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Topics - Riven

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The Vale Region / Legends of the Hidden Temple [SLVA ~ CLOSED]
« on: December 12, 2017, 04:27:08 PM »

The Emerald Forest has always been a site of archaeological interest, featuring many ancient ruins scattered about its verdant expanses and the promise of greater finds below the surface. One such site has recently been revealed: a long-forgotten temple. The research team at the site was making remarkable progress in understanding the pre-Kingdoms culture which once thrived in the region when they happened upon what they described as a 'treasure room' of relics and valuable artifacts. Two days later all contact with the team was lost, and efforts to find out why have been hampered by increased Grimm activity in the area. That was a week ago, and Beacon has decided to step in. Your team, supported by Doctor Budonoki, has been tasked with investigating the site and recovering the research team if possible. Don't worry about clearing the area of Grimm -- simply get to survivors and extract them, as prolonged activity is certain to draw in more Grimm.

 - Learn what befell the research team
 - Evacuate any survivors
  Optional bonus objectives may occur during the course of this mission

In the research team's notes the area was simply known as 'site 173', which said a lot about both the sheer volume of archaeological efforts in the Emerald Forest and how little the expedition had been expecting a find of the scale and interest that they'd actually unearthed. From the air it certainly looked no different from any other verdant stretch of trees and undergrowth -- it was only as the Bullhead carrying Team SLVA came in low to drop them off that it at all became clear they were in the right place. The base camp was little more than the remains of shredded tents and trampled supply crates with gouges and small craters suggesting the fervor of the fighting that had left it ravaged. Strangely, and hopefully, the only bodies to be seen were those of robots -- the archaeologists had elected for rent-a-droid security instead of hiring along a Huntsman or Huntress to protect them. Needless to say, they would not be getting the deposit back.

Stepping off the Bullhead, Budonoki surveyed the area with a critical eye. "No dead among the wreckage -- promising, that. We may find the research team alive and well after all." He turned to the group of students. "Keep your wits about you. Something in this area has been agitating the Grimm, and they are indeed prowling about. We cannot afford to be careless. The dig site is just north of here, and the most likely place that any survivors would go to seek shelter."

"Now, then..." The sagely old Faunus looked to his four charges, hands laced atop his gnarled wooden staff. "I'm not here to lead unless absolutely necessary. This is your rescue mission, Team SLVA. Time to show this old hand how the younger generation handles themselves, hm?"

The Vale Region / Far From Home [CLOSED INITIATION]
« on: December 09, 2017, 12:53:17 PM »
S C E N E ~ M U S I C
by Lucas King

Mountain Glenn. The ruined skeletons of once-proud buildings cast jagged shadows in the early morning's light, making the desolation seem even more shattered and broken than it was. This was a place of ghosts, a graveyard of hope and a testament to what happens when the best of intentions go awry. From above, gazing out the window of the Bullhead, Budonoki took in the terrible scene with mournful solemnity. He hadn't been here before, either before or after its fall, but he could remember the hope that had accompanied its golden days... and the dread that came with the announcement of its fate.

Drawing in a deep breath and centering himself, the Faunus doctor turned to the young students he was accompanying. This team was literally just starting out, having been freshly assembled such that a team name and and roles hadn't yet been figured out. This would be a proving, to be sure. His gaze traveled from one to the next. "We're close now to where we'll touch down. As most of you already know, Mountain Glenn is very dangerous -- not only the creatures of Grimm which stalk these ruins, but all the natural hazards that come from crumbling infrastructure. Somewhere, somehow, there is a child clinging to life in this forsaken place," He pulled out his Scroll and displayed for them a grainy, blurred reconnaissance photo; it was clear that the child was young, had messy mid-length dark-colored hair, and wearing some sort of tattered poncho or dress, but not much else was clear enough to make out. "And our duty is to bring them safely within the kingdom's walls if at all possible. I know your team is still finding its way, and you aren't likely used to working with one another yet, but I believe that we can do this -- if we work together and watch each other's backs."

He pocketed the Scroll, then hefted a backpack with a prominent first aid kit strapped to it up onto his shoulders. "Remember, this is a child. Sounds of gunfire and fighting may attract their attention, but could just as easily scare them away. Defend yourselves as necessary, of course, but try to avoid combat when possible. I've read each of your files, so I know what the school knows of your capabilities; each of you has knowledge, skills, and talents which may prove useful to our endeavor. I have every confidence we can succeed here."

The Bullhead began to turn, vectoring towards the roof of a squat two-story building as the door lights shifted from red to green. As the hatches slid open Dr. Budonoki leapt out, gnarled wooden staff in hand, sticking the simple landing without issue despite his years and gesturing for the team to follow. Their mission had begun...

  S C E N E ~ M U S I C 
Seeking The Truth
by Atom Music Audio

How had this happened? Everything, everything, from that fateful day onward, had been done to avoid this...

Gripping the flight controls with desperate urgency, Captain Cordell of the pirate airship Red Corsair willed her ship and herself to maneuver faster and more deftly than she'd ever done before. The stress of constantly shifting momentum would have battered her senseless against the cockpit had Delahaye not deployed a safety harness upon the first reckless maneuver Cordell had performed... and she was now somewhere between her fifth and her twelfth, having well and truly failed to keep track as her heartbeat thundered in her ears. Yet the enemy was keeping up, move for move... and an abrupt shower of sparks and warning klaxon going off suggested they might even have the upper hand.

"Starboard fuel injection system has been hit." Delahaye's computer-generated voice was perhaps the only calm and collected thing in the cockpit right now, standing in stark contrast to the ill-tidings she bore. "Ring circulation compromised. Main engine efficiency dropping to 85%."

'Damn it all!' Cordell thought, sweat mingling with blood on her forehead. The enemy had come seemingly out of nowhere, their sensor baffling leaving the Red Corsair blind until the first shots struck -- a complete surprise attack, and one that included a nasty collision with a bulkhead for the young pirate. She'd been too bold, too careless, especially to come this far north over open waters. Now it seemed painfully obvious that the rumors she'd been chasing down about illegal shipments of military-grade hardware from Atlas had been nothing but a trap from the start.

Well, not entirely untrue. There was, after all, that other airship. The one keeping up with every twist and turn she made, tracking every tight zig-zag and calling the bluff on every feint. The one that looked almost exactly like hers -- a cobalt-blue and smoke-gray painted devil straight out of hell. She knew Atlas still had old V-21 Arrowheads mothballed in storage, sure, and it wasn't impossible that the military could have upgraded them to the level pursued by Project Thunderbolt. What she was looking at through the rear cameras was entirely possible... but it was also entirely wrong. The other airship had no military markings, in fact it had no markings whatsoever. There had been no call with a demand to surrender; Cordell knew Atlas military protocol, and her attacker was not following it.

This was why her father had stolen the prototype and destroyed the plans. This was why she'd never stopped poking about in the black market to see who would have wanted it in the first place. This -- a swift, potent combat airship potentially ending up in the wrong hands. Apparently it had all been for nothing.

They hadn't prevented it. They'd just given it a target.

"Del, is there anyone else in local airspace? Anyone? Even a gods-thrice-damned Atlas patrol?" She quickly keyed up the manual shut-off to the damaged connections and routed in the emergency backups, one hand dancing across buttons and flip-switches while her other jerked the flight stick hard left.

"One. A cargo carrier, ten clicks out. Scans indicate they may possess moderate-to-heavy armaments."

"It'll have t' do. Lock in their coordinates an' send out th' following distress signal on auto-loop." He paused for a moment, focusing to pull the Red Corsair into a steep climb as she hit the under-slung wing thrusters at full tilt. "Whomever's receivin' this -- this is Captain Cordell o' th' Red Corsair. I've come under fire from an unidentified airship an' sustained significant damage. Help get this bastard off'a me an' there's fifteen crates o' industrial-grade Dust in it fer ya, no questions asked. FIFTEEN. CRATES. Onboard me ship, goin' down with me if'n this backstabber gets their way." Despite whipping into a corkscrew and diving hard left, the Red Corsair took another hit from the enemy ship's guns, causing the Red Corsair to shudder from the impact and Cordell to lurch forward against her harness with a pained grunt. "Damn iiiiit!"

Turning in the direction of the cargo ship, the pirate switched off several safeties and accelerated for all her ship was worth. Gauges spiked, needles shot into the orange and teetered on the brink of red. She knew her ship could take this, even in its damaged state... but not for long. If this didn't pay off then she'd risk burning out the fuel cells and induction coils -- the Red Corsair could literally overload and go dark, plunging into the churning, frosty waters below.

It was time to roll the dice...

The Vale Region / Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust (AGAT Initiation)
« on: December 07, 2017, 05:27:10 PM »

The mining settlement of Carron Valley in southern Sanus had, from its inception, been a gamble. The area is fairly bleak with little in the way of farm-able lands, instead featuring rocky bluffs, dense forests, whitewater rivers, and huge rocky canyons like the settlement's namesake. What the local area does have, however, is iron -- large supplies of it near the surface and even more below the earth. Prospectors made small fortunes there and mercenaries earned almost as much protecting the town and its many dig sites, even before the excavations uncovered rich Dust veins in the region. Once the Dust began to flow, Carron Valley became a booming outlands hub of raw material commerce.

Two ago, Carron Valley came under attack by a massive wave of Grimm. The defenses held, barely, but something curious happened during the attack which caught the town's defenders by surprise. A lone cargo hauler took off without permission and flew away from the town, and as it left almost a quarter of the attacking Grimm turned and followed it away into the wastelands. The unusual behavior was enough to turn heads, and the town's leaders launched an investigation once everything was secure. The ship belonged to one Tarn Farrus, a known smuggler who'd been under medical observation after passing out in the streets a few days earlier. The clinic he was being kept in was torched as fled, and the recovered bodies of the medical staff there showed signs of violent trauma.

Tarn's ship was found crashed at the edge of a vast pine forest twenty five miles from Carron Valley. Surveys by local pilots and Huntsmen confirm that he has fled into the forest on foot, but his exact whereabouts are unknown. Beacon Academy has been tasked with capturing and questioning Tarn, and they've dispatched Team AGAT -- supported by Doctor Budonoki -- to bring him to justice. Tarn is known to have basic Aura and weapons training but nothing advanced; once found, his capture should be a simple matter. Team AGAT is also tasked with investigating the crashed airship for any clues as to Tarn's whereabouts, the violent shift in his behavior, and why so many Grimm followed him away from the attack on Carron Valley.

 - Deploy to Tarn's crash site and investigate
 - Locate and capture Tarn Farrus

An overnight flight in a small kingdom airship certainly wasn't the most appealing start to a mission, to be sure. The cabin which he and the students had made themselves comfortable -- relatively speaking, at least -- was at least more spacious and with better seats than a Bullhead, but one can only sit in place and try unsuccessfully to sleep for so long. Even meditation had proved elusive, and not for lack of trying. There was something about a pressurized cabin, no matter how generously adorned, that chaffed both mind and body after the first few hours... in Budonoki's experience, at least.

Now, as the sun began to rise outside, the pilot called over the intercom that they were thirty minutes from the crash site. Setting out some dried apricot slices, styrofoam cups of tea poured from a heated thermos, and a few other quick breakfast options, the Faunus professor roused whomever had managed to fall asleep. "Nearly there now. Everyone get something in you to keep your energy up, then check your equipment."

Outside the windows the contrast of the landscape could be seen, barren rocky slabs giving way abruptly to a winding wall of towering pines. The rising sun cast everything into deep relief, painting brilliant ambered hues and inky black shadows with the same broad brushstrokes. It honestly looked like a painting... yet, somewhere in all that natural beauty, a suspected murderer with much to answer for was lurking...

The Vale Region / Within Nature, Within One Self (CLOSED)
« on: November 26, 2017, 09:59:40 AM »
  S C E N E ~ M U S I C 
Forever Fall Ambiance
from RWBY: Grimm Eclipse

Ah, Forever Fall... a forest of striking colors and a peaceful, soothing nature. Even with the Grimm that so often lurked here it was hard not to feel a sense of peace under these eternally scarlet boughs, like being wrapped in a vast, fluffy red blanket. And that was the common experience; for those deeply in touch with nature, a walk through Forever Fall quite nearly felt like wandering into a dream.

"Keep pace now, students -- the camp site is in a clearing up ahead." Staff in hand and with a supply pack slung across his back, Budonoki turned and gestured to his small group as they made their way along a winding path. He was very much in his element here and his chosen outfit, a loose fitting tan robe with scarlet leaf accents, almost made it look like he belonged here -- a forest hermit from an earlier age. Still, as much "in nature" as they all were now the trip hadn't been without its modern touches: dropped off by a Bullhead just a few miles back and with a local signal transmitter to boost Scroll reception, the group was hardly cut off from society.

