking what?!" Elias yelled as a spear of glass suddenly flew past him, White also still an active participant in the battle.

"I thought I already explained my life story!" Flint yelled over the sound of Rieve and Bellamy both shooting simultaneously. A second wall of Earth erupting to protect their backs.

"I think you left that part ou-" Elias began when suddenly he heard the sound of the heavy double doors behind them, interupting him.

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  #253    
Old May 15th, 2017 (11:17 AM).
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aeternum aeternum is offline
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'And the grand Vu'

Jebediah Kleutsch-Sanders, Bounty Hunter & Supposed God in Training
Level 3, Air and Water, $1,320
Who the psyduck knows anymore


A darkness surrounded Jebediah’s consciousness. He could tell that he wasn’t dead, due to still feeling the phantom pressure of his limbs unlike when he had died before. He had passed out from the pain and loss of blood after his alternate personality gave control of their body back to him. He might not have been dead yet, but he was sure that it would come soon. He couldn’t move his body, or wake himself up yet either due to his exhaustion.

“That’s enough. Let him up.”

The voice cut through the darkness, and just slightly Jebediah could open his eyes against the blinding light of the walls around him. The titan loomed over him, pulling away the roof of the the chamber along with one of the spears which made up a wall. Slowly, the monster pulled up the rest of the spears and then pushed Jebediah’s body up against a wall, crushing the bones in the bounty hunter’s left leg as it did so.

The bounty hunter lazily accepted the pain. His body was still for the most part limp, him still being too exhausted to move it. A low groan escaped his lips as the bones broke one by one and then were ground to dust as he was scraped against the ground. His back rested against the cold stone behind him as the rest of his body slowly slid to the left, falling easily back to the ground.

“Did I not say to stop?”

The voice came again. Jebediah adjusted his eyes, now completely unable to feel his leg. He felt even more lightheaded than before as he tried to make out the figure approaching him. The brown skin of the middle-aged man contrasted the white of the walls he walked past which were still sparking in and out of existence. The native stopped in front of the bounty hunter and scanned his eyes up and down the crushed man.

“Ruf yna oui vaamehk?”

“W-what?” Jebediah squinted his eyes at the man as he spoke the strange language.

“Cu oui tuh'd ihtancdyht… You’re not exactly living up to your expectations Jebediah. I thought you had met with the Dark Ones before. Our language should at least sound familiar to you. From what my familiars had reported on you, I had expected much more. You have many tricks, but no real power.”

“Yeah, well if you had just come back from the brink of death the same day you took on an army I think you wouldn’t fare so well either.”

“Ekhunyhd ehjytan… If you intend to take down Jedidiah, Vereryl, or any of the other great powers of this land then you should at least be ready to take on an army. You’re nothing but a joke in your current state.”

“Vereryl… you mean Alice? Do you know where she’s gone off too? Tell me. Tell me! I have to find her… I have to…”

The native pressed his boot against the shattered kneecap of Jebediah’s left leg and pressed down with all of his weight, prompting the bounty hunter to scream out in pain as shards of bone broke through the back of his leg.

“You lack the power required to save those you love, as you always have. You let Jedediah walk away because your powers were nonexistent. You let the demon walk away and kill not only your father, but hundreds of others because your powers were insufficient. Now, you die because your powers are unimpressive. I alone will end the scourge that the demon brings, as is my duty as the sole survivor of my clan. I will finish what I should have never let begin. This is my repentance… and I will not have you stand in my way Jebediah. Your destiny… your purpose no longer exists. Now, you only have the right to die here by my hands.”

The outlaw reached down and grabbed Jebediah by the throat, wrapping both of his calloused hands around his neck as he lifted him up into the air. The bounty hunter lifted Rey and fired off two rounds into the native, but the bullets only bounced off of his stomach.

“I have no love for those who did not inherit this land from my ancestors. All those I once cared for also fell to the power of someone far stronger than me. This is why I have trained, strengthening myself for the tasks yet to come. I shall have my revenge on all those who wronged both me and my people. So for powers such as yours, I shall need no magic. For an invader such as yourself, using my land’s powers would be a disgrace. There is nothing you can do now to stop me. I will fulfill my destiny, and take on yours in your place.”

Jebediah winced as the corners of his eyes began to give way to the darkness. He could feel the hands tightening around his throat with every second that passed. The bounty hunter fired off seven more bullets in rapid succession and flailed his one good leg wildly about, trying as hard as he could to break free with what little energy he still had. He closed his eyes and grit his teeth together, wondering if he should begin to pray to himself or some other power.

Just when all was thought to be lost, the hands clenched around the bounty hunter’s throat released. Jebediah fell to the ground, choking and gasping for air as he blinked his eyes rapidly. He was still alive. The man looked up at the outlaw, wondering why it was that he had dropped him when the job was nearly done.

Three black spikes were protruding from the native’s chest as he stumbled backwards. The titan behind him readied the spears in its hands and then began to flail about wildly as black vines crept up its legs and pierced through its body. The Night Wolf screamed out as he pulled the spikes from his chest and tossed them to the side. Hundreds of spectral wolves began to appear from the outlaw’s sides as he ignored the bounty hunter beside him and set off at a sprint.

Slowly, Jebediah turned his head to follow the path of the outlaw. Off in the distance were two men and two women, surrounding a little girl all clad in black.

Jebediah's jaw fell open as he came to realize who these people were. The bounty hunter rose shakily to his feet, finding that his sword was in his direct vicinity. Using the weapon as a crutch, he began to make his way in the direction of the little girl. "Alice," he whispered to himself as he began to close the nearly four-hundred yard gap between them.

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  #254    
Old May 18th, 2017 (12:05 PM).
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aeternum aeternum is offline
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'Egress'

Jebediah Kleutsch-Sanders, Bounty Hunter & Supposed God in Training
Level 3, Air and Water, $1,320
Who the psyduck knows anymore


Off in the distance, one of the followers of Vereryl was busy tearing apart the titan which had so easily defeated Jebediah. The dark imbued ice which the follower had been gifted with traced up and down the monstrous beings body, splintering inside and out of it as the follower ripped it limb from limb. Inhuman screams boomed through the evening sky, sending the clouds scattering away in all directions. The giant being fell to its knee after two of its arms and one leg were torn away from its body. The pent up energy within the being quickly shot back out through the severed limbs in an attempt to replace the lost appendages. But as soon as they began to grow back, they were promptly ripped back apart. The titan was losing its size quite quickly as the mass of energy surrounding it was swiftly depleted. Soon, the being wasnt even visible and the outcome of the twos fight had surely been decided.

The bounty hunter looked away from the sight after only seeing the first few seconds. Ahead of him, the Night Wolf was wrestling with two of the followers while his wolves took on the other two. Alice stood back in the distance, smiling wickedly as she watched her followers dig their blades into the natives body and rip apart his wolves.

Fire, Water, Electricity, Earth and Air. Each is an inferior element to the powers of Darkness. Alice hovered over the scene, speaking in a tone much deeper than natural. But when infused with their greater counterparts of Lava, Ice, Plasma, Wood and Metal, Darkness becomes that much stronger. Your ancestors would have had a much easier time with this than you Night Wolf. You are still too weak to take on the gods.

The little girl hovered over the battlefield and landed a short distance from Jebediah. The Night Wolf continued to scream off in the distance, his anger consuming him as he wrapped his body in various elements and began to rip through the demons followers.

Jebediah, the girl stepped towards the wounded bounty hunter, its voice a mixture of Alices and the demon Vereryl, you too, are still too weak. You cannot save me. You must go back.

But I have to- Jebediah coughed, spitting up globules of blood as he did. I have to take you back with me. I have to save you in order to repent. I have to become the God I am destined to-

The little girl slammed her fist into the bounty hunters stomach. I am the only God here! Vereryl screamed at the man, turning its hand into a blade and ripping through Jebediahs abdomen.

Blood spurted forth like a waterfall from the mans mouth as his head grew lighter once more. Lights flashed across his eyes as he blinked rapidly, trying as hard as he could to hold on to his consciousness. But I have too it spoke to me the guardians that being that didnt

The girl withdrew her fist from the bounty hunters stomach, causing him to fall a few inches to his knees before she slammed both fists into the hole she had made in his stomach. With little effort, Jebediah was lifted into the air, blood flowing both from the wound and his mouth onto the girl, dying her black hair a brownish red.

You are no God Jebediah. Only I and the council of five are Gods in this world, for ours is the only power beyond rival. Youve lost hold of the darkness inside of you, and for that reason alone are you no longer worthy of my presence. I bid you begone. Do not return to me, or I will finish you once and for all.

Light and darkness are two sides of the same entity, for the Mother and the Father are one in the same. From dust were we all created, and from dust shall we all return, such is the nature of our lives. From the dust of gods can we create, but also from the dust of gods can we destroy. Alas, dust is still but just dust without a special hand to sift it. To hold only one type of sand or to hold all sands is the difference between the demiurge and the true divinator.

A door rose from the sands around Jebediah, concealing his body behind it as the voice resonated from it. A set of statues followed soon after, and caused the young girl to hiss and shield herself. A magnificent light radiated from the door, illuminating several glyphs engraved upon it.

You! You are not welcome here! This is not your place to interfere! Vereryl screamed at the door. The demon cloaked itself in darkness, taking on a monstrous form several feet taller from that of the girl. Five horns protruded from the head of the being as its body was covered in a black, silk-like fur. Two golden eyes peered through the dark shroud around the monster as it screamed out louder and dug its hands into the ground beneath the door. You are not worthy of my presence! I have grown far stronger from when we last met! You shall not thwart my ambition for a third time!

The monster that was Vereryl wrapped its long, black, bone-like fingers around the door, causing both it and him to hiss and smoke as the wood of the door began to melt away along with the monsters fingers. The four statues which rose from the ground, accompanying the door began to morph into humanoid shapes as the demon struggled with the door. The statue which resembled a wolf rushed over to the place of the followers of Vereryl and began to assist the Night Wolf in his battle, mimicking his moves near perfectly. The statue which resembled an eagle picked up Jebediah in its talons and then rose into the sky, while the statues resembling a dragon and a bear approached each side of the demon and begin to attack it as the door swung open. A loud screech came from below as Vereryl scraped its claws against the ground, trying as hard as it could to resist the forces pulling it into the open door. As the door slowly shut itself, Jebediah fell back unconscious.

Some time later, Jebediah awoke in a cave whose interior seemed to be made up of a black glass. The statue of an eagle sat at his head, and the bounty hunter found that all of his wounds had been healed. Upon closer inspection, he realized that the glass around him was not simply tinted black, but was in fact radiating darkness. The man passed his hand over the shadow mist which was rising from within the glass, and found that it was doing him no harm though he found that it was considerably colder than anything he had ever felt before. In front of him lay a stone slab, untouched by the glass which surrounded them both. In the slab there rested a knife which the bounty hunter recognized from his time in Wrench.

"The only weapon capable of defeating the demon at this time."

The voice came from behind the bounty hunter. Jebediah spun around, and stared awestruck at what appeared before him. From the statue of the eagle rose the spirit of a native. The native hovered over to and past him, resting on the stone slab beside where the knife was.

"Long ago when the demon first walked these lands and all of our clans were at war, the stone statues from before appeared alongside a door. For days we all struggled to find the purpose of the door. Four of us, a member of each clan at that time were sucked into these statues and made to lie in wait of the demon's resurgence. The being which resided within that door told us we were a safety mechanism for when this day would eventually come. He gifted to one of the clans a resurrected member who carried a sword whose light was so powerful that it could not only counteract, but negate the darkness within the demon's heart. Those clansmen who lived on after the door disappeared then sealed the demon with that weapon, and made it into a ritual. Every year, someone was sacrificed on this stone slab to give the weapon back its former glow, and then this glow was plunged back into the heart of the demon, quelling the darkness within it. For ages this ritual continued successfully, until your kind encroached on our lands and stayed our hands. The outlaw, Jedediah Rush killed the descendants of our clans who were to meet at this point years ago to redo the ritual. Because of that man, the demon is free today. I know that you may not be on the best of terms with our descendants, looking at the way that the wolf has treated you... but I hope you can find it in your heart to complete what he could not. Even now he fights, knowing that his power is lacking. Without the weapon you see before you and a proper sacrifice, it will be impossible to defeat the demon."

"So then, what do you want me to do? I can't kill the Night Wolf, so there's no way for me to give light to the blade in the first place. As it is now, it's just a hunk of metal stuck in a stone."

"That is why we have returned. That being which hides beyond the door has spoken with you before, has he not?"

"The being beyond the door... what do you mean?"

"When you died once before, did you not go through the trials? Did you not meet with your family?"

Jebediah looked shocked, taking a step back he straightened himself up and swallowed hard. "H-how did you know that?"

"Because he spoke with us. He is the one who welcomed you to that place. He is the one who chose you for this mission. It was decided long before you - or any of us for that matter - were born. This is what they would call a destiny. It is your purpose to seal away the demon for the rest of eternity."

"But, I thought this weapon could only seal the demon for a few years or so?"

"That is true... but we have been assured that you would be able to find the answer to his eternal peace when the time comes."

"I don't understand any of this. I thought I was coming back to save Alice and enact my revenge? How do you supposed I'll save that girl if I'm supposed to stab her in the heart with a knife?"

"You'll figure it out Jebediah. But for now, we're running short on time. Healing your wounds took a great deal of effort on my part, so my powers are not exactly holding up the best right now. Please. We all are begging you. The doors will not hold much longer, you must free this world from the darkness of that demon."

"Even if I disregard everything you've said thus far, the weapon is still just a hunk of metal! What am I supposed to do, just go out and murder some random dark-skinned person and hope they're a descendant of your people?"

"Of course not. As I said, I am here for a reason." The spirit laid itself on the stone slab and held the knife above itself by the blade. "Take the hilt, bounty hunter. Plunge this weapon into my chest so that it may become consumed with my light, and then we may both put an end to the darkness that is Vereryl."

Jebediah ran his hand through his hair, his forehead beading with sweat as he bit his lower lip. "Fine... but when you return to that being in the other world, you tell him that he had better have my throne ready for me when I get back there."

The spirit closed its eyes and smiled as Jebediah placed his hands on the weapon's handle and pressed it through the surprisingly firm body of the ghost.

"If that were a possibility, then I would. But I'm afraid that by taking my light here, you will have essentially extinguished my existence." The spirit chuckled as its body began to disappear and the blade of the knife began to grow longer and surrounded itself in a blinding light. "I have been waiting in anticipation of this day for ages. I thought I had come to terms with it long ago, but sitting here on this slab now I find myself fearful of what is to come for me once I disappear. It's frightening to be honest and I just-"

A green liquid fell from the spirit's eyes as its voice faded away. The weapon reached its full length, and the spirit was no more.

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  #255    
Old June 2nd, 2017 (5:16 AM).
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Elias Stork
Chaos in the Griffin Mansion: Part One

The door gave way, a suit of armour marched in with a bloodied sword leaving a trail in his wake. It dissolved in to thin air, just to reform next to Rieve, hoisting his sword over and striking it downwards, cutting through nothing but air as she blinked out of the way. An arrow whistled through the air before shattering another invisible wall of glass, behind it a strong gust flowed throughout. Bullets began flying through the air as a group burst in to the chaos. Smog crept through the aperture to conceal the arrival. Ghosting out of the smoke was a woman with a hood drawn over her face. She loaded her bow and drew it back untill the string was taut. Letting it fly through the air to one unlucky soul. More people spewed forth, a brutish woman in green and brown patched clothing, followed by another man on the other side, very clearly an ex-bounty hunter. With a wooden cross around his neck, he dispensed justice through a volley from his gun.

A silhouette formed together just beyond the edge of the cloud. It quickly disappeared as shadow dashed forward to the middle of the room, becoming three-dimensional, creating a living shadow. The head was a shiny metallic skull-shape that enveloped the head of the thing. Its deadly eye gleefully watching the swirling myriad of chaos and destruction. Where the jaw's teeth bit in to the wearer's flesh you could see scars and patches of old burnt flesh all around the face.
He declared war, "Kneel to The Holy Order of Gaudium, infidels!" He growled, "In the name of Gaudium, under the Decree of Ascension, anyone who stands aside will die painlessly. Else, you shall atone for your sins through torture!" Behind the helmet a wicked grin was born.

"Are you kidding me?! Really?!" Elias yelled at sudden appearance of Anima and his followers, his voice barely audible over the confusion that had now erupted in the room. Bullets flew in every direction, spells soared over his and Flint's heads and periodically the sound of shattering glass signalled the destruction of Mr. White's constructs.

"Less talking, more shooting!" Flint yelled back at Elias, simultaneously taking a shot in the direction of Felix - who had now managed to aquire a shotgun somehow - whilst also causing a number of Earthen spikes to erupt among Anima's group. "Don't get distracted or you'll get dead!"
Anima and Martirio blinked out of the way. The native woman brought the wooden floor to life and anchored the spikes to the ground with roots. Any that slipped through she pushed away with blasts of wind.

"I'd already worked that out!" Elias replied, firing off a shot of his own as he heard the shattering sound signalling that Flint's hadn't made it through. He managed to get the attack in before White was able to create a new wall, but missed Felix instead pegging Bellamy in the shoulder. The henchman growled in pain as the bullet impacted him, Elias was unable to celebrate his victory however as Flint yanked him back under cover just in time to avoid an arrow piercing his skull. Out of the corner of his eyes, Elias witnessed Rieve blinking from place to place avoiding staying in one spot long enough to be a target for either Anima's group or Felix's.

Rieve performed another Blink, moving from Elias' line of sight to directly behind Anima, who stood calmly still in arrogant bravado. She lifted her gun, intending to put a hole in his head, when suddenly she saw a blur of motion out of the corner of her eye. Instinctively, she stumbled back, her vision becoming filled by a hulking man in a heavy suit of armour. Carrying, of all things, a massive sword.

