• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Log: The Deserter (Turtle, Amada, Still Waters, Gao-Ling)

Page history last edited by Tsangun 14 years, 12 months ago

 -=--=--=--=--=--=--=-<* Greyfalls: Canal Gate District *>-=--=--=--=--=--=--=-


         If Mist Town holds the bulk of common merchants, the Canal Gate District holds the better part of foreign dealers and commodity brokers. The Market Plaza at the center of the district is clotted with booths and kiosks devoted to exotic foreign wares. Men and women hawk imports from the Realms and rare goods from the depths of the Hundred Kingdoms. More than a few are Guildsmen, and the goods they sell are not always of strictly legal provenance, albeit the careful eye of the market watch keeps such illicit exchanges subtle and discreet. Even more business goes on amid the teashops and pleasure gardens that fringe the plaza, with businessmen trading ownership of shiploads worth of goods left securely stored in dockside warehouses. Such traders might sell more in a casual trade of markers than the hawkers outside will sell in a year of shouting.


         The Canal Gate itself is a more modest portal than its North Gate sibling. Boatmen throng the rooming-houses near the gate itself, cheap and passably clean accomodations for men accustomed to the hard life of canal work here in the wild East. The teahouses seldom see their company- it is the sprinkling of rough bars and knocking shops near the gates that draw the greater part of their silver.



-=-ST: Serendipity -=- Players: Gentle Turtle, Still Waters, Gao-Ling and Teresu Amada=-=-=-=




A strong mist permeates the Canal Gate District, quite as strong as that which often gives Mist Town its name. It is difficult to see particularly far, and therefore even the rowdiest of boatmen appear to be being very careful, patiently feeling their way to their various late-night destinations. There aren't terribly many people on the streets.



Gao-Ling is, for the most part... lost. The dense mist, her lack of familiarity with the streets of Greyfalls, and her own short statue makes navigating quite a chore. Not that she would admit this, of course. If questioned, she would insist that she's out having a stroll, or some similar excuse.


Muffled footfalls accompany a figure well hidden by a magical cloak, watching the goings on from hidden eyes. Amada drinks in the night air, listening and watching for strange goings-ons.



         The presence of foreign dealers in the Canal Gate District means that this is where most trade in items the Order would deem inappropriate takes place, as it's far easier to smuggle things in from elsewhere. Such is the reason the monks Still Waters and Gentle Turtle have come, to investigate rumors of a shipment of heretical trinkets that were coming in from a small-time merchant. However, the mist makes that troublesome. "You c-c-could hide a g-giant here," the small Turtle says dolefully.


The fog is disrupted by that distinctive sound of flesh on flesh: smack. Thump. Thud. Also the sound of leather on fabric, as in a kick in the ribs. Eddies and swirls, chased on by strong, flailing limbs, make waves through the moist air. There's a lot of jeering, "Eat that, worm!" "Swine!" from multiple voices, and not a few groans, which all sound like they're coming from a single source.



"Not from the air," the other monk asserts. Still Waters still bears the marks of a recent long journey - tanned and burnt skin, stained robes, and the like. "And not fro--" He abruptly leaves off whatever point he was going to make, and charges at the source of the sound.


Gao-Ling listens to the sounds and tries to pinpoint their location... and more importantly, try to figure out exactly what's going on. From the sound of things, it's either a fight... or wild crazy sex. Having heard stories about the wild excesses of the exalted... neither of those possibilities would really shock her.



         Still's comment about the air prompts Gentle Turtle to activate Air Dragon's Sight, which also serves to help him a good deal with the troublesome mist. He moves closer towards the source of the sound, but he's not going to interfere in a matter which he knows nothing about unless it seems like someone is obviously in great danger.



Gao-Ling is of the exact opposite opinion. She's the kind of person to get into other's businesses, simply because it seems interesting. It doesn't matter if someone is in great danger or not... or if people will be put into even greater danger due to her actions. Already prepped for a fight, Ling cracks her smashfist clad knuckles expectantly.



Still Waters plants his feet and draws himself up to his unimpressive full stature. He clears his throat with a little 'ahem', then calls out, "Cease this, by the authority of the Exalted!"



Gao-Ling listens to the sounds of fighting in the mist, annoyed and frustrated by the fact that she can't see it clearly. Raising up both of her hands, she calls up two large boulders from the earth. With a fling of her wrists, she smashes both boulders behind her, making a loud crackling sound as rock shatters against rock. "Now that I have your attention." Ling shouts into the mist. "WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE?"



