Completed Keep Smiling

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

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Keep Smiling

Postby Erik Murphy on January 15th, 2016, 8:47 pm

Calendar40th - Six more bodies found in the slums, all mutilated with 'smiling jack' scrawled across their torso. (Autumn, AV 512

21st Bell - 40th of Autumn, AV 512 - Sunberth's Alleyways

Sunberth welcomed all into its arms even if the people would push them all right back out given the chance. Night had a way of bringing all the freaks out. The darkness was like was like a mother to them, whispering to them in the shadows, telling them that they were normal, that they would be save outside as long as they were in her shrouding embrace.

The sky was clear this night, the full moon shone brightly in the sky as it radiated down on Sunberth shadowed streets, bringing some much need illumination with it. In a desolate alleyways several figures skulked around, whispering amongst themselves as they drew a variety of deadly weapons before hovering around a splintering wooden door.
"So, wait... What's this fucker done again?" One of the mercenaries asked in a hushed whisper to Erik.
"He's been cuttin' 'is product with flour or salt or sumthin' like that. I dunno the specifics an' I didn't ask. He's been a moron an' someone wants 'im dead for it" Erik replied truthfully, he didn't care what the drug dealer did and he'd be happy to wipe his existence from Sunberth.
"Right, an' 'ow many guards does 'e 'ave?"
"Two we reckon, maybe three"
Another mercenary answered "Four of us should be enough an' lets face it, we don't wanna split the fee for this anymore than we 'ave too."
"Who gave us this job anyway?"
"Some guy from the establishment. Usual drill"
Erik stated which for a mercenary in Sunberth was a fifth up front and no exchange of names.
"And we're sure 'e's in 'ere with no back entrances?"
"Bloke said 'e was 'ere and I couldn't find another door anywhere else. Bugger could 'ave a trap door leadin' into some tunnel but not much we can do about that".
"Alright, big guy, you're up".

The fourth member of their little makeshift team, a six foot tall broad redhead who had yet to speak a single word, approached the door and raised a heavy foot before slamming into the door. The rusty instantly surrendered to the sudden force and the door flew forward into the building with a loud bang. There was a sudden rush of activity as the mercenaries poured into what looked like some dirty lab with equipment, that while simple, Erik couldn't even begin to name. Each side of the thirty by thirty foot room was lined by shelves with all sorts of strange plants, powders and what look like animals innards to Erik.

"Mercenaries, deal with them!" A voice shouted, originating from a scrawny rat-faced man who had retreated to the other side of the room as he stuffed a backpack with gold and drugs. Three men lumbered forward in response to these orders, each clad in leather armour and wielding a variety of blades. Erik rushed forward, his blade slicing through the air with deadly force and speed as his opponent parried the blow, his own blade twisting to meet Erik's kopis and knock it off course.

Erik gritted his teeth as he quickly recoiled before twisting his body to the side to avoid a lethal follow up stab by his foe that would've left his guts spilling out onto the floor though that would make the makeshift drug lab no less disturbing. Downward slash. Blocked. Across. Parried. Kick to the testicles. Success. He pressed on aggressively as the mercenaries splintered off, fighting with various success as they negotiated clunky with the environment.

As his opponent tried to shrug off the pain to his bollocks Erik continued to press on with the assault, bearing down constantly on the man with wild slashes. His foe tried a risky retaliation, his arm stretching out as the tip of his blade targeted Erik's torso but it was ill-concieved and Erik sliced across, his forward heavy blade swinging forward as struck against his forearm.

The blade had no trouble slicing through the hardened leather that was more suited to softening blunt force then sharp metal. It continued, through his arm as the man screamed with a sickening wail as his muscles were several and blood started to pour from the wound. It was only bone that stopped the blade but not before it had partially split through and become lodged in the arm. Erik let his grip of the hilt slip as the man fell to the ground in pain and it was times like this he was always glad he carried a spare. He slipped his other blade from his harness before bringing it down onto the back of the man's neck, hacking several times in short success as blood sprayed from the wound that was mangled into indiscernible chunks of bloody flesh.