"I am not dying to someone who thinks we're still in the dark ages." She hissed as he swung at her again, she ducked under his attack and raised her gun, intending to shoot his knee out, but was surprised by a kick to the face, the weapon flying across the room.. Her head rang and she was in agonising pain, but she managed to keep her witts about her and blink out of the way of the downwards swing of the armoured figure's blade. In an instant, she reemerged behind another of Anima's men - the man wearing the wooden cross. He was about to take a shot at Elias but never got the chance. Rieve pulled a knife from her belt and jammed it into the man's neck in a spray of blood, his cross falling to the floor covered in red, a droplet forming atop the figurine's face - grabbing his gun as he fell and levelling it to take the shot he never got to. Elias was already back under cover when she pulled the trigger however, the shot missing and striking Flint's earthen defence in a burst of dirt and rock.

Out of the corner of his eye, Anima regarded the woman splitting open their turncoat's neck. "Too bad, I was planning on him dying later."
A blonde man with a wandprop strapped to his belt and a pop-out magician's hat, crept in through the billowing aperture in the wall. Seeing Ian slump forward, he exclaimed, "Hey! We only just met, he even saved my life, too!" He took his gun and fired wildly, serving only to decorate the wall, Rieve having vanished from where she had stood. He realised that his aim wasn't very spectacular as well as being quite futile.

Anima raised his hands to his knight, "There's no point in you endlessly blinking. We could use you in a real situation. I'll deal with her" Anima faded to black as the tall armoured man charged at the the table, swinging his sword in a swirl of a sideways eight motion. Smashing the glass in front of him and finally breaking the table in front of the target. As gun shots fired from side to side, some stray bullets plinked off, while others dented it with a grunt.

A storm of glass fragments rose up around White, hurtling toward's Martirio. He turned to face the incoming attack and summoned a shield of earth. Anima blinked near to Rieve to keep her moving. He was disappointed he wouldn't be able to get close enough to pierce her skin. Cassandra fired at Flint as soon as she saw him peek out of his cover. She nodded to Shadow who moved some of the earth spikes with her roots to form a earth bank that she hid behind.

Flint narrowly avoided having his head blown off by Cassandra's shot. Grudgingly, he found himself forced to admit that the situation was moving downhill rapidly, with the sudden appearance of this new threat compounding an already worrisome situation. He poked his head around again, intending to retaliate, only to see the woman leveling her gun at him once more. He ducked back behind his barrier, once again narrowly avoiding death as the sound of her shot joined the cacophony around them. Anticipating another shot, Flint crouched down before peeking out around the base of his defense. Seeing his spires reshaped into a makeshift barrier of his enemy's own, he leveled his gun between one of the gaps in the blockade and pulled the trigger on his revolver, sending a bullet through the empty space and into the leg of the woman who'd been trying to put a bullet between his eyes. There was a sudden shout of pain as she dropped.

"Psyducking rattata, I don't get paid enough for this muk." Cassandra grimaced, ripping out a few of the roots of her defense and wrapping it around her wound.
Cowering behind the door, Elliott quipped, "No, you get paid to deliver helmets."
Cassandra rolled on to her front, taking out her gun and took a potshot."I do a lot for you!" The bullet left her revolver, spinning as it soared through the air. Flint began to aim towards the shadow still shrouded in smog. The bulled collided with his hand and it exploded in to chunks of jelly that sent a shockwave of pain through him. It took a moment for the sanguine lifeforce to begin flowing from him as if he was a pump.
"And I'm not even magical!" She panted heavily in victory as she tried to reform the defense. Elliott shrunk away. Shadow let one loose arrow with a thud it buried itself in the earth defenses. She rapidly drew another and slot it in to its nook.

Elias' ears were ravaged by the sound of Flint screaming in pain, the older man's hand all but obliterated after taking a bullet and his gun sent flying across the room. Elias didn't have time to try and help the man though - he was busy shooting at anyone that moved in a blind panic. He was more like a cornered animal than a rational human being in his mindset at that point. He was terrified. He didn't want to die but every moment the fight went on made his death seem to loom closer.

He saw Rieve blinking around the room, trying to escape from Anima who was pursuing her. Judging her not to be a problem for the moment he tried to get a shot in towards Felix's group whilst Rieve and Flint had Anima's cult distracted. He saw the armour covered man get blasted by a torrent of what seemed to be molten glass - going flying across the room and screaming in pain. Felix raised his gun and pulled the trigger as Elias took a shot of his own and ducked back around the corner. Elias missed by a mile due to his aim being shaken as he retreated, a fragment of a shotgun round from Felix grazed across his arm causing him a searing ache.

"Flint!" Elias called over to the wounded man "What the psyduck do we do. I'm running out of bullets. We are so screwed."

"If you're running low stop shooting wildly and actually hit someone!" Flint growled back, tearing a strip from his shirt with his teeth and attempting to wrap it around his wounded hand. Martirio felt what seemed like lava on his chest, it didn't pierce his armour but the temperature suddenly rose within his armour. Elias tried breathe, he aimed carefully at the weak one who had scurried from behind the door and out of the smoke near the blonde butch woman. He aimed up for a shot. Lucas Martirio grimaced as he raised his head, His precision vision saw the bullet leaving Elias' barrel. He screamed, "Duck!"
Cassandra rolled sideways from the barrier so she couldn't be hit. Elliott was crouched as the bullet with his name on it flew through the air. He panicked and froze, time seemed to slow and his heartbeat was the only thing he could hear. The word echoed a thousand times in the few moments the bullet inched forward. DO SOMETHING, DO SOMETHING, DO SOMETHING, his brain screamed at his body to move. Elliott panicked, and summoned his magic.

He felt tingling all over, suddenly he could see the muzzle flash through his hand. He became very numb, he couldn't feel his feet. He felt a shockwave through his body. He prepared for the inevitable pain... which never came. A ripple washed over him as if he had been a lake surface. The bullet left his back unscathed and embedded itself in the wall. Joy rushed through him, he felt that he could jump up and down. Except he couldn't. He looked down, and his feet had disappeared in to the floor and everything else was slowly rising. He felt like he was falling as everything returned to normal speed. He sank through the floor and crumbled together in to a pile on the dirt.

What is going on?!
Elias watched stunned as his target sank through the floor, although for some reason it looked as though the man was just as surprised as he was. Elias wondered if some other enemy had hit him with a horrific spell, fear at the thought of sinking into the Earth never to surface coursing through his veins. He swallowed hard as he tried to re-aim. He levelled his gun at White, his hand shaking, and pulled the trigger only to be met with a resounding shattering sound as another glassy barrier absorbed the impact.

"Muk!" Elias yelled, ducking back behind Flint's fortification as a storm of shards flew past him in retaliation. To his side, Flint was cradling his injured hand, regularly peaking out past the edge of his earthy barrier. Flint watched carefully, waiting for an oppening before unleashing his spell. A massive tower of stone burst from the ground under Felix's group, sending Felix and White sprawling across the ground and slamming Bellamy throught the cieling.

The tower then broke into hundreds of smaller chunks of rock, falling to the ground and pummeling the two outlaws who were forced to flee their cover to escape being crushed by debris. Amongst the falling rock, Bellmay body came flying back down through the gaping hole in the roof and hit the ground with an audible snapping noise as most of his bones broke. The outlaw lay there, his body twisted into inhuman positions. It was clear he'd never get back up.

Seeing Felix and his bodyguard displaced, Rieve blinked to be behind the two men as they climed to their feet. She raised the gun to Felix's head but was tackled suddenly by White, her gun going off in the process, a bullet piercing his shoulder. Grimacing in pain, White formed a ball of molten glass forcing Rieve to blink away from her target before she was burned by the superheated liquid. Suddenly, Anima appeared next to her. In split seconds which seemed like hours he raised his hands as if preaching. Bright light flashed from between his hands as the two lightning bolts met in the middle. The spark shone like the sun as a burning sensation ran through her eyes. All she saw was white. Anima cackled in joy, "You can't blink, if you can't see." He gripped the stock of his forgotten shotgun and raised it to take a shot.


Joint post with Estrello

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  #256    
Old June 15th, 2017 (11:09 AM).
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Shak Shak is offline
 
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Sophia Hartmann
Status - Outlaw - Leader of Sangre Clan-----------------------Former member of Culebra Clan
Sorcery Level - 2
Element - Air
Bounty - 2200$



Achilles Nimbus
Status - Bounty Hunter
Sorcery Level - 2
Element - Electricity
Money - $3200 ($27, 800 to go)





Kelmorr Kuvag
Status - Bounty Hunter
Sorcery Level - 2
Element - Fire
Money - $3,000




Near Larkin - National Guard Provisional Base

Jeimas keep Holdin'em


"That's all there is to get out of 'em. I got a nose for these kinds'a things, and those bums don't know anything else." Kelmorr finished explaining to the captain of the guards while the overgrown native he'd lovingly branded 'Brutus' stood next to him, nodding, grunting, and occasionally assisting in Kel's explanation with eloquent phrases like "Yeah, they dumb." And "We kill them now, right?"

"Hmph." the captain grunted reluctantly. "HQ ain't gonna like us doin' more of these executions. Whiny asses 'd rather have 'em taken to them for heavy duty questionin'."

"Ain't the 'standard procedure' in these sort of situations ta lock up the convicts until they have a trial? Killin' someone in a fight is one thing, but executions require a judge n' jury, in my experience."

"Kill off the two guys. Leave the girl." the captain ordered. "If you're lucky hunter, you might be able to keep the bounty." he told Kelmorr.

Brutus let out something between a grunt and a laugh, cracking his knuckles. "Good."

"Take a couple of the boys with you and bring the bastards out back. Don't make a mess, hear?" the captain said, waving off the gargantuan of a man.

-----

Sophia, Old Abe and Coady sat in their cell, slumped together against the same wall, the latter dripping blood from his broken nose. Sophia, who had been uncharacteristically quiet the entire time, had finally returned to her general senses. She hadn't been roughed up as much as the bounty hunter next to them, but she still felt sick. Whether it was the smell of blood and piss in the cell, or what she'd eaten in the morning, she couldn't tell. A single, half-assed guard stood watch in front of cell, leaning on the wall.

"Abe..." Sophia croaked, before quickly realising how parched her throat was from the heat. As the old man turned to her, she cleared her throat. "What happened to Marzia?"

Abe looked hesitantly at the guard, before looking back at her. He shook his head silently - a gesture Sophia wasn't sure meant reassurance or defeat.

Before the prisoners were left with anymore time to ponder their precarious predicament, they heard multiple sets of footsteps, heralding the arrival of Brutus, a fresh pair of guards, and Kelmorr. The new guards quickly explained to the one watching the cells that it was "time" and promptly unlocked the doors while Brutus stared at the criminals through the bars, smiling like a child who'd been waiting far too long and was finally about to get a hold of his favorite toy.

The cell guard had shaken off what drowsiness he'd accrued while watching the prisoners, and it was only that lucky fact that caused him to notice he'd lost sight of one member of the hangman's detail. "Hey where'd that bounty hunter get t-" The man was interrupted before he could continue by a dull thump, and had barely enough time to even comprehend Brutus' body falling to the ground like a gargantuan sack of potatoes before he felt cold metal against the back of his own head and a deafening crack signaled it was the last thing he'd ever feel at all.

Left without a chance to use any form of Blink so soon after 'Surprise', Kelmorr simply lowered the barrels of Wisdom and Mercy simultaneously to kneecap both of the remaining guards, the downward angle making it easier to avoid hitting the prisoners. Each man let out a single howl of pain before two more shots into each of their heads silenced them forever. The bounty hunter watched the criminals coolly while he reloaded his revolvers one round at a time. "Get movin' folks, I'm sure every one'a them idiots left heard that racket, grab the guns I brought ya," He gestured to the scattered firearms on the floor that the deceased guards had dropped. "And get ready to handle the rest of them." His eyes stilled upon Sophia a few seconds, and afterwards he spoke only to her. "As for the little lady with the pretty hair, I'd like to formally ask you to come upstairs with me a minute when we've got a path, I got something important to show you."

Coady spat a glob of blood on the ground beside him. He looked up at the bounty hunter, before stumbling over and reaching for one of the double barrelled shotguns the guards had dropped on the ground. "And what exactly is in it for you? Normally I wouldn't trust someone who I saw linin' up with my enemies so easily, but I see this as a new low for me."

"Dumbass, how about you dont pissed off the man who just saved us?" Sophia hissed, now feeling a tad more confident with a gun in her hand. She grabbed a shotgun off the floor and tossed it to her clanmate.

"So what, you're just gonna trust this snake because he called your hair pretty?" Coady spat back. The sounds of footsteps echoed through the halls, prompting Coady to eye up the door, before looking back at the duo. "**** it, do what you gotta do, but hurry up. I can hold them off for a bit, but I dont see old man Abe as my prime choice for back up. Not that you two are that much better, but still." He looked back at the shrivelled old man still sitting in the cell. "No offense." The group all dismissed Coady's sentiment as the footsteps grew loader.

"Alright little lady, that's our curtain call!" The bounty hunter broke through the noise with his own voice, then utterly surprised Sophia by holstering the revolver in his right hand, then offering that same hand to her. "I ain't lookin' for trust, but I promise you'll like this idea when we get there." The woman looked scornfully at his hand before looking him in the face, instead checking her own revolver for ammunition.

"Take me there, quick." she said dryly. She wasn't keen on leaving behind her people - although now her "people" only consisted of Marzia and Abe - but the man in front of her did not seem as untrustworthy as she assumed. She hadn't the slightest idea what he was calling her for, however. "Where is it?"

"Just a moment and we'll see. Name's Kelmorr by the way. I'm sure using it'd make your skin crawl right about now, but it'll make communicatin' easier." He answered, then simply disappeared. The assembled prisoners heard two more loud cracks, then the door next to the cell clicked and slid open from the outside. "There was a pair of numbskulls still watin' for whenever their glorious captain would settle down the fighting and bring you out for your sentence. But they're it for now, the rest are dealing with that commotion upstairs. Follow me, and don't think about trying to take me out from the back, yer still way too groggy to be quick enough for me." He gestured outside, then pointed one of his revolvers at the rest of them. "And that goes for the rest of ya. Besides, your friends upstairs'll need your help,"

Soph grimaced. Although she didn't want to admit it, he was right - she couldn't afford to take someone on in close combat, not in this state. She sure as hell wasn't going to let him get the jump on her though. "Fine, get it moving. It won't be long before more of them show up, and I don't want us getting cooped up more down here." she said, heading for the stairs. "I'm going to take care of something with... Kelmorr. Stay sharp and get ready to move out on my command." she turned to Abe, who responded with a quick nod.

-----

Kelmorr led the woman out to the compound's courtyard and moments after he was out of sight, all the recently freed prisoners downstairs felt their heads clear as if they'd only just then really woken up. Once Sophia reached the top of the stairs and squinted into the harsh sun baking the courtyard Kelmorr stared straight into her eyes and spoke. "Alright, now take a deep breath and let's go, I need you as sharp as you musta been before...all this." And just like that the ex-culebra felt a haze, she hadn't even noticed was there, lift out of her head, sharpening her senses back to their usual sheen, minus some lingering nausea from being sick earlier.

"Wh-... the ****?" she muttered, blinking a few times. "The **** were you doing to me?" she yelled, reaching for her gun.

"Making sure all the guards were thinkin' even less clearly and more stupidly than usual and makin' sure none of you would jump to conclusions too fast and **** everything up." Kel replied, Wisdom's barrel already inches away from her face. "Spell runs on my voice, I can only direct it so much. I could have done plenty by now if I planned on causing you any more trouble. Is leadin' you instead of usin' you for a meatshield, and letting you think for yourself not proof enough?" The outlaw gritted her teeth, keeping her hand momentarily on the gun before pulling it away. "Good." He continued, turning away and walking towards the stairs at the other end of the courtyard as if supremely confident she wouldn't try to shoot him for the moment. "I know the dear captain's type. More full of himself than all Jeimas is of assholes, he's probably still sittin' in his office, feet up on his desk and hat tipped to shade his eyes from the sun. We're gonna pay him a visit, you and him really need to have a chat and without him his boys won't stand a chance. Leaders like him tend to surround themselves with idiots to help keep the illusion of superiority goin'."

Soph squinted. "The hell are we going to the head of this place for? If your sorry ass thinks we're compromising with the guards in any way you're out of your ****ing mind, bounty hunter."

Kelmorr chuckled outside of the door back into the compound after listening for the noise of the fighting they'd gone around. Satisfied they were far enough from the main skirmish, he stood next to the door, turned the knob and gently pushed the door open. "Oh no, he dies and I can't wait to see him hit the floor. But I need to ask him a question first. When I do it'll all clear up for ya." The bounty hunter slipped inside without waiting for an answer and crept slowly through the hallway, both revolvers drawn and ready to snap into action at a moment's notice.

Sophia still wondered why the man needed her present for this 'questioning', but something told her to see for herself when they met him. The duo made their way through the hall, passing by an empty lobby area and possibly a storage room. Sophia made a mental note to return later in case their equipment was kept there. As they prepared to turn a corner, the sound of running footsteps coming their way suddenly sounded through the hall, and the two quickly backed off. Moments later a stampede of guards rushed though the corridor beside them, towards the holding cell where all of their allies were.

"They'e got a real ****show coming for them." Soph muttered to Kel. "Where's the head's room?"

"Not too far now, same direction those goons just charged from." Kel answered. "When we get there, do me a favor and guard the door. This is gonna be close quarters, uncomfortably close, I'm not sure if you're steady enough for it yet. You'll know when to come in, though you're welcome to take a shot if you see one."

Sophia nodded, muttering something about taking a shot at either of them if she had the chance. The two continued towards the office before reaching a closed door with a star on it. The star was slightly slanted, probably loose from people slamming the door too much. Sophia wished she had her spellbook to blow it off its hinges with an airblast, but she would have to resort to the man's strength for now. "Alright, go for it. I've got us covered."

-----

The door creaked open. Coady squinted as an unfamiliar figure crept through, followed by a terrified looking guard. He recognised him from back at the base where they were captured. Guy looked shook like a chihuahua. He wasnt like the others they'd sent down. There it was. His ticket out of there stood before him. He could go to find Achilles and Isaac or join these new ex-Culebras as their leader. Regardless of what he did, for the first time in his life, he was placed in a position where he had a choice. "Who the hell are you?" He bellowed, his voice echoing through the dungeon.

"You? Where is Sophia?" Marzia sighed. She glanced back at the door realising the predicament she might be in if her two new 'allies' found who they were looking for and she was forced to act on her own. She had hoped she'd be able to grab Sophia and Abe and leave the place all in one sweep, but clearly her work here wasnst done. The situation forced her to think fast. "Abe?"

