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Fantasy The Great Games of Nye




The harbor buzzed with excitement as people arrived from every corner of the world. Thousands of fans hauled luggage down concrete piers reaching out from the mainland, cheering as an airship hovered overhead. Her sides displayed pictures of a warrior seeking another chance at glory, and dramatic narration came from loudspeakers on her stern

"The Cage Viper returns to stake his claim in the arena! Will you be there when he makes history?"

The crowd roared as a man waved from atop the airship. "I can't hear you!"

The crowed roared even louder, and this time the announcer screamed in the microphone. "The people have spoken! The Viper will be fast, he will be furious, he will dice and slice the competition into ribbons! He will—

The announcer took a deep breath. "BE. YOUR. CHAMPION!"

The crowd cheered again, but there were many who despised the controversial warrior. Their boos and curses were answered with insults, arguments and fists on more than one occasion. The brewing fights drew even more cheers and attracted grungy, muscular dockworkers who gathered around the spectacle.

A young worker with missing teeth stood on a box and pointed. "Look boys, the yearly prelims have started!" His friends laughed as approaching ferries released loud, high pitched whistles to announce their arrival. The deafening sound mixed with squawking seagulls, newspaper peddlers and self-promoting shoe shiners, a riotous blend that deafened thoughts and shook the ground.

High above towered mountainous cranes used by titanic foundries of air cruisers and strato-fortresses. The shipwrights within were the best, most experienced craftsmen on earth, each capable of owning workshops given the right incentive, but nothing beat the storied dockyards of Nye — other than her more impressive parts of course.

There were the charming brick stores and restaurants of Blue Market. Its turquoise streets were lined with acrobatic performers, clever magicians and living statues painted gold and silver. Laughing children darted through fashionable crowds of tourists from all around the globe. Steam-powered robots unpacked wagons hooked to mighty workhorses, hooves clacking the blue cobblestones that shone in the morning sun.

The winding roads led to modern districts of steel spires and elevated walkways, punctuated by lush parks dotted with curated flowerbeds, placid ponds and cafés serving expensive tea and rare coffee blends. The sky above was peppered with shining airships of pricey makes and models, pleasure cruises chief among them.

However, today the populace gathered in the grand courtyard, a lavish square where thousands stood before gigantic screens. The broadcast showed two men passionately arguing about the great games. They wore expensive silks and gemstones exuding power and wealth, posing dramatically at a round wooden table. The first man to speak was a wide, muscular brute of bald head and dense beard. He confidently stared at the camera as he declared, "Eighty percent of winners made the top eight in previous games, so let's cut to the chase, which returning contestant has the best chance to win?"

The other man was slim, prim and proper, perfect foil for his masculine counterpart. "I don't see it this year. The rookie class looks more promising than ever before. If you look at the numbers—

"Numbers this numbers that, I make judgements with my eyes, and they tell me the rookies don't stand a chance. The Cage Viper could take them all down by himself!"

"What?" The slim man incredulously laughed. "He lost his hand last year to a rookie, the same rookie who won the whole thing without breaking a sweat! What have you been drinking between segments?"

"Oh stop it! That was a once in a generation rookie and you know it! We got six contestants who made the top eight, and you're focused on unknown, untested bumpkins we've never heard of? Preposterous, absolutely preposterous!"

"What's preposterous is doubting young talent when it's right before your eyes! We have ten rookies who scored in the top five percent in their entry exams, and another twenty right behind them in the tenth percentile!"

"I am absolutely disgusted, how can you sit here and lie to these good people! You know damn well those stats are one hundred percent, landfill bound garbage!"

The crowd laughed as the men continued their exaggerated debate, a yearly tradition where blowhards argued for entertainment value. The woman on the desk calmed them after their bickering devolved into incoherent screams.

"Gentlemen please, let's keep this civil." She forced a weak chuckle. "They don't pay me nearly enough to deal with you maniacs… Well alright! Time to move onto our contestant cam!"

The feed transitioned to an overhead view of a lavish locker room. Four contestants sat on folding chairs talking among themselves, completely unaware they were being recorded. The voice of the television hosts served as live narration over the scene.

The bald man spoke first. "That's a dangerous room all right, four top sixteen finishers from last year. Giant Guadalupe is my pick of the bunch, his earth magic is so dynamic!"

"I'll take Brandon of Toussaint over him any day. He's too quick for a slow earth user!"

"Brandon? The same Brandon who lasted ten seconds in the third round last year? You want to talk about drinking! What have you been doing during ad breaks?"

And so they continued for hours on end, watching different groups of contestants talk among themselves.

