• Lucid Dreaming - Dream Views




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    1. #1
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      Prelude to the Dawn- RPG.

      I weep.

      This isn't like Sindred whatever guys RPG's.

      ============

      t began, as all things do, with a choice.

      Sword or Shield.

      Destroyer, or Shepard.

      The choice of one man can damn the world, and another redeem it. This thing called free will... what is it really? To live or to die. To kill or be killed. Are these ever really choices? One could argue that yes, the option remains... yet, to choose death over life... what circumstances would lead someone to willingly die when they could instead live? It was a choice that man apparently could not make, and for it he shall always be remembered...

      Some called him a devil, others a hero. Still more called him savior.

      But to the First, he was merely another man. A man with a dangerous idea; to rid the world of their kind, so that the children of Adam could live in peace. Peace, however, was to the Second an entirely different concept then to Us.

      Si Vis pacem, para bellum... as they would say.

      It is long forgotten how many ages have passed since the choice was made, or how many lives, First and Second, have been claimed as a result of this one voice chosen by Our Father to speak for all of his ilk. All We remember is the cost of that bloody decision.

      Champion or Martyr... which would I choose?

      I believe only Our Father could say for sure, for His mind speaks to us all, and nothing enters our thoughts which does not pass foremost from Him. To choose... to will oneself to die... I don't know if that is something I could do, but in any case, he made his decision.

      He chose the Sword.

      How many thousands of souls were lost, we can't remember. Couldn't even fathom it when this war first began. The children of Adam called it "The Binding War", but the First called it merely "The Great Death". For in this "war" there were no sides, only chaos. One who could've saved the world almost destroyed it with his obsession on "purifying" the "unclean".

      His Empire on Earth grew strong, fed on the blood of the First... fallen or no, they were our Brothers, and We could not watch them be slaughtered. In desperation we joined this silly genocide and cast the fallen into the Pit where Our Father had carved out a home for them; they called it Void, for in it, there was nothing. We set upon them a curse of ages, that they should remain in Sheol until all had forgotten their feuds and could live in harmony. To those who remained behind we gave a choice; live with man, or die by man. We of the Host of Heaven would no longer strike against our brothers for the sake of the Second's blood hatred.

      However, with the fallen saved from slaughter the Lion sought to turn his fangs on us, seeking from Our Father the power to rule not only the world of Men, but of the other wandering stars which traverse the sky. We battled for many days and nights against his armies, each day repelling them and each night accepting another charge. The Lion prayed daily for Our armies to fall to his blade... but to no avail. Our Father had withdrawn his grace, and the path of the Sword led ultimately to his destruction.

      In his final act of redemption he forged with us a pact. A treaty signed in souls. That a Man should never again hope to attain the power of the gods, and if they would, let doom be their reward. In agreement of our bargain, the three emissaries made manifest the spirit of their treaty... an artifact filled with our power, which would bring destruction to those who sought it, and woe more so to those who obtained it. In this act we hoped to dissuade any more haughty men from trifling with the gods' works.

      However...

      It seems that proper foresight... is not a gift Our Father bestowed upon us three...

      ~Gospel of Raziel, Chapter 7, verses 11-33

      [Eternal Twilight]


      The barking of hounds echoed in the chill, still air. Mists drifted from the rich soil run through with twisted roots of tall and gnarled trees, moonbeams scattering in the evening mists to fill the maze of leafless limbs with an eerie glow of silvery blue. The pounding of hooves. The shouting of men and beasts. A shadow flitted effortlessly through the moonshine, filamentous... amorphous, like a shadowy amoeba gusting to and fro, a windy wraith racing through the darkling tree-tops. At its heels raced half a score of horsemen with rifles and torches, arrayed in long coats and thick clothes, each with a wide-brimmed hat tucked over their head to guard their eyes from the scraping twigs they rushed through.

      The dogs snarled and bayed at the creature as the trees raced past, branches barely seen like ghostly veins in the flicker of torchlight and moonlit vapor. It replied with a scratchy shrieking sound and a sort of mid-air corkscrew jump from the top branches before it plumeted into a cave which came up upon the riders so suddenly their horses nearly plowed headfirst into solid rock. A few men were thrown off, but not one was seriously injured... except the dogs. They could heard the screeching and yelping for only a moment, then... dreaded silence. The horses huffed and pawed the ground anxiously as the humans dismounted and grouped around the entrance, hearing nothing but the creaking of branches and the distant but unnerving snapping of twigs from animals moving in the deathly quiet of the forest.

      A tall man with a scraggly salt-and-pepper beard strode ahead and put his torch up to the entrance of the cave, on it was scrawled the message, "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate". He paused, looking back at his men, whom seemed even more nervous then before, if that was possible. He nodded to one of the assembled riders, and that man threw him a case from the back of one of the horses. Opening it, he extracted a book and some vials of liquid from inside, then the group wearily entered the cave.

      Trying awkwardly to carry a torch and a gun at the same time, the men's eyes darted around the cave with each step. The tunnel was steep, but smooth... carved. Ancient rings of metal dotted the walls, with black powder stains below indicating they once held torches. As the men grew deeper, a sound suddenly cause them to nearly jump out of their skins.

      The Weather Girls, "It's Raining Men".

      One of them cursed and pulled out a cell phone, while the others rolled their eyes and groaned quietly. Checking the caller, he sent a quick text message, then shut off the phone and put it away. "Sorry..." he whispered, "It was my wife..."

      "I told you to put it on vibrate." muttered the leader.

      "It still would've made noise..."

      The men continued onward with a chorus of whispered curses and grumbles, but all sound soon died away in the midst of their apprehension. As the tunnel descended, it flattened out, leading out into a large circular chamber too large for their torches to illuminate. Pausing at the entrance, the leader made handsigns, and the 10 men spread out in a circular pattern, anxiously checking the darkness for their quarry. The leader moved out to toward the center, coming upon what appeared to be a massive slab of stone inscribed with runes within a large rectangular carving. He approached it wearily, trying to read the moldy surface, scraping some off to see more of the words.

      He paused, then turned, "Henry... what do you make of this?" he asked, calling over a thin, diminuitive man with blonde hair and a poorly concealed danish accent.

      "Looks like Arameic..."

