The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Round 2: Oh Two Oh]
In a small, out-of-the-way pocket universe, one being of massive interdimensional power approached the seat of another. The latter, known to many as the Controller, sat in a chair surrounded by hanging cables, screens, and control panels, his eyes hidden behind rectangular glasses that reflected back images of beings stuck, for the moment, in a mist-shrouded swamp.
"Apprentice," he said, his voice slow and deliberate, "you've learned well. Eight months ago, by some timelines, you were nothing but a child, pulling your plaything from universe to universe and watching it suffer the same way over and over again. Under my tutelage, you've learned a great deal, and I think it's time... for a test. I want to see what you've learned."
The Apprentice, who stood before the chair, was quite obviously making an attempt to emulate his teacher. There were a few differences- rounded shades in the place of sharp, rectangular glasses, a sport coat over the top of the button-down shirt, and blonde hair sweeping back instead of pitch-black straight up.
"What sort of a test?" He was obviously eager; the Controller's lessons about hiding one's true intentions evidently hadn't had as much impact as some of the others.
His teacher didn't so much as pause at his pupil's lack of self-control. "You are familiar with a project of mine, the Gradual Massacre." He paused just long enough for the Apprentice to start to respond, then cut him off midway through the first syllable. One of the lessons he'd taught his student was that bigger wasn't always better- a tiny victory and a massive one could be equally satisfying.
"I've talked to the Fool, who's got another batch of them going, and he's agreed to allow us to run one of them."
"Us. You will be responsible for deciding on three of the round locations and four of the contestants. I will deal with the remaining four and five."
"...Nine contestants, Controller?"
"Come now." A smile played across his lips. "If we were to follow the formula to the letter, things would turn out just as they do in every other battle. I want this to be...
"...a truly Fearsome Encounter."
Welcome to the Fearsome Encounter, the eighth Grand Battle of the third season. Normally, I'd say something here like "I'm sure you're all down with the rules, but on the off-chance you're not hip to this jazz, go peep this other battle," but I decided not to. Instead, I'm going the boring route that doesn't involve words like "hip" and "jazz"- I'm just going to lay it all out right here. If you're already in on the game and know how it goes, you should still probably read sections two and three.
Section 1. Grand Battles In General 1.1: What's going on here?
The Apprentice, the Grandmaster of this battle, will be plucking up eight contestants from across the multiverse and pitting them against each other in a battle to the death. They'll be scattered around a setting for the first round, and once one of them dies, he'll be picking them all up again and moving them to a completely different place. This'll happen every time one of them dies, and eventually there will just be one contestant left standing. They'll presumably get some reward or something and be returned home. (Eventually, they'll find out about the All-Stars battle, which will feature the eight winners from Season 3 going through it all again, but not just yet.)
1.2: Writing over fighting.
Now, players can't just go killing other characters willy-nilly, that wouldn't be any fun. How this is actually going to work is different from how it'd seem in-game. Whichever writer is deemed to be the worst author of the bunch will be the one whose character dies at the end of the round. The final decision there rests with me, but I'll generally solicit opinions when the time comes.
In order to prevent a player from almost completing a post only to have someone else post right before them and mess it all up, players are allowed to reserve before they post. Simply post "Reserved" or some variant thereupon and for 24 hours, no one else is allowed to post until you do. Oftentimes people will respect them for longer, but that's the strict minimum I'm arbitrarily putting here. After that, others can technically post, even if they choose not to.
Section 2. How FE Differs 2.1: It's the season's villain battle.
In the last battle of Season 1, the Savage Brawl, it was decided that that battle was going to be a villains-only battle; all characters had to be villainous by some definition, whether they were viciously violent, scarily schemey, or alliteratively avaricious. When the last battle of Season 2 (the Great Belligerency) rolled around, the idea stuck, so here we go again. All characters in this battle have to be, by some stretch of the definition, a villain.
2.2: I've got some things up my sleeves.
If any of you have read the Gradual Massacre, which I'm also hosting, you may be familiar with a little character called Arnold Scarlet. I won't ruin the surprise if you haven't read it, but just be warned that I like to have a few plans here and there, and I'd hardly pass up the chance to do the same here.
2.3: I'm the goddamn Statman.
For those who don't know, the start of this battle was predicated on a few statistical requirements. Those were met, but there's an additional requirement that anyone who wants to play need to follow as well: If you're in any other battles, you must have posted in each at least once in the last 6 weeks. This is mostly because I'd like to avoid this battle falling prey to the inactivity that has plagued a number of others- users who don't have time to post in the battles they're already in more often than once every month-and-a-half probably don't need to be adding more to their plates.
Section 3: Pandering to the Judge 3.1: Post early and post often.
The number one thing that gets players killed is not posting enough. This'll be especially true here- considering what's happened to a number of battles I've been in, I'm not about to take people going inactive lightly.
3.2: Grammar, people!
The number two thing that gets players killed is bad grammar. If high school English class drilled one thing into me, it's decent grammar, so posting something riddled with grammatical errors is likely to place you thoroughly on the chopping block, even if your character is interesting or you've been telling an interesting story.
3.3: Play well with others.
Once those two requirements are passed, the real competition starts, where things like collaboration or plotting start to come into play. Players who talk to others (say, on the #grandbattle IRC channel) are likely to have a significant edge here, and playing towards my affinity for long-term plans could help you gain the edge as well. Remember, you're writing with a group of other people, and the more you do to make the game fun for all, the better your chances of coming out on top.
-Augustus and Azungrada (Dragon Fogel; #7C0FCA)
-Cepra Samedi (MalkyTop; #B22222)
-Cthaasa (Sanzh; #855F85)
-Encyclopedia (Mirdini; #000044)
-Mr. Saturday (50,000 Unstoppable Watts; #C41E3A)
-Parliament (Schazer; #900020)
-Pope Triumphian (Solaris; #305666)
-Redclaw (Akumu; #696969)
("Wait, no ninth? But he said-" Don't you worry about it.)
(Please try not to post right now. Decisions should be out in the next day or two, with the round start not far behind, and I'd like to get the game going atop page 2.)
Name: Earliest confirmable name is, “Vinculis Tenebrarum,” translating roughly to “The bonds of darkness.” The earliest confirmable name of the being inside is “הנסיך של האפוקליפסה,” meaning “Prince of the Apocalypse.” Other names for the prison and the being inside have been floating around and whispered from person to person for untold ages.
(Not liable for Google translate language mutilation.)
Race: Hyperdimensional prison containing an ancient, super-powerful being.
Gender: The prison itself has no gender. Myths of the being inside, however call it a “He.”
Colour: limerind #324F17
Biography: August 07, 2053…
“The Bible. The Qur’an. Eastern Mythology. Other occult shit, n’ stuff,” the old man said, in-between loudly smacking on his chewing tobacco. He was sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch of the log cabin he built himself, and currently had a shotgun pointed at the head of a young, studious-looking fellow.
“Um, yes, sir,” he said nervously. “I know all that. I’m trying to find out more about Vinculis Tenebrarum-”
Suddenly the old man lifted his shotgun into the air, and fired several times. The noise was deafening, and the young one promptly covered his ears, his face an expression of horror.
The old man thrust the gun back towards the unwanted company. Half frustrated, half amused, he rolled his eyes and spoke.
“I wasn’t done speakin’. Ya don’t interrupt me when I’m talkin’ ‘bout somethin’.”
The old man continued chewing. An awkward silence settled over the two. The sound of birds singing echoed from the nearby forest.
The young one spoke.
“Not. Done. Speakin’.”
The two stared at each other a long time. The young man looked almost ready to cry, the old man rocking back and forth, his free hand patting the jet black cube next to him, the mysterious artifact ticking down, down…
“They all talk a whole lot ‘bout the numbah seven,” the old man said in his slow, drawn-out way. “And the numbah seven talks ‘bout this box right here.”
The old man gave the box a big slap, and went back to giving it smaller pats, showing the young man smile full of rotted teeth.
“And don’t call it the Vincent Tiberium or whatever. It’s a stupid name.”
“It’s a stupid name. It’s called The Box.”
Another long silence, as if the old man intended to let this statement sink in. And once again, he began to speak.
“The Box is a prison, they say, in whispered alleys and backroom whisperin’s. An evil, the greatest evil, is locked inside. Where it came from, however, is all ovah the place. Aliens, Time travelers, hell, it might even be some sort o’ god or whatevah that locked this son-of-a-gun up.”
“Seven seals, they say. Six outside, one on the inside. One for each side, I always say.”
The old man paused, as if expecting laughter for his stupid joke. Met with silence, he frowned, and continued.
“The most interestin’ thing, in my ‘pinion, is the prophecies ‘bout it. They say it’ll be entered into a battle to the death when the first seal is broken. A battle with seven rounds. This evil, only partially outside of its fuckin’ prison, will hafta fight for freedom. This small, but ‘portant, window of opportunity to destroy whatevah dark what’s-it-called for all of eternity. The thing is, the longer it says alive, the more powerful it gets.
The prophecies say that as the box survives each round, another seal will break, until the begginin’ of the last round. Then everythin’s clusterfucked, ‘cause He’ll be finally out. Afta waitin’, afta waitin’ so long…”
The old man sighed. He pointed to the side of The Box facing the young man. A timer, written in some unknown language, was counting down.
“And that waitin’s almost up. It’s written in some ancient malarkey, but you can tell. Just a few minutes now. Your arrivin’ was really quite opportune.”
The young man looked at the box. It gave off an explicable aura of something horrible, something wrong. But it did indeed seem to be close to the end of its run.
“Y’know,” the old man said suddenly. “Every powahful nation in all o’ history has had this little box, countin’ down, always countin’ down. Sumeria. Egypt. Rome. Britain. US. China. I hear it was instrumental in the formin’ o’ several otha nations, too, whatevah your opinion on that might be. But me, I’ve got this little ol’ thing for ‘bout thirty years. And my forty acres have been declared a protected micronation for twenty-five of ‘em. And I didn’t even want that ta happen, it just did. So that makes me wonder, am I, a single old man livin’ in a micronation by myself, stronger than all the nations in the world?”
The old man stared at The Box a long while, before sighing. “O’ course not.”
He tried to smile briefly at the young one, but it was obvious tears were running down his face, gleaming brightly in the sunset light.
“So, I hafta wonder,” the old man continued. “Why’d it choose me?
“’Cause I know it chose me. There’s no way this box would be sittin’ here, right on this porch, if it hadn’t chosen me, personally. So I have to wonder, why?
“Does it like me? Did it want to spend its last few years away from the splendor and power of largah nations, with humble ol’ me?”
The old man took in a deep, ragged breath before continuing.
“Or maybe it wanted me dead, ‘Cause it knows what I’m about to do.”
The he got quiet, and solemn tone reached his voice. “Y’see the timer? It’s about to reach zero in four…three…two…”
Before the box could reach one, however, it promptly disappeared. The young man’s jaw almost dropped.
“I’m still not done talkin’!” The old man shouted, pressing the barrel of the shotgun against the young man’s forehead. “’Cause you know what!? IT’S GONE. AFTER ALL THESE FUCKIN’ YEARS I’VE BEEN WITH THE DAMN THING, PROTECTIN’ IT, AND NOW IT’S GONE, OFF TO GO CLUSTERFUCK THE UNIVERSE!
BUT YOU KNOW WHAT!? I’M FREE! I’M FINALLY FUCKIN’ FREE! I CAN FINALLY DIE! GOODBYE, FUCKIN’ REALITY! GOODBYE FUCKIN’ LIFE! ENJOY BEIN’ FUCKED BY THE ULTIMATE EVIL!”
The shotgun then snapped around, pointed into the man’s mouth. The click of the trigger, deafening noise. The corpse collapsed there, head exploded, replacing the once-living man, a horrible altar to death and destruction.
Weapons/Abilities: The Box is an incredibly good prison, being both indestructible from both the inside and the outside. Or at least, it used to be indestructible from both the inside and the outside. At the beginning of each round, a seal on The Box will be opened, slowly giving the being inside more and more power and influence on the world around Him, until the beginning of the last round, where He will be completely unlocked. However, in this weakened, half-unlocked state, The Box is weakened, and the being inside can be more easily destroyed. However, it would still take quite a bit of force or firepower to actually destroy the box and its contents. Additionally, The Box emits a kind of dark aura, giving anyone nearby feeling of wrongness if they look at it or touch it for too long.
The powers and abilities of the being inside have been lost to time, but it is said he is extremely strong, enough to threaten the existence of universes themselves…
Description: The Box is two feet by two feet by two feet big. Made of an unknown material, it is jet black, each side marked by a green ring, with green lines extending towards the adjacent four faces. Inside each circle, unknown, ancient symbols are carved into the material, acting as the countdown timers for each seal to be unlocked. One face currently reads approximately 00000:00:00:01, and when that countdown completes, it the next seal will begin counting down.
The being inside is said to be without shape or form, but like the shadows that man fears most, lurking and shifting. It is said He was once a being that eats universes, consuming entire realities and civilizations.
He’s going to be very, very hungry when he finally gets out.
Last edited by TimeothyHour; 08-06-2011 at 11:45 PM.
Username: Dragon Fogel
Name: Augustus the Divine Arbiter (Formerly Captain Augustus Grey) and Azungrada the Destroyer
Biography: Augustus Grey was the lone son of his wealthy parents. When he was 20, he killed them for the inheritance.
Of course, he was the prime suspect in the ensuing investigation, but the young lad already had a plan; with his new fortune, he was able to make an offer to a passing band of pirates to purchase their ship and services. He left well before the investigators could catch up to him.
Captain Grey's crew flew through space, looting planet after planet to add to their captain's wealth. After five years of this process, Captain Grey was the most feared pirate in the galaxy.
It was then that, by chance, Grey heard of an underdeveloped planet with vast reserves of Zanite, a highly durable metal with great demand in the ship-building industry. Due to its rarity, the price it could fetch was enormous.
Grey and his crew easily dispatched the primitive savages of the island and looted their treasures, including a large, fearsome snakelike idol made entirely of Zanite.
His crew soon started to believe that taking the idol was a mistake. Captain Grey locked it in his own quarters, and refused to listen to suggestions of melting it down or selling it.
At first, they humored him - he had lead them well. But then his judgement seemed to be clouded. Over the next year, they lost more battles than they won, and their rewards grew thinner and thinner. Even as their finances wore thin, Captain Grey refused to part with the idol. Then, one night, the crew came to a decision.
They broke down the door to the captain's room, demanding either his head or the valuable serpent idol.
Then the idol started moving.
"Forgive me, O Lord Azungrada," Augustus said, donning his new robes. "I see now should never have worked with these heretics. I am but your humble servant. I shall carry out your will."
Guide me, said a voice in his head.
Everywhere. You must travel to new worlds and judge them. If there are but a few sinners, then I shall smite them. If the world is sinful, then you and I must see it burn.
"I am your servant. I shall do as you ask."
You are more than a mere servant, Augustus. You are the Divine Arbiter. You must pass judgement on the sinful.
"Yes, O Lord."
For the next fifteen years, Augustus' ship travelled to new worlds, and usually left them a smoking wreck.
And then, he came to a world that was ready for them. They had learned of the destroyer, and realized the creature was made of Zanite. They had responded by hoarding as much of the metal as they could, crafting weapons, armor, and machines of war that could stand up to Azungrada.
And then, mere moments after the Destroyer and his Arbiter descended from their ship, and the army prepared to advance... both vanished.
Description: Augustus is a middle-aged man; he wears an ornate black-and-gold robe and a matching miter with a cross on it. Azungrada is a large metallic cobra with large, powerful arms; if it isn't actually moving, it can easily be mistaken for a statue. It is composed entirely of the silvery Zanite metal, save for its two red gemstone eyes.
Personality-wise, Augustus is completely devoted to Azungrada, believing it is his duty to guide the serpentine golem to sinful worlds so they may be destroyed. He believes that he has even heard the voice of Azungrada at times, congratulating him for his loyalty.
Azungrada does not talk. However, its mouth is surprisingly flexible and expressive considering it's made of metal; even so, it usually has a blank expression on its face. The main exception is when it's in the process of killing someone, whether through a direct order or not; when this happens, its mouth nearly always folds into a smile.
Weapons/Abilities: Augustus is reasonably well-built, and carries a sword forged from Zanite; however, he rarely fights on his own. Azungrada does most of the fighting for him.
Azungrada will follow Augustus' orders, which are almost always "smite the infidel!" It will often do so quite brutally. It will also protect Augustus from harm, even if he doesn't realize he's in danger; should it find someone threatening, it will be just as merciless in dealing with them as if it had been ordered to smite.
Username: Solaris Name: His Holiness the Glorious Pope Triumphian the First of the Holy Empire of Lagran (or Pope Triumphian for short) Gender: Male Race: Lagran, a reptilian alien race somewhat similar to our popular vision Dinosaurs. Colour: #305666 :P
Biography: Above all, believe in your god. Over your friends, over your family, over your life. – The Wise Pope Viazzi V
Kragnek Kull, a religious day where one looks to the past and celebrates past victories and studies past mistakes. It was on this glorious day, that His Holiness would broadcast his glorious voice to all of the worshipers of the Only True Lord and God. They would listen intently as the Glorious Pope would recite the Origin Tale of their God. And it was on this day, that the entire known and conquered universe would witness the most shocking moment in the history of the church.
