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Messages - Riven

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Everywhere Else / Re: Ways of the World [Ordelis] (CLOSED)
« on: July 13, 2018, 12:37:57 PM »
'Wow. She is a hundred miles an hour of questions...' Sean couldn't help but think, clearly realizing that to Solar this bustling marketplace must seem like a world unto itself. Her attention -- and his with it -- leapt from one target to another like chain lightning. He barely had time to realize she was talking about pizza before she was fascinated by... had it been that jewelry stall, the blown glass souvenirs, or the miniature Grimm statues in bronze? And then her attention was on something else, another something else, and... oh great, street performer. It would be challenging enough to explain the city to Solar without going into people-pretending-to-be-things. 'Note to self: bad idea to overwhelm the boss-lady with multiple new things at once.'

"Whoa, hey, slow down and let me catch up!"
Sean playfully chided with a chuckle. Her curiosity truly knew no bounds. "All this is new for ya, I get that. I'll do my best to explain along the way, just... one thing at a time, eh?"

"So, to cover just a few things..."
He launched into a general tour guide style exposition of the market -- how people came from towns, villages, and even other kingdoms to trade things they had, or made, or could do, all in exchange for Lien. That included lots of different types of food, handcrafts, even weapons. He pointed out a few of the highlights along the way. "That place? They make some of the best roasts and sandwiches you'll ever have. That place promises rare and valuable stuff from the other kingdoms, but most of it is fake or really badly made. This stall is owned by the guy who provides my uncle with some of the parts he uses in his garage, so I can usually strike some pretty good deals with them. That store sells Dust-infused clothing -- not very sturdy but very sparkly, the sort of thing rich people wear when they want to impress each other. Long story short: if you have the money you can buy just about anything in Vacuo's market," He dropped his voice and half-whispered. "Even things you're not technically supposed to."

The Vale Region / Re: Within Nature ~ Training [Rush] (CLOSED)
« on: July 12, 2018, 05:55:24 PM »
And here it was... the force and intensity the old faunus had been driving at since the outset. Quicker, perhaps, than expected -- Juno had no trouble bringing the force of his emotions to bear, and in that flurry of counterattacks Budonoki glimpsed not just the fierce spirit that had carried the brawler's rising star during the last Vytal Festival. He could see it writ large in the boy's aggressive moves, in his body language: rage and frustration, driven by fear... possibly even regret. The desire to push back and force out. To create distance and enforce boundaries. Hell, jamming the staff into the log carried much the same connotations as a profanity-laden middle finger. As expected, these were the attacks of someone who really, really didn't want to talk about it.

As expected, however, did not necessarily mean "prepared for".

The leg sweep came in fast -- Juno was operating in his element now, fighting his way, so of course he'd be swifter and more effective. Budonoki was a Huntsman, true, but most of his life hadn't been spent as a warrior and Juno had the advantages of youth behind him. A half-recovery as his body went sideways was interrupted as the first year's foot came flying his way, sending the faunus into a rolling landing. The wood groaned beneath them with the impact; the teacher was quick to twist and spring into a crouch, but the student had momentum and was already on the offensive. Weathering the blows as best he could with staff and arm blocks, Budonoki reminded himself that he had asked for this, literally, and that it served a higher purpose. Even blocking, though, the kicks Juno was doling out packed a wallop... so Budo decided to stop blocking. Between when he'd let go of his staff and when it hit the water he'd ducked beneath one of Juno's kicks, stepped in close for a leg sweep of his own, and followed it up with a rising windmill kick to the chest.

It was time to see how far this could go.

AMA Section / Re: Why do you want to win the Vytal Festival?
« on: July 12, 2018, 04:38:27 PM »
Sean mostly signed up as a chance to see a bit of the world beyond Vacuo. He's not especially set on winning, as he knows that the fame from just simply participating is likely to open up some new opportunities for him. That said, he is a showoff and doesn't much like the idea of being upstaged, so... expect fireworks!

As for Budonoki, he's not really participating in the Huntsmen Bracket with winning in mind. He sees it more as an opportunity to stress-test the Vine, and by extension himself. Competition isn't really in his nature, but as a Huntsman he certainly understand the usefulness of it as a tool for self-improvement.

