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Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK




Art Credits

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9tASPaydcQ Yamantaka // Sonic Titan - Hall of Mirrors


Philadelphia - April 16, 2259

You make your way through the crisp spring morning to the Asylum Arena. Phia awaits in the hall, bedecked in the team's trademark studded faux-leather logo jacket and a white t-shirt that reads "C*MM*N B*TCH" in bold pink letters. As way of greeting, she gestures to a nearby table where you see five piping hot coffees, probably brewed on-site no more than two minutes ago. The coffee carries the vague quality of tar and the aftertaste of cigarette butts like her usual, but it wakes you up like nothing else. A couple minutes pass with her hardly saying anything, busy on her phone as the team files in. It gives you time to think on your impending match. Later today, you face off against American Made in the fourth of a five-fight series to determine who gets to challenge for #1 Contendership. After an explosive first match win, you've since suffered two unfortunate losses to your fellow hungry upstarts. It's impossible to understate how much today's match means for you. American Made is at match point in a series you can't afford to lose. If you can win today, though, you'd be that much closer to the #1 Contendership. That much closer to the Championship. That much closer to superstardom. It's close enough you can just barely taste it, like a drop on the tip of your tongue, and it leaves you ravenous for the whole thing. Ravenous for victory. Determination fills you as the last of you makes their way through the doors. All gathered, the last of you only just has time to take their first sip of coffee when Phia looks up with a mischievous smirk, leveling her phone at you.

"Camera's on."

Perfectly on cue, half of American Made comes barrelling down the hall opposite Phia, talking excitedly amongst themselves.

"You should have looked into their eyes after our last win. They were shaken. We have the mental advantage now-"
Neon Musa seemingly just then notices you and looks over, expression unreadable behind his video glasses, "-and they know it. Doubt begets doubt. The first match was a fluke. A stroke of luck, and I think you know. Do you think you can beat us again, I wonder?"
"It doesn't matter what they think. The record speaks for itself. Roxie Ruinous, you knocked Diamond Trinh out once. One time. Hey, that's not bad. Most people can't say that. But you should hold that memory dear. You can think about it when you're having a good time, brag about it to your dates, because that's the only time you're even going to come close! To laying a finger on Diamond Trinh. And that's the closest you're going to get to any kind of notoriety around here, because we're just one match away from beating you, one more match away from beating the Executioners, and when we beat the champs? All eyes are going to be on the Diamond."
"Hey, who knows what the fates are going to deal? A lot can happen in a match. I can't tell you exactly how things are going to go down. I can tell you one thing, though. I've been training harder, working harder, to prepare for these matches than I've ever worked before. Even harder than I worked when I won my gold medal. And if I proved myself to be the best in the world then, just think of what I'm going to accomplish now. Do what thou wilt, you're definitely not going to stop us. You're not going to stop me."

Wol fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2018 around 06:14

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Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK





The trading of taunts is interrupted by a bold, ringing laugh that blasts through the air. Mauler Maxima and Axel Apone stride onto the scene, the former grinning ear to ear.

"Roxie Ruinous! Bold talk from someone who couldn't last five seconds in the Maxim of Mutilation!" Maxima points an accusatory finger at you, bicep and brachioradialis taut as she continues to walk forward. "Boldness that will set the foundation for your self destruction." She comes to a stop next to her teammates, lowers her hand, and jerks her head to the side, sending a cascade of blonde curls sailing in front of you. Slowly turning back to face you, she continues, "You could have backed down. In the days after our last match, you could have considered the neck that wouldn't turn, the vertebrae that wouldn't stop hurting, and decided to put your longevity ahead of your pride. But you persisted. You recovered as much as you could, you gathered your will, and you decided to see through your challenge against the Mauler. The fans would call that admirable. But I've seen the contents of your heart. You desire death, Roxie Ruinous. By rising up again to rail against the American Made, you do not seek to take the crown, but to dash yourself once more against the rocks! Well, you will not need to wait much longer. In just a few short hours, your self-destruction will finally culminate."

Meanwhile, Musa raises an eyebrow behind his glasses, letting the moment hang in the air as he (presumably) stares back at Siroko. He then lazily raises his left hand to take the glasses off, without a care that he has to brush them across your forehead to do so. While his face remains neutral, his eyes meet yours with matched intensity.
"In you alone I see more than bravado. I see...determination. I see the spirit of a warrior." His usually languid expression hardens, and you can begin to hear a passionate rumble in his voice, low but building. "But warriors die every day. You forget. You are not the only one with spirit. You are not the only one who craves this win - who craves the Crown more than anything. You can find determination any which way you turn. The difference is that we!" He flings his left arm outward, gesturing with his glasses to his team gathered behind him. "Are American Made. We are the difference makers. We are the ones with, yes, the determination - but also the wit and the skill to wear that gold around our heads. You won't have to wait long for proof."

Axel Apone himself is the last to speak. He moves with an ease unlike the others; in the midst of the nine-person shouting match, he seems calm, even comfortable.
"Y'know, when I came to Philadelphia, I thought maybe I'd just sign on a team as a trainer. Find some skilled young fighters, teach them what I know, give them some inspiration. But when I found these four people standing beside me, I got to see first hand their talent. Their power. Their cunning. Their hunger. They ended up being my inspiration. Their fight became my fight, and their hunger to prove themselves...became mine as well. Make no mistake, Furies. I respect you. But you're standing between us and the gold, and that's not a place you want to be in. This. Is our place. Here, in the centre of Philadelphia, the birthplace of America, bathed in the spirit of millions of fans who just like us! Are American Made."

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 11, 2018 around 11:33

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK




Axel's booming laugh reverberates throughout the room.

"Hell. I'll spot you a truck for free if you need a meat wagon to cart your ragged asses away from your loss today."

Behind you, you can hear Phia shout,
"Camera off! Some real vicious barbs today, I love it. Axel, everyone, see you when I see you. Furies, lunch is at 1. See you then."

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 11, 2018 around 11:34

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


For lunch, Phia takes you to Padmanadi, a nearby Gujarati vegetarian restaurant. It's your third time there as a team, quickly becoming Phia's go-to for pre-match meals for both flavour and practical reasons. The rice, vegetable, and potato-based fare gives your muscles more than enough energy to deliver the split-second athleticism required in the arena. At the same time, the spicy curries, savoury-sweet dals and salty farsan provide a wealth of delectable options for any palate. While some teams famously advocate for a diet stripped of all but the essentials, strictly monitoring every errant nutrient, Phia has never shown any inclination toward having you follow such a spartan lifestyle. Outside of fight days, she doesn't interfere much at all in your food or even training regimen. She figures you know best how to condition yourselves - after all, you haven't gotten this far by failing to hone your skills.

A few hours later and the match is almost upon you. The locker room has somewhat of a mixed atmosphere - only the champions get their own, so you and American Made have to share. Lane meditates, Mauler Maxima stretches, Axel Apone and Diamond Trinh play cards, and Neon Musa runs through katas. A few other fighters poke their heads in now and then. TC Bright of the Flawless Executioners swings by to wish you luck, Boss Ruger of the Steel Jackets sits down to play a couple hands with Apone and Trinh, and trainee fighter Lil Steg makes it known that he's rooting for you because "it's been such a good series, I need to see all five fights!" While Phia normally makes for the recording booth a few minutes before the match starts, she sticks around until the last minute this time, getting you hyped up and exchanging the occasional barb with Trinh.

The time comes. The match is upon you. Phia claps you on the shoulder and pulls you in close with a strength that belies her petite frame. "This is us." She's grinning almost manically and you opt not to guess how many coffees she's had today. "This is so us. We're loving unstoppable! Get out there and gently caress 'em up!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gta8K__-HBE Metal Wolf Chaos Music - I Hate

The lights in the arena dim. You're still standing behind the curtain to the entrance ramp, but you came out first in the last couple fights. You know how this goes. The whole arena goes dark. The only sound to be heard is a rev of Axel Apone's double chainsaw gauntlet. A brief pause. Another rev, coupled with a gout of flame that briefly illuminates the five members of American Made. A brief pause and Axel's chainsaws scream to life alongside a fireball launched into the air, which cues a wave of pyrotechnics, the lights flicking back on, and the roar of the crowd. Their music kicks in. American Made struts down to the arena, all bravado, Axel, Lane and Maxima high-fiving and fist-bumping fans on the way. They mug for the cameras, Musa's video glasses flash "3-1" and they make their way to their starting area.

Their music cuts out. The fans turn their attention back toward the entryway.

It's your time.


ARENA RULES
When standing on a flame pipe, spend a move action (or a minor action if you're trained in Dungeoneering or Thievery): Vent the pipe, dealing 1d6+5 fire damage to each other character standing on it.

  • FU Erzbet "Reanimator" Dushka | HP 45 / 45 | AC 19 | Fort 16 | Ref 18 | Will 19

  • FU Siroko Tuuli | HP 61 / 61 | AC 21 | Fort 20 | Ref 17 | Will 17

  • AMD Lane | HP 66 / 66 | AC 19 | Fort 16 | Ref 18 | Will 17
    • When hit with melee / ranged, attacker takes 5 damage.

  • AMD Neon Musa | HP 66 / 66 | AC 21 | Fort 17 | Ref 19 | Will 17

  • AMD Axel Apone | HP 84 / 84 | AC 18 | Fort 19 | Ref 17 | Will 19
    • Does not grant CA for being flanked.

  • FU Caelynn | HP 43 / 43 | AC 21 | Fort 15 | Ref 16 | Will 20

  • FU Vivian Vivisection | HP 43 / 43 | AC 22 | Fort 15 | Ref 19 | Will 18

  • FU Roxie Ruinous | HP 46 / 46 | AC 21 | Fort 16 | Ref 22 | Will 17

  • AMD Diamond Trinh | HP 56 / 56 | AC 19 | Fort 17 | Ref 19 | Will 17
    • +4 to all defenses against OAs.

  • AMD Mauler Maxima | HP 56 / 56 | AC 19 | Fort 19 | Ref 18 | Will 17

Wol fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2018 around 02:40

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


Alone among Killer's Crown venues, the Asylum Arena features a commentary desk audible in the arena itself. Originating as an audio fuckup in a lower-card match two years back, the crowd ended up loving it. McKnight decided to run with it ever since, creating a unique relationship between the fans and solo commentator Robin Selik that's only served to add to the venue's cult status. Plenty of global fans may find it annoying, but for the true Philadelphia diehards, it's just one more charming idiosyncrasy that makes the place feel so much like home. No sooner has Erzbet taken the first step out of the starting area, you hear Robin's brash contralto from the commentary desk high above the arena.

"First moves from the Furies pretty much like you'd expect, except that Siroko is outpacing her usually quicker teammates. Must be hot under the collar after that heated exchange of words with Neon Musa earlier today. And speaking of - looks like Musa is of the same mind, not on his usual advancing wall schtick - wait, is that-"

Neon Musa sprints full bore toward Siroko, leaping into the air as he approaches. The crowd erupts - they know what's about to happen. At the apex of his leap, he unsheathes his blade. With the force of his fall, he impales Siroko just under the left shoulder. The tip of his blade strikes the floor, pinning her to the ground as a shower of sparks fly up and coalesce, trapping her amidst the now-solid pink explosion. A chant of gently caress 'em up, Neon, gently caress 'em up! erupts from the crowd.

"Neon Thunder Strike! American Made isn't getting cocky, folks, they're looking to make a statement!"

With a flourish, Musa withdraws and sheathes his sword, leaving behind a solid trail that still sticks painfully right through Siroko's shoulder and blocks vision around her with a wide pink arc. As if the difficulty of moving wasn't enough, Siroko can feel Lane's basic hex fall on her, threatening to clumsify her further should she make one wrong movement.

"Walk right into pain, that's the Siroko style. I wouldn't want to be her right now, but she did get American Made to extend themselves pretty far to get her. Guess we'll see if the rest of the Furies can take advantage of her, uh, 'noble sacrifice'."


Lane double moves to D9.
Lane uses Fool's Hex, targeting Siroko. If Siroko misses with an attack before the end of her next turn, she cannot take immediate or opportunity actions until the start of her following turn.

Neon Musa moves to G2.
Neon Musa attacks with Neon Thunder Strike! Charge to K6, targeting Siroko. 1d20+9 = 22 vs Ref (hit). Siroko takes 27 damage. Siroko is restrained UEoMNT. Her square becomes blocking terrain UEoMNT, though she can still be targeted as normal.

Axel Apone double moves to H8.



ARENA RULES
When standing on a flame pipe, spend a move action (or a minor action if you're trained in Dungeoneering or Thievery): Vent the pipe, dealing 1d6+5 fire damage to each other character standing on it.

  • FU Erzbet "Reanimator" Dushka | HP 45 / 45 | AC 19 | Fort 16 | Ref 18 | Will 19

  • FU Siroko Tuuli | HP 61 / 61 | AC 21 | Fort 20 | Ref 17 | Will 17
    • Fool's hex; Restrained

  • AMD Lane | HP 66 / 66 | AC 19 | Fort 16 | Ref 18 | Will 17
    • When hit with melee / ranged, attacker takes 5 damage.

  • AMD Neon Musa | HP 66 / 66 | AC 21 | Fort 17 | Ref 19 | Will 17

  • AMD Axel Apone | HP 84 / 84 | AC 18 | Fort 19 | Ref 17 | Will 19
    • Does not grant CA for being flanked.

  • FU Caelynn | HP 43 / 43 | AC 21 | Fort 15 | Ref 16 | Will 20

  • FU Vivian Vivisection | HP 43 / 43 | AC 22 | Fort 15 | Ref 19 | Will 18

  • FU Roxie Ruinous | HP 46 / 46 | AC 21 | Fort 16 | Ref 22 | Will 17

  • AMD Diamond Trinh | HP 56 / 56 | AC 19 | Fort 17 | Ref 19 | Will 17
    • +4 to all defenses against OAs.

