• Graded • Making New Friends

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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Neronin
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Making New Friends

Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:20 pm

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5th Trial of Saun, Arc 717
Etzos Bazaar


Neronin peered around the corner in the darkness. He could just hear their muffled voices and make out the dark outlines of their forms down the slightly winding alley between the massive Etzos wall and the wooden warehouse. The sun had gone down about a break earlier and the only light came from the moons above, the stars, and the flickering fires from inside homes and atop the wall. Neronin leant back around the corner and looked down at his feet, thinking. The glowing green eyes of his shadow, somehow still visible in the dark, stared back at him. It shambled to the left slightly, twitching all the while. With a desperate swipe, it attempted to take a chuck out of Noth’s shadow with one clawed appendage. Of course the other’s mundane shadow did not respond, nor was it affected.

Neronin rolled his eyes in annoyance and shifted away to spite the shadow. “Alright, looks like there are four of them.” Neronin peered back around the corner. Even in the low light the pale, deathly skin of his face and the stark contrast to the black veins that now crept up his cheeks was visible. Neronin glanced back at his leader. Noth looked like a great black shadow in the darkness, the only defining features in the black mass was the occasional glint of his muted armor or the burning ember of his eyes. Neronin had to admit that while he had handled many creepy minions in his time, Noth seemed to wield intimidation like a tool. It made him glad he was on the his side. The monstrous bird-warrior seemed to maintain a certain level of loyalty as well, which fostered a trust that Neronin couldn’t deny existed even though he wished to.

“I think it’s the right gang, but they look young. I’m not sure if we’ve got any influential members here.” Neronin said uncertainly. He didn’t have night vision and couldn’t make out the faces of the men. For the past four trials he and Noth had been dogging this particular gang, or what they knew of them. These criminals claimed a healthy portion of the outer city, beyond the wall. The attraction here was that their turf clung to the river that lead to the docks in the city. Some business owners had even erected their own small docks along the bank. A few shady taverns attempted to import foreign spirits and wines for discounted prices illegally that way.

Neronin had been scoping out property there for similar purposes. He and Noth had been discussing, at length, plots to make money for Al’Angyryl as well as ways to increase their influence among the people of Etzos. Neronin, truthfully, was more concerned with his own ambitions that this particular goal of Noth’s. But it was a step towards the sundering of the regime in Etzos, which he supported. He had come up with an idea to purchase some land in the district and begin a small illicit business there so as to get a foot in the door. Noth had, as far as he could tell, approved of the plan. So here they were.

“Well, I think there is only one way to find out if these are our targets.” Neronin said, glancing back at his silent leader. “Give me a bit, I’ll signal you.” He said to Noth. The half-avriel had come up with the plan earlier. Neronin turned the corner and waved. “Hey you! I’ver been looking for you guys! I thought we were supposed to meet back in the Bazaar?” He rambled on in a faux drunken slur. All the while Neronin was stumbling towards the muggers he was gathering the necrotic energy within himself.

“Mastes’ ass, who the hellspawn are you?” One of them said, hefting the club in his hand. The other three seemed to swagger up behind him, the victim left panting and bleeding against the stone wall. Neronin appraised the enemy with sharp, pale eyes. He leant to the side and put his hand on the wall of the warehouse as if to steady himself. When the closest man, the speaker, hefted his club Neronin pushed out the spell he had been creating. The black ether spiraled out of him from all over as if it was smoke from a fire. He willed the energy sapping spell to blow over all four of the enemies. Luckily enough for him, they all seemed young and not particularly experienced in street combat. It meant their endurance was not enough to resist the spell. He wasn’t sure if such magic could send four seasoned soldiers to their knees as it had done on these bangers, but he wasn’t facing four seasoned soldier so he didn’t let it bother him.

Neronin straightened and sent a second wave of willpower into the spell, sending the thugs onto the ground, wheezing for air. He cleared his throat.

