OPEN SIGNUPS The Tale of An Chéad Toshi: Uruk IC Thread

alatartheblue42

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This is a sci-fi/fantasy RP. The Players are young Mages who have been brought to the Academy in order to develop their magical talent and protect their city. They will fight monsters that roam in the wilderness, investigate nefarious plots against King and Country, and so on. But that is all in their future. For now, after a bit of general plot setup, let us have the characters meet up, get to know one another, etc. We can feed them to monsters later.

The plot so far:
The students meet their teacher, Professor Yuki Okamoto, and have their first few days of instruction.

About a week into their Academy life, they are unexpectedly sent out on a mission to investigate the town of Normaden. They learn that a Witch, a powerful monster that sometimes grows from humans with magical potential, has developed in the region. Their Professor takes on the role of exterminating the Witch itself, leaving the students to handle some of its Familiars. During the students' fight, though, they are unexpectedly brought face to face with an Angel. After a fierce fight, the students are victorious and return to their homes safely.

Back in Uruk, the plots grow thicker. A massive force of Angels has gathered near Babylon, and the head honchos discuss plans of how to deal with the threat. The Academy's Headmaster learns that the Angel that the students encountered was sent by the Chief of the Galileians. What could Chief Herschel be plotting, and why involve these young Mages?

Completely unaware of these plots, the students are assigned another mission: to resolve an incident over who should possess a valuable research subject. They will be escorted and monitored by Essence Parker, one of the academy's Student Council members...

To chat, give feedback, watch us fool around OOC, etc, please join the Discord

For a brief bit of worldbuilding or to create a character, please refer to the OOC thread

This club prides itself on having a very detailed combat and character system. For more information on said system, please refer to the System Info/Extra Lore thread.

To see a list of some detailed NPC sheets, please view this thread.
 
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Almeida

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After being informed of the situation, Almeida sighed. Things were never going to be easy, where they? She listened to Londo's and Janus' suggestions whilst trying to come up with a plan. “The mansion over there looks the most suspicious by far.” She pointed at the perfectly intact mention in the northwest district. “I'm not sure why the northeast remained unscathed, but that might just be a coincidence or simply because it hadn't had its turn yet. That makes that mansion the only place that remains seemingly intact without reason, so whether that is by the hand of an ally or a foe, we're bound to learn something of use there. We can look for survivors and for a safe place to sent them for extraction when we're on the ground and when we've got at least a bit of an idea at what's going on there.”
 

alatartheblue42

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Captain Yurika Shakespeare
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Weaver
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Ruri MacGregor
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Reuben Hoshiyomi
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Melissa Magbaredge
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Hearing Janus's question, Captain Shakespeare turned to ask Ruri. No words from the captain were needed though, as Ruri was already shaking her head. "For whatever reason, the tower seems to just be sending out fake messages to make it seem like nothing's wrong with the city. They also seem to be blocking connections from being sent on without approval, so I can't reach any other towers right now to call for help."

"Well, that explains why we haven’t heard any distress calls. So we'd need someone in the tower to approve the transmission, or we would have to just fly to another city to get help then." Captain Shakespeare fiddled with controls on her chair, which called up a map of the surrounding area around Elnai. "It looks like there's another settlement named Fort Dovershire north-northwest of here. Maybe about an hour's flight away?"

"I would advise against it, Captain." Weaver spoke up while moving to Reuben's cot to shake him awake. "The area we would need to pass through is the territory of the Golden Dragon, a powerful Native God. Her lands often have unexpected, violent storms, and encountering one would likely be too much for the Royal Pioneer. As if to reinforce Weaver’s point, looking in the direction indicated, one could see dark storm clouds manifesting rapidly on the horizon. "I would recommend we go due south instead, to Neo Vættirheim.”

"That would add nearly two hours each way to the flight, though. At that point, it might just be faster to see if we can get the tower back to functioning normally and send a message from here.” Though the crew were discussing ideas amongst themselves, Captain Shakespeare would occasionally look towards the Mages, trying to nonverbally indicate that they were welcome to both listen and chime in if they wanted.
 
Rina Zephyr
158

Yesterday

Unfortunately neither Londo nor Alice felt like being helpful. He even said he'd died plenty before...but even if he had died in both of Class 1B's combat missions, two wasn't plenty. Crazy as usual. But she'd done her job and gotten him up to speed, so Rina left them to have their talk and returned to her room.

"So, how did it go?"

"Terribly. Londo still won't tell me what that anklet does, and his spirit didn't help either. Hopefully Caoimhe gave him something useful..." Rina unpacked her belongings as they carried on the conversation. They included but were not limited to spare sets of clothing, travel supplies, a laptop, charger cables, noise-canceling headphones, her personal coffee mug, some spare tools, and some photos. She looked at one of her family as if she was that cliché character who is definitely going to die in the next battle. Good thing she was immortal.

With that over with, she could finish exploring the ship. Rina walked back into the hallway…

”Ugh, watch where you’re-“ Her eyes widened. ”Arin? What are you doing here? The ship is about to leave with you still on it!”

And right into her brother.

Arin Zephyr
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”Yeah, that’s the idea.”

”…Please tell me you weren’t sent on this suicidal mission.”

”I wasn’t sent on this suicidal mission?” He said with an obviously dishonest smile.

”Damn it, you’ve always been a terrible liar…wait, then where were you at the bridge?”

He rubbed the back of his head in embarrassment. ”Haha, sorry about that...I was just trying to thank Kiriyako before I left, but she’s really hard to find!”