  • AMD Mauler Maxima | HP 56 / 56 | AC 19 | Fort 19 | Ref 18 | Will 17

Wol fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2018 around 02:50

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


"Rest of the Furies coming out playing it cool. Dunno what kind of strategy it is to just have one member come in hot, but hey, looks like we're all gonna get the blood we came to see. And here comes Diamond Trinh-"

Trinh rounds the corner of American Made's starting area, quickly spots her opportunity, then breaks out into a sprint. Lunging into Siroko with all her momentum, she smashes a glowing fist into Siroko's lower ribs. For Siroko, being stuck amidst the neon spikes with no room to roll with the punch makes it all the more painful. For her part, Trinh uses the solid structure to post off of, rolling back behind her teammate's guarding blade.

"You think you can stand up against the Diamond?" Trinh smirks, showing teeth as bright as the energy glowing around her gauntlets. "Come try me and we'll see who shatters." The crowd seems divided on this, taking up a chorus of DIA-MOND SHA-TTER backed by equally loud boos.

"Hey, there's nothing saying you have to fight fair! Impressed Siroko is still left standing after those two brutal hits, though. We've seen some pretty experienced fighters who can't take that one-two punch."

Mauler Maxima moves to J11.

Diamond Trinh moves to E4.
Diamond Trinh charges to K6, targeting Siroko. 1d20+13 = 29 vs AC (hit). Siroko takes 18 radiant damage. Diamond Trinh shifts to J6.



ARENA RULES
When standing on a flame pipe, spend a move action (or a minor action if you're trained in Dungeoneering or Thievery): Vent the pipe, dealing 1d6+5 fire damage to each other character standing on it.

  • FU Erzbet "Reanimator" Dushka | HP 45 / 45 | AC 19 | Fort 16 | Ref 18 | Will 19

  • FU Siroko Tuuli | HP 61 / 61 | AC 21 | Fort 20 | Ref 17 | Will 17
    • Bloodied; Fool's hex; Restrained

  • AMD Lane | HP 66 / 66 | AC 19 | Fort 16 | Ref 18 | Will 17
    • When hit with melee / ranged, attacker takes 5 damage.

  • AMD Neon Musa | HP 66 / 66 | AC 21 | Fort 17 | Ref 19 | Will 17
    • WC

  • AMD Axel Apone | HP 84 / 84 | AC 18 | Fort 19 | Ref 17 | Will 19
    • Does not grant CA for being flanked.

  • FU Caelynn | HP 43 / 43 | AC 21 | Fort 15 | Ref 16 | Will 20

  • FU Vivian Vivisection | HP 43 / 43 | AC 22 | Fort 15 | Ref 19 | Will 18

  • FU Roxie Ruinous | HP 46 / 46 | AC 21 | Fort 16 | Ref 22 | Will 17

  • AMD Diamond Trinh | HP 56 / 56 | AC 19 | Fort 17 | Ref 19 | Will 17
    • +4 to all defenses against OAs.

  • AMD Mauler Maxima | HP 56 / 56 | AC 19 | Fort 19 | Ref 18 | Will 17

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 11, 2018 around 11:46

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


"I have an idea! Follow me, Axel!"

Lane sprints across the battlefield, past the fracas with Siroko, Trinh and Musa. She launches herself into the air when she reaches Erzbet and Vivian, landing a flying kick to the side of the latter's head, sending both careening across the arena floor.

"Devastating shining apprentice from the shining apprentice of American Made!" The call elicits passionate boos from a section of the crowd, with one lone fan standing up and delivering a passionate gently caress-YOU RO-BIN. Robin shouts back, "eyes on the match, fella, that was picture perfect! Siroko showing some real tenacity here, showing that no matter how hard she gets hit she will not. stay. down. After such a brutal alpha strike, she's forcing American Made to switch up their strategy. Smart switch from them, though - I think I know exactly what Lane was thinking with that maneuver, and as Axel walks up - hell yeah, that's it, he's got the barbecue sauce! It's not my place to say it, but-"

"Welcome to the cookout!" Axel throws his canister of...you're not quite sure what it is, something in the vicinity of napalm, but he throws it right at Erzbet and shoots it out of the air with a burst from his flamethrower. It explodes right in front of her, sending a wave of unbearable flame exploding across Erzbet, Vivi and Roxie. To make matters worse for Erzbet, Axel gives the flame pipe below them a strategically placed kick, engulfing her in even more fire.

Lane moves to J7.
Lane uses Fool's Hex, targeting Vivian. If Vivian misses with an attack before the end of her next turn, she cannot take immediate or opportunity actions until the start of her following turn.
Lane attacks with Boon of Vigor! Charge to O7, targeting Vivian and Erzbet. Vivian: 1d20+11 = 13 vs AC (miss). Fate's Thread! 1d20+11 = 25 vs AC (hit). Erzbet: 1d20+11 = 25 vs AC (hit). Vivian and Erzbet take 14 damage. Vivian is slid to P9. Erzbet is slid to O10. Lane shifts to P8.

Axel Apone moves to M10.
Axel attacks with Carolina Barbecue! Area burst 1 centred on O10, targeting Vivian, Erzbet and Roxie. Vivian: 1d20+11 = 18 vs Fort (hit). Erzbet: 1d20+11 = 27 vs Fort (hit). Roxie: 1d20+11 = 12 vs Fort (miss). Vivian and Erzbet gain ongoing 5 fire and vulnerable 5 fire (save ends). Roxie gains vulnerable 5 fire (save ends).
The burst creates a zone that lasts UEoE. Any creature that enters a square in the zone or starts their turn there takes 5 fire damage (limit 1/turn for each creature).
Axel activates the flame pipe! Erzbet takes 16 fire damage (incl. vuln).

Neon Musa attacks with Neon Slash. Close wall 2 within 2 squares, targeting Siroko. 1d20+10 = 12 vs AC (miss).
Musa creates a wall of blocking terrain between squares K5-K6 and J5-J6. The wall lasts UEoMNT.
Saving Throw vs. Dazed: 11



ARENA RULES
When standing on a flame pipe, spend a move action (or a minor action if you're trained in Dungeoneering or Thievery): Vent the pipe, dealing 1d6+5 fire damage to each other character standing on it.

Carolina Barbecue / orange zone: Any creature that enters a square in the zone or starts their turn there takes 5 fire damage (limit 1/turn for each creature).

  • FU Erzbet "Reanimator" Dushka | HP 45 / 45 | AC 19 | Fort 16 | Ref 18 | Will 19
    • Ongoing 5 fire & vuln 5 fire

  • FU Siroko Tuuli | HP 61 / 61 | AC 21 | Fort 20 | Ref 17 | Will 17
    • +2 defenses

  • AMD Lane | HP 66 / 66 | AC 19 | Fort 16 | Ref 18 | Will 17
    • When hit with melee / ranged, attacker takes 5 damage.

  • AMD Neon Musa | HP 66 / 66 | AC 21 | Fort 17 | Ref 19 | Will 17
    • Marked (Siroko); WC

  • AMD Axel Apone | HP 84 / 84 | AC 18 | Fort 19 | Ref 17 | Will 19
    • Does not grant CA for being flanked.

  • FU Caelynn | HP 43 / 43 | AC 21 | Fort 15 | Ref 16 | Will 20

  • FU Vivian Vivisection | HP 43 / 43 | AC 22 | Fort 15 | Ref 19 | Will 18
    • Fool's hex; Ongoing 5 fire & vuln 5 fire

  • FU Roxie Ruinous | HP 46 / 46 | AC 21 | Fort 16 | Ref 22 | Will 17
    • Vuln 5 fire

  • AMD Diamond Trinh | HP 56 / 56 | AC 19 | Fort 17 | Ref 19 | Will 17
    • +4 to all defenses against OAs.; Dazed; Marked (Siroko); Vuln 5 fire

  • AMD Mauler Maxima | HP 56 / 56 | AC 19 | Fort 19 | Ref 18 | Will 17

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 11, 2018 around 11:48

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


"Oh my God! What a gruesome hit from Roxie Ruinous! I give the Furies poo poo for looking out of sync but when they actually work together you'd better not be the one in their sights. Don't get too happy though, Furies fans, Mauler Maxima's coming around the horn where Roxie has a wide open flank. And she...dodges right past her? Maxima doesn't seem to think Roxie is worth her time. Instead she's looking to even the score by picking off the weakest Fury! She moves in and - hell of a chop! Someone just called the cops on 5th Street because they thought they heard a gunshot! Erzbet looking like she might keel over any moment, but hopefully American Made didn't gently caress up too bad by letting Roxie Ruinous run around freely."


Mauler Maxima moves to O13.
Mauler Maxima charges to P11 (5 damage from barbecue), targeting Erzbet. 1d20+11 = 21 vs AC (hit). Erzbet takes 16 damage and grants CA UEoMNT.



ARENA RULES
When standing on a flame pipe, spend a move action (or a minor action if you're trained in Dungeoneering or Thievery): Vent the pipe, dealing 1d6+5 fire damage to each other character standing on it.

Carolina Barbecue / orange zone: Any creature that enters a square in the zone or starts their turn there takes 5 fire damage (limit 1/turn for each creature).

  • FU Erzbet "Reanimator" Dushka | HP 45 / 45 | AC 19 | Fort 16 | Ref 18 | Will 19
    • Ongoing 5 fire & vuln 5 fire

  • FU Siroko Tuuli | HP 61 / 61 | AC 21 | Fort 20 | Ref 17 | Will 17
    • +2 defenses

  • AMD Lane | HP 66 / 66 | AC 19 | Fort 16 | Ref 18 | Will 17
    • When hit with melee / ranged, attacker takes 5 damage.

  • AMD Neon Musa | HP 66 / 66 | AC 21 | Fort 17 | Ref 19 | Will 17
    • Marked (Siroko); WC

  • AMD Axel Apone | HP 84 / 84 | AC 18 | Fort 19 | Ref 17 | Will 19
    • Bloodied; Does not grant CA for being flanked.; Ongoing 5 damage

  • FU Caelynn | HP 43 / 43 | AC 21 | Fort 15 | Ref 16 | Will 20

  • FU Vivian Vivisection | HP 43 / 43 | AC 22 | Fort 15 | Ref 19 | Will 18
    • Fool's hex

  • FU Roxie Ruinous | HP 46 / 46 | AC 21 | Fort 16 | Ref 22 | Will 17
    • Vuln 5 fire

  • AMD Diamond Trinh | HP 56 / 56 | AC 19 | Fort 17 | Ref 19 | Will 17
    • KO!

  • AMD Mauler Maxima | HP 56 / 56 | AC 19 | Fort 19 | Ref 18 | Will 17

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 11, 2018 around 11:51

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


Axel Apone is sent awkwardly stumbling from Vivi and Caelynn's combined attack. He staggers to a halt just in front of Roxie Ruinous, teeth clenched, pouring sweat and chainsaws spinning noisily between them. Flames lick the air around him, and while he doesn't seem to be getting burned*, it's clearly still hot as hell in there. After glaring menacingly at Roxie for a moment, he growls "Not yet," and pushes off with his good leg to step backward toward Caelynn and the rest of the Furies. Eyes still fixed on Roxie, he thrusts his weaponed fist into the air, then brings it crashing down to the ground, chainsaw blades screaming against the arena steel. With a yell, he draws his blades across the floor, leaving a path of mangled metal in his wake. Finally, he wrenches his weapon free of the ripped-up floor and whirls around to unleash a blast of fire at Caelynn and Siroko - and, coincidentally, the invisible Vivian.

"Furies get in position to close the trap on the rest of American Made. They should be careful not to huddle too closely, though - Axel Apone may be bleeding badly but he's not out! Chaos Machine fans will remember he's used to fighting cornered - and the Furies are finding that out for themselves right now! Everything is on fire! The Rose Knight, Siroko Tuuli, and...is that burnt servos I smell? I think our little spite machine might be in that blaze too!"

You can still hear the crowd cheering for the big hits on both sides, but it's not the unreservedly jubilant cheers that characterized the start of this match or the previous matches in this series. A sort of tense energy seems to have come over them, so intense that you can feel it even in the midst of all the fire, the blades and the curses. A chant starts up in one corner of the crowd.

FU-RIES FU-RIES FU-RIES FU-RIES

It starts slow, purposeful. The chant spreads, not across the whole arena, but enough that you begin to recognize a hint of urgency in it. They're getting behind you, but they sound almost worried. Like it's just hit them what it would actually mean if you lost. The chant crescendos, becoming faster, and you can feel the underlying question. They want you to triumph, but more than that, they want you to prove you can.

They want to believe. It's your moment to show them.


Lane attacks with Naturalist's Curse! Area burst 1 centred on O10, targeting Siroko, Vivian and Caelynn. Siroko: 1d20+10 = 18 vs Will (hit). Vivian: 1d20+10 = 21 vs Will (hit). Caelynn: 1d20+10 = 12 vs Will (miss). Siroko and Vivian take 8 psychic damage. Siroko, Vivian and Caelynn cannot benefit from conditional bonuses (save ends).
Lane uses Fool's Hex, targeting Caelynn. If Caelynn misses with an attack before the end of her next turn, she cannot take immediate or opportunity actions until the start of her following turn.
Lane moves to N6.

Neon Musa uses Scabbard Shove, targeting Siroko. 1d20+8 = 18 vs Fort (miss).
Musa attacks with his sword. Close wall 2 within 2 squares, targeting Siroko. 1d20+10 = 21 vs AC (hit). Siroko takes 14 damage.
Musa creates a wall of blocking terrain between squares K6-K7 and J6-J7. The wall lasts UEoMNT.

Axel Apone takes 5 damage.
Axel shifts to N10.
Axel uses Draw The Line. Squares N11-P11 become difficult terrain until the end of the encounter.
Axel attacks with his flamethrower. Close blast 3 K7-M9, targeting Siroko, Vivian and Caelynn. Siroko: 1d20+9 = 27 vs Fort (hit). Vivian: 1d20+10 = 25 vs Fort (hit). Caelynn: 1d20+10 = 16 vs Fort (miss). Siroko, Vivian and Caelynn take 9 fire damage and ongoing 5 fire damage (save ends).
Saving Throw vs. Ongoing 5: 3

*Axel has resist 5 fire.



