Quest Night of Masks [Closed]

The Night of Masks begins!

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

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Night of Masks [Open]

Postby Orakan on March 1st, 2019, 7:55 am

The night seemed just like any other: the slag heap burned and people went about their nocturnal activities, none-the-wiser of what the Daggerhand had in store.

Orakan - like many of his fellow Brothers and Sisters - had made the trip west across the Mudway from Robern's Reaches. The group he was with splintered off and tracked southward along the western banks of the Mudway, keeping to the eastern gate of the Community. The collection of motley soldiers slowed as they passed the halfway point, some rising up onto tiptoes as they did their best to peer over the gate towards the Scarlet Sanctum. Orakan couldn't help thinking that a good number of those in his company would rather be in a place like Ruby's as opposed to out here, milling about with masks in hand as they waited for their signal to strike.

Unlike them, Orakan was ready, keen for the fight the Daggerhand was poised to deliver. Focusing on it helped keep his mind off that gods awful Slag ship and he absently toyed with the hilt of his kopis as if doing so might stay his discomfort. And while others looked longingly towards the pleasure den, Orakan found himself unable to keep his attention away, focus turning back towards the Bay.

As much as he hated it, he couldn't help the pull that ship had, the terrifying - and yet bewitching - allure of the unknown. His good eye squinted to try and make out what the night sky and Leth's weak light tried to hide from him and he felt the stirrings of his unease - the tightness of his chest and shoulders. The thought of what was on it made him even more uncomfortable. But he didn't have to like it - that foul taste of the unknown.. of possible magic - he just had to be present. Be a soldier. Do as he was instructed. The Daggerhand was using it for a reason - it wasn't his place to ask or know why.

The flash caught him - and many others - off guard, that wave of light and energy illuminating the saique before plunging it into darkness once more as it spread out and away. A hush fell upon the group as shrieks and screams rose in the distance.

The city descended into panic. This was their cue.

"Masks on, let's go!"

The call rang out and the group around him did as told before brandishing their weapons. Orakan gave the ship one last look before dropping his gaze to the mask in his hand. He hesitated, a very real fear of magic and what could be possessing this thing in his hand gripping him before a Brother knocked into him while rushing past, the man spinning around long enough to yell out.

"Don't just stand there ya shyke cunt!!"

A scowl. The scarred Daggerhand's mood shifted from unease to frustration and then, with a hard smack given to his own chest, rage - the emotion he needed to be feeling - and he finally secured the thing to his face and took off, running to catch up with the others.

The group rushed eastward towards the Western Heights and the more heavily protected Sun's Refuge, reuniting with the main collection of Daggerhand soldiers. The first wave had reached the area just after the flash hit, managing to catch the Sun's Birth off guard. They beat them back, overwhelming the unsuspecting soldiers and Dragoons.

Tonight they'd take the Western Heights. Tonight they'd cut the Sun's Birth deep.

Orakan drew his kopis just as the wave he was moving in slammed - quite literally - into the fray. The fighting within the Western Heights was messy and disorganised as many of the more seasoned Dragoons had cut their losses and retreated to defend their home turf from these masked marauders. This left the less skilled Raiders and Guardians to do what they could to try and maintain what little hold they still had on the Heights. It was futile.

The young Daggerhand thug grunted as his kopis clanged hard against a Raider's tulwar, both straining against the others might before the blades slide free of one another. Momentarily caught off guard, Orakan did his best to try and spin away - stumbling in the process - before quickly swinging his kopis up into a defensive guard position. But there was no need. He watched through the mask with his one good eye as the Raider ducked at seemingly nothing, hands shooting up above him as he cowered. Sensing an opportunity, Orakan did not let it go to waste and charged forward, blade coming down on the Raiders exposed head.

The sound was barely audible above the clanging of steel and wails of wounded and dying men.