Three of the toughs break off of the fight and scatter into the mist, heedless of other passerby, though there are relatively few of those. The rest turn towards Gao-Ling, mostly ignoring Still Waters, and do various things -- give her the finger, make rude noises, laugh. One has the presence of mind to put his boot on the victim's back, to keep him from crawling away, which he attempts to do. "Whatcha gonna do, little girl?" Flame burns away fog as two of them activate animas; another one has a wind-anima, and the last three appear to be earth.



         "H-handle those in f-flight," Gentle Turtle politely requests of Still Waters, lifting his gaze to the three violent dragon-blooded. He's noted three people around him he doesn't particularly want to hurt - Ling, the boy, and his fellow monk. Spreading his arms wide, he brings his hands together with a thunderous roar, a wave of punishing sound that soars through the area, all but Amada and the ruffians protected by Turtle's essence.



Teresu Amada hears ringing in her ears after the monk she recognized unleashed a wave of essence-fueled thunder, and was momentarily stunned by it, her cloak rippling ominously from the shockwave. Unable to hear clearly still, and reasoning that the thugs would also be unable to hear (and thus shouting would be useless), she draws her weapons, her cloak reverting back to the gaudy crystal-decked thing, and activates them, the lenses focusing the essence into a blazing red beam in one hand and midnight blue in the other, casting violent shadows about Amada in the fog.



Gao-Ling glances over at Gentle Turtle, vaguely remembering seeing that monk before. "Jeez, that's loud!" She comments before she turns her attention back to the thugs. Stomping on the ground with her right feet, she raises up an ornate pillar of stone from the ground. The pillar, more of a totem pole, really, seems to have three sections, the top part holding the carving of a lion, the middle a tiger, and the bottom a bear. Oh my. Ling steps foward in a careful stance and strikes the pillar with her fist, sending the bear block towards one of the thugs. She rapidly punches two more times, knocking the tiger and the lion blocks at two other thugs.



Still Waters produces chakrams from his sleeves like a conjuring mountebank. Biting his lower lip in concentration, he hurls them at the air aspect, and hisses to Gentle Turtle "Get the child!"



The ruffians' response to the Thunderclap Kata is immediate and overwhelming; they clap their hands to their bleeding ears, and freeze. Strictly speaking, only a few ears bleed, but everyone's a bit pained nonetheless. The one of the clump who is now deaf -and- hit with one of Gao-Ling's stones, staggers off in the opposite direction from Turtle, leaving the clump behind him as cover; the other deafie, a runner, continues his flight with his two pals. The two who Ling missed advance towards her furiously, drawing daiklaves. The remaining three, one air, two fire, look indecisive before pulling out their weapons and splitting up -- one fire goes to Amada, and the air and other fire rush the monk who threw chakrams.



Easily the most capable of the bunch, one of the earth-type ruffians rushes up to Gao-Ling and tries to slash her with his daiklave. He's very surprised when it practically bounces off, as though hitting stone, and raises his eyebrows. "Demon?" he booms, "Or god?"



         With the wind at his heels, Gentle Turtle moves with an impressive, fluid grace surpassing normal mortal capabilities, scooping the battered boy up in an arm and resting him over a shoulder. He says nothing and makes less sound, his eyes quickly darting about for a good spot to put the child. Using the mist itself as a platform, the monk rises, running across it until he finds a suitable balcony to let the child rest, out of harm's way. Once there, his chakram of blue jade is in his hand, and he's flinging two of them at the fire aspect attacking Still.



Teresu Amada parries the daiklave with her weapons, the sound of a roaring bonfire and crashing ocean surf leaps into existance as the beam klaves are swung in a short arc to intercept. The smell of ozone assaults the nose, and sprays of essence sparks flare where the midnight blade of the Song of Calm contacts the daiklave, curling outwards into damp ocean mists that join with the ambient mist.


With the crimson blade of the Dance of Fury, Amada stabs forward towards the midsection of the dragon-blood.



Still Waters clamps down on a terrified squeak as he dodges away from his assailant's clumsy slash. His hands, though, are trained and steady as they flick chakrams through the air at the thug.


The men, who are variously swung at with beamklaives, hitting women made of stone, and having chakrams fly, all around them, have had enough. The one whose essence has been sucked out of him, in particular, hisses with displeasure as he's hit, over and over again, and collapses; his buddy, the air guy, briefly examines him. "You... you murderer!" he shouts, before fleeing for his life with the rest of the guys.



