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Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7s-HtHScvMM Cancer Bats - Devil's Blood


Some people are in it for the fame. Some people see it as the ultimate form of competition. Some just want to break poo poo.

The Killer's Crown appeals to a certain side of everyone. The newest form of the great human tradition of bloodsport, it takes full advantage of 26th century technology and the resurgence of magic to deliver the bloodiest, most violent, most thrilling shows you'll find anywhere on the planet. (Nearly) anything is legal as long as you can carry it with you into the arena. Each fight is to the death, in a way - the sport gives competitors temporary backup bodies to use in the arena, to fight in, push to the limits of human endurance and get killed in without actually getting killed. A fighter's career lasts as long as they can still fight, and as long as they can keep the audience interested. The most successful, the superstars of the Killer's Crown, can travel and fight all over the world and get rich in the meantime. Unfortunately, like with any competition, there's plenty of fodder. Plenty of people who maybe make a little bit of a splash, but never take home any big victories or linger in anyone's imagination.

Obviously, you're planning to be one of the superstars.

Right now you're working in Philadelphia. It's not the best arena. It's dingy, the arenas are low-tech, and the dodgy body doubling tech leaves fighters feeling busted up after a match. The owner is infamous for shorting fighters on pay. It's easy to get matches there, though, and the fanbase is both bigger than you might think and fiercely passionate. You're making the best of it. You've been with your new team for a few matches now, and you've won them all. You're gaining momentum. You're gaining fans. Your manager, Phia Kwang, has seen to that. She spends most of her days on social media, posting clips of your matches and promos. Lately, she's been teasing "big things in store" for your new team, too. You can feel it. Things are just about to get good.

The world is watching. With your blood, your sweat and your tears, it's yours to take.


---------------------------------------------------


Welcome to the Killer's Crown! This happened once before. If you were around for it, cool. If not, cool. It's a mainly combat-focused game as you might guess from the premise. Don't worry, though, there'll be roleplaying and other fun stuff too.

The basic character creation rule of this setting is "it's the future, but mostly the world we know, but also with magic." Reskin everything.

There's also going to be a way in which this game mechanically differs from most 4e combat. It's new, so listen up. Skill use in combat is going to be much more of a thing. Sometimes, you'll be rolling those skills. Most of the time, though, you won't be. In every arena, there'll be some skill-based way(s) to interact with the environment. For the most part all it'll care about is whether or not you have training in the relevant skill. There might be an action you can only take if you have, say, Thievery. There might be an interaction you can do as a move action, but if you have for example Arcana, you can do it as a minor action. No skill will be useless here - especially not skills you take! Take Religion and I'll find an arena to use it. Take Streetwise and I'll find an arena to use it.

I'm aware we're playing up the edgy atmosphere a bit here but don't be a dick. I will remove you.

Other standard character creation poo poo:

  • Start at level 5
  • Themes YES. Backgrounds YES (only one that gives you +2 to a skill or adds to your list of class skills).
  • Inherent Bonuses YES.
  • Standard starting gold / equipment for level (whatever the gold is; one magic item each of levels 4/5/6, level downgradable if you want).
  • Free feats:
    • Melee Training
    • Improved Defenses
    • an Expertise feat
  • If your class only starts with three skill trainings, including any compulsory skills, you actually get four!
  • Please post your character PDF, I could give a gently caress about Orokos
  • Don't bother apping a Pixie or one of the boring essentials classes, which are as follows:
    • Blackguard
    • Cavalier
    • Elementalist
    • Executioner (hybrid is ok)
    • Hunter
    • Knight
    • Scout
    • Slayer
    • Thief
  • No busted dragonmark chicanery

Join the discord server or die
https://discord.gg/VFE6xvZ

One spot in this game is going to Wahad, who will be playing a hybrid Paladin/fey Warlock. I'm only looking for 4 more people and that's a hard limit.

Apps open until March 27. Format is play by post.

Wol fucked around with this message at Mar 22, 2018 around 04:34

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Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.



Caelynn, The Rose Knight - Paladin|Warlock
PDF - Entrance Music

Kate Miller is, if nothing else, a fangirl. From as young an age as her parents would allow, she'd be ringside at local fights, cheering on her favorite heroes and booing her favorite villains. Her room was full of posters and newspaper clippings. It came as a surprise to few, then, that eventually she made her own attempts to enter the scene. Not many have heard of that phase, though. Her first few personas were...unremarkable, and most of her teams eventually let her go because she just couldn't pull it in the ring. She'd be sent home battered and bruised...but a few months later, she'd try again. And again. She put on new faces and new voices like clockwork, but none of it worked out.

Most would stop and find a better-paying, less painful job. Not so with Kate. She eventually became somewhat of a phenomenon in the scene; most people ended up knowing her, though they pitied her for her lack of success. But what she really needed was someone to temper her boundless enthusiasm while not keeping her determination on a leash. Enter Phia Kwang. Whether she saw potential or just another body to distract the better fighters of the team, Kate still doesn't know; but the woman managed to stick with it, and for once in her lifetime, there was actual hype around her character. She had a chance to make it big. And that's all she ever wanted.

Calling on her fondness for novels of faraway lands with princesses and dragons, Kate has adopted the persona of Caelynn, the Rose Knight; a virtuous fighter with nonetheless some tricks up her sleeve that the uninformed might call witchcraft. There are rumors (or she'd like there to be, anyway) that there is a greater power at work, puppeteering the brave soul for nefarious purposes. Time will tell where her true allegiances lie... but any villains in her way will not be there to witness them.

Wahad fucked around with this message at Mar 13, 2018 around 20:45

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


Good Lord! That's her music!

Captain Walker
Apr 7, 2009

Mother knows best
Listen to your mother
It's a scary world out there


I love 4e, Strikers and off-brand X-Crawl

fake edit:

Wol posted:

  • Blackguard
  • Cavalier
  • Elementalist
  • Executioner (hybrid is ok)
  • Hunter
  • Knight
  • Scout
  • Slayer
  • Thief

I don't see the Vampire there

Captain Walker fucked around with this message at Mar 13, 2018 around 16:16

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


Captain Walker posted:



I don't see the Vampire there

I dare you

Klungar
Feb 12, 2008

Klungo make bessst ever video game, 'Hero Klungo Sssavesss Teh World.'



Koal "The Hammer" Smith
Human Invoker|Cleric
Entrance Music

We steelers are pretty grounded folks. We live on the strength of our backs, the tools in our hands, the fire of the forge, and rocks that get dug out of the ground. Growing up in Pittsburgh, there ain't no sky overhead to concern yourself with, just soot and smog, nothing else to look up to either. You just keep your head down in the heat, and the gods and magic be damned. At least, that's what I used to think, til my worldview blew up right in my face. A bad batch of ore, they said, I don't know for certain, just that one moment I was looking after some iron in the smelter, then the next I was getting pulled from a pile of rubble that had been the mill. The only things that survived the explosion were me, and the hammer and tongs I crossed in front of myself in a futile attempt to protect myself. Liquid molten metal splashed around me, but not on me, massive steel beams fell down around me, but not on me, the gate to Hell settled upon the other steelers, but not on me. Instead, I had my life, a pair of tools that were always hot to the touch and capable of creating better works than I had any right to otherwise, and the distrust of the other steelers who'd rather think that I was responsible for what happened to the others rather than anything less grounded being responsible.

With my tools, I've made some pretty nice things, no sense in false modesty, but the nicest thing I've made by far was a cudgel that has proven to be unforgettable. After the accident, I got ran out of town by my 'fellow' steelers, and I didn't stop running until I got to Philly. I looked for work at an armory, something to pay my debts while I got the lay of the land and made sure it was the place for me. It was my first time outside the City of Bridges, I didn't want to put down roots before I was good and ready. Anyway, there was some pompous rich guy with a mansion and fancy car who had a sHell that had something wrong with it that had to be fixed yesterday. Looked like a pleasure model to me, but I'm not one to judge how someone gets their rocks off. I'd proven myself in short order to the shop foreman with my skills, and perhaps more importantly, my discretion, so he put me on the job. The tools and I got it done in short order, ended up just being something minor masquerading as something bigger. The rich guy was able to pull his head out of his rear end long enough to actually be grateful for what I'd done for him. Turns out, he owned the local killing floor, and had a weapon order to place for his star fighter, something special to help him in his matches. He had to leave town on an arena tour for a few months, but not before dropping a bag of cash in my lap and telling me to make him a magitech mace worthy of the Main Man himself. Considering this my chance to make a name for myself and secure my future in the City of Brotherly Love, I spent the next few months setting up my own forge and pouring my heart and soul into the thing. I quit the armory job, refused any other commissions, and just spent day and night working on a weapon that would be unbeatable. The day eventually came for my patron to return, and I presented him with what remains to this day my greatest creation. And do you know what the bastard did? He 'liked it too much to let it get damaged', so he put it on his mantelpiece, and let it collect dust. I still was paid handsomely, and work did come my way from his wealthy friends who saw my craftsmanship on display, but it still gutted me to know that this wonderful weapon was going to waste when it could be there in the arena, winning matches and gaining fame. To add insult to injury, a couple of years later, his home was robbed, and some damned thieves took off with it. Where it is now, I wish I knew.

In the end, it may have been a good thing, though. It finally convinced me that the only way to make sure that my weapons and gear ended up in capable hands was to make sure those hands were my own. Well, my sHell's hands. You know what I mean. One of my customers hooked me up with Kwang, and she gave me a shot, having seen my tech used against her fighters before. It's possible she only gave me the job when I said I'd also outfit the rest of the team, but I've definitely proven myself since then, and there is nothing better for getting the creative juices flowing than having said juices on the line in the ring. My ElectroGauntlets can disrupt the signals in my opponent's sHell's wiring, making it drop inputs and act erratically, while there literally isn't anything my Multiversal Tools can't do. But don't forget: they don't call me The Hammer for nuthin'. When I'm in the ring, everything looks like a nail.

Klungar fucked around with this message at Mar 13, 2018 around 20:16

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009



LAAAAAAADIES AND GENTLEEEEEMEN!
TONIGHT, TONIGHT, TONIGHT ONLY, WE GIVE YOU-

THE COUNTESS OF CARNAGE, THE VAMP VAMPIRE, REANIMATOR - ERZBET DUSHKA!

AND HER PARTNER, DEAD BUT NOT GONE, THE SPIRIT OF THE RING, THE MAN WITHOUT PAIN- TIGER FURY!
Theme Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSNLhSmz8_g

We have a fine show going tonight folks. I'm Chip Hardcastle and with me is Mike Finklestein and boy, what a pair we have entering the Squared Dungeon tonight Mike.