The Raider dropped and the Daggerhand advanced forward, trotting briskly before quickening his pace to a run as he moved with his fellows, advancing further and further into the Western Heights. Here men grew desperate, half mad from fear of the ghosts that terrorised them, ghosts that ignored the swarming masked marauders. It was almost too easy.

He ducked just in time to miss his face being cleaved in two by a hefty battleaxe, breath heaving as he lost his balance and tumbled forward. His hands instinctively shot forward to the ground, kopis still held in his white-hot grip, and he used them to help himself regain his balance. Scurrying awkwardly forward, he lifted his sights to look for any threats in front of him and then slowly righted himself and spun. The Dragoon was on him, mighty axe drawn back and ready to swing, and the young Daggerhand knew his kopis would be of no use to him. He fumbled for his dagger, seized it, and then ducked, propelling himself forward and into the advancing Dragoon and was clocked upside the head with the handle.. but it was better than the curved blade of the axe.

Hugging the Dragoon around the middle, he stabbed at the man's side with a frenzy - over and over - until he felt the man become dead weight in his arms. Looking up, he caught the sight of a fellow Daggerhand's blood-red blade just as it was being drawn back through the Dragoon's throat and instantly released the body in his arms, letting it slump to the ground.

The tide was turning, the mass moving northward towards the Sun's Refuge. Chest heaving from exertion and adrenaline, he moved a shaky hand to sheath his dagger before he joined the surging current of Daggerhand brutes, heart hammering away in his ears and kopis held low at his side.

This was living.
“The means to every crime is ours,
and we employ them all,
we multiply the horror a hundredfold.”

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Night of Masks [Open]

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on March 12th, 2019, 10:49 pm

A surge of trepidation swept over Anja as Kelski announced her plans, but Anja swallowed his discontent and hugged his friend back fiercely. The Drykas knew Kelski well enough to know that any attempts to dissuade her would inevitably fail. Even as he feared for her safety, Anja could not help but admire her independence and spirit. “Be safe,” he told her gently, and with a sinking heart watched as the kelvic vanished through the doorway.

The Drykas exhaled a deep and intense sigh, then forced his mind back to the matter at hand. Kelski was more than capable of taking care of herself, and other things at hand required attention. By this point in the night Anja had managed to infuse all the weapons of the Gem residents with soulmist. He had prepared three extra batches, which he stowed for later use. And, with his preparations complete, the Eiyon swallowed his pride and prepared himself to go in search for his estranged employer. The Spiritist had no doubt that his trip to the Dust Bed would be dangerous, so he checked his equipment twice. Three vials of soulmist, a soulmist infused bastard sword, soulmist infused gloves, and his usual attire. Anja sheathed his bastard sword in his sash, and pulled his cowl up and over his face and head before exiting the Gem, calling a goodbye over his shoulder to those residents who still remained and giving one last pat to the pups who would not be coming with him.

A chill shuddered through Anja's chest the moment he stepped out of the Gem's safe zone. The distant echo of screams and combat made the Drykas tighten his hand around his sword's hilt. A figure flitted on the edges of his vision, and Anja pulled his sword out of his sheath, levelling his blade at the figure. “Hold,” the Drykas said firmly, but a breath allowed him a moment to look over the figure, and he paused. “Is that you Vasin?” The blade lowered as Anja gave the man a calm leveled look. Anja knew little of Vasin, aside from the fact that he had looked after his mule for a time and he was a friend of Kelski's. That second point gave Anja the comfort to lower his guard. Kelski generally had good judgement when it came to others.

“What are you doing here?” Anja asked. “It's dangerous out. The Gem is warded right now, if you need a safe place from the ghosts then---” The Drykas’ words were interrupted by a scream of pure terror from within the Stables. Anja was in motion before thought found him, grabbing onto the side of the fence and heaving himself up over it. He had entirely forgotten Vasin in the moment, his only thought was the horses. As Anja rushed towards the stables, a pair of white, ethereal figures stood at the edge of the safe zone surrounding them.