The Vale Region / Re: A Walk In The Shadows (Inex, CLOSED)
« on: July 08, 2018, 07:35:50 PM »
It was her, then. Maria felt a small moment of satisfaction at meeting such an elusive character. The truth was, she'd been interested in Amane for some time -- in a world where her information brokering provided a clear picture of many who's-who's, stumbling across the trail of someone who left no record of their appearance was both startling and thrilling. Putting the pieces together had started as a mere business curiosity, wanting to make sure she wasn't missing anything or anyone in her considerations, but it had gradually become more of a... a hobby, honestly. It was like trying to solve a detective story. How "the invisible girl" she keep such a low profile while operating in a world where info was often more valuable than money, while studying at Beacon no less? Was Amane an ace hacker, or connected to one? In some sort of strange witness protection scheme turned freelance operation? Did her Semblance turn her literally invisible? There were easily a dozen or more questions Maria wanted to ask in that moment as she took and warmly shook Amane's offered hand... but none were appropriate to the moment, and most revealed far too much of her own interest to be suitable for business.

"A pleasure to meet you, Amane. My employer is a big fan of your work. According to her, you're quite the artist." Taking the seat opposite Amane, she put her ice cream down on the table and then placed a small, high-tech looking disc-shaped device down next to it. The tap of a button and a green light in the center lit up. "Ah, much better. This," She gestured to the contraption. "Is a privacy field generator. It acts a bit like noise cancelling, except that instead of nullifying sound it scrambles it according to pre-programmed algorithms. Anyone more than a few feet away will think I'm interviewing you in a vaguely Vacuan-sounding language, thus allowing us to discuss the matter at hand without risk of eavesdropping. Just act like it's an academic interview, please." She scooped up a spoonful of gelato, finding she quite enjoyed the taste. "I must say, you certainly know your frozen treats, Ms. Petrichor."

Reaching into her pocket, she produced several high-value Lien cards and placed them discreetly in reach of Amane. "This is thanks for meeting with me, especially on such short notice. The Lady of a Thousand Faces is a firm believer in establishing good rapport with everyone she does business with, so that's yours to keep regardless of whether or not you accept the job."

"Now, I'm sure you have questions."
Maria brought another delicious spoonful to her lips, savoring it a moment before adding. "Feel free."

Everywhere Else / Re: The Things We Do For Love [VCVS]
« on: July 08, 2018, 10:42:16 AM »
Not-Caja chuckled, dipping into and out of mimicry with an almost uncanny -- and truly unsettling -- ease. "Who, where, why, what, how -- all the classics are running through your head right now, along with a hefty dose of adrenaline." The sirens in the background were definitely starting to get closer, though it was hard to say when exactly they would arrive. The impostor turned around but kept step and pace, walking backwards through the scattered detritus while stretching their arms casually. This time their voice dipped down from Caja's tones to match Juno's own, though the casual indifference behind the words couldn't be any further from the emotional intensity going through Juno's mind right now. "I know, I know, this is a very trying time for you... but try to keep in mind, to me this is just business. I'm a mercenary -- the Fang hired me to play a role and then back-stab you, but I opted to back-stab them instead. Why?" They lifted their open palms in a shrug. "Because, obviously, I can't trust them anymore than you can trust me. My back would be the next to get stabbed. This business doesn't run on courtesy, kids -- it runs on convenience. And on that note..."

Reaching the (mostly) undamaged building, the impersonator reached down and pulled up a large garage door. On the other side was a small junky-looking cargo airship the size of a Bullhead, the sort that was likely used for short-trip hauling ore or raw Dust. "Your limousine awaits, lads, and here's the key." The mercenary tossed a key ring with a small control chip to Juno. "Just plug that chip into the nav system you'll have the coordinates for where the Fang are keeping your lil' lapdog -- once I transmit the decryption key, that is. You'll just have to fly manual until then, and I'd recommend getting airborne soon. Once you're in the skies," He pulled out a handheld two-way radio. "We'll talk business. You'll be on your way, and I'll be out of reach for back-stabbing by all parties involved. A fair arrangement, I'd say. Or I suppose you could try to beat it out of me, then explain things to the police." Cupping a hand to one ear, the fake Caja stopped to listen. "I'd say you've got... about four minutes to decide. Tick tock!"

Everywhere Else / Re: Ways of the World [Ordelis] (CLOSED)
« on: July 05, 2018, 01:29:17 PM »
He'd been both relieved and concerned to see Solar literally chaining down the live vulture: relieved because he could grab some clothes while she was busy, and concerned what that crazy bird might do if it managed to slip loose. Then again, this was Solar Raise: bird-hunter and wild mountain girl. In her hands, those chains would likely be enough to keep an Ursa immobile. Which, as the young smuggler hastily wriggled into a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, brought to mind the fact that the apartment would likely stink of vulture by the time they got back from today's outing.