Erik tasted the blood on his face as his body was splattered with the disturbingly warm liquid as what missed him decorated the lab instead. He felt the adrenaline rushing around his body, feeling every twitch in his body and he looked around the lab for another fight to join in with.

By the gods, I love this job.
Last edited by Erik Murphy on February 15th, 2018, 9:31 am, edited 3 times in total.
“And you have your part to play, Erik. You will be fooled, like most, but you will survive. You might even benefit it all. Hold history close to your chest, young man. That’s my advice.”
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Erik Murphy
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Keep Smiling

Postby Erik Murphy on January 18th, 2016, 9:18 pm

"Grab the bugger"

Erik vaulted over the central table, knocking over vials and alembics as his legs swept over surface, sending them smashing to the floor as strange, foul smelling liquids spread across the floor. He watched the drug maker lift up a heavy trapdoor that had been concealed under a dirty rug and start to clamber down the rung of ladder, no doubt leading into some godforsaken tunnel under the city. Erik had no plans of chasing him through the those tunnels, to him they still had some unnerving hold over him that made him very resistant to even stepping foot in one, even if it wasn't the ancient mine shafts that still lingered in and around Sunberth.

He leapt forward, his stomach scraping the floor painfully as he felt skin tear from the surface. His right hand shot forward, slipping in between the closing trap door and grabbing the lab rat by the scruff of his shirt. He felt the man flail as he scratched, hit and then sunk his teeth into Erik's hand in the hope that the mercenary would let go. Erik cried out in pain but adrenaline numbed the pain and he was determined not to let go of the slippery bastard.

"Someone grab 'im!"
He barked out in pain as he heard the scuffling of feet between him before a two sets of rough bloody hands heaved up the trap door and pulled the scrawny dealer out from his hole, kicking and scream of course. "Y'alright Erik?" One of his comrades asked as he got up of the ground.
"Yeah, fine. The bugger bit me though, right between the bloody thumb and finger" He replied, looking at his bleeding right hand "One more scar for the collection eh? I bet'er not get mad dog's disease."

"Get the fuck off me!"
The apothecary spat as the men slammed his head against the table and force it there "What do you want?!" He demanded as if it wasn't obvious.
"Slimly ol' Ned, cuttin' your drugs with crap your addicts don't want" Erik said as he sucked his wound and then spat the blood right back in Ned's face "Whatsit you like to call yourself again?"
"Go fuck yourself"
He spat back, the spit running down his face.
"The purveyor of poison. I wish we all could 'ave title like that. What would we be called lads?"
"Scum's worst nightmare?"

"Heh, I s'pose so, we should get that inked on us" Erik joked.
"What do you want from me?" He asked again, clearly not happy with the jovial attitude of four men who just killed his guard and were now laughing at him like they were all at a tavern.
"We just need a bit of you s'all" One of the mercenaries explained as Erik drew his heavy blade "Then we can all go 'ome".

With the fear of the gods in him he struggled, trying to break free of their grip but he was too small to fight off two men twice his weight. "Whatever your bein' paid, I'll triple it" He begged but Erik wasn't moved.
"Nah, we've been in this game too long Ned to know bribes don't work out. Come on Ned, y'know this. And besides, I'll be 'appy to see your 'ead roll. If I 'ad my way this would be at the Gallows and I'd tie the noose for free" He said, bending down to look the walking piece of shit right in the eye before handing the blade over to the redheaded mercenary who still hadn't said a word. "Make it quick, make it clean".
“And you have your part to play, Erik. You will be fooled, like most, but you will survive. You might even benefit it all. Hold history close to your chest, young man. That’s my advice.”
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Erik Murphy
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Keep Smiling

Postby Erik Murphy on January 19th, 2016, 7:52 pm

They left the building chuckling to themselves over a job well done as they cleaned off their weapons and checked out the cuts and scrapes they had garnered from the fight that would no doubt lead to a more thorough inspection back home with all the usual morbid interest. Erik casually swung the blood sodden sack back and forth as black, still warm blood splattered the pavements with each ascent and descent of the sack.