She looked down and away. ”Then you wasted your time. This isn’t good luck, not even close…”

”Come on, I’m sure it isn’t as bad as it looks! The headmaster wouldn’t send us to do something impossible, right?”

"You say that as if he cares about our well-being..."

Those thoughts stayed with them as the rest of the day passed quickly. With only around nine hours before their arrival there was little time to do much except eat dinner if they wanted decent sleep. Rina briefly explored the rest of the ship, particularly the engine room, but all the questions she had about the specs would have to wait. Arin was quick to introduce himself to the rest of the Mages and had a much easier time getting to sleep so early.

Today​

Rina rose in a stupor at 6:05 AM until some caffeine got her at least halfway awake. She walked in carrying her staff, glad to see at least she wasn't the only one on the bridge so tired, unlike Arin who looked eager for some action even at this hour. And eager to try one of those muffins Janus enjoyed.

The terrible sights on the screen truly woke Rina up and turned Arin's smile into a shocked open mouth. They were left speechless. What could even be said? Most of the town was devastated in multiple strange ways. They had both heard the stories from their parents, but nothing was like seeing such a tragedy personally. Rina tore her gaze from the devastation only to see a rat in the corner of her eye and the corner of the room. She scowled as it scurried into the shadows, then looked back at the screen.

They had bigger vermin to crush.

And she had better things to do than watch in shock. Rina closed her eyes and tried to focus, taking in everything the others said. Almeida, Janus, and surprisingly even Londo all had a point. They needed to save lives, ask the civilians what was going on, send a distress call, and figure out what was up with that mansion. The crew enlightened them some more on the nature of the jammed communications making their best bet fixing the tower rather than flying elsewhere to request aid. One city was too far and going to the other risked getting fried by a dragon god's thunderstorms.

"So Fulgora's flashy storms block our way...how typical of her." Electra sighed from her spirit core. "Oh well, I suppose we should fix that tower instead. Fixing things is your specialty, is it not?"

Rina ignored the subtle insult about the incident that caused her awakening. The tower was partly covered in crystal, and its systems were either hacked or controlled manually...her eyes widened. "Hold on, if they managed to infiltrate the tower, that's where the drone for analyzing the seals is! We need to find it soon and before it gets destroyed...if it hasn't been already." She sighed. This was not how she wanted to start her morning.

"I'm with Londo, we should focus on saving people first! And we'd better hurry!" Arin kept staring at the screen with a clenched fist on his sword's hilt. It looked like people might be fighting and dying right now down there, at least in one of the city's quarters. Time was of the essence.

"I know, I know...but we'll save even more people if we can stop those seals from breaking. We'll help whoever we can, but it has to be something we can handle, and we need to make sure we can finish the mission after that. This is bad enough already, and it'll only get worse if all those monsters and spirits get out of that magical prison." She closed her eyes in thought again, what else had they missed? She looked over to Ruri. "Short range communications should still work, right?" If the answer was yes, she'd look to her AMB bracelet. "Ok, then splitting up and covering more ground is an option...it just might not be a good one. We'll have to figure out more once we get down there." If only they had the professor with them, this would be so much easier...they certainly wouldn't have to worry as much about lack of firepower.

She took a moment to put everything together. They had to land in the northeast, find any civilians they could, protect them and ask them what the hell happened, fight their way to the tower, get the drone, fix the comms, call for some proper help instead of a squad of novices, investigate the mansion, help the city in whatever other ways they could, and at some point do their actual mission, ideally before the seals broke, then get out of there and bring back the data they collected...

It was a tall order for a second mission.
 

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Ryan's room. August 6th, 199 NWC, ~21:30

Ryan gets cheered up by Almeida

Ryan Gamaris

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Having thrown a pillow at the door came almost as a reflex, Ryan returned to laying on his stomach, occasionally sobbing against the remaining pillow. Ryan's head was overrun with mixed thoughts, so Tidrog wasn't in there at all. At some other point, he may have felt terrible for it, but he had no room in his head for it at the moment.

Time passed, but the feelings didn't. He kept feeling sad. Why did he feel so sad? He was used to being alone, wasn't he? But then, what is causing these tears to flow? The confusion certainly didn't help the situation.

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Almeida

Almeida was still a bit concerned about Tidrog's request to talk with Ryan, so she decided to talk to him after dropping Lyka off at Hibiscus and taking back Valerius. She ended up knocking on his door, hoping she'd at least get a reply. If she wouldn't even get that much, this would end up being much tougher than she bargained for, or so she feared.

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Ryan twitched upon hearing the knock on his door. Was Tidrog going to attempt talking with him again? He didn't feel ready to do so. "Leave me alone, Tidrog". He had spend quite some time crying, so he didn't have the strength to yell at him again. He considered slamming the ever so slightly open door, but he had no energy for it. He hoped Tidrog would get the hint and try again later.

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Almeida sighed. 'Yep... this is going to be a tough one.' Setting those thoughts aside, she spoke up. “It's me, I was just wondering how you were holding up.” She pushed the door open a bit further to check inside, noticing Ryan had clearly been rather upset for quite a while. “Are you having trouble adjusting?” She figured asking about it in a neutral way might get him to open up a bit.

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Ryan jumped up in surprise. "A-Almeida!? " Panicking, he flipped the tear filled pillow and wiped his face with the first shirt he managed to pull out of his backpack, then hid it underneath said backpack. All in record breaking speed, but the damn door was already opened, so Almeida might as well have seen all that. Pretending she didn't just hear him tell Tidrog to leave him alone, he sat on the bed, putting a pretty bad attempt at a fake smile. As if the reddened and slightly swollen eyes weren't obvious enough. He still tried his best to appear fine "Me? Oh. No, not really. I was just… Sleepy, is all. ", he chuckled nervously.