ARENA RULES
When standing on a flame pipe, spend a move action (or a minor action if you're trained in Dungeoneering or Thievery): Vent the pipe, dealing 1d6+5 fire damage to each other character standing on it.

Carolina Barbecue / orange zone: Any creature that enters a square in the zone or starts their turn there takes 5 fire damage (limit 1/turn for each creature).
Slashed floor: Difficult terrain.

  • FU Erzbet "Reanimator" Dushka | HP 45 / 45 | AC 19 | Fort 16 | Ref 18 | Will 19
    • KO!

  • FU Siroko Tuuli | HP 61 / 61 | AC 21 | Fort 20 | Ref 17 | Will 17
    • Bloodied; Naturalist's curse; Ongoing 5 fire

  • AMD Lane | HP 66 / 66 | AC 19 | Fort 16 | Ref 18 | Will 17
    • When hit with melee / ranged, attacker takes 5 damage.

  • AMD Neon Musa | HP 66 / 66 | AC 21 | Fort 17 | Ref 19 | Will 17
    • Marked (Siroko); WC

  • AMD Axel Apone | HP 84 / 84 | AC 18 | Fort 19 | Ref 17 | Will 19
    • Bloodied; Does not grant CA for being flanked.; Ongoing 5 damage

  • FU Caelynn | HP 43 / 43 | AC 21 | Fort 15 | Ref 16 | Will 20
    • Fool's hex; Naturalist's curse; Ongoing 5 fire

  • FU Vivian Vivisection | HP 43 / 43 | AC 22 | Fort 15 | Ref 19 | Will 18
    • Bloodied; Invisible; Naturalist's curse; Ongoing 5 fire

  • FU Roxie Ruinous | HP 46 / 46 | AC 21 | Fort 16 | Ref 22 | Will 17
    • Vuln 5 fire

  • AMD Diamond Trinh | HP 56 / 56 | AC 19 | Fort 17 | Ref 19 | Will 17
    • KO!

  • AMD Mauler Maxima | HP 56 / 56 | AC 19 | Fort 19 | Ref 18 | Will 17

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 11, 2018 around 11:53

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK





With Lane and Musa outnumbered and the most wounded among you in Vivi having run and hid (to raucous boos from the crowd and jeering from Robin), you close out the match without any further casualties. As usual you're given a couple minutes after the decision to pose and mug for the crowd, after which your doubles are shut down and you return to your real bodies. Erzbet wakes up in quite a bit of pain, but as is the case for all Crown-sanctioned venues, without any knowledge of events after her untimely demise. Somewhere, at some point, some group of scientists decided it was easier on the mind to break the continuity of consciousness after experiencing death. Erzbet isn't left wondering about the match result, though - one look at the rest of your faces tells her all she needs to know. You've won, and convincingly. The series may not be over yet, but that's something you can worry about later. For now, you get to bask in your victory.

When the techs are done checking your vitals, you pick yourselves up and head out. Phia is there to greet you in the hall, furiously social media-ing about the match as she waits. When she sees you, she lets out a loud cheer.

"You hosed 'em up. I love it when a plan comes together." A cocky grin plastered on her face, she leads you through the dingy backstage hallways, recapping the match, complimenting your high points and noting online fan reactions to certain moves and moments. Other fighters and personnel offer brief congratulations as you pass by. At one point, Caelynn is stopped by a delicate yet firm hand on her shoulder. She turns to come face to face with the White Witch Cai Minhua, a member of the current champion team, The Deathless.

"Congratulations and well fought, Knight of Roses. I have a proposition for you. Your power is...familiar to me, yet I find your methods intriguing. Come see me tomorrow night. I think we would both find a meeting of the minds...enlightening and enjoyable." Phia leaves you to respond however you see fit - whatever her opinions on the offer, she does not make them known. Once satisfied, Minhua glides off and you resume your walk and talk. As Phia starts wrapping it up, you near a juncture. On one side you have the doors out to the public area of the arena where you can go mingle with fans. On the other side is the back outside door if you'd rather make a quick egress. Vivi notices, at this point, a file available from zzrxn. Dowloadable, as promised, to an external device. The rest of you are simply left to decide which door to take.

"We'll skip the full post-match meeting for tonight. I've got a show to catch. The Wrongful Thoughts aren't on until late, but I should run or I'll miss the openers. You killed it today, I'm proud of you, go have some fun tonight." With that, Phia practically lunges out the outside door, leaving you to your own devices.

Short rest.

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 11, 2018 around 11:54

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


After signing a few autographs, exchanging a few words and gaining an influx of social media followers, you decide to retire from the fan-filled hall. In Vivi's case, not before promising to devastate one of American Made with the Glamour Shot* **. As you head for the door, however, you find it flanked by two members of the Flawless Executioners: the team you'll win a match against if you win your series against American Made. To the left of the door is Chère Stardust, a pale waif whose long white hair takes to the slightest breeze, clad in a dark violet faux leather jacket with constellations rising up the sleeves. To the right is Simoon, tall and dark with a mane of golden hair cascading in front of one shoulder, wearing a short fitted tan canvas jacket with a voluminous faux lion fur collar, bedecked in orange, white and gold Ghanaian-inspired jewelry. They both stand with arms akimbo and hips cocked, fixing you with smouldering looks as you approach. Cheers erupt from the fans behind you. You hear someone shout "Dream match!", then dueling chants of "Purely flawless / Furies fly!" Simoon and Stardust allow the chant a couple seconds to build. Then, in unison, they each dramatically raise their arm closest to the door, hand hanging downward as it rises. Holding the pose for only the briefest of moments, they then bring their forearm down following their drooping fingers and fling their arm wide to gesture to the door, a final flick of the wrist accompanied by a sharp hip swing in the opposite direction.


------

After you leave, you're free to spend the rest of your night however you want.

*The Glamour Shot consists of using Darkfire on an enemy, then hitting them with a Blood Drinker-empowered Taste of Life in the same turn.
**Fulfilling fan requests can earn you temporary Boon items to represent your fan favourite status. Effects to be determined.

Wol fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2018 around 03:08

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


Vivi: You approach Chère Stardust, who says nothing at first but beckons you to come closer, clearly into the idea. Both tiny, pale women, you make a handsome pair, Stardust's flowing white hair and sleek faux leather contrasting wonderfully with your raven locks and sheer dress. Nearby fans, clearly seeing the photo opportunity about to unfold, start crowding around with their camera phones.

"The Fossati blazer with the real camera straight ahead is ours. Don't worry. We wouldn't waste you on amateurs." The two of you strike a pose for the cameras, then cycle through a few more just to give the people something to think about. To close the impromptu photoshoot, Stardust wraps a hand around your waist and pulls you closer. "The most of every moment," she whispers in your ear, and plants a kiss on your cheek.


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


After escaping the fans, Erzbet slinks off to the safety of her lair. The other four of you, meanwhile, are on your way out the door together, debating which bar you should make your way to. Caelynn nominates herself designated driver (as if anyone else was going to) and you start piling into her '58 Chevy Navigator. It's a fine car, inasmuch as it fits the four of you comfortably, but it's hardly glamorous. A couple layers of dirt on the exterior hide flecks of rust near the bottom from unattended salt damage, and at certain angles you can see pockmarks on the hood from a hailstorm a couple years back. Nonetheless, it's your ride. As for the evening's entertainment, at Siroko's suggestion you ultimately settle on Hawkeye's, a dive bar on Passyunk just a couple minutes' drive away. You're there before you know it. You roll in, and aside from being surprisingly spacious, its dowdy exterior sets your expectations in the right place. It's smoky, loud, and sports cheap enough furniture that nobody is going to care what happens to it. Off to the left, a couple locals are shooting pool at a table that's clearly been repaired a few times, perilously perched mugs of beer threatening to ruin the felt if either of them get any more animated than they already are. What immediately interests you, however, is the bar straight ahead. You swagger in, turning heads and getting a couple shouts of "Furies fly!" on your way. Still, the bar is big enough that not everyone has taken notice of you yet.

"Hey, Siroko. Furies. Good fight. What can I get you?" Having been here a couple times before, Siroko knows the bartender, Cal. She also knows Cal's unwritten rule, which is that anything goes as long as nobody's getting seriously hurt.

Wol fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2018 around 03:10

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


Erzbet retires to her lair. Once properly settled in, she sets to researching future opponents. Confident that she knows what she needs to know about American Made, her attention turns to the final two teams standing between the Furies and the championship. The first, the current #1 contenders, the Flawless Executioners. The second, the current champions, The Deathless. She starts with what she already knows about each team.

The Flawless Executioners hit fast and hit hard. They aren't about defense, they aren't about areas of control, they're about taking down targets quickly and stylishly. The team owner is TC Bright, who came from somewhere in the movie industry (Erzbet thinks) and now runs around with an axe as the team's newest fighter. There's Foxglove, most known for a spell he casts on two opponents that makes any subsequent pain inflicted on one also befall the other. There's Cinnabar who has some kind of blinding dust thing going on in addition to her razor sharp claws. There's Simoon, a master of many weapons, most of which are on fire. Finally, Chère Stardust is (metaphorically) a sniper.

The Deathless are...difficult. It's difficult to kill them, it's difficult to take them out of the fight, and they have many angles of attack. The Bone King is easily the most straightforward of the bunch, a resilient, deadly swordsman. The Accursed Sagong Jun is another frontline fighter and seems to get more deadly the more he suffers. The White Witch Cai Minhua is what she sounds like, a sorceress, though Erzbet isn't too familiar with her capabilities. Gan Lu Zhen is a magic-wielder as well, skilled in misdirection. The strangest one is Qieduan, who severs her own body parts and flings them across the arena to let them attack opponents remotely.

Erzbet has the rest of the night. She has time for at the very least a couple research paths, potentially more if they don't go very deep.


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


Vivi finds her social media feed as she prefers it: filled with pictures of and comments about herself. The fans who get to meet her always have wonderfully flattering things to say, but it seems like her and Stardust's little photoshoot has attracted a wider range of online commentators. The comments, as with everything that reaches a wide enough audience, run the gamut of possible human responses. There's effusive praise, eye-rolling cynicism, earnest appreciation, cutting mockery - the expected range of commentary that anyone in the public eye has to come to terms with. Stardust herself has reposted the team's official picture of the kiss, simply adding a winking emoji and a heart emoji.


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





Siroko's proclamation is met with cheers. Some enthusiastic, clearly from fans. Some middling, from people who don't know who you are but are happy for a free drink. One bombastic cry of "gently caress 'em up, Roxiie!" from a young man who looks immediately mortified when he realizes how much louder he was than everyone else. From the right side of the room, however, you hear a lone dissenter call out in a thick German accent.

"Hey, shut up with that! We lost money betting on Apone to crush you." You see the voice's source, a broad-shouldered, heavily tattooed man in a slashed-up denim vest and a black tank top. He sits at a table with three others, playing cards. "But...we can have spots open at our table if you want to come give it back." He gestures to the lanky young punks sitting on either side of him, who glance at each other then nervously at you. At a closer look, the four are playing bridge. The speaker's game partner is a woman with a similar build, hairstyle and tattoo coverage. She does not turn around to look at you.

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 11, 2018 around 12:02

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK





Caelynn wanders over to the pool table, where the two perilously drunk friends are just finishing their game. One of them gives her a nod and they return to their seats, narrowly avoiding spilling beer all over the felt. After briefly scanning the area, nobody seems to be immediately raring to go for a game against Caelynn. She gives it a little bit of time, moving over to the table to make her attentions clear. A moment later, she hears the scraping of a chair to her left, and a man she'd guess to be in his late 30s or early 40s starts slowly walking over.

"I don't know who you people are, but I'll join you for a game." At first glance, there's nothing particularly remarkable about him. He's of average height, average build. He doesn't look particularly rough, nor so clean that he'd be out of place here. "You, specifically," he adds, glancing warily in the direction of the rest of the Furies. At this point Caelynn notices a certain hardness around his eyes, a certain tenseness in his posture. He doesn't smile, but he does start gathering the balls. In the middle of his preparation, he pauses and looks up. "Sorry. My name's Lawrence. Yours?" The corner of his mouth twitches upward ever so briefly.


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





As Vivi approaches the bridge table, the German man waves off his erstwhile opponents. "Thanks. It was fun." His dismissal made clear, the two young men obediently shuffle off, looking light-pocketed and slightly bitter. The woman across from the former finally speaks, raising a hand to signal Cal over at the bar.

"Hey, bartender, these two's drinks are on us for the rest of the night. They've been good sports." Her accent matches her game partner's, and now that you get a better look at her, you take the two to be siblings. She wears a fitted charcoal grey boilersuit covered in logo patches you don't recognize, sleeves rolled up to reveal a full sleeve tattoo enhanced by subdermal ridges on her right arm. As Vivi approaches, she watches with a twinkle in her eye, and her brother lights a cigarette. Vivi makes her offer, and the two siblings' expressions turn to slight amusement.

"Bridge is a partnered game. You'd leave my little sister all on her own for the rest of the night?" He puckers up and blows a little gout of smoke at Vivi. "By the way. Jotun Arrow." He gestures at his sister. "Fenrir Spear." He gestures at himself. "We're just here to play cards and get drunk. Come, it'll be a friendly game. We won't take more than what you have on you."

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 11, 2018 around 12:02

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


The first place Erzbet's research takes her is TC Bright's professional website. Though it links to the Flawless Executioners' team website, it's mainly centred around his other career: dance choreography. Erzbet clicks over to his list of credits out of curiosity. While the list seems decently long, it's the top credit that stands out the most: Director of Choreography for last year's intimate, moody award-winning musical film, This Point in the Universe. A brief look at the Flawless Executioners' analytics reveals that their popularity spiked a week after the film's release, perhaps coinciding with but definitely due entirely to their releasing a video of Cinnabar, Stardust and a third person Erzbet doesn't recognize performing the flim's climactic number. The video takes Erzbet on a brief detour around the Executioners' online presence, which consists in decreasing order of choreographed short dance videos, fashion shoots and glamorous fight clips. For a Killer's Crown team, the Executioners' marketing doesn't seem very combat focused. Whether or not the content interests her personally, though, Erzbet has to admit they're good at what they do.