Mist swirls around the body of the slain Dragon-Blooded, his anima flickering and dying, essence spent upon the wind. The youth on the balcony, his face bruised and his nose certainly broken, clutches his ribs and moans, slowly rising to consciousness. "Where am I? Where am I?! Did I make it?" It's a mumbling groan, but an urgent one.



Still Waters looks up at the child and Turtle to assure himself that they're alright, then moves over to the slain Exalted and begins looking for identifying badges, a letter with orders, a patch of distinctively-colored mud on his boots, anything to place the man in a context.


He also spares a wary glance at Gao-Ling and Amada each.



Gao-Ling taps the ground, and a sturdy stool of earth pops up, at just the right height for her. The "right height" being tall enough so that she can sit and still stare people in the eye, that is to say.



         Gentle Turtle is not a generally murderous sort, but he is an Immaculate monk; such training as they undergo, no matter the sort of personality they have, does not result in the weak-hearted or pacifistic. Affixing his chakram to his sash, he glances down at the battered boy, the froth-crested waves of his anima fading while the smell of the sea yet lingers. "M-M-Made it where, child?"



Teresu Amada deactivates her weapons, the beams winking out. She then waits for her hearing to clear, shuffling over to the little crowd of people, watching their lips and expressions.



"My boat, it's going to leave, it's going to leave without me," the youth moans, getting onto his knees. He tries to stand from there, but retches awfully. "Please... help," he croaks through dry heaves.



You paged Still Waters with 'This is interesting: although the breastplate was unmarked, the guy does have a 23rd Legion coin in his pocket, a sort of ID card, the equivelant of a dogtag.'.


Still Waters pages: The 23rd is the local legion?


You paged Still Waters with 'Yeah, the one that marched on the Hundred Kingdoms a bit over a week ago, though apparently not to a man.'.




Still Waters straightens up from the corpse after carefully noting the features, then urges Turtle down from the balcony with a jerky wave of his hand.



Teresu Amada kneels down and gently strokes the boy's hair, to try and calm him. She will likely scare him giving her slightly disturbing demeanor.


"You're safe now." She says quietly.




         "C-Calm down, child," Gentle Turtle says with his usual irritating stutter. "We n-need to see what was g-going on. C-come." Turtle picks the teenager up and leaps from the balcony, depositing the boy and moving off to Still Waters. "Wh-what is it, Brother?"



The boy very nearly vomits on Turtle, preventing that embarassment by the tiniest of margins. "B-boat's going to leave," he moans, "Please... third dock past Canal Gate, on the left..."



Still Waters looks between boy and corpse and grits his teeth. "Miss, please carry the body," he asks Gao-Ling. To the boy he says, "We will escort you to your boat. Now," he says as he begins walking, "do you know who those men were?"



"N-not sure," gurgles the boy as he's picked up, miserably. He looks at Gao-Ling with mingled fear and admiration and gratitude. "Thanks for helping me," he winces at her, trying to shield his bruised face and broken nose from getting too bounced as he's passed around. Not the face, not the face! He's in very plain clothes, common fabrics. He has a hood, which is off his head at the moment.



You paged Still Waters with 'He's lying.'.


You paged Still Waters with 'Absolutely, no question.'.



         "E-E-Explain the situation, child," Turtle demands in his normal manner, which means it's quiet and polite to the point as though '..if that's alright with you, sir, don't hurt me please' is the only logical finish to the sentence. How can a man that just killed a dragon-blooded possibly sound and appear so meek? He carries him with all the gentleness he can muster, which is quite a bit. "What is y-your name?"



Still Waters cuts in, sounding a little colder than before. "Please don't lie this time."



Teresu Amada quietly notes that if the monks don't get anything out of the boy, she may ask. She stands quietly next to Gentle Turtle, waiting for the teen to respond.



The youth looks at Still Waters out of both blacked eyes, and sighs heavily. "I took my Second Breath two days ago," he explains softly, and there's no mistaking the pride in his voice, even the voice of someone savagely beaten. "Those men felt that it was therefore my duty to serve the Legion, immediately, as a proclamation to war for all Dragon-Blooded has been called by General Cathak... without training, in the war... I had my parents' permission to return to my home, instead, before heading off to secondary school." His chin sinks onto his chest. "Those guys... disagreed."



