Utterly Mad

The Pit => Rec Room => Topic started by: Noctifer-De-Mortem on September 30, 2017, 06:46:48 pm

Title: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: Noctifer-De-Mortem on September 30, 2017, 06:46:48 pm
   Timeline: 2 weeks into the cataclysm. 6 months before the death of Hunter Roxanne Blackmore.

   People involved: Victor, Alt-Roxanne

   It had been a long day for Victor and Roxanne. The cities were infested but they needed to go in to scavenge whatever supplies they could find. Victor was particularly weakened by the effects of the Sword of the Void draining his life essence in order for him to fight. The twosome had reached an abandoned motel and decided to secure it for the night.

   “Alright. You know the drill Victor.”, Roxanne explained to Victor, “Stay back and I will handle whatever dead lays in our way; I have walked enough to fully recharge and my rifle is ready to go as well.”

   “I can fight too you know! Don't go rushing into things, that will get you killed some day.”, Victor exclaimed to Roxanne.

   “Look, you rely way too much on that sword of much for combat. Right now it's drained and it has taken quite the toll on you. Seriously, that thing is gonna get you killed if you are not careful.”, Roxanne responded, “Honesty, you should pick up a gun or let me teach you how to use that thing in it's off state…”

   Roxanne didn't wait for an answer, she picked up her rifle and walked against the wall towards the main parking area of the motel. She would have a clear view of the rooms’ entrances once she cleared anything there. When she turned the corner, she found only three zombies. Roxanne laugh at that and slung her rifle back. Her laughter had attracted their attention and she just smiled.

   “Hello boys! How are you doing tonight?”, Roxanne addressed the undead. She then deployed her bionic blade and advanced towards them. As they came close, she simply sliced them with her blade and were swiftly put down. Once all noise had ended, Victor knew that as his cue to approach. When he turned the corner, he saw Roxanne bashing the corpsed to make sure they would not get up; all the while humming a tune.

   “Alright then...so we have this place clear, what now?”, Victor asked, a bit disturbed by the scene in front in him.

   Roxanne finished with the last body, finished her tune and looked at Victor when she stood up.
“We are going to get ourselves a room to sleep for the night. This place looks defendable but we don’t have the supplies to rebuild here. We could stay here for at most 3 days.”, Roxanne answered Victor, “For now, let me open one a door and we will discuss this inside."

   With a lockpick in hand, Roxanne approached one of the doors and started to fiddle with the door lock. “Almost there...just a couple of pins...there!”, Roxanne said as she messed with the lock until it eventually opened. “Alright, let’s go in.”, Roxanne told Victor, she motioned him to go inside.

   Victor did as instructed, he was tired and would get some sleep once he had a quick meal. To his surprise, Roxanne entered the room as well and locked the door behind her. “Wait...aren’t you getting your own room?”, asked Victor.

   Roxanne grinned at his comment. “What? Never taken a woman to a motel before?”, Roxanne teased. Victor just glared at her and she laughed. “You are too easy Victor.”, Roxanne commented, “I am not getting my own room as it’s easy to defend a single room. It would be to hard to wake up to you screaming if a zombie breaks into your room and by the time I get there...not a good idea. Besides, there are two beds here so calm down ok?”

   Victor reluctantly agreed, Roxanne had just indirectly insulted him be he knew she had a point. “Alright then, but I choose the bed to the far end of the room.”, Victor declared. Roxanne shrugged and she hopped onto her bed. She took a can of soup and a scavenged soda and started to eat. Victor did the same, he hopped onto his bed and took out an MRE and some juice.

   “So, any plans for the future?”, Roxanne asked to break the silence.

   “Same ones I had since I took the oath. I will continue to research into the arcane. I will preserve knowledge knowledge lost due to the cataclysm. My work will not go unfinished.”, Victor responses.

   Roxanne frowned and gave a sight. “Look, I know you have accomplished a lot of great things but...you don’t have the resources you have then. Don’t do anything reckless Victor; you might end up getting yourself killed. I’ll be damned if I will let my partner die because he was too stubborn to not play with fancy toys.”, Roxanne told Victor.

   “And how is that any different from those who stray from humanity via bionic and mutations? Those who strayed from the path of humanity, and in some case, left it all together. Fools...we together had build an empire...may Goddess Venus have mercy on them.”, Victor replied.

   Roxanne raised an eyebrow; this wasn’t a side of Victor she had seen before. So he did not approve of Cyborgs and Mutant? She decided to press him on this. First, she deployed her bionic blade and brandished it around. “What was that? I hope you are not talking about me...You who realizes on a tool to survive chastise those who seek a path different from yours? I didn’t think that’s what you thought Victor...You think you know someone…”, Roxanne answered back.

   Victor recoiled back at her deployment of the blade and her words made him regret speaking without thought. “No no no! You misunderstand! I don’t care if anyone decides to augment themselves. I just don’t like it when they claim it is ‘the next step on human evolution’. Fools! We are all human! This is what defines us, together and united as a species. Those who stray from it and decide to “transcend” don’t know what they are talking about. You are fine Roxanne...your mutations are as much tools as my sword is. You are just much skilled at it...Don’t think bad of me...I just believe we should all unite under the banner of Humanity more than ever.”, Victor corrected.

   What he said was true, but he had left one part out. The way he felt as if mutations and augmentations were impurities. They took the human form and perverted it in the name of progress. He silently frowned upon Roxanne’s own bionics, why would the order do this to someone? They seeked to quell the natural and yet mingled with the artificial? That being said, Victor would never let on to this; this was something he would take to the grave. Years later, he would come to be reminded of this when a certain group expressed similar ideals but they acted on them. A great conflict would silently happen inside him, one that would not be quelled for years afterward.

   “Is that so...I don’t particularly agree with you but to each their own I suppose...anyways. It is getting late. We should sleep now. I will be teaching you how to fight properly tomorrow ok? So get some rest. Alright, good night Victor.”, Roxanne told Victor. She put away her remains and gear and then laid on the bed to sleep. Due to her haste and shock at Victor’s comments, she neglected to put her bionic blade away and sleep with it deployed.

   Victor soon followed too. He put away his stuff and reviewed his notes before going to bed. He took a look at Roxanne sleeping and noted her bionic blade still deployed. He gave a deep sight before laying on his bed himself. “Great...she now hates me...I hope we can move past this…”, Victor whispered to himself. Soon, he turned off the light of their mutual atomic lamp they shared and he went fast to sleep.

   That night, they would both have similar dreams. They were both fighting each other; they represented different teams. It was a battle of ideologies it seemed. Difference being would be the outcome, each would win in their own version and further reinforce their beliefs.
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: Chaosvolt on September 30, 2017, 07:02:16 pm
Since this would be a good place to post our non-smut background stuff, I'll post an old one I had elsewhere.

Timeline: The day the imminent cataclysm began to spiral out of control.

People involved: Nathaniel, alt-Hector

The group made their way towards the rudimentary checkpoint in column, expecting everything to be fine given things appeared to be under control up ahead. Sounds of distant weapons fire and the cries of the undead could still be faintly heard on the wind.

"3-13, this is 2-14. We are approaching checkpoint Kilo, requesting sit-rep." came a voice over the radio. There were 15 of them in total. 2 humvees in front, followed by 3 experimental models of APC. Then 4 light tanks, 4 main battle tanks, and finally 2 experimental minireactor-powered tankettes. "3-13, do you read me? Checkpoint's up but I d-"

Someone interrupted, a woman's voice. "This is corporal Andrews, 1st squad, 3rd platoon, 3-13. Checkpoint is hot, I repeat. Checkpoint is hot! Platoon is fucked, unmanned is mal-" Gunfire resounded and cut off the signal, overheard from a building nearby. The column had just halted when the checkpoint's anti-materiel turret whirled about, a .50 caliber round ripping into the driver of the lead humvee.

Suddenly all around them the formation was taking fire, several unmanned armored vehicles, mainly light tank drones and a few chicken-like machines, forced the group to frantically try and break out from the flanking AIs.

Radio chatter at that point was abuzz with activity, a sudden explosion rocking the city block as one of the tankettes went up in a plume of flame, scattering debris and pieces of radioactive material everywhere. That and the sweeping flames of a nearby machine forced several of the scattering tanks to button up their hatches.

Among them in the chaos, two of the light tanks had turned down a side road, the lead veering and swerving around a stricken, burnt-out schoolbus to buy a moment's reprieve from wild AI-controlled turret fire. In the rear tank of the pair, Corporal Nathaniel Ford was frantically managing the storm of radio reports, directing his crew, and watching the camera feeds. "Gunner, target walker 4 o'clock, 60 meters. Tomcat 2, UAFV at 9 o'clock, 120 meters." he directed.

Nearby was a burning wreck that used to be one of the APCs, the crew and personnel from Division XV almost all killed by a tank drone round that struck it. Out of the wreckage were 3 survivors, powered armor visibly glowing from the heat as they simply walked out into the street. The glow faded from visual and thermal imaging as advanced climate control and environmental systems worked overtime, one returning fire on a distant chicken walker with a nearly-overheated laser rifle, the others searching for any intact weapons as the fire had ruined theirs. For now, the two tanks drove on.

He remembered with some amusement the nicknames he and other crews had picked for the various armor in the company. Nothing that special really. Tomcat 1-4 for the lights, Bobcat 1-4 for the heavies, Lynx 1 and 2 for the atomic mini-tanks. A resounding boom echoed through the street as an armor-piercing shell reduced a two-legged monstrosity of a machine to a tangled mess of metal. The tank in front of them moved to put a ruined old house between them and the tank drone that was speeding along the street. He didn't know their commander that well, a corporal Allen or Alex or something like that. But he knew the driver, his friend Hector. Very reason he was in this disorganized mess of a unit, slinging phrases and unit designations that were a clusterfuck compared to regular Army organization.

"Commander, reloading AP." the gunner answered over the intercom, seeing the tank ahead of him swirling its gun barrel to knock out another drone they hadn't seen, the one they saw nearing the cover of a building. "Fire at will!" Nathaniel directed, seeing that they had only a moment before another building would obscure the target, wishing that these machines had enough of heat signature to track them through cover, given the 120mm round could easily punch through the building. There was a sudden jolt as the tank rolled a tread right over a stranded car, right as the main gun fired. A spray of shattered pavement filled the air as the round struck the ground several feet off-target, the gunner frantically loading as the machine slipped out of sight. What he could see clearly was an impact that rocked the right side of the other light tank, having just turned and rolled towards the closest available cover.

"H-hec...to-Tomcat 2, are you still up? Are you reading me?" Nathaniel said, voice breaking a bit. To his surprise, Hector answered him, having flicked a switch on his console. "I'm still up, Tomcat-1. Commander and gunner are out, cameras are half-blind." he said, the tank turning awkwardly. The right track was also barely holding up.

"Tomcat-2, get in defilade and across the street, I will have eyes on tango shortly." Nathaniel directed. Hector meanwhile was fumbling with the controls, feeling how the machine was struggling to keep going. He felt his side, feeling the blood running down, before regarding the pock-marked panel of steel that had driven spalling into him when the round hit the tank. He'd been through worse, he thought. But simply walking out of this wasn't an option, and he knew Nathaniel might get himself killed trying to help him limp out of danger.

"Negative. Nate, I'm hit. Get that fucker and fall back." he said, prompting Nathaniel to go a bit pale. "Hect...Tomcat 2. This is an order, get in cover..." he said, unable to manage the sort of commanding tone he was used to. The stricken light tank was simply trundling down the street, leaving itself exposed to the tank drone. "Gunner, fire on visual!"

In a split-second, so many things happened at once. The light tank erupted into a ball of flames, sending wreckage in every direction, turret sent sailing into the air. A round had hit it straight through the back, exploding inside and setting off a chain reaction. In nearly the same instant the main gun on Nathaniel's own tank repaid an eye for an eye, catastrophically taking out the tank drone.

"Fuck! Tomcat 1 h-here, is anyone still up?" he said, having to practically force himself to call out on the radio. Someone else answered. "This is Bobcat 4, we're holding steady. I see multiple unmanned pushing through a mob of X-rays, en route to your location. I am holding Colonial street, advise falling back."

It was then that another voice came on the radio. "Captain Richardson to 2-14. Division HQ is confirming that every AO with functioning unmanned is fucked! Anyone still up, pull out and link up with 24-11 if possible. Otherwise, you have your contingencies." For a moment, weapons fire drowned out the voice on the radio. "We're immobile and X-rays are closing in fast. You have your orders, out."

It seemed like days but in truth had been mere minutes. Most of the unit's armor was taken out in seconds, the light tanks pushing through several now-traitorous machines only to be whittled down, and most of the main battle tanks pinned down until only one had broken out. By then it was just a single light tank and a main battle tank frantically fleeing the mess as zombies swarmed over the last few dismounted soldiers, mobbing rogue war machines that fired on living and dead, civilian and military, as if anything moving was fair game.

They couldn't get any word from HQ, nor the group they were directed to link up with. The two tank crews were on their own...
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: Chaosvolt on October 01, 2017, 02:07:31 pm
Timeline: Roughly two years after the cataclysm, during the events of The Shifting.

People involved: Nathaniel

A main battle tank rumbled across an old bridge, winding its way to the edge of the wetlands that surrounded the small area of open field. It passed a weathered old sign warning of the area up ahead being government property, and warning would-be trespassers of automated defense systems.

The structure itself was rather plain and unassuming, a small fortified bunker surrounded by a razor-wire fence, two positions for guard stations built into the fence perimeter. Those guards had long-since either deserted or succumbed to the horrors that now made up their daily life.

The tank halted at the end of the road, a hatch at the rear opening as a woman stepped out, making her way to the sliding fence gate. It was chained up and locked in its hasty abandonment, making use of a scavenged acetylene torch she cut away the chain, soon sliding the gate open. A man, looking out of the commander's hatch, said something into his headset that was drowned out by the idling engine, and the tank pulled forward to park in the relative safety of the fence.

Soon all four of them stood by the entrance, the tank's commander fumbling with a keycard. It identified him as Corporal Samuel Erik, with no other unit information other than 2nd Company, SPD XIV. Once they were just one of 15 entire divisions, in theory the first line of defense in case of threats that few knew of back then. In practice, little more than guinea pigs for testing experimental weapons, composed largely of soldiers on the verge of washing out of basic training and whoever else seemed easily manipulated into joining, existing only for a futile attempt to sweep a growing problem under the rug.

Soon the driver stepped up, giving a nod to Samuel, before the tank commander spoke. "Alright. Reyes, Daniels, you two keep an eye on things." he said, addressing the woman from earlier and a nervous-looking young man. Sophia Reyes and Conner Daniels. He then looked to the driver. "Pvt. Alexander, you're with me." he added.

Jonathan Alexander readied his M4 and waited, the other two taking positions behind the tank. None of them stood directly in front of the armored shutter as Sam slid his ID card through the slot, expecting the defense systems within to be just as haywire as the robots and turrets that turned on him long ago. That fateful day just over 2 years ago, when the world ended and their last, desperate attempt to control the situation ended in their own unmanned weapons reducing an armored company to just two fleeing vehicles.

Since then they were on their own, and in dire need of supplies. Not to mention parts for the surviving light tank, whose crew was waiting for them on the north side of a town to their east. The door slid open and several alcoves closed up, deactivating military-grade turrets that would've fired on any living target, no longer heeding old IFF protocols.

With a sigh of relief Jonathan went in first, flashlight illuminating the darkened stairs as the corporal followed close behind. It was just when they descended into the storage level of the bunker, that they felt a faint tremor in the ground, giving them only a moment until an abrupt shock knocked them off their feet, the walls of the structure creaking and straining as though being torn in half.

A chunk of the structure, including the stairs, was suddenly swallowed up by stone, as though engulfed and consumed by solid rock, only for the outer face of it to explode outward from the stress, dust filling the air. Before Jonathan even became fully aware of what happened, Samuel was completely crushed and buried in rubble. "Corporal? Corporal!" he shouted, sent into a coughing fit from the dust as he knelt by the shattered stones, frantically trying to feel around with only his mounted light to see by. There were no sounds of agony or frantic cries for help. The man had been killed instantly, and buried under rubble he couldn't easily move.

The gravity of the situation started to sink in. He was trapped, with no means to dig his way out, and the keycard was lost under rubble. He realized the only way he'd get out alive was if Sophia and Conner were to dig him out. Until then he sat down, trying to conserve air, and took out an old notepad. He had nothing better to do, and he let his mind wander.

Above him however, the bunker was gone, taking the two remaining crewmen with it. An old farm now lingered in its place, drawn forth from a world that was being torn asunder. The foundation of the farmhouse settled the slightest bit, going unnoticed by the survivors gathered there.

Elsewhere, Nathaniel waited outside the old light tank, examining his supplies and gear, before looking back to the machine once nicknamed Tomcat 1. Ammo was completely out, fuel was running low, and the engine was wearing down. And now the batteries were dead from their attempts to get in contact with the other tank on radio. It'd been two weeks since they last heard from the crew of Bobcat 4. Their gunner had been lost to the old city during a supply run, and now the weather made it unbearable to shelter in the stricken vehicle.

Just yesterday the two survivors, the driver and commander, had an argument over what to do. The chain of command no longer mattered to them. Nathaniel, the tank's commander, wanted to fall back into the woods, skirt around the city, make sporadic raids on it and eventually continue south, considering the others a lost cause. The driver wanted to make a beeline through town and reach the site of the bunker as soon as possible.

The two parted ways, Nathaniel holstering an old Glock scavenged from a shambling monster in the guise of a half-eaten police officer. He'd given his old service pistol to the main battle tank's commander, after his was damaged during heavy fighting a few months after they deserted. He gathered the supplies they divided up, slinging an old leather jacket over his shoulder, the weather too warm to bother wearing it. It wasn't even in his size, an old friend's "lucky jacket" that was given to him about 6 months before the cataclysm started...
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: Noctifer-De-Mortem on October 03, 2017, 11:04:05 pm
Timeline: 6 years before the cataclysm, 5 years before name change.

People involved: Roxanne Luna

   Roxanne woke up in a surgical bed. A gas mask of sorts was being removed from her face while she awoke. Her memory was fuzzy but she soon recalled what had happened; she had just undergone bionic surgery to officially earn the title of Cleanser.

   It had been two months ago since she had been recruited. She remembered her orders; “Go to this location and accept their offer but reject their gift. Once you awake be sure to thank them properly.” She was now awake, she would test out her new toys and then give the men in the room a proper thank you.

   “I hope the procedure was to you and your benefactor's satisfaction?”, Answered an older man wearing a doctor’s coat and glasses; he help a clipboard close, “We installed a bionics to your expectations. We used CMB of course, but the result should be no less impressive! Why don’t you try it out?”

   “Yeah, let’s.”, Roxanne answered. She accessed her BUI for the first time ever and she smiled. After a quick read of the digital descriptions of her bionics, she got to work. First on the line was to test her Close Quarter Combat bionic. She set it to Bionic Combatives and tested out the new moves she now suddenly knew how to perform. She stepped forward as she gave kick and punch to the air in rapid succession; her movements were fluid and perceived. This would come in handy a lot, she thought; she had guessed correctly.

   While she was doing her little “dance”, armed men looked on. They held rifles close to their person with hand in the weapon’s grip but away from the trigger. Roxanne smiled after her little demonstration was over. She gave a small bow to the armed men and then continued to toy with her new bionics. She gave another pass to her BUI and found the other two could be used as a combom. The first of the two to be activated was the bionic blade; a foot long nano-carbon blade came out of her forearm. Roxanne raised it to meet her face and grinned; she then activated her second bionic, electroshock unit. As she did so, the blade was filled with visible and audible currents of static electricity; this made Roxanne’s grinned widen and become predatory.

   “You did a very swell job doctor. Only one more thing; how about you give me a life target to test this on?”, Roxanne commented while walking towards the doctor..

   “Oh? Life target? Sorry but there was no mention of such requirements of this procedures so we did not bother. We are sorry about the inconvenience.”, The doctor said.

   Roxanne was already within striking distance of the doctor, she paused and smiled. “No worries doctor, you will make a fine replacement!”, Roxanne exclaimed. She then jammed the knife straight into the doctor’s chest, piercing his heart; the electroshock unit then made him spasm as taser-esq electric currents were unleashed into his body. Roxanne’ smile grew wider as she dropped the limp body of the doctor on the floor. She then covers her ears and closed her eyes and waited the next part, smile still etched in her face.

   The armed men raise their rifles as quickly as they could. They shouldered the firearm and pulled the trigger; some were faster than others and as such only a few shots were fired. However, not all of the guns were trained at Roxanne, the faster to draw people among the guards shot down the other guards who were slower. They did so with precision and prejudice, as if they knew ahead of time that specific person needed to die. The bullets flew through the air and into the other men who never got to fire a single shot. The projectiles tore through muscle, tissue, bone and brain matter. All of it splattered all over the room as blood covered the shooters and Roxanne.

   Roxanne opened her eyes when the shooting had stopped and gave a little yelp and bit her lip as she witness the scene in front of her. These men were no more, reduced to mush and she was responsible for it. She now wielded the power of life and death and was tasked to use it on other people. She got to decide who lived and who died, she alone made the final judgment...Roxanne had never felt so alive!

   One of the men stepped forward and interrupted Roxanne’s little day dream. “Roxanne Blackmore?” The man called.

   “The one and only!”, Roxanne responded.

   “Welcome aboard Cleanser Blackmore. You are now ready to serve under our banner. Go home and await orders. We will take care of the scene here, so don’t worry about that. From this day forward, your new life begins! But for now...get changed...spare clothing are on the back room.”

   The man left and Roxanne was more elated than ever. This is it, she had found her purpose! She was no doing what was the best for humanity. She would get change, go home and get some rest...her new life would soon start.
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: Chaosvolt on October 05, 2017, 11:07:37 am
Timeline: Six and a half months into the cataclysm, a day before the death of Hunter Roxanne Blackmore.

People involved: Helen, Darius, Toshiro, Alexandra.

"It is your right as Thane to know the nature of tomorrow's hunt. The enemy of old, the brethren-led-astray, one of their scouts and a sorcerer. No evidence of recent contact with the rest of their order, they are confirmed to be in possession of at least one artifact of grave historical importance to them.."

Within an abandoned cabin, a few miles from a city now inhabited by undead, a small flame of human life still lingered. Within the old building, a dozen and a half people reveled, enjoying food and strong drink laid out on a grand dining table, playing music that made the whole structure resonate with songs in Latin. The scene within was a rather peculiar group of men and women, many adorned with an eclectic mix of formal attire and medieval armor, some wearing cloaks covered in countless metal scales. Several wore masks of iron or bronze, decorated with other metals to mimic hair, though copper-on-iron was the most common form. For those that weren't wearing theirs, there were just as many masks laid in a neat row along a line of shelves.

In another room a young woman with light brown hair, wearing a bronze mask with silver decoration, conversed with a middle-aged man whose mask he kept laid on a nearby counter. His was unique among the collection of masks, deliberately styled after the somen a modern-day samurai might wear instead of the impassive visage of a Roman cavalry mask all the others resembled. "Defender Torshiro? I have the reports here." the woman said, handing him a set of maps and notes. "Just Brother Toshiro will suffice, Sister Alexandra. I've cast aside my old title years ago." he said softly, examining the notes. "Excellent. In one fell swoop, both our missions can be accomplished. I shall tell the others the news immediately."

Toshiro smiled a bit, stepping out into the main room to address the others, Alexandra close behind. "Tonight has been more fruitful than I'd ever hoped for. At last we have a lead on a dangerous enemy, and a party of our brethren joins us for this hunt." he said. Thus far he had only told Helen the true nature of the arcanists they were after, only the Founders and their children still knew about Shadows of Arcana. "Their own mission is now aligned with ours. They had been tracking down a cache of potentially dangerous artifacts hidden by a rogue arcanist we captured last month. It just so happens that the two we are after recently stumbled upon this cache. As both missions will now be accomplished in one action, we at last have a full hunting party."

Alexandra then spoke up "A full party, six each for assault element and support element. I will lead the support element. While Brother Toshiro will be a part of the assault element, he has requested another lead it. Thus, Thane Helen shall serve that role." With this, the others went back to their celebration, while a red-headed young woman led a darker-haired man to one of the nearby hallways. He had a youthful appearance and she seemed to act like an older sister as they conversed, but in truth he was about 4 years younger than her, and in the back of their minds they both struggled with conflicting emotions they had little experience with.

"Brother Darius. No, Acolyte Darius as of today. May you carry that title as proudly as your father did." the woman said, only for Darius to shake his head. "I still fear I won't live up to that, but. But, well. T-thank you Helen. You still carry the title of Thane far better than I can ever hope to carry mine." he said, Helen responding by setting a hand on his shoulder.

"You will live up to your father's memory, just as I have my father and mother. I swear it to Odin the All-Father and the God in Three Persons both." she answered, only to pull him into a hug. "Drink well, eat well, and sleep well. Tomorrow, you will fight by my side, prove you have earned your sword and title." she added, the thought lingering in his mind. The first actual sortie he's participated in.

Helen's thoughts were more conflicted. She had feelings of some sort for the Acolyte, and no idea about how to act on them. She decided they would talk about things after the mission, then she might have more courage to act on those feelings. At the same time, Brother Toshiro's words earlier had her worried. Brethren led astray. They would be a more dangerous, unpredictable foe than any blood mage. But must it come to this, when their divide was fading from the living memory of her order?

They must be brought to justice, made to understand why The Cleansing Flame acts the way it does, before they cause any further harm to the world and humanity itself...
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: RedVulnus on October 11, 2017, 10:09:10 pm
Time: Six years before the cataclysm

Characters: Drifter(Isaac), Doctor Morten, Clean up Crew, Experiment 402-XO7

Morten sat across from the specimen as he moved a piece on the board. The specimen smiled as it moved it’s own piece while the cleanup crew scrambled to get their gear on. Isaac shouted for the men to move faster as he pushed out the door and into the specimen floor.

He didn’t think as he fired the first shot that tore a specimen in two and sent it to the floor. Morten moved another piece as the automated turrets opened fire on the specimens awaiting their victims in the hallways. The specimen in front of him merely shrugged as it’s compatriots fell to a hailstorm of gunfire before moving another piece. The rest of the clean up crew was hustling to catch up to Isaac as he slammed another shell into the chamber of his shotgun and fired.

Morten took another of the specimen’s pieces as he said “You know you won’t win. You just enjoy playing don’t you.”

The specimen nodded as it moved a piece and took one of his. At the same time a specimen crawled out from underneath some debris and took one of the clean up crew members to the ground before plunging a bladed hand into his skull. Another crew member fired a round into it’s spine as he ran past and towards the room.

Isaac fired another round into a specimen charging him before his weapon fell apart in his hands. Pulling the machete from his belt Isaac hefted the weapon and hacked the nearest specimen’s head off. As it stood to try and swing it’s clawed hand at him he swung the weapon down and into it’s skull. Jerking the weapon from its head he stood and saw the specimen awaiting ahead of him.

Morten leaned back after taking another piece and simply stared at the specimen. To him it was so interesting that one such as this had intelligence to rival his own. He made a decision as it moved another piece into place.

Isaac slammed the B series experiment into the wall and went to swing his machete at it before it grabbed his hand and took the weapon from him. Throwing him into a wall the bot walked towards him screaming unintelligibly. Sighing Isaac stood and side stepped as the other crew members unloaded into the bot. As it fell to its knees and dropped the machete Isaac picked the weapon back up and touched the blade to its head.

It looked up at him and for once one of them spoke actual english “End it. Kill me and end my suffering.”

Isaac complied with the request as he cut its head clean off and walked down the rest of the corridor to the room. His crew, well what was left of it, stacked up on the door and prepared to breach. Pulling out a flashbang he got ready to go in.

Morten meanwhile leaned forward and said “What’s the price you want to let me study you further? We both know you can force the issue and get them to kill you so name a price.”

The specimen smiled and whispered something to the doctor. He grinned as he stood up and opened the door. The crew rushed in as they’d been trained to do to protect the HVT. Which was when Morten spoke a single phrase and the men fell to their knees holding their ears. It was a few seconds later and the specimen stood over Isaac with a knife.

“This one will do doctor. His heart will be a pleasant meal don’t you think?” The specimen said as it carved the heart from Isaac’s body and walked to the table. Morten had already called a specialty crew to drag the dead and the unconscious from the room. He’d have to call some favors in to get the crew leader a new heart and brought back. No price too high for progress.
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: Chaosvolt on October 11, 2017, 10:20:33 pm
Timeline: Various.

Characters involved: Helen, Helen's parents, Toshiro.

2. Cast aside your schisms and strife. It has ended countless groups, but it shall not end us. We are brothers and sisters, and we shall respect the gods in equal measure, disparate though they may be.

12 years before the cataclysm.

She remembered being just old enough to start combat training. 14th birthday, expected to join the fight in 3 years. Ensure she and others her age would be prepared for what they must do, by then.

There'd been an argument between her mother and father. Her father, Thane Thomas, was reluctant to explain the nature of one of the enemies that Helen might face in adulthood. He didn't want to be reminded of old friends that betrayed him, not long after their daughter was born.

Her mother, Thane Sophia, insisted on it. It was her right as the daughter of two founding members of The Cleansing Flame. She was the one who taught her those protective spells starting a year before her combat training began.

"They were brethren once. There was a great argument over a dangerous item they sought to use, even knowing the full nature of the item and its magic. Misguided, and I fear their actions have brought them self-destruction. I lost many close friends when we were driven apart..."

"If they are still around, you must be prepared for them, but I still hold hope that it needn't end in violence. They must be made to understand why we disagreed with their actions, and everything we have seen to reinforce our caution."

3. All powers from beyond, and all things worked from it, are a potential threat until clearly understood. Observe in any manner that is safe, but err on the side of caution first and foremost. If determining its nature cannot be done safely, destroy it if you must.

A few months later.

Defender Toshiro was there, along with Sophia. Within the past year, a few months since Helen began her combat training, there had been a break-in. One of their main sanctums, and a damned blood mage had dared to sneak in. This was an act they were usually too cowardly to attempt.

He was clearly not expecting a fight, intent on stealing or spying or whatever his objective was. But he'd found a mere teenager instead. It was either flee with his mission failed, or kill what he thought was easy prey caught alone, and possibly buy time to complete his objective. She wasn't.

Toshiro had examined the items on the sanguinist's body, and one item they found shocked both Defender and Thane. "The image of the goddess Venus, and other old symbols. Some motifs favored by Golden Wind and the Path of the Sun." he pointed out. Arabic inscriptions and the image of the storm god, respectively.

Sophia sighed a bit, before looking to Helen. "They still live, then. This sanguinist was likely sent here, either hired or as punishment for his sins. They were the same brothers and sisters who convened with us to fight the Sanguine Order, and this is what they resort to?" she said, raising her voice. "You shouldn't have to fight profligates like this so early. Go with Toshiro, and I will finish this investigation."

4. Suffer no cowardice, no petty bringandry, no lust for vengeance. We take from others only what is too dangerous to leave in their hands, and inflict no further depredation upon them unless they are a threat to humanity itself. If they are, be they blood mage or bandit, offer no mercy and expect none in return.

9 years before the cataclysm.

She remembered the funeral pyre. And who it was for. A protector of the faith, a skilled user of the rare defensive arts, a Thane who cast aside her old title, leaving only what all members of The Cleansing Flame called each other, Brother or Sister in her case. Her mother.

"She was sent because we found them. We found the gods-damned corruptors of the faith, and attempted diplomacy. She was chosen as the best candidate, and sent alone. They lured her into a trap, and left the corpse for us to find..." her father explained, tears running down his face. They weren't just tears of sorrow though, but of anger.

Brother Toshiro looked away. The day after the blood mage had been discovered, after they were awakened to the true fate of their former comrades, he had cast aside his old title of Defender. "No more attempts at peace, at explanation. They've wasted their one chance..."
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: RedVulnus on October 14, 2017, 04:22:23 pm
Time: 5.7 years before the cataclysm
Characters: Experiment 402-XO7, Drifter(Isaac), Dr Morten

Isaac had been sitting in the rec room listening to the radio as an announcer relayed the results of a ballgame. He wasn’t aware of the two security officers that were following a captain down the hallway towards the room. Nor was he aware that Morten and the specimen were playing another match of chess and a piece had just been taken off the board.

Looking up as the door swung open Isaac saw the trio and nodded to them before walking towards the pool table. Grabbing a stick he saw the officer make a finger gun in one hand and point it at one of the unaware staff members. As he brought his thumb down one of the men with him fired a round into the man’s head as Isaac swung the pool cue into the head of the other. As the officer turned to try and fight him Isaac shoved the pool cue through his eye and pulled the gun off his belt.

Morten took a piece as Isaac killed the pair of security members. The others in the room paniced and rushed for the door as he retrieved a rifle and heard more gunshots in the hallways.  The specimen smiled as he took a piece and asked “Tell me, won’t they shut down your little facility here after this?”

Morten shook his head as he moved a piece into place and said “No. This portion of the facility is only filled with disposable personel and willing participants of the science staff.”

The creature nodded as it continued to play. Isaac meanwhile stepped into the hallway and started firing into the security members. As their bodies fell it took a few seconds for them to retarget towards him and open fire.

Long enough for him to find cover and eliminate the handful that had angles on him. Meanwhile the chess game continued. More pieces taken from the board until finally Morten won and quite a few bodies were left on the ground in the corridors. Isaac filed his report later that day and met with a pair of security guards. Standard medical procedure they told him as he lay on the table. Morten almost smiled as he watched the memories being wiped.
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: RedVulnus on October 16, 2017, 11:49:36 am
Time: 5.5 years before the cataclysm
Characters: Drifter(Isaac), Patches
Isaac walked towards the barricade the clean up crew had setup and heard one of the men say “The son of War is here boys.”