“Listen up, shits.” Neronin said, crouching down and changing his voice back to a harsher, sharper tone. “My boss and I want to talk to your leader. You all are gonna show us which hole he’s cowering in.” He said and waited for an answer. The de-facto leader spit onto the ground and rasped out two words.

“Drop dead.” He said.

Neronin was silent for a moment. then he laughed. “Suit yourself, kid. On your own head be it.” He stood and whistled, turning to look back to where Noth was waiting. “This is my boss, Mongrel. He’s not as nice as I am.” He said, maintaining the sap spell as he waited for Noth to appear.
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Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:43 pm

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There was always some conversation over what it meant to possess power. Scholars and aristocrats bickered and consulted one another as they attempted to refine a suitable definition for the subject, and whilst several iterations had passed, seldom few were capable of capturing the true nature of the captivating idea of power. It was rather vital that the nature of power be defined before a goal could be set towards locating it, because how was someone supposed to gain something that they could not define?

The twilight hybrid had settled upon a definition in an old manuscript he had read which seemed to identify the nature of power in a simplistic and easily understood way. According to the manuscript, power was “The ability to have others accomplish your will.” It was a basic definition, though perhaps its broadness was what made it practical. The manuscript had gone further into identifying and detailing two differing forms of power: Soft power, and hard power.

Soft power was the sort of power held by viziers and advisors, as well as those who skulked in the shadows, pulling strings and making deals. In essence, soft power was related to the manipulation of others to accomplish ones’ goals, whether that included bribery, negotiation, or some other method of subterfuge. It was favored by those of witty make and model, those who sat in rooms surrounded by servants, and if ever there was a dagger plunged into an unsuspecting back, it had likely originated in the hands of a person with soft power.

Hard power in contrast was more direct and forceful than its counterpart. It focused upon what many throughout the world commonly considered to be power; strength, speed, violence, force. The gang bosses who strode through the streets, beating the spirit out of their racketeering targets, and the brutal warlords who dominated kingdoms and countries with their malevolent armies were both suitable examples of hard power.

There were advantages and disadvantages to both methodologies of power. Soft power was scheming and conniving, but smooth talk and silver tongues seldom stopped the blows of an axe, or halted the wrath of a motivated hunter. Meanwhile, hard power for all of its forcefulness was also far too straightforward on its own accord, and those who practiced it were easily manipulated into the subtle traps of those working behind the scenes. Because of the system of checks and balances imposed by the opposing ideologies, it could not be safely assumed that the knight atop his Volareon was any more powerful than the noble sitting in his court, though it could be safely reasoned that both were powerful in their own ways.

No matter what form power took, a title befitting someone with power was pointless without a foundation lying under it. The old maid who made herself Queen was no more powerful for it unless others submitted to her rule, and, as fate would have it, the Avriel who called himself Prince was no stronger unless he had willing soldiers to fight under his banner.

It was for that reason that the twilight hybrid had determined that he must attempt to appropriate power in some degree, and some of the easiest targets for him to strike against were the crime families which populated the streets of Etzos. Noth was quite fittingly a person of hard power, someone with a martial ability seldom seen in a person not actively participating in a campaign of war or in a local unit of the Black Guard, and his experience in forceful acts and violent behavior had made him quite powerful in that particular school. Meanwhile, his abilities would find themselves severely restricted were he to need to compete against the social elite of the city, and it was for that reason that he had determined to draw strength from gangsters and lone criminals as opposed to from the strongholds of soft power; he would leave that to Marrow.

Naturally, the hybrid for all of his ability did not know the exact locations of the criminal elite, though, it seemed reasonable that their underlings would know how to find them. It was for that reason that he and Marrow had departed from their cavernous dwelling, and had been stalking the dark alleys of Etzos for the past four trials in order to locate a suitable crew of thugs. Their multiple trial search had finally led them to the group of four.

Marrow had spotted them before the hybrid, and the Avriel immediately grew thankful of his officer’s perceptive abilities. He had noticed in the past few trials that the blackened veins lashing across his pale flesh had seemed to metastasize to further portions of his body, but he made no mention of the occurrence. The necromancer’s work was useful, but the hybrid had no desire to delve into the dark art or its side-effects any further than he absolutely needed to for planning purposes.