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Almeida shook her head. There was clearly a lot more than sleepiness going on here. “You know you can be honest with me, right?” She wasn't a professional at child psychology, but if she could at least get him to talk, maybe she could at least come up with something to comfort him of whatever was bothering him. She had her suspicion of what it might be, but wasn't sure enough to start probing just yet.

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The worst case scenario became a reality. Almeida saw right through him. His smile slowly diminished, giving place to a more somber expression. "I… I…" his lips started to tremble, and his eyes got glassy yet again. He looked at Almeida, he didn't want to let it flow, he didn't want Almeida to think less of him. He didn't want to break down. And yet, here he was, on the verge of tears.

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The biggest downside of working with so many underage companions was that she couldn't just get them drunk to open up, which meant she had to try alternative methods. In this case, it looked like Ryan was on the verge of breaking down, but perhaps that was exactly what was needed to get him to talk. She figured she'd better start probing. “Are you upset about having to go on this journey and leaving things behind?”

--------

Ryan's eyes widened as Almeida expertly hit the nail on the head. He slowly brought his knees to his chest and wrapped them with his arms, burying most of his face within the improvised shield. "...How did you know?" He said, with awe added to the emotions he was portraying.

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Almeida mildly chuckled at Ryan's surprise. “It's normal to feel like that.” She sighed. “If anything, I feel similar. It's difficult to have finally made new friends and gotten used to a routine somewhere only to have to suddenly let go, but it helps to think that it's possible to stay in contact with people and that new things will eventually start to feel normal as well.” She probably shouldn't mention the bad advice she herself used more often than not, which is drinking the night away.

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Ryan sank deeper into himself, somehow it being normal didn’t help him feel better. Once Almeida continued talking, though, he felt slightly better. At least he was not alone in how he felt. "The others looked to be taking it pretty well." he murmured as he rose his head a bit to glance at Almeida. "I don’t have many friends that aren’t on the ship, you know? My parents taught me to be self-sufficient, but..." He sighed, frustrated "Knowing I won’t be seeing Prim, or Rose, or..." Ryan hid his face again "Or Elisa, for who knows how long, it hurts. It’s like I learned nothing" he clutched himself harder.

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The 'others' taking it pretty well was a tough comparison. “They might all just be hiding how they feel. Well... except for Londo. I guess he might be one of the few people totally not bothered by something like this.” As for the second part, Almeida only had cheap advise left to give him. “You can always call or message them and they say that the longer you're away from someone, the nicer it is when you see them again. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, is how I think the saying goes.”

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Poking his head out of hiding again, Ryan shook his head. "I wish I could at least do that" he thought out loud. When Almeida advised to stay in touch, Ryan stared at her, contemplating that possibility. "I don’t know. I spoke to my parents while they were away, but it’s not the same. The letter I left them already hurt to be made. Besides, I’m sure Elisa is better off on her own. And I’m sure the other two will be mad at me because of th… reasons, because of reasons. Me, on the other hand" he extended one of his hands in front of him, and clenched it into a fist. "I think I’d be better off forgetting." Ryan chuckled somberly "As if that’s possible"

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Truth be told, Almeida wasn't sure if she could argue against Elisa being better off on her own, as she knew the girl had her own situation to deal with. Saying that to Ryan might not be the best idea though. “You shouldn't just assume the worst of yourself and others.” She sighed. “I won't lie. Some relations that you built up throughout your life aren't meant to last and some people are just around for the few years they're part of your life, no matter how important or close they may seem at the time, but there are always exceptions. Considering you can't know which of them are the exception beforehand, it's always worth to at least try to stay in touch with people, as finding the few that may stick with you for the entirety of the ride is always worth the effort and assuming they won't care at all only results in you giving them the idea that you're the one that doesn't care about them.”

--------

Ryan realized that he may have done a wrong in assuming what Prim and Rose thought of him, he was rather convinced Elisa didn’t care much for him though. ”Right, I’m sorry” At some point while Almeida continued speaking, Ryan stopped wanting to cry, but his expression remained sad. And by the end of it, Ryan was speechless. He uncurled and simply sat there, staring at Almeida, thinking of what to say as his mouth did a futile attempt at speech.

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As she finished speaking and was met by silent staring, she suddenly recalled she had a good example. “Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure I know at least one person that's going to stick around for most of your life, if not all of it and I also know that he's been trying to get through to you for most of the day. He may be a bit paternalistic at times, but I'm sure he means well.” She figured she'd given Ryan enough to talk about by now and that she should listen to some of her own advice. She really needed to try talking a bit more with Valerius. “I'll let you think on it, but if you ever need advice again, you'll know where to find me!” With that and a smile, she left.

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A stab of pure guilt just pierced Ryan as he heard those words. He turned away for a moment, visibly showing what effect those words had on him. Then Almeida gave this little conversation an end, and made her way out of his room. ”Oh, Almeida?” Before had the chance to turn around, Ryan used a Time Skip to teleport right behind Almeida, and hugged her. He pressed his forehead against her back silently for a few seconds, then uttering a quiet ”Thank you.” When he let go, he turned and used another Time Skip to place himself back on the bed, facing away from Almeida.
 
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Valkan

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Ryan Gamaris

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After a lengthy discussion with Tidrog, where among other things, Ryan apologized and Tidrog offered whatever support he could give with his limited knowledge. Tidrog then went to sleep, while Ryan tried to do the same, but with his mind still racing, it took him quite a bit to actually doze off.

