Blue KJ Admin replied

166 weeks ago

I have always wanted to write a crossover fanfiction between ToV and my favorite other videogames, and what better moment to start if not now that I'm basically stuck in a sleep cycle that won't let me see any of my online friends?

With this lot of free time, I had plenty of reasons to shove away every excuse to procrastinate on this project, and choose, if just to start, Wild ARMs 3. It is my favorite chapter of the Wild ARMs series, and likely my second favorite RPG series after Final Fantasy.

The universe of Wild ARMs is based on the world of Filgaia, with age and main cast (and of course, story) changing between each WA chapter, but always taking place on the same world. In fact, it's not uncommon for the characters of a previous WA game to be spotted among the random NPCs in the towns you visit.

The feel of Filgaia is the one of a Far West world, a planet slowly decaying and giving in to desertification while its people strive for survival. Like in every RPG, there are summons, dungeons, and an ancient civilization whose technology will prove to be far more advanced than the present one.

The way I will approach the crossover will be by substituting the characters (main cast, as well as side characters and villains) with ToV/ToH characters, trying to match the personalities as much as I can and having the characters respond the way we know they would.

INDEX:

Chapter 0: On the Train (Part 1)
Prologue: Avina
Prologue: Draenen
Prologue: Kenjii
Prologue: Roy
Reflections: Avina
Chapter 0: On the Train (Part 2)

A couple notes:
- For the sake of the plot, the ToV/ToH's character ages and blood relations have been disregarded.
- An "ARM" is a weapon, usually of a gun-type, made of a specific material and built by a lost civilization. They are very special and rare. Not everybody can use them.

The Cast has been arranged as such:

Virginia's Team (Main Characters)


Virginia Maxwell (Starring Avina):


"The Dual Pistol Dreamer"

Virginia has always dreamed of living the life of a drifter. As a kid, she was in love with the idea of roaming the open plains and experiencing action and danger every step of the way. As her passion to be a Drifter grew, she decided to leave her comfortable life to live out her dream.

Jet Enduro (Starring Kenjii):


"The Rebellious Treasure Hunter"

Nothing pleases Jet more than priceless treasures (and peaches). He is a lone wolf drifter not used to accepting help or the company of others. He is cold-blooded and has the potential to do anything to get his way.

Gallows Caradine (Starring Draenen):


"The Man Who Makes Freedom His Policy"

A youth from the Baskar tribe, who are devotees of the Guardians. Gallows carries the bloodline of the priesthood, but he escaped his destiny by running away from his village. His personality is cheerful and optimistic.

Clive Winslett (Starring Roymustangx):


"The Proud Sniper"

Clive is a bounty hunter that helps preserve the peace by offering his services to fighting monsters and criminals. With a cool head and realistic decision-making skills, Clive makes sure the team is always careful.

Janus' Team (Early Game Villains)


Janus Cascade (Starring Kirious):


A Drifter with amazing abilities, who is known throughout the wasteland. He masterfully utilizes the "Bayonet", a difficult to handle weapon that is rarely used. He is fearless, smooth-talking, and overconfident, but he has the abilities and skills to justify his cocky attitude.

Romero Gigio (Starring Shadow Nigenasai):


Romero is one of Janus Cascade's henchmen in Wild Arms 3. Not much is known about Romero, but he and his buddy Dario Nicolodi are followers of Janus Cascade, and the three of them journey the wasteland together. Romero is a bit cowardly and often loses his nerve, and with Janus not taking well to rookies, poor Romero often gets hit in the nose with the butt of hiss boss's Bayonet. Romero fights like a ninja, tossing stilettos at his opponents.

Dario Nicolodi (Starring Snider):


Dario is also pretty unknown thief in Filgaia. He follows Janus Cascade and Romero Gigio around the wasteland, fighting, stealing and pillaging. Dario has a classic Black Bart look to him, but his actions belie his appearance, and he is every bit as much of a coward as Romero, which also results in him being abused by Janus. Dario attacks with a Gillius TH12/23, which resembles a Dirty Harry type magnum. He also has a bad habit of leaving his fly undone…

The Prophets (Middle Game Villains)


Melody Vilente (Starring Lust):


A woman with extraordinary intelligence and beauty but has a relentless personality. She envisions a more beautiful and complete land, labeling the wasteland of Filgaia an "incomplete world."

Malik Benedict (Starring Greed):


A youth known for his mysterious features, untrustworthy speech and unpredictable actions. He can be heartless, acting with inhumane and brutal nonchalance.

Leehalt Alcaste (Starring Wrath):



Leehalt leads the Prophets. He is well versed in lost technology, and he is a master at peculiar etymology that can boot up devices based on ancient technologies. He is a masterful strategist who plans events behind the scenes and does not appear in the front lines of battles.

Other Villains (Late Game Villains)


??? (Starring Aaron):
??? (Starring Malay):

Maya's Team (Rival Adventuring Party)


Maya Schroedinger (Starring Haelastrom):


Maya is the sharp-tongue rival of Virginia Maxwell and the leader of the world renowned Schroedinger Family, as well as the big sister of Alfred. Like Virginia, Maya is a brave strong-willed woman who isn't afraid to get what she wants. Despite her views on justice, Maya has a strong belief in the codes of the wasteland and because of this, Maya can come across as being harsh and cold-blooded to some people, none-the-less a loving heart beats within her.

Alfred Schroedinger (Starring Aderyn):


Alfred Schroedinger is the younger sibling of Maya Schroedinger. Not much is known about him. While his older sisters tends to make a bad first impression, Alfred is always the one to clarify that she is, on the inside, a loving person. In Chapter 3 of the game, it is shown that Alfred uses fire to calm himself down, becoming "one with the flame", which could make him a considerable pyromaniac. His weapon is a homemade bomb.

Todd Dukakis (Starring Peb):


Todd Dukakis is the servant of the well known Schrodinger Family and a highly experienced swordsman. Although he doesn't react to much, Todd is very devoted to Maya and Alfred; he (along with Shady and Alfred) does not have any ARMs and relies on his blade for his main offensive strikes.

Shady Thousand (Starring Zeti-Reti):


Shady Thousand is a male, feline, anthropomorphic cat on Maya Schroedinger's team. Maya's father had kept him trapped inside of a box for most of his life in order to perform experiments, but a young Maya released him out of kindness. Now he works with her in search of adventure. He is claustrophobic as a result of the "experiment."

But without further ado, let us begin.



last edited 166 weeks ago by Blue KJ
To be an interesting, intriguing, well-written character, there needs to be something to allow the audience to relate to them. That is what the problem is with who wants their character to be "perfect". Perfect characters will never be strong, and strong characters will never be perfect, because WE (those who read, who watch, who RP) are not perfect.

"What makes a strong character is how they deal with their flaws, their fears, their turmoils, their troubles that get in the way. That's what makes them relatable." – Doug Walker


Blue KJ Admin replied

166 weeks ago

During desolate times on the "Sea of Sand", Drifters venture across the vast lands of Filgaia searching for fortune and adventure. Amidst the desert lie cities erected from rock and scavenged wood. Towns that a few call home provide rest and solitude for the many travelers of the barren wasteland.

Tales of mystic relics that harness unmatched powers spread across the land. While some view the items as treasure, others have deciphered a secret bringing unlimited power.

Meanwhile, one object of mythical stature attracts four Drifters to a common place. These four strangers discover the strength in working as a team. Shortly thereafter they learn of an ancient prophecy determining the future of their eroded homeland. Setting aside their differences, they roam the lands and unlock the knowledge and mystical forces making their adventure their destiny.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




It was a dark and stormy night…

The train moved through the dark clouds of dust and sand, piercing the air with an hiss, accompanied to the slight creaking of the old railways beneath, leading it to its destination.

Inside, in one of the many cabinets reserved to the passengers, a young girl was frowning in deep focus, her gaze pointed firmly on the pages of an old book of adventures. It was one of her favorite novels, and at that point, also her guide to her new life as a Drifter.

Her vivacious eyes were blue and shiny, framed by the chestnut brown locks that almost touched her shoulders, were running feverishly on the words of the book at great speed, stopping for a few seconds every now then when meeting important advice and tips for the adventures that she was surely expecting to come on her journey.

The book was nearly finished for the umpteenth time, when the girl rested it on her lap, turning her head to look outside with a yawn. Out there she couldn't see anything but the endless wastelands of Filgaia, the dying world.

When rainless clouds began to clash in the sky, filling the air with dry electricity and crackling thunders, the girl had already dozed off. Her head nodded in slumber for a few times, when suddenly the loud whistle of the train waked her up. Her eyes darted open. Oh, no!, she thought as she fumbled to get on her feet and gather her things in her bag. Are we there already!? I hope I didn't miss my stop…!

But it was not a whistle to signal the arrival to a station. Though still marching, the train's brakes suddenly shook the vehicle, dropping its speed enough to cause the girl to lose her balance and fall flat to the floor, hitting the hard wood with her chin, as everything around her creaked in protest to the harsh maneuver; the wagon swayed dangerously on the railings before regaining its balance.

The girl wondered what could be happening, as she slowly got back on her feet, massaging her aching chin. She looked down at her dress and grimaced seeing how much dust it had collected in the fall. She proceeded on wiping it clean with her hands as best as she could, when the voice of the conductor came from the speaker above her head.

"Attention all passengers: We are currently decelerating from our normal speed. Please remain seated for your safety."

Well, you don't say. Confused, but overwhelmed by great curiosity, the girl completely disregarded the suggestion and reached for the door of her cabinet. She had to jump back soon as she attempted to peek her head out however, as a member of the train's staff came down the corridor running past her, and stopping to talk frantically with a colleague. They looked agitated and in a panic, and the one who had run past the girl's cabinet half-turned to point at the opposite end of the wagon, from where he had come.

Whatever was causing all that mess had to be in that direction, maybe in the wagon just next to hers. She waited for the two staff member to resume talking and be distracted enough to not notice her, then darted out of the door and towards the end of the corridor.

She however made a mistake and didn't quite turn her head in time to make sure the path would be clear the way she was planning to go, too busy eyeing the two men behind her. That's how she crashed against the sturdy chest of a white-haired Elvaan, also dressed in the staff's uniform, who was coming down the corridor much like his colleague had done before. The Hume girl managed to not fall, but she staggered, massaging her head.

- O-ouch…!

- I-I'm terribly sorry! - Said the ticket collector; a small silver plaque on his uniform informed her that his name was "Daltan". - Are you all right? I was in a rush, and…

She shook her hand, and watched him. He was still panting from what had to have been a mad race. - Can you tell me what's going on?

- I'm not sure. I'm making the rounds to see what I can find out. - He said, folding arms, and glancing outside at the raging thunderstorm. He shook his head, and then gave her a frown. - Until then, please return to your cabin and remain seated.

The girl bit her lower lip, dodging his severe gaze. Pouting, she gave a shrug and turned towards door of her cabin… but just long enough to get the man to move forward enough to leave her some room to run around and past him. She dodged his arm as he reached to stop her, and kept dashing towards the end of the corridor.

- Hey! You can't go through there! That's the car with the classified cargo! - He yelled.

She waved one arm at him, glancing with a grin. - Thanks for the tip!

Daltan stood where he was, his hand still pointed towards the girl, for a few seconds. When she closed the door behind and exited the wagon, the noise finally snapped the Elvaan out of his shock, and he chased after her.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The girl found herself outside, on the small metal platform that passengers would use to board the train, and that connected the wagon to the next one. Though she was protected by a safety railing on the corners, the storm raging all around her made her feel uncomfortable, like the wind was ferociously trying to blow her away. She looked at the next wagon. The door was closed, however…

- Miss, please… This car is off limits. - Daltan had appeared next to her, and was already moving one arm before her to push her back inside.

She resisted him. - That's because there's something important in there, right?

- That is correct. - The Elvaan snorted. - And that is precisely the reason why that car is off limits to all passengers. - He added with emphasis.

She gave him a look, and pointed at the door. - Then… If something were to happen, there's a good possibility it might happen in there, right? I mean, look…

Daltan followed her gaze, and stared with disbelief and disapproval at the loose chain and cracked lock that laid at the door's feet. He groaned, and one hand reached to cover his eyes in frustration.

- No… This can't be happening… That's impossible… - When the girl gave him a questioning look, he rushedly patted himself until he found the right pocket, and pulled out of it a rather large steel key that he held up in front of her for the Hume to see. - The fact of the matter is, I have the key to the car in my hands, see?

- Well, if it's true that you have the key, then it's also true that the door is already open. - She motioned to the busted lock again. - I say we take a look inside. We might find more behind the truth we already know..

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The cargo wagon was a large and clean room, the typical type of room that is used only for exceptional purposes. It was very dark, and to see anything the two had to leave the door behind them open. The silence was overwhelming.

Daltan looked around suspiciously, then his shoulders relaxed. - Thank goodness… Everything seems to be in order. But let me check the crate, just in case…

The girl observed the walls of the room. - All the windows are boarded up. You sure are taking precautions. What exactly is in there, anyway?

Without a word, the staff member walked up to a large crate at the center of the room. He fidgeted with its lock for a bit, and then slowly opened it. Tiny orbs of light began to surface from the inside, reaching up to the ceiling of the car, and passing through the metal and wood without leaving a trace. It was a stunning sight.

She looked up in awe. - Wow… What are all these lights?

Before she could receive an answer though, a loud crash of wood and glass came from the window behind her. She spun around just in time to see a boy with dark chestnut hair roll on the floor filled with shards that did not pierce him thanks to the protective jeans he was wearing along with a leather jacket, to then land on his feet with great agility. He pointed blue piercing eyes and a custom-made machine gun at her, the lower part of his face covered by a double set of scarves that ran around his neck to hang behind his shoulder.