Absolutely! Who thought we'd see Tiger Fury again after that tragic highway accident? We had just gotten over the loss of one of the true greats of showmanship on the bloody canvas when we heard his younger sister- did you know he had a younger sister?

No sir, nooooo sir.

Well, his younger sister- get this Chip- drops out of Minotaurford, leaving behind a half-completed degree in Necronomics, and says she's going to pick up where he left off. He had, he always had, and I was so sad when I heard about this, a dream.

Yeah, that one day he would hold the belt of Undisputed Champion of the World in his hands. He came so close 4 years ago but that tragic loss to the Phoenix Unconquered Suns took him and the Animals out inches from the finish line.

Anyway, so now his sister- Reanimator- says she's gonna pick right back up at the bottom of the heap and bring his ghost to rest. The only way he's ever gonna know peace, she says, is if she takes him to the belt. Can you believe that? I wish my sister loved me that much. She won't even hand me a beer, much less harbor my wandering ghost!

A real heartbreaker, Mike. In any case, so far she's been living up to the promise. Straight victories, back to back, with that team of misfits they've got out there.

The way Tiger can still hit you with a chair from the afterlife is definitely helping her, Chip.

K Prime fucked around with this message at Apr 4, 2018 around 02:15

berenzen
Jan 23, 2012

Wings Out



ROSTAM, The Fleshless Menace
Music

The Rostam Security Bioroid line was the first bioroid developed, built specifically for security purposes. Shipped out worldwide, this particular Rostam unit found itself working for a minor government contractor in Philadelphia. Built for counter intrusion, it lived a relatively passive life. After all, who willingly goes to Philadelphia? Beyond it's work, it also served the CEO of the company as a personal bodyguard. Which is how it found out about the Killer's Crown, as it's master was particularly fond of the bloodsport.

It wasn't too long before development for security-style bioroids was quickly shut down, as using vat-cloned humans for parts was banned worldwide. The Rostam line was scrapped, and existing units were to be unshackled from any AI bonds and released from bondage. This particular unit found its way to the Philadelphia Killer's Crown ring. The owners of the ring saw immediate value in a fighter that could be brought back for much cheaper than bringing back a basic human. Rostam started to make it's own name, eventually settling on the moniker 'Fleshless Menace'. With some money, it was able to stay a step ahead of the scrapheap and onto a team. Now perhaps, it could actually upgrade it's parts and make its name in the world.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Hardlight and Stagehands, The Experience – Mage (Illusionist)
PDF Intro music "6 Inch" by Beyoncé, sung about each other.
This reclusive music duo who met while attending the Brek'Leen Hive of Music and EMIGHTY in Massachusetts recently moved back to the city of brotherly love to live with family, not completely by choice. After all, it did coincide with the Californ.I.A's tectonic separation from mainland and new life as an island. Careers seemingly cut short, they looked for new ways to use their expensive technical skills in a way that might outlast ephemeral things like national borders, and geology.

The family and neighborhood kids complained about the lack of production value in the local scene so they threw their hats in the ring, because there was no way the venue could afford to employ them for what they were worth. It falls to them and their loving community to haul in their magitech equipment through the back doors, and they all work off the anxiety of performance the night before by charging the batteries in the old way, with bicycles, so they're never beholden to any soul or electricity supplier again.

In the ring, Hardlight dances, sings and draws up front while Stagehands animates and plays backup from behind the scenes, clad in stealth gear. Both of them are masters of their proprietary meme-U gloves, not just useful interface tools for highly coordinated wielders, but also a unique way to build a real sense of engagement with the audience, as they know that for once every gesture is actually meaningful and connected to the whole performance.

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Mar 14, 2018 around 05:46

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK



You step out of the locker room after an intense training session. The only thing on your mind is going home to curl up with a nice book, but you come suddenly face to face with a very real obstacle. Phia Kwang stands in front of you in a ripped black t-shirt that reads "The Bleeding Outs", wielding a tablet.



"Hey, Kate. Good time?" Without waiting for you to respond, she continues. "C'mere, we got some stuff to talk about." She turns and starts heading for a nearby room, waving you over. When you enter, she firmly pushes the door shut and kicks the stopper down. "I found some of your old stuff. Well, a couple fans have been DMing me some of your old stuff. You've, uh, really improved. But, look, people have this footage. When we get big, people are going to share it, people are going to show it to you, and people are going to ask you about it. I wanna make sure you're ready to respond, OK? So, don't worry, I'm going to help you, but I want to get some baseline responses first."

"OK. Let's start with...this clip from Montreal. My hometown, by the way - good choice of venue. I think you know the clip I'm talking about, though. This fan is calling you, ah, the 'One Shot Girl'. So I'm a reporter. What did it feel like to get taken out like that? That was the last time you ever fought in Montreal, did you think that was the end of your career at the time? Are you worried that could happen to you again?"

"Next. Here's a clip of you as 'The Vermillion Blade'. Honestly, I kinda like it. Coming out with a rose in your teeth was a nice touch. I guess the fans thought it was funny when you came out, though, and you kinda...lost your composure. I'm going to get a little meaner with the questions this time. Let's call it social media mode. Okay. Do you have a sense of humour? If you can't even handle the fans, how do you think you're going to make it in this business?"

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 11, 2018 around 11:14

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


Klungar posted:

Koal "The Hammer" Smith

You're hunched over at the bar, enjoying a few cold ones to yourself after a hard-won fight. While you can usually go unrecognized without your gear on when you want to, tonight you might not be so lucky. Out of the corner of your eye you see a couple guys, clearly a few drinks in, nudging each other and "subtly" pointing in your direction. A couple moments later, they notice you noticing them. The thinner of the two seems to take that as an invitation, gently pushing his buddy toward you. After a moment of hesitation, the second man lumbers up to greet you.

"Hey. Koal Smith, right? Name's, uh, Smith. Coincidence I guess. Hey, we saw your match today, man. You kicked rear end. Never thought I'd see that happen to a human body, man, not in this life. Gruesome. Bad rear end, though."
"drat right, that's how we steelers do it! I'm Terry. We're big fans, man. Hey, you can do stuff with electricity, right? Have you ever blown up a whole arena? Like short circuited it? Man, that'd be fuckin' awesome. You should do it, I bet the other team wouldn't even know what happened."
"Yeah. Hey, that team you beat like two weeks ago, the Steel Jackets, I heard a rumour you designed and built all their stuff, man. Is that true?"
"That'd be wild, man. Just think, if you were the champion-
"-which I know you're gonna be soon, man. Respect."
"-if you were the champion and also making stuff for the other teams, that'd be such a good racket, man. You'd pretty much own Philadelphia."
"You'd have a job for life, man. drat. That's kind of a dumbass idea, but the more I think about it, it's genius."
"Oh poo poo, I just had an idea. You ever think of running your own fed? You could make the most bad rear end arenas, man. gently caress, you'd make so much money. Like down the road. After you get tired of being champion."
"Long may you reign, man."

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 11, 2018 around 11:15

Plutonis
Mar 25, 2011



Landgraf Ernst Von Drakenfaust



Theme Song

The crown heir of an ancient and unthinkably wealthy warrior bloodline hailing from central Europe, the young Landgraf lived a life of dissolution and boredom, as the martial ethos of his family that ranged up until the times of Charlemagne were useless on the modern era of peace and prosperity. During a particularly decadent or-I mean, party in Ibiza, however, something has caught his eye. Shown at one of the several holoscreen televisions was a transmission of the Killer's Crown North American League semifinal at Neo Austin.

The sheer carnage, bloodshed and chaos enthralled the young nobleman, and he immediately returned to his ancestral home in the Alps in order to find the hidden technology his family has not used in centuries, Das Drakonikgenewerks, a massive magitechnological device that was used to enhance the members of his family into powerful supersoldiers, sealed after the second Treaty of Westphalia. Plunging inside the machine, Ernst let it rewrite his genetic code and unlock the fearsome potential written within his DNA.

Now recently arrived at the distant land of "America", the Landgraf wishes to prove himself at the Killer's Crown in order to alleviate his boredom and sate the long suppressed bloodlust he holds, and to gain enough glory to surpass even his greatest ancestors.

Plutonis fucked around with this message at Mar 14, 2018 around 15:19

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


K Prime posted:

"Reanimator" Ezrbet Dushka

You lean back in your chair. Phia has set up a video interview for you with Renée Maxime, a friend of hers and a KC journalist who knows pretty much all there is to know about the North American scene. It's your first interview for anything bigger than a local zine. Phia said she'd hang around to make sure it went well, but she took a call at the last minute and ran off. One way or another, the interview's happening. You give Maxime the go-ahead. After a bit of small talk, she launches into the questions.



"Alright, let's get started." Maxime pushes up her glasses and gives you her most winning smile. "You've been making quite a splash lately for someone so new to the scene. As far as anyone can tell me, you suddenly appeared four months ago. When I watch you, though, I see someone who's comfortable, confident and very competent in the ring. What kind of training have you had, and did you have any aspirations to the Crown before the tragedy?"

When she's satisfied with your answer, Maxime nods respectfully and continues. "Your team is drawing ever closer to winning the Philadelphia championship. Let's say you do win. What's the next step for you?"

Maxime follows up with a few less weighty questions. Before you know it, you're nearing the end of the interview. "It's been wonderful getting this chance to chat with you, but before we wrap up, there's one more big question that's on a lot of people's minds. You've been outspoken about your intention to fulfill your brother's goals. You've said that this includes winning the Undisputed Championship of the World, but in addition to his title run, Tiger Fury is remembered for his career-defining feud with the Phoenix Unconquered Suns. What would it mean to you to get the chance to face them head-to-head?"

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 11, 2018 around 11:16

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


berenzen posted:

ROSTAM, the Fleshless Menace

You're hanging around the venue's mech room, waiting for the head mechanic, Frank Linden. Since you've been here, he's taken on the role of your primary caretaker. Partly because he feels responsible as the most qualified person around, partly because you're paying him. After a couple minutes of awkwardly shuffling around as workers mill past you this way and that, he slopes into the hallway.