Who Ryan assumed was Weaver based on Tidrog's description called on the group for duty. He slowly crawled out of bed "Right... We were getting there early..." Tidrog helped him off the floor as he chuckled "Let's have breakfast before heading to the bridge, you'll need all the energy you can get" Ryan couldn't help but agree and simply followed after he readied himself for the day ahead.

After a healthy breakfast, Ryan arrived at the bridge with a not so healthy energy drink, though the tired eyes and somewhat slouchy stance that accompanied a small yawn were signs the drink hadn't worked its magic just yet. He was calmly sipping on it as he scanned the room. Based on Tidrog's descriptions, he managed to identify the crew by name, the two new mages, not so much. He was about to introduce himself properly, when he caught sight of Elnai... Or what was left of it. He immediately straightened up and his face locked into a deep frown "What in the..." The Captain told them to come with a plan, and soon enough, ideas started being thrown around. Ryan had not enough brainpower to make a team strategy, so he just looked at the other mages as he anxiously downed the remainder of his drink.

Ezio Aldron

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Ezio spent the rest of the previous day exercising and thoroughly cleaning the parts of his gun and reassembling it, practically not leaving his room until the next day. Where he woke up very early and did some more exercise, he owed plenty of it due to the trip with the specters and the move. By the time Weaver called to them, he was done with breakfast, so he immediately headed for the bridge.

He was the first to arrive, rifle over his shoulder. Seeing the crew in various states of alert, made Ezio relax slightly in the seat he picked. That however, didn't last long. By the time most of his team had arrived. They came across a decimated Elnai. Ezio's left eye twitched, and he slowly stood up to move closer to the images, attempting to make sense of them. They didn't, at all. The others seemed as clueless as he was, but a plan was starting to be formed regardless. He picked up on the idea of splitting and added "If someone knows how everyone else works. They may know how to split us into effective, albeit smaller units." he looked around the room, noticing a rat sniffing around, and immediately fleeing upon feeling a gaze upon it. He sighed "We do have to consider that we don't know what's down there, however"
 

LondotheGreat

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Hibiscus Oswald



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Yesterday

After the swap, and ending of the meeting, Hibiscus decided to go around the ship, with Valerius in her hand, walking around the ship, exploring various parts of the ship with him, and asking him various questions.

It was hard for her to think of a conversation to say with an orb, but at least that was better than lugging around a heavy weapon, "S-So.... What is it like being Almeida's spirit?" To which Valerius replied, "I don't know, I've never been anyone else's."

Hibiscus nodded, but now felt awkward. Valerius didn't seem to have much of a reason to talk to anyone. Maybe he just didn't like talking, or never had any reason to. It would probably just be best to ask him, "Do you ever talk to Almeida ? Or do you not like to talk?
" To which he responded, "We do converse, but there's often not much reason to and I neither like nor dislike it."

Hibiscus nodded and slumped her shoulders, well at least it didn't seem like he hated talking, but it still seemed weird to not have a spirit that actively talked to you like Lyke did. Maybe different spirits did things way differently. From what Hibiscus had seen, Tidrog was pretty talkative, like Lyka, but Alice only seemed to talk whenever she was spoken to, like Valerius, although her case might have been more apathy rather than what Valerius was.

Walking a bit further and thinking of Alice made Hibiscus wonder what Valerius and Almeida have done together. Londo always boasted about being in dangerous situations, so what about Almeida, "What was the most dangerous thing you both have done together?" She asked, and recieved a response that shocked her to the core-

"We attempted to stage a rebellion against Gilgamesh."

Hibiscus stopped in her tracks, staring at Valerius, "W-Wha-?!" Almost dropping him in sheer horror. How could that happen? And more importantly, why hadn't they been caught? The king was a very powerful mage, if a rebellion was attempted against him, everyone involved would have been caught and executed, or worse... Hibiscus was too shocked to speak, until Valerius spoke up again, "That was a joke. Did it succeed?"

Hibiscus froze a moment longer, but sighed in relief, giggling a bit. It was good to know Valerius had some sense of humor, even if a bit twisted.

"When did you and Almedia meet?" She asked, unprompted, to which Valerius told her some time ago right before they came to the academy. It didn't seem very long ago, but that made sense. Almeida was an older woman, so she would be put into the academy straight away, unlike some people who may have had their spirits a bit before going to the academy.

Walking past the armory again, Hibiscus stared at the immovable weapons, unable to swing without someone else's help, which prompted her last question, "Are you fine with not being able to move on your own?"

"I sometimes wonder what it's like to be able to, but it's difficult to know what you're missing about something if you never truly had it." And Hibiscus nodded in response. That made sense, and it was good to know he at least didn't have any sort of regrets for it.

All in all, Hibiscus was glad for this opportunity. Even if she didn't learn much about Almeida, learning more about Valerius was fun! She learned that he was a quiet sort of spirit, who had no sort of regret for not being able to move since he had never done so. Plus, he had a sense of humor, even if it was a bit dry. Hibiscus was glad to have spent the day with him.

Going back to Almeida at the end of the day, Hibiscus handed back Valerius to Almeida, saying along with it, "It was fun hanging out with Valerius! Thank you for taking care of Lyka! Try not to stage any more rebellions! Good night!" She said, giggling and heading to her room with Lyka, who seemed to be visibly drunk.

When getting to her room, Lyka immediately crashed on one of the beds, sleeping off her drunken stupor, while Hibiscus took some time to write a letter home to her parents...