Simultaneously though two other people made their appearance in the wagon. A woman with a far-above-average muscular built, dressed in what seemed to be native/gypsy clothes, jumped out from a hiding spot behind some of the crates at the far end of the cargo room… It had to have been her the one who picked the door's lock.

The third was a black-haired man, also a Hume like the other two, with a slightly older look. He came in from the door behind the girl just as the native-looking woman pointed her shotgun at the boy who broke in, aiming a long sniper gun at her. Not wanting to leave him free of threat, the blue-eyed boy moved his weapon from the girl to the last arrived man, forcing himself and the other gunners on a precarious stalemate.

Lost and startled by that threatening sight, the girl could do nothing but look at the three gunners, as they glared at each other with determined fire in their eyes… Whatever was in that chest, it was pretty clear that each of them knew about it and wanted it for themselves.


last edited 166 weeks ago by Blue KJ
To be an interesting, intriguing, well-written character, there needs to be something to allow the audience to relate to them. That is what the problem is with who wants their character to be "perfect". Perfect characters will never be strong, and strong characters will never be perfect, because WE (those who read, who watch, who RP) are not perfect.

"What makes a strong character is how they deal with their flaws, their fears, their turmoils, their troubles that get in the way. That's what makes them relatable." – Doug Walker


Blue KJ Admin replied

166 weeks ago

Two weeks before the fateful encounter…




Avina Burkhardt, age eighteen.

Her life and the village where she lived had always been graced with peace and tranquility.

That all changed the day the village was invaded by demi-humans from a neighboring settlement.

Her life as she knew it ended that day.

However, this was also the start of her journey.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


- There, you've taken everything we have. I ask that you leave here at once and leave us in peace! - The Galka stood sternly before the hobgoblins' leader, facing him with pride. From the very beginning of the invasion he knew that the village had not enough men practiced in the ways of battle, and that his old wounds wouldn't have allowed him to fight without the risk of leaving his adored wife and only niece alone.

That is why, when the demi-humans had appeared and demanded all the food and precious in the village, he had ordered the townsfolk to not oppose any resistance and comply to that absurd request. They would have striven, that was certain, but crops can be harvested again. A lost life is gone forever.

- Uncle Burald! - Avina looked at him with a shocked, protesting expression. However, there was nothing she could do. Her uncle had imposed that she'd not try to battle. And besides, she was busy protecting the little Muriru from an overzealous hobgoblin that kept trying to get around her to get its greedy hands on the Tarutaru.

Her uncle raised one hand in her direction, imposing silence. He then sternly stared down at the leader of the hobgoblins as he marched up to him, glaring up with a wide, stupid grin on its face.

- Gob-gob! Tough words from loser! Me each you a lesson. - He cackled. - "Might is right"! So you are wrong and me am right! Me am right, so me am cool! Gob-gob!

Muriru burst out in tears, as a second hobgoblin walked up to the boss and muttered something in their beastmen language, before trotting back to the cart loaded with food.

The boss nodded, and looked up at Burald again. - Gob-gob! Me am strong, so always hungry. So me come here for food. So that is rule, and me am cool! Gob-gob! - He said, swinging its axe in what had to be a rough attempt to display his skills. - Gob-gob! You are uncool. So you feed me and buddies. Dat is new rule dat me decide! Gob-gob!

Burald's eyes narrowed. - Feed you!? We can't afford to do that! We'd all…

The Galka was however interrupted as the the hobgoblin jumped and slammed the flat side of the axe on his head, forcing Burald to his knees. The other demi-humans burst out in viking-like laughters, as the boss's grin widened further between his thick black beard.

- Gob-gob!? Taste good? Weak get full quickly. - He bellowed. - You have no food den eat some of dat! Gob-gob!

With that said, the boss made another jump to land on the only cart that hadn't been stuffed full, and swung its axe towards the village's gate with a brute roar. The other hobgoblins moved to pull and push the carts outside, leaving the townsfolk shaken and anxious. A small group of villagers immediately surrounded Burald to see to his wounds, but the Galka pushed them away, holding his head, a small trickle of blood running down between his fingers.

- I'm all right. Don't worry about me. - He muttered, moving one leg to work his way back on his feet. - Everyone is safe… And that's all that matters.

He sighed, and looked around to essay the damage that had been inflicted to the crop fields and storehouses. Almost no one of the townsfolk was hurt, but…

- Avina…? Where's Avina?

He looked at Muriru. The Tarutaru was staring silently at the gate leading outside…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


CREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAK..

- Yikes…

Welp, there went all Avina's plan to make a sneak entrance. And to think that she was doing so well up to that point. Hiding in one of the crates on the carts had been difficult, but after that, all she had had to do was to wait for those fealty grubbers to take her straight into their lair, inside an abandoned farm far outside of the village. She had even resisted the urge to get outside after all the demi-humans had left the storeroom, even though her legs were hurting with cramps. She wanted to give the villains the time to get a distance and maybe put down their weapons to eat.

But alas, once outside, the very first door she had opened had made a way loud enough sound to probably warn the whole place of her presence. Unfortunately, even taking the stolen goods and leave was out of question: the crates with the most precious belongings of the townsfolk had been taken elsewhere in the building, probably a room specifically chosen as their vault.

- Rusty hinges. Great… Now they probably know I'm here. But… - Avina sighed, bringing one hand to one of her double pistols. Taking a deep breath, she held the gun pointing at the ceiling, resting her forehead against the barrel as she tried to instill herself courage. - There's no turning back now. I've got to push ahead and prove myself. It's time to fly.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




It was unfortunately as Avina had assumed. The hobgoblins had heard her, or at least, two of them did. Her first battle came a lot sooner than she felt ready for. The demi-humans found her just as she was beginning to climb up a staircase, and flung jumping towards her with axes at the ready. Thankfully, her guns were loaded and ready to fire, and though her nervousness caused her to miss the first shot, the others found their targets, killing the first before it would even touch the ground, and the second after another couple shots.

When both the corpses stopped their fall at the feet of the stairs before her, Avina let go of her guns, which fell to the floor. She held herself in a hug, staring at the two corpses, trembling and feeling the urge to cry. But she knew that she wasn't in the right place to let her emotions go. She whispered to herself soft words, to retrieve her resolve.

- So this is what it's like to actually fight… Only the strong survive– the law of the wasteland. - She murmured, glancing around, hearing noises in the old walls of the house. - All that shooting must've alerted the others. I can't just stand around like this. I have to stop shaking… Control yourself… Stay strong….

She took a deep breath, waiting for her heartbeat to slow down a little. - I'm going to have to fly on my own!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The exploration of the large house continued, though with nervousness and tension from the young girl. Everything in the building was in a rotting, decaying state, and the hobgoblins hadn't made any effort to slow down the process. Several furnishings had been shattered in pieces and piled up to feed improvised fire-lamps that could have very easily burnt down the place.

Avina even found a diary of who had to have been the previous owner of the place, that he described as the "Wheatheley Mansion", apparently to have belonged to a family carrying such name, that decayed consumed by the desire of its members. Avina did not remember having ever heard of it.

The girl found some incendiary papers that she used along the way to light her path whenever necessary. A lot of the corridors were blocked by debris and crumbled boards, forcing her to climb her way up to the attic, where many of the floor boards were cracked or about to collapse on themselves. It took the girl a lot concentration and patience to find the ones that could sustain her weight, and she was thankful for not having to battle anything up there.

Climbing down from the other side of the attic lead her to the upper tier of a rather large hall. There were no stairs leading down, and Avina thought that they probably where somewhere else. However she felt a strange pull towards that hall… like something was calling her…

- I'm not sure what it is, but I feel like there's something important here. Better keep a sharp eye out. - She muttered, glancing around to try and find the quickest way down that wouldn't at the same time guarantee her a splintered ankle.

When she finally found her way down, it took her a bit of searching to notice what was off with that room. The doors in there, aside the small one she had come from, were both large and sealed. The first one wouldn't budge in any way, but the second, made of mahogany hard wood, had a suspicious-looking valve next to it.

Avina had never seen an hydraulic sealing system, but she had heard of it. It was typical of the richest houses of now long-lost cities to have doors that could be sealed with hydralic systems that worked on pressure. The valve was rusted and old, and it took her several minutes to finally manage and make it spin enough to unlock the door. However, it revealed to be a worthy effort.

- Hey… It's all the valuables they stole from us. - She murmured, her eyes wide at all the crates and chests in the room. The air smelled of stale wine. - So this is where they stashed everything…

Immediately she began to browse around the crates. A lot of stuff was far too big and heavy for her to bring all the way home.. she would've had to find a way to bring a cart nearby. However, she stuffed in her pockets what could've turned useful, such as bullets and healing berries. In one, she also found a duplicator key, which would've allowed her to get past the other locked door in the main hall. Just beneath the key though, there was something else…

It felt like a slip of paper.

- Hm? What's this? - Avina leaned forward into the chest to look more carefully so that she could pick up the scrap of paper among the other objects. It was at the very bottom of the box.

It was a photo that spoke of days gone by, showing her gather dressed in a white lab coat, alongside a couple other unknown faces. The other half of it was torn, but even so, all she could recognize was the young face of Ederick Burkhardt. And that was enough to shock her..

Her uncle once told her that her father was a scientist, but it was a side of him Avina had never known. She frowned, as memories of her father teaching her how to shoot resurfaced to her memory….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




- Avina… You like shooting ARMs?

- Ummm… I like shooting with you, Daddy! You think I can shoot two ARMs at once like you?

- Two at once… That's gonna take some practice.

- Okay, I'll practice real hard! So teach me… Okay, Daddy? Promise?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


- A photo of Daddy… - She murmured. - I thought I destroyed all his pictures after Mom died, since they only brought back painful memories…

She gasped when she suddenly saw the photo get touched by a tear. When had she started crying? Blinking, she raised one gloved hand to wipe her face, while the other concealed the picture in a pocket of her blouse.

- This is no time to dwell on the past… I have to do what I can for the people who need me today! - Avina gripped on her pistols, remembering all what she had learned about Drifters in her many books of adventures. - You're on your own in the wasteland…

Back in the main hall, Avina immediately trotted to the sealed door and began working the living key inside the lock, though she had never done so before. After some seconds of twisting and pushing, the lock finally made a clacking sound, and the handle moved slightly. Avina gasped in triumph, but it quickly turned into a shriek of panic, when a flying axe stabbed on the wood just a few inches from her head. Slowly, she turned around, and stared up as an enormous hobgoblin in red leathers jumped down from the railing of the upper tier to face her with an all-too familiar stupid grin.

- You… You're the one who stole all our valuables.. - She whimpered, her heart racing; then her look of horror turned in one of fueled rage. - You're the one who brought so much grief to everyone!

The hobgoblin immediately charged her and as she moved out of the way, Avina gulped, seeing that the demi-human could now reach for its weapon again. Without further thinking, she took on shooting all the bullets loaded in her guns, trying to give him no chance to attack. Only half of them hit the target in that frenzy attack, and while those who managed to strike the creature's legs initially brought him to its feet, it was not enough. The girl looked in shock as the hobgoblin stood back up, still grinning insanely, ignoring completely the blood trickling from the small holes in its leather protections.

- He's still on his feet? - Avina pulled the triggers to shoot more, but the dull clacking sound of her double pistols reminded her that she had run out of bullets loaded. She gulped. - What now? I can't back down now…

She whimpered as the creature adjusted its hold on the axe. Her guns slipped out of her grasp, as her hands instinctively reached to hold her head in a panic. She began breathing heavily, fear overwhelming her.

"Come on, focus. Stop shaking. Your wings are strong…"

"You gotta fly!"


- AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! - With an incredible warcry, Avina held her head low and charged the creature with all her energy, punching, kicking, doing everything she could and doing her best to hit where her bullets had already inflicted injury.

The demi-human was caught offguard, and its axe swung only to cut an endge of the girl's dress, before she grabbed him, and taking advantage of its smaller size, slammed him against a wall with a library that was standing precariously on its rotten feet. While the monster still tried to shake the trauma off of itself, Avina rushed to the side of the furnishing and pushed with all her strength, forcing it to collapse on the hobgoblin. The pile of rubble shifted slightly for a couple seconds, before any sound stopped coming from it…



- Huff… huff… huff…huff… - Avina interrupted her panting only to gulp, as the sound of many little feet reached her ears. She looked around, only to find it was already too late. Both on the upper tier and in the hall were way too many hobgoblins for her to handle even if she had reloaded her guns with all the bullets she had retrieved in the vault. - They're still coming? So many… I don't think I can do this on my own…

Feeling defeated, she surrendered, and let her legs give in under her, feeling tears starting to rain down her cheeks.

- Uncle Burald… Aunt Chiaral… Everyone… - She sobbed. - Daddy…

There was a sudden burst of light behind her as the door opened and let the sunlight in the dusty hall. When Avina turned to look, she saw standing against the light the small silhouette of a familiar Tarutaru girl.

- Everyone! In here! Hurry! - Muriru made a waving motion behind her, and soon enough all the men of the village rushed in the hall, armed with what best they could, Burald leading on.

At the appearance of the townsfolk, the hobgoblin, now without a leader, scattered and fled for their lives, often stumbling into each other and tripping blindly, their bags full of junk swaying left and right and causing them to get stuck in the door frames.

Avina allowed herself a sigh of relief. …Now that had been quite the entrance! She saw Burald walk up to her as she stood up. He looked like a ferocious bear with what he had equipped himself with for the occasion. His head was protected by an old helmet decorated with animal hair, and at his side hung two old, exotic-looking axes, weapons of a lost time that some of the villagers called "Burald's claws", the last memento of the last beastmaster in all of Filgaia.

There were rumors of Burald being the reincarnation of a Galka of ancient times, back when a forgotten, ferocious war had turned Filgaia into what it was today; the barren dying wasteland. Burald, along with another Galka, had fought bravely for his countrymen and saved many lives. Many had wondered who the other Galka was, but Burald always kept the utmost silence about his identity. He did not seem to be fond of the man, nor of his type in general.