      "Can you translate?

      Henry squinted at it, "It's poorly preserved... and hastily written... someone was in a rush to finish this."The blonde man glanced at his leader with a brief grimace, then back at the slab, "Looks like..." he began to run his finger back and forth in the air as he read, "Four corners of Earth, power of the First frozen in stone. Unlock one, the others will follow. The heart of the dragon cries...."

      He shook his head, "This is horrible grammar... whoever wrote this was clearly not in a good state of mind."

      The leader looked grave, "What else does it say?"

      Henry went back to the slab, "The heart of the Dragon cries to the setting Sun. Don't leave. Eternal twilight comes with the Savior's last breath. Three from one, one from three, worlds apart and worlds collide... a new dawn rises..." he shook his head, "The rest is too badly damaged... it looks like gibberish anyway."

      After a moment of contemplative silence, one of the other men suddenly screamed.

      "It's here! Here! I found it!"

      They all turned and ran toward him as his torch illuminated the swiftly moving wraith, scampering like curling smoke along the cieling and walls. The men tried to keep a bead on it, and one man took two shots with his rifle, both glancing off the wall and leaving patches of pulverized silver on the cold stone. The leader pushed the gun down with his arm, "Don't waste ammo! Wait 'till we got a clear shot!"

      The monster dropped down in the middle of the floor and exuded several pseudopodia from its mass, wrapping around the nearest humans and invading their pores. The struggling men quickly shot themselves in the head, choosing death over what they knew would come if they lived. The monster was unphased as it quickly drew what lifeforce it could from the still-living cells and began to quiver and grow. An icy blue sigil began to trace itself in the air within its roiling mass, form arising from the whipping winds of black and brown.

      "It's trying to reform its seal!" shouted one man.

      "We have to kill it now!" said another.

      The leader took aim and fired, the silver bullets striking the monster and causing it to spasm and shriek. It burst into motion, wisping into the air and rushing for the tablet, pursued by gunfire. The monster latched onto the stone and melded onto it like mold growing on a grave, passively allowing the men to shoot it several more times before they ceased fire in confusion. Why wasn't it resisting? The leader waved at his men, and they surrounded the stone in a circle. The Dane took the book out of the leader's pocket and strode forth, flipping it open and beginning to chant in an ancient langauge.

      "Foul Demon, go back to hell!" he shouted after finishing the verse, and tossed a vial at it, splashing holy water on the ghostly black thing. It shook and shrieked, but did not yield, and as they watched the carved stone began to glow, revealing more writing at the bottom. The roof began to tremble as the Dane began chanting another verse, but was interrupted by the ceiling almost caving in on top of him. He jumped away at the last second, falling onto the leader in a heap. The man pointed at the writing in a panic.

      "What's it say!?" he shouted.
      With these words the Dane screamed. Not from fright or anger, but from the pain of the demon's tendril which now lodged inside him. Looking around him, he saw the wraith had grabbed all of those who now surrounded it... 13 in all. Each man scrambled to lift their gun to a vital organ, but none could muster the strength. It was too late... far too late. For with their final cries of agony the beast sucked them in, and the slab cracked in twain.

      From a thousand points of light in heaven there was a great cry which covered the Earth, and all who heard it trembled in fear...

      -------

      Looking out over the dashboard of the souped-up Toyota Camry, a pair of brown eyes lazily watched the rhythmic twists and turns of the highway, like a serpent sidewinding its way above the houses and streets below. She was dressed in a drab blue business suit with a power haircut, dark purple, and a pair of thin-rimmed glasses. Her nails expertly manicured, her make-up done up in painstaking detail, her clothes neatly ironed and perfumed with that "fresh from the drier" smell. The car's interior was pristine and deodorized, a stark contrast to the world outside the glass.

      The highway arched over a particularly bad neighborhood. Wooden-paneled houses with cracking paint sprawled in deceptively neat rows down the fissure-filled asphalt roads torn up by ages of tires and foot traffic. Graffiti stained every wall that wasn't daubed with a lazy coat of white-wash, or else decorated by happy, thriving colonies of mold and God knew what else. Patchwork cars with duct-taped windows and doors dotted the drive-ways, and what occasional vehicles could be seen in good condition weren't likely to remain that way for long; in these parts things were always deemed less valuable than the sum of their parts.

      As she drove along while trying to avoid glancing into the projects below, tapping her fingers on the wheel, the woman took a glance in the mirror to make absolutely certain everything about her appearance was flawless. As soon as her eyes drifted off the road, a shadow passed over the street, and she soon was screaming and swerving to avoid a vaguely humanoid shape which darted across the road. Nearly throwing the Camry into a tailspin, she managed to right herself and keep the car on the road while looking back to authenticate what she thought she'd seen.

      Unfortunately, she was right.

      A second later a cell phone had seemingly jumped into her grasp, dialing with one hand she she frantically looked for an exit. After three rings, and a rather nailbiting wait through an automated message center, a real person came on the line. Cutting off a passing motorist to swerve into the exit lane and shoot off the ramp into the streets below, she kept her eyes in constant motion for fear that she'd either loose sight of her target, or go off the road. And this was not a part of town an upscale white girl wanted to be causing property damage...

      "This is SEADA Headquarters, how may I help you?" replied a calm voice.

      "This is Joanna Winters! I'm an agent, and I just spotted a Class B Demon heading into the Jefferson district!"

      There was a short pause, "Ms. Winters, I'm not seeing you on our personnel files..." came the answer.

      "This is my first day! Look, it flew over my ****in' car and now I'm in the middle of the ghetto chasing a giant rat-lizard thing, so get the hell out here!"

      "Alright, Joanna. Just stay calm, and hold your position. Do not pursue it."

      "It'll get away! There're people around here... kids! Look, I'm a User, I can-"

      "Negative! We're dispatching a CP Unit right now, just don't engage the creature and everything will be fine."

      Ms. Winters pulled her car around into a cul de sac and parked, seeing her quarry directly in front of her, poking around outside a house at the far end. She could hear children screaming as she got out of the car.

      "Sorry, you're breaking up..." she said solemnly, then flipped her phone closed and tossed it into the seat. Slamming the door in hopes of getting the monster's attention, Joanna Winters approached the Demon while acquiring a glock pistol from her handbag, which she then tossed on the floor before cocking the gun and taking quick aim.