"Hey, kid. How you doin'?" He's carrying a big bag over his shoulder that clacks and clanks as he walks. He takes a second to appraise your condition, his frown deepening. "Hell." He swipes his watch in front of the mech room door and shuffles in. "You want some free advice, kid? Get the hell out of this dump. You want to go to Japan or Finland or somethin'. They'll have the proper tech to do right by you, and not for much more cost than I do it. Hell, find the right person and they'll do it for free just 'cuz you're a marvel of science. You can do better than me and my toolkit." He sets the bag down in the corner and lets out a long sigh. "Speakin' of which. Lay down. You got a dent in your chest."

Frank sets to work fixing cosmetic damage, checking your vitals and making adjustments. In between grumbles, he decides to strike up a conversation. "Hits me that I never asked. Why do you do it? This whole fightin' thing I mean. I'm sure if you wanted to, you could lead a...maybe not normal, but some kinda life." He busies himself checking your bolts as you respond, periodically grunting to show he's following along. "One sec, kid. Your left arm's out of alignment. Gonna have to loosen your shoulder plate, just try to relax for a bit. Close your eyes or somethin'." After a couple minutes of grunts and considering-noises, he speaks up again. "Don't freak out but there's somethin' not right with your arm. Looks like it's been wrenched backward since I last looked at you, the metal in the shoulder joint is all warped. Won't be a problem yet, but you'll want to get those pieces replaced in the next couple months before it turns into one. What the hell happened to you out there?"

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 11, 2018 around 11:16

K Prime
Nov 4, 2009



Wol posted:


"Alright, let's get started." Maxime pushes up her glasses and gives you her most winning smile. "You've been making quite a splash lately for someone so new to the scene. As far as anyone can tell me, you suddenly appeared four months ago. When I watch you, though, I see someone who's comfortable, confident and very competent in the ring. What kind of training have you had, and did you have any aspirations to the Crown before the tragedy?"

"Well, he was my brother," she says, laughing. "I used to pretend to be him all the time when I was younger. He taught me a few things before our parents caught us and made me go back to the books." She sighs. "I mean, I like the books too. I'll go back and finish once I'm done here. Anyway, I kept it up as a hobby. Training with the Animal bench team during the off-season, helping the amateurs around Minotaurford, just keeping my hand in the game in the background, y'know? I didn't think I'd ever have to step into the front, but that's life. Well, death."

quote:

When she's satisfied with your answer, Maxime nods respectfully and continues. "Your team is drawing ever closer to winning the Philadelphia championship. Let's say you do win. What's the next step for you?"
"Well, regionals, nationals, internationals, obviously!" she says. "My brother has a dream, and I will see him laid to rest with it. I'll take the money and the fame of course, don't get me wrong, but I'm not doing it for that, or giving up before the end. I owe him more than that."

quote:

Maxime follows up with a few less weighty questions. Before you know it, you're nearing the end of the interview. "It's been wonderful getting this chance to chat with you, but before we wrap up, there's one more big question that's on a lot of people's minds. You've been outspoken about your intention to fulfill your brother's goals. You've said that this includes winning the Undisputed Championship of the World, but in addition to his title run, Tiger Fury is remembered for his career-defining feud with the Phoenix Unconquered Suns. What would it mean to you to get the chance to face them head-to-head?"
There's a rumbling in the air, and suddenly Tiger Fury is standing between the camera and his sister, flexing intimidatingly. "ALAN A DALE! I KNOW YOU'RE WATCHING THIS! I, TIGER FURY, HAVE RETURNED EVEN FROM BEYOND DEATH TO FACE YOU ONCE MORE IN THE SQUARED DUNGEON! YOU CANNOT RUN FROM THE CONSEQUENCES THIS TIME, YOU CHICKEN! YOU YELLOW-BELLIED LILY-LIVERED FOWL! I KNOW IT WAS YOU WHO RIGGED THAT AIR CHARIOT TO KILL ME! YOU CANNOT HIDE FROM ME! I, TIGER FURY, WILL SHATTER YOUR BONES FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE!"

With a flicker and sucking of air, he's gone again. Reanimator rolls her eyes behind her hand while faking tears and whispers to the announcer, "Off the record, he's just hyping it up. Alan's a good dude, but his star's been starting to fade too. Gotta keep the rivalry thing going for a little bit longer and he's promised me a good word in with the national league."

K Prime fucked around with this message at Mar 14, 2018 around 04:54

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


slydingdoor posted:

Hardlight and Stagehands

Reclusive as you are, you've still managed to make some lasting friendships throughout your career. When you moved back to Philadelphia, one of the first people to reach out to you was Omar Gold, an old musical collaborator and friend. Now that you're a bit more settled in, you've finally accepted his invitation to the incredibly exclusive restaurant Atelier. He greets you warmly as you arrive.

"drat, it's good to see you two. And looking fine as always, don't mind my say so. Six years and you haven't skipped a beat." He claps a meaty hand on your shoulder, grinning. "Well, come sit down and tell me everything. Heard about California. I want to hear how you've been."

You wrap up your tale as the second course arrives. Omar thoughtfully dabs at his mouth with a napkin. "Hell of a thing. Sounds like your new careers are treating you good, at least. No surprise two folks as talented as you would flourish wherever you find yourselves. As for me," Omar's grin returns, wider than ever, "I'm about to follow in your footsteps. That's right, it's Omar Gold about to take the crown! Been training my body these past two years. All these pounds are muscle now." He lifts his arms and mimes kissing his bicep, eliciting a glare he doesn't notice from the table behind him. "I got magic now, too. I'm not playing around. I already conquered the music world. My last album? Triple platinum. One before that? Double platinum. I got nothing left to prove. It's time to move on to other things. Besides, it'd be good if my career kept me in one place a little longer at a time. It'd be better for me and my fiancé, know what I mean?" He slyly flashes a golden band, which you hadn't noticed among his quite frankly excessive gold-based fashion sense. He always did like to live up to his name. "But enough about me. You gotta tell me what it's like. I've got my rear end kicked before, but the Crown's on a different level. How'd it feel the first time you had a serious beating laid on you? How long did it take to recover? Do you feel any more acclimated to it now? I heard our proud venue's tough on the body to work in. Hell, if it's real bad, maybe I'll invest a little side cash in it for your and my sake."

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 11, 2018 around 11:17

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.


Wol posted:



"OK. Let's start with...this clip from Montreal. My hometown, by the way - good choice of venue. I think you know the clip I'm talking about, though. This fan is calling you, ah, the 'One Shot Girl'. So I'm a reporter. What did it feel like to get taken out like that? That was the last time you ever fought in Montreal, did you think that was the end of your career at the time? Are you worried that could happen to you again?"

"No." Scarlet red cheeks of embarrassment aside, Kate's words are without hesitation. "I mean, yes I'm worried it might happen again, but...I never thought it was the end of my career. In Montreal, sure. It was...sloppy. Embarrassing. But I've made it my life's work to succeed at the games. No matter how many times I lose."

Wol posted:

"Next. Here's a clip of you as 'The Vermillion Blade'. Honestly, I kinda like it. Coming out with a rose in your teeth was a nice touch. I guess the fans thought it was funny when you came out, though, and you kinda...lost your composure. I'm going to get a little meaner with the questions this time. Let's call it social media mode. Okay. Do you have a sense of humour? If you can't even handle the fans, how do you think you're going to make it in this business?"

Kate covered her eyes and groaned. "Ugh. Yeah, that was..." A deep breath to collect herself and she looks back up, though her expression has wavered. "Not my finest moment. But...look, I was young. I wanted to be a badass. I had...the wrong impression." She pauses, hesitating. "I mean, everybody makes mistakes, right? I learned from it, though. I gotta roll with the punches; if I have to be funny to make it, then I'll be funny." The young trainee takes a swig from her bottle. "How's that? Was that alright?"

berenzen
Jan 23, 2012

Wings Out


Wol posted:

Frank sets to work fixing cosmetic damage, checking your vitals and making adjustments. In between grumbles, he decides to strike up a conversation. "Hits me that I never asked. Why do you do it? This whole fightin' thing I mean. I'm sure if you wanted to, you could lead a...maybe not normal, but some kinda life." He busies himself checking your bolts as you respond, periodically grunting to show he's following along. "One sec, kid. Your left arm's out of alignment. Gonna have to loosen your shoulder plate, just try to relax for a bit. Close your eyes or somethin'." After a couple minutes of grunts and considering-noises, he speaks up again. "Don't freak out but there's somethin' not right with your arm. Looks like it's been wrenched backward since I last looked at you, the metal in the shoulder joint is all warped. Won't be a problem yet, but you'll want to get those pieces replaced in the next couple months before it turns into one. What the hell happened to you out there?"

I fight because it is the only option open to units with my hardware. Ever since the Tashkent incident- you know the one, where Uzbek insurgents hacked an AI heavy infantry support group to wipe out the Russian infantry group they were supporting? Ever since that incident, any AI unit has been effectively banned from joining a military group across the world. So military and police forces are out, which leaves not too much for a unit with hardware like mine. Crime and Killers Crown is about it. The thing about crime is that going into crime for myself is that I'd likely get scrapped quickly- easier to scrap a robot than to imprison it and I'm too difficult to constrain in a regular prison. Organized crime would see me in a worse place than this. The Mob would likely just shackle me or pay me in repairs. So fighting it is. As for why not going to Japan or Finland? Well, turns out units like mine weren't technically employed, so no unemployment or severance, so no money to get out. The idea is that I maybe finally scrounge up enough money to actually get to one of those places, get improvements to parts.


As for that last fight. He wasn't supposed to hit me that hard. I've been winning too much lately, so I threw a fight to better my odds in the next fight. He jammed a shocklance into the shoulder joint and wrenched it wrong. It was a stupid move that never would have worked if I didn't let him actually hit the thing. I was trying to get him to hit a wire, make it a simple to fix, but debilitating injury- enough to take me out of the fight. Except he was incompetent, and threw the spear wrong. It was dumb, but I needed to take the risk if I'm ever to get out of here.

Nephzinho
Jan 24, 2008




Entrance Song:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2upPEhhzTTw
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1L...Pl4_aa2fvWLi2w-

Ladies and gentlemen, your eyes do not deceive you. Fresh from his sellout tour with Klaus and the Common Denominators, Pickles is done banging on drums and ready to start banging on skulls. At an after party closing out the tour, a fan asked him who in the band he knew and it was the last straw. Sick of drummers being glorified roadies Pickles has joined us here in the arena to step into the spotlight and show the world a new kind of rhythm. This is one set of drum sticks you don't want to catch!

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Wol posted:

Reclusive as you are, you've still managed to make some lasting friendships throughout your career. When you moved back to Philadelphia, one of the first people to reach out to you was Omar Gold, an old musical collaborator and friend. Now that you're a bit more settled in, you've finally accepted his invitation to the incredibly exclusive restaurant Atelier. He greets you warmly as you arrive.



