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Messages - Riven

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1
Everywhere Else / Re: Hunt for the Howling Storm {CLOSED}
« on: August 14, 2018, 01:36:15 PM »
(OOC: Oh my... ^_^;; )



The moment the Sorcerer's Crown hit the bare stone floor of the cave, three things happened all at once. The first was Cordell's Semblance lighting up her mind's eye like a searing floodlight, the "treasure sense" picking up a spike of energy so intense it simply could not be ignored or shut out. This was accompanied by a ripple of light travelling out from the crown in all directions, for a half-second rendering every shadow and color in the entire cave washed out and reduced to a monochrome of pale gray and flat, stark white.

The third... was that a distant part of the cave ceiling abruptly began to melt, and a handful of empty structures between the crown and that spot of elevated rock were reduced to dry, ashen powder.

There was no sound, no thunderous roar to accompany the release of Dust energies, not even properly an explosion of any sort... it just was. It happened and, in an instant, the radiance was gone. The only sounds to be heard was the sizzling of super-heated rock at the distant end of the cave . . . and the falling crash of a rum glass followed by the anguished profanities of a pirate.

"AAAAARGH! SPLIT ME SIDEWAYS WITH A BLOODY CRUISE MISSILE -- THE HELLS WAS THAT?!?!" The suffering rant wasn't directed at anyone in particular -- Cordell hadn't even seen Solar toss the crown, as she'd been busy pouring a fresh round of celebratory rum. Even though the flash of light hadn't been blinding to the eyes Cordell nonetheless staggered to one side, eyes winced shut and clutching her head like she'd just received the world's worst migraine. In truth, she basically had; her Semblance had completely overloaded from the brief, unintentional energy release. "****!!"

2
DAMAGE RECEIVED: 42% [base damage 20% plus 2x due to 'After Effects' and 'Nature Aflame']

By the time Budonoki realized what Janus was up to it was already too late to make a successful evasion. The lava forced upwards by the stream of thrust sprayed everywhere in his general area, red-hot blobs that ranged in size from mere pebbles to watermellons flying at him, and in large numbers. There was simply no dodging everything, nor was he at his best. Janus had struck at an opportune moment and caught Budo off-guard; were it not for his Aura, the old faunus would've been a dead man for certain.

Reeling backwards as one particularly fierce part of the spray hit him, it was all that the surgeon-sage could do to haphazardly leap away. Not did he land well -- losing so much Aura all at once was not without its consequences, and it left him winded, gasping, and unable to focus. As he hit the ground and tumbled the mental anguish he'd been suppressing hit full force. For a very long moment he merely lay there on the volcanic ground...

It was the thunderous crack of rock giving way that kept the professor from becoming engulfed by his inner world of screaming nature. Where he'd struck the volcano was now a wound bleeding molten liquid in spurts and gushes through a large, jagged crack, and over the next several moments it rapidly grew in scale and intensity. Pressure and heat from inside the magma chamber was trying to get out -- the hole, small at first, was widening... and as it progressed other cracks in the structure began to appear. Scrambling to his feet, the old faunus sensed that he didn't have much time; adrenaline and desperation would help to keep his focus now, at least until he was safely back on his side of the arena.

He collapsed his metal staff and turned his gaze towards Janus. "I recommend you join me on the other side!" There was no resentment to the fierce blow that the Jet Knight had struck; despite looking a bit roughed up from the tumble Budonoki's outward affect was calm. As the lava flowing down from the breach became a fast-moving river and the conical rise started to collapse on one side it became abundantly clear that Janus' side of the arena was soon to be awash in lava; having seen enough, and rather tiring of the acrid stench of brimstone, Budonoki snatched up his fallen hat and took off at a swift pace for the greener face of the battlefield.


Action Tracker:
▫ [ACTION: Volcanic collapse flooding Janus' side with lava.]
▫ [ACTION: Budonoki withdrawing.]
▫ [PASSIVE EFFECT: Verdant Sense ~ Nature Aflame] Due to ongoing fire damage to plants in the arena, Budonoki's focus is diminished. So long as this continues, he takes +2% Aura damage from any attack that connects.
▫ [Aura Status: ▇▇▇▇▇ |||| (54%)]

3
RPG Discussion / Re: Meaningful Strengths: "I Can" vs "You Can't"
« on: August 08, 2018, 09:50:06 AM »
You illustrate some really good principles on the mechanics of RP here. Fair warning, I may just borrow your terminology for future use!  ;D

Having a background in PvP RP (or Sparring as it used to be known) I know exactly what you're getting at here. It's part of the reason I ended up moving away from verses RPs and into more general / adventure focused RPs; it is just too easy for things to devolve into arguing, when realistically RP (even PvP RP) works best when treated more as a dance with cooperating partners rather than a duel between opposed forces. 'You Can't' abilities definitely steer things towards the latter.