There was something about that principle of his, that Avina wished to tell him. It was something she had never thought about, but that she felt to have been wishing for a long time in secret to her one self. A desire buried behind an iron door that her heart had kept concealed for all that time, waiting for the right key: that torn photo. Avina knew she would've driven him mad; why else would he have kept that photo away from here all this time?

But before she could even say a word, her uncle slapped her face with furious eyes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




A knocking sound on the door to her room awoke her several hours later. Massaging her head, she sat up. - Come in…

It was Uncle Burald and Aunt Chiaral. The expressions on their faces were different. The dark eyes of the man looked at her begrudgingly.

- Did you rest well? How are you feeling? - Asked her aunt, approaching to caress Avina's head.

- Much better, thank you. - She replied. - I'm sorry to worry you. I must have caused you so much trouble…

- Oh, don't worry about it. You know.. - The Mithra put her hands on Avina's shoulders and knelt down to wink at her. - Everyone's waiting downstairs. They all want to thank you for bringing back all our things.

Avina nodded and looked down at her hands clasped on her lap, as her Aunt straightened up. Her heart was racing and she was afraid to see her Uncle so angry, but had she not spoken now, she would have lost her best chance.

- Uncle Burald, Aunt Chiaral… There's something I need to talk to you about.

The two were about to leave when she spoke. Unlike Chiaral, who had turned with curiosity, Burald had remained with his back turned, staring at the door, his tail still. Like a predator who had just smelled something new and unexpected in his territory.

- I… I want to become a Drifter. - Was Avina's announcement, observing in anxiety the reaction of shock of the Mithra, who brought one hand to her mouth with a whimpering sound. Avina knew who she was thinking of, and was quick to prove her point. - My father disappeared into the wasteland, but one thing he taught me was the ability to handle ARMs. If there's anybody out there– out there in the vast wasteland needing my help, I want to have wings so that I can fly right to them.

Burald slowly turned, staring straight into the Hume girl's eyes. They were burning like fire.

- I know it sounds arrogant, and it might even be a mistake on my part… - Avina continued. returning her Uncle's glare. - Even during this last incident, I wanted to help everyone, but in the end, I was the one who needed help. But even so… I can't turn away from this desire of wanting to help people. When something sad happens, its memory is engraved into the heart. Nobody wants to have sad memories… Even I know that. So… If my ARM is able to help even one person out of trouble…

Avina's voice cracked and she fell quiet, her hands were trembling. All those buried thoughts had finally resurfaced from the deep of her heart. She felt as if she had finally stopped from a very long race. But in truth, she had just begun…

Aunt Chiaral smiled, touched. - Dear…

Burald put one hand on Chiaral's shoulder, before looking back at the girl. - You've given this a lot of thought, haven't you? - He finally spoke.

Avina did not talk, but simply nodded, her eyes were still burning, though they now had a pale veil of forming tears, that she held back fiercely.

- Hmmm…. - The man went to the room's window, opening it to stare at the landscape outside. - Unlike land, the open sky has no roads for you to follow. There's no one there to guide you. You must find your own destination, and fly there with your strength alone. That's what it means to be a Drifter in the wasteland. If you desire to help people, always make that your destination, and fly as far as your wings will take you.

He paused. Avina knew what he was thinking of. The last Drifter to have left that village had never returned.

- If you're ever too tired to fly against the wind, you'll always be welcome here. - He turned to look at her, and smiled slightly as a tear finally found her way out and rolled down Avina's cheek. - Besides, you are family and we are proud of you. I'm sure everyone feels the same way as well.

- Uncle Burald, Aunt Chiaral… Thank you… - Avina lowered her gaze, her shoulders shaking in fistful sobs. She was happy her adoptive uncle had forgiven her and given her his blessing, as well as place to return to should her plan have revealed to be too difficult, a home where to stay, and a family to welcome her back. At the same time though, she felt the fear of the unknown, like a part of her had hoped she'd be stopped. It was only a really tiny part though. - And… I'm sorry…

As the girl let herself go to the tears, her aunt approached again to wrap her arms around Avina's shoulders. - I've always believed that anyone who can say they're sorry from the bottom of their heart is both strong and brave. I guess with such a strong heart, you deserve my blessing as well. - She smiled, tilting Avina's chin up to look at her face, red and streaked with tears. - But I think you should tell someone else, too. Go tell your mother in heaven about your decision.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Cartia Burkhardt's grave was on a small plot of grass that the townsfolk had reserved for the graves of those who passed away in the village. A little corner of paradise in that drying world.

Avina knelt down to pay her respects to her deceased mother, her mind straying away, back to her memories of the time she had spent with her parents. It took her a few minutes to notice that someone had been there recently, just before her.

On the grave's stone laid a single white flower. It was something incredibly rare to see in Filgaia…

She reached over to gently touch the flower's petals, her puffy blue eyes wide in awe. - Mom used to love these flowers. I see them placed here sometimes, but who could be doing it…?

She lifted the flower in her hand, and turned to look towards the gate of the village, as a merciful, gentle breeze stroke the last tears away from her face.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The young girl heads to her mother's grave to bid farewell to her childhood.

Her expertise in ARMs, taught by her father, bolsters her resolve.

That is all she needed. That is all…

Her dreams of seeing the world have become her strength, and lifts her wings.

But the path to the future is often a winding one.

It tires some and leads many astray.

ARMs alone cannot overcome adversity, nor are they the only source of strength.

The moment the young girl realizes this, she will truly become a Drifter.


last edited 165 weeks ago by Blue KJ
To be an interesting, intriguing, well-written character, there needs to be something to allow the audience to relate to them. That is what the problem is with who wants their character to be "perfect". Perfect characters will never be strong, and strong characters will never be perfect, because WE (those who read, who watch, who RP) are not perfect.

"What makes a strong character is how they deal with their flaws, their fears, their turmoils, their troubles that get in the way. That's what makes them relatable." – Doug Walker


Blue KJ Admin replied

166 weeks ago

Five days before the fateful encounter…




Draenen Wen, age twenty-four.

She has turned her back to her lineage and destiny, and recently took to the wasteland as a Drifter.

Yearning to escape her fate, she harnesses her inherent strength, so that she may live freely.

However, she has yet to realize the true meaning of her actions.

Little does she know that it is her very lineage and destiny that gives her such strength…


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


- I'll be darned if this is true! - Draenen sputtered, putting down her mug on the table so hard, she knocked the bottle in the process. She even ignored all the juice coming out though, too distracted by the horrifying newspaper articles she had in her hands from the local press.

[The sacred artifact of Sant, known as the "Tuning Fork" will be delivered via transcontinental train to the Sant Colony. This artifact is said to be capable of communicating with the powers that sustain the world. The transport of such a priceless artifact is sure to generate curiosity, especially among train robbers, as…]

Draenen rolled up the newspaper and slammed it on the table, her eye twitching in nervousness.

- The sacred artifact of Sant? The Tuning Fork…? And it's on a train!? - She yelled outloud, catching the attention of the bored bartender, who however merely shook his head before busying himself with something else.

- Then… - Draenen jumped up, and reached for her bag that she kept hanging on the backrest of her chair. She rustled into it for a minute, before letting out a frustrated moan and grabbing the bottom of the bag to flip it inside out, letting all her stuff scatter on the table. Among the many maps, bits of food, thieving tools and various knick-knacks, she recognized the familiar ping of a silver spoon-like jewel. She held it up, glaring at it as though she intended to melt it with her very gaze. - What the heck is this Tuning Fork that I'm holdin' now!? Oh, man…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Three months earlier…




The Sant Colony, the last settlement left of the Sant clan. Their past is very ancient and famous. The history of its people is intertwined with the history of the world itself.

Many, many years before… their ancestors waged a terrible war, which claimed the lives of many. Soon, the blade of conflict wounded the very life of the planet, and nearly pushed it to extinction.

They say the ancestors soon grew weary of war, and cursed their own stupidity. But the blade they had set in motion went on cutting down huge swaths of life.
From the last survivors, a few cried out for living not on the planet, but to live with it… inside it.

They believed in the power that sustains the world, and that the life of the demi-humans who communicated with the planet was the way to connect with the planet's life. Their followers sought refuge from the material world and formed a village to live in nature.

At the base of their teachings is that the consciousness known as the Avatars protects their way of life in Sant Colony… No, it protects the entire world. That is why the people of the Sant Clan live their lives enforcing the will of the Avatars, It is their sacred duty, and they fulfill it without questions.

But among them, is Draenen, a girl that many think should remain proud of her heritage as a descendant of a priest. However, recently the members of the clan have come to think that she's lost her pride. Her medium is a materialization of the power of Garuda, the Wind Avatar. Befitting its windy nature, the medium takes on whatever form its user wishes. The Sant take great pride in the fact that they are blessed with the avatars' powers. Nobody knows why Draenen turns her back on their glory, spurring nothing but insults upon the Sant tradition…


- Are you really going, Sis? - Asked Mirror. He was a very young man, with long brown hair kept tangled in a long braid, giving him a very feminine look. He stood straight, composed, his hands placidly rested on the railing that faced down on the main room of the small house from above, where the bunks were kept, gazing on the woman as she finished checking her bag, fixing knots and belts,

- Heck, yeah… Those of priestly lineage must enter the priesthood, right? - She answered, adjusting the loincloth around her waist before giving a shrug. - Well, not me. Why the heck do I have to follow some stale, old tradition? I'm gonna live freely. No one's gonna tell me what to do.

- Well, you don't have to take the sacred artifact of Sant with you… - Mirror scolded her gently.

- The sacred artifact, the Tuning Fork… It enables us to control and communicate with the powers that sustain the world… - She recited with sarcasm. - That's pretty darn amazing. If I could make use of that thing, then I'll have nothing to fear in the wasteland.

The boy stared unfazed.

- But even if things don't work out, I can always sell it and live off the money for a while. - She concluded with a grin, and slapped an armchair made of animal skins with a chuckle. - What's even greater would be to see Geezer's jaw drop!

- I do not understand you at all… - Declared Mirror with a sigh. - But I do accept your deciaion. However, I will neither help you nor intervene in your affair.

- That's my kid brother! Just the answer I wanted to hear! You take after me– you're so quick-witted! - Draenen pointed up at him with a grin, then raised an eyebrow. - By the way, where's that slow-witted geezer of ours?

- I have not seen him since this morning. Perhaps he's at the altar, or…

- Don't tell me the Southern Sanctuary!? Oh, man… - Draenen shook her head. - Talk about bad timing… Just when I was about to head off there… That good-for-nothin' geezer!

- That's not a nice thing to say.. - Mirror sighed, then he dared. - … Anyway… Your decision still stands?

- Of course! - Draenen sputtered.

- Shall I augur your future with my dream sight, Sis? You would like to know, wouldn't you?

Draenen took some time to think, then shrugged. - Nah.. No, thanks. It's almost guaranteed that my future will be bright. - She grinned again. - It'd spoil all the fun if I knew how good it was going to be.

That said, the new Drifter took her bag and turned to leave the house.

- Sis!

Draenen stopped, and turned to raise an eyebrow at Mirror's worried expression. - It's not like I'll never see you again. Relax… - She said. - I'll be back with stories about what I see and experience on Filgaia. So, wipe that frown off your face.

- Okay… Please take care…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


- Why, if it isn't the Sant girl… What pranks are you plotting today?

Draenen turned around, watching the Roegadyn woman approach. She could only smile sheepishly, knowing that there's no lying good enough to fool Whisper Willow. - How'd you guess?

The woman smiled. - Oh, you may have grown since the days I used to change your diapers, but you can't hide anything from me.

The Hume rolled her eyes. - Yeah. You wanna help me out?

- Oh, you're gonna let me in on your plan? How exciting! What is it?

Draenen and Whisper both chuckled at the tone the woman had used, knowing that she was mocking Draenen in her childhood days. They took a little walk up to the well nearby, when the girl finally spoke.

- I wanna run away and be free.

- Hah! Now that's something! I knew you weren't no small-time Sant. - The Roegadyn patted Draenen's shoulder, sitting on the edge of the well. - When are you leaving? Here, take this. You can pay me back when you're rich and famous.

- Yeah.. I've gotta go as soon as possible. - Draenen said. - I don't want to be around when the priesthood begins.

The woman wrinkled her nose. - You're next in line for the priesthood. You'd be working so much harder without your brother's help. Mirror's doing all he can so that you can follow your dreams.

The girl fidgeted with the berries the woman had given her, and gave a shy shrug. - I know, he's a good brother. I just.. y'know… I can't stay here without feeling caged. - She sighed, looking down into the well, so deep she could hardly spot her reflection at the bottom. - Like this for example. Just once in my life, I wish I could guzzle as much water as I wanted without gettin' scolded by Geezer.

Whisper chuckled. - I hope you will find the freedom you seek.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


- So…

Draenen inwardly sighed with relief as he noticed the white-cloaked figure standing at the end of the small shrine that had been dug inside the wall of the mountain against which the Colony had been settled.

- I see you're back visiting the altar. Wonders will never cease.. - Murmured the man, and the cave was quiet enough for his voice to be perfectly audible to Draenen.

- Geezer! So this is where you were… - She scoffed. - I thought you had gone off to the Southern Sanctuary.

- Well… - The man reached with one hand to scratch his chin under the hood. - Why? Is that where you're headed?

- N-No! Not at all! Why would I want to go there? I was looking for you, Geezer. - Said quickly Draenen, trying to not squirm. The man's gaze had always unsettled her. It was like Mirror's, but older… and much less naive.

- I see… So, what is it? - He asked, tilting his head.

