Null's Game

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Shinigori V2
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Null's Game

Unread postby Shinigori V2 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:41 am

Chapter 1- Setting the pieces.

Cantiga, Wells- 221 PS- Tuesday, 9:13 AM

For the first time in almost a hundred years, people of all races around Kinsera are beginning to gather. In the castle city of Cantiga within Wells, the human citizens are getting quite a surprise as they wake up and begin their days-

A small parade of mounted Skyrazors walk slowly down the street, their blue, green, red, and purple Razorbeaks occasionally snapping their beaks threateningly at onlookers as they pass. A quartet of Dwarves have tucked themselves into a corner, and are arguing quietly in their own tongue, seemingly over the orientation of their map. Alchemists of Al Reis are bartering with a merchant for a large number of guns- They seem more interested in the metal and wood components than the sum of the parts. At another stall, a young green skinned dragon looks over a gun from all angles, fascinated with it's construction. And despite the odds with the smoke and smog that clogs the industrial city, a young dryad sapling has found herself a sunny patch to bask in as a small group of Forest Elves searches for accommodation. A small group of female Nekana look on- Though judging from the doorway of the shop they're standing in, they're already a fixture within Cantiga.

For the first time in recent memory- At least, for the humans- It seems like everyone is getting along. Almost.

Somewhere on their effects, all the guests have on them a seal of their nation, a small trinket proving that they've been sent to represent their country. As they make their way to huge, soot covered castle at the top of the hill, they'll be required to present it- Possibly multiple times. But the conference isn't scheduled to start for another couple of hours, allowing the huge amount of participants to wander the city as they will- Wells doesn't seem to be minding the extra intake of money.

But there's an anticipation in the air, and one thing is certain- The hunt is about to begin.

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Idran1701 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:27 pm

Kyrie stands with the other Nekana - well, in the general vicinity, at least, but peering out from the window of the shop, a little irritated about the situation but that feeling mostly swamped by excitement, and more than a little determination. Half a vacation and half a trial for her, it'll at least give her her first chance to prove herself to people back home; her first time out of the country and it's something this major? She can still hardly believe her mother sent her on this in her stead, though she never really was much for diplomacy. Not that Kyrie is herself, mind, but still! And so what if she wasn't even told about it until the day before she was to leave, it's still bound to be worth it.

With a slight grin, she glances around the shop, glancing at the various foreign customers that from the look of things haven't often seen an actual Nekana shop. Maybe places for future expansion? She takes an appraisal of the people that look actually interested, and the people that are more just indulging for the novelty, considering (and perhaps half-daydreaming about) her possible future in the Business faction, as she often does, before a clatter from the Razorbeaks outside snaps her back to reality. With a yawn, she presses through the crowd around the exit, deciding to go for a walk through the excitement-filled streets, checking to make sure she still has her trinket on her. Growing up in Lucky Paw, checking her pockets every few minutes is almost reflex for her by this point.

She doesn't head for the castle just yet, but she wanders in that general direction, getting an appraisal of anyone else around the area that might have been sent for a similar job, looking for trinkets like hers, but of the other nations. She draws a bit more attention than she's used to just by virtue of being a new sight to many of the other visitors to Cantiga, she does her best to blend in, drifting between crowds and - after an earlier accident with one of those Razorbeaks - keeping her tail close.

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Kelne » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:45 am

Triya wandered the town, taking in the mood with some surprise. For her part, she knew that serious business had drawn so many different people to Cantiga, but the general atmosphere was almost festive. The influx of money might have something to do with that, a small cynical voice within pointed out, but Triya still felt her own spirits buoyed. Her own dark skin and loose, plain tan robes marked her out as a native of Partia, though the scimitar tucked into her belt rather undermined the image of a proper young woman. It still sat somewhat awkwardly on her hip; she'd acquired her training late in life, and though proficient, had yet to draw it on an enemy. Her seal was worn on a cord around her neck, tucked in amongst her robes. Though out of sight, it was certainly not out of mind, a constant reminder that she was here on serious business.

Though mindful of her duty, Triya knew she had some time yet and wandered among the stalls for now, purchasing a snack and perusing the local wares as she went. While arriving late would be unforgivably rude, arriving early and loitering about waiting for others would rather undermine her dignity and, by extension, Partia's. It was a delicate balancing act, to be sure. It would be interesting to see if any other envoys were similarly marking time, or whether they'd simply turn up at the castle at the appointed time. She doubted any were sufficiently full of themselves to play silly dominance games by deliberately arriving late.