One of them was standing just before the zone, reaching forward towards the horses, while the other was grabbing at the spiritbeads, trying to twist them out of the way. Maisa stood guard within the safe zone, all ferocity and attitude, ears pinned and ready to bite. Behind her in his stall, Moth screamed his terror. The chickens were panicking as well, feathers flying in their terror. If Vasin followed Anja, the Drykas would remember him now. “Put this on your blade!” Anja shouted to him, followed by throwing one of his vials of soulmist at the man's feet. “It will allow your weapon to hurt them!” Then Anja turned to the two ghosts calmly turning towards him and lunged with his bastard sword.

Rolled a 12 - Competent Ghost

Rolled a 20 - Expert Ghost
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Night of Masks [Open]

Postby Kelski on March 16th, 2019, 5:37 pm

Night Stalkers favored by Akajia were curious creatures. They could move through the shadows big enough to conceal their bodies and travel through them as if they were stepping through doorways appearing first one place then another simply by stepping through. If they could see the shadow, they could move to it and pop out of it. It was a bending of time and space that only depended on the Night Stalker’s excellent vision. Kelski’s Kelvic nature gave her incredible vision and she moved through the city at speed using another of Akajia’s gifts to her favored. Twice marked Night Stalkers could call shadows to them and conceal their presence in a cloak of darkness. It hid them from the vision of others as a gift of Akajia. Kelski did that the moment she stepped from the shadow on the boat to the shadow on the far shore.

The shadows hissed all around her, clearly upset by what was going on in the city. Kelski was too. The fire she’d started – as she watched – was then used to set the gallows on fire. Cringing, Kelski could only think that they meant to burn part of the city down.

She was dressed in black leather, her hair braided up, and the bottom part of her face concealed with a wrap she commonly wore out at night. The wrap covered her face from just beneath her nose and up and over her hair and around her neck like a balakava. The woman kept the shadows with her, cloaking herself in them, as she hit the far shore and studied the result of her night’s work. Burning the ship down and indeed watching the men then spread the fire to The Gallows simply caused her to shake her head. Sunberth was vulnerable to fire and she was shocked not more of it lit up and began to burn. Concern rose for The Midnight Gem and the people she’d left at home. If the city burned, then Baroque Bay would not be invulnerable to fire either. Kelski had her second element, though she was no master of it, and that warranted her movement home.

Masked men were everywhere, and so too were creatures far more hideous. Kelski tried not to look at their faces, not wanting to recognize any of them as she fled the river and traveled towards the delta, eventually passing back over the water to the more familiar Baroque Bay side of the water. Then she was lunging back up the steps of The Midnight Gem and joining those inside.

Kelski did a rough count and found Anja missing. Ebon and Ember were there, and she hugged both of them tight before looking around. “Did Anja leave? I’d hoped he’d stayed. I have no idea what to do… I tried stopping the ship but it was useless.” She said, somewhat breathlessly after pulling her face mask downward to pool around her neck.

“It’s rough out there. I have no idea what’s going on. It looks like people – like the daggerhands that had me make some of the masks – are driving ghosts through the streets. When I set the slab ship on fire, they used the fire to set the gallows ablaze. I’m not sure but the whole city will burn by the end of it. I came right home. One person… can’t do much in this chaos and I have no idea what it all means.” Kelski said, knowing she was not powerful enough of a mage to remotely fight fire through magic and knowing too that buckets from the well would not be enough either if the city truly went up in flames.

“I think its best everyone stay off the streets of the main city and just remain here or in Baroque Bay doing what we can. It feels.. .and I don’t know if this is right or not… that this is some sort of elaborate cover for moving the slab and doing other work while everyone is distracted. I wanted to follow the slab but… you two… this place… its more important to me.” She said, having seen the slab exit the ship with her own eyes in its own horrifying manner. “I hate this city. I really do. If there were a way… if I can at all figure out a way… I’m going to leave here. With these people doing these horrible things… we will never know peace.” She said fiercely, knowing suddenly that she could because honestly Kelski wasn’t owned by anyone anymore. She had no debt, no ties other than the makeshift family she had here… and the Midnight Gem.