Draenen stood quiet for a minute, blinking, before beginning to shift her weight nervously. - Uhhh… well… uhhh… O-One look at your bright smile made me forget what I was going to ask. - She said, clearing her throat while half-turning to leave. - I-I'll come back once I remember…

- Hmmm… - The man turned his back to look up at the altar. - I don't know what you're plotting in the Southern Sanctuary, but remember it's also called the Fallen Sanctuary.

Draenen stopped for a moment, feeling a slight shiver.

- Your half-baked skills are no match for its traps and contrivances. And don't you forget it. And also..

- Huh? - The girl turned to look back at the priest.

- You could at least try to wear something more respectable. - Said the man, turning to glance at her. - Look at you! What ghetto did you crawl out of? Your ancestors roll in their graves!

- Rrrrr….! Geezer! You're always the same! - Draenen growled, and stomped out of the shrine. Damn it all, she had hoped at least her goodbye to the Geezer would be a peaceful one, but nope! Nothing's gonna change as long as she'd stay there. Better leave, and fast.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The sun was setting when Draenen finally arrived before the cracked walls of the Southern Sanctuary. Her brown eyes examined the entrance for a long time, running along its decorations and symbols carved in the old, aged stone. She stood there like that for a while, until a breeze didn't seem to try and nudge her to enter, blowing against her back. She took a deep breath, as the wind gently blew on her shotgun, causing the barrel to produce a slightly hissing sound, almost a whisper.

- All right.. Get ready, Tuning Fork. 'Cause here I come. - She murmured as she stepped on the threshold of the temple and into its darkness. Now only the moon was there to watch her, its pale rays reflecting on Draenen's ARM just a moment before she'd disappear inside the Sanctuary.

As she entered, she patted her face in an attempt to impose herself some focus. - I've got the power of the Avatar in my medium. - She told herself. - As long as I've got that, no ordinary monster here can stand up to me!

Inside the Sanctuary, Draenen was guided only by the dim light of the few torches hanging from the walls of cold stone, and she could barely notice the monsters that would crawl out of the holes and down the walls to fall over here in swarms. Then she'd brandish her ARM and took them out with expert shots, killing at least three at a time with the huge blasts of her gun. It was ironic that she had learned that as a play out of boredom against the empty bottles left by the pilgrims that'd visit the Colony.

There were worse creatures there. Monsters similar to big puddings, against which the bullets couldn't do much. When they'd attack her though, she didn't bother running away. She'd then concentrate on her medium, unleashing its magic without any effort, powerful gusts that'd then easily dispatch the foes, turning them into harmless puddles of slimy liquid.

She was proud of her notions of magic, albeit scarce. Even though it wasn't really her doing, but of that medium. It wasn't different than pulling a trigger.

The priest of the Sant had not lied however regarding the dangers of that place. It felt like every single brick and crack in there was placed specifically to be the switch of one of the countless traps that filled the Sanctuary. Walls that would close on their own, secret trapdoors, poisoned darts, so many Draenen could hardly believe the wall could fit them all. As if that weren't enough, the Sanctuary was collapsing on itself and to open herself a path the young woman had to resort to all her physical strength, skill and luck. This was out she arrived to the final room with not more than a small cut on her left arm and a bruise on her forehead: a miscalculated jump.

But now the splendid altar shining of green light and silver stood before her. And on top of it, floating mid-air was the Tuning Fork. It vibrated with a strange, continuous hum.

- Sorry to keep you waiting, sweetie. Come to mommy. - The Hume reached to grab the object, but didn't even have the time to touch it before an enormous sphere-shaped monster fell from above between her and the altar. - Sheesh… This ain't the way to treat a future priestess.

She narrowed her eyes and relentlessly shot bullets at the monster, which however did not seem to suffer any damage. Even, the pats torn by the blows would completely separate from its body and regenerate in a new, full grown enemy, adding up to the original.

- Split into two!? - It didn't take her more than a couple tries to find herself surrounded by multiple copies of the disturbing balloon. - I knew something was up with these crazy balloons.

She looked around to examine her surroundings, just to make sure that the room she was in could sustain the amount of damage that would have been necessary to dispatch that enemy. It seemed sturdy enough.

- Well then, I have a trick up my sleeve, too!

The Hume put her hand in a pocket, pulling out a handful of sparkling blue gems. These were elemental gems, special crystals that could be harvested from the bodies of monsters killed by forms of magic such as the type of her medium; Draenen was particularly interested in them, not as much for their origin and destructive potential, but because she always had a passion for gems in general… and besides, they sold well at times of crisis, so having some always ensured access to food and bare necessities.

What not all the fervid collectors of these gems know, is that they hold inside them the same magic power of the spells that originated them. That's why they were the perfect trick for this unfortunate encounter. Tossing the gems in squared spots on each of the balloon clones, Draenen was able to quickly get rid of them without giving them the type to complete their mitosis.



After silence fell in the room again, she looked around satisfied, patting her hands together to get rid of the dust and sweat from the battle. - Well, this can only mean that the Tuning Fork is mine for good. All's well that ends well.

It was time to get the hell outta there, and many thanks to the Geezer and the Avatars. All Draenen had to do was whirl around and sprint out of that hall, down the room with all the torches, up the grand staircase and…

… and add a second bruise to her forehead. She was about halfway out of the Sanctuary, when yet another gods-forsaken trap activated. A pale field of blue energy erected before her, causing her to crash into it and fall backwards with a loud cry of pain.- Ungh!

As always, she had spoken too soon.

- Gimme a break! Another trap to repel thieves, huh? - She grumbled, getting on her feet and placing both hands on the barrier, which didn't bulge in any way. - Hmm…

With a sigh, she took a moment to lower her head and think of a possible solution, one foot tapping nervously on the floor. What was the best course of action?

- Hey! Open up! Who do you think I am? - She yelled, banging one fist against the barrier much like one would knock to a normal door. - I'm an up-and-coming candidate for priesthood! Treat me like this and you'll be sorry! Hey, you listening?

She didn't even know who her question could be even directed to. That's why, upon receiving an answer, she was startled so bad, she felt almost as if she had jumped out of her own skin.

- Shh! Your cries for help will be heard outside.

- Who's there? - She backed away from the barrier, but only to bump into another that had erected behind her. Before she could further give in to her frustration and panic though, the owner of the voice came to the light from the end of the corridor.

- Aw, come on, Sis. Who were you crying to? - Mirror smirked, folding arms with a tranquil expression.

- Mirror! - Draenen put hands on the barrier again, watching her brother approach. - I knew I could count on you! You must have seen vile premonitions of your big sister in mortal danger, right?

- Of course not. I know you well enough to know that you'd mess up somewhere. - He replied vehemently, looking up at the barrier, as if he was observing a nice piece of art.

- Hmm… I don't like your attitude, but I'll let it slide. - The woman huffed, opening her arms to motion at the whole situation. - Look at me! I'm trapped by these walls. Got any ideas?

- Golly, Sis… I'm really stumped. - Mirror's brows were arched in disbelief. - We'd better start with what we can do now, and think of a way to get you out.

The two spoke and made attempts to break the barrier for a good hour. Every try miserably failed, no matter how hard Draenen would punch or how focused Mirror's songs of prayer were, nothing would change. It seemed like Draenen's very destiny was to rot inside those walls. Now that was a short Drifter career indeed…

- Oh, that's right… I've heard about a trial where the aspirant must retrieve the Tuning Fork in order to be ordained. - Mirror recalled at some point, while sitting on the stair steps, watching Draenen marching left and right like a caged animal. - Basically, they have to think and act like priests if they want to survive the perils within.

Doubtful, Draenen sat down the floor and looked in her bag at the Tuning Fork, giving it but a skeptical glance. Now that she was holding it and focusing on it, she could feel something… a sort of strange pull. No, it was like a great presence had begun to speak directly in her mind.

"Gather your strength and leap past the barriers before you.
Walls may tower above you. If you wish to penetrate them, you must first push the limits of your mind."


Draenen blinked, and looked up and around, before looking at Mirror. The young man yet observed the barrier tranquilly, maybe a little bored, even… he didn't look like he had heard anything.

Yet, wishing to hear more detailed instructions, Draenen grabbed on the Tuning Fork again, concentrating. The voice did not return to give her another briefing, that figures…

Gathering her strength… But hadn't she done that already? Maybe her own wasn't sufficient to break the barrier?

Maybe…

- I guess this is here so the candidate can show that he's got what it takes to be ordained. - She muttered, putting down the Tuning Fork and standing up.

- Easier said than done. - Mirror chuckled, then raised an eyebrow. - Hey, you're not hoping I'll bail you out, are you? I just can't. No matter how bad it gets, nobody can do more than they're capable of.

- No, no! I'd never ask you for that! - Draenen looked at him innocently. - I'm thinking of something different… An efficient, yet comprehensive escape plan.

Mirror tilted his head, one hand resting on his hip as he got up. - Then, tell me.

"Dangit! He called my bluff." Draenen inwardly snorted. Often times, Mirror seemed to just manage to read right through her, much like the Geezer.

- You see, uh… We're fortunate because we've still got each other. - She fumbled, glancing around in a complete improvisation.

- Fortunate? In my case, that's not a good thing at all. - Observed the male.

- Just hear me out. - Draenen waved off his sarcasm. - We're just lowly apprentices right now. We're only half way to getting ordained. And also…

She cleared her throat, and lifted the index finger of both hands. - There's two of us, right? The two of us are only half way to being real priests, right? - She said, to then slowly move the two fingers close to each other. - And even though the two of us are only half way, with both of us together, we're all the way there, right?

Mirror stared at her with a dull look, but Draenen didn't give up to her crazy theory.

- Wait! Maybe we're even farther! Through the incredible power of brotherhood, we can do anything!

- There you go, trying to talk your way out of things again. - Mirror rolled eyes, but chuckled. - But still, putting our power together might be worth a shot. I don't expect much, though.

Draenen put her hands on the barrier, and so did Mirror, patching positions with his sister. Closing their eyes, the siblings focused their energies to their greatest limits. Mirror felt his head hurt. As he had feared, that was an effort beyond their limits. The barrier was growing more and more intense with light… he felt he wouldn't have contrasted it much longer.

- We ain't got a choice, Mirror. - He heard Draenen's voice in his mind. He didn't open his eyes. - Come on, help me out here. We have to overcome this together.

Mirror sighed, and concentrated further. He felt a strange sound, and the light behind his eyelids told him that the barrier had changed color, increasing its power.. it was actually being challenged by their joined forces!

- Amazing! I never thought you'd think of something so deep! - He said with relief, feeling more energy within, perhaps thanks to the increased morale.

Draenen then spoke again. But this time, it was her real voice. - Listen, Mirror. I'm going to be a Drifter.

Her brother felt a grip on his stomach. He wished to look in his sister's eyes, but he knew that would have interrupted the channel of energy. He did not reply.

- I want to be free. I want to be a Drifter, wings flapping against the winds of lineage and destiny. - She continued. - I'm sorry. I have to leave you to take care of Geezer.

With a groan, Mirror opened his eyes to look at her. Draenen was staring at him. She was actually managing her spiritual power even with open eyes, without feeling sick or anything.

- So if you'll forgive me for that, I won't ask for your help anymore. Only then, will I…

- Sister, hush a moment. Just a little longer… - Mirror closes his eyes back, cursing himself for the slight crack he could perceive in his voice. - Just a little more and I can help you. I must grow stronger so that you can wander freely, without worrying whether I'll be okay. Because that's the only way I can help you…

- Mirror… Thank you!

The light grew to be blinding, as the walls shook violently… And finally, a shattering sound filled the vast, empty halls of the Fallen Sanctuary.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


- It took a lot of brotherly love to get this thing.. - Draenen grumbled, as she put away the Tuning Fork back in the bag, and then slowly proceeded on picking back up all the things scattered on the table. She glared at the newspaper. - And now another Tuning Fork is on its way on a train? It just doesn't make any sense… So, is this the real one? Or the one on the train…?

With a snort, she closed the bag, and put down some gella on the table. - Well, I guess I'm gonna have to get both to know for sure.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


A Drifter who soared over the wasteland, liberated from all restraints.

Her next target– another Turning Fork.

Verifying which of the two treasures is real will determine her self-value.

It may be regarded as a small sense of pride.

The dangers involved are many. but it's all so she can break away from her lineage and destiny.

Little does she know, however, that unseen tracks already lie before her.

An article obtained by desire… This can be considered a ticket to freedom.

But it's a one-way ticket, and the destination is unknown.


last edited 165 weeks ago by Blue KJ
To be an interesting, intriguing, well-written character, there needs to be something to allow the audience to relate to them. That is what the problem is with who wants their character to be "perfect". Perfect characters will never be strong, and strong characters will never be perfect, because WE (those who read, who watch, who RP) are not perfect.

"What makes a strong character is how they deal with their flaws, their fears, their turmoils, their troubles that get in the way. That's what makes them relatable." – Doug Walker


Blue KJ Admin replied

166 weeks ago

One week before the fateful encounter…




Kenjii Asgard– a Drifter who makes a living as a treasure hunter.

But that's not all…

He is an outlaw willing to face danger, and won't hesitate to stoop low in order to earn his daily bread.

Living for the moment, what is it that he truly seeks?

Could the answer be found within these ruins?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


- That figures; it's locked… - Kenjii glared up at the door of the ancient ruins. It had taken him days of travel on foot through the wasteland to get there, and Lady Luck didn't seem to be willing to make the whole affair any easier to him. - Might as well search the area.

He looked at the various carvings and glyphs on the ornate door just for a moment, before grumbling and moving to find another way inside around the pyramind. The structure was badly damaged; he was certain there had to be a hole somewhere under all those debris.

Stupid ruins.

Kenjii hated ruins. And in particular, he hated dungeons. He also hated dusty places and areas that took forever to get to, so that whole situation was the least fitting picture for him.

But it was a scarce period for treasure hinting, and his source had only that to offer as a job. Normally he would have rejected a task that required such a long trip, but he did not have alternatives this round.