Erzbet quickly pulls away from that particular sidetrack, refocusing her efforts on the object of her search. Looking through press releases and interviews, TC Bright seems to have joined the roster of active fighters four months ago. He made the move in order to replace "The Honeyed Fang" Abaé Banu, leaving for a two-year maternity hiatus. Erzbet places her as the third woman in the Executioners' viral video and moves on. TC Bright, in interviews from the time, claims that while he hadn't planned to step into the arena, he had been training with his team all along. "A choreographer must know how to dance", he analogizes in these interviews. Bright makes it clear that while he fully intends to compete at his team's high standard, he sees his spot on the roster as strictly temporary. "When Abaé is ready, she has but to say the word and she will be with us again. Until then, watch this spot. The Executioners are working on something I think you'll like." He teases in a social media post from last week.

As for his fighting style, Bright's style relies on catches, jabs and trips to create openings for decisive blows with his axe. He states openly that he and his team trains extensively under silat master and Crown veteran Payang Mat, and even a cursory glance at the latter's fights shows that this student does not deviate much from his teacher. Erzbet takes the time to watch a couple of the Executioner's matches and comes to the conclusion that Bright has become very good at some of Payang's maneuvers and sticks to them. Bright puts his dance skills to work in dramatic flourishes, but when it comes to actually attacking or defending himself, it's all Payang.

Wol fucked around with this message at May 20, 2018 around 11:42

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK





"I suppose."

Lawrence takes a moment to concentrate and line up his shot. He breaks from the left, hitting an arrow-straight shot into the lead ball. The 10 ball sinks, a couple others come close, and the cue ball bounces back to the rail. He looks slightly annoyed at this, but after a bit of consideration, seems to have put a plan together.
"Stripes, then." He continues to favour his left, taking a difficult shot that skins past the 2 ball to strike the 14 right on its end, sending the white and green hurtling across the felt into the side pocket. Despite the nice shot, he manages to wind up with the cue ball snugly wedged between the rail and the 5. He looks up at you for the first time since starting his turn.
"So who are you, anyway? Not regulars." He idly taps his cue a couple times on the edge of the table before walking around to the only angle open to him. He takes the shot, clears the 5, but doesn't quite manage to hit any of his own balls either. Play passes to Caelynn.


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





"Challengers?" Fenrir smirks. "You speak like you've already won the Crown."

"I like your confidence." Jotun pushes the deck over to Siroko's side of the table, prompting her to deal first. "Maybe we will meet one day. Day after tomorrow, though, we're heading down to do a tour of South America. Lots of unsanctioned venues down there eager to show their fans some international talent."

"Pays better than you think." Siroko deals the first hand. The game starts off well for you, Siroko's surprisingly skillful play winning the first couple contracts in your favour. Your confidence mounts by the third contract, leading Vivi to aggressively bluff five diamonds. Jotun doesn't seem convinced and doubles. Furthermore, the magnitude of acting in Vivi's bluff has so thoroughly convinced Siroko that she redoubles! You unfortunately end up having to play out the hand, and when the bluff turns out to be just that, you find yourselves staring down a mountain of penalty points. The siblings have taken the lead.

"So. You must have some stories, working here."

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 11, 2018 around 12:01

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK





"I watched a bit when I was young. My brother was always more of a fan than me, but even he stopped when the Phoenix Unconquered Suns disbanded." Lawrence deftly sinks the 9, then takes care of the 12 on the followup - but his ploy to bounce it off the 7 accidentally ends up sinking that ball too. "Congratulations, though." The two of you continue until all that's left is the 13, the 8 and that drat 1, having been knocked away from the pocket during one of Lawrence's shots. It's Caelynn's turn.


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





The siblings seem to be enjoying themselves. Fenrir Spear leans back in his chair, utterly relaxed as Siroko's "unlucky" play causes their lead to grow.

"Sounds like carnage." Fenrir takes a long drag on his cigarette, exhaling through his nostrils to allow the smoke to wreathe his head. "Sounds like home. In Bremen, we lived in the shadow of Berlin. To compensate, we took the violence to a new level. I remember stabbing das Ungeheuer over and again, breaking ribs and tearing holes in his hide, until his entrails spilled all over me - and still, his hands would not move from my throat."

"Mm. And when we finally made it to Berlin, we took it with us. The audience had quite a shock at first. In our first match, I blew Hakenmaster's head clean off with a well placed shot." She points a finger-gun at Fenrir, who lets out a raucous laugh. "Jackson Pollock wishes he could have made such a splatter." The four of you go on playing and swapping stories. You start a little bit of a comeback, the score coming close to even, and Vivi feels like her elaborate distraction theatre is playing a part. She also can't help but notice Fenrir looking her way a bit a lot more than is strictly natural. After a particularly obvious flirtation from Vivi, he finally gives her a little bit of a smile. In a move that would be surreptitious if Vivi wasn't staring deeply into his eyes, he turns his head ever so lightly and glances over at his sister's end of the table.

"Nur zu." Jotun shifts in her chair, then clasps her hands above her head and leans back, stretching her back out. She cracks her neck to both sides, looks at her single remaining card laying facedown on the table, and casually flicks the it over. The 2 of diamonds lands on top of the pile of played cards, trumping Siroko's ace of spades and fulfilling the siblings' bid. She gives Siroko a smug sideways glance, self-satisfied with her bit of theatrics. "I think that makes it your deal. Last bid, by the way."

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 11, 2018 around 12:04

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK





Lawrence has been becoming more relaxed over the course of the game, but as soon as Caelynn makes him the topic of conversation, he visibly tenses back up. As with his first, he takes a long time to line up his next shot, struggling to achieve a posture loose enough for precision. Finally, he hits it, forcefully banking the 13 off the rail to sink it in the corner pocket.
"These days, I'm not sure. Trying to be a painter, I think." He stares in silence, briefly, staring at the last remaining ball standing between either of you and victory. "But making and selling are two different things." Unfortunately for Caelynn, Lawrence's last shot isn't particularly difficult. He shoots, sinks the 8, and takes the game. Showing no hint of celebration, the first thing he does is to check his watch.
"Five minutes. Cutting it close tonight." He purses his lips. "Thank you for the game, Kate, but I have to go. It was the Furies, right? Maybe I'll watch a match or two."


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




"Lonely?" Fenrir shrugs. "We make do. But I have to say, I didn't expect to see such charming sights in Philadelphia. Maybe once we're done here, you can show me more." He traces his thumb across his bottom lip, his eyes giving a sly smile meant only for Vivi. The game continues, Siroko and Vivi settling on a bid of four clubs. Vivi's computer brain immediately realizes four clubs won't quite be enough to win, but that just means you'll have to do a little better. You play down to the wire - four tricks are taken between you, but the siblings are making you work for it. You still have to overtrick to close the game in your favour. It comes down to the very last play, one where Vivi knows she doesn't have any remotely good cards left. All she can do is trust in her partner. Trust she does, and Siroko seals it. With nary a club left, her king of hearts stands unanswered.

"Verpiss!" Jotun slams her hand on the table, though her grin lets you know no harm's truly done. "Bartender, I'll have two bock. One for me, and one for my bank account." She lets you collect your winnings and revel in your victory, waiting until she has a beer in each hand to speak up again. Waving over whichever Furies are still around, she loudly declares, "A toast! To fame and fortune. May we die fighting and live to conquer the world."

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 11, 2018 around 12:07

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


Philadelphia - April 17, 2259


Caelynn

@蔡敏華 W I T C H: "i'm at 1618 fairmount. 8pm work for you?"

----

Vivi

You open zzrxn's file. The accompanying note reads:

starting with something cool. the program lets you instantaneously correct any spatial error. optimized for combat but this node supposes you could use it to like cover up a bad step on the dancefloor or something too. humans wish they had the ability to never be wrong. they don't. you can. disclaimer: while extensively tested for effectiveness and precision, the program takes a lot of processing power to execute. would not advise running it too often.




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





At about 9AM the next morning, you get a text from Phia asking you to meet at 11 at La Terrazza, a fashionable café in the middle of the pedestrian-only stretch of Market Street. "Dress for it and be camera-ready", she adds. She arrives five minutes late in a loose updo, wearing a rose off-shoulder cropped tee reading "SHE / HER / ME" and high-waisted white jean shorts over a burgundy athletic bodysuit. She takes off a pair of round, fuschia sunglasses and hangs them on her neckline as she floats over to the table you've picked out. Looking you over before she takes her seat, she raises a knowing eyebrow at Vivi and throws her the horns at waist-level. She accepts Vivi's offered drink gracefully, then "officially" starts the meeting by snapping a salvo of selfies with each of you, all of you, and finally a couple solo. Here, sipping impeccably brewed coffee on this bright café patio as the city's chicest citizens stroll by, you feel a world away from the dingy corridors of the Asylum Arena. Phia seems in another world as well, in no hurry to get down to business. She takes the time to ask how your respective nights went and, even more unusually, actually listens. You don't remember her being like this since the first week of the Furies being together. She laughs at a couple of your jokes, swaps stories, gives a wink and a flirty little wave to a passerby in a violet fade she catches looking. When she finally does bring the conversation around to work, however, a bit of her usual brusque manner creeps back in.

"We and American Made have done a lot of trash talking back and forth, but it's all been big group confrontations or haphazard potshots fired here and there. Around here, people kinda know us, so that's all we've needed. But we can do better, and we have a really clear opportunity for it right now. We're two teams who've pushed each other hard enough to get to match 5 in a 5-match series. We both want that win more than anything because superstardom is at stake. It's an easy story to tell. Anyone, anywhere, can get it in a sentence. So what I want is to explain us to the world in the same clear, brief way. We're going to do this with two sets of videos. The first is going to be focused on each of us individually. Each of us will shoot one, and it'll just be a very brief story of how we got here. The most important thing, though, is going to be the tone. This is us in social media mode, basically. I want people to feel like they know us - but obviously, we still need to come across as superstars. This set, I'd like to shoot today. That's why I wanted us to dress up a bit. We look amazing, maybe a bit aspirational, but accessible."

"For the second set of videos, I want each of you to pair off with a member of American Made. I've talked with Axel about this and he loves the idea. These will be trash talk videos but, again, we want simple and accessible. Get your best one-liners ready. You can reference specific events from our matches but only if someone who hasn't seen them can get the gist from just one sentence. I don't want you to mention anyone other than yourself or your opponent - that'd confuse the head-to-head format. This is going to be you in full promo mode, obviously. These videos, I'd like to shoot tomorrow. That should give you time to come up with material, but also give me time to edit everything together and you time to prepare for actually winning the last match without any distractions. Oh yeah, and Siroko, Diamond Trinh has called dibs on you. Everyone else, it's time to pick who you want."

Wol fucked around with this message at Jul 7, 2018 around 08:13

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


"It's for new fans, yeah. You don't have to go too deep into anything hard to talk about, but your story is your story. All I'll ask is for everyone to hit a hopeful note at the end. Whatever defines you should be why you're going to rise to the top."

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 11, 2018 around 12:09

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK





Eventually the meeting turns back to small talk, and those of you who wish to drift away to do your own thing are free to do so. Phia asks that you meet back at Penn's Landing, a picturesque riverside promenade just a few blocks away, at 2. You have approximately two hours to yourself until then.

When you meet back up, Phia is leaning against the railing and watching the river. She's accompanied by a muscular young man with a V-shaped mohawk who wears a videographer's harness over a tight grey t-shirt. The two chat casually as you approach. The young man notices you first, throwing the horns in greeting. Phia turns, gives you a nod, and waits for your to make your way over.

"Hey. This is Baz. You've probably seen him around the arena, he's one of McKnight's main shooters. We have him on loan for the afternoon. We might as well get started now if you have your material ready - the others will get here when they get here. You can set yourself up on the steps, on the railing, do a walk-and-talk - whatever suits. We'll also want non-speaking shots of you walking, looking out over the river, looking contemplative, looking inspired. You know, stuff we can use to edit your voice over for the final cut."
"Yo. You ready?"


This is going to be the start of an extended skill challenge taking place from now until after a few fights from now (you'll know). The goal of the extended skill challenge is to get yourself over internationally. As this and the upcoming trash talk promo are going to be part of a package intended to serve as your first introduction to a lot of fans, you'll be choosing one of the two promos to emphasize and rolling a skill check for it. The skill used depends on what aspect of your character you want to get across.

Additionally, I don't want this to be a simple pass-fail scenario. Each of the skill checks you make as part of this challenge will be measured against each of the level-appropriate DCs to determine your level of success. For level 5, it's: Easy DC: 10 / Medium DC: 15 / Hard DC: 22

Wol fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2018 around 03:32

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK




Baz answers Vivi's flirtatious comment with a chuckle.
"Yeah, my husband tells me that sometimes." The rest of the promos proceed without a hitch, and each of you is welcome to hang around and watch each other work or take off and do your own thing. When Siroko's promo wraps up, Baz says goodbye (and thanks for the ice cream) and Phia is intrigued enough to get an ice cream for herself (she loves it). You have the rest of the day to yourselves, though seeing as how you're accustomed to training every day, there's a good chance you spend at least some time at the arena working out, practicing spells, or doing whatever else you feel necessary to prepare you for your upcoming match.


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





Later on in the night, Caelynn has a date to keep. She heads over to the White Witch Cai Minhua's place for the agreed-upon 8:30 PM.


April 17, 2259, 20:30: An Evening With The Witch


Based on their experiences, Caelynn and the White Witch gain certain advantages against each other. These won't be relevant right away since you're not facing each other yet, but I'll be sure to bring them back up when the time comes.

Caelynn and the White Witch roll twice and take the higher result on attack rolls against each other.
Caelynn's attacks treat the White Witch as having vulnerable 5 radiant instead of resist 5 radiant.
As a minor action, the White Witch can end an effect imposed on her by Caelynn.