Today

Hibiscus entered the command room, a bit later than she would have wanted, due to Lyka still being hungover. So hungover in fact, that Hibiscus had to stick her in her pocket, Lyka slightly leaning out, still half-asleep and visibly annoyed due to being woken up like that, "S-Sorry I'm a bit late..." She said, as she had overslept due to Lyka being loud during the night, causing her to sleep in a bit. Luckily, it was just in time to hear her party members start talking.

Hibiscus looked down at the town, gasping in shock, thoughts of the previous invasion in her mind. Was this because of the same thing? She didn't know what to say, so she just stared at the town, distraught and wondering what course of action the others would introduce. She couldn't possibly think of anything, she just wasn't cut out for strategy.
 

TubaPope

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Janus Hindemith

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After he'd finished speaking, Janus pulled up the nearest empty chair closer to the display and sat down, closing his eyes as he listened to the group discuss their options. Among the present, two- Londo and a new green-haired boy- vehemently insisted on an immediate rescue, which caused the ghost of a sad smile to appear on Janus's face. Almeida pointed out the mansion in the northeast which seemed to stand unharmed, while Rina emphasized the need to prioritize the mission and check the integrity of the drone- the completion of which might prevent further loss of life. Finally Rina and Ezio voiced the possibility of splitting the team to handle multiple objectives at once. Janus thought in silence for a period less than a minute before speaking up again.

"...I do sympathize with the sentiment of covering more ground, but I fear it would be folly to attempt to split up immediately upon arrival. The facts are thus: We were originally dispatched to check the strength of seals that were keeping away powerful spirits. Now upon our arrival, Elnai is in ruins. I do not think it would be illogical to assume that there is some link between the two, and if so, I would prefer to have our full fighting capacity should we encounter something of the sort."

Janus stood up from his seat and walked around the group closer to the middle of the bridge where his voice could carry further. "Of course, that is based on an assumption. Assuming the other case- that there is no connection between the seals and the state of Elnai- then all we know is that Elnai is in a state of distress. With so many unknown variables, it would still be of benefit to keep everyone in one place. Even with short-range communication, the situation would become untenable if one of the parties were to be indisposed... or worse. If we were to split up to cover more ground, it would be wiser to do so once we were on the ground, and had more information on what exactly has transpired here."

"As I see it, the main priority is to save as many lives as possible. While it might be vexing that we cannot rush in to rescue everyone immediately, that course of action would not be prudent. The key," Janus pointed to the middle of the display, "Is the communications tower. If we manage to restore communications, we can send a distress signal to nearby settlements to aid in the rescue operation. And once we confirm that the tower is clear, we can use it as a shelter to evacuate civilians. We can then go about the rest of our tasks as necessary, be it completing the original mission, evacuating civilians- whatever takes priority once we understand the situation better. In the meantime..." Janus moved his finger up and to the right, pointing at the mansion while addressing the crew. "Could we establish communications with the mansion that Almeida pointed out? If we acquire some sort of positive confirmation, or if no hostiles are detected, I'd like to land there..." Janus hesitated, then continued, "Honestly, I'd prefer to get as close to the tower as possible, but if such a landing is untenable for whatever reason, the open space around the mansion should do."
 
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alatartheblue42

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Captain Yurika Shakespeare
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Weaver
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Ruri MacGregor
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Reuben Hoshiyomi
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Melissa Magbaredge
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Though still yawning a little, Reuben quickly got up to speed from the conversation and the display of the city's damage. "I'd prefer to not land the ship in the wreckage, in case whatever caused it is still a risk." He adjusted one of the cameras to zoom in on the upper levels of the communications tower, which had been partly crystallized and had sizable shards poking out in various places. "And I don't think we'll be able to dock at the tower, what with the crystals in the way."

"Why don't I take the Mages down in the Little Pioneer A? That way I can drop them off at the tower or wherever they would like without having to land the entire Royal Pioneer ." Melissa handed the helm over to Reuben as she spoke in dulcet alto tones. "The rest of the crew can also do whatever they need to do to help the town, rather than worrying about trying to carry the Mages to where they need to go."

Captain Shakespeare nodded in affirmation of the plan. "Make sure you grab a sidearm from Hannah as well. We don't know what all happened here, and I don't want you defenseless while the Mages are away from you." Melissa gave a casual salute to Captain Shakespeare and then slipped out of the bridge to complete her preparations.

As Melissa left, Captain Shakespeare turned towards Ruri, who was already hard at work on Janus's request. "I'll see what I can do. If I can connect to someone, do you want me to talk to them, or do you want me to connect them to your device?" Whichever option Janus preferred, Ruri would take note as she continued to try and connect to the mansion somehow.

Unless the Mages had more to discuss directly with the crew, they would be free to follow Melissa out onto Deck One, where a small airship was being prepared for departure. Designed in the vein of the landing crafts maritime vessels of yore used, it was large enough to carry roughly ten people, but it would not exactly be the most comfortable of rides. Melissa was already stationed at the stern of the craft, which was labeled Little Pioneer A, where she could test out the controls to confirm they were safe.


Hannah Lorken
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As the Mages were leaving the bridge, Hannah could also be seen standing off to one side, waving Hibiscus and Janus over energetically. In her right hand, she held a sheathed knife, and in her left, she held a handgun-shaped object wrapped in a cloth. ”I wanted to make sure I got these to you before you left.” The knife and gun would be handed off to their respective owners, assuming they stopped by Hannah to grab them. ”I made the adjustments you wrote down, Janus, but let me know if you need anything changed. Hibiscus, as a reminder, Jenna’s pretty weird, so be careful with that knife. It should do what you wanted, but she’s not exactly known for caring about side effects.”