I've always found that it's best to build characters with a counterbalance for every significant strength, especially anything that strays into 'You Can't' territory. A character with exceptionally high defense can, for example, have very low offensive capabilities or a condition / usage limit on their defense; a character with high attack can be balanced by having them focus their aptitudes towards either ranged or melee, and so one and so forth. Given that 'You Can't's are more frequently defensive than offensive, building in conditions and limiters really is a must to avoid godmodding / powergaming -- as in your example, if the other character's only effectual option is to run away when the ability is used then something is fundamentally off.

4
Everywhere Else / Re: Bone of the First [SSMR]
« on: August 06, 2018, 06:54:37 AM »
Sean listened as the voice on the radio shifted from distorted and disguised to something far more identifiable -- male, entitled, and too smug by half. Whoever was on the other end was playing dumb; the smuggler didn't for one moment believe that this mysterious voice person hired the thief-girl but had nothing to do with the assault on Solar, nor was he quite buying the whole foreign male princeling business. Sean was, after all, a mechanic and a tinkerer -- voice modulators were a bit outside his field of expertise, true, but he knew that they could be pretty convincing at disguising people's voices, and this smelled of a false lead. Fake or not, however, there was one thing he had that was concrete and factual: the device in his hand. He looked it over a bit more in depth as the voice continued to rant and rave, making careful note of the design. If he could get it open, take a look at the components... he could probably determine the range and whether or not it was designed to signal-boost via the CCT tower. If it was, as Sean suspected, short range only...

"Again: don't know but very eager to find out." Sean spoke into the radio. "You talk big and tough, but I'm willing to bet it's all talk -- nothing but empty words. If you'd care to prove me wrong, though,why not come find me? I'll bet you're already running an ID on my voice, so I'll make it nice and easy for you: I'm Sean Acacia, and I really, really enjoy blowing shit up. Maybe I'll find your shit and blow some of it up, eh? Sounds like a good time from where I'm standing. Care to try me, rich boy?"

Yes, he was making himself a target, but it was probably the best option at this point for drawing out the anonymous troublemaker. Solar was probably already a known entity for this guy, and the police search for both Solar and himself was essentially public knowledge at this point. As long as Suna and Maena could avoid the spotlight then their group still had an advantage or two...

5
DAMAGE RECEIVED: 4% [base damage 1 shot plus 2% due to 'Nature Aflame']


So far, things were much as expected. In turning to veer towards the volcano Budonoki had come under fire from Janus' weapon; the old faunus had avoided making himself an easy target, but a veteran soldier and mercenary would, of course, be long used to firing at moving targets. One of the rounds clipped the surgeon's shoulder, a glancing blow that nonetheless took a small chunk of Aura out with it. Janus had won himself "first blood".

A small price to pay for the advantage about to be gained.

Reaching the base of the volcano, he deftly scaled his way up by leaping from one foothold to another, avoiding the active lava streaming down its slope as he wove his way to Janus' side of the fiery mountain. It looked practically suicidal, scrambling about on the single biggest hazard of the field... but there was a purpose. Finding firm footing on a narrow ledge of cooled rock, Budonoki judged that he had reached the correct point: halfway up the slope, facing Janus' half of the arena. There was no time to rack his brain to see if half-forgotten knowledge of geology would justify what he was about to attempt -- if he stayed in one spot for too long, Janus would pick him off.

Metal staff tucked under his arm, Budo's hands glowed with a faint green light as he delivered a twin palm-strike directly into the rock face of the volcano. He drove a pulse from his Aura as deep into the stone as he could, causing a ripple of dust and small stones to be kicked up on either side of him. Immediately he could feel the rumble of the volcano change -- whether it did what he'd hoped remained to be seen.

Turning to spot Janus, Budonoki took his metal staff in hand once more and determined to close the distance. By now the Jet Knight would most certainly be wondering what he was up to; he couldn't give his opponent time to put the pieces together, not if he were to change the momentum of this fight. A series of evasive leaps and dashes down the volcanic rock face saw the distance between them narrow; this time Budo wasn't veering off, but going at Janus head-on. His Aura could weather a few more shots, if need be, to get him close enough for a counter-attack. The mercenary had wisely positioned himself with a lava pit between them to maintain distance -- a good strategy, but as Budonoki gripped his weapon with both hands, pointed it lance-like at Janus, and triggered it to extend, the limits of that approach would become apparent. In two seconds' time the staff could bridge that gap; even just a glancing blow would create enough of an opening for Budo to leap across and face Janus directly.

