• Mature • I. A Line Through a Name (Graded)

Atop a stony plateau overlooking the lands of central Idalos, and growing wealthy from the gem stones pulled from the rocky soil, Etzos is a bastion of independence; firm in its belief that man should rule Idalos, not be servants of the vain Immortals who nearly destroyed it. But can the many factions set aside their conflicting agendas and see this through?

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Kasoria
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Posts: 1420
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:34 am
Race: Human
Profession: Horrible Bastard
Renown: +935
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Medal count: 7

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I. A Line Through a Name (Graded)

Tue Nov 03, 2020 4:51 am

3rd of Vhalar, 720
Commercial Circle, Etzos Prime
Night



The target has been living with fear for seasons now. But not guilt. This is something that can be seen, if you have the eyes for it.

The watcher knows the man's name. Once he had that, knowing where to find him wasn't hard. After that, it was just a matter being patient. Finding his opening. Exploiting it. He'd spent long arcs in night and suns, watching the man in his home, his work, the journey from one to the other. Long enough to know his routine and plan around the annoyingly frequent Web Guard patrols. Fates, like it wasn't bad enough with the fucking Blackjack?

Alone save for a single minder. Works late into the night. Lives a good walk from his business.

Aye. Good.


The man was dwarfed by the one next to him. Taller, broader shoulders, harder of expression. Everything about him screamed "muscle" or "sellsword". He was acting like one, too. Glaring at any of the few poor souls who drifted by the pair. Scanning each new face and body for possible threats, hand never leaving the sword at his sheath. Clearly a man expecting trouble... or just doing a lot to look like he was.

The watcher blinked and factored him into his plan without feeling an ounce of genuine concern. They would both be dead soon. The only niggling necessity was that he needed a quick word with the burned man first. But the bodyguard? He'd be dead before he could even fight back. The watcher hadn't lasted this long by giving in to the insane impulse to fight fairly. His hands brushed against the sword in his belt. It would feel good to swing it again. Especially for such fine work...

"Let's go."

The bearded man with the guilty eyes started for home, and his sellsword followed just a fraction behind him. Close enough that with a blink of warning he could drag his charge back, step in front of him, sword drawn and ready. The watcher started to move, drifting over the cobbles. Moonlight shone wetly on them, apart from when he blocked them with his shadow. A patch of darkness forever moving, snaking towards its target... but not directly. No, it took alleys and side streets where his target took the mains. But his home was just off an avenue. That was where he'd intercept them. A bird watching from above would see the watcher speedily arrive early, then wait. Dark and shadowy and brooding, anticipating the arrival of those two oblivious faces, one stolid and pinched, the other lined and weary.

The watcher stood in the alley, and closed his eyes. Footsteps. Boots. Heavy make. The sellsword. Coming closer, and yes, below that stomping sound... softer leather. Smaller body. The target. He slid the sword from its sheath. So slowly. So carefully. They were close now, and as soon-

The ground shifted under him. Like the back of some great beast he was standing on that was waking up, grouchy and grumbling. Only that sound was bricks sliding and cracking into itself, grinding and hissing and as the watcher looked down the bricks they finally split-

-great and toothless mouth yawning under him and with a yelp he went toppling into the hole, vanishing with a thin screech-

CRACK

-that ended with the road slamming shut again. Loud enough to rattle glass in the windows and have the watcher's quarry spook and run the other way, seeking a different way home. Under the ground, in a tunnel that was old when his father was a boy, the watcher shook his head. He'd landed badly. His ankle throbbed in the darkness, and when he raised his sword, his hand was shaking.

But that was just pain. Confusion. Anger. Indignation. Because when he found what mage cunt had done this he would-

"Y'rite, Carrow? Been a bit."

Then the watcher saw Kasoria, and as fear overtook all the rest, the Raggedy Man grinned.
word count: 688

Appearance

  • Habitually dressed in boots, breeches, tunic, with a plain cloak.
  • Long hair down to the shoulders, usually left swept back or in a rough ponytail
  • Rarely clean-shaven, preferring a trimmed beard