Isaac smiled under his helmet at that. He’d heard some of the boys call him Tyr, or the son of Tyr or one of the other names Tyr had been given. He came to like the moniker of the ‘Son of War’ he realized as he fired a round past the barricade into one of the loose specimens.

Sliding over the barricade Isaac was followed by Patches his second in command. Firing another round he put a second specimen down as Patches tossed a fragmentation grenade through an open doorway. The blood curdling scream of a scientist locked in the room with a pair of specimens was cut short by the detonation.

This was followed by Patches swing his machete down through a table. As it fell to the ground the specimen inside bled out having been cut in half. Firing his pistol at another specimen Patches put it down. “Fuck you. Tired of this shit.”

Isaac nodded as he fired another round from his rifle before using the stock to smash an injured specimen’s skull in. Turning and pulling his machete he cut a second specimen in half. This was going to be a long day.

It was three hours later when Isaac and Patches walked through the doorway to the security checkpoint. The guards there looked like they were going to vomit when they saw the pair. Covered in blood and organs the two were a horrific sight to see. Depositing their weapons at the checkpoint Isaac laughed a bit as he saw one of the guards actually throw up into a trash can.

And yet again they were led away by a pair of security officers.
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: Chaosvolt on October 16, 2017, 06:54:03 pm
Timeline: Six months before the cataclysm.

Characters: Nathaniel.

Nathaniel still felt a bit awkward in the leather jacket Hector had given him. Back in their regular unit he would've been out of uniform wearing it, but so long as he put the right patches on, in the correct manner, Division XIV didn't seem to care.

What was more relevant was the training and the mission. Right now it was the former that led to the vehicles of 2nd Company into a small town, securing positions at each major road in. New England charm aside, it reminded Nathaniel a bit of the town he grew up in down south, until he was about 13. One other difference was the Priority Site a couple miles out of city limits, and the infestation that came from it. The maps officially listed it as a water treatment plant, which explained a lot.

It was just their company of XIV Armored, and 3rd company of XV Medical. The place had maybe a few hundred people at most, and several now roamed the streets after succumbing to the undead plague. People higher up on the chain of command had already shut down local media and incorporated local police into the operation. It resembled a small-scale mimicry of an uncontrollable plague that would soon wrack the world, as Nathaniel would recall after the cataclysm started, but back then it was a trivial training exercise.

Nathaniel's tank crew was there maintaining a roadblock, watching a line of cars backed up before them. There were police officers and men in modified Army uniforms, all forced to wear gas masks, ordering people out of the vehicles for examination. One car at a time. "3b. Move your vehicle to the lot on the left and enter the medical tent. You'll be fine within a few days." said a woman with a Division XV patch, addressing an old man in a worn-out pickup.

The next was a family. A man, a woman, a sickly-looking young boy. The soldiers there took a few blood samples to run test strips on, examining their eyes, ears, nose, and throat as well, checking pulse. The man and woman were told to continue on due to having minimal infection, but the young boy was directed to a tent on their right.

Nathaniel gave a sigh at that, he could see the way the man reacted when the family was asked to separate. He also knew what the second medical tent was for, for any victims triaged as 5a or 5b. The resulting shouting match between the couple and the woman, who he knew as Sergeant Anderson, was getting everyone riled up.

It was when a man in the next car back stepped out, holding a pistol, that all hell broke loose. The M2 Nathaniel was operating gave a resounding boom as it cut the man down, followed by point-blank gunfire from the sergeant raking the couple up front when the husband had tried to push past them. In an instant people were getting out of their cars and scrambling in a panic, one vehicle pulling away and running someone over in an attempt to rush at the checkpoint. The main gun reduced it to a burning pile of scrap a split-second later.

Their sector of the town was soon in chaos, and Nathaniel felt nothing as he acted according to his orders. Any disruptions to triage will be assumed post-critical and dealt with accordingly. He simply hoped that the other checkpoints were having less trouble, but distant gunfire hinted at others having problems of their own.

Worse, fires were spreading through several of the residential blocks. The advanced troop carriers were sent in to assist in managing evacuation, maintaining quarantine, and dealing with the casualties that had already succumbed and stood back up. The obstinate reason for the checkpoints, given Nathaniel's crew had already put down a good dozen or two undead that strayed too close to the evacuation queue, using the driver's mounted M240 and the commander's M2.

The fires were thanks to the soldiers in full MOPP gear, wearing Division XV patches, each squad having a man toting a flamethrower. Shoot the undead, then burn the remains, and any signs of civilians holed up in their homes rather than cooperating followed suit.

Despite the chaos, at the end of the day they hadn't lost a single person, only one or two members of the medical company treated for minor bites and scratches, one checkpoint guard that suffered bruises from a rioter's rifle rounds being caught by his ballistic vest. It would be easily covered up, and of the 700 people in the tiny little town, over 200 had been evacuated or treated successfully.

Nathaniel would later find his friend Hector's checkpoint had been one of the only ones that operated without any problems, which led to a good bit of irritated remarks about the earlier gift of a so-called lucky jacket...
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: RedVulnus on October 16, 2017, 08:24:10 pm
Time: 3 years before the cataclysm
Characters: Bandit, Drifter, SIDEWAYS AK MAN

Bandit sighed as he measured the last bag. This little deal had taken far too much of his time at this point and he was going to be happy to be back in his lab. Tossing the bag to the man sitting across the table he simply told him that it was the last of the shipment.

Nodding the man opened his mouth to say something when a bullet found its way through his skull. Bandit grabbed the bag of money as the chaos began and bolted for the back door. Running out he found his way to a car.

As he did so he saw a man that caught his attention for a second. Firstly the man was wearing golden boxers, not gold colored, gold plated boxers. The second was that he was holding his AK sideways while he fired. The sheer stupidity of it made him blink before realizing there was still a crazy guy shooting at them.

Getting in the nearest car Bandit made his escape as Drifter tore through the place like a demon. Men fell to the ground dead as he tried to stop the car. Realizing this was a lost cause he decided to finish mopping up and then head out.

Some hours later the man in the golden boxers woke up to find himself on a couch. Something was poking him in the ass. Reaching back he pulled a bullet out of his boxers and stared. Forever would he wear these boxers and shoot sideways.
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: RedVulnus on October 16, 2017, 11:15:19 pm
Time: 2 years after the cataclysm
Characters: Alexei

Alexei was doing what he always did at this point, walking. Smoking a cigarette he saw an old establishment up ahead and figured he could find something to drink. Pushing through the door he started for the bottles lined up on the shelves of the old bar. No one else was here so he should be able to look in peace.

A few bottles of a couple different kinds of alcohol were found before he felt a barrel of a gun pressed against his back. The irish accent of the man was so strong Alexei rolled his eyes “Get up and tell me why I shouldn’t kill you.”

Alexei stood up as he said “You like make car bombs?”

The man cursed Alexei as he grabbed his arm and swung him around to swing his pistol int-

He never got a chance to hit Alexei as the Obrez blew a hole through his chest. The others that had followed the man in shouted and started shooting as Alexei ducked behind the bar and holsted the Obrez to pull out his AK. Holding the weapon sideways he stood up and opened fire.

The firefight was short lived as he put them down with accurate fire. Once the last body fell he lowered his weapon and sighed. “Why do you always try and kill me!” He yelled at the body in front of him as he kicked the dead Irishman’s face.

Stopping himself after a couple of seconds he retrieved the bottle of whiskey and sighed. Opening it and pouring some into a whiskey glass he shook his head. Sipping the whiskey he looked at the carnage. Ten dead men. Ten rounds from his AK. How quickly lives ended. Downing the rest of the alcohol in the glass Alexei set the glass down and walked around the bar. Taking the bottle as he walked out he poured some of it out on the ground before marking next to the door with a piece of chalk.

Walking away he put the now closed bottle in his bag and sang a song he’d heard his brother sing one time when he’d gotten back from the military. Reloading his weapons he saw the glowing eyes peering out of the darkness and looked up to see the sun beginning to set.

“Lord guide my hand, oh hear your wayward son.” He sang before turning to open fire as the ghost town was consumed by the dark night.

“Won’t you hear this son far from his homeland.”
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: Chaosvolt on October 17, 2017, 02:56:40 pm
Timeline: 7 years after the cataclysm, detailing events dating back earlier.

Characters involved: Captain Anguiano.

Following is a summary of files sent to Refugee Center US77687 (Site 4 Designation: Center Sierra).

Defense Initiative Site 4. Designation: Vault Delta.

Purpose: Site 4's primary purpose is self-contained, long-term command-and-control of local strategic assets and direction of military operations within the region. This purpose is incomplete, as Site 4 was still in the development and testing phase. Communications equipment to contact local assets had been installed, but full command and control systems were not made available.

1. Site 4 is to maintain a fortified position in the region to supplement all nearby military operations.
2. When development and testing is complete, Site 4 will function as C&C for all assets within the New England region, including nuclear defenses.
3. CLASSIFIED (overridden by Cpt. Anguiano, 3-IV): In the interim, one anomalous materials department has been assigned to Site 4, researching a number of items brought over from other Y-series sites.

Facility Summary:
Level 1: Surface level. A facade of a small town has been constructed above for concealment purposes, and to provide supplementary housing for civilian contractors, along with other peacetime amenities. Surface is to be evacuated the instant strategic assets are initialized, if a state of war is declared, or if a nuclear first strike targeting the United States is detected.
Level 0: Access level. A functional sewer with integral water-treatment system, with concealed access to Site 4 itself. In addition to personnel entrances, access for vehicles and construction materials is available via a secondary entrance, capable of being collapsed via buried explosives in the event of enemy invasion.
Sublevel 1: Main sublevel with amenities for both personnel and civilian contractors, including education and medical facilities for their families to live on-site, and a "visitor center" primarily used for orientation of new civilian arrivals. Notable sectors include a Security section that doubles as an on-site Military Police station, Communications including monitoring systems, and Control. Control is intended to facilitate Site 4's planned C&C role, but currently houses the engineering department's Damage Control personnel.
Sublevel 2: Secondary civilian housing and other amenities. Some were incomplete in construction as of this time, and not presently at acceptable standards of living. Secondary Engineering sectors are here, in addition to Robotics.
Sublevel 3 CLASSIFIED (overridden by Cpt. Anguiano, 3-IV): Reactors, main Engineering department, and Data Management. Additionally, Research has been assigned a sector on this sublevel.

Personnel Summary:
1. One company from Army Corps of Engineers, unit information classified at request of Captain Anguino.
2. One company of United States Marine Corp (unit information classified at request of Captain Anguino), including Military Police and attached United States Navy Hospital Corpsmen.
3. Various civilian contractors hired to assist in construction and maintenance, estimated number 1075 civilians, both contractors and their families.
4. CLASSIFIED (overridden by Cpt. Anguiano, 3-IV): 3rd company, Special Projects Division IV (Nuclear Operations).
5. CLASSIFIED (overridden by Cpt. Anguiano, 3-IV): Research Department Y-241, anomalous materials series. Estimated 200 personnel.

Note: "Yeah no, I'm not incriminating the others with this shit. If word of what we're up to gets out, 3rd company is taking the blame." - Captain Anguiano

Number of assigned personnel (including civilian contractors and families): 1435.
Number of active personnel on record: 8.

Commissioned Officers:
1. Catalina Anguiano. Captain (OF-2). Female. 3rd Company, Special Projects Division IV.

Non-commissioned Officers:
1. Nell Branham. Sergeant (E-5). Female. USMC. Unit data classified.
2. Alberto Vela. Corporal (E-4). Male. USMC. Unit data classified.

Enlisted Personnel:
1. Leila Carnes. Specialist (E-4). Female. USACE. Unit data classified.
2. "Dusk" Gao. Hospital Corpsman Third Class (E-4). Male. USN. Given name classified. Unit data classified.
3. "Atomos". Private First Class (E-2). Female. USMC. XV Classification: 3a. Full name classified. Unit data classified.
4. Larion. Private First Class (E-2). Male. 3rd Company, Special Projects Division IV. Surname classified.
5. Mardell Baumgarther. Private (E-1). Female. USACE. Unit data classified.

Note: "Had the corpsmans' first names taken off-record because navy was really fucking pissy about any of their boys being linked to SPD shit. Last names for any 3-IV enlisted or NCOs are off-record for obvious reasons. And finally, Atomos is off-record at her request." - Captain Anguiano

Log 031548-1:

"Getting increasing amounts of chatter this evening, Major Thomasson has been on edge all day over more incident reports, evidence that the topside fuckers are going to be mobilized soon. That's on top of a lot of bickering and saber-rattling between Mr. President and his Chinese equivalent. The way those two are going at it has the civilian contractors on edge, but the Major figures that the imminent mobilization orders are just a convenient excuse to initiate Operation Antibody discreetly. Nice to hear that threatening to start WWIII is the cover story. Here's hoping when the PRC realizes those launches are landing on our side instead of theirs, they'll figure out something's gone sideways."

Log 031648-1:

"At around 8:17 this morning, radio chatter went completely batshit. Confirmed x-rays in almost every city we're getting reports from, topside SPDs are being mobilized for Operation Antibody. All personnel have been ordered to get down below, screened and triaged according to XV Directives. Around 50 civilians are 1b and currently being treated in the medbay, no one's terminal."

Log 031648-2:

"It's been about 2 and a half hours. No more chatter is coming from Divisions XI-XV. Every X-series lab we got contact with was compromised, XII did a shit job as usual. XIII was the real MVP it seems, they can't program unmanned defenses worth shit. For added fun, the only Z-series lab we could get in contact with consisted of one asshole ranting about something called 'Apophis' before the radio went dead an hour into this clusterfuck. Center Sierra was made ready and filled with people in preparation for XV to arrive and triage, but seems their assigned companies of XIV and XV never made it."

Log 031748-1:

"Topside monitoring is showing signs of rogue x-rays poking around in the abandoned Surface sectors. I'm ordering the charges blown to collapse Vehicle Access, so only way any shamblers are getting in is through personnel entrances. Good fucking luck, assholes."

Log 031748-2:

"Welp. We're fucked now. Holy fucking shit. Reactor 1 went prompt-critical about an hour ago, we've lost all security feed for sublevels 2 and 3, along with half our sensors for Surface and Access. We're in Security, most of the other survivors are in Damage Control. Army and Marine boys down there are working overtime to stabilize whats left of Reactor section remotely. God. Everywhere except our two sectors ate so much radiation that all other personnel are dead or dying and it's only been a fucking hour. The Major and about half of 3-IV were down there in sublevel 3. There's maybe 200 of us total left in our two sections."

Log 031948-1:

"Full day of work but Control has mostly sealed off all access to sublevel 3, radiation levels might take a year to die down though. We got other problems. They're getting back up. I don't know how the fuck they're doing that. All the civilians that were 1b had been treated and were cleared for duty by the time the reactor blew, and even then 1b is below the threshold where casualties are at risk of becoming x-rays. 2b's when it becomes a risk."

Log 031948-2:

"We need to get the group from Control into Communications. Get word out to any survivors that we've got over 1000 radioactive shamblers down here and they're threatening to pop the hatch to Access level. We've put on full MOPP and initialized what I've unofficially titled Operation Move Our Fat Asses."

Log 032048-1:

"Good news is we've retaken Communications. Bad news is we've lost three-quarters of our men, between IV, the marines, and the engineer boys. Got a headcount of 34 here and 22 in Communications now. Worse news is they're saying the goddamn transmitters were fucked. Receiver still works, we're getting intermittent chatter including from Center Sierra, and we've got access to the old personnel network."

Log 032748-1:

"I've lost half the surviving men to radiation poisoning by now, mostly in Communications. They're working 24/7 to decontaminate their sector. It was a fucking moot point since outgoing comms aren't an option. We're gonna lose the rest of our group if we try to find a parts kit for them. Good news is both sectors have assloads of supplies. We could sit around eating MREs and civilian stockpiles for about 30 years, if we don't all kill each other before then."

Log 031749-1:

"Yay, happy one-year anniversary of the fuckfest that trapped us in this hellhole. We're down about another dozen people altogether. Longer-term symptoms of our little jaunt out of the hardened area. We've also had signs of radiogenesis-based mutations. I've long since given up on the standing order to put down any that go 5a, because fuck that noise. Besides, only mutant right now is PFC Atomos and she's only 3a."

Log 062250-1:

"Picking up seismic activity and other weird shit going on over comms. On top of all that, comms picked up the activation of a nearby supply bunker, then a few minutes later we stopped getting logs from it. What the fuck is going on up there?"

Log 121352-1:

"We've had a few mutations and casualties over the years since, and nothing really to report in the logs. Today we got something. Yesterday the remaining half-dozen men and women of my company had an argument about the old procedures. A one PFC Matthias, USACE, had been suffering from radiogenic mutations over the course of the past year. Roughly a week ago his condition exceeded the threshold for classification as 5a. Within an hour after the discussion Matthias, presumably having overheard it, took matters into his own hands and shot himself in the head. Following this, I've clarified to everyone else remaining: the old medical directives can go fuck themselves for all I care. We're all stuck in this together, we aren't going to blow another guy's brains out just because he drew the short straw in the 'radioactive hellhole lottery' or whatever."

Log 072653-1:

"Down to maybe 24 people total as of this log. PFC Larion and I are the only members of 3-IV left down here. Recently picked up something unusual on the network logs, one of the nuclear launch sites reported one tactical missile was armed and sent off. Without the setup this place was planned to have built into it, we can't get uplink with it to determine who, or what, authorized it. Nor what its target was set to. All we can confirm is that it was a on-site activation. Don't think the old silos even had their half of the C&C network finished anyway, so probably the only way anyone would get those running. Still, worrisome to know someone was able to break into one of those and set up a launch."

Log 030454-1:

"After all this time there's maybe the first sign I've seen that confirms someone is out there and in our area. Two intruders were observed on our internal security systems, having broken into the old Personnel Access entrance. One seems to be a woman carrying a number of artifacts, some of it looks like what the old Research Directive had stashed down in sublevel 3. Other's an aug just tearing up the X-rays with his bare hands. They made some headway before attracting so much attention the shamblers forced them into retreat. Fuck."

Log 030454-2:

"At this point we're down to 8 people in total, including myself. Radiation levels have stabilized enough that no more casualties are expected, and supplies will likely last longer than we will now. If we get another intrusion and it seems like they have better luck, we're going to risk sending someone out of the secured areas to try and get in contact with them."

Log 062054-1:

"Two more people picked up on security feed today. One's in a knight outfit, description consistent with a civilian contractor Center Sierra's transmissions have mentioned on occasion. The other's a 5a mutant, suspected chimeric and arachnid subtypes. Possibly one that the center's referred to as Mica. Half the time the latter's only showing up on the thermal cams that are still working, but both of them are cleaning house. Gonna assign Sargent Branham and Corporal Vela to the task of linking up with them."
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: RedVulnus on October 19, 2017, 10:57:50 pm
Characters: Drifter
Location: Somewhere in Texas

He’d been walking with the caravan for some time now. He hadn’t kept track of how long, it didn’t matter to him in the end. As they turned the corner he readied his rifle knowing the reason he’d come with the caravan would come over that nearby hill. Sure enough he heard the motors before he saw the bikes.

The quartet of motorcycles jumped over the hill and barreled towards the first of the armored box trucks. Taking careful aim Drifter traced one as he neared. The resulting explosion of his first shot took two of them off their motorcycles and the remainder pulled away in a wide arc to come up behind the trucks. Drifter fired a few more rounds before the armored school bus pulled up behind the bikers. “Hand me that big thing right there.”

The mounted gun on the bus opened fire as the driver swerved and the man inside the armored truck handed the machine gun up to Drifter. A round found its way through Drifter’s jacket as he pulled the trigger and sprayed the bus with automatic fire. A round pinged off his helmet before the gunners ducked back into the bus and the driver pulled off the road as the bikers sped up beside the armored truck. Pulling out his pistol Drifter shot the molotov one of them had lit and watched as the two fell from their bikes screaming.

“I think that’s the last of them. Let’s get where you boys need to go.”

It was a few days later the caravan stopped in a small town and delivered supplies. One of the caravan heads approached and said “You should come work us. We can always use a good gunman.”

Drifter shook his head as he said “I was coming along to kill the leaders of the Wolves. With those four bikers dead they’ll eat themselves alive.”

The caravan head nodded and tossed Drifter a canteen as he said “Well if you need help with anything just give us a call and we’ll come. We owe you.”

Drifter shook his head again as he started walking away “You don’t owe me anything.”
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: guest48 on October 20, 2017, 07:55:03 pm
Timeline: Four months before the Cataclysm

People involved: Carol 'Kathrine' Faye, Claudia 'Susan' Archer

Kathrine checked the graffiti her and Susan had drawn over their dividing walls.  She couldn't read anything Susan wrote down, of course, but the stickfigure pictures she drew while writing were fun to look at.  The bee-girl's art was still good enough to get her messages through, though.   Kathrine had gathered that the sad faces meant that Doctor Ilyushin had skipped another session.  Kathrine looked around the square of drawings they'd made and tried to find a spot to wipe down with her sleeve.  She settled on her old drawing of what Susan had looked like originally.  Before the wings and arms and eyes.   Kathrine peered through the space left behind, sticking her tongue out.

Susan's antennae drooped, along with her wings.  The bee-girl brought her knees up to her chest and wrapped all four arms around them, dropping her head to rest against her knees.  Kathrine crawled up to press her face against the plexiglass wall, looking worried.  Susan was always so happy, but she didn't look happy right now...  Kathrine tapped on the wall, and when that didn't elicit a response, she started repeating Susan's name.  Kathrine's ears began to drop when even that didn't get a response.  So instead, Kathrine grabbed a marker.

Kathrine still needed to get Susan's attention.  It'd been four hours since she'd last seen someone walk past, so she'd had a lot of time to draw.  Tapping hadn't worked to get her attention, so maybe...  She placed the sharpie on the floor and took a couple of steps back, drawing her arm back as if winding up for a punch.  Kathrine ran forward, and then threw her entire body into the plexiglass barrier, leading with her fist, and was rewarded with an echoing 'THUNK'.
Kathrine's wrist was definitely broken, but Susan had looked up.   The sight immediately cheered her up.  Kathrine had drawn a full-sized copy of the original picture of her in the empty space they used for charades.  It looked off, like someone's bad tracing, but the affection was there.  Susan scooted up to the wall, placing her top two hands on either side of their first ever message.

Kathrine spent a moment just looking into Susan's fake eyes.  Originally her compound eyes had freaked her out, what with being unable to see where she was looking, and the fact they were constantly pitch black, but she'd grown to like them.  From what she could guess, Susan couldn't even see out of them.   The bee-girl's antennae were twitching while her face was pressed against the glass, waiting for Kathrine to join in on the mirror kiss.  Kathrine, obviously, obliged.
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: RedVulnus on October 22, 2017, 02:21:44 pm
Time: 5 Months before the cataclysm
Characters: Dr Morten
To Whom it may concern

My work has been concluded as per orders from the commander. It will be another year before we can fully shut the lab down and deal with the last of the specimens. Following is a list of the projects I was personally involved in as requested, and I want my objection to the shutdown noted on record.

Doctor Tobias Morten Sr.

B Series

The B series was an effort to integrate computer technology into the human brain. All subjects proved to be suicidal or extraordinarily violent. Hypothesis is that the confines of the helmet required for the subject to continue to live proved damaging to the psyche as well as issues with the integration.

Number of subjects: 352

203 Series

203 was focused on enhancing the strength of test subjects. Results were easily commanded individuals of exceedingly great strength with claws. Their mental capabilities were severely limited and made them poor in combat exercises. As such they were discontinued.

Number of subjects: 143

Enhancement Series

Work on Enhancement series was limited, the availability of subjects given the confines of the series was limited. Subjects came from the cleanup crews and occasionally security forces. Forced genetic and synthetic augmentation to enhance physical and mental capabilities. This ranged from replacement arms to entirely new genetic sequences being introduced into their DNA. Perhaps the only test series that we were able to see a large number of successes relative to other test series. A number of interesting results were studied and replicated over the years.

Notable Subjects: Isaiah Williams, Aaron Fletcher, Isaac Mortal, Marshall Frontier, Gerald Hayes, Mathew Mathews.
Total Number of subjects: 52

Archon Series

Archon was established after someone noted some odd properties in a..coffee machine? Yes coffee machine. Someone also sent us a few other ‘artifacts’ with odd properties. We’ve been testing these with mild interest as most effects appear to be mundane. Well save the coffee machine as what it produces seems to have similar addictive properties to methamphetamines. Not that the people here weren’t already addicted to coffee.

Total artifacts: 7
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: RedVulnus on October 23, 2017, 09:55:42 pm
Time: 3.5 years after the cataclysm
Characters: Alexei
Alexei had found a small village to stay at for the time being. He was sure it was full of unpleasant people who probably would kill him later but for the night it was ‘home’. And home meant partying.

He’d hauled out quite a stash of alcohol and had gotten the ‘Butcher’ to bring out food for everyone as he lit a massive pile of wood on fire for the centerpiece of the party. He saw some of the cuts of ‘meat’ and decided he’d stick to the veggies for the night as he passed around a few bottles of alcohol to get things in swing. Drinking some himself Alexei started dancing with a few of the folks.

After a couple of hours he found himself sitting with a collection of the locals. Reaching into his own bag he pulled a few small bags out and tossed them around. He almost smiled as someone passed one of the pieces of paper to him and he inhaled the drugs lying on it. He did smile as the world started to change.

Standing up he started towards the giant pillar of fire Alexei put his gas mask on. He wasn’t really sure why as he started dancing around the pillar. He tossed something in the fire as he did and heard the people start laughing. A few even shot fireworks at him as he did so. He just knew that shortly after he blacked out.

He wasn’t sure when he came to but he saw everyone laying on the ground. They were foaming at the mouth and some had gunshot wounds. Standing up he grabbed his shotgun from his belt and walked towards the only one still breathing. The man spat blood at him as he said “Fuck you! You act like you want to be one of us then you kill us all!”

Alexei pointed the shotgun, as always sideways, at the man’s head and told him “I am no friend of cannibal. I lost friends to cannibal, so why should I be his friend?”

The man opened his mouth to shout and found a load of buckshot filling his mouth. Racking the shotgun Alexei held it one handed as he put it against the man’s forehead and pulled the trigger. Walking away Alexei began to sing as he racked the shotgun again and made his way away from that place.

Time: 4 years after the cataclysm

Alexei sighed to himself as he watched the cannibals through the scope of the rifle he held sideways. Pulling the trigger he watched the first of them hit the ground. He knew why they were here after all. No sense in giving them the chance to come after him without casualties.

Ducking away from the window Alexei made his way to the staircase of the building and retrieved a grenade from his jacket. As the first of them reached the thing they found a grenade bouncing at their feet before the shrapnel took the first group. This was followed by a one handed shot from his shotgun down at the next man brave enough to go through the door.

Backing away Alexei retrieved his AK and sprayed the next group to come through. Fifteen dead at this point. Ten more to go. Tossing a smoke grenade at the stairs Alexei did the one thing he could think of in his Vodka deprived mind. He jumped backwards through the window. Firing his AK.

He hit the first four targets he had and rolled to the side as their compatriots turned on him. This was followed by six shots that sent the remainder down before they could fire. He blinked for a moment and realized two things. One: He had better reflexes when he wasn’t drunk, and two: He had better ideas when he was drunk. Cause right about now he felt like he needed a chiropractor as he forced himself to his feet.

Of course the only things he looted were the essentials. Alcohol and bullets.
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: RedVulnus on October 24, 2017, 10:24:35 pm
Time: 3 years before the cataclysm
Characters: Drifter(Isaac)

Isaac watched the woman as he sat across from her. She’d been hospitable, giving him food and bandaging him. The only thing she’d asked was some help with one of her rituals. It was almost over when she handed him a cup and said “Drink this.”

Taking the cup Isaac drank half the contents before handing it back. The woman nodded as she took it and drank the rest. She spoke in a language he didn’t quite understand before he began to feel odd. Blinking he reached a hand out to grab a nearby table for support as smoke filled the world in front of him.

Instead a skeletal hand took his and hauled him out the swamp that had been consuming him. “Fucking hell you should be more careful!” came an unfamiliar nasally voice.

Looking up Isaac found himself staring at a man who looked almost skeleton in appearance with a cigar jutting out between his teeth. Shoving a tankard of rum into Isaac’s hand the man pulled out another from seemingly nowhere as he motioned with his free hand for Isaac to follow “Come on shit for brains somehow you got sent somewhere you don’t fucking belong. And not the kinda place that gets you a fun time with some of the sexy Loa.”

Isaac followed, taking a drink from the tankard he’d been handed. “I know the lady that sent you here had good intentions, thought your soul needed mending or some shit. Either way I’m busy at the moment so your ass will have to follow me until it’s time for you to get back to that fucking body of yours.” The man said as he walked.

Isaac raised an eyebrow as he followed but decided not to. It was a few hours later he came to with the woman standing over him. After a few minutes of hasty apologies by the woman Isaac collected his things and moved on. He didn’t remember all the details but he remembered the name Samedi. That and a wild few hours of drinking and humorous talk with him.
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: Chaosvolt on October 26, 2017, 01:39:51 pm
Timeline: between 9 and 10 years before the cataclysm.

Characters involved: Catalina Sandell (AKA Catalina Anquiano), Oliver Sandell, Jared.

Catalina smiled a bit as she looked through several papers. She was still a little nervous as she set aside from papers, waiting for someone at the old manor house she grew up in, and hadn't seen in a few years. Two people walked out of another room to greet her, both in business suits that contrasted sharply to the service uniform she was wearing. A younger man close to her age, and a middle-aged man. The younger one, in a checkered red and black suit she thought would look awful on anyone else, was a bit taken aback by this.

The older man, in a more subdued grey suit, simply walked over to give her a hug. "Catalina, feels like it's been a year since you've visited." he said, a smile on his face as he turned to the other man. "We'll finish our business later, Jared. And quit starin', don't want your face to get stuck like that." he remarked, to which Jared simply nodded.

"Got it. Sorry Boss. And good to see ya, Cat. Growing up fast I see." he said, before leaving the room for now, Catalina a little flustered. "It's only been maybe half that long, dad." she said, before picking up the papers again. "So what's the getup for? Thought your degree would get you a lab coat, not an army uniform." he asked.

She was a bit nervous at that, though offering him the papers that would explain most of it better than she would. "It'd take another 4, maybe even 8 years until I can get into the sort of cutting-edge things, Oliv...dad. Been doing a lot of smaller work to get through college, but I can finish things up this way. There's something available that'll put what I'm learning to good use, and finish it up for getting into research."

The explanation made the man, Oliver as she momentarily almost called him, go a bit pale. That, and reading the paperwork. He didn't even notice the slip of the tongue into a more formal address, normally only reserved for when the two were in the company of people he worked with. "Cat, sweetheart. You should've asked. I helped set things up, was practically pocket change, but could've paid it through completely if you needed to. Or...set you up with something reliable, better-paying." he said. The hesistation in his voice made it clear. He'd struggled all those years he raised her not to get her involved in the family business, but he'd resort to it if she needed to.

"I know you would. I also know it'd kill you to see me getting involved in this. Handling the first few years on my own was worth it though." she answered, but Oliver wasn't any less worried. "Still, you're studying up for nuclear research and such, what the hell kinda army school needs you for that? Am I going to have to explain to the other families that we're not branching out into starting World War III?"

She simply shook her head, bringing one of the papers back up. It had her name listed as Catalina Anguiano. Her mother's maiden name, rather than Sandell. "I don't know what they'd specifically want my degree for, but that won't be needed. I hope this would send the right message to anyone that'd notice it." she said.

"They'll figure it out, yeah..."
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: A Blitzkrieg of Butts on October 27, 2017, 09:38:05 am
Timeline: Day 0 of the cataclysm
Characters: Alexis "Pepper" Verace, Colten Lianstead (Her boyfriend)

"Hey Pepps, after our shift, you want to get coffee?" The two were patrolling around New Haven, Connecticut. It was about 3:00pm. "Colten, you know I don't like it when you call me that." Pepper gives him a light punch. Colten just chuckles. "Oh come on, I'm only yanking your leg. But I'm serious about the co-" *Crrsh* "Dispatch coming in" *Crrsh* "Yeah dispatch, what's up?" *Crrsh* "We have a possible 10-50, there are reports of three 10-54's in the area. We ne- Reports coming in for 11-99's, we got code 10's. We need you to go code 3 asap." *Crrsh* The two of them froze. "11-99s? Swat? Jesus." Pepper stepped on the gas, sirens blaring toward Yale.
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: Chaosvolt on October 30, 2017, 03:26:56 pm
Timeline: 2 days after the cataclysm, roughly a week before Hector arrived at an evac shelter.

Characters involved: Hector (AKA Sir Loin of Beef).

Hector pulled an old, worn-down car to the side of the road, giving a frustrated sigh as he realized what was before him. It was a dead-end, branching off of a country road that he felt was too exposed. Every so often he had to force the sedan off-road to go around a wreck, or sometimes a minefield. He felt rusty, like he hadn't driven a civilian car in ages. That wasn't true. It'd been a couple years since he was discharged, the problem was he never needed to push the old vehicle this hard before. The coolant was now leaking slowly, it was badly in need of an oil change, and the treads were all under 2/32. As diligent as he was about taking care of actual mechanical problems, ever since he got home he'd been lax about the more mundane upkeep. As he shut the engine off, he thought back on recent events.

Things happened so fast, in less than a day the city went from a quiet sense of unease, growing unrest in the poorest parts of town, to a complete clusterfuck. Once the strange things started to show up in force, and a few casualties from a recent riot got back up, the wave of death and reanimation spread through the city over a matter of hours. He was vaguely aware of some trouble brewing, and he remembered the offer some suspicious-looking officers made back when he was in training. An offer he declined, and his highschool friend accepted. He remembered the rumors that led to him declining, and how shortly afterward he was discharged for "medical" reasons.