Once all the Mages and their Spirits had boarded the Little Pioneer A, a mechanical crane on the Royal Pioneer's deck would hoist it out and over the side of the main ship. The Little Pioneer's motors would then spring to life and it's suspension balloon would inflate to help support it's weight. Once it was airworthy, the crane would release the small craft, setting it free to descend to the city below. While the Royal Pioneer continued onward to the northeast edge of the city, the Little Pioneer A sailed down towards the city center, dodging the crystals jutting out from the tower. The craft landed on one of the streets at the base of the tower, on it's east side so as to avoid the crystals to the west. As the engine shut down and the balloon safely deflated, the crew would be free to disembark.

"Unless you tell me that you want me elsewhere, I'll stay here and guard the Little Pioneer A," Melissa told the crew as she hoisted the gun Hannah had provided to her. "Ruri should have synched up your devices and our ship's comms, so you can just call me if you need to reach me instead of coming all the way back." Sure enough, if a Mage were to check their AMB, they would find contact listings for both the Royal Pioneer and the Little Pioneer A.

The area they had landed in had clearly seen some form of combat. The glass of nearby shop windows was littered throughout the area. Walls, benches, trees, and so on had been variously shot, slashed, stabbed, shattered, and scorched by the fighting. And accompanying the damage were periodic dark rust-colored stains of the unfortunate. For all the damage though, there seemed to surprisingly be no sign of any bodies, at least what could be seen initially.

Down the street, the communications tower loomed. It seemed crystal-free, at least from this side, though the fighting seemed to have grown worse closer to the base of the tower. If nothing else, the scorch marks had become more numerous and larger.
 
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Almeida

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Almeida had silently gone through the motions, listening to everyone debate the next steps. The plan they ended up going with seemed to be the best one, so she had no reason to interrupt or complain. There was one thing that came to mind, which she'd ask to the crew. “Do we have signal flares aboard the ship, in case we need to send a message while communications are down?”

She was glad when the short ride in the uncomfortable airship was over, stretching herself out the moment she stepped outside. Almeida raised an eyebrow at Melissa's words. “Don't take too much risks defending this ship. The moment things start looking like they might get dire, I'd rather have you take off. We can always use a flare to signal you to rendezvous elsewhere if needed.”

With that done, Almeida raised Valerius, observing the marks of combat. The lack of bodies was disturbing, making Almeida check for any signs of them having been eaten or for any other clues that might show them what they'd be up against. Unless someone were to beat her to it, she'd take the lead in heading towards the communications tower.
 

alatartheblue42

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Melissa Magbaredge

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Upon her request, Almeida was provided with a flare gun and a bandolier of ten flares. There likely wouldn't be much need for it, since their AMBs could easily connect to each other or to the ship, but when in strange environs, caution was understandable.





Melissa waved lightly as if to brush away Almeida's concerns. "Don't worry, I'm only here to discourage any looters. I won't risk my life more than necessary."


Suspicious of what might have happened, Almeida briefly searched the area to find more details. From what she could tell, the vast majority of the damage to the area had been caused by weapons, perhaps those of goblins or something similar. At the very least, most of the damage was not from claws of animals with the patterns, and most of it was too small of scale to be from a large monster.


In addition, upon further inspection, Almeida realized that the scorch marks seemed to have been from some airborne weapon or creature. The bulk of the burns were located in the open street, with only a handful appearing in the areas that were concealed from the air.


Were Londo to look around the area, he would feel the medallion on his chest flare with burning heat every time he turned to the northwest or southeast corners of the city, or towards the upper levels of the communications tower.


As the group approached the base of the communications tower, they could see that it had seen an even worse version of the fate that had been visited upon the street they had landed on. The ground in front of the entrance had been seared and smashed into little more than blackened rubble. The automatic doors futilely attempted to creak open as the Mages approached, despite their glass being shattered and their frames being partly melted.


The interior of the lobby was, like the other buildings' insides, relatively scorch free, though the carpeted sections of the inside squelched as evidence of what had happened. The building's air conditioner was running, though it could not do nearly enough to remove the overwhelming stench of blood from the area.


A directory on one of the walls of the lobby helpfully informed any readers that they were on the ground floor. It also listed off the publicly available locations, which were the ground floor lobby, various city administrative offices on floors 1 through 3, and the airship landing on floor 14. It also was polite enough to point out the various elevators and fire escapes, as well as stating that floors 4-13, floors 15-19, and all basement levels were off limits to the public.


The lobby continued off to either side of where the Mages had entered from, curving as it went to form a loop around the entire tower. Just for a split second as they entered, Ezio, Janus, Rina, and Hibiscus could see a flash of something white off at the edge of their vision to the left side, in the direction where the crystal substance invading the tower seemed to be coming from.
 

LondotheGreat

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Londo Sperry THE GREAT!


  • Aura: 150 / 150
  • Prana: 100 / 100
  • Stamina: 100 / 100
  • Gauntlets: 40 / 40 - 40 / 40

  • STRENGTH: D
  • VITALITY: D
  • WILLPOWER: E
  • RESISTANCE: D
  • SPEED: D
  • DEXTERITY: E
  • PERCEPTION: E
  • RECOVERY: D
  • Lion's Heart: Ready for Activation
  • Touch of Death: 2 / 2 uses left
  • Ruby Anklet: ???


Mentioned:

====================================================================​

Londo was thankful that others agreed that they needed to save as many survivors as possible. Screw the mission, people needed to be saved!

Londo started to leave for the bridge with the others, but before he could, Alice grabbed his arm, and handed him Kyubey out of sight of the others, "I can't hold him while in spirit core form." She simply stated, turning into said core form. Londo pocketed the small, metallic creature where noone else could see it, and followed everyone else. Londo checked his comms upon Hannah telling them to, seeing that he could connect to the ships. Along the ride over, Londo transformed, clutching his medallion from Cadwgan which I had forgotten about all this time, oops., praying for safety for any survivors.