Mutations

  • Star-shaped scar on each palm.
  • Air around him seems to thicken and become more turbulent the closer a person gets to him.
  • Pitch black eyes, from tear ducts to the pupils.
  • Arms from shoulder to palms appear as if heavy chains are wrapped around them.
  • Wisps of black smoke constantly drifts around his body, forming the rough outline of a cloak. The more agitated he becomes, the thicker the layers get.
    Note: the torch-motif medallion Kasoria wears negates the visible effects of this mutation.
  • Roughly circular pattern across breastbone, constantly transforming, and resettling
  • Sunken, closed eyes in the back of hands; they open when stared at
  • Skin takes on the tone and quality of whatever material he's just Transmuted
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Kasoria
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Posts: 1420
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:34 am
Race: Human
Profession: Horrible Bastard
Renown: +935
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Wealth Tier: Tier 5
Medal count: 7

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Re: I. A Line Through a Name

Tue Nov 03, 2020 9:16 pm

"How's the arm doin'?" The little man cocked his head as he stared at the empty sleeve on Carrow's coat. Seemed a little bulkier than he'd imagined. "Hmph. Never fancied summin' t'replace it, eh?"

Carrow stood there for all of two trills, then turned and ran. Kasoria couldn't help but grin even wider. Never was a stupid cunt, was ol' Carrow.

The street daemon got all of ten feet down the tunnel before he felt the air turn to wind, then sludge, then steel. Ether crashed and crushed him, before hardening into something as unforgiving as the stones under his feet. Kasoria barely raised his hand and a stream of crackling blue-white magic whipped through the air, his Spark eager to be unleashed as always. Shackles folded and tightened around the fleeing man, stopping him dead... and then dragging him back, even as his fingernails broke and scraped and ground against the wet stones.

Kasoria kept his grin, but for a different reason. He would likely never get tired of this magic. Not just because of how useful it was, or intimidating, but because of what it looked like compared to what it truly was. He wasn't dragging tentacles of raw magic power through the air: the magic was already infused with it. He just manipulated it at different points. Hardening and softening the ether-choked air, dragging and directing whatever the Shackles had ensnared. In this case, back towards him.

"Wh-What in the fuck do you-"

"Youse can prob'lee guess dat," he said casually, snapping his fingers and dissolving the ether in the air around them. Carrow slumped to the ground not five feet away, panting and sweating and looking up at him. "But I ain't killed yeh yet. Means yeh might 'ave a chance."

That seemed to make him pause. The older killer sighed and sagged, bowing his head. Kasoria's eyes narrowed minutely. Hmm... a little too submissive, he thought. At least too quickly. But as always, the truth had to be drawn out, like poison from a wound. He took a few steps closer, silently calling his magic back into his hands. Watching the muscles and limbs of Carrow start to tighten and ready themselves.

"Aye... mebbe yer-"

He lashed out in the middle of a word, not just a sentence. Kasoria approved. But until your enemy was broken and choking and helpless, he was always a threat. Kasoria had never stopped thinking of him that way. Carrow lunged upward with a snarl, drawing his sword in the same motion and slashing up at him. Kasoria backed away, swaying his upper body away from the blow-

-which was just a feint, as Carrow's coat sloughed away like dead skin from a snake-

"Hmph. Very nice."

-and something bronzed and sharp and talon'd ripped through the air towards him. Attached to the stump below his elbow was a bone-thin forearm capped by four spikes. The sword brought him space; the claw would end his prey. If his prey was not Kasoria, anyway. As it turned out, the Raggedy Man kept backing up. Kept buying him more space and time and Carrow knew this, but could not stop now. He tried to run, or argue, or bargain, and he was dead. So he had to fight, and as another thrust from the sword gave way to a hammering slash from the claw-

THUNK

-Kasoria caught the deadly prosthetic with his glowing hand and-

"N... No..."

In the time it took for him to breathe, Corrosion ripped through Carrow's bronze claw with the intensity of decades. Transmutation energy poured from Kasoria and into his arm/weapon, countless tiny ether explosions blowing apart the bonds between the metal atoms and turning it to rust, to slag, from burnished metal to creaking scrap so that when-

CRUNCH

-Kaoria wrenched it back, he took it clean off the mounting at Carrow's elbow and-

SHUNK

-stabbed the four dagger-like fingers so deep into his leg that he felt bone grind against them.

Carrow screamed and went down to his knees, one leg now as useless as his missing arm. The sword went slack in his hand and he felt a short, professional blow knock it flying from his hand. He screamed again, knowledge that he was likely crippled in another limb only mingling, intensifying, purifying his bellowing fury. But when he finally looked back up through sweat-dripping hair, what he saw replaced all that yet again.