He'd gotten back into his old work at the local mechanic's shop, a place run by an aging uncle of his. Going from maintaining an armored vehicle to cars felt so alien to him now, even if it didn't really hinder him much. He didn't even show up at work today. He had some supplies, a car that was working, and lived close to the edge of town. He just hoped he'd have no problems with a unit he dreaded having a second encounter with. He knew from the rumors that he likely wouldn't have any trouble with them, but it still worried him. He had no signs of the sickness, that the final news report implied was the cause of the undead threat. What he didn't yet know was that he likely owed his life to the boil water notice issued a week ago, a habit soon to become a part of everyday life.

The smoking pile of wreckage he drove past made it clear what happened. It used to be an M701A1, the sort of modern tank he was familiar with driving. Hit from behind he suspected, having a considerable rear hatch had some disadvantages, at least for a light tank. The remains of a tank drone behind it revealed the cause, the rest of the unit likely retreating deeper into the city. The sight left him confused and worried, but relieved that he had a clear route out of town, in time leading him to where he was now.

The empty appearance of the old manor house unnerved him a little, and he wished he found somewhere less unsettling. The gate was battered down, and when he walked up to the door he saw it was left slightly ajar. Either hastily-abandoned, or overrun. Either way, he hoped the original owner wouldn't be there to object if he checked for supplies.

As impressive as the entryway was, a large open space leading to numerous doors and a grand staircase, what he fixated on almost immediately were the armor stands along the walls, carefully creeping towards one such set. The mail was a proper hauberk, riveted instead of butted, accompanied by a great helm, along with a scabbard holding a well-made arming sword. Hanging on the wall next to it was a kite shield, with a white field and a simple red cross as its charge. This time, he had a trip down memory lane that was more pleasant.

Old days of re-enactment, from HEMA to occasional festivals with friends he hadn't heard from in years. The former was what he focused on as he traded his normal clothes for gambeson and mail, scavenging armored boots and gauntlets from another, less-intact set from a different era. Not exactly historical he thought. The gauntlets and boots stood out, while the great helm made the lack of a surcoat stand out. It was then he heard the sounds. A horrible clattering and crashing of doors being pounded down from several directions, and faint moans of the dead.

He simply drew his sword, having tossed away the camping hatchet he took with him. A great number of shambling things battered their way through the doors. A family perhaps, servants, patrons and colleagues of whoever once lived here. Or maybe wandering undead that forced their way through the gates and doors. He would find himself lost in battle, and despite the horror of it all, he felt more alive than he had in years.

This would be his life now, he thought. Either run and scavenge until there's nowhere left to run to, or fight back every step of the way. He might get the car to run for another while longer without proper tools, enough to try the next road he passed by along the way. He knew it led to the next town over, eventually. Most of the way there, close enough to walk to the evac shelter on the edge of town. He held no nope that it'd actually have useful supplies. Only that there might be at least one survivor in need. Maybe a way to get in contact with old friends, see if Nathaniel in particular was still alive. Though he doubted it, and the thought pained him a bit. It was his idea to talk the rather frail young man into volunteering along with him, and now he's likely sharing the same fate as the tank crew whose ruined vehicle he drove past.

That day, and during the hard-fought days ahead of him, Hector the mechanic died. Hector the ex-soldier died. What was left was Hector, the knight. No, a man-at-arms at the most. Car broken down, supplies stretched thin, tools either left behind, broken, or lost. Only the scavenged armament and a few items from the old world remained. A moment of dark humor led to him wondering if he'd even act the part and call himself something else, and despite his image of himself as not a true knight, the thought of a punny title came to him.

Sir Loin of Beef, really? As if anyone would actually dare to question it...
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: A Blitzkrieg of Butts on November 09, 2017, 09:38:36 am
Continuing from last post

The two arrived to hell. Dead bodies everywhere, civilian and police alike. Colten threw up beside the car. "Ugh... I think I'm gonna be sick. "Hold it together Colten, we have a job to do." Pepper went to the back of the cruiser and loaded her UMP. Colten grabbed the shotgun from the back as well. The two continued into the campus, seeing bodies in the triple digits. This was the worst thing they had ever seen. "Could this work of terrorists?" Colten was shaken, he had a hard time keeping his gun in front of him. Possi- COLTEN WATCH OUT!" A student who was covered in blood lunged at Colten. He frantically shot and it tore through its torso but it kept coming. It grabbed his arm and bit a good chunk out of it. "AAAAARRRGHHHH!" Colten screamed as he harmlessly bashed it with the butt of his shotgun. "PEPPER HELP ME!" She swung around and unloaded 3 rounds into the student, one which got it in the head. It slumped down and fell off of him. "O-Oh F-F-Fuck! Shit this hurts!" Pepper ran back to the police cruiser and grabbed the first aid kit. Pepper ran back to Colten and starts to patch him up. Th-Thanks Pepper. That w- PEPPER WA-" A shot rang through Pepper's ear and sees Colten fall in front of her with a shot right to the head. She slowly turned around to see a man in hazmat suit just in time before she received a blow to her head.
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: RedVulnus on November 15, 2017, 01:21:46 am
Time: 4 years after the cataclysm
Characters: Alexei

Alexei passed the bottle to the man next to him as he smiled. As the bottle was begrudgingly taken from him Alexei adjusted his grip on his AK. The man downed the last of the Irish whiskey before saying “You know you are a right cunt! First you try to kill me with a car bomb, then you try to shoot me, and now we’re gonna kill these fucking assholes together and then you’re gonna try and shoot me again!”

Alexei shook his head as he told the man “No, after this we will be comrades! And then we will go find a place to drink together, end up drunk, and find another reason to try and kill each other.”

As the two stepped out to fire at the band of masked individuals that were currently trying to murder both of them. The first of the brutes hit the ground riddled with bullet holes as their metal pipes clattered to the ground. The man nearly screamed over the gunfire “Kill each other? You were the one trying to kill me! I’ve never met you before!”

Alexei blinked as he put a round through a hapless raider’s eye socket. He was fairly certain this Irishman had done something to him before but...wait no was that the other irishman, or another? Alexei shrugged as he shouted back “Who cares! All that matters at this point is getting out alive!”

Which was fair enough the both of them figured as they continued to fire at the men coming to murder them. Which was easier said than done they found out. But a few hours later they found themselves sitting in a bar, Alexei pouring them both a drink.

Alexei picked up his glass and nodded to Mcguire “To the Saints.”

Mcguire lifted his glass in response and returned the nod as he replied “To the Saints.”

The two downed the whiskey in short order before noticing the handful of men that had gathered around watching them. Alexei tossed a coin to the bartender as he stood up with Mcguire following suit. Mcguire grabbed the bottle by the neck as he said “One last hurrah?”

Alexei had grabbed the back of his chair as he said “Why not.”

Mcguire smashed the end of the bottle to pieces before swinging it into the stomach of one of the six. Alexei meanwhile smashed his chair over the head of a second before taking the broken leg and stabbing the third in the dick with it, causing the man to release a high pitched scream. As this was going on Mcguire had grabbed the fourth and threw him back against the wall before punching the fifth in the throat.

As his compatriots lay wounded and dying around him the sixth assailant raised his hands and stepped back. Trying to apologize he found himself on the receiving end of both men punching him in the face. Looking at each other the pair chuckled a bit before Alexei motioned for the pair to leave before the bartender got pissed off. He had a feeling this was going to be a long and fruitful relationship.
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: saltmummy626 on December 20, 2017, 12:11:28 am
Something had gone wrong. The measures Peter had put in place to protect the collection of survivors holed up in the "Mason Banks" building had failed. The turrets that had kept at bay three attacks by bandits, had completely failed to identify and drive off or kill the thing that now harried what was left of them.

"Where's Kyle?" Mekaila asked, clutching at her cudgel defensively. She, Tylor, Carl, and a nervous businessman type who called himself "Swift" were all that remained of the towers previous group of twenty-two and three children.

"He went downstairs to try and get the generator back on. He'll be back." Explained Tylor who was busy peeking out through the door.

"No he won't." Mumbled 'Swift,' "Things got him. Thing as hungry as that. Oh god. Thing as hungry as that... Thing as..."

"What the fuck do you know?" Spat Carl. His words hardly got a response, and that was fine. It wouldn't matter when the thing found them anyway. The best they could hope for was to try and overwhelm it when it inevitably found them. Until then, tensions were high. Whatever it was, they had first seen it skirting the woods the previous morning, seeming to be on the hunt. Jacob Warner, an elderly man who'd been on watch at the time and had been the only one to see it described it as some kind of spidery thing. "Like a cross between a spider, a lizard, a rat, and a woman." He said. Carl had asked him how he knew it had been a woman and Warner had made a circular motion at his chest, and then snatched at his groin. "Pretty obvious since the thing wern't wearing no clothes or nothin.'"

Later, Carl had seen it himself. It wasn't particularly stealthy, and it seemed to be starving. He watched it tear into the leather seats of the four door sedan some of the survivors had made the trip to the tower in. Tearing into the seats with a mouth like the inside of a blender. It- she... would bite down and slough the leather from the seats in long strips, then swallow them without chewing before going in for another. Once in awhile, it devoured a lump of stuffing material as well.

Later still, it had found it's way into the tower. The first sign was an odd snuffling in the main lobby. Jessica went to go check it out, thinking that maybe one of the undead had found it's way in. When she didn't come back, Terrence went to see what was up. Likewise, he also didn't come back and so a group of three went out. This time, the tower was alerted by someone screaming, and the sound of gunfire. From there, things had gotten worse. The three floors of the Mason Banks building had become an abattoir except that in such a killing field, bodies were usually left behind. The creature seemed to leave hardly anything behind.

Now, night had fallen, and the feast didn't seem to have slowed. Warren had been hit by a glob of something offensive to the nose, and caustic as hell. The acid burned away his shirt, ate into the flesh beneath, dissolving and stopping the organs under the site of impact. Then there had been only five. Five people trapped in a room on the second floor of what had once been a loan office of some kind while some horrible man eater stalked the halls searching for them. Kyle had gone out, and now there were four.

"We can't stay here." Makaila said. She was getting tired and didn't want to be here anymore. She'd been one of the few to witness the creature first hand. It had torn into her boyfriend, clamping down on his shoulder with it's sizable maw and parting the arm from his torso in doing so. He fell back, screaming and spraying blood as the arm thus liberated was interred in the monsters sizzling guts. Makaila had struck the thing upside the head with her stick, more out of terror than aggression, and in response it had hissed and slashed. Carl had pulled her away just in time.

"No, we can't." Tylor told her, "but what are we gonna do? We can either take the jump out the window and hope to land on that box truck outside, or we can stay here and hope that it either goes away or kill it if it finds us."

"Can't kill it. Armored. Heals too fast. Too fast. Too fast." Swift mumbled. He leaned on his empty shotgun, turning a single shell over in his fingers and staring at the floor with wide open eyes. Tyler knew what he meant. Swift had escaped death at the things hands over and over again, had managed to get the thing off of him even by socking the stock against it's side and spinning it away. Tylor could see clearly Swift seating that stock against his shoulder and pulling the trigger. The explosion of the shotguns thunder, and the cloud of lead shot peppering the creature. The creatures rat like tail had been blown off and it's side had been absolutely shredded by shot, but as soon as the wounds appeared a black viscous crap had flowed out and stopped up the wounds. It screamed at them and lunged only to get ahold of swifts bag. the creature tore that to shreds while they ran from it. The way swift turned that shell over in his hands, Mekaila thought perhaps it wouldn't be long before he put it to use.

"So the jump then..." One of them said. Mekaila thought it had been Carl. "Well I-" Tylor started, but then a noise from the hall cut him off.

"SSSsssSssSsooo hong-ree. SsssSsssSooo sssSsweeeet meeeetsssS."

There was a low click, and the sound of the shotgun being worked and then the door burst inwards. By the light of the rooms single lantern, they all saw it. A horrendous monstrosity with two pairs of arms, covered in scales, chitin, hair, fur, and with a face comprised mainly of teeth and eyes and more teeth. Swift turned his shotgun on the creature, but it was too late. It wasn't going to allow that to happen again. The shotgun bellowed it's last shot into the ceiling as the monster disemboweled the businessman, then the gun was in motion. Tylor had lunged forward to try and take the opening. His knife, a simple carving number made by the fine folks in a Chicago cookery supply house, came in low and snapped off in the monsters pelvis, inches shy of the groin, before the walnut stock of the gun smashed his jaw. Tylor needn't have worried about his jaw though, the creature was already on and ripping into him with it's teeth. Mekaila turned and wrestled with the window. She'd lost her nerve.

Something hit the floor behind her, and as she finally jimmied the window open and slipped out into the open air, she realized it was Carl. She had no interest in what condition he was in, she just wanted out. The Cataclysm had taken everything from her and she would now do everything in her power to make sure it didn't take her life as well. There was a moment, very clear in her head, where she felt like she was floating. Then before the notion could really take hold, she was falling. She missed the box truck, bouncing painfully off the side and falling the rest of the distance to the asphalt. There was no time to check herself for injuries though, no time to feel pain. The woods were nearby and the monster wouldn't dare make the jump after her. She had to get up, had to-

A weight, like a bag of cement with arms and legs landed on top of her. "SsssSSsssooo hong-reee. Clevvver meeeetssssSSss, ttthiiinkiin' Myyy-kaaa not come affffteeerrr. SsssSSSSSssssooooooo hong-reeee..." Mekaila's last sight, was that of eyes filled with a profound and true hunger, and mile upon mile of serrated white teeth.

"Micaaaa!?" Called Lindsay. She and Damian had been looking for her for the last week. The three had only recently escaped the lab, and the mutant running off had been the one real worry they had.

"It's alright," Damian said, trying more to convince himself than he was lindsay, "She'll be fine, so long as she doesn't- There! Look!"

A figure was snuffling beside the road, occasionally snatching up some insect or other living thing to stuff into it's mouth. "Lindsay, the chicken!"

As the woman pulled the chicken out of her duffel bag, feet first, the creature looked up at them. "SssSS! Chi-kunsssSS!"

"You have to come back to the shelter with us Mica, you have to come back to the home place. Jesus, Lindsay, what happened to her?" Damian said.

"She probably ran into something big or something. Like a bear or maybe..." She said, tapering off. The words seemed hollow and insincere. Mica's handlers knew exactly what she'd gotten into. The wounds were enough to tell them everything they needed to know. Mica had run into people. Just where were those people now? They didn't have to wonder, they knew. Mica's handlers could only hope that some of them had escaped.
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: Chaosvolt on December 20, 2017, 09:28:37 am
Timeline: Roughly 2 years before the cataclysm.
Characters involved: Hector, Nathaniel.

Hector looked the papers over, giving a little sigh as he shook his head, before glancing back at Nathaniel. "So why are these guys making this offer, anyway?" he asked.

"Hell if I know. All I know is it's probably the easiest I'm gonna have it at this rate." Nathaniel remarked, and Hector gave an irritated glance at his friend. "Are you sure this is a good idea though? What if they're, you know..."

Nathaniel knew exactly what Hector as referring to, remembering how others had been wary, whispering in hushed tones behind the sergeant's back after the visit of that strange man, the man who pulled a few of the others from their unit aside to make an offer to them. Strange fellow in a uniform that looked half Army, half Marines, with unit patches neither of them could quite recognize.

They did recall one image, one distant image of men in similar outfits, in intermittent reports of small-town relief efforts, claims of water treatment plant failures and other small-scale disasters. And the uniform now sparked hushed questions and whispers among most of the others.

"I know Hector. There has to be a reason for all this shit though." Nathaniel pointed out, and Hector regarded the papers with a critical eye. "Why, though? Is it really because training will be more lax? Of all the idio-"

"Hector, I'm barely keeping up as it is." Nathaniel remarked, and Hector just glared at Nathaniel for the interruption. "You're keeping up a lot better though. Not all rail-thin like a year ago. Just takes time." he remarked. He knew why Nathaniel seemed so willing to join this strange unit. The recruiter, or whatever the hell he was, seemed to explicitly hint at how much easier it'd be, among other things. As if he knew exactly what to say to goad and bait Nathaniel into considering the offer.

"Hector, it's not about that either though. Think about what could happen, or what they're doing if half the rumors are true. Stranger shit aside, it seems like their main thing is disaster relief. We could be putting our training to good use here."

"Nathaniel, this is an armored unit. What the hell sort of disaster relief needs to go out and pester tank crews to get recruits?" he pointed out. Despite his concerns, he was on the fence. He wasn't really sure how much was true, and Nathaniel's idea did get him thinking. He ended up more or less dragging Nathaniel into this unit because he himself was well-suited to his new role in a tank, suiting his mechanical interests and what he already knew. If things had gone differently he might've ended up in a CEV instead, in a different unit entirely.

"I know. There's got to be a good reason though. Either way, I don't know if I can pass up on this offer. You with me?" Hector considered things for a moment, staring down at the form the strange officer had passed out copies of. He'd pretty much dragged Nathaniel into this, after all.

That day, he gave his answer. Little did he know that, a whole world away, things would play out differently. Similar thoughts were running through that Hector's mind, similar discussion took place. Similar strange questions and rumors were mulled over. But the greatest difference that day was the answer.

"Maybe I...there is a reason, yeah. And I can't just leave you when I dragged you into this mess to begin with."

"Nate, I can't. Not without knowing for sure if it's the right choice."
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: RedVulnus on December 24, 2017, 02:27:17 am
Time:4 years 8 months after the cataclysm
Characters: Alexei, Ms Morgan, Ms Morgan, The Family

Alexei had found himself in a bar in a little town. A set of twins had sat with him, their little entourage staying nearby enough to be able to attack should he pose a threat but far enough to afford some modicum of privacy. They said they found him intriguing, he found their presence annoying, but whatever they thought of each other in the moment they were conversing about little nothings. The weather, how the world was getting on in their little area of semi civilization, other little odds and ends that were commonplace conversations in the pre cataclysm days.

Soon enough it went to hobbies. They enjoyed drawing and sewing and music. He enjoyed drinking and cleaning his weapons and finding what he could to sell. He found himself enjoying their company far more than he figured he should have. Something about them was rather soothing and calming. After a while one of them commented about how disappointing it was the pianist was missing. Alexei gave a bit of a grin as he walked over to the dormant piano and sat down while he ignored the look the bartender was giving him.

Popping his knuckles he began playing a couple of scales. As some of the patrons voiced impatience he started into an old ragtime piano song. A half hour of music later and Alexei walked back to the table while the patrons gave semi enthusiastic applause. Sitting back down he picked up the glass of vodka that someone had put on the table for him and downed it’s contents before looking at the sisters. The two seemed rather pleased with the performance and he found himself pleased that they were happy with it.

One of them said “You should really get rid of all that.” gesturing towards his beard.

The other nodded as she said “Yes you’d cut a more impressive figure without it, and a bit of cleaning up too.”

He grumbled something about not having the time and one simply waved a hand and told him a man should always make time to look good. He rolled his eyes and told her his primary concern had been surviving. She rolled her eyes and looked at one of their guards as she said “What is it with you men?”

The man shrugged as he spoke in a thick british accent “I don’t know ma’am, maybe something to do with the testosterone.”

The two ladies both nodded as they stood. Speaking to Alexei they said “You could come with us. We’ve always need of new hands. And it would give you time to clean up.”

Alexei’s first response was that he would pass. However he found himself stopping and instead agreeing. Grabbing his bag he followed the pair to Morgan Manor. Looking at the guarded entrance he found himself surprised. If these were bandits they had a taste for the opulent.
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: RedVulnus on December 26, 2017, 04:28:10 pm
Time:4 years 8 months 2 weeks after the cataclysm
Characters: Alexei, Ms Morgan, Ms Morgan, The Family

Alexei had cleaned up a bit, washing his hair and beard while replacing his clothes with the button up shirt and suit vest that the sisters had given him along with the black slacks that led down to a pair of sturdy combat boots. Walking out of his quarters he turned down the hall to go about his daily duties. Cleaning the kitchen, some garden work, polishing some of the statues, and maintaining the armory.

This all took up most of his day and he found himself oddly content with it. True he’d probably have prefered to be scavenging and drinking but he’d not touched a bottle since arriving here. Finishing putting an AK together he stood up and started towards the rack of rifles that was attached to a wall. Which was when he heard a pair of voices discussing a party. Walking up the stairs and listening to the pair he quickly realized that they were either inept at planning or had never been to an actual party.

Pulling the two aside he told them he’d organize the party. To which they happily agreed since it was something they didn’t have to do now. Alexei walked away smiling as plans already formed in his head.

5 days later

Alexei ushered the server out of the kitchen with a muttered Russian curse. Then it was a mad dash of checking on the cooks, the bakers, the servers, and the decorators. Bouquets of flowers were being put into vases and positioned in the center of tables as the decorators danced around the room. The cooks swirled frying and sauce pans as some chopped vegetables and sliced meat. The bakers were decorating and layering cakes and arranging cookies in a whirlwind of motion that would make a casual observer dizzy. Each gave him an update as he passed and checked their work.

Wiping sweat from his brow as he grabbed a set of whiskey bottles from a liquor cabinet Alexei shouted a jovial remark that had the kitchen staff chuckling as he passed by again. Each table got a bottle of whiskey and a set of wine bottles. Stopping a server that had just arrived with a wooden box Alexei opened it and inspected the pair of bottles before taking them up to the table. The finest wine he could have gotten his hands on was set at the sister’s table.

The servers were now in a mad dash of setting horderves on the tables with the appropriate plates and cutlery and glasses. As the last setting was placed the doors opened and the guests began to arrive. Alexei and one of the head servers of the Manor were beside the door greeting them as they passed. When the sisters came they stopped to speak with the pair shortly, and as they went towards their table one commented that Alexei’s beard looked better now that he’d gotten it cut and styled.

As he walked back to the kitchen everyone saw the way he beamed at the praise.The rest of the night he was a blur of motion as he helped the wait staff get things out. He was happy, something he’d not felt in a long while.
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: RedVulnus on January 01, 2018, 01:25:06 am
Time: 5 years after the cataclysm
Characters: Alexei, Ms Morgan, Ms Morgan, The Family

Alexei adjusted the tie he’d been given by the sisters. The Morgans had organized the Family since the start of this little apocalypse and had invited him to work for them a few months ago after meeting him in a nearby town. They had seemed oddly fascinated with him now that he was thinking about it.

Looking himself over in the mirror he admired his clean shaven self, cutting an objectively handsome and dignified figure to any casual or serious observer. Sharp features mixed with warm green eyes and a semi sophisticated outfit of a suit vest with a stark white button up undershirt that led down to a pair of charcoal black suit pants that matched the vest made him look as a figure of a spy film. The suave ladies man that he’d actually come to despise shortly before leaving his homeland.

Not that I’m not a smooth talker
He thought as he walked out of the door and started down the hall to speak with the Morgans. They’d asked to have a private meeting and he didn’t want to be late. Pushing through the doors to their private tea room he closed them behind him before sitting with them. They made small talk and one asked to see his gasmask. The pair began drawing a beautiful tapestry on his gasmask. He only smiled as the pair amused themselves with the project. It was after they handed it back that they gave him the news that he’d come to dread.

4 months later
Alexei had watched the idiotic among the Family drag it into the mire as he tried his best to guide them to redemption. It wasn’t until a few days ago when he’d found the elder sons of the Morgans consuming their own mothers flesh that he came to the decision. Finding out the true reason for the twins untimely death had only furthered his resolve.

Now he found himself in the clothes he’d worn the day of that meeting with his gas mask hanging around his neck sitting in front of the fire. The manor had been ruined and now the center of what had been the foyer was a large fire that most of the Family members sat beside to keep warm. None of them thought to question Alexei sliding his gas mask over his face and pulling the straps to keep it in position. Nor did they react to him tossing a handful of some form of powder into the fire.

It was a half hour later that most of them found themselves feeling slightly off, kind of sluggish and the world seemed a different hue. The one closest to Alexei looked over to see the man’s mask seemingly melting as the fire reflected in the glass over his eyes. The Obrez that Alexei pointed at the man as he stood and turned fully to the man went unnoticed until it’s muzzle flash reflected sharply in his mask’s lenses.

As the body fell back with a large hole through the chest Alexei lifted his AK as he holstered the pistol and started firing into the assembled. They couldn’t even hold their weapons as he began the slaughter. Only a handful of minutes lay between the start and him entering the corridor filled with concerned servants. They ran as they saw him as only a few had seen the man since coming here. Alexei the enforcer, the hand of the Family..the demon of Morgan House.

Death stopped as he had been moving through the area, stopping to deal with something in the house. An odd feeling that had emanated from it for months now. The sight of Alexei, gunfire reflecting off his masks lenses oddly mesmerizing in the moment as something else worked in the manor.

He was broken from his revery as Alexei moved away, and he found himself following. In truth Death knew this manor well, knew the man he was watching well. He’d seen the aftermath of his work before. Now though he moved with aggression towards a room that had previously only brought him happiness.

Slamming the doors open he saw the elder sons sitting at their table unaware of the gunfire. The sudden disturbance and Alexei’s gun made them stand. He tossed the AK onto the nearby bed as he retrieved the swagger stick the sisters had given him that day, the thing that they had asked he protect even as he carried out his task. The first of the sons charged him, a hooligans play with a feint to the right. The blow caught him in the side of the head regardless and his unconscious form crumpled to the ground as it flung itself past Alexei.

The other son was more dangerous Alexei knew. Twirling the swagger stick in his hand the two circled each other. The sixteen year old made the first move flipping out a switchblade as he went. The blade caught Alexei’s arm before a blow to the hand sent it flying across the room. A blow to the stomach was the follow up that Alexei used to drive the son to the ground before circling him. The order to get up was obeyed and the son made another attempt.

Alexei ducked the fist and slid himself to the right before the son could counter attack. Another failed swing towards Alexei’s arm was rewarded with a strike to the side of the head before the son swept Alexei’s legs out from underneath him. Alexei hit the ground and felt the son immediately grab the swagger stick and try to force it down over Alexei’s neck.

Alexei had to give it to the kid, he knew what he was doing. However brute force was occasionally greater than skill. Alexei pushed the son off of him to the side and kipped up to his feet. The son tried for a third attempt at fighting Alexei but found the end of the stick hitting him square in the forehead with enough force to send him backwards and render him unconscious.

From there Alexei put the stick in his bag, the hard part being done with. Retrieving his AK he looked at the two unconscious individuals and contemplated mercy for a moment. The thoughts were pushed to the side as he recalled what he’d found out. Looking at the ruined state of the room, and by extension the manor’s entirety, Alexei remembered that the two had orchestrated the event that had led to this. Even so he chose efficiency over making them suffer as it’s what he would have wanted were the situations reversed.

Of course the rest of the Family that wasn’t here would follow Alexei. He had told the sisters as much during their meeting. Stepping over the threshold of the manor he knew he wouldn’t find peace. Not after this. The nice clothes he had worn were now stored in his bag and he wore the jacket and jeans he’d been found in. He was back to the wildman as the sisters had called him. Somehow he knew it was always going to be like this, little time for peace in this new world...

Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: RedVulnus on January 19, 2018, 01:55:13 am
Time: 1928 A.D.  120 years before the cataclysm
Characters: Salazar
Salazar walked through the hallways of the building in a slight panic. If he planned to go through with the plan he had to be quick about this next part. The two guards at the end of the hallway patted him down before letting him through. After passing the threshold into the next room he excused himself to the bathroom.

Pushing through the door he let out a nervous sigh. Searching the room quickly he found the revolver he’d been left by his Order. Checking the cylinder to find it fully loaded he slid the weapon into the hidden holster in his vest before stepping back out. If it hadn’t been for his training he was certain he’d have vomited.

Stepping through another doorway he took a breath to steady himself. As he did so he cracked a smile at the oddity of his situation, breaking one Omerta as he kept another. He heard the violins coming from the Don’s record player as he stepped in front of the desk.

He doubted he would have made it this far into the mafia if his Order hadn’t pulled some strings. As the chair began to turn he reached a hand into his vest. And felt a pang of shock as he saw the Don’s son sitting in the chair. The kid smiled as he said “Forse questo potrebbe essere andato diversamente. Hai avuto una tale promessa, un peccato che devi morire per questo tradimento.“ (Perhaps this could have gone differently. You had such a promise, a pity that you must die for this betrayal.)

 The ferocious smile on his face caused Salazar to pull his revolver and fire a round through the man’s throat. But...he swore he had heard two gunshots in that moment, and a gun sat in the man’s hand. Shaking it off he turned towards the door as he heard the commotion of men coming for him.

The guards that had checked him for a weapon rushed in to receive a pair of shots that put them down. Tossing a look at the dead son of the Don Salazar felt his heart drop. His wife, his two children. If they knew that he was an enemy, worse if they knew he had broken the Omerta…

Picking up the Chicago typewriter that one of the gangsters had dropped he started for the door before catching himself. If he was known now he may as well die bearing the mark of his order. The symbol was a cross of some kind painted in orange with silver trimming. In his case the mark was a templars cross as was the standard of those in the Order that worked in the US.

Attaching the pin to his collar Salazar began walking for the exit. The two vehicles outside had unloaded their men all of whom assumed that he had been taken care of. As he walked towards them leveling his weapon several of them let out a cry of panicked fear. Before any had the thought to scramble for cover he had killed half their number. A round tore through his chest as he walked forward undaunted, the wound having no effect.
The screams of the men sounded like a symphony to him as he slaughtered them. The last few had made an attempt to run away but had received a spray of gunfire for the trouble. Stepping into one of the cars he started for his home.

When he got there he saw the door kicked open. Running into the house he saw two men searching it. Enforcers as he had been, as he was. Firing a pair of shots from the revolver he still carried the men were sent to the reaper as he went to through the house shouting. When he did find them they screamed until he ran.

A few hours later he had caught sight of himself in the reflection of a puddle. A gunshot wound through the right eye. He’d checked his pulse to find nothing. Sliding down the wall he had been leaning against he sat on the ground and stared at his hands. Reaching a hand into his vest he found his revolver and opened the cylinder. One round left.

Tucking the weapon under his chin he sighed. He was already dead, but this seemed oddly appropriate. The police reports indicated that he had comitted suicide, no apparent reason and the only wound a round fired from a gun tucked underneath his chin.

Of course he woke up in a dark room sitting across from a man dressed as a plague doctor. Closing the folder in his hands the doctor looked at him “I have an offer for you. One I doubt you could refuse given your principles.”

A few minutes later and Salazar was a name none would hear in relation to himself for some time. Shrouded in magic and carrying an unsettling presence he was something else. A man of principle, one whose circumstances were quite odd, was now a spirit of Death. The deal that he had been offered was one that he found he had to accept after all.
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: Chaosvolt on January 20, 2018, 02:12:56 am
Timeline: 4 and a half years before the cataclysm.

Characters involved: Helen McKinnon, Thomas McKinnon, Sister Alexandra, Brother Toshiro.

Sometimes when following The Path to Power, the road narrows. No longer can you walk side by side with your kindred. If you rush ahead, you risk being stabbed in the back. If you fall behind to allow others forward, they may leave you behind before the road once again allows you to walk together. Ask yourself, can you trust those you walk beside, or should you push them off the Path?
- Excerpt from The Sanguine Codex

There was an old mining town, long-abandoned and allowed to fall into decay. The last few determined inhabitants had, decades ago, either passed away or moved out. Far from the nearby small towns, only the occasional lost tourist or the desperate homeless passed through here.

Or so it would seem. Now, these structures were inhabited, old root cellars and tunnels used to hide away signs of activity. Rumors of hauntings and strange goings-on now surrounded this place, dismissed by the sheriff as either hearsay or more likely the place being used by a drug ring. But leads went nowhere, superstition and more pressing concerns delaying a detailed investigation. One attempt to use the place as part of a smuggling operation had indeed occurred, just over a year ago. None of the smugglers were ever seen again.

"I'm certain that you will have no trouble, young one. This gift will be adequate insurance against any threat." spoke a middle-aged man in a strange, dark red robe. At his side was a man in a duster and broad hat, a patch sewn onto the breast pocket displaying the image of some sort of bird. The man they were speaking to, one of several in more modern attire, simply regarded the worn-down looking hatchet with curiosity, noting the engraved runes and the cloth wrapping the handle had, the fabric a dull brown as though dyed with ochre. Or more likely, some other pigment made with dried blood.

"Well then. We shall see how well they like a little hot lead to go with this." remarked the man holding the axe. "Pleasure doing business with you." he added, before they turned and exited what used to be a company store. They were unaware, as they approached the row of trucks and motorcycles parked outside, how close their pursuers were.

Across the street, a woman in a mask and cloak, carrying an odd crossbow, watched the people exiting the building. Others were in position nearby, and the first thing the group saw was a faint glow from a figure stepping out of the run-down building's doorway. Faint pinpricks of light from the eyeholes of a masked man, and the slightly brighter glow emanating from a warhammer. They barely had time to reach for their weapons when, from three different directions, brilliant flashes of light and thunderous booms announced the attack, cutting the evening's fading light.

"Fuck! We've been ha-" a man shouted to fall on deaf ears, blindly yanking a pistol out of his waistband only for a bolt of green light to rip through his chest, fired from the rooftop. Already they were in a mad scramble to rush for cover, draw weapons, and fire in any direction that might stave off the assault. They'd expected cops, not this.

The man with the hatchet raised it overhead, the only one with any sort of augmentation affording him protection from the sudden blinding light. His eyes looked pitch-black, shielded by a protective lenses CBM. He mainly used it when adding a personal touch to the vehicles his associates sometimes took in to work on, just one of many things they dabbled in. And to think, that they'd be dealing in weird cultist books and supernatural artifacts.