      The monster was as she had described it; about 14 feet long, 6 at the shoulder, looking like some bizarre cross between Gila Monster and New York Sewer Rat. It's naked tail whipped and lashed the ground as its long, bony fingers groped inside a shattered window. Its body was covered in hair-like spines which she could tell were scales from their luster. She squeazed off two shots at its back, causing the monster to turn faster then she would've thought possible; coiling itself and snarling with its serpentine head filled with rows of jagged teeth. She fired three more times in rapid succession, but before the third slug had even left the chamber the beast was airborne, and before the next round had slid into the breach Ms. Winters found herself crushed under the immense weight of a bony paw.

      She screamed bloody murder, though the beast only seemed to enjoy her pain. It didn't however enjoy the concussive sound wave which slammed into its face in the next second, propelling it into the air with the force of a freight train. The Demon slammed into the ground and skidded into the end house, nearly caving it in. Joanna coughed and choked, knowing for certain that at least 3 ribs were broken, and her right shoulder was either dislocated, or outright fractured. A shadow fell upon her as she tried in vain to get to her feet.

      "Lay still... further motion will only aggravate your injuries." stated a soft female voice, which, despite its gentle tone, held a cold and hollow edge to it.

      The woman looked up into the sunlight streaming down from above, the figure standing over her obscured in shadow. She could make out bright blue-green hair and silvery-white form-fitting body armor, but other then that she was hard-pressed to identify her savior. The figure didn't wait for recognition, she merely walked methodically forward as the Demon rose and began snarling and hissing, its scale-spines elongating and sticking upward like a pissed-off porcupine. Now in plain light, Winters saw that her rescuer was just a girl, barely 16 at most, from what she saw.

      "Stay back and do not interfere..."

      "Kids... in the... in the house." Joanna choked.

      "Stay back and do not interfere." the girl parroted.

      Joanna managed to sit up, choking back a scream and trying to keep herself from grabbing her shoulder (which would send lancets of pain up and down her arm). She stared helplessly as the jade-haired girl extended her arm and her flesh seemed to melt away, bone underneath shifting and expanding before the flesh came back in wiry tendrils, wrapping itself around the forming triangular section until Joanna realized she was now looking at a bio-organic blade. Her eyes widened.

      "Angel..." she whispered.

      The girl said nothing. The Demon roared. Then it fired off an impossible salvo of needles, enough to blot out the sun! The girl quickly turned and dashed back towards Joanna, scooping her up and racing to the car before shoving her inside and closing the door. The spikes rained down like harpoons, tearing into the Camry like a sardine can. Joanna screamed and covered her head, but luckily the chassis slowed the spikes enough to avoid becoming a human pin cushion.

      The jade-haired Angel was on the move before the last needle made landfall, racing ahead of the tide of spikes with her pulsating blade drawn back. Her fuchsia eyes flashed, and streamers of electrical energy surged out from her back just as she leaped into the air, the violent tendrils of energy looking almost like trailing wings as a flash of light followed her blade, and she shot past the Demon. Landing gracefully on the tiled roof of the partially-crushed house, the bio-organic being turned to watch the demon shrieking and flailing as a runic sign formed by discolored scales flared into radiant red light on his back.

      "Seal destroyed... State change in progress." the girl recited hollowly as the beast before her began to wisp away into an amorphous cloud of gaseous matter, gas which just so happened to have a not-quite-happy face on the front. The girl drew back her sword arm and it began to vibrate rapidly, static electricity arching and dancing along the blade as the gaseous demon reached out its pseudopodia to snatch her. "Echo Edge... charging..."

      The demon shrieked and rushed her with a full on tackle which slammed her into the crumbling roof, wrapping its pseudopodia around her neck and arms, making her grimace slightly as it choked her. Joanna was horrified, but could not look away, watching as the monster opened its mouth to engulf the young angel whole.

      "Bring the noise..."

      It happened in an instant. There was a flash, then an invisible crescent ripped through the demon's body and into the air, tearing the amoeba-like monster into shreds as its dying scream filled the air for miles. Joanna flinched at the sound, but kept one eye open to witness the same glowing sigil which had appeared before the demon transformed. The seal hovered in the air for a moment, before it dissolved into the wind and vanished, the beast's remains meeting a similar fade; fire to fire and smoke to smoke.

      The girl stood in a cloud of steam and crackling static, her tiny chest visibly moving as she struggled to breath while pretending not to be struggling to breath. Stoic, she hopped down from the house, her arm shredding into flailing tendrils of flesh before rapidly re-knitting into a human arm which appeared flawless to the naked eye. Joanna stared in awe as the girl calmly moved forward, stumbled slightly, paused, then completed the journey to stand in front of her. Pausing, she stiffly offered Ms. Winters a hand to help her up, which she reluctantly accepted, shocked by the strength present in such a young woman as she was promptly yanked to her feet... thankfully by her good arm.

      "What... who..." Joanna sputtered.

      "I am Crescendo project prototype unit 001A... I am the Sound Angel."

      "Jo... Joanna Winters..."

      The girl tilted her head slightly, then blinked, "Your vehicle has been disabled... shall I escort you to your destination?"

      Joanna turned around just before her car exploded. Glaring at it tiredly, she sighed and turned back to the girl, "Sure, why not..." she muttered.

      -------

      "I should fire your ass right now, you realize that right?"

      Joanna sat with her arm in a sling, staring droop-eyed at an old gray-haired main with a stubby beard. He was pacing with his hands behind his back, while behind the floor-length window behind him a work floor full of Angels like the one who saved her were being taken apart and reassembled. Or at least their endoskeletons were.

      "I was confident that help would arrive in time, sir."

      The man whirled on her, "Don't gimme that ****, no you weren't!" he accused, "You thought you'd impress the Administration on your first day by taking down a Class B yourself, didn't you?"

      "The thought had crossed my mind..."

      "Ms. Winters, that kind of recklessness will not be tolerated in this organization, do you understand? You're working for the United States government now, and we don't take kindly to people who showboat, and put our property and our personnel in jeopardy!" he shouted, "Now I'm going to cut you some slack because you've had such a good track record until now, but from now on I suggest you familiarize yourself with our procedures and protocols, and follow them next time. Do I make myself clear?"