The old man's head shot up as he heard his name being called. "Marz...what are yer doing with..." He pointed at Hudson, who was now even more scared as he looked through each prisoner before settling on Marzia.

The female Culebra opened her mouth to speak before the sound of gunshots rung through the hallway above them. "The hell are those idiots doing?" She hissed, glaring at the door. Taking a moment to think, she turned to Hudson. "You, get ready, these may have been your allies at one point, but if you're here now that isnt the case anymore." She couldnt help but sigh as Hudson fumbled his gun and pointed it toward the door. The guard's display was far from impressive; best to just pin it on the fact he was so flustered. It was almost cute in a way.

Another shot fired. This time from Hudson, as a rather unimpressed, now metallic Isaac stood in the doorway. The metal man sighed. "I dont know if I should attack you or call you an idiot." He turned his attention to Marzia, whose scowl was enough to pierce any sense of moral high ground he may have chosen to take. "Now I know what you're gonna ask, and in short...we're gonna need more guns."


A joint post of Foxrally, Shak and Sephear
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  #257    
Old July 3rd, 2017 (5:55 AM).
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aeternum aeternum is offline
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'The Second Longest Night'

Jebediah Kleutsch-Sanders, Bounty Hunter & Supposed God in Training
Level 3, Air and Water, $1,320
Alex Rose, Bounty Hunter
Level 2, Fire, $8,200


Outskirts of Spider's Hollow


Alex rode out through the still, cold air of the Chasm, the sun was only just beginning to rise and whilst it wouldn't take long for its scorching heat to burn the land below it once more, the icy air of the desert night still lingered. Alex had set off early that morning, filling his pockets and saddlebags with provisions and ammunition for the challenge that lay ahead of him. He had left early to escape breakfast with the Crowley's, he didn't need Lily hassling him for heading out again so soon after a decent catch nor did he need her kid pestering for details on his next target... especially this one. He'd packed, grabbed a horse and eaten a small, cold meal on the edges of Spider's Hollow before moving out and now he was already making decent headway towards Wrench. In fact, he was so intent on his journey that he almost missed noticing the man heading towards him from not far off.

Jebediah was quickly closing the distance between himself and the fellow bounty hunter. He'd recognized the man a short while back when he was in the process of renting a horse. He'd made sure to avoid Janet this time around town, not wanting to let her know that he'd failed to retrieve his bounties... regardless of if he was the one to actually kill them or not, the bodies were important to the hag and he felt ill when he thought of what she might do to him for punishment. The bounty hunter recognized that his journey was entering more and more dangerous territory by the day so he'd opted to make a side-trip to the town regardless, dropping off a letter of apology as well as his father's sword which had been shattered at some point in his flight to that crystalize cavern. In the scabbard he now held the deus ex machina with which he was supposed to put an end to the demon. His scabbard glowed brilliantly, and removing the hilt from the sheath caused the weapon to regain its true size. A blade so bright that even the sun seemed to dim in its presence... it truly seemed to be a weapon of destroying even the greatest of darkness.

Alex was now only a few seconds away from the other hunter. Jebediah placed his hand on his hat and removed it, calling out to the man from a short ways behind him, waving his hat through the air in a friendly gesture as he did so. "Ay! I believe we've met before haven't we? What brings you out this way?"

Alex slowed his horse, allowing Jeb to catch up before he answered him. He was apprehensive of the older hunter, it wasn't uncommon for a hunter to quite literally stab another in the back over claiming a big bounty and Jeb was the erratic sort.

"You have. We both work for Janet." he said, "I'm just heading out after a bounty. I assume that's what you're up to with your... odd choice of arms." He hadn't failed to notice the dull glow coming from the scabbard. It was weird enough that Jeb carried a sword at all, let alone one that was literally gleaming.

"Yes... it's weird for me to think of this since our success as hunters depends mostly on our prowess as individuals... but... the game I'm hunting is rather powerful and unpredictable. I've just recently came into contact with it as well as another who was nearly on the same level and I just barely escaped with my life. I don't believe I'm strong enough to take it on myself any longer. If I go alone, I believe it'll be the fourth time I've literally fallen dead in this past year. Happening upon you in this way is sort of what they'd call destiny I suppose. Either that or you're just even less lucky than myself." Jebediah placed his hat back on his head and looked up to the sky, taking a few strides ahead on his horse as he gathered what he truly wanted to say. "Alex, regardless of what happens, i think after I take out this one it'll be my last. I'm going to retire after tonight - revenge be damned. I'd really appreciate it if you'd help me on this one... of course, it won't be without compensation..."

"Who are you and what the psyduck did you do with Jebediah?" Alex said, completely bewildered by the usually sketchy hunter's unnatural politeness "Besides, surely you've realized that we're probably going after the same target anyway. I was in the cave too, remember? I almost believe you really did die with how psyducked up you're acting."

Jebediah chuckled as he turned his horse around to face the fellow bounty hunter. "I've been on a journey my friend. I've done and seen things that I'd wished I hadn't. I'll never be the same person I was before, and perhaps that's for the better. This is who I was before I became what I am... I just hope to free another from a similar torment before it's too late. I know we're likely heading after the same target, but I just thought it would be polite to ask before barging in on the beast... and asking what I have to in regards to it... I'd rather not be your enemy, because there's bound to be at least one other there too. We won't be able to focus on fighting the ones who truly matter if we're stuck fighting against each other. There needs to be some sort of trust, possibly even an agreement."

"Well I'm not going to put a bullet in your head if some twisted demon thing is trying to murder me. I think I'll be too busy to worry about you." Alex said, shrugging. He turned the horse back in the direction of Wrench and continued in that direction, not bothering to check if Jeb was still following him.

Jeb nodded his head to himself. "Well, I would assume... however, it's not my life I'm really worried about but rather, I'd prefer it if you didn't kill Alice. I need her alive Alex, regardless of what happens. If worse comes to worse, I'll be the one to put her down." Jebediah picked up the pace until he was right beside Alex and then leaned over, placing his hand on the other man's shoulder and squeezing tightly. His voice grew deeper and his grip firmer as he whispered in the man's ear. "I hope you understand the implications, boy."

"I hope you understand that's a good way to get your head blown off." Alex said, not flinching at the sudden animosity. He'd pretty much expected it anyway at that point. Politeness wouldn't normally breed caution but when someone impolite is excessively so, that generally didn't imply anything good.

"And I hope you understand the difference between a boy and a God."

"I see the delusions of grandeur aren't improving then," Alex said, sighing "If you want to leave a Big Bad alive, you're welcome to try and stop me. Wouldn't recommend that though."

"I'm not telling you to believe, only to be expectant of what is to come. If you've a death wish then come at me, otherwise, let it stand that it's in your best interest to not cross me - Big Bads notwithstanding."

Jebediah's eyes were aflame as his alternate personality pressed at his mind, pressuring him to let him loose on the younger hunter and teach him what it is to feel powerless. The bounty hunter fell in line behind Alex, gripping at his own chest as he fought within himself to regain his calm composure. Regardless of what they thought about Alex, they would admittedly need help which is why they approached the man in the first place. It was best to save their strength for the battle to take place later that night, especially if The Night Wolf and Alice were both to be there.

"That's more like it." Alex said, spurring his horse to a slightly faster pace.

Jebediah winced, everything in his body telling him to just off the hunter now. But after recalling the beatdown he'd suffered at the hands of The Night Wolf's entourage and the carnage that Alice's disciples had wrought on them, he judged it in his better interest to go against his gut for the first time in a long while, even going so far as to sink his teeth into his fist as a means to stop himself from spouting off anything more to upset the boy. The bounty hunter picked up his pace, counting the seconds until the night was over and they could break off this agreement.

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  #258    
Old July 18th, 2017 (9:35 AM).
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aeternum aeternum is offline
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'The Second Longest Night Pt 2'

Jebediah Kleutsch-Sanders, Bounty Hunter & Supposed God in Training
Level 3, Air and Water, $1,320
Alex Rose, Bounty Hunter
Level 2, Fire, $8,200


Wrench


As the unlikely duo made their way into the wreckage of wrench, Jebediah was surprised by the progress that had been made in the restoration process. What had once been withered down to a few stone foundations and planks of wood, had been brought back to being at the very least livable. The town now consisted of a handful of houses, a train station which was still in remodeling and a church displayed in the center of the town as if to be a warning sign for the demons who'd once demolished it.

However, regardless of how much progress had been being made, it had been brought to a screeching halt. All around the church and outside of each home, bodies of the people who had once lived there were propped up on black, crystalline spikes. Their bodies were torn open, their ribs held back by hooks and various organs had began to crystallize outwards, taking over the rest of their body.

Off in the distance, atop the hill where Cosma's mansion once stood, a lone wolf stared down at the two bounty hunters. The rubble beneath the spectral creature shook as it paced back and forth across it. It seemed that although the people had worked to restore the rest of the town, they neglected to maintenance the place where it had all began, perhaps in an attempt to forget what had transpired there. The beast threw it's head back and let out a loud and elongated howl as it dispersed its physical form.

"The Night Wolf expects us... that can't be good. If he knows we're here, then I'm sure Alice does too." Jebediah swung his leg off of the horse and then hopped down. The night air had grown much colder after entering the town, and the silence was extremely off-putting, causing Jebediahs words to echo long after he'd finished speaking. "I suppose up there's where we're supposed to go though. Figures that her house held more secrets. At least the new townspeople didn't have to suffer as those black abominations."

"Did you just say the psyducking Night Wolf?" Alex said, dropping to the ground from his own horse. He felt his pulse quicken at the thought. Hunting one Big Bad was enough to get you labled as insane by some people, it was a massive challenge that was guaranteed to bring you a great deal of excitement and a great deal of wealth if you could survive. Hunting two? Alex probably should have been frightened by the thought, but he was well and truly down the rabbit hole. The idea of trying to take on two of the most terrifying criminals in Jeimas was invigorating. "Interesting."

"Yeah, looking back on things, I suppose I should have seen it coming. The signs were there that hed been following me for quite some time, I guess I'd just hoped to stay oblivious to the fact until after I took care of Alice." Jebediah walked slowly up the hill towards the ruins of Cosma's mansion, looking at what was left of the building and remembering back to what had happened the last time he was inside it. "That all changed once the both of them came after me mere hours after I'd come back to life. I honestly had hoped that the Wolf had died during his fight with Alice... If only we were so lucky."

As the bounty hunter got closer to the spot where the familiar had been, the sword at his waist began to glow even brighter. Jebediah began to slowly move the debris from where the familiar had been standing, not yet certain of himself. As he uncovered a hatch that darkness was seeping out from in tendril-like formations, he wondered if his strength would be enough. Had he been in his prime, would he have been able to take on the Night Wolf in the desert only the other day? Or would it have just proven a more apt grounds for the big bad to flaunt his powers?

'We are strong Jebediah Kleutsch. Do not doubt yourself.' The devilish side of the bounty hunter took form in the shadows of the man’s mind, watching as he struggled to uncover their way of entering the demons lair. 'Alone you may be powerless against them, but together, we are unstoppable. Our power is absolute. We are the chosen, and we shall rise above all obstacles and obtain what is rightfully ours. The king is named to rule over his subjects, not the other way around.'

"Right..." Alex said, becoming steadily sure that Jebediah was losing his grip on reality. "So, the Night Wolf was following you? A no-name bounty hunter that means nothing to him? You don't think just maybe he was after Veralice the whole time? Conflicts between outlaws to expand their power aren't exactly uncommon."

Still, even if Jeb was losing his mind, Alex couldn't deny that there was probably enemies around them. He drew his shotgun, either he was going to need it to shoot at Big Bads or he was going to need it to shoot at Jeb. He was plenty quick on the draw, but better to be ready for anything regardless. He hadn't come as far as he had to be shot in the back.

"Doesn't matter if you believe me or not. I'm sure he was there long before Alice ever turned into the monster she is now. Nobody knew what was going to come from that night in wrench, and truth be told we almost were able to take care of it without Alice getting hurt." Jebediah placed his hand on the door to the basement and slowly began to pull it open. "Being here now is my punishment for not being strong enough."

As the doors slowly drew open, a cloud of darkness rolled out from behind it and the now much larger tendrils wrapped around and grabbed the legs of Jebediah. The bounty hunters eyes widened as he felt his body being forcibly drawn in to the room. Jebediahs eyes moved towards Alex, gripped with fear of what was to come he mouthed, 'help'. In a flash, Jebediah was gone and the doors had slammed shut behind him - leaving Alex alone to traverse the darkness by himself.

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  #259    
Old August 13th, 2017 (4:38 AM).
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Elias Stork & Anima
Chaos in the Griffin Mansion: Part Two

Elias saw all this from his cover, not concerned about the death of a woman who seemed plenty happy to kill him. Disregarding the action, he turned to take aim elsewhere. He was unable to take a shot at anyone however, as Flint's form filled his vision. The old man, raised his good hand as several pebbles formed in front of it, firing off immediately in Anima's direction.

The first of Flint's hastily-fired stone projectiles hit Anima's arm in a glancing blow, inflicting seering pain and opening his skin but not doing any real harm. Anima whirled around and pulled the trigger of his shotgun instinctively, blinking away as the remainder of the projectiles filled the space he'd formerly occupied.

"What the hell are you doing?! She tried to kill us!" Elias yelled at Flint as Anima's shot flew well over his head. The old man didn't respond however, he merely rushed across the room - ignoring the warring factions as Mr. White and Anima's faction took shots at each other from across the room. In seconds, the old man reached his blinded grandaughter and slammed her into the wall, putting himself between her and the rest of the combatants.

"What?!" Rieve yelled as she hit the brick, aware of a body standing in front of her. Flint ignored her outcry as he called up several of his earthen walls to defend them. From behind the structure, he heard the sounds of Felix taking shots unsuccessfully on one side and a few of Anima's followers taking shots from the other side. His vision was lit up every few moments by a flash of molten glass flying across the room. Every time he saw an enemy directly in front of him, he shot off more of the pebble projectiles or attacked with a pillar of stone.Flint grunted. "Flint?! What the psyduck?!" Rieve cried out, finally realising what was happening. Flint continued to ignore her as he shielded her from harm, focusing only on their enemies.

From across from the old bounty hunter, Elias could barely fathom what was happening. He only had a few bullets left but he'd seemingly been forgotten on all sides. Anima's forces were too busy focusing on White and Flint whilst Felix was cowering behind his henchman, apparently also out of ammunition and unable to move away from his defender to find more. Anima faded in and out of Elias' vision, firing at Flint and Rieve from different angles in an effort to break Flint's defenses. The bullets were soaked up by the earth and the electricity grounded immeaditately. Anima looked agitated. He didn't usually have to work so hard to blow off some steam.

Martirio arose, faced with a flurry of red hot glass from Mr. White. Martirio had no choice but to summon a wall of earth. Underneath him, Elliott jumped up as a wall of earth rocketed out of the ground and smashed in to the ceiling. The glass hit the wall and splayed out in all directions. Martirio hacked at the bottom of the wall hoping to dislodge it from its seat. Cassandra let rip a volley of attacks at Mr White, supressing his movement. A bead of sweat surfaced on his flesh as constant smashing of glass assaulted his ears. Martirio felt the earth wall loosen when another bolt of glass weakened the supporting earth. He rocked it back. He stamped a prideful boot in to the floor and pulled as if he was drawing the sword from the stone. It snapped off and he smiled behind his metal great helm. Quickly he buried his gauntlet in to the earth wall and wielded it like a shield. Thunder grew inside of him, he braced against his makeshift shield. He charged, roaring out a battle cry.

White was battered by the hefty makeshift shield and sent sprawling into Felix, his head ringing from the force of the impact. However, before Martirio could finish him off, he formed a thick wall of glass in front of him, the outlaw's attack barely scratching the materials surface. Still winded, White stood up and extended the wall until his assailant was trapped in a transparent prison, the barrier also serving to protect him from further attacks from Anima's brethren.

Rieve heard the sounds of bullets hitting earth around her, mixed with the ocassional crackle of electricity from Anima's periodic attacks. She couldn't see her grandfather, but she could feel Flint in front of her, his back pressed into her and holding her against the wall as he stood guard, fighting back against all the attackers.

"What the psyduck are you doing?" she heard the younger man he'd been with calling out, Flint didn't respond with more than a grunt as he endured another wave of attacks. Rieve couldn't fathom what was happening. Not just because of her loss of sight, that left her helpless but it didn't cloud her mind. She couldn't understand why the man she'd tried to kill was now putting his life on the line to act as her body guard. Sure, they were related, but they'd never been family.

Amidst the chaos of the battle, Anima felt serenity in the moment. He was getting exhausted. He paused to soak in the death around him. He called upon his god to imbue him with a pulse of strength. He felt hope fill his heart. Beside exploding earth spikes, the prophet ambled through the tornado of destruction, the world around him seemed in limbo. The adrenaline filled his veins with one purpose. He came face to face with the old man. Somehow this person struck a familarity. There was a resemblance. A grandfather of his that he never knew, or was it Anaconda's Grandfather? This kind of fog smeared around the mysterious person from his memory. A figure, a role in a life he'd forgotten. Suddenly it were as if he was a child. The bright desert light blacked out the face of the Grandfather at the door. Soon that light engulfed the scene as he remembered his own house, aflame with the fire he'd been given. The fire in his heart. The glassy body of his relations stood in front of him, judging him. Then the spirit of almighty Gaudium filled him. Suddenly, he aged from a child to adulthood. He drew his dagger and thrust it in to the gut of the familial silhouette.

Flint felt the sharp object stick inside him and pain overriding his whole senses. The body lost it's footing and slumped in to the blinded girl. Anima casually yanked the knife out of the Grandfather and sheathed it - blood still smattered along its edge. As the carcass dropped in to Rieve's hands, she was forced to the floor with the weight. Spots of clearness began to seep through, the shapes forming in front of her as the deluded cultist took out his weapon and fired at his head. The chunks of blood and brains exploded over twin murderers. Anima relished the sound, the sight, the feel of death.
Anima looked the Granddaughter. He let out a haunting smile.