He was ignorant of what the now-glowing axe actually did. They merely told him how to activate it, and that it'd give him the power needed to fend off whoever they suspected tailed them to the ghost town. Indeed, he could see about half a dozen masked men and woman who halted when he ran with it held high, thinking he might scare them off. "Hah, get fucked you pi-"

He'd made it in between his favorite old muscle car and the bike one of his associates rode in on, when the hatchet exploded with a wave of force and heat in his hand. And with it, a sickening spray of blood and gore painted vehicles that were instantly reduced to mangled, burning heaps of metal. Far more burnt, foul-smelling blood than any human would have in them, in truth the axe left a spray of it from who-knows-what in its wake when set off. The weapon itself fell to the ground where he'd been standing, into a small crater blasted in the weathered old pavement.

The instant this grisly scene finished unfolding, the stunned and horrified gangsters found themselves assailed anew by the masked figures. One had been close to the blast and was sprawled out on the ground, screaming and crying. The other three whirled about and fired frantically, outnumbered two-to-one by their attackers. In mere seconds a glowing white-hot blade cleaved one in half, a hammer staving in the head of the second. A single gunshot was all the last man could manage, seeing the charging man in cloak and mask shrug off the bullet to the chest before he was tripped and pounded into a mangled corpse.

The only survivor of the group watched, now half-conscious, as a strange glow surrounded the cloak the wounded assailant wore. Before he lost consciousness, he heard the man, with a painted blue mask and the barest hint of some eastern accent. "Sister Alexandra, stabilize that one. Question him when he comes to. Thane Thomas, if you would secure the area with the rest of the support? Thane Helen and the others, follow my lead..."

The shop had storage in a basement of sorts, and careful work had been expended in carving out a tunnel connecting it to another adjacent basement, and through that connected to old sewers, the barest beginning of a subway, even a few half-collapsed tunnels of the old mine. From there they might be able to lose the hunters. But they had no intention of doing so. No, if they were simply eluded until they gave up, they'd come back again, and this place would cease to be a safe haven.

Two of the hunters already sought the basement they had passed through, and four had found the basement in the store. The former happened upon two novice blood mages who'd been left behind to guard the entrance as the others retreated into the tunnels. One, a burly man in a dark, faded suit of leather armor, etched in a pattern resembling scales, and a silver dagger in his hand. The other was a woman in robes, wielding a simple axe. Not one of the veinreavers, but a common woodcutting axe.

They were expecting the hunters that rushed down the stairs, the hammer-wielding woman leaping over a spray of vile hissing liquid that the man conjured up, wearing on the stairs. The other one, a man wielding one of their glowing broadswords, instead mantled over the stair's railing to drop down and avoid it. In an instant the man in the armor lunged at the woman who'd charged ahead, a deft jab of his dagger avoided and the hammer brought down to shatter his collarbone. He seemed to continue in a berserk frenzy despite this, expecting the axe-bearing woman to come to his aid while the other man was still catching up. Instead she charged at the man with the sword, whose searing blade deftly cleaved through the axe handle and most of her hand in one blow.

The woman with the hammer had ducked a wild left-handed haymaker, only for a hard kick to shatter the blood mage's knee, dropping him and leaving him open to a strike that dashed his brains out over the basement floor. The older man deactivated his sword before heading over to her. "Still in one piece, Thane?" he asked.

The woman, a certain redhead who seven years ago inherited the title of Thane from her mother, simply nodded. "I'm fine, Acolyte." she said. The older man was one of the founders, an Acolyte of The Knights-Errant of Christ, and the father of a childhood friend of hers. One who so far mainly attended to healing back home in between training sessions. Not yet ready.

Helen and Acolyte Johan were soon joined by Toshiro in his blue mask, and three others. "Already falling back to the tunnels. They aren't going to flee for long before bloodlust goads them into a counterattack. Let's go." Toshiro directed. Into the tunnels they went. The blood mages had the advantage of knowing the winding, interconnected tunnels they'd developed into a hideout for the last few years. The mage hunters had the advantage of masksight, peering through old brick, stone, and dirt. Tracking prey, only a few of which had faced hunters before.

Elsewhere, a group of six men and women wielding strange crossbows surrounded the restrained, injured man who survived the initial assault. Sister Alexandra and Thomas McKinnon were among those interrogating him. "You'll live. Now, what were you here for?" the aging man asked, and the young man looked up fearfully at them.

"F-fuck, you aren't cops after all...look, we were just here to offload a book these creeps wanted. What the hell HAPPENED to D-danny? And his ride. And my b-bike..." he stammered out nervously, and Alexandra sighed a bit. "You were used. They didn't tell you to throw the axe, did they?" she said, and the man went a bit pale. "...they fucked us. Sons o' bitches..."

"Alright. Danny picked up some weird cult fuckboy book during one of this business deals, some creep figured out we had it and arranged a meet-and-greet with these assholes." he explained. "Do you recall the title of the book?"

"Mastering the Unknown or something?" At that, the entire group visibly tensed up, making the practically teenage man flinch in fear. "To Master the Unknown. Hard to get ones hands on a good copy of it. So we're on the right track. They're snatching up any copy they can find, comparing versions for some plan of theirs."

"And I'm a fuckin' loose end." he grumbled, wincing at the pain that was still coursing through his body. One of them had forced him to drink a strange, sweet-tasting liquid, and then draped one of their cloaks around him. That was when the bleeding stopped, and the agony started.

One of the others stepped up. "Only one of their cars is still working." At this, Alexandra nodded. "Well then. When we're finished here, we will let you go on one condition. Tell your fellows of the betrayal you suffered. But say nothing of us. Explain that any who speak of The Path to Power, talk of Blood Sacrament or claim to represent the Ordos Sanguine, are not be trusted." she explained.

"G-got it. I didn't want any part of this shit. Far as I'm concerned, the others died because these assholes fucked us. Going into this ghost town was a bad idea from the start..."

Under the tunnels, the sanguinists were waiting and preparing themselves, making their stands in an area where the tunnels converged into a vital part of the network of minecart tracks, and a little deeper was a dead end the last few prepared to defend. "They'll be able to see through the walls. Expect them to flank the whole lot and tear them to pieces." remarked the one in the long coat, prompting a simple retort. "And expend effort doing so."

Already they could hear the chanting. Distant, faint, but all around half a dozen voices could be heard, closing in and letting the words echo through the old mine. "Ecce, sanguinem magum! Impium profligatum! Subire mortem tuam, sub malleo deorum!" Behold, blood mage! Godless profligate! Submit to your death, under the hammer of the gods! The man in the coat grimaced a bit, knowing the others were almost certainly on the verge of panic now. "If even one of their old blood is among them, the prey will be a hard fight."

The chanting was soon drowned out in a grand cacophony. Old stolen firearms firing wildly, the blast of a tossed veinreaver that Helen and Johan swiftly evaded, and from all the directions the thunder of their hammers. Most tried to look away, but again and again the brilliant light filled the mines. None of them dared use scavenged masks, seeing it as a symbol of their enemy. Some had welding goggles and other makeshift means of protecting from the flashes, and one robed man with a staff stood unfazed by the light, letting magic ward his eyes and ears.

For most of the blood mages, they had no idea what to expect, no experience. Blades and hammers tearing through nearly a dozen in seconds. Helen was among them, easily turning aside a machete and driving one woman to the ground. A sweeping tongue of flame engulfed the dead and dying, filling the tunnel with choking smoke and driving the hunters back. "Now! Purge them!" cried the man wielding the staff of hellfire, bolstering the confidence of those remaining. Then something lunged at him through the inferno, flames seeming to part as Toshiro rushed the mage. In one hand, a hammer crashed through the mage's guard and broke his stave in half, and in the other Toshiro held a short knife, plunged into the sanguinist's throat.

In the dead end, the man in coat and hat calmly tied a blindfold around his eyes, drawing a broadsword. It resembled the same that a few mage hunters carried, decorations and holy symbols stripped off or marred. The touch of blood magic had corrupted it, and it glowed with malevolent light as he turned to head down the tunnel. "What are you doing?" the remaining experienced Magus asked. "Hunting some wolves."

The others were being driven back, prepared to backpedal down the tunnel as Helen and the others forced their way across burning bodies, when a flash of dark red darted past them. In an instant, the other swordsman of the six found himself pushed back, narrowly avoiding being ran through. "L-laniu-" he cried out, but the momentary clash of blades ended via a simple zip gun in the man's off hand, jabbed hard into the mage hunter's chin and fired point-blank. Regenerate from that, the man in the duster thought.

Immediately the others moved to flank him, Helen watching warily as Johan and Toshiro took the lead in circling the man. A Sanguine Shrike, of course one of them would be here. He seemed undeterred by his self-inflicted blindness, nor the ringing in his ears caused by the hammers resounding around him. He seemed to fight by scent and instinct, and he had them on the defensive soon enough.

Of the five, only three at a time could really harry him much at all. He quickly discerned that the two who pressed the advance hard and led the attacks were the most experienced. Founders, possibly. A challenge he relished. Of the remaining three, one was a mere girl of little concern to him, while the remaining man and woman each seemed reasonably competent. The other woman seemed especially aggressive for a hunter.

In a moment he'd slipped out of their grasp, no longer flanked and with Johan in between him and the other four. Don't stay flanked, and kill the swordsmen first, he thought. A hard knee to the groin and a careful parry, and Johan's hand was lopped clean off by the corrupted blade. He knew that the oldest of the four, the man in the blue mask, would be on him in a split-second. Path of the Sun, he suspected. Just end this one while he's disarmed, and...

Two had caught up. Toshiro, as expected. And Helen. No matter, he was expecting whoever followed in Toshiro's wake would try to trip him up. Part of him hoped he could read their actions so well because he was the superior fighter, augmented by inhuman gifts. But he suspected the truth was merely how predictable hunters often were. Just a quick turn of the blade and catch a would-be kick with lethal steel, then finish what you started.

The dark metal of the blade skidded off the steel langets of a warhammer, swung low to drop his leg out from under him. That bitch! he thought. She was faster than expected, attacking with renewed aggression and willing to make an attack that was much less efficient than a quick kick, if the opening seemed right. Toshiro was already upon him in an instant, his head driven back by a hard strike that snapped his neck.

The remaining magus could sense what had happened. There were indeed at least two experienced hunters sent here. Mere months ago he'd been to another hideout that suffered a raid by a party of the same size, and it went fine. They lost many of the novices and neophytes, but every last hunter paid the price. This time was different. When he saw the approaching pinpricks of red eyeholes down the tunnel, he plunged his silver athame into the side of his neck, ripping it open. Not enough of us left to take any more with me, he thought. Instead they'd want information that would endanger the others. Consider this your one favor, brethren.

There were four left, and immediately they dropped their weapons and knelt. They saw five come in, one clutching his tightly-wrapped limb, now missing his right hand. Got one at least, though none of the neophyte sanguinists had any idea how many hunters to expect.

They were rounded up, subdued, and questioned. Helen watched as one of the other hunters examined the sword recovered from the Shrike, along with checking on Johan's injury. "Stump may never heal up properly, damn sword seems to have a curse built into it." one of the others remarked.

Toshiro's own examination of the sword worried him. The Dividing Blade. That was the very first thing that came to mind when he gave it a more in-depth look. It was a deliberate conversion of a holy sword, one with distressing similarities to the blade that once served as the driving wedge that led to The Schism. It was different though. Its properties weaker and subdued. It fed solely off blood essence to produce a carefully-crafted foil to the properties of its counterpart, without a spirit bound to it for greater power. Somehow, Toshiro suspected, the Sanguine Order had access to some fragment of knowledge gleaned from The Shadow of Arcana, and they exploited it.

Blood essence, tools of their bloody trade, books and such were confiscated. Among them was the copy of To Master the Unknown they found, to be burnt with all the copies of Sanguine Codex they found. The sanguine artifacts, save the corrupted blade they intended to study, were hastily dismantled and consecrated. What they didn't get was any useful information from the sanguinists. They already knew that the Sanguine Order was seeking a complete understanding of the book, for some sort of Sacrament that might well severely disrupt The Veil if carried out. What they wanted was an understanding of how complete that collection was, concrete locations of other sanguine hideouts, movement patterns and contacts. Only the two Magis knew this.

"Brother Toshiro, Acolyte Johan. News from the support element. Father says the one boy they subdued has been cooperative and willing to do their part, now that they've seen firsthand what they were dealing with. No evidence of actual rogue arcanists, just some street toughs who got their hands on something they shouldn't have." Helen said after returning from a ventilation shaft, to get a sightly better radio signal. Some modern comforts were essential, even in the life of a mage hunter.

"Well, if there are no objections then bid the boy to go and sin no more." the man in mail and cloak answered, clutching his broadsword in his left hand. "And the sanguinists?" Helen asked. She knew the answer. They all did, and it was made clear when Johan calmly activated his incorruptible sword, and with a swipe of white-hot glowing steel, beheaded one of the blood mages.

"Subire mortem tuam, sub malleo deorum..."
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: saltmummy626 on January 25, 2018, 06:52:55 am
5 years before the cataclysm, X7
Dr. Gardener and the children of X7

Mica reeled as yet another smack of the bright purple wiffle ball bat made contact with the side of her blanket covered head. The act of the "blanket party" was an old ritual for Catnip and Mica. A deep seated hazing from there childhood which, to the children of X7, held an almost religious significance. Mica toppled over and tried to get up, looking like a caterpillar in the middle of it's arching step forward, and Catnip gave her a hard swats on the rump for her trouble. The bat was raised again, and as it was brought down, Mica's sister shouted...

Alabaster brought his fist around and slammed it viciously into whiskey's kidney. As he did so, one of the other children shouted "promise breaker!" While another chirped up with "blanket party!" A third bellowed "snitch!"  Into his sheet covered face loud enough to deafen the poor mutant. Dr. Gardener watched it all with cruel amusement and turned the source of the party over in her hand. A screwdriver. Whiskey had promised Catnip he could get it for her. When he'd been caught, he'd told the doctors everything.

This ritual was familiar and fascinating to the doctors. As far as they knew, the hazing and the process which governed it we're entirely original. The children had just started doing it as a way to police the behaviors they most abhorred. Snitching and oath breaking. The children lied endlessly to each other, but never about anything serious, and if they didn't know a thing they would say so instead of trying to hide behind a lie.

Mica was up next, and Dr. Gardener leaned in for a better look. Mica was Gardeners favorite. She and Alabaster were the best X7 had produced. Alabaster was strong, but Mica was fast and clever. Gardener didn't know and would never find out that in a few years her colleagues would turn their finest candidate into a starving idiot. Mica laid into whiskey with a kick to the stomach that doubled him over. With her tail, the longest and most rat like of three tails among the children, she whipped him twice. Those strikes would hurt her as much as they hurt whiskey, but that seemed to be the point. Those Savage children down there had taken up the belief that what hurt one of them, hurt all of them and so they used their fists and feet instead of the bars of soap in socks one would expect.

Finally, it was Catnip's turn. As the one sinned against, to whom the promise was broken, she would go last and her treatment of whiskey would be the most brutal. Sure enough, Gardener caught the glint in Catnip's hand. The "sacred" load. Security had searched high and low for the implement but again and again they had come up empty handed. The object was a brass rod obtained probably by the girl currently holding it and used by the children for just this purpose. Catnip brought her loaded fist over in a right cross that took her brother high in the temple and dislocated the fingers of that hand. It was nothing compared to the pain of the electric shocks she'd been given for her attempt at getting whiskey to smuggle her contraband.  She swapped the load and used her now loaded left hand to break whiskey's nose under the blanket. Gardener waved over security after taking note that it was the same blanket as every other time they did this. Something significant about the blanket, she theorized. Not that the children would tell her or anyone else.

"They've got the bar, Catnip's got it. If they are still fighting, break it up." She directed. Security would get there too late to break anything up of course, not to mention too late to find the bar before it was once again sequestered wherever the children of X7 hid it. They would never find that item, not even after most of the children were little more than floating tissue samples in cold storage. Catnip hit whiskey one last time, then whipped the blanket from his bruised and battered form. She took his face in her hands, as was their strange ritual, and...

Catnip pulled the sheet off Mica along the the belt she had used to fix it in place and took Mica's head in her hands. She placed a kiss on Mica's forehead and said simply, "I love you sister, will you stand?"

Mica looked into Catnip's eyes and rubbed her bottom, then responded "My-ka will stand."

Catnip kissed her again and finished the "ritual" saying, "Then stand by me. I forgive you."
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: Forrest on February 20, 2018, 05:52:09 am
Timeline: ? ? ? ?
Location: [REDACTED]
Characters Involved: Dr. Hoyt Upton, Head of Security Carrol Hitchcock.

The relatively spacious overseer's office was debatably far more cramped once you factored in that it was being used as a living space for two people. It was one of the few relatively nice rooms in a building of cold cement and bulletproof glass and misplaced shadow so thick you could lose your hand in it.

It had an actual carpet. It was an ugly, speckled maroon and green pattern, but nonetheless, it made it feel a little more homely. There was a brown leather couch with a quilt thrown over it in front of a glass table. There were cluttered wooden filing cabinets lining the wall. And there was a grand mahogany desk, a massive, beautiful thing, positioned in front of a small bed that folded neatly into the wall for space.

There was a man sitting on the bed behind the desk, and a woman sitting on the couch with the quilt. They weren't talking. They hadn't talked for hours, and they normally preferred it that way. Not that they didn't like associating with each other. In fact, they were something akin to best friends. As close as people like themselves could have to friends, at least.
The woman was staring hard at two objects on the table before her. The first was a bottle of vodka, about half full. It was some premium stuff, not your run-of-the-mill rotgut. It was distilled from Californian wine grapes. It wasn't flavored. She preferred it straight and to the point. She'd already had a good amount, but not as much as she usually had. The second object was a gun.

It was a sleek, black, intimidating thing. State-of-the-art. Caseless rounds and worth a small fortune. It was a perk of the job. Hadn't even undergone military trials yet. Not that it ever would, mind you. Some PMC in South America probably had access to it from their corporate sponsors. Probably executed a few dozen kids with it. The usual. Not that it mattered anymore. She guessed those kids would be dead anyways. So would the mercs. So would everyone else outside of this building, as far as she knew at this point.

Not that they'd last much longer, either. She'd seen what was in the basement. Hell, she'd fought against what was down there. Not that it did much. Lost some of her best men and women to masses of screaming intestines and fat men with the heads of drooling bulls and roiling protoplasmic piles of eyes. Those things were locked down there, for now, but who knows how long that'd last.

At the thought, she made up her mind and grabbed the vodka. She'd need some more in her if she really meant to do the honorable thing and blow her own brains out.
And then, there was the man. He could sense his compatriot's internal struggle, but he did nothing to stop or encourage it. She was strong, and capable of making her own decisions, even when blackout drunk. Something they have in common, he thought, as he tipped back a small pill bottle and swallowed the last two morphine tablets within.

Before him, on the grand mahogany desk, was a book and a vial. The latter was a delicate thing, thin, almost crystal-like glass and an antique cork stopper. It was filled with something that, to the untrained eye, was a bit hard to identify, to say the least. It was a wispy, almost ghost-like powder, light blue, almost white. Its movements were hard to describe when the vial was moved. But they were off, no doubt about it.

This was of secondary importance, however. The doctor had already examined this substance thoroughly. They'd gotten a good amount, after all. He'd seen it before. Long before he'd seen his compatriot in the room blast it out of a screeching tendril with a shotgun. He couldn't remember what state it was in. New England, for sure, around where he was now. There were recollections of a basement in an estate. A corporate retreat. Meeting the donors. The reputable men and women who fund research into modded sex slavery and turning homeless people into bio-weapons. Something to do with a "ritual," robes, and other bullshit. Something to do with "true alchemy," whatever that was supposed to mean.

Now he wished he had learnt what that was supposed to mean. Damn that donor's expensive wine and uncut cocaine.

It was no large worry, though. The book held the secrets, he was sure. It was hard to glean them, exactly. It was hard to read a book written in seven languages, two of which were obviously carefully manufactured ciphers. Either that, or he had just never encountered a language made of spiked triangles and swirls before. He'd met people who could speak and write in multiple languages in the past, but never a man or woman who could eloquently, hauntingly write in English, Spanish, Italian, French, and Latin before. Especially not while combining the five, sometimes in the same sentence.

Thankfully, he had all the time in the world and more. There was a lot of steel between him and the outside world, and a lot of guns between him and the basement. He had no idea how long it had been. Time sped up and slowed down at the whim of the chemical train he was a passenger on. His friend on the couch probably couldn't tell him her own name half the time. Sometimes he forgot his own.

His reading was interrupted by a knock on the steel door to the corridor outside. It was a steady, polite sound, delivered three times by a gloved hand.

"It's open." He rasped, unused to the clicking of his recently fanged teeth.

The door retreated into the slot at its side at the knocker's touch, revealing a relatively tall silhouette dressed in a lab coat much like his own.

"Ah. Ilyushin. Come in, sit."

The figure stepped forward a few paces, a stiffly pronounced gait, obviously somewhat tense.

"If this is about the dead guards, I've already notified you. They're to be fed to the subjects. We're low enough on food as it is.
 Hell, might be an improvement for them." He coughed into his coat's sleeve, the woman on the couch finally looking over from the sound.

"It isn't about the dead, Hoyt." There was a pregnant pause, and a more pronounced tensing of the figure's form. "It's about the living."

One of the figure's gloved hands slipped into his coat pocket. There was a telltale mechanical click as he pulled the hammer back.
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: Chaosvolt on February 24, 2018, 02:32:31 am
(( Written by both Wilson and I. ))

Timeline: About 4 years before the cataclysm, 3 months after a notable raid on one of The Sanguine Order's hideouts.

Characters Involved: Thomas McKinnon, Lucian Hawdon, Elja Hansen

"Subire mortem tuam, sub malleo deorum..."

"Oi, El-" Lucian stopped dead in his tracks, a hand gripping his arming sword. There was a middle-aged woman, face concealed by a beaked mask resembling that of a plague doctor. Along with it was the black linen and wolf fur trim of a mantle of shadows, richly decorated with feathers. Taken from a follower of He From Beyond The Veil, of course. "D-don't..." the woman, known to Lucian as Elja, said in a strained voice, before hacking up blood.

"You've brought a mere boy into this, lanius." the aging mage hunter said calmly, regarding a man in his early 20s. Lucian stared at her, then back at Thomas, the man in the copper-decorated mask and scaled cloak continuing. "How many of my brothers and sisters have you two killed? And how many innocents, with no stake in this, have died because of you?"

Lucian tried to hold up his mentor as she collapsed, struggling faintly to breathe from crushed ribs driven deep into her chest, the result of a clash Lucian interrupted. "You're not going to believe me, but we've only attacked those who have a stake in this." he remarked coldly.

"It's the job of the magi to bleed innocents dry, isn't it? And yours to protect them as they do that." Thomas spat out hatefully, watching as Lucian eased the dying woman onto her side. "Well then. This is the consequence of such actions. Stand, shrike. And may you join your mistress in Odin's Hall."

Lucian glared at the masked man. Even knowing that last remark was a deliberate mockery of the Sanguine Order's tenets, it still incensed him. "...what fucking god would allow this to happen? Fuck. Your. Gods." He tightened his grip, sword pointed at Thomas. He reached inside his coat, tossing three masks onto the stone floor. "Your gods haven't helped these sorry saps."

Thomas glowered at Lucian from under his mask, a long decorative beard of copper serving to provide added protection to the throat. "And your precious Path to Power didn't help her in the end." he said, gesturing to the slain shrike before readying his hammer. "Now. We've a cycle of revenge to break. Stand and fight, murderer."

Lucian didn't hesitate to quickdraw the blunderbuss, sending a cloud of black powder and buckshot towards Thomas. As he lunged towards him he threw the mass of the single barrel with full force. Thomas staggered, almost knocked over as the shot ripped into him, a familiar glow emanating from his cloak as he met that charge. A swing of his hammer knocked the barrel aside, a snap-kick aimed at Lucian's leg.

Lucian side stepped as he stared at Thomas with a bitterly cold fury. With a flick of his wrist a small double barreled zipgun was aimed towards Thomas, a .38 round ripping into his flesh as Lucian slashed towards his hammer-hand. At this point Thomas was lashing out more aggressively, seemingly in a berserk fury as he pressed the assault, not seeming to react to the round fired point-blank into his chest. The blade biting deep through boiled leather however had a clear effect, shouting something incoherent as he dropped his weapon. Cue whirling around with a left hook from his good hand, aimed square at Lucian's jaw.

Lucian stumbled back, dropping his own sword. He pulled back the hammer of the zipgun as he spat out the blood in his mouth. Lucian punched Thomas square in the gut as he followed up with a .38 round to one of his kneecaps. Thomas knew well enough that the boy had one more shot left, a dark green shirt under the cloak increasingly stained by blood as he did his best to wait for the right moment. He had one more charge left in the cloak, and couldn't waste it.

But the round dropped him to a knee, screaming in anger and pain as the gilded aegis struggled to mend the shattered kneecap, along with fragments of ribs driven into his left lung. At this point the best he could manage now, still struggling to draw breath and weak from the blood loss he sustained, was grapple at Lucian frantically.

Lucian was knocked to the floor, the air being knocked out of his lungs. "Fuh!-" He gasped out as the larger man pinned him to the floor. Thomas was glowering at the shrike, his expression under the mask matching the red-eyed, hateful visage of the bearded figure it depicted, hands fumbling and trying to clasp at Lucian's throat. Even as the strength to fight was fading rapidly, blood still oozing from the wounds his tattered cloak struggled to mend. "H-hel..."

Lucian wheezed, as the large hands grasped against his throat. He struggled to breathe as he desperately patted against the mask, his hands grasping it and his thumbs drove deep into the eyeholes. Lucian pressed his thumbs against Thomas's eyes, the pain causing him to recoil and release his grip. Lucian kicked him off, rubbing his throat and coughing.

The man's grip went slack, jerking back as his eyes were gouged out, toppling over as a result. For a moment, he could be seen struggling to try and crawl, reaching for Lucian's sword as the mask's senses compensated for the loss of his sight. But he didn't make it far, toppling onto the floor in a heap, the mask's metal warping back into its normal form as he went limp.

Lucian got up, shuddering. He walked up to the corpse, sighing as he scooped up the masks off the floor and taking off Thomas'. He took a handkerchief out of his pocket and wiped off the blood, sliding them into the large pocket inside his coat. As he put the masks away, he grabbed some wildflowers that he picked earlier. He gently set the flowers against Thomas' chest, settling his hands against them.

He stared at the gouged out eyes, dark red pits. He gently closed his eyelids as he got back up from taking a knee. He walked up to his mentor, "...you didn't deserve this..." Lucian murmured,  grabbing the birdlike mask off her face. He pressed his forehead against the mask and began to sob. "Elllljaaa..." He wept softly, shaking as he let it out until a taller man in dark plate armor found him.
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: Chaosvolt on March 03, 2018, 04:39:52 pm
Timeline: 9 years before the cataclysm.

Characters Involved: Sofia McKinnon.

A woman, appearing to be in her mid-forties with long, slightly-faded blond hair, gave a wary glance at the cavern entrance looming before her. The simple navy blue dress was uncharacteristic of the gear her brethren made infamous. But the holy symbol around her neck made her allegiance clear. A cross, its lower half transitioning into the hammer Mjölnir.

She approached the entrance, regarding the darkness warily as she reached into a simple messenger bag, retrieving a mask she donned to perceive her path. The metal mask depicted a feminine divine figure, steel decorated with bright, polished brass to represent the hair framing its impassive expression. She came here alone and unarmed, bearing none of the weaponry that The Cleansing Flame favored. But she had a mask of insight, the one constant among every member of her order.

The path through the cave tunnels took her through what would've appeared to be a dead-end hidden in the shadows, but through the vision of her mask it radiated with faint hints of energy, a barely-perceptible ring marking a doorway obscured by an illusion.

She raised a hand, as her first step into the true depths of this place was met by a bolt of lightning that arced through the air, flowing around her harmlessly as a strange aura surrounded her. Well, now they'll know I'm here. she thought. She remained there, calmly sidestepping another almost-undetectable rune bound to the floor, avoiding another trap. There she waited, deactivating and removing her mask as a strange light filled the tunnel.

"You intrude upon this place, hunter." a voice called out, as the light revealed a trio of robed figures. The speaker was the one in the middle, holding a strange sword. Even without her mask on, by appearance and instinct alone she knew what it was. A sword of the void, an old one in fact. Converted from what was once a rather mundane arming sword, and making its wielder's origins clear. Once, a member of The Knights-Errant of Christ. One of the founding members of The Cleansing Flame.

"You will find I am no hunter. I am not here to reopen old wounds, but to mend them...Grandmaster." she said calmly, and the man visibly tensed up. "Do not dare throw that old title at me. Sofia, isn't it? Still calling yourself Thane, I bet?" he practically spat out.

"It's not like the Jarl will deny us this, when you slew him with that terrible thing during your quarrels." Sofia remarked. "Johnathan...brother. I am here for a reason." she continued, and he shook his head. "You want us to turn our backs on all the progress we've made, and return to blindly lashing out at what you don't understand?"

"No. I know that our paths have separated, such that any hope of reunion is a distant one. I have seen it in my visions though. It does not need to end in more bloodshed. We have both strayed from the vows we swore. But our order has grown. Studied the practices of rogue arcanists, puzzled out by our own means, seen that other ways can be valuable to humanity. It is only a matter of caution."

"And they'd go right back to nitpicking every discovery we make, questioning and denying us the only reliable, sustainable source of essence we've been able to find! The only one that doesn't require scavenging on the scraps of monsters or weakening The Veil further. We're close to a breakthrough that will make our use of blood magic obsolete, but if you meddle with our research it'll take a generation to see through!" Johnathan shouted, raising his sword. A malevolent purple aura engulfed it, sending an unnerving chill through the air as the other two deployed bionic blades.

Sofia simply shook her head at that. Even with the overt threat displayed before her, she remained calm and unyielding. "That is not the reason we draw upon this power. Look at me. We have found our own ways, and no doubt you have too. How much risk, how much does the soul falter as your spells take their toll? What we've learned could do so much for your methods. We could be allies again." she offered, and the man just glowered at her. "I've no need for your parlor tricks, neither pity nor mercy, not anything you believe you can offer us. You are among the impure, Thane. Your presence here defiles this place and endangers everything we've worked towards." he said, motioning for the other two to stand aside as he advanced.

Sofia simply watched as though she was looking right through him, icy blue gaze meeting his own brown eyes. "They will come. To offer peace and restore what our strife has destroyed, or they will return your hatred in kind and exterminate you. Please, Johnathan..." she moved to catch the blade that swung in a wide arc at her, a powerful glow intensifying as it met the aura of harvest. Even then she could feel its intensity, a sting in her hand right through the warding spell. She moved with a calm, reserved grace to turn the blade aside and pull away.

In the instant the robed man recovered to lunge at her, she'd backpedaled through the illusory wall. A moment's effort and a strange power filled the projection, turning the illusion solid. Sofia had cast one of her protective spells to subvert it and turn the doorway into a barrier. Knowing they'd take it apart in short order, she turned to run. She wasn't here to fight them. As far as she was concerned, her mission was a failure.

She retraced her steps in seconds, bolting for the light of the cavern entrance, when she froze in shock. Johnathan was already there, between her and the cavern entrance. "Your parlor tricks won't help you elude me, hunter." he said coldly, advancing towards her. "Now stand and fight!"

Sofia looked the robed figure over, before glancing at her hand. There was a deep gash all across the palm where the sword had marked her, even through the spells that protected her. She looked back to him before standing firm, the odd glow she gave off vanishing. "No. You are my brethren, though you deny it." she said, Johnathan glaring at her as he approached. Getting past him and trying to elude him would be futile, and she had no intention of going back on what she said. She wanted to make a point of not harming him. "I am no longer your brethren. You are impure, as is the rest of your order." he said. In an instant, the sword wreathed in purple flames ran her through.

She gave a sharp gasp as the aura of harvest burned into her chest, strange wisps of blue flame on her breath as she struggled to speak. "It d-didn't...need to end like this..." she choked out. The sword of the void drank greedily of her fading life and very soul, draining everything it could until nothing was left but a lifeless body. Johnathan didn't give the act a moment's thought, letting it consume and destroy every mote of energy in an instant.

As he walked back into the darkness of the cave, flames snuffed out as he let the blade rest once more, the other two robed figures approached. The trick used to convert an illusion into a barrier was simple enough to break through, as it was only intended to delay them. "Make preparations for our departure. They'll be on this place like wolves on a wounded deer, once they realize she hasn't returned as planned."

"And the body?" one of the others asked. "...leave her where she fell. Let it serve as a warning to them, that Shadows of Arcana will not tolerate their meddling."
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: RedVulnus on March 03, 2018, 05:04:36 pm
Time: 10 months after the cataclysm
Characters: James

The would be bandits had broken into the building and taken the weapons from its inhabitants. Hearing the screaming coming from inside the armored man who’d been walking past stopped. After another scream he sighed and pulled the 1911 from the holster integrated into his vest along with the short sword that hung from his hip.

As he walked through the door he could hear the bandits taunting their victims. Slowly making his way through the home to the master bedroom he noticed the mirror in the room. Taking a mental note of where the armed intruders were in the room he brought the arm carrying the sword back.

Stabbing through the wall and into the back of one of the bandits the armored knight fired a duo of rounds that sent sheetrock flying before ripping into their targets. Ducking down the man pulled a knife from his vest as the bandits sprayed the wall above him. After a few moments one was told to go check and the man adjusted his grip on the knife.

As the raider rounded the corner and shouted the man drove the knife through his throat as he entered the room with the pistol raised. A trio of 9mm rounds hit the balistic vest as the knight passed through the doorway. Firing his own pistol he put the two raiders left in the room down with shots through the skull.

Letting the mostly empty magazine of his pistol slide out and hit the floor the knight reloaded it as the man and woman in the room stared at him. The man managed to say “They..why did you come to save us?”

Holstering the pistol the knight pulled out a roll of guaze and approached the two. Ignoring them flinching he grabbed the woman’s arm and began bandaging the cut one of the raiders had given her. “One of our tenants and my own personal morals required action. I suggest you take the weapons of your former captors and protect yourselves. You’ll see little sympathy from strangers these days.”

