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Friday, 28th July, 2006, 04:29 PM #1
Novice (Lvl 1)
Metropolis - The Weight of the World (and Found Wanting)PROLOGUE
The clouds gathered thick in the sky far above the sprawling urban hub of Metropolis, releasing freezing rain into the streets that swiftly gathered in pools or streamed through the alleyways towards the flood-canals that snaked through the suburbs. Thousands of homeless scattered to collect their worthless belongings, fleeing to higher ground so they would not be washed into the underbelly of the city.
Staring down into the throngs of homeless, a dark figure peered through the thick wrappings that covered his face from the freezing wind of the night. His hand grasped tightly at the blade at his side, he felt little pleasure in his job, but it was better that these people die by his hand than what Fate had in store for them.
A shadow dropped silently into the street and calmly walked through the crowds, reaching out only occassionally to touch one with his heavily gloved hand and cause them to fall in their tracks, their deaths were quick.
The rest of this city might only be so lucky.
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Friday, 28th July, 2006, 04:44 PM #2
Novice (Lvl 1)
The Heart of Metropolis Beats, Bringing Life To The City...
The great spyres of the Apartments towered higher than the stormclouds that gathered overhead. People said that years ago you could see the top of the Apartments on a clear day, but there were few of them any more.
Thick, dirty clouds spewed poisonous rain into the city streets, causing a disgusting stech to rise from the puddles that were haphazardly growing through the streets of the suburb. The citizens had long since perfected the techniques to filter out most of the posion from the water, allowing them to barely survive, but whispers of deformed births within corners of the spyres are blamed on some unnamed curse that had brought the dark weather.
No storm lasts this long. Two years is too long.
Jasmine lurked in the shadows of the spyres, watching a handful of deformed dwarves running through the streets cackling with glee and carrying something between them, something bloody.
That was the last of her problems tonight though. For the price of a few copper bits she now stared at the black steel belt that lay in the palm of her hand, its metal rings engraved with intricate ivy leaves, the sign of the Black Guild. Some drunk had found it on some corpse in the ally on the 18th floor of the Keldarin Spyre next to the Eighth Moon Inn. It itself it was hardly her problem anymore, but there was something different with the obvious gang-identification.
Riki had changed the Organization's symbol years ago, putting out the word that he had recruited old members of the Black Guild into The Organization, they wore blue kareephs* now. The Black Guard were dead and buried with Devries and Damon, Jasmine saw it happen with her own eyes.
Sometimes dark things refuse to stay dead though...
Last edited by Phoenix; Friday, 28th July, 2006 at 04:48 PM.
Friday, 28th July, 2006, 05:05 PM #3
Novice (Lvl 1)
...With a Second Beat, the Earth Spews Forth Life...
The sound of hooves upon cobblestones echoed through the narrow empty streets. In the darkness of shanty homes, alleyways and beneath bridges, the homeless huddled to escape the rain that poured from the sky, creating the pools of ochre water that lay still in the streets and caused the stench that hung heavy in the air.
Where was he? Alexi screwed up his nose at the stench and contemplated his state. The last suburb was...Innsdale? Carvanale? There were so many names for the same streets and buildings around here, a suburb could be a few blocks or a dozen miles around here, no wonder the merchants called the place The Labyrinth. It wasn't a maze per se, but you couldn't find your way out if you listened to the locals...
Sometimes he thought he heard her in the night.
Before he left the Castellean said to him:
"The city has a life of its own boy, there are stranger things in the alleys of this city than in your worst nightmares. The city has a way of burrowing into your soul, bringing out the worst in you that wasn't there before."
He looked up through his visor, peering past the drizzle of rain that ran off his helm. Aheah of him lay another street, another suburb, another place of misery. One thing about this place though, there were more taverns and inns than any other shop, it should be easy to find a place to get out of this accursed...
...Alexi peered at what stood in the middle of the street...
It was like a horse, maybe. It looked different, and had large horns on its head*. He'd not seen any animal like this before, he'd seen little more than dogs, cats and rats for the last month (sometimes the occassional horse).
The thing snorted at him and bolted into an alleyway, tearing up the cobblestones as it ran and forcing the homeless to dive into the streets to evade the creature's terror.
It took a moment to recognize the creature after it had fled. But it couldn't be, those creatures we that of myth and tale.
It was a Stag.
Friday, 28th July, 2006, 05:21 PM #4
Novice (Lvl 1)
...and With Cruel Abandon She Takes a Life Away...
The rain poured off his long jacket and drained away through the cracks between the cobblestones and into the stormdrains. There was a cool breeze, a chill through the alley as the fat man grunted in surprise, his eyes open in genuine shock.
Jazick put his foot firmly on the fat man's leg and pulled his rapier free of the stranger's stomach, allowing blood to spit out into the poisonous pools that gathered in the alley. The fat man fell to the ground, his long blade falling from his dead fingers.
Devilyn* had a lot to answer for, the growing incidents of drunken fools staggering through the streets with a point to prove was on the rise, and Jazick's work was cut out for him. This was the third person this month that had resorted to pulling a knife or sword on him when he intervened. Idiots...
The beaten hooker lay against the broken rotten barrels, blood weeping from the wounds on her face and mouth. She was barely a third the size of the fat man, never stood a chance, though she would probably feel a lot better after a decent nights sleep, rather than up against an alley wall being "loved" by men for the right price.