Elias looked on with horror as he watched Anima gut Flint and blow his brains across the room. He'd only known the man for a short time, but in that short time he'd come to view him as the tough, wise guy that wasn't going to die easily. He had got along fairly well with him, he'd respected him. Then, in just an instant, Flint had died before he got a chance to get to know him any better. Killed whilst defending the granddaughter that tried to put a bullet in his head. It was too much for Elias. He felt his body shaking like he was in a quake, he felt nauseas and he felt an anger he couldn't properly direct. Without thinking, he raised his gun and fired his remaining bullets at Anima. The first projectile flew by him. He looked to the boy playing with fire. Anima had found his next target and immeaditately turned in to shadow on wall. As the ghost charged at him, Elias could feel his heart pounding.

Rieve watched on, her sight continuing to becoming clearer, unveiling a scene of horror before her. She found herself slumped against the wall, covered in blood with Flint's corpse at her feet. In front of her, she'd seen Anima preparing to deal the death blow to her, when suddenly shots had fired and he'd disappeared, becoming a shadow and revealing the source of the gunfire. The cowardly man her grandfather had arrived with, shaking life a leaf had tried to empty his revolver into Anima's back. Now the outlaw was coming for him. She reacted without thinking, blinking to his location. She'd tried to kill Flint and he'd saved her. She didn't believe this man was trying to do the same, it didn't matter though. She suddenly felt she had to do this to thank the man that saved her life. As if saving her grandfather's companion would even things out. She grabbed hold of the man, and just as Anima got there, they were gone.

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  #260    
Old September 3rd, 2017 (2:47 AM).
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Alex Rose

Entering the House of Horrors

Alex watched, unable to even consider concealing his surprise as Jebediah was suddenly pulled through the room by the tendrils, both the door they had sprung from and the door the pair had entered through slamming shut. At that point, a saner man might have tried to run. Alex conjured a small fireball over his left hand to light his way and made his way across the room, still wielding his shotgun in his other hand.

Alex soon reached the door on the other end of the room, choosing to forgo the element of surprise in order to keep both his weapon and his flame on hand, he kicked hard at the old wood, finding it surprisingly easy to break through into another room. He couldn’t make out the details, but it seemed mostly similar to the one he’d just been in… if you didn’t count the lightly glowing halo of fire visible on the other end.

Without further warning, a torrent of fire flew towards Alex, forcing him to leap to the side. The smell of smouldering would filled the room as the doors Alex had just burst through were incinerated by the spell.

“I am not getting into another lengthy fight with one of you psyduckers. I’m here for your boss.” Alex said, his voice filled with irritation and venom. He’d be damned if he was going to nearly die fighting one of Veralice’s servants again when she was the one he was there for. He enhanced the size of his elemental burst and through the fireball towards his hulking foe. The half-demon raised a hand, Alex’s spell stopping in front of him and quadrupling in size, filling the majority of the room with pale light. It launched the now far larger fireball back at Alex, but the bounty hunter was already gone. With a smirk he reappeared behind the monstrous being, shotgun pointed at its head. “This time, I’m making it quick.”

Alex pulled the trigger, the shot exploding the head of Veralice’s servant and covering the room and Alex in thick, black blood. The fire-user dropped to the floor it’s halo extinguished and its head mostly missing.

“I guess anyone else knows I’m here then.” Alex said with a sigh as he summoned another small fireball over his hand and kicked open the next door.

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  #261    
Old October 14th, 2017 (5:09 AM).
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aeternum aeternum is offline
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'The Second Longest Night Pt 3'

Jebediah Kleutsch-Sanders, Bounty Hunter & Supposed God in Training
Level 3, Air and Water, $1,320
Alex Rose, Bounty Hunter
Level 2, Fire, $8,200


Wrench


Alice stood in the corner of the room. The dark tendrils slipped through slits in her skin, writhing like snakes as then twisted and turned. Jebediah sat helpless, suspended in the air next to The Night Wolf. The darkness emanating from Alices body slowly penetrated the skin of the opposing native, causing blood to spurt from the wounds.

Dont worry my friends, Vereryl spoke through the young girl he possessed; his much more masculine voice drowned out the soft whine that escaped from its body as the darkness continued to spill forth from it. I wont kill you, not yet at least. Not when Im so close to breaking free of my worldly bonds. Soon I will leave behind this husk and take on a form all my own. But to do so, Ill need all of you.

Jebediah winced as the tentacles began to dig into his own skin, taking up residence in the layer between flesh and skin as they spread across his body. Slowly, the bounty hunter began to lose all feeling in his body as the tendrils overtook and merged with his nervous system. His spell book sat on a small table across the room from him, surrounded by a dark barrier created by the tendril which circled around it. The dagger hed brought along with him was lost somewhere along the way as hed been dragged along through the numerous corridors against his will.

The Night Wolf slowly turned his head towards the bounty hunter next to him. Their faces were both fill with pain, but the native outlaw managed to suppress the look for the time being. Why did- his words were broken up as pain sporadically shot through his body, causing him to tense up and close both his eyes and mouth. Why did you come here, bounty hunter? Its too late now not even the gods could save us now

Yes, not even He could save you at this point. Not after I destroyed his doorway and shattered his guardians. A smirk spread across Alices face as she slowly moved from her isolated corner, closing the distance between herself and the two men. For those not of this world, the ability to interfere in our matters has worn thin. No matter how powerful they are, the distance between our worlds has grown far. Only by the hands of our own most powerful - myself being a prime example - could call them down now. Alas, Ive yet to have need for them. If I were to call my masters now well, theyd only get in the way if Im being honest.

Jebediah slowly clenched his fist with what little power he had left. The darkness had slowly been draining his body of both magic and physical stamina. The other personality inside of him had also been more or less silent since theyd come into the building, a fact which had began to irk the bounty hunter. The powers of his darker side could prove quite useful at the moment, if he were here.

You still cannot touch his tool. The Night Wolf stared blankly at the demon, his spread thin as his skin slowly turned grey. Theres still another on his way even if hes playing into your plans, you still cannot touch the tool of the gods. Their light will seal you, whether its by our hands or some other.

Yes, that is true. However, that boy is no more a match for me than either of you. As youll become well aware as he enters in the next few moments. I can feel the last of my power returning to me the last of my own guardians have just fallen to him and this tool I cant wait to see the looks on your face when I crush the last hope you have left in this world. Soon, my will shall spread and I will become whole once more.

Alex arrived outside the room just in time to hear the exchange, his shotgun clutched tight in one hand and Jebediahs strange glowing knife in the other. Hed found the weapon laying discarded along the way and decided to pick it up. Now, he was standing in a hallway listening to a baffling exchange about gods and divinity and peering through a crack to see Jebediah and the Night Wolf strung up by bindings seemingly made of the shadows themselves. What was more though, it seemed that Veralice somehow knew he was there, or at least nearby already.

Not wanting to fall victim to any sudden attacks from the Big Bad, Alex decided to attack preemptively himself. He took one more moment to get a good look at the room beyond, then made his move. In an instance, Alex was no longer in the hallway, but appearing on the far side of the room beyond in a flash of red light. He threw the shining knife forwards, severing the tendrils that linked Veralice to her prisoners.

The Big Bad hissed with rage, launching a serrated, shadowy whip towards the young bounty hunter from her body. The strike came faster than Alex was expecting, forcing him to blink across the room again to where Jebs knife was now embedded in the wall. Caught by surprise however, he stumbled and was struck by the appearance of a second tendril that slammed him hard into a wall, causing him to drop his shotgun along the way.

Jebediah fell to the ground, the light from the weapon that Alex had thrown quickly trailed up the tendrils and caused them to dissolve. The bounty hunter instantly felt the strength return to his body as he rose to his feet. Across the room, the barrier around his spell book and guns dissipated as the coiled tendril dissolved as well. The second the barrier lifted, Jeb blinked across the room, retrieving his belongings before being smashed up against the wall behind Vereryl by an enlarged tendril. As the hunter struck the wall, he blinked back across the room and placed his hand on the weapon lodged into the wall beside Alex. Well be needing someone a bit more capable to use this one.

At the same time, The Night Wolf rose to his feet and rushed at the demon, creating blades of ice in his hands and encasing them in shifting tendrils of water which spiked up in a random fashion. The native threw the weapons at Vereryl as quickly as he could create them, causing the various tendrils protruding from its body to busy themselves with deflecting the onslaught as the outlaw quickly closed the distance between them.

Alice hissed as she proceeded to lower herself onto all fours. Her body became coated in black, matted fur and the tendrils slowly re-positioned themselves to her back as her entire body contorted into something inhuman. Her fingers elongated and her palms grew to over a dozen times their normal size, following suit with the rest of her body. The doorway to the room collapsed as a number of the limbs on her back dug into the ground and began to lift the room up through the rubble of what used to be the mansion and its labyrinth-like basement. Soon, the room had been reduced to a simple platform, hovering high in the night sky as the walls and ceiling fell apart and crumbled to the ground below. The platform stood on a pedestal, hundreds of feet above the remains of the rubble as the hunters and outlaws stared each other down, racking their minds with what to do next.

Alex was the first to move, he lunged forward towards his weapon of choice, but he couldnt outpace Veralice. One of her demonic limbs rocketed forwards to intercept him. The split second before he was impaled by the rushing tentacle, Alex vanished in a burst of flame, searing Veralice as he appeared in a new location in a corresponding flare, already drawing his revolver. Alex raised the weapon and fired twice, each bullet catching Veralice in the side. She hissed again, with pain as well as anger this time, but where a normal person would have been downed and bleeding out from the dual impact, she was barely inconvenienced.

Oh psyduck. Alex managed to breath, half from fear and half from the maddening rush of adrenaline he was now experiencing.

The Night Wolf was now face-to-face with the demon, trading blows with her as the weapons in his hands grew into full length swords before being ground down by her flailing tendrils. Jebediah took the opportunity to blink behind Alice, slashing at the tendrils protruding from her back as quickly as he could with the sword. As the light began to trail down along the tentacles, more protruded and promptly cut free the others which had already been compromised.

Alice began to laugh heartily as she impaled Jebediah with two of the new tendrils and threw him far into the sky before doing the same to both The Night World and Alex, the latter of which only just narrowly managed to blink out of the way before being impaled. Come, come. Come at me with all that you have, children. No matter what it is, there will never be a way for you to overcome me. If I must, allow me to show you

As the demon spoke, ten bronze rings shot from its body one by one. Alice slowly rose to her feet and threw her arms outwards, allowing two of the rings to position themselves on each of her arms. Two of the rings snapped onto her neck, and two more positioned themselves on her ankles while the others hovered in front of her chest and her back.

Th-those rings! Jebediah coughed up blood as his eyes widened, recalling the demons masters who had at one time torn free from the sky and utilized similar devices. Ive seen them before, but...

Dont worry about them now! We have to continue fighting, regardless of what they might or might not do! The Night Wolf dispersed his blades and coated his fists with stones which flowed with liquid fire. If I had any other choice, Id fight until you die! This is not only for our sakes, but for all those in this world!

Alice laughed once more. My brother, we are the last of our kind, you and I. No matter how hard you fight, you can never bring them back. It is our right as the natives of this land to engorge on its powers. My darkness is only one more that it has to offer to those of our kind. Never could one of these trespassers come to hold it like we can. Youre wasting your life fighting for them. Theyve taken everything from us, and now - now, you have the chance to take all the revenge for it that youd like. Kill them, join me. The white man - Jedediah he is the one responsible for all of this. The one responsible for my revival. It is no fault of yours that our people were slaughtered and I was brought back think of me more as a gift. A means to take your revenge for the fallen.

The Night Wolf continued to advance on the demon despite the revelation that he had not shirked his duty as a descendant of the sealing party from generations prior. His eyes remained leveled on the beast, and his face stayed firm. That all very well may be. You might be a gift from above, or you might be just what you are a demon was never meant to resurface. You yourself have already murdered and manipulated a number of my brothers and sisters. I have no love for those of white skin, nor have I ever even dreamed that I would come to fight for them. It matters not to me what happens to these white invaders; I fight because for so long that at least one other of my kin could be spared your power then I have something to continue striving towards.

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  #262    
Old October 14th, 2017 (9:33 AM). Edited October 14th, 2017 by Estrello.
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Estrello Estrello is offline
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    Elliott


    Anima




    Continuing from the battle... Part 1...Part 2...

    Elliott was underneath the floor, his hands weirdly transparent. Here he was surrounded by golden coins shining their raw precious value. He was caked in riches, so much so he could make a snow angel in this golden sea that was as bright as his hair. He would try to pick them up, shoving his hands in to the mound of money. But nothing moved, he couldn't feel them. Those precious carvings on the side of the metal, only looked upon, not touched. He had nothing he could do. He looked for more gold, even though he knew that would just make him more sad. Rooms led to rooms and doorways to doorways, all filled to the brim in money. It held so much that he couldn't have. All the space was accounted for, except a door upwards. An exit? An entrance? He didn't even know any more.

    Anything and everything gave way as if it were air. He began to think up things he could do with this power. He could rob a bank, but he wouldn't be able to grab anything. It was a shame, he wouldn't be able to control this ability. All he can do is spin the roulette wheel and hope it doesn't land on the psyduck-self-up outcome. He's been lucky since he met Shadow and her posse. He mostly had explosions, which are usually the most effective. But it could be anything. He didn't really understand his magic, truth be told he didn't understand himself.

    Crrrrrrrrrrrrrrrkk. Cassandra and Shadow cracked open the trapdoor to the basement and set aside the crowbar.
    Elliott squinted as the light streamed through, failing to block it with his hand as the transparency became apparent with the glare.
    Come on, grab it already. The blonde mercenary held out her hand.
    I cant. Elliott voice cracked, he seemed unusually sheepish.
    Dont be a baby. She complained.
    No, I cant. He reached up, only to pass right through her hand. He tried to scale the stairs but just ended up stumbling over.
    Alright. The two descended the stairs, their boots phased through Elliotts head.
    He twisted around, Rude.
    Cassie looked around, This looks like it could pay for a mansion for my retirement.
    Hands off, He poked his fingerless gloved hand at her. Its mine. He grabbed the loops of his trousers, That could pay my debt and then some.
    Silence, both of you. This money will go to the Church, the Order will be strengthened by this amount.
    Yeah, but youd be strengthened by not having those Waltham debt collectors on your coattails. He brushed aside his many-pocketed dark tan coat and planted his hand on his hips. The opacity began to return to his skin. He could touch things again. While he rejoiced internally, he had to keep up the conversation.
    Yeah and leave us with what?
    A sum.
    Some is not enough. The Prophet has taken what is his and he will have it.
    What does he need it for anyway?

    Anima took his place on the previous throne left by the Fat businessman who had already shuffled off this mortal coil thanks to Skull-freak and Co. Felix was a bitter reminder of Elliotts old boss. Too rich for his own good. Good thing hes gone. Oh wait, Waltham still hates his guts and hes still under protection of this mad cult. Mad- Not in the good way.

    The hall was filled with a bunch of normals who couldnt use any magic. They couldnt even stand up to Anima and the magicians, even if they really wanted to. Not that Elliott was always helped by his magic. He took a moment to think, maybe these guys had it easy.
    The Prophet spoke, his head uncaged from the silver skull, You were all under the employ of Mr Griffin before his untimely death. Mr. White shuffled silently, being a witness to such a tragic accident. Upon his death, he has set me to be the heir of his operations here in South Jeimas.
    Shadow stepped forward We will be continuing the contracts you have with Mr. Griffin in your line of work. Same pay, but you now work for us.
    However, Anima continued his speech, as if this performance had been perfectly planned. All of you will get a bonus, every time you attend our seminars. We invite you to hear of the benevolent work of the Order and why we do what we do. You will meet with me each time, face to face.
    Anima had presented the carrot. Now, Shadow presented the stick. Those who do not attend any sessions or not meet our expectations after a certain amount of seminars, will face consequences.


    Elliott had stepped outside the barn for some fresh air, followed by woman. Dressed like a cowgirl, she was a henchman through and through. From her pocket she revealed a cigarette and match book. Failing to light, she looked at Elliott. Here, youre one of those magic buggers. You got a light?
    Elliott shook his head. What would happen when if he tried? Blow up everything theyve just fought for? Melt her to cinders? Heck, if he was lucky, a big ass ruby would pop out of thin air and crush em. He could sell it for millions.

    Do you? The now soldier of Anima gestured to the cigar.
    Before he could object, she placed it in his hands. He really had no choice. She finally struck the match and it became aflame. Lighting the tobacco, Elliott tasted it. The poison filled his lungs. His body rejected the cloud of smoke, he coughed and spluttered to no end, his lungs convulsed.
    You alright there? Her words were sweet in theory but her tone was apathetic
    He expelled it from his lungs. The power of the cough had forced him to double over. Quickly he straightened. Yeah. Elliott croaked.

    As he held the paper between his fingers the, light on the end dimmed, something dropped from above. Red... he looked down, spot of red splashes laid on the thinning sandy entrance. His eyes darted upwards two shapes. He stumbled out, unable to unfix his eyes from the horrific sight. Like slaughtered meat, two bodies stretched out in an X shape, their skin peeled off revealing their terrible pink inner self, blood seeped from every pore. The gruesome face had been clipped from it and transfixed upside down on the carcass on its head. There was no mistaking those gory faces. Felix, the big bad, and Flint, the old bandit. Above it the stained glass window bearing Gaudiums Symbol, below was the word: SUBMIT


    Animas a rattata aint he? The stoic henchman continued her gaze.
    After waiting the period of nausea, almost retching, he attempted to save face. Im fine... Im fine, I... just never seen em without their clothes.
    Stop jokin-
    Cant, its in my bones. He interrupted.
    We both know Animas a tyrant. The Henchmen blew smoke like a dragon.Which makes your job all the more difficult.
    What?
    Im with Waltham Security, Collection Department. She revealed a gun and a contract, with a big gold W at the top.
    You jokers again. Dont you know I lost all my money gambling? You cant repossess nothing, because I aint got anything!
    Your Animas rich now, hes assumed the role of Felix. Hes now a big bad. He can get our money in no time.
    He wont like that.
    I know, thats why Im not the one doing it. And if you dont, Ill kill you.