As the trees thinned ahead, a clearing came into sight. It was scattered with old grown-over stone pillars and blocks, ruins from an earlier age no doubt, but otherwise seemed like a very agreeable place to set up camp. In fact, a crate of supplies was waiting for them there -- Budonoki had seen to the group's preparations and provisioning ahead of time, as well as a few things for later on. "Right, then. Students, you can set your packs down wherever you feel comfortable. Go ahead and pick out where you'd like to set up your tents; each of you will have one, but try not to spread out too far." Lifting the lid of the metal crate, the old Faunus began distributing tent kits. "Once you're finished, we can begin the first lesson for out little outing."

(OOC: Quick reminder, there's no set posting order for this thread. Have at it!)

Beacon Academy / Physician, Teach Thyself (OPEN to FIRST YEARS)
« on: November 25, 2017, 05:35:44 PM »
(OOC: Just so everyone knows, there's no posting order for this thread -- feel free to pop in or bow out as you see fit.)

Beacon Academy... how many years had it been since he'd walked these hallowed halls? Memories seemed to wash over him with every step, every sound. To think, once a transfer student from a foreign land, that he would now serve here as teacher to many of Remnant's most promising. It was enough to bring a soft smile to his wrinkled old face.

First day. First day teaching. This would doubtless prove to be quite an experience. Walking stick in one hand and lecture notes in the other, Budonoki looked every bit the far-eastern sage turned professional educator in his earth-tone slacks and wooden sandals, forest green shirt, black tie with subtle leaf emboss, and rice hat. Some might even think his appearance comical, and truth be told he wasn't quite sold on the color scheme himself. One had to make due, however; much of his wardrobe was still being shipped over from Mistral, and he wasn't quite sure if a combat gi was proper classroom attire. The students had to stick to a dress code, after all, so he would respect them with efforts towards the same.

Reaching the classroom, he stepped inside to find the risers were nearly full with students chattering away. Ah, how it brought back memories. Quietly sliding the door shut behind him -- and taking a moment to place his staff upright in a large dirt-filled planter near the door -- Budonoki made his way to the lectern and cleared his throat.

"Hello." Waiting a moment for the chatter to subside, he let his eyes and smile travel from face to face, sweeping the room. "Welcome students, to Practical Medicine and First Aid 101. I am Doctor Sophos, your instructor for this course. The goal of this course is to equip you future Huntresses and Huntsmen with the knowledge and skills needed to tend to both ordinary and combat-related wounds, injuries, and ailments when your Aura fails, or in the event of another person needing your care."

Removing his hat and hanging it on the corner of the desk, he looked around with an amicable, welcoming expression. "Now, I am new on the school's staff, but once I was a student here much like yourselves. Does anyone have any questions, about the subject at hand or myself, before we get started?"

Plot Zone / Within Nature, Within One Self [FULL]
« on: November 25, 2017, 05:03:02 PM »
It is said
There is no better classroom than life,
No better teacher than experience.

Dr. Budonoki Sophos is organizing a small overnight expedition into the Forever Fall forest for first and second year Beacon students. The trip promises not only extra credit but also wilderness survival training and, given the good doctor's reputation, plenty of sagely wisdom along the way. Come armed and ready -- there are Grimm about, and students will be expected to defend themselves and each other against whatever may come.

Pack your tent, sleeping bag, bug spray, and extra ammo. This little hiking trip promises to be interesting.

Juno Vert
Jocelyn Antiqua
Diana Farran
Helena Chlophyll
Mae Tulimanu
Theodore  Williams

Everywhere Else / The Things We Do For Love [VCVS]
« on: November 19, 2017, 05:47:46 PM »
"This is a message for Juno Vert."

With those words, the recording on Juno's Scroll began. The face -- or rather, mask -- of the person speaking was immediately recognizable as belonging to a member of the White Fang, and behind him were several similarly masked individuals bearing rifles, pistols, and blades. Little could be made out of the location due to heavy black drop cloths that had been hung over the walls, obscuring any hints of where and when the video was taken. The speaker stepped slightly closer to the camera. "You might say we've taken an interest in you, especially after your rather thrilling performance at this past Vytal Festival. Shame about the semi-finals -- really, I mean it -- but you showed us just enough to get several people curious. And suffice it to say, the actions you've taken against our brethren in Vale have made you something of a... target of opportunity and interest."

"You have something special, mister Vert. Something that we want."

Grabbing the camera, the speaking White Fang member panned it to one side, bringing into frame a prisoner bound with metal cables to a steel chair. A quick zoom-in and refocus made the details of the captive perfectly clear: she was a Faunus, lean and pale-skinned with droopy canine ears. A blindfold covered her eyes and a length of duct tape could be seen over her mouth, but even with these features covered Juno would recognize Caja instantly. She was roughed up but clearly alive, made plain by her rapid breathing and continual struggling against her restraints. The camera lingered there for a minute before the speaker stepped back into the foreground. "And we have something that you want. Oh, she was a pain to catch, what with that tricky Semblance of hers... but we got her eventually. And now that we have her, you're going to do" He stepped up so his masked face occupied the whole of the video. "Exactly. What. We. Say. Understand? Otherwise we'll start mailing her back to you one small piece at a time."

Stepping back, the kidnapper pulled a piece of paper from his pocket and held it up to the camera. "These are the details of an airship that departs for Wind Path tomorrow, and you're going to be onboard. Bring your tech. Once you arrive you'll get a message on your Scroll telling you where to go. Don't try anything funny, tough guy -- no rescue attempts, no heroics. If you even breathe a word of this to the kingdoms or academies she will die, you got it?"

With that, the message ended.

Approved Characters / Dr. Budonoki Sophos
« on: November 19, 2017, 11:57:53 AM »

Name: Dr. Budonoki Prasinus Sophos

Nicknames: "Budo" (among close colleges and personal friends), "The Surgeon Sage" (common media nickname)

Age: 62

Species and Gender: Lynx Faunus, Male


Spoiler: show

A stylized frond with detached leaves.

Theme Music: Curse Of The Dragon (Shanghai Seven Mix) by The Distillery


Teacher (Hunter Professor) at Beacon Academy (Specialties: Aura Use & Theory, Practical Dust Applications, Wilderness Survival & Tracking, First Aid & Field Medicine)

Former professional Huntsman; Beacon Academy graduate

Former professional surgeon and biotechnologist

Part time medical researcher and experimental botanist


Even at a glance, most people can tell there is something different about Professor Budonoki P. Sophos. The simple fixate on very obvious physical traits of course: things like his distinctive feline Faunus ears poking up pointedly from his graying dark brown hair and tipped with distinctive pointed fur tufts (when his head isn't covered by one of the woven conical hats he favors, at least), or the fact that he seems to have the same old-looking coil-barked walking stick with him at almost all times. The more observant might pick up on the fact that his wardrobe, frequently in earthy shades of green, brown, or off-gray, subtly hints at a wealth he has little desire to flaunt, suggested by the custom tailoring which weaves hints of a vine pattern into both his casual and formal clothes -- this theme is especially pronounced in his combat attire, where thin trails of variable green vine embellishment form an elaborate weave up the entire left-hand side of his charcoal-hued martial arts gi, with which he wears a dark green sash and black tabi boots. However, the most astute will register one aspect of Budonoki above all: his eyes. Bright green and dark brown in a starburst around the iris, his gaze is piercing to hold... but the longer you look, the more you'll see his eyes convey a sense of weight, of knowledge and the burden that comes with it, of a long life of success, failure, and struggle...

Doctor Sophos, as a matter of habit, doesn't go about announcing himself loudly -- this extends to his outfit choices as well as how he carries himself, such that not many people even notice when he enters a room... and, even once inside, few people assume he's important unless told otherwise. Adding to his cat-like features, he keeps his facial hair in a medium-length, pointed set of mutton chops that resemble the "beard" of a wild lynx. His olive skin tone is neither tan nor pale and, aside from some laugh lines and wrinkles showing at the edges, bears surprisingly few signs of aging for a man of his years. In fact, many would guess him to be a decade or more younger than he is -- a side effect of the unique path his life has taken, along with his holistic outlook. The one feature that truly betrays his age is his eyes; no one would mistake the look in those eyes for that of a younger man, certainly.


From his humble beginnings, few would have guessed that young Budonoki would grow to become the sort of man he would eventually become. Born in a small, predominantly Faunus farming community in southwestern Anima, greatness seemed almost as far away from the young boy as the stars themselves. Each day was hard toil, each season one of continual labor just to get by -- it was the only life his family had ever known. Yet, in the back of his mind, Budonoki felt something pull at him, as though the forests beyond the farms were whispering to him, bidding him come hence. At night he could almost hear them in his dreams. Admittedly, this notion terrified his parents to no end; while the area was not known for the ferocity or abundance of its Grimm they still lurked out beyond the walls nonetheless, and it wasn't unheard of to find the remains of travelers along the road to the nearest towns. Words of caution were urged, and the boy obeyed... mostly.

One muggy summer's eve, while the family was bringing their harvest to market, the forest's summons became too much. Half in a daze, ten year old Budonoki wandered from the camp and stumbled through the trees as if lured by a siren's song. At the time, all he could remember was that it was beautiful, more beautiful than anything he'd heard in his entire life. You might expect that this is when the boy would have his first fateful encounter with the creatures of Grimm, but no -- the entire night passed without incident, and the next morning his terrified family found him fast asleep among the roots of an oak tree. They had not only feared the worst but literally been forced to fend off a Beowolf in their search, not to mention hearing the distant howls of a whole Beowolf pack, yet the unarmed child had spent the whole night in the creatures' territory and suffered no harm. His family passed it off as impossible luck, a fluke of good fortune and childhood innocence, and after a good scolding they thought little more of it for almost a year. That was when a wandering Huntress sojourned in the family farm while passing through the area and discovered, much to her astonishment, that the child -- who had never had any formal training -- was generating an Aura with so much natural ease that even he didn't realize he was doing it. Much discussion followed, with the conclusion drawn that something must have happened in the forest that night, something that awakened young Budonoki's soul.

The boy's talents would be wasted on a small farm, or so the Huntress made her case that the family, and asked them to entrust him for training to one of the Academies. Haven seemed the logical choice, and after some consideration the boy's parents agreed. This was, after all, his chance to make a better life for himself. With tears and hugs he was sent off on his way to a much bigger, much stranger world than he had ever known.

Being only twelve upon arriving in Mistral, Budonoki was entrusted to a small preparatory boarding school in the city's mid-level districts. It was here that he discovered his thirst for knowledge, hungrily scouring the school's library for any tome that sparked his curiosity -- and there were plenty that did. History, art, science, philosophy, his young mind soaked it up like a sponge and went back for more, spending a great many nights reading under the blankets by flashlight long past the official lights-out call. Along the way he also discovered a passion for the natural world, feeling just as drawn to the vast stretches of green around the city as he had the bordering forests of the humble farm. Luckily the city's elaborate gardens and parks sated the itch for nature he so often felt; it was there that Budonoki often found himself when he needed calm, or just an escape from those among his classmates who bullied him for having "beast ears". Bringing his two passions together brought out the best results: if given a chance to study in the school's vegetable garden, which he often did, Budonoki's mind became incredibly sharp -- his test results, although always strong, were absolutely flawless when the season was warm and the weather agreeable. Nature, clearly, brought out the best within him, and when pressed he would just remark that he felt "more aware" among the greens and leaves and blossoms. This carried over when practical combat training began; in the school's practice room the young man was a middling fighter at best among his peers, but out on the grass he moved with a surety that seemed nearly preternatural. Confused and fascinated, the teachers consulted with the staff at Haven, concluding ultimately that a Semblance was likely at work here.

When he began his first year at Haven four years later, Budonoki was a capable young student but more scholar than warrior. He soon began to find himself left behind. As word of his nature-focused Semblance spread he began to lose him the advantages he'd once enjoyed at the lower school. While he remained a model student academically he struggled in practicals, especially sparring -- even when matches were held outdoors his opponents had largely figured out that assaulting the local greenery or removing Budonoki from it turned him into a distracted, easy opponent. Feeling himself slipping but not wanting to give up on becoming a Huntsman, Budonoki caught wind of an inter-academy exchange student program and signed up at once, in hopes that new environs and new teachers could help him improve as a warrior. A few months later he was on an airship headed to the kingdom of Vale, whereupon he would end up partnered with a striking young woman named Sienna Andraste and on a team of one young Alec Chadwick. Things were rough at first as cultural and personal differences were ironed out, but by the end of the first semester the teammates were inseparable. Budonoki petitioned Haven for permission to stay on as a full student of Beacon, a petition which was accepted. The next three years passed almost as if a golden dream, flush with camaraderie and victories and the endless vigor of youth. By the time Budonoki graduated he was not only the intellectual equal of many of his teachers but a competent Huntsman with either his staff or his bare hands. Feeling indomitable, the team decided to stick together and see where their new careers would take them.

