Of Monsters and Men


Strength of Steel, Will of Iron
@Draco Shadowdragon @61 Argent Feathers Seal Evil @Wintergreen


It was a cold, dark and shaded night, where only the most bare minimum of light broke through the black of the clouds. Four men stood still barren field surrounded by an unnatural darkness, filled with unseen eyes and strange forms that seem to fade in and out of the dark, as if they did not move on the ground, but swam in the void around the four. Two of these men carried thick tower shields and wielded spears as weapons. They dressed in long black robes and wore metal cylindrical helmets that covered and hid their faces. They flanked the third men, an old Samurai who wore the mark of the Boar on his face and the traditional brown and white armor of his Clan. His Katana dug into the ground ever so slightly as he knelt to the fourth figure. A man who wore leathery clothes as dark as the voice all around them, but it seemed to be part of his body rather then any external wear. The forth figure towered over the three men, as it stood 8 feet tall, with long slender legs and a skinny torso and neck. A round head sat on top of its unnaturally thin neck, but this head had no features save for a wide grin, wide enough to bite off a man's head with his thick teeth. His arms and hands were stretched out and gnarled, where the figure had to clench his four jointed fingers to keep them from touching the ground. The Samurai seemed to be praying to the figure as the shadowy form spoke in a clear and smooth male voice.

"Be calm my son, for be it cold, hate or hunger, my son...it will soon disappear. My son be ready to breathe your last breath in a form befitting of a mortal. My son...be ready for the promise of the Darknesssss." His voice hissed as the tall man raised his gangling finger and wrapped a hand around the Samurai's neck, forcing the old man to open his mouth. His fingers dug into the veins of his neck, injecting a terrible poison that burned the blood and killed the flesh. "My son...it will be over soon." He said, as he raised his free hand and reached down the Samurai's throat, and with a bit of force, the man pulled out a golden aura which burned away the Darkness, and flesh of the tall man, but he did not seem to notice as the fingers that had wrapped around the aura continued to grow and surround the glow until it had shaded the entirety of the golden light, and with a simple squeeze...the light fades and is gone forever. The dark mass attached to the tall man's hand breaks apart and shrinks until it is back to the form of the creature's hand.

The tall man releases the Samurai, who falls to the ground gasping for air as the venom did its work to replace the light within with an incurable darkness. "My son, now rise. Breathe your last as a slave to the light, and rise as a god of the dark." The tall man said and the Samurai stood up with ease, as the pain subsides.

"I am now a god? You promised me I would be different, but I feel the same. I feel the same hatred, the same shame, the same guilt and pity as I did before. You have lied to me monster." The samurai said, and one of the guards spoke up in anger.

"You dare speak to the great avatar in such a manner? You ungrateful swine. If I was offered such a position with the lord's court I would-" The guard stops his words as a blade had been run across his neck, faster then he could even react.

"Silence." Said the old man, now holding onto his weathered Katana, a blade shadow forming the weapon's edge. He had drawn and swung the blade in a blink, and had sliced the guard's neck with such speed that there wasn't even a drop of blood on his weapon. The other guard dropped his shield and weapon and began to ran, but the Samurai simply thought to kill him and the creatures of the Darkness strode forth from the void and pounced on the guard, tearing him apart piece by piece as he screamed his last breath. The Samurai turned and looked at the figure, kneeling before him. "Forgive me my master. I was rash...but now I know. What do you wish this god of the dark to do?" He asked and the figure simply smiles.

"All is forgiven my son. For now descend into the abyss, journey forth and harvest the light where it may shine. You must grow accustom to your new core, and soon you will forget what it is like to be hungry, alone, shamed and pitied. We must gather more for our horde, and soon we shall show them the single vision....of Darkness."



With the bustle of hundreds of Ferrumen, Beastkin and Anban's alike, walking back and forth Hava Station, the large Aeroport can boast to be the most profitable and busy place within the nations as it serves as the only way to get to the nation of the Assembly of Terra, located in the edge of monster infested space. This small nation was created by a joint effort by the various races upon the planet in order to form a combined fighting force against the monsters that spawn in the dark, but it have since evolved into something a bit more lucrative. It is now a hunter's paradise, with aspiring warriors from all corner of the world travelling to the nation to hunt down monsters in order to collect their bodies for use in weapons, armor, munitions, or simply to stuff and sell for wealthy collectors. There are some monsters that have been said to taste wonderful with a side of fried potatoes and salt.