Triumphian rises, motioning for a silence. Today is the day, here, in the Holy Capital of the Chosen Planet, his planet, Lagran, he would recite the glorious Origin Tale. With every eye on him, he begins.
"Ages and ages into the past, a God existed. He was cruel, He was forceful, He was exactly what was needed for life to rise up from the desolate planet. The resulting beings were powerful, survivors, resourceful, and like their God, cruel to all. The god looked at all it had created and it was pleased. As the various species grew, they began to fight. To the god, none of these races stuck out, they had differences, physical and mental, but in the end, to him, they were all simply playthings. But as time went on he noticed one race in particular had done something that no others had. This race had honored him. And so the god decided to grace them with his presence."
Lagran everywhere boomed in excitement at their mention, while each of them knew the tale in its entirety, none of them felt any less excited. Triumphian, still not finished, simply motioned for silence. And it was quickly given to him.
"For a time, the God and his chosen race lived on the same plane, he would ask for sacrifices and worship, and in return, they would gain technology, power, and standing in the world. Eventually, they rose up as the race, subjugating all others under the rule of the God. The entire planet was theirs, and they wouldn't stop. With the help of the god they would take to the stars.
However, one day, the God left the mortal plane. The God, having grown fond of the race who had worshiped him without question, gave them a gift. Upon his glorious ascension past the plane that we reside, he left a fragment of his power on the planet, to be given to one of his worshipers, his representative. That chosen one would lead in his stead. A holy leader of an empire ready to take on the world. Our God flew into the stars... and we followed!"
The crowd exploded. There was no reason not to. This was their tale, the story of how they came to be. Triumphian raised the Holy Staff and made it emit a shining light. As the staff shined with holy power, he roared to his people.
"I am Triumphian the First. I am your leader. Blessed by the power of our God, together, we will conquer in His name!" The light shined brighter than before as the words of Triumphian reached each of his disciples across the cosmos.
"Brothers and Sisters. Today is Kragnek Kull, our first of many together. If you will allow me, I shall tell you my history, my story." Triumphian smiled as the crowd clamored for his tale. They wanted it not out of curiosity, as most actually knew it, but out of reverence for the past and for their faith in him. Their faith that he was the best. A faith that most of them thought unbreakable.
"I was spawned from the blackest pit of The Concavum, the only one to survive it’s toxic properties in over a thousand years. From the very moment that I rose out of that wretched tar pool, I was marked for greatness. I was trained to be as strong and resilient as our warrior ancestors, fighting the very beasts that once tried to rule the lands as we now do. I was taught by apprentices and descendants of the prophets who had spoken with Our Lord. Yes, my growth was a careful and steady rise to greatness, and simply the prequel to a greater story. Upon the end of my training, I was immediately added to our Holy Empire’s military forces. It was here, under the command of the great General Garug, that I proved myself to truly be of worth. As I fought in each battle, I not only showed exceptional force, but swiftness and skill as well. I quickly rose through the ranks becoming the youngest commander in history. As my military conquests grew, so did my popularity, and with it, a chance of a lifetime. I was offered a place in the Holy Order, one that was immediately accepted with honor. And then, when my predecessor, the Observant Pope Ultarros the Fourth, met his unfortunate end, I was Chosen. And from that moment, we, the citizens of the Holy Empire of Lagran were under the command of I, The Glorious Pope Triumphian the First, who led us to victory in over six star systems in only 4 sweeps. Who has single handedly fought five Terrastians without a single grievous injury. Who has mastered each the Holy Arts in only one sweep. Today is our day. I am your leader, and together, we shall spread our glorious reign to the edges of the universe. Kast Fur Tore!"
The universe shook. The great crowds bellowed back, each yelling "Kast Fur Tore" back, with more force than they had for any other. But their holy leader did not hear them. For it was then, at the end of his speech, the one calling for the greatest series of victories in recorded history, that Triumphian was lost. And with him, possibly his entire empire.
Description: On average, Lagran are large, scaled, reptilian creatures. In adulthood, they average five feet in their normal arched position and seven feet standing up. Their hand and feet are clawed and their arms are of variable length depending on a series of chromosomes. The head area and their skin color similarly vary. They all have nice and sharp pearly whites. Their stomach area and head have exceptionally strong scales, tougher than their claws, which can already cut through most known minerals.
Lagran society, as you may have guessed, is a Theocracy, led under a Pope and his Holy Order of subordinates. The Lagran religion revolves around a single god who visited their planet and then empowered them to rise above all as the dominating race of the planet. After the god left the planet, the Lagran, who had already conquered all other races in the planet and united as one under the Pope’s rule, began to explore space. Upon the discovery of another race on another planet, the acting Pope, the Uniting Pope Ebongru the Sixth immediately made it his life’s goal to convert these off-planet heathens. After developing the proper technology, all future popes followed suit. Slowly, they took planet after planet, either with force, with faith, or, in some planets with a more divided population, both. As it turned out, when your head of state can perform miracles and shoots out lightning, it is pretty easy to keep up a universe wide empire and religion.
Now, Pope Triumphian is not the average Lagran. He is at six and a half feet tall arched and a whopping nine straight up. Triumphian has powerful, medium length arms, capable of reaching around him with ease. His pyramid-like head has a mouth full of very well kept teeth and two slightly angled eyes. His shoulders are garbed in the holy white robes, as is customary of the pope, and his head has the gold and white hat that initially held the holy power of his God. His body, like all those blessed by the gift, is colored a burnt red and his eyes are fully white.
Pope Triumphian believes in quick, careful conquest. He hits fast and he hits hard and he hits you in a bad place. As a master of many trades, he knows the best tricks for taking someone out. However, he has the foresight to not act until he is certain, preferring to use his powerful speaking skills and holy powers to win victory via indirect means, be it converting the masses, or fooling them into falling into a trap. When he is not plotting the domination of planets, he mediates in order to channel the will of his god. He is devoted to his god and will stop at nothing to spread his word to each and every sentient being, under His Holy Empire.
Items/Abilities: As His Holiness, Pope Triumphian has been blessed with powers beyond any other, holding a fragment of his Gods power until his death. As a result, he can bless and empower others, emit a holy light, and ignite things with a holy flame, amongst other ‘miracles’. He holds a rod made up of the bones of the first Pope. The rod is extremely durable and stores the holy power of the first 10 Popes. In addition, Pope Triumphian has his race’s durable scales and sharp claws and teeth. Strong and intelligent from his training and subsequent military tour, Triumphian is a testament to his race.
Artist’s Interpretation of the His Holiness the First Pope Tyranus
Last edited by Solaris; 08-07-2011 at 10:08 AM.
Reason: touching up
Username: Scharizard Name: Parliament Gender: Mostly males, but there's probably a few females amongst the dregs. Race: Assorted Colour: Birdgundy (#900020) Biography: The full suite of biographies of the entirety of Parliament's inmates would take far too long to detail. Instead, let us look at the biography of the uniting factor in all these nefarious ne'er-do-wells' lives.
Lord Avery is his name. This dimension-hopping bounty hunter - hired by himself, paid in the thrill of the hunt - has made a hobby of journeying to far-off lands, learning of their tyrants and malignances and menaces, and using his considerable magical abilities to transform them all into birds.
"Lord Avery" is a pseudonym. His love of ornithology is thoroughly genuine, and he has taken a certain questionably-sane pride over the centuries in ensuring he has never cursed two men brought to justice with the same avian form.
For some time, he housed his criminal-minded, winged prisoners in a pocket dimension of his, re-purposed into an extensive aviary. After one particular hunt taking an extra three on-world years after he nipped back to check if he had already acquired a burrowing owl (as it turned out, he had - a certain maniac who bred and launched a swarm of Nebulaeches upon an unsuspecting planet), Lord Avery conceded he needed a more convenient system to access his collection.
The result was Parliament. The wooden mannequin lovingly handcrafted, and liberally bound in enchantments to have it (and its residents) serve and protect its master, the whole murderous flock was forcibly implanted into the doll.
Parliament then followed Lord Avery on his multiversal sojourns, its residents regularly welcoming new inmates. Lord Avery was happy, despite the occasional civil war that had raged on for centuries after he'd toppled a tyrant's empire. The scores of men he had bested (including the tyrants) - less so.
Whether Lord Avery is surprised by, resigned to, or outraged by his collection's disappearance; or if handed it over to his nefarious, more powerful compatriots of the multiverse, is currently unknown.
Description: Parliament is a walking prison of villains, war criminals, sociopaths, cruel emperors, dictators, criminal overlords, corrupt political figures, Dons, con-artists, organ-harvesters, and other individuals Lord Avery deemed were making the worlds they lived in a less pleasant place. It stands around six feet tall, is garbed in some nice, dusky-coloured calf-length robes that helped it blend in to the roughly Renaissance-era world it was last seen in, and has a smooth, featureless face. Its external personality is exclusively passive and non-threatening (as per the commands set by Lord Avery), but being both durable and thoroughly-articulated the mannequin is more than capable of climbing, jumping, and running like a normal human.
The inmates themselves are a colourful bunch in terms of personality - scores of souls are trapped in Parliament, and while most are content to make disparaging remarks about each other or laze about waiting for a day of freedom to never show up, a society of sorts exists amongst those still showing a spark of hope for eventual escape. Newcomers are welcomed and oriented by the more repentant criminals; whispered threats of excruciating torture by the serial killers, and have their shoulders rubbed against the shoulders of slimy, ally-accruing politicos. As a group, they are disorganised as they are prone to backstabbing each other had they still possess backs to stab. Because of the restrictions placed upon Parliament's actions (which must generally be agreed to be acting in Lord Avery's interests at all times), the inmates are forced to discuss actions and convince themselves their actions are "permissible."
Items/Abilities: The flock of Parliament has one ability acquired after their separation from Lord Avery - they may now manifest at will, in their enchanted avian forms, and have general autonomy. This is also Parliament's only sensory input. The birds appear corporeal, but given enough damage to kill them they scatter into mist and leave the villain in question in considerable distress afterward. The distance birds may travel decreases as more birds manifest at once; the upper limit is not explicitly stated, but nobody is particularly keen to go pressing it. Individuals who enjoy manifesting tend to earn derision from the more apathetic members of Parliament, but the "Venturers" scorn the ennui-infested souls in turn.
Race: Cordyceps Mammalis, a strange and dangerous variation on the cordyceps fungi that infects humans and other mammals. This particular strain of Cordyceps has been known to infect other creatures, but it has a particular draw towards mammalian creatures, especially humans. In an unfortunately cruel twist, as it takes over the body of its host, it keeps it alive. The host is in constant pain, and completely aware of what is going on around it, but is unable to do anything about it.
Gene Rasdon was just a normal human being before becoming infected.
Biography: Nobody knows how it showed up, but the first incident was in Peru. From the spore initially hitting the man to complete takeover was three months, but each subsequent fungi infection from then on was faster and faster. It starts out with a terrible itching, then you start losing hair. A fuzz starts growing on some parts of your body as the mental symptoms start kicking in. You'll lose all sense of balance, and find it difficult to even move your body. Soon you won't be able to speak, and will before long be stuck in a seemingly vegetative state, disgusting fungus growing out of your body. This is what happened to Gene Rasdon in the span of two and a half hours.
He was just trying to get out of the city. The Cordyceps infestation was growing quickly, and he had been told about somewhere that it hadn't hit. Now, that place would have been infected by the time he had gotten there, but that didn't matter, because when he hit that guy, he decided to get out to see if he was all right. He wasn't. The suddenly dead Cordyceps victim's last act was to spore Gene, but he was too freaked out to notice.
Halfway down the highway, he suddenly found it hard to steer. Desperately wanting to get out no matter what, he decided to speed up, and managed to lose just enough motor control to crash into a telephone pole at 80 miles per hour.
Surely he was dead at this point. As far as anybody knew or cared, he was. This was a bit of a different story for Gene, who woke up in searing pain, his vision foggy, and his body moving without his permission. Anybody that came in contact with him, of course, saw him merely as a bloodthirsty monster, where once was a man, now was nothing. The Cordyceps couldn't feel pain, however. It could tell it was there, but it was Gene that felt every bullet, every cut and slash, all the pain that was directed towards the thing controlling him. Sure, they would heal in their own way, but that hurt, too. He could feel the fungus as it took over the wounds he gained, adding to his ever-compiling pain. For months, we was captive audience to murder by his own hand, and relentless retaliation. Sometimes there were other Cordyceps infected humans fighting nearby. Sometimes they weren't even humans. He was pretty sure had seen a few dogs infected by the spores.
Only one thing could give him hope, and that was to see the other infected individuals get killed. Cordyceps did not make the host invincible. He had somehow survived for months without biting it, but the fact is, release for his torment would eventually come.
One day, he disappeared. Perhaps Gene's wish would finally be granted to him.
Description: Gene is a tall, sickly looking guy. His muscles are atrophied from so many months without any use, he's clearly been suffering from malnutrition, and he's got one hell of a slouch. This has a certain something to do with the many mushrooms growing out of him. From an eye socket, all over his body, large ones on his back and head, out of his mouth, everywhere. His remaining eye is drooped and blank, yet still functioning just enough to let Gene see what's happening.
Before the pandemic, Gene was a pretty easy going guy. He liked to play sports, where his height gave him somewhat of an advantage. Once the Pandemic started, he quickly got into action... planning an escape route. A hero he was not, and his number one priority in danger is to flee. Now, having been infected, the things on his mind consist of "Make the pain stop" and "Please just let it end."
The Cordyceps doesn't particularly think that much. Its priorities are to either kill or infect. If it can't be infected with its spores, it'll probably try to kill it, as it's most likely just in the way. It has little regard for danger and tends not to flee unless it's actually being seriously injured. It's pretty hardy, so it can take a beating before it actually decides it's in danger.
Weapons/Abilities: Despite Gene's muscles having atrophied terribly, the Cordyceps is still capable of getting him to pull a mean punch when it needs to. It's also capable of releasing spores, either planting them directly, or just letting them drift along the wind. The spores can then begin to take over a living being, and depending on the size and complexity of the creature, it can take anywhere between a few minutes to a few days for the infection to completely take them over. An average human takes a few hours to be put under control. Despite it's simple thought processes, it has demonstrated unusually adept abilities in movement and dexterity, able to have it's host wield weapons, and scale obstacles. Also it doesn't actually come up a lot, but the mushrooms that grow are actually hallucinogenic. Mildly poisonous, but you will be high as a kite upon ingestion.
I am UNSURE about my eligibility, but I'm technically not in any canon battles in a few days. I'm going camping on the weekend which will give me a chance to get a few things done I need to do, but with this character I'm trying something different than I normally use in battles, which will keep things interesting for me, and I have a bit of an easier direction that I can write for, as well.
I know character reserves don't matter, just giving y'all the heads up that I'm entering one. Also want to edit the profile in here so I'm all nice and near the start of this thread. Bragging rights ain't worthless. :3
'Course I have to write her up first, and I'm like in a car hundreds of miles from home. You'll have her in like two days, or I'll delete this post and scrub your floors for a month.
EDIT: And here she is!
Name: Amelia Brightwell
Race: Human, 23 years old
Colour: Dirty Gold (#AD9000)
Biography: Amelia Brightwell was born with her eyes open.
What she saw, though she didn't understand it – apart from a hospital room and staff – was two parents who weren't prepared to love her. They had expected a son, anyway.
As she grew, suffering under her parents' apathy and various quibbles with each other, she began to notice things. Little things. Like her mother always forgetting to clean Amelia's room with the rest of the house. Her father not paying attention to his own strength when handling her. The lack of care in the preparation and arrangement of Amelia's food compared to her father's, and how her mother sometimes treated both the same when she was angry with him. Being late to take her to school, without getting upset beyond the inconvenience of taking her at all. The gestures that communicated things that went unsaid, and the lack of them which communicated even more. All subtly indicating their disdain for her, and varying levels of disdain for each other.
It was all so, so...
Soon after this realization, her parents discovered that she was going deaf. This only exacerbated these behaviors, both towards her and towards each other as tensions mounted. Amelia stayed aloof in appearance, always distracted, staring at something else, else staring at them, staring, staring, would you stop staring Amelia. A smile, and continued staring. They thought her autistic, not that they cared enough to get her diagnosed.
Her teenage years didn't help, either. Amelia was caught shoplifting a couple times, prompting her parents to beat her. More often, however, she was not caught shoplifting, amassing more and more items she couldn't possibly afford with the meager, meager allowance they allotted her. This only earned further abuse. Not that Amelia seemed to mind much.