    Happy Birthday, Gimmiepie!
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    I am the player of José "Anima" Dartmoor of Gunpowder Roleplay : : : Sign Up Post | Gunpowder
      #263    
    Old November 12th, 2017 (3:11 AM).
    aeternum's Avatar
    aeternum aeternum is offline
    Not Suitable For All Ages
     
    Join Date: Mar 2013
    Location: Indiana
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    'The End'

    Jebediah Kleutsch-Sanders, Bounty Hunter & Supposed God in Training
    Level 4, Air, Water, and Fire $1,320
    Alex Rose, Bounty Hunter
    Level 2, Fire, $8,200


    Wrench


    Alex watched the exchange take place, carefully waiting for his opportunity this time. Hed seen that bullets still hurt, even though their impact was minimal, that just meant he needed to shoot Veralice more times. He leveled his revolver, knowing that he was mostly concealed by the Night Wolf standing in front of him and pulled the trigger.

    His bullet flew past the Night Wolf, close enough for the man to feel the breeze, striking Veralice square in the head. The demon stumbled back several steps, and for a second it looked like headshots would do the trick, but then the bullet fell to the ground and with a shake of her head she was standing firm again.

    If youre not going to help then just get the hell out of the way! Jebediah pulled both of his guns from their holsters and completely emptied them at the demon across from him. Each time that one of the bullets made contact, it ricocheted off of Alices thickened skin and then struck at her again, and again until the bullets were crunched down to little more than discs due to the repeated impacts. Itll take a whole lot more than just a few bullets to take her down here. The form shes in now that demon has just about completely taken her over. She was strong before in just her base form, but now theres no telling how high her abilities are. The bounty hunter refilled his guns as he spoke and then shot a glance behind him at Alex. Be careful of those rings. Everything that comes through them is severely weakened, and whatever comes out of them is amplified to ridiculous levels.

    Fantastic. Alex sighed, making a note to avoid shooting directly through the rings.

    As Jebediah was emptying his guns in vain, The Night Wolf had began to create a small army of familiars. The more of the beasts that were created, the more that the platform seemed to sway and threaten to fall apart.

    Trying to summon an avatar, Wolf? Ill have you know, youre still not the only one who can do that. Even when I was just a simple spellbook I was capable of creating innumerable avatars without any effort. Anything and everything you all could do against me will be completely in vain. I am the most powerful being in existence right now. Nobody could ever hope to stand in my way as I am now.

    I am getting really tired of listening to this thing speak. Alex said, swaying and staggering as the platform shook. The movement of the ground they were standing on made it progressively harder to take shots that didnt go through a ring and so almost every time Alex pulled the trigger he was met with disappointment.

    Jebediah, quit being a cloyster and attack him. You have the necessary tool. Just take it to him and plunge it as far in as you can.

    Jeb smirked. Hell of a time for you to come back around, eh? You should know better though. I cant just run up and stab it Alice is in there still somewhere

    Then at least cut off some of those tentacles. Maybe lop off an arm. Come on, man. Dont be a rattata about it and just hurry up and end this. Weve waited long enough theres no other choice right now.

    Maybe youre right Jebediah muttered as he gripped the hilt of the dagger and pulled it from the sheath. As the weapon left its holster, the light that it emitted grew several times more brilliant as the length of its blade elongated into that of a sword. There is no other choice. Not now.

    Alex eyed Jeb, the other hunter was now muttering to himself and drawing his weird sword. Alex wasnt sure what the man was up to, but he was obviously planning something. Alex just hoped whatever lunacy the unhinged bounty hunter was intending to go through with wasnt going to get him killed.

    Jebediah placed the sword in his mouth and grit his teeth as he lowered himself to all fours and began undergoing the painful transfiguration into a wolf. After the process had completed itself, the only thing setting him apart from the numerous familiars was their ethereal glowing and his radiance. The Night Wolf peered over his shoulder, sensing distress amongst his familiars. The big bad watched as the bounty hunter transformed into a beast and then disappeared into the pack.

    Now realizing what the plan was, Alex began blinking across the platform constantly, using his fire blink to attract maximum attention from Veralice as he opened fire like a madman. He didnt know if the strategy was going to work, but hed be damned if he left it all up to the other two. This was his bounty.

    Grunting, the Night Wolf threw his hand out in front of him and caused four of the familiars around him to condense and transform into a spear. The outlaw twirled the weapon in his right hand before slamming it into the ground. The native smirked as he stared down Vereryl in its monstrous form. Aroooo! As the big bad let out his howl, the numerous familiars that he had created all turned a brilliant white and began to run towards the demon, their paws alive with thunder which caused the floor of the platform to crack beneath them.

    Pointless! Vereryl rose to its hind legs and thrust its arms out in front of it. As the demons arms flew forward, the rings on his arms, back and chest all connected together and began to glow a deep, crimson red. Turn to ash. As the words escaped his mouth, a flame erupted from within the rings and instantly incinerated the familiars. The clothes were instantly singed from both The Night Wolf and Alex as the flame licked at their bodies.

    Alex winced as his coat was incinerated and small holes burned through the layer beneath. Only through a quick reaction time was he able to dodge out the way of the worst of the fiery blast.

    Muk. he breathed, barely able to maintain a grip on the handle of his gun now due to the heat absorbed by the weapon.

    Jebediah - in his wolf form - leapt from the flames which seemed to burn away everything in their path with incredible ease. The hunter quickly transformed the upper half of his body back into that of a human and gripped onto the sword in his mouth which had been splitting the flames, causing them to fly around him and miss their mark. A thin line of the familiars had followed behind him, and as Jebediah came within arms reach of Vereryl, the wolves took to the demons back and began to rip and tear at the tough skin of the monster.

    Vereryl quickly busied himself with the removal of the wolves the second that they attached themselves to him. Jebediah took advantage of the small distraction and used the sword to slice two of the rings surrounding Vereryl as they were returning to their natural positions.

    Bastard! How dare you touch me or my weapons! As two of the rings were split in two and shattered, Vereryl slapped Jebediah off of the platform with a mighty swing of a tentacled arm.

    As the bounty hunter fell from the platform, the numerous tentacles which had surrounded the fist of the demon began to pummel Jebediah even further away from safety. All the hunter had the time to do was block with his sword, as the flurry of blows came faster than his eyes could follow and his lower half had still yet to revert back to that of a human.

    Vereryl brushed himself off as he stared at his left arm, now without the rings adorning it. How very rude of him. Have you all any idea just how many chiefs I had to kill to earn these rings? Theyre the last of their kind; precious relics from a time long since lost to your kind. The demon stared down The Night Wolf as he spoke of the adornments. No matter. Ill just have to kill you before you take any more. At that moment, one of the rings around his right arm re-positioned itself to his left and clamped down tighter than before.

    The half-demon now unleashed a churning vortex of wind at the outlaw chief, blasting the Night Wolf with the nefarious gust and sending him rocketing across the floor of the platform until he rolled off the edge, catching the side of the shaky structure and barely hanging on as the last of his familiar flew past him.

    Left alone to face Veralice now, Alex had no time to think, only to react. He launched back into action forming a fireball over his left hand and throwing it at the Big Bad. Veralice laughed, using a ring to dampen the spell before it washed over her.

    You seek to attack me with such weak spells bounty hunter? You dont know what youre dealing with. Veralice then unleashed another gust towards Alex, forcing him to blink away. However, his gun was caught in the attack and sent flying into the distance over the edge. Seeing the Night Wolf claw himself back onto the platform, Alex saw an opportunity though. He wasnt done yet.

    As the native made a mad dash towards Veralice, Alex blinked again, appearing on the other side of the demon and scooping up the shotgun that had miraculously managed to remain on the structure with them. He lined up the shot past Veralices defenses and pulled the trigger, taking advantage of his enemys preoccupation or so he thought.

    A tendril burst from the ground as Alexs finger squeezed and wrapped around the Night Wolf. As the projectiles left Alexs weapon, Veralices tendril through the other Big Bad into the line of fire between them. The Night Wolf was ripped open by the pellets, hitting the floor as blood began to surge from his wounds onto the ground and leaving a trail behind as he skidded to a halt. An instant later he was dead and Alex was alone on the platform again.

    The demon slowly approached Alex, a wicked smile upon its face as it began the process of reverting back into a human form. I look forward to taking my time with you, boy. For that, this form will no longer be necessary, especially not since my last descendant is now gone. Vereryl raised its charcoal colored hand, the rings forming a sort of tunnel in front of it as the monster aimed at the bounty hunters left leg. Let us see just how much pain you can withstand. Lightning began to crackle around the base of Vereryls hand as he took several steps forward. The Big Bad wrapped a tendril around Alexs throat and then dug it into his body, latching it around his collarbone to ensure that he couldnt simply blink away.

    As the bolt of electricity shot forth from the palm of the demons hand, it quickly grew in size and power as it passed through the first two rings of the tunnel. However, as it started to travel, its speed fell dramatically as everything, including Vereryl slowed to a standstill. Jebediah flew up from behind the demon, his upper body transformed into that of an eagle as he soared through the sky. The Bounty Hunter swung his blade at one of the rings on the end of the formation before swooping into and tackling Alex. Jebediah closed his eyes, and as he did, everything returned to its normal speed with the lightning striking the ground and cutting the platform in half.

    What the psyduck was that? Vereryl hissed as its body quickly underwent a re-transformation. Why couldnt I move through that?

    The bounty hunter rose to his feet, not making eye contact with Alex who was visibly shaken. The tentacle which had been wrapped around his neck and dug into his body hung limp at his chest like a tie. You shouldnt have even been able to comprehend what was happening during that. Jebediah closed his eyes once more, slowing time to a halt as his senses grew to an extremely heightened state.

    Vereryl finished its transformation back into its bestial form and instantly shot forth a slew of tentacles at Jebediah. This trick of yours can only go so far I see. Its no match for me in this form. You should have just died when I tossed you down before!

    Jebediah rushed through the air at the demon, swinging the sword at each and every one of the tentacles that flew at him. I should have done this from the start. Even if you are so powerful that you can still move at this level, I can react to you faster than you can to me! Its over, Vereryl!

    The bounty hunter soared past the monster, cutting the rest of the rings which surrounded its body with simple flicks of his sword. Vereryl screeched as its jaw split open, hanging wide as an orb formed within its mouth. Ice, electricity, fire, water, and everything in the direct vicinity of the demon was quickly drawn into the orb which continued to grow ever larger. Jebediah flew at the monster, but was knocked back by an invisible barrier. The energy drained from the beasts body, reverting Vereryl back into the form of the innocent Alice. The girls face was covered in tears as it was revealed that her jaw had actually been torn completely apart from the rest of her head. The lower half of her face touched the ground which she stood upon as the orb grew to even more ridiculous sizes. Jebediah winced in pain as the effect of his ability faded. To Jebediah and Alice, it had appeared that several minutes had passed, however for everyone else, not even half a second had seemed to have gone by since time had slowed.

    What the psyduck just happened? Alex coughed, going from being strangled by Veralice, to seeing she and Jebs exchanged to now seeing Veralice reverted to her child form, injured badly and Jeb not looking much better. More concerning still, the bright pulsating orb now floating above them exerting a force that made the platform they were on crumble and vibrate. Jeb, what the psyduck did you do?!

    Jebediahs gaze trailed back to Alex, still laying on the ground some ways behind him. The bounty hunter looked back to Alice, seeing that all of her power her very life was being drained away to make the sphere of destruction above them even more powerful. The bounty hunter lifted Mr. Truth, taking two shots at her, only to see the bullets reflect off of her barrier.

    Huh Jebediah dropped the gun to his side and stared at it. The bounty hunter started to laugh to himself as he raised the sword in his off-hand. Guess there really is only one option now if Im going to save her then Alex, I need your help. The bounty hunter blinked over to Alex, giving him both of his guns. Create an opening, as best as you can. I need to get in there. Just keep firing, as much as you can. Every round that youve got needs to be unloaded, right here and now. Otherwise, Wrench will be even more psyducked than it was before, and well be psyducked right along with it.

    Alex didnt question the instructions, at this point what else was there to do but shoot at the enemy? He raised the weapons that were foisted upon him, unsure of where his shotgun had ended up now and began to fire over and over, reloading the weapons with his spell as the depleted.

    After the volley had been fired, Jebediah blinked up to the barrier that Alice had erected around herself with the last of her strength. Her skin was growing wrinkled as the light began to fade from her eyes. The girl was aging rapidly as her life was absorbed into Vereryls final attack. Dont worry honey, Ill save you from this. Jebediah raised his hand, and all the bullets formed around him in a massive door shape. The bounty hunter dropped his hand, sending all of the bullets flying into the invisible wall at once. Newfound energy surged within the bounty hunter. This battle had sent him to new heights and had awakened new abilities within him. Jebediah waved his hand once more, causing a bright light to emanate from within each of the bullets before they each exploded in unison.

    As the dust settled, Alex could see that the orb had ceased to grow. Jebediah was laying on the ground, with Alice in his lap. The sword of light punctured her chest, but missed any vital organs. A black tendril escaped through her mouth and joined up with the orb hanging high above while the bounty hunter had closed his eyes. I wont let you get dragged down to hell with that thing youre going to go to a much better place than that I know you will Ill make sure that you will, once I get down there again.

    Alices hand raised to caress Jebs face. I knew you'd come to save me. Just like you- her words were cut short as the sound of a gun echoed across the platform and the still night air. The color had completely drained from her, along with her life. Jebediahs eyes grew wide as he closed his hands around hers and began to cry. His whole body shook as his eyes searched up and down her body, unwilling to accept what had just happened. After a few seconds, his gaze turned to meet Alexs. Mr. Truth sat in his hand, smoke still rising from its barrel. Jebediah released Alices hand as he rose to his feet, his hands clenching and un-clenching as he blinked his eyes, over and over again. Did you did you just you didnt, did you? No, not after we came all this far no you wouldnt have dared to.

    She was one of the most wanted criminals in the country, Jebediah. Alex said, watching the other hunter cautiously. I told you what I came here to do, you shouldnt have expected anything less. Did you think she was going to be able to go home with you and play house after all this? Hunter after hunter was going to come after her to claim her bounty and pass her sentence. Shes probably better of dying quickly anyway. Shes a murderer that just got lucky.

    As Jebediahs anger grew, the orb which still hung over the two hunters began to fall towards them. The bounty hunter pulled the sword free from Alices limp body and tossed it aside. The weapon skittered to a halt by a broken tile of the basements floor which had stayed somewhat intact. Ill wring your scrawny psyduckin neck you hunter piece of muk! She was just a little girl! We had an agreement!

    We had nothing of the sort.

    A new vessel, filled with hatred. Who could have asked for anything better! The orb screamed as it fell onto Jebediahs head. The bounty hunters body shook violently as the orb exploded into thousands of tentacles and wiggled their way into his body through various orifices. The various elements which the demon had been a master of began to surge throughout the bounty hunters body and run wild, completely without control. His limbs exploded to life with the various elements. The skin was slowly stripped away from the hunters body until all that was visible was the internal conflict between light, darkness and every other element which resided within him.

    Alex staggered back several steps at the sight before him, surprised by the turn of events. He kept his wits about him though, he knew that Jeb was losing control and that meant he was in danger. He wasnt sure what kind of power the child had come across or how it was moving to Jeb, but he wasnt dying there at a bounty hunters hand after all hed just been through. He raised the gun and pulled the trigger again.

    The bullet struck Jebediah in the head, sending him tumbling backwards into the sword which hed tossed aside. The bounty hunter winced as he looked over at the weapon beside him. The bullet in his skull slowly turned to dust as the various elements ate away at it. Seal it seal The bounty hunter wrapped his hand around the hilt of the weapon and rose to his feet. I have to kill Vereryl

    Jebediah turned the blade towards himself and plunged it into his chest. The weapon flared up, elongating itself as it ate away at the elemental energy welled up within him. Jebediah ripped the weapon free from his chest and then plunged it in at another spot, and then again, and again. What was left of the platform quickly fell to pieces as the bounty hunter relentlessly assaulted himself with the divine weapon. Jebediah let out a scream as the platform beneath him crumbled, sending him falling to the ground below as the rest of the platform fell after him.

    As the dust cleared, a small light was still visible through the cracks within the rubble into which Jebediah had fallen. The hill upon which the mansion had sat slowly began to cave in on itself. The bounty hunter let out a final scream as the light faded from between the rubble, and what was left of Cosmas mansion finished devouring the demon that it had once given rebirth to.

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      #264    
    Old November 22nd, 2017 (2:00 AM).
    gimmepie's Avatar
    gimmepie gimmepie is offline
     
    Join Date: May 2012
    Location: Australia
    Age: 23
    Gender: Male
    Nature: Adamant
    Posts: 18,500
    The Weekly Grind

    South More Dangerous than Ever
    The South More Dangerous Than Ever
    Times are changing here in the south, and not for the better. You might reference the recent deaths of three of our “Big Bad’s” as positives for our half of the country, but this has left a power vacuum and violent crime is only on the rise as other outlaws, known or otherwise, rise up in an effort to fill that gap. It is no longer safe to be out of your homes unarmed, and you shouldn’t stray too far at all if you can avoid it. In particular, residents of Ironhaven are advised that the city is no longer safe. Since the events just over a month ago, Ironhaven has become a warzone for outlaws, law enforcement and bounty hunters alike. In particular, Big Bad “Undead” Lachlan Buzzard’s gang has a strong hold over the city and a steadily increasing presence there. I strongly advise residents who are not prepared to defend their homes, families and selves with their lives flee.

    Sheriff Lee Cameron of Ironhaven

    Big Bads on the Move
    In recent months, the south has experienced an unprecedented amount of Big Bad activity as violent crimes have continued to become more and more commonplace. Beginning several months ago, Sister Tess’ activity rose sharply culminating in her attack on the church of Fairbell where she was subsequently killed by rival outlaw Emmett Holliday. The void left by her death was then quickly filled by the youngest person to have ever had a dead or alive bounty, the hellchild Veralice Rylian. She subsequently went on a path of destruction, not only here in the south but also foraying north which most Big Bads avoid doing. However, she too was recently killed along with the Night Wolf in a confrontation between each other and with bounty hunters. At almost the same time, her fellow Big Bad, Felix Griffin’s desecrated body was seen hanging from the exterior of his mansion base of operations and yet another Big Bad, Borya Bogden, was killed by an unknown assailant in Silverston.

