Barteris-Shards of an Iron crown..

Wolf star *

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In the days before time was recorded upon parchment or stone the ancients of good an evil traveled the universe for a place of their own. And so it was that then they came upon a young unknown planet. There harts were raised in wonder. They saw a world of nameless mountains, untamed forests and plains of grass wild and free. They devoted them selves to studying and appreciation of this new land. The only problem they had found was the land was not uninhabited; there lived a young species of man just evolving.

Those with darker intentions looked upon the land with a lust of power and secretly studied the darker arts with out the knowing knowledge of there more peace loving counterparts.

This is how they lived for thousands of years. Those with kind harts moved among the primitive men aiding with wizardry in there own development. They lived in peace or so they thought.

One ancient named Shadama thought that man should fall on there knees and worship them like gods.

Outraged the ancient hi-council tried to convince Shadama that this was not acceptable and he should step down as first elder. Shadama answered them by ordering thousands of men in the construction of a grand temple to worship them as gods.

This split the council and denounced Shadama as first elder. He was then expelled but not before he cursed them for there stupidity out of arrogance. As he left he vowed these final words, “One day I will stand over your dead bodies and then there will be order, you will regret if you shall see me again for it will be with my hand covered in your own blood.”

This plunged the world into a thousand year civil war. The followers of Shadama and those humans who believed them as gods fought brother against Brother for so long that the reason for the war was lost over time for the world of men. The only thing that they knew was hatred for there enemy. The war that was now known as the mutant wars because of bio-weapon experiments preformed by Shadama on his own subjects gave him an edge on his enemies that could now tip the balance in his favor.

As Shadama built his Mutant army’s the council learned of his experiments. They knew that once the full force of mutants was unleashed they couldn’t hold out long before there destruction. The war had cost many lives of the ancients and now too few have survived to hold back the tide of death. They needed an answer. When one of there youngest spoke forth by the name of Agarash, “We need outsiders, It will be all we can do to just hold back the mutants from Dark Fort.”

So it was decided that a band of humans had to do the impossible. They needed ones who had no ties to there city- rouges, killers, mercenaries, pirates ones they could deceive or control because they were placing the future of the world in there hands. To retrieve the iron crown of Sado there most precious item. It was bound in spells and hidden on there arrival too this planet thought never to be needed again.

“How can we find someone like that,” asked one elder. Agarash smiled “leave that to me.”
 
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Wolf star *

Wolf star *

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Along the bitter sea coast in a small unimportant town aptly named Dead town for its unsavory residents that changed as fast as the weather, stood a building that had seen better day. The roof was missing half its slate shingles that could be found shattered on the potholed filled road leading too it main entrance. The once blue paint was pealing off in great flakes hanging on as if determined to keep the building standing under its own strength.

Inside was what was of real interest. Gathered under one roof contained in the main ball room was the most loathsome of characters throughout the realm. There was never such a collection of thief’s, cold harts, assassins, pirates, ex-soldiers and mercenaries.

One man stood in the back cloaked in darkness as he watched the gathering group start to turn on each other. It was a melting pot of old alliances and past hatred about to boil over.

Agarash walked out onto the platform above the gathered fighters and killers two body guards heavily armed stood just behind him. He had no need for the protection but thought they would make a good show. He took a moment to survey the crowd, keeping his face hidden under his cloak.

His voice boomed across the room as if coming from every direction, “I have gathered tonight the most dangerous of men under one roof. Tonight some of you will no be walking out of here alive, but for those who do I promise you this. Who ever survives tonight will be pardoned of all crimes he or she has committed on the land.”

“Is that all?” Shouted out a man from the crowd.

“Indeed not,” answered Agarash, “ but for that information you will need to survive.” Agarash with out any emotion looked down, “You may begin.”

“What are you talking about?” asked a small man who looked like he had just walked off a ship that had been out to sea his whole life. He was answered as a small blade silently found the back of his neck and exited out the front. The old sea pirate fell to his knees with both hands to his throat, trying to stop his life blood from staining his shirt and the floor around him.

The last thing he felt was a boot on his back pushing him forward as the killing blade was pulled free. The last thing he heirs was the roar of the crowd and the unleashing of weapons as his face hit the dead.

Darius sheathed his dagger but not before Licking the edge of his dagger with his tongue savoring its copper taste. He moved as if made of smoke, not even watching his victim hit the floor. He could feel the anger in the crowd he knew he would feed well tonight. That thought alone brought a cruel little smile to his face.
 

RayCaptain

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Mugen strolled down the old forest path as the morning sun peaked out over the horizon. It was a dirt path with an old, rotted fence about knee high on either side. He was hungry, as always, and he was out of money, as always, but now he gotten his sword stolen as he slept. Normally he would have heard a thief but this guy must have been good to sneak up and not wake Mugen.

