• Solo • How to Pick a Victim 101

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Aerlan
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Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:57 pm
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How to Pick a Victim 101

29th of Zi'da, 716
Weakness. It is what makes a victim out of any person. To the creatures of the vast animal kingdom, victim is just another word for prey. The lion never attacks the head of a pack, nor do the wolves attack a group of strong, healthy deer. No. These predators seek out the infirm, the weak, the solitary. Hunting a man is fundamentally the same. The question that matters is which people fit such a description in the context of humanity and civilization. Someone sick may be kept under surveillance within a clinic, making them an unfit target. A child is weak but lives under the protection of parents and family. A lone warrior can still be a mighty foe. It comes down to the variables. If that infirm person is kept watch on by a full staff or is it one lone, tired healer? Is that child under scrutiny from the family or is it left to its own devices until the parents are needed? Is that warrior injured, old, or sleeping? A single variable can turn anyone into a perfect prey. All that is needed is observation and patience.

These thoughts were on Aerlan's mind as he walked leisurely along. His black booted steps had taken him from his rented residence a few hours before and on a journey throughout the southern half of Etzos' Outer Perimeter. Usually, the Citizen's Market kept his curiosity entertained for hours. Hundreds of people zipping about their pointless lives fascinated him to no end. Where were they going? What were they buying? Why did one man apologize for rudeness and another laugh cruelly at the same act? There was always something to learn.

However, today his feet took him north. The shakes had come upon him in full. The Frayed kept his entire left arm hidden beneath his wolf-skin cloak to hide its constant trembling. A single bead of sweat dripped off his thin brow despite the cold season. It was time to feed the desire. No amount of discipline could stop it for long, and he didn't want it to. Addiction was such a complete word, Aerlan thought. It encompasses the entirety of what it truly is. A curse, a pleasure, and need. His curse and his pleasure came from the deaths and devouring of souls. The bond with his Harvester was too beneficial to ever let die, no matter the cost. Aerlan's addiction and his sociopathic nature were the best of two worlds. He could feed his need and yet feel no qualms about the manner of it. Flaying a child or grandfather was no different than Flaying a criminal. A victim was nothing more than prey. No predator ever felt guilt over its meal. Neither would Aerlan.

"No animal can devour a delectable soul either, brother. Such a fine course is meant only for the Apex Predator," whispered Glaren. Two yellow eyes blinked before the Eidisi then disappeared.

Aerlan grunted in agreement, gripping his right side with the trembling left limb. He was making a counter-clockwise journey along the outer perimeter. Ahead, he knew the Outer Crafting Zone would soon be in sight. I have my magic...but I do not have anything for the more mundane necessities... With no martial training, I should pick a simple weapon. Easily hidden but deadly... A dagger. A perfect tool in many cases. He would need to buy one for certain. Quickening the pace, he strode passed the tower of the Veterinarian Station without a glance and entered his destination shortly after. The mage didn't waste his time perusing stalls upon entering the crafting area. His future purchase already in mind, emotionless eyes scanned each stall and, upon locating a small blacksmith stall, his feet took him there with haste.

Ignorance concerning metalwork and weapons in general led the mage to a staring contest with the stall's contents. Before him lay multiple small, bladed weapons. Of those present, he only recognized the daggers, stilettos, and krises. His intended purpose for the tool led him to immediately disregard the last option. Krises also too unique to go unnoticed if seen. A quick trip inside homicidal fantasy led him to realize that a stiletto was unfit as well. Aerlan did not currently possess the knowledge or skill to stab anyone with such a blade and hope to hit a vital organ that would induce death as silently and efficiently as possible. This left him with only the daggers. By the time this decision was made, the stall clerk noticed him and approached.

"Greetings, good s-sir!" The man's words faltered slightly as he took in the appearance of the customer. Eidisi were a rarity in Etzos. "W-we have the best blades in Etzos, as I'm sure you can see. Please, what can I get for you today? Any will do well in defense of your person. If I may be so bold, I'd suggest the stiletto or a dagger." His hands indicated the displayed weapons. "The dagger is more varied in uses however, whether hunting, fighting, or merely in need of a tool."

Aerlan sized up the man and sighed. "I agree with your assessment. A dagger is indeed what I need," he stated as he glanced at those on display though he could tell no difference in quality. "Which would you suggest?"

The man smiled openly and picked up two daggers. Both glinted wickedly but one had a handle wrapped in black leather and the other had a wooden handle with artistic carvings. Utility mattered far more than looks to the mage so he pointed towards the former choice.

"Fine choice! Fine, indeed, good sir. A good quality blade for any occasion! That's 8gn, if you will." The man smiled warmly.

Eyes utterly cold stared back at that warm smile and Aerlan looked at the goods and then to the stalls around him, finding another stall with similar merchandise. "8gn seems a bit steep, I must admit. Why, the gentleman down the way offered me a similar blade but for 7gn. A sheath was thrown in as well, as a courtesy. Sad to say, I must go back to him. You are a kind fellow but business is business. I'm sure you understand." Aerlan nodded his head and faked his best smile as he spoke the lies, then started to turn away.

The stall clerk immediately called out, his voice a pitch higher than before. "W-wait, sir! I misspoke. My mind had been upon the other blade! Sir, this one is merely 6gn. And of course a sheath comes with it, black as the handle to match." His smile was strained but genuine as far as Aerlan could tell.

Aerlan kept his smile on but attempted to put some warmth in his usually monotone voice. "Ah! I give thanks to you, sir. Certainly, this blade would be best for me," the mage stated as he pulled out and handed the man 6gn. With the transaction done and new blade sheathed comfortably on his left hip, Aerlan's steps led him towards the northern exit to the crafting area.