      "Crystal."

      "Then you're dismissed... and send Asuka in on your way out."

      Joanna stood up and left without another word, heading out onto the grated catwalk over-looking the work floor. Assembly lines filled the left corner, grafting mechanical parts on while human workers in lab-coats carted around flesh-colored globs of stuff in little jars. Like little pink hearts, she saw the technicians placing them into the chest cavity of the mechanical endoskeletons, and then running them through a machine which beamed them with white light. It was disgusting and fascinating at the same time, but Joanna knew she didn't have time to watch the whole thing. She had heard it took weeks to "grow" an Angel, and she was sure she'd be called into duty before then.

      Turning away, she noticed a line of chairs along the wall, and noted a Japanese girl sitting in one of them. Her face was pale and her hair black, contrasting sharply with her bright red lipstick and mostly black outfit, covered in chains. Joanna didn't have to try hard to figure out this girl's disposition...

      "Are you Asuka?"

      "Kageri."

      Joanna looked confused.

      "Everyone calls me Kageri. It means gloom."

      Hit the nail on the head

      Joanna smiled politely, "Uh... right. I think the Boss wants to see you."

      The girl rose and headed for the door, obviously taking great care to avoid coming anywhere near Joanna. After the door closed she rolled her eyes, then headed on to her assigned station. As "Kageri" entered and spread out her black trench-coat so she could sit, the boss slid a datapad across the table and sat with his hands folded. As she silently read it, he looked down to her hands, noticing that all except her fingers were wrapped in red cloth.

      "I suppose I'll have to wash that before I touch it again..." he asked in a low voice.

      She glanced up, giving the barest of nods before looking down and continuing to read.

      "If I'm not mistaken, Ray has instructed you to wear full gloves on several occasions."

      "Ray is a jackass..."

      She could almost hear the veins popping in his neck.

      "Asuka..." he replied in a level, but nonetheless fierce tone.

      "Kageri..."

      "Asuka Kurohana!"

      She looked up. Waited. He said nothing. Eventually, she put the pad down and looked quite cross, "What do you want me to say? That he got what he deserved? That I'm sorry he couldn't keep his hands where they belong? What?" she demanded.

      "He's in the hospital. The doctors tried every anti-venin they had in stock, and he's still barely alive."

      "He shouldn't have touched me..."

      The boss looked furious, but tried to contain it. "Look, sexual harassment is one thing, but this isn't the first time I've warned you about this! I can't have my staff members going into anaphylactic shock because you can't hold a gun with gloves on! If your father wasn't-"

      "Dead?"

      "Damnit, Asuka! I'm trying to be understanding!!!" he roared.

      "Well understand then." she said, standing up and putting the pad down, "Your culprit was one Class A, not two Cs. The initial wounds are from a gun, the rest are from a demon's teeth, but they're not all in the same configuration; some are more human. The witnesses state they heard gunshots, but didn't see him transform. The blood we recovered at the scene was from a sealed state, but the DNA evidence from the wounds are from two different demons, or so the idiots at trace thought. Same residual demonic aura on both samples means one demon. That means he attacked first in his human form, was injured, then went Demi. Once he heard help coming he was afraid of being identified, so he transformed again and laid down the coup de grace before fleeing the scene. Witnesses only saw one demon so they assumed the other one ran before they got there. A simple mistake."

      She slipped the device across the desk and glared at the boss, whom wore a stony expression. He took a handkerchief from his pocket and used it to pick up the pad, then looked over the data himself. After a moment he put it down, "Wear gloves..." he said simply, "I mean it."

      "As soon as I find a pair I like." she replied with a smirk.

      He sighed and waved her away. She left without a word. In silence again, the boss pressed a buzzer on his desk.

      "Sue, have the boys put out an APB on a Class A, Lupine-type. Black hair, green eyes. We may be dealing with a Shifter here, so have them bring bio-sensors. Tell Ryan to forward the pattern to all the agencies in the area. Also, when Ray wakes up, tell him he's fired... and tell him to stay away from Asuka, or we'll press charges. That's all."

      "Right away, Mr. Sutherland." replied his secretary.

      -------

      The wind curled and caressed along the darkened brick buildings of the old industrial district, huge vacant lots girt by high fences and dotted with orange street lamps rising high below the night sky. Howling, the wind never ceased. Through the emptiness and long stretches of asphalt it whipped and eddied, twisting itself into knots around the high muted celadon smoke-stacks which once belched acrid clouds into the silvery sky. The stars perpetually hidden by the dim glow of citylight, only the Moon broke the unending dawn of illuminated civilization, shining down with cold indifference upon the billowing robes of a figure clad in fine cloth of ebony and violet.

      He stood facing the wind, long curly hair making play in the night air as his deep indigo eyes gazed out with casual repulsion at the world of Men stretched out below him. There was a faint rustle from behind as he lifted one hand to brush his hair aside, then flitted his gaze to the side.

      "Did he have it?"

      His voice was as cold and dark as this autumn night, but its strength radiated in the early morning hours before dawn awoke. Any human would've felt a chill at the sound, but he to whom the question was addressed was anything but.

      "You could've given me more clues, you know! Do you have any idea how many abandoned factories are in this district?" the man growled, green eyes shining as a bass rumble reverberated in his fierce voice.

      The robed man turned around, revealing sharp Japanese features of nearly indeterminate gender, though with that voice it was impossible to mistake him for anything else. The other, a rugged and bearded man with olive skin and a curling lip which displayed his fangs, he stood his ground and tossed an ornately carved hunk of metal to the cement roof between them. Though carved with intricate patterns and inlaid with gold and gems, the trapezoidal shard of metal was apparently useless, a mere decoration which was only notable for its appearance, and the fact that it had a triangular slot in its top and bottom sections.

      "I was nearly caught! What the hell do you need that useless trinket for anyway?"

      The robed man scoffed, "Caught? Surely you're not afraid of being overwhelmed by mere humans, are you?" he taunted.

      The scraggly-bearded man growled slightly, then scratched his cheek compulsively, "I don't have time for this crap, Kokuyougan. I got you your stinking museum piece, now fork over my fee."