Meanwhile, on the slopes of the arena's artificial volcano, cracks in the stone began to weep tears of liquid flame...



Action Tracker:
▫ [ACTION: Structural integrity of volcano compromised on Janus' side.]
▫ [ACTION: Mid-range strike from fully extended Combat Staff.]
▫ [PASSIVE EFFECT: Verdant Sense ~ Nature Aflame] Due to ongoing fire damage to plants in the arena, Budonoki's focus is diminished. So long as this continues, he takes +2% Aura damage from any attack that connects.
▫ [PASSIVE EFFECT: Aura Techniques ~ After Effect] After using an Aura-based attack or defense technique, Budonoki takes 2x Aura damage from any attack in the opponents'next post which connects.
▫ [Aura Status: ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ (96%)]

6
Everywhere Else / Re: Hunt for the Howling Storm {CLOSED}
« on: August 02, 2018, 06:28:11 PM »
Cordell raised a curious eyebrow at Rust's request. "Oh? Lookin' t' take on a bit o' th' pirate's life, are ya?" She chuckled. "Aye, we'll discuss whatever ye'd like. Lemme just get a signal out t' Delahaye so we can round up th' treasures in earnest."



Three Hours Later...



Even with the help of the worker robots from aboard Cordell's ship, scouring the cavern hideout for valuables proved a time consuming task. Coins and shiny trinkets were stashed in chests and piles, yes, but also tucked away under floorboards and inside all manner of hidden compartments -- to be expected of pirates, never quite trusting each other it seemed. Building after building, room after room, it seemed almost everywhere they turned the group discovered more and more wealth. Crates and boxes had to be dropped from the Red Corsair to accommodate the sheer bulk of the finds; it was, unequivocally, the treasure trove of the century.

Breathing a weary-but-giddy sigh as she placed the last box in the Howling Storm's hold, Cordell turned to the others. "Well, this'll go down in th' history books fer sure. Hope yer all ready t' be rich and famous!" Turning, she reached for a sealed metal crate that had been dropped from her ship earlier, unsealing it with a click -- inside was a chilled bottle of rum, which she proceeded to pop open and pour out glasses for everyone. "Got this for ya, and," She reached into her coat, drawing out several devices that could be described as rugged-looking home-made Scrolls. "One o' these fer each o' ye. You lot're the sort I wish I could work with more often; should ya ever need me, these transponders'll ping th' Red Corsair yer location an' open up a secure line. You call an' I'll do me damnest for ya, swear on me blood an' honor."

She lifted her glass in a toast. "To th' treasure hunters o' th' Howling Storm!"





Spoiler: show
Congrats on getting the most profitable ending possible for this adventure! Through a combination of skill, tenacity, and just a hint of luck you guys not only took out the Necro Gigas and its skeletal army but bested the White Fang to claim the treasure. Here's the breakdown of your grand haul:




[RUST]
1 Full Share
+ 1/2 Share (from Cordell)
+ 11 Assorted Coins
+ 1 Ancient Vial of Fire Dust
+ Optional Bonus: Lt. Fallon's Lightning Dust Saber
+ 1 Red Corsair Transceiver (unlimited uses)

[SOLAR]
1 Full Share
+ 1 Gold Coin
+ 1 Red Corsair Transceiver (unlimited uses)

[AKEL]
1 Full Share
+ 3 Ruby embedded silver brooch
+ 1 pair of silver earrings with small sapphires in a small silver box
+ 2 small silver chain holding an encased diamond
+ 1 jewel-encrusted chalice filled with gold coins
+ 1 chain-linked collar and a matching key
+ 1 ivory birdcage
+ 1 ceremonial dagger with a large ruby+ sheath
+ 1 Red Corsair Transceiver (unlimited uses)

[INFRARED]
1 Full Share
+ 1 Red Corsair Transceiver (unlimited uses)

[CORDELL]
1/2 Share


RED CORSAIR TRANSCEIVER:
This long-range signaling device is Cordell's own creation, able to piggy-back off the reach of the CCT towers to broadcast a secure signal to almost anywhere in the inhabited world. You can use this to get assistance from the Red Corsair in the form of fire support, supplies, or transportation -- just shoot me a PM when you want to use it.


