Completed The Death of Sparky (Job Thread)

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Built into the cliffs overlooking the Suvan Sea, Riverfall resides on the edge of grasslands of Cyphrus where the Bluevein River plunges off the plain and cascades down to the inland sea below. Home of the Akalak, Riverfall is a self-supporting city populated by devoted warriors. [Riverfall Codex]

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The Death of Sparky (Job Thread)

Postby Theo Popcampio on June 1st, 2016, 2:36 pm

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Twenty-Third of Summer, 516 AV


The air was damp and the sky was gray. As Theo looked out from the awning of the stable he could see only clouds for miles. ”Stay home today, human, the sky will pour on you,” but Theo knew better in his own head. He knew that if rain was coming you could smell it, and his nostrils said either it had already past or was a ways out. Either way, Theo would be back before the doubters had finished their guessing and betting. He already pictured himself trotting in with a smile to the stables, the stablemen silent as he parked his pony.

It would be Theo’s first time exploring the Cyphrus wildlands, at least in his memories. ”The land is tame for miles.” One akalak told him. ”Any beasts within our range are kept docile, anything dangerous has been expelled to the fringes. Once you get past the grassland, however, the forests will not be so kind. And keep one eye in the sky always, there is more than just animals to worry of.”

The Antiquities Society had made true on their promise to loan Theo a mount. It was a tremendous insurance risk, but one they could afford no doubt. It only advanced Theo’s thoughts that their society was a solid avenue to influence in Riverfall. Friends in high places afforded much for a human among the blue men.

The stableboy, a thirty year old human, identified the horse as a Cyphrus strider and a trusty mount. ”If you need to get going, this is your horse. She’s broken in. A lot of horse for a novice rider, but you seem to have got your salt. Just don’t drive this one near any snakes. Old las is scared to death of them.”

Theo mounted and headed out. He could feel the horse’s strength underneath him as she pounded the earth beneath. It had been a while since he had ridden, but it didn’t take him long to get the horse under his control. Theo gave a little tug with the reins and they were trotting along towards the gate.

The rancher who held the gate open was an akalak, an old one, wrinkled yet grizzled. He was shirtless and had a broad abdomen riddled with scars. Shock was followed by contempt as he looked at Theo, There was some red to be seen underneath the blue man’s skin. He looks so familiar. Their eyes locked, and Theo lost focus as he led the mare right into the gate, almost losing his seat as the horse self guided through the fence. He felt anger in his heart and his muscles tensed. It’s best to get away before this becomes more. Theo yelled ”Yah!” And got off to a pacey gallop. But he could still feel the eyes on him, and when Theo looked back the akalak was still there, staring as Theo rode off.

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The Death of Sparky (Job Thread)

Postby Theo Popcampio on June 30th, 2016, 4:21 pm

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The horse and Theo had found their way to a nice pace as they headed down the dusty road. Theo couldn’t get the old akalak off of his mind, and he was constantly checking behind him. Where have I seen him before?

His thoughts in a twist, Theo flicked the reins and got the black mare off to a running speed. Quickly they dashed down the long road, the air whizzing past as the two jointly lowered the heads in a push forward. The mare’s black bristles tickled Theo’s nostrils and Theo’s thighs gripped tight to the saddle.

Up ahead he could see the road breaking off into two paths, one dead ahead and one towards the right. Theo brought the horse down to a slow walk with another pull of the reins. Turning down the right path, Theo pulled the note left to him by The Antiquities Society from his pocket:

”Make a right down the first break in the path. Continue along, crossover the hill to your west (left) a mile down, and continue down the path until you hit dense shrubbery. Head long around the foliage. Do not enter the shrubbery, there are small and deadly creatures within. A mile down past you’ll find the beach. The wreckage should be...”

That’s enough for now, Theo thought as he worked the horse up to a gallop. As the infinity of the world was reminded yet again: Theo had no patience. The world was every bit more beautiful as it moved by. The grass blades became one, the trees of the forest blurred together into one green capping, and individual moments became one memory and experience.

Laughing in his excitement, Theo slowed his pony down and pet her. ”Good girl,” he said as his nails scratched the back of her neck. She hummed back in a low growl. ”That’s the good spot, I know. That old blue wasn’t lyin’ when he said you have wheels.”