Her parents didn't stay together through the ordeal, either. More and more, they had caught subtle objects or clues of infidelity in each other's behavior and possessions, eventually prompting them to divorce. And remarry. And divorce again. Not that Amelia seemed to mind much. More often than not, she just seemed so inexplicably happy.
When she went to college, somehow acing the entrance exams, her parents welcomed the break from her. She was paying her own way (somehow, they didn't question it), becoming a useless art student. So much the better. Her parents concentrated on each other over the next few years, away from their deaf waste of space of a daughter; they realized they weren't so bad, and remarried yet again.
And then Amelia got caught for shoplifting again, tried as an adult.
Her parents were annoyed, mostly ignoring the issue despite the opportunity for a harsh jail sentence on her part. Something moved them to attend her testimony, eventually. They probably had nothing better to do, or one made an angry bet with the other that resulted in it. One way or another, they saw her on the stand.
And she was a completely different person.
Testifying in court, their daughter was a captivating young woman, full of emotion and regret. That she stole was a given; there were security tapes confirming it. However, a sentence was out of the question. Nobody in the courtroom believed her deserving of punishment. The charges were dropped, and her parents were stunned.
Amelia arrived back home to a household far different from the one she left for college. Her parents had not only reconciled with each other, but also seen the errors in how they had treated Amelia all along. Gone were the subtle hints of disdain, of apathy. Her parents wanted a fresh start with her, wanted the chance to love her for who she was.
It was all so, so...
That night, she personally killed her parents and fled. That look of betrayal in their eyes, the shock, their faces contorted in disbelief as their hearts fervently pumped their dwindling supplies of blood all over them, their lives screaming to a halt... that was much more interesting.
Amelia trekked across the world after that, mostly Europe, learning languages and defrauding sympathetic older folks willing to take in a deaf traveler. Her art struck deep within them to their troubles and insecurities, answering them in the form of her very self; her victims would become obsessively ingratiated to her, giving her anything she wanted that she didn't manage to shoplift for fun. She didn't always kill them before she left; sometimes just a relative of theirs, or someone she met at a store. Or someone who suspected her; their reactions were always fun. But that look on their faces, that shock and their brief struggle to survive despite their fatal wounds, was always entertaining. Not quite as entertaining as her first two kills, of course, but entertaining nonetheless.
Right after she'd drive the sharpened end of a paintbrush into their chest, she'd inform them that she was never actually deaf. That was always fun.
Description: Amelia's face is almost perpetually locked in an expression of wide-eyed wonder. Her eyes seem like those of a child: taking in everything around them without questions, rather than the eyes of an adult which critically discern details and differences. She smiles and often sort of bounces as she walks, eager to appreciate the captivating features of her surroundings, the behaviors of surrounding people. She rarely speaks much, and unfailingly acts completely deaf, though she enjoys making people subtly suspect that she might not be. She isn't deaf, for the record.
Amelia has long black hair, somewhat wavy and unkempt, and deep blue eyes. She looks vaguely French, though it can't quite be placed. Her appearance is dominated by an enormous trenchcoat styled with red lines spiraling clockwise around her body down to her legs, separating diagonal chunks of fabric all shades of pure or mottled red. The last chunk is a large gold-yellow piece around most of the end of the dress, displaying what's painted to look like a giant red bloodstain with the white initials "AB" in the last red dot near the front; the dress is her own design, littered with heavy pockets inside and out full of art tools. Beneath that, she wears a light white tank-top, worn denim jeans, and new sneakers, as well as white gloves quickly stained by her paints (and disposable; she has many extras in her trenchcoat).
She's also covered head to toe in very strong perfume, and has more with her. That and the red coat help mask all the blood nicely, in a pinch.
Items/Abilities: The manifold pockets of Amelia's trenchcoat are loaded with practically every weapon known to artistry. Paints of all colors and types, paint mixes, pastels, glues, varnishes, a solvent or two, spray paint, brushes, pens, chisels, markers, scissors, gouges, knives, thread, sewing needles, and so on. There's even a large hammer somewhere in there, she recalls. Many of the tools' sharp edges have at least a small spot or two of dried blood on them. Except the hammer. They all clink around audibly as she moves, as if she was wearing a suit of armor; apt, perhaps, as a small sword swung at her would likely bounce off all the metal with a 'clang' and a spray of paint and glitter.
Mixed in with the art tools are elements of a lock picking kit, as well. She is proficient in their use, and can be counted on to break into any location that would contain more art tools or other toys. Her sleight-of-hand is absolutely unmatched, through years of practice and shoplifting.
Amelia's most important ability, however, is her sense of intent. All human minds have the ability to detect intent in certain degrees, whether in art or in body language, able to discern meaning out of the way things are placed, moved, and designed. Amelia's mind, through some random quirk of biology, has this on steroids. The conscious and subconscious reasoning behind any given action is immediately obvious to her, regardless of its form or former. Body language and speech will betray deep-seated psychology to her, as well as in-the-moment deception and direction. Architectures will betray their original functions, and make obvious their layouts and design changes since creation. Foreign interfaces and tools will betray limited extents of their purpose and function. Plants will betray their lives and progress, as their shape describes their attempts to grope for nutrients and sunlight. No item, arrangement, or appearance can disguise from her at least a basic, instinctually-felt answer to the question of their why.
And once you can truly see intent, you can manipulate it. Amelia is practiced in distorting the appearance of rooms, objects, and situations to change their apparent purpose. Using careful arrangement and physical changes, she can induce a room to display (or obscure) evidence of tampering or theft, make useless objects seem sentimental and important (or vice versa), or guide the attentions of others to certain things and perspectives. Amelia also has an excellent sense of the intent she gives off with her appearance and actions; she can appear to espouse any emotion or intent she wishes, almost perfectly. If she wished, for example, she could kiss a man in a way that made it seem like attempted rape on his behalf to outside observers, all while leaving the man oblivious. (Such is the extent of her self-control.) This is usually hindered or hampered, however, by her playfulness: if she made her intents perfectly obscure, why, it wouldn't be as fun to see others fall for them, would it? And if she didn't let a person or two suspect her at times, it would just be boring! Amelia is excited by opportunities to observe complicated intents resolving to simple actions, and vice versa. The suspicious and unsure are especially fun to watch.
Nowhere is her ability to manipulate intent more concentrated, however, than her art. Having detected the insecurities and motivations of an individual, she can paint something which visibly exhibits the intent to answer them, tying this to an object, goal, or even herself. The human mind can be quite receptive to these things, even in those for whom art usually passes with neither appreciation nor understanding: with a single work of art, Amelia can cause an idea or purpose to resonate hard enough with someone to slightly redirect their entire purpose of being to her gain. Those sorts of works usually take at least an hour to speed-paint, though, and their subjects are complex enough that Amelia isn't above making the occasional tiny, catastrophic error.
Last edited by BlastYoBoots; 08-08-2011 at 08:33 PM.
Lodged in a stone waiting for the true king of Ingland
Re: The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Signups!]
Username: Ixcaliber Name: Elizabeth Hixley Gender: Female Font colour: #BF4000 Species: Human
Biography: Blake sat on the edge of the pavement, his head in his hands. The woman that he loved was right now locking lips with a man who he had thought was his friend. He could not bear to think about it; the months of deceit and manipulation that had took his Sarah away from him. He was ready to give up on life, love, and happiness, when from across the way there was a faint noise like a jingling of bells.
Across the street stood an old shop, the sign above the door read ‘Curious Curios’. Its windows were cobwebbed and the paintwork was peeling. It was clearly a very old building only Blake was not sure that it had been there the last time that he had looked. Curiously he crossed the midnight street and peered through the grimy windows. The store was dimly lit by old oil-lamps. The shelves were stocked with many interesting items of all shapes and sizes; swords and shields, urns and vases, jamjars and gewgaws, badminton rackets and buckets and spades, stone tablets, piñatas, ornate mirrors and creepy dolls, sceptres, staffs, crowns and tiaras, all this and more.
His curiosity now more than piqued, Blake pushed open the old door, which elicited a tinkling from the bells fitted above it, and stepped inside. There was a certain otherness about the store, as if it did not belong. He gawped at the eclectic collection of items on display, moving deeper into the store until he found what appeared to be a fairly ordinary feather duster. There was nothing special about it, which made it interesting as to why his attention seemed to be drawn there.
“Made from real roc feathers you know.” A woman’s voice came from immediately behind him. Blake spun around in shock. The woman in question looked about thirty years old. She had long black hair, which she had plaited into a long ponytail going roughly halfway down her back. Perched upon her nose was a pair of thin rectangular glasses. Her eyes were a striking amber colour and her skin tan. She wore a pale orange blazer, an amaranth cravat, a plain white shirt, similar white pants and a pair of black winklepickers. She wore a large and eclectic selection of rings, causing her fingers to clack whenever she moved them. She leant upon an ornate crystal cane, the head of which was carved into the shape of a phoenix.
“Excuse me?” Blake asked.
“The feather duster,” the woman, presumably the proprietor, replied. “It’s made from real roc feathers. Why don’t you take it?”
“I’m sorry.” Blake replied. “I was just curious, I have no need of a feather duster.”
“That’s no ordinary feather duster.” The proprietor replied. “Sure you can dust with it but why would you when it’s so good at brushing away lies and uncertainty?” Blake stared at her in disbelief. “You seem like the kind of kid who could get some use out of an item like this. Take it, I insist. It’s on the house.” She took up the feather duster and pressed it into Blake’s hands.
“Th-thanks…?” He stammered.
“Take care now.” She called after him as feather duster in hand Blake scurried away into the night.
The following day the whole incident looked very silly. He carried on with his life as normal and dismissed the proprietor’s claims as ridiculous. Sarah came around to collect her stuff. She did so in silence as Blake twirled the feather duster through his fingers. As much as he did not believe what the shopkeeper had said he couldn’t help but wonder… what if? What if this would wash away Adam’s lies, and let her clearly see how much she has been manipulated by that bastard? If not he’d look a little silly but he was past caring.
He strode towards his former girlfriend with the feather duster in hand and wondering exactly how this worked, dusted her. She tried to bat him away and called him some unpleasant names and then her face went curiously blank. She stood there like that for a minute as Blake retracted the magical duster.
“Sarah?” he asked. “Sarah, are you okay?” She looked around in confusion.
“Where am I?” she asked visibly panicking. “Who are you?”
“Sarah it’s okay.” He replied quickly, grasping her shoulders firmly. “It’s me, it’s Blake. You’re at my apartment.”
“I don’t know you. What do you want?” she asked terrified. “Who is this Sarah you keep talking about?”
It wasn’t long before Blake was rushing through the streets, feather duster in one hand, and Sarah’s unwilling hand in the other. He dashed towards where the shop had been, full of anger and fear. The proprietor had lied to him. She’d taken Sarah away from him for good. He would demand that she fix her. He came to a complete stop in front of where the shop had been, discovering only an empty space. It was as if the store had never been there at all.
Items/Abilities: Liz has two items that qualify as special. The first is her cane that she carries with her. It grants the bearer a form of eternal life (though not immortality). It is made from crystal and its head is carved into the shape of a phoenix. The second is less obvious, a rather plain silver locket that she wears around her neck. When opened up there is a button inside. This button when pressed summons her shop to her. This locket is completely unique and any cameoed versions of Liz will lack the ability to call the shop to them. When called the shop attempts to occupy the nearest empty space. If there is somewhere nearby where it will appear innocuous, i.e. a row of buildings, then it will appear there.
The shop itself is what is known as a Wandering Shop. Put simply it is a shop full of mysterious and powerful items that has the ability to hop between dimensions. Anyone who had spent any time within the shop itself would say that it seems to have a consciousness of its own. Things are never where you expect them to be and you sometimes get the impression that the shop is mocking you somehow.
A good few years ago now the control mechanism broke. While the shop can still move between dimensions if called via her locket, it can no longer be driven. Also Liz is not the original owner of this shop, meaning that she doesn’t know how it works or how to repair it, if it is even repairable. The technology is likely beyond the ability of all but the most advanced engineers, and even then they would have to send off for parts.
The items in her shop vary in usefulness, some items for example designed to fill a specific niche and of no use in any other situation. Also of note is that the more powerful an item the more likely that there is some kind of downside to using it. Some items offer very little benefit and have grave curses. If you don’t know what each one does then it can be kind of a lucky dip, even Liz, more knowledgeable than most, does not know what most of the items do.
Description: Liz looks like she did in the biography, except in her early twenties instead of her thirties. (At the risk of repeating myself: long black hair in ponytail, glasses, amber eyes, tan skin, pale orange blazer, amaranth cravat, white shirt, white pants, black winklepicker shoes, a large and unusual collection of rings and ornate crystal cane the head of which is in shape of phoenix.)
She is sort of twistedly whimsical. She loves to play with people, to give them trinkets and artefacts which will wreck their lives. Staying on the move is very important to her, and even after her shop had broken down she didn’t stay still. She travelled from town to town calling her shop after her. She is very secretive and doesn’t like anyone to know her true motives. She has a dark sense of humour that other people don’t seem to appreciate. She’s not typically violent as such, preferring to fight indirectly through misdirection and the use of artefacts.
I'll hopefully be on the IRC in the next couple of days, but currently have family round and also am having computer issues.
Username: Akumu Name: Redclaw, Son of Redtooth, Warchief of the Lakes People Gender: Male Race: Werewolf Colour: DimGrey
Redclaw was born a werewolf, to the Lakes People whose range extends through northern Minnesota and southern Ontario, near the northwest shore of Lake Superior and around the numerous smaller lakes that pepper the area. The organization of the Lakes People is extremely loose, owing mainly to their small population density. Only a few hundred werewolves have the pride of being a Lakes Person. All are considered equal, apart from the warchief and the arbiter, who are priveleged to decide matters of an external and internal nature, respectively. Redclaw was the first son sired by the Warchief Redtooth, and had been groomed since birth to take up that mantle.
As an adult, Redclaw has become convinced of the moral superiority of the People's way of life, living without heirarchical structures and without infrastructure, in a state of nature. He views all the works of man as an evil to be scrubbed from the earth, and it was this belief that led him into direct conflict with his sire. When Redtooth's mind could not be changed, Redclaw slew him and became warchief sooner than any had expected. Any in opposition to his plans were cowed by his raw power, though the arbiter may have had people of his own sharpening their claws in the deep darkness at new moon.
At the next full moon after the winter solstice, when their power was at its zenith, Redclaw led the Lake People in a raid against the Clay Boswell Energy Center, the largest power plant in northern Minnesota. As the moonlight gleamed silver on the snow blanketing Cohasset, hundreds of werewolves descended on the furnaces and trucks and generators and offices of the coal-fired plant and reduced them to rubble in the space of a night. The weak would perish in the bitter cold, Redclaw claimed, and the Lake People would return for the strong to turn them and bolster their own ranks.
Alas, this was never to be, as Redclaw vanished before the night was up.
Redclaw is a hulking brute, eight feet tall when standing upright, though he tends to move about in a hunched lope or on all fours. His head is lupine, though with a shorter muzzle than a typical wolf, and he is covered from head to toe in grey fur, with a lighter shade around his chin, neck and chest. His limbs are long and his hands and feet are outsized compared to his body, and all his digits have wicked two-inch black claws. He prefers to run naked, though he has a small ornament of copper and dangling feathers clipped behind his left ear to signify his status as warchief.
Even in human form, Redclaw is a large, barrel-chested man. He is of mixed Chippewa and Scandanavian ancestry, though he considers himself always and only a Lake Person.
He has absolutely no compunction about killing, and thrills in martial confrontation. Any artificial construction offends him on a deep level, and is seen as an affront against the natural order. Whenever feasible he will seek to destroy such things. He believes very strongly in the power of oaths, and will not make them lightly, though he is not fool enough to believe that others feel the same. A broken oath to Redclaw is a sure way to find yourself divested of your entrails.
As a werewolf, Redclaw can shift between human and wolf form. The human is in fact his default state, and moonlight is required to maintain himself in wolf form. However, due to his long lineage and training, the amount of moonlight in a lunar cycle is enough to power the transformation for a month, allowing Redclaw to stay in his more powerful form indefinitely as long as the available moonlight is absorbed. He prefers this to his human form, as it comes with supernatural strength, speed and senses. He can be killed as any man, though silver can sap the moonlight from his body and force a reversion to human.
A mixing of bodily fluids (most commonly, the saliva of a werewolf with the blood of a human) can transfer the blessing to a human, though their efficiency at using moonlight will be low, as will be their ability to control the shifting. Typically this means they will shift involuntarily to wolf form during full moons. Control of the shifting can come with practice, though it will never be as fine as one born into their powers.
Biography: Anders was born to a middle-class family in California in the early 60s. He excelled in school, and was called "gifted" and even "a genius". He graduated from high school at the top of his class, and was accepted to Harvard, where he did just as well. He studied native American cultures, specifically how they survived (hunting, making fires, how they moved their camps), as well as genealogy, specifically of various royal families, and often went to the southwest to live in the desert for weeks on end in graduate school, supposedly on research trips.