With the station being the only one in and out of the Assembly of Terra, it is no surprise that most of the people here are hunters and aspiring hunters, there for money, fame, or simply for a challenge. To allow for a more organized method of hunting, the Assembly had allowed for the creation of Hunter's Guilds in order to provide hunters with a stable place to sleep, resupply, heal and rest in between hunts. One of the top 6 guilds on the Assembly, the Rising Unknowns, is recruiting new members to add to their ranks, something that they do only once a year. With the window for this recruitment process slowly coming to an end, the airship 'Vigilant' had been assigned to take the recruits directly to the guild hall.

This is where your characters begin, trapped in a cramped airship, forced to sit in the same booth as every other booth had been taken up by larger groups. At least the menu has a good variety of food and drink to keep you all sane. The booths are made up of two seats facing each other next to a window and a small table for delivering food items in the middle. Just behind each seat is a similar set up, separated with a thin glass wall.
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The Heart of The Party
Getting to the airship was no simple task, it was a very spontaneous choice that a random child told him to do. So he rushed off to try to become an official hunter.

He let out a sigh.

"Thats what ya get for listening to a kid, ya save there life and they think your a hero of legend...man I really gotta stop talking to myself"

All the seats booths have seemed to be taken up, And his fellow passangers weren't making it easy to find a seat. After a brief search he found an avalible booth, there was a seat with his name on it.

"Hey a seat - oh im doing it again"

He opened up the door to see new faces. They looked like unique characters. He took his seat and got comfortable, as comfortable as he could that is.

"Yo, I'm Yo! And you are?"

Draco Shadowdragon

Unknown Entity
Naoki had heard talk of a guild of hunters opening up recruitment. And he had to admit the prospect sounded in his soul like he was meant for this. So along the period of a few days he traveled to the station that would take him to the guild.

He sat back in his seat and watched the booths fill up. It was starting to get cramped really fast. Then a guy sat across from him. "Yo, I'm Yo! And you are?" The guy that sat across from him asked. This guy was a little to excited for him but he'd help him pass the time he figured. "I'm Naoki. What brings you here?" He mentally face palmed himself. Why else would the guy be here? To try to get into the guild too probably.
Lissa walked through the cramped, noisy hallway of the passenger decks. Every compartment she had passed so far was filled with passengers. From the sound of things, they were mostly other monster hunter applicants; the airship was filled with the chatter of their conversation and the distant whir of the engines. Hopefully the passenger compartments would muffle some of the sound. Lissa quickly made her way to the nearest compartment with space and sat, shifting around some of her equipment as she did.

Lissa eyed those already in the compartment; both Anban swordsmen, judging by the weapons they wore. Perhaps former military, or some form of mercenary, from places without the infrastructure, wealth, and manufacturing skill required for repeating powder weapons. That, or they had enough monster-hunting experience to know that monsters tend to run towards gunshots and mob marksmen. As Lissa measured herself against her company, she hoped that her tendency to avoid direct combat wouldn't hurt her career prospects; traps, sniping, and ambushes killed monsters just as well, right?
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Strength of Steel, Will of Iron
(Just a heads up, there's no post limit or order. Just to keep things moving, just post when you feel like it.)

The airship begin to shake and rattle as it began to pass over some uninhabitable area of the world, claimed by the deeply entrenched monsters that lurk within. If one looked out the window, it would seem as if there was nothing more then a black crater, devoid of any color or shine. As they passed over, the captain began to speak through the ship's speakers.

"Please disregard the turbulence we're experiencing. This is completely normal and we shall return to proper stability in a short while." He said and just as he promised, the ship stopped the shakes and rattles after only a few seconds.


The Heart of The Party
"I'm Naoki. What brings you here?"

"Oh me? Uh.. that's a hard question to answer. The Darkness I guess? What about yourself?" He asked Naoki.