The turmoil of the Faunus Revolution initially seemed far away during those days of simple heroics and warm-hearted revelry... though Budonoki could never quite bring himself to forget about his homeland of Anima, nor the plight of his people there. When Sienna died a terrible death in combat, the team shattered and began to drift; Budonoki, for his part, could no longer ignore the call to defend the Faunus of Anima from the injustices and aggression they suffered. For a period of two years he aided a resistance group which operated out of Anima's woodlands and forests, using his talents as a scout to keep his fellow freedom fighters concealed from retaliation while also learning how to do the work of a field medic.

The Faunus Revolution, at last, came to a close. Now a very different man and having forsaken much of his idealism, Budonoki attempted to return home... only to find that his family farmstead was gone, attacked by Grimm and evacuated during the war. Lacking direction and in turmoil within himself, Budonoki wandered for a few years and eventually aligned himself with a small order of monks and mystics who practiced an ancient, Judo-like form of martial arts as well as deep meditation. Five years of training and soul searching with the monks allowed him to recenter himself as a person and tap into depths of his Aura and Semblance that the ignorance of youth and the strife of war had nearly blinded him to. He had forged himself into a warrior, yes... but he was not a creature of war. Even during the Revolution he had very seldom shed blood, spending nearly as much time patching up his comrades as he had fighting humans. No... his way was different, he realized: a fight to protect life, not to take it. Finding himself restored and whole within, he said fond farewells to the monks and set out once more. He instinctively felt there was a new path for himself, and knew with certainty that he was meant to be a healer just as much as a protector.

Starting over again in a new profession wasn't easy, but Budonoki dedicated himself to his studies as intently as he ever had. After five years in medical school and a two year apprenticeship under one of the greatest surgeons in Mistral, Budonoki became a fully licensed surgical physician and went on to make a name for himself. He had his critics and doubters along the way, to be sure -- despite its diversity there was still plenty of prejudice against Faunus in Mistral, in some ways more-so following the end of the war -- but talent and hard work have a way of silencing bitter voices, especially in a field where able hands are perpetually in high, even urgent, demand. While travelling to various villages to fulfill his practicums he took an interest in plant-sourced remedies, and here his deep connection with nature led him to several discoveries that would ultimately result in medical breakthroughs. Taking a strong interest in bio-engineering, he founded a small biotech firm called LifeWeave so that the work that he began was able to be carried on by others under his guidance. The company grew and prospered rapidly... but Budonoki, for all his talents, was no businessman -- after just a few years he sold most of his stake in LifeWeave and stepped down from ownership. He would still found ways to contribute now and then, and his departing arrangements made it possible to tap a limited measure of company resources as he needed, but other things were calling to him now.

Beacon was calling him back -- he could feel it in his soul. When he put in an application to come on as a teacher he wasn't immediately sure if they would take him, given his age and how long he'd been away from fighting Grimm. Yet it seemed someone there decided he would be a worthwhile addition to the staff. Time, of course, would tell how it played out...


Dr. Budonoki is a quiet, sagely sort of person. Quick to listen and slow to speak, he gives off the impression of having a soul from an earlier time despite how easily he navigates the modern world. Not only is he the sort to drink rose hip tea while reading up on the latest medical breakthroughs, he has a penchant for trying to incorporate elements of nature into both his personal and professional life -- teaching classes outdoors (when the weather permits), filling his apartment with potted plants, that sort of thing. His outlook centers upon careful consideration, balance, and avoiding unnecessary conflict, which is reflected in his teaching style through giving his students as much chance to explore and reach their own conclusions as possible.

The elephant in the room, of course, is that Budonoki is a Faunus, something he does not try to disguise. Though he largely keeps his views on matters of human-Faunus relations to himself he does feel great sorrow that, with all the true monsters in the world, humanity will so often look to those who are different from themselves as yet more monsters... and, in terrible irony, sometimes act monstrously themselves in response. He has no love for the White Fang, seeing their violence as misguided and repeating a senseless and destructive cycle; people, he has long since realized, cannot be forced into changing their beliefs and prejudices, and that far too often deeds done in the name of "justice" are just as guided by fear and othering as the worst of crimes. If anything, he views teaching as the surest path to change -- a major reason why he sought to come back and work at Beacon.

Despite what one may think, Budonoki's Semblance doesn't effect his eating habits quite as much as it might. Having grown up on a farm he is long since used to living off the land, and as a biologist he understands the necessary cycle of seed-bearing fruits and vegetables (viewing them as "offerings of the land"). However, he tries to avoid plant foodstuffs he views as "made through suffering" -- chiefly saps and sugarcane. As a consequence he has long since weaned himself off of most common sweets, opting instead for honey or sugar derived from sugarbeets. This awareness of food sourcing extends to meat as well, leading him to consume fairly little beef, poultry, and fish and commonly substituting tofu in their place. Many spices, chiefly those derived from roots and stems, are out as well -- he concedes, however, that leaves are to a plant much like hair is to a person and can, within respectful limits, be removed without causing lasting harm. Some would say it's a bland way to live life, and Budonoki doesn't judge them for their choices, but for him it is about facing nature with a clean conscience.

To the surprise of many, Budonoki's hobbies and interests extend beyond gardening, meditation, research, and rose hip tea -- he's also a surprisingly talented dancer, for one thing, with an excellent sense of rhythm and movement. He knows and practices a little bit of street magic every now and then, far preferring the sort of illusions that involve making objects vanish and reappear to what he views as the "uninspired" card tricks and number games many performers rely on.


Despite having the money to afford a house in the upper class area of the city, Doctor Budonoki opts instead to live on the top floor of a tall apartment complex in part of the residential district not far from Beacon. Not only does it give him a quick and easy commute to work, but it has other advantages as well. As part of his lease agreement for the apartment itself Budonoki was able to install a large shatter-proof glass greenhouse on the roof of the apartment building, taking advantage of the elevation and open sky to more easily create and control growing conditions. Here he experiments, trying out various innovative approaches on an assortment of plant species. Of particular note are his experiments with Dust as a soil additive: dozens of plant varieties are painstakingly cultivated in premium soil containing many types and saturation mixes of Dust in it. It was from a personal research bed much like this that he grew his Vine, and he often returns it to a special soil bed here to nourish and restore it. It also turns out that carefully limited Dust exposure can lead to simpler, but still remarkable, changes in various plant characteristics. Under low light conditions some of the plants he grows seem almost to shine and shimmer; the greenhouse's hot peppers can actually cause people and animals who eat them to literally breathe fire (with little to no control, it should be warned) for up to fifteen minutes, and those are just a few of the botanical wonders he has wrought. None of the research is at a stage where Budonoki is ready to share his discoveries with the world just yet, but it does make for quite a tour. If you're invited to visit, be sure to try the blueberries!

The apartment itself is decorated in a very Asian style in keeping with certain traditional aesthetics from Anima, though with the occasional modern flourish added in for effect: floor cushions and woven rice mats, shōji and darkly laquered low-set furniture, and many types of potted plants scattered about are somehow harmonized with bookcases full of texts on medicine, philosophy, and teaching, a holographic TV screen, and a handful of abstract art pieces hung upon the walls. For those with the proper mindset, Doctor Budonoki's apartment is a place where you can simultaneously lose yourself and feel right at home, a refuge of thought and stillness overlooking the city.

Aura and Semblance:

Budonoki's Aura is a fresh fern green, which chiefly becomes visible when he's meditating.

His Semblance is known as Verdant Sense, and confers several benefits. In simplest terms, Budonoki "feels" the plant life around him as a type of perpetual sixth sense. When someone steps on a blade of grass or brushes against a fern, if he's close enough he'll sense it in the back of his mind. If a tree is scorched by flame or carved into by a blade he will "hear" it "cry out" in suffering; if a person or creature is perched in its branches he will "feel" it sag and "hear" the tree "sigh" from the added weight. This early warning system also doubles as a tracking aid: should he come across the path a person or creature took through the underbrush he can trace the "memory" of their passing through the vegetation, even up to a full week after the fact (though fresher trails are, by far, better). The more greenery around him the sharper his Verdant Sense becomes, going from virtually nonexistent in an urban setting to shockingly accurate in dense jungles or forests. To put that in practical terms: if a Beowolf were to walk across a grassy yard in a village he would feel a 'presence', have a rough idea of where it was and how big it was, but little more, while in a forest he could at once identify the Beowolf, be able to guess at its strength, and know whether or not it was wounded by the way its body moved, all without ever so much as seeing the creature. This awareness extends beyond physical bodies: he can sense nearly anything that effects the local plant life, much as if the foliage were speaking directly into his mind. The standard range of his awareness is a 50 foot radius, giving him decent coverage of his immediate surroundings, but this can be expanded ten-fold if he sits, calms his mind, and attunes himself to a meditative state. The more surrounded by nature Budonoki is the more easily he can achieve this -- he cannot, however, move or fight without breaking his meditation in doing so.

As you might expect, the Verdant Sense means that Budonoki is the master of his surroundings in any sufficiently green area, making it child's play to avoid threats and launch ambushes. His Semblance, however, has been finely tuned through experience and deep introspection, strengthening the bond between Huntsman and wilderness yet further. When fighting in forests or jungles Budonoki's Aura is bolstered as well: he strikes harder, runs faster, heals from injuries quicker, and shrugs off Aura damage more easily. To put a number to it, his combat attributes are at 150% of their normal levels while in this boosted state. He also becomes a blind spot to the emotion-senses of Grimm when boosted, meaning that if they don't perceive him with their regular five senses they won't even know he's there.

There is a major drawback to this Semblance, one that can be exploited by a knowledgeable enough -- or simply destructive enough -- opponent: cause enough damage to the local flora and Budonoki's Verdant Sense can become overloaded with "screams of pain" from the vegetation. The greater the damage, the worse the experience is for him: he can shrug off the sensation of a tree being smashed apart thanks to years of experience and focus of will, but put him in the middle of a raging forest fire or other large-scale devastation and not only does he immediately become disoriented and unable to fight effectively, he risks going catatonic from prolonged exposure. Nature is Budonoki's heaven... but should the greenery be plunged into hell he will be dragged down with it.

Budonoki is also a fighter deeply in tune with his Aura, and as such can wield it expertly. His bare hands can project concentrated Aura to form protective barriers up to two feet wide or, alternatively, deliver Aura-infused strikes that cause small destructive shockwaves on contact (much the way Lie Ren and Fox do). Using these techniques can be taxing on his Aura, however, and as a result any Aura damage he takes while using these techniques or up to a minute afterwards hits twice as hard as normal.

Combat Behavior:

Budonoki fights as a martial artist does, whether using the Vine, his staff, or his hands and feet. His approach to combat is to engage up close and personal, relying on reflex, agility, and skill to create openings in his opponents' attacks. As far as physical attributes go he leans heavily towards speed over strength, able to dash about rapidly and with great precision in even complex, busy spaces. With the exception of Grimm, however, he typically fights to disable his opponents rather than destroy them, preferring to do as little harm as possible in order to resolve a conflict -- this sometimes causes him to underestimate an opponent or let a fight drag on longer than it ought to, which can and will come around to bite him. In a fight against human or Faunus opponents he will often target pressure points; he is knowledgeable enough that a few good strikes once someone's Aura is down can numb their arms or legs for a solid five minutes or more, or outright render someone unconscious. Against strong Grimm he pivots to a strategy of luring the creatures onto ground that favors him, utilizing terrain to gain an advantage and expose weak points, all with the goal of ending the fight as quickly and with as little destruction as possible.

As physical resilience is not exactly his strongest attribute, Budonoki has learned to favor Judo-style grapples, throws, and disarming maneuvers. He can take a hit, certainly, but he can't take many, especially when away from the lush grounds that grant him combat advantage. He's also at a disadvantage when fighting foes at long range, as both his fighting style and choice of weaponry tend to focus on close and mid-range combat almost exclusively.


First Aid Salve: One of the many products of the doctor's research, this salve is a medical aid intended to treat standard combat wounds, accelerate Aura-based healing, and stabilize the critically injured until they can be properly cared for. It looks like a green paste and has the smooth, spreadable consistency of chocolate pudding while smelling strongly of bitter herbs (and faint hints of nutmeg, for some reason). This topical salve is a densely packed slurry of nutrients and biological building blocks, along with a special Dust blend designed to stimulate and accelerate the proliferation phase of healing -- when applied to an open wound the salve encourages both body and Aura to focus on rebuilding nearby tissues, serving like a rich supply drop in the body's fight to restore itself. As a result the body increases the rate of producing scar tissue and knitting itself together in the effected area  by around 25%; if combined with an active Aura, even a weakened one, a person will heal at a rate almost 50% faster than they would otherwise. The salve was originally formulated to serve a post-surgical role but has shown itself versatile for a wide array of uses. While it cannot replace the work of a medical professional should someone, for example, get stabbed through and begun bleeding out, it can act as a stabilizing agent until help arrives.