As he got off the ship, and looked at the destruction, looking around at it. As he did so, the medallion on his chest grew warmer. Londo wondered why it did so, but with a bit of movement and thinking, he realized it grew warmer towards certain areas, "A sign from Cadwgan!" Londo shouted to his group, pointing at the northwest, southeast, then communication tower, "My medallion grows warmer when it points those directions! There must be survivors there in need of our help!" Londo started to move, but then realized, those were three whole areas. Even HE couldn't be in three places at once, "We have to split up! Those survivors could be in danger!"
 
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Arin Zephyr
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The strategizing continued, but Arin couldn't think of anything to add that other people didn't point out first. Eventually they settled on having the crew drop them off near the tower so they could fix it and call for more help...the city definitely needed it based on the devastation they could see down there once they landed. There were strangely no bodies, not that Arin was complaining. What he saw made him sick enough already. Then Londo pointed out Cadwgan's medallion directing them to the top of the tower, the northwest area with the mansion, and the southeast area.

"Yeah, if that's a gift from the god of glory, I bet it's telling us where to fight. There could be people there who need our help!"

"Even if there are, there's only eight of us. We'd have to split into two groups of three and one group of two to go to all those places at once...I doubt that's anywhere near enough to stop whatever did this." Rina gestured to the devastation all around them, then sighed. "Look, we don't have time to argue! I'm not going to let you get yourself killed by spreading us so thin. Once we fix the tower, we can call for more backup. Then we'll investigate those places, ok?"

Arin frowned. "I still don't like this...even if we call for help, it'll take them a while to get here. What if they show up too late? What if we show up too late?"

"...Then we'd better make this quick." Even as they talked, they made sure not to fall too far behind Almeida. Arin kept glancing to the southeast, hoping anyone there could hold out. As much as he wanted to go, it wouldn't be much use if he went all by himself or with only Londo to help him.

As they closed in on the tower, with Arin hurrying to catch up the front of the group, they found it even more damaged. The outside was covered in burns and the automatic doors struggled to open. He turned to Hibiscus before stepping through. "Don't worry, this will protect you." He said that before sending a blue beam of energy from his hand at her so she wouldn't be startled, and it would become like a second aura around her. His barrier spell would last for a while before going out. Then he walked into the tower alongside Almeida...

Rina Zephyr
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Now transformed, Rina moved towards the building cautiously. She pitied whoever made this: it took so much time and effort to build things, yet so little to destroy them. Life was unfair like that. The stench of blood made her crinkle her nose even before she walked through the door to see an empty lobby and-

"!" No, not empty! A flash of white passed in the corner of her eye, near the crystals. She turned and aimed her staff where she saw it move to. "I think I saw something! Might be an enemy...let's try to sneak up on them." She whispered, glancing at the others while still pointing her staff that way. Rina cautiously advanced towards that area, trying to stay in cover and out of sight when possible. Naturally, Arin followed her signal and tried to stay ahead of her while also going from cover to cover, unsheathing his sword and preparing for a fight.
 

TubaPope

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Janus Hindemith
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Janus nodded in acknowledgment of Ruri, scratching his chin as he gave her question some thought. "...It'd be for the better if you handled the call. I may very well be preoccupied on the ground. If you do gain anything of note, please do keep us abreast of any future developments."

Before fully departing the ship, the quartermaster, Hannah, stopped by to hand the mages any weapons they had left with her. As she spoke, the bard picked up the firearm with his right hand and holstered it. After a short period of waiting, he drew the pistol as fast as he could and aimed it at some imaginary target far off in the distance. By the way he handled his gun, he definitely wasn't a master marksman, but he was still competent enough to use it with some degree of proficiency. Seemingly satisfied, Janus reholstered the weapon and smiled in gratitude of the quartermaster's work.

Before Janus set foot on Elnai ground, a bright light enveloped his body. His silhouette changed form, and the light dimmed until his new attire was discernable: ponytail undone, a white and dark blue jacket with a red cravat, black pants, and long brown boots.

"Heimdallr's asshole, what am I wearing?!" Janus seemed less than enthused about his new attire, wearing an expression that looked like he had just learned of the death of a beloved pet. "Certainly, my transformation should have better fashion sense than- whatever this is. I'm a bard, not a clown!" Janus sighed in exasperation.

Janus appeared to sideline his discontent with his accoutrements as the mages entered the city and made their way to the tower. On the way, Londo held out a medallion and divined the location of three possible objectives. This new information caused an argument to spring up between two other mages within their ranks. Siding with Rina, Janus added: "Splitting up with so little information has the potential for disaster. Wait until we have an understanding of what we are facing beforehand. Do not add yourself to the ranks of those who need saving."

The tower itself showed signs of conflict, and Janus held his nose in distaste as the stench of blood reached him. As the flash of white occurred to the left of the group, Janus's eyes were drawn to it, and as the mages approached it, Janus would bring up the rear with gun in hand- however, instead of directly watching the area the specularity had emanated from, Janus's eyes would sweep around it, as if looking for someone or something that might take advantage of the distraction the event had caused.
 
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Valkan

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Ezio Aldron

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Janus appeared quite level headed, as he explained his point of view and possible approach. It was perfectly understandable. Ezio had nothing to object with the proposed approach, so he remained silent as the final preparations for their descent were made. He followed Melissa to the smaller vessel that would lower them into the city. Used to less than stellar rides, Ezio had no complaints about their trip down into the city.