This, however, was only the excuse he gave his colleagues and professors. In reality, he was hunting. He liked hunting the wild animals native to the area, mainly deer and coyotes, but he didn't want any of his colleagues to think he was going on vacation, so he used his area of expertise to justify these trips. He had built a cabin up in the hills of New Mexico on one of these trips, and he kept his trophies there. He never wasted any part of the animal, always using all of the organs and skin, often to make tools (he always used only what he had saved after the first few trips) or clothing (he only brought a single change of clothing - the rest had to be hand-made out of leather). When he had finished his PhD, he stayed there full-time, surviving on wild animals and what he could grow in the area around his cabin. He became known in the area as the harmless mountain man, and the people in the towns around would tell stories about his "legendary exploits". He was almost a folk hero after fifteen years or so, and people would sometimes leave little caches of cheese, bread, or other things he couldn't easily get in the wilderness around his cabin. People would tell tourists about him.
Then, after he had been living in the wilds for about 20 years, a young girl disappeared. She was Irene Angelita Velez, a sophomore in high school. Her parents were immigrants from Mexico, and most of her ancestors had been native Mexicans, who had lived in the area her parents emigrated from for hundred of years before the Spaniards arrived. She was a direct descendent of a noble Aztec line. The police tried to find her. They interrogated everyone who had been in contact with her recently. Her friends. Her boyfriend. Eventually, they went to Anders' cabin in the woods, and he allowed them to search it. They found nothing out of the ordinary (at least for Anders), and left. He moved his cougar-skin rug, opened the trapdoor, and went down to the caves below the house. Irene was in there, strapped to an altar, dead. Her heart had been torn out. The charred remains were in the pile of ashes in a nearby brazier. Anders cleaned up his mess, sewed her up, and dumped her body in a canyon fifty miles away.
This was not the first. He had killed two others, one in California and one at Harvard, both with their hearts ripped out and burned and their bodies sewn up afterwards. He had started to study Mesoamerican culture in high school, and had learned about the Cult of the Desert Lion. This cult had kidnapped young noblewomen, and torn their hearts out, exactly as Anders had to those three girls. This had supposedly given them the abilities of a great cat. Anders was intrigued. He learned more and more about this cult, and finally tried their methods for himself, on a girl in his school who was distantly related to a British lord. He felt a small jolt of power as he burned the heart, and when he completed the process, mixing the ashes with cat blood and drinking them, he felt an even larger jolt. He was much more agile after the first murder, and the second one gave him much better senses, of smell and hearing. The last one, Irene Velez, would be his key to great success. He had the cougar blood prepared, stored in a jar in the cave. The ashes had already been gathered. He mixed them, and drank. And collapsed to the ground. He writhed on the floor for a while, as changes wracked his body, and when he finally got up, he was no longer a human. His teeth had grown into fangs, his ears had moved back on his head and grown pointed, claws sprouted from his fingers, and fur grew all over his body. His ritual was complete. He shuddered, and the changes reversed themselves. Again, and he was the monster. Once more, in a slightly different way, and he collapsed onto all fours, becoming a full cat. Then back to human. He smiled. Things were looking up.
Description: Human form: Anders is a reasonably attractive man, behind the scruffy mountain man beard and caked-on grime. He's about six feet tall, blond, and has brown eyes with highly reflective pupils, which is quite unnerving in a human, and is the only obvious sign of his "condition" in human form. He is obviously very fit, and moves fluidly, with catlike grace. His beard is about half a foot long, and has a little bit of caked on blood (he was taken to the battle right after a hunt in monster-form, before he had a chance to clean up). He wears loose leather pants, held on by a belt made of a long hempen rope, and goes shirtless and shoeless, because those would just get in the way. His rather quiver and his bow are held on by a strap that goes across his chest, and will stay on in monster or cat form.
Monster form: In this form, Anders has elongated teeth, a more catlike face, and golden fur that covers his while body. His pants stay on in this form. He's about 5'10", but only because he's perpetually hunched over in this form, and if he stood all the way up he would be closer to 6'3". His hands and feet have retractable claws, and he's faster and more agile in this form.
Cat form: He's a cougar. Not much else to say. Yellow fur. Sharp claws. Big nasty pointy teeth. His front paws are a little more useful than a normal cat's, and he has a large straggly clump of fur on his chin, but apart from that he looks like a normal cougar.
Items/Abilities: Well, first he's a werecougar. He can change between the three forms at will, but it takes him about twenty seconds to complete the change and another ten to recover. He has a bow and a quiver full of arrows, which he can shoot extremely well, and a hatchet hidden in the quiver, which he can throw or use to attack at close range. He also has a hunting dagger in his belt, which is the knife he used to perform all of the rituals. It has no special powers. He can use his bow and trow his hatchet and knife well in human mode, and his bow and knife throwing skills decline in monster mode. He can still throw his hatchet and use both dagger and hatchet at close range well in monster mode. In monster and cougar mode, he has retractable claws and sharp teeth. If he manages to kill a young royal woman, burn her heart, etc, etc, he will get even more power. But that is unlikely to happen.
Anyone who can guess who his name is derivative of gets a cookie.
And Redclaw son of Redtooth wasn't there when I was writing this. Two werecreatures right after each other...
Username: Sanzh Name: Cthaasa Gender: Male Race: Ithaqu (described in the biography and description) Text Colour: #855F85 Biography: The ithaqu race could be divided into two primary age brackets, with both acting in a form of symbiosis: one is the leech-like juvenile state, while the other is the considerably more developed adult state. Should a juvenile ithaqu manage to attach itself to a host organism’s spinal column, it is capable of assuming control of that host. However, the juveniles’ under-developed nervous system is incapable of fully controlling the host, something the adult does through evolved psychic connections.
Prior to humanity’s arrival, the ithaqu lived on a largely tribal level on their native world-- a festering mire of swamp and jungle, laced with thin clouds of ammonia. With few hosts of significant intelligence, the species used native predators as a form of protection, having a cadre of thralls to protect the physically weak adults from other threats. At some point, a human spaceship-- a slower-than-light sleeper vessel-- landed on the ithaqu home-world. By some freak chance, a juvenile was fortunate enough to implant itself on a human scout. After the adult that was managing the juvenile recovered from the flood of new memories and sudden jolt of knowledge, the tribe he was part of elected to subsume the nascent human population before it expanded. They overwhelmingly succeeded, capturing the awakened humans and thawing the remainder in cryogenic storage at their leisure.
Cthaasa was born decades after the human population was brought under control. A regimented hierarchy had already been established for the purposes of managing human thralls, and while there were some humans who remained uncontrolled, they were in an extreme minority-- for all intent and purposes, the ithaqu victory was complete and there was little to no chance of rebellion destroying their dominion. Cthaasa, shortly after reaching an adult state, rose to become a prominent scientist, most notably in the fields of genetics and neurobiology. Given a large supply of subjects that were unable to voice complaints or reject the experiments performed, he made extraordinary leaps in the understanding of the nervous system, both for his species and that of his human thralls. The exact nature of his experiments was largely unknown, given the insular nature of both him and his species, but the phenomenal results practically exempted him from oversight.
That was until his experiments were investigated-- inadvertently, with suspicion originating from reports of a few missing adult ithaqu. When his lab was opened to the outside world, it was apparent that a variety of grotesque tests had been conducted, ranging from failed genomic modifications to vivisections performed on other adult ithaqu, kept alive with minimum life support or anaesthetics. The true cost of his results was soon apparent, and his work was judged unethical, a rarity for a species founded on subjecting a sentient race to constant, inescapable slavery. Following a quick trial, he was sentenced to serve as a military commander with no reprieve-- a grave punishment considering the cowardice inherent to the species. He would be in near-constant threat of mortal injuries, and would not be likely to survive for long. After a few short weeks to provide necessary training, he was loaded onto a combat vessel and sent off to a distant front, systems away from his home-world, effectively exiled.
Unlike many ithaqu pressed into military service, he saw no chance that his peers would offer clemency and he wholly devoted himself to warfare, applying the same level of clinical detachment that he did to his science to the art of warfare. A year after beginning military service, he disappeared. He was isolated within an armored module for transportation purposes, but upon arrival the pod was empty. To the ithaqu, it was an inexplicable disappearance, but for Cthaasa it was the beginning of a fight to the death.
Description: An adult ithaqu appears as a curled, over-sized leech, with one end serving as a head and the other end connecting to a mess of gangly, tentacle-like appendages, each ending in a three-fingered hand. These appendages are barely capable of supporting the weight of the body, but are dexterous and can be used both for locomotion and as hands. The head, in addition to a lamprey-like mouth, has an assortment of yellow eyes. The entire creature is coated in a thin layer of slime and has extremely dark skin. Even as adults, the ithaqu are physically weak and typically only a meter in height.
While Cthaasa used to fit this physical description, numerous experiments have altered his appearance significantly. While he is still recognizable, his appearance is unsettling, even compared to other ithaqu. As a result his failed genomic modifications being rejected by his immune system, he appears sickly and decrepit, with his muscles wasted and his eyes sunken into their sockets. His skin, rather than having a slippery sheen, is dessicated, cracked and patched with cysts.
Cthaasa is petty and narcissistic, focused solely on himself. His belief is that all things are meant to benefit him in some form, either in terms of direct service or in terms of knowledge to be gleamed from them. He has some compunctions about killing, but only if the killing serves no purpose. He is fine with vivisecting a victim solely to understand their reaction to unbearable pain. For those considered his allies, he places no value on their lives-- he has ordered countless human thralls on suicidal charges solely to wear down the ammunition stocks of enemies.
Cthaasa, while sadistic, is primarily motivated by personal gain. The experiments he performed strengthened him and earned him the accolades of others, and he believed that his military service would eventually earn him respect as a ruthless conqueror, expanding ithaqu territory and dominion.
Items/Abilities: While Cthaasa bears the marks of his failed experiments, he has also improved himself immensely. His studies into the innate psychic capabilities of his species have allowed him a measure of psychic control over un-implanted individuals, and while not as absolute as the control over a thrall, it is still potent. Control over higher brain functions is difficult, but control over more basic regions is easier. Cthaasa has some crude telekinesis, and while incapable of fine control can still hurl objects with great force.
Last edited by Sanzh; 08-10-2011 at 07:55 PM.
Reason: Forgot username
Biography: The beginning of time was a slow and boring process. Yana’s first conscious thoughts were nothing as advanced as what the human mind is capable of. They were however very numerous. She had no form to take, no memories to look back on, and no understanding of the present. Only the future could hold anything for it. But when a small little planet began to show signs of life, she too began to evolve. She watched through the eyes of the millions of fish inhabiting Earth’s waters. To her, which life was a new idea, it was fascinating. But each fish was similar, only the species differences showed any uniqueness. But when they branches out onto land, she had new species altogether to watch. A boom of life spread out over the planet as mammals began to spread their habitats. She watched, learned and memorized everything she could about life on the planet, even taking note on the boring, yet incredibly necessary, plant life. Yana also noticed that mammals died differently to fish. While she had no idea what she truly was, she knew that there were things like her. If she was time, than the being she was now watching would be death. Unlike her, it showed no sings of intelligence or personality. It was methodical in how it retrieved the souls of the dead, even if using its own hands was a slow process.
And then the humans came.
Humans, while seeming quite ugly to her in the early stages, soon became her favourite species. They weren’t more violent than other animals, but they were all unique . As they created so much in small amounts of time she too found herself learning from them. Countless humans asked the question “Why?”, a question she herself had never considered. When they began to form religions, theorizing how life, earth and humans came to be, she could only watch as they proved themselves both smarter and braver than her. She knew she was no god, she had created nothing, she just was. That was the first time since the beginning of time that she would lose sight of herself, but it would not be the last. After millennia of watching them, just like many species before them, humankind was erased. She could not accept that, they were the only thing that had ever sparked anything in her mind. She grew so angry that she tore apart time at the seams like a reel of film. From there, she began watching each human’s individual life from start to finish, since they had evolved from the apes.
But that too ran out eventually.
She knew everything about them, each name, lifespan and death. The only one remaining was death, forever sleeping with no more souls to take. Yana did not want to return to an eternity of boredom, she wanted human life to go on. But time continued to march on regardless, taking a large toll on her sanity. She missed the humans. She missed life. If this was what she had to endure, then she would rather die. She had no idea if that was even possible. She may have taken a human form after so much watching, but mortality was something that had never belonged to her. Since time had formed, she had been. So she formed a plan: A plan to destroy time once and for all. She once again summoned the reel of time. But first, she approached death. It had always never taken notice of her, and she had no way to communicate with it. They might as well have been on separate plains of reality. But there was one thing she could do. Death had managed to form easier ways of taking human souls after learning from them. Scythes, swords, and an axe. The axe had been made in light of the more violent races, such as the Vikings. She stole it and used it to cut away at the reel of time, forever massacring all life present at that time. In essence, with each swing she murdered billions of humans, and countless other life forms. She felt the loss of each human life as her memory disappeared, compensating for their lack of existence. With each swing, she felt new, vigorous, mortal. She was one last swing before all time would have never happened.
But the axe never connected. And time began anew, without her.
Description: She has no control over her personal visage. She is constantly swapping between different points in her existence. The four stages are what she saw as her "youth", a young looking girl wearing a mix of foliage and animal skins as a dress who has only recently became aware of life on earth, her second stage are what looks to be a young woman in a vibrant Victorian dress, minus the corset. She is interested in humans and watches them progress with fascination, the third stage is closer to a human's mid-life and wears bright white robes with a cowl. She is less curious about humans now that she has seen their end, and has gone back to watch the lives of many of them, sometimes all the way through, and looks wiser, yet more tired. Her fourth stage is a dark looking old woman in crimson robes. She has witnessed everything in her world, and ended almost all life in an attempt to destroy both herself and time.
Weapon: Mair'Therril. A battle axe formerly used to separate souls from the bodies of the recently deceased. Has lost most, if not all, of its spiritual abilities, but is still a light but deadly weapon.
Abilities: Yana never had any real manipulation of time; she could only look through it. Time existed as long as she did and vice-versa. Therefore she could watch any point in time from any perspective. In her new physical body, she can slow down or speed up certain things around her, although even if she were to slow something about to fall, the impact would remain the same. She cannot increase or decrease the amount of force something contains no matter how she affects its timeline.
Originally Posted by MalkyTop
I need to delve into dick territory.
23:55 Sanzh - wouldn't penis math be cockulus
23:55 TheDeleter - Prickonometry?
23:56 Schazer - dongrivatives?
23:56 Jacquerel - arithmadicks
23:57 DragonFogel - On that note, I'm going to finish up the leftover lasagna.
23:57 Drakenforge - Try finding out how that connects to the conversation at hand
23:59 Schazer - laswangna
00:00 Pinary - (Did anyone raise sexponential functions in the punwall? I must admit, I only got a chance to skim it.)
00:00 Schazer - I am pretty much just
00:00 Schazer - inserting dicks wherever the opportunity presents itself
00:00 Pinary - You sound like a teenage guy
00:00 Drakenforge - She gets that a lot.
Username: MalkyTop Name: Cepra Samedi. She does go by many aliases, though. (The Touch is one she’d rather forget. And there was an embarrassingly long time she was known as the Silver Maiden.) Gender: Female Race: Lycaridas. The Lycaridas could be simply described as ‘spider people.’ Multiple eyes which can see in the dark, four arms and four legs, sharp claws, horrifying fangs, no bones…the works. Only some can spin silk. Cepra isn’t one of them. Colour: Oh here, dahling, have my number. (#B22222) Biography: Cepra Samedi was born into a noble family and was one of the three children that survived being eaten. As each of them grew, though, it became apparent that she was smaller than an average female. Thus, one of her sisters would be the heir while she would have to wander and defend herself. Not that it would be a hard task. The harder task would be to figure out what to do with herself.
As a noble Lycaridan, she already had a thirst for blood and pain. Sadism ran in the family and those who didn’t turn out to be sadists were probably eaten very quickly. She just needed to figure out how she could use it constructively. She enjoyed a short stint as a torturer for a church, though she never joined the order or believed in that silly religion hogwash. However, every time, she would want her sessions with her victims to climax in death (and maybe a dinner) and, every time, the supervisor would stop her from going too far, breaking what she felt was her momentum. As soon as too many sessions were left unfinished for her liking, she headed off again.
As she started to meander through the underground and less savory part of the world, she found a way she could be paid for being sadistic. Assassin, bounty hunter, whatever it was called, if she could kill for money, then she was happy with it.
Her life really wasn’t complicated. But there was one point of time when her sadistic tastes seemed to mature, and it happened around a rather significant point in her life, in the middle of her journeys.
She had never really heard stories, nor would she have really listened to them. If she had, though, she would have heard about a cursed fountain in a mysterious cave. It was called the Gorgon Fountain and drinking from it meant certain death, though a quite glamorous one, as anybody who drank the fountain’s water would slowly turn into silver.
Cepra didn’t know about this when she stopped in a cave to rest and found a mysterious fountain. She did find the large number of silver statues, all contorted in various forms of pain, fairly suspicious and ultimately decided that drinking from the fountain would not be a good idea.