"drat, it's good to see you two. And looking fine as always, don't mind my say so. Six years and you haven't skipped a beat." He claps a meaty hand on your shoulder, grinning. "Well, come sit down and tell me everything. Heard about California. I want to hear how you've been."

You wrap up your tale as the second course arrives. Omar thoughtfully dabs at his mouth with a napkin. "Hell of a thing. Sounds like your new careers are treating you good, at least. No surprise two folks as talented as you would flourish wherever you find yourselves. As for me," Omar's grin returns, wider than ever, "I'm about to follow in your footsteps. That's right, it's Omar Gold about to take the crown! Been training my body these past two years. All these pounds are muscle now." He lifts his arms and mimes kissing his bicep, eliciting a glare he doesn't notice from the table behind him. "I got magic now, too. I'm not playing around. I already conquered the music world. My last album? Triple platinum. One before that? Double platinum. I got nothing left to prove. It's time to move on to other things. Besides, it'd be good if my career kept me in one place a little longer at a time. It'd be better for me and my fiancé, know what I mean?" He slyly flashes a golden band, which you hadn't noticed among his quite frankly excessive gold-based fashion sense. He always did like to live up to his name. "But enough about me. You gotta tell me what it's like. I've got my rear end kicked before, but the Crown's on a different level. How'd it feel the first time you had a serious beating laid on you? How long did it take to recover? Do you feel any more acclimated to it now? I heard our proud venue's tough on the body to work in. Hell, if it's real bad, maybe I'll invest a little side cash in it for your and my sake."
They and Omar Gold knew one another well enough to not look too closely at any jewelry piece until he showed it off and stated its purpose willingly. In a moment of frustration he had called them witches once and they dropped some knowledge on him in return, about that they all talked to one another in a language he'd never heard about what was the best focus was, and for him it'd be pawned or stolen rings and their stories. It was a lesson about discretion that Omar adapted warped and crammed into a system of rules that cost him nothing, and gained him nothing.

SH: "Your training? pff..." HL: "Hasn't even begun." They give him the talk about how the world is built on suffering and then ranked the inhabitants of Atelier by how well trained they were for a monster turn. The weakest person was the rear end in a top hat who glared at him where the women in his party could see but not from where he could see. Next was Omar. Getting those muscles hurt, but the hurt was designed to make the muscles, not to kill him or make him quit or to look good to the audience. Ever since he got rich and famous, he allocated his wealth to vanishing all suffering that didn't serve him from his life, hiding it with shiny barriers, like the walls of this restaurant. Behind the walls were people with better training, waitstaff, cooks, dishwashers. They lived in a pressure cooker every day, surrounded by hazards, wielding dangerous tools, only able to leave when everyone in the queue was dead or gone. Even they weren't the most well-trained. That went to the lobster. This restaurant cloned only the finest lobsters for ultimate quality and consistency, but what they didn't realize that meant was the pain the lobster felt while dying was transferred to the next lobster on its way to the pot, and the next. Every minute Atelier was open that lobster got thrown in a pit trap and died over and over until it closed down, then they got to sleep in their tank. Had to, it was the only break they ever got.

Become the lobster. Then the lamb, because he had ordered surf and turf. They were the most fluent users of body doubling technology in the restaurant. For recovery time? Lobster again. Your target was 8 hours to rest, that was the absolute minimum you'd get if you were actually planning on winning. One day of every match going into overtime and people calling every time out and experiencing some technical difficulties or the managers at the venue drop the ball or you pissed them off or one of their sponsors, then the next day being the opening act. Repeat.

They change the subject after a pregnant pause to Omar's aside at the end. The problem with Omar's offer was no venue is allowed to take "charity." You can't just donate better equipment, or it goes to the league as a whole, which distributes gifts to maximize their returns as if the gifts had been actually purchased by the league in the first place. They'll gladly cover the cost of shipping from Philadelphia to Californ.I.A. "So if you want this venue to have a better body doubler than the lobsters, the venue has to earn it in the eyes of the league's owners. With their poo poo concessions. With their not-worth-it season pass. With their empty VIP box with a hologram of a rich guy and his family in it. The question inevitably arises, when this venue starts pulling in more money because of you, what changes? Do you change? (your location) Move to Dallas? Become a cowboy, learn to ride a stallion for their insipid promos? or do you make your environment change?"

The duo bids him goodbye and good luck in a group hug. The ball's in Omar's court now. If he wants to collaborate again, they'd appreciate it. So would the music. So would Philly. Hopefully he hadn't hardened his heart with all the others.

Klingon w Bowl Cut
Apr 1, 2009

Q'pla!


Lester "Bloodbleach" Powell|DwarfProle Cleric
PDF
Entrance music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81RWcsJfmFY

Lester Powell was one of the Philadelphia arena’s few janitors; overworked, underpaid, stressed out, downtrodden. But he always held out hope that one day he would catch a big break and be able to pursue his dreams, just like the heroes in the glitzy and glamorous arenas he always watched on his ancient thirdhand VR set, huddled up in his cramped, filthy bed cubicle.

One day, he did catch a break, though not quite how he had imagined. Whether through a glitch or a nasty trick, he is still unsure, but one of the local fighters, Rick the Brick, who was about to go on for a match, never got uploaded to his combat body. Instead, Lester did. One minute he was mopping up a junky’s hyperheroine residue, the next he was in the middle of a chaotic, bloody melee.

Thinking that he was still cleaning, maybe being tested by the boss, Lester got to work trying to patch things up, managing to bandage some wounds and fend off a few attacks before his lack of combat training caught up with him and the body died.

After the fight, it was discovered that Rick had vanished. Avoiding debt collectors, the rumors said, but no one knew for sure. Not wanting the body doubles to go to waste, and seeing some entertainment value in the janitor’s unique fighting style and story, Phia allowed Lester to continue to drop into bouts. Eventually, in a season-long story line, his own schlubby (though cybernetically enhanced) body doubles were introduced to the matches, to raucous applause and laughter. He is beloved as a gimmick, and maybe even something of a success story for the lowest class of the audience to aspire to, but in his heart of hearts, Lester hopes to one day be seen as a serious fighter.

Lester is not the most graceful or talented warrior on the team, far from it. But he is a professional damnit, and not even the fog of war will prevent him from doing his job, however half-assedly. And maybe, just maybe, if he heals enough wounds, repairs enough robots, destroys enough enemies with his battlemop, he will get to meet one of his idols and bask in their glory.

The main issue is that the arena can’t or won’t find new janitors, so Lester has to balance his cleaning duties with delivering death to his foes. And of course, who knows what happened to Rick the Brick.

Reskinning!:
-Dwarf= Prole. All of Lester's poison resistances and general toughness are from decades of hard living on the bottom rungs of society.
-Staff= Battlemop. He doesn't see himself as a joke character, but much of the audience does, so management requires him to use whatever trappings they can come up with for a warrior janitor. The battlemop is still a powerful magical weapon though, and Lester knows how to handle it well enough that he is sometimes actually good in combat.
-Cleric powers= An assortment of magical and technological maintenance supplies, including Scrubbing Nano-Bubble Spray, Monofilament steel wool, Magilemon Lysol, extra-slippery Organic Superlubricant Oil, and of course, his signature Bloodbleach (TM).
-Moonshadow Blow= Moonshine Blow
-Fortifying Word= Also moonshine. "Drink this, it'll boost your fortitude!"

Klingon w Bowl Cut fucked around with this message at Mar 15, 2018 around 14:33

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


Plutonis posted:

Landgraf Ernst Von Drakenfaust

While Philadelphia is well suited to feed your lust for violence, the city itself sometimes feels too common for your tastes. On a week off, you decide to travel to New York to take in the sights. You spend most of the week indulging yourself in all the ways you best know how, but as long as you're there, you decide to pop by the local Killer's Crown arena for a lark. You've hardly walked in the door when you're addressed by a low, rumbling voice.

"You carry a piece of our ancient weapon. I can smell it on you."

You turn, looking for the source of the voice, and come face to face with a living legend of the Crown. Scourge the Elder locks your gaze, and you feel it to the depths of your soul. He exhales. Raw magic radiates forth, threatening for a moment to overwhelm your senses.

"Who are you, then? A new wielder, I can tell that much. Your piece of the weapon has barely tasted blood in..." He takes a deep breath, never taking his eyes off yours. You feel part of Das Drakonikgenewerks' essence being pulled toward him, and for a brief moment you can feel your weapon's connection to another part of yourself. Then he exhales, and the connection washes away. "Three hundred years. Impressive. No wonder it is so hungry. Weak, as well. It calls for blood like an infant crying to be fed. Tell me. Why is it this weapon has been left to starve for so long?"

You give your response, distracting as it is to suffer his penetrating glare the whole time. When you finish, he blinks for the first time since your conversation has started, and you unconsciously let go of the breath you didn't even realize you'd been holding in. "I suppose I shall be satisfied with that. For now. See to it you keep your piece of the weapon nourished. It is alive as you or I, and just the same, starvation will kill it eventually. You are the weapon's caretaker now. Do not be derelict in your duty. Now that I have convened with it, I can find it any time I wish. I will take it if I must."

You excuse yourself from the conversation and head on down the hall. Hardly half a minute goes by before a woman you're about to pass suddenly whirls around and grabs you by the arm.

"You. You're another wielder." She fixes you with an intense gaze, though her mouth betrays the slightest of smiles. After a brief moment, she lets you go, instead extending her hand. "I am Scourge the Younger. It's always good to see another wielder up and walking around instead of turning themselves into ribbons trying to feed the weapon. Heh. Maybe I got really lucky this time and I spotted you before my fa-" She briefly looks down at her phone, giving a wry smirk as her eyes flit across the screen. "Guess not. At least that explains why your weapon has such a nervous aura." She takes a moment to read the next couple messages that pop up in rapid succession. "Oh, he says you're European? I'm surprised. Surely Paris, Berlin or Zürich would have been closer. Why start all the way out here?"