...Meh. He'd had worse roommates, after all.

"Hunting spots". How to explain this...? "Well, I do know a few places out in the wastes," Memories of trapping and cooking a longpaw rabbit one time when Gust Raider broke down came to mind, along with a few well-known watering holes and brush-land areas. "Buuuut, I can do ya one better. Vacuo's one of the biggest market cities in the world, and it has some really good restara-" He realized halfway through the word that she likely had no idea what a 'restaurant' was. "That is to say, people who'll trade really good food for money." Gods, he hoped she knew what money was. How remote and isolated could that village really be? "Fortunately, I know some of the best. You're in for a real treat today."

Now what to do with that vulture...?

After getting himself decent, Sean led his team leader further into the city. Their destination was a local bar & grill called Pepper's, both for the name of the proprietor and for the fact that peppers, spicy or otherwise, were in virtually every dish. They also made some of the best steak fajitas around -- something he was willing to bet would wow Solar's taste buds. He'd made sure to choose a colorful route too; the restaurant was just on the edge of the market district and there were plenty of various shops along the way. Having not known each other much outside of chase and fight scenarios, the blonde bomber figured he'd probably learn more about his most-definitely-fearless leader by seeing what sorts of things caught her eye than by asking a million questions.

He did, however, have at least one. "Sooo... how's the horn healing? You were still in a rough way last time we met up." He knew Aura was a powerful healing agent, but with something like ram's horn he wasn't really sure how that would play out.

Everywhere Else / Re: Hunt for the Howling Storm {CLOSED}
« on: July 01, 2018, 09:34:13 AM »
The BOOM of the explosive-filled backpack going off echoed through the entire cavern, accompanied by the sounds of pieces of metal raining down onto bare stone. When the bloom of smoke and flame cleared half the aircraft was just simply gone, the other half rolling like a tumbleweed for a few moments before it ground to a halt in a screeching shower of sparks. Most of the grunts and crew had leapt out (or been blasted out) at the last moment, laying still but most likely alive where they landed. In any case, they wouldn't be putting up a fight any time soon. Solar and Infrared had pushed themselves to their limits... but in the end, it paid off. The fight was all but over.

A scream of terror filled the cavern just seconds after the explosives, the other half of the fight reaching its conclusion in similarly destructive fashion. When Fallon and Rust reached striking distance their blades had clashed -- Rust was a half-second quicker and, although Fallon had clearly been intent on slash-and-stab, the Fang lieutenant had been forced onto the defensive to avoid being cleaved in two. For all the good it had done him; the whirling spikes of Onyx Ripper buffeted Fallon's saber, and just like the Fang Bullhead there was a banshee shriek of metal and torrent of sparks from the clash. Leverage, however, can often be a deciding factor in melee combat -- Fallon gripped his blade by one hand, whereas Alizarin's weapon was mounted to his forearm. It was inevitable that the lieutenant's grip would slip. Caught by the chainsaw fangs on Rust's weapon Fallon's sword was flung away, his arm pulled downwards by the exerted force... and what had been intended as a shoulder-level strike instead went a few inches higher. Lt. Fallon had just enough time to recognize his predicament and scream in horror before his Aura crumbled... and he was silenced, head dropping to the deck with a crimson spray, expression frozen in a wide-eyed gasp.

It was over... it was finally over.

Wolves of the Sea
by Antti Martikainen

With all enemies bested, the adventurers could not only catch some much-needed breaths but take their time in securing prisoners from the surviving Fang troopers -- none seemed interested in putting up a fight with their Bullheads destroyed and their leadership gone, captured, or decapitated, perhaps out of an awareness that ending up in a Mistali jail was a much better fate than either dying here or getting left behind. Even Quisling managed to behave himself; admittedly, waking up locked in a musty old pirate chest may have had something to do with it.

"Can hardly believe we actually pulled it off." Cordell couldn't help but mention as they all regrouped on the deck of the Howling Storm. A terrible Grimm, a backstabbing traitor, the White Fang... they'd overcome some serious odds to reach this point. Running her hand across the old wooden railings of the legendary pirate ship, she knew this was a story they'd all be telling for a long time to come. "Right, so... only three things left t' do: load up every treasure in this forsaken old cave, fly this ol' beauty out," She grinned from ear to ear at the last item. "An' decide what t' do with all th' loot."