"What a punk!” Mugen had been fuming since he woke up, “That bastard took my sword and doesn't leave an IOU! Some nerve! When I get my hands on him I'm gonna use his empty head as a cup and-" Mugen's rant was interrupted by a long growl. It was his stomach.

Mugen was quiet as he walked on, trying to conserve what little energy he had. He walked on and on and on until the sun was overhead before he reached a fork on the wooded path where a sign was planted. It read: "Dead Town" on the left and "Yokono Fields" on the right. Mugen sighed as he pondered what to do, and then took out and old, empty bottle that had held hard juice. He put it down on the ground and spun it, and as it came to a stop it was clearly pointed.

"Dead Town it is," Mugen started down the path, "And hopefully my sword,"

He arrived in the town after another hour or so of walking.

"This is a crap town. It's what I get for listening to a beer bottle," Mugen looked around and met eyes with someone who had a sheathed blade and panicked at the sight of Mugen, "It was you wasn't it?!"

Mugen darted towards the hooded man as he took off to the docks. Mugen jumped up on top of a building that the man had gone around and Mugen dropped down right in front of him.

"I'll teach you to jack my blade!” Mugen through a kick and knocked the thief out cold, "That'll show you," Mugen boasted as he took his sword back.

Mugen looked around, "Might as well have a look around town. Maybe a bar or a gambling spot,"
 
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I. R. Shogun

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Hex sleepily wandered the streets of this city, the so called "Dead Town," without much concern for anyone he might have run into. The people of the city were generally pretty good about avoiding this vagrant even before his first scuffle in town had broken off and he'd sent two men to the infirmary with fewer limbs than they'd woken up with. After that particular encounter he'd been able to avoid being bothered altogether when he didn't wish to be. Although there had been one man who'd been gutsy enough to approach him. His name was Ford, or something like that, and he'd come to Hex to offer him some sort of bodyguard position. Hex hadn't been eager to take the position, but he needed some money, and so he'd finally broken down.

From what he'd been able to gather this was one of the rougher towns in this region, filled with cut throats and thieves from all walks of life. Despite this the people didn't seem entirely like they were in a nasty town, they still walked the streets with no fear like people in bigger more prosperous cities. He supposed the poor had little to worry about from thieves, in a few days they could just steal it back if they so desired. This made him curious about Faulk, or whatever his name was. How could he afford a bodyguard if he was stationed around here? And more importantly, why would he trust a bodyguard if he was truly wealthy?

As he was walking he witnessed a fine example of daily life in this city. A man carrying a sword ran around a corner looking as if he was scared for his life. Soon after that another man, gangly but with a wild glint in his eye jumped down from the rooftops and knocked out the one with the sword, then retrieved the weapon for himself. He must not have been from around here, he didn't steal the downed man's coin purse. Hex laughed as he watched the display, then continued along his way, moving toward the home of Fullard, or whatever his name was...
 

Kakashi

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dT licked his dry lips as he looked up into the sky. It was time for a beer. It was always time for a beer. Cracking his neck he approached the city limits for a city by the name of 'Dead Town'.

Well frack, dT though. The name was fitting for the city. He couldn't go a block without seeing a passed out man, a ruined house AND something dead. Spitting into the soft, blood soaked dirt road, dT looked for a place to stay, or at least get a beer. But to be honest, none of the places he passed looked even slightly appealing. dT was always up for a fight, but he didn't feel like fighting AND drinking at the same time. Seperately, they were his favorite things. But they didn't mix well. For him at least. It seemed like these guys were having quite a good time with that. Walking past a particually seedy part of town, he saw a man punch out another one. A perfect conversation starter, if he'd ever seen one. And a great way to get a free beer.

"That'll show you," the man gloated. With that, he stole the man's sword and ran off to some happy place.

"Hey pretty boy!" dT shouted, calling out the thief. "Why don't you buy me a beer?"
 

I. R. Shogun

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"Hey pretty boy! Why don't you buy me a beer?" Hex turned to study the man who shouted this to the young thief. He was a bit more traveled, and a bit more war built, but he was no more experienced, Hex could tell that much. He toyed with the idea of getting involved in this, but his better judgment led him against it. He had enough blood on his hands to avoid this battle. They were younger than he by a good number of years, let them throw their lives away, he personally valued his at the moment. Besides, he had an appointment that he was willing the keep.

It didn't take him long to find the place. The only building in this Dead Town that looked like anyone took any care of it. He knocked on the door, a servant opened an eye slot: "What the hell do you want?"

"I'm here to see the master, he's expecting me," said Hex.

"Yeah right, why should I believe you?" asked the servant.