Having opened herself up to the world of magic, and having gained practice in mystical means of travel, Caelynn gains the following item:




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


Skill Challenge progress: Make the World Know Your Name

Hard Successes: 2
Moderate Successes: 2
Easy Successes: 0
Failures: 1

Caelynn used: Streetwise
Erzbet used: Insight
Roxie used: Acrobatics
Siroko used: Streetwise
Vivi used: Bluff

Wol fucked around with this message at Jul 7, 2018 around 08:13

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


Philadelphia - April 18, 2259

Today is a work day. Phia's not the kind of person to tell you exactly what you should do with your training time, but on days like this, she does expect you to be at the Asylum Arena around 9:00 AM. Today, it's training in the morning, dueling trash-talk promos at noon, more training in the afternoon. While the six of you are fairly confident about your chances in the next match, Phia's not about to let that relax your training regimen with so much on the line. Ready to take on the day, you show up at or around 9. Whatever you choose to do with your morning - physical work-outs, spell practice, combat exercises - it passes without major incident. At one point, Caelynn locks eyes with The Deathless' wildcard warrior The Bone King in the hall and he gives her what seems to be a knowing look, but could also just be him being his usual deliberately off-kilter self.

As the noon hour approaches, you give yourself a bit of time to get ready. It wouldn't do to show up to the promos dressed in your workout clothes and exploding with sweat. Ultimately, you gather outside the studio, as does American Made. Phia and Axel start talking about which pair should start off, but as soon as Vivian Vivisection comes gliding into the hall in conservative Catholic chic, Lane shoots her such a dirty look that the decision is made on the spot. Vivi and Lane are the first to enter the studio. Uncharacteristically, Lane looks pissed off...but also focused.


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




In contrast to her appearance in the earlier shoot, Vivi has gone all out to prepare to face Lane. She shows up with longer hair in a platinum blonde, wearing an elegant, conservative brown dress with long skirt and only her head and hands showing. She walks on hidden heels and has a random string of rosary beads wrapped around one wrist, holding a garish gold-rimmed cross. On her ears she wears matching earrings of the same glitzy golden crosses, and she sounds a bit slower and more composed in her speaking, matching a certain cadence for maximum on the nose.

"Well, golly, Miss Lane. I hope we can have a most wonderful final bout. We have come very far since our first encounter, both of our lovely teams, and as a good little Christian robot, I am hoping you won't resort to any pagan trickery just to secure a win." Vivi sits in a conservative pose at the interview table, hands set gingerly atop on another in her lap. She deliberately raises a hand to cover her mouth as she politely giggles. Pure white light dances in her irises.
“You’re obsessed.” Lane raises an eyebrow. “You realize what you look like right now, right?”
Vivi looks to her opponent and executes a very practiced head tilt, eyes closing to accentuate a radiant smile. "An angel?"
Lane rolls her eyes. “You look like an rear end in a top hat.”
"Oh dear..." Her eyes slowly open, the reduced space for the light of her irises to emerge making them briefly look truly holy. "And here I am wishing you the best. Perhaps the stress of the competition is getting to you?"
“Wishing me the best, huh?” Lane’s uncovered eye narrows. “You’ve been on my rear end since day one when I’ve been nothing but honourable.” She takes her feet off the table and leans forward in her seat, jabbing a finger at you. “So let me tell you something, sister. I’m sure you remember all those times over the years when you got beaten down and broken, lying face down in a pool of engine fluid or whatever foul effluvia runs through your veins. The next time we face in the ring, I’m going to give you a new memory to add to your collection. I’m going to take you apart, piece by piece, so you have time to think about what your mind games earned you, you little stalker.”
Vivi leans over to the side and doesn't even give Lane the courtesy of listening to her take-down, rolling a hand towards the camera in a can you believe this gal? gesture. Once Lane seems quite finished Vivi looks back to her with a terrible little smirk, clearly amused to see somebody down in the mud with her.

"Three And One."
“In case you forgot, we’re two and two. You got a circuit loose?” Lane sneers, an evil look coming over her. “Or have all those years of nobody giving a poo poo if you lived or died left you a little dazed?” For someone who’s been the most grounded of American Made to come at you like this, you must really have pissed her off. You didn’t even know she had such a vicious low blow in her.
Vivi giggles. "The numbers on your teammate's glasses. Is this the real Lane? Pretending to be the stand-up stoic for the cameras, but she's actually the same two-bit thug as the team she signed onto?" She sets her elbows on the table and leans forward, head set in her upturned palms, kicking her legs back and forth like a little kid.

"Doing all of these schoolyard taunts gets really dull, especially when I can't present as a big toughie like you.. you're right about one thing, it has been awhile. So when I see a little kid with as jarring a career change as Olympian to playing puppy-dog to some old-timer like Axel... hee hee hee... I can smell the blood in the water." Vivi grins. One side of her mouth is just barely off-tint, no longer the color of practiced pearly whites.

"Don't you think a weak link on a team of has-beens like you could've done better? Maybe if you asked The One General Deity That Masks Our Lack Of Creativity In Writing Pantheons And He Has Horns, maybe if you asked him really nicely..." Vivi sticks out her tongue for a second.

"You could go back and they'll let you pose on waffle boxes again."
“I knew the real Vivi was in there somewhere.” Lane resumes the relaxed posture she started the interview with, feet up on the table and leaning back in her chair. “See, I don’t need to go changing my personality all the time in a last-ditch grasp at relevance. I know who I am. ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. Love is the law. Love under will.’ That’s the code I live by. But there’s only so far you can push a witch before you’re gonna get cursed. And next time we meet? What I’m going to love is kicking your narrow rear end from one side of the arena to the other.”
You hear the producer’s voice over the speakers. “That’s a wrap! We’ve got all we need.”
Vivi hops up from her seat and rips her dress clear off. Underneath it she's wearing a black mini-skirt with a red seam line and a tight black t-shirt with little stylistic white outlines for scissor-slashes, a discontinued Vi.Vi.² logo design printed across the chest. She favors Lane with a little look of... is that building empathy? Anxiety? Self-awareness? RESPECT?

Covering her mouth for a coy giggle, Vivi snickers. "We get it, you're a true hag. Ta-ta <3" She passes her hands over her eyes and sets the irises to soft-red. She tosses the rosary.. but keeps the tacky earrings.

Wol fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2018 around 02:10

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK




"The Rose Knight, Caelynn...you merely begin to climb the mountain to our final conflict, but if you are so brave as to look up, you will see that the perfect outline of my muscles already comprises the ionosphere. Through toil and determination, you may one day reach the summit, but if you look up into my eyes, you will see the inevitability of entropy within!"
Caelynn looks up at Maxima, squinting a little while she waits for the other to finish. "Size isn't everything, Maxima," she starts, her voice casual, "I'm looking, but all I see is a lot of bluster. Don't get me wrong - you're tough. You're powerful. We all know that. I wish I was as strong as you, sometimes. It sure would make it easier to open the pickle jar." She smiles, giving a wink to the camera, before turning back to her opponent. "But climbing a mountain isn't about strength. It's about endurance. Perseverance. To keep going, even when all the odds are against you. And the people know that that's what I do best."
"You dig down deep, Rose Knight Caelynn...you seek to find your courage...to rally...to inspire...but where you seek, Mauler Maxima simply is. To even approach me, Rose Knight Caelynn, you will have needed to reach beyond fear! You will have needed to harness the quickening of your soul to point your sword at me! And what will be left, Rose Knight Caelynn, what powers will remain within you to attempt to strike me down? What is endurance, what is perseverence, when you face a being greater than yourself?"
Caelynn's face twitches as she tries to suppress a laugh. "Well, it might not look it, but I have some experience with facing beings greater than myself." She steels her expression as she lifts up her hand above her head, level with the top of Maxima's poofy hair. "And you're not that much greater than me, Maxima. You're within striking distance. So I'm going to come for you. I've got power to spare to bring you down to my level. They say that the bigger they are, the harder they fall...so you'd best be prepared for a rough landing."
The producer's voice comes over the speakers. "Alright! We're good to go." You and Maxima open the door to leave, respectively finding Phia and Axel there to offer you congratulations.

Wol fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2018 around 02:11

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK




“Siroko Tuuli makes a lot of noise, but just like thunder rumbling in the distance, you can safely ignore her. I think I’ll take out the rest of her team first next match, see if she thinks there’s anything she can do anything about it.”
Siroko doesn't look at Trinh. Still wearing her sunglasses, she looks off into the distance and muses. "Imagine believing you can defeat four killers on your own. Imagine believing you can ignore a foe and there's nothing they can do to make you pay. Imagine believing you can bend the course of a match to your every whim. Imagine believing you will be victorious, no matter the odds. Imagine beliving in yourself that much." As she speaks, she slowly turns her head until she's looking directly at the camera. "Imagine believing those things, and living up to every one of them. Now you know what it's like to be Siroko Tuuli."
Siroko pauses, then pulls her sunglasses down so you can see her eyes. "And then imagine believing those things - and being absolutely wrong. Now you know what it's like to be Diamond Trinh."
"This one seems to think she's some kind of storm goddess, but all she does is blow wind my way. Just goes to show you can bluster, you can storm, but you'll never shine as brightly...as a diamond."
“A diamond only shines when there’s some other light to reflect. Lucky for Diamond Trinh, Siroko Tuuli is bright as a flash of lightning, so today she looks her best.”
“I do look my best - but that’s the same as any other day for Diamond Trinh. Siroko Tuuli is here for just a flash - here today, and when she loses her next match against us she’ll be gone just as fast, back to obscurity. Come to watch me, though, and you’ll be in luck - because diamonds are forever.”
"Diamond Trinh is right about everything... except where Siroko Tuuli, where the Furies, are going. Here for a flash, because tomorrow we'll be on the rise, on our way to the top, and you'll be one of the ones who believed in greatness before any one else even knew about it, and we will remember you forever. But even after we're gone, you'll still have someone to cheer on right here - because diamonds are forever."
The speakers crackle to life, and you hear Phia laughing in the background as the producer calls the end of the segment.
After the segment ends, Trinh's arrogant smirk breaks into a wide grin. "I don't know why we haven't hung out before, Siroko - you seem fun."
"There's no seem about it," Siroko declares. "Hit me up when this series is done."

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK




“Roxie Ruinous. With your eagerness to die, it’s no wonder you came to face me. I just hope when the time comes, you’ll be bold enough to follow through, instead of lurking in the back like our last match.”
Holding a bottle of premium mezcal she picked up somewhere, Roxie takes a tiny swig as she lounges in her chair like a jaguar sunning itself in a treetop, one leg kicked over an armrest, utterly at ease. Letting the moment stretch on until the camera crew start to peer from behind their tools, she raises the bottle to gesture at the camera person, "Sabas que, will you let me know when Musa shows up? He might be hard to hear because he's always hiding behind walls," she takes another small swallow from her liquor bottle, "Maybe he thinks this interview is the scoreboard and he doesn't want to be seen."
Musa's grin widens. "If you can't get yourself over a little wall will all those muscles, that's not my problem."
Roxie lets slip a performer's laugh, practiced, perfect, vicious, "Get over a wall?" she makes a is this guy serious gesture at the camera with her free hand, "Puto, I go through walls, just like I'm going to go through you," she raises a single finger to forestall his response, "I get it, hermano, I really do. You're on a team of nobodies; cut-rate, has-been, washed up. You've never faced a contender before, so you don't yet realize you're sitting across from the real deal. A predator. You're a little bird, preening your pretty feathers, but you've stepped into my kingdom, and make no mistake, the arena is my kingdom. You see me sitting here at ease and you think yourself safe, beneath my notice," she shifts her weight in the chair, no less a lounge, but somehow more dangerous, more poised, "But you're wrong. I'm just saving you for a snack, pajarito."
“I suppose I must endeavour to be the eagle who eats the serpent.” Musa looks amused. “I remember our tale much different than you. We sit at two and two. Once, your blade found my heart. Once, mine found your throat. For all your talk of superiority, I see few convinced.”
Roxie's head falls backwards with a rich, throaty laugh, "I'm glad to hear you can still count, Musa, given how many blows to the head you've suffered," her voice still bubblegum sweet, her shoulders still shaking with laughter, she straightens back into her lounging sprawl, "But just like in the arena, you're focused on the wrong thing, and that's going to get you killed," she takes another quick sip from her mezcal, raising her cybernetic hand to shoulder level, "The only number you need to keep in that head is one," the metal forefinger extends upward, an unmistakable #1 sign, "One match. One arena. And one last chance to withdraw," she lets her arm fall, leveling out like a knife pointed directly at his beating heart, "because the next time you step into the ring with me, the only way you leave is in a vinyl bag."
"Direct and to the point, as always. For you, life is simple. You either muscle your way to victory or dash yourself on the rocks. It's true that you've found success so far. But with every opponent you fight, every match you walk away from, those who would fight you learn. They learn your one strategy. They learn your one approach. And every time you step in the arena, your two possibilities - victory or defeat - inch closer to the flip of a coin. Four times we've stared each other down, Roxie Ruinous. Four times you relied on your power, but I'm afraid you're now down to that coin. You're down to luck. And when luck meets skill, I know I'm going to bet on the skillful blade every time."
The speakers come on, but instead of the producer, you hear Joel McKnight himself. "I'm calling it. Good showing, boys and girls. Let's get those last two in here."

Wol fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2018 around 02:48

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK




"In order to create a sentient undead, you must have a strong connection to the subject," purrs Erzbet in her best imitation of an evil mastermind. "I think I understand you well enough now, Alpone. You are a man of fire and foolishness, a candle so close to burning out. You're putting the last of your fuel into this. Your last, great hope. I look forward to watching you putter out.... I could use another option."
"Y'know, I've been in the arena probably longer than you've been alive. Over the years, I've won my championships, I've travelled the world, I've earned my scars. And every city I travel to, every arena I compete in, there's someone just like you. There's some young blood who can't wait to take a shot at me. Who thinks they're going to make their name climbing over my back. Well, I'll tell you the same thing I tell every single one of them. You're welcome to try. You're welcome to test your courage against my blades. You're welcome to try and brave the fire. But when you're just another charred corpse on the ground, you'll understand why after this much time, each one of you starts to look the same."
"Doesn't it hurt, knowing that you're almost finished and have nothing? You are nothing, Axel Alpone. You have spent the grains of sand of your life in pursuit of something that will never come. Your bones will crack, your blades will rust and your fires will gutter out and you will leave nothing behind." Erzbet gives a sinister smile. "Except, perhaps, another puppet for me to play with."
Axel smirks around his cigar. "You really want to go there with me? You want to talk about what I have? I have hundreds of thousands of fans all around the world. I have the legacy of the Chaos Machine, a machine I built with my own hands, that took me and four of the finest fighters I've known to championship gold time and time again. I have four future superstars, four luminaries of the next generation of killers who stand beside me every time I walk into that arena."