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Scatterbrain Jane » Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:48 pm

'Be late. Spite them,' were the words floating around in Nadia's head as she walked down the busy streets of Cantiga, slipping through the crowds with relative ease. She eschewed her formal military clothing for this gathering, deciding that while the many pockets for items to utilize with alchemy was useful, the ostentatious colors and design would make her stand out more than she preferred. Her own black and white formal wear was more than effective enough to mark her as a person of consequence while keeping an overall look of elegance with efficiency to match. Not that she would blend in all that well anyway, standing a good six feet tall with a black, ornately designed leather eye-patch covering her left eye, a deep frown embedded in her right. This whole delegation was rubbing her the wrong way - She was sure her superiors were not treating the meeting with any sense of genuine concern. Why else would they send her, after all? Just more busywork that solved two problems at once: Keeping her out of their hair while satisfying the base requirements of the comity.

Honestly? She half expected the other members 'chosen' to represent this meeting to be oddballs and outcasts. Just like she was considered to be.

Sighing, Nadia pulled out her silver pocket watch the check the position of the hands, deciding that she had well enough time in front of her to have a walk through the city. It wasn't often that she had a chance to visit the other great cities and while Cantiga didn't have much to match the splendor of the floating towers, it was still impressive in its own way. Her blue eye glanced around from person to person, quietly appraising all of the other races and cultures present, secretly marveling at how many there were in one place at one time. Some of her favorite travelers that occasionally made their way to Al Reis were the dwarves, shrewd businessmen of the harder to find underground materials that alchemists coveted... Though really, she just enjoyed their blunt mannerisms and boisterous tavern visits.

She carefully placed the pocket watch back into one of the many carefully organized satchels and pouches she carried around filled with assorted materials that she could utilize with her abilities, making sure that everything was still in proper order as she did so. Not hungry enough to warrant a taste of the local cuisine, Nadia found one of the local performers and threw a few coins in his direction, deciding to sample the local music instead. While she wasn't seriously considering being late to the summit, she had more than enough time to people watch and take in the ambiance the makeshift festival was bringing to the city.

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Besyanteo » Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:31 am

Guy was busily engaged near the market, harried but not perturbed. He regularly went back and forth between conducting business with any member of the Al Reis faction that would pay attention to him, and flashing his brass badge to any Guard who should pass. The former he did because, of all the peoples of Kinsera, only the Al Reis would pay him good money for pieces of scrap. He was not likely to have opportunity to make any significant amount of money again for quite some time once his business in Cantiga was concluded. The latter he did because without proof there wasn't a guard in the whole of the city would believe him to be more than a vagrant, and vagrants were unwanted in the markets of Cantiga. However Guy was not unused to this treatment, and took it in stride. Honestly he was happy to have official business here, as otherwise he might have been kicked out regardless.

He finishes his transaction with the Alchemists, and made his way to the market stalls. Now that he had a little extra cash on hand, he was going to treat himself. He looked at the sprawl, and considered his options. Guns, swords, spears, tents and rope and spy glasses, magical wonders and mechanical marvels all laid out before him. Guy passed them all, knowing in advance exactly what he wanted. Ten minutes later, he once again had not a coin to his name. He instead had a fine knife made from good, hard metal, a new water jug with a rubber stopper, and a bag containing five pounds of dried meat and hard tack. He went to find somewhere to sit down, feeling satisfied. A lot could be said for the more expensive commodities the city offered, but the basics always came first. He admired the new jug especially. He'd been repairing the old one as best he could for some time, riddled with small holes and cracks. While it had more or less worked, he had long since grown tired of learning the work needed redoing while going to take a drink and finding his jug already empty. Whatever happened at the conference, today was a good day.

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Herrackman » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:51 pm

Arc stumbled along, his stride seemingly on the edge of tumbling him end over end with every step, with these eccentricities of movement contributing to the irregular pendulum of his Al Reis insignia. He'd lost track of the rest of his contingent hours ago, not that he overly minded; the entirety of his minding was on the simple children's toy, a gyroscope that he turned over and over, staring intently at its inner workings as if it were the most advanced device in existence.