A new passenger entered their midst. They were a full moon beastkin. She stuck out like a sore thumb compared to those two. He stared for a second, he hasn't really seen a full moon beastkin before, she looked so human.

As the ship shook his mask fell off, he covered up his face. Before anyone would notice he tried to put his mask back on.
Lissa suddenly regretted boarding a floating coffin. Until now, she had regarded the airship as essentially a floating wagon or horse; just another form of transportation to get used to. She had overlooked the fact that there was no way to get off it if it broke.

While the ship avoided the seas of monsters between patches of civilization, it - and its vulnerable floaty-gas-bag thing - was still in reach of flying monsters. On top of that, there was no way to defend the death trap- Turbulence. They said that it was just turbulence. Not a monster attack.

Lissa sat by the robe-wearing swordsman, near the door and across the armored one. He looked like he would fare better in such a cramped area; with so little room to dodge, armor would be invaluable. As she settled herself, Lissa turned an ear to focus on the swordsmen's conversation, while the other twitched as it monitored the noises in her surroundings.

Thinking about it some more, airships were one of the main transportation methods across monster-infested land. If they were that vulnerable, no one would be willing to even build them. The ship had to have some form of defense: armor, weaponry, things like that. The ship was likely fine.

Even so, being trapped and helpless did not sit well with her. Lissa's hand drifted to her unstrung longbow as she examined the window. She was mostly sure she could hit flying monsters from the compartment; the issue would be whether there was enough space to draw her bow.

Draco Shadowdragon

Unknown Entity
"I was just wandering at first, but I heard one of the guilds was recruiting. It sounded interesting so I decided to give it a try."

At that time Naoki felt the eyes of somebody looking at them. Glancing he saw a new person enter their midst. Though she looked human he could tell that she was a beastkin. She looked around the compartment and sat next to him.

"So, what's your name? I'm Naoki and this, even though I just met him, is Yo," he said indicating both him and Yo.

The shaking from the turbulence reminded him suddenly, why he preferred land travel. Images crept into his mind of the airship crashing. He shook the thought out of his head. He was sure that airships weren't so weak that turbulence would take them out of the sky.


The Heart of The Party
After the ship had gotten done shaking, As idea had popped into Yo's head. The shaking was almost too realistic, which peaked his interest. He had gotten up from his seat and walked out of the cramped compartment and headed through the river of fellow creatures. While making it through the crowded hallways he bumped into a Big Furreman, his muscles were massive, he towered over the smaller Yo. The colossal traveler had a look of anger in his eyes., it was hard to make out with his mask, but he appeared mad. His mask had two small hand prints on them where his cheeks would be.

"Hey, Watch where your going boy, Argh"

"My bad man, Just chill out?" He said passively.

"Eye, You're right, all of this crowd has gotten me a bit grumpy. My apologizes, Your mask, but your short? how old are ya we lad?"

"I'm 27?"

"You're not" He let out a laugh.

"Oh? Yeah I have this on. I'm an... Anban"

"I see, you have a taste for our culture?"

"It's from a.. friend from long ago - I'm sorry but I must be going, I'm under investigation"

"The names Ruckus, kid"

"The names Yo, I'll see you around"

He continued through the crowd to make way to his point of interest.
"Lissa Longears," the beastkin answered. She glanced at the anban - "Naoki" - who asked her her name after locating the window's latch. Said latch was just out of reach, though she could always move or break the window with an arrow in case of aerial attack.

Lissa heard the rustle and clicking from the armored anban as he got up and left the compartment. The decrease in collective defensive capability was unpleasant, but it was incredibly unlikely that an attack would come from inside the airship anyways.

With not much else to do, Lissa ran through what she had on her and thought of what needed maintenance. Her armor was oiled and re-stitched before she left, her arrows checked for damage, sharpened, and oiled, so was her axe, her machete... her knife was used daily, and it had been some time since she had last cleaned and stropped it. Best to check on it. Lissa reached down to a pouch on her belt, pulled out a clean cloth and a small knife, and began to wipe down its blade.

Draco Shadowdragon

Unknown Entity
Naoki glanced back at Yo as he got up and left the compartment. He hoped that he hadn't made the man anxious. He sometimes had that effect on people. He wondered if he'd see that man again in the future. Only time would tell though.