Budonoki always keeps at least three doses of salve on his person and will stock up if preparing himself or others for a dangerous mission. The salve is still technically in clinical trials but LifeWeave expects to bring it to market within a year's time; the doses Budonoki carries are from a personal supply. Side effects include headache, mild fatigue, dizziness, and faintly glowing skin in the applied area. Less than 2% of trial participants experienced troubled breathing, accelerated heart rate, nausea, blurred vision, and brief loss of consciousness while using this product. If you are allergic to any form of Dust you should not use this product. Talk to your doctor and see if First Aid Salve is right for you (patent pending).


Name: Extendable Combat Staff

Primary Form: The weapon does not so much have 'forms' as it does 'settings' -- this staff, a very simple and unassuming metal pole in appearance, has on its main segment several recessed buttons which toggle the length it extends to. Due to the wonders of Remnant's micro-engineering technologies the staff can collapse down to being a mere foot long (for easy storage) or extend to an almost mind-blowing thirty feet long, all with the press of a button. The micro-hydraulics that drive the lightweight segmented metal lengths are top-tier tech, enabling the staff to go from fully collapsed to full extension in just over two seconds, making it a viable countermeasure when facing foes at close or moderate range. It is, ultimately, just a (variable) length of metal -- this weapon has no gun mode and cannot strike foes at any further out than its reach. It's standard combat length is just shy of six feet long, meaning it is very similar to a bo staff in practical use.

Secondary Form: (N/A)

Tertiary Form: (N/A)

Dust Functions: (N/A)

History: Budonoki has had many staves down through the years -- in his youth he fought with a blade-tipped staff that was functionally no different from a spear or halberd, during the Faunus Revolution he brought into battle a staff with electrified whip-like extensions intended to shut down anyone who engaged him in close quarters, but during his time with the monks Budonoki put aside these warlike implements. Now, as a teacher at a school to train warriors, he takes up a staff once again -- one designed not to slay, but to defend. The piece was commissioned from an expert weapon smith, intended to incorporate high-end design and sturdy, lightweight alloys with a simplicity and directness of purpose. Budonoki tends to rely on it chiefly in situations where he'd rather not reveal what his other staff, the Vine, is really capable of.


Name: 'Project Triple Helix-V, Specimen 27-08: Aura-Responsive Structured Bio-Engineering Prototype with Dust Aspects', AKA "The Vine"

Primary Form: [WOODEN STAFF]
The Vine's most practiced form by far is as a simple wooden staff -- in this state it curls tightly in on itself and forms a gnarled woody exterior shell which is almost as strong and resilient as metal. The staff form is four and a half feet long and entirely unassuming in appearance; to look at it you would never know Budonoki had painstakingly engineered it in a lab instead of merely picking it up on a walk through the woods. As the Vine is attuned to his Aura it also channels it very well -- while all weapons of Huntsmen and Huntresses are conduits for their Aura, a living conduit like the Vine is able to benefit from the defensive and healing qualities of Aura particularly well, giving the staff a resiliency few other weapons can claim and the ability to mend itself over time.

Secondary Form: [FRUITING BRANCH]
The Vine can be coaxed by Budonoki to rapidly bud, self-pollinate, and produce a softball-sized spherical fruit that resembles a pomegranate. For the record, this is not the sort of fruit you want to try and eat -- when lobbed at an enemy they rupture in a large, messy burst two feet wide that covers targets in sticky amber-colored sap. The sap rapidly hardens, making it difficult for large targets to move and potentially immobilizing smaller targets (especially when multiple doses of sap are applied). If the Vine is fed a Dust crystal these fruit-grenades can also carry various elemental bursts (see Dust Functions), not all of which produce sap. The Vine can produce one fruit every two minutes regularly, up to fifteen a day before its ability to fruit is exhausted; to accelerate the process Budonoki can "plant" one end of the staff into the ground, causing it to create temporary roots and draw nutrients from the soil. In decent quality soil this can accelerate fruit production to a rate of one every twenty seconds; if the soil is poor (sand, for example) this confers no benefit. The Vine can also be "planted" in water to engorge the fruit, resulting in sap bursts up to six feet wide instead of the standard two.

In this form the Vine is functionally little different from it's wooden staff state, though the woody exterior becomes thinner, greener, and somewhat more prone to damage to as the plant focuses on growth instead of protection.

Tertiary Form: [TRUE VINE]

In its other forms, the Vine doesn't so much resemble a vine as it does a stick; this one is the exception. At Budonoki's prompting the Vine sheds its wooden shell and becomes a flexible, elastic, and nimble green whip which moves not just when swung like a conventional weapon but also based on thought, reacting reflexively to subtle shifts in Budonoki's Aura. Fully extended, the Vine as a whip normally has a reach of up to fifteen feet... but this can be expanded.

Instead of actively wielding the Vine in this state Budonoki can "plant" it in suitable soil, causing it to grow -- and rather fast at that. It can double its length in less than a minute and sprout new extensions just as fast, meaning that within ten minutes the Vine can spread to cover a wide area. As the Vine grows in length it also becomes stronger; Budonoki's favored tactic when doing this is to have the Vine curl around and immobilize enemy targets, although it can be used in other ways as well. Vine tendrils can extend underground, reaching up snag feet, crumble loose terrain, or even create tunnels once they become long enough. If high levels of force are needed the Vine tendrils can weave together into a solid mass, lashing out with enough force to shatter the body of a Petra Gigas. In this state the Vine can regrow just as rapidly as it grows, meaning that hacking away at its tendrils will only delay it for so long. The one downside to this rapid growth is that Budonoki must remain completely still while directing it, entering into a meditative state which, if disturbed by injury or interruption, will cause the Vine to rapidly wither back down to its original size. Therefore its a bad idea for him to use the Vine in this way without allies to cover him, as it renders him dangerously exposed.

Feeding the Vine a Dust crystal in this state causes it to grow inch-long thorns which carry elemental attributes (see Dust Functions).

Dust Functions:

It should be noted that powdered or granular Dust confers no combat benefits to the Vine -- to have any effect it needs a Dust crystal, which it will take into itself and digest to create the resulting effects.


Air Dust -- Causes the erupting fruit to explode over a much larger radius (15 ft) and with enough force to knock over a human-sized target who takes a direct hit.

Ice Dust -- Replaces the sap inside the fruit with a bitterly cold liquid which freezes on contact and produces a large cloud of fog over the span of five minutes before evaporating (this can be extended or shortened due to ambient temperature and weather conditions). Best used with engorged fruit for maximum effect.

Fire Dust -- Instead of hardening, the sap produced by the fruit becomes highly acidic, enough to cause a painful burn on contact with exposed skin. If ingested by a creature with no Aura (fruit thrown into a Grimm's mouth, for example) the acidic sap can burn its way through internal organs and kill the victim from the inside out within a handful of minutes, causing incredible pain in the meantime.

Earth Dust -- Strengthens the sap, resulting in it taking on the durability of concrete as well as a dark, earthy hue once hardened. While hardening the sap becomes elastic and rubbery, making it especially difficult to break free of.

Electricity Dust -- Instead of sap, the exploding fruit releases a ten foot wide cloud of semi-translucent off-yellow vapor which, when breathed in, has a numbing effect. The vapor cloud can linger for up to two minutes before losing strength, and the longer a person or creature stays in the cloud the greater the effect. Full exposure has the benefit of severely dulling pain but also making it hard to feel one's arms and legs; this effect can last for up to ten minutes, with diminished exposure resulting in lesser effects and quicker recovery time.

Gravity Dust -- Instead of sap, the exploding fruit produces a dim purplish-gray cloud which lingers in place for up to two minutes, regardless of the effects of wind, shockwaves, or other forces which would disperse a common haze. Anything that passes through this cloud experiences 10% less gravity for roughly a minute, making it possible to run faster, jump higher, strike harder, or even slow down falls if used properly.


Ice Dust -- These razor-sharp pale-blue thorns bear an icy chill but are susceptible to flame; Budonoki can cause the Vine to launch them like throwing knives at targets. The effect lasts for one minute.

Earth Dust -- The curved hook-shaped thorns produced by an Earth Dust crystal may not be as sharp as the Ice variety but they are impressively strong and difficult to break off. The Vine itself also hardens and becomes slower but more damage resistant. The effect lasts for one minute.

Electricity Dust -- Electricity sparks and arches between these needlepoint thorns like a live electrical circuit, shocking anything they touch. The individual thorns are fragile but damaging them causes a brief electrical surge, doubling the pain for anyone unfortunate enough to be in their grip. The effect lasts for one minute.

History: The project which gave rise to the Vine was inspired by an old legend commonly told in the area of Anima where Budonoki grew up. "The Story of the Great Forest", sometimes referred to as "The Tale of First Weapons", tells of a time before mankind's discovery of Dust -- a time when the world was still young and the soul of nature itself resided in a vast forest of immeasurable size. The story goes that in those days the creatures of Grimm scoured the earth, their destructive impulses bent upon wiping out nature... and, over many seasons, their perpetual assault on the Great Forest weakened it. Before the darkness could overwhelm the forest entirely it entrusted five seeds to a great sage, desiring that they be planted across the entire world that nature might endure. The seeds did indeed sprout and give rise to forests of their own, covering the world in lush green life, but each one also grew something special: an expression of the Great Forest's power, a unique living tool by which the sage and a chosen few might defend nature against the dark forces. The seed which grew in the east became known as The Leaf, and called a light-hearted wanderer to don it as a cloak and command the grace of the wind itself. The seed grown in the west gave rise to The Root, summoning a vigilant farmer to bear it upon his feet and legs and command the strength and stability of the earth. The seed of the south, The Thorn, called a fierce warrior to take it up as a might blade, and the seed of the north, The Bark, bound itself to a motherly protector as an unflinching suit of armor. The sage, seeing the Great Forests' gifts, carefully tended the last seed himself -- it grew into a long and reaching Vine, deeply connected to the land and the pulse of the world and, in the form of a staff, the Vine and the sage traveled the world and tended to the first verdant shoots of human and Faunus civilization.

Whether there is any truth to this tale or not, it inspired Budonoki as a young child and has continued to captivate his imagination well into his older years. When he first began experimenting with bio-engineering the idea of creating a plant hybrid that emulated the seeds of the Great Forest was just a musing, an idle notion in the back of his mind... but also one that refused to go away. Once LifeWeave became an established company he had the resources on hand to find out what was possible, and what followed were many long nights in a private lab splicing genes, infusing micro-doses of Dust, and carefully exposing the resultant seedling to his Aura in hopes of creating a bond. Even with Budonoki's Semblance giving him deep insights into each specimen the first 26 batches were failures, falling to mutations or simply being unable to cope with the changes taking place inside themselves... but upon crafting batch 27 something remarkable happened: one of the specimens began to evolve, not only coping with the alterations and Dust infusions but embracing them in a stable, responsive manner. Budonoki took great pains to nurse this specimen to full maturity, exposing it to his Aura as it grew until the plant almost seemed to respond to his thoughts. To say it became almost like a child to him wouldn't be an exaggeration -- he's been known to refer to the Vine as his "old friend" and speak to it like a person, going to great lengths to nurture it and improve its capabilities.

Plot Zone / Plot Requests? Post here! (0 OPEN)
« on: November 15, 2017, 07:16:52 PM »
PLOT OPENINGS: 0 (three in progress)

So by now I think it's an open secret that I enjoy running missions, quests, events, and the like. What's occurred to me recently is that there's an abundance of plot offerings that boil down to "come be part of this thing!", with somewhat less frequently the offer of "what thing would you like to be part of?". This thread aims to correct that.

Here's how it works: I will run up to three plots at a time. Using the form below you can make a plot request, either by posting in this thread or via PM, whichever you prefer. Aside from the required items, you can fill out as little or as much as you'd like -- the more info you provide the more likely I can craft a plot that you'll enjoy, but you'll want to leave a few things either blank or vague so that the storyline doesn't become too predictable. If I have an opening I'll respond with three plot proposals based on your request; you can then pick one to have me run for you. I'll review all requests that are made, though those who've been waiting longer will get first consideration when a slot opens up.

You must be active to be considered, and I will be checking -- no sense drafting up plot proposals for someone who's not around, after all. Once your thread starts, if you and/or other participants are going to be unable to post for a prolonged period of time PLEASE let me know before you poof; any thread that goes inactive for a month without explanation will be put on hold and back-burnered to free up the slot for others (if it becomes active again I will pick it back up, but posts may be less frequent due to a focus on other threads).