"Way I see it is this: ye'v all more'n earned yer share -- an' Rust half o' mine, as agreed. Since Quis was a fake there's clearly no deal with th' historical society, never was. That means we can do as we please with whatever we recover!"
Her grin shifted, dimming somewhat. "... But there's one thing we've gotta all decide on first. Th' crown. Who's got it, by th' by?"

Everywhere Else / Re: The Tangled Web We Weave [SerAnad] (CLOSED)
« on: June 28, 2018, 05:18:36 PM »
"Wonderful! That's actually the best news I've gotten all day." There was no double-meaning to that phrase, and although Maria did slightly worry that it might throw off her new hire to hear such a thing there was... value... in being candid about one's needs and situation. "I have every reason to think that affairs can be settled within that time frame." Now it was her turn for background noise -- although, admittedly, the tappa-tap tappa-tap of fingertips across a hard-light keyboard was authentic, not merely theatrical. "I'll have the full briefing file sent over shortly, along with a consideration fee -- even if your employer opts not to take the job they can retain the fee. All we ask in return is that the details we provide are kept confidential until such time as the dispute is successfully resolved." Or, to put it another, blunter way... hush money, pure and simple. With a single click a pair of files were sent along to Shoko-La's phone. "There we go, files and Lien are on their way. We thank you for your time and hope to do business with you. Have a good evening!"

Scarce minutes later Shoko-La would receive two files on her Scroll from Maria's number. The first was an anonymous pay-code she could use at any bank or ATM to cash out a not-insignificant sum of 5 million Lien -- a clear indication of just how valuable this job, and the secrecy it entailed, was. The second was an encrypted calling program tagged with the file name 'The_Lady_Requests_An_Audience'. It would ensure any further discussion was safe from digital eavesdropping...

(OOC: Since there's no canon explanation for Lien values, I tend to rely on this as my guide. By these calculations, 5 million Lien = $75,000 USD)

Finally, a stroke of some luck! Cordell spotted the escape vehicle even at a distance, her awareness as an engineer giving her plenty of clues even before the actual signage for the emergency pod came within reading distance. Now all they needed was --

And, as if on cue, the remaining crew rounded the corner. Cordell immediately nicknamed them 'blonde #2' and 'blonde #3' in her mind, with the two boys she'd semi-rescued already having been designated 'blonde' (now 'blonde #1') and 'ginger' moments before. This group pretty well shared the stereotypical Atlesian pale-and-fair thing, that was for certain, though none of them were rocking the whole 'crown of snow' white-hair bit, at least not quite. A glance across the two newcomers' gear and weaponry confirmed what she'd already guessed from Avery and Dorian: students, not sailors. Ye gawds, did that explain a few things.

In any case, they had a moment of calm and a shot -- narrowing with each passing second -- to make it through this mess. Three choices presented themselves. One: she could try to assert authority by taking four heavily armed and well trained Atlas students hostage using nothing more than two pistols and a cutlass... not a smart play. Two: try, without having the first bleeding idea as to the group's mission or standing orders, to convince them that it was best to work together and that they must all have common cause for braving this mad storm... which would take far far too much time and likely get all of them killed. And then, of course... there was option three.

"Name's Cordell -- smuggler, criminal, pirate." She deactivated and reeled back the blade of her cutlass... then turned it around and extended it handle-first for Avery to take. "An' I surrender. But let's deal with th' formalities once we're not in danger o' drownin', aye?" She nodded towards the pod.

The Vale Region / Re: A Walk In The Shadows (Inex, CLOSED)
« on: June 27, 2018, 05:56:39 PM »
Mozetti's Gelato struck Maria as a quiet, local place that was just a hint out of the way -- known by people from the area but not heavily trafficked, subtle without seeming covert, and with just enough of a crowd so that if the deal went sideways miss Petrichor could ensure Maria wouldn't try anything unpleasant. She had to give the girl credit, this clearly wasn't her first meet-and-greet.

Stepping inside, she glanced around and quickly spotted the only other woman in the room. Unless Amane was among those outside, or a master of disguise, this was her. A pleasant smile and a wave, as if greeting a friend, was cover for Maria doing her utmost to memorize every detail of her potential-accomplice's appearance... not knowing, unfortunately, that such an effort would be completely futile. Ordering a small cherry-vanilla in a dish, the understated young woman brought her ice cream over to where Amane was seated. "Miss Petrichor, I assume? I'm Julia Garnet, here on behalf of the Haema Foundation." Maria brushed away the hair from one ear so that her earring would be clearly visible, then extended her hand for a handshake.