{Summary of Treasure Hoard}
The loot that had been gathered away by the pirates of old was quite the assortment: heaps of gold, silver, and copper coins with markings from a range of Mistrali dynasties, jewel-encrusted ornaments and trinkets, various weapons and armor forged of Dust-infused metal or with Dust crystals set into their making, ancient books and maps of great historical worth, and even a few chests full of well-preserved clothes ranging from meager peasant-wear likely used as disguises all the way up to the formal garb of soldiers, courtiers, and nobles. The sealed-up cave had protected its contents well for the past 200 years... the rewards of this quest are truly outstanding!

APPROXIMATE VALUE IN TOTAL: 11,340 million Lien (equal to $170 million USD)
VALUE PER SHARE: 2268 million Lien (equal to $34 million USD)


Treasue values sources: [1] [2]
(Lien to USD conversion based on this analysis.)




BREAKDOWN BY MONETARY VALUE:

[RUST]
2268 M Lien (1 Full Share)
+ 1134 M Lien (1/2 Share from Cordell)
+ 2.5 M Lien (11 Assorted Coins)
+ 0.05 M Lien (1 Ancient Vial of Fire Dust)
TOTAL :: 3404.55 Million Lien (equal to $51 Million USD)

[AKEL]
2268 M Lien (1 Full Share)
+ 468 M Lien  (Numerous assorted treasures and coins)
TOTAL :: 2736 Million Lien (equal to $41 Million USD)

[SOLAR]
2268 M Lien (1 Full Share)
+ 0.6 M Lien (1 Gold Coin)
TOTAL :: 2268.6 Million Lien (equal to $34 Million USD)

[INFRARED]
2268 M Lien (1 Full Share)
TOTAL :: 2268 million Lien (equal to $34 million USD)

[CORDELL]
1134 M Lien (1/2 Share)
TOTAL :: 1134 M Lien (equal to $17 Million USD)


As a point of reference, each of your characters is now wealthy enough to afford most of the mega-mansions on this list. Even if your character opted to donate half of their share to a museum they'd still have enough left over to live quite comfortably for the rest of their days, or buy up a few small companies, or purchase a private luxury airship... there are plenty of possibilities! What will your character do with the loot?

Also, it isn't just your characters getting treasure for completing this quest -- I have gifts for you awesome RPers as well! PM me with your preference for TWO of the following (you can get two of the same if you'd like):


 - $25 online gift card for custom miniatures from HeroForge
 - $25 online gift card for games on Steam
 - $25 online gift card for stuff from the Rooster Teeth store
 - $25 online gift card for whatever catches your fancy on Etsy



As for the rest of 'Hunt for the Howling Storm', you can post as little or as much as you'd like and in any order; officially speaking all the action is done at this point, so it's a casual RP now. Once everyone is finished (put something like 'Last Post' in your last post) I'll post a brief epilogue to wrap things up. You guys have been great and I seriously appreciate all the effort, strategy, and patience you've put into this event. Drink up, me hearties, YO HO!

7
'Out of one frying pan...' Cordell thought to herself as the pod lurched to life, briefly launching into a gut-tightening arc before splashing back down haphazardly and beginning to come online. She was jostled, to be sure, but had managed to get a handhold and brace herself before the separation from the main craft, so in that regard all was well. That she now shared a fairly snug emergency craft with a handful of Atlas personnel didn't do much to put her at ease, and neither did the awareness that the water around them almost certainly teemed with dark life. And then, passing right in front of their pod's main view port, swam the largest f***ing Grimm she had ever, EVER seen. It was an uphill battle not to be absolutely overcome with fear at the sight -- that thing was big enough that it could probably swallow the pod whole and not even realize it. The pirate captain held her breath and stayed as stock-still as she could manage, terrified at the idea that it might notice them. Thank the gods, it just kept on swimming.

The pod, now coming fully online, did what it was built and programmed to do. Whether it would ultimately protect the group long enough to make landfall... well, that was an entirely separate matter. She was certain that the lesser Grimm were still after them, if only because Grimm never gave up that easily, but if this pod had been built right it would probably keep them all safe... at least for a while. The idea to use her Semblance, both to get a better picture of their tactical situation and the pod's systems, did cross Cordell's mind -- she dismissed it. If there was even the slightest chance using it might draw that thing's attention, it was far too great a risk.

Her eyes were drawn to the computer systems and the maps brought up by the auto-rescue systems. Land was an hour away, and even once they got there safety was far from assured. Getting to a point where her captors wouldn't be pointing gun barrels at her for the rest of this ordeal would improve survivability considerably.