As always, keep in mind that plot events which effect a large number of characters, entire populations, or the setting at large will require staff approval, which I cannot grant. I also reserve the right not to run a plot for any reason, so please be sensible and don't request plots you wouldn't be comfortable running yourself. Other than that, have at it!

PARTICIPANTS: [Usernames go here (REQUIRED)]

CHARACTERS: [Character names go here (REQUIRED)]

PLOT BASIS: (Story) // (Combat) // (Character Development) // (Team Building) [Please select one]

GENRE: [Adventure, Casual, Mystery, etc...]

SETTING: [Mission / field work, social setting, school setting, etc...]

LOCALE: [You can be as specific or as general as you'd like, from "Beacon cafeteria" to "the continent of Anima" or even just "a village in the mountains". List as many locales as you'd like to include in the plot, but be realistic -- unless the story is literally about touring the world then including all four kingdom cities and Kuo Kuana is simply overdoing it.]

GOALS: [If there are any in-character or plotline progression goals, describe them here. For example: "(character) is looking for (thing)", "(team) seeks to become stronger", or "explore the aftermath of (event)".]

THREAD TYPE: [Clarify whether the thread is intended to be Open, Closed, or Request To Join. If left blank, I will assume Closed.]

OTHER DETAILS: [Add anything else you'd like included here. If there is anything you specifically do not want in the plot, or any aspects you really want handled a specific way, this is the place to explain that.]

Code: [Select]


[b]PLOT BASIS:[/b]







AMA Section / What does your character's Semblance express?
« on: November 13, 2017, 03:53:54 PM »
So with S5 EP4 out for all, we now know a bit more about the logic and theory behind Semblances. To quote Lie Ren:

A common philosophy is that a warrior's Semblance is a part of who they are.
Some say your personality and character can define your Semblance, while some claim that it's the other way around.
Of course, there are still many who don't see a connection at all.

The episode goes on to discuss how Semblances get unlocked -- intense stress, being struck by lightning, that sort of thing -- and that they can even evolve over time. Until this episode we've all been pretty much in the dark about the rules and nature of Semblances, so now that we know a bit more it's good to evaluate the Semblances our characters have and talk about the basis, unlocking experience, etc. Some profiles already have the info, sure, but one way or another it's an interesting and telling aspect of character creation. (And I'm totally not trying to give Vision more data or anything... ^_^;)

So, what does your characters' Semblances express about them, and how did they unlock this distinctive power?

Approved Characters / Sean Acacia
« on: September 30, 2017, 04:16:41 PM »

Name: Sean Acacia

Nicknames: Grenadier (prefers), Blast Bandit, Sugar Bomb (friends only)

Theme Music: Wild Frontier by The Prodigy

Age: 18

Species and Gender: Human, Male

Symbol: A green-gradient hand grenade set in front of a gradient-reversed horseshoe.

Spoiler: show

Occupation: Shade Academy student, part-time mechanic, part-time smuggler, amateur Dust munitions engineer


Sean is unusually fair skinned for a "desert rat" -- one of any number of half-playful, half derogatory terms for Vacuans who make a habit (or a livelihood) of adventuring out into the wastelands. This is in part due to his heritage, as both his parents immigrated from Mistral roughly ten years before his birth. Being so pale (and prone to sunburns) means he tends to stand out even in a place as diverse and multicultural as Vacuo; it's not uncommon for those who don't know him to assume he's just a visiting Valean or a tourist fresh off the airship trying to "slum it" with the locals.

Aside from his unfortunate complexion, however, Sean looks and acts every inch of his Vacuan upbringing. He prefers to dress simply and ruggedly, usually consisting of worn-in steel toed work boots, scruffy khaki pants that are not uncommonly seen with motor oil or Dust residue stains on them, and any of a number of dark colored t-shirts. He's seldom seen without his satchel bag and often has a small lollipop or other sweet candy sticking nonchalantly out of his mouth. When working on any sort of project or going out into the field he typically slips on a well-worn pair of simple leather gloves and riding goggles, joined with a pale dark green top-of-the-head motorcycle helmet if he plans to take Gust Raider out for a spin. As an added personal touch he makes a habit to wear a wristband, typically on his left side, that has a faded version of his symbol dyed onto it.

When out in the wastelands for extended periods of time Sean will typically don a tattered tan desert poncho, adding a gray or dark green bandana over his mouth if on a smuggling run to further conceal his identity.

Spoiler: show


It's rather unusual for anyone from Mistral to move to Vacuo, especially outside of corporate, military, or Academy interests, yet Sean's parents did exactly that. Over the years he's asked about the hows and whys on numerous occasions, never really receiving a straightforward answer. While it's true that his father's brother runs one of the more successful and well established auto repair shops in the kingdom that hardly suffices as an explanation; Sean has a nagging suspicion that the real reason had to do with getting away from something or someone back in Mistral, but what or who hasn't been easy to suss out. Whatever the secret, neither his parents or uncle are willing to discuss it -- a major factor in Sean's rebellious tendencies, enrollment at Shade Academy, and the ever-growing rift between the Acacia son and his home life.

Sean's life has mostly been a hodgepodge of reckless mistakes and adventures. From a young age he showed a predisposition to tinkering with machinery: it went from taking his toys apart to see how they worked to disassembling home appliances by age eight, building a working short-range radio at ten, and cobbling together a dune buggy from junk and spare parts by fourteen. At that point his exasperated parents knew he needed an outlet before he either ran off or re-engineered the entire house, and thus arranged for Sean to take on work with his uncle Bernal. It was a natural fit; Sean had a knack for dealing with engines and became a regular fixture at 'Frontier Auto Mechanic', such that he could -- and on slow days sometimes did -- run the shop entirely by himself. What's more, working with the various types of Dust-powered engines ended up also teaching him a great deal about Dust itself...

As Sean moved further into his teenage years tensions at home started to grow more intense. With clashes between child and parents coming more and more frequently Sean found himself coming home less and less, choosing to hang out wherever he ended up after dark rather than drag himself home to face yet another lecture. This being Vacuo, such a choice wasn't without risks. There were close calls, encounters with unsavory individuals -- after the second time Sean was mugged for the handful of lien in his wallet he decided he couldn't let himself become a victim. A sensible person would have gone home to safety, but Sean's pride and stubbornness refused. Instead he enlisted his uncle "Bern" for help, arranging for an old storage shed out behind the auto shop to be converted into a sleeping area and personal workshop and for one of Bernal's friends, a former teacher at Shade, to teach Sean how to defend himself. Though Sean was no powerhouse as a fighter the former teacher, upon seeing what his Semblance was capable of, all but demanded he apply to Shade. With a strong recommendation under his belt Sean was accepted... which meant he would need a weapon.

The easy part was designing and building -- a Dust combustion engine is, after all, just a "bomb" that only explodes on the inside to drive pistons and the like, so applying his knowledge to make something destructive wasn't a hard proposition. The difficulty lay in affording the right parts and materials. Since weapons-grade metal components tend not to end up in scrap yards or repair depots very often (or stay there for very long when they do) there was no real way around needing to buy them... and Sean had nowhere near the kind of money he needed. What he did have, however, was a dune buggy -- one customized to deal with even the harsh desert conditions to be found outside the more civilized areas of Vacuo. When he started to inquire if anyone was looking for a delivery driver he was under no illusions that he'd be ferrying groceries or exchanging pizzas for tips; if Vacuo could be described as having a national sport no one would think it to be anything other than smuggling, which was exactly what Sean was counting on to pay the bills for his new grenade launcher. Risky? Of course. Profitable? Certainly. The people of Vacuo often relied on networks of "couriers" to get everything from basic food and medical supplies to weapons and more questionable goods, especially settlements and nomadic groups who weren't on favorable terms with the main cities. Smuggling meant not only avoiding the authorities but raiders, Grimm, and predatory smuggling rivals looking to pick you off for your cargo. It was the sort of thing Sean's parents had warned him for years not to get mixed up in...

... which was precisely why he went right for it, a satchel of homemade Dust grenades slung ready at his side. His first few runs were rough, a learning curve that included running for his life from a desert Death Stalker and twice having to bluff his way out of unexpected complications, but learn -- and earn -- he did. In the few months he had between acceptance at Shade and the start of classes Sean was able to pull together enough income from smuggling and auto work to fashion Tempestas Telum... and have a bit left over besides. Not a bad side job.

Being part of Shade Academy meant a lot of things: skills and training, of course, but also opportunities -- a chance to be his own person, fully and completely, and no longer be pinned down by his family's demands. With luck maybe he'd even have a chance to find out his parents' oh-so-important secrets, but above all he wouldn't be stifled any longer. Plus, it was Shade! Who wouldn't want a chance to make a name for themselves at the Academy? It was time to make some friends and get a bit crazy with life...


Horseshoes and hand grenades... when "almost" still counts, when close enough is good enough, when luck and firepower tip the scales just enough to get by, that's when Sean is at his best.

Sean has always had something of a rebellious, independent streak -- good for a smuggler, even better for an amateur munitions craftsman. He enjoys solitary time out in the wastes almost as much as he does a wild party scene, often leaping from one to the other to get whichever "fix" he needs in the moment. Despite preferring to do things like a lone wolf he's not unapproachable and can be plenty friendly when he's in the right mood... though, be prepared for his sense of humor: gritty, wry, and not above employing cherry bombs and other "party favors" for a cheap laugh. He has a perpetual sweet tooth and is always on the lookout for novel and interesting candy to add to his personal cache, though he prefers popping candy over just about anything else.

As a student, "Grenadier" is a frustration to most of his teachers. Textbooks and lectures bore him to tears, especially when he could be out on a drive or a mission. That said, he's not quite as stupid as he makes himself out to be; he can study and retain information just fine, he just rarely has the interest and attention span to do so. In practicals, however, he's a frustration of an entirely different sort. With his indirect and outright dishonorable fighting style he seldom ever bothers to step into the sparring ring without being disqualified, yet on missions he regularly manages to make an uncanny success of things. Getting Sean to 'play by the rules' is practically a fool's errand -- unless he's forced or incentivized, he tends to do things his way or not at all.

When it comes to others, Sean respects two things above all else: courage and honesty. He doesn't really care if you're human or Faunus. If you're poor he's not above tossing you a little something to get by on, and if you're rich he won't chafe at soaking up a taste of the "good life" from you, but neither makes a particular impression on him. Sean's version of courage, it should be noted, isn't the same as charging headlong into danger -- that's just stupid, as far as he's concerned. What he looks for is someone who's willing to take on the rough jobs, to do what others shy away from, to tough it out and survive based on wits and grit when others call quits. As to honesty... the quickest way to lose Sean is to lie to him, even for a good reason. He doesn't expect people to tell him anything and everything at the drop of a hat, of course, but as long as you say 'no' and give a half decent reason that's fine with him. Nothing gets under his skin quite like people who won't square with him... which, admittedly, makes him a bit choosy about who he smuggles for and runs with.

Sean is a big believer in two things: luck, and superior firepower. He has a penchant for rolling the dice and taking big risks so long as he thinks the payout will be worth it, which leads him into trouble more often than not. He does indeed seem to be luckier than most people, though his 'luck' is the sort that can swing from good to bad and back again without much warning. When luck fails him, however, he usually has a fallback plan... and it usually involves blowing something up.

Living Arrangements: Eschewing what student accommodations Shade has to offer, Sean mostly lives out of a large retrofitted storage shed behind his uncle's repair shop. 'Frontier Auto Mechanic' usually just deals in desert-weather supply trucks, mopeds, dune buggies but they do get the occasional small airship or fancy car coming in, making it an interesting and often convenient place for someone like Sean to set up shop. Inside the shed the living accommodations are simple and durable: a bedroll laid out atop some metal crates, a simple sink, a hot plate, a few large wooden boxes of basic provisions scattered about, and some old adjustable floodlights set up in the corners and wired to a single switch-and-dial combo next to the bed. What amounts to a shower is poorly concealed behind a gray plastic tarp towards the back, making it a bit too easy for visitors to walk in on him -- thus he's gotten in the habit of keeping the large barn-style double doors locked, though not without forgetting occasionally.

What makes his "home" really interesting is the work space. Dominating the left side of the shed is an assortment of metalworking, chemistry, wiring, and assembling tools, many of them homemade and a little bit questionable-looking, centered around a large steel work table with scorn marks and chemical stains permanently seared into its surface. When everything is on and working it can look rather Frankensteinian, a mad scientist's laboratory set among cup ramen and half-empty cereal boxes. This is where Sean works his magic, bringing scrap metal and spare parts together with Dust to make things that, more often than not, go BOOM. It's also handy as a repair space for weapons, tools, you name it -- much of the equipment, while improvised, is fully functional. Sure, it's no Atlas military lab... but you'd be surprised what can be cobbled together with the right inspiration.