"I don't know, he said something about being a bodyguard, I guess if your discerning eyes don't deem me good enough then I'm not," said Hex.

"Wha, oh wait!" said the servant as he hurriedly opened the door. "Sorry, I didn't know you were the one applying for that job."

Hex simply nodded as he was led to the house master's chambers. In the main chamber he was sat in front of the desk of the house master, Foreman, or whatever his name was. He was a short fat man, hair white as snow, eyes as nervous as a cornered child. He was up to something, Hex didn't like it.

"I'm glad you came here today, but, well you see, I haven't been entirely honest," said the man as the doors slammed shut. "I'm sorry..."

Hex stood and turned. There were three armed men there, and they didn't look friendly. After a moment Hex recognized them, "Ah, the five hands gang."

"I'm so sorry, but they took my daughter, I had no choice..." said the man.

"Shut up!" demanded one of the thugs. "Hex, it's been a while, did you think you'd seen the last of us?"

"Not really," said Hex. "I just didn't think you would be this desperate to save face, throwing your lives away like this."

"Awful big talk, we're really tough! Hell, I've killed fifty men!" said the one in the middle.

"Ah, you must have quite a bounty then, it'll probably be enough to pay for the carpets in here," said Hex.

"Wait, what?" said the leader as Hex suddenly dove forward. The gangster's swords barely left their scabbards before it was over. Three men, one expert cut, Hex didn't waste time, they were all dead in a flash.

"Oh, oh God! You killed them so easily! Please have mercy! My daughter!" cried the man at the desk.

"Relax, you're not worth killing," said Hex as he cleaned and sheathed his sword, then scratched his head. "Where are they head quartered?"

"Down town, near the docks, but, why do you," started the man.

"I'm going to go get your daughter, when I return you two need to leave this town immediately. So you must start packing, tell your servants to do the same," said Hex.

"Oh, thank you! Thank you!" said the man.

"Shut up," said Hex as he left the house and began to go toward the docks.
 

LadyRaven

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Approaching 'Dead Town' Amber stood silently as she looked it over from afar. This was her first journey on her own and it was very important to her. Turning her head so that she was now looking back she let out a heavy and troubled sigh, " I hope you are right about this Father! " she muttered sadly. Adjusting the hood of her cloak she lifted her battle Ax up and rested it comfortably onto her shoulder before she started off into the nearby town.

Walking through the streets she couldn't believe that this was how ' Humans ' lived. It was completely different than the life she was accustomed to in the mountains. Hide safely by her cloak Amber made her way through the streets as she sought out leads to where she could find the ones responsible for the death of a family she was too young to remember. Not paying much attention as to where she was going when she tried to avoid stepping into some questionable looking messes that were in the street she bumped into someone

" Sorry, i wasn't watching where i was walking. " she spoke up. her feminine voice gave away the fact that she was a young woman hiding under the shoddy cloak carrying Ax wielder.
 

I. R. Shogun

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Hex sighed as he passed through the streets. Wasn't it supposed to be night when things like this happened? He could always wait until nightfall to go kill the gangsters, but that would put the girl's life in further danger. The five hands bosses would likely be waiting eagerly for those three idiots back at the house to return, if he didn't make it there they'd get wise to him having killed their first attack. Still he supposed it would be easier to bring the girl back to her father in the daylight. As he was walking he was bumped into by someone carrying a rather large axe.

"Watch it," he muttered, but was interrupted by hi..... her? Her apology.

"Sorry, i wasn't watching where i was walking." she said in a voice that betrayed her appearance, although this was further explained when she pulled her hood back enough for him to study her face, and those eyes, gorgeous brown with golden flecks, interesting.

"Hm, that's alright," said Hex as he scratched the back of his head, studying her over one last time. "Listen, you look like you could handle yourself pretty well in a fight, which is convenient since I'm heading for one. And since you're obviously not from around here either, what say we watch each other's backs?"
 

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Dead Town. What a shithole. Why would anyone want to live here?

These were the thought of Kirio Ballad as he entered the run down city. He smirked.

Then again, there are those who would ask why someone enjoys walking across the world every day. I suppose everything is flawed in its own way.