    These three additional deaths have lead to a destabilisation and have shattered the status quo. Almost immediately after the deaths of Bogden and Griffin, outlaws in the Silverston region became more active and violent in an effort to take the place of the deceased. Through this chaos, cult leader and dangerous outlaw, Jose “Anima” Dartmoor, who is believed to be responsible for the death of Felix Griffin, has increased his influence and greatly expanded the size of his following, having absorbed much of Griffin’s former following. It wasn’t long before law enforcement officially declared Anima a new Big Bad. His current bounty is set at $25,000. As of yet, the three remaining Big Bad slots have yet to be filled but expert analysis indicates that there are many criminals with the potential to take over those places. The currently unknown leader of the Dead Priest Gang, Emmett “Handful” Holliday, Sophia Hartmann of the Sangre Clan, the currently missing Leatherface who was a part of the recent events in Ironhaven and several other gang leaders as well a few more solo outlaws have all been suggested as Big Bad candidates. These are all extremely dangerous outlaws with recent criminal activity to their names and should be avoided at all costs by the general public.

    It’s not just the fall of the old Big Bads and the rise of the new that we need to fear, however. As has been well documented at this point, the city of Ironhaven - once the safest place in the south of Jeimas - is now a dangerous battleground and has increasingly fallen further under the control of “Undead” Lachlan Buzzard. It is estimated that by the end of this month, Buzzard will have total control of the city. Perhaps even more concerning, is that self-proclaimed revolutionary, Jedediah Rush’s associates have also been extremely active. Followers of Rush have been seen actively recruiting in Fairbell, Larkin, Silverston and Ironhaven as well in smaller, nameless settlements around the Barren Lands. Known collaborator and fellow Big Bad, Jessica Wilcox, has been sighted further north in both Port Blackton and Earnest. Perhaps scarier still is whispers that a third Big Bad, Bonny Cassidy, has also entered into some sort of agreement with Rush. Please keep reading weekly for further updates.

    Rita Greengrass

    Wrench Rebuilding Cancelled
    In a move that surprises nobody, officials have announced that the small town of Wrench is not going to be rebuilt. Destroyed in not once but twice by the Big Bad, Veralice Rylian in recent months before her death, it has been determined that resources cannot be spent on the reconstruction of a small mining town that seems doomed to be repeatedly obliterated. Of course, the mines themselves will be remaining open with some minor accommodation provided for individual minors but families will likely be forced to live in the nearby town of Larkin. Also unsurprising, but much more infuriating, is that the resources being saved by not rebuilding Wrench are not being used to increase the number of law enforcers or peacekeepers in the south. In fact, after a series of incidents in Larkin, all active peacekeepers have been recalled further north leaving the south to rely in more heavily on overworked marshalls and unreliable and unethical bounty hunters to manage our steadily growing problem with violent crime. Abandoned by the north, are we now simply waiting to see if we get taken over by a Big Bad warlord like Jedediah Rush or slip further into anarchy first?

    Read about this in more detail on page 12.

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      #265    
    Old December 8th, 2017 (3:30 AM).
    aeternum's Avatar
    aeternum aeternum is offline
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    Join Date: Mar 2013
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    'A new beginning'

    Azael Aeeb, Outlaw, Member of the Rainy Days
    Non-Magical
    Bounty : $0


    Outside Ironhaven, Inside a Wagon


    "Zel. Zel, wake up. I need to talk to you."

    The outlaw picked up the hat which he'd laid upon his face in an attempt to shut out the midday sun. He'd just been on the verge of getting to sleep when one of the newest members of the crew began shaking him.

    "What?" Zel whispered. For as long as he could recall, his throat had felt as if layer upon layer of chalk had been caked along its inner walls. Oftentimes it hurt for him to speak much above the dry, raspy whisper that he was attempting to call forth now.

    The recent addition to their gang was a boy, roughly nineteen or twenty in age. The boy had previously been a part of an archeological crew under the employment of the Judges, however due to recent events he had been forced into unemployment. The leader of the Rainy Days - Jacques Bourgeouis - picked up the boy on their way through Southbridge where the former archaeologist had made his home. Jacques had been attempting to decipher the map within a local bar, when the boy had approached him and pointed out and deciphered a few of the ancient symbols upon it. After realizing the archaeologist's worth, Jacques ‘put him under the care’ of the Rainy Days until the time that his usefulness had run its course.

    “Zel!” The boy whispered again as he shook the bandaged outlaw’s leg. “Why are we stopping in Ironhaven? Judging by the recent news, we should be doing our best to avoid the chasm and move straight on to our first target.”

    Zel stared at the boy for a second and then dropped his head back down on the sack of straw behind him, placing his hat back over his eyes. “Not my decision.”

    The boy sighed and then leaned back against the wall of the carriage. “The South is too dangerous right now… you guys have no idea what you’re getting yourselves in to. The only people here who really know anything are me and that blind native, but even he won’t listen to reason. This map’s going to get you all killed.”

    “What, and you’d suggest we go and pick up all the small fry first before going for the big money?” Jacques pulled up the cloth of the wagon which separated its driver from the cargo area where the rest of the outlaws were resting. “The South right now is a war zone, which is exactly why we’re here, boy. So many Big Bad positions have opened up and in such a short amount of time. History is being made here in Jeimas, right now. I want to be in on it. No… I need to be in on it. I’ll cement our names in the annals of history as the greatest of the outlaws to exist during this period of destruction and reformation. Jedediah the revolutionary on one side with his backers, the Jeiman government on the other, and us - the Rainy Days - riding straight up the middle with what remains of the native population as well as the strongest magical beings in this blasted country. My dreams are big, and aspirations high. Of course, it’d be naive of me to expect everything to go so well. We’ll lose a great number of our men before we ever make it to the big leagues, but that’s to be expected because when I look forward, I see a massive bloody battlefield encompassing the entirety of this region. Bodies piled upon bodies, fires burning in every city as women and children scream and squeal for their lives like mere animals! I’ll put every other villain in history to shame with what I rain down upon this world!”

    “You’re revolting,” the archaeologist hissed at Jacques, but being met only by a muffled chuckle as the cloth separating them fell limp. The carriage was silent for several minutes before the boy finally sighed and pulled the map from his bag, having been designated its official carrier after having shown some success at deciphering its contents. The archaeologist ran his finger across the crudely drawn map, littered with glowing symbols and scribbled words from various languages. “Ev tynghacc oui caag, rayt Cuidr du Edc rusa. Ev mekrd pa ouin fecr, zuinhao du dra Hundranh baygc. Tacdnildeuh meac du dra Facd, yht lnaydeuh du dra Aycd. Vuin bemmync, uhla ihedat crymm najaym dra gao.”

    Zel raised his head once more, his bandages raised around his eyes as he stared at the boy. “What’s it mean?”

    The archaeologist paused for a second and then shook his head. “This language at least is a simple cipher. Each letter in their native tongue is simply replaced with another. For example, if I were to say ‘hello’, for instance, it would change into ‘rammu’. The letter h is replaced with an r, e for an a, l turns into m, and o to u. This carries on throughout every word and never changes no matter what. It’s simple, but still quite confusing. Like… how did it end up working this way, that their language which appears to be far more ancient than our own come out to just be a simple rearranging of ours? The whole thing doesn’t make any real sense the more that I think about it. I’ve proposed reason upon reason to my peers and myself, but each time that I think about it it appears to be more and more silly.”

    “But what does it mean?”

    The archaeologist sighed. “You’re just another outlaw, huh? Oh well… When translated, it reads as such. If darkness you seek, head South to Its home. If light be your wish, journey to the Northern peaks. Destruction lies to the West, and creation to the East. Four pillars, once united shall reveal the key.”

    Zel slowly pulled himself upright. The outlaw stretched out his prosthetic limbs and cracked his neck. “So? What’s the key then?”

    The archaeologist bit his lip and then shook his head. “I’m sorry. I don’t know yet. Only some of this map is in their language. The rest of this is… well… it’s this gross assortment of all sorts of things. Some of these glyphs and symbols I can recall from my school days, while others I’ve never seen before. The rest is written in various other languages and presumably use another cipher to hide their true meaning as well. For the moment, it’s all too complex for me to fully comprehend.”

    Zel sighed. “What’re we looking for now?”

    “Well, these four pillars that it mentions are actually mapped out. There are distinct points in each direction with names scrawled beneath them. However, there’re also a number of other points upon the map with names which are bigger than or the same size as these other cardinal points. It may be that just because it’s telling us to gather these four pillars, that they’re not the strongest beings in Jeimas.”

    “You say that…?”

    “Well, for one there’s the size of the points and the glyphs surrounding each. Our current position is marked on the map with each of our names beneath, but it’s also accompanied by two other symbols and a massive glyphs, all of which I’ve never seen before. These cardinal points all have names below them as well as at least one or two symbols, but other points on the map are completely shrouded by these glyphs and symbols to the point that I can’t even begin to make out the names scribbled beneath.”

    “I see… so…”

    “So these other points seem to be, at least to me, far superior than the other points on the map by leaps and bounds.”

    “But tell him, archaeologist. Which one of those points are we heading towards right now?” The native, Roe, who had previously been sitting silently in the corner of the wagon spoke up for the first time. Something about the man caused both Zel and the boy to be on edge each time that he spoke up.

    “W-well… we’re currently heading to this point on the map. In Ironhaven, there’s a man who himself is surrounded by three of these symbols. Seeing as how we’ve yet to really make a name for ourselves, I do suppose that it’s in our best interest to enter Ironhaven now rather than later, regardless of the strength of our potential opponent. However, the potential for loss is so much greater, especially with that old Buzzard fighting for dominance here.”

    “Yeah?” Jacques slowed the carriage to a stop and rushed around its side before climbing up inside of it. “And what’s that old codger really gonna do to us if we just walk up in there? He’s already pushing himself past his limits. All it’d take is one good plan and we could give the old man one final shock and take over in his stead.”

    “But… he’s been around for so long and is overwhelming the government forces in the city already… I don’t think his age really has anything to do with it.”

    “All we’d really have to do is send in ol’ Georgie. My brother could tear the old bird apart piece by piece. I’ve a sort of admiration for the old man having held it together for so long, but don’t you all think it’s about time he’s settled down? Hell, he’d been hiding in his hole for so long already, he should have just resigned himself to dying there while he was at it.”

    The archaeologist boy shot upright and stared into the eyes of the gang’s leader. “Listen to me. I don’t care who you are or how strong you think you are. This little group of misfits is nowhere near the level of a Big Bad yet. I don’t care how much you want to be remembered, I don’t really want to die yet, so what do you say we just carry on with what we initially came here to do?”

    Jacques stared down at the boy and then ran his fingers along his mustache. “Hmmm. I suppose it couldn’t hurt to wait for now. But hear me, boy. If you ever get in my face like that again…” the outlaw pulled aside his cloak and revealed the cocked pistol hovering just inches away from the archaeologist's rib cage. The boy turned deathly white and then retook his seat, refusing to make eye contact with the outlaw. “Now then, if everyone’s settled, I believe we’ve a meeting to attend.”

    __________________
      #266    
    Old December 29th, 2017 (9:23 AM). Edited December 30th, 2017 by Estrello.
    Estrello's Avatar
    Estrello Estrello is offline
    Beyond The Stars
       
      Join Date: Apr 2011
      Location: England
      Gender: Male
      Nature: Jolly
      Posts: 735



      ANIMA

      Music
      Information
      Information
      Spoiler:

      Profile
      Wiki Page

      Sorcery Level: 2
      Element: Electricity
      Bounty: $1800
      Charges:

      Mass Homicide.
      Grievous Bodily Harm of a Bounty Hunter
      Torture
      Horse Theft
      Mass Horse Murder
      Infanticide x2
      Hanging
      Tresspassing
      Looting

      Stock Spells:
      Blink
      Hex Of Pain
      Elemental Burst - Electricity.
      Levitate
      Stun


      As the midnight sun was settling, it screamed through the stained glass. A large congregation sprawled out in front, like the Demon-Prophet’s tendrils when it choked the earth. Anima had seized the throne, his claws digging in to the arms of the chair. Martirio darted his eyes towards him through the narrow slits of the helmet, arms folded.

      Anima lowered his face. When he returned his eye glowed like the heart of an explosion. He stood. Piercing all of their brains with images of mass exterminations, the collapses of houses, a thousand sorrowful screams swirled in to a deafening roar. People fell apart, like statues, limbs and all. The overwhelming sight of the plague that menaced the millions of natives. The petty puff of musket smoke. A child... Him, burning his parents alive. This imagery tore through them “This is here. This is now. This is the horror of living.”

      Blackness and eternal nothingness turned their eyes black. Vibrations prickled through their skin, needles penetrated every inch of them. It was just a sea of black for nothing happened for miles and miles. Everyone was in the same space with Anima. In the obsidian emptiness, anima’s eye illuminated the great expanse. Everywhere, all encompassing and omnipresent, souls bearing the age of ten wrapped around eachother, filling every single piece of open space. Suffering souls within every inch. “This is before. This is where we started. Our natural state. We form in this hell. Every second is pain, and torture and writhing.”

      A child packed in to this cacophony of limbs and suffering turned to dust and died. Another mass of flesh formed in its place. “That one is starting its journey.”

      “Journey.” The word echoed off non-existent walls. “Journey.” The very word began running through their veins. “Journey.”

      “To here.” He answered the simultaneously unspoken question on everyone and no-one’s mind.
      A great green sea of nebulous spectaculars spun together like a kaleidoscope. Many worlds lumbered around in perfect ecstasy. Superimposed upon the background, a colossal translucent figure dotted with shining stars simply existed in magnificent glory. The calming blue burned from a billion miles away. Gaudium’s voice thundered through space as if the sound existed everywhere at once. “Heaven!”



      Anima opened his bedroom door. His gangly body, clutched by a huge invisible hand in an unusual fashion, interrupted the gaslight sunshine that tried to creep through the open doorway. Anima staggered in to the old king’s sleeping den, a place where only uncertain edges exist in a polluted blackness. Pain racked through him as he sprawled on to the sumptuous satin sheets.

      Here he stood, standing before these figures. His mother, dead, to the north; his father, dead, to the east; himself as a child to the west. And the enigmatic figure known as Joy was behind Anima in his whole celestial magnificence. Shooting towards the three in front of him was a long stretching ribbon which connected to his painful mask. His child self adorned a shallow bleeding cut jaggedly splitting him asunder. A precious pink plop of blood loosed itself from it’s mortal continent and raced to the black floor, it fell and fell endlessly until it rained down upon the scene again.
      “Mother?” His voice was small and whimpering as he reached toward her.
      The figures responded. They chorused “Killing is wrong.”
      Anima scrambled ineffectually across the marble-like floor that meshed with the sky. “Dad?”
      The uptight man in northern gentleman clothing recoiled from the Anima.
      The maimed José cried out in a shrill tone. “Killing”
      His mother’s sweet words stung like a hornet. “Is”
      His father wielded his deep, commanding voice. “Wrong”
      The figures yanked the ribbons, unravelling his mask and displaying his scarred face
      Gaudium’s voice came from behind him. “Killing is wrong.”
      “But you told me to...”
      “Wrong. You’re wrong. I’m right, that’s what you always wanted wasn’t it?” All, except his smaller self, spoke in unison.
      “Leadership,” His father declared. Anima turned towards Joy, his deity.
      “Direction,” His mother projected. Anima clawed across the floor, bringing himself to his knees
      “Certainty.” José shouted at Anima, chastising him with the words. Anima’s chin touched the floor as his chest sweated with anxiety.
      “You both lusted for it and resented it.” Gaudium took humanoid form and floor around him lightened to a blinding white. The god shined in multiple colours, merging and fracturing as non-existent shattered through him. He crouched next to the pained man, taunting him. “That’s why you’ve killed every leader you’ve had.”
      “No!” He breathed through the pain, “I didn’t kill Anaconda!”
      “You did.”
      “I did?” Anima questioned his memory. “No... No, no, I didn’t! Anaconda died when I got there.”
      “What’s more likely, a deranged kid happening upon my Prophet dead. Or a serial killer kid killing a man he meets in the desert, frightened that he’d tell someone.” Gaudium seemed different.
      “No!”
      “Or were you an adult when you found Anaconda?”
      “No! No, that isn’t true...”

      Gaudium continued, “That’s why when you found me, I gave you all the things you crave.”
      “Leadership,”
      “Direction,”
      “Certainty.”
      “And Death, I’ve gave you immortal leadership, a goal to work toward, certainty that death is sweet. Reassurance that you aren’t a psychopath, yet you continue your murder in my name.”
      Anima felt cheated. “The horrors you’ve shown me! I blinded myself in one eye because of the atrocities you I saw.”
      “And then you went on to commit those yourself.”
      “No, not rape.” He protested, as if that would make it better.
      “No, not rape, because sex is for adults and you are still a child. You are still a child inside that corrupted mind of yours.”
      He turned to himself, young. He appealed to the child with the bloody hands. “Help me!”
      “Only you can help you.” José replied.
      Anima felt tears welling on the cusp of his eyes. “You aren’t real...” He uttered in sudden realisation.
      “No, he isn’t real, do you know why? Because I’m not real. None of this is real. I’m just a figment of your imagination, a reflection of yourself.” The truest words were uttered by the most untrustworthy
      “You’re not Gaudium!”
      “I’m not.” Suddenly a strange, crooked face looked down upon Anima. The darkness engulfed the family figures, so the universe only contained the face and Anima. Anima brought his eyes to meet the stranger. And it was his own face staring back at him, a wicked smile wrought upon it.


      __________________

      I am the player of José "Anima" Dartmoor of Gunpowder Roleplay : : : Sign Up Post | Gunpowder
        #267    
      Old January 30th, 2018 (6:46 AM).
      gimmepie's Avatar
      gimmepie gimmepie is offline
       
      Join Date: May 2012
      Location: Australia
      Age: 23
      Gender: Male
      Nature: Adamant
      Posts: 18,500
      Alex Rose

      Ghosts

      Alex looked the hulking darkness that was Veralice in the eyes, then suddenly, it wasn’t the demon standing before him but the small frame of a red-haired girl. The child that Veralice had one been.