The woman wheezed a little through blood spattered lips, in the night the sound of a whistle cut through the rain. Strange...almost sounds like private guards, but no guards had been posted in Candlestick Lane since the great fires.
Either that, or mercenaries...
Friday, 28th July, 2006, 05:39 PM #5
Novice (Lvl 1)
...and Then the City is Quiet Once More.
The Outskirts* were quiet, apart from the gentle pitter-patter of rain that splashed against the shattered rooves and empty streets. The smell of fresh water was sweet and Corbin enjoyed the gentle warm breeze that drifted through the shattered house that sheltered within.
It had been six weeks now and no-one had bothered him, it was amazing to think that anywhere in Metropolis could be abandoned. Every other suburb was overfilled, with hundreds living on the streets, in shanty homes, under bridges, and even in the sewers.
Six weeks had granted Corbin time to study the tablets, a little. It was still difficult to determine exactly what they were, but the promises they spoke of of a lush utopia beyond Metropolis was unmistakable. The promise of such a paradise alone had awakened a power within him, allowing him to create mystical effects like he had never imagined before.
But the people he was supposed to meet out here had not arrived, they were two weeks late and there was no sign of a single one of their troop. Agents of the League of Ancients had offered him the sizable sum of fifty golden crowns to view his tablets, and another fifty to assist them in translating some ancient text in a dig they had already begun.
Through the shattered buildings and across the rubble-filled streets, Corbin saw life. A group of six men in chain vests and shields picked their way carefully through the rubble, crossbows pointed into the shadows. The symbol on their shield didn't look like the League's, and the blood sprayed across their armour suggested they were less than friendly.
Last edited by Phoenix; Friday, 28th July, 2006 at 05:51 PM.
Friday, 28th July, 2006, 08:21 PM #6
Defender (Lvl 8)
Alexi shoke his head to clear the rain and his thoughts.
This can't be. All the standrard of the Families, boars, bears dragons, griffons, unicorns, stags! they were all myths, symbols only. he thought.
Is this a vision of some kind, evil and brought about by the squalid food and wretched wine they serve down here, or send by the gods, even Metropolis herself. Of course, who hadn't heard the tales of traps and lures for the gullible and weak.
Still, such a curious beast. Glancing down at the stag on his own shield, Alexi needs anopther sight of the beast, vision or no.
"Ho Mikla!" he shouts as he spurs his trusty steed to a gallop after the stag, scattering the homeless who had just started to recover after the stag bolted past them.
Friday, 28th July, 2006, 08:43 PM #7
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Jasmine sighed as she pulled her hood down just a bit. 'If you want something done right...' she thought to herself, knowing that perhaps there were a few more deaths she should have seen too personaly. Riki would be interested in this, and perhaps even pay her well, but he'd probably have other things on his mind at first. No, this was something she needed to follow up on herself.Originally Posted by Phoenix
She looked back up at the Appartments and headed towards the entrance. The Inn was a place she'd been many times, always as a matter of business. This wasn't much different, other than it was her business. With a little convincing, someone would have the information she wanted.
She smirked at the thought, her clothes adjusting a bit to the thought, as appeared a bit more soaked dispite having already entered the complex.
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Friday, 28th July, 2006, 10:43 PM #8
Magsman (Lvl 14)
Jazick wiped his blade and slipped it back into its sheath. The fallen man's blade he leaned against the wall and snapped with his heel. There are too many blades on the street already. He expertly checks the fat stranger for valuables and rips the sodden cloak from him. He cleans the blood from the hooker's face with a gentle touch then covers her with the cloak. With a curse he turns away. Not so long ago she was a sweet innocent child playing in her mother's shop. He moves to the shadows and slips soundlessly toward the sound of the whistle wondering what strange new thing might move in his domain tonight.
Saturday, 29th July, 2006, 11:06 AM #9
Novice (Lvl 1)
Beneath him Mikla surged forward, turning into the alleyway and charging past the frightened peasants that dove away desperately from the massive animal. The alley was narrow, and Milka lept desperately over rubble and crashing through shanties.Originally Posted by Fenris
The stag bolted ahead, winding through the alleyway easily, turning into a maze of back streets that forced Alexi to not only push Mikla to her limits, but also manuever her massive form around the tight corners.
Across the wet cobblestones, Mikla slips taking a corner, losing her footing and slamming Alexi and herself into a building. Holding desperately onto the saddle, Alexi calms the great beast before urging her on once more.
The last alley opens up into a short courtyard with no exits, surrounding Alexi with at least five floors of flats with shanty homes spilling out onto the balconies and scaffolding attached to the buildings. Dozens of people look down at the armoured horsemen with surprise, many scattering up ladders and stairs to escape the thundering horse.
The Stag was gone.
Saturday, 29th July, 2006, 11:19 AM #10
Novice (Lvl 1)
Eighteen floors in the Apartments is a lifetime, a lifetime for hundreds. Some people never bothered to leave the massive spyres that stretched into the sky, after hundreds of years of commercial and agricultural evolution the people within the suburb have found a way to survive.Originally Posted by Bront
The Eighth Moon Inn was as easy to discover as any other shop, simply search through the cluttered corridors for the tiny wooden signs that hung from the ceilings. As Jasmine looked through the shattered door into the small room full of drunks, the only thing that made this place look like an inn was the surly man pouring ale from a tin jug behind a table.
Jasmine's soaked form slid into the room, causing the men to look up from their cups in drunken lust. Perhaps she should be a little careful here...