OPEN SIGNUPS Nine Billion Names: Arc 1 - Leaving The Monastery

Excession

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OPEN SIGNUPS - NINE BILLION NAMES - OOC/Signup
OPEN SIGNUPS - NBN - Characters

The Hellsun beats down upon the blasted plains without mercy, cooking small demons to desiccated husks and condemning others to the wasting gold. A road of dense-packed bonedust leads into the shadow of a vast tree hung with prayer-strips, beyond which a low mesa is cast ever into Dreamfall.


Voices whisper riddles from the shadows cast by the gray-green leaves above, audible despite the melancholy wind-chimes somewhere ahead.


The Monastery of the Name lies at the foot of the mile-high tree, white stone dusted faintly red by the wind-swept sand, arranged in squat domes and obelisks within walls made of broken souls hammered into a glowing fence.


On the steps stands Alhambra Dun. At one side, the Demon Snicker-Snack. On the other, still as a statue, stands the abbess. If she had a name, she has not used it in some time. A First Circle Demon with ivory skin and black eyes, fifty hands tall in yellow-cream robes. She stares toward the patchwork curve of Hell's inward slope - from here on the equator, Pandemonium is twice visible; above the Hellsun and below.


"Soon we must part," she says, in a voice of falling ash.
 

Sideris

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Jelal

True to form.

His faces goes dead and his eyes focus somewhere between nothing and her face. It all becomes a grid in his mind, she expands and he contracts. Turning aside Shuubo's blade, Jelal pirouettes past and dips low, blade seeking the neck of the nearest two imps. Strange accordion motion sends the image of the Lightbringer springing in multiple directions at once.

Blood spatters into the wind like delicate flower petals.

 

Excession

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THE STATION

The bullet latches into Snicker-Snack's lip and growls. The station-keeper cackles.
"Li'l mimics," he says, sniffing the shotgun and peering into the barrel with a low, appreciative whistle. "I'd buy one o' this fr'm yuh."
Suddenly he looks up, nods to himself, and reaches into his kiosk.
"Train soon," he mutters.


ATOP THE EXPRESS

Shuubo uses the impact of your parry to shift her balance and retreat, blade weaving in a defensive pattern.

The imps take an extra heartbeat to realize they're dead. The survivors dart from your left and right, hoping to exploit a gap in your form and create an opening for their master.
 

Silvertongued

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Snicker-Snack

Nearly dropping the rifle as she wrestles with the munition clamped on her lip, Snack lets loose a high pitched whine. She manages to remove it with a yank, taking a not inconsiderable chunk out of her face meats in the process. This is followed by a scowl and muttered curses and hissing.

For a moment, she considers the writhing round in her hand, her jagged teeth grinding from side to side. A quick glance to the attendant, then to the bullet mimic, and then finally back to the rifle, Snacks grumbles and carefully slots the bullet back into the gun.

Handing the rifle back, she speaks up.

"If I'd a spare, I'd've maybe taken you up on that, but I ain't gonna go out with nuthin' in my holster," explains Snicker-Snack, tongue probing the gash in her lip, smoothing over the trickle of oily blood. "Sooner go butt-ass naked, and before you ask, no, that ain't on the table neither,"

She assumes what appears to be a half hearted attempt at poise, continuing.

"Maidens of Yrva have higher standards and higher prices than that," she intones haughtily.
 
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Sideris

Edgepeasant
Roleplay Invitations
Group Roleplays
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Several Posts a Day, A Few Posts A Day, A Few Posts a Week
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Adept, Adaptable
Genders You Prefer Playing
Male
Genre You DON'T Like
Nation Building, School, and probably a lot more I can't think of right now.
Jelal

“My soul is a gift to greater horrors than you, Shuubo. You know this, I know this. Bow to the law scrimshawed in our bones.” The imps are immaterial, chaff for lax combatants.

Focus.

Hubris. She would die plain. Feet parallel, Jelal turned to an old, unused stance from training in ages past. Rapidly shuffling forward, his sword danced in the light as the train passed over dun plains. At the very end of his track he launched into the air with powerful legs, overmatching the speed of the train, hurtled forward like a shooting star.

The apex of his leap, he shouts. "Your death is also granted to a greater horror--me."