He takes another puff and leans forward, pointing at you with his cigar between two weathered, calloused fingers. "The onus is on you, Erzbet Dushka. It's on you to climb over the burned remains of all the other upstarts who took a swing at Axel Apone. It's on you to prove to me, and to all the fans out there watching, that you can stand on top of that pile of ash without sinking. You call yourself a puppetmaster? Good! Fasten your wires and tighten up your strings, 'cuz I love to dance. But you'd better make sure you don't make a single wrong step, or you'll go down in flames - just like all the rest."
"I can tell you're afraid, Alpone. You keep saying, prove yourself! Prove yourself! Like I'm one of your little friends, your team of hand picked compensation for your weakness. But I'm not, Alpone. I don't need to prove myself. You keep telling yourself that to hide that we've already surpassed you. You can't admit that truth. It's time to take the pension, old man. Your ash pile is just a stepping stone."
Axel spends a moment reacting, then makes a slashing motion to signal the end of the segment.
An annoyed Joel McKnight comes over the speakers. "Alright, I guess we're done here. Come meet the rest of us in Room 5A. There's pizza and business."
Axel gives you a nod before getting to his feet. "Well done. It's good that you didn't rely on Tiger Fury. You have my condolences for your loss, he was a good man - but you're the one putting your body on the line out there now. You're the one putting your time in. It's good that you realize it's you the world needs to know." He gives a little salute as he turns to leave the room. "Good luck out there. But don't think that means I'll be taking it easy on you."
"Wouldn't ask for it," says Erzbet, walking out. "Where's the fun in that?"

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 13, 2018 around 05:44

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK




Erzbet and Axel make their way out of the studio, joining up with Phia on their way to nearby Room 5B. She carries a prodigious bowl of bibimbap, and if queried, simply answers "The ice cream last night was enough. Today's not a cheese day." When the three reach their destination, Erzbet pushes open the door to find her teammates and opponents greedily chowing away. Sitting on a couch at the far side of the room, a plate of pizza balanced on his knee and and swirling a glass of what you hope is just Coke, is Joel McKnight, the Asylum Arena's owner. A lanky man of ruddy complexion, he wears slicked-back black hair, burgundy slacks over navy blue faux-snakeskin boots, and a navy blue satin button-down shirt with the top button undone to reveal a hint of a chest tattoo in what appears to be gothic lettering.
"I know you have more material than that, Axel," he snipes as the final three arrive. "You forget your catchphrases in your old age?"
"There was no need. We'd said what we came to say. It'll be a crisp little package, easily watchable. The fans will dig it."
"Your funeral. You three, come get your food and sit down. Or two, I guess." He gives Phia's personal lunch a look as if expecting it to leap out of her hands and bite him. Only half-waiting for everyone to be ready, McKnight begins his spiel while Erzbet's still in the middle of helping herself. "The final match of your series is in three days. Some of you won't stop asking about which arena it's going to be in, and, well, I figured I might as well tell you. I'm nothing if not generous. It's not going to be any of the arenas we're used to, though. See, as you know, we're in the middle of an expansion. Hard to miss it with all the construction noise coming from across the street every day. But what you don't know is that building is closer to finished than you might think. In fact, it already has a fully built and ready arena. And who else built it but our very own champions, The Deathless."
"Everyone already knew that, Joel." Well, it's news to you. You certainly didn't.
"No one likes a smartass, Kwang. Anyway, in honour of their one year reign as champions, I let them design their own arena, their physical lasting legacy on this place. Something nice for such a loyal team, staying to defend their championships despite having beaten everyone else here at least twice." McKnight gives you a meaningful look, clearly expecting you to take home the point about loyalty. "With the proviso that they can't fight in it themselves except in exceptional circumstances, of course. I mean, I'm not about to give a team an unfair advantage. Now. That's where you come in. Your next match is going to be in this arena, and it's going to be the first match in this arena. Makes sense for its first feature to be in the match that determines which of you is worthy to face The Deathless, right? Sure, it could be the winners' match against the Flawless Executioners, but they've had a deathgrip on the #1 Contenders spot for a while. Everyone already knows they're worthy. So it's you. Now, listen up. I thought about throwing you in blind, but if you're all stumbling around trying to figure out how the arena works, the match is going to suck. So here I am, telling you about the arena." McKnight pauses for a second, then adds, "By the way, none of you are going to say anything about this until The Deathless' press release tomorrow. This is an important moment, and I'm not going to tolerate any leaks of any kind. That means you." He glares at Phia. "And I know at least three of your dummy accounts, so don't even think about it." Phia responds with a noncommital shrug. McKnight declines to acknowledge it, instead pointing at a videoscreen on the wall where a panoramic image of the arena appears. He starts going over the arena. The battlefield that will hold your final confrontation with American Made.

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 13, 2018 around 07:27

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


Philadelphia - April 21, 2259

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gta8K__-HBE Metal Wolf Chaos Music - I Hate

As you suit up for your match, it strikes you that this is definitely the most prepared for a match you've ever been. It might also be the most prepared for a match you'll be in a while. You've already fought your opponents four times now. You may not have won all those fights, but you've learned a lot in the meantime. Meanwhile, while the arena might technically be new to you, the owner personally went over all its idiosyncracies with you to make sure you'd understand it. To make sure you'd entertain in it. And as you line up to make your entrance, you feel confident. This is so you. You've got this. Win this match, and you'll share the rareified air of Philadelphia's most elite killer teams. You can practically taste it already.

Just don't get too cocky.


ARENA RULES
  • The pond is difficult terrain.
  • You cannot enter magic circles, either willingly or by forced movement. Immediately before you take a move action, you may roll Arcana or Religion. DC10 allows you to move onto magic circles during that action, then teleport as a free action to any other magic circle in the arena. If you move onto a circle, however, you become Weakened until the end of your next standard action in which you attack. DC15 allows for the same, but you do not become Weakened.
  • Gravestones are difficult terrain. If you're trained in Acrobatics or Dungeoneering, you ignore them during move actions.
  • If you end a push, pull or slide in a gravestone square, or you're knocked prone in a gravestone square, you take 5 necrotic damage and are affected by wrathful spirits. While affected by wrathful spirits, you grant combat advantage, roll twice on saving throws and must take the lower result, and cannot gain temporary HP. This condition ends when another creature becomes affected by wrathful spirits.

  • FU Vivian Vivisection | HP 43 / 43 | AC 22 | Fort 15 | Ref 19 | Will 18

  • FU Roxie Ruinous | HP 46 / 46 | AC 21 | Fort 16 | Ref 22 | Will 17

  • FU Erzbet "Reanimator" Dushka | HP 45 / 45 | AC 19 | Fort 16 | Ref 18 | Will 19

  • FU Siroko Tuuli | HP 61 / 61 | AC 21 | Fort 20 | Ref 17 | Will 17

  • FU Caelynn | HP 43 / 43 | AC 21 | Fort 15 | Ref 16 | Will 20

  • AMD Lane | HP 66 / 66 | AC 19 | Fort 16 | Ref 18 | Will 17
    • When hit with melee / ranged, attacker takes 5 damage.

  • AMD Neon Musa | HP 66 / 66 | AC 21 | Fort 17 | Ref 19 | Will 17

  • AMD Axel Apone | HP 80 / 80 | AC 18 | Fort 19 | Ref 17 | Will 19
    • Does not grant CA for being flanked.

  • AMD Diamond Trinh | HP 60 / 60 | AC 19 | Fort 17 | Ref 19 | Will 17
    • +4 to all defenses against OAs.

  • AMD Mauler Maxima | HP 60 / 60 | AC 19 | Fort 19 | Ref 18 | Will 17

Wol fucked around with this message at Jul 7, 2018 around 08:14

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


American Made are hit hard by the Furies' opening salvo, especially...
"THE TITAN SWING, BABY! We never thought we'd see it again, but thanks to the Reanimator, Tiger Fury's just as good as ever! American Made is scattered amongst the gravestones. I can pretty much feel the sandstone dust from here. I hope for their sake my dear old dad wasn't buried there, Apone'll be haunted to the very last second of his life if so. Sorry, folks, that got a little weird. Looks like Apone and co aren't wasting any time striking back, though. They may be off-balance, but they're professionals, folks!"

"Vivisection, now!" Lane cries out. Without a moment's hesitation, Mauler Maxima and Axel Apone streak across the battlefield toward Vivi. Maxima reaches her first, grabbing her wrist and painfully wrenching it with far more force than Vivi's waifish frame is built to endure. Apone takes advantage of the opening, leaping in with a slash from his dual chainsaws that leaves Vivi's abdomen an utter mess. Then, from across the arena, a spinning disc of pure energy comes sailing for the little robot's chest. She has just enough time to process the approaching projectile before she feels its searing edge blaze right through her sternum. The last thing Vivi feels is a sharp pain, though the disc is playing havoc with her internal systems - she feels it everywhere.

Neon Musa follows up by dashing between his teammates and the furies, putting the momentum of his run into a mighty slash. The wind-up is obvious; it's not the kind of swing any of you would be likely to be caught by (nor were any of you near him anyway), but it was meant to serve a different purpose. The wide arc of his blade sends out a wave of light, which coalesces into a long wall blocking off one of the Furies' paths of attack.

"Don't let her go, Maxima! The Reanimator will have her back up in a second." Ironically the only member of her team not to focus on Vivi, Lane turns her attention to Roxie instead, weaving a spell that forbids the latter's approach.


MAULER MAXIMA
Minor Action: Kip Up. Mauler Maxima makes a saving throw (vs. Dazed) with a +2 bonus. Result: 15
Move Action: to J14.
Standard Action: Mauler Maxima puts Vivi in the Kimura Lock! 19 vs. Fort; Vivi takes 14 damage and is grabbed (DC20 escape). Until the grab ends, Vivi is restrained and takes 5 damage at the start of her turn.

AXEL APONE
Standard Action: Charge to J13, attacking Vivi with his Chainsaw! 25 vs. AC; Vivi takes 17 damage and -1 to all defenses until the end of Axel's next turn.
Saving Throw (vs. Dazed): 5

DIAMOND TRINH
Standard Action: Diamond Trinh shifts to D8 and flings a Powerdisc at Vivi! 23 vs. AC; Vivi takes 15 radiant damage (+5 vuln = 20) and is KOed!
Saving Throw (vs. Dazed): 18

NEON MUSA
Move Action: To I10, and create one contiguous square of blocking terrain wall for each square he moved through that lasts until the end of Musa's next turn.
Saving Throw (vs. Dazed): 7

LANE
Standard Action: Lane places a Trespasser's Geas on Roxie! 23 vs. Will; Roxie takes 13 damage. Until the end of Lane's next turn, Roxie grants CA and cannot willingly move closer to Lane.
Saving Throw (vs. Dazed): 14



ARENA RULES
  • The pond is difficult terrain.
  • You cannot enter magic circles, either willingly or by forced movement. Immediately before you take a move action, you may roll Arcana or Religion. DC10 allows you to move onto magic circles during that action, then teleport as a free action to any other magic circle in the arena. If you move onto a circle, however, you become Weakened until the end of your next standard action in which you attack. DC15 allows for the same, but you do not become Weakened.
  • Gravestones are difficult terrain. If you're trained in Acrobatics or Dungeoneering, you ignore them during move actions.
  • If you end a push, pull or slide in a gravestone square, or you're knocked prone in a gravestone square, you take 5 necrotic damage and are affected by wrathful spirits. While affected by wrathful spirits, you grant combat advantage, roll twice on saving throws and must take the lower result, and cannot gain temporary HP. This condition ends when another creature becomes affected by wrathful spirits.

  • FU Vivian Vivisection | HP -8 / 43 | AC 22 | Fort 15 | Ref 19 | Will 18
    • Grabbed (Kimura lock); KO!

  • FU Roxie Ruinous | HP 33 / 46 | AC 21 | Fort 16 | Ref 22 | Will 17
    • Trespasser's geas

  • FU Erzbet "Reanimator" Dushka | HP 45 / 45 | AC 19 | Fort 16 | Ref 18 | Will 19

  • FU Siroko Tuuli | HP 61 / 61 | AC 21 | Fort 20 | Ref 17 | Will 17

  • FU Caelynn | HP 43+4 / 43 | AC 21 | Fort 15 | Ref 16 | Will 20

  • AMD Lane | HP 39 / 66 | AC 19 | Fort 16 | Ref 18 | Will 17
    • When hit with melee / ranged, attacker takes 5 damage.

  • AMD Neon Musa | HP 40 / 66 | AC 21 | Fort 17 | Ref 19 | Will 17
    • Dazed (save)

  • AMD Axel Apone | HP 18 / 80 | AC 18 | Fort 19 | Ref 17 | Will 19
    • -3 to attack rolls; Dazed (save); Wrathful spirits; Does not grant CA for being flanked.

  • AMD Diamond Trinh | HP 40 / 60 | AC 19 | Fort 17 | Ref 19 | Will 17
    • +4 to all defenses against OAs.

  • AMD Mauler Maxima | HP 40 / 60 | AC 19 | Fort 19 | Ref 18 | Will 17

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 14, 2018 around 07:46

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


As you tear your way through American Made, showing off polished combos and vicious, unrelenting attacks with greater polish than you've ever shown. The crowd is going ballistic, Robin is losing their freakin' mind. The whole arena has reached a fever pitch, and you not only hear them chanting your name, you feel it. You feel it in your very essence. You feel it emboldening you, empowering you, taking you to a new altitude of adrenaline high.

But the match isn't over yet.