Aura and Semblance:

Sean's Aura is a deep, earthy green (#59794d). One unique quirk is that it occasionally manifests as a soft haze wafting off of him, happening when he's either extremely focused (a frequent occurrence when building things) or totally zoned out, leading those who know him well to call it his "zen haze". This means Sean usually isn't even aware he's doing it, and by the time he is it's already fading away. Good friends will sometimes use this to mess with him, claiming it's manifesting when it's not -- good friends are the only ones Sean let's get away with it, though. The manifestation has no particular effects other than making it vaguely look like smoke is coming off of him and looking rather spiff at raves. Sean, unfortunately, hasn't learned to reliably control the manifestation in any way.

Simply called Aura Bomb, Sean's semblance allows him to place an energized imprint of his hand on any inanimate object he touches -- energy which is released, explosively, after four minutes or at the snap of Sean's fingers. This Semblance has three grades of intensity, each requiring greater efforts as the blasts get bigger and more intense. These are detailed below:

LOW INTENSITY: The "little bang" -- a low intensity charge can be imparted with just a momentary contact, as slight as fingertips grazing across the object's surface. This charge grade is more a burst of force than an actual explosion; the energized object, so long as it's not inherently fragile or reactive, is not harmed upon detonation but instead releases a full-dome shockwave of mild concussive force (equivalent to a solid punch from an experienced Huntsman) and a momentary flash of light (enough to distract but not cause a blinding effect, except at very close range or in dark environs). Sean can use up to ten low intensity charges at a time so long as he hasn't used a high intensity charge any time in the last 24 hours and his Aura isn't completely depleted. A low intensity charge imprint will faintly glow a dim green hue, surging to bright white immediately before detonation. Applying a pinch of powdered or granular Dust to the charge area (or holding a Dust crystal) when placing this charge empowers the resulting blast with a low-grade Dust effect: ice Dust will coat anything touched by the shockwave in a thin layer of frost, fire Dust will cause flammables touched by the shockwave to ignite, earth Dust causes a lingering cloud of dusty earthen haze to erupt from the explosion, wind Dust increases the kick of the shockwave by roughly half, electricity Dust causes a shocking effect like unto a taser to accompany the shockwave (causing mild disorientation for roughly a minute) as well as upping the lumens of the flash to a blinding level, and gravity Dust turns the explosion into an implosion that forcefully draws objects, people, Grimm, etc., towards its center for about three seconds before dissipating. Of course, if he has a Dust crystal or Dust in a storage device he can also simply apply the charge directly, with the explosion guaranteed to detonate the Dust's raw, natural power. Sean may have as many low intensity charges placed at one time as he likes and choose, via mental focus, which one(s) he wishes to go off when he snaps his fingers.

MEDIUM INTENSITY: The "big bang" -- a charge of moderate intensity, this is the biggest boom Sean can impart on his own. To place this charge Sean needs at least a solid twenty seconds to focus his mind and Aura on the object he's imprinting explosive energy onto. He can't move around or fight at all while imparting the charge or it ruins the process, forcing him to start over or just abandon the effort. The imprint radiates a strong green light that can be easily spotted, making it the kind of attack that, for all its power, is not that hard to see coming. This grade of explosion most likely will damage all but the hardiest of materials it is imparted to; steel objects, for example, will survive but in a scorched and slightly mangled state. The blast itself is a roiling green-flame fireball with a five foot diameter and a strong enough shockwave to knock even a large Ursa flat on its back from a direct hit -- assuming it survives, of course. Sean can only muster one of these impressive blasts once every five minutes, meaning that he often only gets one or two in during an average duration fight, and only if he hasn't used a high intensity charge in the last 24 hours. Applying a pinch of powdered or granular Dust to the charge area (or holding a Dust crystal) when placing this charge empowers the resulting blast with a moderate strength Dust effect: ice Dust causes the explosion to instead become a wintry blast of razor-sharp ice shards, fire Dust doubles the size and intensity of the resulting fireball, earth Dust replaces the explosive force with a violently erupting pillar of dirt, stone, or concrete the moment the charged object touches the ground (assuming there is ground to erupt -- it won't work at all, for instance, on the deck of an airship or a second story apartment building with wood floors, instead fizzling out with a tiny poof of earthy grit), wind Dust triggers sixty seconds of violent storm-grade winds within a 30 ft radius in addition to the regular shockwave, electricity Dust briefly creates a sphere of ball lightning that will electrocute anything that gets too close (lasts 20 seconds), and gravity Dust causes a powerful implosion five feet wide that lingers for a full ten seconds to crush anything unlucky enough to get caught in its grip. He can also apply a medium intensity charge directly to a Dust crystal or Dust storage device to detonate the Dust directly, but this tends to lack the effects that channeled Dust power grants (even if the resulting explosion is rather impressive).

HIGH INTENSITY: The "BIG bang". Once a day, and only with some help, Sean can conjure up the mother of all Aura Bombs.

A high intensity charge is no laughing matter for any number of reasons. Sean needs no less than ten minutes of solid concentration to generate the charge, during which time he cannot move, speak, or even open his eyes. What's more, he cannot create one alone. A high intensity charge requires EITHER a large quantity of Dust to act as a catalyst (no less than 50lbs powdered or eighteen good quality crystals will do) OR he needs a second person with an awakened Aura to stabilize him in the attempt. Without either the Dust or a helper it's impossible and, frustratingly, it has to be someone he has a strong personal connection with -- friendship, respect, trust. Nothing less will do. The protection of his Aura is also cut in half while he's doing this and any interruption risks a feedback loop that can short his Aura out entirely, rendering him basically defenseless for at least an hour. Whether the charge is successfully created or not, however, the attempt leaves him unable to create any grade of charge for a full 24 hour period. If successful, what he creates is a white-hot intensely glowing imprint with a neon green light streaming from the center of it. At this point it's a good idea to start running -- when a high intensity charge goes off the explosion itself can be over fifty feet wide and unleash a shockwave which travels for at least a thousand feet, uprooting all but the heaviest of heavy objects in its path and sending them tumbling violently through the air. To give you a sense of power, one of these blasts once sent a small brood of Death Stalkers flying into a canyon wall, crushing them inside their own snapped shells and pinning them there for a full minute before they dropped. It's hard to imagine anything directly hit by a high intensity Aura Bomb surviving -- the armor of a top-grade Atlas airship or the most monstrous and terrible of Grimm, perhaps, but nothing less. Sean does not regularly carry around the kind of Dust needed to pull this off and does not go looking to use it... nor, technically, is he allowed to make a high intensity Aura Bomb without EXPLICIT permission from Shade Academy -- something his teammates have indeed been informed of.

Regardless of intensity grade, Aura Bomb always follows the same essential rules. The ideal object to use is no larger than a one gallon milk jug and light enough to be thrown a good distance by hand, although an imprint can be placed on any inanimate object (see further restrictions ->). An imprint can only be placed with direct skin contact; the gloves Sean wears are a means of avoiding accidental imprints, mostly a reminder not to do so. Sean can "withdraw" an imprint once he's created it but needs to do so before detonation -- once the "bomb" has gone off he has zero control over the forces that are unleashed.  The imprint of a charge is always visible and variably luminous based on charge level but always a small glowing patch at the point of contact which, itself, carries and delivers the force of detonation. To place an imprint Sean must make direct, purposeful physical contact with it -- getting his hand struck by a combat android does not let him "charge" the android's fist, but throwing a small rock can be used to impart a charge to the rock (this, in fact, is one of his preferred ways to use Aura Bomb). He cannot impart a charge directly onto living beings (the exception being Grimm, curiously) or anything bearing or channeling an Aura -- this means that so long as an opponent possesses even a tiny measure of Aura their carried weapons, armor, and equipment are safe from Sean's explosive touch.

Combat Behavior:

Most Huntsmen-or-Huntresses-to-be have an approach to combat that falls along certain predictable lines: front line, ranged, support, that sort of thing. Sean isn't a big believer in this kind of classification, not for himself at least. His style is... creative. His smuggling experiences have given him a flexible "wait-and-see" way of thinking about combat -- in a one-on-one fair fight he generally focuses on evasion at the outset, looking to get a sense of what his foe can do before deciding how to employ his weapon or Semblance as a countermeasure, then either bringing as much force as he can muster all at once or doing what he can to wear his opponent down. It's worth noting that his unarmed fighting style leans heavily towards acrobatics and parkour moves, both to make him harder to hit and to let him lay hands on as many surfaces as possible. Out on a real battlefield, however, his preference is to either sneak about and lay traps (usually with his Semblance) or, instead, find a nice semi-distant elevated area to shoot from and pummel a target with a hail of grenades. What comes after either of those opening moves often involves either mopping up victoriously... or a lot of running. Needless to say, when explosions don't get the job done Sean usually looks to his teammates (or whoever's backing him up at the time) to take the lead and make the calls -- in the absence of clear leadership he is rather wont to improvise a smokescreen or other distraction if under attack, his go-to pattern being "attack, withdraw, relocate, repeat as necessary".

His combat aptitudes are best described as "well rounded"; when it comes to speed, strength, endurance and the like Sean is a jack of many trades but a master of none. He can keep pace with other Shade students (usually) but by no means excels -- his greatest personal assets, aside from his Semblance, are his survival instincts, ability to improvise, and just a pinch of extra luck.


Name: Tempestas Telum (literally "Storm Bolt")

Primary Form:

A rugged drum-fed grenade launcher, Tempestas Telum is designed to "bring the thunder" at medium-to-long range, up to five rounds per minute. Ideal distance to target is between 300 and 500 ft, both for accuracy and to avoid potential splash damage to the user, but under fair-weather conditions its shots can reach up to 1000 feet away. Each drum holds eighteen 40mm contact-burst grenades which Sean personally crafts himself to his own specifications, with different types created for specific firing effects (see Dust Functions for ammo types). Sean can store up to five drums in his satchel and an extra six in Gust Raider, should the need arise. The weapon has a digital target-finder scope which is tailored to use out in the wastelands of Vacuo, able to pick out motion up to 1000 feet away even in low light conditions -- useful for recon, but ultimately aiming and landing a shot is up to Sean's own skills (and luck).

Spoiler: show

Secondary Form:

When not in use, Tempestas Telum collapses down into a durable, boxy, compressed state which Sean can clip onto his belt or satchel. It cannot fire in this mode but it can take a beating while keeping the vital parts clean and working, making it the ideal way to transport the launcher. The ammo drum must be removed before compression.

Tertiary Form: {none currently}

Dust Functions:

Regular Ammo: The standard 40mm grenade shot uses a typical firing mix for contact-explosive Dust ammo, giving it a kick roughly equivalent to a real-world hand grenade.

High Grade Ammo: These grenades use an improved formula which is expensive to make, utilizing a higher grade of Dust to deliver almost twice the destructive force while keeping to the same burst size as regular ammo.

Flame Ammo: When fire is the way to go, these incendiary grenades deliver. Each unleashes a spread of micro-pellets over a ten foot radius upon exploding -- on contact with a solid object or heat source the pellets burst into small gouts of flame, making it possible to cover a small area (or a large target) in fire.

Ice Ammo: Always useful when you need to immobilize a target, these ice-Dust grenades cause a flash freeze with ice one inch thick within five feet of impact. Best used as part of a full barrage for maximum coverage.

Earth Ammo: Need to do a little aggressive landscaping? Punch through a cave wall? Collapse a rocky pillar? These are the grenades for you. On contact with dirt or stone the impacted material is forced out of the blast radius, leaving no less than a ten foot wide crater or hole; on contact with any other kind of target (or in the case of an air burst) the grenade creates a five foot burst of sticky, resinous mud.

Maelstrom Ammo: Though these grenades don't actually cause direct damage, the forceful shockwave of air that one unleashes upon detonation is often enough to unbalance or straight-up bowl over a human-sized target within five feet of the burst.

Lightning Ammo: The three foot wide blast from these electrically charged Dust grenades may be smaller than the others, but the effect it can have on people, Grimm, and especially machines, is stunning. It's a real shock to the system. If you don't know watt that means, you will when one goes off.

Gravity Ammo: A bit different than the other grenade types, these rounds are actually designed to stick to a target (via a proximity-released purple gel that works as a rubbery fast-curing glue) and weigh them down via activated gravity Dust. Each activated grenade effectively adds 50lbs of weight and lasts for three minutes before running out of power. No explosion (aside from the bursting gel layer) accompanies this grenade's impact.

History: Based off a standard template, Sean's grenade launcher was an expensive build for someone living off of auto shop wages. To pay for the weapon's construction -- and the continued not-insignificant cost of the Dust grenades it fires -- he has taken on a semi-secret secondary life as a smuggler.