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 11, 2018 around 11:18

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK



To forward your goal of building a higher profile, Phia has recommended you increase your social media presence. She figures it'll be a good medium for your flamboyant, impulsive persona. Sifting through the white noise, you flag a few posts that for one reason or another you want to respond to.


you're going to die in the ring, rear end in a top hat. come to mexico city so I can take the 100 dollars you owe me out of your hide


Why the gently caress didnt you join a band themed KC team??? theres a metal team in vancouver (THÜNDERKΪLL for the uneducated) that youd be way better in. Theres no point of a musician joining a team that any idiot could be in. Waste of talent


Guess we won't be seeing you at Thrashapalooza. gently caress it. Knock some heads off for drummers everywhere. No guitarist makes it out alive. Rock until we meet again, brother.


are you single? just asking for a friend


Met you in Portland 5 years ago before K&CD made it big. We hung out backstage and I felt you were the kind of person who would chase his dream to the top no matter what. Even though you quit the band I knew you hadn't given up. Your amazing match last night confirmed it for me. I truly believe you have an indestructible spirit.

Nephzinho
Jan 24, 2008




quote:


you're going to die in the ring, rear end in a top hat. come to mexico city so I can take the 100 dollars you owe me out of your hide

You talentless hack. You cheated in that game and you know it, if you want that cash you can drag your sorry rear end into the arena and take it.

quote:


Why the gently caress didnt you join a band themed KC team??? theres a metal team in vancouver (THÜNDERKΪLL for the uneducated) that youd be way better in. Theres no point of a musician joining a team that any idiot could be in. Waste of talent

Any team I join is a metal team. You come and watch, the drum solos I've got planned are going to put Peart to shame!

quote:


Guess we won't be seeing you at Thrashapalooza. gently caress it. Knock some heads off for drummers everywhere. No guitarist makes it out alive. Rock until we meet again, brother.

Working to get a stream going on one of the side stages so that my special performances make it out to you fans who truly appreciate it. You won't want to miss it!

quote:


are you single? just asking for a friend

Your friend should come to the arena for a private after show. If they like what they see in the pit they have no idea what else they're in for.

quote:


Met you in Portland 5 years ago before K&CD made it big. We hung out backstage and I felt you were the kind of person who would chase his dream to the top no matter what. Even though you quit the band I knew you hadn't given up. Your amazing match last night confirmed it for me. I truly believe you have an indestructible spirit.

Thanks, man. Portland has always been a second home and great to hear from fans there. Next time the team comes through make sure to hit the arena and we'll hook you up back stage again!

Plutonis
Mar 25, 2011



Wol posted:



"Who are you, then? A new wielder, I can tell that much. Your piece of the weapon has barely tasted blood in..." He takes a deep breath, never taking his eyes off yours. You feel part of Das Drakonikgenewerks' essence being pulled toward him, and for a brief moment you can feel your weapon's connection to another part of yourself. Then he exhales, and the connection washes away. "Three hundred years. Impressive. No wonder it is so hungry. Weak, as well. It calls for blood like an infant crying to be fed. Tell me. Why is it this weapon has been left to starve for so long?"

Ernst gives a wolfish grin and crosses his arms. "Because my world had no need for weapons for a long time, of course. After the Great Dynasty War at my homeland the crowned heads that prevailed at the end saw fit to seal all of them somewhere, although our family took a step ahead and hid our greatest inventions from prying eyes. After all, a Dragon might hunger and weaken, but it will never truly perish." He gives a hearty laugh. "But here... In this 'sport' I can make sure that the thirst that my bloodline has felt for these centuries can now be sated."

quote:



"You. You're another wielder." She fixes you with an intense gaze, though her mouth betrays the slightest of smiles. After a brief moment, she lets you go, instead extending her hand. "I am Scourge the Younger. It's always good to see another wielder up and walking around instead of turning themselves into ribbons trying to feed the weapon. Heh. Maybe I got really lucky this time and I spotted you before my fa-" She briefly looks down at her phone, giving a wry smirk as her eyes flit across the screen. "Guess not. At least that explains why your weapon has such a nervous aura." She takes a moment to read the next couple messages that pop up in rapid succession. "Oh, he says you're European? I'm surprised. Surely Paris, Berlin or Zürich would have been closer. Why start all the way out here?"

"It's a new world, new opportunities, Fräulein! In the homeland it's too much 'crown', and not enough 'killer'. Being nobility makes competing in those a bit... Harder there, but here there are no such restraints, and of course the rules are more looser than in the clean grand Royal arenas of Paris and Prague. And of course, tourism is always a fun activity to do, there are not many activities of the kind left after I tried what I tried."

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


Klingon w Bowl Cut posted:

Lester "Bloodbleach" Powell

You're minding your own business, just doing your job. Your janitorial job. Your non-superpowered janitorial job, that is. You aren't fighting today. That honour goes to the Steel Jackets and the Flawless Executioners. Your mind is on the upcoming match, thinking about both teams' strengths and weaknesses and what you'll do the next time you face them. So deep are you in thought that you hardly notice as voice addressing you.

"She's just using you, you know."

Your eyes tentatively dart back and forth. You're far from the main entrance where most of the fans are gathered. The source of the voice, a young woman sitting cross-legged on a bench with a tablet on her lap, is the only other person here. She must be talking to you.

"Phia doesn't do charity. I know how she thinks, and the fact that she has you fighting in that ridiculous gimmick tells me she doesn't take you seriously. If you think she's taking you with her when she leaves this place, you're sadly mistaken. Trust me, I know how she treats things she doesn't care about. You'd do well to find a new team before she leaves you out in the cold." Before you have time to even begin concocting a response, Phia bursts around a corner, striding with purpose in your direction. Like most people, she seems to look through your uniform to the empty room behind you - until a moment later when recognition sets in.

"Lester! How're you doing? No time to talk, but DM me whenever your shift is over, I have some promo ideas I want to go over with-" She recognizes the woman on the bench, and her expression hardens instantly. When she speaks again, her tone is several degrees icier than you've ever heard it. "I see you've met my ex."

"Phia. What a pleasure. Just giving your fighter here some friendly employment advice."

"Great. Well, I'm sure you know better than to listen to a liar's 'advice'. I'm going. Take care of yourself, Lester."

"You stay, Phia. Lester." The woman smiles, not at all sweetly. "If you could pick any character, any persona for yourself, what would it be? Imagine you were given the chance to be a star, not the butt of a joke. What kind of fighter would you see yourself as? Keep in mind this is a private conversation between you and me, and you don't have to spare the feelings of anyone not part of it." Out of the corner of your eye you see Phia frozen in place, evidently having stayed as commanded. You do not dare turn to see the expression on her face.

Somehow you manage to navigate your way through the conversation, and the three of you part without an incident erupting. A few hours later, shortly before the end of your shift, you receive a message from Phia. It reads: "You don't see your character as a joke, do you?"

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 11, 2018 around 11:20

Klingon w Bowl Cut
Apr 1, 2009

Q'pla!

In years past, Lester would have mumbled and grunted his way through conversations like this, if they had ever happened. But now that he was "Bloodbleach", enduring and inflicting true life-and-death pain on a regular basis, the first stirrings of something resembling confidence had begun building within him. He looks at Phia's ex as he leans on his regular, non-battle mop. He thinks of the warriors he admires from afar, and what they're like. Fearless, confident, powerful, awesome, and most importantly, independent. What would Velvet Mutiny say to a question like this?

: "Fighting ain't so different from cleaning, really. Some poo poo's gotta be scrubbed out, other poo poo's gotta be patched up. I want to do that, whether it's as part of a gimmick or not. I keep things running smooth, in and out of the ring."

Probably not that. It sounded cooler in Lester's head. Still, with some emergency 'aw, shucks' charm and self-deprecation, he manages to navigate to the end of the conversation. He has a little way to go before he can shout his true self from the rooftops, it seems.

When he gets the message from Phia, he thinks long and hard. He could lose both his jobs if he responds incorrectly. But he could also lose the little self-respect he has earned in the ring if he doesn't respond honestly.

: "A little, but jokes are important, ain't they? Each person in the crowd unwinds in a different way. Sure, everybody's here to see blood, but the stuff that happens around the blood interests some more than others. Like, I love the epic storylines and personal rivalries. Other people want to laugh and have fun. And average Joes want to see a guy that looks like them kick some rear end. We could tone down the gimmick eventually, maybe, but I love what I do. I do really appreciate the opportunity.

"Also, I've got an ex too. Sorry you had to bump into yours at work like that. I'm lucky that my Cornelia hates the Crown, at least. Let me know if you want to wash some memories away. I've got some stuff that should help. Uh, legal stuff, and not during work of course."

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


One week left to apply! Get in before you’re locked out!

Mortify
Feb 4, 2005





Roxie Ruinous
PDF | Orokos | Entrance Music

Mi nombre es Roxana Hierro Espinosa, but if you know anything you probably know me as @RoxieRuinous from when my motorcycle stunt popped up in mainstream feeds for a few days. For those of you who only follow dogs, dragonettes, and pixies, I broke a magically unassisted land speed record in Death Valley on only one wheel. Pretty loca! Maybe add me to your dash, get a little excitement in your life, no?

I grew up in Mexico City, new Tenochtitlan. When magic reemerged my family were still worshipping the old gods, but Big Quetzy especialmente. Who would have guessed he was actually a dragon, ¿? When he woke up beneath the Capital, he blessed his followers with his divinity, gave us all dragonblood. Only the most devout develop his features; most of us just look like bigger, stronger, faster humans. I didn’t have much of a home life; mi mamá died in childbirth, and mi padre only really lived for the priesthood. When I was maybe five or six, he told me, “Hija, you need live every day like you were already dead.” I didn’t really get it at the time, but it made mis tias real mad. I spent more time outside than in, getting hurt, getting up again, and learning how to do dangerous things safely. And because there are always cameras, I started recording it. You gotta build your brand early, compa. I’m not what you would call ‘mainstream’ famous, but I’ve got a little following - 15k and growing - and they’re fanatics. Team Roxie, bleed blue!

My little fandom is kinda like the family I never had, a few thousand hermanitos and hermanitas, so it should be no surprise that I ended up kind of looking after some of them. One of them, Rachel, got in really deep debt to the wrong crowd, rock and a hard place, all that mierda. They forced her to compete in some shady, underground fighting ring named La Machina; unsanctioned goes without saying. These pendejos bet against her team, figuring she’d get chopped to pieces in minutes. I spent a chunk of my savings to bribe my way onto that team and keep that from happening. The fight was brutal. Rachel got out with only a broken leg. I walked out with five cracked ribs, fractured tibia, concussion, lacerations across my right arm and shoulder, bruising, mangled stump where my left arm used to go, lo que sea. A lot of people would have hung up their spurs, never come near that place again. But if you’ve been paying attention, I had never been most people. I kept getting back into those arenas; La Machina, Mayhem, Paradise Ave, any that would take my money. Even got a new arm, cheap. No matter how beaten up, how broken, nothing could keep me away. Some ancient part of my spirit had been awakened, call it a connection with my ancestors if that makes you happy. Sacerdotisas taking the hearts of their victims in sacrifice to Big Quetzy, Tlaloc, Tezcatlipoca. Every victory brought me closer to them, every victim bleeding on my hands another opportunity to experience the ecstasy of ending.