Not having alternatives was also in his shit list.

He was thinking all that when he spotted a small pile of wooden boards among two cracked columns on the side of the pyramid. He walked up to it, noticing an old post signal hanging on the most intact column. It had a message that seemed to have been written with crayons, or some very cheap piece of coal.

"Danger! Do not walk past the barricade."

He gave a skeptical look at the wooden boards stuck at best between the columns. He grabbed one with one hand and shook it, and the board was easily dislocated, snapping in two and falling over, its inside half-rotten and half-devoured by mites.

- You call this a barricade? A kid could break through this. - He began moving and breaking boards to open himself a path, tossing pieces behind him. In a few seconds, he was finally inside the ancient ruins.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Kenjii didn't know whether to feel lucky or fooled. He found himself in a small room and before him lied a treasure chest, in plain sight. If the jewel he sought was actually in there, then maybe he wouldn't have officially labeled that day as a Very Bad Day after all.

He approached, hoping that whatever was inside it would have at the very least repaid him the cost of the trip. However, he should've probably paid more attention to other details. Such as why was there a treasure chest just past a man-made improvised barricade….

And if he didn't feel fooled earlier, he certainly did now, when at a mere few steps from the treasure the floor beneath him gave in, swallowing him in the darkness of the dungeon….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


At that same time, a young Elezen was unlocking the main entrance that Kenjii had given up on, with an expert touch of some of the symbols on the door, which parted open without protest.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Several feet beneath, Kenjii was landing with a flip to the floor of the very bottom of the pyramid, cursing that damned place. Screw the gem's value. His informant would have paid for that too.

He looked around as the dust around him began to settle. He was in what looked to be a storeroom of sorts, probably a warehouse or a basement, if places like that would even have one. There was nothing left but dust and debris, pieces of wood and rock scattered everywhere. To get out of there would've required quite the climb.

Something caught his eye in particular on a piece of broken wall that was not too far from him. At first he thought they were more glyphs, but further inspection revealed that they were drawings in a child-like style, written with colored crayons.

- Graffiti…? What is this place, a playground? - Kenjii scoffed, and worked his way past the wall and then over other leftovers of walls, doors, and other parts of that abandoned structures, trying to keep a general upwards direction.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Walking over a precarious pillar, he found a hole in a wall that took him to a very narrow, straight hallway, with a few stair steps leading up, alternating with plain floor slabs. Along the walls were paintings and more crayon drawings.

Kenjii was getting more and more annoyed by that sight. It was obvious at that point that the place had been previously visited by someone else, and that someone had either a very poor taste, or had the guts to bring kids along. The Drifter could only hope that the real treasure would have been too difficult for a commoner to find it. The simple thought that he may have wasted his time coming there was simply–-

- Ugh! What the…?

He noticed the hissing sound only at the last moment. He had just put one foot on a narrow crack on the floor. Knowing he wouldn't have had the time to jump back and interrupt the momentum, he leaped forward, rolling on the floor and stopping on his knee to look behind at the set of three razor-sharp spears that had surfaced from the trap beneath. They looked old, but still good enough to decapitate a man like him, had he not heard the device's sound in time.

- What's with the spears, huh!? - He snarled, standing back up. So not only the evidence of potential competition.. now there were even non-busted traps to deal with! Yes, that was officially a Bad Day.

He found more of those traps, and Kenjii started to seriously worry that even the jewel itself wouldn't have have been worth his time. Not if he lost a limb, that was for certain. He added the search of a safe escape route to his to-do list. Not like the way he had come from was a two-way one.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


He arrived to a funeral room. The open wall to his side had a familiar layout… and when he stopped before it to look outside and saw the wastelands, he realized he was watching the not-so locked gate he had previously abandoned. Someone was truly making fun of him in there.

The fact that he was also not alone did not help either.

"Who the..?" Kenjii stared at the three strangers. It was a group of Elezen, a rather old one, a middle-aged one and a girl. They stared at him with surprise, and remained quiet for a bit. But Kenjii could somehow smell something fishy about them.. it was the smell of people in trouble. "Agh, just ignore 'em. I've got bigger fish to fry."

He glanced towards the open gate when a fourth figure, another Elezen with a shameless balding process on his head, came in running. He stopped before the middle-aged man with red hair, who questioned him. The newly arrived one shook his head.

- I couldn't find him back there. The only place left is this ruin.

The girl and oldest Elezen sighed.

- The lock to the entrance was already picked by the time we got here. - Said the red-haired man, folding arms with a solemn look. - Looks like Vincent got here one step ahead of us.

"Sounds like the person who picked the lock is causing quite a scene. Heh, it's got nothin' to do with me, though." Kenjii glanced at the gate one last time, before attempting to cross the room to another door. "Better move on before this nonsense gets outta hand."

- Young man… Might you be a Drifter?

"Gimme a break…"

- One of our youngsters has wandered into these ruins. - Explained the red-haired fellow. - Would it be too much to ask you to go find him? This place is full of traps and monsters, and none of us can go any further.

- I'm looking for the Crystal Flower. - Cut him off Kenjii. - That's all– I'm not interested in any manhunt.

The balding Elezen's eyes widened. - The Crystal Flower!? But that thing's…

The other man interrupted him putting an arm on his shoulder, before turning to look at Kenjii again. - We'll offer a reward. I'm not sure if the amount will be worth your while, but…

Kenjii folded arms. - How much…? - He asked. He didn't even bother trying to look agreeable; the group could clearly tell from his face that he did not like them.

The red-haired Elezen looked at the others and cleared his throat. - Two hundred…

- That amount isn't even worth my time to negotiate. - Kenjii interrupted him again. - Sorry, but find yourself a good Samaritan.

- But…!

Kenjii did not wait for the reply, and disappeared in the next room.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


There, the walls were carved into small crypts, each one occupied by large coffins made of stone. Could they have belonged to ancient kings? The contents seemed to have been stolen ages ago.

- No matter how powerful you were in life, you can't take it with you. - He commented under his breath, after glancing inside the last of the tombs. His blue eyes were dull and light-less for a moment, as if he was remembering something very sad. It happened to him a lot in the dungeons. One of the several reasons he hated them.

He arrived to another large room. At its center was a rather large crack which did not give chances to proceed, with the only other door on the other side. The consequence of an earthquake, likely.

Kenjii noticed metal fishnets that had to have been previously placed in a way to form a bridge, but were now all half-dangling or had been pushed against the sides of the room. One among them seemed to have been pulled upwards by a movement of the ceiling.

- Those nets should be strong enough to support me. - He thought, approaching it from below. Yes, it was within jumping reach. All he had to do now was to try.

There were Ascomids infesting the ceiling of the room. Flating green sphere-like creatures with small tentacles and stingers at their base. Much as expected, they tried to attack him as he climbed the nets, but it was nothing his trusted Airget-lamh B/V2, a machine gun ARM, couldn't take care of. Dispatched the pitiful creatures, Kenjii reached the door on the other side and walked down another set of corridors.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


It was at the end of these, in a small room filled with jars and crates, that a human yelp startled him as he came down from the brief staircase.

Behind a wooden crate was a red-haired Elezen boy, staring at him with big eyes, panting. After a few seconds of staring contest, he cleared his throat and bowed his head apologetically to Kenjii. - You scared me… I thought you were a monster.

Kenjii rolled his eyes. He would have preferred a monster. Something that could be shot at without questions asked. Conversation wasn't his forte.

- Nah, I ain't here to hurt you, either. I have other plans, although I'm not so sure my source is reliable. - He added the second part with more than a slight irritated note in his voice, as he looked around the room.

- Wait, are you a Drifter? - The Elezen seemed kind of embarrassed. - Were you hired to find me and take me back? Then you're here a little too early, you know…

- So you're the one everyone's makin' a fuss about. - Kenjii shook his head. - Don't worry. I have no intention at all to take you back against your will. I'm just here for the treasure.

That said, he moved to a pile of crate and started to check inside them, moving aside what wasn't worth browsing, and breaking those that wouldn't open. The Elezen boy observed him in silence for a couple minutes, looking kind of hesitant.

- Umm… Excuse me… - He dared after a bit. Not receiving an answer nor a look, he raised his voice a little. - Hey, hello!?

- I thought I already told you I'm just here for the treasure. - Kenjii replied without looking back as he looked inside another crate, an irritated twitch touching his eye for a moment when the Elezen insisted on continuing their chitchat.

- Is it the Crystal Flower you're looking for?

Kenjii froze for a moment, and then very quickly stood up and turned to glare at the boy. - Why? You know something?

- Yeah, that thing's pretty famous. Everyone from these parts knows about it.

In a second, Kenjii was towering over him. This would have been impossible if both the boys had been standing, as Vincent was visibly taller. But the moment Kenjii had approached with eyes almost literally sparkling with lightning, the Elezen had whimpered and fallen to sit on his back, looking up at the Drifter in fear.

- So, where is it!? Tell me everything you know!

Vincent gulped. - Well… Uhh… I have no idea where it is now, but…

- Where it is now!? - Kenjii nearly roared. - What do you mean by that?

Vincent pushed himself back a little. - Well, like I said, the legend of the Crystal Flower's really famous. - He stammered. - I think it was just the other day… that a Drifter girl came here and took it.

Kenjii spun around, looking tense. He made a grumbling sound, and for a moment, Vincent was almost certain to see steam coming out of his head. But when he turned back, most of the anger was gone. Only plain, spatting annoyance was what he could read on the Drifter's face as he kicked a brass vase that was on the floor.

- Damn… Someone beat me to it. - He growled, then he side-glanced in thought with cold eyes. - Or maybe I was just duped by my informant…

Vincent sighed with relief as he relaxed a bit, and stood back up. - That's too bad. I hear there's nothing worthwhile left in these ruins. - He said apologetically. - And everyone says this ruin is unstable. So if there isn't anything here for you, it's best that you leave now.

Kenjii interrupted his fantasies of torture and looked at the Elezen. - Then let me ask you… What are you doing here if you know how dangerous this place is?

Vincent walked past him, and went on knocking against the stone slaps that formed the floor of the room, carefully listening to the sound they'd make. - I'm here looking for treasure– just like you. - He explained with a chuckle. - But this is a treasure only I know about.

He repeated that gesture for about fifteen minutes, stopping lastly on a specific spot and pulling out a small pickaxe to start working around the edges of the stone slab. Kenjii, who had remained there mostly out of curiosity (and why not, to snatch the treasure from the boy, should it have been of any value), looked up towards the stairs, hearing a noise that was far from friendly.

He pulled out his ARM. - Yo, I think something's coming.

- Yeah, I think I got something, too! - Exclaimed the Elezen as he used the pickaxe as a lever to lift the nudged slab from the floor.

Kenjii glanced back at him. - This isn't the time! Either you help me out, or run away! Now, which is it?

- Sorry, neither… - Vincent was panting for the struggle to lift the stone. - I've come here for my treasure and I'm not leaving without it. I won't be able to survive in a faraway place if I don't take this with me! It's a sentimental treasure that reminds me of this land– where I grew up!

Kenjii's look was dull. - … You can get as sentimental as you want, but that's none of my concern. - He said, looking up at the enormous lizard-like monster that came down from the ceiling, hissing ferociously. - I don't think this sucker cares for it much either.



Lizards weren't exactly Kenjii's favorite type of foes either, so the Very Bad Day was officially confirmed. They've got way too much energy in them, something that his quick, but not very big bullets could hardly cope with. Kenjiiì's specialty was all on speed, not on great destructive power. Also, in order to keep up with his weapon's speed, he couldn't wear very protective equipment, so that he could keep himself quick and agile.

And unfortunately, it was a known fact that large lizards, much like their long-lost dragon siblings, hit hard. The match with this foe was proceeding too slowly for Kenjii's liking, and he calculated that he could have won barely in time before running out of bullets.

However towards the end, something he hadn't counted on happened. He stared powerlessly as the lizard curled on itself and spit on its own wounds, its saliva regenerating the lost flesh and stopping the blood loss at eye-blinking speed.

The Hume stepped back to put a new cartridge in his weapon, taking one from the several he kept around his waist. - It regenerated!? - He snorted, realizing his only way out of that mess was to use his special trick. - Fine… This time, I'm gonna make you eat bullets before you get the chance to heal!

He did not quite remember how he got his special gift, but since the day his old man had taught about it to him, what Kenjii called the "Accelerator" had always proved itself useful on fire duels and any other situation in which shooting first would take him to the win. It was a special technique that raised his metabolism temporarily, allowing him to act before anything else. To the eyes of some, it would have looked like he could freeze time.

He grinned satisfied when the next load of bullets struck the beast before it could do anything about it. As it crumbled in pieces, some of its limbs still twitched, but it was obvious the creature was harmless at that point.

Unfortunately, it wasn't the only thing to have taken damage. Both the monster and the Drifter had been reckless in their match, and the tomb had been shaking for the past two minutes, the quake growing more and more intense.

- Huh!? - Kenjii looked up, and gritting teeth, he rushed for the staircase. but it was too late. The room above collapsed, and debris filled the corridor and stairs, forcing him to back off in the small room.

- Dammit! - The Drifter growled, looking at the locked way out. - All this trouble, and yet I'm gettin' nothing out of it!

The Elezen trotted up to him with a small crate under his arm. - Hey, are you all right? That last battle must have shaken things up a bit.

Kenjii nodded, and together they waited for the shaking to quieten around them. After a couple minutes of silence, interrupted only by scarce, distant rumbles, Kenjii looked up at the box the boy was holding.

- By the way… About that treasure you dug up…

- Oh, here. - The Elezen smiled, and opened the crate to show it to him. - It probably doesn't even compare to what you usually charge.

Kenjii peered inside the box, and his jaw dropped at the sight of what was inside. He recognized a slingshot, a ball, a cards deck, and a yo-yo. The other things buried further inside seemed to be of similar nature. - It's all junk! This ain't something you'd risk your life over!