Because I don't give the poor guy nearly enough action...

Huntsman's Bracket: Dr. Budonoki Sophos

The Vale Region / Re: Within Nature ~ Training [Nathan] (CLOSED)
« on: June 27, 2018, 05:16:08 AM »
  M U S I C ~ S H I F T 
by Ross Bugden

The fox yipped eagerly, its earlier nervousness abated somewhat by the opportunity to help its rescuer. It ran over to the mouth of the small cavern, looked back Helena's way with a beckoning yip, and then bounded off through the forest leading the way for her.

The forest became a blur of crimson and brown as they ran, sticking under the densest canopies they could find along the way. The fox, just minutes before weary and wounded, now seemed nearly inexhaustible -- likely the result of its newly-awakened Aura at work. In the background, steadily rising in nearness and ferocity, were the periodic cries of a full-scale Nevermore that was out for blood. A few minutes after Helena and the fox had fled the site of the Grimm ambush there was a sound of distant trees snapping like toothpicks... then an avian cry of fury. The Nevermore had found whatever remained of the fledglings of its flock. An intense gust rippled through the forest as the monstrous bird shot skyward with all its strength, determined to find and kill, find and kill, find and kill...

Everywhere Else / Re: Bone of the First [SSMR]
« on: June 21, 2018, 05:34:23 PM »
Solar's aim had been true, and Suna had not only landed a direct hit but unmasked their culprit! Now, finally, they were getting somewhere. Clearing Solar's name (and by extension, his own) was a step further down the road, but this was certainly progress. Slowing his pace -- and keeping a wary eye on this mystery girl -- Sean kept his weapon out but not pointed as he took up a spot about seven feet from Suna and little miss swift-legs.

She 'didn't want to'... oh, how that phrase made the blonde's mind sour. If true, it meant this girl had been put up to this -- at the very least the 'running away' part, if not the 'attacking and framing a complete stranger' -- by someone else, and that meant the trouble was only just getting started. If it was a lie... well, proving it out would be troublesome in much the same way. "Look, kid, we're gonna need a lot more to go on than that. My friend, the one with the ram's horns? She's accused of attempted murder, and I ain't about to just let that slide. So... why don't you take a seat and explain all of this from the top, hm?" He cast a look Suna's way that basically said 'be careful of this one'; there was no way to know if all this was just an act, and the way she'd moved earlier suggested she wasn't just "some kid causing trouble for laughs".

The Vale Region / Re: The Hunter and the Hunted [CLOSED]
« on: June 21, 2018, 05:18:07 PM »
"Ah, very good question!" Hm, let me check my notes..." There was a sound of shuffling pages in the background of the call. "While they didn't precisely say as much, my best guess is either fire or electricity Dust. There are small privately-owned Dust mines in the region specializing in those two elements, and though they would most certainly sell off any prime material to the likes of the SDC they're sure to have low-grade leftovers available for villages like Pactois. A combination of the two elements would create the strongest glow in a homemade chalk stick, I'd say."

If Kisha tested out her theory, she would immediately see a gleam of light off to her right the moment she lit up her arrow's Dust. On the side of a boulder a symbol lit up in hues of sharp, bright orange: . From what Budonoki had sent her, the meaning was clear and simple: 'go this way', and it was pointing a clear route northeast.

The search was on!

An invitation inside? Cordell was both impressed and surprised -- impressed at just how gracious her host was, and surprised that he'd invite a known scoundrel aboard. She wasn't used to being asked to come aboard cargo ships, after all. Of course, there was a part of her that was wary of a trap... but she and Jackson were already in much the same boat metaphorically, so making it literal certainly wasn't a huge step. "Guess we be takin' this trust thing seriously then. All righty." She unclipped her cutlass from her belt and offered it to her fellow captain, followed by her pistols -- a gesture of good faith, as she doubted he was so trusting as to let her aboard armed. "I'll be on me best behavior, ye have me word. Dun be surprised if I gawk an' stare a tad at th' fancier bits o' yer vessel -- good engineerin' has a way o' catchin' me eye an' admiration."

Letting Jackson take the lead, Cordell fell into step behind him. What curious bedfellows an emergency above the high seas could make...

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