He took the opportunity to stop at an especially wide windowsill, and spun the device with its thread again, absolutely entranced and decidedly unaware of the urchin slipping up behind him. A moment later, he remained entranced as the top-like device twisted in the air, still decidedly unaware of that same urchin trying to pry the rather weak spring-loaded clamp off his fingers, and wondering who the devil would trap the pockets on their own threadbare, beat-half-to-pieces overcoat, complete with haphazardly-applied patches that, quite honestly, seem to have been placed for no reason. They're certainly not effectively patching the coat.

Four or five directionless turns through the city later, Arc stood before his final destination, an especially heavy leaded vial pulling his conical hat off-kilter as he tilted his head to look at the stonework. They had said something about a castle, right? The official dispatch... The official dispatch... where the devil had he put it? A brief stationary panic ensued, as 6 layers of clothing were quickly redistributed between his body, the back of a nearby chair, and the ground. At some point, his overrobe and undercoat swapped positions, but without attracting notice from Arc, as he had discovered his prize (Conveniently located in such a way that his brief dalliance with the tower of Hanoi puzzle was entirely unjustified); a scrap of paper stuck partially into the side-casing of his insignia.

With a cry of victory, and the nervous attention of the handful of guards present, he unfurled the paper, and... Well, he was sure that it was a castle he was supposed to be at, at least. Not that he could read such a thing on his paper, which was entirely overcome with untold reams of information on his latest design, the Stubborn Ox self-propelled cart. As Arc's eyes wandered, he noticed that much of the ideas on his ink-soaked note (the slight embossing being the only sign this was once an Al Reis dispatch) were entirely fresh and new to him, and with a blur of excitement, he set to reading all the marvelous workarounds presented for problems that didn't even exist. That Arc-after-midnight fellow was a genius!

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Tazkar » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:29 pm

Talorn stood atop one stumpy building at the edge of the market district, looking over the bustle and watching the parade of fellow Skyrazors as they slowly moved through the streets. Several other elves and birds were on the edge of the same building, all leaning against their Razor's. He looked about, one hand idly patting Razacki's side, the bird giving a low coo looking hungrily at all the bustling morsels.

"So what do you think about this whole...get together Talorn?" Fellow rider Bartro asked stepping away from his forestry green Razor and closer to the him as he let out a long sigh. The sharp cries of several shopkeepers echoing out through the crowd as they pandered their wares to all the foreigners that'd invaded the city without incident or hostility yet.

"First time in a long while I've gone somewhere and not almost gotten shot or stabbed at first sight. Personally wondering how long until a tumble breaks out, amazed that everything is almost busy as usual for most." He remarked back, pushing off Razacki to straighten up, she gave an annoyed sqawk at the push but quickly resumed her watching of the morsels below.

"Eh, everyone seems rather well behaved," Bartro shrugged back.

Talorn simply nodded, one hand shifting to idly finger the golden feather slipped into his collar to secure it but allow the seal to remain visible.

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Shinigori V2 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:12 pm

As the various invitees work their way through the crowd, stopping where they will, even more new arrivals show up- Near Nadia, a pair of Dark Elves put on a show duel to the music she's sponsored with her tip, exciting the crowd and enticing a few more to stop. Near Triya, a pair of Dragoons, identifiable by their ornate bronze breastplates, have taken to hassling a group of Snow Elves, demanding identification and making sure the elves see clearly the custom guns both are wielding. The elves don't seem terribly impressed.

More, as people begin to shuffle towards the massive castle atop the hill, a few celebrities begin to emerge- Kyrie notes Yandice Pervasu, young lieutenant of the Cats Eye Cartel- Probably best to stay out of her way, even her sight if possible. Young as she is, she's eager to make a name for herself- especially at the cost of the other cartels. A quintet of black Razorbeaks clad in golden armor, as well as their riders, flies in formation straight for the castle- The Black Riders. And some of the alchemists are suddenly ill at ease- While there haven't been any seen yet, there's definitely the familiar feeling of a Homonculus nearby.

But, there's little time to dwell on things- Bells begin ringing all over town, as well as a piercing steam whistle from the castle. It's time for the conference to begin.

Near the gates of the castle, a strange alteration has been quickly thrown up- A number of tiny guard booths, as well as queue lines, with the invitees getting into line to show their proof of identification. Some are turned away- Their identification taken away. For now, there's a holdup, as it seems every line has a fake at the same exact time. Gate number 5 seems to be taking particular effort to hassle someone- Seemingly because of their giant, betrinketed hat. Hopefully it won't take too long...