However, she couldn’t help but curiously dip a hand in. As she swirled her hand around in the waters, she felt a strange, though not unpleasant, burning sensation, and when she eventually took it out, she found that her entire hand was now a deep purple and seemed to constantly drip a colorless fluid. A few days later, when she got into another fight and scratched her opponent with the hand, she watched as he writhed and slowly turned into silver.
From then on, she delighted in the slow, torturous death that her new poisonous hand brought. And though she still employed other ways of killing targets, the silver poison became her signature style and she would carve out parts of her victims and make herself jewelry out of them. Often when they were still conscious.
Description: Cepra really is small for a Lycaridan, barely reaching seven feet tall when females generally grow to be two times larger. She still manages to be a threatening figure and looms over whatever she can. Her entire exoskeleton is dull, fuzzy and brown, though her underbelly is a lighter color, and she has horns that protrude out of her shaggy white hair. She seems to enjoy unnerving smiles and often wears one on her face (which seems impossible, given how a normal spider’s mouth is constructed, but she manages it nevertheless). Her fangs are quite prominent. She wears goggles, which has a separate lens for each of her eyes. Out of her four arms, it is her lower right one that is the poisonous one. She generally looks unarmed, though she does wear metal shoulder plates. She wears a dark red coat that drapes a bit over her protruding abdomen, which is supported by four thin spider legs. She is very well-decorated. There are silver cuffs and chains hanging from her horns and silver necklaces with silver beads portraying the contorted faces of past victims. She has several bracelets as well. The ‘place of honor’ would be her tongue; unfortunately, her tongue remains unpierced and unadorned.
Cepra herself is a delightful young woman, secretive, confident, and perhaps a tad socially awkward. No matter the situation, she prefers to go through it in a nice, dark place. The way she talks to others may come off as condescending, disconcerting, or just plain dishonest. She’s not one to really team up with anybody, though if she’s in a situation that even she can realize would be tough to handle on her own, she wouldn’t mind a temporary one. She is easily motivated by things like money and food and would do anything for it as long as she doesn’t think it harms her dignity. But her biggest motivation is ‘for shits and giggles,’ which mostly translates to ‘for sadistic glee.’ While any paid assassination would always result in a new silver bead, any time she just kills for fun, she tries dragging it out in a variety of ways. The only people who have what could be considered her respect would be those of high standing and rank, as she would assume such people were strong enough to kill everybody else vying for the position. However, everybody’s the same when it comes to being paid.
While undoubtedly nasty, Cepra can’t be said to be very smart, either that or she is extremely confident, as she doesn’t seem to realize that it’s probably hard to get the jump on anybody when silver glimmers in the light and jingles a bit when the wearer tries to move swiftly about without notice. She doesn’t even notice the apparent danger of leaving her signature weapon uncovered. She has enough sense to not use it to touch everything, but it seems that mostly she enjoys the attention, recognition, and respect it gives her. It should probably be noted that Cepra is easily entertained but very impatient with those who would interrupt her fun.
Items/Abilities: Cepra’s own natural abilities include climbing walls, having night-vision, and carrying venom in her fangs. The venom is used for liquefying the innards of her prey so that she may drink it up. She is quite sensitive to movement under her feet and in the air. Her claws are very sharp (it’s what she uses to carve her silver with) and, of course, there’s her purple hand of silvery death. Besides that, she doesn’t have much else. Any weapons are improvised, any torture devices, simple.
And this is the random sketch I did when trying to figure out what Cepra even looked like. I didn't dare go for spider accuracy, as that would mean actually looking at spiders. And now that I think about it, she kind of looks like Sarika but with a spiderbutt.
Man I would love to enter this, I really would. I've got a character saved up for months and all of that. But I can barely (if even) manage the battles I've got going right now. I'll be keeping an eye on this though. It looks really promising!
Username: A Killer Cuppa Tea (but most people call me Tea)
Name: Experiment x1593U8 (Also Known As Eppon)
Race: Scientific Experiment (based on human)
Biography: Experiment x1589U8 was authorised by the New Earthen Republic, a new political organisation that managed to spread through the entirety of the Planet Earth. Originally hailed as a New World Order designed to bring peace and prosperity throughout the world, this New Age way of thinking was, in fact, a way to oppress the people.
It took many years and decades before humanity came to realise just how much they were being oppressed. Scientific, economic and cultural progress had been stifled for years. Funds had instead been siphoned to a comparative minority of people who lived a life of luxury whilst the rest of humanity toiled day in day out, just to get by.
The change in their lives had been gradual, but slowly but surely, the entire race had become an army of slaves. Education was now almost non-existent. Leisure time was unheard of. Reading about history was banned, and ignorance was common throughout the land.
But then, little stirrings began to occur: little pockets of unrest – quickly put down by “the authorities”, but never forgotten; small cells committed to freeing the human race. At first, these were naught more than a nuisance: unorganised gangs making petty threats and attacking unimportant targets...but slowly but surely, these cells began to contact each other and merge; organisation became more commonplace and the word of them spread.
Almost as though in denial, those in power turned a blind eye too long. Suddenly, it seemed that the entirety of the human race was against them. Even once loyal soldiers dedicated to their wellbeing were becoming restless and betraying them. Seeking a solution, these few people turned to the sciences to help preserve their way of life.
Many things were invented, and many experiments carried out. Before long, it became an all out war: the uneducated, under-equipped masses with the heart and resolve to see their long-due victory, and the evil, the powerful, the few who fought with desperation to retain the way of life they had come to love.
Experiment x1593U8 was one of their most evil projects. A baby born in a test tube, its DNA altered and its brain washed, it was designed to me the most loyal of soldiers. Designed by a mad scientist – who came to love the project, as a piece of engineering genius, rather than a living, breathing human being – to be unfailingly loyal to those who had commissioned it, to have an insatiable urge to kill those who did not fit into this category, and the physical means with which to do so, the prototype was also designed not to have the mental acumen to truly think for itself.
This prototype – based off a male human child – will enter the battlefield as a newly born baby. Wrested from its mechanical womb, and thrust straight into the world of battle it was bred for, it is still just a little too soon. Although its DNA structure is designed for it to grow to full size in much less time than a normal human, x1593U8 will still start the battle essentially defenceless – but will grow more and more powerful with each second that goes by.
The name Eppon comes from the only word the child knows how to speak – “Weapon” – the only word that was cooed to it as it grew.
Description: Male baby, bright brown eyes, black hair, projected to grow into a largely built human being within a few short days or hours.
Items/Abilities: Currently none, but in a few short hours he will be a strongly built young man, and not long after that he will begin to mutate into something not quite human. Generally, his mental strength is almost definitely not his strong point, and he is likely to be rather naive and innocent, if prone to extreme violence. He is programmed to have a large capacity to learn, and in particular, be instinctively able to use most forms of weaponry as well as be proficient in hand to hand combat and pick up quickly on warfare and strategy. All this will all be instinctual, however: whilst he will likely be a bright child, “normal” knowledge such as etiquette, manners and even language will likely not come easily to him. As he is effectively “still a child” he will likely be easily manipulated, too. Eventually he will begin to mutate and become less and less human. His mutations are likely to be relative to his current situation.
Last edited by A Killer Cuppa Tea; 08-07-2011 at 07:14 PM.
Biography: Tal was born as a shell. A body without soul, mind or power. At birth, he appeared dead. When his parents reached to hold him, they vanished completely. His body surged with life, and was kept conscious. He had absorbed their bodies and minds in their entirity, giving him the things he needed to be alive. Unfortunately, no one felt like they had to be around him. The caretakers forced him into areas where no one could come near him, and he didn't feel the touch of another person until he was around 13. He wasn't angry, he wasn't even phased. Nothing seemed to bother him, penetrate the thick wall of complete apathy that made up his being. He was void of emotion entirely. As he grew and wandered, he found the one thing that could make him whole again. Energy. Power. Absorbing the largest power sources fed him. Fed his soul. Fed his body. What first started as batteries and lightbulbs grew to starship engines and pulse reactors. Everything that fell in front of him was absorbed.
Tal was once stopped by a man on the streets of New York. A man with a knife. Claiming Tal's snarky attitude was "gettin all up on my fuckin' nerves". Tal was pinned to the ground, and in a fit of surprise and adrenaline, Tal consumed the man completely. Body, mind, and energy completely. The impact on his strength and energy was small, but the mental effects were lasting. The gruff, in-your-face nature of the gangster caused Tal to have occasional acts of violence and woman-objectifying. He doesn't enjoy it, and often simply walks away or does not act upon his thoughts, but the effect is still there.
His goal is simple: Become whole.
Description: Tal stands at 5' 8", a little short for his family. He's dark-skinned, somewhere between native american and African-American. His hair is roughly cut, a pale silver with white streaks running through. His eyes are a very dark brown, bordering on black. He has a skinny frame, as if barely held together. He doesn't change clothes unless they have become a hindrance. As such, his desire for serviceability has driven him to black combat boots, a pair of thick blue jeans with a simple belt, a dark purple tee, and a brown backpack. He has accidentally absorbed them into his body before, creating an incredibly awkward moment for everyone.
Tal's mental state is almost always bouncing between apathetic and strangely caring. As Tal has absorbed people in his life, their voices seem to add to the chorus of echoing desires and needs in his mind. His parents' minds have become flickering moments of caring for children in his head, but any recently absorbed minds dominate his thought process and lead him to obsessively care about things they cared about in their lives. The only mental drive Tal possesses on his own is his drive to find the largest nearby energy source to absorb it. The only current voices in his head are the flickering comments from his mother and father, and the rather potent voice of a gangster who once tried to kill Tal. The latter is very influential, forcing him to occasionally act harshly and violently.
Emotionally, Tal is a blank slate that is carved onto by the people he absorbs. Thus, he switches between apathy and intensely interested. Even when he's interested, he seems to not have any emotion for it. The lack of emotions can lead to some internal reflection, but other than that, Tal seems blank and void.
Items/Abilities: The ability to absorb objects and people completely is a benefit to Tal's fighting skill. he can also absorb one of three parts of a person or object. Their minds, their physical form, or their energy. Any combination or permutation of the three. Absorbing a mind can make him smarter, a physical form can make him stronger, and absorbing energy (if it is a very specific kind of energy, like time-bending or radioactive energy) can occasionally give him special abilities, but mostly gives him a boost of power akin to a full meal. He can and does eat, however.
Username: Agent1022 Name: Four Gender: Male Race: …Human…? Colour: #440000 Biography: Wyndham Arbor-Pryce hung from rusting chains in a pitch-dark Thought-Correctional Facility. The word ‘dungeon’ was Taboo now, and was thought to bring to mind unpleasant thoughts which, when evaluated by innocent minds, could possibly incite a Disturbance of the Peace, or worse, a Minor Revolution. On the outside, the Facility remained as generic and indistinguishable as any of the Buildings, but on the inside it was built to completely epitomize those unpleasant thoughts. Arbor-Pryce could not see the instruments that had caused him agony for…ten years? Twenty? But he knew they were there, bloody blades and spikes and syringes full of liquid fire, only centimeters from his tortured, torn flesh. They exuded an aura of evil that only those who had suffered from them knew. To his left there was the Little Serrablade #7, which had cut deeply into his arm at forty places some time ago, and still dripped slightly in the slight lull. They often left prisoners in the dark to administrate to someone else, supposedly leaving him time to reflect on his sins. And so Arbor-Pryce reflected:
“Wyndham Arbor-Pryce, the Council has deliberated.”
Arbor-Pryce slowly raised his eyes – gently, almost tentatively, they met the twelve red-robed figures sitting at the crescent table before him. The faces he saw were cold, hardened by lifetimes of government, and the eyes that met him were thrice so. Their impassive glares were daggers, embodiments of coldest steel in the frigid air. The speaking Councilor’s met his, and he almost thought he felt physical pain. It’s only the conditioning, he told himself, it’s all in your mind. But mind or no mind made not a whit of difference. The pain was there all the same.
In the depths of his dark room, he heard, faintly, a far-off scream. It was probably someone new. No one screamed after a while. Pain, every kind of it, became your companion, and you treated it as a friend because there was no one else. You let them use their tools and carve open your flesh and suffocate your lungs and set ablaze your mind because the pain was the only sense in a sense-deprived world. On the surface, Arbor-Pryce was one of those, accepting their sentence and accepting the pain. But underneath, Wyndham Arbor-Pryce lived…hated and hated and lived.
“You have been brought before us on the most grievous charges – Anarchic Proclamation with Intent to Secede, Illegally Maintaining Ideological Status for over the prescribed time limit of three consecutive years, Failing Basic Thought-Threat Tests and Destruction of Innocence. On these charges alone you merit an existential sentence in a Thought-Correctional Facility.”
He had seen this coming, but it was different to hear it in the Council-room. The words carried with them the finality that an existence-long sentence naturally held.
Hated and hated and hated. His sentence was nearly at an end, but his life was not yet over. He was Anarchic, and would bow his knee to no one. He had already been brought back from the brink more times to count, and knew that despite everything they did his body soon would fail and refuse to restart. He wasn’t ready for that.
“You will be moved to Thought-Correctional Facility #421. Your designation will be Four.”
Four. It was the number on the outside of his cell door. It was the number that appeared on his admission papers, the number that he was officially designated, the number that the Council Press gave the world. At a word and a signature, Four was him, and he was Four – and if that was what they wanted he would fucking well oblige that. Four would break the chains. Four would open the door. Four would wring the lives from every misguided loyal drone of the autocracy.
They dragged him down the corridor and opened the door into his cell. Beyond the door crouched a gaseous dark, extending its tendrils like a blot of ink on the middle of the pupil, subsuming the weak light of the white corridor. The sinuous and wraithlike blackness drew him in, whispering wisps of wisdom unheard, a susurrus lightly tasting of blood. When they had clamped him into the chains in the total murk, and retreated, he had sensed the machinery around him, felt the malice and pain that so mirrored his own. When the door closed and bolted and dark had consumed the last light he would see – the blades began their dance and Wyndham Arbor-Pryce began his scream.
It was a sharp feeling.
His heart was slowing. He wasn’t ready-
The Councilor had had the most evil sneer, safe knowing that the populace was still under their total, dominant control-
He seethed at the memory-
“This sentence will be carried about without any chance of negotiation or appeal. And Mr. Arbor-Pryce?”
He turned to face the speaking Councilor, once more feeling the pain in the back of his mind as their eyes met. He looked away, at the document in the Councilor’s hand.
“This is an order for the destruction of your donated genetic material and historical record in the Archives, to be carried out after your Incarceration.”
He tore himself from the grip of the guards in a fit of desperation, and tried to lunge for the Councillor, but one of the sentrymen fired off a stunshot-
“There will be no more Arbor-Pryces. There will never have been.”
That was the last human voice Wyndham heard-
With only darkness, pain and hatred to accompany his final breaths, Wyndham Arbor-Pryce’s heart gave its final beat, and Wyndham Arbor-Pryce died.
But hatred is not an emotion – it is a force, which compels, pulls and pushes in the same way as any other. Gravity might pluck an apple from a tree, or electromagnetism a pin from a table – Hatred might reanimate a soul, a body, to fulfill an eternal thirst for Anarchy.
When the Facility was finally unsealed, they counted 548 of 549 dead, and Four missing without a trace.
Description: Four stands…“stands” five feet ten inches tall, but only five feet nine inches of that is Four. He walks on thin air about an inch above the ground – walks as if he is moving through willpower alone, which he is. He retains the intelligence and personality of Wyndham Arbor-Pryce, but Four has given up that identity. All that is left now is the hatred, and it is the motive force moves his limbs, forces him forward, powers his body like some biological automaton. Four wears ragged clothes, the remnants of his indeterminate time in the Facility, which have lost all functional meaning and are now simply cloth covering Four’s equally ragged flesh. Four’s body is covered in a multitude of cuts and slashes from which the last blood flowed long ago. His body is not technically alive – his heart does not beat, his lungs do not breathe, he does not touch the ground – but that doesn’t stop him from killing anyone who he considers unfit to live. A body and soul brought back by the raw power of sheer hatred would hardly trifle with something as needlessly complex as biology. As a being powered by hatred, his greatest desire is to kill and destroy as much as possible, specifically hating authority and those who turn to and depend on it for every decision and guide rather than thinking for themselves – but this desire is so powerful that it overrides logical thought, leaving Four somewhat emotional and impulsively murderous. He usually stays coherent enough to make a kind of conversational sense, but since he is powered by hatred he isn’t going to be dishing out the hugs any time soon.
Items/Abilities: Four has a kind of localized telekinesis (telekismesis?) which associates itself in a field extending two meters from his body. Within it, all objects with a past associated with hatred and violence are under his telekismetic control. The longer and more turbulent the past, the easier and finer the control Four has over it. Objects with a virtuous or innocent past, however, dampen his control if he tries to pick them up and make it more difficult for him to move objects in his field. If he leaves them alone and doesn’t let them get too close to him, however, he can safely ignore them. It is for this reason that Four does not touch the ground, since it is (usually) more innocent than violent. A patch of sidewalk where a mugging once took place is not particularly fair game, whereas a battlefield has vastly more bloodshed and therefore is. Four was taken without any of the torture devices that were until recently used on him, so in terms of weaponry he has nothing but the clothes on his back… but those have a turbulently violent past too.