"So . . . " She began somewhat awkwardly, sure to keep her hands where they could be seen. "I'm sure you lot have plenty'a questions for me, then." She glanced at blonde #3 (Aurum), remembering his comments earlier. "Also: a parrot? Really?" There was bemused incredulity in her voice, accompanied by an uplifted eyebrow. She wasn't sure why blue-eyes thought she'd be useful as a guide, but confirming or denying any of this group's suspicions about her could be a bad move at this point. Better to deal with direct questions and see where things went -- volunteering info when it didn't benefit her was too much like giving plunder away for free, after all.

8
Hey, Vis! Welcome back! I'd deploy a tactical muffin to celebrate your (hopeful) return, but I'm away from my PC right now. Expect an edit later on. In any case, it's great to see your text again as well!  ;D

9
Everywhere Else / Re: Ways of the World [Ordelis] (CLOSED)
« on: July 30, 2018, 09:04:22 AM »
Sean just stared for a moment at Solar's overreaction, then cracked a huge smile, followed by a heartfelt laugh. Pepper seemed pleased as well, looking at Solar with a mix of amusement and interest. Sean was quick to explain, as soon as he got his laughter under control. "Sorry, just -- wow, you do not do things by half-measures, do you boss?" He took a deep breath. Then turned to Pepper. "Can we start with drinks? Two colas with ice, please."

Pepper gave a nod, heading further down the counter to get the drinks ready. Sean, having sufficiently recovered himself, gave Solar an apologetic hands-up look. "Sorry, I didn't mean to laugh. I was just surprised by how intense you were -- it's a good thing! In this case it's not an actual guy, per say, nor an actual fence. It's a group called the trade guild, and they have a lot of influence with the government and leaders of Vacuo. The fence, in this case, is rules that the guild convinced the government to set up as laws -- laws governing trade. In a perfect world, if people agreed to buy, sell, or trade with each other it'd only be those people involved..." Sean looked slightly to one side, a hint of irritation making its way into his voice. "But the guild think they should run the show for everyone. Every business in Vacuo needs a guild permit to buy or sell, and getting a permit means you have to give the guild some of the Lien you make every month. The guild also does things like mess with prices and control supply shipments, and since they've got the backing of the government they can declare it 'restricted' or even 'illegal' to buy, sell, or even just own certain things. Some of it makes sense -- poisonous plants, for example -- but when they force up the price of inexpensive weapons parts used by a lot of villages, or require huge fees and obscene amounts of paperwork to transport large quantities of hardwood, or forbid importing Mistrali cotton from anyone except their business partners... those sorts of things make life harder than it has to be, and occasionally people even suffer and die due to shortages. That, my good Solar, is the 'fence' around all of Vacuo."

Pepper had brought over the drinks during Sean's explanation, offering one to Solar as she joined the conversation. "People like Sean and I? You might say we're 'fence breakers'. We break the rules in secret, do things our own way. It's called smuggling, the 'other business' I mentioned. Fair warning -- not everyone who's involved is a good person, so be careful who you talk to about it. You can trust Sean to know the ins and outs, though."





(OOC: Realized after the fact that I might need to have a Worldbuild approved for the trade guild -- I'll check with the admins and, if needed, edit my post later to adjust. Just FYI.)

10
Everywhere Else / Re: Bone of the First [SSMR]
« on: July 30, 2018, 07:44:30 AM »
Sometimes it really, really sucked to be right.

Glancing at Suna in a 'keep an eye on this gizmo' sort of a way, Sean reached down and was just about to pick it up when it crackled to life and a voice issued from it. Communicator, eh? Probably a radio, given the looks of it. The smuggler, after examining it a moment, picked the device up and pushed what looked like the 'talk' button.

"Nope, not a clue. Very curious to find out, however." He let a hefty dose of smug seep into his voice -- in moments like these, projecting confidence could make or break things. He made a gesture with his free hand for the girl to keep quiet; now was the time to see how far he could carry this 'good cop' routine. "Your patsy dropped this, by the way; she's a slippery one, but it's just a matter of time until we catch her. You picked a fight with the wrong group today." It was a bluff, of course; if the employer realized that thief-girl had already been captured she'd become expendable -- hell, taking her "out of the picture" might just become the behind-the-scene boss' priority. Making it seem like she was still at large not only protected the girl, it gave this team a possible opening they could use. Sean was no tactician, but he did have the street savvy to think on his feet and throw in a misdirect. "So why not make this easy? Turn yourself in, admit to assaulting those people, and you'll avoid the painful beat-down we're going to dump on your sorry ass."