"A'right," the little man said, flexing his left hand around a set of brass knuckles, and his right around the dagger he pulled from his boot. "Time t'stop fuckin' about. Ain't got all night..."

Carrow tried to beg. Tried to summon the words, the pleading, the debased whining that would save him the pain he knew was coming.

No words came. Just a babbling nonsense that was soon swallowed up by shrieks.
Image
word count: 843

Appearance

  • Habitually dressed in boots, breeches, tunic, with a plain cloak.
  • Long hair down to the shoulders, usually left swept back or in a rough ponytail
  • Rarely clean-shaven, preferring a trimmed beard

Mutations

  • Star-shaped scar on each palm.
  • Air around him seems to thicken and become more turbulent the closer a person gets to him.
  • Pitch black eyes, from tear ducts to the pupils.
  • Arms from shoulder to palms appear as if heavy chains are wrapped around them.
  • Wisps of black smoke constantly drifts around his body, forming the rough outline of a cloak. The more agitated he becomes, the thicker the layers get.
    Note: the torch-motif medallion Kasoria wears negates the visible effects of this mutation.
  • Roughly circular pattern across breastbone, constantly transforming, and resettling
  • Sunken, closed eyes in the back of hands; they open when stared at
  • Skin takes on the tone and quality of whatever material he's just Transmuted
User avatar
Kasoria
Approved Character
Posts: 1420
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:34 am
Race: Human
Profession: Horrible Bastard
Renown: +935
Character Sheet
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Plot Notes
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Wealth Tier: Tier 5
Medal count: 7

Contribution

RP Medals

Re: I. A Line Through a Name

Wed Nov 04, 2020 5:38 pm

"I know what yeh did, Carrow. Heh... prob'lee ain't narrowin' it down much, innit?" Something burbled. Gargled blood and vomit. Tried to swallow and just choked on it until it dribbled from swollen lips. Kasoria waited until it was quiet again. More or less. "Aye... well, t'ain't from back when, y'ken? All dat shite from arcs back. Nah... s'about what yeh did fer the Morty-lovers."

He crouched down over the pile of meat and bone and blood and flesh and tears that was still weakly trying to move. But two good ears and two good eyes were still following him just well enough. Kasoria looked into those wide, unblinking eyes and nodded.

"Aye. I know 'bout the Sintra cunts youse helped, ones down inna' deep tunnels. Recognize these?"

He wasn't expecting an answer when he produced the slim document. There'd been others he'd collected seasons ago, but this one was the... final evolution, as it were. All that context distilled into simple context: who had helped them, and how how they helped them. The why and the how much and the when... those didn't matter to Kasoria. No more than the motives of a murderer would matter to a hangman.

Careful. Remember who you are.

I am
, he answered himself, straightening up and watching Carrow spit up more teeth. Better than him.

He didn't feel an ounce of pity. Not now, and not during. Not before the steel in his hands had turned red and clotted with all the damage he'd done. Not before he'd smashed joints and bones into splinters and then powder. Not even now, when he stood in the light of the Brilliance glowing from his own body, and beheld without the dignity of shadow or gloom to hide any of the brutality he'd wreaked.

Nothing but his fists. Enclosed in metal, both. Punch and beating and battered and breaking. Sounds of marrow and osseous material shattering almost as loud as the screams that careened off the tunnel walls. No-one came to investigate. Kasoria assumed that, as much as they could carry sound, someone likely did. Some skulking wretch of the Underworld... yet none came. All would be warned away. The screams just went on and on and on...

Until Kasoria was satisfied that he'd been softened up enough for the last part.

"Carrow? I know yeh can hear me, Carrow. Gimme some sign-" he flourished the dagger in his hand; the flash of silver across the crippled man's eyes brought him back to proper lucidity. "-or we're don 'ere."

Coughing weakly, Carrow managed to blink... for a long time... then open his eyes again. He'd long lost the strength to writhe, or struggle, or screech. Kasoria imagined it was all he could do to stay awake and sane, now he'd felt his three remaining limbs turned to useless pulp. Then parts of his torso after that. The slowly spreading stain or interminable color in his breeches. The face that was harsh and angular before, now made hideous by a beating worthy of meat on a butcher's block.

But he was still alive. For now. For just long enough.

"I can hurt yeh more, Carrow..."