Name: Nick Ringer
The announcer's voice boomed over the P.A. system. "Welcome, one and all, to another exciting episode of Gang Warfare, the fabulous show where four teams of convicts are given a chance at $10,000 and their freedom apiece-- as well as our special bonus prize today, a Garrison K4 hovercycle!"
Nick Ringer sighed as he grabbed the regulation pistol placed at his side. Around him, the other Calrissian Street Slashers were doing mostly the same, though some of them were stumbling or hesitant. He shook his head at being stuck with these morons; if you picked any ten, six would be hopped up on Quad, two would have their brains blasted out by Solare, and one would be a political prisoner with no combat experience (though, since those were randomly parceled out to each team at the beginning, Nick supposed that wasn't too much of a disadvantage).
Already they were scattering about like idiots, desperately searching for supplies. He was sure by now that the Lightning Rods already had a crude fort made out of dumpsters, and were putting together strike squads. Without Old Johnny to lead them, his team was as good as dead. But if they're useless anyway, it doesn't matter if my team lives. If I can survive, I win no matter how many of those morons bite the dust.
Nick scanned the surrounding area. Gun shop. Good selection, but anyone who comes in has access too-- way too risky. Grocery store... good amount of supplies, and I could probably get a makeshift bunker going, plus nobody expects someone to hide out there-- they'll probably only look after going everywhere else. He snatched up a pipe from the corner of the filthy alleyway, propping it up on his left shoulder, and moved out.
It hadn't always been this way. The Slashers, when they first started, were at the top of their game. Specifically, Old Johnny was the guy who invented the formula for Quad, so long ago now that nobody remembered exactly when; they do know that about three years later, he came up with the less intense Solare, and both were huge hits. Soon enough, half of Fort Kennings was hooked on either, or both, from the poorest to the richest; which meant it was little trouble for him to find people to pull off whatever he wanted done for one more hit. He got together three old friends-- Nick included-- as planners.
The drug-fueled masses were, in essence, an army of berserkers, and the tactics and planning of the five at the top ensured a string of successful operations. Then Old Johnny died. There were lots of theories; Nick subscribed to the most popular one, that the Ion Brigade that did it, given the specific pattern of burn marks, but it was too late to check the energy signature of the gun that did Johnny in, so there was no way to be sure.
Too late for a lot of things, Nick thought as he ducked into the cereal aisle, barely avoiding the blast of the grenade. He dropped to the floor and yanked the shotgun out of the third Blaster Hood's cold hands, then snuck back up to the bakery before jumping out and shooting the fourth one in the face, jumping back to avoid one last explosion that luckily didn't happen. He scooped up the remaining two grenades from the corpse and scowled.
It was too late for Nick to quit, at the time. Five years was the minimum period that would qualify as vagrancy; he'd been in the Slashers for seven when Johnny bit the dust. Thus, applying for a job was out, as he'd be arrested; turning himself in, while admirable, would get him arrested; and joining another gang was a very risky proposition, as nobody could ever really trust him to be loyal, something which he couldn't very well fault them for; besides, the same situation would surely crop up with them, eventually. Any road he took led to being caught, and given that this stupid goddamn game show had been determined cheaper than actually having prisons, any road led to his probable death to boot.
In fact, his death was almost certain. The firefight with the Hoods had gotten him wounded, and he was bleeding considerably. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed an Ion Brigadier walking outside.
Those bastards got me trapped in this life. If I stay holed up like this, I'll just bleed out, and I'll never get payback. Time to go on the offensive.
Something that Gang Warfare hadn't done for three seasons was tell the viewers something the contestants didn't know; for the most part, all the commentary was irrelevant to any given maneuver's success. However, Jim K. decided that now was the time to say something to the viewers at home, but not over the P.A.
"Now, see that guy in the green jacket coming up? Astute viewers will notice that he's actually Nick, a Calrissian Street Slasher. Couple of those wounds were self-inflicted; though what he's planning to do by infiltrating the enemy's base is anyone's guess--"
The disguised Slasher snuck into the very corner of the warehouse they were currently holed up in. Twenty-six members of the Ion Brigade, all clustered in one place. He pressed down on the grenades in his pocket for five seconds; they began dutifully beeping, to inform him they were now live. He slowly walked to the center of the stronghold, and dropped them on the ground. Then he ran.
Five. Four. Three. Two...
A massive blast engulfed the bunker, killing fifteen people instantly and severely injuring the remaining eleven; in addition, the inventory flung every which way managed to crush three who were patrolling for intruders.
"Amazing! That suicide play, by the way, has taken all but fourteen of the Ion Brigade out of the game, and there's not any signal from Nick's tracker whatsoever, nor any visible remains-- folks, I think we have a complete vaporization!"
Nobody seemed to notice that despite Nick being on the outskirts of the blast radius, he was the only victim that left no trace upon death.
Description: Slightly below-average height, and about twenty pounds underweight. Wears sunglasses, a light blue jacket, dark blue gloves and combat boots, and a gray jumpsuit. Blond, unkempt hair, cut just short enough that it doesn't fall over his eyes.
Is cynical and paranoid, often depressed. Is willing to do anything, to anyone, to keep afloat, but feels a crushing sense of regret nearly any time he does so.
Items/Abilities: Has a sawed-off shotgun, a lead pipe, and a pistol. Is of somewhat above-average intelligence.
Gender: None. Formerly male, still functions like a male and answers to male pronouns.
Race: Death, specifically the Death of Men. Formerly human. Functionally and aesthetically identical to a human, but he insists on the differentiation.
Colour: All the Good Reds Were Taken (#C41E3A)
Five paces. Crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch. Click. Bo rested his gun on his shoulder, slowly turned around, and lifted his hat from his eyes. The girl had already turned and leveled her gun at him. As he predicted, she hadn't shot him. Her face was pale and she shook from head to toe. Poor little thing.
His voice startled her. She opened her mouth, jaw trembling, and might have said something until she changed her mind and snapped shut. She urged the gun in his direction, as if willing herself to shoot. Nothing came. She only stood there, shivering.
"Y' beat me to the draw, darlin'. You've all but won. All 'at's left's to pull the trigger."
Her grip tightened. She lowered her head and shut her eyes. Bo heard half-sniffles and saw a few shiny droplets fall to the grass at her feet. She tried so hard to hide it, but it couldn't be plainer. She wasn't cut out for this.
He wondered what must be going through her mind now. Maybe she heard her daddy's voice. First the sugary-sweet tone he took with her. Then the lesser-heard, the anger, the shouts from down the hall, when he thought she was asleep. The drunken tirades, the crashing and shattering.
Maybe she was hearing what people said about him. They said he was a fiend, he was a coward, he got what was coming to him. This versus her insistence that he was a good man. They'd give her a sad, knowing look and move on, but she'd keep insisting. She kept insisting even after she stopped believing. The poor thing didn't know what to believe, Bo figured, yet here she was. She didn't belong here.
"You've just got t' shoot me. Just got t' squeeze the trigger. Just that, 'n' I'll give 'm back. You want 'm back, don'cha sweetie?"
She yelped, couldn't hold it in. Her arms bent. She drew the gun close to her. She never aimed it at herself; no, Bo knew she wasn't thinking about that. The gun came to rest on her head, pointed absent-mindedly at the heavens. He mused to himself how appropriate that was. There wasn't anything else she could do, was there? There was no one else left to be angry at.
The girl dropped to her knees and sobbed. That was it, then. She'd reached her limit, finally bumped up against the lie she'd been telling herself. Maybe her head didn't know it, but her heart finally did. She didn't want him back. She wanted the idea, not the man.
Bo let her sit there 'til he was absolutely sure she wouldn't change her mind, wasn't just having a moment of weakness. Then he walked over and knelt by her. He laid a hand on her head. When he spoke now, his voice was soft and comforting, like a dear old friend consoling a mourner.
"It's rough, my child. It's a hard thing to swallow. But don't you ever doubt what you thought of your daddy. That's a side of 'im, much as anything else is. A side that's all yours."
He stroked her hair as if she were his own daughter--as if he were the father she thought she'd kill to see again. She looked up at him, so broken and pitiful, eyes red and puffy, lips quivering. She looked for only a moment, then buried her face in his chest and cried. He cradled her and kissed her head, wrapped around her and shielded her from the world.
"S'all right, sweetie. You just cry. You cry as much as you got to."
He really did feel sorry for her. Only a precious few knew death like he did--the way it tore a hole in everything around it, made cracks in the world that stretched for miles. And now, among those who did know, only he still steeped himself in it, still walked freely among those who died so quick, so often. Only he had it fresh in his mind.
He knew the look she gave him. His words wouldn't reach her now. She'd be painted by this. It would bury itself deep inside her, become a cornerstone of hers. Who knows what terrible things it would do to her, what sort of baggage she'd have for life because of this. Confidence crippled, childhood stolen. Poor, poor dear.
The barrel crept quietly through her hair and rested on her temple. She never felt it. Never felt a thing.
"...Pardon me, Papa Guédé. I've done ill."
Though Bo's tone was somber, his grin was wide. He set her down, tucked his gun back in his coat pocket, and brought a fresh cigar to his lips. It was a kindness, he thought sarcastically to himself, to end her misery before it had a lifetime to grow. And she had agreed to a duel; generally only one walks away from such things.
He'd expected that she'd come to him. It's only natural when there's a death in the family and a mystic in the neighborhood; she was only one of many to seek him out over the years. As well, he'd expected she wouldn't shoot him. A girl her age pull a trigger? Not on her life. Literally, he realized with a chuckle. He'd expected it all from the second he shot that dumb bastard father of hers for boosting a case of his finest rum.
Bo came to the end of his expectations when he looked up from lighting his cigar and found a little boy with a gun of his own and a dark glare, both aimed at him.
"...Ah. Didn't know she had a brother."
"HAHAHA. YOU FINALLY KICKED IT. YOU'RE A WICKED BASTARD, BO BLACKWELL, AND IT DID YOU IN."
He'd heard a voice when he thought he had no hearing. He'd been woken up when he thought he'd never wake again. He'd felt a spark of life when he thought life had left him. You'd think Bo would be grateful.
"Tryin'a sleep here, jackass."
God guffawed. Well, something guffawed--Bo thought it must be God. Only God would have such a booming voice. Bo wished God would shut up.
"GET UP, BO. YOU WON'T DIE SO EASILY, NOT ON MY WATCH. I'VE USE FOR YOU YET. BUT AS LONG AS YOU'RE HERE, I THINK I'LL MAKE SOME ADJUSTMENTS..."
Ok, it was suggested by Schazer (seconded/thirded by Tea/Mirdini) that my original description/abilities were really good but I needed a more clinical, pruned-back version of each. So I put the latter here and you can find the former in the spoilers below. Hope one or both are to your liking.
Description: Tall, about 6'3". Not particularly scrawny, but looks like a stick because of his height. Bowlegged, and long in the arms and legs. Looks to be in his mid-forties. Long red hair in a big braid, down past his lower back. Red goatee. Triangular face, high cheekbones. Golden eyes. Skin is painted black on the right side and white on the left; eye sockets are the opposite, and around the lips is a black-and-white teeth pattern. Speaks with a slight Louisiana drawl, simple yet elegant--and crude, when he feels the need.
Pinstripe suit; the coat and leggings are black on the left, white on the right. Black suit vest and white undershirt beneath. Burgundy trenchcoat over top of the suit. Black top hat with a small skull adornment, six skeletal fingers splayed out from the sides of the skull. Metal cross on a chain necklace, usually tucked under his vest.
Saturday's a man of many vices. He drinks, he smokes, he gambles, he burns and kills and tortures, he loves the company of women (or men), and surprisingly a lot of people enjoy his company too. Because above all else, he's charming. Even if he's a lech, a murderer, and a bastard, he had a devoted fan-base in life and keeps it in like-but-not-quite-death. For all his flaws, he is unfailingly honest and sincere; he's just honest about being a beast of a man. He is peculiarly particular about his friends and associates, but when he takes a liking to someone, he gets a manic look in his eye and he's got to either fight them or befriend them (or both). Feels a borderline obligation (perhaps god-given) to take any contracts he receives having to do with life or death. Takes payment in... unorthodox ways. Also susceptible to gambles. He's no stranger to a fight and doesn't mind getting into one, but if given the choice, he'd really rather talk it out... And he's tried (and succeeded) to talk to some pretty strange things.
Items/Abilities: Lines his coats and belt with weapons: six revolvers in total, and plenty of ammo for each. Also carries a cane with a sword concealed in the shaft. He's no slouch in marksmanship or swordplay, but given the choice he'd rather gun you down.
Has a number of magick abilities falling under the general pretense of "voodoo mysticism and miscellaneous @&%#ery." Though technically his powers are magnified by his opponent's imagination, they also rely on his own, which is limited; he is only sort-of-but-not-quite-human, has the acumen of a real human in the real world, and his usual response to things sufficiently cosmic or horrific is "What the #$%& is that LET'S SEE IF IT'S FLAMMABLE." He adapts quickly, but his creativity is by no means infinite. Among his most favored tactics are pyrokinesis (obviously), voodoo dolls (for the biologically quantifiable adversaries), that sort of "deal with the devil" contract that takes pains to fulfill itself if the contractors run astray, and the illusion of the immediate surroundings becoming a quiet black-and-white room with two nice chairs, a nice table, and a nice big bottle of rum. And shot glasses. Sometimes wine glasses, if he's feeling fancy.
Saturday is immortal, but in a peculiar way; he can only be murdered, cannot die of natural causes. Being thrown into a free-for-all deathmatch is likely to make this a moot point, but for reference here's a few examples: He would live through a car accident, but not someone deliberately ramming into him with a car. Being eaten by a lion would be painful, but not life-threatening; having that same lion set loose on him by a sapient creature who intended his death would prove fatal. Catching a virus would not kill him, but biological warfare of any kind (poison in the food, anthrax bomb, etc.) would do the trick. If you could be arrested and do time for it, even if it took a no-nonsense jerkass detective with a heart of gold to prove you did it, it would probably work just fine. Which also means if you could stop him from dying of natural causes, but chose not to, it would not work. You gotta mean it, baby.
"Mmmm-mm, brother. If I was a lady, I'd ride me like a rodeo."
Mr. Saturday was born in his mid-forties--with rumors circulating that he was much, much older--but he had aged quite well. In his first life he kept fit, trim, and most importantly happy. He was tall, about 6'3", and while he wasn't scrawny at all, his height made him look like a stick. Not to mention he was a bit lanky. He had long, scarlet hair, size XL; it hung down to his flat arse in a comically large braid. His goatee was as bright a red as his hair, and he so loved to twirl it while scheming, plotting, charming, wooing, sitting on the john, or really anytime. He had a triangular face, with high cheekbones. His eyes were a dull affair, a sick sort of greenish-brown you might've seen on your bread once when you let it sit out for too long. Strange enough, his nose always looked as if you'd just punched it, the whole thing a bright, blushing red. And not that you'd care, but he'd insist on telling you his tongue is long and flexible. His skin was a plain old pink, but thanks to his nose he always looked a bit redder in the face. Oh, and he was a little bowlegged, and a lot sensitive about it. He had a faint Louisiana drawl, the sort you'd expect from an actor playing a Cajun, not a real native. He spoke slowly and deliberately, with a simple elegance and home-grown charm... well, until he got mad. Then he'd just growl and sputter, same as any other ornery old man.
"I dress to impress. A suit 'n' tie isn't an occasion, it's a lifestyle."
When it came to fashion, the former man formerly known as Bo Blackwell demanded nothing of others and everything of himself. He'd never be seen in public without a black, pinstriped suit coat and pants, as if he needed to look any thinner, with a black vest and white undershirt beneath. He'd also rarely go without his top hat. But the one thing from which he was most inseparable was a little metal cross on a plain chain necklace. No one knew what it meant to him, but he kept it safe, and he'd make a mess of you if you scratched it.
"I'm a devil, ma'am. Some of us jes' got to be."
You could've said a lot of things about old Bo Charmer: "He's a lech, he's a sicko, he's a prideful, greedy, twisted sinner and he'll burn something fierce when the devil comes to take him." And there wouldn't be a lie in the bunch. He had a vice for every finger you had, his favorites being smoking, drinking, gambling and diddling. Killing held a distant rank, but it was there, and he'd be sure to remind you if ever you forgot. But really, his nickname gave you the very best word for him: He was charming above all else. Somehow, for being a virtual sociopath, he had quite a devoted fan-base in life, and not just for empty smooth-talking either; if you spent enough time with him, you'd find he was really a very honest, sincere man. He was just honest about being downright beastly, and loving every second of it. And you know what else, he really did like people. Women either loved or hated him, and either way the men tended to disagree with their women--or with their men, depending on which team they played for. Bo wasn't picky, he'd play whichever field had the prettiest faces at the time. When he really got excited, he'd get a manic look in his eyes and a frightening grin on his face. He'd usually only get excited for some fresh-faced new lady, but every now and then someone would strike him just so; he'd "like the cut of their jib," as he'd say. And that with that person he'd immediately get into a fight or make life-long friends. Usually both. No one bothered to figure out what sorts of people Bo really liked, as it varied too much to see a pattern, but there just might have been one.