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The Death of Sparky (Job Thread)

Postby Theo Popcampio on June 30th, 2016, 4:23 pm

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Seeing the path broke again in two, Theo choose the past of most resistance as the note had instructed. One path was leading up to a hill by the left, and the other broke hard to the right. Following the left road, Theo knew in his mind he made the right judgment, but was left questioning the note’s. Even the treaded parts of the hill were rocky and muddy from the moisture. Still, it was best not betray his instruction in unfamiliar wilds.

Theo had a weakness for certain animals, and so he took a quick vow to give his mare a break at the top. Theo brought the beast to a fast trot as they neared the hill, hoping to get some necessary blood in her legs. The horse still felt fresh as she beat the ground under her, Theo hoped it would remain that way once they were atop the hill. Popcampio dismounted as they reached the base, and grabbed the mare by the reins. The hill was steep, and Theo led the horse by taking the front, using his free hand to help climb the hill’s face. More than once his feet slipped out from under him as a rock fell off the hillside, but Theo had a strong grip bred by his swordsmanship that held true against the steepness of the hill.

Once atop, Theo let the horse loose knowing that it would avoid the hills slope. From its pouch Theo pulled out a brush and a carrot, feeding the horse bits as he rubbed its coat and hummed a sweet melody, mostly for himself. By the time he finished, Theo had lulled the mare to sleep.

Theo used the time to practice his swordsmanship: Unsheathing his sword he began slicing away at a baby tree resting atop the hill. He had recently been working on his whirlwind swing. Turning his body all the way around as he swung, Theo could feel the resonance from the trees strength in his body after every strike. After a few goes his hands began to ring on their lonesome. And Theo worked on some more basic strikes, back and forth he swiped, and then up and down.
[/b]

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The Death of Sparky (Job Thread)

Postby Theo Popcampio on June 30th, 2016, 4:23 pm

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Theo was still slicing at the tree by the time he realized how much time he had lost. Once left, then right, across, side to side quickly, and then a thrust before dashing back and charging back in. Theo flicked his wrist and caught the tree’s shadow strike with a riposte before running the strike all the way through past his guard.

The poor tree was marked up with slashes all the way up and down, it looked like someone tried to carve out a jack-o-lantern. ”I really do get carried away sometimes.” Theo said, backing away from the tree. ”Ain’t that right, Sparky?” Theo was always a bit more creative when his blood was flowing, So what if she’s a girl? A turn of the head revealed Sparky was still asleep.

Deciding to give Sparky some rest, Theo started assembling some rocks from the hillside and laid them out in a pattern. One by one they fell in, and soon they had taken their desired form. Theo pooled res from within himself, channeling the res through his arms, through his palms, out from his hands, and in between the pebbles. Theo was slow in the generation of the res, as he needed his strength still, but it did not mean he could not have fun. When the goop filled the space between the pebbles, he imagined a match flicking aflame in his head, and the res was lit. The fire burned the grass beneath it, but the pebbles kept the blaze tame. When it was finally burned out, Theo started kicking all the pebbles off the hillside. He kicked them like he would a ball, with the inside of his foot, and the rolled down the hillside. One he kicked with the tip of his toe so that it cleared the hill. Theo learned from that, and his sore toe compelled him to kick the rest the inner side of his boot. When they were all cleared away, there was only the scorched earth remaining, which read “THEO” in big lettering.

”Wakey-wakey” Theo said as he lightly patted the horse awake. Sparky rose from her rest, her eyeballs only half open. Theo grabbed the remainder of the carrot from her pouch and led her around the hilltop to get her blood flowing. Soon the horse was chasing Theo around the hill, almost running him down for a bite. He eventually conceded, and while she choked down the carrot Theo mounted her.

Theo wanted to take the hill slowly, but Sparky had other ideas as she jogged down the hillside. The reins were of no use as Theo pulled this way and that way while Sparky made her journey down undeterred. The former squire eventually decided to let go and trust her, and as luck would have it, they came down the side just fine.

”Maybe you are bit too much horse for me.” Theo laughed as he pet Sparky.