11
Doing his best to subdue the chorus of anguish echoing in his thoughts, Budonoki took that moment close to Janus to take full stock of his opponent. The wear and tear on the equipment told a story, as did the man's eyes -- he could only speculate on specifics, of course, but the essence of "The Jet Knight" was clear enough to him. The old faunus had seen much of war and even more of warriors... and something told him that he was not the only one currently in pain. Oh, he took stock of other details as well -- the battle rifle on his back, for one thing, and the fact he could apparently fly for another -- but Budonoki cared more to know the man than the arsenal. They were, after all, about to be "dance partners".

Handshake concluded, Janus withdrew to his starting point. Budo followed suit; though he couldn't fly the old man could certainly jump, and since Janus had courteously disclosed his own mobility it would be poor form not to do the same. Springing into a back flip, he covered almost half the distance in one go and then traversed the rest with a medley mix of smaller flips, cartwheels, and windmill kicks. Between the crisp Atlas air and the brief warm-up, the surgeon-sage was starting to feel at least somewhat ready for what lay ahead.

Yet, he knew this would not be easily fought. Janus almost certainly outclassed him in raw physical strength; the Jet Knight held an overwhelming advantage at long range as well, and the ability to go airborne could wrong-foot a martial artist like himself with terrible ease. All of this played through the faunus' mind as he took up a fighting stance, knees bent with one foot barely even touching the ground and metal staff held lightly in one hand. This was his obvious preparation -- less obvious, and likely to be overlooked by both Janus and the audience, was that during the earlier acrobatics the wooden staff strapped to his back had undergone a slight change. In places the bark had split open and greened, the first hints of bud-like growths peeking through the gaps.

The old faunus took a deep, steadying breath, letting it out as a chilly plume of haze. It was time to begin.


FIGHT ~ IT ~ OUT!
Blood and Stone [Ivan Torrent Remix]
by Audiomachine


In an instantly, every muscle fiber in Budonoki's body came alive with purpose and intensity -- taking off like a shot, he raced towards Janus in a seemingly random zig-zag pattern. War had taught him much, and one thing about guns in particular: even if you are fast, even if you have literally the reflexes of a cat on your side, and even with senses far sharper and more honed than any human's, it was a fool's errand to dodge bullets. It could be done, certainly, but half of that was down to simple luck and intuition. Far better, truly, to not wait for the bullet; dodge the shooter's aim, present no easy target, be proactive instead of reactive. And, of course, mind your surroundings. There was no telling how thick the rock layer was on Janus' half of the arena, and if the lava pools were any indication there was fresh magma waiting just beneath. Thus, if Janus let him make it as far as the halfway mark uninterrupted Budonoki would abruptly veer towards the center -- towards the volcano. He had ideas of his own for using the massive fissure, should the right opportunity present itself.



Action Tracker:
▫ [ACTION: High speed evasive charge.]
▫ [PASSIVE EFFECT: Verdant Sense ~ Nature Aflame] Due to ongoing fire damage to plants in the arena, Budonoki's focus is diminished. So long as this continues, he takes +2% Aura damage from any attack that connects.
▫ [The Vine has shifted from Primary to Secondary form.] This will generate fruit once every two turns (zero currently available; two turns until next fruit).
▫ [Aura Status: ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ (100%)]

12
Everywhere Else / Re: Ways of the World [Ordelis] (CLOSED)
« on: July 26, 2018, 11:13:19 AM »
"Ah, right, that." Sean brushed his hair back as he thought of the best way to answer. "Well, the first 'business' is simple. Sometimes Pep needs an extra hand -- er, no joke intended there," He glanced over to see Pepper give him a smirk and a raised eyebrow from behind the bar. "With delivering food, picking up supplies, that sort of thing. I end up doing occasional odd-job work for her and a few other businesses when I need some extra Lien. As for the other 'business'..." He leaned in closer and dropped his voice almost to a whisper. "Remember earlier when you asked about 'stuff you're not supposed to buy'?"

"Oi, fireworks, you're sure about her, right?" Pepper, having overheard even at a distance, interjected. Sean looked her way and gave a confident, relaxed nod.

"Trust me Pep, it's all good. Solar's the sort who gets it -- I can tell." He turned his attention back to the ram faunus. "Lemme run a scenario by you, Solar. Let's imagine you've found a great hunting spot: plenty of animals, perfect location, the works. You hunt there without any issue for months, living pretty well off what you've found."