"I'm a new man, m'dear. Hell, I'm hardly a man anymore. Got a #$@& like a horse, for starters. Hah! Naw, just pullin' your leg. Y' should've seen your face, though... Well, I mean... If you're into that, I could work somethin' out..."
But that was then. In the now, old Bo has finally hit the end of the line... and the start of a brand new one. So let's talk present tense. Mr. Saturday shares more than a little with his estranged something-or-other, but there's a few things that need updating. Now, his eyes are a brilliant gold. His face is one half black, one half white--not the skin colors, but the skunk colors. His eye sockets are the opposite color, and around his lips is a black-and-white pattern of teeth. His suit coat is also half-and-half, but the halves are reversed. His vest is black and his undershirt is white, same as before. He's got a burgundy trenchcoat now, too. If he had an ass to sweat off, it's a wonder he wouldn't be. His hat is still plain black, but now it's adorned with a miniature skull with six finger bones splayed out from its sides. Scattered in Saturday's hair is an assortment of beads, jewels, and mini-skulls, and all his fingers have golden rings on them, again with an assortment of jewels and skulls on them. Finally, his cross stays tucked in his vest.
As for personality changes, there are a few to note. Killing is now up there with the big four as far as vices go; pyromania is working its way up, too. Greed takes a new form, with material goods offering little satisfaction... unless they are prized by someone else. Old Saturday still likes people, but now less in the "friendly neighborhood psychiatrist" way and more in the "psychological mad scientist oh God hide your children" way. Generally, Mr. Saturday is fascinated with death, as he should be, since he now governs it. He's also sadistic as can be, and has trouble remembering that not everyone likes it rough. Now, when he meets someone he likes, his excitement is all the more striking, all the more horrifying: His grin is wider and his eyes madder than ever. Saturday is willing, even obligated, to rent out his "services" to anyone who needs them; life and death are his occupation. He takes payment in strange ways. He's still a lean, mean gambler with the devil's luck, but it's been known to bite him every now and then.
"This ain't a cane, it's a whackin' stick. Everybody needs a whackin' stick."
Bo had a cane, but didn't need it to walk. He'd keep a revolver in either side of his coat, and as much ammo as he could carry without making it too obvious he was armed. He'd often be seen with large sacks containing Lord-knows-what. Mr. Saturday's cane has a little skull top, and it conceals a bastard sword which he brandishes in a pinch, though he still prefers firearms. He's more conspicuous and more plentiful in his gun capacity now; he keeps two in the trenchcoat, two in the suit coat, and two on belts at his sides, with plenty of ammo for each. He never carries sacks anymore, doesn't need them.
"Ooh, you wanna see a trick, huh? I'll show y' a trick."
It turns out those sacks were used for magick. Bo did plenty of it. But in life it was dependent on materials, on deception, sleight-of-hand, and on his charms. There was the sort of plain old voodoo magick of which you've no doubt heard, the "torturing people with dolls made of their hair and blood" variety; and there was the subtler sort, the magick of wordplay and enchantment, the casting of curses and the enticing of fragile hearts. Other things were rumored to be within his reach, such as shapeshifting into various animals. Bo was even said, albeit in hushed whispers, to have power over life and death. As Mr. Saturday, his powers are as real as they've ever been... which is to say many, many things, and mean who knows how many of them. The thing is, sometimes it's just a question of what you believe, what you think is possible. In the ordinary old world, people honestly believe a man can turn into a cat or a snake, or light their pants on fire, or seduce their women and condemn their children with wicked hexes. Bo proved it time and time again. Can you imagine what people believe in a world where such feats are not restricted to the underbelly of society, where they're done in broad daylight and no one bats an eyelash? What, at that point, is the new threshold of plausibility? Can you imagine the beliefs of a being to whom the sum of human success and achievement is naught but a little anthill? What marvels it would take to scratch the very edge of such a being's perception of what is real and what is permitted? Saturday is a mimic in that sense; he might find himself capable of rising to any challenge, dazzling any foe... were he not, alas, tragically human. Despite his new form, his acumen is limited to realistic human expectations. In layman's terms, the biggest thing he's seen is a tornado and the scariest is an angry Cossack, and if anything particularly cosmic or horrific comes along his train of thought is likely to boil down to "What the $#&% is that LET'S SEE IF IT'S FLAMMABLE." He is by no means uncreative, but he is not an otherworldly wellspring of morbid delight and terrible whimsy. (He's working on that bit.)
Still, through all this, Mr. Saturday's cornerstone, his greatest and most favored weapon, the force that in life kept him kicking upwards of fifty years and in death makes him so bloody terrifying, is his charm. His mouth has conquered more foes than any gun or sword or bolt of lightning, and he has been known to talk down things to which people didn't think could be talked. If he can resolve a fight over an intimate evening, scintillating conversation, or bottle of straight rum (or, of course, all three at once), he'll try it every time, and he'll succeed as often as his fickle god permits.
"I'm... kinda immortal. Not entirely, s'important t' note. Y'see, seems the powers that be didn't conceive of folk killin' folk, so they don't know quite what to make of it yet. Still, I been offed once, I can be offed again; t'ain't pleasant though, no sir."
Mr. Saturday's immortality is borne of an ancient tradition, so ancient that it predates murder. Thus, it does not cover murder; that is the only way to kill him. What it means is that chance, old age, and the wiles of nature will never be his end--nor will neglecting his biological needs, though he will begin to wither--but the only thing stopping him from being killed is what he himself brings to bear. To name some specific examples for clarification: A car accident wouldn't kill him, but someone driving a car into him would. Being eaten by a wild animal would be painful, but survivable; that same animal being loosed on him by a sapient creature with intent to kill would prove lethal. Catching a virus wouldn't even slow him down, but someone giving him a virus through a bomb, poisoned food, or other forms of biological warfare would work just fine. On top of all this, he'll come back eventually... but it could take years. In summary, if you want him dead and you kill him dead, he'll be dead and out of your hair for a long, long time; but don't expect the universe to take care of it for you, and pray he forgets your face when next he wakes up.
(I left the very last bit out of the shorter profile because it will not be important in the context; if Mr. Saturday dies, he will stay dead for well longer than the duration of this battle.)
Last edited by 50,000 Unstoppable Watts!; 08-14-2011 at 11:43 AM.
Race: Anáil Feithidí. An eerie combination of the torso of a human and the legs and body segment of a millipede. Don’t ask about their reproductive system, unless you want to receive the visage of an eerie combination of your face and your kneecaps.
Colour: Standard Issue Bombadier Jacket Blue; #133366
Biography: Any member of the Anáil Feithidí would have made a suitable Grand Battle competitor. Highly regarded as holding the greatest interplanetary military force by any planet unfortunate to be caught in their intergalactic war path, their citizens are primed for war by the sociologic spark that is their Executive Ministry. From an early age, the virtues of combat, tactical thinking and subservience are impressed into the young hatchlings. Feats of strength and cunning are publically rewarded (they do not have Science Fairs. They have Armament Fairs) whereas acts of defiance are publically rewarded with death or, if the Arbiter responsible for the unlucky dissenter’s sentence is feeling particularly creative, worse. It is this hostile environment that breeds soldiers capable of occupying whole planetary systems and enslaving its inhabitants within a year. Soldiers that, even at the rank of Sub-Private, have knowledge of advanced weaponry. Soldiers that, despite their ruthlessness, their viciousness, bleed patriotism and comradery. Soldiers that use tactics that under the law of most known Galactic Federations would be considered war crimes. Perhaps it is only fitting that the Anáil Feithidian entered into this Grand Battle is not the strongest of its kind, but the woman who pruned her society into the killing machine assembly line it was at the beginning of the Grand Battle.
Cath Faireoir, Ordinant of the Second Battalion, Owner of the Zenith Cross, Owner of the Darkened Amphitheatre, Doctorate in Military Occupation, richest woman to have never been arrested for tax fraud and currently residing in Baile Crann as its Archetypal Minister as she has done for the past 50 years was taking a stroll through the Darkened Amphitheatre. Her pride and joy, the culmination of her life’s work, during the day it was empty save a moustachioed cleaner scrubbing the last of the blood stains off of the lower seats while Cath took a morning stroll through the pit. A hunched, young man clutching a clipboard trailed behind her, trying desperately to appear shorter than her despite being a good head taller than her. His words were punctuated with rapid gasps of air, trying to stay behind his employer without breathing in the oily, black smoke trailing from her cigar.
“... and the Daily Clarion has requested an interview with you for their monthly featurette Your Ord...”
He was cut off sharply, as he always was whenever he tried to end his sentences. He had considered not ending his sentences with “Your Ordinant”, but he knew that if he ever forgot he might get a “look”, and that would be enough to end his career right then and there.
“What? You know I don’t do interviews. Damn reporters, they’re slimy weasels. They always request face-to-face interviews in public so you can’t do anything when they start asking tricky questions. Freedom of journalistic speech, Críost! How did we let that one stay in?”
Cath kept her back to her Trusted Adviser and blew another stream of black smoke into the wind.
“Just send them the usual biography: daughter of a rich oil merchant, but chose to forsake her aristocratic roots in favour of the Intergalactic Artillery. Quickly became the youngest female Post-General in Artillery history and the only female Ordinant in history. Helmed the successful triumph of Traicotian War as well as the subsequent conquest of the Traicotian Galaxy and neighbouring galaxies to boot. Foremost expert on Interplanetary Conquest, benevolent politician, once appeared as a Guest Cook on Masterchef. Currently owns and operated the Darkened Amphitheatre, the forefront of live entertainment, the cutting edge of excitement. Literally, the only place in the world you can watch enslaved aliens battle each other to the death for their freedom. Tickets on sale now. Kids get in half price etcetera, etcetera. The public eats that cac up. Got it Wheezy?”
Aaron “Wheezy” Jorent had been hired three months ago by Cath as one of her “Trusted Advisers”. Despite graduating at the top of his class with Honors, he had coughed once during his interview. The name stuck, Cath made it stick. She turned her back on him once more to inspect the circular walls of the walls of the pit "jokingly" given the title "Death's Maw". Once her back was turned, Wheezy appraised her elegant, upright form.
He noted that she left out certain facts in her abridged autobiography, like the fact that she had reached the rank of Ordinant without ever engaging in direct combat, that it was rumoured that it was she that had convinced the High Minister to declare war on the Traicotians and further spurred on the bloodlust of the Anáil Feithidí so as to continue their galactic rampage. She omitted other juicy autobiographical facts, for instance: while she was not the High Minister she held enough power, both in economics and the military, that the High Minister was simply a puppet she could use and dispose of if public opinion were to change. Facts about her treatment of slaves that, even by Anáil Feithidí standards, could have her imprisoned for war crimes if she was not also the War Crimes High Commissioner. But this was why she didn’t do interviews, of course. As the third of the four advisers, he was responsible for the day to day administration and liaisons of Cath Faireoir. The other three came and went at random and were privy to information far more sensitive than that he knew of.
“Pedro! You missed a spot!”
Cath had turned around now and was holding up a severed finger from one of the more fortunate combatants of the previous night’s battle. The round cleaner with the large moustache looked up to inspect the item in her hand and roared with laughter.
“AHAHAHAAAH! On my planet of Turogch, we call that dinner. Pass it to Pedro before it wastes! Here, Here!”
Pedro gestured with both arms to pass her the finger in jest. Cath momentarily allowed herself a small smile. Pedro was the only slave, or any being for that matter, that she made exceptions for. Not because she pitied him (he lived in an apartment the size of a pizza oven. She didn’t care), but because he was one of the few people who could amuse her, even after 20 years as the cleaner. She raised her eyebrow as she upped the joke's anti.
“Pedro, this is a finger of Turogch warrior. Are you suggesting I feed you one of your own?”
“Yes, yes. Is my brother. He wouldn’t want it to go to waste.”
Cath allowed herself a rare moment of public laughter, real belly laughter, before catching herself. She shouldn’t lose her composure in front of her assistant, it is unprofeesional. She lit up another cigar and gestured to Wheezy to continue.
“The Amphitheatre Steward wishes to know if you will be occupying your box tonight, Your Ordi...”
Before he could finish, Cath pulled a revolver out of her jacket pocket and without so much as turning to face her target, she let three bullets loose into the window of her private box. The glass shattered and rained down in fine shards onto Wheezy.
“I’LL GO BACK TO THAT DEATH TRAP WHEN SOMEONE INSTALLS BULLETPROOF GLASS, THAT’S WHEN!”
Description: Cath wears the traditional military jacket of an Ordinant and silk stockings on her many legs. In her heyday she was quite fit, if not quite the high grade military that would be expected of a high ranking Battalion officer. Now, at 120 (approx. 50 in human years) she has aged well. Although having lost most of her looks, she still retains some physical strength and speed in her limbs, although she has never had to put her skills to the test.
Morally, Cath is dubious, at best. She is concerned only with personal gain, such to the extent one could argue she is a sociopath, but they would be wrong. She is just highly selfish. Having never liked other people, she can see no reason to do anything for them or why she should have to. While Cath has ordered the death and imprisonment (legally and illegally) of thousands of beings, she has never once killed herself. She has never pulled the trigger, never pushed the button. For whatever reason, directly ending a life disturbs her, although she'll never show it. Secretly, she is also slightly squeamish and the sight of gore does not often appeal to her. Whenever she wants to appear at the Darkened Amphitheatre, she sends in a stunt double. The last stunt double got killed by an assassin, not that anyone knew. The body was disposed of and a press release was sent out stating she had dodged the bullet. Oh, that’s right, she’s also very narcissistic. She delights in the belittlement of other in order to boost her own ego, verbally and physically.
Cath has a good life. As the puppeteer of a race bent on universal domination, she has long discarded the stresses of manipulating a government to her will. She now does it with ease, seeing the same novice tactics used again and again in the parliament and the courtroom and knowing just how to undermine them. Knowing who is corruptible and who thinks they aren’t is a skill she is most proud of. Lately, she is focused more on her precious Amphitheatre. Pitting those brave enough to volunteer themselves to participate in a fight to the death, those fortunate enough to survive are granted citizenship, albeit racism runs deep through the Anáil Feithidí veins and the often live as second class citizens regardless. This racism is perpetuated by Cath herself, through the government and to the people. It’s not personal. As a planetary conqueror, it’s a business to her.
Cath has been feeling listless of late. Another new planet, another new species for her to add to her little colosseum, but as she expands her conquests further she finds similarity in evolution across different planets. Aliens may be different, but it seems they are not so different to each other. All of her artificial battles have merged into a continuous stream of similarity now. Her career is at a plateau just below what she feels it could be. It’s just that there must be something more, something greater to these battles than what they have become now...
Items/Abilities: Cath owns a manual revolver. Two actually, but one is hidden in one of her many boots. On her body at all times she keeps the other revolver, a taser, three mobile phones, twenty three cigars, a make-up compact, lipstick and seven rings, three filled with secret compartments of poison. She’s never used the poison, she just has a femme fatale fantasy she appears to be living in real life. Along with these many sundries, she owns what is known as a Para-Life. It is an artificial simulation of certain personalities. Any member of the Anáil Feithidí can, for a large fee, have their personality, memories and knowledge copied and uploaded to this handheld device and can converse with up to seven different AIs. Cath has her late Father, a genius who is one of the top minds at Eitilt University, and herself, among others.
As for her abilities, she is a crack shot with her pistols, always keeping prepared. While she doesn’t have great strength, she keeps herself reasonably fit, again, because you never know who might try to assassinate you. Due to her legs, she can move at great speeds when she puts her mind to it. Her real talents lie in that of persuasion and manipulation. She understands you. She’s seen countless people like you before and she knows what you want even if you don’t. She tells you what you want and how to get it all the while reminding you that she is in charge and you’d best do what she says.
She doesn’t trust you and you’d be a fool to trust her.
Last edited by Niall; 08-11-2011 at 08:14 AM.
How do I put together flatpack furniture? More importantly, why does it not fit back in the box? Allen key, you have once again disappointed me.
Items/Abilities: Ven has been occupying herself with all the wrong people and hobbies since she left the paved, often trod path of the School of Arcane Magic. Once a friend introduced her to slightly alternative magic, such as pendants, fortune telling, puppeteering and what have you, her road to fame was a very steep path down into the occult. The tome she carries with her to the battle is a black, rather slim book with the only strip of colour being the deep purple string inside of it, a skull-emblazoned bookmark.