- You don't have to get so mad… I said it wasn't worth much. - The boy seemed to apologize. - These are all toys from my childhood. They're my fond memories of growing up here. We used to play in this ruin before it got infested by monsters.

Kenjii frowned. While he still didn't get why he'd risk his life over some old toys, it at least explained where the graffiti came from.

- As a child, I thought every moment would last forever. But as time went by, I grew up, and now I'm an adult. I only have a week left before I go away to a faraway land to work. That means I only have one week left of my childhood. - Said Vincent, looking at the box with a melancholic smile. - To tell you the truth… I'm scared to death. Would I be able to adapt to an unknown place? Moreover, would I be able to stay true to who I am? I'm scared I won't be myself anymore. That's why I want to take with me the memories of who I am now, so I won't forget.

- That's something I'll never understand… I don't have any memories I want to hold onto. - Kenjii shook his head, looking up, waiting for the next rumbling sound. There hadn't been any for a few minutes now. - That's why I'm a Drifter. I'm free as a bird to fly wherever I want. I have no worries.

He paused.

- Maybe except for my income.

- I can't pay you or offer any treasure, but I can help you get out of here. - Said Vincent, tilting his head.

Kenjii looked skeptical. - You know this ruin well?

Vincent smiled, and walking up to an apparently blank wall, he touched an hidden switch that opened a door in it. - I told you I used to play here. It's a bit dangerous, but we can make it out of here through this door. Hurry. We don't have much time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


They moved rushedly in a maze of rooms and corridors. The building still shook a little, especially when Vincent would activate some device or open an hidden door, but thankfully there were no boulders falling over them this time. After a few minutes of running, a rather violent rumble shook the whole place, and the two stopped for a minute.

- Good… - Vincent sighed with relief. - Sounds like it settled down. It wouldn't do me any good if I died here, even if I did find my memories.

"Just like this ruin, don't memories eventually crumble and fade away…?" Kenjii frowned, looking at Vincent as he approached a wall to find a new switch. "Why's he so passionate about it?"

- But we have no time to waste. Come on, let's hurry. - Vincent turned to look at him as he activated the switch. - My ticket will be useless if I miss the train.

Kenjii snapped out of his thoughts. - You're taking a train? I didn't know there was a station around here.

- There isn't. The closest station from here would probably take me about five days on foot. - Vincent shook his head. - And it'll take me about another day by train to reach my destination. Even though I have a week left before I start work, today's the only day I have to pack everything. That's why I don't have time.

- Why don't you leave later?

- Speaking of trains… - Vincent shifted the box under his other arm. - There's supposedly one transporting a great treasure. Because of that, there's a strict screening of all passengers for every single train. I was really lucky to get a ticket under these circumstances. All thanks to the villagers.

Kenjii's eyes had regained interest at the word "treasure". He seemed about to inquire further, but then shook his head. - Well.. We gotta get out of here first.

- Yeah, that's right. - The door behind Vincent finally moved. - Phew… All right! I don't know what I would've done if the device was broken. Looks like we'll make it out okay. This door leads to the main hall. We're almost there.

- Good…. - Seeing his path to an escape route opened, Kenjii decided to bring back up the subject. - By the way, can you tell me more about that train in detail– the one transporting the treasure?

Vincent looked back at him. - Sure… But why? I doubt you'll be able to get a ticket.

- Let's just say it will be my reward for saving you. - Kenjii folded arms. - Don't worry about the ticket. I'll think of something.

The Elezen shrugged. - Okay, deal. I'll tell you more once we make it out. - He said, looking towards the door. - But seriously, thanks a lot. I never imagined I'd be able to experience something so exciting on my last day here. This is a memory we'll share forever.

Kenjii watched him walk through the door, with a frown.

"Memory… What, this…?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




Afterwards, Kenjii looked into that train Vincent talked about.

He managed to jump onboard and waited for an opportunity to infiltrate.

A sudden impact and the chaos that ensued gave him the perfect chance to break in.

With the treasure in plain sight, this was where he would encounter three strangers.

Were they friend… or foe?

The darkness that opened up before him seemed endless, as if obscured by the world's future.

The train Kenjii had boarded was still making its way through the long, endless tunnel.


last edited 165 weeks ago by Blue KJ
To be an interesting, intriguing, well-written character, there needs to be something to allow the audience to relate to them. That is what the problem is with who wants their character to be "perfect". Perfect characters will never be strong, and strong characters will never be perfect, because WE (those who read, who watch, who RP) are not perfect.

"What makes a strong character is how they deal with their flaws, their fears, their turmoils, their troubles that get in the way. That's what makes them relatable." – Doug Walker


Blue KJ Admin replied

166 weeks ago

Nine days before the fateful encounter…




Roy Mustang, age thirty.

He is about to embark on a mission considered most deadly of all Drifter trades– eradicating a monster.

These Drifters are accustomed to risking their lives to face danger.

They do it for the reward and to satisfy their spirit.

One cannot deny that in the eyes of many these Drifters are just ruffians driven by greed.

Could this man be nothing more than a ruffian as well…? Or perhaps…


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Roy stopped in front of the cave, just as he and his guide entered its shadow. - This is an assignment I alone have accepted. I shall take it from here.

The Miqo'te man bit his lower lip, then sighed. - Listen, Roy… I know you have quite a reputation as a Drifter, but this is your first time in these caverns. I'm sure you'll need me as your guide. And you've heard of the buddy system, right? They always say two heads are better than one. I can help you.

- Yes, I appreciate your concern. - Roy folded arms, bowing his head in thought as he gazed on the cavern. - But my mission is to exterminate the keeper of these caverns and to protect the residents of the village. I believe that was the deal.

The Miqo'te raised a black eyebrow. - Uhhh… Yes, but… What does that have to do with me?

- In other words, you are one of the residents that I must protect. - Roy moved one hand to grab on the belt keeping his snipe gun harnessed to his coat, and shifted it slightly. - And as you mentioned, this is indeed my first time venturing into these caverns. As a result, I would not be able to ensure your safety if you accompany me. Please, there is no need to worry. I shall complete my assignment, and return promptly to accept my bounty.

That said, he gave a nod and entered the cave at a steady pace. The guide watched him enter the darkness.

- He seems confident enough, but going in there all alone…? - He muttered, running one hand through his black and green hair. - Doesn't he realize this cavern is called…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


"The bounty that I have been promised is by no means substantial. I agreed to this assignment because it is a plea from despondent people. This is what I do."

Roy reminded himself is own resolve as he stepped in the infamous Den of Miasma. He looked around with circumspection, loosening a little the coat around his shoulders to give himself more freedom of movement, just in case he'd need to resort to his ARM while on the way to the monster's lair. The air was dense and warm, displeasing to breathe in. It definitely wasn't healthy, and that meant he needed to be quick.

The people of the village that had hired him and their lives depended on their trade capacity, and as long as that creature would continue to attack the caravans and merchants, they would have suffered its presence.

He moved from cave to cave, sneaking along narrow passages. Unfortunately he also had to resort to more drastic measures when he couldn't find an open path.

That was when he'd approach the walls of rock and carefully examine them, scratching with a finger to find points where the sediments were more sandy.

- This wall appears to be more frail than the others… - He was probably in front of a recent cave-in, so hopefully the small homemade bombs he always carried on himself wouldn't have damaged the general structure of the place.

There were other things for which the bombs would come in hand though. The miasma that filled the air often sedimented in thick, steaming patches of pure poison. The bombs would then have a double effect: clear the path for him to step on safely, and also burn most of the combustible poisoned substance.

The one time he was caught by the poison was during the sudden attack coming from a monster much similar to a tiger. The beast's fangs caught his movement, often slowed down by both his large ARM and heavy coat, and cut his right arm with a superficial wound, which however was quick to get infected with the miasma that was in the creature's saliva.

- Ugh.. - Roy looked at his wound, hissing in pain, and quickly covered it with his coat, glaring up at the tiger, and firing a bullet that took its life in a single shot, charged with extremely deadly, large bullets. - I must exterminate these in order to advance.

He didn't think the people would use the cave once the creature would be eradicated, but he could not afford that those monsters would decide to go out to prey on the villagers. The problem would have returned anew.

The more he proceeded, the more he could see why the monster had decided to make that place its lair. The walls had an high concentration of chalk and lime, minerals not quite adapt to extraction but that favored heath containment. It was the ideal place to lay eggs. But what was producing all that miasma?

It condensed particularly on the ceiling, so much that it would eventually drip down and form poisoned pools. That made him realize how much of it he had breathed in already. The task grew more urgent than before.

He was beginning to wonder for how long he had been walking when a shiver ran down his back. - This miasma… I can sense the keeper… - He murmured, looking ahead of the narrow rocky path he had taken, that hugged one of the main walls of the cave. Further ahead, he could see the path widening into a rocky platform, just behind the corner. The air was unbreathable. - It's not too far now to the throne where the keeper awaits. Hm!?

He spun around as he heard a rumble. The rock behind him had collapsed. Just behind his feet there was nothing but void…

- So my retreat has been blocked off… I take it guests are not very welcome here. - He commented, pulling a corner of his mouth in an ironic smile. - I must confront the keeper and inquire about the way out.

Brandishing his ARM, he turned around the corner, and he had to immediately close the collar of his coat over his mouth to not lose consciousness. There was a giant nest of condensed poison on the wall in front of him. Everywhere around him were dozens of steaming, trembling eggs. From the nest came out what had to be the layer of those eggs. It had the look of a strange reptile, a dragon-shaped creature with skin as smooth and dark as the one of a killer whale.

Roy shifted and pointed his gun as the creature slithered completely out and spread its wings in a menacing pose, hissing like a snake.

- It looks much bigger and more agile than I expected… And it assumes such a cautious stance… - Roy spoke to himself, observing the features of the beast, its wings in particular. - I mustn't let this one escape. I won't get another chance if I let it fly off. As long as I have accepted this assignment, I will carry it out with grace. I shall get rid of you at once!

He said the last part out loud, and the creature roared back, as though it could understand his words.

Although Roy was fully determined to carry out his task, "at once" may have been ind of a stretch in that case. Right after the first shot, aimed at one of the wings and successfully landed, the creature had nonetheless lifted in the air, supported by a slightly second pair of wings that Roy hadn't seen because hidden under the first set. It managed to dodge his next shots easily, and Roy was slowed down by the need of reloading every two shots, when he wasn't busy dodging the poisonous claws of that creature. A simple cut from them would have likely guaranteed his death within a few minutes, and its high toxicity didn't seem to bother the beast one bit. How could it live in the middle of all that poison and gases?

- With your evasive maneuvers… It may be easy for you to evade my shots… - He spoke while reloading, his eyes fixated on the monster. - But I will not just stand here and allow that to happen!

He closed his ARM with a clack, and focused himself on the creature's movements, using his innate gift… It took a lot out of him, but it was one of those emergency cases he had trained his eyes for. The bullet hit squarely the creature in the chest, forcing it to the ground. The monster let out a shriek of pain and surprise, curling up on itself, squirming. It seemed to glare up at him as Roy approached to finish it.

- I possess the ability to track my prey's trail. I can foresee its slightest move… - Roy granted it an explanation as it brought the ARM back in position to aim at its head. - Hm…!?

He looked in surprise as the beast suddenly arched its neck, pulling its head backwards for a moment and then opening its jaws at him, gushing out a spray of purple gas that surrounded Roy, immediately infecting his breathing system, and forcing the Hume to his knees.

- How could I be so… careless…? - Roy coughed, trying to spit out the poison, but already feeling it down its throat. - I could have easily prepared if only I had predicted the source of this miasma to be the monster…

He let the weapon go, falling on all-four. He expected the monster to attack him, but much to his surprise, it did something even worse. With an hiss, the beast took to the fly again.

Roy looked up at it weakly, his eyes filled with horror as he knew what was about to happen. - No.. stop…

But the creature did not stop. It flied over his head, past him, and as Roy raised one hand to reach for it, everything faded to black….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


I have failed. I always seem to fall short at a crucial moment… Always…?

One of these days… I….


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Moved by a willpower that he didn't recognize as his own, Roy opened his eyes. He touched his forehead… It was warm.

- How long have I been out…? It doesn't seem to be too long, but… - He pushed himself on his feet, helping himself with the long ARM. Immediately, a sharp pain warned him of the poisoning process that was taking place inside him. - Toxic matter has entered my system… The effects do not appear to be too serious yet, but the more I move, the more it will eat away at my body.

Panting, he looked around in the darkness of the cave. - Calling out for help will not do… - He whispered. - It may be quite a risk, but the wise choice would be to head back to the entrance, rather than wait here until help arrives…

Talking to himself was something he did a lot more often than he realized himself. It was something he didn't even realize…

…That he was still talking to him, even though he was gone.

He needed to find the shortest way out. He tried to remember the approximate direction of the exit, planning to blow up walls however much necessary. Each step inflicted him serious pain, that he stubbornly ignored, doing instead his best to quicken his pace.

He felt his energies being sucked out of him. It didn't have to end like that, not like that again. He had to best himself and make up for his mistakes.

He had hoped Lady Luck would be merciful to him, but as to be expected, his careless explosions on the main walls of the cave caused the place to start shaking and rumbling. Then a familiar cracking sound came..

- Not again…! - Roy cried, looking at his feet in a panic. But this time, the sound wasn't coming from the rock beneath, but the one above. He looked up and stepped away just in time to avoid an enormous boulder that blocked his path, getting stuck between the two walls of the passage he had found.

Roy sighed in resignation. - I can understand if I were an intruder, but to impede someone who is trying to leave…? I must have really been a rude guest. - He held his head in pain. - A boulder of this size probably would not budge from one or two bombs… Perhaps placing a number of bombs in succession may work…

He looked at his supplies. He had five left, and those would have probably barely sufficed. And what if what waited past that boulder was a dead end? Was it worth the risk?