"Then, one morning, you go to your hunting spot only to find that someone's put up a big, tough fence. The person who built the fence says they own the spot now, and they start making all sorts of rules: you can only hunt at certain times, only kill certain animals and only so many, and you have to give the fence-builder first pick of the meat from your hunt. They never asked you or anybody else if they could -- they just set up shop, took what was everyone's, and started barking orders. The animals are boxed in, the hunters can't hunt freely... it's a situation that only benefits the one who owns the fence. I'm betting you'd want to tear that fence apart, right?"

13
Everywhere Else / Re: Beneath the Mask(Riven)
« on: July 24, 2018, 06:03:32 PM »
So, then, this was the Velvet Room. Truth be, she had imagined something in red... the blue, while lavish in its own way, was off-putting. Definitely not her color, and a stark contrast to her attire, making her feel like she stood out even more than she already did. Strangely, however, no one else seemed to notice her entrance in the slightest -- something that Tarot was quick to explain. A perception altering Semblance? In the back of her mind she was already "running the numbers", theorizing on uses and possible weaknesses for something like this. Having come across many an odd and extravagant Semblance in her line of work she was long since used to taking them into account. This one didn't impact her plan... at least, not directly.

Tarot was certainly eager to impress. Maria took her seat opposite him, hands folded across her lap and below table level. She sat, listening without a hint of expression, as this man went on and on. Oh, he was an impressive hacker, she had to give him that, though she took his claims to have found very little beyond her old name with a grain of salt. After all, she'd been part of a travelling circus act -- the star of a key show, in fact. They had advertised, especially on the CCT. And although she had since hired some of the best systems infiltrators money could hire to scrub the net of all traces and references to Fraus' Travelling Circus, the very fact she was here now was proof enough that not quite everything had been mopped up.

Tarot's reference to "the other two" was almost enough to make Maria break her poker face into a scowl. He could have been referring to anyone, of course -- she dealt with a multitude of clients on a regular basis, both the 'talented and looking for work' variety and the 'busy and looking for talent' type, but something in his voice suggested it was the two most notable in recent memory: Petrichor and Bitter. For someone to have that level of awareness of her operations was alarming; being discreet was a must in this business, and having her work history waved in front of her like that brought a touch of angry heat to her cheeks. Thank goodness for the mask.

And then he sat there, dictating rules to her. The arrogance of men never ceased to astound, but to try and tell the foremost broker of information and operations in Mistral how the business was to be done was especially galling. It was sensible to avoid collateral damage, of course -- a trail of bodies tended to create more problems than it solved -- but to limit one's options during a job could be catastrophic, potentially even fatal. Still, she did her best not to react. She took the Scroll from him with one hand, browsing its contents with morbid curiosity. A weapon that could manipulate blood and drain Aura? Even in her agitated state she had to admit, that was interesting.

And finally, the offer of a drink came. "No, thank you." Having seen all she needed for the moment she put the Scroll down, resting one hand on the table and the other on her leg. "You are an impressive hacker, Tarot. You've proven that point, several times over in fact. Someone like you could indeed be an asset to The Lady's business... however, we have a small problem."

The mechanical clink-clank of her weapon unfolding was a soft, quiet sound, but at this close distance he'd be able to hear it. Just in case, however, she made sure to tap the gun barrel of Chant Thrice on the underside of the table to draw his attention. "It is my job to, among other things, filter out which clients are brought to The Lady's attention. While many have something to offer -- talents, Lien, useful contacts -- not everyone is good for business. Some pose far more risk than reward, and some..." She now allowed a cold scowl to split the neutral calm, making her emotions clear. "Don't know the difference between 'can', and 'should'."

She leaned towards him slightly, eyes glaring. "You overplayed your hand. Some things it's best to let rest, and my past is one of them. Now, the only way I let you leave here alive is if you--"

"Maria, stand down."

The voice, as forceful and firm as it was disguised, came from close to the entrance. There, garbed in flowing black and disorienting reflections, was The Lady herself. Maria stiffened, started, and turned her attention that way -- it was all an act, of course, but she knew how to make it seem real. So long as Tarot's Semblance stayed in effect the entire theatrical scene would remain unobserved, and if for whatever reason the effect suddenly broke... well, a good actress knew how to improvise.

"My Lady, I--" Maria began, only for her disguised double to silence her with an upheld open hand. The Lady made her way over to the booth with long, purposeful strides, the very image of poise and focused intent.

"I have heard all that has been said. We will address your... indiscretion later, Maria." Reaching Alex's booth, The Lady cast her gaze his way. "You sought my attention, code-breaker. Now you have it. This business concerning Sanguine Alchemy and the rest is of interest to me. What is your proposal?"