Name: Gust Raider

Primary Form:

Spoiler: show

A single-seater dune buggy that Sean has been working on since he began his employment at his uncle's repair shop, Gust Raider is a quick and nimble wasteland-ready vehicle that's just as capable on sand dunes and in rocky ravines as it is on the kingdom's (admittedly not always great) roads. What's more, it incorporates a high speed propeller system that it can use as a speed booster, the thrust from which is often enough for it to safely jump gaps that would be suicide for other vehicles its size. The propeller system has been further modified to be useful for Sean's "second job" as well -- with the flick of a switch it can tap into one of three Dust reserves useful for throwing off pursuers (see Dust Functions).

Sean doesn't often bring along passengers, but he can fit Gust Raider with two additional side seats that attach securely to the undercarriage. A third person can be squeezed in behind the driver's seat, however they will have to stand and won't be able to get out very easily. Eye protection is recommended.

Secondary Form:

When Sean needs to make his "deliveries" over walls, to low flying airships, or when he just feels like sending a special "hello" to targets too distant for his grenade launcher, Gust Raider's catapult mode is just the trick. Locking down into an immobile artillery-like arrangement, this weapon-like form can launch any object of less than 450 lbs and three feet across at its base into a parabolic arc, able to accurately hit within ten feet of a target location up to 2000 feet away. This can easily be used for launching durable goods, as long as they can survive the acceleration and landing -- for most things that are meant to arrive intact, however, Sean typically attaches a parachute with an inexpensive in altitude sensor. Targeting is handled via a local uplink to his Scroll, relying on its processing power, camera, and map data to run the calculations needed for an accurate launch.

As you might imagine, this form is also handy for long-range bombardments using things Sean has applied his Semblance to. It can even launch people... however, they'd better have a landing strategy before they go.

Tertiary Form: {none yet}

Dust Functions:

In its primary form, Gust Raider's rear propeller can be used to spread activated Dust powder from one of three internal reserves in its wake, for various effects. The one Sean uses the most often is earth Dust, causing a large dark-brown smokescreen to be released in a steady stream. There's a secondary Dust reserve for ice Dust, having the effect of coating the surface in Guat Raider's wake in a slick layer of frost. If neither of these is enough to throw off pursuit Sean typically turns to his final reserve: wind Dust, which nearly triples the speed boost caused by the propeller -- and can, in fact, briefly send the dune buggy airborne or into a very long, very fast jump. Sean tries to avoid using this last one at full power because if something goes wrong at those speeds the results can be pretty grisly.

Experiments with fire, electric, and gravity Dust were entirely unsuccessful and rather damaging, so Sean avoids ever putting them into the vehicle's reserve tanks.


Gust Raider came to Sean as a birthday gift from his uncle, a junked dune buggy salvaged from a local scrapyard that the young boy could disassemble and tinker with to his heart's content. Uncle Bern had expected the fourteen year old would eventually get it in working order, but he hadn't counted on the boy doing it in just six weeks. Ever since, whenever there isn't anything else to occupy his attentions Sean can frequently be found cleaning and working on Gust Raider. He keeps it in a purpose-build mini garage right alongside the shed he calls home, keeping the garage door secured with a padlock and a chain bolted into the concrete foundation to deter thieves. In the worst case scenario, if someone is brazen enough to steal his ride he can track it via his Scroll, the vehicle having a homing beacon with a ten mile radius that pings back through any open connection to the CCTS.

The Vale Region / Monsters Aboard the Ghost Ship {CLOSED}
« on: September 07, 2017, 10:36:30 AM »

A large cargo vessel has been spotted off the eastern coast of Sanus, drifting into Vale kingdom waters. The Vale coastal guard has had no success in contacting the ship -- furthermore, shipping schedules don't indicate that anything should be in the area right now, let alone a vessel this size. Flyovers by kingdom forces have confirmed two things: the vessel is the SDC Windfall, which was assumed to have been lost in a bad storm three years ago, and that there are Grimm onboard... including varieties, such as Beowolves, that should simply not be on the high seas.

The SDC has been notified of their errant vessel, however due to a quirk of the company's insurance policy they are unable to lay claim to it. Instead, they have put in a request to Vale for the ship to be cleared, surveyed, and the mystery of its disappearance and reappearance resolved before the company decides whether to buy up the ship and its cargo as salvage. You have been dispatched to do exactly that. Given how far from the coast the Windfall is, you've been given a Bullhead transport airship to use as you see fit for the duration of the mission, as well as permission to bring back anything of interest or particular value you find on board the derelict.

 - Board the SDC Windfall
 - Explore the ship to discover the source of the land-bound Grimm aboard it
 - Uncover how the ship came to be adrift and the fate of its crew

For over an hour the only things to interrupt the roiling dark-blue waves below were the occasional flock of birds flying past. The ocean seemed empty, serene, impenetrable in its vastness. And then, on the horizon, a speck of white came into view... the SDC Windfall.

The ship was much like the company-issued pictures you'd been shown in your mission briefing: a quarter-mile long, white pained above the water line and branded, of course, with the unmistakable SDC snowflake logo. What the corporate-approved images didn't tell, of course, was the current state of the ship. Its hull, though intact, was largely weather-beaten and definitely showed damage that one might attribute to oceanic Grimm. Over half of the large metal shipping containers seemed to be missing, and of those remaining several were broken open or outright snapped in half, laying in scattered piles and heaps on the main deck. As your aircraft gets close you can hear the howl of a Beowulf, and see scurrying movement in the shadows.

There is a small landing pad to the rear of the ship where you can land, but there are other options too. The glass windows of the cargo ship's bridge are destroyed, making an entrance possible there. You can also try to set down the Bullhead amidst the mess of the main deck -- the cargo containers could provide good defensive positions, and you might even find something of value. As the Bullhead has both an autopilot and a link to your Scrolls for remote control you needn't worry about flying or landing it yourself -- jumping from it onto the ship below is always an option, and it's chin-mounted machine gun can support you in a fight.

What will you do?

Approved Characters / Micah Sere, AKA Prowler
« on: September 06, 2017, 03:52:04 PM »

Name: Micah Sere

Alias: Prowler

Theme Music: The Best It's Gonna Get (Vs Tainted Remix) by Celldweller

Age: 42

Species and Gender: Faunus (Hyena), Male

Symbol: Micah's symbol is an old standby from his days as a hired gun: a bleached-white skull, sans jawbone, with a distinctive bullet hole placed squarely in its forehead. He uses the symbol sparingly so that it cannot be used to track or identify him, but does have it branded on his sniper rifle / glaive.

Spoiler: show

Occupation: Freelance assassin, saboteur, and infiltrator


Micah is a man who has not worn his own face in a long, long time.

A victim of a brutal attack when he was a child, Micah is permanently disfigured and scarred from head to toe. When "being himself", he covers his face with a long, tightly bound wrap of smoke gray cloth which reveals only his steely gray eyes and withered lips, the rest of him being covered neck to toe in a special form-fitting jumpsuit that serves as a second skin. This jumpsuit is important; the third-degree burns which cover most of his body have rendered Micah almost unable to feel anything but the worst pain as well as badly throwing off his sense of touch, so the suit was commissioned from a talented neurosurgeon to tap directly into his spine and artificially relay basic touch, heat / cold, and pain signals. It's not exactly true to life, but it does inform Micah, for example, if he's been wounded -- very important information for someone in his line of work. The sensitivity of the body suit can be adjusted via a few switches and a tiny, mostly flat dial located (surgically implanted, in fact) at the base of his spine, just above his tailbone (a flat cover ensures the controls don't get bumped or turned by accident). The body suit has an additional piece to cover his face, however he seldom ever wears it when not in disguise.

At roughly 4' 9", Micah is not an imposing figure naturally -- this and more, however, can readily be changed. The one benefit of his lifelong affliction is that Micah has become adept at the art of disguise; initially he developed the skill just to be able to interact with society on a basic level but over time honed both his talent and his resources to make a vast array of different appearances possible. With enough time and access to his carefully procured kit he can change himself to look like almost anyone: fat or thin, male or female, tall or as short as he himself, human or Faunus, there are remarkably few limits when you have the right resources to work with. When doing the work of a sniper or scout instead of infiltrator Micah will often wear one of several long, weathered hooded cloaks he owns, choosing the hue to best match his expected surroundings. Underneath he typically dons a simple, flexible set of dark gray leather armor pieces, specifically: chest, leg, and left side forearm, an arrangement intended to provide passable protection while not hindering movement or targeting. For a final touch, Micah has a pair of black-lensed smart goggles which greatly enhance his options as a scout, covert infiltrator, and sniper -- this high tech and heavily modified eye wear can not only sync with the scope on his rifle and provide night vision and infrared camera settings, it also has many of the same communication functions as a Scroll built in (with a heavy helping of high-end signal encryption to prevent back-traces and hacking attempts).


Once upon a time, there was a little boy who just wanted to fit in, but couldn't. It didn't help that he grew up in a Mistral orphanage with many other children, nor that the people running it were lazy and willing to turn a blind eye. It also didn't help that the boy was born with many, many distinctive spots all over his body, something he tried to hide but couldn't. The other children knew him for what he was: a freak.

There were other 'freaks' at the orphanage, of course. There was a boy with a tail and a girl with a forked tongue and several others, but they had learned to hide what they were or were big and strong enough that the mean children didn't bother them. Not so with the spotted boy. He was small, and thin, and not very scary. They made fun of his spots, of his nervous, awkward laugh. They made him dance while they threw rocks at him until they got bored, leaving him to bleed. They pushed him against walls, and down stairs, and into dusty closets with locks on the door. They made it very clear that he wasn't wanted... yet the boy had nowhere to go, and every time he ran away he simply got dragged back and scolded. Each day the mean children made up some new game to play at his expense. Each day was a fresh hell. And nobody would help the spotted boy; the grown ups were too busy, or too tired, or did not believe him, and the other freak children were content to let him soak up the abuse so they would be left alone.

One day, the orphanage set out on a camping trip. At first the mean children pushed him into the mud. Then they pushed him down a rocky hill. And then, when no one was looking . . . they pushed him into the camp fire.

The boy would spend much of the next two years in and out of hospitals for treatment. His spots were gone, but now he had scars instead, and couldn't feel the things he touched. Now instead of getting pushed down stairs he fell down by himself, unable to feel the steps beneath his feet. The caress of the wind was lost to him. The warmth of spring and summer, the chill of autumn and winter, all were distant whispers to his senses. He had to take special, uncomfortable baths while nurses watched and check himself every day to see he hadn't unknowingly gotten bruises or cuts or scrapes. Life became a numb progression of days... and in the void of everything he'd lost, he discovered something welling up to take its place: a deep, cold, focused ANGER.

Over the years the boy would gradually become a man and face a cruel, immoral world. He adapted, figured out ways to get by. For a time it was as a beggar, then a cut-purse pretending to be a beggar. That eventually got him enough for the first rudimentary disguises, but they weren't enough to truly disguise who and what he was. A chance encounter with a street gang saw his Aura awaken out of sheer desperation, and it was its healing touch that enabled him to survive the savage beating of that day. Unfortunately, unlocking his Aura came far, far too late to do anything about his disfigurement. What it did do, however, was give him something to work with in his struggle to survive -- something to protect him from harm and, with some practice, make him stronger and faster than he would have been otherwise. It also gave him some rather neat tricks... and, eventually, a career path.

Burglary isn't an elegant way to make a living, it's true. However, it's a bit easier when you have no fingerprints to leave behind and can create a cloud of concealing smoke to cover your entrances and exits. However, when a string of break ins involving "smoke bombs" happen, even in the seedier parts of Mistral, people tend to take notice... but, as fate would have it, someone got to Micah before the authorities did. One day he snuck into the wrong house and came face to face with the business end of a rifle, wielded by a mercenary hit man who was none too pleased to have an unexpected guest. Interrogation, however, led to conversation... and conversation led to an offer. The merc, one mister Callan Verlant, saw in Micah a streetwise amateur with untapped talent and some decent potential -- he had heard about the "smoke bomb" robberies and thus knew Micah's accomplishments almost as well as the young man himself. Callan suspected that Micah could accomplish more... much more, to the profit of them both. Not having any better offers and not expecting such a chance again, Micah warily accepted.

The next fifteen years were spent in a blur. Training, jobs, alcohol -- rinse and repeat. Make or steal lots of money, use it to buy what was needed and what was desired -- rinse and repeat. Micah and Callan maximized their skills and diversified their work; one day it was a paid hit against someone's business rival or rich grandfather, the next day it was filching treasures from private collectors or stealing corporate secrets to sell on the dark corners of the CCTS, and in the mix Micah began to realize that a person without a face can, with a little work, have any face they want... any identity they want. This became a staple of the jobs the two undertook: Callan would make the strategic arrangements and them Micah, in a carefully crafted full body disguise, would gather information or set certain steps in motion. There were a few early missteps, true, a handful of occasions where covers were blown or a disguise failed to hold up to scrutiny, but the more they did it the more expert the two men became at their game of false faces. And the rich and powerful of the Mistral underworld took notice -- in their peak years the duo was seldom not in the employ of one notorious crime lord or another, earning a distinctive reputation for their many successes.