"So what brings you here?" His attention returning to Lissa. His gaze settled on her hands as they wiped the blade of a knife. This one was definitely anxious. A sigh escaped him as he realized that he may very well be the only one who was calm and collected.

He leaned back in his seat. This was going to be a long trip from the feel of it. It would be best if he could avoid getting anxious himself. In and out. In and out. He focused on his breathing to pass the time.


The Heart of The Party
He brushed up against many of people who wished to become hunter's. The strong one's looked like the typical tough guy and didn't stand out much in his eye, but the younger hunter's did, it was interesting to see such young people waste their lives away, most looked too young, too confident, and some looked like they'd live forever. To be a kid, was to not know much about the world, but it was there life and not his place to speak, so he continued through the crowd fading into obscurity.

As he made way towards the captains deck, he bumped into a mysterious man, he wore armor head to toe, fully decked in a samurai armor unlike anything he had seen before. He gave off a strong silent type.

"..You look familair?"

"The name's Zero" He said.

It was with those words spoke in a stoic tone, that had been left for Yo to process. And it was with those words the mysterious man vanished. It had been an eventful walk to the front deck. Upon reaching it he felt an unease, was it what he thought it was? He couldn't be too cautious, it was worth an ask anyway. He felt great anticipation as he opened into the captains territory.

"I have a question for you, more of a hunch really, I just find it continent that the sip shook as we crossed over the abyss of darkness, Many felt scared and some may not have, it all seems to 'set up' Like a test almost, this ship leads directly to where we need to go, but whos to say this isn't somehow the test hasn't already begun, especially when we don't expect it, so Captain, Has the test begun?"
Lissa paused as she was cleaning the blade of her knife. It was best not to mess around with sharp objects while distracted. Tool maintenance would have to be put on hold for now, it seemed. She turned to Naoki as she responded to his question.

"I'm on this airship because the Rising Unknowns are recruiting," she said. "Monster hunter work seems more stable than what I was doing previously, and I have some small experience in the matter. What of you?"


Strength of Steel, Will of Iron
On the airship, right as the ship moved past the center of the crater below, the sounds of machine guns and light cannons began to erupt. This was a common occurrence. Even when there were clear routes one could take around the pockets of darkness, there were still smaller man sized beasts who seek to prey upon flying armored ships and the like. These were called Imps and Scourges. Imps being humanoid winged furies who seek to shred and tear with claws and fangs, and Scourges are beetle like monsters who are capable to tearing apart an armored man with its reinforced mandibles as it sores on insectoid wings. However they were both easily shooed away by anti-air and anti-personal fire.

In the middle of the ship, all was well as the people around both Lissa and Naoki weren't all that concerned. This was common of course and they weren't in any danger.

However near the front deck, there were deckhands and gunners running about. As Yo was entered the usually opened captain's quarters, an Anban guard immediately pushed him out. Before he was hurried out, Yo would've been able to see the captain, another Anban samurai, shouting orders to the crew, as through the bridge windows one could see a rather terrifying sight. A glimpse of a tentacled purple beast with large bulbous eyes that soared on impossibly small wings. All the ship's small guns were firing at the beast attempting to scare it off but it was all in vain.

The captain shouts for the alarms as the ship's main guns finally fired off a volley. Yo was just outside of the bridge, but he was no longer welcomed. A deckhand points a gun to him. "If you know what's good for you, then you would make for the saferooms." The Bangal Deckhand told Yo. "And stay out of the front. We got this under control." she said, though her voice shook with a certain lack of certainty.

The alarms blared in the common rooms were the bulk of the recruits and hunters were, as well as Lissa and Naoki. "This is the Captain. There is a situation that requires our immediate attentions. All customers please report to the nearest Safe Room immediately. There will be an attendent to help you settle in. I repeat there is a situatioon that requires out immediate attention. All customers please report to the nearest Safe Room immediately." He said, and the people all around them began to quickly head towards the Safe Rooms.
The recent series of events was quite troubling to Lissa. The sound of rapid-fire gunshots had already set her on edge - typically, there heralded monster swarms in the wilderness she was used to - but when it was accompanied by alarms and evacuation it leapt from "unsettling" to "alarming." The airship was clearly under attack. Her ears twitched as she strained to hear what was attacking. Was that roaring she heard? It was deep, and loud enough for her to hear from out of sight. A large one, then.