That got a reaction out of him. Fear wasn't totally alien to the lump of flesh on the floor. That was important. Once that was fled, once all fear of pain was gone... well, things became more difficult. The subject just shut off, or welcomed any agony for it took them but closer to oblivion. Kasoria wanted Carrow on that razor edge, still believing with some small scrap of his soul that he could survive this, or at least avoid anymore pain. He leaned closer and whispered into his ear.

"Yusef. Blackjack. Mage. Yusef. Hear me, Carrow? Yusef. He workin' wiv' them, too? Heard his name in dere mouths? Yusef."

He waited. Listened to that ragged breathing that hurt with every push and pull of battered ribs. Carrow racked his mind and finally, he shook his head. Kasoria sighed and started to pull away when he heard it.

"Whuh... why..." Carrow's words came out dribble by dribble. Leaks of sound out from a shattered jug. "Wuz... jus... coin... who... kurrs...?"

Kasoria leaned over him for a long time. Face mostly in shadow now his Brilliance had subsided. Carrow thought he might not have heard him, and when he opened his mouth to speak again-

SHUNK

The dagger buried itself under his chin and slammed up into his brain with a single thrust. Carrow's pain-mad eyes popped and bulged and Kasoria leaned forward again. Now the dead man could see those black eyes, glinting and glittering with dark, merciless intent. He could hear those words chasing him down into a dark hole. Taunting him and following him, staying with his soul long after it had finally fled Etzos.

"Guess."
word count: 839

Appearance

  • Habitually dressed in boots, breeches, tunic, with a plain cloak.
  • Long hair down to the shoulders, usually left swept back or in a rough ponytail
  • Rarely clean-shaven, preferring a trimmed beard

Mutations

  • Star-shaped scar on each palm.
  • Air around him seems to thicken and become more turbulent the closer a person gets to him.
  • Pitch black eyes, from tear ducts to the pupils.
  • Arms from shoulder to palms appear as if heavy chains are wrapped around them.
  • Wisps of black smoke constantly drifts around his body, forming the rough outline of a cloak. The more agitated he becomes, the thicker the layers get.
    Note: the torch-motif medallion Kasoria wears negates the visible effects of this mutation.
  • Roughly circular pattern across breastbone, constantly transforming, and resettling
  • Sunken, closed eyes in the back of hands; they open when stared at
  • Skin takes on the tone and quality of whatever material he's just Transmuted
User avatar
Kasoria
Approved Character
Posts: 1420
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:34 am
Race: Human
Profession: Horrible Bastard
Renown: +935
Character Sheet
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Wealth Tier: Tier 5
Medal count: 7

Contribution

RP Medals

Re: I. A Line Through a Name

Wed Nov 04, 2020 6:48 pm

Image
He put a line through Carrow's name with slow, neat finality. He rather enjoyed the sensation of checking off a list: putting things in order by settling them, one issue at a time. Until all that was left was a bunch of defaced names or tasks. Every one speaking to a success, minor or grand. He enjoyed also the... incongruity, of such a task being a man's name.

A whole life, rendered down into a scribble of ink on a scrap of a page... then his death being nothing more than a half-trill swipe of a quill through it.

"Aye, very fuckin' poetic..."

He spoke around the stem of his pipe as he lit it. Carrow was dead and forgotten behind him, bleeding silently into the cobbles and the dust under them. Kasoria massaged his knuckles as he puffed at the baccy. Still sore, even though his calluses. He was getting old. His eyes glazed as he rubbed and stretched and popped awkward balls of cartilage. It wasn't a bad place to start, but there was no guarantee of success. Between the half-dozen or so names left alive on that list, Kasoria recognized only two.

He knew the second was a better bet. But Carrow...

It was personal. You wanted him dead, no matter what you told him. When you looked at him, you thought of Venger and Merry and that little girl. Oh, it was a grand stroke of luck. But you could have gone for Nick first. He'd probably have been able to answer you, too.

But Kasoria did remember that little girl, that house, that woman, that brave, stupid Blackjack. The memory crawled into his mind at odd times and stuck him like a dagger. Venger was dead, now. Cobbles had died that night. Carrow had joined them now and the man who'd unleashed them in the first place, Bangun Vorund, was dead even longer. Now it was just-

You and Merry. So once that demented little cunt is gone, who does that leave?