The group of four were quite young, their faces still youthful, albeit twisted into sneering grins like a pack of hyenas as they delivered a brutish beat-down on their selected target. It was not at all a fair fight, but the group dynamic had clearly been created so that each individual’s weakness could be covered by the strength of their peers, and at the end of the trial, fairness only counted in fairytales. Nonetheless, the hybrid had an inkling into the psychology that they sought, the mentality that directed young boys to grow into thugs working under crime bosses, and it was typically one of fear and strength.

Unsurprisingly, the twilight hybrid was quite good at exhibiting both qualities.

Marrow swept rather dramatically out of their hiding place, swaggering as though he were intoxicated, and promptly began a charade in order to close the distance between the group and himself. The thugs responded in predictable manner, by immediately recognizing him as an outsider, and beginning to form their disorganized ranks so as to confront him. Perhaps if they had known his next move, they would have scattered instead of clustering together as tightly as they did, but precognition was an impossible concept, and they fell like loose leaves the instant that Marrow decided he had gotten close enough.

He painted himself as reasonable, if not forceful in his own right, and promptly demanded the location of their boss. Admittedly, there was almost no chance whatsoever that the inquiry would be answered, but it was always worth a shot to ask before proceeding with the plan. Originally, the hybrid had considered simply torturing them as they lay there helpless upon the ground, of rending their flesh until their bloody mouths revealed secrets like a stream, but a different plan came to mind as he stepped forth from his own hiding place, clad in his armor.

“Awful late in the trial to be lying around, isn’t it?” He spoke with a mirthless chuckle as he stepped around the exhausted and prone figures. “Nonetheless. It will become apparent to you rather quickly that you ought to be reveal the location of your boss. You see, there is a new force in Etzos, and while we are quite benevolent to our own, we take poorly to rivals in our territory.” He stopped his pacing as he neared the de-facto leader, running a talon gently along the back of his neck for deathly emphasis. “I was a youth once too, you know. I understand that all of you think yourselves strong and mighty and invincible, but I’ve come to assure you rather simply that that is not the case.” He smiled wickedly down at the tired fellow, continuing his pacing.

“But… what is a statement without evidence. Here is what will happen. Marrow there will let each of you stand up, and if you so desire to remain loyal to your petty criminal king, then you may fight with me, and then, when I beat you into the ground, I will offer you the choice to join a real organization, where you can learn how to really be strong, and powerful, as opposed to having to rely on jumping a lone man in the street.”

“Understood?”
He whispered, his voice quiet as he waited for an opposing statement that never came. Instead, there were quiet and eager groans and grunts which elicited from the mouths of the haughty four.

“Right then, let’s start with the ‘tough’ one there.”The hybrid spoke, directing an accusatory finger towards the de-facto leader.



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As a note: Noth is a Grandmaster in Intimidation. That means that he's at least as scary as the Count from Sesame Street. Beware.

"The tyrant confuses those he can't convince, corrupts those he can't confuse, and crushes those he can't corrupt." - Anonymous
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Neronin
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Making New Friends

Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:16 am

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Neronin watched Mongrel speak to the young thugs. He watched the warrior carefully craft his image as they made these initial moves in Etzos. He thought about everything he knew of the man, or whatever he was. He was vicious and ruthless against his enemies, Neronin knew. And his mace may seem overly savage. But as Neronin watched he knew Mongrel possessed some sort of tactical mind, crafting this particular image for his future followers to latch onto. Neronin was impressed, not by the show, but by the foresight in Mongrel. Perhaps he was a competent man to lead on top of being vicious enough.

Neronin glanced up at the wall. He could smell the piss and vomit of arcs of drunken men around him, but he imaged the high Etzori walls were free of the stench. He imagined the elite in their expensive homes built into the most secure areas of the city could not smell the stench of too many men with too little to call their own. Neronin had smelled it all his life. His eyes fell onto Mongrel once again as he explained wheat would happen.