-= OOC =- Serendipity says, "These will of course be my, the player-ST's, insights, there's more than one way to consider it. :P"


-= OOC =- Serendipity says, "But this is what I had in mind. Amada and Turtle, the law is /probably/ on the youth's side, especially if he's a Dynast -- he has the right to attend secondary school, like the House of Bells or the Cloister of Wisdom, a perfectly legal right, if they'll accept him. The draft probably doesn't overrule the need to train up new blood rather than sending them off, untrained, to die. Still Waters, let me page you more info."



Teresu Amada waves a hand dismissively. "If you are untrained then you're no better than a conscript, and you deserve better as a Prince of the Earth... even if you do pledge your allegiance to the Realm." says the Lookshyan in her usual serene manner.



You paged Still Waters with 'If he's a found egg, on the other hand, his legal status is very much in jeopardy until he's picked up by the Munificent Masters of Orphans and sent off to the Obsidian Mirror for training and his choice -- the razor or the coin. Life isn't fair that way... he doesn't really have Realm protection. Additionally, the whole legal technicality of the war, and Cathak's use of the Realm's legions without Realm permission... it's fairly likely that Cathak Kitono a) ordered the draft to be severe, but b) does not want to make enemies if this guy is Dynastic or can stir up some local support. The last thing he needs is some kind of humanitarian incident at home. So you could try to use this to embarass Kitono, if that was your speed, or support his war effort by screwing over the kid and sending him off anyway, before he has a chance to tell anyone about his abuse.'.



Still Waters's cold manner softens when he youth mentiones his recent Exaltation. He steps out of Gentle Turtle's path and resumes walking towards the docks. "And who are your parents?" Amada's slight elicits a twitch of an eye muscle and a quiet sigh.



         Gentle Turtle is without a doubt pro-Realm, but Amada's insult elicits no response from him; he's not the sort to get a rise from those sorts of things, after all. He falls silent and lets Still Waters interrogate the boy, knowing he is better at this sort of thing than Turtle himself.


The boy turns away from Still Waters. "I d-don't want to embarass them with this... this beating." He definitely has a nerdy look to him. "Please let me go," he pleads, trying to squirm out of Turtle's arms and onto his feet.



Still Waters pages: Hm... choices, choices. :D


Still Waters pages: What's his clothing like? Is he obviously Dynastic?


You paged Still Waters with 'His clothing is very plain, almost deliberately so. His voice is educated, but he doesn't have a Realm accent.'.


Still Waters pages: And has still gotten word of any recent exaltations?


You paged Still Waters with 'Why would he?'.


Still Waters pages: Because he's Intelligence and Spy guy for the temple. Eh, I'm overanalyzing.


You paged Still Waters with 'No, I didn't know that.'.


You paged Still Waters with 'Yes, you know of a member of the Ledaal Catala household, a youth, who just Exalted. The story fits. You'd know 'cuz the Ledaal keep close ties to the Immaculates.'.



         Gentle Turtle lets the squirming boy down on his feet, but maintains a firm hold on his hand. It's not painfully tight, and it may look a little weird, but he holds it all the same as the group walks. "Is there anything e-else you need to ask, Brother S-Still Waters?"


The boy seems grateful for the hold on his hand; he leans very heavily on Turtle, despite his request to be put down, as he can scarcely walk. Some of his bruises are starting to fade already though, probably due to Charm use, a decent backup to his claim of recent Exaltation.



Still Waters fixes the youth with a look. "Listen closely. If you want to stop this draft, you can embarass Kitono with your story. House Ledaal will probably be able to protect you. Or you can catch your boat. This is your choice, Prince of the Earth." He flicks his gaze up to Gentle Turtle. "He's free to go."



         Gentle Turtle does not yet release the hold on the boy's hand, waiting quietly for his decision. If he wants to be brought to the boat anyway, Turtle will help him get there quickly enough so that he doesn't miss it.



The boy lingers for a long moment on the dock, and then shakes his head. "I don't want to mess with Cathak Kitono, and I don't know how my elders feel about his little war. Therefore, I will not provoke him," he reasons as dignified as he can. Just then, his broken nose realigns itself with a horrible popping sound, and, gritting his teeth, the kid sets foot onto the barge. "Thanks for the assist... I thought they were going to kill me. Look up Ledaal Catala Kasuke in a few years when I'm a mighty sorcerer, I'll repay the favor." He nods at the captain with the imperiousness of any Dynast, and the boat sets off down the river.



Teresu Amada notes the name.



Still Waters bows to the youth as the boat departs, then turns to Gao-Ling and Amada. "Thank you both for your help," he says. "But, ah, I do not know who you are?"


-=-=-= Fin. =-=-=-

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.