Lane and Diamond Trinh, from opposite sides of Siroko's blustering storm, share a look. It's a look that speaks to the reality of their situation. It is not, however, a look of defeat. Without warning, Trinh breaks right. She tumbles past Siroko's guard, rolling over a pair of gravestones to skid to a halt on the other side of the scion of storm. Facing Siroko's back, she draws back her fist. Instead of the usual energy disc that forms on her gauntlet, it's a diamond, managing to catch what little light shines in this overcast arena to gleam, brighter than anything else you can see, for the briefest of seconds.

"DIAMOND SHAATTTERRRRR!"

Diamond Trinh plunges the diamond's point into the small of Siroko's back. For a moment, a long moment, Siroko feels her faculties leave her. Touch, sight, hearing, taste, even smell - they're all replaced with pain. During that moment, Lane's mystical eye goes wide, spinning in its socket to stare through her skull at the two who just killed her teammates. Roxie and Vivi. They are about to pay. They feel the hex descend upon them, their destructive deeds turning back on them like blood that can't be washed from their hands. Just as Siroko is regaining some measure of sensation, Lane points two fingers at Vivian Vivisection, her mystical eye focused. Vivi feels the power of the spell course through her circuits - but before she can understand what it's demanding of her, she's already out, collapsed in the heap of whatever tattered remains Erzbet had managed to shove back together into her shape.

Lane skirts through the gravestones to stand beside Trinh. The two clasp hands, staring the four of you down. They know they're outnumbered. They know how this is going to end.

But the match isn't over yet.


DIAMOND TRINH
Move Action: Slip Through. Diamond Trinh shifts 5 squares, including through enemies’ spaces. Each enemy whose space Trinh shifts through grants her CA and she deals +3 damage to them UeoT. Shift through Siroko's space, ending in E6.
Standard Action: DIAMOND SHATTER vs Siroko! 25 vs. AC; Siroko takes 31 radiant damage. Siroko takes -2 to saving throws until the end of the encounter. She also cannot take actions outside of her turn (save ends).[/b]

LANE
Free Action: Lane casts Spiteful Hex. Each enemy who reduced a creature to 0 HP since Lane's last turn (Roxie, Vivi) takes -2 to all defenses and gains vulnerable 5 all until the end of Lane's next turn.
Standard Action: Lane places a Trespasser's Geas on Vivi! 26 vs. Will; Vivi takes 20 damage. Until the end of Lane's next turn, Vivi grants CA and cannot willingly move closer to Lane.
Move Action: Shift to E5.



ARENA RULES
  • The pond is difficult terrain.
  • You cannot enter magic circles, either willingly or by forced movement. Immediately before you take a move action, you may roll Arcana or Religion. DC10 allows you to move onto magic circles during that action, then teleport as a free action to any other magic circle in the arena. If you move onto a circle, however, you become Weakened until the end of your next standard action in which you attack. DC15 allows for the same, but you do not become Weakened.
  • Gravestones are difficult terrain. If you're trained in Acrobatics or Dungeoneering, you ignore them during move actions.
  • If you end a push, pull or slide in a gravestone square, or you're knocked prone in a gravestone square, you take 5 necrotic damage and are affected by wrathful spirits. While affected by wrathful spirits, you grant combat advantage, roll twice on saving throws and must take the lower result, and cannot gain temporary HP. This condition ends when another creature becomes affected by wrathful spirits.

  • FU Vivian Vivisection | HP -11 / 43 | AC 22 | Fort 15 | Ref 19 | Will 18
    • KO!; Spiteful hex; Trespasser's geas; Unfettered hunger;

  • FU Roxie Ruinous | HP 33 / 46 | AC 21 | Fort 16 | Ref 22 | Will 17
    • Spiteful hex

  • FU Erzbet "Reanimator" Dushka | HP 45 / 45 | AC 19 | Fort 16 | Ref 18 | Will 19

  • FU Siroko Tuuli | HP 30 / 61 | AC 21 | Fort 20 | Ref 17 | Will 17
    • Diamond shatter; Bloodied

  • FU Caelynn | HP 43+4 / 43 | AC 21 | Fort 15 | Ref 16 | Will 20

  • AMD Lane | HP 39 / 66 | AC 19 | Fort 16 | Ref 18 | Will 17
    • Marked (Siroko); When hit with melee / ranged, attacker takes 5 damage.

  • AMD Neon Musa | HP 0 / 66 | AC 21 | Fort 17 | Ref 19 | Will 17
    • KO!

  • AMD Axel Apone | HP 18 / 80 | AC 18 | Fort 19 | Ref 17 | Will 19
    • KO!

  • AMD Diamond Trinh | HP 40 / 60 | AC 19 | Fort 17 | Ref 19 | Will 17
    • Marked (Siroko); +4 to all defenses against OAs.

  • AMD Mauler Maxima | HP 0 / 60 | AC 19 | Fort 19 | Ref 18 | Will 17
    • KO!

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 16, 2018 around 11:35

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK





Diamond Trinh gets one last shot in on Siroko, a furious haymaker to the storm goddess's jaw, before being taken down.

You return to your bodies, collect yourselves and reconnect with Vivi. When you leave the projection room, Phia is waiting there as usual, beaming with her hands clasped in front of her.
"You did it. I knew you'd do it." Unable to contain her glee any longer, she raises her fists and lets out a triumphant laugh. "gently caress! I loving love you guys! We get to fight the #1 Contenders now, and they're not gonna stand in our way either! I love it, I love it, I love it!" She takes a couple breaths, still meeting your eyes with a look of pure joy. "Okay. Opportunity." She whips her phone out of her pocket and points the camera toward you. "Right now. This moment. What've you got to say to the people?"

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK





After each of you gives your post-match quip, Phia lets out another cheer, then stops the recording. After you take some time to bask in the fans' admiration once more, Phia, who's been busy on her phone, shows you the following post-match clip from American Made's side of things.

----

"This is your fault, Lane. What were you thinking, sending us all toward Vivisection? The Furies are weak. If we would just stay together when we fight them, take them head-to-head instead of overextending ourselves-"
"You didn't seem to have a problem with the plan before the match. Today, we fought and lost. We'll have chances to get them back."
"This was it. This was our chance, and you" - Maxima shoves a finger in Axel's face - "wasted it by letting a rookie call the shots."
"If you hadn't noticed, the old plans weren't doing us any good-"
"The old plans were fine when they were made, but all plans have to be changed eventually. The new plans were fine too. Were they perfect? That's not the point. Not everything's going to be perfect. But I'm giving you the opportunity to make plans on your own, to lead yourselves, because you need to in order to grow. I'm not going to be around forever. One day, you're going to have to do this on your own-"
"Maybe we should."
"Wait, what?"
"Maybe we should go our own ways."
"I understand your frustration, but give yourself some time to cool off. Today wasn't as bad as you think. All of you worked great together. We acted as one unit, with no hesitation. Lane, your calls were quick and decisive. Lane and Trinh, you made one hell of a last stand. Musa and Maxima, the spotlight wasn't on you today, but that doesn't make you any lesser. What you had the chance to execute, you did flawlessly. We may all have things to work on, but we can talk about that later, with cool heads."
"Yeah, I...I definitely screwed up by underestimating Tiger Fury. Underestimating Erzbet. I was so focused on eliminating Vivi, the obvious threat-"
"You mean she got in your head."
"Screw you, Musa. What I'm saying is I screwed up and I'm sorry."
"Apology accepted. We all have things to learn, right? We fight, we improve, we come back stronger."
"Thank y-"
"I'd be stronger with a different team." Maxima lets out a disdainful snort and stalks off, leaving the rest of American Made standing in silence.

----

That night, Phia takes those of you who want to out to Club Mirage. It's not really her scene, being electronic beat rather than hardcore punk, but she figures it's more your style (at least, those of you outgoing enough to enjoy the club). Besides, the cocktails are fantastic. She gets into it anyway, going wild on the dance floor before the night is out.


Extended rest.

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 19, 2018 around 09:59

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK


Your #1 Contendership fight won't be until May 1, though Phia does intend to book you for one or two exhibition gimmick matches before then. In the meantime, you have the next three days entirely off, your next meeting not until the 25th. You can still train if you want, but there's no obligation to do anything. In fact, Phia makes it clear that she has dates lined up for the next two evenings and a show to go to on the third, so she doesn't want to be bothered then unless it's an emergency.

You'll have to fill the following three days yourselves for the most part, but life isn't about to completely leave you be.


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




Philadelphia - April 22, 2259

Despite the time off, you can't help but swing by the Asylum Arena in the afternoon. The parking lot is mostly empty, as there isn't a match on that day, but your eye is immediately drawn to Diamond Trinh and the Flawless Executioners' Cinnabar standing around a sleek, luxurious electric blue Lamborghini Cazador. The two are discussing excitedly about its handling process when Trinh turns and gives you a wave.

"Hey, Siroko. Come check this beauty out."
"Hi, Tuuli." Cinnabar gives you a deep nod, flowing black tresses falling across her face as she does so. She's not someone you've really met before, but as one of your upcoming opponents, you're sure you'll get to know her better one way or another soon enough. Her eponymous skin colouration makes her stand out from a mile away, though, as does her curvaceous figure and the bone jewelry she wears to contrast her otherwise sultry leather-and-lace outfit.
"I have this baby until the 26th. Lambo likes their ad girl to be seen driving around in their latest from time to time. And by 'this baby', I mean...I have triplets." Trinh produces a key from her coat pocket, dangling it enticingly. "Looks like destiny brought you to where you need to be again, Siroko. You up for a road trip?"


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




Philadelphia - April 23, 2259

You’re walking up to the gym, anticipating your daily workout, when you hear a brash voice call out from behind you.

“Hey, Roxie Ruinous. Hear you’re some kinda big shot.” You turn to see the source of the voice – a figure slightly shorter than you, wearing patch-covered skinny jeans and an oversized hoodie. From the odd shape of the hood, they seem to have...a really weirdly shaped head? You aren’t left guessing about them for long, though. The first thing you see is their impish grin, then they push the hood back to reveal their face.
“Y’get one guess who.”
From down the block, you hear a voice cry out, “Oh poo poo, it’s the Jersey Daredevil!” Immediately after, “oh, poo poo, it’s Roxie Ruinous!” It is in fact the Jersey Daredevil himself, Kieran St. John, fellow extreme sports internet sensation. While his fanbase doesn’t overlap with yours as much as one might expect – his appeal lies mainly among his fellow teens, and he unabashedly does magically assist his stunts – there’s no denying either of your maniacal commitment to potential grievous bodily harm for the internet’s entertainment.
Without looking at where the voices came from, the Daredevil beckons them over, summoning a pen to his hand in a poof of brimstone with a flick of his wrist. The two fans come rushing nervously but excitedly over, and he casually signs whatever they hold out to him (“Hey, who’m I making this out to?”) before handing the pen to you.
“Congrats on the win, Roxie. Really inspiring poo poo. That’s the kinda violence that gets the blood pumping.” The two fans eagerly nod their confirmation. The Daredevil continues. “But I got news of my own. The Daredevil’s 18 now, which means – drat right – he’s a bona fide Killer. Ink’s dry and everything.” Shortly after you finish your autograph for both fans, a flame erupts from the pen, and it turns to ash in your hands. One of the fans lets out a startled little gasp. The Jersey Daredevil grins wider than ever.
“So I got an idea. Every cocky young upstart needs a wise old master to show ‘em the ropes, right? I figure you and me, Ruinous and Daredevil, that’s the right combination. Throw in a little extra fun in the meantime, maybe see who can out-bike who, and that’s cash in pocket.” The Jersey Daredevil extends a bandaged, scraped-up, calloused hand. “Whaddaya think?”


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




Annoyingly, Vivi finds herself blamed only occasionally for what people are already calling American Made’s breakup (despite no official statement as of yet). Maxima is taking the brunt of the heat. Even as far as Furies members go, Vivi doesn’t find herself at the top of the algorithm: Erzbet and Tiger Fury have her beat by a significant margin.

She doesn’t have to go far for validation, though – her extraordinarily gruesome double kill has topped lists of the week’s best kills worldwide, some even going so far as to call it a top contender for kill of the month. There’s always her own fanbase to bask in of course, and it touches Vivi’s cruel computer heart to see that Lane’s fanbase is, as she anticipated, Big Mad about her. As she basks in the commentary and attention over her double kill, there’s a particular DM that catches her eye.

@fenrirspear: Nice pair.

----

The man at the desk – the square-jawed, muscular man at the desk in a flattering cream v-neck, Vivi can’t help but noticing – has obviously heard a similar routine before. He sighs and gives a clearly reheared spiel.
“My uncle appreciates all his fans, but if you want his autrograph, you should check the Asylum Arena website for fan meet days. This isn’t the place for it."

Wol fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2018 around 03:51

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK




"No magic?" The Daredevil gives a cheeky little shrug. "You think of everything. Hey, you do have your bike here in America, right? Hate to see you on something off the shelf."


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




@fenrirspear: "Caracas is great. Hot as hell but better than some sanctioned arenas I've been in. Match vid's up on my page, it's a good one. Got lucky enough to get to work with César Montilla. He’s as vain as you’d think, but he showed us a great time and he’s a hell of a guy to fight beside." Fenrir shares a gif in which Venezuelan superstar killer "Gota Dorado" César Montilla drops into a kneeling position and flexes, turning into solid gold just in time for what looks like a bolt of lightning to bounce right off him. Meanwhile, Fenrir Spear runs up behind, launches off of him, then the camera follows Fenrir as he drives his eponymous weapon downward through the lightning-firing opponent’s throat. The gif closes with a mighty spray of blood.
@fenrirspear: "Medellín's next. Heard mixed things about that place, but I'm sure whatever happens will be a great story."

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 23, 2018 around 11:02

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK




The first time you check your phone after the match, you see the following post from Qieduan of the Deathless at the top of her mentions, sent mere seconds after the match’s start.

切断: (Translated from Mandarin) “@erzbetbubblebathory Do not presume to own the dead, little necromancer. They may help you if they wish, but you are not their master. Should you beat the Executioners, you will soon learn this.”