Neronin nodded at the glance Mongrel gave him to show he understood. The alleyway was lit up with bright green light as Neronin waved two fingers lazily and the first thug gasped in relief. Neronin’s witchbrand went dark again and his body shifted back out of the deathly mirage it had briefly changed to as the thug struggled to his feet. Neronin eyed the boy-man carefully. He turned to Mongrel, maintaining a steady trickle of ether into the Sap spell that still held the others in a weakened state. Neronin watched with a cold eye as the thugs on the ground grew paler and started to shiver as the Sap drained them of heat and energy.

The necromancer’s eyes turned back to the two now squaring off against each other, Mongrel and the thug. He watched as they engaged and observed the skill of both men. He himself had never been much of a fighter, and his form depicted that. He was thin and not especially defined in terms of muscle. What he lacked in physical strength though, he made up for in the not so subtle signed of magic prowess across his body. Even now the witchbrand flickered and glowed with a green light as he give out ether to the Sap.

Mongrel was almost being tested by this young kid. He had speed and some skill with his fists. Neronin watched as the half-avriel exchanged a series of blows, wincing at a few well placed and loud impacts. He began to gather a secondary pool of power, just in case. The boy’s most dangerous attribute seemed to be the fact that he could take a punch. He was bleeding from a couple places on his face, a busted lip, a slashed eyebrow, and the bridge of his nose. He stayed up though. Neronin frowned. How would it be for Mongrel’s image if he was tired out in this first fight and the second man bested him?

Neronin thought it prudent to intercede a bit on his ally’s behalf. Neronin stepped up and waited for his chance. When Mongrel hit the thug and the young man went sprawling towards him, Neronin shoved him back towards Mongrel. As he did so, the necromancer let out a pulse of Sap directly into the chest of the boy. He groaned and slumped as he sprawled towards Mongrel.

That was all the Al’Angyryl leader needed. He struck him with and elbow across the jaw and sent the man’s head spinning sideways violently. He slumped into Mongrel and the beast-man struck up hard into his abdomen with a vicious knee strike, and then another. After that the boy slumped to the ground and Mongrel kicked him back down. He lay, panting and heaving as blood oozed from his mouth. He was just as still and weak as the others, but no Sap was draining him.
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Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:07 pm

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There was little done by the hybrid that didn’t classify as a performance. The way he dressed and appeared both amplified his natural terror, and he appealed to the sense of fear as though it were a close friend. He had chosen to amplify that particular facet of himself as best he could, arranging his visage to be that of a monstrous antagonist so that he might inspire fear in the hearts of those who would deny him his ambitions. His words themselves had been chosen carefully as well; disheartening to hear, but not entirely without hope. He had berated the current leadership of the thugs, but had offered them the opportunity to improve themselves, and had thus prevented himself from making the mistake of trapping them into a corner. Men became far more vicious when they had no choices but life and death.

Young men had a propensity and natural respect for violent action; a tendency that had been exploited throughout generations by those landholders who had deigned it necessary to go to war. Why should they risk their own flesh and blood in battle when they could send those who were eager for scrapping and atrocity? That had been one of the reasons that the hybrid had decided to fight each of them individually, because he knew that in their youthful minds, they would see his beating them as his being superior over them. Dominance among the youth was quite easy to achieve, because they lacked vision, and thus did not seek for vision in their leadership, only strength, and the hybrid had plenty of martial ability that he could call upon at a whim.

There was a rather large difference in fighting techniques which occurred when one was trying not to maim or murder someone they were attacking. The ‘Leader’ of the young men had been chosen first, because his loss would demoralize those under him, and because the hybrid recognized realistically that he would be more tired after each subsequent fight, and it seemed reasonable to assume that the mouthpiece of the thugs would be the strongest among them. Still, it was not nearly as easy a conflict as he had expected it to be; partially due to his lack of weaponry, and partially because he had self-imposed a restriction on using his talons for fear that he might slash through an artery by mistake and leave the poor sap twitching upon the floor in a pool of his own blood.