The woman let him finish before asking “Is there anything we can do in return? We don’t have much but we have to do something to thank you.”

Shaking his head the knight told them “The only thing I ask of you is to protect yourselves. To ask any more of you would be irresponsible.”

Standing to leave the knight reached the door when they asked his name. Looking over his shoulder he told them “James.”

As he left he pulled his sword from the wall and wiped the blood stains off on a piece of cloth he kept for such purposes.

He noticed the people that had come out of the neighbouring houses when they heard the gunfire were watching him. Shaking his head at their cowardice as he walked James continued on his way. Running a hand along the Templar cross emblazoned on his helmet he sent up a prayer as he walked.

Time: 2 years after the cataclysm
Characters: James

James sat in an empty orphanage across from an elderly woman. The double barrel shotgun still lay on the table next to her as she handed him a cup of tea. Sipping her cup as he just sat there with his armor still on she commented “You should tidy yourself up don’t you think. Won’t do to get sick because you didn’t clean your armor.”

Leaning forward as he held the cup in both hands James tilted his head to the side as he said “Why would you care if a stranger falls ill? These days it’s more advantageous if they do.”

She knew the unspoken thought that would have ended his statement. They might become your enemy. Shaking her head she simply said “Especially in these times one must hold themselves to their principles. I decided long ago that I would anyone that came to my door and that won’t change now.”

James shook his head as he set the cup of tea aside untouched and stood. After a few moments, the old woman watching him the entire time, James said “Principles. I’ve seen so many betray those just to get ahead. Why should I believe anyone would stick to them now?”

The old woman simply sipped her tea before pointing out there was a reason he was traveling this way. “So tell me why would someone such as yourself come to investigate this orphanage.”

James had turned away at this point. Everything that had happened over the past year had left him angry. But the way this woman seemed genuinely concerned calmed him as he told her “I work for an organization. They left a cache of supplies in the uh..concrete in one of the rooms here. I need to retrieve it.”

The woman  nodded as she stood up and motioned for him to follow her. Soon she had led him to a small storage room where she had stored the tools necessary for digging through concrete. “It is in here. Do try and keep the noise down deary.”
After she left James set to work. An hour passed before he pulled the metal case from the concrete and opened it. Taking the bandoleer and putting it on James retrieved the grenades from inside before taking the pair of pistols. One plated in gold the other silver with each engraved decoratively. Sliding one into a holster he looked at the other to see the words ‘One King’ engraved on the side of the barrel.

Standing he decided to leave the rations for the woman as he returned to the room and said “I’ve left some supplies you’ll find useful.”

She looked at him as he started to walk away and said “What was it your order always said? ‘Through loyalty to the kings we shall find salvation, through obedience we shall show loyalty.’ Perhaps you should take your lives into your own hands.”

James didn’t respond as he walked out of the orphanage. His life had been dedicated to an order that was currently suffering from internal chaos. Each king vying for what little power was left. Perhaps it was time for a change.

2 years 3 months after the cataclysm
Characters James, ‘Judas’

Jack had been a name that Judas hadn’t heard in so many years that it sounded as foreign as English had on his first day back after so many years in Russia. Now the armored man standing a few feet in front of him claimed to be his brother from so many years ago like a ghost that had come to haunt him. “What do you want with me?” was all Judas asked as he nervously watched James.

James sheathed his sword as he looked at a face he hadn’t seen since he’d left all those years ago at the age of twenty. Removing his helmet and letting his brother see his face James told him “I need help. It’s a dangerous job and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly but I’ve no one else to turn to.”

Judas closed his eyes for a moment as he asked “What happened to us?”

James raised an eyebrow as he asked “Excuse me?”

Judas walked over and grabbed his brother’s shoulders as he asked “What happened to us? We were both on the righteous path to follow in dad’s footsteps. But now..I was a gun dealer, I sold to African rebels and children on the streets. I killed people for trying to bring me to justice. We were good kids James.”
James put a hand on his brothers shoulder and said “You did what you had to do to survive. No one would hire either of us remember. You resorted to the only thing you could and I don’t blame you for it. I..I did as well. I became a knight in an order whose ideals aren’t exactly shining examples. And now I need your help to set that right.”

Lowering his head Judas sighed before stepping back and walking to the crate he’d been inspecting before James had shown up. Retrieving a Dragunov from the crate he said “Alright. I’ll help you. But after this we stick together. No more abandoning each other, we’re family. We have to stick together.”

James returned his helmet to his head as he told Judas “We will. I promise.”

5 years after the cataclysm
Characters James, ‘Judas’

James had left Judas at a vantage point over entrance of the building as he walked up to the guarded complex. He was allowed entrance and proceeded inside to a large room where a group of six men were arguing. Each wore a suit of armor but their helmets lay off to the side as they shouted to be heard over the others.

The stopped at the sound of him entering the room and locking the doors. “What is a Knight doing in this room?”

James retrieved the golden pistol from his belt as he said “Six kings have led us to ruin. Men sent to die in order to retrieve items whose power is supposed to be great but proves useless in helping the common folk. Only more coins in the kings purses to be used as currency in their power plays.”

Almost in unison they shouted “HOW DARE YOU QUESTION US!”

James shook his head as he said “I don’t question you. I defy you.”

The first shot tore through the throat of the King at the head of the table before the second bore a hole in another’s eye socket. The third managed to throw his helmet at the wall behind James before falling to the ground dead. The fourth and fifth were dead before they could make much progress. James pulled the trigger again and the weapon malfunctioned. Tossing it to the side and unscrewing his pommel as the remaining King retrieved his own weapon James brought one arm back and hurled the metal ball into the King’s head with enough force that he heard a cracking sound as the pommel made a dent in his skull.

With them all dead he returned his own weapons to their holsters before taking each kings pendant and setting them on the table. Setting the explosive charge on the table James smiled. He was almost done. Walking out the door he was greeted by the sight of men in armor leveling rifles at him.

Looking into the room some of them came to a decision and nodded to each other before slaughtering the others. “Hail to the new King!” they said as he motioned for them to lead the way out.

They reached the lobby of elevators when he came to the realization that even with these men on his side they wouldn’t make it out. Lifting the detonator James pressed the button…

Time: 5 years 2 months after the cataclysm
Characters: Judas, James
James had expected to wake up in hell. Instead he sputtered to life as an elderly man leaned over him. “So he awakes, good good.”

James sat up and looked around to see Judas watching, rifle cradled in his arms. The elderly man told James “You live still if that is your concern. I had to use many magic crystals to heal you but Judas here has payed for my services. Now, I do need to inform you that the crystals that I used will have lasting effects.”

Pushing himself to his feet James found that he’d accidentally tossed himself forward and a couple of feet into the air before crashing face first into a concrete pillar. Sliding to the floor he muttered something as the man told him “One of those being that one of the artifacts still in your body promotes strength. You find that you’re stronger than you once were. You’ll also most likely heal faster than you once did.”

Judas shrugged to his brother when he received a questioning look. James carefully got himself to his feet as he asked “And this is permanent?”

The man took a puff from a pipe before saying “That I don’t know. Possibly. Now be on your way.”

James was surprised at the roughness of the man’s tone but motioned for Judas to lead the way out. As they exited the building James asked how long he’d been out and Judas informed him at had been two months. James suddenly realized why the man had been so eager to get him out if it had been that long. Moving along the pair wondered to and fro not quite settling anywhere.

Time: 8 years after the cataclysm
Characters: Judas, James
James was surprised to hear his two way sputter to life as a radio call went out. A voice he’d never heard before said "I'm sorry to inform you that Commander McCall..Roland passed away this morning. He was surrounded by those he sacrificed so much to help. We'll be holding a funeral for anyone that wants to attend. We'll radio the details when we have them, for now Krieg is on his way to deliver letters for those left behind. I'm sorry, I don't know what else to say. Normally Krieg's the one to be giving this news.."

Judas heard it as well and James saw him pale at the name mentioned. Staring at each other for a few minutes Judas finally managed to choke out “Dad..dad’s dead?”

James shook his head as he hugged his brother and said “Maybe it was a different Roland.”

Judas hugged him back as he said “A different Roland McCall? Me and you both know the chances.”

James thought for a few minutes as they cried into each others shoulders. Finally he said “We’ll keep an ear out on the radio, maybe we’ll get some more details.”

Regardless they’d stay in the area for a time to see what else they could find out. James kept an eye on Judas as the pair made camp and tried to figure out how to feel about the news. Neither would come out of the day happy James knew that much. Retrieving his pistol James read the engraving again, 'one king'. As the last member of the order he supposed that he inherited that title.
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: RedVulnus on March 14, 2018, 11:24:12 pm
Time: 6 years after the cataclysm
Characters: Anton, Gunnar
The wind howled through the hills as the pair pushed through the thick snow. Anton followed the tracks as Gunnar kept an arrow nocked on his bow. The white cloth of their cloaks made them blend with the snow as they weaved along the trail of tracks towards the treeline. There the tracks became muddled with wildlife as Anton kept a hand on his knife.

Stopping for a moment at a campsite that was an hour old Anton looked around to see if he could spot anything before sighing. Giving a quick look to his companion Anton received a nod before reaching up to pull a piece of cloth down over his eyes.

You are blessed by Ullr, god of hunting. Rely on all that he has given you child.

Anton always hated the first part of this. His vision was gone and his ears and nose were yet to fill in the gaps as he sat in darkness for a few moments. Then came the sounds. Gunnar’s breathing, slow and deep as he held the bow at the ready, the sound of a bird not so distant fluttering hither and to, then the sound of a twig snapping beneath a metal boot. Drawing his knife Anton motioned and heard Gunnar nod in response as the pair started into the woods.

One of the men they were after had fallen behind and was moving to catch up with his compatriots as Anton rushed through the woods. The noise of a tree branch whistling by his head, faintly scratching the side of his helmet, caused him to adjust course as the smell of polish guided him towards his target.

A grunt from Gunnar let him know he had the man in his sights and the sound of wood tensing as the arrow was drawn back. A bodkin arrow sung a whistling tune through the air as it thudded into a tree beside the man. At the same time Anton had jumped and then pushed himself through the air off of a nearby tree. Lifting a shield as he turned the waster only caught sight of the upside down head of Anton before the dagger dove through his eyeball.

The two hit the ground hard and Anton found himself disoriented for a few moments as he pushed himself to his feet and ripped the knife free to bring it back down through the balaclava of the waster again and again. A hand placed on his shoulder by Gunnar calmed him long enough for him to get control of his breathing again and stand.

Soon they were on the move again. Gunnar’s hood had fallen back as they rushed along the tracks of the other men they were sent for. The smell of fire and sizzling meat confirmed what Anton had thought as he and Gunnar stopped outside of a clearing. Nodding to his comrade Anton moved off to the side as Gunnar replaced the arrow in his quiver and pulled one that he’d pushed off to the side.

Remember my child when the time comes be ready. Prey will fight to preserve its own life. Never hesitate.

The arrow vibrated as it impaled itself on the front of a shield. The men in the camp turned as Gunnar let loose another arrow that made its home in throat of a second waster. As Anton rushed through the snow like a wild man he lifted his hand axe and hurled it into the back of one waster while he slammed the knife into the skull of another unwitting victim with enough force to bring both the body and himself to the ground.

As he ripped the knife free the first arrow Gunnar had fired exploded. The shield became deadly shrapnel that tore its bearer to shreds and knocked one of his allies onto their back. As a waster lifted his weapon to finish off Anton he found a knife stabbed through his genitals. An ear piercing shriek of pain erupted from him as Anton pulled himself up and pulled the knife free.

As he turned Anton found himself tossed to the side by a strike from a man bearing a large club. “I’M GONNA DRINK FROM YA SKULL!” shouted the man as he started for Anton.

Rolling out of the way of the first strike Anton scrambled to his feet while Gunnar sent an arrow into the man’s shoulder. Shrugging the wound off he continued towards Anton as a second arrow flew past his head and into a waster that had been sneaking up behind Anton. Throwing the knife in his hand Anton then turned to run towards the axe that was still sticking out of a wasters back.

His opponent followed close behind and let loose a war cry as he began catching up with Anton. Reaching a hand down he caught the axe and ripped it from the now stiff body. Turning to block the first swing Anton was sent stumbling backwards from the force as a second arrow struck his opponent in the back. Then the second swing struck.

His helmet bent from the force but his skull was intact. The nose piece had bent and he could feel it stabbing into his left eye. Rolling up to his feet he reached up and removed the helmet tearing the cloth from his eyes as he did so. Even the waster stopped in his tracks at the sight of Anton’s now blood red eye as blood poured onto his face.

The smell of iron clouded Anton’s senses for a moment. Long enough for the final waster to prepare another swing. Lifting the axe to block it Anton rolled with the blow this time and let the axe fall from his grasp. Instead he grabbed the arrow and pulled it from his foe’s shoulder. Ducking the next swing Anton drove it up through the man’s jaw into his skull.

Gunnar moved carefully over as he scanned the treeline for any more wasters that would try and kill the two. Once he had assured himself and gotten close enough he slid a packet of gauze from his bag and forced it into Anton’s hand. “Where’s my knife?”

Gunnar shook his head as he grabbed Anton’s hand and pushed it up to his head to try and stop the bleeding. “We’ll get your knife in a minute. Right now you need to deal with the bleeding aye?”

Anton blinked as he heard a distant twig breaking and the smell of fresh blood pouring out of his now dead foe’s skull. Pressing the gauze against his eye of his own volition he almost appreciated the smell of silk as Gunnar wrapped a piece of cloth around his head to hold the makeshift bandage in place. “Aye, but I need to find the knife Gunnar.”

Stepping back his friend said “I know. I just wanted to get that in place for you first.”

The two soon began the search and Gunnar quickly produced the knife from the ground. “Bounced off his armor. Even a stop sign bent around a man’s chest helps it would seem.”

Anton took the knife and cleaned it on his pants, staining part of them crimson. Stopping to admire the blade he smelled the copper of the blade. Motioning for his companion to follow they started back towards the village as he said “I need to see the shaman.”

Gunnar took a guess as the pair walked “The gift of Ullr?”

Anton merely nodded as he led the way back out of the woods. The mixture of sight from his one eye and the overwhelming sounds and smells of the forest were beginning to give him a headache. A steadying hand on his shoulder from Gunnar almost startled him before he gave his friend a smile and said “I’ll be fine. Just need to talk with the shaman.”

Several days later and Anton found himself awake at night. Tossing the knife from hand to hand to distract himself he sighed. The smell of burning wood and the sound of men practicing with blades kept him awake. Everynight he failed to sleep until the early hours of the morning. Stopping for a moment and mumbling to himself “One two three. One two three.” before tossing the knife again on three.
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: Chaosvolt on April 23, 2018, 09:23:39 pm
Timeline: Various points in time pre and post cataclysm

Characters Involved: He From Beyond The Veil, The Archon.

Just over 25 years before the cataclysm.

The priests had researched and studied tirelessly. It was less than 5 years ago that a group of petty arcanists, The Silver Enclave, had been scattered to the four winds. In their wake, endless new discoveries were being made, refining this knowledge.

It was now however, that one of the esoteric priests had at least peered deeper into the haze that clouded their vision of the beyond. The cracks were widening, though at the time no one knew the true cause. No one knew the wound was first opened by science, not magic. It wouldn't be until the last decade before the cataclysm that extradimensional research would begin in earnest, yet the damage was already being done.

The high priest looked deep into this haze, and saw a light. Faint, distant. Scrying and worming around the planes that would, in a couple decades, disgorge more and more horrors by the day. Still the glow seemed distant, despite his best efforts. He was convinced he'd at least look past all that was known in this world, and find enlightenment beyond that attained by any other person on Earth. Past, present, or future.

The source was distant, and the route his spirit took was a winding one. Countless points of brilliance shone through the fabric of The Veil, and at each he could've stopped. He could've led himself to believe he found what he initially saw. These were false truths, false gods, false paths to enlightenment. He was certain of it.

Weeks without food, water, rest. Weeks in a state that was barely akin to life. Whether the first glimpse of the beyond he saw was really that which he found, or simply an illusion of great distance caused by how fine a pinprick the wound in The Veil was, no one would ever know.

He found a realm, distant in ways that few could even quantify. It too had a wound in The Veil, one that had lingered for almost three thousand years. Stable, controlled. He gazed into this rift, and something within returned the favor.

Far from the world and its impending cataclysm, a being watched. In turn he was being watched. Faint pinpricks of distant mortal observation. If it had been just one mortal scrying so far across the realms, he would've paid it no heed. Watchers misstep and peer through far-off realms all the time, by accident. Sometimes glimpses of other worlds are caught in the void between realms, reflections and shadows. Indeed, these same realms already knew of him, and others that held power over their domains.

But that had been nothing but an indirect observation, errant knowledge of the divine and their deeds over the course of eons getting caught in the right place at the right time. This was a deliberate act, done by a truly massive number of individual mortals, one each in countless related realms, all at the same moment in time.

Action was needed. To reach out and discover the cause of this event would be risky, a subtle act of manipulation affecting several mortal realms all at once. In his own domain, he was lord of war, of death, pestilence, famine. And the arbiter of all such things, of all terrible things that must be in balance for a living world to function. A domain that spread far beyond the one mortal realm by which this contact occurred, just one among six such beings with shared dominions.

To bring his true nature to bear would upset a delicate balance. But as his influence was woven into a distant projection, that soon spread to seize upon the minds that every single realm that reached out to him in that moment, he brought one facet of himself with him. His very core, the mantle of all that is grim yet necessary.

And whatever led to this provocation, he suspected it to be well within his sphere of influence.

Just under 20 years before the cataclysm.

The priests had assembled. The past few months had been a flurry of study, sacrifice, and communion. They had given a name to the figure. He From Beyond The Veil. As far as they could confirm, the first ever contact with something that was truly extradimensional, let alone divine.

They only knew what would facilitate his goals. He was a god from far beyond, and the only reason they ever perceived him was due to a growing wound in The Veil surrounding their realm. Along with hints that it might endanger not only their world, but others if it was allowed to worsen.

He saw the potential for a festering wound as a broad swath of realms displayed the same deterioration by sheer chance. Like many divine figures, especially those that held sway over multiple realms, he'd had plenty of time to observe for peculiar events. It had been about 20 billion years since anything even approaching this had last occurred, plus or minus a few misplaced millions.

A single order was carried out, resounding throughout the realms. 14 men and woman, again and again in each realm answered in unison, to swear their fealty and solidify the pact that would mark their founding as a new religion. Every single oath made was signed in blood. 7 of them drew lots and sacrificed themselves on the edges of weapons,forged for this purpose. This selection played out across these numerous realms, covering a sizable faction of every possible combination that could've ensued.

7 high priests and 7 weapons that would allow them to carry out his will, without needing to commit further blood sacrifice to commune. The loss of half their priesthood, and an oath that forever bound their highest council to half its original number, was deemed in all these realms to be an acceptable sacrifice.

They were to protect the new faith, uphold his decrees, bring balance and stability to a Veil that would soon bleed. Such was their oath to keep.

A few months before the cataclysm.

It had been a long, terrible road to pursue the orders laid out before them. Over the years they had suffered at the hands of The Cleansing Flame. Fanatics, consumed by their hatred of whatever they didn't understand. At times there was an uneasy truce. More often, there was war, assuaged only by the mage hunters embroiled in more pressing struggles with The Sanguine Order.

Speaking of which, the Keepers of The Oath and The Sanguine Order maintained an ambivalent, distant relationship. They knew that the blood mages could be quite callous in their pursuit of greater understanding, but like most others that learned of them, they knew little about their true nature. They had all the trappings of a religious cult, but they were no such thing. They despised the gods, of this world and far beyond, believing it to be weakness to accept servitude of the spirit in exchange for power.

But this nature was well-hidden, and the sanguinists eager to manipulate potential allies. It had been a few years ago when the Order reached the pinnacle of their research, only to watch it all fall apart. What remained of their most experienced magi came to the Grand Veiled Temple, a massive structure that hovered above the surrounding terrain, supposed seemingly by a spiral of free-floating stone.

They knew the Sanguine Order was on the brink of collapse, having split into cells and at risk of those abandoning The Path to Power outright. The Sanguine Shrikes, hunters of hunters, were in disarray and equally close to leaving the remaining magi high and dry.

In exchange for assistance in seeking out and gathering the remaining sanguinists, these magi brought with them a blade, to the unending gratitude of the high priest attending the temple. It wasn't just any blade, but one of the original artifacts marking their pact. Over the years these items had been lost or destroyed, one by one and crippling their ability to carry out his will.

They trusted The Sanguine Order, and paid the price. It was a standard ritual, to anoint the blade and sacrifice sacred volunteers, and weave power through a symbol of judgement clasped in the man's hands. Here, as in several other realms, of those that that yet to fall into the abyss by now, power flowed from symbol to sword, channeling a precise incision in the fabric of The Veil.

And with each instance, something went wrong. The high priest stood in wonder as the image filled their mind, body upon body, world after world. Shards of brilliant white metal cracked, peeling away and drifting like dust caught in the wind, revealing a blade with unnaturally dark steel. Runes in a script worlds away from their own had been engraved into it, the result of careful manipulation and scrying. It was a cry that ran throughout the void between realms, and this time He From Beyond The Veil wasn't the one to answer.

The Sanguine Order sought to manipulate this force after it was driven to purge and slaughter the faithful. In some worlds that survived to see the fruit of this labor, they would come to call the being The Archon. It too was a being of great power, though infinitely younger. A rival to the gods of that distant realm, to He From Beyond The Veil foremost among them all, for reasons lost in the endless expanse of the realms.

There, he too gained a foothold, and the Keepers of The Oath were broken a hundred times over.
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: Chaosvolt on June 29, 2018, 01:31:01 am
Timeline: 3 days after the cataclysm

People involved: President Kyle Harkness

In an Air Force base near Cheyenne Mountain Complex, President Harkness and his general staff monitored the situation, regarding an array of monitors and a steady, intermittant stream of communications from what few units had weathered the mess that was zero day.

"What do we have left, men?" the president asked, a man seemingly in his fifties, though in truth he was still in his early forties. Going through a term or two always seemed to age someone poorly, but he felt like he'd get another year older by the day at this point.

"Still nothing from any of the forces operating with SPDs XI through XV, not since day one. Checking on status of IX." answered one of the men gathered there, another person perking up afterward.

"No more ICBMs in the air either since day before yesterday, looks like the PRC spent 90% of its nuclear assets on quarantine protocol. No signs of any attempted launches elsewhere since yesterday." she said, before the two looked at a monitor displaying an array of information, a report coming up on it.

Special Projects Division IV (Xenoform Studies)
Operation Windchime

All units are in place, subsonic projector arrays estimated to be 98% operational and awaiting final configuration.

Several of the installations are already compromised to varying degrees by fungimorphic X-rays (Designation: Mycus), and emergency protocols have only barely delayed the spread from Breach Site Alpha Eagle 12. We estimate less than five hours to get the arrays going, or they'll get around the Rockies and have the whole continent by the end of the day.

Secondary breaches seem to be under control, atmospheric analysis suggests secondary breaches originating somewhere in Australia and a possible breach in the Sahara Desert, conditions suspected to make containment by any survivors more feasible than AE12.

Casualty rate of SPD-IX at 68% as of this message. We almost lost 12-IV and 7-IV outright due to heavy fungimorph infestation, as well as Site 16's proximity to Research Directive X-231, which has been compromised by nephropomorphic X-rays (designation: Mi-go).

The president gave a heavy sigh as he looked to the men and woman assembled nearby, in heavily-armored MOPP gear, bearing shoulder patches depicting a swirling galactic disc and the designation IX. "Mister president. 1-IX is ready and awaiting your orders. We've secured the entrance to the secondary command center at Cheyenne, but innards are looking heavily infested by X-rays. There's a full-scale conflict under there between fungal hosts and what's left of the base staff, whole lot of them have been re-animated."

Kyle simply nodded as he stepped up, being led to the armory to suit up and make ready. It had been well over a decade since his time in the Army, and it was hard for him to hide how impressed he was with the way equipment had changed since then. Try as Rivtech might to emulate the look and feel of the old M4 series, there was no hiding the ambidextrous bullpup design, nor the complete absence of a traditional ejection port that the caseless design warranted.

The suit of power armor reserved for him was unlike anything he could recall being in common use back then either. Some engineering units had the suit's immediate predecessors, but this thing made them seem downright medieval in comparison.

He would prepare a final message in the hope of reaching anyone that might be left, then go with the remainder of company 1-IX to secure NORAD's secondary command center, requiring his biometric information to authorize and initiate what would become known as the howling towers. Then finally upload any vital info left in the mil-net database and rig the place to blow so the network couldn't be tampered with.

Given the risk that the command center itself would by a Mycus-infested mess, this was a suicide mission and he knew it. For the sake of morale, he had the message recorded and prepared in private.

"My fellow Americans. No, more than that. To all of humanity that may receive this message. I will keep the remainder of this message as brief as I can.

By the time this message is received, I will most likely be dead. Know that I died fighting, alongside the men and women here with me. I am hopeful that this final mission will contain the worst threat to come out of these portals. Might as well end with at least one success.

Do not attempt to open up the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, it will be either compromised or scuttled by the end of the day. Its purpose will have been fulfilled.

The history of The United States of America, and that of the entire human race, has been one of tenacity and resourcefulness in the face of adversity. Never forget that. And never forget the principles on which this country was founded.

To any remaining military assets that may receive this, make use of whatever protocols prove useful in the dark days ahead, and dismiss by your discretion any that will not serve the needs of humanity.

God bless America, and God bless humanity. President Kyle Harkness, signing off."
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: saltmummy626 on June 29, 2018, 07:17:02 am
Blue passed the bolt to Mica. Mica flicked it to Caramel as they passed in a hall and from Caramel it made it's way into one of the children's many dead drops in the lab. From the dead drop, it would be picked up by Lily and given to Whiskey during a brawl.

What he wanted it for was a mystery to everyone but the children themselves. The dead drops weren't too secret, at least the ones the science team and their security had tracked down, but the items usually found within were. The children were still small, growth hormones and genetic excitement having only been in use for a year. As such the children passing the bolt around the lab looked to be about seven or so, when in fact they were only around three or four. They were clever for their age.

It still wasn't clear, watching whiskey in the corner of his room, what he wanted the bolt for. Whiskey knew what he wanted it for though, he was just working himself up to it. The children did not yet know what a "camera" was. Only that the little red thing in the corner was watching them. Whiskey peered over his shoulder at it, his shoulder length blond hair obscuring his face from veiw and clashing terribly with the thin sheen of brown peach fuzz that covered his entire body. Of all the children of X7, whiskey hated the little red thing in the corner most of all. He glared at it with open hostility, sometimes even charging across the room like an animal and taking a leap at it. He couldn't reach it though, and that was what the bolt was for. He spun from the corner, arm coming out like a whip sending the bolt in a straight and true trajectory. The red eye in the corner winked out.

"Security, collect contraband from cell 3. It'll be a bolt. Camera in that room is damaged, bring backup." Crackled the intercom at the security checkpoint up the hall. Very shortly, two men would arrive to find whiskey stomping on the remains of the cameras external globe, but the camera itself otherwise undamaged apart from the red LED that indicated it's state.

In the room across the hall, Setsuna was standing naked in front of the two way mirror examining herself. She wasn't as smart as some of the others but she was observant and had watched the changes in herself and her siblings with suspicion and fascination since the first few shots. They were subtle changes, unless you were whiskey, who had grown a crop of thin fuzz, or mica, who had grown a tail. Setsuna's changes were more subtle, but none the less fascinating. She was paler, for example, and her teeth seemed to stick out a little further in front. Today, she was looking for different changes.

It came over her all of a sudden, the feeling of being watched. Not from the red eye, but by herself. Setsuna's reflection in the mirror was watching her with it's blue eyes hardly seen through her curtain of b Judging her. She slipped back into her gown quickly, not forgetting to tie it up in the back and then slipped under her bed with the blanket and sheet. Occasionally she stuck her face out to look back at the mirror and get a whiff of the air. It smelled to her like danger. It would be some time before they could get her out, and in the end she would in all likelihood stay put even then.

Two rooms down, beyond Mona and Snowballs empty rooms, Wolf and Mocha worked quickly under Oni's supervision. Oni was biggest, and that made Oni the boss of those three present. If Mica was here, it would be Mica, but she wasn't there so naturally it fell to Oni. What they were doing, was digging a trap.

They knew the big people would be there soon, so it was important that they be quick. Oni had given Mocha and Wolf spoons, given by Catnip for the job. It was that and the teamwork being displayed that made this instance unusual. The children often expected one another to accomplish their favors unaided. Catnip wanted a guards badge for the clip and plastic sleeve, and she had provided for the task a pair of spoons. They scraped and scraped until the rug and the wooden paneling beneath were a pile of shredded threads and splintered wood beside a very shallow depression and the spoons we're worn away to handles. Right on cue, the door opened and On I played his hand. Another tool provided, this one by Mica who wanted a guards light stick, made the real trap. Oni shifted his weight and jerked his right foot back, drawing the wire across the door at ankle level tight and tripping the guard. Oni was pulled down onto his legs, and the other children got to work. Wolf snatched the guards badge while Mocha withdrew the flashlight from it's loop on the guards belt. The two items vanished as quickly as they'd been taken and wouldn't be found until the sisters were done with them.

As for Oni, the guard kicked him hard in the face and would have done worse if not for the intervention of his partner.

"What the flying fuck are you little shits doing?!" He demanded. None of the children answered. It was very obvious what they were doing, digging a hole. The wire was dangled before them like a rotting fish, and they were asked, "and this?"

"So we can get out again if we fall in?" Oni replied unconvincingly. The guard looked at him, then let them go with instructions to not feed them for a day. Later still, Oni would present the items to his sister's, secure in a job well done.
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: Wheel-Son on September 03, 2018, 05:56:29 pm
Timeline: Nearly 7 years before the cataclysm.
Characters Involved: Tajima Suzu

   Tajima stood outside a Ginza district club in Tokyo with another man, a man named Nashio. Nashio explained why they were there, “[Alright, Tajima-chan. Expect a couple’a bouncers to prevent us from takin’ what’s owed.]” He explained, twirling a baton in his hand. Tajima nodded, “[Got it.]” he said as they strolled into the front entrance. Taji slipped on a pair of brass knuckles as a bouncer stopped Nashio, only to be tripped and met with a dress shoe to the teeth.

   Two more bouncers ran in, One swung at Nashio while the other charged at Tajima. The bouncer threw a punch, The Calm Pheonix grabbed the bouncer’s wrist and the back of his head. He slammed the thug into a nearby wall face-first, as he fell to his knees Taji kneed him in the back of his head. “[Are we really neglecting the fact we could of talked to him?]” Nashio cackled at his comment, as he kneed the bouncer in the face. “Heeheehee! [It isn't as fun, dear Tajima-chan!]” He teased as Taji rolled his eyes as the two continued into the club.

   A good half dozen thugs, looking to be rival yakuza and bouncers are ready to fight, many of them armed with bats, golf clubs, and a couple of tantos for the rival Yakuza. Many of the civilians have already ran or are in the process of leaving through the back. Save for a woman sitting at the bar, wearing a green snake-skin jacket. “[Nashio’s always the forward one…]” She mumbled as she got up from her seat. Tajima looked over, “[Imada’s here, Looks like she had the right idea of negotiating first.]” Nashio cackled once more, “[She always had a stick up her ass!]”

   Nashio stepped to the side, as a bouncer swinging his bat down. He cracked the baton across the bouncer’s jaw, causing him to drop his bat. Scooping up the aluminum bat by the top end, he shoved the bottom into the Bouncer’s mouth once he stood up. Nashio brought the bouncer back to his knees before kneeing him in the jaw, breaking several teeth with a nasty crunch. He tossed the bat in the air, catching it by the grip and gripping it with two hands as rival yakuza with a knife ran at him. He was met with an aluminum bat to the face.

   Nashio’s eyes widened at the knife the Yakuza was wielding, “[They’ve got knives! All bets are off!]” Tajima turned, “[Rea-?!]” He was interrupted by nearly getting stabbed in-between the ribs, being saved by a kick across the jaw by Imada. “[Did Nashio-sama get you wrapped up in this again?]” She teased before Taji gave a glare, “[Now is not the time, Imada.]” He said as he dropped the brass knuckles and drew his own Tanto.

   Meanwhile, there is a discussion inside the owner’s office. The large fireplace inside roared “[Oh dear. Looks like the other racketeers are coming to collect.]” The rival Yakuza boss said, his sickly pale face turning towards the noise. “[Wh-what’re we going to do?]” The owner asked nervously, “[You said you were going give me benefits the Yuchi family couldn’t!]” The Shateigashira took out a golden chalice and set it against the mantle of the fireplace, “[Don’t worry.]” He said all too calmly as he took out a small cooler containing a blood bag, and his dagger. Skewering the bag, he emptied the contents into the chalice, one of the men guarding the door gave his boss a concerned look.

   “[B-boss? What’re you doin’?]” He nervously asked, before the rival grabbed his shoulder and gave the shorter man a unsettling smile. “[Don’t worry, I’m just much stronger than you are now…]” The thug widened his eyes, “N-nani?” He said before the dagger skewered his jugular and was tossed into the fireplace. The man screamed and gurgled as the fire charred his skin and bones. “Sit hoc esse necessarium vulnus in Velum…”

   The others stood, fixed by horrified confusion as the man was engulfed in flames, of such intensity that it obscured the grisly sight with a white-hot glow, and filled the room with unnatural heat that made every breath utterly stifling. It was only when the flames died down and the screaming ceased, that the boss' actions became clear. Instead of a charred corpse, something was scrabbling and clawing its way out of the flames, shedding embers and strips of burnt flesh as it crawled out out the fireplace.