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




“Vivi.” Axel gives the exuberant little robot a nod. He turns to his nephew, who over the past few seconds has gone from mild irritation to confusion, to dawning comprehension and right back to mild irritation. Axel continues, in high spirits himself. “David, this is Vivian Vivisection. She’s killed me twice now, so watch your back around this one.”

“Didn’t recognize her with the whole new look and all. So, uh, Vivian, you serious about wanting to work out here, then?”

“You’re welcome to it if you are.” Axel’s right arm brushes against his side, and you just make out a little wince of pain. “I don’t see Roxie or Siroko with you, so guessing you’re doing this on the sly?” Axel grins, knowing full well that’s exactly what Erzbet has been doing, too. “We can point you at a personal trainer if you want.”


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





“I’d heard you were the type to keep your eye on the prize.” Cinnabar remarks, wearing a sly grin.
“Nice. The other two are sitting in a lot on the East side. If you drove, I’ll text you the address. If not, I only have two seats, but I’m sure you two can figure something out.” Trinh flashes a smile and opens the door to get in.

When you reach the lot, you find the two other brand new Cazadors as promised. One, a frosty lavender, the other red gold. Both shine brilliantly in the midday sun. Cinnabar makes no immediate move to choose one or the other.

——

However you get to the lot and whether or not you take some time to get some things ready, you’re soon sitting behind the wheel of one of the most luxurious, most responsive, fastest street vehicles the year 2559 can dream up. Dashboard screens allow for easy video communication between the three of you.
“Was thinking Atlantic City tonight. One of us has a winner’s purse to spend.”
“Suits me, I’m always lucky. But let’s get on the road already - I want to see how this girl rides.”

——

On the way to Atlantic City, Cinnabar drives very fast, clearly into the Cazador’s silk-smooth, responsive handling. Though more familiar with such luxuries, Trinh laughs along, speeding up to match and inviting you to join them.

Wol fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2018 around 03:42

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK




Shortly after the match, you get a text from Lin.

@蔡敏華 W I T C H: nice moves, Kate! making me nervous for when we face off


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




"It's good to see you too, sweetheart." Your mom swoops in after, getting her turn at a hug.
"So how you been, kid? Looks like you've really started to hit your stride."
"Yeah!" She laughs, putting the drinks in both her parents' hands after all the hugging is done. "It's been really nice. We just won a big series, so we're up for the contender spot in a week, and if we win that, we get to fight for the championship!" Her smile is as bright as the sun outside. "I'm finally doing it! I'm getting up there!"

Your parents beam back at you. They may not be avid Crown fans themselves, but they are avid fans of their daughter, and seeing you happy and successful means the world to them.
"You probably smelled it as soon as you came in, but your dad has a pot of his famous chili on."
"It'll be ready any minute now." He grins. "Sometimes the old tricks are the best ones, eh? A good, hearty dish never goes wrong with the working man - or woman."
"So how's your life been outside of work? Is training still taking up all of your time, or are you finding a bit more time for yourself now?"
"I hope you made a lot, dad. I'm eating more and more these days to keep in shape, you know." She laughs, but at the next question, she calms down a little; Kate knows her parents well enough by now that she anticipated the question. "Well...you know. It still takes priority." She shrugs. "But with the Furies, we go out a lot between fights, and I made another friend...maybe. It's...she's teaching me about the magic, it's a little complicated."

Your mom smiles at the idea of you and the Furies hanging out.
“I imagine there’s never a dull moment with those girls. How about Erzbet, do the two of you have much in common? She seems a bit more level-headed than the other three.”
“I dunno, Roxie seems pretty cool. She’d fit right in with the crew I used to hang with when I was your age.”
“And how about this other friend? She another fighter?”
Kate snorts. "That's an understatement. But yeah, Erzbet...she's a bit withdrawn. I guess that's sort of the side effect of hanging out with the dead a lot. We're working on that, though!" Her father's comment gets a raised eyebrow. "You hung with people like Roxie? Dad, if you did, I think you'd be missing at least a finger or two. She's hardcore. I mean, she's great, but a little intense, you know? I bet she could drink you under the table without breaking a sweat. And then some." She curls up in her favorite big chair, pulling her feet up in a cross-legged position.

"Lin is a fighter, yeah. But...I wanna keep it a secret for now, so - I mean, I know you're not super invested in the scene and everything, but if it came out we were meeting up people would gossip a lot, I think. Not ready for that yet. Phia would have my head, probably." She gives an awkward smile. "I dunno if Mrs. Robinson down the road is still bugging you for the inside scoop all the time, but just...keep that part on the down-low, okay?"

At your rebuke to your dad’s suggestion about Roxie, your mom gives a smirk and a little laugh.
“Your dad hung out with an interesting crowd when he was younger, but he’s exaggerating just a little bit.”
“Me?” He grins. “Would I do a thing like that?” The beep of his phone timer goes off, and he makes his way over to check on the chili.

“Mrs. Robinson is as curious as ever. Don’t worry, we won’t say a thing - right, dear?”
“Not a sound. Chili’s ready!” He sets his spoon down and turns his attention to the wine, leaving you to assemble your plate of chili, garlic bread and steamed veggies.
Your mom gets up as you do, and before you make your way to the kitchen, gives you another hug.
“We’re so proud of you, Kate. Win or lose, we’ve always been proud to see you pursue your dream. Even when it’s been tough. But now that all your hard work is finally paying off, well, seeing my daughter happy is the best thing I could ever ask for.”
“I’m glad you’re learning more about your magic, too. It’s such an incredible gift - every match of yours, we’re always amazed to see the things you can do with it.”
Kate lingers in the hug for a long moment. "Thanks, mom. I really appreciate it," she says quietly, before settling down at the table, taking a big heaping helping for herself and digging in with a satisfied expression.

Wol fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2018 around 04:35

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK




“Well, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hurt. One of these days, my twenty-five years of killing and getting killed are gonna catch up with me. I’m truly blessed that it hasn’t already happened, that my scars are still mostly just surface level. Didn’t treat myself great when I was younger, either, so I’m all the more thankful.” Axel gives a rueful little laugh-snort. “I tried to quit once, but the arena’s where I belong. As long as I can physically keep fighting, that’s not gonna change.” Axel looks Vivi directly in the eyes. Here, without his sunglasses or his bandana, you get a rare look at him - at the person Axel Apone, no gimmicks, no veteran’s bravado, no ad-ready one-liners. He looks old, older than he is. His face has not been spared the years of scarring, and his hard lifestyle has done little to spare him wrinkles. At the same time, his prominent laugh lines and the crow’s feet that deepen when he smiles tell the story of a life lived with joy. A life lived, if not always wisely, at least heartily. Despite his aged countenance, though, you don’t get the feeling that he’s lost his step. In the milieu of the gym, filled with people half his age pushing their bodies to the limit, he doesn’t seem even a bit out of place. His taut muscles lend credence to his vigor, as does his full head of jet-black hair and matching beard (dyed though they almost certainly are). What tells you the most, though, are his brilliant brown eyes. Those eyes that now fix on Vivi, full of mutual understanding and sympathy - but also of youth, of life. “I think you understand exactly what I mean, Vivi. Maybe even too well.”

When Vivi asks about the pool, David is quick to answer.
“Yeah, we definitely have a pool. A good one, too. I could sell you on it, but I feel like you’re about to get a tour of the facilities.”

At Vivi’s comments about Lane, Axel laughs.
“Sure, I’ll let her know you’re still thinking about her. Might hold off on the specifics, though. Right now she needs to reset, refocus. She’s got a great head for the sport, but all of us need room sometimes in order to grow into our full potential.” He gives Vivi and Erzbet both a look that says I hope you’ll allow her that room.


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




@fenrirspear: “Sweltering.”

It takes a minute before he accepts the video call - when he does, you hear a door closing in the background. He looks like his claim of heat wasn’t just a mere convenience. His complexion is a bit ruddier than when you saw him last and he’s clearly been sweating. His royal blue scoop neck tank top, emblazoned with the words Alsta Sporthalle, clings to his chest and abs. As for his surroundings, if Vivi takes the time to notice them, they’re a typical cheap hotel. Adequate beds, few luxuries, a quaint and unfashionable bedside lamp. You hear faint sounds of traffic coming from his end of the call - he’s evidently opened the window to try and cool off a bit.

@fenrirspear: “You look gorgeous in that outfit. Which makes three for three, so I think I’ll change that to: you’re gorgeous.”

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK




“Good to hear you’re versatile. I think...I’m in a big spoon kind of mood today.”

——

Your lead foot easily outspeeds the other two at first, but they quickly rise to the challenge to meet you. Almost. When the three of you have to pass someone, it’s more often than not the two of them falling behind you in line.

You drive straight to Atlantic City. It’s not that long, a bit under a couple hours considering how fast you were going, and you’re there before you know it. To say that the three of you turn heads here would be an understatement. People here are used to a little glitz and glamour, but you three are on a different level today. Everyone wants to see you or be seen with you. A fair number of people already recognize you - to the fans here not particularly inclined toward New York, you’re the closest they have to hometown heroes. Even those who don’t, though, can’t ignore three dangerous women of such means, style and élan. You spend much of the evening at the city’s famous casinos. Wherever you go, you’re plied with what you assume is unlimited liquor in order to keep you rolling. Cinnabar goes on an impressive winning streak at the blackjack table (“I told you I’m always lucky”), while Trinh flits between tables, gambling small amounts, breaking even-ish, and taking the opportunity to get pretty smashed for more or less free. At some point, Cinnabar decides that the three of you (especially Trinh) need to get some fresh air and take a walk on the boardwalk. She makes a stop for dinner at the food truck Say Can You Seafood, which she insists is world famous and that it’s a crime neither of you have been before.

Whatever else you get up to that night, it eventually draws to a close. The three of you head to a hotel befitting your glamorous selves, though once you get there, an inebriated Diamond Trinh makes it known that she isn’t interested in paying for a room solo. Whatever arrangement you come to, the three of you awake the next morning in more or less good working order, with the intention to continue your road trip north, make New York for a late bistro lunch, and reach your ultimate destination of Montreal by evening.

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Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK




When you offer to "take care of it", Cinnabar laughs.
"You're lucky Siroko likes you, Trinh." Turning to you, she adds, "she can easily pay for her own room. She's just being cheap. But I'll tell you what. If you're going to cover her room..." Cinnabar slips a hand around your waist. "I'll cover ours."

----

When Cinnabar comes to find you in the morning, she's squeezed into high-waisted anchor-button khaki shorts, a cherry blossom pink embroidered lace halter top, a short-sleeved black quilted leather minijacket, and high-heeled strappy black sandals. She kicks the sandals off to come after you on the beach, and while she seems a bit annoyed at first, it doesn't take long for her to be convinced that you're just being...you.
"This is the farthest I've ever had to walk to ask if it was good for someone," she teases, seemingly over the irritation she felt a moment ago. "But I admit...it's making for beautiful scenery." It is. It's early enough that the sun's just beginning to rise over the ocean. The cool pink of just before dawn has given way to radiant yellow-orange as the sun climbs just above the horizon, casting the rippling waves and the fresh sand in soft, warm light. The city behind you is still quiet, too - aside from the wind's gentle rustle through the trees and the background noise of the occasional passing car, it's still, suspended in perfect serenity. Cinnabar brushes a strand of hair away from your face, then leans in for a kiss.

When you part, she turns to leave you to the rest of your morning run.
"Come find me when you're done. I know a cute little place for breakfast."

----

After breakfast, the two of you return to the hotel, expecting to find Trinh nursing a debilitating hangover. Instead, you find her quite animated and lightly sweating, clearly having just been in the middle of doing pushups or some such.
"Easy come, easy go." She shrugs en lieu of explanation. "Thanks for the coffee, though, and good morning to you both. C'mon in. I'm almost done." She doesn't comment on it, but from the little wink she gives after looking back and forth between the two of you, it's safe to assume she knows more or less what's happened between you. As she finishes up her reps, she broaches the rest of the day's plans.

It's not long before you're ready to hit the road again. Diamond Trinh stands ready to face the day in a tight white tank top with a wraparound rainbow silhouette of the San Francisco skyline and tapered black "sweatpants" made of a lustrous, ultra-breathable honeycomb material. Her look's completed by a pristine pair of white and gold high-top Air Gotōs, her trademark pink shades, and a white Galaxi Girls flat-brimmed ball cap.
"You forget I've driven one of these before. Yesterday wasn't a race, but if you want to come at me, you're welcome to lose."
"Sure, I'm in too. Finesse against power. We'll see what happens."

For the race, give me a DC19 Endurance check to represent your continuous efforts and concentration over the couple hours of its duration.

----

Whoever wins the race, you find yourselves in New York for lunch. Although New York has its own Killer's Crown arena (and one certainly higher-profile than Philadelphia), no hardcore fan watches just one venue. The three of you are approached on the street by a few separate fans who either come up and ask for an autograph, take your picture, or simply awkwardly blurt how much they love your matches and then run away. At one point, Cinnabar runs into someone she recognizes.
"Mr. Whelan!" She waves enthusiastically at...someone, presumably. A moment later, an impeccably-groomed older man (you'd guess 65?) in a salmon blazer turns to respond to Cinnabar's greeting.
"You're...Cinnabar, aren't you? From La Nouvelle Vogue?" Cinnabar nods eagerly and sets about complimenting the man on his many accomplishments. After a bit of that, she introduces you and Trinh to him - only after which does she take a mental step back.
"Neither of you...are Broadway fans, are you. This is Curt Whelan, one of the most incredible and most important Broadway actors of the century. Here, Siroko," she hands you her phone with the camera at the ready, "I'd love to have a picture, if it's alright with you, Mr. Whelan."

The picture taken, the actor says his goodbyes and leaves on his way. The three of you continue onward too, stopping next to briefly watch a troupe of street performers - a breakdancing foursome, each of which wields one of the four classical elements to provide special effects.
"So what are you into, anyway? Other than fighting, I mean." She seems to be asking both you and Trinh.
"Free-running, mostly, and I want to get into rock climbing. Been spending time at Axel's garage, too. I've always liked cars, but never really bothered learning how they work."

Wol fucked around with this message at Jun 26, 2018 around 08:50

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