Aside from being a powerful and competent mage, Ven has a specific knack for summoning. Her familiars go by the name of Aas. An Aa is about the size of a tennis ball, slightly smaller, and is adorned on the black surface by tiny hollow tubes. Aas attack in a very specific way. Aiming straight at your throat, they latch into it with the tiny tubes on their surface, right around the vocal chords. From there, they excrete some sort of magical pheromone that triggers an intense susceptibility to fear, as well as evoking the most horrible of nightmares that you've ever encountered, even subconsciously, all to make you scream in agony. Those screams get converted by the Aa at your throat into a strange faintly blue substance that courses throught the Aa's tube conduit. Once the Aa is fully charged, it rashly cuts itself loose, leaving tiny gaping holes right through your larynx. Usually, the victim dies on impact. When the Aa returns to Ven, she can use the blue liquid as a supercondensed source of mana, fortifying her body and allowing her to cast eldritch spells that would otherwise drive her to insanity. Including, among others, summoning more Aas.
Description: The touch of time and black magic took its toll on Ven's face. Her hair is not yet white, but the type of chalky black you would not yet expect on a 40-year-old woman. She keeps it loose, and left it growing over many years, so long and wiry that by the time it reaches its end near her waist, it has knotted together almost like a very messy braid. Her skin has been sapped of life, and bears wrinkles that make her seem at least ten years older.
Her dress was once a bleak white gown, with a black split in the underside and matching sleeves. To store the inert Aas that only serve purpose as containers for magical fuel, she wears a bright red shawl that functions as a satchel over one shoulder, which she tucked inside her robes, and attached to them firmly with golden clips. Over the course of her many victims, the robes got besmirched with blood, but she hasn't even considered washing it out, believing it to be part of her job. Her boots and gloves are black, but the latter has also met its share of red stains over time. She wears a long black metal collar to prevent any haywire Aas from attacking her instead, and bronze bracelets that also got coloured red.
Her sanity is, as you'd expect from someone too immersed in dubious magic, questionable. While she usually stands calm and collected, and can even prove a decent ally, it doesn't take a lot to provoke her and turn her into a cold-blooded maniac. She can snap and attack without warning, so anyone who seeks her out would to well to watch their necks. Still, even when she goes nuts she maintains at least a modicum of sense, and can still fight against, say, a common enemy instead of an ally.
Ven woke up, no memory of falling asleep, or of her life before that point. Shaking, she slowly stood straight, and walked towards the only source of light she could see.
The dim light of the candles led her towards a basin of black liquid, which she could only describe as appalling. Between all candles around the round bath, in glimmering red dust a heptagram was drawn out.
Hesitantly she dropped to her knees, and cupped the bile in her hands. As she drank, she felt her limbs grow colder.
Ven took special care to enter the water with her left leg first, and slowly approached the center of the shimmering shape.
Slowly she lowered her body, further, even further, until the sound of the waves and the guidance of the voice above got drowned out by her beating heart.
“Be buried in the lake.”
If she was anything before this moment, she wouldn't want to remember, for it would only be memories she'd lose. Her heart was beating so fast, but the cold water was freezing her down.
“May those of the dark beneath have mercy.”
She couldn't hear anything but her heart anymore.
"May you live in both the realm of the dead and the living as you leave these blackened tides."
Until very faintly, at the other side of the lake, she heard someone else call her.
Name: ἐγκυκλοπαιδεία (Literally “Encyclopedia”, more accurately “The Universal Encyclopedia”)
Anaminendes the Scholar
Gender: None, though both archivists were once male.
Race: Literature (Possessed Omniscient Encyclopedia)
A Villainous Blue (#000044)
A Scholarly Green (#006633)
Vex finished his preparations with clinical precision, mindful of the irritating tendency explosives had to ruin an otherwise impeccable setup. While getting his hands on the precision charges hadn’t been too problematic due to his contacts, smuggling them into the Middle East had been another matter altogether. Even his extensive criminal network had trouble infiltrating that historically fractious region, and he’d barely evaded a SysAuth patrol making his way through the heavily policed area to the remote, insignificant valley he’d been scouring for the past three days.
Well, if what he had come to this ironically godforsaken land for actually lay behind the wall now rigged to blow at least he wouldn’t have to worry about patrols on the way out. Hell, he wouldn’t have to worry about the entire galactic military for that matter. It had taken years of inquiry, three separate high-security heists and millions upon millions of credits before he had finally tracked it down to a tomb, buried within the very gorge he currently stood in.
Vex scrambled across the square, vaulting over a diminutive cobble wall that had seen millennia pass without a visitor – and likely never one as strange as the young man now crouched against it, detonator in hand. Quickly glancing back over the barrier at his handiwork, Vex allowed himself a wry grin at the brilliantly red Ardayne Industries logo stamped onto the explosives shining out of the overcast night’s gloom. They ringed what his painstaking research insisted was an expertly concealed gateway. His father might have done his utmost to stifle Vex’s ambitions and desires, but it was his company’s armaments now ensuring that Vex would ascend to potential undreamt-of by the old man.
He’d probably just have gone on about ‘restraint’ and recited Icarus again Vex reflected, somewhat pettily. For all the apparent “good” his father had done the man had simply had no goals past ensuring the system-wide arms trade remained thoroughly legitimate. Where he could have ruled the sector he had opted to serve it, and it had taken Vex all of a few months to dismantle what his father had worked decades to assemble – a testament, in Vex’s eyes, to the underlying weaknesses of the old man’s philosophy. For what was progress without ambition to drive it, without someone to take the helm and steer it?
Snapping out of his reverie, Vex hunkered down behind the cobbles once more, the partially entombed windows and doorways of the ancient village he had rediscovered resembling earthen arbiters condemning his imminent sacrilege. Their eyes found no guilt within Vex - he had performed far less palatable acts in his pursuit of power than disturbing ruins almost forgotten by time. A zephyr coasted across the square, the dust and sand trailing in its wake a prequel to what was to come. Vex depressed the detonator.
A deep WHUMP echoed across the small square, promptly swallowed by the valley’s ruins - almost as if it was ashamed of the arrant desecration occurring within its confines. Vex peeked over the cobblestone wall to behold a crescendo of dust and soil whirling and crumbling around what was unmistakably the start of a passage.
Scooping up his backpack, Vex confidently plunged into the murk.
He had hardly descended two fleeting flights of stairs before he reached his destination. The tomb was almost habitable even after thousands of years of neglect, and from the ventilation shafts carved into the surrounding stone it might very well have served as a home once upon a time. Vex moved swiftly, scanning each room with a plasma-fuelled flashlight that provided a stark contrast to the perfectly preserved furniture and tools scattered throughout the abode, as if whoever had lived there had simply vanished and forgotten to clean up their scrolls and dishes. Any archaeologists or historian’s dream was studiously ignored by Vex, who had only one item in mind.
There was no question about it, this had to be Anaminendes’ home – and, if his information correct, the legendary scholar’s tomb as well.
Vex hadn’t mentioned his expedition’s purpose to any of his lieutenants – he knew far better than to trust any of them with sensitive information, much less the fact that he was in essence chasing after legends and myths. They might very well have considered him insane on the spot and started working to undermine his authority – no, much better they all think he was after a runaway whistleblower or a valuable piece of art. As his flashlight floated from room to room in his hands, its turquoise glow bathing wall after wall Vex persisted in his ruminations.
The Hellene Codex was unambiguous, those markings at the entrance to the valley, on the entrance to this place – the encyclopedia must be somewhere in this damn house.
Thus it was in a decidedly anticlimactic fashion that Vex, lost in thought, turned into a room off a peripheral hallway expecting yet another closet filled to the brim with bookshelves or ink supplies. Instead he found a small room containing nothing but a masterfully crafted wooden end table upon which rested a velvet cushion, shining a deep black in his flashlight’s beam. And on that cushion it sat, elegantly bound. As he stared at the volume, the scintillatingly golden letters impressed on its cover twisted, seemingly distorted by his presence, before settling into perfectly legible English.
The Universal Encyclopædia
So enthralled was Vex by the pristine artifact that sat in front of him that he hardly noticed the faint outline of a skeleton on the ground he strode across to further examine the encyclopedia. If it was even a fraction of what his investigations suggested, it contained the information to launch human civilization into a new golden age – or the information to bring the entire galactic sector, no, the entire galaxy under his control. Vex was rather partial to the second option. He found himself holding his breath, fingers trembling and reaching out to brush something he had spent five years, a fifth of his lifespan, to find. Vex forced himself to breathe – while he was certainly in awe of his discovery he would not allow the book such power over him. He withdrew, hastily steeling himself before his hand shot out again, moving to open the encyclopedia.
His consciousness fled the instant his hand came into contact with the cover.
Time passed. Or perhaps it did not. Infinite, finite, long, short – those terms had no meaning within the ἐγκυκλοπαιδεία, for it was not constrained by time or space.
I had quite……
about that countermeasure…
When Vex woke up, his first groggy thought was to wonder whether the Encyclopedia was safe. This was quickly followed by the alarming realization that he could not, in fact, feel his body. Proprioception having deserted him his confusion grew as he realized he had been rendered utterly senseless – only his thoughts remained. His thoughts, and the fading memory of a voice. He slipped back into darkness.
You must learn…
Energy sped through Vex’s bod- min- consciousness, he supposed? – and his eyes shot open. He found himself in a void, empty save for an ethereal stick of a vaguely Greek man in a green toga a few meters away. Wait, not quite empty – flitting across the periphery of his vision was a roaring stream of information, more than his mind could possibly filter, more than it could even conceive, flowing on and on, overwhelming his thoughts, pulling him into the flow, his mind diving int-
The man slapped him, a peculiar sensation considering Vex had no body, and the torrent evaporated.
You cannot handle browsing ἐγκυκλοπαιδεία, not in your state. Control yourself, you certainly have the requisite willpower for the task.
Vex was indignant. Who was this greybeard, to lecture him on self-control? His father had tried that, and-
Oh yes, I’m sure you think your father regretted his choices when his orbital shuttle crashed, Mr. Ardayne. You think many things, many of them false. As it stands you are not close to the man I would have chosen to be my successor as Archivist, but better to have you in here than out there –
A window opened in the inky blackness beside them. Vex saw himself collapsed beneath the book’s podium, and as he surreally realized that he was irrevocably dead the window snapped shut
– using my work for your own unsavory ends. That was why I cursed the damn thing in the first place – after what my deity did to it its possible benefits were far outweighed by the threat it posed in the wrong hands – your hands among them.
Vex floated mutely, coming to realize that the man – no, ghost he stood across from was none other than the mythical author of the Encyclopedia, Anaminendes the Scholar. Who had apparently made sure that Vex was trapped, for all eternity, within the very volume he had been intent on stealing. Not that eternity meant anything to the Encyclopedia if everything he had read about it was true – which as it seemed was rather likely.
Now, that jolt I gave you should provide you with enough expertise to keep your consciousness from frying before you determine how to conduct your duties. Regrettably waiting three millennia for you has quite spent my consciousness, and as such I must bid you farewell. I might still be around in some form, but this is likely the last-
Anaminendes’ form wavered and split like some cheap 21st century hologram before bursting into wisps of color which swiftly dispersed in various directions, leaving Vex quite alone.
One of the most salient skills criminality had instilled into Vex was the ability to think on his feet, an ability he quickly put to use despite a noticeable lack of extremities.
Well. Might as well take stock.
It was in that instant that the book, and the Archivists trapped within, was wrenched into an alternate dimension on the whims of an entity beyond even ἐγκυκλοπαιδεία’s knowledge.
ἐγκυκλοπαιδεία is, in essence, a universe. More specifically, it is a record of everything ever to occur in the universe it was created in, up to the point where it was whisked out of that universe to participate in a Grand Battle.
Originally created by Anaminendes of Troy (known in the few histories that refer to him as Anaminendes the Scholar) as an encyclopedia of, in his words, “all the world and its many wonders”, the ambition of the project intrigued a vagary deity who had grown irrevocably bored. The god (whose name is lost due to his actions with the Encyclopedia) repeatedly blessed Anaminendes’ work, expanding and empowering it until eventually he grew so enamored of the project that he lost himself within it. The Encyclopedia, once a simple parchment-and-ink document, was infused with deific potential and began to record all the world and its wonders – from an omniscient perspective.
Anaminendes, realizing that this spelled doom if men with impure motivations laid hands on the book and that if it remained in civilization that end would inevitably come to pass, travelled to a remote, recently abandoned ruin and set to work. Having learned a few tricks from his patron he manipulated the Encylopedia’s energies to entrap whatever minds touched the book after placing it on the pedestal Vex discovered some three thousand years later. He then bricked up the entrance, trapping himself with the Encyclopedia and diving into it to become the first Archivist.
The duties of an Archivist are much less daunting than they might seem at first. Organization does not even factor into them, as the Encyclopedia does such simple tasks on its own. Archivists have two primary tasks – the first, to guide the flows of energy throughout the Encyclopedia to ensure that no data is corrupted or misplaced, which can have catastrophic cascade effects if left unchecked. The second is to defend the Encyclopedia against any threats, a task that was never relevant during Anaminendes’ tenure as the Encyclopedia had spent three millennia in a deserted cave.
The Encyclopedia itself is an immeasurably elegant dark blue book, its title (both on the spine and cover) a golden inlay that warps to display itself in whatever language the current reader is most familiar with. It is surprisingly thin with pages of crisp parchment, and words and images floating to the page being viewed on demand – closer to a modern internet browser than a traditional book, though one that reads the reader’s mind rather than waiting for manual requests.
The curse laid upon it by Anaminendes will not survive inter-dimensional travel, but fragments of it would temporarily protect it from harm while Vex figures out how to defend it (and by extension himself). As it has no record of itself it paradoxically does not exist within the universe it is recording, making it nigh-impossible for an Archivist to escape – not that they would have anywhere to escape to, the body they came from being deceased.
The Encyclopedia is more resistant to damage than a regular paper, parchment or papyrus book, but can still be harmed by anything that would fell its lesser compatriots – whether that be fire, prolonged exposure to water or simple brute force. The consequences of destroying the Encyclopedia or even parts of it are unexplored, in all likelihood for good reason.
Anaminendes curated the Encyclopedia (and with it an entire universe) for around three thousand years, and as such his tragically human psyche has been irrevocably scattered across its pages. While these wisps of thought can still form coherent guidance at times, his speech to Vex was likely his last sentient act.
Vex Ardayne, the only son of a powerful and benevolent arms magnate, was above all ambitious in life. His new status as an archivist has likely not dampened this trait, nor his rather inflated ego – though some time gazing into the entirety of his universe might puncture it somewhat (or perhaps not). While he has almost no control over the Encyclopedia at the time of being whisked into the Fearsome Encounter, it’s likely his wits and Anaminendes’ gift of knowledge will accelerate the learning process significantly.
The trans-dimensional warp into the Fearsome Encounter might very well have lasting effects upon the Encyclopedia, as it has been separated from its original dimension and the universe it was bound to record. What exactly these effects may be is unknown, but they will likely expand upon the abilities an Archivist could call on in its original universe. Anaminendes made almost no use of them past basic browsing and maintenance, having isolated the Encyclopedia for fear of others abusing its power – leaving Vex to learn to control these powers with essentially no help.
The most basic ability of an Archivist is to browse through and maintain the integrity of the Encyclopedia. Though difficult to sift through past concepts the Archivist is familiar with, over time this vital ability becomes almost instinctive.
Telekinetic control over the Encyclopedia, once mastered, theoretically allows a serving Archivist to propel the volume at potentially ludicrous speeds, though at most a few meters into the air – the farther the encyclopedia is from a solid surface (most ubiquitously the ground) the weaker this telekinesis became. It can also shield the Encyclopedia from harm and, in dire cases, be used as a weapon. It also allows the Archivist to view and generally interact with the world outside the Encyclopedia, much like Anaminendes opened a window to the book's location earlier (though that was an advanced technique, a basic Archivist can only view events from a perspective locked to the book).
The Encyclopedia also had the ability to project illusory duplicates of any entry out of its pages for study at any scale, provided the Archivist possessed sufficient control and mastery of the Encyclopedia and their own mental processes, and a capability to imagine the article. While a display such as a full-size supernova would be theoretically possible, Anaminendes was never foolish enough to attempt one, and it would require such mental discipline and intrinsic knowledge of the Encyclopedia that it is doubtful Vex would ever reach the point where he could pursue one. This also ignores the fact that their human consciousness’s could likely never grasp the full scale of a supernova and thus wouldn’t be able to imagine one in the first place. Smaller and more manageable duplicates are however certainly within Vex’s grasp.
Re: The Fearsome Encounter (GBS3G8) [Please hold...]
You can expect the actual Round 1 start in the next day or two, but for now, here's the list and a completely-unrelated-in-any-way link for you to digest. Sorry to everyone who didn't get in- there were far too many great entries and you all made my job suck. Good job, and I hope people keep interested for when Season 4 rolls around! (Or, if you need a more immediate fix, you could head over to the Mini-Grands in the interim.)