 

FuzzMonster

Edgepeasant
Alhambra Dún

“In my time in the realm Infernal, I have learned to be surprised, and have practiced amusement, learning it carefully. These munitions fit wonderfully into my experience in this regard. Miss Snicker-Snack, and sir Station Master, I would like to tell you the story of Sir Hewen Bhael, finest archer whom I have ever known.”

Old eyes twinkle in a preternaturally young, barely wrinkled face.

“...and so, bereft of ammunition, Bhael looked to the bitemarks in his leg, and recalled the ferocity of his tiny weasel foe. Once, Hewen had sworn that he could shoot the moon with a green twig, so I suppose it occurred to him that his enemy’s eyesocket with a weasel would be an equal feat. Reaching....”

This sordid tale is briefly drowned out by the roar and rattle of the train clattering by not ten feet away, with its attendant death duel atop the cars. Alhambra sees blades flash, and very likely, a sword driven home, a death and a victor.

“...blood all over the fucking place. Shame, really.”
 

Excession

Socialist Agitator
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Not Taking RP Invites at this Time
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Favorite Genres
Horror, fantasy, sci-fi.
Genre You DON'T Like
Pure romance, slice of life.
The Stop

The stationmaster chuckles appreciatively, and holds out a pair of canvas balloons to Snack and Alhambra. He gestures for them to stand near the edge of the platform.
The train approaches and then begins to rumble by, borne on millions of bony insectile legs. A pair of arms unfold further along the length, and snatch the both the balloons and their holders.

The two are deposited unceremoniously inside a train car; empty but quite comfortably appointed. There is a sound of chaos on the roof above.

Atop The Express

There is a pause, a moment of sublime stillness where the vast sweep of the desert appears as unmoving as the train itself, only the wind in motion.
Shuubo stands in a defensive pose; the haft of her weapon placed to block Jelal's blade, her own blade poised to follow such an action with a slice to the throat. Beside her, Jelal stands with his blade now angled down in parallel with his forward leg.

A second passes, and light spills from a point at the centre of Shuubo's haft. Then from around her neck. Both the weapon and her head fall away in a gout of liquid gold.

Her body tumbles off the roof, lost to the plains.

The imps prostrate themselves immediately.
 

Silvertongued

Yes, this is dog
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Snicker-Snack

The imp squeals in glee as she's swung about, a high pitched sound that only grows in pitch with the speed of the train. It trails off breathlessly as they're set in place inside the train.

"Fuck yeah, free train ride!"

Snacks glances up towards the ceiling as the ruckus above makes its way down to her ears.

"And a show!" she beams at Alhambra, before starting to shove him towards the nearest exit. "Come on squishy, I don't wanna miss it!"
 

FuzzMonster

Edgepeasant
Alhambra Dún

Alhambra has spent decades cultivating iron will and control, sublimating his desires and finding inner peace, step, by step.

However, decades in pursuit of something is no guarantee of perfect success. A feral grin sneaks onto his face as he contemplates the sounds of carnage from above. and taking Snicker-Snack's directions handily, he shambles towards the side door of the rattling carriage. Along the way, his gentle, plodding gait steadies and becomes a catlike tread.

As he emerges on the side of the train and seizes a rung of the ladder leading up, he sees the back of his own hand, and sees that his nails are now about a centimetre long than they should be.

No. No need for that. This is just a show. That's all.

Halfway up the ladder, he extends a long arm, roped with muscle and bristling with hair and ink, back down, offering to swing miss Snicker-Snack up onto the roof.
 

Silvertongued

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Snicker-Snack

Cackling gleefully, the imp grabs Alhambra's hand, but rather than allow herself to be pulled up, she instead clambers up his arm and shoulder. Her tiny clawed feet, scrabble roughly against his ribs as Snack scurries onto the rooftop.

Cresting the lip of the rooftop, she pauses, taking in the scene. The circle of kneeling imps, the pattern of spattered gold across the rooftop, and the warrior standing in the epicentre of it all.

"Huh,"
 

FuzzMonster

Edgepeasant
Alhambra

The train rattles over the track, der-clack der-clack der-clack, and to that rhythm is added the sound of a slow yet sincere applause.

"Miss Snicker-Snack, I believe we are in the presence of an adept of the razor. Glad I am to have forsaken the sword!"

The old man's teeth are merely human again, his nails just that, blunt nails on blunt fingers.

"I beg your name, sir! And, at the present time, I beg nothing else. Yet."

Too much time in Hell will teach a person to be careful and legalistic in their phrasing.