Her heart sank abruptly as she realized The Gem just couldn’t pick up and move. The structure tapped into her mind, flooding her with reassurance, and seeking more understanding of what Kelski was saying. Kelski released all her emotions about how hard the city was for her… how tainted the people were… angry, deadly, with a quiet underlying desperation that made everything worse because there was a noted lack of love and trust and acceptance. Kelski ran through her memories for The Gem – all her rage and pain at being sold here for ship repairs and wearing a collar and being owned by someone else. She went still for a full five chimes, running through those memories before Ember, who was busy making everyone strong tea, paused.

“Aunt Kelski. You can move The Gem’s awareness any time… its far easier when they are young like The Gem is than say move old Architectrix structures that have been in one place for hundreds if not thousands of years. But its totally possible. You just have to study hard and learn the trick to it. It’s in the book Father sent you.” Ember said, a little chastisement in her voice, for indeed Kelski hadn’t read it. Kelski froze, shuddered, and nodded. “I’ll look into it… if we all get through this night alive.”

Then she slipped out on the deck, looked over the beach, and swung her gaze north towards the stables. She heard horses screaming then, and she hit the stairs at a run, pulling her face wrap up and over her mouth and nose as she did so. Drawing her coated dagger Pitch, and another to use in her off hand, she quickly headed towards where she heard the noise.

Not knowing how much time had passed, Kelski would hit the stables at a run, stopping only to survey the situation and see what could be seen. Anja. Vasin. Ghosts. Kelski nodded to both of them and paused to see what if anything she could do to help. Anja was the expert here…. not her. And with the stables being aware too, yet not quite awake in the way The Gem was, it was another of her children that needed defending.
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I laugh at them because they are all the same.

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Night of Masks [Open]

Postby Vasin on April 1st, 2019, 7:01 pm

Vasin stood there for a moment, however, he sighed a sigh of relief at seeing that the Gem was not being swarmed by looters. But a creepy tingle ran up his spine non the less. He decided then to approach the Gem, to see if everyone inside was all right. However, to him, a figure in the distance appeared just as he appeared to him. Vasin continued to walk forward but came to an abrupt pause when they shouted out to him to hold. He squinted, finding the voice familiar and then the figure them self familiar. It was Anja, the one who had taken care of his mule Tack. They had only met briefly, and he wondered if they recognized him? His answer was made when they asked him a question asking if it was him if it was Vasin."Yeah, it's me all right." Vasin would reply from where he stood before he began his approach. He glanced once around as he came up to Anja. Vasin knew that while they were not being swarmed at the moment it did not mean that they were out of the woods just yet.

"I heard of looters and wanted to make sure everyone was all right." Vasin would answer looking past Anja to the gem. As Anja started speaking to him once more he nodded. It was indeed dangerous out, specters, armed men, and general looters out and about. While he had not seen a ghost, it did not surprise him as there was a feeling in the air. That dream still haunted him in the back of his mind. The idea that this place was warded against them did not raise an eyebrow, for Kelski had let him know she was a magic user. But before Anja could finish he was interrupted by a terrible scream! The suddenness nearly made Vasin jump and his hand went to his sword prematurely. Looking back to Anja before he could even begin to ask what that was he had already taken off. With a pause, Vasin took off after him. Someone was probably in danger and he was not going to sit back and let them get hurt. Vasin would somewhat clumsily scramble over the fence with a little less grace and speed. He was right behind Anja now following him to the stables where he too saw them.