      “Please don’t.” she whimpered as Alex raised his gun.

      “I have to.” he said “Your life is forfeit, you’re a Big Bad and I am a bounty hunter. You’ve killed hundreds. You have no right to beg and ending your life is my job.”

      “Don’t do it, Alex.” Tears fell down the child’s face.

      “You think someone else won’t?!” Alex demanded “You think after what you’ve done you’ll ever get another day of peace?! Every day of your life you’ll be a fugitive. You’ll be weak prey to dangerous, brutal prisoners. You’d be living in hell.”

      “Is that how you justify what you did? What you will do?” a third voice whispered, emanating from everywhere, barely discernible like a breeze. Alex thought it might have belonged to one of his parents, but he couldn’t even make out the gender of the speaker.

      “Well?!” Alice demanded angrily, still crying profusely.

      “I don’t need to justify myself. This is what I do!” Alex yelled, his temper beginning to flare and his usually cool demeanour now completely gone. “This is who I am.”

      Alice looked up at Alex, her tears continued to fall like rain but her expression changed - it soften. She was no longer looking at Alex with hatred, there was no pleading. The child was looking at him with what seemed to be pity. Alex pulled the trigger. Alice’s eyes widened in horror as the bullet pierced her skull and she fell flat on her back, the life instantly draining from her as blood pooled from her corpse.

      Then something else oozed from the body, black smoke poured forth from the bullet holes, from her eyes, nose and mouth. It filled the stone platform around Alex, shifting gradually as maniacal laughter in Alice’s voice filled the space, coming from nowhere at all, but coming from everywhere.

      The smoke soon became figures, human figures. Each one the face of a man or woman who had lost their life to Alex. As they formed they slowly stalked towards him from all angles. Alex raised his gun and fired. He shot over and over. Soon enough, he was alone but for an army of corpses belonging to people he had already killed.

      “Do you still feel justified?” Alice’s voice taunted from the great beyond.



      Alex shot awake, finding himself not on the floating platform above Wrench, nor surrounded by bodies. He was in his bed in his room and he was dripping sweat, breathing heavily. The dreams weren’t always the same, but he often found himself being tormented by the girl he’d killed. It had been a month now, and so many nights treated him the same.

      He sat up with a sigh. He’d never been troubled about the lives he’d taken before. To him, the lives of others as well as his own had been a valuable commodity that he gambled with. He wasn’t sure what to do about this new… well he wasn’t sure how to describe what he felt really. The closest word he could think of was regret but he knew that he’d make the same choice if put in that position again. Maybe it was just because his victim had been so young, but her life was over either way. Either way things had changed after he pulled the trigger. He was now far richer and he had much grander a reputation… but that wasn’t always a good thing. His landlord looked at him with pity in his eyes, his wife with disdain. It bothered him more than he felt it should. After all, he was simply a tenant.

      __________________
        #268    
      Old March 15th, 2018 (10:23 PM).
      aeternum's Avatar
      aeternum aeternum is offline
      Not Suitable For All Ages
       
      Join Date: Mar 2013
      Location: Indiana
      Nature: Naughty
      Posts: 13,190
      'A Friendship Begins'

      Azael Aeeb, Outlaw, Member of the Rainy Days
      Non-Magical
      Bounty : $0


      Outside Ironhaven, Inside a Bar


      “I’m looking for someone… a girl. In particular, one that shouldn’t exactly be here, if you catch my meaning.” Jacques pulled out a small stack of bills and placed them on the counter, pushing them slowly towards the bartender without making eye contact with the man.

      The bartender stared at Jacques and then placed his own hand on the stack of cash before pulling it the rest of the way towards him, dropping it behind the counter. “Lots of those sorts around these parts. I take it the lot of you fall in the same category.” The bartender scanned over the members of the rainy days before letting out a sigh. “Come with me. I’ll show you to the back.”

      Jacques motioned for the rest of his men to come along as he followed behind the bartender. Zel took a final look around the room, making sure that none of the other attendees were going to shoot up and knock one of them off when their backs were turned. The outlaw shook his head and then followed through the darkened entryway into the back room of the saloon.

      “This here’s where we hold all of our V.I.P. members. Otherwise known as the type you’re looking for.” The bartender walked all the way to the back wall and then pushed up against it, causing it to turn sideways and reveal a hidden pathway. “This here, is where we house those of even higher status.”

      Jacques placed his hand on the bartender’s shoulder and smiled wickedly as he walked past him. “Thank you much for your help. I trust you won’t let the others know what’s going on back here?”

      “I’m not sure I know what you mean, sir. There’s nothing back here except for liquor storage.” The bartender brushed Jacques’ hand off of his shoulder before walking back the way that he’d come.

      “Uncultured filth.” Jacques shook his head. “Ever since I came to Jeimas that’s all that I’ve seen. This whole country’s in need of a good cleaning and re-educating.”

      “Tch. Lot of good your force is gonna do us then. If you want to make the world a better place, you’d go into politics.” The archaeologist shook his head and turned his back to the rest of the group.

      “Eh, they’d never let me in there. That Alice girl already did a number on ‘em. I doubt they’d be willin’ to part with any more judges now.”

      “That’s not what I meant, and you know it. Damn you…”

      Jacques let out an ugly laugh which caused his face to twist and unpleasantly contort. “Well it’s a damn good thing I don’t give a psyduck what you think or mean. Unless you manage to decipher the rest of that map, you’re just another body to me.”

      “If you’re going to bother me and waste my time, at least come in to my room. Otherwise, leave, before you piss me off even more.” The words came from the hall beyond the hidden wall. The woman that they belonged to sounded young, almost like a teenager.

      “Well?” Zel took a step forward, placing his hand on the wall as he looked slightly down at his leader. “We paid good money to be here. Why don’t you introduce us to whoever it is we’re supposed to be meeting?”

      Jacques twisted his mustached and nodded his head. “Shouldn’t keep anyone waiting any longer, I suppose. Well then, let’s get on with this.”

      The outlaws turned and passed through the hallway one at a time. Zel fell back and pulled up the rear once more, watching once more to ensure nothing went south before they even got to where they needed to be. The V.I.P. rooms were surprisingly quiet… which made him wonder who exactly it was that they were going to meet.

      “Zel! Let’s go.” Jacques called from the end of the hidden hallway, motioning for his underling to follow through. “Don’t forget to pull it close either, you hear?”

      “Yeah, got it.” Zel backstepped into the hallway, placing his fingers on the edge of the wall and pulling it slowly shut.

      After he’d closed the door, the outlaw turned around and looked down the now pitch-black hallway. Zel placed his hands on the walls surrounding him and began to walk slowly down the length of the passage, feeling the cold and slimy stones which it was lined with. The further in he got, the more apparent it was that something wasn’t quite right. Glowing lizards began to float up from the ground and cling to the ceiling.

      “What… what the psyduck? Jacques? This your doing?”

      The lizards quickly multiplied in number, causing the entire passage to light up almost instantaneously. The outlaw could now see a number of things, such as the purple fog that clung to the ground and which the lizards were inhaling, causing them to float up to the ceiling before exhaling again. The outlaw could also see that the rest of his group lay motionless up ahead, slumped lifelessly against the walls and ground.

      “Muk! Jacques!” The outlaw rushed forward, slinging his massive gun around his body before falling down next to his group’s leader. “Hey man, wake the psyduck up! We got set up! Now’s not the time to be sleepin’, guy!”

      “Well, I’ll be… you’re mighty resilient, aren’t ya?” The voice from earlier was much closer now. “You sure you ain’t magically inclined? Not even my Pa can resist this one on a good day.”

      “Who the hell are you? What’ve you done to the boys?” Zel quickly rose to his feet and spun around, looking for the source of the voice.

      “You’ll never find me if you keep lookin’ like that. It’d take a trained magician to find me as I am now.”

      “Muk…” Zel kept spinning, looking all around for where the voice was coming from. “Show yourself you rattata!”

      “My, what vulgarity. Do you really think you should be talking that way to a child? Honestly, how mean can you get. There’s no need for name calling, Azael. See, I can refer to you by your proper name. The least you could do is return the favor.”

      “The psyduck… I don’t even know who the hell you are! How am I supposed to call you anything other than a rattata if I ain’t even know your god damn name?”

      “You mean… you’re not the one that arranged this little meet-up?”

      “The hell? No I didn’t arrange the meet-up. The boss did. See? The man there, lyin unconscious cus’a your damn spells.”

      “Oh, I’m terribly sorry. Well then, allow me to introduce myself.” The purple fog quickly drew itself together into the shape of a person and positioned itself in front of Zel. The lights which had previously been lit through the hall now returned and the lizards crawled up the figure’s smokey body until they completely covered her and began to change into a more natural human skin-tone. “My name, is Rieve McLlallan Rush, also known as a member of Jedediah Rush’s crew, as well as his one and only full-blooded daughter. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Aeeb, as I’m sure it is for you.”

      Zel’s jaw dropped. Jedediah Rush’s daughter. If that wasn’t a bargaining chip for the big bad, he didn’t know what was. Could… could Jacques really be dumb enough to try and kidnap this girl? Is that why this meeting was set up in the first place?

      “Zel? Hello? Look… I know you’re surprised and all. You just met a member of the Rush gang, and the daughter of the man himself all at once. You’re in shock. I get it. Happened when I first rounded up my own gang. But look, I need your help right now. See, when you were freaking out, you made a little bit too much noise and now the whole saloon’s out searchin’ for us. That bartender ain’t gonna keep us secret for long once a little more cash gets thrown his way. You know as well as I that the upstairs is crawlin with bounty hunters and that old man’s men alike… it’s in our best interest to drag your friends along as best as we can and relocate for this little get-together. So… whaddya say, partners? For now, at least. We can discuss actual business once your boss wakes up.”

      The outlaw stared at the girl who was still in the middle of her teens and then down at his cohorts. She was right. At this time, he had no real other option unless he wanted to turn this into a firefight. The outlaw rubbed at his eyes, sighing deeply. He hadn’t had anywhere near enough sleep for this to turn into a firefight. “Fine. Let’s start moving them then. It ain’t like we got any other choice right now. Would’ve been better if you’d have just not knocked them out in the first place…”

      “Yeah, but where’s the fun in that? Better that I ambush you than the other way around, right? That’s one of the perks of being magically inclined, y’know?”

      “Well then use some of that magical inclination and make it so I don’t have to carry these muks all the way across town ‘til we find a safe place to hunker down.”

      “Sorry. Not my type of magic, unfortunately. Usually I’d have the boys carry the bodies… but… they’re already back at my little makeshift base here in Ironhaven. So that’s pretty much out of the question. Besides… you’ve got some metal on you, right? You should have no problem lifting the bigger ones while I carry that boy you’ve been arguing with all day.”

      "I believe they're down this way." The voice of the bartender echoed down the hall behind them as the false wall turned sideways, allowing several rays of light to shine through, falling on Zel's boots. "I'd shown them to the V.I.P. rooms, but it seems they were looking for something more dangerous."

      "Get the hell outta the way. This here's my town now. Ain't nowhere these kids're gonna go without me knowin'. I already got some of the boys posted at the back, so they ain't gonna get far regardless." The voice was a new one to Zel's ears - harsh, wheezing and raspy. The wood creaked beneath the man as he walked down the hall towards the gathering of outlaws. "Hear you me, ruffians!" The man continued to walk slowly down the hall, closing the distance between himself and the others.

      "Listen, guy... we need to get out of here before he sees us. It's best if our faces aren't known to them, regardless of if we can kill them or not."

      "I hear you down there. Such a sweet, young voice... a girl, although, not quite... not yet a woman though, I'd say. What are you, sixteen, seventeen years old? I hear others too. The lot of them are unconscious though, minus one other. That one's breathing is... strange. Erattic. Not scared or surprised, but not entirely calm either. Something plague's his mind."

      "Zel..."

      "Zel, huh? Strange name. Can't say I've ever heard of anyone with a name like that. Was it given to you, or do you just think yourself a demon? There's already an outlaw with that namesake, 'course... it's not mine, so I don't much care who's else's toes you intend to step on. But those metal pieces..."

      Zel gripped his arm as a jolt of electricity shot through his body.

      "Get much more of that put on you, and you'll be havin' to answer to me, boy. Man or machine, it doesn't matter. Nobody lives longer than the Undead."

      Rieve's eyes widened at the realization that it was the big bad himself who had come to greet them. "Zel, we've got to go now. This place's too cramped for us to do this right now."

      "Yeah... but... this would also be the perfect opportunity to take the title of Big Bad from someone... Of course, you don't exactly care for that, do you?"

      "Oh? A hint?" Lachlan continued to walk forward, although much faster now. "Care to give me another? Perhaps one about yourself, Mr. Zel. I ain't that smart, but perhaps I can start to put two and two together if you just let me in on a little secret or two. I been around for a long time... I'm sure th-"

      Zel swung the massive gun on his back around and pointed it at the Big Bad. The Buzzard stopped and stared into the dark. Rieve struggled to drag the members of the Rainy Days down the hall to the exit while Zel stepped steadily back in the same direction, his sights still set on the shadowy outline of Lachlan.

      "Boy, if you're aimin' to kill me you'd best do it now. You let me live now and I'll never quit huntin' you."

      Zel winced as another jolt of electricity shot through his arm. The outlaw dropped the gun in his hands slightly, prompting Lachlan to leap forward, seizing the opportunity. Zel attempted to right his aim, but ended up pointing too high and fired off a shell into the ceiling, causing it to quickly cave in on the outlaws. A few rays of light shone through the cracks in the wood above them, causing Zel's face to be illuminated.

      "I know your face." The Buzzard's eye stabbed through Zel, causing the man to stumble backwards. Lachlan was staring at the outlaw through the debris which blocked them off from one another. "I know you face, which means that my boys will too. You'll never escape me now. One day you'll slip up... and when you do, I'll be there to pick your bones clean."

      Rieve gripped Zel's shoulder and pulled him to his feet, covering her face the whole time. The two outlaws quickly gathered up their allies and rushed for the exit as Lachlan called out after them with various obscenities and unintelligible sounds.

      __________________
        #269    
      Old March 17th, 2018 (11:52 AM). Edited March 18th, 2018 by Foxrally.
      Foxrally's Avatar
      Foxrally Foxrally is offline
       
      Join Date: Mar 2013
      Location: a Torterra's back
      Age: 20
      Gender: Male
      Nature: Naive
      Posts: 2,585

      Sophia Hartmann
      Status - Outlaw - Leader of Sangre Clan-----------------------Former member of Culebra Clan
      Sorcery Level - 2
      Element - Air
      Bounty - 2200$



      Kelmorr Kuvag
      Status - Bounty Hunter
      Sorcery Level - 2
      Element - Fire
      Money - $3,000




      Near Larkin - National Guard Provisional Base

      Death Without Trial


      It only took a single boot from Kelmorr to break the door’s lock, and the duo barged into the office, guns raised. As predicted by Kel earlier, the sheriff was getting ready to go back to sleep, feet on his desk and hat tipped down to cover his eyes. The captain shot upright, eyes wide open in alarm and grabbed for his gun only to have a bullet sail through it. The practiced ease with which the man shrugged off the wound contradicted his attitude and before Kel got another shot off his revolver flew from his hand as if possessed.

      The Captain seemed to have the advantage when every loose metal object in the room began to fly towards the pair at bone-crushing speeds. Another bang rang out and the various projectiles crashed harmlessly to the floor. The Captain’s sidearm had gone off inside its holster, apparently while hanging at the perfect angle to fire straight into his right foot. That moment of surprise was all the bounty hunter needed to draw his other revolver and shoot the high caliber round straight through the captain's left knee and another following so closely into his right that he hadn't had time to stumble yet.

      The heavy desk was kicked aside by the assailant and an onyx gunbarrel was pressed to the Captain's temple, slowly sliding around to the back of his head as Kel circled behind him and called out the office door. “C’mere, darlin’, your captive audience awaits.”

      The sheriff attempted to move his unharmed hand towards his holster, but a precise shot from Sophia to his hip hit his belt, snapping it and dropping his weapon to the ground. “Oh no you don’t motherpsyducker!” Sophia snapped, pushing past Kel and pointing her own revolver at him, before remembering there was a reason they had come in to the office. “The psyduck you said you needed him for?” she asked, turning to Kel, looking down at the sheriff in contempt.

      “You wondered much since you woke up in that cell why you were so sick?” Kelmorr asked gravely, now staring directly into the wanted criminal’s eyes with obvious anger, though she couldn’t guess why it was so intense. An undeniable air of solemn pity crept into that gaze when he continued. “Did it strike you as a tad odd that all the other prisoners had at worst some scrapes and bruises while you were pukin’ your guts out? I’m not much for watching anybody get beat and possibly worse like ol’ Brutus seemed ready to do down there but not so much as I’d ever normally be caught helping any sort of prisoners escape, not even one looks as good as you. But I decided before I was even sent down here that I’d kill this piece of muk and I’ll tell you right now no amount of disrespect from his vile mouth could sway me to such violence on its own.”

      Kelmorr picked Wisdom up off the floor and re-holstered it, then stretched to work a kink out of his back. “Just so happens I have a bad habit of eavesdroppin’ n’ I heard some of this jackass’ toadies mouthin’ off about something sir Captain here-” He thunked their prisoner on the head with the butt of a revolver at that - ”did that even made [I]them[/I[ - muks that they are - uncomfortable, something involving the lady prisoner. I was already pretty sure I could figger what they were gettin’ at, then when it was time for the execution detail to head down there and string ya’ll up this bloated mule cloyster said to kill the two male prisoners and leave the girl for him. Then I knew.”

      Sophia had remained speechless during the entire speech, her eyes wide open as she had begun hyperventilating. “Wha… what the psyduck…?” she croaked, her voice fading away. She took a few steps back, her gun faltering in her hand.

      “I’m ‘fraid it’s exactly what it sounds like.” Kel replied grimly. “After that my mind was made up, there is one crime, one inhuman act in this entire world I put on par with murder of an innocent. I couldn’t let him get away with it and killing him myself wouldn’t be enough. Then all that racket happened and I saw my chance, I thought it was only fitting you be the one to deal with this trash with yer own hands...or at least be able to tell me what you wanted done to him if you couldn’t.”