      The man identified as Kokuyougan chuckled and extended his hand, the metal piece rising off the ground and shooting into his grasp. He paused to marvel at its luster as it gleamed in the moonlight, "You really have no idea what this is, do you Kouga?" he replied with a smirk. The bearded man growled again and took a step forward.

      "My payment, lizard! I'm in no mood for riddles!"

      "Riddles? No, there's only one riddle I care about. Three from one, one from three... Heaven, Earth, and Hell. The Angel's Light, the Lion's Might, the Heart of those who Fell. From Sun to Moon, the call comes late, the final seal unlocked. Breaking soon the Chains of Fate, when Man is left to Rot."

      Kouga's eyes widened, shock filling his body with a chill, "That.... that is.... but no, it... I didn't feel any..."

      With a whisper of steel a sword was drawn, and placed against the artifact it resonated, the metal shard being drawn into the blade and fusing its power with it. Kokuyougan laughed and swept his sword in a few playful swings to test its weight, then set it to ground and leaned on it slightly. A huge Nodachi, it was nearly long enough to be a cane in its own right. The green-eyed man took a step back.

      "That thing... it's the Destiny's Edge...."

      "A part of it... I must thank you for returning it, Kouga."

      Swallowing, the other man tried to look defiant, "So... w-what about... my reward." he insisted again.

      Kokuyougan only smirked.

      Far across the city streets, the wind howled and twisted. The eerie glow of streetlights framed the silhouette of a distant abandoned factory as cars drove slowly past, and birds began to call for the coming of dawn. On a far rooftop one might barely make out a brief flash of light, and then a howling scream which echoed out to the sky before merciful silence brought it to its end...

      {[Chapter 1: Prelude to the Dawn]}

      General Overview

      For those who haven't been following along, this is an RPG about Angels and Demons in a pseudo-anime-ish reality of my own design. The backstory and various other bits of information pertaining to the setting will be revealed in-game by me as we go along, but the important parts are summarized below:

      1. This is a modern world with magic and technology existing side-by-side. Magic will be explained in more detail later, but suffice to say it's not uncommon, but is rare enough to inspire awe in those who witness its effects. Technology has advanced a bit farther then it has in our world, due to particular influences related to the backstory. There are robots, computers, advanced cars and electronics. Itty bitty cell-phones and micro-I-Pods and all that good crap you could probably live without, but wouldn't like to. There is advanced medicine, but not too advanced. There are guns, and medieval weapons enhanced with modern tech. There are mecha, and tanks, and all kinds of military machines and stuff which are designed to kick ass and take names. There are also things that go bump in the night, and things that bump back... with heavy artillery and lots of collateral damage. Which brings me to point 2.

      2. There are Demons. A LOT of Demons. They will be explained below as well, but what you need to know is; they're everywhere. They're among us. Some are pretty nice people who are just trying to survive, others are just total bastards who want to eat your family's entrails and force you to watch them do it. There are Angels too, but they tend to stay in the backround unless something major rocks the boat. Both of these races can take human form and masquerade as men and woman. Most of the time you wouldn't even be able to tell... that awkward guy who says hi to you every morning, but rarely carries the conversation any further? He could be an Angel. That old lady who seems a little too spry for her age? Demon! That really wierd guy who just stares at you in class but never says a word? ... Well, he's autistic. But the guy NEXT to him could be a Demon!

      3. SEADA; the Supernatural Entity American Defense Administration (no the acronym doesn't have a hidden meaning, silly, it's just an acronym). They're a government pet-project supervised by the U.S. Marines and staffed by Magic-Users and experienced Demon-Hunters from all over the world. It has analogs in sixteen other countries, and links with major weapons suppliers, and combat specialists, and other average joes who just like to get paid for blowing **** the **** up. They also have on staff some of the greatest scientific minds of the century, including one Dr. Immanuel Aria, creator and director of the Crescendo Project. That being a program the U.S. spear-headed to create reliable weapons which could allow Marines and other combat forces to successfully combat legions of hellspawn. The result?

      4. The Battle Angels. Super-advanced Androids created with patented "Cybergenic" technology which uses nano-machines to mimic the function of biological cells, each "Cygen" (as the military prefers to call them) is composed of a mechanical endoskeleton and various technological implants and weapon systems, all of it bonded seamlessly with organic cells cultured from artificial Angel DNA. How did they culture Angel DNA? Well, that's actually top secret (and if I killed you all I'd have no players), but what I can tell you is that it was created from "purifying" Demon DNA obtained from... err... willing test subjects (willing to not have their entrails ventilated, at least). The Cygen are thus considered "Half-Angels", and are equipped with limited shape-shifting abilities in order to form weapons from their bodies, and to fulfill their prime directives; destroying designated threats, and safeguarding human life (there may be others...).

      5. There's a war going on. Called "Second Ragnarok" by the humans, it began in England and has gradually blossomed into a multi-national armed conflict. All over the world countries are scrambling to destroy the legions of demons which have suddenly arisen seemingly from the pits of Hell itself, supremely pissed-off at being sealed away for about 2,000 years. Freed from the Void, several powerful leaders of the Fallen have arisen to form factions of thousands of demons each which have waged war with the Humans. Among the remaining demons, there are those who fight for the cause, those who support it but to not fight for fear of retaliation, and also those demons who truly wish no harm and may even help a dude out if it doesn't cause them too much grief. Now engulfing all of Europe and most of the Indian sub-continent, North Africa, and parts of west Asia, the flames of war are growing ever higher as demons flee the war-front for safe-havens, and spies for each side search far and wide for secrets hidden by the other.

      6. Amid the Princes of Hell there exists one man who is feared by all who know of him. His name is Kokuyougan no Yoruryu. One of the most ancient demons, he is one of the Dragons of Darkness; six Seraphim who fell from grace in the First War in Heaven, and refused to repent their sins. Of those of the six to still live, he is the most adamant in his hatred of Humans. In his mad quest to annihilate the children of Adam, he goes in search of a legendary artifact created by a pact between the Three worlds. This artifact, forged from a union of Dark and Light, has the power to remake the world...