...But, as they wait, some may notice the pride of Wells, the White Templar, Lady Varina Maké Faen Elvenblade, standing atop the gatehouse, overseeing operations. With her simple white armor, pale skin and midnight black hair, she's very easy to pick out from the rest of the guards. Considered to be one of the top swordsmen in the world, it's rumored that she's the direct descendant of Lord Elvenblade, the hero of Wells during the Sundering War.

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Idran1701 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:55 am

Kyrie's ears perk at the sound of the bells, the signal leading her to shift her path more directly towards the castle. She takes notice of Pervasu, but avoids even glancing towards her, knowing that even that act might draw her attention. Wandering up the hill at a steady pace, she eventually reaches the stands, falling in line at whichever booth is nearest to her path. Patient as always, the hold-up up front doesn't bother her, though the presence of Elvenblade does draw her attention somewhat. Strange that she would be assigned oversight for a task as basic as this; likely more for appearances'-sake than anything, though; Wells must be doing a bit of showing off.

The line slowly makes its way forward, as Kyrie again checks to make sure she still has her identification. She probably should have found the rest of the delegation, but eh. If she needs to stay with them, she'll find them inside. If not, she'd have wasted time for nothing. Either way, not a problem as she sees it. She watches ahead and keeps an ear open for behind, until she eventually reaches the front.

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Scatterbrain Jane » Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:42 pm

Deciding that she rather enjoyed the music and the show, Nadia spent a good deal of time in her little section of the city, leaving only momentarily to pick up one of the local foodstuffs from a street peddler to tide her over until after the meeting had concluded. The mock fight was an interesting sight to see, and while clearly not a true show of the deadly abilities the elves were said to possess, they still displayed a few intriguing moves that she committed to memory. Though viciously effective with a blade, Nadia didn't put herself anywhere near the top echelon of swordfighters - Still, when combining her already not meager sword skills with her not insignificant alchemical abilities... Well, there was a reason it was usually Nadia sent to quell uprisings and dispatch particularly troublesome bandit groups.

She couldn't help but sigh as the bells started to toll, having been dreading the moment ever since she arrived in the city. Nodding towards the musician and the showmen, Nadia passed a few more coins their way before stalking off in the direction of the castle gates. Glancing around at the various lines, she recognized Arc on sight, even at that particular distance. Clicking her tongue, Nadia picked another line, knowing that no one would be getting through that one anytime soon. While she had plenty of time to see some of the more famous names during the wait, she didn't let her gaze linger for too long - If they were there they would be at the meeting and say their share in due time.

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Besyanteo » Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:59 pm

Guy had just finished stowing his purchases on his person when the bells tolled. He looked up smartly and watched as the crowd moved almost as one, leaving the market and heading for the castle. He followed along, but held back a bit once he actually arrived, studying the queues. For an event like this, it was less a question of "which line moves fastest" than it was "which one stops for the shortest lengths of time." Guy gave it ten minutes, watching discretely from the sidelines before picking his queue. It wasn't a guarantee, but with any luck the guard he met wouldn't turn him away for being too scruffy.

He spent the time waiting in line to study the crowd. Not for any subtle or clever reason, simply because there were so many different people here. He probably wouldn't see such a diverse collection of people and fashions again... well, ever. Not all at once like this.

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Kelne » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:16 pm

Well. Triya hadn't expected everybody to be going through security. An exaggeration, to be sure, but there were still a lot of people in those queues. Well, no matter. Arriving early wouldn't have helped, by the looks, and all there was left to do now was to slot herself into one of the lines and work her way through. With little else to do, Triya took the time to look about, taking in all the different people called to the summit. There was certainly a wide variety.

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Shinigori V2 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:03 pm

As the various adventurers make their way through and towards the queues, a voice rises above the din of the crowd. Lady Elvenblade is shouting commands to some of the guards below.

"Vesper!" She shouts. "Bring me the man holding up line six. I'll deal with him myself. Antilles, bring me..." Elvenblade thinks. "The splotchy Nekana in line 8, the scarred man in 2, the one-eyed woman in 7, the Partian in 1, and the elf with the purple Razorbeak near the back!"