14
The Vale Region / Re: A Walk In The Shadows (Inex, CLOSED)
« on: July 23, 2018, 01:21:32 PM »
Maria smiled, a particular kind of a smile that suggested that Amane had struck upon a subject of interest. "Oh, I already know a great deal -- everything that's public knowledge, and some things of a more discreet nature." She pulled out a small Scroll-like data pad and handed it to Amane. "There are certain individuals with interest in his research, particularly an experimental healing salve he's believed to have produced. This list of equipment and ingredients was pulled off the LifeWeave company's server's recently, and The Lady believes it relates to his work on the salve. Trouble is, the list appears to be incomplete -- Budonoki is acquiring certain ingredients through his company and others elsewhere."

Moving her desert to one side, Maria intertwined her hands so that her index fingers were pointing upwards. "As it stands, the list is worthless; a lab would likely run through an obscene amount of tests and formulations before they created anything of worth. It can't be sold unless the complete recipe can be acquired. That, Amane, is where we'd like your help." At the word 'your', Maria's hands turned so that her pointed fingers were directed at Amane.

"As a student, you can interact with the professor without arousing suspicion. We need to know where he keeps his research data. Once we know we can move to acquire it. For your part in all of this The Lady is offering one third of the formula's sale price -- bidding will start at seven million, so you're assured of a healthy payout. If you'd like to negotiate on top of that, I have permission to do so." That hint of a cheshire cat smile returned as she added. "Are you in?"

15
Atlas. The cold northern kingdom was a place Budonoki had only visited very infrequently, and then only when his work had required. No doubt many would assume that to be reticence -- Atlas, after all, had a bad reputation when it came to anti-faunus bias, but the truth was far more mundane, yet simultaneously personal. This place of ice and snow, of bare rock and freezing waters, had so little native to its shores that could be called "greenery" that it may as well be completely devoid. Venturing this far north, he always felt like he was leaving a piece of himself behind... it was disquieting, something that stripped away the regular ease with which he could find his center and render his soul calm. Everything was just simply more difficult for him here... and it was about to get worse.

Even before the doors opened and revealed the stage, the old lynx felt them. Heard them. The cries of agony as branch and shoot were subjected to the flame rang in his mind with an awful anguish, a stabbing pain that left him short of breath the moment he perceived it. He'd braced himself against the wall of the waiting area, taking steadying breaths, drawing on every tool of mental focus and resolve that he had ever acquired. Bad enough to be deprived of nature's embrace, but to then afterwards have it handed back to him in torment? That was nearly crippling. The fight hadn't even yet begun, and already it felt as though someone had given him a swift kick in the gut.

The sound of the doors opening drew him back to the present moment. Deep breaths... deep breaths... A jolt of Atlesian cold air -- cold for someone like him, at least -- flowed down the hallway and further awoke him to his regular senses. He let it flow through his lungs, then willed one foot in front of the other. He could cope. He had to. There was no committing to this only to back out.

He couldn't let the entire world know his biggest weakness, after all...

Stepping out into the arena, Budonoki presented as the very image of a cultured Mistrali faunus-sage. He had traded in his standard combat gi for one that was somewhat showier, a single-sleeve variant with silver accents tracing the edges of an elaborate medley of green leaves and vines on a muted brown backdrop. He carried his metal combat staff in one hand, a simple length of corded rope securing his other staff to his back. The wide-brimmed conical straw hat he'd chosen, accented with the design of two long, winding jade dragons intertwining, sufficed to conceal the hints of pain in his expression as his gaze traveled to the burning trees. He would have a word later with the tournament organizers about showing proper respect for nature...

As his steps carried him towards center stage he caught sight of his opponent. He knew the man by reputation, of course, to say nothing of the fear and hostility that radiated from the crowd, the attendant knights, and even the announcers. To them he must seem like a Beowolf released from its cage, a thing to be despised and ultimately put down... he sighed wearily, thinking back to his own days of strife. Nothing is ever cut and dry in the midst of war. It is easy to afterwards sit in judgement with all the facts cleanly and neatly arrayed, but to be there in the heat of the moment is another matter entirely. To be seen as a monster for one's deeds... perhaps, to even see one's self that way, was not something to which the surgeon sage was unfamiliar. The slightest twist of fate, and he could all too easily have ended up in Janus Rogo's shoes.

Coming to a stop at the edge of the mountain terrain, with the bellowing volcano looming off to one side, the old faunus waited for his opponent to draw near before speaking. "These people have already judged you, Janus Rogo. I have not. I hold no ill will towards you," He extended one hand, a gesture of goodwill. "And hope that our fight will be as between equals."

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