His gaze turned to the sky above. Daylight was beginning to wain and night would soon be here. Now, to find a victim.
word count: 1234
"Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist. He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore if it be goodness. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world... No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature. Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it. A man is to carry himself in the presence of all opposition, as if every thing were titular and ephemeral but he. I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance"
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How to Pick a Victim 101

Darkness deepened over the next break as Aerlan made his way through the two northern sections of the Outer Civilian Housing area. The scenery here looked quite similar to the southern area, which should not have surprised the Eidisi. The same single story wooden homes surrounded carefully by adobe residences filled the area. Every so often empty lots would be present, many filled with the squatters living in tents. The poor may have few choices, but they ask for catastrophe to live on the edge in such shoddy dwellings. One can only assume that guards don't waste much time assisting this lot. Perfect. Further upon his wandering, the mage noticed that the houses were built all the way back towards the edge of ward ring. Although the residences were not close enough for any invader to leap from roof to wall, there was still plenty of room for a person of ill-intent to lurk about while waiting for opportune moments to do whatever skulduggery was planned. Growing bored, the Frayed mage walked back and forth between the northern housing areas a few more times to make sure nothing unexpected was present. It was the same as his own southern residency.

With the scouting mission over with, Aerlan was left with two general targets. Most appealing was to target a lone tent-dweller at the farthest edge of the outer perimeter. He could wait until darkness had settled on fully and then stalk his prey. This left the chance sound may escape if his attempted ambush was anything like the dead sailor the day he arrived in Etzos. Another tempting option, albeit somewhat riskier, would be to choose a wooden residence closest to the edge of the ward ring with an occupancy of three or less. Choosing this option left him with a bit more fun to be had. Well, perhaps not fun but it would at least allow for a greater testing of his aberrant abilities. Afterall, only one soul needed to be Flayed. Anyone else was merely collateral.


You have yet to kill a single person in this city with our power. You are becoming very boring, albeit a good caretaker. Come now! Why bond with me if you won't enjoy the gifts it comes with? I've got some ideas you may enjoy, should your own imagination fail you...

The decision was made before he knew it. A young human couple, looking to be no older than twenty-five arcs and walking arm-in-arm in the opposite direction, approached him. Both were dressed in good cotton clothes without a sign of wear. Despite their differing sexes, Aerlan noticed both were dressed nearly identical in basic brown trousers and white shirts. The female of the two had a hat of a sort Aerlan didn't know the name of. Not one to ever question the absurdity of gender roles, he merely eyed the two as they got closer. Upon more direct scrutiny, Aerlan realized the two were twins from the general shape of their eyes to the same smile that lit both's faces. As the two passed, the brother bumped into Aerlan's trembling left side and continued on without missing a step or offering an apology. Aerlan stopped and turned to stare at the retreating figures, waiting expectantly for some form of politeness. None came. I cannot abide by rudeness. His eyes lit slightly with annoyance and the mage changed his direction to follow the two.

Keeping his footfalls as soft as possible, he stalked them with a growing eagerness. His attempts at stealth mattered little. The twins laughed and talked together as if nothing else mattered in the world. Every so often, the woman would point at some residence and make a comment before skipping off to be chased by her brother. A full break passed thus and Aerlan wondered when they would ever just go home. To his recollection, they had looped through the northern housing quarter at least twice with no pattern to their wanderings. It came as a great boon to the Eidisi when the two finally stopped outside an adobe residence close to the edge of the ward ring. Not wooden as preferred but he could make do without torching the dwelling after the deed had been accomplished.

Hurry up and go! They're right there.

Patience...

Aberrant and Harvester watched the brother pull a key and unlock the dwelling then both entered. By Aerlan's best guess, it had to be no more than the 20th break. Still breaks away from when most would be sleeping and guards were let down. Now with the victims chosen, all that was left was the deed.

Story continued here: http://standingtrials.com/viewtopic.php?f=169&t=4989
word count: 805
"Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist. He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore if it be goodness. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world... No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature. Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it. A man is to carry himself in the presence of all opposition, as if every thing were titular and ephemeral but he. I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance"
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How to Pick a Victim 101

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Come and get your loot!

(There's plenty more where that came from)


AERLAN:
Rewards:

  • Story: +5
  • Collaboration: +0 (solo)
  • Structure: +5

Knowledges:

  • Appraisal: Assessing the Most Logical Weapon Type
  • Appraisal: The Many Variables That Determine Prey
  • Blades: Dagger
  • Detection: The Guards' Interaction and Priorities Towards the Poor
  • Detection: The Look-Alike Features of Twins
  • Etzos Location: Citizen's Market
  • Etzos Location: Civilian Housing Quarters
  • Etzos Location: The Outer Crafting Zone
  • Etzos Location: Veterinary Stations
  • Hunting: Prey Selection Based on Rudeness
  • Logistics: Weighing an "Easy" Job, Against a More Rewarding One
  • Negotiation: Feigning Disinterest
  • Psychology: "Addiction" as a Rationale for Murder
  • Psychology: Animal Kingdom Analogies as Justification
  • Psychology: "Culling the Weak" as Justification
  • Psychology: Letting the Harvester Corroborate Your Rationales
  • Stealth: Avoid Owning Recognizable Weapons
  • Stealth: Keep Flay "Shakes" Hidden
  • Tactics: Distance Between Outer Rooftops and Inner Walls

Loot:

"Good" quality Dagger


Loss:

6gn


Injuries:



Fame: NA

Nothing yet...


Devotion:

Pffft....as if...


Comments:

I know this is just the set-up for the big hoedown.
tsk, tsk...targeting twins for a double homicide...
What would your mother say?? :shock:
PM me with any comments or concerns :)
word count: 186
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