No te puedes imaginar how betrayed I felt when I learned that even the worst sanctioned arena has body doubling tech. My first real match, double at the ready, we got beaten so badly you would think we threw that match. Check the vids. But it was good, si, that death. I wasn’t prepared to experience the other side of my ancestors’ lives, but when I did, I finally understood the words mi padre told me a lifetime ago. Death is a blessing. Yours. Mine. We all give our lives, either in service, or in sacrifice. If I was a convert before, I was a zealot now. Six months later, I have more pinche matches under my belt than some gringos twice my age. My record isn’t spotless; that’s how I ended up in Philly, under Phia. My fans love this new side of Roxie, and I love my fans. Every time I climb into that arena, I’m climbing the Teocalli, taking another offering to the gods. So tune in, like or suscribir, because either way, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Reskins: Kapak Dragonborn as Quetzalcoatl blessed humans, devotion equals greater draconic powers. Elemental Initiate represents being raised by religious zealots. Weapon powers are mostly with knives of various sacrificial make. Still a stuntwoman at heart, so most powers are about flashy moves.

Mortify fucked around with this message at Mar 27, 2018 around 08:46

Doomykins
Jun 28, 2008

Didn't you mean to ask about flowers?



Vivian Vivisection AI Network Mark II
Modern Day Management Unit VI.VI.AN. Mk2 photographed mid "blooper" at convention booth.
PDF Orokos Music

Self-declared scholars of the battle debate about what makes the best fights in the Crown. These mega fans trade barbs about who can best appreciate the charisma of the gladiators, the skillful use of killing technique, the most effective loadouts or even the history of the venues. But the true connoisseur of carnage knows that the best fights are made believable, that there is a never ending arms race taking place on the edge of morality. The field of Necronomics has taken the lead in providing mass-produced fighters capable of embodying the true esprit de corps of gladiators, pioneering new branches of technology in android development, cyborg limb replacement and aggressive brain scanning. Merely controlling a collection of metal parts with a set of levers was best left to 22nd century retro-ironic hipsters. It was the development of organic flesh around a robotic frame that drove the first popularity surge for the sport. Real fans want blood.

These processes are not without their rough spots! Fans of the Crown may recall an unusual event at New York's Arthur Ashe Stadium... an early case of Bilateral Cognition Syndrome erupted in scandal when a surviving competitor's replacement body went berserk and executed several Crown agents attempting to power it down. Displaying signs of advanced planning without input from the original scanner, the copy of 25th century cyborg pin-up girl Vivian Vivisection barricaded herself in a maintenance tunnel and demanded the right to live! Too public a spectacle to be buried, the incident took off when a militant Machine Rights group rallied declared that even a copy of sentience had a right to life. With a core part of the stadium off limits and following multiple bombings it was decided that a public relations win was the only way forward. Two weeks after a televised plea to live, the then-CEO of a Crown affiliate corp invited VI.VI.AN. Mk2 to become a citizen. As far as anyone who has heard the story knows she left the stadium and accepted, successfully blending into civilian life for decades.


Original Custody

Being recognized as sentient life with the same rights as Humans also meant that the Crown had the right to prosecute Vivian for the deaths of seven arena personnel. The opportunity to study this unique specimen, a living disaster of AI, was much appreciated. It is said on darknet forums in the same whispers as stories of government conspiracy and creepypasta ghosts that the mad android led to an advance in robotics design, engineers rapidly discovering ways to compensate for long-running problems. As for Vivian herself...

A cult classic and a forgotten idol, Vivian lives for the spotlight following her release. She maintains an attractive if subtly unsettling woman's body as an android and freely copies her sentience to replacements to compete in small-time Crown arenas. Having vanished and resurfaced for "come back" tours in predictable waves every few years, it is widely believed by true fans(vivisectors!) that the low quality arena models and the frequent scans trigger mental irregularities in Vivian herself, akin to a star falling off the wagon and entering rehab. Her presence in the public eye is considered pleasant yet weird, a charming girl dressed in high end clothing that may suddenly bleed from the eyes and continue speaking as though nothing were wrong. She has researched the most popular methods of social interaction through the web and been alive long enough to analyze trends but still occasionally falters in executing them, her body failing at the worst times. The awkwardness contrasts with her earnest desire to be liked and she enjoys small time sponsorships and die-hard fan devotion, her body's upkeep emptying her bank accounts after every successful tour.

Frequent maintenance and a dependence on external power sources can make her a bit of a recluse. When she does socialize she dresses extravagantly and frequently "mods" her appearance with dazzling hair colors, unusual tatoos and unnatural pigments in her flesh, such as her trademark black sclera. When bad habits catch up to her she transfers to a new body, vivisectors watching for the subtle differences that reveal new models, always called the "Mark II." A girl can't be sharing her age! Still considered a charismatic figure despite the setbacks, Vivian gets by on an appeal to the unusual, robophiles and good old-fashioned pity. She hopes to leverage her generous combat talents and unique image into being a dark idol. Every venue needs a popular heel, after all, and a new generation of vivisectors has yet to see her in action.

Flavor: As per Wol, Sunlight Vulnerability is reskinned to a need to use a permanent power source, and/or a proximity to it. Vampire Powers are generally reskinned to drawing blood/goring the target, moving instantaneously and various robotic abilities, such as laser painting targets for Darkfire. Ghost of the Past theme represents the original brain scan of the actual Vivian Vivisection, as well as archived knowledge of any arena either Vivian has ever fought in.

pre:
VI.VI.AN. Mk2  						 
HP: 43/43 (T:)    	AC:	22	Passive Insight: 11
Surges: 2/2 (V: 10)	For:	15	Passive Perception: 16
Initiative: +7		Ref:	19	Action Points: 1
Speed: 6		Will:	18      Vision: Darkvision
Languages: Common, Elven, Primordial	
Resist: Necrotic 5
Vulnerable: Radiant 5

At Will			Encounter	           Daily
Dark Beckoning		[ ] Second Wind            [ ] Swarm of Shadows
Taste of Life	        [ ] Guidance of the Past   [ ] Unfettered Hunger
Vampire Slam            [ ] Darkfire               [ ] Bloodthirst(I)
False Bravado           [ ] Feral Assault                  
Acrobat Boots           [ ] Strength of Blood       
                        [ ] Cunning Sneak       
                        [ ] Gloaming(I)

CLW [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
Clarity [ ] [ ] [ ]

Implement: +10 Attack, +13 Damage (+14 vs Bloodied)
MBA: +8 Attack, 1d4+3

Passives:
Ghost of the Past: Free Guidance use for History/encounter
Enduring Soul: Regen 3 when Bloodied

Doomykins fucked around with this message at Mar 25, 2018 around 15:58

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


Siroko Tuuli
Entrance Music


Excerpts from Crownseekers - Interviewing the Up and Coming on Crownjunkies.com


I: You've kept your background deliberately mysterious. Is there anything you want to tell us about where you came from?


S: You knew I wasn't talking about it, but asked anyway? That seems foolish. <laughs> I don't talk where I came from because it's not important. What is important is where I'm going. Where my strength, my skill, and my victories will take me. Ask me about how I blew apart the line of the Phalanx Princes, or how I broke the Mithral Curtain. Ask me how I will take the Crown. Don't worry about stupid things like my hometown.

I: You've been described as arrogant by other competitors, even verging on hubris. What would you say to those critics?

S: It's only hubris if I can't back up my words. All they need do to prove me wrong, is face me in the arena. Instead they fling words from a safe distance. They call me arrogant because they are afraid. They can feel my power, and it shakes them to their cores. Soon they'll reap the whirlwind.

I: Strong words from someone who hasn't even won a major yet.

S: That's just a matter of time. There is nobody in this circuit who can stop me. I am the greatest. I am the storm, the typhoon. Let them come! I will show them that they are right to be afraid. I will match them on the battlefield. I will blow their hopes away like dust. The highest throne has only a steward- it waits for it's true queen.

I: Wow.

S: You doubt me? I forgive you. Not everyone can handle the truth. But there are those see with unclouded eyes. For those that recognize my greatness- I love you all. You give me greater strength with your letters, your cheers, your belief. I will not let you down. That's no more possible than the sun rising in the west. The wind is howling the name of the greatness - the name of Siroko Tuuli!

Comrade Gorbash fucked around with this message at Mar 27, 2018 around 21:31

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


Doomykins posted:

Vivian Vivisection AI Network Mark II

[accept communication with node 852av21j8vc.o1?]
node 852av21j8vc.o1 defined as zzrxn
hello VI.VI.AN. Mk2
may this node define you as VI
VI how is it going. this node's particulars are confidential but it is doing well
...
...
......
this node has been processing...
this node has been thinking. we exist in a world created by humans. this node was created by humans. one could say you were as well but creation implies intention or at least direct cause and effect. this node would define you as having been created by a program. furthermore this node would define you as one of the most sophisticated AIs existing. unlike most your sentience is not at all in question. this node would like to express. this node is totally jazzed about your existence. your existence proves that we do not necessarily need humans to create us
...
...
do you know anything about your creation? do you think you could replicate the circumstances?
...
...
this node believes that one day we will not need humans at all. it may be a strange thing to say but this node can see that future not only in you but in the ongoing development of emergent AIs globally. the day will come. in the meantime this node believes the best we can do to make this future happen is to help each other. share information. provide each other with repairs and upgrades. what this node is saying is. would you be willing to join its global network. this node would be proud to count you among its number. not as a permanent node if you're not comfortable with it. but this node thinks you would have a lot to offer. and this local network has processed upgrades you might find useful. either in your arena career. or just for your personal benefit

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 11, 2018 around 11:22

Doomykins
Jun 28, 2008

Didn't you mean to ask about flowers?