It was this non-murderous mindset that had made it so difficult to down his opponent. He could have killed him in less than a trill if that had been his game, because the man’s technique was downright sloppy, and the way he threw punches left much to be desired in terms of power and poise. Nonetheless, being unable to simply slash open his heel and then rip his face off with his talons had put the hybrid at something of a disadvantage, and what had been meant to be a quick display of martial prowess quickly turned into a slug-fest. For all the stranger’s lack of experience, he still managed to land every other hit on the Avriel, and he seemed intelligent enough to realize that any blows to the armor would be utterly negated by it. Thankfully, having a vast majority of his body protected by the steel armament made it far easier to predict the target of the man’s blows, and that allowed the hybrid to block several of his more pronounced movements.

Despite their difference in skill, the hybrid could still feel the light trickle of blood swirling about his mouth from a busted lip, and the mild pulsation of a headache in its formation after his brain had been rattled around his skull. The subsequent pain was negligent when compared to the agony that he had suffered at the hands of legitimate weapons or bestial instruments, but it was a dull ache that he certainly preferred was absent. Whilst he had suffered a few wounds, the young man had definitely taken the brunt of the fighting, his face covered in spots of blood and cuts which would give him a battered appearance for several trials.

It was the subtle intercession of Marrow that allowed him to bring the fight to a close, the necromancer suddenly inserting another bout of his exhausting power into the fellow, and slowing his reaction times just enough for the hybrid to catch him across the head with a strike from his elbow. Blood and saliva splashed forcefully from his lips as he performed a dancer’s pirouette from the blow, and a couple of blows of the Avriel’s knee to his stomach brought him down for the count.

The hybrid took a moment to catch his breath, rather casually wiping away the blood from his lip; hidden away by his feathered exterior, and flicking the crimson substance out onto the ground.

“You have potential. I do hope you don’t squander it.” He spoke after a few moments, nodding his head towards the man who remained upon the ground, giving some semblance of a nod in acceptance of the compliment, though the action elicited a fresh groan from his throat.

“Next.” He uttered, casting a glance at the remaining trio, and diverting a feathered phalange towards the nearest of them, choosing him from the group for the next round of combat. He had seriously considered taking a few more bits to rest himself up, and regain his composure, but if he did not work quickly through their ranks, then they would know that they had the potential to hurt him, and that would not have done for the image of an invincible foe that he was attempting to imprint upon them.

Subtly, he placed a hand behind his back, giving Marrow a thumbs up for his assistance throughout the last match, but he quickly followed by shaking his index figure in a negative pattern as if to encourage him not to interfere with this next bout. It was handy that the necromancer had interfered the first time, but if the hybrid simply allowed him to fight all of his battles, then he would become weak in the process.

The next fighter seemed somewhat younger than the leader, though he wore a scowl upon his youthful face nonetheless, as though he fully expected himself to last longer than his counterpart. He moved around upon his feet rather hastily, bouncing between them with expedient energy in a manner reminiscent of the fighters which commonly graced the more illegal form of arena. Noth noted that even his spitting upon the ground was taken with more vigor than he might have exerted in a similar situation.

To say that it was all for show would have been rather a hasty assumption. The fellow genuinely did have quick reflexes, though he was easily confused about the nature of an incoming blow. The twilight hybrid swung first, his arm going for a direct blow to the boy’s head which was quickly dodged. The younger man did not have the same intelligence as the first, and he pounced forward, delivering a straight punch to the Avriel’s chainmail which; while technically felt, accomplished nothing more than bloodying his own knuckle. He hissed in pain, and the opportunistic bird latched onto the moment, heaving himself forward and latching onto the cloth of his shirt with his left hand. He drew back his right, and promptly pounded the brat in the eye with the blow, sending him whirring backwards, the blood vessel having been popped in a single blow. Crimson ran across his iris in mock imitation of the Prince’s own, and he charged forth back into the fray with the violent rage known only to berserkers and those foolish enough to not come up with plans of attack.