[/b]

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The Death of Sparky (Job Thread)

Postby Theo Popcampio on June 30th, 2016, 4:24 pm

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They marched across the grassland for another mile, both the horse and her mountee were more than pleased to be back on the walk. Occasionally Theo would strike the reins up and get Sparky off to a more pacey run. Once I get some spare scratch I might just have to buy you, Sparky.

Down on the level ground Sparky’s legs were swallowed to her knees by the grass. The grass was, however, spotty, and Theo tried to move around the patches as best he could. It seemed to him only logical that the akalak would thin the grass so close to the city to help limit the number of hidden creatures. In the taller trees Theo could see raptors building nests. They’re getting fat out here I bet, lucky bastards.

As they went on the grass grew thicker and more wild, eventually giving way for the shrubbery that the note had discussed. It was thick and full of tangling vines and thorns that could be seen even at a distance. They didn’t really have to tell me to not go through that.

”The blue men aren’t much for subtlety, are they Sparky?”

Theo went clear around the side of the thorny shrubbery, but he stayed too close. A snake emerged and let out a quick hiss as it widened its hood. Sparky let out a nervous shrill and bucked up on her hind legs. Theo was sent tumbling to the ground. Worried the snake would follow up on his face, he immediately rolled away from the snake. But what feat there was quickly turned to anger as Theo stood up.

Knowing his leather was thick enough to withstand the bite, Theo stepped forward. The snake lunged in, falling right into Theo’s trap. He grabbed its neck and pulled out his assassin’s dagger. Yanking the beast off his leather, Theo pinned it to the ground and dragged the blade slowly down the snake’s belly. ”This is for sparky.” Drops of blood trickled out as Theo pierced through the snake’s body with his dagger, exposing the innards. The snake writhed in pain, which only further tore open the wound as Theo kept his grip on its neck tight. Soon the beast went unconscious, most likely due to the overwhelming pain. Although Theo had no knowledge of anatomy, there was a red organ bumping on the inside which he deduced was this creature’s life line. Theo removed his glove, reached in, and removed the heart. Standing up, he threw it to the ground and laid his boot over the heart, smearing it into the grass.

He spat on the snake’s lifeless corpse. ”Is that how you say ‘you’re dead’ in snake?”

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The Death of Sparky (Job Thread)

Postby Theo Popcampio on June 30th, 2016, 4:25 pm

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Theo followed Sparkie’s tracks for a good ten minutes before the horse reentered his sights. Sparkie had kicked up dirt all along the shallow grass in her franticness, so following her was no hard task. She was surprisingly calm by the time Theo had found her. ”It is good you do not dwell,” Theo said, walking up and brushing her main, ”If only the women I knew were like you.”

Theo wrapped up the snake’s skin in a rag and put it back away in the saddle, figuring he could sell it or get it made into leather. If I find some of your buddies, maybe I’ll make you guys into some boots. Theo and Sparky were quickly back on their journey, heading down the grassland away from the shrubs and towards the shore.

Thunder boomed overhead and the horse was rattled for a moment. The sky had turned to a dark gray with the time, and the now smelled of rain. Theo put Sparky back on her wheels by pulling tight to the reins. Gods be damned. I might have been wrong, but those akalaks won’t be laughing if I got something to do with it. Sparky ran with more fervor than before with her newfound adrenaline, and the shoreline came into sight quickly.

Theo looked around as he was perched atop Sparky. He didn’t need to address the note again, the wooden wreckage was clear to see on the empty sands. Theo dismounted as he approached, and stepped over a shattered wood curvature that looked to be the underbelly of the ship.

The ship was splintered across the shore line, with only the strong structural parts not wrought into rotting, splintered pieces. Looking at the condition of the ship, it was amazing to Theo how much had come ashore.

He flipped over a half dozen pieces of wood and found nothing before he turned to the barrels. Inside the barrels he found soaked bacon and shriveled fruit that smelled of rot. Any and all goods that were hid in others were worthless: The clothing was torn and soaked, the silk was rendered into bits, and the hides had been eaten away.