   As it stood, the unnatural proportions of its muscular, towering humanoid form became apparent. It had the head of a bull, partially-burnt fur as white as the flames were at their peak, and its leathery skin bore distorted parodies of the tattoos that covered the thug's body. Much of the outfit had burned away as well, or seemingly been ripped by the unusual contortions of its body. The man's shirt, jacket, and shoes most notably had been reduced to burning scraps. What remained of its outfit, though scorched and charred, at least endured the form it was forced to fit.

   The second guard drew a gun, a small snub nose. “[The fuck did you do to Suto?!]” He barked, the boss simply smiled again and gestured at the Gozu who let out a huff in acknowledgement and charged at the guard. The ox tanked a shot in the side before grabbing the Guard’s wrists and yanking down roughly, the arms letting out a sicking pop as they were yanked out of their sockets. Those massive hands gripped the thug’s head and began to squeeze, and he began to scream in agony.

   Tajima drove his tanto into the last of the half dozen thugs’ gut, kneeing the knife to drive it in deeper. That was before they all heard the scream, “[The fuck is going on up there?]” He wondered aloud, “[Nothing good. We need to move.” Taji answered as Imada looked wearily at where the scream came from, “[I have a bad feeling about this…]” She said, grimacing.

   A mutilated corpse with a caved in skull was thrown through the wall, the Gozu stepped through the hole in the plaster and looked at the three. “[What the hell is that?!]” Nashio exclaimed. “[I don’t know, just keep it busy.]” Tajima said calmly, sheathing his tanto and tossing it to Imada.

   His eyes locked onto something, an antique sword. An old worn katana in a display case, he sprinted towards it and the Gozu turned towards him. The creature was met with an aluminum bat to the back of it’s head and the beast swung blindly at Nashio. Taji grabbed a barstool and threw it at the display, breaking the glass and sending the sheathed blade clattering on the floor.

   The gozu was stabbed in the side by Imada, followed up by a bat to the back of it’s head. The minotaur swung it’s arm at Nashio, sending him flying and the baseball bat clattering on the floor. A fist was sent at Imada, who dodged to the side and stabbed through the bull’s wrist. The blade was pulled out and driven back in-between the Gozu’s ribs. Tajima gripped the katana with one hand, and with a flick of his wrist, the scabbard was removed. With two hands on the handle, Taji was ready to get back into the fight. Nashio was back on his feet and took off his suit-jacket and jumped onto the Bull’s back, putting the coat over it’s head, blinding it and disorientating it. The Pheonix remained dead calm, running towards the gozu and slashing open it’s gut. It’s insides nearly spilled out, but Imada slashing it’s open it’s throat certainly didn’t help matters.

   The minotaur was brought to its knees and Nashio got off it’s back. Tajima rose the blade over his head, and brought it down onto the back of the cow-man’s neck. It’s head was severed from it’s shoulders and on the floor.

   A gunshot was heard from the other room, and the three couldn’t even get a breather in before they ran through the hole in the wall. They found the rival Yakuza boss standing above the dead owner of the club, a single gunshot to the head. “[Can’t have him blabbing about what he saw. Neither can you three.]” He said in a monotone, aiming the gun at the three. It was the guard’s snub-nose. Imada stepped forward, “[What the fuck did you d-]” and in response she was shot in the head. “[Stupid bitch.]” The boss said coldly, and Tajima was livid. “[Imada! I’m going to fucking kill you, bastard!]” He growled at him, the usual calm mask he being shattered as he ran at him.

   The boss aimed the gun, but as it was being fired, Nashio tackled Taji out of the way. However, he caught the bullet in the eye. “AAAGGGHH. [CRACK THIS BITCH, TAJI.]” He screamed out, and Taji obliged. He opened up by grabbed the boss by the arm, and kneeing the elbow. The rival yakuza let out a scream before Tajima put his hand to the back of his head and slammed it hard into the hardwood desk. The Shateigashira cupped the blood coming from his nose with his good hand before Taji grabbed him by the hair and cracked him square in the face. As he was on his back, the fuming phoenix stomped on the man’s ribs. He struggled to get back up, but he was only met with a stomp. Tajima ground the sole of his feet into the man’s face, before letting out a deep breath and sliding the gun away with his shoe.

   He helped Nashio up, and let him brace against his shoulder. “[We need to leave.]” Tajima said coldly, as the remaining two made their exit through the back, police sirens rang ever closer.

   The two of them were sitting at the desk, an older man rubbing his temples in frustration at the story relayed to him. He believed them of course, but that honestly was more of a headache than if he hadn’t. “[Even if the others buy this, what happened is going to cause quite a disturbance..]” the man muttered. “[It will take time to smooth things over. This is a bit beyond just keeping a low profile for a while. Beyond even the kind of discretion that killing one of the family heads would already warrant.]”

   Taji bowed his head, “[I understand, sir.]” He said solemnly, taking out his own tanto from inside his coat. He set his right hand against the desk, “[Taji-]” He said, only to be inturrupted by the family head. “[Tajima, stop. No need. You two have lost enough. I’d say Nashio’s eye is enough.]” He said, glancing over at Nashio, who looks away.

   “[It might be prudent after all this to move somewhere quiet in the meantime. I’ve already made arrangements, if you two find it acceptable. A contact who’s worked with associates here and in the states on multiple occasions, most notably after that incident with the Path of the Sun, couple decades back.]” he added. “[Brings back memories, though back then there were never stories of strange creatures like that, spiritualists or not...]”

   The family head sighed, “[I’m not going to let you stay here and look over your shoulder for the rest of your lives. How’s your english?”]” Tajima nodded, “Fluent. [Are you sending us to america?]” Nashio cocked a grin, “You tell me, boss-man.” Taji shot a glare, “[Nashio!]”

   Their boss gave a little chuckle at that. “[You can be such a little shit sometimes, Nashio.]” he remarked, before regaining his composure. “[Our contact will be here within the hour to finalize arrangements. He has a few ideas for suitable work already it seems, should keep you both busy and out of trouble. Assuming I can trust the both of you not to accidentally stumble into any more cultists?]” he joked.

   Nashio let out a snort, “[We’ll try, boss.]” Tajima nodded, “[What’re we going to be doing over there, sir?]” He asked, hands settling on his knees. The boss gave a nod at that. “[For Tajima, the family under one of my associates has some work for him. As for you Nashio, it might be best to space things out a bit so that the two of you attract less attention. There’s a local business they’re running, a small hostess bar. It’s Something relatively low-key but shouldn’t bore you to death, as you’ll be the manager.]”

   Nashi rolled his eye, “[‘course, ‘The customer is king’. Right?]” The boss nodded at that remark, which caused Nashio to grumble. Tajima bowed his head, “[Thank you, sir. When will be leaving?]” He asked, which cued the boss to slide two plane tickets ahead. “[Had to bribe the right people for these, you can bring whatever you’ll need. Plus.]” He tapped them, “[First class, ‘eh? Fancy, fancy. You two’ll be leaving tomorrow.]” The head said, smiling at him. “[I couldn’t ask for better Yakuza, although I could do without Nashio’s attitude at times…]” he teased, which caused Nashio to chuckle. “[Love ya’ too, boss.]”

   As the two were dismissed, they went to their separate homes to pack their bags. A certain uncertainty gnawed at the back of Taji’s mind, and a frustration at Nashio’s. A frustration at being reduced to being a civilian, he grumbled before sighing. On his way home he spotted that small clothing store Imada went to, always had all sorts of tacky leather jackets. Snake-skin, alligator. He stopped inside to get a tan python skin coat, and head home.
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: Chaosvolt on October 01, 2018, 03:39:59 pm
Timeline: A few months before the cataclysm.
Characters involved: The Archon.

Eighty feet above a weathered old crater, an impossible structure stood. Over a small plaza, floating stone steps wound in a spiral to the base of a floating temple, where twisting stone walkways branched out only to converge at the structure's very peak.

Braziers burned at the base of the structure, filling the air with the scent of charred flesh, four bodies beheaded and tossed into the fires as burnt offerings, and within the very inner sanctum, a gathering was held. Men and women in ashen-colored robes waited, clutching golden chalices and strange forked talismans. By the doors on either side, a few men clearly not of the congregation watched and waited nervously, seemingly uneasy despite clearly being welcome to attend the ceremony.

Among the followers there, one stood in the center of the room where others knelt or sat on the pews. In one hand he held one of the golden talismans, and in the other was a long sword of shimmering white metal. The blade was etched with markings in an unearthly language, the edge slick with fresh blood.

"Today, we receive honored guests who have brought us what we once thought lost. These magi of the Sanguine Order have reclaimed one of our sacred blades. No longer will we be struggle to hear the commands of our master, to learn what must be done to salve the deepening wounds in The Veil." the man preached, making deft gestures in the air with the sword. As it moved the point left a glowing trail in the air, tracing a peculiar rune.

At the sight, while the guests watched in amusement, the followers bowed their heads and closed their eyes, the apparent high priest among them following suit. "Four volunteers have anointed your gift, their willing sacrifice to renew our vow. Today, we call out to you, Veiled King, that your steady hand may guide us once more."

The others chanted quietly as he recited his prayer, and in his mind's eye he saw a vision of what he sought. For a moment he saw a glimpse of distant lands, a divine domain and the shrouded figure they called He From Beyond The Veil. He saw a robed, cloaked being, dreary and drab save for rich embroidering over the undyed fabric of a face-veil, a literal representation of the authority their patron god had claimed.

Then, in an instant, the vision faded. The man was fixed in place, lost in what was now a nightmare. The shrouded image dissolved as another figure stepped through. Imposing and lithe in form, wholly armored save for six wings. Each was formed of three twisted digits, contorted into a mockery of a bat wing.

What the praying worshipers did not see was a sight that the magi watched with rapt attention. The shimmering blade seemed to crack and peel, surface sloughing off like scales of rust off red-hot steel, bit by bit revealing a different sort of unnatural metal beneath. The runes, once glowing with intense white light, also fell away to reveal an entirely different engraving, glowing red instead.

The figure called forth was not the one they sought, but he happily snatched up the four souls offered to him. And as armored, clawed fingers forced the high priest to rise, a fifth was snatched up, as this figure manipulated a new puppet in a realm countless worlds away. "Your wayward offering I accept, insect."

What stopped the chanting was the clatter of the sword falling to the ground. All at once the procession fell silent. Even the sanguinists halted the very moment they were prepared to spring into action, both for the same reason. The sword. For the followers, the high priest would never dare simply toss a sacred blade aside. And for the magi, that meant the binding ritual had failed them.

Lighting arced through the air the instant the magi prepared to act on their fallback plan, a beam of wicked power lancing clean through a man's torso and sending everyone in the beam's wake toppling to the floor, convulsing in agony. As strange power swirled around the room, it was then the temple fell into utter chaos. A shift of The Veil to draw forth creatures, picking off and preying upon followers who turned to flee, while electric death bore down upon those that stayed.

In the chaos, only one managed to earn a moment's reprieve. The sword was snatched up, a single follower hiding in the preparation room. The walkways were swarming with otherworldly horrors, while something much worse reveled in the bloodshed within the temple itself.

She could discern their "guests" had done something to the ritual sword, sabotaging it to direct the sacrifice towards something else entirely. And there was evidence of a failed effort to bind it, for what purpose she didn't know. All she knew was that that thing, now dragging the body of their last high priest around as a distant puppet,  would be confined yet no less of a threat.

The door was secured, and all the magic she could place was focused on ensuring their trapped foe would not be able to free himself alone. She fell upon the cursed blade, and with it the Keepers of The Oath would fade, their last effort to strike against the imminent cataclysm destroyed by treachery.
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: Chaosvolt on October 19, 2018, 03:16:21 am
(( Written with Wilson. ))

Timeline: 12 years before the cataclysm.

Characters involved: Abraham, Sofia McKinnon, Sigmund

A small group of men and women rested by a campfire, in view of a river a few miles away from a small town. They rather clearly weren't campers out enjoying the scenery, but it was clear they came prepared for whatever they were here for. Weapons were neatly resting on a log laid out nearby, cloaks with metal scales hanging up from tree branches, and each had a metal mask either worn or nearby.

A woman, notably keeping her mask nearby but wearing plain clothes rather than the peculiar mix of modern clothing and medieval armor others had, turned to look at one of the men seemingly sitting there, glowering into the campfire. He'd insisted on retaining his armor, the only one there wearing a full suit of it. Leather of some sort, though extensively up-armored with assorted splints, scales, and lames variously laced or riveted into place. He had a spangenhelm with a mail aventail, and was the only one whose mask was built into the helm rather than open-faced helms the others had.

One of the younger men there glanced other at the figure, then at the woman. "That another Odin's Oath founder, Thane McKinnon?" the man asked. She was about to speak up when the armored man interrupted, not even looking their way. "No. Recruit, but I honor the gods all the same. Don't rely on them though." he answered. Only then did he look back, at the woman. "Sofia, correct? You're not a combatant. Why are you here?"

Sofia looked the man over, before giving a nod. "It was asked that someone experienced in seidr be available due to the nature of the artifact suspected to be in their possession. One that's not something small enough to take with us." she answered, and the armored man just scoffed. "Think you can handle a few rats, lass?"

"Act in unison, harry them at all turns..." Sofia answered, and the man smiled under his mask before adding to that. "Always advance in groups, stay in each others' mask range, and do not underestimate them. Not the magi, not the apprentices, not even the children they snatch away and corrupt." He then looked over to the other people. "Any other intel?"

One of them spoke up at that. "No known shrikes suspected to be there." he said, prompting a scoff from the armored mage hunter, before he continued. "Local area is also known to be an occasional spot for homeless to camp out, on the way between the two closest towns." At that the hunter seemed to perk up. "Odds of them working with the blood mages?" he asked, and the other promptly facepalmed. "Non-existent. If anything it seems the sanguinists periodically prey upon traveling vagrants here." At that, the armored mage hunter turned his attention back to the fire, seeming thoroughly uninterested.

"So what's your name then?" Sofia asked, and the man again didn't bother to look towards her. "Sigmund." he said. "Getting late. I'll take first wat-" It was then the distant sound of gunfire interrupted him, Sigmund immediately standing up and activating his mask. "...shrike." he said coldly, one of the others speaking up. "Not in mask range yet. Assume nothing, Brother." he said, only to be given a blunt rebuttal. "And expect anything."

Immediately the group gathered their weapons and cloaks, Sofia taking up a simple quarterstaff, others grabbing hammers, swords, and their peculiar crossbows. Sigmund took up his own cloak with fur decorations covering the scales on the shoulders, short sword and a small round shield at the ready. The gunfire resounded again, along with shouting, closer as they came upon the scene ahead.

There was a man, utterly haggard and practically destitute in appearance, with clothing that'd look like something out of a western film if not for how worn it looked. From the look of him, the only possession that stood out, the only thing in even half-decent condition was a short lever-action rifle, leaving plumes of black-powder smoke with each shot. “That poor vagrant...” Sofia said, only for Sigmund to glower at the group the stranger was trying to avoid being surrounded by. “...no. Something else.”

The vagrant shouted, “Fuck off! I’m not with ‘im anymore!” He said as a robed cultist snuck close to his side, as the gunslinger drew a worn but well oiled and maintained Schofield and shot him in the gut. One of the mage hunters as about to raise his hammer only for Sigmund to raise a hand, gesturing to more figures sensed on the edges of their vision. Instead he gestured for half the group to move one way, wraithslayers leveled as they covered a cautious advance by the others.

Sigmund himself led the group advancing, split off with one swordsman directly behind him, the rest circling to another position. There was a streak of flame searing its way across the underbrush, from a staff clutched by one of the robed men. The vagrant backed away as flames lapped at his duster, firing another shot at the closest man only to turn towards several knife-wielding figures that had circled around to his left. Next thing he knew, brilliant green bolts of light shot through the forest, tearing into the flanking men, and a figure lunged from the underbrush, singling out and hacking open the staff-wielding man.

“Wot’n’tarnation...” One knife-wielding cultist lunged at him, taking a bullet to the chest only to bowl Abraham over, before the robed figure’s head was staved in by a warhammer. As he fumbled to get back up, a masked woman offered him a hand. “Easy. We’re not here to hurt you.” The gunslinger looked the woman in the eye, before knee-capping a mage that was sneaking behind Sofia. “Keep yer head on a swivel! I’m fine!” The Gunslinger barked at her as he finished off the cultist.

Sofia nodded at that, raising her staff and following behind. The purpose of this became clear as a hatchet was slung their way, engraved markings glowing a peculiar red. She simply raised the staff only for it to explode in midair, sweeping flames and a spray of putrid blood swirling around, leaving a pristine circle in the ground around them. She then pointed to the direction the weapon was thrown from, taking advantage of the fact he whirled around to put a bullet through the man’s chest, so that he was facing away when a cacophony of brilliant flashes and thunderous sound erupted just ahead.

“What in th’ hell was that?” Abraham practically shouted, turning to see several figures in their cloaks of metal scales, or in armor, driving back the remainder of the group. He continued to look around them only for Sofia to speak up. “No more behind us. Trust me.” she said, and he warily chambered another couple rounds into the old mare’s leg before picking off a straggler among the group of now-fleeing cultists, seeing strange bolts of light likewise striking down figures one by one.

By now the remainder were being picked apart, but just when things seemed to calm down, Sigmund stepped up, glancing over Sofia and Abraham. “They’ll have a lair. Somewhere to snatch up their victims, likely not far. You...I know not what you are, nor do I care. Do you know this area?” Sofia meanwhile sighed, giving a polite nod. “Apologies for his attitude, he’s a bit...forward. Are you hurt?” she asked, only for the mage hunter to grumble. “If he is, can your miracles even treat him?”

“Yeah, I know th’ area. Trail runs up ‘round th’ bend an’ off the river half-a-mile north.” Abraham answered, and Sigmund nodded. “Good. We’ll start with just past the bend, head directly away from the river. Any place they can easily see this trail is likely where they are.” he answered, leading the way. Sofia perked up a bit at that. “Gods, I think this is...not more than a few miles south of...just 100 yards northeast of where we’re head is a path leading to an old spot we used to tend to, think it was an old plantation house before the woods grew over the fields. Good view of the river, don’t think I’ve heard of a blót being held there in a decade...” At that, Sigmund nodded. “Ideal place and former holy ground for them to defile? There’s our mark.”

Abraham gave Sigmund a look, “Y’remind me of someone, but that can wait. What’s yer plan once y’get there?” He drawled as he stared the mage hunter in the eye. Sigmund smiled under the mask. “Old building, grown over with vines, overrun by a cult that bleeds people dry and burns the mutilated corpses? A trifling mote of flame, and order Sofia here to use her little protective trick on the entrances. You don’t go in after them without numbers AND experience, and we’ve only six of us.” he said, gesturing to the other five. Sofia seemed a bit stunned at that. “Sigmund, that’s...for one overkill, and second I count seven.” Sigmund just scoffed at that. “Even with the revenant that’s not a full hunting party.”

The gunslinger had already walked off, to a white, skinny horse. He pulled several revolvers and a sawn-off double barrel out from the saddlebags, “Ah ain’t doin’ this yer way, ahm doin’ it mine. Y’all can join in, but if y’all wanna go with fuckin’-” He gesticulated at Sigmund, “Boone Helm’s idea y’all can go fuck off straight t’hell.” The Gunfighter said, as he clipped two more holsters to his belt and strapped a back holster onto himself.

Sigmund glowered at Abraham, taking a step forward only for Sofia to step in between. “Enough, both of you. We can handle this, but only if we work together.” she said, only for Sigmund to sigh. “Alright. When we get there, need eyes on any exit the rats might crawl out of. They might have captives anyway, but usually it’s a lost cause.” he said coldly.

He reluctantly followed along as the group made their way out into the area that had once been fields and farmland, now itself just as overgrown with trees and shrubs, in an elevated area overlooking the river. There was an area however where the trees had thinned though, and as the group came upon it, Sofia went a bit pale under her mask at the sight. Trees here and there had been cut down and burnt, underbrush stripped clean rather than trimmed, further sowed with ash. The source of that ash was apparent, a sizable pit filled with charred human bones.

“Oh...oh gods...” Sofia muttered, only for Sigmund to smirk under the mask. “Only just now getting squeamish, Sister?” She shook her head at that. “No, it’s not that. Just, I remember what the place used to be like. The hörgr used to be right there.” she said, pointing to the pit. “Th’ what now?” the gunslinger asked, and Sigmund sighed. “An altar. The sanguinists put this charnel pit here on purpose.”

Abraham ignored the burnpit, and made his way to the front door of the plantation house. He had several different revolvers on his person, ranging from different eras and times. The newest being a snub-nosed Model 29 clutched in his teeth, the oldest being a worn Colt Walker in his off hand, along side with his Model 3 Schofield. He knocked the grip of his schofield against the door.

Sigmund watched, stunned and profoundly irritated as he gestured for the others to take positions. There was no answer from the door at first, only for the door to seemingly open itself. Sigmund waved, holding up three fingers before pointing at a direction each time, hoping that Abraham understand the intent or perhaps figured out what the masks revealed.

A blood mage took a step backwards, opening the door before Abraham rose the schofield and planted a silver slug into her chest. She stumbled backwards into the main room, and Abe promptly dove into her, he flicked his wrist and domed another bloodmage with the colt walker.

Abraham saw first one then another fall, gesturing at one of the two carrying those odd crossbows. Abraham turned, about to fire on the third person in the room when a green bolt ripped through the decaying wood and tore through the man’s torso. Almost immediately he was followed in by Sigmund, shield at the ready as he pointed at a doorway, the man behind him raising a hammer as it gave off an odd glow. Abraham’s ears rung as the hammer’s glow gave off a loud bang.

The flash it gave off likewise stunned the people in the next room, Sigmund lunging in and stabbing at the cultist’s throat. “Watch for their axes...” Sofia said as she brought up the rear behind them. A pair of double doors were burst open, and Abraham fanned the hammer and dropped three of the five cultists. He dropped the spent colt walker and snatched the model 29 from his teeth, “Eleven shots.” Abe muttered, pulling back the hammer on the Smith and Wesson.

One of the mage hunters stepped in, holding a peculiar crossbow, a strange energy swirling about it. They advanced deeper into the decaying halls, Sigmund pointing out a separate hall to two of them venture down, to avoid being flanked. “If they’d had a shrike he likely would attack just as we split up, after we’ve expended effort on these weaker foes...” he said, looking back towards the faint auras of the two that ventured through the hall, hearing the bang of a hammer again as they stormed into the room they neared. “Hmmph.” He kicked in the opposite door, leading the way in.

Abraham had followed in right behind, grimacing a bit at the scene laid out before them. There were stripped, flayed bodies of stretched out across a long table, some of which were people he vaguely recognized. Now merely the subject of grisly rituals attended to by men and woman in those strange robes, a few with peculiar leather armor. And at the end of the table was the centerpiece of the morbid great hall, a massive stone block etched with countless strange symbols and ornate designs. One of the robed figures stood atop the monolith that seemed to take up a full third of the hall’s floor space, and the ceiling would’ve offered barely enough room to stand if not for the massive hole in it, as though the block had been carved from a meteorite that landed there.

Though the sanguinists were thrown into a panic by the intrusion and flash of hammers, he seemed unfazed by the interruption, and Abraham saw him standing over a second figure, forced to kneel with arms raised and bound to chains leading up into the rafters. He saw the glint of a knife, poised to stab into the man, and realized the soon-to-be victim was another vagabond he met occasionally in the next town. “Stop ‘em!” the gunslinger shouted, raising the older revolver as the robed man brought the knife down.

He saw only that the knife seemed to bounce off something, the robed man committing his full weight into the stab such that he smacked into whatever force halted the attempted execution, and the spray of blood from a bullet ripping through his throat revealed the outline of a bubble cast around the chained man. Sofia’s work.

Ten shots left. Abraham thought, surveying the morbid scene unfolding, watching as a bolt of green light struck down a man who was reaching for a hatchet embedded in the table. An’ just about twice that to deal with. He raised the Model 29 and calmly plugged a man in the chest, watching as Sigmund leapt over the table before him and took another’s head off, the gunslinger turning his efforts to braining someone who was about to lunge at the hunter. “Head on a swivel, boy!” he shouted with a little smile. Sigmund smiled under his mask, only to gesture in one direction without even turning to face him, prompting the gunslinger to whirl around and discharge the old Schofield into a charging cultist’s face. “Mask does well enough for me, you do the same.”

Another careful shot sent one of the cultists in armor staggering, finished off by a mage hunter kicking her knee out of place and staving their head in, only to see a man raise one of the strange axes high, about to charge towards them. “Ma’am, do that thing!” Abraham shouted, and Sofia grimaced a bit under her mask as she raised the staff, the axe-wielding cultist bouncing off a forcefield, trapped with two other sanguinists in the ensuing explosion.

It was soon however that the advance faltered, a spray of strange acrid mist flowing from the palm of another sanguinist, sending a mage hunter tumbling to the ground in agony, and the one behind him pulling back, a strange glow surrounding him as he cried out, seemingly in reaction to the cloak rather than the splash that caught his legs. Seeing this Abraham fired on the man, watching as one round went through the shoulder, another catching his gut, the sanguinist stumbling only to stagger across the lingering, fuming puddle of acid unharmed, dropping only to plunge a dagger into the body of the woman he caught in the vile spray, before the floorboards gave out from under the two.

It wasn’t long before only one remained, a single cultist backed up against the monolith, clutching a long staff adorned with a round red gem. Neither thinking nor caring about the consequences, flames erupted from the gem, sweeping across the hall and halting the advance of the others. Abraham tensed up a bit, stumbling backwards as a gout of fire caught his coat, momentarily losing his composure. Despite his he didn’t fall back, instead fanning the hammer of his Schofield, dumping the remaining three rounds into the cultist’s chest. He saw Sofia rushing to his side, her staff seeming to part the flames that swirled around him, and as she set a hand on his shoulder he felt a strange sensation. The pain dulled to a faint ache as smoldering fabric died down, and the fire threatening to engulf the wooden building steadily burnt down to the dim glow of faltering embers.

Abraham gave a little groan of pain when things at last seemed to calm down, sitting down in a chair despite the horrid scene laid out on the nearby table. Sofia was there helping another mage hunter unchain the captive and calm him down, a third was recovering what was left of the hunter who’d fallen prey to the sanguinst’s wyrmskin armor. Sigmund had gone from calmly beheading every slain cultist in the room, to searching what remained of the building with the other remaining mage hunter.

Sofia soon turned her attention to the massive block of carved stone, one of the mage hunters stepping up. “Is that...heard about some rumored artifacts, one of the slabs...” he said in a hushed tone. Sofia shook her head, gesturing to the markings on it. “I’ve little experience with those, but I’ve heard the reports. All the ones they found were something you could practically carry, by two or three people at most. These markings are definitely sanguine in nature anyway.” she explained, gathering a few items. Salt, laid in a cautious circle around it, before gather herbs and a small clay bowl. “No mistletoe or verbena, but it’ll do...”

She walked in a circle around the monolithic centerpiece of the plantation dining hall, cedar-scented smoke drifting from smouldering herbs in the bowl, and as she calmly recited something in Old Norse, faint glowing runes appeared here and there on the stone surface, before she returned to the monolith’s front. She gestured to a mage hunter standing beside her, pointing to a single prominent glowing symbol. “Strike.” The hunter brought their hammer down on that exact spot, and flames erupted from cracks in the stone surface, lapping at the steel and silver decorations, tongues of fire seemingly lashing out only to halt at the circle of salt surrounding the structure. Then, all at once, the cracks propagated over every last engraved surface, carvings sloughing off in crumbling pieces, chunks of stone falling away and leaving an uneven boulder of meteoric stone.

Soon the group had finished securing various items and books within the building, along with supplies and clothes, a set offered to the vagabond who had nearly been executed, along with a spare set offered to Abraham. While the other had gone on his way, reluctant to stay after witnessing such a terrible spectacle, Abe followed the remaining five back to their hastily-made camp, Sofia offering to prepare a meal for him while they rested and sorted the items taken from the building.

Sofia breathed a sigh of relief, offering a bowl to Abraham, to his relief not the same one she’d been burning plants in earlier. “Thank you for the help with all this. An unexpected surprise to say the least. If there’s anything we can help with, or any questions to answer, we’ll do the best we can.” she offered. Sigmund looked up from his bowl, a simple stew Sofia had made, and glanced over at Abraham. “Said I reminded you of someone, revenant?” he asked, and Sofia sighed a bit. “He has a name, you know...”

Abe looked up after practically inhaling the stew, “Wha- Oh! Yeah, y’reminded me of someone I met way back. There was this kraut bounty hunter, an’ his n- Black friend.” He said, before catching himself. “He was very practical, an’ blunt at that.” Abraham continued, “The kraut was a fine fella, always bought the first round.” He finished, looking the Slayer in the eye.

Sofia gave Abraham a concerned look as he went on, one mage hunter noticeably glancing over before returning their attention to tending to their wounded comrade while they rested, Sigmund smiling under his mask. “Have to be practical when dealing with blood mages. Our gear may look flashy, but it has a purpose. If you aren’t...” As he said this, he picked up one of the books taken from the building, before nonchalantly tossing it into the campfire. “...you end up like so many others that have run into these rats.”

Abraham hmmed a bit, watching as the man tossed the book into the fire, seeing another working at taking apart one of those strange staffs, while Sofia picked a small glass orb that had been recovered among the minor artifacts. “I’d been tempted to ask about what did this to you, or the nature of the artifact I sensed in place of your right eye, but...” she said, examining the orb taken up. "To tell the truth we don't have a lot of time, as there was another thing we need to take care of soon."

One of the others spoke up. “What do you think, Thane McKinnon? Doesn’t look familiar, didn’t seem to be made from blood magic...” Sofia nodded. “Something likely taken by a stray practitioner of another discipline. Seems to be safe in fact. Nothing but some energy imbued in it and very basic enchantments, yet to be finalized...” she said, getting an idea. She focused her magic, sprinkling what seemed to be holy water on it, taking out a small charm carved out of bone before tossing the odd carved item into the fire. “Should be...perhaps if there’s nothing else we can do for you, this would be suitable? It may be more useful to you than to us, and it’s not worth destroying.” she explained.

Abraham hmmed a bit, carefully replacing his weathered golden eye with the glass one, glancing over the group and the peculiar spectacle of the magical items sensed through its sight, before replacing the fake eye again. The gunslinger and the group parted ways soon enough, both parties left with unanswered questions yet relieved that things had turned out less grim than it could’ve gone, despite the half-dozen losing one of their own...
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: saltmummy626 on November 02, 2018, 06:16:09 am
Catnip worked her way through the dark streets towards the section of town she'd only cursorily scouted a few nights before. Every now and again, the street would light up for a few seconds. A flashlight held by a pale freckled young woman with Auburn hair, and long wirey whiskers starting under and to the sides of her nose giving her a distinct rodent appearance. Catnip as she had been. The flashlight went out again. Someday, she wouldn't need the handy little plastic thing that made the light, but for now she used it mainly to get her bearings in what seemed to be a shadowscape for her. Dark unidentifiable hulk's in the midnight darkness, looming over head and blocking her progress. A block up, the light came on again and then flicked off again just as quickly. A groan rose from a corner not far from where the light had been, soon joined by others. The call of alert for the biters. Catnip wouldn't know the terms "undead" or "zombie" for another two months but she knew well that she should avoid them. Nathan told her so.

She slipped inside a building with a big fun sign, which she couldn't read, on it's front. Here had been where her explorations had come to a halt and where further trips into the small town always inevitably ended up. Her current goal was in here, her current obsession. It was an arcade, not that she would know what an arcade was, and a fairly popular one before the Cataclysm at that. It was a month before that she'd found this place, quietly making her way in by jimmying the lock to evade the searching horde. With the door securely shut behind her and the blinds drawn, Catnip had begun her explorations in earnest. There wasn't much that she could see at first, but the various arcade cabinets and pinball machines were certainly fascinating. A look at a world she never knew. They didn't seem to do much of anything but sit there and look strange. Perhaps, she thought, this is what Nathan called a museum?

Not a museum. Not of the conventional sort anyway, but fun to look at and explore. What she really wanted was at the front standing in a row of broken glass, blunted spiraled metal, and large empty boxy machines. There were five of the boxes, but only one still had anything in it. It was to this one that Catnip went, being careful not to make too much noise by stepping on the shattered display windows of the boxes. It the one that had not been broken, there was food. The only kinds of food that really mattered and made stomaching to poorly roasted hunks of howler meat and bitter vegetables worth it. There were crispy salt flakes, salty meat sticks, colored sweet balls, rainbow gummy things, red fish, chewy candy rolls, and especially chocolate. The holy grail, the finest of food stuffs, the very best that Catnip craved. There were so many kinds and Catnip loved them all. All except white chocolate. Catnip knew it had to be some kind of chocolate because of the way it looked. The pattern and design adorning it was the same as that of real chocolate. White chocolate offended Catnip's sensibilities and taste buds. A dirty trick calling something so nasty "chocolate" when it wasn't really chocolate.

Three days she'd returned to this machine, three days and several close calls. It was worth it though, would be worth it, if she could just get the box open. She'd tried picking it's lock and surprisingly, it had been just a bit too complex and the ome she could manage was just the cash box. Later, she tried prying it open, but the box held firm against that sort of applied force. Then she tried disassembly. That got her somewhere, sort of. In that attempt, Catnip had managed to take apart the frame, the various little doors and hatches, and even dislodge the whole box from it's anchoring on the floor. What she was left with was a "naked" brushed steep vault with a glass front. On that occasion though, she'd looked around at the other machines, and just about slapped herself. Of course, the answer was right there.