Every chances he had to survive stuck in that place were certainly higher than the chances he had to survive should he have backtracked to try and find another path. That's why he decided to place all his bombs under the boulder.

His face grew pale when the boulder survived the explosions chain.

It was over, everything was over there and then, in a task that he had come to define ordinary for his career… He hadn't any strength left to look for another path. When would they have ever come to look for him?

He fell on his knees, not hearing the noise of stabs and strikes coming from the other side of the boulder. Without seeing the rock fall in pieces before him. Without feeling the two sets of arms grabbing him to pull him up gently.

- Good heavens! Are you all right!? - Luc'a touched the man's forehead, as Roy almost fell back limp. - What a fever! What happened to you in there!?

- I believe… I have been afflicted… by poison… If only I had been… more… careful…

- Wh-What about the monster? - Luc'a glanced at the other Miqo'te man that had accompanied him inside.

- It took to the sky.. and…

- Okay, understood! We'll take care of the rest, so…. - Luc'a yelped as Roy ultimately lost consciousness and almost made him fall over with his weight. - Hey, hang in there! You're going to be all right! Kujh, we need to take him back, now!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




Roy dreamed of the professor. The professor, with his black hair always brushed backwards, his gray eyes behind the rectangular lenses of his glasses, the grin always framed by the stubbed chin, never perfectly shaved. He dreamed of him like that day, that cursed day. Examining minerals, checking the machines, explaining everything to him, to him, his apprentice. His words carved in his heart.

"It's not a question of 'if'… It's a question of 'when'."

But the professor…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


- Oh, you're awake. - A calm feminine voice woke him up. - Hold on a minute. I'll go make something.

Roy looked around, confused. He was in a small house, in a room that functioned as both the living room and bedroom. Before him, the Miqo'te guide, along with another silver-haired man of the same clan were looking at him with anxious but relieved expressions. They asked him how he felt and helped him sit up, while the village's medic brought in a steaming bowl.

- Here, this should warm you up.

Roy accepted with a weak smile. - Why, thank you. - He took but one sip and jumped slightly, immediately pulling away the bowl while forcing the liquid down his throat with wide eyes. - Wow, this is really something. What is it?

Luc'a chuckles. - Knocked your socks off, huh? Well, here's a hint.

Roy blinked at the sprig the Miqo'te showed him. The thin. long green leaves had a familiar look. - Antidotes…?

- That's right. It's more potent than regular off-the-shelf antidote. We boiled it in a great cauldron. - Said the medic woman, a red-haired Elvaan. - Well, I'm just glad that it had the effect I was hoping for! Now I know I can sell it to customers.

They all laughed seeing Roy's expression as he was revealed he had just been the chosen victim for a human experiment.

- Of course, I almost broke my back hauling you out of that cave when the monster got you. - Muttered the silver-haired Miqo'te, folding his arms. - But… All's well that ends well, right? Now we can get on with our lives.

- A monster… in a cave…? - Roy frowned, then he jumped up on his feet. - That's right! The monster! What became of it?

The three looked at each other in perplexity.

- What's that supposed to mean? You chased it away, didn't you? - Asked Luc'a, one ear tilting sideways in a puzzled expression. - While you were recovering, the men grouped together and marched to the cave to look for the beast, but it was gone.

- All they could find was its lair, deep in the bowels of the cavern. No trace of the monster was found. - Nodded Kujh.

Roy moved his gaze on him. - And? What did they do with the lair?

Again the Miqo'tes and the doctor exchanged looks, then Luc'a spoke. - Well… They torched it, of course. We don't want the thing coming back, do we?

- They… - Roy hesitated, looking in disbelief, his face growing worried by the second. - They torched it!?

- Yep. Now the monster's toast, right?

- All I did was hurt the monster and chase it from the cave. - Roy lowered his gaze, noticing the three finally realize the situation. - But inevitably it will want to nurse its wounds in the safety of its lair. If that is gone, then certainly…

A roar came from outside, followed by many screams of panic.

- It will come and take revenge on those who destroyed its home. Your village and all who live here are in danger. - Roy concluded after the beast's call, then walked away from the bed and reached for the chair where his coat and weapon were resting.

- Where do you think you're going!? You need more rest! - Exclaimed Luc'a.

- I accepted this assignment. That's why I must see it through to its completion. - Said Roy, wearing the coat. - I'd never forgive myself if I gave up on my clients. Very unprofessional.

The three fell quiet, but after a few seconds, Luc'a muttered something under his breath, then spoke again. - Then, here… take this.

He threw the sprig at Roy, who caught it, before looking back at him with a blink.

- The monster's poisonous, right? I think it'll come in handy.

- I'm sure it will. - Roy smiles, then ran outside, as chaos took over the small village.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


In the streets, Drifters, villagers and merchants alike ran around, screaming and seeking for shelter, looking at the sky with horrified eyes. Up there, the goldrake was flying menacingly, chasing first one, then another, trying to choose its first victim.

The regrets of the past become chains, burdening you more and more with each step you take through the sands of time.

Through knowledge of oneself, one can live without regret!


Using the staircase next to one of the tallest buildings, Roy reached the roof, and immediately shot a bullet towards the beast. It missed, but it was sufficient to lure its attention. The goldrake turned its head and greeted its hunter with a ferocious hiss.

Roy pointed the gun at it again. - I have you now! - He intimated, challenging it to approach. The creature dived towards him, its jaws open for a new poison breath. Roy knew there wouldn't have been another perfect chance like that.

Again he summoned his special gift, and his eyes calculated the exact moment and point where the bullet would have struck right through the beast's mouth and head. With no hesitation, he fired in a last, deadly attack to its prey and predator.

The last goldrake fell with a crash to the ground between a house and the building Roy was standing on, to never rise again.

Roy finally caught the breath he had lost to run and climb all the way up there, and looked up with a sigh of relief, lowering his ARM. At last, his assignment was complete.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Roy aspired to be a bounty-hunter and Drifter.

But he always earned more than just a reward.

He gave his clients peace, and in return, they gave him confidence.

At times he might stop and rest his wings, but no Drifter ever stopped drifting.

Roy's next mission was to watch over an artifact on board the transcontinental railroad.

But he wasn't alone. Opportunists were a dime a dozen.

No one knew how many were on the train, or where it was headed.

After all, some journeys only start at the last stop.


last edited 165 weeks ago by Blue KJ
To be an interesting, intriguing, well-written character, there needs to be something to allow the audience to relate to them. That is what the problem is with who wants their character to be "perfect". Perfect characters will never be strong, and strong characters will never be perfect, because WE (those who read, who watch, who RP) are not perfect.

"What makes a strong character is how they deal with their flaws, their fears, their turmoils, their troubles that get in the way. That's what makes them relatable." – Doug Walker


Blue KJ Admin replied

166 weeks ago



Around and around we go… The world that encircles me begins to revolve…


The gears grind, and the spinning wheels of fate begin to turn…


And finally, the train departs.


A journey without a purpose.


The train just steams away to the world beyond today.


The accident that ensued on the train I happened to be on…


And the three strangers I would later encounter.. These were all coincidences.


But if coincidence is a part of fate…


I want to roam this vast Filgaia to find the reason behind our encounter.


I'm sure that one day, this tale will become a fond memory…


last edited 166 weeks ago by Blue KJ
To be an interesting, intriguing, well-written character, there needs to be something to allow the audience to relate to them. That is what the problem is with who wants their character to be "perfect". Perfect characters will never be strong, and strong characters will never be perfect, because WE (those who read, who watch, who RP) are not perfect.

"What makes a strong character is how they deal with their flaws, their fears, their turmoils, their troubles that get in the way. That's what makes them relatable." – Doug Walker


Blue KJ Admin replied

166 weeks ago



The planet Filgaia is slowly rotting, its once lush vegetation withering away.

As if that weren't enough, all sorts of predators roam the desert and prey on innocent travelers.

Yet there are some willing to brave this wasteland to seek their fortunes.

These folks are known as "Drifters."


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


A sudden explosion shook the whole wagon the Drifters and the poor ticket collector were in, sending part of the roof flying into the storm. The dust and light interrupted everyone's aim, and everyone's attention was now on the hole open on the ceiling of the car.

- What now!? - Whimpered Daltan, looking up in shock.

Avina bit her lower lip. - I think someone's on the roof.

- Yes, I must agree. I believe this person may be the culprit who activated the emergency brakes. - Roy convened, removing a shard of food that had landed on his shoulder. - Would somebody like to volunteer to go up and investigate?

Avina looked at the other two. Kenjii wasn't even looking at the man, one hand reaching to clean his hair from all the dust with a quick swipe of his hand. Draenen's attitude seemed to be pretty much the same.

- You're joking, right? Don't look at me. - She said, putting one hand on her hip. - I'm not as naive as to turn my back on a stranger.

Roy took a deep breath, and looked around for a crate that could serve the purpose. - Very well, then. I shall take the lead. - He complied, glancing at Avina. - But please escort the young lady on your way up.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




When Draenen helped Avina up on the wagon's roof, the girl blinked curiously at the three strangers that were standing on far end of it. Perhaps they hadn't moved yet because of Roy keeping steady aim on them, but their look clearly gave away their… "thuggy" intentions (that's the word Avina came up with).

Kenjii's impression was that only the one in the middle could've possibly been at their level… or maybe superior to that. He was in fact the only one displaying a full-blown smirk in front of his four adversaries.

What worried Roy the most was the weapon he had in his arms. It was a Bayonet, a type of ARM believed long lost due to the high difficulty in handling it. The last known wielder of a bayonet much to his knowledge had perished before he was even born, yet this red-haired boy looked even younger than Roy himself.

- Heh… Looks like we've got company. - Said the robber, tilting his head to point at them with a nod. - You guys sure don't look like guardsmen to me. Who are you anyway?

His gaze shifted temporarily to fixate on Kenjii, to whom he raised an eyebrow. - And you, punk… Didn't I see you kick in the window and break into the cabin? - He asked in a mocking tone, before letting out a sarcastic chuckle. - Don't tell me you blokes are all Drifters going after the same treasure?

Kenjii and Draenen looked away at that, and ended up meeting gaze; a contact that they were quick to interrupt, each turning head in the opposite direction with a grumble.

- Yes, we have been hired to guard the treasure. 'At least that holds true for me.' - Replied Roy, adding the last part under his breath, to which Avina raised an eyebrow. - We are here to protect the goods from ruffians such as yourself, and to deliver the goods to their rightful owner. I kindly ask that you withdraw. I would like to avoid any bloodshed and unnecessary expense if at all possible.

The robber held up an index finger, waving it negatively. - We welcome unnecessary bloodshed! And we're not paying the expenses! - He countered with a smooth tone. - Once we take care of business here, there's a hefty reward waiting to roll right in! We don't have time to play!

- I'd like to avoid the unnecessary bloodshed part, though. - Said the Miqo'te hooligan next to him, looking away.

The red-haired robber gave the Drifters a somewhat apologetic smile, before hitting the Miqo'te boy with the butt of his Bayoned straight into its face with a swift, practiced movement of his elbow. The Miqo'te staggered of a couple steps, his hands cupping on a bloody nose.

'I wonder who they're working for?' Whispered Avina, watching the scene with a small frown.

Roy didn't look away from his target, but also kept the same tone of voice. 'You're very sharp. By the way, how's your shooting?'

Avina glanced at him, then bit her lower lip, and reached for the guns at the sides of her gown. 'I'll do my best.'

'Glad to hear. I'll be counting on you.' Roy cleared his throat to catch the attention of the other two Drifters next to him. 'And you two… I ask for your assistance as well.'

The robber arched an eyebrow. - What are you plotting? - He swung the Bayonet to make it rest on his shoulder, moving the other hand in a taunting motion. - So are you planning to bite the dust, or bite the bullet and face us?

While waiting for an answer, he pulled out a pocket watch from his jacket, frowning at it before putting it back inside. - Listen, time is money. Let's get this started already.

The bulkier Hume on his other side looked at him worriedly. - B-Boss… We're one short without Falgor, you know. I don't think we should bite off more than we can chew.

The robber glared at him. - You blokes just do as I say! Or do you have a problem with that!? You want to end up dead like Falgor? Psyche yourself up! Shut your fly, Snider! Be a man, Shadow!

He performed a theatrical bow, and grinned back at the team of Drifters before taking on a battle stance. - Kirious of the Red Mist… Ready to wreak havoc…. Assume positions!

- How did I get myself into this? - Draenen whined, flailing her hands in disbelief. - I mean, we just met two seconds ago, and now we're all buddy buddy teaming up together? I mean, c'mon! Hey, is anyone listening to me!?

Avina turned onto Draenen, flailing arms much like her, only while holding a pistol in each hand, making the whole gesture a lot more worrysome. - Stom rambling! We have to work together.

Draenen flinched, not wanting to get shot. - Yes, ma'am…

- Watch out, it's a multiblast! - Roy grabbed Avina and forced her to kneel down, covering both his and her head with his coat, as the red-haired robber pointed his Bayoned up in the sky and fired multiple projectiles which rained down on them like many little darts.

- Ouch… Ughhh… - Avina winced, feeling one bullet hitting her back, though it didn't have the same speed as a direct shot and didn't cut through her skin, she was pretty sure it would have at the very least leave a nasty bruise on her for a while. - Is everyone okay?

She heard the others also wince and moan in pain, and she was quick to take out the supply of berries her aunt had given to her, tossing one to everyone so that they could exploit the great healing properties of the fruits.

Draenen was somewhat taken aback by the gesture, and bit her lip, undecided. Then she shook her head; surviving was what counted there and then, she couldn't waste that time worrying about matters of distrust.