Summarily, guard round up Arc, Kyrie, Guy, Nadia, Triya, and Talorn- As well as Razacki, and see them off to the side, through the guard house, and over to the other side, where Elvenblade waits for them. From closer up, they can get an even better look at her. From close up, she's not as intimidating as one might think. She's shorter than an average human woman, and has nearly flawless, pure skin that may make one wonder how much battle experience she really has. She wears a rather large, ornate sword on her back, and she simply waits for the group to be lined up. Though the one thing about her is her eyes. Extremely vivid and intense, it's almost as if she's looking through them as they're lined up, rather than at them.

"Alright." She says, after a moment. "This is just a random security check. There's no reason to worry. Just state who you are, show your proof, and I'll check you through. Simple enough, right?" She nods at Kyrie. "We'll start with you."

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Idran1701 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:15 pm

...Splotchy?

With a sigh, she follows the guard alongside the others picked out of the crowd, leaning against the wall as they're brought together. She's a bit too intense for Kyrie; she's barely able to keep eye contact with Elvenblade as she responds.

"...Kyrie Watanabe, here on behalf of the Lucky Paw cartel." She shows Elvenblade her insignia, hoping that there won't be further interrogation some sort.

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Shinigori V2 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:28 pm

"Kyrie Watanabe, hmm?" Elvenblade says, as an assisting Dragoon marks it off in a roster booklet. "No doubt here representing Yoshiko Watanabe, likely trying to avoid repaying the seventeen gold pieces she still owes. Your mother always did have a way of weaseling out of things...As well as ending up with other people's personal effects in her own pockets." Elvenblade smirks just slightly, as the assisting dragoon scoots over next to Kyrie so she can sign her name on the ledger.

"Next." Elvenblade nods to Talorn.

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Tazkar » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:38 pm

He found it rather odd that they'd had him bring Razacki along, the elf briefly wondering if they were seriously going to try and question the Razorbeak. Or if they would try to get to close, something most had enough sense not to do. His thoughts were distracted as Elvenblade shouted for the next person, which Talorn realized was him. The man moving up while holding onto Raz's harness just to visually show the bird was under control.

"Talorn Karskin of New Legayne, Razacki of the same," He stated motioning towards the Skyrazor, the purple feathered bird eyed Elvenblade sharply as if challenging the woman to a staring contest as Razacki observed her. While Talorn showed the golden feather he had as his proof.

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Shinigori V2 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:43 pm

Elvenblade nods. "Your Razorbeak is beautiful. I've never seen one of that shade of purple before. You're very lucky to have her. We've got a special stables set up for the Razorbeaks of your people down by the front gates, if you'd like to drop her, though you're by no means obligated."

Elvenblade nods to Arc. "Next. What was the problem in line, sir?"

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Herrackman » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:03 pm

"Why, those damnable fools! They were sure, nay, CERTAIN that I fully intended to detonate half the bloody castle. Can you believe that? I can't. I'm not carrying nearly enough compacted arcanophose to even knock down one of the towers. And that's if I was lucky, and the castle was shoddily built."

With a harumph, he jerked his hips to the side, swinging the pocket watch into his hand. After a brief moment of looking quite surprised at his success, he held it at the captain, a jitter to his hand making perfect verification all but impossible. "But, you know, if I made proper use of some of the extenders, assuming I didn't use them for silly party tricks, always a fair chance... Hrmmmm. Captain, do you happen to know the structural statistics for the castle?"

Before any answer could come, he'd begin scribbling absently on the back of his hand holding the insignia.

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Shinigori V2 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:18 pm

"I'm afraid I don't know. I'll see what I can find, though. If the Dragons couldn't do it during the war, I highly doubt you'll have much more success...No offense, sir."

Elvenblade nods to the next in line, Triya. "Next."

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Kelne » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:43 pm

"Triya Kasim, representing Partia with Sana Pradi," Triya displayed the intricately engraved ring on her left hand by way of explanation. Sana and queues weren't things she cared to mix, and the djinni would appear when summoned in any case. She then produced her own seal. She wasn't quite sure what criteria Elvenblade had used to select the people for her spot check, but it looked to be an interesting group.

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Shinigori V2 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:54 pm

Elvenblade nods to Triya. "You know, you're the only Partian in attendance. They could only spare one Djinn, or so they said...Though I'm sure more will likely show up regardless. Anyway, I'd recommend keeping Sana within her ring while at the castle; we've set a number of magic wards to ensure buggery stays to a minimum and I'd rather not ask my Dragoons to clean up Djinn vomit. She should be safe and sound in there, though."

