One Year Ago A dark room overlooked an immense stained glass display spread across the floor, it's myriad of glassy colors glowing dimly from the lights beneath it. Two figures stood upon a circular balcony several feet from its surface, looking through the clear glass portions to see another room beneath it. They spoke in hushed tones, despite being the only souls present. "She spoke the words? How?" a young woman asked, clearly concerned, "What happened? What did they do?" The similarly-aged man beside her gripped the guardrails tightly, eyeing something obscured beneath the glass floor. He sighed and lifted his gaze. "I cannot be sure. I know only the results," he said. The girl inched closer, expecting more. "And...?" "All of them. Dead. I'm glad you did not hear of the incident. It means I did my job well," the boy smiled. "But we do not know if her words... if the translation... was truly...?" she had a hard time finding the words, clearly bewildered by something. "Is she at least aware?" "Well aware," he said, "Enough to cry. To apologize for days. I wouldn't be surprised if she is still teary." The young woman looked down at the floor, eyes wrought with worry. "She'll remain here, for the time being. I want to make certain she will not use it carelessly." The boy gave no goodbyes and turned away, disappearing into a staircase downwards. Out of earshot, the girl mumbled to herself. "We'll see about that." Present Day @Psyker Landshark @ERode @R-9 Pilot Days prior, it was well-known within the Aesil Borough that the princess had already sent several of her champions to "take the Throne". Not to be considered treasonous, most of the population kept quiet about it, careful not to let the information spread too quickly to the other boroughs. Still, Efrida seemed quite content with allowing others to know; eventually someone would come running to fight back. What mattered to her was the simple act of being the first to have a strong presence in the First Borough. It carried weight to it. And so, standing at the foot of the Aesil Castle throne, the three young champions could only assume that their presence there had something to do with the taking of the Throne. Efrida was not present at the time but her subordinate, the young High Guard Captain Francisca, awaited at the side of her throne, looking all too stern for so young a girl. She shot daggers at the three whenever they looked her way, unfriendly in every sense. Eventually the princess arrived, stepping in from a side hallway at the back of the room. Clad in her token green armor, her conviction in welcoming the coming storm seemed all the more clear. Francisca bowed heavily as she stepped in front of her, standing up only once the princess began to speak. Her gaze traced across the three champions, critical for two and welcoming for one. Efrida's eyes halted upon Lyssa and her mouth quickly spread into a grin; she was unable to help it. "As you should know, I have secured the First Borough, though I have yet to truly sit on Drisbane's throne. I will, in due time, but for now I require assistance in assuring no one is as bold as I," she began, "Already several of my champions have been sent there, but I must be sure. I need more... experienced, champions to remain here, but I also must bolster the throne's defenses. And so I have called upon you, or rather..." Efrida turned to Francisca, "...My Captain has attested to your skills, and notified me." Standing tall with her hands on her hips, Efrida rose her voice with an even greater commanding attitude. "You are to meet with the other champions in the First Borough and work towards securing it from the enemies of Aesil." @Torack @Beta A strong scent of incense filled the sunlit room. The doors were all open, welcoming in the warm sunlight from a balcony just beside it. Upon the tatami mats, a set of pillows were set out for the two Palace champions to sit. Konyuu Shora was already situated upon one of them, awaiting patiently. Tea was laid out as well, though Konyuu did not touch hers. A young boy sat quietly outside of the room, dressed in drab colors with a tray next to him. Clearly expecting the two to take their seats without being asked, Konyuu remained quiet, eyes closed and face serene. For several minutes, the group kept painfully quiet, awaiting two others to arrive. The two in question, Utashou Hokoa and Aosoki Hime, arrived a bit more noisily, the young princess trotting along happily through the hallways loud enough to be heard before she was seen. Planting themselves on their own pillows (Aosoki a bit more messily then her cousin), Konyuu finally opened her eyes and reached for her tea. With a smile, Utashou spoke softly and politely to the champions seated before her, "As you may have heard, the Aesil have made quite the move." She closed her eyes and sighed, "Troublesome to say the least, but certainly not the end of the world." As she spoke, Kato found Aosoki's eyes glued to his face, a slight grimace painted over her expression. "We would respond in force, but I am unsure of where they have truly gone within the First Borough. We have no one stationed there, after all," Utashou said, hint of malice in her voice. "I have opted to send a smaller team to scout out the area. You two, along with Konyuu, will enter the First Borough at your discretion, search in secret for the majority of Aesil's forces, and report back to me. Understood?" @RJS @Charlie @Azathoth Since the Madurn Covenant had perished, the Library of Goetia had become a much more sullen place. With no more new teachings, many of the Librarians