- Hey, you got your healing powers right here, too. - She said, making sure her medium was at the right place. - I can restore everyone's health in one shot, so just give me a holler.

- Great, thanks! Let's all work together! - Avina nodded, and after whirling the pistols in her hand, she took on carefully shooting back the attacks coming from every of the three thugs.

- Forget it. - Kenjii spat, jumping ahead and unleashing a load of bullets on their opponents, intending to use his whole cartridge on them before they could do anything else.

Avina was startled, and crouched down at all the noise, covering her head. - Hey! That's….. - She glared at the blue-eyed boy, and her eyes widened as she spotted the stiletto that was flying aiming straight at him. - W-Watch out!

Kenjii did not flinch, even when a bullet struck the thin blade but a few inches from his head. Stopping to reload, he glances at Roy. - I didn't need you to intervene.

- I had a different impression. - Roy smirked, before turning to assess the damage Kenjii's fierce attack had inflicted on the group. Both the two henchmen of the red-haired robber were on their knees, holding their heads in fear. The Miqo'te, who had to have been the one who thrown the stiletto towards Kenjii, had a bleeding leg, and was whimpering like an injured puppy.

Their leader seemed most unscathed, having protected himself with the wide blade of the Bayonette. A bullet had managed to scratch his jacket just over his shoulder, and he was glaring at the cut with narrowed eyes.

- Now you've really made me angry, punk. - He moved a handle of his Bayonet, letting a few empty bullet shells fall over, before dashing towards Kenjii with the blade of the weapon at the ready for a sideways attack. - Let me return the favor!

- I don't think so! - Draenen raised an open hand towards the assailant, and Kirious forced himself to a stop, looking surprised when green light erupted from the woman's hand, spinning and whirling into a vortex that moved straight towards Kirious. With a curse, the man backed away with a jump on the car behind, glaring at ethereal magic as it hit his two comrades and made them scream in pain.

Kirious was keeping his eyes fixated on Draenen, possibly trying to figure out what her power was and where it came from. The double ARMs that the girl was able to wield also worried him. She was obviously still a green at drifting, but to handle two ARMs at the same time was not something everyone could do, especially with that easiness. He then noticed smoke on the other side of the mountain the train was running along of right then, and with a curse, he reached for his pocket watch again.

- Tch… We're out of time… - He muttered, and looked ahead as the magic finally dissipated, leaving two very injured Shadow and Snider.

"The reward might not be worth the risk this time around…"

- Heh, not bad, Princess. - Kirious looked at Avina with a smirk. - What do you say you quit that measly little team and come join us?

Avina's eyes were narrowed. - Thanks, but no thanks. I don't hang out with thugs.

Kirious raised a skeptical eyebrow, glancing at her other companions, the native woman and blue-eyed punk in particular. - Thugs? Lighten up, Princess. We're all Drifters here. Aren't we? - He chuckled, then his eye fell on the watch again. - My, my… Would you look at the time? It's time for us to bid adieu. Hope to see you soon…

- We're not through with you yet! - Avina suddenly blinked, hearing a loud whistle coming from the direction the train was to, behind her. - Hm? What's that noise?

She looked back at Kirious and his gang, and she gasped alongside the other Drifters when they saw him jump out of the racing train, towards the open side of the railroad, rather than towards the wall of the mountain. That jump would have certainly killed Kirious and his men, had they not landed squarely on a second train that at that very moment ran by on the railings below, heading in the opposite direction. Avina walked up to the edge of the car, looking at them in shock.

Kirious landed on the last of the train's cars, and patted one hand to dust off his pants, before looking up to wave two fingers in a salute at her and her improvised companions. - So long, Princess! See you around! - He called out with his usual smooth grin.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




The storm was now far away from the open steppe the train had stopped at. Avina stretched her arms with a moan, looking up at the bright blue sky spotted only with small, shy little clouds. The other three Drifters had also descended the train, without so much as a word, in a general feeling of uneasiness that only the girl seemed to not perceive.

Finally, the staff member Roy was waiting for came off of the train, carrying a small treasure box that he carefully handed to the black-haired Drifter.

- My apologies for all the trouble. - Said Roy upon accepting the parcel. - Please report any damages to my client. I shall arrange it so that you will be compensated.

Avina observed him as he kept discussing with the conductor about the names and locations and methods of contact and other business talk she couldn't quite grasp, but her attention was all on what the Drifter was holding. - That's the box with all that mysterious light, right? - She asked, turning to look at Draenen who also was watching with a general disapproving look. - What was that, anyway? That light… It had some sort of warmth to it… Those thugs were after this light source, right?

- What you saw, young lady, was the sparkle of the Tuning Fork. - Explained the muscular woman after a bit. - It's a sacred artifact used to communicate with the power that sustains the world.

The younger girl looked at her with wide eyes. - The power that sustains the world? - She stopped in thought, then opened her mouth in utter shock, and clenched a fist. - So that's what they were after…

Several minutes after, the four watched the train slowly awaken on its tracks and slowly building up speed, resuming its relentless march towards other destinations…

- There it goes… Sure was a stormy night, wasn't it? - Avina said with a sigh. A part of her wondered why she hadn't gotten back up aboard, but considering that her journey had no real destination, she ignored it.

Kenjii instead was of the whole opposite mind. Unfortunately, having saved the cargo from being stolen by someone else did not compensate the fact that he had illegally boarded the train, and also broken one of its windows.

- So this is what I get for helpin' out… Stuck in the middle of nowhere. - He muttered, kicking a rock at his feet, glaring around at the vast nothing around him.

- We seemed to have missed our stop while taking care of business… - Roy smiled somewhat sheepishly.

The four stood in an awkward silence for about a minute, looking around, until Avina finally broke the silence. - Okay… What now?

- I must deliver the goods to my client. It should be within walking distance from here. - Roy slowly turned his head to appraise Draenen's look. - I believe you might know where that is.

- Well, uhhh… Yeah, I guess… - She scratched the back of her head, shifting slightly on her feet. - Go northwest of here to a small village at the foot of the mountain. It's a place called Sant. - She said, looking towards the small mountains ahead. - And if I may add, it's actually my hometown. Although I don't really feel like returning.

Avina looked at both of them, and jumped up, clapping hands. - Well, since we're all here, whaddaya say we go there together?

Kenjii rolled eyes and was quiet for a moment, then snorted with a shrug. - I was just in it for the ride… but… It's not a bad idea to reap the rewards. Gotta cash in when you can.

- Let's see… Where shall we begin… - Avina tapped her cheek, looking at them, then her smile brightened. - I know! Let's introduce ourselves.


last edited 166 weeks ago by Blue KJ
To be an interesting, intriguing, well-written character, there needs to be something to allow the audience to relate to them. That is what the problem is with who wants their character to be "perfect". Perfect characters will never be strong, and strong characters will never be perfect, because WE (those who read, who watch, who RP) are not perfect.

"What makes a strong character is how they deal with their flaws, their fears, their turmoils, their troubles that get in the way. That's what makes them relatable." – Doug Walker


Blue KJ Admin replied

163 weeks ago

- So this is Draenen's hometown…

Avina looked around. The place was definitely different from what she had expected from the rough description the woman had given her as they walked across the canyon that lead to her home.

“A place like any other.”

There weren't many houses. In fact, there wasn't any that she would compare to the squared wooden houses of the village she was from. Everything was carved in the gray stone of the mountain, in a natural round clearing at the center of which was a sort of stage made with big flat stones. Mats woven in grass and hempen cloth or leather hides functioned as doors and shelters for windows, and a particularly large square of it had been hung at the end of four spears, impaled to the ground around a stone well, sheltering it from the sunlight.

- Also known as Sant Colony, where the people believe in the powers that sustain the world, the avatars. - Roy wasn't nearly as shocked as Avina, though he too looked around with what seemed pleasure, and some sort of academic interest.

The girl's eyes instead were open pools of wonder and awe. She was looking around frantically, as if intending to not miss a single moment of that place. She turned to say something else, possibly to share her excitement, to the blue-eyed boy next to her. However, she hesitated when he noticed his expression: the quintessence of apathy and not-giving-a-damn-ness.

- You sure don't react much… - She said with such a disappointed tone, she actually caused Roy and Draenen to also look at Kenjii, who in return gave the girl a stern look before directing his gaze elsewhere, in a snob attitude.

Roy slowly looked away from him, before clearing his throat and shifting the box under his arm. - Well, I must go finish my assignment. - He looked at Draenen. - Would you mind introducing me to a gentleman named Tegian? He is the one who assigned me the task of delivering the Tuning Fork.

Draenen looked away from Kenjii, and actually gave Roy a double take, before jumping back in panic, pointing stupidly at herself with a finger. - Who, me!? Introduce you to the Geezer!? I ran away from here three months ago! Everyone thinks I'm dead!

- S-Sis!?

Draenen winced at the young, familiar male voice behind her. She slowly turned around, to see her brother run up to them, flailing in joy and greeting.

- You're home! This is like a dream come true! I did not even foresee this in my dream sight! - He beamed in her direction, tackling her with a hug that immediately get her red with fluster before the other Drifters. - Although the Farseer did say you would be home soon. He was absolutely right!

Draenen sulked dejectedly, giving a pleading look at the others, who were staring at her kind of impassibly… of course, with the exception of Avina and her jaw nearly down to her chest.

-So…. - Roy tilted his head. - He is family? As well as Tegian?

Draenen managed to free one arm from her brother's grasp, only to use it for a facepalm. - Oh, man…

********************************************************************************


Some minutes later, the group was gathered around a small campfire inside one of the houses. The fire was fed with a kind of wood that Avina didn't recognize, but that was incredibly good at not producing any smoke, keeping the alcove warm and fresh. To the other side of where she, Roy, Draenen and Kenjii were sitting, was a man in white leather clothes. Sitting on some cushions just like the ones they were told to make themselves comfortable, he kept the box open on his knees, looking at the relic that was inside. It really didn't look like anything special… just an ordinary tuning fork, of those used to sing, without any details or decorations. The new Drifter couldn't explain why the man was looking at it so intently, as if looking for some flaws or damage.

- Yes, that's the Tuning Fork all right. A job well done. - He sentenced after several minutes, closing the box and looking up at them, mainly addressing to Roy. He leaned forward to hold out a purse to him. - Here is your reward, and a little extra…. just to show my appreciation. Go on, take it.

Kenjii gave Roy a look of fire as he watched him take the sachet that jingled like coin. He would have discussed his share with him later.

- Looks like I caused you more trouble than you bargained for. - Continued the Farseer, shifting to a more comfortable position. - Not only did you deliver the Tuning Fork, you also brought home my incompetent granddaughter.

Draenen kept her arms and legs crossed in a defensive attitude. - Hey, leave me outta this. It was just a coincidence that I came home.

- Not necessarily. - When Roy spoke, Draenen snapped her head in his direction with an interrogative frown. - He did mention I may also have to deliver a troublesome package. I had no idea that package would be you until now.

Tegian paid no mind to the woman as she began sputtering and cursing in her direction, and kept his tone calm and carefree. - I figured robbers and thugs would jump at the Tuning Fork if I released information about its transport. And that this girl would go after it, too. - He smiled, musing to himself. - I never imagined it would be this easy.

- I should've known… You and your dirty tricks, Geezer. - Draenen snorted. - But tell me this… If you just wanted me back here, does that mean that I've had the real Tuning Fork all along? And the one we delivered fake?

- …

The Farseer gave her the only one answer Draenen hadn't taken into account: a long, frustrated sigh. The three watched the man's shoulders droop in a disapproving gesture, just as Mirror's footsteps stopped on the threshold.

- I'm back.

The Drifters turned their heads to look at the young Sant, and all of their eyes went wide with shock this time as they saw two other Tuning Forks in his arms, gently placed on a cushion. Draenen began looking back and forth between her brother and her grandfather, opening and closing her mouth with words that would come only half-way out of her throat, before she'd attempt to start a new one.

- Oh, you are so pitiful… - The Farseer raised one hand, demanding silence. - Listen well. The Tuning Fork you took, the one transported by train, and the two over there… All four of these are genuine Tuning Forks.

Avina shaped her mouth in a silent “O”, as Roy folded arms with a little inquisitive frown on his face. Draenen seemed on the verge of eruption, shifting uneasily on her seat, as though she was about to pierce the ceiling like a rocket fueled with anger and disbelief.

- Draenen… don't tell me you thought there was only one Tuning Fork in this world. - The Farseer shook his head, revealing a braid that slid over his shoulder. - Your lack of discipline in your studies is atrocious. I thought I had taught that to you and Mirror…

The woman finally managed to whirl to look at her brother and speak one full sentence. - Is that true?

Mirror simply nodded a couple times, suppressing a look of scolding to not further weigh on his sister's ever-dropping confidence.

- The Tuning Fork is a music instrument, which can transmit and receive willpower. In other words, it is a sacred artifact used to communicate with avatars. - Explained the Farseer. - There are a total of four Turning Forks in this world. They were enshrined at various places that worship avatars, but are gathered here now. The bearer of a Tuning Fork is capable of sensing the presence of the prime avatars. Which means he or she is capable of materializing and utilizing the power of avatars in this world. The bearer of the Tuning Fork has the right to use the power of the avatar. But the bearer also has the right to kill the avatar…

- Huh? - Avina jumped on her seat, suddenly snapping out of her daydream-like awe.

The man chuckled, and moved to stand up. - Shall we go for a walk? I'll continue my story then.


last edited 163 weeks ago by Blue KJ
To be an interesting, intriguing, well-written character, there needs to be something to allow the audience to relate to them. That is what the problem is with who wants their character to be "perfect". Perfect characters will never be strong, and strong characters will never be perfect, because WE (those who read, who watch, who RP) are not perfect.

"What makes a strong character is how they deal with their flaws, their fears, their turmoils, their troubles that get in the way. That's what makes them relatable." – Doug Walker


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