Once down and out the Little Pioneer, Ezio immediately raised his rifle and scanned the area thoroughly through his scope, looking for any sign of something that stood out amongst the ravaged streets painted with blood. Paying particular attention to sections farther away, where his teammates may not have the eye to properly inspect themselves. Just another day in the office, he thought to himself, as he caught a whiff of said blood. While they moved towards the tower, one of the younger among them seemed to have an amulet, from Cadwgan no less, that signaled him to three locations. Despite his and another kid's eagerness to split, a lady and Janus objected. Foreseeing a struggle in choice of objectives, he joined the argument "Janus is right, we have better chances of saving lives by sticking together"

Now entering the tower, Ezio slowly stepped in, rifle still at the ready. It was then that a white figure of sorts entered his peripheral vision for an instant. He immediately took aim at where he had seen it, but there was nothing there anymore. It was then that a crucial detail dawned on him "Guys? I know this is a terrible time to ask. But how do you transform? I am a backline fighter and all, but having aura surely would come in handy..." Ezio exchanged a quick look with Xiao, who was still on his shoulder, but he shrugged. While he waited for the team to provide an answer, he walked towards the center of the room, carefully scanning every corner. The area where the green haired duo was heading being a slight priority.

Ryan Gamaris

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Still having nothing to say, Ryan finished his drink and watched. Personally, he had no objections with any plan, he didn't care about their actual mission enough to not overlook it and go save civilians first. But reestablishing communications first certainly sounded more effective. In any case, since there were no objections, Ryan threw the empty can in a nearby bin. With a clash of his fists, along with a deep breath, a familiar light enveloped him and revealed his transformed self once it dissipated. Now in his core, Tidrog commented "I think Apollonia wouldn't be happy you let me drop her craft like that". Quickly realizing the meaning behind that, Ryan turned to where Tidrog was standing. As expected, his claws were on the floor now. He tried to pick them up as casually as he could and fitted them onto his hands, trying his best to not show embarrassment.

Ryan made his way to their transport in silence, quietly nudging himself onto a seat. Given how bad the city looked from above, it would be a lie to say he wasn't nervous at all, discreetly glancing at Almeida a couple of times behind the safety of his blindfold. When it was finally time to leave the cramped ship, Ryan took a deep breath and started walking. Charred rubble and blood wasn't the most calming aroma, but he'd have to make do, they were staying here for a while after all. Londo was quick to inform that his medallion was pointing him to several directions, and while he and one of the new ones tried to go back to the splitting up idea, they were turned down by another part of the group. Ryan understood the bigger group's concern now that he was seeing everything from up close, so despite wanting to back up his friend, he knew it was better for Londo if he stayed quiet.

Ryan was among the first to enter the battle worn tower. Just when he thought the smell of blood was bearable, the carpets soaked in it reminded him how awful it really was. But it was no time to be scared, he stopped staring at one of those carpets, and moved along. Some of the group seemed to have noticed something and headed to investigate. Ryan checked the directory for any clues, for now though, he decided to trust Londo and Cadwgan. Slowly moving forward, looking for a way up. Ideally, a staircase. He would've asked Londo more about this feeling to see if he had any clue as to what floor to look for, but he didn't want him to rush alone on that thought.
 

LondotheGreat

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Genres
Fantasy
Hibiscus Oswald


  • Aura: 75 / 75
  • Prana: 110 / 150
  • Stamina: 75 / 75
  • Knife/Book: 40 / 40 --- 40 / 40

  • STRENGTH: E
  • VITALITY: E
  • WILLPOWER: C
  • RESISTANCE: D
  • SPEED: E
  • DEXTERITY: E
  • PERCEPTION: D
  • RECOVERY: E
  • N/A

  • Aegis Aura: 25 / 25 (10 turns left)

  • Knife: Blood use is 10% more effective

  • Self-inflicted Damage: 1

Lyka:

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Mentioned: Ezio @Valkan Erin @Sho-the-Mage

====================================================================​

After battle plans were made, Hibiscus nodded, and started walking to the smaller ship. However, as she left, Hannah called her and Janus over to discuss what they had talked about previously. A shiver ran down Hibiscus's spine as Hannah mentioned Jenna. Her encounter with Almeida the previous day still left an impression, and she nodded cautiously, "O-Ok... I'll try to be careful!" She said, and took the knife from Hannah, letting it dangle from her fingers in caution. It wasn't like it was going to blow up on her, right?...

Regardless, Hibiscus stowed the knife away, reminding herself to be cautious. She joined the other mages on the ship, and when Ezio asked how to transform, she said aloud her transformation trigger word, "Transform." She said simply, transforming into the magical girl she was born to be. She pulled out her knife and stared at it, hoping nothing too bad happened, before pricking her finger with it, "I'm going to apply my mark right now." She said, and started applying the blood to every person in the vehicle, including Melissa, "This is just in case something goes wrong."

Counter +1, Prana -40

Mark of Hibiscus applied to everyone: @Elvario @Sho-the-Mage @TubaPope @Valkan

After stepping out of the vehicle, Hibiscus was covered in a blue aura, "Thanks." She simply said, walking into the tower with the others. She agreed that while people needed saving, splitting up in this situation was a horrible idea. Better to save some and the group's safety than none and risk the entire group dying.

Something darted in the corner of Hibiscus's vision, and she pulled out her knife and book in response, moving behind Arin for protection. Rina already mentioned the threat, so she didn't mention it either, instead nodding and moving with the group. Londo himself moved to the back, just in case they were ambushed by threats from behind.