There was, however, one crate trimmed with iron that Theo saved as his lucky last. Theo’s employment at The Antiquities Society was riding on this crate. He used his sword edge to pry open the top but felt no resistance: The crate had already been cracked. Inside the container were more boxes, and he opened one to find the jagged edges of a shattered vase covered in black, soaked ashes, most likely a burial urn. He cracked open the others to see they were filled with the same ash and shattered clay. There was, however, a notable emptiness where an additional crate would be placed. The missing box, and the already broken seal told Theo he wasn’t the crates first visitor Still, it was no matter, the broken urns themselves had to carry some worth. ”Oh those fuckin’ blue skins are going to shyte go---”

”Revan of the Avaric! Face me and face your death!”

Theo turned his head around lazily. Figures, this was too good not to have some schmuck intervene. Opposite him stood the grizzled old akalak from the stables. He was holding a Lakan and wore his leather armor head to toe. He looked ready for a fight

”Listen buddy, I don’t know what your gripe is with me, but buzz off. I’m not buyin’ none of what you’re selling.”

The akalak paid no mind to Theo and charged in. Theo drew his blade, ”You know, I wasn’t really expecting to kill someone today, but I’m not complaining!” He yelled, making his own charge.

The two met with opposing strikes. Theo dashed to the side and quickly took another swipe, which the akalak deflected with his steel bracers. His opponent push forward, and Theo took a more defensive style while he tried to create the distance that would favor him. But the akalak would not let up as he continued in, pressing Theo and trying to get by his guard. Trying to think, Theo tried to craft a strategy(he still had not been pushed far enough to use his magic): This man is clearly an advanced fighter, but we’ll see how he handles this. Theo used his strong arm to deflect the incoming blows, and with his right he reached to his legs and pulled out his dagger. He pushed forward with his sword guard, locking with the akalak’s lakan, and swiped across with his assassin’s blade.

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The Death of Sparky (Job Thread)

Postby Theo Popcampio on June 30th, 2016, 4:25 pm

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Last edited by Theo Popcampio on September 29th, 2016, 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Death of Sparky (Job Thread)

Postby Theo Popcampio on June 30th, 2016, 4:25 pm

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The man’s blue skin wept red blood. Theo hadn’t to pierce all the way through to send him howling, but it was merely a flesh wound. Fearing a recovery, Theo put his dagger back in the scabbard, and kept pushing with his longsword. But the akalak was strong and didn’t give any ground. Theo laid down a fury of strikes, but each of them failed to move the akalak’s guard or his ground.

Theo tried to kick him, but the blow to the stomach only sent Theo staggering as his hard abdomen pushed back with equal might. The next time Theo tried to kick his foe at the knees in between two cross strikes, but the akalak simply shuffled his toes and avoided the blow.

He finally saw the man’s tactic: Theo was wearing his strength down while his opponent reserved his own. Theo decided to make a strategic effort to slow down his own strikes and regain composure, but also to roll them off with pace in order to deceive his opponent away from the reality of his plans. He may even think of me as supernatural, what a laugh that would be.

But as Theo’s strikes grew slower, the akalak made notice and used the opportunity to catch the blade in his lakan’s hitch. Damn my lack of foresight. Locked in, Theo’s only choice was to push, and try to break the break the catch guard of the lakan. As he had struck down from the top, leverage was on Theo’s side, and the lakan broke in two.

”NO!” The akalak bellowed out. ”You ignorant, deceiving bastard!” The akalak tackled Theo, who was off guard having put all his weight into his sword.

On the ground Theo tried to use the momentum to roll on top of the akalak. And while successful, it was a momentary success, as the akalak used that momentum to regain control. Theo sucked the akalak in as they exchanged close punches, each member of the fight jockeying for better position.

Theo was getting ready to torch his foe as the akalak became untangled, but as he reared back the former squire saw dark figures looming in the sky. ”Get off.”

”Scared to face your fa--.” The Akalak trailed off as he too witnessed the dark shadows, nearly a dozen of them, shading the ground.

The akalak got off without a word, scrambling to find his lakan in the sand.

”There’s no time! Use my blade.” Theo said, moving all his djed through his torso and out through his arms. He began to form res in a gel like form, but reserved a gaseous exterior to the goop.