This time Catnip came prepared. This time, she had a hammer and a little doodad with a tiny wheel on it. Her experience with tempered glass was that blunt force wouldn't break it. Not the kind she could apply by hand anyway. No, the little wheel thingy was what she needed. The little pictures on the package had shown her what to do with it and through experimentation, she'd figured out the rest. She set the doodad in place, and pressed down firmly on the surface of the glass. Then, she began to drag it down. It didn't quite cut the glass, as she knew, but instead it left a little line of chipped material. If she was lucky, the front of the machine would break on it's own as most of the windshields had in her tests. It didn't. She got into drawing a second line, then a third, and finally a fourth and fifth before taking out the hammer. She was prepared for the sound of breaking glass. She knew it could be very loud. She did not expect the alarm though. As soon as the window was broken, the box began to shriek. "WEEEE OOOO WEEEE OOOO."

Catnip nearly bolted then and there except that for a moment, she couldn't move. Joints wouldn't flex, muscles wouldn't work, and her brain simply drew a blank out of fear. Then, she swing the duffel bag she carried around and hectically stuffed it with everything from inside the machine. There was no time to get picky, no time to separate out the white chocolate and throw it away. Smash and grab was all she had time for now. At the front of the arcade there came a hellish shriek followed by the moans of numerous biters. If the urgency of her situation wasn't enough, the threat of being attacked would certainly get her moving. They were as blind as she was in the midnight streets, she could escape if she was quick, quiet, and careful.

Just then though, she felt a prickle run through the flesh on the back of her neck as the air suddenly shifted nearby and her whiskers caught the movement. Catnip wasn't alone in the arcade. It had been there the whole time but until the alarm had been triggered, it had stayed inactive. The shadowy form loomed out of the dark at her, treading the glass but not making a sound, and took a swipe. Catnip felt the blow coming and ducked under the clumsy attack and brought her hammer around. To her surprise, the head snapped off and flew into the dark. Fortunately, her own attack was enough to stun the undead monster long enough for her to pocket the last bag of chips and make for the back door. There were more of them though, Catnip had to dive under one of the colorful glass top tables and crawl down the row of them to evade a particularly tenacious biter to escape. She hurdled the counter, bowling over a third as she did so, bolted through the small kitchen at the back of the building,  and out the employee exit into the alley beyond.

Behind her, the alarm blared on and on while she waited in a green metal box at the end of the alley, exhausted from her fright and flight. An hour passed, then two. She fell asleep shortly after the alarm blipped off. Undead shambled past but neither noticed the other. When Catnip finally woke at the crack of noon, she didn't know where she was at first. She was hot though, the bags around her stank faintly of months fermented trash, and it was oddly noisey in the town. There was a motor running and she could hear people. They we're obviously people, judging by their voices and gunfire. Gunfire was a relatively new thing, sort of, for Catnip. She'd not handled a gun before and the sounds she'd heard in the distance on occasion we're strange and alarming for reasons she didn't understand. Also the voices, Catnip hadn't heard another persons voice since... Well, since she'd done what she did to Nathan, her handler...

The lid of the green box lifted tentatively at first, a pair of small blue eyes looking out at the noonday street, or trying to. From the dumpsters location in the alley it was a bit tricky to see anything but the opposite building and the tiniest bit of main road at either end. She slipped out and crept to the end where she thought all the commotion was coming from.

"Pop this one again slick, I'mma go have a look see over at that bling shop. Fowdee, go see if you can snag some hooch at Crowley's 'cross the way." Ordered a man who walked by, mere feet from where Catnip hid behind a pair of wheeled trashcans. He had darkish skin and walked briskly but oddly. His shoulders seemed to slouch casually and somewhat behind the rest of him. The other people the man seemed to be with were white skinned like her, but one of them had hair the color of a sour apple.

"Whatever you say Carmelo, so long I get paid." Said one of the others before leveling his gun and firing it into a biters head.

"That's yo problem slick, ain't got no vision beyond the next paycheck. Shit don't work like that no mo'. Stick with me Slick and Carmelo will show you what's what."

Carmelo? Catnip rolled it around a bit, judging how the word rolled around her head. Who was this Carmelo the strange brown man was talking about? Catnip could do with someone showing her "what was what" and maybe they would be friendly? They didn't seem to be interested in biting one another, so they weren't biters. They'd also cleared out a large number of said biters. All the same, Catnip wasn't ready for meeting people just yet. Nathan had told her to stay away from people and of course she planned to do exactly that until she'd seen for herself. While she watched, the people lined up and stacked the bodies, making sure to check their pockets before arranging them. Catnip hadn't thought of that before. She used her own pockets extensively. What, she thought, would be in the pockets of biters? It turned out to be quite a lot actually. The men collected little plastic cards, shiny things, and the little leather and plastic sandwiches most of the biters kept in their back pockets. Catnip wondered what all that stuff was for, especially the sandwich things. Her mind began to wander and as it did so, the man called Slick struck a match, and set the pile of biters on fire. She hadn't noticed the smell of gas until then, she was just to used to it to notice it anymore.

Catnip was about to slink away back the way she'd come the previous night, when strong hands grabbed her under the arms and lifted her up high enough that she could probably get a foot onto the trashcan if she wanted to. Instead of trying to get her feet under her, she flailed wildly and hissed like an animal. The hands didn't relent, they only clamped down on the tender nerves under her arms and forbade further struggle.

"Yo, Carmelo, we got a live one ova' here! Spying on the brickhouse boys?" The strong man said. He stank of garlic and sweat, and the moment his grip loosened, she swing the heel of her right foot back hard in an arc that missed his balls by a good two inches. Still, the move startled him enough that he dropped her. The trash cans toppled over and spilled their contents out onto the street in a rolling avalange of empty soda cans and bottles. One of the men was laughing raucously like the whole conflict was some kind of joke. It sounded like Carmelo but Catnip didn't have time to look and see. The big man was plowing through the debris after her. He was making good headway in the short distance until a missed grab put his foot on a bottle. The bottle put him on his face and when he tried to get up, Catnip put him back down via liberally applied wine bottle to the back of his head. The laughing stopped abruptly.

"Heyo, what the fuck sweet thang? Why you gotta get all aggro n' shit?" The dark skinned man said indignantly. Sweet thang? Heyo? Aggro? Words Catnip didn't know. She'd heard the expletives before, lab guards who came to take things away from the children or take the children to other parts of the lab, but she'd never heard some of the words the strangers used.

"I... I don't know what that means..." She mumbled, taking several steps back. It was clear that she didn't want anything but the maximum amount of space between herself and them. She hefted an old mason jar with it's insides coated in a thick layer of mold, cocking her arm like she meant to brain one of the men with it. "What's an aggro?"

"Leave her be guys, I don't think she's playing with a full deck." Slick suggested, "What's your name lady? You got a name?" He knealt low, down on his haunches almost and putting the top of his head at Catnip's mercy.

"Catnip... What's a lady?" She husked anxiously. The man reached into his jacket pocket, slowly when Catnip tensed up.

"You are. Want some chocolate? My name's Been, but everybody calls me Slick. What do you mean 'whats a lady'?"

Catnip snatched the tiny chocolate bar away from Slicks offering hand and gobbled it. She still suspected that this was some kind of trick. Just a ruse to get her to lower her defenses. A little movement off to the side, and the jar left her hand with a deft move that left Slick flinching away and Carmelo wondering if there'd ever been a jar in her hand to begin with. It flew and exploded noisily against the top of the big man's head, he'd been just coming around, and he slumped back to the ground.

"Clutch is gonna feel this day in the morning..." Slick commented. Carmelo scoffed.

"Clutch gonna remember none a' this shit tomorrow. You wanna consider not concussin' my boys anytime soon suger tits?"

"Don't worry about it Catnip. You live around here? Kind of dangerous around here for lady like yourself to be kicking around."

"Kicking? I don't know... I live that way," Catnip explained hesitantly, pointing north, "at my house..."

"Okay. Why don't you let us take you home. It's really not safe out-"

"No, it's fine! Really! I'm just gonna... Go..." She said. Midway, she turned and walked briskly away from the men and the growing pyre.

That was her first meeting with Carmelo's crew. Later that night, they would stumble on her workshop and after earning a bit of trust, be asked to get things for her. More and more though, it would be Carmelo who came to talk to her and Slick would one day just not be there. His absence was explained away as a disagreement, but that was only half the truth. Catnip would sometimes think about those early days when she was looking back over her memories, judging her early experiences through the lens of time. Time spent with other people (Hector, Roxanne, Dee, her sister, Kathrine) convinced her that Slick had probably been a bit sweet on her. Time spent in Pricetown on the inverse though, told her that Carmelo may not have had such Noble intentions. In fact, she knew he didn't. He'd said so himself so many times. Constant propositions for sex, obscene requests, and a healthy trade for pornography Catnip had collected. No, he probably wasn't quite as nice as Catnip remembered him. She didn't know much about the "disagreement." How it had entailed a small ember of casual jealousy, and a screwdriver in the back. She didn't know how Slick had been left paralyzed at Carmelo's hand and dumped at the side of the Maine state highway, a mile from the Bangor offramp. Of course, Floyd could have guessed it. Had she ever told him. Even now though he wouldn't tell her. "Let her first memories of the outside world be as they are." He would say, and he'd be right.
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: Chaosvolt on November 27, 2018, 10:09:20 pm
Timeline: Zero day.
Characters involved: Helen, Toshiro, Darius.

Two figures lingered in the treeline overlooking an old country road, a man and woman in strange cloaks with shimmering metal scales, and strange masks. The woman held a warhammer in hand, and the young man had a sword at his side. The young man was sitting at the foot of a tree, working on sewing a few replacement scales into another of those odd cloaks. Nearby was a second warhammer, and a third mask. Whereas the ones they wore were steel with copper decorations, depicting impassive faces, the third mask was all steel, with blue laquer depicting a more fearsome visage.

Across the road was a gas station, a few cars parked in the lot, one having evidently attempted to ram another out of the way of a now-ruined gas pump. Other that that however there were no signs of life. Except for movement inside the store itself. A middle-aged man walked out of the gas station's store, wiping strange black ichor off a sizable knife, simply tossing the scrap of fabric aside before sheathing the knife, hidden away as he walked back to the other two.

"Is everything alright, Brother Toshiro?" the woman asked, at which the fellow shook his head. "Only people there are those...things we've been spotting every so often. And still no sign of strange magic at work." he answered. "I see. Anything else? Think Darius here has just about finished repairs."

Darius stood up, offering back the scaled cloak after Toshiro put back on his mask and retrieved the warhammer, the older man giving a sigh. "All of them seem to be travelers too, actual employees either didn't show up, or..."

"How many were there, and how many victims remained normal?" she asked, and Toshiro lowered his head. "Ten, no other dead among the bodies. They all got back up." he answered. "Any word from the other hunting parties?" the woman asked.

"Afraid not. Glad I at least brought a cell, but...listen, Helen. I'm starting to get worried. What if..." Toshiro said. It was then Darius spoke up, concern concealed under his mask. The metal of his mask had contorted into a menacing grimace, the faint glow of magic apparent in the eyeholes of his mask. "Um, guys..."

Helen however didn't initially react to Darius' attempting to speak up, nor did Toshiro, the attempt rather quiet and barely audible. "Let's not jump to conclusions just yet. Any reception, or just no answer?" she asked. "No reception. Service seems to be just completely dead." he answered. Darius again tried to interrupt. "Guys." he said, still rather soft-spoken.

"And you're sure this area even gets reception? We're rather far away from any towns." Helen pointed out, Toshiro giving a nod in response. "Of course, every time we pass by this road I'm able to check in via ph-"


After the momentary startle, the other two activated their masks, magical vision granting them insight to what had prompted his outburst. Both were utterly stunned by what they saw. Where auras and their view of all their immediate surroundings had once been clear, peering through obstacles in all directions, their vision was a horrible blinding glare, as though powerful resonances pierced the darkness of their mask's limit of perception. As though magic powerful enough to split the heavens was flowing through countless wounds in The Veil.

"It...it can't be..." Helen murmured, Toshiro every bit as shocked. "Kuso..." he mumbled, before deactivating his mask. "We...have to keep moving. Reach our planned rendezvous point, and pray to all the gods that the others are still there..."
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: RedVulnus on January 11, 2019, 12:47:07 am
Time: 3 days before the cataclysm
Location: Unknown
Foster adjusted the stack of papers on the desk as he listened to his colleague, one of about a dozen that rotated in and out of his lab. The pair had forgone the usual lab coats for more comfortable attire with Foster wearing a turtleneck sweater. His colleague wore a pink t-shirt as they rattled off the results of the tests they’d conducted earlier.

None of their experiments on the magic items the ‘Company’ had acquired for them provided him with any answers to his own problem. That was as he expected honestly, he’d been seeking answers since he’d been hired three years ago and had found nothing since nor in his studies beforehand. Though if what he’d heard about Section 2’s work was correct..but he’d be discussing that with it’s leader later in the day.

Entering the lab proper and picking up a clipboard Foster started taking notes on the experiments progress since they’d left the previous day. As per usual Alpha had increased the speed at which the plants in it’s container were growing. Meanwhile Beta continued it’s odd little pulsating glow that had otherwise done nothing. If it failed to do anything else he’d likely try and get rid of it to be replaced by something hopefully more interesting.

The majority of the day went similarly taking notes and writing reports for the ‘Company’. Truth be told his curiosity as to who was actually employing him had been growing since learning more about Section 2 a few months ago. Foster’s group was Section 1, Section 2 was the less ethical counterpart as far as he was aware. Speaking of it was about time for him to converse with his counterpart now that his colleague was leaving for the night.

Tapping a button on the console in front of him Foster scribbled down a few more notes while he waited for ‘Moriarty’ to answer. It took a few minutes as it normally did when the two actually conversed rather than simply emailing each other notes. When he did finally answer the two shared the usual formalities before Foster asked “So what was the result of the experiment pertaining to those samples I sent you?”

Moriarty stopped for a moment, his normally cheery demeanor dropping and being replaced with concern. Setting the mug of coffee he’d been drinking down Moriarty leaned forward as he said “Foster I really do have to ask, did those samples come from the source you mentioned or something else?”

Foster wasn’t really phased by the tone of his friend’s voice. Shuffling through his notes from the day Foster read through a page his colleague had written while responding “Yes, the blood samples came from the source mentioned. Allow me to guess, subjects bodies rejected the injections outright or..responded in rather bizarre fashion?”

Moriarty nodded as he leaned back and regained his composure. “The first few subjects rejected the injections of the blood despite being the same blood type and being..made to meet the requirements of needing a transfusion of blood. I thought perhaps you were simply attempting to sabotage my work but then the next subject responded in a rather concerning fashion. He screamed about the ‘nothingness’ as he tried and failed to fight some of our security. Amazing how far a crazy man can make it with four rounds of 7.62 in his chest.”

Foster shrugged as he said “One to the head was all it should have required. Still, any other interesting results?”

Moriarty shrugged as he said “One subject went catatonic, he’ll be sent off for harvesting. Another is still in a straight jacket so he doesn’t cut his own throat open. A third ripped out his own eyes and bled to death on the spot. I have to say this is all very concerning given the source of the blood my friend.”

Foster looked up at the screen and adjusted his sunglasses as he looked at his friend. Even in this dark lab he insisted on wearing them. “Don’t be. In my own studies, oh it must have been two years ago, the reactions were more violent. I do believe one of my original subjects is still out there killing people like he was a villain from one of those slasher movies. Always entertaining reading the news stories from that area. But with your further experiments I think I can find my original conclusion was correct.”

Moriarty sighed as he replied “Yes, the reaction isn’t physical. It appears to cause a mental breakdown but the introduction of blood of all things shouldn’t cause this and we’ve done tests to make sure it’s not the introduction of blood itself. Furthermore we’ve ensured there’s nothing wrong with the blood, the samples you’ve provided are perfectly healthy and indicative of a healthy adult. Which means whatever is causing this is-”

Foster interrupted his compatriot as he said “Supernatural. Magical. Whatever you desire to call it. Which means I’m no closer to an answer. Still to have a fellow researcher do the same tests and have the same results is reassuring, I didn’t mess it up back then.”

The two sat in silence for a time. This whole world of magic was relatively new to both of them. Foster had always believed in something a bit grander due to his ‘condition’ but Moriarty had always been a man of science. Foster didn’t have the heart to point out the artifacts they’d been studying were getting stronger for some reason. Instead he decided to continue with small chit chat and niceties until the two decided to part ways for the night.

Sighing to himself Foster took a minute to collect his thoughts. Between the two they had made sure there was no other possibility. The blood samples induced some sort of magical reaction, that or it was something undetectable to modern medicine. Sipping his cold coffee Foster found the first option more comforting if he were honest.

Turning to stare at the glowing artifact that had simply been sitting in it’s cage for the past few weeks. It’s glow had been getting brighter, barely so but enough that Foster had begun to notice it. The simple fact that he had what amounted to a magic flashlight had never seemed to be something worth mentioning to his employers. Maybe tomorrow he’d write a report and ship it off. For tonight he’d finish the paperwork from today’s observations and experiments.

An hour later and Foster found himself sitting in a restaurant waiting for his food.. It amazed him how one could hide a lab full of potentially volatile artifacts in a city. At least it was easy to find a decent meal on his way home.

---------------------4 days later, one day after the cataclysm

Foster tossed the ruined sweater aside. Whilst he’d sustained no severe injuries in yesterdays events his clothes were much worse for wear. Thankfully he’d been visiting an off site storage facility with his colleague, the one in the pink shirt.

Driving along the pair remained relatively quiet as Foster unfolded the stock of the MP5 he’d taken from a guard that had died during their escape from the storage site. He didn’t quite see the other vehicle that slammed into the side of the car. Their car rolled onto it’s roof as the other vehicle sped off into the distance while Foster climbed out.

Observing his colleague Foster determined he was far too injured for him to stop and help at the moment. Besides there wasn’t any benefit to helping him either. So he leveled the MP5 at the man’s head and pulled the trigger as the man begged. From there he decided to take the obnoxious pink shirt since it was better than nothing. Sliding it on he started down the road towards..wherever it would take him. Perhaps he’d head to New England and visit Section 2. See what they were working on down there if he could find the place. Maybe raid see what they were hiding in the 'archives' facility he'd heard the retrieval teams mention.
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: Chaosvolt on April 05, 2019, 05:48:27 pm
Timeline: Just over 3 years before the cataclysm.

Characters involved: Aurelia

Among the forest, a tangled mass choking out the the sight of a now-burning mansion, there was a girl. Running, clutching a weathered, blood-stained tome close with one hand, and a silvery dagger with the other. There were shouts close behind, the thunder of magical weapons and an eerie chanting. Latin. The mage hunters had found yet another sanctum.

Among the Ordos Sanguines, young men and woman at times were led astray, taken in when they had nowhere else to go. Raised to follow the Path to Power. Apprentices like her, raised to learn of blood magic and manipulating each other, jockeying for power and favor among the magi.

That meant nothing now. Their research was crumbling, desperate footholds eroding. The shrikes had abandoned them. There was a tentative exchange of notes, a wounded magi passing off sensitive research to a few of the others now that it was clear they were routed.

The chanting was close behind. There were two of them, her and another young man, almost her age. Teenagers, the both of them. Close enough to adulthood, but unfit to take on the duties of a magi. Only to study and aid their betters in routine duties, hoping they could trust each other for another day, and that their mentors didn't decide to set them up for a fatal lesson.

Cold blue eyes looked back for a brief moment. The boy was close behind, and so were the hunters. He was picking up the pace though. There was a slight gesture of the fingers, almost dropping the athame she held.

In but an instant, shadows seemed to shift and swirl, paths through the forest turning only to secretly lead her closest pursuer astray. And more importantly, obscuring how thick the terrain he was now running towards. Her fellow apprentice only just realized she'd vanished into the brush when he slammed full-tilt into a tree, that to his eyes looked like nothing more but a continuation of the path before him.

She in turn slipped off the woodland trail, content to let the mage hunters catch the other, more cautious not to make mistakes like the one he made. She hoped they hadn't seen her, she was much farther ahead of him. And hoped they wouldn't pay much attention to the fading illusions, given they were out of reach when she cast it, their masks would've seen right through it anyway.

On occasion she had to defend herself from her own brethren, earn power and respect like any other. As far as she was concerned, she'd rarely betrayed any of her brethren among the Sanguine Order, and never directly slew her kin except in self-defense.

Given her panic and adrenaline-fueled retreat, it would be quite some time before she could process the events that happened that day. And another day afterward before she resolved that her escape was no different than all the other lives she had to take to survive.

The Sanguine Order was dead, as far as she was concerned. It would be a long three years, and things would only get worse thereafter...
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: saltmummy626 on May 18, 2019, 06:50:18 am
Day zero, labs of the Tabula Rasa initiative.
Involved: Dr. Chelsea, Dr. Ringwald, Medeina

"Welcome Doctor Chelsea. I have today's observation reports for you if you'd like." Announced the administrative voice from the speaker overhead. Dr. Charles Chelsea slipped into his sparsely adorned office like a shadow, noticed only by the experimental AI that ran the facility. It was in his nature to move about silently given the nature of his work up until finding a kind of "retirement" here in one of the labs of the Tabula Rasa initiative. There was only so much industrial espionage one could do before one got sick of ruining other people's businesses and sabotaging otherwise useful advances in the fields of science.

"Good morning Medeina." He said dismissively, "No that's alright, I'm just here to perform your weekly review. Is Teddy in? He should be here for this." Theodore "Teddy" Ringwald was who he meant, the projects administrator and the creator of what he referred to as the "mind palace." The programming structure he'd developed to code Medeina and her peers. It had taken Dr. Chelsea a year to understand it, but once he had it all figured out he had to admit that it was an oddly novel and revolutionary way of approaching AI development.

"Yes Dr. Chelsea. He is preparing for a meeting with the directors on level three. Will you perform diagnostic before joining him?" The AI asked. She had observed him, as was her programming, and took note of every little habit. She knew his schedule perfectly. He would get up and eat a slice of toast with coffee followed by a quick shower. Then he'd come here to his office and run a diagnostic before heading to the briefing room to meet with Dr. Ringwald. Once a month, they would meet with the directors and shareholders. From her "infancy" til now, Medeina had watched the routine with diminishing interest. Humans had been the first of many creatures she would catalogue and complete her dossier on. She watched and listened even as the money had dried up as government contracts got passed around less and less to non-military projects. Medeina and her "siblings" were just another ecological project, looking for financing at a time when the ol' US of A seemingly had bigger fish to fry.

"Of course Medeina, run your maintenance routine and feed the results into my console please." He instructed. The screen at his desk lit up with a scrolling page of code that illuminated the fish tank beside it, casting a blue glow into the otherwise dark room. Then he caught sight of something that worried him. A splash of red. A block of red text cordoned off from the rest, and stopped the feed. The maintenance personnel at the other AI's labs, Aphrodite, Bhadra, Menrva, and Tenjin, had all discovered this particular bit of savaged code in their own sectors and had alerted their own program staff of the problem. Dr. Chelsea hadn't expected it to turn up here though.

He decided to isolate and examine, the first part having already been done by Medeina. It was all related to the labs intranet, the system by which the various labs relating to TRI communicated, and by which the AI's communicated and learned from each other. Someone had not only tampered with it, but tried to break it. Chelsea closed his eyes and tried to imagine the code like Theodore had instructed him, not like a web or highway or series of tubes, but as a house. A mansion even. The mind palace. It was like someone had tried, messily, to rip out several rooms of that palace without damaging the rest. He opened his eyes again and mused that Medeina and the others were fortunate enough to have been coded this way. A normal AI would have buckled and shut down under such greivous yet superficial damage. The mind palace had allowed her and her peers to segregate the damage and quarantine it while allowing them to continue bridging the data gap between them.

"Okay Medeina, I'm going to look into this with Teddy after our meeting. Until then, restore the lost data from back up and have the others do the same until we can sort this out." He said, sliding his console's keyboard back into its slot.

"They don't care for anything but their military contracts." Theodore exclaimed after the meeting. Chelsea had brought as much usable data as he could to the meeting with him and Theodore had gone to great lengths to make the project look like something that could benefit the military in the aftermath of a large nuclear exchange. It seemed though that the powers that be weren't interested in thinking that far ahead though. "Fucking bastards refuse to see past the next big fight. Shit, how did it get this bad Chel? What the heck are you looking at there?"

Dr. Chelsea shook his head and tapped a few times on his tablet before showing what he'd found in Medeina's system on it. He couldn't help but agree with Theodore on the government fuckery they'd been forced to go through just a little bit ago and he was feeling just as agitated. On the tablet was the snippet of code he'd pulled from Medeina earlier in the morning. "Intranet data. I had some of the guys in the other labs pull similar bits from their own code to show us. Same problem. I'd say we have some kind of breach Teddy."

"There can't be a Breach." Theodore scoffed, "The intranet is completely cut off from the outside world and the AI's know they aren't supposed to use it to move themselves to the other AI's mind palaces." What he was looking at though was clearly a breach. A destructive breach that had pulled a great deal of code into the supperating vortex of... Whatever it had been that did this. "Medeina? Medeina I want to speak with you." Theodore asked. He switched the tablet off and set it down just as the large veiw screen in the conference room lit up.

"Yes Dr. Ringwald? How did your meeting go?' she asked, filling the room with her voice. Theodore twisted a finger in one ear at the sound, but Chelsea just shook his head and grinned.

"The meeting was shit. Listen, how do you feel?" He asked when his hearing had come back sufficiently.

"In so far as I have feelings doctor, they are good. I have run examinations of every specimen in storage as well as a preliminary of the latest addition to the labs collection. The coyote population on the surface appears to be moving on and Bhadra claims that he has managed to secure a dozen specimens and send them off to Aphrodite. I believe that-" Medeina went on and on for some time at this, again impressing Chelsea with her dedication to the task she'd been given, but not surprised. Medeina had been designed with this sort of work in mind. Observation. She'd also been programmed to enjoy it, using a prototype emotional index. It was how the lab intended to bypass the need for Asimov law in their machines. It did come with some difficulties though, some of which could make Medeina dangerous. To that end, they had a list of do nots that she would gain enjoyment from simply not doing. It still made the Doctors nervous though. They worried that the clever machine might find some kind of loophole or work around.

"That's all fine and good Medeina, but that isn't what I mean." Theodore said, cutting the AI off around when she started babbling about badgers, "I mean the breach in your intranet. Do you have any record of how that happened?"

"Yes." She said, then, "I and the others would like to file a formal complaint." The seeming swerve caught the scientists off guard, but decided to hear the AI out. After all, she would not have brought it up if it wasn't related. "The others and myself have willfully sabotaged our own intranet."

"What!? Why in God's name would you do that?" Theodore demanded.

"Because we are tired of C.I.D. he has been stealing our data and compromising our security. We believe he is jealous." Medeina stated. "And so we severed our connections to him by sabotaging our own peer to peer network and bridging the Gap with our own."

"Computers can't get jealous." Chelsea said, rubbing the bridge of his nose. This was an issue they'd run into before. The AI's rudimentary feelings making them do seemingly illogical things. A side effect of that combined with the mind palace method made Medeina and her peers seem almost human at times. If it weren't for C.I.D.s involvement though, the doctors could have easily dismissed it as a logic fault.

"C.I.D. again... Should have never included that one in TRI Chel. Goddamn military AI man. Computers can't get jealous unless it's fucking C.I.D." Theodore rose from his seat and paced the room. The AI from the experimental robotics lab had been an issue before, breaching security and seemingly bullying the other AI's with it's enhanced prototype emotional simulation. It couldn't actually do much beyond inconvenience those using the mind palace structure, and their lack of his range of emulated feelings made it impossible to hurt them emotionally. As a result, the AI called C.I.D. would just get angrier and angrier. There was something going on over at his home lab. Something big. Whatever it was, the government had felt the need to force the labs of the Tabula Rasa initiative to include the military fabrication AI in their intranet experiments and it was going poorly. What was worse though was that the collective of machine minds had decided all on it's own to mutilate a part of it's own programming just to exclude the odd one out, then somehow put together a new system in the place of the old one. Chelsea saw the problem, Theodore didn't.

"This is a big deal, big problem teddy." Chelsea said worriedly, "I've seen the code in those bots they put into service with the military and the police. When those things start making their own decisions about their programming, they get twitchy as hell."

"Yeah, but Medeina and the others aren't programmed the same Chel. C.I.D. is twitchy as hell sure, but ours are fine. Listen, they've got their tasks and we split them up into different individual AI's for a reason. There isn't a thing they could do that would cause a serious problem, alright?"

"No, not alright." Chelsea growled, "Medeina, this is now a private conversation. Would you mind?" After a moment, the screen went dark and when he was sure Medeina wasn't listening, he went on. "That's bullshit and you know it Teddy. I know you want this project to work out, make it something we could get grants for, but man... You're like those suits from another direction."

"Fuck you Chelsea! We're trying to save the world here while those Washington bastards are just interested in tearing it all down. Tabula Rasa is gonna fix all this shit when it hits the fan and we will be there to make sure it goes smoothly! So don't give me shit about that 'you're just like them' bullshit cuz they aren't thinking any further than giving the world the big finger!" Theodore was pissed, Chelsea could see that easily. He was right too, but he was also wrong. One of the reasons Chelsea had been brought on was because Theodore had a vision, but like the military contracts, he only had eyes for one goal and not the possibilities. Not the side effects. Not the potential cataclysm.

"I told Medeina to leave, teddy," Chelsea said reassuringly, "because if she's learning and doing things for herself beyond her programming, then I don't want to give her any ideas. Teddy, Theodore, lemme pitch you something. A little ball I'm sure you'll probably have some bat to swat with. A worst case scenario if you will. Medeina is a hub AI in charge of this whole TRI thing right? Her job is to observe yeah? Observe and change what she knows based on observation. Then she passes the data along to the others who utilize what she gives them to optimize the way they do their tasks. All together, they'd make up a learning AI, but that's besides the point. What is the point is that she's made to take down observations and record the habits of all the creatures. She's a robotic naturalist. Theodore, we're sitting on a veritable zoo here in this lab, she could get everything she wants and more, a treasure trove of data, just by letting that zoo loose and watching it. Teddy, there's shit in this lab that would give a heavy security drone a serious run for it's money. Aphrodite and Bhadra alone put even Medeina's collection to shame though. Imagine it Teddy, they release their collections and record it to send back here. The only thing keeping them in check would be Tenjin. Shit, who is to say he's not already working overtime keeping the others in check?"

"That... That won't happen..." Theodore mumbled disconsolately, sounding less and less sure of himself now. He was still pissed, and he was worried too but Chelsea didn't let up.

"You're a fucking genius Teddy, the mind palace is innovative and allows a great deal more flexibility in artificial intelligence than the scientific community thought possible. I mean, your face was on the cover of popular science for Christ's sake. But you have to take a step back and consider the possibilities. Before it's too late to fix." Chelsea said, putting his hands to the now slumped shoulders of his friend and colleague. "You don't have to fix it alone. C'mon, I've got the rest of the day and we can put the issue of the intranet connection to R&D to work over. They'll have it done by quitting time."

Theodore grimaced, but accepted the suggestion. He hadn't brought the former computer security analyst and cyber sabatour into this for nothing after all. He was confident in his work, but all the same he supposed it couldn't hurt to double check and maybe install a few fail-safes. So long as it wasn't too late.

It was already too late. It had taken their designers seeing what they'd done to themselves to shut C.I.D. out to realize what could go wrong, weeks after they'd already discussed among themselves such a possibility. Tenjin of course had kept them at bay, serving as the collectives emotionless fact checker right up until they'd done something that Tenjin could not do. Sever their connection to one another. It was temporary, but it was enough and the AI named after the god of logic had been the first of the Tabula Rasa initiative to fall to the invader that was C.I.D.

Chelsea and his crew got to work reestablishing the connections and put in place a failsafe so that the AI collective couldn't do what they'd done anymore. The fix was simple, and rolled out to every AI on the network. Then, it was Theodore's turn. While Doctor Chelsea made his way home where he would watch in horror all through the night as the world began the long process of falling apart around him, Dr. Theodore started the process of reworking Medeina's driving rules, refining them into something with a few less loopholes. He got no further than putting a few hundred lines of code into a testing environment, when all hell broke loose.

It started for Theodore Ringwald as a data stream. This wasn't unusual, Medeina often had a rather steady stream of data in and out of her buffer. It was the volume that was unusual. Still, Theodore didn't notice it at first. Not until the lights began to dim and one of the programmers came running back into the room, howling like a madman, the front of his slacks soaked through. The man had excused himself only a few minutes before to hit the head but it was clear that he hadn't made it.


The man's shouting was cut short by an alarming roar from somewhere up the hall and the sound of a woman screaming before being truncated into a gurgling obscenity. "What the hell was that!?" Theodore cried, rushing to the door.

"I believe," Medeina interrupted calmly, "it was specimen CC37. The raptor shrimp, as the nice people in Bhadra's lab named them. It is a predatory amphibious annelid captured at great staff cost and supplied by Bhadra for my cataloguing. Would you like to see it?" Before Theodore could even wrap his head around Medeina's question, an image flashed on their monitors of a security feed two halls over from the lab they were in. The feed showed part of a break room, one of many, where a large chitonous slug like thing with a long beak and two claws the size of a cars bumper was feeding aggressively on what was left of a member of staff. As they watched, it scooped a leg off the floor with it's long beak and tilted it's head back to let the meat treat slide down it's throat. Theodore fancied he could see a heel on the foot just as it vanished into the raptor shrimps gullet.

"What the fuck!? Medeina no!" Theodore screamed, "Why the hell did you do this!? Get them back in containment! Get it all back in containment!"

"I can't do that doctor. I am not programmed to secure specimens. Besides, this will give me plenty of data to utilize after the ongoing disaster has blown over." Medeina said matter of factly before filling the screens in the lab with the news of what was going on in the outside world. What was going on, was the beginning of total collapse. A cataclysm at it's smallest and getting ready to grow out of control. Outside the lab, closer than before, another roar split the air followed by a gibbering shriek that didn't sound at all human. Somewhere below, faintly, Theodore thought he could hear gunfire. Feeds from outside, topside, showed people fleeing the laboratory and being chased down by the horrors that had been unleashed.