Along the way, Micah had begun funneling much of his newfound wealth into treatments for his body. Healing and protection from his Aura meant that incidental injuries were not such a concern as they'd once been and he had long since learned to cope and adapt to the numb state of his body, but that didn't mean he had no desire to feel again. Any number of therapies and treatments were tried, including direct skin grafts from certain "donors" Micah killed on the job... but nothing really succeeded. Both body and Aura rejected the grafts, "healing" his warped flesh back to what was now its native state -- his self concept had shifted so radically that even his own Aura could no longer remember him as "normal", it seemed. Enraged that science, medicine, and even his own soul should fail to give him any hope at a normal life again, Micah's thoughts instead turned to those responsible for his deformity... and to revenge. With his current skills it was child's play to find those arrogant bastards who'd been oh so merry in tossing him to the flames, laughing as he'd screamed and writhed. None of them got quick or painless deaths -- each found their half-forgotten sins heaped onto their heads like burning coals, literally in one or two cases. Micah now knew exactly how to keep someone alive and in constant anguish for as long as absolutely possible... an art form he was only too glad to demonstrate to his childhood tormentors.

Micah would eventually part -- violently -- with his one-time mentor, killing the man in a drunken brawl over what should have been a minor disagreement. This means that he has "inherited" his partner's "share" of the business, along with most of his contacts and resources. While Micah will occasionally raise a glass to Callan's memory he does not bemoan the man's loss. Everyone dies, after all... the important thing, in Micah's mind, is not to make a waste of it.


To say that Micah Sere is a deeply unsettled individual is akin to saying that water is just a little bit wet. He is, to put it bluntly, a sociopath who holds little value for life -- human, Faunus, or otherwise. In his mind the question is never really about 'life or death', since everything and everyone dies eventually, but 'who deserves to suffer' and 'how much'? In Micah's opinion, the Faunus have suffered far more than their share down through the years whereas humanity has insulated themselves from suffering as much as possible. He sees himself as an instrument of "fairness", a tool to "even things out". His entire worldview is colored by this notion of redistribution of suffering, of creating a more "just" and "fair" world through the application of pain. Death, in his mind, is just an escape from the suffering this world brings... and he has helped a lot of people "escape" over the years.

Micah has two settings on his sense of humor: dark, and gallows. As one would expect of a hyena Faunus he has a distinctive laugh that is equal parts humor and discordant wheezing. He has a bad habit of telling stories and jokes that leave people deeply uncomfortable -- unsurprisingly, rather few people tend to socialize with him. That's fine, as Micah is basically a solitary creature at heart. Most of the pleasures of this world are lost to him, aside from food, drink, and smoking, and so he makes his own enjoyment down the scope of his rifle or drawn from the terrified or tormented eyes of others. As one might expect, a person like Micah is a magnet for the creatures of Grimm; to that end he actively avoids being outside of secured, well-defended areas without good reason, making cities his preferred hunting grounds.

Idealism is something Micah discarded a long time ago. He doesn't pay much attention to the public image propaganda of the White Fang and doesn't see himself in its causes or its "better world". However, he has no problem snuffing out the occasional bigot, especially if someone's paying him to do it. He is seldom ever without a pack of smokes tucked into his pockets and can often be seen lighting up, even indoors, not much caring for the complaints others may vo unless they hold authority over himice.

Aura and Semblance:

Micah's Aura is a deeply unsettling midnight black, and becomes visible around the edges of his body any time he uses his Semblance: Smoke Touch. Smoke Touch is much like it sounds -- when active, Micah's touch causes thick, inky smoke to rise from anything he touches. This can be directed via his hands, feet, or even his entire body, allowing him to create a persistent smoke screen which can conceal his presence. As this unnatural smoke is a creation of his Aura it further works to mask his presence, or even the presence of others, from Aura-based detection. A touched spot can generate smoke for up to 30 minutes after initial contact and does not need to be immediately activated, meaning Micah can "mark" a spot with his touch and then activate it later on through a mere exertion of will (so long as he is within a one-mile radius). As the smoke is a construct of his Aura, Micah can sense people and objects who are present in the smokescreen the same way he would a strike against his Aura, making it suitable as an early warning system and advantageous for ambushes. He can also shape and direct the smoke to an extent, forming concentrations into the rough likeness of people, creatures or objects, as well as causing it to drift steadily in chosen directions (so long as wind or other forces aren't acting against it). For one additional nifty trick Micah can rub his hands together and generate a dense "ball" of smoke which he can then lob anywhere within the reach of his throwing arm -- the ball will erupt on contact into a cloud with a roughly 20ft radius.

Aside from bucking the old wisdom that "where there's smoke, there's fire", Micah's smoke behaves very much like regular, natural smoke would. The clouds linger and obscure vision but dissipate with time, wind, or rain. The smoke is also uncomfortable to breathe in, causing minor irritation to the throat and eyes on contact, but has no lingering ill effects and is not toxic in any way. It causes no damage to the objects Micah touches to generate it beyond some minor grime and smoke stains. And, yes, it does set off smoke detectors, which can be a curse or an asset depending on how it's used.

Combat Behavior:

Micah is, first and foremost, a sniper. His first instinct in combat is to find a concealed or advantageous shooting position at significant distance from his target, line up the crosshairs, and solve his problems with the pull of a trigger. That, of course, does not always work. A stand-up fight is, by definition, not a situation Micah prefers to find himself in -- when he does, however, he operates with a mix of military-style tactics and street-smart cunning. He will use his Semblance to confuse, disorient, or outright elude attackers and then re-engage from an angle of his choosing with either a burst of weapons fire or the slash and stab of his polearm. Against a single opponent he prefers to whittle down his foe, make them exhaust themselves in the effort of trying to pin him down before going on the offensive. Against a group of enemies he looks first to break coordination and disrupt teamwork, biding his time to either pick off individual targets or sow enough chaos that he can escape to a better tactical position. The greater the numbers against him, the more Micah prefers to stay at range; he can fight in melee, and will when pushed to, but it's not his personal strength.


Name: Terminus

Primary Form: [SNIPER MODE]

A high powered, state of the art bolt-action smart sniper rifle with a high tech scope and a long reinforced barrel. The scope is one of the best money can buy off the black market: it can zoom in to spot targets at extremely long distances (up to 1000 yards away, conditions dependant), presents digitally-rendered images using a variety of light corrective modes as well as thermal imaging and night vision, and incorporates a computerized tracking and fire system which is scary accurate. It also works in tandem with Micah's smart goggles, making it possible for him to shoot around corners when a situation calls for it. The weapon itself is chambered to fire high caliber ammo from five round clips in this mode, making it a force to be feared. It does not, by default, have an attached silencer, though it can equip one when a situation calls for it. Micah's personal symbol is embossed on the sides of the gun.

In addition to standard sniper-grade ammo, Terminus can chamber a number of highly expensive specialty rounds. These include darts for delivering poison or tranquelizer as well as "tagger rounds": radio frequency based tracking and listening devices the size and thickness of a thumbnail which are flexable in design and can adhere to virtually any smooth surface like a sticker. With these non-damaging ammo types the bullet casing serves as an initial shell which disintegrates mid-air (via a corrosive Dust micro-charge) once the round reaches suitable distance-to-target.

Secondary Form: [COMBAT MODE]

In combat mode, Terminus' long sniper barrel slides most of the way into the body of the gun and the overall weapon arrangement shifts to take on a shape more akin to an assault rifle. In this mode the weapon shifts to a secondary firing system and utilizes smaller caliber ammo in 50-round magazines, able to utilize semi-automatic firing.

Tertiary Form: [TERMINUS BLADE]

In blade mode, Terminus augments its sniper mode with a reinforced barrel suitable as a melee-grip shaft while revealing a long, curved, single-edged metal blade from the weapon's stock, effectively making it into a glaive. It can still fire in this mode, presenting some interesting possibilities when fending off multiple opponents.

Dust Functions:

Like most ranged weapons, Terminus is able to chamber and fire various Dust rounds for elemental damage effects. Of particular note is the high caliber sniper rounds: not only do these pack particular punch, but the ones Micah employs utilize highly potent Dust micro-warheads to deliver large-area splash damage -- Micah refers to these rounds as "instant storm, just add gun" because on impact they release a shockwave of churning, roiling elemental forces. Ice rounds cause a flash freeze effect over a twenty foot radius, fire unleashes a massive fifteen foot wide fireball (and tends to ignite anything even remotely flammable in the immediate area), earth causes a ten minute vibration chain reaction akin to a localized magnitude 8 earthquake, lightning produces a wide area EMP effect (shuts down computers and overloads Scrolls, light sources, androids etc.), and wind literally produces a miniature tornado ten feet wide and thirty feet tall which can last for up to six minutes. And that's the splash damage -- actually getting hit by one of these devastating shells, being at the center of the release of force, would nigh certainly be a fight-ender for even Huntsmen and Huntresses... if not a life-ender.

It's worth noting that unlike his standard sniper ammo these high-potency specialty rounds come in single round clips -- the ammo has to be treated with such care until the time of firing that it needs to be stored under very specific conditions, necessitating the isolation of each bullet. They are also prohibitively expensive and highly illegal, meaning that unless an operation specifically calls for more he would, at most, have only ONE of these on his person at any given time.


Terminus is an unparalleled custom sniping weapon which Micah commissioned, at the cost of a small fortune, from one of the most powerful underworld arms dealers in all of Mistral. It has seen him through much of his mercenary career and continues to be his most reliable, and oftentimes only, trusted ally. He is intimately familiar with the weapon's every component and performs all maintenance on it himself, not comfortable trusting hid death-bringer in the hands of any other.


Name: Grapple Pistol

Primary Form:

A simple but efficient motorized grappling hook utilizing a basic pistol stock and framework, equally useful for rapidly reaching rooftops or scaling cliff faces. The line it fires is woven steel and highly durable and can be quickly fitted with a standard grappling hook, spear-tip, or an electromagnetic clamp, all of which Micah carries with him on missions. It can quickly reel in or sustain up to 250lbs of weight, meaning that Micah and one other person (or large object) can effectively be moved by it.

Secondary Form: {none}

Tertiary Form: {none}

Dust Functions: {none}

History: A simple utility sidearm that Micah acquired to improve his mobility.

Everywhere Else / Hunt for the Howling Storm {CLOSED}
« on: September 05, 2017, 08:59:10 AM »
  S C E N E ~ M U S I C 
Dead Man's Tale
by Antti Martikainen

The mid-morning sun beat down, gleaming off the hulls of several airships sitting quietly on the half-dozen elevated landing pads scattered across what was otherwise mostly an open grassy field. It was a risky but necessary proposition to have an airship facility outside the kingdom's borders, as supply runners and passenger ships couldn't always manage -- or afford -- to make it to the more elaborate facilities within Vale's walls when they needed to refuel or repair. The towering concrete walls and a handful of robotic turrets did a decent enough job of keeping away the occasional Beowulf or Ursa, and there were always the Huntsmen and Huntresses to help cull the local population, so such places were usually safe enough. They were, however, also a bit of a gray zone... seldom regulated, rarely official in any sort of capacity, and a magnet for questionable ventures. Not the sort of place where people checked IDs, nor asked your business so long as you stayed out of theirs. It was, simply put, NOT the sort of place where an upstanding academic would feel the least bit comfortable...

Perhaps that was why Mr. Quisling, a scrawny mouse of a man in a loose-fitting sweater and thick spectacles, looked so very much out of his element. He clutched at a collection of folders and notebooks as though clinging to a life raft, eyes darting nervously about as he sheltered under the shadow of a large, not particularly impressive-looking cargo airship. The ship itself was easily the most shabby affair seated on a landing pad, looking very much like someone had cobbled together scrap metal to form the outer hull -- a patchwork quilt, to put it generously, of an airship, a lumbering hulk of undecorated steel and iron that looked far more fit to be a garbage scow than a passenger carrier. Up the main walkway it was possible to glimpse the ship's inner arrangement: dark, dimly lit, and narrow, like one would expect of a submarine.

Quisling's eyes darted upwards as a Bullhead began to descend from the sky, eager to see if it was whom he hoped. Sure enough, as the bulbous transport touched down and its doors slid open he caught sight of the brave souls hired for this expedition. Running -- and quite nearly tripping -- his way down the landing pad stairway, he rushed over to greet the three. "Ah, you're here! Good... good good good! Thank you all for coming. Now, ah, this way then!" He gestured over to the rustbucket-looking airship. "I, ah, know you just got off a flight to get here, but there's scarcely any time to waste! And, um, d-don't worry -- it's better than it looks, I promise you! Once you're all aboard we c-can be off."

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