The zith landed in a near second. Ten in total, their dark bodies and wings surrounded the akalak and Theo, blocking any exit. They alternated their shrills, piercing Theo’s eardrums, but he and his new friend had no choice but to stand firm.

”Surrender is not an option.” The blue man said.

”We kill them all, even the youngling.” Theo moved his gaseous res to encapsulate one of the zith, and lit it aflame, the wings acting as quick tinder. A zith charged in on the akalak’s side, but fell to the skilled martialist and quickly lost his hand. Reeling as blood slipped from its hand, the akalak finished the zith off with a slice to the neck.

The hunting party decided to change their tactics, and some launched into the air. Their burned brethren still screaming piercing cries as they began to swoop down. Theo knew lightning would be most useful here, as it struck instantly, and started launching bolts at the zith. The first missed, but the second went and seared through one of the flying bandit’s chest. He launched another and it blew a hole in one of the ziths wings, sending it tumbling through the air out of control and onto its neck. Dead.

Another came swooping down and swiped Theo at the shoulder, and cut his arm. Theo lost control of his res and the goo splattered all over his own boots. ”Petch!” Theo called out, drawing his dagger.

The akalak tumbled into Theo as he was swarmed by two more zith, stabbing one clean through, but being overwhelmed by the other. The remaining two on the ground launched at Theo as he slashed at them with his dagger trying to keep them away. They pushed forward regardless, and Theo knew he was beat. In a last prideful effort, Theo ran his blade through the stomach of one of the ziths, twisting as it sunk in. The wide bladed dagger would leave an unstitchable, festering wound.

Theo was thrown to the ground by the remaining zith. His eyes forced on Sparky. She was trying to gallop away, but the zith had caught her in flight. One mounted her and slashed her throat, her blood gushing across the shoreline and into the water as she collapsed on her side.

”NOO!” Theo called out. A zith let out a condemning into his ear and then connected Theo’s own pommel to his head. Everything went black.

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The Death of Sparky (Job Thread)

Postby Faradae on May 12th, 2017, 8:13 pm

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Theo
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

E X P E R I E N C E

• Horse Riding +3
• Horsemanship +3
• Weapon (longsword) +4
• Reimancy +2
• Weapon (dagger) +2
• Unarmed Combat +2
• Tactics +1
• Acrobatics +1


L O R E S

• Wilderness Survival: Smelling if rain is coming
• The perks of having friends in high places
• Horse Riding: Adjusting to a new horse
• Horse Riding: Spurring a horse into gallop
• Horse Riding: Controlling speed and direction using reigns
• Horsemanship: Building a connection through praise and scratches
• Horsemanship: Leading the horse up a steep hill instead of riding
• Horsemanship: Bringing treats
• Horsemanship: Brushing a horse
• Longsword: Whirlwind swing
• Longsword: Striking a reposte
• Sparky: Trusty Cyphrus strider
• Don't kick stones with your toe-tip
• Reimancy: Scorching words into the ground
• Horsemanship: Playtime
• Horse Riding: Letting your horse pick its path
• Sparky: Afraid of snakes
• Wilderness Survival: Grabbing a snake by the neck to stay clear of its fangs
• Dagger: A simple swipe
• Unarmed Combat: Kicking your opponent to disrupt his balance
• Acrobatics: Rolling on top of your opponent
• A common enemy turns foes into allies
• Sparky: Killed by zith


I N J U R Y

• Theo's lower right arm is bruised and covered in a multitude of small cuts. The bruise will turn from blue to greenish-yellow within two weeks and vanish after four weeks. Medical attention is not required.
• A nasty gash from a Zith's claw spreads over Theo's right shoulder and upper arm. Treated in a medical center, it will be stitched up and heal within four weeks. Untreated, the wound will likely catch inflammation.


N O T E S

I enjoyed this thread, especially the horse-centered passages.

Just a tiny word about that dagger: Theo has pretty true aim for his skill level, I suggest a bit more trial and error here. He is proficient with a longsword (and knows which side to grab and which side to stab with), but there are differences nonetheless.
Careful with the dual wield (sword/dagger), too. It read a little too effortless for something that requires concentration, especially with a low dagger-skill. Keep in mind that dual wield is not supposed to happen until both weapon levels have reached 30.


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