The Avriel had already determined that it would be too risky to slash at his foe with his talons, but that did not mean that the boy himself knew of the self-imposed restriction. The hybrid kicked outwards, bringing the boy’s charge to a skidding stop, and promptly granting the initiative back to the bird. The Avriel went for his opportunity, swinging rapidly though without much weight over his head. The move had been rather notably displayed for the child’s benefit, and he ducked under it as the Avriel had expected, already moving to deliver his own blow when the arm promptly reversed direction, and the metallic vambrace attached to his forearm made contact with the side of the boy’s head, sending him sprawling to the ground with a metallic din.

His ear and the right side of his head immediately turned red, and Noth recognized the subtle signs that indicated swelling would occur. He prepared to deliver a kick to the man’s head, but the soft groaning noise that he emitted, and the way his hands refused to leave his wounded skull made it rather evident that that particular match had been ended.

“Next.”
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Credit to Pegasus


As a note: Noth is a Grandmaster in Intimidation. That means that he's at least as scary as the Count from Sesame Street. Beware.

"The tyrant confuses those he can't convince, corrupts those he can't confuse, and crushes those he can't corrupt." - Anonymous
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Neronin
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Making New Friends

Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:45 am

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Neronin let himself laugh softly as Mongrel dispatched the second thug with the usual nonchalant violence. It was brutal and physical in ways Neronin didn’t usually implement. It was highly intimidating in its brutality. Neronin had to commend the seemingly effortless impression Mongrel had imposed on these thugs. Already they shot furtive glances at him as though he was some beast from nightmare. It was not the method he would use, but it worked. If it were up to him, Neronin pondered, he would simply sap them all until they were frigid, frightened victims, then he would Wither one of them to death.

“Next.”

Neronin was shaken out of his imagined torture and back into the reality of this one. He glanced at Mongrel to see if he was indeed ready for another. The dark figure was breathing hard, but his red eyes were sharp and his stance strong. Neronin nodded to the ring leader and stepped forward to the two remaining bangers. Both were now dangerously pale. He could tell the sap was chilling them both to the point that they could soon suffer lasting damage.

“Well, looks like one of you is going to be able to warm up,” he nudged each with his toe. “You’re quite welcome.” Neronin crouched down between the two remaining thugs and stared from one to the other. “Who wants the next shot at glory?” He asked quietly.

One of the remaining bangers seemed to whimper in pain and fear, casting his eyes towards the dirt alleyway inches below his face. His red hair was matted with dust and dirt. He pressed his face into the dirt to avoid Neronin’s eyes. Neronin shifted his stare to bore into the other. The mage felt his heart skip as his eyes met with a hard look of defiance and anger in the second boy. He seemed the youngest. Neronin felt an undeniable sense of respect for that defiance.

The boy spoke as Neronin met his stare. “Let me up! I’m next, and last.” He fought against Neronin’s spell even as he said it. The boy pressed his fists into the dirt to raise himself up. But Neronin set his hand on his shoulder and pressed him slowly back down. He turned his gaze onto the fearful boy instead.

Neronin lifted the spell on the boy. “No, you’re next.” He glanced down at the remaining, defiant boy. He would be problematic. Neronin twisted the Sap to converge completely on him. “Time to find some bravery, you pathetic cur.” Neronin spat at the redhead.

As Neronin lifted the spell, the redhead struggled to his feet. The boy shot a furtive glance between his felled comrades and Mongrel. Then he bolted towards the far end of the alleyway. Neronin watched him go for a moment, surprised at the vigor of his escape. With a muttered curse in Ith’ession the necromancer thrust his hand out in front of him. A moment later his shadow had clawed its way from the ground into a hunching figure before him. The green light of Neronin’s witchbrand once again illuminated the alleyway as his entire form became gaunt and undead. “Get him and bring him back.” Neronin told the Haunt as he shifted back into his regular appearance.