      7. The Trinity Blade. It is an artifact of immense power which was split into three to prevent the hands of evil from collecting it. Destiny's Edge, the Heart of Time, and the Zeitgeist, three parts which together form a single weapon which gives its wielder the power of the gods. Each piece has been split into three shards as well, and each shard scattered to the winds. If a Demon, Angel, or Man obtains even a single piece of the legendary relics, their power increases threefold, and if they manage to complete one of the aforementioned three component artifacts they obtain special abilities which are unique to that component. Kokuyougan and many others seek to find the hidden shards and kill their guardians. Human, Demon, Angel... each one has their own agenda, and each one is willing to do whatever it takes to see their single greatest wish granted.

      {[Rules and Sign-ups]}

      Rules first.

      1. Try to obey the TOS as much as possible. If you absolutely must slip in a sex scene or something like that, do try and make sure its tasteful, or at least that there's nothing there that could get auto-flagged and deleted by a Moderator, or caught by some jerk who's got nothing better to do then to rat people out for rebelling against fascism. I'm an American, and I have the right to be a foul-mouthed offensive pervert if I wanna, damnit! <.<.... >.>... *cough*... Moving on.

      2. You're not God. I am (in this RPG, at least... *le sigh*). So I don't want to see anyone going all "Rambo" and mowing down everyone in your path without taking a single hit. If you RP, RP fair. Get hurt once it a while, take a few punches, maybe break some bones or loose once or twice. Sometimes it's more important to know how to handle failure then how to win all the time (^The more you know...^). If you constantly win (or constantly loose, as can be the case when one of you follows Rule 2 and the other ones don't), I will probably notice and step in for some "divine intervention".

      3. No flaming or purposely pissing other people off (only I can do that), it just makes you look like a jerk, and will get you kicked out if it continues. Overall, be respectful to your fellow players, and to me.

      4. Don't control other people's characters unless it's cool with them. This means don't put words in their mouths, and don't describe your attacks in battle in such a way that it forces the other character to take the hit. For example, contrast "Raziel kicked John in the face" to "Raziel aimed a kick toward John's face", one is dodgable, the other is not (without counter-cheezing). Make note of this, and take it into consideration when you fight fellow players (and Author-controlled NPCs <.<).

      5. There is no Rule Five. There's no spoon either, but that's another matter entirely.

      Sign-Up Sheet

      Name: It's what people call you. Often, what your parents called you (if you have parents).
      Species: Angel, Demon, Human, Vampire, Android, Lawyer, etc.
      Class: See "Class" below. If you're not sure, or want to keep it a secret, say so. If fully Human, ignore this.
      Gender: Keep in mind that Full Angels and Demons are usually androgenous when not in Human form.
      Weapons and Equipment: Anything you happen to be carrying that isn't part of your body (or becomes part of your body when you transform).
      Magic/Tech: This is all the spells, attacks, techniques or just general special abilties your character knows. List them as follows:

      (Name of thing)
      What the thing does. Include disadvantages or flaws of the thing which a defender may be able to exploit.

      If you'd rather keep some of their abilities secret, then say so, and if the rest of your sign-up is pretty good I'll probably allow it.

      Description: Here's the Meat and Potatoes. I want as much detail as you can possibly squeaze out here. I want personality, physical description, quirks, and anything else you might want to add so that I and everyone else can imagine your character like you can. If you have additional forms, please describe each one separately, and note differences in personality or behavior between forms.
      Backstory: A few paragraphs at least describing relevant events in your character's life. Where and how they were born or created, how they lived, what happened to them, defining childhood traumas which left them scarred for life. You know, the usual stuff.

      {[Class]}

      The Humans like to categorize things. Demons, Angels, and other supernatural beings are all given a "class" that designates to other humans how dangerous they are, and what they can do. A full Class designation for a standard demon is:

      {Letter grade} - (Appearance type) - (Special Attribute)

      For example, a Werewolf would be:

      Class A Lupine type Shifter.

      That means it's a Demon that looks like a wolf in its true form, but seals itself as human (see blow). It also indicates the subject is a "Shifter", or a being which can alter its physical appearance while sealed to appear as different people. (such as changing hair or eye color, or altering facial characteristics)

      As you may guess, different classes stand for different things.

      --Class D--

      Class D is the weakest of all Demons, those which don't have a physical body. They are just formless and shapeless spirits, often totally invisible, which exist practically everywhere in the world. Class D Demons are known to "condense" from the spiritual field of the Earth, usually close to ley-lines, and are known to gravitate toward areas of powerful psychic disturbances such as gruesome deaths, family trageties, and other powerful emotions. Once a demon forms, it is often shaped by the energies that surround it. A demon which absorbs violent energies becomes violent, while a demon which is mostly around happy people will usually evolve into a calm and peaceful spirit. More powerful Class D spirits may be able to make themselves visible, and can release brief bursts of demonic power to cause physical harm to living beings. A Demon which becomes powerful enough will gain the ability to "possess" objects or people who's souls have been weakened or released (i.e, dead, dying, or asleep).
      The Dane sputtered and stood up, "A... a new... a new dawn rises on... on a world without Man." he recited hurriedly, "Broken eyes, I am calling to the dusk. Avenge us. Your kind shall find your final rest when the moon crumbles to dust.... You who have unleashed the First Seal, know that you will not be... be alone in the Void..." The leader stood and stumbled back, as the Dane struggled to read the last line amid the quaking of the cavern. Finally, with parched lips and pale face, he whispered the final line, "The second End begins with these words... momento mori."



      "That's not what I asked."

    2. #2
      The Fantastic Freak Daeva's Avatar
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      Mm'kay.

      That overly long intro is likely to drive some people away and while it is interesting, it can be very confusing in some places. I suggest perhaps revising it at some point. Also, maybe consider putting more information about the mechanics of the game into the first post rather than story-ish stuff. ^_^

      Aside from that, I am interested in this. It has potential. I've got a few questions I'd like to PM you that pertain to a character idea and aside from that a question that I'll put here;

      You say this isn't Sin's idea/RP style, or whatever, so does that mean we will actually be writing our own characters? Hopefully it does.
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    3. #3
      Il Buoиo Siиdяed's Avatar
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      As much as the Sindred whatever hurts, I'm vaguely interested in reading.