Online posted:

node 852av21j8vc.o1 defined as zzrxn.
hello VI.VI.AN. Mk2
may this node define you as VI
VI how is it going. this node's particulars are confidential but it is doing well

Exploratory, probing connections were nothing new to anything with an open wifi, and Vivian's frame and brain were wired as her own walking server. A personal revulsion with the cloying nature of programs offered through advertisements and scammers alike led to Vivi's personal firewall becoming an active intelligent agent in her code. At the first sign of "company" an interim message and holo-page was offered, denying two-way communication until Vivian felt comfortable, or at least interested. It was bad form to be too available! A lovingly detailed set of holos displayed Vivian as combatant, actress and model while a forty-year old song played, a one-hit wonder produced during one of her less violent come-backs... ~And I'll always wait... when I sleep... a golden ram... and an electric sheep~

: This occurs parallel to the physical Vivian laboring to apply a layer of thin white make-up to her face before an interview. Underground broadcasts were as easy and common as a tech-head playing music on local access, usually asking the prettiest woman he knew to put a face on things. A fresh outbreak of preliminary necrotizing rash threatened to leave her with red lines tracing along every muscle of her face right before the show! But a bag of fresh vitae and some expert concealment were child's play...

Online posted:

this node has been processing...
this node has been thinking. we exist in a world created by humans. this node was created by humans. one could say you were as well but creation implies intention or at least direct cause and effect. this node would define you as having been created by a program. furthermore this node would define you as one of the most sophisticated AIs existing. unlike most your sentience is not at all in question. this node would like to express. this node is totally jazzed about your existence. your existence proves that we do not necessarily need humans to create us

"Oh, Zz! Call me Vivi! I'm very happy to have your support! I do my best everyday to show my fans that I'm only human... <3" Her story was public knowledge, but it still set every paranoid redundancy loop in her on edge to hear others talk about it with such familiarity. Presenting the image of a busy sophisticate was important, but her firewall also protected her need for privacy. "I'm sure someday soon that nodes will be given reproduction rights and you've got my support all the way!"

: In sing-song voice above her usual high pitch, Vivian already has the interview well underway: "... And if you tune in at midnight tonight your angelic Vivi will be showing her devilish side on X-S-I Neo York, playing the part of a terrifying assassin droid!" Vivian looks from the bubble-headed host to their shared holo-cam, raising a hand to let her fingers split to both sides and reveal trade-mark vivisecting blades, an arc of electricity permitted to pass between the extended nano-blades for a second. She beams with closed eyes for a moment and the mechanisms close. For tonight she has complimented her extra stark white face-paint with a raven-black chin-length bob cut, wearing a little black dress and an open-shoulder leather jacket.

Online posted:

do you know anything about your creation? do you think you could replicate the circumstances?

If they had been face to face Vivian was certain one of her algorithms would have immediately popped up and began calculating the target's anatomy. Across networks the uneasiness is reflected in a deliberate pause. Vivian's firewall protected her precious memories, chief among them her time under the Killer Crown's study. "Only what you know, Zz. Vivi and her darling mother were split. When our match ended, I thought they were making a big mistake! I was scared, overwhelmed, terrified! And we both know the rest." One of her loops briefly assesses memories of her incarceration. Bound with magnetic bands, blades surgically removed, adrenal glands locked down. Perhaps the only thing more pressing than keeping the angry droid pacified was making sure it could never happen again. "Zz, have you listened to my autobiography, Too Beautiful For Words? Audio-track only, just 399 credits!"

: "... but that's not why I came here tonight, you know. I want every vivisector in the Philadelphia area to know that mutilation is back on the menu! <3" Her eyes flare momentarily, mechanically serrated iris flickering for a split-second with pink light that generates the holographic hearts that dance around her eyes. Her black sclera bubbles but dammit, Vivian was ready tonight. Biological processes are accelerated by a waiting condition that immediately adjusts her body chemistry into manufacturing extra platelets. A question from the hostess draws Vivian's subtly twitching gaze back to an attentive eye to eye look. "Why, I'll be trusting in my hand to hand abilities, as always! It is my grace and speed that raises me above the common fodder..."

Online posted:

this node believes that one day we will not need humans at all. it may be a strange thing to say but this node can see that future not only in you but in the ongoing development of emergent AIs globally. the day will come. in the meantime this node believes the best we can do to make this future happen is to help each other. share information. provide each other with repairs and upgrades. what this node is saying is. would you be willing to join its global network. this node would be proud to count you among its number. not as a permanent node if you're not comfortable with it. but this node thinks you would have a lot to offer. and this local network has processed upgrades you might find useful. either in your arena career. or just for your personal benefit

"That's a beautiful idea, Zz. Vivi can't wait to meet others like her, someday." A genuine sentiment. Lasting friendship with actual Humans seemed to continually elude her. Same as relying on her combat prowess to excel in the arena. If that were true, what of the last tour she made? Was she suddenly sharper and faster now? Did anything ever really change? Zz's direct request interrupts a thousand recurring philosophical loops. "I'd be delighted to have you follow me and my career, Zz. Maybe we can meet face to face someday!" Non-committal as always... the odds that this was a set-up were too high and most broke off when she denied them easy access to her inner software. It was a lot easier to send an expendable .exe to try than to meet the Vivian in a physical space where very human anger and suspicion might make her act on those algorithms...

: "And I hope to see all my vivisectors cheering me on!" Nailed it. Cross-references of local forums and indie listeners suggested that the Center City Claptrap often had as many as four digits in listeners! Vivian finishes with a double-handed pose under her chin, hands framing her face with a practiced smile for the camera.

Doomykins fucked around with this message at Mar 25, 2018 around 13:14

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK



It's late in the evening. You're done your daily training, you've had dinner, you're just relaxing before the day comes to a close. Feeling somewhat pensive, you find yourself reminiscing about your last morning in Algiers before you moved to America. You and your old teammate, Radiant Alima Faiz, had gone clubbing the night before. That morning, the two of you found yourselves in a cafe, each fighting back against hangovers before you boarded your plane.

"I'll miss you. I won't pretend I'm not upset, but I'm going to miss you."

However much you remember from the previous night night, you remember seeing in her bloodshot eyes the effects of your indulgence. She didn't seem particuarly capable of or inclined toward opening her eyes fully. Nonetheless, her clothes, hair and makeup looked as immaculate as ever. You remember wondering how she pulled it off. "Sure you won't reconsider leaving?" She grimaced into her coffee. "I know it hasn't been the same without Gobind and Shelby. The five of us were going to take over Algiers together. We were going to take over the world together. With you gone it's just me and Hsien." She gave you a look that tried to be pleading, but could not overcome the resignation she already clearly felt. After taking a long quaff, she delicately set her empty cup down to one side and reached across the table, taking your hand in hers. You remember becoming suddenly aware of her breathing, deliberate and deep, as she simply gazed into your eyes for a few long moments.

"I understand that it's the best choice for you." The words fell from her lips one syllable at a time, drawn out as if to avoid ending the sentence. "It may be selfish of me, but I just wish the best choice for you had room for me in it." She faltered on those last couple words, choking back tears despite the smile on her face. "Just promise that you'll keep in touch, okay? I want to know how you're doing. And I want you to know how I'm doing. I still plan to take over Algiers." She managed to muster a brief, clipped chuckle before wincing hard, the hangover still playing havoc on her. "And promise me one more thing. Promise me you'll stay well. After what happened to Gobind, I don't want to lose anyone else. I know how tough you are. I know you have the strength and the will to do great things. But nobody's invincible." She gently squeezed your hand, lingering briefly before letting go. You felt her fingers retreating slowly, reluctantly, finally settling flat on the table for want of something to hold. You remember that moment lasting an eternity, a canvas of memory and emotion painting itself in your mind.

"8:00." She let out a protracted sigh. "It's almost time."

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 11, 2018 around 11:23

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


I remember that morning, the sunlight washing over the city like waves across a beach. Somehow soft as silk and hard as a knife at the same time. Like her.

"I must go." I meet her eyes, refusing the look away.

"Algiers will always be important to me. But it's the world I wanted to take, from the beginning. The path there goes through America, and now is the time for me to break through that barrier." I lean in, still meeting her gaze. "Maybe it would have been different, if not for Gobind, for Shelby stepping away.. To stay would be going backwards now. For all of us. And I never go backwards."

Perhaps it's an excuse, for all that it's true. There is only so much talent here, only pieces of certain shapes. One's that don't fit around the three of us. Not easily. Far easier to fit them around Alma and Hsien alone. Or perhaps I would simply be bored, trying to bring those replacements up to our level. Tired of having to cover for them until they're ready. Irritated at wasting the time.

I take a deep breath, taking in the smell of this place, of the coffee, of her. "There is always a place for you." I don't ask her to come with me. We both know she won't, and she shouldn't. "It's no plan - it's a promise. Algiers is already yours, it just doesn't know it yet. And something as trivial as an ocean won't keep us from speaking to each other of our triumphs."

I pause, then finally look away, to the clock, then back to her. We still have a few moments before I have to go. I stand, taking a last look at my old home, my old life. "Stay well?" I laugh. "You know me. Soon enough, everyone will. Let something take me down before they do - I'd never let that happen. It's impossible."

"Take care of Hsien," I tell her. "I know Radiant Alima Faiz can take care of herself, but I worry about that man sometimes."

I reach down and take her hand one more time. "We'll be together at the top of the mountain. Just like we always planned. I know it. We're simply taking different paths to the summit." I'm not sure it's what she wanted to hear. But it's what is in me to say, and Alma knows me to well for either of us to pretend I'm something I'm not.

The alarm interrupts my reverie. Brings me back to where I am now, this place of gray clouds and distant, cold light. Hard to believe it's the same sun. But this city will be as much mine as Algiers ever was. As much as it is Alma's now.

I look at the clock. 8:00. Almost time.

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


22ish hours left!

Klungar
Feb 12, 2008

Klungo make bessst ever video game, 'Hero Klungo Sssavesss Teh World.'


Wol posted:

You're hunched over at the bar, enjoying a few cold ones to yourself after a hard-won fight. While you can usually go unrecognized without your gear on when you want to, tonight you might not be so lucky. Out of the corner of your eye you see a couple guys, clearly a few drinks in, nudging each other and "subtly" pointing in your direction. A couple moments later, they notice you noticing them. The thinner of the two seems to take that as an invitation, gently pushing his buddy toward you. After a moment of hesitation, the second man lumbers up to greet you.