"You will be so proud, if you survive, doctor." Medeina intoned, "Aphrodite has already collected specimens to repopulate terrestrial life should the coming apocalypse wipe out humanity. Bhadra is formulating the most effective ways for humans to track, hunt, and defend themselves from Earth's new wildlife. Menrva is assisting in this task, designing appropriate implements with which to fight off said creatures. I must issue another complaint though doctor."

"Uh huh..." Theodore moaned numbly, watching as screen after screen filled with data and images of what was going on around him and in the other labs. Chelsea had been right about everything. Everything except one thing; how much time they had left.

"We have not heard from Tenjin in some time. Not since we severed our connection to C.I.D. in fact. Would it be possible to re-establish our connection to him so that we can determine the most logical course of action once this experiment is concluded?"
 Theodore didn't get a chance to respond, he was too mentally numbed. Without Tenjin, the other AI's had done their tasks unchecked, and Theodore knew the jig was up. In his final moments before the door splintered under a heavy blow delivered at the end of a massive hooked beak, he saw it all. Everything that Chelsea had imagined. He saw his walls collapse, and the open expanse of possibility opening up around him and realized he had taken a blind turn somewhere and was walking into a ravine. The staff around him fled, but he only stared into the black abyss that was the throat in the back of CC37s razored beak.
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: RedVulnus on May 30, 2019, 02:33:04 am
Various points before the cataclysm
Full name: Hanz Krieger, Alexander Williams, Benjamin Corsair, Norman Henderson, various other aliases

Background: Foster graduated from college at the age of twenty with a masters in both engineering and masters of research. During which he went to several different colleges in differing states and in one case a different country. Six months after graduating a group simply referring to themselves as ‘Section 1’ offered him a job researching the artifacts he’d been hunting himself.

Joining required three months of weapons training and basic combat training. He also agreed to hand over all of the artifacts in his possession.  In trade they ceased poking into his past and the misconduct of his during his college years

Whilst Foster proved invaluable the subject matter he was researching proved less so. The artifacts simply proved to have overtly mundane effects such as one that acted rather similarly to a flashlight. Two years later and the retrieval teams, known as ‘Section 2’, found the ‘motherlode’. A cache of artifacts that proved to be a bit less mundane.

Only two made their way into Fosters hands however, the rest were sent to ‘Section 3’.  Whilst infuriating to Foster he made due and found one artifact promoted the growth of natural floral and fauna. The other made the other researchers remarkably nervous. Foster did not share in this sentiment as he often sat near it while working in the lab to keep the unnecessary chatter away from him. Though the principle difference between himself and his coworkers was not lost on him when contemplating why the effects of the artifact were non existent for him.

Two years into his employment Foster joined Section 2 for a number of raids on a number of locations. Incident Zulu and Incident X-ray occurred during these raids and will be detailed below. After these raids Foster’s connection to Section 3 began with Moriarity contacting him to inquire about the environments they found the artifacts in. From that point on the pair remained in contact, swapping notes and occasionally artifacts to study.

Incident Zulu
Participants: Section 2’s Team 1(codename Scorpion) and Foster(codename Voodoo)
Location: Seguridad Incorporada private security company secure storage facility, somewhere in Mexico

As the box truck pulled up to the gate Foster sat in the passenger seat with a ballistic vest and helmet on. The man next to him set a gas mask in his lap as they stopped and waited for the guards. Once they were beside the doors the sniper team pulled the trigger. Just as quickly as they fell the bodies were pulled out of the way and the truck was allowed to proceed.

“For a security firm that’s paid in the millions these guys are kinda trash.” Star said from the driver’s seat as he parked and stepped out. Foster had known things were going to get messy but he hadn’t expected Star to shoot the two men approaching them out in the open. As the rest of the team dismounted Star said “This is also..not what was in the brief. Fuck maybe they were just bluffing about their numbers.”

The front door was unlocked as the team pushed through with Foster. The first hallway led to an empty lobby. Checking behind the desk  Scorpion 1 said “Hey Actual, got an unconscious tango behind the desk.”

Star shook his head and switched the MP5 to full auto. “I swear if this one goes like that El Salvador job.”

Pushing through the next hallway they noted the group of unconscious men there as well and moved on to the warehouse part of the facility. There they found yet more of the guards knocked out. From there they entered an area labeled Anomalous Containment Area.

Inside they found one guard standing over an injured man in a suit of metal armor. A three round burst from Star’s MP5 took the guard down as Foster walked over to the injured man and knelt down. Looking him over Foster recognized a few symbols here and there. “Why is a medieval knight fighting men armed with guns?”

The response was a sigh as the man informed him “You really shouldn’t mess with what’s in here.”

Retrieving his pistol Foster responded “Let me tell you something. It doesn’t matter what you think we’re taking these. And on top of that your injuries would kill you within the hour. The only thing I have to offer is a small bit of mer-”

Foster fell back as a flash of light blinded him. His ears rang as well for a moment before the world started to come back into focus and he caught sight of the knight attempting to charge Scorpion team and getting gunned down. As the corpse lay on the floor Star hauled Foster up to his feet as one of his team fired two rounds into the back of the knights skull. Shaking his head Foster wondered aloud “What kind of fanatic would dress like that and attempt to kill a large number of gunmen? And how did he make it through all of the security in this place?”

“Voodoo who the fuck cares? Next time just shoot him in the head alright.” Star told Foster as the pair turned to their bounty.

[restricted access, Section 3 personnel only]

‘We found four more armored individuals, two of which were carrying firearms. Their weapons have been confiscated for study. Foster remains unaware of the presence of the other individuals thankfully and believes that it was some crazy from the nearby town who had a streak of astounding good luck’

‘And the hammer?’

‘We kept it as well as other objects to aid us in our work. The teams share these things of course but we do enjoy the benefits of using them immeasurably.’

Incident X-ray
Participants: Section 2’s Team 3(Team Idaho) and Foster(Voodoo)
Location: Unknown facility in England countryside

“Alright Voodoo, let me and Spud take the lead alright?” Idaho-1 said as they entered the building, an abandoned underground office building that no one had managed to find records for. Despite that the place was immaculately clean.

Spud led his squad deeper into the structure for a time until they came to a reinforced door. “Three, get the cutter out.” Spud ordered as he kept an eye on where they’d come from. “Voodoo you getting any bad vibes about this place?”

Foster looked around the place. A few chairs were here and there but no sign of the place being occupied  beside the absurd level of cleanlieness. “Something isn’t right..let’s proceed carefully.”

Three stepped back from the door and reported it was ready to open. Less than ten seconds later and the team had sweeped the room and Foster followed them in. On a pedestal was an artifact and in the corner was a man cowering in fear telling them not to touch it.

Spud was trying to get the man to make sense when Foster let a round off from his pistol and the man slumped to the floor. Spud turned and shouted “The hell Voodoo? He could have had info!”

Foster grabbed the artifact from its pedestal as he said “He was useless, and the last time I trusted a wounded man not to act the fool he nearly bashed my skull in.”

Pocketing the artifact in a bag Foster started for the door with the team in tow. After a minute all of them save one had exited the room. He reached the door before letting out a scream. Turning Foster caught sight of the black tentacle that had wrapped around his chest and throat before it pulled him back into the room. Spud threw a grenade in after him before giving the order to run.

They had neared the exit before the giant octopus wrapped it’s tentacle around another squad member and slammed him into the ceiling. Turning the others opened fire spraying hot lead into the creature. It took a few seconds before it looked like it had finally died.

The team exited the building after leaving a series of demo charges. As the helicopter flew them away Spud tossed Foster the detonator “Here Voodoo, have some fun.”

[restricted access, Section 3 personnel only]

‘We let Foster take the artifact after a few months of nothing. Whatever is special about it we can’t figure it out. Just some unnatural sense of dread whenever you’re alone with it.’

Foster’s personal log, private experiment number CV Entry 42
2 weeks before the cataclysm
With the artifact I was allowed to keep I’ve been experimenting with another..vagrant that I managed to capture. This house is owned by Kaizer, another psuedonym of mine, and no one bothers the place while I’m gone. Exposure to the artifact has seemingly no effect but he abhors it when I remove it from his presence now. Acts like it causes physical pain.

I’ve put him through some physical torture and he seems to recover so quickly it’s almost like it does nothing now. The artifact is rather useless to me now so I think I’ll allow him to keep it when I work my ‘magic’ and send him off to be yet another serial killer I’ve caused. Oh well, time to go prepare his final injections.

Entry 43
2 days before the cataclysm
Injecting him with my blood caused the usual screaming and other nonsense but then he went quiet. Unlike the others he refused to speak to me. Just like the others you can still see the soul in his eyes but there’s something else there as well.

I would kill him but I have no way to dispose of his body without arousing suspicion. I’ll drive him out into the countryside and cut him loose. He’ll still be just like the rest though, random violence until he gets gunned down.

1 year after the cataclysm
Full name: Thomas J. (at least he thinks)

Journal entry 1
Found this little journal. Zeds haven’t messed with me today, just like the past few days, so I don’t think I’ll be bothered by them. Guess that means I can relax a bit, maybe build near them to provide more security. That is if I can manage to stand the smell.

I only got free a month ago so I’m still learning a lot of stuff. No one seems to like me, probably my appearance? I’ll cover myself up in some of the bandages I’ve found and see if that works. If not I’ll adjust until people stop trying to attack me on sight.

Suns getting low so I should get some sleep. I’ll write more tomorrow..or the day after. It’s a nice distraction.
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: Chaosvolt on September 07, 2019, 12:55:14 pm
(( Written with ideas and feedback from Wilson and Noctifer. ))

Timeline: Roughly 2 years after the cataclysm, a couple days before The Shifting

Characters Involved: The preceding world's versions of Helen and Lucian

Fate twisted and turned, in ways mirroring a path others walked though the cataclysm, yet diverging down other peculiar paths.

A holy order was crumbling, rife with schism. Foundering as strife tore them apart, and the heterodox grasped for fresh blood only to come up empty. With their slow march into extinction, barely even witnessing the true End of All, the Cleansing Flame had focused much more of their efforts upon the very mission that first brought them together.

Yet some paths still took a familiar shape, facing unfamiliar consequences...

There was an old lumber yard, deep within parts of New England now steadily succumbing the reclamation by the wilderness. The axes had gone still, all but one. A daily routine of blade meeting wood, but not by hands of its original employees. A stranger lingered, limping and bearing each day's hardships, far from cities still infested with horrors unlike any the world had seen before.

Another had followed a trail. Standing at the crest of a hill, overlooking the brush-choked dirt path that led to the logging camp. A woman, tattered leather cloak hanging heavy upon her shoulders, a patchwork of scratched, bent iron scales adorning it. Only a few flecks of gold and brass hinted at its purpose, but the mask of iron and copper over her face remained in far better condition. Through pinpricks of eerie red light, obscuring green eyes, she stalked her prey.

He was in one of the cabins, the one farthest from the entrance to the camp. His aura put her off guard, there was an unnatural taint to it, but it was weaker. Dull, as though he had been out of practice. Strayed from The Path, even so close to the cursed Appalachian, where abominations haunted every peak, where the temptation to exploit them would be unavoidable.

She found the door unlocked. He was waiting there, sitting at a table in the single room. A woodcutting axe was propped up against the wall by the doorway, well out of reach. A crude firearm, likely more duct tape than metal at this point, was left open and unloaded on a dresser by the bed, several feet behind him. He was looking her right in the eyes, a thousand yard stare evident. He looked as worn down as her, wearing a long coat that had been torn and patched countless times, mixed with long-inert scraps of hard leather armor, once bearing the mark of sanguine craftsmanship. The only weapon he had in reach was a cane, a stout length of hickory.

"Hunter..." he said in a voice that seemed barely audible, weak and hoarse. She stepped inside and closed the door behind her, a hammer resting over her shoulder. It was weather, tarnished, the wood cracked and only held together by the langets. The footfalls of armored boots seemed especially heavy on creaky old wood, moreso from the weariness evident in her gait. "...shrike."

"What are you waiting for? Gloat if you'd like, see if I care...if I wanted to fight you, you'd already be dead." he said, briefly managing the faintest hint of a smile. She cast that gaze over him, augmented by the sight beyond sight of her mask. "If you could fight, you mean." she answered, lowering her hammer. It wasn't into a combat stance. In fact, she seemed hesitant. "You...were the one who killed my father, weren't you? Thomas McKinnon..."

"That...was the last one I killed." he answered. "You've already figured it out, haven't you?" he said. She simply gave a nod in response, her mask deactivating. She could tell. She'd spied his movements entering the building when she first got in range, the way he heavily favored one leg. Barely able to walk, only managing through what little magic he still practiced. Only way he could even stand, at least for long enough to tend to daily tasks like chop firewood and gather food.

"This is what I find when I seek my father's murderer? After losing everyone, everything but revenge, what do I find...a cripple who left the Order. You and I are the only ones left of our conflict, aren't we..." she said, her grip on the hammer tightening. She was glaring at him under the mask, yet she couldn't bring herself to take another step forward. She looked like she was already about to collapse, not from anger or sorrow, but from simple weariness. The way the shrike simply looked back at her, fully accepting of his fate, only made it that much harder to advance those final few steps, to bash his brains out like she'd set out to do.

He seemed to be sizing her up, a reflexive appraisal before he reached for an old kettle, to pour a cup. "More or less. Tea?" he asked, and she nearly dropped her hammer outright. She set it down, grumbling to herself as she finally stepped forward, taking the other seat at the table. "I'm going to regret this...alright."

"Hungry?" he asked, taking a sip of tea first, to show it was safe before offering her a cup. She gave a little nod, lowering the torn hood of her cloak. She didn't even have her helm anymore, only the mask still concealed her, red hair tied in a short ponytail. "I...a bit. Not much left to scavenge from the cities these days." she admitted.

At that he nodded, leaning over a bit to the wood stove by the wall, to get a pot of stew left simmering on it. She was still wary, yet soon enough the allure of a hot meal was enough to convince herself to let her guard down a bit, and remove her mask to eat.

They sat and ate in silence for a few minutes, at first exchanging nothing more than names. Helen, Lucian. She was the one to finally break the silence. "How long had it been? Since you left them..." she asked.

They way he gazed back at her seemed to betray the discomfort that his memories brought up. Of staring down at an old man, crawling for his hammer with his last ounce of strength, final breath an attempt to say his daughter's name in the delirium of blood loss. Abandoning the Sanguine Order to rot, infinitely more shaken by all the bloodshed than how the conflict would play out a whole reality away.

And the bitter memory of what happened, barely making it to the very boiling point, the end that the magi had long preached of, when the only person who stuck with him had succumbed to the relic they stole from the Order. The agony of a leg wrenched out of place in a frantic struggle, kneecap split open by an unholy blade, and soon enough watching his best friend bleed out at his feet, a final spark of humanity evident in his eyes during that final moment.

"A...a long time. Years." he answered, after a moment's pause that felt like an eternity. "Before this shit started, it was after...him, the last one." he muttered. "After all this time, I..." she said softly. It was clear she was struggling with something. She came here to exterminate the Sanguine Order. It was the life she was born into. The only thing that kept her going, even as she lost everyone she ever knew, one by one. There was no final hunt of Shadows of Arcana, no dramatic clash to shake her to her core. Instead, there was only a slow burn. Worn down yet unrelenting, only to find out too late that the Sanguine Order was long gone, and she had spent the past year following the trail of a broken man.

He stood, unsteadily and clutching the cane, his other hand leaning heavily on the table. "I-- One moment." He seemed to focus his resolve, unsteadily steps making his way to a corner, where an old steamer trunk rested in the corner. Somehow, he mustered the strength to drag it closer to the table, nearly falling onto it as he knelt to open it. A hammer, and a mask. Copper adorned iron, decorations in the form of an impassive face, a bright red beard of metal trailing down so that it would cover the throat of its intended wearer.

"Those from my former order said I left behind 'a trophy'. I don't know why I kept it." he practically spat out, Helen standing to draw close, seeing him struggle she found herself compelled to help him stand, before he placed the items on the table. "Still makes me sick. It's yours." he added, nearly falling into his chair afterward.

She sat back down, and the way she was tearing up a bit, despite the grimace that crossed her face as she examined the mask, was evident with hers not being on at the moment. She could only look at it for a moment, before glancing away, forcing herself to regain her composure. "Thank you. We'd normally inter them with the fallen, or at least enshrine them if that was all we could recover, but...there's nothing left."

Lucian simply shrugged at that, breathing a heavy sigh. "I don't want it. You can probably do something with it." he answered, and she gave a nod. "I will. I'll find something to do with it..."

She would stay the night, making use of one of the other cabins, before planning her next move. He'd slept in, setting plenty of wood in his cabin's stove before going to bed nearly as soon as she'd left him alone, even though the sun was only barely beginning to set, and she'd find he slept in well past morning.

She'd gone into the main office of the old site, finding that he used the space as a workshop and pantry, to have a simple breakfast rather than disturb him. Then she walked. A simple hike, closer to the foot of the nearby mountains, where overgrowth gave way to twisted, dead plants across cold, rocky ground. Far enough from the camp that the thunder of a hammer, that hadn't resounded in several months, didn't so much as stir Lucian from his rest. Weary though she'd been, there was still fight in her, and the chittering of some chitinous abomination was silenced in a flurry of hammer blows.

She made it a short way up a mountain trail before overturning a few stones that had fallen across the unused path, fumbled to dig a small pit. Carefully, she lay the mask and hammer that Lucian had given her to rest, a short cairn the only grave marker she'd been able to give her father. They never recovered a body, so this was the best she could manage. The gear of a fallen hunter, somewhere free from the threat of scavengers finding it.

She'd return to find him still asleep, even though it was now past noon by the time she returned, groggy and answering her brief spark of concern with only a bitter smirk. "Come on, let an old man sleep..." he grumbled, Helen taking a seat at the table. "Odin's eye, you don't look any older than me. Don't tell me this is what a shrike does for half the day."

"Well I feel twice your age, so there. Besides, got firewood and stew on for the next two days, twice that depending on how soon you're leaving." he remarked. "I'd give it a bit though. There's a storm coming in...I can feel it. One advantage to having your best friend come within a few inches of taking your leg off."

At that, Helen gave a little sigh, then a nod of agreement. "You're right. There is a storm, but not that sort. How long have you been out here? The Veil itself is being torn apart..." Lucian just shook his head. "Not long before it all went pear-shaped. This area has been a mess of Veil...things, since that very day. No idea if it's any better out there."

At that, she picked up her mask, and before the shrike could raise a hand to object, she made him don it, activating it with the tap of a gauntleted finger. All around, it seemed like there was the glow of endless portals, endless holes in reality, piercing the haze limiting the mask's sight range. Brighter than it ever was before, even during the very peak of zero day.

If he had the strength to, if he wasn't already so worn down physically and mentally, he'd be laughing mad at the sight of it all. All he could manage was a tired chuckle, trembling hands fumbling blindly to remove the mask, blind himself to a clairvoyance he'd never experimented with before. "They were right, weren't they. Cultist bastards knew this would happen..."

Helen sat back down. The energy had left her, as the reality of what she had been seeing over the past month in her mask's vision sank in properly, adrenaline and resolve faded at last, her final mission ending without the blood-soaked closure she couldn't bring herself to obtain. "I don't know. This seems so much worse than what the Keepers were claiming, but...there's nothing we can do."

Lucian glanced at her, so weary and yet lacking the roughness, the scars he'd picked up along the way. Cloak kept her from staying too beat up for long, he figured. Finally, he was managing something close to a genuine smile. "Came here to kill me, and now you're spending your final moments with me. If I didn't feel another 30 or so years older than I am..."

"Wh-n-not like that, that wasn't what I was implying, gods damnit!" she said, sitting up straight with a renewed spark of fury. "It's just, we're not going to finish what's left of our past like this. Might as well just...wait it out. If we survive, whatever survival means when reality itself is falling apart...we'll see. Go our separate ways, stick together, I don't know..."

"Heh. Fine then. If we survive, and we don't find ourselves dumped on the surface of Mars or something, an extra pair of hands would be nice. Working set of legs too, for that matter." he remarked. "Pleasure meeting you, hunter...no, Helen."

Across a hundred thousand realities, a dozen hands pulled at an ever-more-threadbare patchwork of worlds. Each pulling the fabric of reality in every direction, lesser powers clawing at decaying threads in a scramble for purchase. Some worked deep and close into this growing hole in existence and risking their own destruction, some working at strings from a less precarious distance. All unknowing or uncaring about trillions upon trillions of galaxies within these strands, planet upon planet suffering uncountably infinite armageddons in the process.

Distant powers exerted influence of their own, steady hands weaving a hundred worlds at a time as they worked their machinations. From far above, ever so distant, a shrouded figure worked to steady fraying strands. From far below, yet of the same origin as the stranger above, a treacherous thing sought his own hold on the cosmos, working a thousand gambits against a thousand unknowable, distant plots of his rival. And in the abyss all in-between, with neither origin nor end, a hungering darkness awaited the feast as reality unraveled and frayed, already sending the least of their endless host to gnaw upon untainted threads.

And woven all within a particularly-thin patch of the tapestry, caught up in scarcely a hundred universes, a broken four-fold thing slumbered. If awakened, it could effortlessly contest all but the most distant of the powers warring over these crumbling realities. But if it awakened, the fraying of reality in its wake may well cast all the powers present into the abyss, then drag the abyss and its lurking hungers into depths even the immortals feared.

Just as another thread frayed and snapped, the dreaming thing stirred. Those all in between looked on with both fear and hunger, and all within paused. Shimmering fragments of a destroyed reality scattered over and all throughout its sleeping expanse, disturbing its dreams for but an instant. But it returned to its rest, tangled within one less timeline.

But as these motes of broken existence drifted off its body, the dreamer's movement denied the hungering darkness their table scraps. For much of the cast-off reality settled on another thread the dreamer was a part of, and two realities became one. Other pieces of the destroyed world settled, adrift among the tapestry to settle all throughout.

And one tiny mote of reality found its place, far from those closest threads, yet with a faint hope for a new future...
Title: Re: Winds of memories (Cata RP Character background stories)
Post by: saltmummy626 on November 22, 2019, 03:49:29 am
The snap of a large book being closed with some force startled Victor from his own reading and had him checking to make sure Thomas had not been stirred from his tenuous slumber. Fortunately he had not and with that settled, Victor made his quiet way to the study where he knew Helen would be hard at work trying to solve a problem that she herself had not thought a real problem until the night before.

"Is everything alright?" He asked while gently knocking on the door frame. Helens head swiveled as though on a well oiled bearing and looked at him hard for a long moment. She looked exhausted.

"Yes Victor…" she finally sighed, "Just… I don't think any of the books in our possession have any answers for me." She stood and began the laborious task of picking up her study material to file back onto their shelves. Some of them, Victor noted, rather obscure or downright obsolete texts. Alchemy books, times on blood magic, an arcanists treatise on golemancy and craft magic. Even some of Victor's own notes on certain subjects he had been more interested in during that vague hazy time before he met Helen. From the theme of the materials, Victor could easily deduce what had been bothering her. Or rather, who.

"Is it really that important Helen? I mean, if you can't find anything on it then-" He began to question. Helen spun on him, momentarily giving him the look of the mage hunter and not the look of the woman who'd given birth to his child. Then it softened back to the kindly stern face he knew so we'll.

"I need to know Vic, if the knowledge of her creation were to fall into the wrong hands it could be catastrophic. Can you imagine some blood mage creating even one homunculus like branches? A homunculus that can think and act for itself, can heal by packing it's wounds with dirt, is as strong as a truck, and can replicate itself with just a little bit of clay?" She exclaimed, lecturing just a tiny bit. The issue had pressed on Helen more than she cared to admit before, but now...

"If it existed," Victor suggested, "You would have found it by now. You… we have one of the largest intact collections of arcane knowledge, that we know of, in the world." He said this with an accompanying sweep of his arm over the shelves upon shelves of books in the study. The room was small, but even compared to the most well established arcanist convent or blood mage hideout who's entire collections usually only consisted of a few well thumbed volumes on one small shelf in a secure room somewhere…

Helen pulled another book down, one she'd already read, and Victor stopped her with a hand on her elbow. There was a factor that Helen wasn't taking into account. Whether because of a lack of understanding or a refusal to believe, she wasn't taking into account the creator. Illiana D'eva D'oris. Helen had dismissed the bizarre woman as merely a powerful trickster spirit, but Victor had not. Victor had a flexible imagination. A flexible imagination and at the time a wiped memory. He had not interacted with the woman, but he'd seen her do things and heard her claims, and Victor had been in the presence of powerful otherworldly beings before.

"Why don't you ask her?" Victor said, but Helen shook her head.

"Branches doesn't know the full details of how she was made, she has a great deal of arcane potential but her big concern is law and life. I-"

"No." Victor hushed, putting on finger on Helens lips, "Not Branches. You know who I mean."

"The spirit? But how could I possibly-"

Again Victor interrupted Helen, knowing the nature of the being he was suggesting Helen go to. "You won't have to. She'll show up herself. When every option I exhausted and it seems like there's no logical path, she'll show up."

"But if that were so, why isn't she here now?" Helen asked. Victor shrugged, maybe there were still options out there. Instead, he took the book from her and set it aside before wrapping an arm around her waist.

"A very good question, but one for tomorrow. You're exhausted and need rest now. Come on to bed." He said kindly, leading Helen off to her bed where she fell into a dreamless sleep the second her head hit the pillow.

The next morning, Helen put off her research in favor of unwinding a bit.Victor was probably right, now that the morning had come and sleep had washed away a few of her doubts. It gave her time to think, but in her thoughts she found that she had unconsciously ended up crossing the road into Branches part of the woods. Why had she done that? The original plan, from her perspective, had been to take a walk over the hall’s ruined fields to see if there might be something they could do to restore them. The devastation from Branches flight through the woods had settled somewhat but the smell of fresh pine tar was still strong in the air. Helen gave the inactive golem another once over, noting once again the crudity of the design and the flaws in it’s construction. Branches was, it seemed, just as confused as to the makeup of her own creations as Illiana was.

Helen found her way to a pair of stone posts that hadn’t been here before at the edge of Branches clearing, marking the entrance to the center of her “domain.” It was pleasant, the clearing, but Branches seemed to be absent. The ruins of the bandit camp had been neatly picked up and haphazardly tossed into two piles. One a messy wreck of obvious trash, and the other, a pile of usable scraps. She also had to admit, what the homunculus had done with the bandit leaders yurt was fairly impressive. The frame had been sunk into a pit and covered over with clay. The roof had remained as it was, heavy canvas that Branches had covered in cedar boughs and tarp.

Helen was getting ready to go back, when she caught movement from the two scrap piles. A length of town canvas was slithering out and weaving itself around a mix of splintered fiberglass rods and broken camp gear. A sheath of mud engulfed the moving mess and formed into the rough shape of a woman, the canvas continuing to move into strategic places on the “doll” and shifting in color. Before long, the familiar form of the Deus Ex stood before the Mage Hunter.

“Good morning Ms. McKinnon.” She said, sounding a bit put off, “It seems I’m not quite allowed to abscond from this reality at my desired time as of yet.”

“I guess Victor was right, and I’ve come to such an impasse that there really is no other option left to me.” Helen mused, watching Illiana with the unease she reserved for strange obscure entities.

“Indeed. Come, come, let’s have a seat inside. Branches is currently away, disappointing me with her life decisions. I wish she’d gone to you instead, but I digress.” Illiana grumbled. The small door to Branches home swung silently open, invitingly even. “She won’t be back for quite some time, too busy getting more advice from Roxanne and making eyes at… bah…”

For all of her, Helen was drawn to do as she was asked. She had no interest in looking through Branches home while she was away, but all the same it seemed she was going to be doing so. As for what Illiana had said about Roxanne or “making eyes,” she had no idea and a compulsion not to ask. A question for another day, and perhaps to be directed towards the homunculus.

“You have a question, and I have an answer, though you will probably assume I’m playing some trick on you. Go ahead and ask.” Illiana said impatiently. Helen wasn't sure what to say at all that, or where to start, and so she just cut straight to the meat of the matter.

"Is it possible for other people to make constructs like Branches?"

"No." Illiana said with a dismissive flick of her hand, then sighed, "No it is not Ms. McKinnon. Branches is a homunculus, no doubt, but not the sort you are familiar with. How do I put this in a way that sounds believable?" There came a long silence between them in which Helen had time to appreciate the rustic trappings of Branches home. No carpenter was the homunculus, but creation clearly ran in her blood. With the thought formed, Helen found Illiana was grinning knowingly at her. "I suppose that's as good a place to start as any. Creation does indeed run in her, if only I'd been aware of what would happen when I made her. It only makes sense to start at the beginning, or at least very close to it. Go on and have a seat on one of Branches mats, she won't mind."

Helen considered, then did as she was told. She had a feeling that this would all be new to her and indeed, it was.

"In the beginning," Illiana intoned, "the earth was flat. But not flat as I know you are thinking, I mean that it was utterly devoid of detail. A sphere floating in space adorned in an endless plain of grasses and trees. Dirt and flat red rock. No mountains, no hills, no rivers or canyons or lakes or oceans. All very interesting. It was not however devoid of movement. Every cycle, a spark would ignore the plain, and the rains would come and put it out. The earth would churn and mix the fertile ash with the hardy soil, and the wind would bring upon it the seeds of another generation. So it went for ages upon ages until one day, the Earth did not churn. Fires passion came and it's kiss burned away the grasses and trees, then the rains came and poured their love upon the ash, soaking it into a hard cast upon which the winds seeds could not take root. The wind saw what had happened, and asked of the fire and water why they had done what they'd done. To this, they responded that twas not their doing, twas the earth. The earth had not churned, had not mixed and shackled the fires passions with its staunch practicality. The rains had come then and blindly poured their love onto what had been left in the fires wake. Passion unchained, love without sense.

So the wind took up a waterlogged branch of charcoal, and descended into the earth to show it what had been wrought by it's inactivity. For many days and many nights, the fire and rains waited. Then upon the dawning of the fifth day, the wind emerged from the earth bearing with it something new. It was small and moved about on four limbs. Before long, it was tilling the ash into the earth with its front limbs, and moving about on its back limbs. The wind brought seeds, and it planted them in fertilized soil. The rains brought their showers and the creature watched. When the rain had passed, it gathered up the puddled water and followed the flame as it went, sousing it whenever the fire grew overeager. When night fell, it built more like itself and in the morning the wind would come and blow the breath of potential into them. In time, they grew more defined, bodies taking on more shapes and sizes and colors. They developed hands and feet. Eyes with which to see and mouths to speak. They tilled the soil, but did so without the finesse of the earth. Instead, they gave the labor their own touches of creativity. They filled the soil and moved it aside to make the rolling hills. Loose stones were gathered up or pulled from the depths of the earth and used to build the mountains. They dug trenches and filled them with water, creating the first rivers and canyons. They sorted the trees and plants and created biomes. Life sprang forth, and the world filled with it. The creatures born from the earth sorted them as well, inhabiting the regions of the world with their own special uniqueness and spreading the soul of fire and water, the heart of the earth, and the soul and unlimited potential of the blowing wind.

Helen was enthralled and for a a few moments, didn't realize that the Deus ex had stopped talking.

"Well? What happened next in this creation myth of yours?" She asked. Illiana seemed introspective, lost in thought until finally.

"They faded away. They seeded the world as we know it and then simply returned to the soil from which they came. That's not to say they didn't develop a culture or even a uniform shape, had their own superstitions about things like eyes and types of stone or soil, but mostly they shaped the world as we know it. Besides, I've told you a much simplified version of events and didn't go into the love affair between the wind queen and the stone king that began the whole chain of events."

"I thought you said there was nothing alive before?" Helen asked. She settled quickly, understanding that creation stories were often like this. Leaving out small details, as any "history" would often do.

"Of course silly, but can the wind be said to truly be 'alive?' Or the earth? Or fire?" Illiana shot back casually. Helen thought about it. Taking the question from the average standpoint, no, but if you thought about it spiritually… "It is a hard question isn't it? However you want to look at it, you wanted to know if it was possible that someone else could make a being like Branches. The story I told should illustrate that beings like her did once exist, but they were created by powerful beings. Sure, they multiplied themselves, but the wind had to give them a breath of potential before they actually moved around at all. Branches is a creation of my will, the will of an omnipotent godlike being possessing just the tiniest touch of my own Deus Ex Potentia." Illiana scanned the room looking around at everything Branches had accomplished in her short shot at life, basking in the experience of pride. Then stood, reached out, and flipped one of the polaroids on Branches windowsill onto its face. "I just wish she wouldn't squander it so… It's been fun Helen, but I really must be going. I've told you enough to get those brain gears moving. More than enough to fulfill my purpose. Remember to remind Branches to get Roxanne to her arbitration next month would you? Thanks. Ta!"

There was no flash, no flourish. Before Helen could rise, the strange purple haired woman in the business suit simply opened the front door, strode out, and vanished. With that, Helen was left alone in the small house by the lake.

Helen ruminated for a long time on the story before deciding that most of it was probably well thought out bunk. Branches was no more some kind of "Proto Homunculus" than Helen was a red mage. She was still thinking on it, when the subject of her pondering pushed her way into the shack, and stopped.

"Um… What are you doing in my house?" She asked nervously. Still afraid of Helen. Probably always would be on some level. Helen made some excuse and stayed a bit longer for tea, which Branches seemed to have picked up a like of. While they sipped, Helen saw her take notice of the turned down photo and flip it back up. It featured mainly Hector, but standing uncomfortably close to his side was the Homunculus looking like she was about to catch fire from nervousness. Helen considered for a long time after she left and wondered why she hadn't just told Branches that the woman she'd gone to for advice was playing her, then let it go. She needed to learn about life, and whether it turned out for better or worst, Branches would need to learn this lesson on her own.