"By the gods, they always 'ave to wriggle about don't they?"
"Yep, my missus is gonna run 'er mouth off at me. Can already 'ear complain' about 'ow long blood takes to get out of clothes."
"Pfft, least yours just moans about the cleanin'. I get to 'ear about 'ow I'm settin' a bad example for the kids. Not my fault the shake o' the bag doesn't wanna pull 'is bloody finger out and do a decent days work."
"Kids these days, wouldn't last a season in our time."

That mention of the good old days was enough to the band of mercenaries entertained for a while as they began to their walk back to the main streets of Sunberth, twisting and turning through constantly shifted maze of Sunberth's housing that only a local could hope to keep track of.

The jovial mood was quickly snuffed out though as they walked into a small clearing just a short walk from one of Sunberth's main streets. For a moment they all just though it was a bunch of drunks that had decided to have a quick nap out in the open or a bunch of homeless huddling for warmth that was before they saw the blood. It was a vast pool, only the walls of the alleyway had stopped it spreading further as it begun to dry out and with every step Erik took closer to the grim pile of lifeless bodies he could feel the sticky liquid cling to his boots, urging him not to walk any firther.

"What the fuck?"
Erik asked rhetorically, his voice trailing off as they surrounded the bodies with a sickening curiosity. Some of their faces were contorted in fear, frozen in place to forever display the horror of their final breaths while other looked like they had slipped away peacefully into Dira's embrace. Erik had done some bad things in his time, every mercenary had whether through choice or coercion or just the heat of the moment. He was not a man that would look forward to Lhex's judgement but even this sickened him the pit of his stomach. The barbarity. The excess. The egotistic nature of it all. This murderer was either the worst piece of filth that the Wolf Den had conceived or one of vile outsiders that had wrongfully assumed that Sunberth in anyway reflected their inner caranlity and would be welcomed in the embrace of this city.

"Look their stomachs Erik, Smilin' Jack"
One of the mercenaries said, gesturing to the hideous mutilations on their body that almost couldn't been seen through all the blood covering their bodies. It was foul, the child-like carving of 'smiling jack' in flesh, right across their torsos. I hope the poor buggers where dead when he did that Erik thought as lingered on the horror of the victim's final moments.
Last edited by Erik Murphy on January 19th, 2016, 7:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“And you have your part to play, Erik. You will be fooled, like most, but you will survive. You might even benefit it all. Hold history close to your chest, young man. That’s my advice.”
User avatar
Erik Murphy
Posts: 73
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Joined roleplay: December 12th, 2015, 12:38 am
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Keep Smiling

Postby Erik Murphy on January 19th, 2016, 7:55 pm

A sudden breath startled them all. Each one of them drew their weapons or raised their fists as men who would never learn to put the sword down once they were done with this life. They had seen too much to never not be on edge, they would never join the ranks of the innocent men and women who just tried to carve a life out for themselves in this city. Erik looked at the ground for a moment; he saw a trail of footprints in the blood of leading to a stack of no doubt empty crates which someone clearly had hidden behind.

Erik stepped forward as they mercenaries began stepping slowly around the bodies, circling the hidden figure as if it were Smiling Jack himself. He's long gone, a bastard like him would probably relish a few more bodies for his pile Erik thought though his weapon made no indications of being sheathed. He tip-toed as close as he could to the crates, trying not to startle his prey who was hoping that the mercenaries would walk off into the night and he could slink from his hidey hole.