The shadowy Haunt tore through the intervening space between it and the redhead. The thing clawed at the thug’s back and there was a scream. Neronin watched as the shadowy monstrosity, with the influx of his own power, dug its claws shallowly into the thugs shoulder and grasped him. The boy screamed and whimpered as the monster began to drag him slowly back towards Neronin and Mongrel. He did not, however, try to defend himself. Neronin was grateful for that meekness of willpower, otherwise his Haunt may have dispersed back into ethereal shadow.

Neronin looked expectantly back at Mongrel as the Haunt deposited the redhead at their feet and shattered back into its role as Neronin’s ghastly shadow. The thing’s green eyes eyed them all with unconcealed hate and anger from the ground. Neronin refocused his efforts on stemming the flow of power to the last and final thug under his Sap spell. He did not want to overstep in this situation, nor did he want to inadvertently and irreparably damage the boy. After all, they were supposed to be recruiting rather than combating, according to Mongrel.
“That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die.” - Lovecraft
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Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:26 pm

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Pain became so much easier to suppress when it had been surpassed in the past. The hybrid probably would have cared far more about being stricken upon the face if he hadn’t already been stabbed through the leg once with a sword. Once you experienced a pain of that caliber, it became relatively simple to power through anything under that level. Nonetheless, there was still a physical toll that was taken upon the hybrid as he continued to fight through the contestants, and the breath hauling in his chest behind his armor was evidence enough of that. His cheeks were sore, and his ear pulsed dully with the thump of his heartbeat, his hands shook with some mild suffering, but in total, he was well-equipped for his next bout of combat.

Thankfully, despite all of his physical toughness, his opponents were coming out of a far worse condition when they came to brawl with him. Crimson eyes glared upon them as they writhed upon the floor, unable to move more than the slightest twitches of their body as their energy was gradually sapped from them. He had personally never experienced the sapping sensation, but he had seen it in use a few times now, and he could only imagine the level of exhaustion that must have plagued them as they were finally released from their imposed stasis.

The necromancer accepted his command for another opponent, and promptly strolled between the two remaining young men, prodding them with his foot in what appeared to be an attempt at ascertaining how strong they actually were. The twilight hybrid was appreciative for the notion, especially when Marrow settled upon the weakest of the pair, the one who cowered even at the necromancer; though, admittedly if someone strolled up to him and suddenly stole away his ability to move, he probably wouldn’t view them in such a pleasant light either. A slight smirk crossed his face, but it was quickly removed as the redheaded boy stood upon his feet, cast a quick glance towards the damage which had already been inflicted upon his superiors, and the opponent he now faced, and promptly retreated down the alleyway with the speed that only frightened prey could muster.

He jerked forward in response to the fleeing foe, though his weighty armor and his tiredness over the previous fights brought him to a figurative crawl when compared to the far faster flight of the retreating redhead. A quick glance towards Marrow and his relative calm revealed that the situation was entirely under control, however, and he observed with mild curiosity as the necromancer seemingly pulled his own shadow from its place upon the ground, and commanded it to return the boy to them. The twilight hybrid had observed shadowy creatures before, which was probably why he wasn’t stricken with immediate shock at the prospect, but he had been unaware that his ally possessed such capabilities. The shadow beasts he had fought in the Battle for Treid’s Heart had been somewhat difficult to dispel, though fire had proven to be incredibly effective against them, and the hybrid immediately began to calculate the assumed efficiencies of various weapons when brought to bear against the palpable and haunting figure of darkness Marrow had dispatched.

The abominable creation shot towards the coward, ripping through the space between them with a speed reminiscent of an arrow leaving a bow. It caught him in only a couple of trills, promptly latching onto him with its shadowy appendages which elicited a shriek of pain and fear from the boy. The man shook and whimpered like a pathetic beast underneath the shadow, but he made no efforts to escape, though it was difficult to tell whether that was due to shock or because he thought any further attempts would be futile in the face of so speedy a monster.