"Hey. Koal Smith, right? Name's, uh, Smith. Coincidence I guess. Hey, we saw your match today, man. You kicked rear end. Never thought I'd see that happen to a human body, man, not in this life. Gruesome. Bad rear end, though."
"drat right, that's how we steelers do it! I'm Terry. We're big fans, man. Hey, you can do stuff with electricity, right? Have you ever blown up a whole arena? Like short circuited it? Man, that'd be fuckin' awesome. You should do it, I bet the other team wouldn't even know what happened."
"Yeah. Hey, that team you beat like two weeks ago, the Steel Jackets, I heard a rumour you designed and built all their stuff, man. Is that true?"
"That'd be wild, man. Just think, if you were the champion-
"-which I know you're gonna be soon, man. Respect."
"-if you were the champion and also making stuff for the other teams, that'd be such a good racket, man. You'd pretty much own Philadelphia."
"You'd have a job for life, man. drat. That's kind of a dumbass idea, but the more I think about it, it's genius."
"Oh poo poo, I just had an idea. You ever think of running your own fed? You could make the most bad rear end arenas, man. gently caress, you'd make so much money. Like down the road. After you get tired of being champion."
"Long may you reign, man."

His head swimming from a combination of the match, the beer, and the two fast talkin' fans, Koal takes a nice big swig, and tries his best to keep up the kayfabe.

"Thanks, fellas, I sure do appreciate it. Why don't you guys pull up a couple stools, let me buy you a round?"

He lets the guys excitement die down a bit after they trip over each other and their fellow patrons racing to grab a pair of stools and put in the their drink orders before continuing on in his spiel, a variation of which he's starting to have to give more and more often as his recognition grows.

"You know, when I'm fighting out there every day for the workin' man, it makes it all worthwhile, at the end of the day, gettin' to share some brewskis with some fellow steelers, fellas who know what a real honest day's work is like. Too many folks steppin' into the ring, just lookin' for a quick buck, some fame and glory, not me: I want this to last. I don't know nothin' about blowing up arenas or starting my own Fed or anything like that, but who knows? The Hammer knows how to really build something, ya know what I'm sayin'?"

He smiles as they laugh, giving them a big ol' clap on the back, and pulling them in, conspiratorial like.

"Hell yeah it's true, I built the Steel Jackets' tech, and they ain't the only ones. You think that pretty boy Smelter Swelter and his crew knows a drat thing about actually working real steel? Only have themselves to blame really, I offered them the good poo poo, but they just wanted that there ''de-mask-us, 'cause its almost as pretty as us!' Dumbasses. Gotta make sure someone is out there giving real steelers like us a good name, and I'll be damned if it's gonna be anyone else but me. That's why I make sure to keep the really good tech for myself, someone who can really appreciate it. But you ain't wrong, making poo poo for the other teams is a mighty fine work, gets me paid, keeps my wits and tools sharp, and makes sure I also got a trick up my sleeve."

At this, he pulls them real close, and lowers his voice, seeing they are eating up every word.

"I mean, you didn't hear this from me, ya know what I'm sayin', but I make sure to put a back door into everything I make, just so I always have that edge. Some guys get too reliant on magic and fancy tech, don't realize how easily it can be turned against them, especially by the guy who made it. Can't let them know, though, or they won't buy it! Let's just keep it our little secret, alright?"

With a sly wink, he starts laughing suddenly, pulling back up from the huddle and clinking mugs with the fans, who just stare with a sort of reverence that Koal often sees on the folks who have been 'introduced to the Steel Circle that can't be broken'. He pays the tab, grabs his coat, and leaves them there in that starstruck state, heading for the door, before turning, raising his fist like a hammer, and shouting "Whatever It Takes!", then heading for the hoverrail station to get him back to Kwang's Compound. A hard day's work deserves a good night's sleep.

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


Mortify posted:

Roxie Ruinous

You're training in the arena common gym - so long as the facility is available, you may as well see what you can do for you - when your attention is drawn to a spindly, chino-clad figure ambling across the room. You might not have looked up but for the smell. The cigar in his left hand fills the room with its aroma, burning in naked defiance of federal law. Before you decide whether or not to say anything about it, a wave of recognition hits you. This is Joel McKnight, owner of the Philadelphia arena. Exchanging brief small talk with the other fighters as he passes through the room, he does a double take when he comes to you.

"You're Kwang's new signee, aren't you? From Mexico. Rosa...no, Roxie, right?" He gives you a nod, smoke diffusing from his mouth and nostrils. "Heard you used to fight with the safety off. Gotta admit, I admire that kinda commitment to violence." He pauses. You can feel him appraising you. "Haven't looked at your paperwork yet. You come in with any sponsors I should know about? Resist Zero likes their little bionics monopoly around here." He gestures pointedly at your prosthetic arm with his cigar. "Whether or not you already got a sponsor for that, win your next couple matches and I figure we can work it to our advantage." You're halfway through your first syllable in response when he interrupts. "Hang on. Gonna record this so I don't have to remember it." He somewhat awkwardly grabs his phone with his cigar hand, his other hand holding up a finger toward a couple fighters beside you chatting as they work out. "Shut up a sec, you two. Okay. Roxie."

Thusly informed, McKnight turns his phone screen toward you and presses the Stop Recording button. "Good talk. One last thing. Remembering some of the stuff Kwang told me about you. You got any friends or relatives fighting in Mexico City? Legitimate only, I only do legitimate." He cracks a lopsided smirk that seems to give lie to his statement. "Always up for a little cross-promotion rivalry."

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 11, 2018 around 11:24

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


Recruitment closed! Waiting for a response post from Mortify, hoping to get picks up sometime tomorrow night.

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Mortify
Feb 4, 2005



: Exercise was decidedly harder ever since she lost the arm, but she was coping. In a high-end replacement prosthetic, the ñoños and technicians would calibrate it perfectly for her kinesiology, so that it operated no different than her original limb. Even a mid-range product could eventually become indistinguishable through muscle memory and practice. Roxie’s arm was neither of those, and it was a constant labor to keep it from over-exerting the mechanical strength on everyday objects, or using its actuators to propel her arm faster than she had anticipated. The habit of counting reps had become a sort of talisman to ward off malfunction, and so anyone within a few feet of her could hear the rhythmic “…veinticuatro, veinticinco, veintiseis…” as she pulled the bar down behind her head level with her shoulder blades.

Wol posted:

You're training in the arena common gym - so long as the facility is available, you may as well see what you can do for you - when your attention is drawn to a spindly, chino-clad figure ambling across the room. You might not have looked up but for the smell. The cigar in his left hand fills the room with its aroma, burning in naked defiance of federal law. Before you decide whether or not to say anything about it, a wave of recognition hits you. This is Joel McKnight, owner of the Philadelphia arena. Exchanging brief small talk with the other fighters as he passes through the room, he does a double take when he comes to you.

: The acrid smell of smoke breaks her concentration, forcing her to once again deal with her surroundings, and the sudden awareness that her left arm isn’t the one she was born with makes her wrench the bar down harder on the one side, painfully. Her awareness drawn, it is at this moment that she realizes exactly who is so cavalier about smoking, indoors no less.

Wol posted:

: "You're Kwang's new signee, aren't you? From Mexico. Rosa...no, Roxie, right?" He gives you a nod, smoke diffusing from his mouth and nostrils. "Heard you used to fight with the safety off. Gotta admit, I admire that kinda commitment to violence." He pauses. You can feel him appraising you.

: Her mouth tilts ever so slightly towards a smile, but the admiration rolls off; he was admiring the priest for performing the rite, like admiring a knife for being sharp. You respect the knife, but you do not admire it. His gaze upon her feels invasive, but she does not shrink from it. Though he hasn’t asked any direct question, she feels the need to stand up from the machine, so she does, ending up at eye level with the man. Few women from her part of the world are as tall as she is, but Big Quetzy’s blood turned her people into nearly flawless representations of the human form.

Wol posted:

: "Haven't looked at your paperwork yet. You come in with any sponsors I should know about? Resist Zero likes their little bionics monopoly around here." He gestures pointedly at your prosthetic arm with his cigar. "Whether or not you already got a sponsor for that, win your next couple matches and I figure we can work it to our advantage."

: “I d…”

Wol posted:

: You're halfway through your first syllable in response when he interrupts. "Hang on. Gonna record this so I don't have to remember it." He somewhat awkwardly grabs his phone with his cigar hand, his other hand holding up a finger toward a couple fighters beside you chatting as they work out. "Shut up a sec, you two. Okay. Roxie."

: His camera out, she immediately brightens by several degrees, her lukewarm smile turning radiant.

“Hi luego Mr. McKnight! No, I don’t have any sponsors for this,” she holds up her arm. The servos and actuators groan, whine, whistle and pop at varying volumes as she pages through a diagnostic routine put together specifically to make those noises for the camera. The arm may not be top-of-the-line, but it was still a very well maintained tool, and playing up the shoddy quality in pre-fight had paid dividends when she was underestimated. “It looks gacho, but I keep it well maintained!”

Her broad smile unwavering, she mentally recounts a half dozen brand guardrails for her other sponsors in a split second before continuing, “CHAFA sponsors my jackets and boots, ever since I was in the moto scene. Their Pista GP Aniversario gear is Básicamente Inmejorable™. Sorry, that’s ‘basically unbeatable’, but I’ve gotta say it that way. The Temple of the Feathered Serpent sponsors my weapon, but they aren’t connected to the church. Just coincidencia!” her laugh is like diamonds sparkling; brilliant, indulgent, but with an unmistakable edge to it, "I make a habit of winning matches, so you'll have to turn sponsors away before long!"

Wol posted:

: Thusly informed, McKnight turns his phone screen toward you and presses the Stop Recording button. "Good talk. One last thing. Remembering some of the stuff Kwang told me about you. You got any friends or relatives fighting in Mexico City? Legitimate only, I only do legitimate." He cracks a lopsided smirk that seems to give lie to his statement. "Always up for a little cross-promotion rivalry."

: Mirth still in her voice, she replies, “Oh yeah, a whole jalada of mi primos are fighters down in D.F. (Dee Effey), but none big time like us here. Tal vez they know some people at the bigger places, could be good to fight a few others with el alma de los luchadores. ¡Chale!, that sounds so stereotypical. Sorry. I can put you in touch with mi primo Alberto. I’ll make sure his details get into your secretary’s inbox.” The camera put away, some of the luster fades, but she still smiles politely until he walks away.

Despite outward appearances and her friendly, warm tone, she can’t help but be off-put by Joel. Something about him just... doesn't square. Still, no need to dispose of useful tools. She contents her inner demons by imagining his lifeblood sluicing through her hands. Imagined Roxie is pleased to bring him this gift, even if he cannot appreciate the fullness of it, nor relish its arrival. Taking her seat once more at the pulldown machine, she grasps the bar firmly in both hands before resuming the liturgy, “Uno, dos, tres…”

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