Elvenblade moves to the next, Nadia, as Triya is asked to also sign off, for both her and Sana.

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Scatterbrain Jane » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:46 pm

The faintest hint of a smile lit up one corner of Nadia's mouth as she observed Lady Elvenblade watch them much in the same way Nadia was watching her. As they went down the line one by one to confirm identity and nationality Nadia stood at attention with her hands behind her back, sparing only a moment to briefly take in the details of the others that were called for the private inspection. Once it was her turn she nodded once, pulling out the silver pocket watch so they could scrutinize it to their hearts content. "Captain Nadia Dragomira, Al Reis."

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Shinigori V2 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:06 pm

Elvenblade nods again. "We received word about you, actually. Can't say if any of it was really terribly important, or even the sort of thing that we needed to know about, but I learned long ago not to argue with the Towers."

She moves on to the last, Guy.

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Besyanteo » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:17 pm

Guy pulled a medallion from under his shirt, a moderately sized bronze amulet bearing the impression of a shovel and hoe. It was easily the cleanest thing in his possession, apart from what he'd just purchased earlier this morning. He spoke matter of factly, smiling faintly.

"Guy Savarin, Legionnaires."

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Shinigori V2 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:24 pm

Elvenblade nods, as the remainder sign off on the ledger. "It seems everything is in order. Enjoy your stay in Wells."

And with that, Elvenblade and her Dragoons walk off, leaving the group checked in and ready to go.

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Idran1701 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:24 am

Kyrie kept quiet during the other appraisals, giving the rest of them a glance as they spoke up; seems a pretty wide assortment here. But even with Elvenblade having left, she sticks to a quiet corner of the room, glancing over a letter of some kind while keeping an ear perked to take in whatever idle conversation the other "guests" might have.

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Besyanteo » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:01 am

Huh. That was different. Not bad by any means, they'd all just gotten out of slow lines and through security. No use in over analyzing it just now. Though that did seem fairly deliberate. In a mild tone he asked no one in particular:

"Well. What do you think that was about?"

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Idran1701 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:21 am

Kyrie glances up from the letter, blank-faced as she slides it into a pocket, shrugging. "She did say random security check. Not that I buy that either. Me, I'm betting it's because she knows my mother." She glances back to the door, wondering if she should stay or not. "Would've thought that'd just make things take even longer, though." With a slight snicker, she looks back over the group. "Rest of you anything special? Besides you," she says as she glances to Triya. "Only Partian, that makes that pretty clear, at least."

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Shinigori V2 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:16 pm

With everyone successfully checked through via the random screening, they're allowed through into the castle itself.

Within, the castle is half metal monstrosity and half castle. Large brass imprints and sculptures line the main hallway- and every other corridor is roped off and guarded by no less than three dragoons. Judging from the sounds coming from the lower levels echoing up through the heat vents, it's not just a castle- Likely, it's also a gun and armor manufacturer for the Dragoons. But, with the flood of people pushing them forward, the group does not have a lot of time to think about it.

Along with the other hundreds of guests, the group is shown into a grand hall- Not only a meeting, it seems, but a grand banquet of some sort. Huge tables are set up with countless servants making rounds with all sorts of drinks and regional foods. Tables seem to be largely divided by the groups that journeyed here together- Though many seem just a touch too small. The Lucky Paw's delegation, as well as the City Elves and Alchemists seem to have the main tables filled already. Thankfully, there's a table right around the middle of the room...With, conveniently enough, six seats!

Interestingly enough, many of the guests have actually disseminated into the crowd a bit- A small group of Dwarves and Snow Elves have taken to a drinking contest. The young dryad is teaching a small group of Nekana about the nutritional values of a vegetarian diet. Members of a rather large number of different Elven species are comparing notes about their regions, while one theorizes about why they all seemed to evolve the way they did.

On the far end of the room, there's a raised stage, along with one large table, seating a few dozen- The teenage Nekana with white fur that Kyrie identified as Yandice of the Cat's Eye, as well as Jack Arnstron of the Alchemists- And his prized creation, Envy, who is AMAZINGLY well behaved. Commander Dawnrider of the Black Riders, along with her whole force, are seated there, along with Lady Elvenblade, seated next to Kind Juscow, the recently crowned young kind of Wells.