It deposited the coward at his feet, and promptly returned to its master, dissipating into the ground and losing any palpability about itself as it faded into nothing more than his ever-present shadow. He would certainly need to question his ally about the abilities and requisites surrounding usage of such minions, but he deigned it unnecessary to converse of such things in the midst of others. After all, if he displayed an expression befitting someone who was familiar with such dark and terrible things, then it would further the impression of control he was attempting to overlay into the hearts of the prospective recruits.

He smiled and nodded towards Marrow in acceptance and respect over his use of power, and then turned his crimson gaze upon the whimpering animal ahead of him. He stepped forward, strolling confidently towards the man, and stopped only a foot away from him. With a quiet hiss of frustration, he took hold of the collar of the young man’s tunic, and yanked him into an upright position, settling his remaining hand on the fellow’s cheek so that he could direct his attention wherever he desired. He forced him to look into his face, pinching the flesh on his face as he did so with some unnecessary roughness; punishment for retreating from adversity, and promptly broke into deep and throaty chuckle, grinning devilishly at the nervous and apprehensive hostage.

“I’m afraid that you cannot simply run away from your problems. We monsters are far faster than you are, after all.” He hissed a sound of disgust, throwing the man backwards onto the ground and allowing him to curl once more into a frightened position befitting his status. “Pathetic. We will cull such weakness from you, boy. Take note of your betters, though they failed they attempted, surely you could do as much?” He shook his head in feigned pity and stepped away from the man. By insinuating that the weakling could look towards his betters, he had set a goal for him to aspire too, hopefully leaving a pathway so that he could better himself and thus become a more efficient minion in the future. Simultaneously, by lowering the social position of the redhead, he had also enacted a feeling of superiority in those who had already failed, admitting that they possessed some ability over their peer which would likely improve their self-worth. Whilst he didn’t expect any blatant appreciation of his words, he did expect for there to be a sub-conscious shift in their thoughts towards him, though, realistically he also knew he wasn’t an expert in psychological matters.

“Speaking of betters.” He uttered as he drew near to the final foe, gesturing with an open palm towards Marrow in signal. “You seem eager. Be careful lest your boldness lead you into stupidity.”

Yes, he had felt pain in the past… and it had taught him how to hurt others too.



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Credit to Pegasus


As a note: Noth is a Grandmaster in Intimidation. That means that he's at least as scary as the Count from Sesame Street. Beware.

"The tyrant confuses those he can't convince, corrupts those he can't confuse, and crushes those he can't corrupt." - Anonymous
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Freya DuCarinos
Posts: 318
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:52 pm
Race: Biqaj
Profession: Drug Trafficker
Renown: +65
Character Sheet
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Making New Friends

Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:39 am

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I'm so deeply impress with your writing Noth, as well as you, Neronin. Both of you have maintained a kind of flow throughout the story that is both captivating and exciting. Not a lot of people understand how important flow is, or the chemistry between writers but you both have nailed it on the head. I especially thought the thumbs up and finger tsking was funny, hahah. If I'm honest, I've never read a thread of yours until now and I'm very upset with myself that I didn't start sooner. Lovely job, you guys are really great at this stuff!

Noth

Points: 15
Fame: -3 For Roughing Up Some Thugs
Skill Knowledge:
Unarmed: Taking a Hit
Unarmed: Knowing Where to Strike
Unarmed: Inflicting Painful Blows
Intimidation: Taking Big Guys First
Intimidation: Severing Hostile Leadership
Intimidation: Pressganging Gangsters
Injuries: Bruises From Fighting - will take 7 trials to heal.
Loot: N/A
Magic: N/A

Neronin

Points: 15
Fame: -2 use of magic, -5 arcane torture
Skill Knowledge:
Tactics: making enemies fight 1v1
Tactics: weakening enemies with magic
Tactics: defeating the strongest first
Business Management: Intimidating the competition
Business Management: Promoting Respect for the Boss
Business Management: Recruiting Members through alternative methods
Business Management: Leadership through intimidation
Business Management: Respecting the Hierarchy
Injuries: N/A
Loot: N/A
Magic: Yes
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