Kirio looked around. Old buildings stood, appearing as tired old sentries guarding nothing. Some buildings only stood because they leant on another one. Kirio saw a few folks in the streets, but no one he chose to engage in conversation with of any type. The only thing that caught his eye as strange was a small hooded fellow with a huge ax on their back, conversing with a tired looking man. That ax was strange, he'd never seen anything like it on any of his travels. Curiosity gnawed at his insides, but he quickly locked it away. It was best to mind his own business. He walked pass the pair, the man giving him a strange look. Kirio shrugged off his feeling of foreboding. What could possibly happen in a town like this. He headed toward a bench sitting outside of a tavern and took a seat, to rest his weary legs.
 

olivia_the_lamb

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Ry walked down the dusty dirt road, backwards. She was enjoying the puffs of dirt that rose into the air with each step she took; she had been walking backward for about five miles. Finally, she turned around, curious as to what she would see... and was she ever happy that she did. She laughed quietly to herself and skipped for about two yards. Ry was delighted to see a small town only miles ahead of her. She'd been walking for days, sleeping outside in the cold desert nights with only her tattered blue hooded jacket to protect her. But she wasn't delighted because she would have comfort in this town.. she was delighted because she would have another oppourtunity to create some chaos.

I think I'll have a cigarette to celebrate! she said aloud to herself. Sitting down, she lit a cigarette, took two puffs (without inhaling), and then flicked it. Giggling, she got up and began to walk toward the small town who's name she didn't know or care... backwards, still enjoying the small puffs of dirt.
 

RayCaptain

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"Hey pretty boy! Why don't you by me a beer?"

Mugen turned to the blue haired warrior who obviously didn't have any brains in his skull. Although he might have some cash or might be a small challenge in a fight.

"You better not be talking to me unless you want your brains smeared across the town!" He put his sword back in place as he confronted the man.

Mugen also saw another man turn but seemed to decide his own business. Probably best no one else got involved anyway. If this did turn out like Mugen wanted then it'd be dangerous for any surrounding civilians. Not like he cared for anyone that could possibly be in town but just as well he didn't get someone crying to the police...again.

"In fact, since I'm in a good mood, I'll let you just pay for mine instead of beating it out you. How's that sound? Or you could turn tail and run away just hoping I don't chase you down and mess up that preppy hair of yours. Now go on and run to your mommy" Mugen laughed and started to walk off to find a nice or descent bar or a half-descent woman.
 

LadyRaven

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"Listen, you look like you could handle yourself pretty well in a fight, which is convenient since I'm heading for one. And since you're obviously not from around here either, what say we watch each other's backs?"


Amber thought about the offer for a moment before shrugging her shoulders " Why the hell not!" she smiled. adjusting the Ax and moving it to the other shoulder with a small effort grunt " what do i get out of it?" she asked just for the heck of it. It had been a long time since she last had a decent meal and a soft bed to sleep on, who knows maybe she could at least get that much for watching his back in a fight. Holding out her now free hand "The names Amber" she said introducing herself.
 

I. R. Shogun

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After a moment's deliberation the woman smiled and accepted his offer. She shifted her ax to her other shoulder, "What do I get out of it?" she asked, then quickly extended her hand and introduced herself, "The name's Amber."

"Hex," answered Hex as he accepted the handshake. He scratched his head again after the shake ended and he turned and stared walking, Amber keeping pace. "As for what we get, I didn't really set up any terms with the girl's father, but we are saving his life as well as hers, and he's the type that showers people with gratitude, so we will probably be able to pay for meals for the next few days."

Amber seemed content with that at the very least. They didn't speak much as they made it down to the docks, Hex didn't really mind the silence. People on this side of town didn't even give a second glance to the giant weapon Amber carried, even though it was nearly as big as she was. This was a testament to life in Dead Town, you didn't ask questions and prayed for another day to toil in these gutters. It wasn't long before they found the location of the base of the Five Hands gang, the only one with guards, easy to figure out since there was never much to guard in a slum like this. They ducked into an alleyway to discuss a plan.

"You go through the front, act like you want to join their gang, they know me and will panic if they see me. They'll probably let you in without much protest, so you'll be able to get into a good position. I'll make my way in through the back and we can launch a surprise attack," said Hex. Amber nodded and they quickly went to their positions. Hex waited alittle longer to allow Amber to get somewhere favorable before he cut down the guards in back and opened the door.

He quickly found himself surrounded by several more members of the gang, all taken by surprise, he managed to kill two before one was able to scream, "OH GOD! HE'S HERE! HEX IS HERE!"

Hex sighed as he split the man in two, he'd been hoping he could introduce himself. Another turn showed that there wouldn't be much difference, the entirety of the Five Hands gang was waiting for him in the warehouse which had been cleared out save a make-shift throne and a chain from the ceiling that held up a young girl. He shot a quick glance to Amber, she was ready as the leader of the Five Hands, a man in a golden suit with very carefully styled hair stood and yelled, "So you're still alive after all! Too bad I still have the advantage Hex! Everyone, kill that man!"

Hex sighed, "Still trying to kill me with a swarm Beck? Normally that might work, but you know better than that by now..." As the first two gang members got close Hex drew his wakazashi, quickly taking off both of their arms as he began to move through the crowd...
 

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