The Raggedy Man chuckled. Oh, that was a fine line of thought. Very dramatic. A mummer's scribe would love that: kill all those who'd ben involved, then end yourself with a final, anguished plea for forgiveness. Well, fuck that with a jagged spike. Kasoria was done asking for or believing in that bollocks. He had a list and he was sticking to it. Carrow was a lucky find, and he'd wrung what satisfaction he could from killing the cunt. But anything more than that?

Still got a job to do.

The Raggedy Man cleaned his dagger and then his brass knuckles. Washed and wiped away the blood. Sheathed and pocketed them. He could be fastidious at times, ironic considering his usual disguise was that of a walking catalogue of gutter ailments. Once that was done, he cast a final look at Carrow's corpse. He'd not be missed, and likely not found unless by scavengers. The upright kind would take what scraps of possession he still had that could be bartered or repurposed. The other kind would make a meal of him over the coming Cold Cycle. Grateful to their nameless benefactor for depositing nigh-on two hundred pounds of delicious sustenance in their territory.

By the coming of Rebirth, he would be naught but bones and dusty hair in patchy cloth. Kasoria smiled at the idea.

You sold people out to the Sintra-lovers. Told them who would stand in their way. Told them where to hide in the Underworld. Even slit a throat or two for them. You came down here like a good dog and gave them whatever they wanted. Well... now you can stay down here.

Kasoria started to walk away, and didn't look back. He'd spent enough nights and trials watching this man, waiting for his time to strike. Now the hunt was over and, like any hunter, he was eager for the next. Nick would be different, though. No wide trail or vast territory to stalk. No, he knew where Nick would be. Holed up and protected and enjoying the fruits of his betrayal.

Not for long, you fat fuck.

Continued here
word count: 715

Appearance

  • Habitually dressed in boots, breeches, tunic, with a plain cloak.
  • Long hair down to the shoulders, usually left swept back or in a rough ponytail
  • Rarely clean-shaven, preferring a trimmed beard

Mutations

  • Star-shaped scar on each palm.
  • Air around him seems to thicken and become more turbulent the closer a person gets to him.
  • Pitch black eyes, from tear ducts to the pupils.
  • Arms from shoulder to palms appear as if heavy chains are wrapped around them.
  • Wisps of black smoke constantly drifts around his body, forming the rough outline of a cloak. The more agitated he becomes, the thicker the layers get.
    Note: the torch-motif medallion Kasoria wears negates the visible effects of this mutation.
  • Roughly circular pattern across breastbone, constantly transforming, and resettling
  • Sunken, closed eyes in the back of hands; they open when stared at
  • Skin takes on the tone and quality of whatever material he's just Transmuted
User avatar
Praetorum
Approved Character
Posts: 746
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:08 am
Race: Ithecal
Profession: Mercenary
Renown: +290
Character Sheet
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Wealth Tier: Tier 4
Medal count: 4

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Milestones

Re: I. A Line Through a Name

Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:08 pm

Image

Kasoria

Points: 10
Magic: Abrogation & Transmutation
Skill Review: Appropriate

Knowledges
Abrogation - Shackle: Dragging a Fleeing Victim Backwards
Abrogation - Shackle: Infusing and Manipulating the Air, Not Merely "Moving it"
Tactics: Hunting a Hunter While They're Hunting (they don't often see that one coming)
Torture: Breaking Bone after Bone after Bone...
Transmutation - Corrosion: Can Degrade or Destroy Enemy Weapons During Combat
Transmutation - Shapecraft: Opening a Chasm Under a Target

NPC Carrow: Old Partner, Former Enemy, Current Traitor, Immediate Corpse

Loot: The satisfaction of a job well done.

Injuries: lmao as if

Renown: None



Overview
The Raggedy Man strikes once again! I love the contrast between Kas brutally turning a man into jelly and his poetic thoughts as he neatly updates a list next to a twitching not-yet-corpse.

Just a quick note, you slipped into the present tense for the first couple of sentences, but aside from that, your prose flows smoothly as ever. Always a pleasure to read your threads, and you do write violence so very well. Enjoy your rewards ^u^



Word Count:3085

Image
word count: 185
Let's play 'What's Weird About Prae'

Head

  • A fiery rune shines under his right eye
  • A firey glow in the back of his mouth

Arms

  • A ring of blue runes floats over each of Prae's wrists
  • A silver shield marks the back of his right hand

Misc

  • His tail is about eight feet long, usually knotted around his waist
  • His body temperature is uncomfortably high

Surroundings

  • Wind gusts with every step he takes
  • The area around him is slightly more static-y than normal
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