"Naoki," Lissa said, "is this sort of thing normal? I am unfamiliar with air travel, and would like guidance on how to respond." Namely, she was weighing whether she should stay out of the way or string her bow and provide as much aid as possible. Currently, she was leaning towards the latter. Getting involved might interfere with the coordination of the crew's trained combatants, but getting into a sniping position probably wouldn't get in their way. Furthermore, the distance would likely keep her safe, meaning no resources would need to be diverted to support her.

Lissa quickly put her knife away, got up, and pulled out her longbow from a long pouch attached to a quiver on her back. She hooked it around her legs, using them as a lever to string the almost two hundred pound draw weight bow.

Twenty-four arrows. Lissa hoped that would be enough. In her experience, flying monsters were... fragile. Typically, they were easily brought down when you disabled their flight. Whether she pierced a wing joint, severed muscles, or popped a gas-sack, at the very least they'd lose almost all speed and coordination; usually, they'd fall. However, the airship used guns. ...Perhaps any monster near enough to hear them would have attacked the only thing in the sky anyways, but either way she couldn't shoot down a swarm. How troubling; she hoped the airship was equipped with flamethrowers of some sort.

Draco Shadowdragon

Unknown Entity
Naoki replied, "I'm here for practically the same reason. I was getting tired of aimlessly wandering around." He missed the old days though. The days when he was with the clan.

The sound of gunfire sounded throughout the ship. This was common. Then the alarm went off and the captain told them to make way to the safe rooms. That wasn't common.

"This is a little out of the ordinary. There must be something out there that the guns won't scare off. It'd be best to keep your composure and do as the captain says. If the guns aren't working on whatever is coming then that bow of yours, no matter the draw weight, most likely won't do anything." Calmness remained in his voice. This wasn't the first time a situation similar to this had happened to him. "Let's make way to the safe rooms. At the very least we'll be able to survive the crash in there. We can figure out where to go from there." He let Lissa finish stringing her bow before motioning for her to follow him to the safe rooms. One hand remained on the hilt of his sword just in case he ran across a monster for some reason before they got to the safe room.
Lissa drew an arrow, nocked it, and nodded. "I see," she said. "Would you like to take the lead?" Lissa gestured to the sword at Naoki's hip. "You seem more suited to it."

In the airship's long, narrow corridors, there would be limited space to dodge and flank. This would funnel attackers and eventually block enemy movements with their bodies. Such things were normally very useful to a ranged combatant. However, Lissa and Naoki would be moving to a safe zone. It was likely they would be crossing intersections and other areas where it was possible to be flanked and forced into close-range combat.

While having an ally in the way of her arrows was less than ideal, Naoki was better suited to dealing with monster attacks from close range; nocking, drawing, then aiming and releasing an arrow took more time than swinging a sword. Furthermore, bows were quite terrible at blocking attacks and would run out of ammunition in prolonged combat. As such, Naoki was more suited for advancing into possibly hostile territory than her. Lissa could instead use her bow to take down pursuers before they grew close enough to threaten them.

Lissa was a bit worried that Naoki wouldn't have enough space to fight. With so little armor, it was likely that his fighting style relied on evasion, positioning, and distance to avoid attacks. Without room to maneuver, he might have trouble using his skill effectively. However, he was still more suited to close combat than her, what with his implied training and experience. She would just have to hope he could handle it, and make sure she gave him enough space to move.

Lissa kept much of her focus on her hearing, sifting through the commotion of the other passengers for any sign of attacking or approaching monsters: battle cries, weapon impacts, howling, screaming, rapid footsteps, anything that might warn of an enemy.

Draco Shadowdragon

Unknown Entity
Naoki nodded and took the lead. It made perfect sense to him. Close range fighters always took the lead and the ranged fighters took to the back as backup.

The trip to the safe room had started. As the walked down the corridor his hand rested on the hilt of his sword. The lack of space didn't even bother him. If he had to he could just cut through the walls. But he doubted that he'd have to though.