Two ghosts standing there at the edge. It gave him pause, they reminded him entirely of that dream. He reached for his long sword once more but this time drew it. The rasp of the blade audible though he was not sure if he could even hurt somthing that was already dead. Vasin had never even seen a ghost before, at least he did not think he had. They sat there in the center of his vision, his eyes tunneling onto them refusing to look away. Before he rushed forward Anja had turned to him. Shouting for him to put somthing onto his blade and then tossing it back to him. He wasn't sure what it was, but if it was meant to hurt these things... then it was probably magic. He reached down grabbing the vile and looked at it for a brief moment. Holding out his sword he applied the stuff to his sword. While he did this all Anja began his attack wasting not a single moment of time!

Vasin breathed out and held onto the handle of his long sword with two hands and dashed forward. He let out a yell as he charged the one that Anja was not in the process of going after. Thrusting his sword forward into a stab at the weaker of the two ghosts he aimed for the center of mass. However, the ghost seemed to shift or step to the side in a way. His sword went right past it and he stumbled forward having committed a little too much to the attack. Quickly he came to a near hopping stop and turned around for a backslash at the ghost! His blade this time hit at home slashing into the center of the ghost! It let out a ghastly howl that sent a shiver throughout his body. This was the first time he had fought something of the undead persuasion, and it was certainly different.
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Night of Masks [Closed]

Postby Baelin Holt on October 21st, 2019, 9:13 pm

Anja Nightwatcher :
If you come out of retirement, either message me or resubmit to the grade queue.

Kelski :
1 Architectrix
2 Stealth
1 Tactics

Event: The Night of Masks
Night of Masks: When ghosts swarmed all of Sunberth
Night of Masks: Masked Men were untouched by ghosts
Night of Masks: Had helped create the masks used
Night of Masks: When the Slab ship sailed into the city
Soulmist: Makes weapons more effective against ghosts
Stealth: Night stalking to avoid detection
The Slab Ship: Set it on fire
Night Stalking: Concealing self in a cloak of shadows
The Gallows: Burned during the Night of Masks
Stealth: Wearing all black and a head wrap at night
The Masked Men were likely Daggerhands
Architectrix: Can move the awareness when they're young

Comments: Your ability to pump so much action into a post is really incredible, I loved the read! The Gem also sounds adorable, and Kelski getting chastised by her niece legit made me laugh. Anyways, if I’ve repeated any lores you already have (tried to check them all, but entirely possible I missed things), let me know and I’ll scrub them. And please do feel free to critique this grade, I’d welcome it.

Kynier :
If you come out of retirement, either message me or resubmit to the grade queue.

Orakan :
You’re by far a more experienced grader than I am, so if I have this rule wrong please do correct me. But to the best of my knowledge, you need Spring 519 living expenses updated before I can release your grade. It’s all ready for you, just shoot me a message when you’re ready.

Sadie Sundown :
Hi, Sadie. Your ledger can’t be in the negative, I do believe that means your character would technically be dead. No worries, it looks like you have the start of some job threads that you can finish up and submit for wages. Once you have your wages, you can update your ledger (and add a thread list) and then can either message me or resubmit to the grade queue for your grade.

Tarn Alrenson :
Hi Tarn. When you update your ledger with Winter 518 living expenses (and add a thread list), either message me or resubmit to the grade queue to get your grade.

Vasin :
1 Observation
1 Rhetoric
1 Running
1 Weapon: Longsword

Self: Guilt over his mother's death
Event: The Night of Masks
Night of Masks: Armed people with jeweled masks
Night of Masks: Sunberthians looting during the chaos
Night of Masks: When ghosts were loosed in Sunberth
Anja: Knows how to make weapons dangerous to ghosts
Ghosts: Can avoid direct hits

Comments: Hi Vasin! A bit of a broken record here, but I’ll drop the usual thread list spiel on you. And on a side note: I’m certainly no expert on the Empyreal Demesne, but I think you might owe a bit more on your Summer 519 living expenses if you’ve been a part of it. Here’s the OOC post that has me thinking that. Just a thing you might want to look into. This thread was a wild ride! Please do edit your grade request to graded, and if you have any comments or concerns about your grade feel free to message me.
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