      Sophia paused, still in disbelief of what had just happened. She suddenly felt disgusted with herself, as if she had thrown herself into the dirt outside the building and rolled in it. Would a person really have taken advantage of her in that unconscious state? Would nobody have stopped that person? For a brief moment, the naive, frightened rich girl within her appeared, and her eyes darted between Kelmorr and the sheriff. She opened her mouth to say something, but nothing came out.

      The sheriff snorted. “Pfah. Don’t act like you didn’t en-”

      He never got the chance to finish as a bullet shot through his skull and his body fell to the ground. Sophia slowly lowered her gun, smoke still coming out of the barrel, and turned to Kel. She again tried to say something, but couldn’t.

      Unbidden Kelmorr’s hand found its way to the top of her head, stroking her hair for a moment then pulling her face into his shoulder, hiding her from the world and giving her a space to let out whatever was boiling beneath the surface for better or worse. Without hesitation, and almost involuntarily, the girl began sobbing like the terrified child she was. All of the pressures of her leadership, the death of her comrades, and this realization had all come crashing down. Hundreds of questions and fears coursed through her mind, but she couldn’t focus or put any of them into words - all she could do was cry.

      The bounty hunter’s hand remained atop her head while the other pat her back with all the gentleness of a nursemaid. He said nothing, knowing no words - especially those of a stranger - could help her at that moment, he simply continued to be her shelter as she vented the pain.


      A joint post of Foxrally and Sephear
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        #270    
      Old March 21st, 2018 (12:01 AM).
      aeternum's Avatar
      aeternum aeternum is offline
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      'The Question'

      Azael Aeeb, Outlaw, Member of the Rainy Days
      Non-Magical
      Bounty : $0


      Somewhere In Ironhaven


      "So boys, what's the deal? "Rieve was sitting backwards in a wicker chair. The room had been darkened so that it was as close to pitch as could be. A handful of flaming orbs floated around the room, illuminating the faces of the members of the Rainy Days who were captured and bound in front of the woman.

      Zel sat across the room, separate from his allies and Rieve. The outlaw slowly unwound the bandages from his face which had been soaked in the blood of Lachlan's lackeys which they'd had to tear through in order to reach this hideout on the other side of town. Azael breathed silently as Rieve spoke, not wanting to alert the rest of the Rainy Days to his current position and also to ensure that none paid any attention to the revealing of his true face.

      Jacques' eyes slowly peeled open as he fought against both the heat and light of the flaming orbs hovering around his face. "This isn't the way that I'd intended this deal to go down, Rush."

      "Well, if it'd been my father that you'd met with - the outcome I presume you'd intended - then this little meet up would have ended the second that you opened up that hidden passage and your bodies would still be rotting under the wooden slats of that hall's floor. So tell me, Jacques, what is the deal?"

      The leader of the Rainy Days swallowed hard as his eyes slowly surveyed what little bit of the surrounding area that they could. He couldn't make out much, but it was clear enough that he and his little group were in a bit of a bind. Jacques could see the outline of his adopted brother sitting mere inches away from him, but without their spellbooks the were... the native.

      Jacques' eyes widened further as he struggled even harder now against the flames to find his blind ally. If he could have slapped himself in the head right now, he would have. The natives had no need for book conduits. If he could find the native, then... "Well, you see... the deal... the deal is..." The outlaw spoke slowly, stalling for time as best as he could in the moment. It was useless however, as for as much as he could make out, he, his brother Pete, and Rieve were the only ones in the room at the moment.

      "In case you're wondering, the native has already been taken care of." Rieve suddenly shot up from her seat, having lost her patience. The wicker chair fell forward and caught flame as it made contact with a roaming flame orb. The woman closed the distance between herself and Jacques, coming within a few inches of his face. The burning chair behind her caused her body to cast an ominous shadow which strained the eyes of the opposing outlaw. "Tell me. What is the deal?"

      Jacques' mouth hovered slightly open as he tried to gather himself. "M-m-map. The boy we were with. He's the one who has it now."

      "A map? How interesting." Rieve glanced over at Zel, who was still hidden in the shadows and who had also finished changing the bandages upon his face. The woman brought her gaze back to Jacques and placed her hand on his shoulder, gripping it tightly as she spoke slow and calmly. "And pray tell, what is on this map of yours that makes it worth me or my father's time?"

      Jacques looked down at his knees and struggled to no avail to pull free from his bindings. Things weren't going at all the way that he'd imagined. "We don't know exactly. It shows a few exceptionally strong magicians in Jeimas - but beyond that, we're just about as much in the dark about it as you are."

      Rieve sighed and the stepped back from the bound outlaw. "You know, the last time I was told there was a magical artifact in this country, it was a spellbook which basically gave birth to the demonic wonderchild - The Big Bad known as Alice. We all know what havoc that wrought, I doubt I even need to explain myself to an outsider such as yourself. So tell me, what are your intentions?"

      Jacques caught himself in a moment of silence. Just what had he been planning to accomplish with these actions? Seeing the position that he was in now, his initial desires and ideas almost seemed laughable. "I'd hoped to use the map to lead the revolutionary known as Jedediah to a few more key pieces which could see him change this country... I... I had hoped to use that map as a way to get me and my boys made into a branch of the much bigger gang that your father controls. After that... well..."

      "So, you wanted fame? To piggyback off of my father's success and ideals in order to take up the mantle of Big Bad yourself. What cowardice..."

      Jacques fought back tears, feeling that the time of his death was approaching ever quicker. He'd been planning this for years now... of course, before he'd come to possess the map he'd only intended to offer himself up to Jedediah... but after he bought that paper, his dreams became even wilder and his ambition became far greater. But... now that he was here, talking to the daughter of the man he'd admired for so long at a distance, he realized just how foolish his thinking had been. If they were the ones who'd made that demon child, then there's no way they'd be interested in something so simple as a map.

      "Don't you think that's enough? It's as the native told you, isn't it?" Zel rose from his seat and moved to stand between Rieve and Jacques.

      Jacques looked up at Zel, staring at the bare, blackened back of the fellow outlaw brought a strange sort of comfort to him. "The hell Azael... if you were untied, why didn't you come in to explain me sooner?"

      Zel turned his head slightly to look at his leader, but then returned his gaze to Rieve. "Ever since I joined up with your little gang, you never once told me a thing. You've kept me at a distance for weeks now, and I've no idea why. When Rieve here caught y'all off guard, I could only explain myself as we were runnin' away from Lachlan."

      "You met Lachlan?" Jacques lurched forward, almost causing the seat he was in to tip over before falling back onto its legs. "What was he like? What happened with him?"

      "Well, the way things are looking now..." Rieve waved her hand, dispersing the glowing orbs of fire and causing the light to return to all corners of the room. "Before we go off on this wild hunt of yours, we're going to have to get rid of the old man. He's seen Zel's face. Bandaged or not, Lachlan will never let go of him. He's almost as good a tracker as that Wolf."

      Jacques looked around the newly lit room, recognizing the faces belonging to several of his more or less powerless underlings. A number of Rieve's men were stationed around them as well, with Roe slumped lazily by the door in a wicker chair similar to the one that Rieve had just been sitting in.

      "Is he..."

      Zel nodded his head. "He's fine. We managed to get out of that trap without losing a single person thanks to Rieve. There were a few of Lachlan's men waiting at the exit, but after we dispatched them, she shot up a signal to her own men which brought them out of hiding to help."

      "I lost three good people in those short few minutes. Whatever this map is, it had better make up for their lives. Otherwise... the next time you find yourself strapped to a chair like that, it won't be for some silly interrogation."

      "We kill Buzzard?" Pastel Pete spoke up for the first time since the entire meeting had begun. His voice was deep, but it was clear through its tone that he was simple.

      "Yeah, we kill the Buzzard. Then, we get the hell out of Ironhaven before the government figures out how to properly co-ordinate assaults with bounty hunters." Rieve grabbed her cloak which was riddled with fresh bullet holes. "Also... next town that we get to, you owe me a new one." The woman waved the cloak towards Jacques before wrapping it around her shoulders.

      "I can only imagine what the father must really be like if his daughter is that scary..." Jacques slowly rose from his seat after Zel finished un-binding him.

      "Let's hope we something good to give him so that we don't have to see his bad side." Zel looked over at Pete, wondering if he should undo the bindings around him or not, only to watch in silence as the man simply stood upright, tearing the numerous ropes with ease. "Guess that answers that one..." the outlaw whispered to himself.

      "Do we have a plan, then? Or did you just wait around in the dark for us to wake up?"

      Azael nodded his head. "Yeah, there's a plan of sorts. Get our magic, guns, and knives and beat the muk out of a little old man."

      "Don't downplay him like that," Rieve called from the door. "He may be old, but you saw him. He's not one to simply mess with, even at his advanced age. He's been in control of this town for a good while now, so it's certain to be laden with traps and manpower alike. Electricity is quickly becoming one of the most versatile elements of magic, and he's had more than enough time to master it already. No matter what you've seen before this, you may never see anything or anyone as powerful or cunning as Lachlan again."

      "Which is why I asked if we had a real strategy or not," Jacques stated, irritably.

      "Yes, Jacques. We have a plan. We'll be using the one that my father provided for us. We have a few more members now, given that I can take your group into account. This mission should be safer now than it would have been. I'm going to go round up the rest of my men from around the hideout. I'll give you until sunrise, then we'll head out. Once we're outside, I'll point you all to your positions and explain the proposed procedure."

      Jacques twirled his mustache as he bit his lower lip. "Wouldn't it be better to explain it in here, before we go out there where we can be shot at from every which direction?"

      "I would say so, yes... but given that we now have to worry about a simple, it's better to show than to tell, don't you think?"

      Jacques looked slowly over at his brother Pete, who was still trying to catch the final dying embers of the fireballs from a few moments before. "I understand. I suppose we'll do it your way then... just, let us know when you're ready and we'll move out."

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        #271    
      Old April 22nd, 2018 (11:58 AM). Edited April 22nd, 2018 by Estrello.
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      Estrello Estrello is offline
      Beyond The Stars
         
        Join Date: Apr 2011
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        Shadow
        Elliott

        Mumford & Sons - Broken Crown.


        The porch creaked with fresh footsteps. The white colonial mansion was a bastion in an oppressive wasteland of sand and fire. The stained sigil of Gaudium was in every window, etched in to every post. The three rays of a sunset heralded the Apocalypse, the apocalypse that was their duty to bring about. A fist hammered on the door. The impact reverberated throughout the lobby.

        Attention was directed towards the opening door. A figure stood there, blocking out the piercing desert sun. Several lackies reached for their gun. Laboured breaths wheezed out, the silhouette twitched from exhaustion. His hand on the door trembling, Shadow marched through the lobby, intending to hurry up one of the twin staircases, but she paused in her tracks. As criminals began aiming at their revolvers at intruder and taking cover, The door enveloped the sunshine again and the man became clearer. Shadow stared at him in disbelief. His mouth opened but he could say nothing.
        Shadow put purpose in to her strides towards him. Getting faster and faster, the closer she got. The man was totally off guard. She hurtled towards him. She was too fast for him to react. She raised her hands. Urgency permeated the air. The stranger began to fall.
        And Shadow caught him.
        The cowboy-looking man vacantly swivelled his head, his bleary eyes floating around the room at the army pointing at him. Shadow frowned with confusion, I... know you? Her eyes were full of knowing but her voice was filled to the brim with puzzlement. The gang members looked at each other as they pocketed their guns. Shadow called to her attendants. Get him some water!

        The original followers stood around the old dining table, it looked like it was previous used for gambling and meetings, but under that it appeared like a family kitchen. The fixtures were stained with smoke and the white lick of paint was fading.
        The man looked at them with heavy eyes. I was previously a high ranking member of Anacondas following. Josiah looked around at these strangers who seemingly believed the same as him. You all are actual believers of Gaudium?
        Yes. Shadow nodded, followed by Martirio, We even have a priest in fairbell She explained, referred to Altan, a feeling of despairing longing crept in to her gut. She wanted him to be here so she could show this man how powerful theyd became. She saw a bit of Anima in Altan. Of course, someone would need to preach, someone with personality but it shouldnt be Altan, she, for some reason, trusted him the most, bar Anima. She needed the most devout here in the capital. She needed to reorganise the Holy Order, there were so many peons that worked entirely on random orders depending on proximity at the time. Without Altan, she felt alone at the top.

        Elliott wanted to correct him and confess that he wasnt a real believer, more like useful hostage... No, he wasnt an insurance policy, that didnt fit... useful prisoner? He didnt know if stringer-alonger had a better word..

        Cassandra leaned against a counter top, to the right of Elliott. Im not. Josiah whipped his head from Shadow to Cassie, holding a drink in both his hands. Im a merc. Pay me, Ill do anything.
        Elliott raised his eyebrows Anything?
        Not interested, Elliott.
        Uhh... yeah, Im that. He thumbed a gesture to Cassandra, copying her answer.
        Josiah continued before someone could correct Elliott. So yeah, We had a following, all pioneer-like, we moved from here to there. Anaconda had this dream an he shared it with us. Despite what you guys have probably thought, we were originally peaceful. I remember my first sacrifice, Anaconda was a young man then. We didnt do nothin to hurt anyone.
        What? Elliott exclaimed, this was contrary to everything hed seen.
        Shadow silently agreed, her memories had imprints from Anima, and by extension Anaconda, all she got was violent and disturbing. The Caesar-looking Martirio chastised Elliott with a look.
        Well, Anaconda was quite... quiet, his violence was internal. He could only dream of invoking the Ascension like you guys have, I mean I joined up because the Church failed me. Not everyone went round murdering, most of our sacrifices had muk lives anyway so they volunteered. He lusted for the success of his predecessors.
        Shadow listened intently.
        But Im off topic. On my first blooding, the place was raided by the Church, we had to grab anything we had to hand. I stole a revolver off one of them, gunned down several before bailing.
        But they could never destroy us, every death made us stronger, put meaning in to our beliefs. The next time we got attacked, Walker was ready, he was preaching an we had rifles from... donated by the Church.
        Wait... whos Walker?
        Not everyone has pretty names like... He looked around, trying to summon an example, like... you guys. Prophets take on new names, take on new identities, like kings of old, yknow.
        Walker was a symbol of Rebellion, like the snake. He returned to the story. So with each fight more martyrs were created, we built up a militia, took over places, set up temples. Some fought, Some of us gave their lives to enter the Astral planes, some of us gave their bodies to help new souls start their journey, startin families and that stuff. Many of our right-handers gave their lives in protection of the Prophet.
        I maintained my friendship with him throughout, rising up the ranks. Then Anaconda was deep in thought one day, and went off to go meditate as he often did. I was worried for him since hed been feverish for the last few weeks. Unfortunately, he found the desert... calming. Walker never returned. I felt it was only natural... my duty to steer our little colony to continue, those people, those kids needed protection and even though Id just been in the post for a bit, the burden fell on me.
        Families?
        Yeah.
        Didnt think anyone could settle down doing this. Elliott crossed his arms
        Well, we did it. He paused, he could feel emotion building behind his eyes. And they killed them. They killed them all, the men, women and children.
        Who? Shadow furrowed her brow.
        As soon as I came back, the place was crawling with Waltham slaves.
        Elliott gasped. Josiah shot a look at him. You a friend of them? He took his hand underneath the table, moving towards his gun.
        Nah, I left there, they want my money though. So I guess were friends with mutual enemies. Desperately trying to keep nonchalance, despite his nerves
        I hope so. Josiah observed at him with distrust. He turned away from Elliott who edged towards the door. Wheres the Prophet?
        Shadow let a pregnant pause hang as if dead. Anima... entered seclusion-
        Psyduck!
        -a while ago, we havent been able to bring him out of there. Evening opening the door feels heavy.
        Temere had his forearm rest on the above door frame. He first saw nothing, just the bustle of the Holy Order, until the rise and fall of a coin caught his eye. His hunter glared at him seriously, she caught the coin and tapped her wristwatch.
        Shadow responded to the ageing leader. Im perfectly fine to control our Order in his absense, Ive done it before, Ill do it again.
        Still, its not good. Did he tell ya his dreams?
        No.
        Not even after stress-relief?
        Im sorry, are you under the impression Im sleeping with the Blessed One? The One Truth? The Prophet who brings the Ascension? What exactly do you think of my faith?
        Sorry, thats my fault. Walker didnt have a problem with that stuff. Old times I guess.
        Elliott had an idea to unify them, to distract from current events and proving himself to the new guy. Aight guys, calm down. Ive got something for you.
        Huh?
        Elliott closed the kitchen door. A bounty hunters here for me. He loosely pointed toward the chalk-coloured barrier.
        What?!
        From the Big W. Shes a fake follower. Shadow, Martirio and lastly Josiah thundered past him, throwing it open with a gust of wind.
        Lock this room down! As the order was given, the rag-tag followers blundered towards the door.
        The girl figured she was made. Her heart thumping, she tried to appear innocent as she tried to leave. Shadow spotted her.
        Roots grabbed the debt collectorss ankles and she was stopped in her tracks. The wood stretched out from its slumber curling around like creepers.
        Shadow stormed towards her, the gang members created a ring like a cage fight. The rat went for her gun, but a thug twisted her arm behind her back, another devotee took her revolver.
        Wheres your proof? She tried to struggle but it just increased her pain.
        Temere? She stared at her captive.
        Elliott trailed the action, jogging up beside his protector. She has a contract in her coat pocket, its signed and sealed by Mr. Waltham.
        Shadow rifled through the bounty hunters coat finding the evidence.
        Im just the messenger. The bounty hunter writhed in her captivity.

        Shadow began to declare the proof to the mob surrounding her,Waltham Industries Ltd promises to pay on delivery of... Her voice lost volume when she read the price for Elliotts capture.
        She circled the snake like a vulture. This person has infiltrated our order, willing to betray our values for the pursuit of money and threatens to kill in the name of another god, Waltham Incorporated Industries. Shadow made a gesture to move the prisoner. For that, She must die.
        It was all over in a moment. Shadow was handed the bounty hunters gun. Pressing it on her forehead, the kneeling girls breath became ragged, and it was extinguished with three excessive shots in the head, exploding her brains and splattering all over the floor. Her corpse freely fell, discarded like with all the other garbage.


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