For now, the name of the game seems to be to mingle and enjoy one's self, still- But it's obvious the conference will be commencing soon.

(Sorry guys, gonna let you guys CI here while I set down the final set of notes concerning the first trip.)

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Idran1701 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:09 am

With a slight snicker towards the dryad's increasingly annoyed-looking audience, Kyrie takes a seat at the last empty table, glancing around as the others start to take the only available seats soon after. "Fate must want us to stick together, huh? At least we all know names already, I guess."

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Kelne » Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:30 am

"There is that," Triya said, helping herself to several small and varied portions of food as the staff made the rounds, "This is certainly the kind of gathering in which fate takes a role. I wonder if there's any other matchmaking going on?" she wondered idly, glancing about the room to see if any other such diverse and ad-hoc groups had been formed. While she believed in the role of fate in the world, viewing its workings as something akin to those of a particularly subtle and mischievous djinn, this had more of a mortal agency feel to it. Slightly small tables would break up the normal groupings somewhat, prompting people to mix and mingle more than they otherwise might. Altogether, Triya rather approved of this arrangement. Nothing like a bit of mingling to grease the wheels of diplomacy.

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Scatterbrain Jane » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:47 pm

Though not on purpose, Nadia found herself momentarily ignoring her tablemates in favor of raising an eyebrow at the Dryad, having overheard bits and pieces of the conversation - Did Dryads themselves even eat plants? Why would they even promote such a thing? Maybe it was a literal 'you are what you eat' situation, and she was hoping to create more Dryads. Shaking her head, Nadia muttered to no one in particular, "It would like if I supported a human only diet. Bizarre." Still, it was heartening to see all the races intermingling, and she smiled at the thought as she picked up her silverware to start poking at her food.

She ate slowly, the act itself being just for show, as she had eaten earlier for the sole purpose of not needing to feel hungry or distracted during the event. Her gaze had changed from the stern, judging glare that it had been outside the castle to one of neutral boredom as she glanced from person to person at the table. "Hopefully all of their match-making works out so well. Best behavior or not, some of them just have extremely different cultures. If they stick a preaching, cannibalistic dryad with the dwarves, for example..." Pausing, Nadia tilted her head as she thought. "...In fact, the only story I recall that involved dwarves and a salad ended in murder."

Taking another bite of a particularly interesting looking pastry, Nadia shrugged off the thought. "Speaking of awkward cultural differences, what should we talk about? I suppose we could just people watch some more. I'm waiting for Envy to start biting off fingers again, personally."

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Tazkar » Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:49 pm

Talorn chuckles lightly the thought passing through his mind of the Nekana deciding to try eating the dryad after hearing all about the nutritional values of vegetables. City elf taking a seat at the table and eyeing the food mulling over whether to eat anything now or not. Eventually grabbing a roll and starting to munch on it while looking at the others.

"Do Dryads taste like Salad?" He threw the idea out their idly, not having anything of great importance to discuss at the moment.

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Idran1701 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:01 pm

Kyrie snickers, but Nadia's comment has her glancing over towards Arnstron and his creation. She's heard vaguley of homunculi, of course, but she's never actually seen one. Not really what she expected, honestly.

"...biting off fingers? Should we be worried about her?"

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Besyanteo » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:37 pm

Guy was, not intentionally, a counterpoint to Nadia. He sat and began to eat quickly, if not messily, leaving no room for conversation. He listened to everything, however, and paused to look up when Kyrie asked her question. He'd just assumed it was a joke on Nadia's part, but if he needed to be careful about losing fingers this evening he definitely wanted to pay full attention to hear about it.

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Shinigori V2 » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:03 pm

The feast continues, but the conversation quiets a bit, as a small team of mages steps up onto raised platform with the VIP table, a little in front of it. Elvenblade joins them the entire group standing at attention.

"As many of you already know-" Elvenblade begins- "We're very pleased with the turnout and interest shown in this operation by almost the entire spectrum of factions and countries. As many of you know, the objective we're calling for is the capture of the entity known as Null. Null claims to be allied with all nations but belonging of none, and comes and goes as she pleases, offering information at no cost where ever she goes. Naturally, the benefit of free information on the motions of the other factions and countries was too good a deal to pass on, and she was received by the courts and parliaments of almost every nation."