      I'd rather not participate, though, because I find that free-form 'write-your-own-character' RPs just become something of an impossible ego-fest, with minimal sense of 'game' or challenge to them at all.

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      Wow. I didn't even finish. I've still got angels and demons to go!

      Anyways, Sindred or whatever guy, you are obviously misinformed. I weep for you and this poor, poor, board. I'll have to make a new topic. Excuse me. Anyways, freedom is the essence of delight. Being restricted in a <i>roleplaying game</i>- where you're supposed to play a role to your hearts desire- is, at least to me, silliness in and of itself. There will be none of that here.

      Daeva... Heh. You haven't seen long until you've ventured outside of this board. And, like I said, more info will be in the new topic.

    5. #5
      The Fantastic Freak Daeva's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Seefu View Post
      Wow. I didn't even finish. I've still got angels and demons to go!

      Anyways, Sindred or whatever guy, you are obviously misinformed. I weep for you and this poor, poor, board. I'll have to make a new topic. Excuse me. Anyways, freedom is the essence of delight. Being restricted in a <i>roleplaying game</i>- where you're supposed to play a role to your hearts desire- is, at least to me, silliness in and of itself. There will be none of that here.

      Daeva... Heh. You haven't seen long until you've ventured outside of this board. And, like I said, more info will be in the new topic.
      I've seen many an RP sites and many a long posts, but I find the ones that are the most direct in the opening posts get the most attention. Though, I can see where weeding out the fickle with a long post might have it's benefits.

      I'll look forward to see the new topic.
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      New topic is up. With information. And magic. Etc.

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      Couldn't be bothered reading. Looks like another Anti-Heroes rip off anyway.
      Last edited by Car˘usoul; 01-21-2008 at 03:15 PM.

    8. #8
      Il Buoиo Siиdяed's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Seefu View Post
      Wow. I didn't even finish. I've still got angels and demons to go!

      Anyways, Sindred or whatever guy, you are obviously misinformed. I weep for you and this poor, poor, board. I'll have to make a new topic. Excuse me. Anyways, freedom is the essence of delight. Being restricted in a <i>roleplaying game</i>- where you're supposed to play a role to your hearts desire- is, at least to me, silliness in and of itself. There will be none of that here.
      Well go for it. Wipe away those tears and enjoy your role-play. I'm not misinformed, Seefu, I merely dislike the lack of challenge and 'gameness' in this sort of role-play. Disagreement doesn't equal ignorance.

      ...bitch.

    9. #9
      The Fantastic Freak Daeva's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Car˘usoul View Post
      Couldn't be bothered reading. Looks like another Anti-Heroes rip off anyway.
      Not really. The only thing Unique about Sindred's RP is the sending in of the actions and the storyline itself; the abilities, etc, aren't unique and in Seefu's RP things are completely different whether it be antagonist, power, or style wise.
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      Quote Originally Posted by NeAvO View Post
      Woo I made an appearance as a blonde slutty prom queen! It's like you actually dreamt the real me!

    10. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by Daeva View Post
      Not really. The only thing Unique about Sindred's RP is the sending in of the actions and the storyline itself; the abilities, etc, aren't unique and in Seefu's RP things are completely different whether it be antagonist, power, or style wise.
      If Sindred hadn't created Anti-Heroes this would not exist.

      The Arcane Arena would remain lifeless and still.



      Even if the content itself is not ripped off; RPing itself on DV is now in the wake of Sindred's success.

    11. #11
      The Fantastic Freak Daeva's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Car˘usoul View Post
      If Sindred hadn't created Anti-Heroes this would not exist.

      The Arcane Arena would remain lifeless and still.



      Even if the content itself is not ripped off; RPing itself on DV is now in the wake of Sindred's success.
      This guy was around RP'ing in Arcane Arena before Sindred. I was RP'ing in Arcane Arena before Sindred. He is not responsible for there being RP'ing here, merely for the latest bout of activity, and I think it a slap in the face of the people he pushed for this place's creation that you'd say such.

      Anti-Heroes is not Everything as far as RP'ing on DV goes and quite honestly, I'm growing tired of it being treated like it is. Sure, it's a good storyline and fun to play but damn, it's not orgasmic and in my opinion it would be a lot better if I could actually write my own character; but I can't, so I come here.

      If Anti-Heroes was so great as you all act like, I doubt Sindred would have been having to PM people asking if they wanted to join so he could get a few more participants.
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      Quote Originally Posted by NeAvO View Post
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    12. #12
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      Quote Originally Posted by Daeva View Post
      This guy was around RP'ing in Arcane Arena before Sindred. I was RP'ing in Arcane Arena before Sindred. He is not responsible for there being RP'ing here, merely for the latest bout of activity, and I think it a slap in the face of the people he pushed for this place's creation that you'd say such.

      Anti-Heroes is not Everything as far as RP'ing on DV goes and quite honestly, I'm growing tired of it being treated like it is. Sure, it's a good storyline and fun to play but damn, it's not orgasmic and in my opinion it would be a lot better if I could actually write my own character; but I can't, so I come here.

      If Anti-Heroes was so great as you all act like, I doubt Sindred would have been having to PM people asking if they wanted to join so he could get a few more participants.



      "The dark skinned uber-man entered the room, killing four men and jumping onto the roof in one swift motion."

      When everyone makes their characters the protagonist with ultimate powers most challenge is taken away, everyone is super-cool, and people don't seem to be able to die because they control their own actions.


      Before Sindred's method, which has in turn influenced other RP's the AA was mainly consistent of these massive ego-fests madly unrealistic; not much like a game with any challenge really.



      Equally before Anti-Heroes there was somewhere in the region of a post a week at best here. Which is somewhat dead.




      I understand peoples nostalgia and want for this flawed system; if just for the ego trip you can gain from it, but Sindred's system is fundamentally better.

    13. #13
      Il Buoиo Siиdяed's Avatar
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      I asked you if you wanted to join because you were a keen, active member of the RP community and I wanted your input. At the time I had several other people interested in joining that I held back on. At the moment I'm having to juggle a number of people and story arcs at once. I'm not struggling for more people.