Erik pounced suddenly, his body bending over the crates as he dragged the quivering, sweating figure out, ignoring his protests as he slammed his body against the wall and pushed his blade right against the vulnerable throat that was always eager to let a torrent of blood loose.
"Please sers, it wasn't me I swear to all the gods I can think of!" The scrawny teenager with just a hint of facial begged to him, his eyes moving from Erik's blade to the other mercenary but always avoiding Erik's own gaze.
"Who did this?! Did you seem 'em!?" Erik demanded as he shook the boy back and forth, threatening to slice his throat with just a simply slip..
"I didn't do it, I swear. Please don't cut my throat, I just panicked when I 'eard your voices".
"I believe you"
Erik stated, this boy couldn't even slice bread let alone several throats "Did you see who did?" He asked again, getting tired quickly of repeating himself.
"No sers, I didn't see nuthin'. I just came back from my bird's house, her old man doesn't like me 'angin' around y'see, thinks I'm no good for her" The boy said, reeling of every detail he could think of in a panic "Then I find these bodies, all stacked up and I nearly vomited, I ain't seen nuthin' like this before".
"You did vomit"
Erik noted, nodding to the clumps of carrot and corn stick caught in his top as well the vile aroma that made Erik's nose crinkle in replusion.
"So I did ser. Then I 'ear voice, yours I s'pose and I 'id, I'm a coward ser, I admit from the bot'om of my 'eart. Then I see you all through a crack and if you don't mind me sayin' sers, you don't look like fellas to be messed with".

"I wouldn't mind it if you'd shut up" Erik stated bluntly as he relaxed his arm that pinned the boy down to the wall but not enough to let him go. "What d'ya fellas think of this?" He asked, his neck twisting round to face them.
"Why you covered in blood boy if you didn't do it?" One of them asked observantly as Erik turned his head back round with a quizzical eyebrow, making it clear he wanted an answer.
"I thought I should check if any of 'em were still alive" He explained, his bottom lip quivering as he senseed their disbelief before adding "Seemed like the decent thing to do".
Erik said, seriously doubting that this boy even knew what the word decent meant "You were robbin' them weren't ya. Their bodies weren't even cold I bet" He accused while tapping the tip of blade against the leather pouch that he clung onto for dear life in hand.
"Well..." He said, licking his lips nervously before trying to justify his actions "The dead don't need coin anymore, the livin'. Who's gonna care that they've been robbed when their chest 'as been sliced up".

Erik sheathed his blade and the waved the boy off "Just go, get out 'ere lad" He said as the lad did just that, not bothering to push his luck any further by thanking them. If it was another day he might have left the boy with a bloody nose or taken the coin from him to make a point but the babaric actions of Smiling Jack had made this opportunity theft look so slight.
"What's this ol' city comin' to Erik? This Jack fella must be some sick outsider strollin' through Sunberth like 'e owns the place otherwise these bodies would've been pillin' up years ago."
"Aye, fuckin' outsiders" He said, nodding his head in agreement "We should probably 'ead off to 'lest we wanna get strung up for murder. The bloke wants ol' Ned's head tomorrow morning at the Establisment" He added, suddenly remembering they had a job to do.
"That's it? Walk away like we didn't see nuthin'"
"Nah, we'll stop by the Trotter on the way 'ome. Merv'll soon spread the news around."

And with that plan they left silently, unable to give the victims even a shred of respect until their loved ones would find the bodies in the light of morning. This city could take a lot more than a life from a man, more men than Erik could ever count had left Sunberth broken, hollow men with nothing to live for. This was Sunberth and no-one would ever forget that.
“And you have your part to play, Erik. You will be fooled, like most, but you will survive. You might even benefit it all. Hold history close to your chest, young man. That’s my advice.”
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Erik Murphy
Posts: 73
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Joined roleplay: December 12th, 2015, 12:38 am
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Keep Smiling

Postby Royal on January 31st, 2016, 11:29 am

Rhetoric +2
Observation +4
Planning +1
Acrobatics +2
Investigation +2
Weapon: Kopis +1
Endurance +1
Tactics +1
Leadership +3
Intimidation +2
Persuasion +2
Philosophy +1
Tacking +1
Stealth +1
Interrogation +1

Acrobatics: Table vaulting
Ned: ‘The purveyor of Poison
Memory: The handiwork of Smlin’ Jack
Smilin’ Jack: Sunberthian psychopath
Tracking: Following bloody footprints

Questions? Comments? Please don't hesitate to PM me!
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You can call me Queen Bee
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