Elvenblade settles some murmuring in the crowd with a gesture, and continues. "It was when Wells and Savortia decided to compare notes that we noticed a problem- Everything she had told us about movements in the Nekana empire was not only wrong, according to what she shared with Savortia, it would have been an ambush- and a massacre at that. Checking further, we've noticed even greater discrepancies- Not only is the information wildly different, it's not even the same person claiming to be Null."

Elvenblade nods to the magi, and they collectively conjure four images. The first is a human girl in simple clothes, a pristine white tunic and pants. She's got pitch black hair and dark rings around her green eyes, and pale skin. Next to that, a black furred Lagomora Plainsrunner, one eye green and the other blue. Next, a black Nekana with white splotches on her face, missing her right eye and left ear. Finally, a black scaled Dragonoid in humanoid form, wearing extremely fancy...Work overalls.

"Clearly," Elvenblade begins again, "There is not one Null, but several, all working together to avoid notice and evade capture by making it impossible to define who, exactly, Null is. While it sounds strange, any scholar of Nekana culture will tell you that this isn't unprecedented, as seen with the Mirror's Shadow cartel. What we're looking for is the capture of any girl using the Null identity to spread lies and misinformation among the collective populous."

There are a few more murmurs before Elvenblade signals for a quiet again. "You are free to go as soon as you please-" with that, several groups begin to scramble to leave immediately- "Are the orders clear? Are there any questions?"

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Idran1701 » Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:54 pm

Kyrie stays quiet for now as she looks around the group, taking in what reactions she can see; especially from the others at her own table. While she can think of a few things she wonders about, best for now to let others ask them. Still, this revelation...Mirror's Shadow was bad enough, and that was just a single moderately successful cartel in a single country. This would require so much more organization...

And if they're this widespread, it stands to reason they'd have someone here. She wonders idly who it might be, her gaze casting over the guests more intently, seeing if anyone has a bit more surprise or irritation than one might reasonably expect from a presentation like this.

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Kelne » Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:07 pm

Triya frowned thoughtfully. This was certainly a wide remit, and she could see why so many people had been brought in. They'd be scattered across the continent, hunting down clues, and the Nulls would surely be aware they were being hunted. Given that awareness, was there a way to turn it to their advantage? Triya couldn't see one as yet, but it definitely merited further thought.

She raised a hand for attention, "Have the Nulls provided any information which has been independently verified, or has the entirety been fabricated from whole cloth?" she asked. Clearly, given the way they'd strung along their various contacts for years, the Nulls had a solid understanding of politics and a decent window into the affairs of nations. If that had all been well-informed guesswork, it didn't do them much good, but if there were nuggets of truth, they might profitably track down whatever source had leaked the information.

Figuring out who profited from such a campaign of deceit was another potential angle, but given the wide scope of the affair, narrowing down a particular culprit would be difficult indeed.

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Herrackman » Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:14 pm

"HOW DOES SHE DO THE COSTUMES!?" Arc hurled his hat back, nearly choking himself with it as its momentum carried it to the limit. "... And if she can do that, what if she's here? What if SHE IS IN THIS VERY ROOM?" Arc tightened his grip on the fork in his hand, before quickly beginning to worry at the edge of... one of his robes, though which one could take some sleuthing to determine. "... Wait, no, that's ridiculous, why would she want to be here, where we're talking about her? She would sneeze, and everyone would know. I mean, the possibility... assuming earshot of about... hrmmnnnmm..." Arc slowed, his panic attack, if you could call it that, running its course.

He stared down at the dish before him, almost inanimate with exhaustion, before taking a small vial out of... his second coat, maybe? He dribbled some of the contents onto the food, then promptly stirred it into a near-monotone goolash, destroying any possible artistry of layering in the dish. He forked a great glob of it into his mouth, staring concertedly at Kyrie.

"... Don't I know you? Eh, NULL?" While still staring at Kyrie, his fork shot out and pointed at Nadia accusingly. "No, wait, you were there earlier. Disregard."

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Re: Null's Game

Unread postby Idran1701 » Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:51 pm

Kyrie, for her part, takes this in stride with only the slightest signs of discomfort. Her tail begins to flick, but she keeps as blankfaced as she can at Arc's strange display.

Alchemists, from what she's seen so far, are more often than not quite the strange bunch indeed.

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