      Anti-Heroes is far more a 'game', as I've said. I dislike free-writes because I feel they simply become disorganised ego-fests that don't allow you to make plans and feel actually challenged. You get far too many archetype characters (silent super-assassin, dark mage with a dark secret, etc), everyone is ubercool and uberstrong.

      I'm not stopping you doing a free-form. Before now I hadn't even been asked to discuss free-form. I'm sorry that Seefu has a problem with me but I really don't want anything to do with it.

      I'm doing an RP, and people are enjoying it. I'm sorry you aren't. End of?

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      I can see the merits in this free-write business but they seem to be more individual stories rather than role-playing games.

    15. #15
      The Fantastic Freak Daeva's Avatar
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      Sindred's method is good at what it does; stopping ego-fests, but personally I don't much care to deal with people that get like that and avoid them anyways. I'm perfectly capable of writing a flawed character by myself and accepting death if I am bested. Not everyone makes their characters with 'ultimate' powers and not a single flaw. Some people actually know how to Role-play and enjoy Role-playing, whether that mean winning or losing. Losing can provide just as many RP opportunities as winning, if not more.

      As exampled, I've already had one character get the hell beat out of him in the first page or so of Mirage by someone who actually possessed less strength in the 'force' (star wars based chars) than he did.

      Yes, AA is active now because people look at Anti-Heroes and decided to glance into the section as a whole, but there was RP'ing in here before Anti-Heroes and there will be after it.

      Yeah, Mainly it's Seefu that looks to have the problem. I'm just defending free-writes because I 'grew-up' in a free-write community that was quite simply massive, with board-wide plots, and a lot of awesome RP'ers. Free-writes can both be simply amazing and really crappy. Hence why good ones are so hard to find.

      Interaction with others is key; it turns individual stories into RP'ing
      Last edited by Daeva; 01-21-2008 at 04:01 PM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by NeAvO View Post
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      Quote Originally Posted by Daeva View Post
      Sindred's method is good at what it does; stopping ego-fests, but personally I don't much care to deal with people that get like that and avoid them anyways. I'm perfectly capable of writing a flawed character by myself and accepting death if I am bested. Not everyone makes their characters with 'ultimate' powers and not a single flaw. Some people actually know how to Role-play and enjoy Role-playing, whether that mean winning or losing. Losing can provide just as many RP opportunities as winning, if not more.

      As exampled, I've already had one character get the hell beat out of him in the first page or so of Mirage by someone who actually possessed less strength in the 'force' (star wars based chars) than he did.

      Yes, AA is active now because people look at Anti-Heroes and decided to glance into the section as a whole, but there was RP'ing in here before Anti-Heroes and there will be after it.

      Yeah, Mainly it's Seefu that looks to have the problem. I'm just defending free-writes because I 'grew-up' in a free-write community that was quite simply massive, with board-wide plots, and a lot of awesome RP'ers. Free-writes can both be simply amazing and really crappy. Hence why good ones are so hard to find.

      Interaction with others is key; it turns individual stories into RP'ing
      I know, I was here to watch the RP here long before Sindred even joined; and I have seen a positive change since he did.

    17. #17
      Il Buoиo Siиdяed's Avatar
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      No, I'll agree that some people handle free-form better than others, and from what I've seen of Mirage, you're one of them, and I never said there wasn't role-play in the Arcane Arena before me, I was in the odd free-form before I started Anti-Heroes.

    18. #18
      The Fantastic Freak Daeva's Avatar
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      Now that that's settled, Seefu, stop being an asshole to Sindred. It's not the best way to get members and I'd rather this thing not die -_-
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      Quote Originally Posted by NeAvO View Post
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    19. #19
      Il Buoиo Siиdяed's Avatar
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      Meh, if he writes 'Sindred' without adding 'whatever' I'll be happy.
      Last edited by Siиdяed; 01-21-2008 at 08:22 PM.

    20. #20
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      Way too long. Simplify, please.

      Hey guys, I'm back. Feels good man
      ---------------------------------------------------
      WTF|Jesus lul
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      I deal with ego freaks by humiliating them. My method works.

      Sindred, in response to one of your posts, (yes, I am a huge bastard) I don't care. Lack of challenge? Hah. It's the lack of a defined plot that makes this, and most other RPG's, work. I say you are ignorant because you act as if your 'style' is the lord's gift to roleplaying, or, hell, the only one that works. Really, don't be stupid. As said... I've been roleplaying before you, I've been roleplaying on this board before you became a damned member -before ANYONE even touched this board-, and I shall continue to do so. Good day to you!


      Carosaul, or whoever, why the hell should I be bothered to write your name correctly? Don't be stupid. The thing you described doesn't happen. It's against the rules. Not everyone is stupid. And all of that. My system has been used forever, it is the accepted system, and while Sindred's RP is fine and all, it's just fine.

      Daeva, this isn't a damned free write. Quit calling it that. I can't stop being an asshole, sorry, especially when quite a bit is directed towards me- masked in politeness, maybe, but all the same.

      SomeGuy, look in the signups. There's a general overview section.

    22. #22
      The Fantastic Freak Daeva's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Seefu View Post
      Daeva, this isn't a damned free write. Quit calling it that. I can't stop being an asshole, sorry, especially when quite a bit is directed towards me- masked in politeness, maybe, but all the same.
      What do you call it then?
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      Quote Originally Posted by NeAvO View Post
      Woo I made an appearance as a blonde slutty prom queen! It's like you actually dreamt the real me!

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      Quote Originally Posted by Daeva View Post
      What do you call it then?
      Did I forget to tell the board about the styles? Hmm... Should have stickied it.

      Regardless, this is a true style role-playing game, which means that:

      There are no forced hits.

      No god-modding

      And etcetera.

    24. #24
      The Fantastic Freak Daeva's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Seefu View Post
      Did I forget to tell the board about the styles? Hmm... Should have stickied it.
      So do you plan to come out one day and tell people who you are, or just keep dropping the obvious hints?
      http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a332/ProphetsK/DaveaSigwithText.jpg
      Quote Originally Posted by NeAvO View Post
      Woo I made an appearance as a blonde slutty prom queen! It's like you actually dreamt the real me!

    25. #25
      Banned
      Join Date
      Oct 2007
      Posts
      36
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      0
      I'm Seefu, you poor, fickle, girl.

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