had simply left the faction to pursue other interests, and as very few of the Librarians were children in the first place, the Library was left with a measly two caretakers. The immensity of it, and the presence of only two individuals ultimately led to a dreary, lonely, and quiet atmosphere. Kaileb, however, utilized its peace and quiet to his advantage, stationing an office within its halls to serve as the new "headquarters" for Goetia. Tucked away amidst countless bookshelves, staircases, and desks, his tiny office was decorated with a rather fancy carpet, a few chairs, and his desk. He embodied simplicity. That, or his office was a mere ruse to the location of his true hideaway. Four Goetia champions stood before his desk, called there mere minutes prior by a number of messengers stressing expediency. Kaileb sat behind his rather pristine desk, various items and knick-knacks placed perfectly and purposefully. Seeming almost pleased with his ability to gather individuals before him without having to get up from his seat. "Mornin' folks," he greeted as he leaned back, raising his legs up onto his desk, "Glad you could, uh. Participate. I need a favor." Kaileb launched himself forwards and rested his elbows on the desk. "You might remember Astra, yea? Pretty girl, worked pretty closely with me? Went missing a few days ago? Turns out a few people caught wind of her in Drisbane, and I'd love for you guys to go and check things out. See if you can't get her to come back, or at least reach out to me," he paused, "If she was actually seen, that is, and the rumors are to be trusted." Clanna, one of the champions present, spoke up, "You still don't know why she left? She didn't talk to you or anything?" Kaileb shook his head. "I'm about as confused as anyone else," he said, retrieving a map from his desk drawer. "Right here," Kaileb pointed on the map to a spot in the Guardian Borough, "Is where she was supposedly seen. Residential area of the Guardian Borough. Maybe ask around before continuing on with your search. Just... don't piss off any police while you're there." @Jakers @The_J @Meira "Here, goofs," Mimo stated bluntly, chucking a crumpled-up wad of paper at Halberd, Terren, and Eleena. Halberd fumbled to catch it, while Eleena and Terren caught theirs easily. Warden Mimo quickly slung her musket over her shoulder, letting it rest on her back, and moved towards the door, beckoning her comrades to follow. As they made their way out of her office, she elaborated on the mission, clearly eager to get moving rather than stay cooped up in her office the entire time. "We got ourselves a vampire in our midst, apparently," she explained, "Been getting a couple cases now from residents about waking up with bite marks and blood on their necks and shoulders. Gotta' get rid of it." As the other three champions unraveled the paper wads, they were met with a bounty listing a thousand silver coins for the capture of death of the vampire. No small sum of money. The neighborhood watchman was apparently impatient enough to throw up a bounty rather than wait for the Guardians he already payed taxes for. More than likely, he was seeking expediency. As the troop exited the Guardian quarters and the sun fell hot and heavy upon them, Mimo blew a long and sharp whistle, replied afterwards by a avian shriek in the distance. "I can't imagine it'll be too hard. I've got a sense for these sorts of things," Mimo prodded her chest with a thumb, "We'll head into the neighborhood, scope things out, find em', and get rid of em'." Turning away from the group, she mumbled something quietly to herself. "So," she rolled her shoulders, "Whose ready to hunt a vampire?" Unaffiliated @Zombehs @Skyswimsky @AceSorcerer @Shattered♦Secrets™ @kingdomkeylight All around the city, flyers had been plastered up on walls, detailing a tournament of sorts, and inviting those who think themselves mighty to participate. Prior to the First Sentence, being a champion was considered a particularly tedious and serious "job", and the parents of champion-children were apt to prevent constant fights from breaking out, even if they were merely for fun. With such parentage gone, it wasn't uncommon to see brawls and the like cropping up all the time in Drisbane. A tournament, while no different, was at least a moderated event. Too many kids were itching to prove themselves, and a sanctioned and "safe" modem to allow it was welcomed by the more mature individuals. "Tournament for Drisbane's mighty! Prize money for victors! Come test your strength against each other, or go straight for the gold and go against Aesil's one and only Lizaine! Faction scouters galore! Saturday only! Aesil Borough's Olgre Arena! Be there!" A small message was present in fine-print at the very bottom. Free meals to all participants. The arena itself was simple enough, certainly not as drastic and fancy as the more prized fighting pits of Aesil's land. Large enough to fit a few hundred individuals in seats, and plenty more for standers, it appeared quite busy for those champions who choose to participate. At the bottom floor of the arena, a young boy and girl sat at a desk, painting various individuals hands with a black dot to signify their inclusion in the tournament. As the champions approached, they were explained the rules before being handed a meal ticket, then had their hands marked by the paint before being sent further into the arena where many more were gathered. Situated below the crowd's seating area, the participants lobby was dark, though had a eye-level view of the pit itself, empty for the time being.