Meanwhile, across the city three men sat around a conference table. They sipped from glasses of aged scotch from a prestigious brewery, ignoring a muted television playing the broadcast. The oldest among them was a tall man of grey hair and clean face. He stood and intently stared through a window, surveying the city from the tallest building in town. "Six dead Centurions this month, six of our most valuable assets murdered in cold blood, and you know nothing." His booming voice commanded respect. "Does your incompetence know no bounds? Or are there deeper levels to your buffoonery?" He faced one of the men with cold, calculating malice in his silver eyes.

"We're doing what we can!" His underling was a young blonde with blue eyes. "We've interrogated known criminals and ruffians, raided the outlands and put our best men on the case!"

The leader clenched his jaw. "Yet you've produced nothing but vapid reports and empty promises. There's an old definition about insanity, an asinine one under most circumstances, but here it applies."

"This is… well this isn't a simple matter we can solve easily, even with the resources you provided us."

"Precisely, yet when I propose solutions I'm placated like a small child."

"I don't understand, should I—

"You'll do nothing. I've contracted a private investigator and a platoon of Byzantine knights. Your services are no longer required."

The man abruptly stood and slammed the table. "This is unacceptable! Trusting continentals over your own blood?"

"Not all branches are created equal, some bear fruit, others wither and die to preserve the tree." The leader stared at his nephew until the young man was visibly uncomfortable. "But you've a mind for thuggery, which still has its uses, even here. However this investigation is beyond your narrow expertise."

"Please give me another—

"You're dismissed."

The man swallowed his tongue and slowly turned with a bow, rushing from the room as the third man chuckled. He was built like a rotund gnome with messy brown hair, cruelly grinning as he sarcastically whistled. "Harsh." He chuckled below his breath. "That really necessary?"

"Fools only learn from thrashings."

"Let's cut the pleasantries before they begin. Just answer me in plain language, why the hell am I here?"

"An insne question. You're more trustworthy than the simpletons in my employ."

"Me trustworthy?" The man smiled and shook his head. "Fuck you."

"Perhaps I misspoke. When you served the council you displayed one redeeming quality that's in short supply, confidentiality. I doubt that's changed over time."

"One? Now that's the understatement of the year, and what about your private investigator? What'll he say when he sees my ass warming his chair."

The leader glanced at a small mirror on the wall. "Feel free to ask him yourself."

"Now what's that saying about counting chickens?"

"I have no interest in fowl — you'll accept the offer and catch the man, or men terrorizing my Centurions."

"Yours? You've always been an arrogant son of a bitch."

"And you're an unpleasant, crass drunk who stole government funds and lied under oath."

"You really want to count sins? I recorded yours in triplicate."

"There will be no need for such a lengthy recounting. I require your agreement and nothing more."

"What's in it for me?"

"Is restoring your honor insufficient?"

"Don't play coy, you know what I want."

The leader coldly smirked at the short man. "Consider it done."

"Then we have a deal."

The men shook hands as the screen switched feeds in the background, but far away a more dramatic scene took place. A black dragon soared through tumultuous skies over ruined western lands, carrying a powerful Centurion named Kade. He desperately spurred his dragon as tornadoes tore through the gray clouds around him.

He looked back and saw a tribesman following him on a shining gold eagle, casting stone spears that closely lanced past him. He cursed below his breath as one grazed his side and fractured three of his ribs; westerners were powerful indeed, a rabid pack of survivors with grudges so ancient, not even the gods knew why they raged.

"Higher Shadowfax, until the clouds grace our feet!" His dragon roared as tornadoes spawned around them, twisting inwards like a closing claw. Shadowfax banked hard and slipped through a narrow gap between them, but the storm parted for the tribesman like crimson seas from ancient lore. With every second he grew closer and closer, so Kade tucked his head and desperately thought, "We need to make it back," but his dragon was exhausted. Her breast swelled with deep, tired breaths and her aura weakened with every second.

"Damn he's fast." Kade glanced back as the man overtook him and circled around from the front, casting stone spears while Kade screamed, "You dare attack a Centurion?" He snarled as Shadowfax spat streams of superheated gas, violently exploding around the tribesman. The attack compounded into second and third explosions that illuminated the dark sky, a second sun of wrathful flames to atomize the powerful man.

"Burn you fucking savage." Kade wheeled his dragon around the smoldering epicenter. He expected to see charred remains within the clearing smoke, but somehow the man was unharmed. He waved away lingering flames while shaking his head like a disappointed teacher. "You raze our lands and kill for sport, yet we are savages? Have you no shame, great warrior of the east?" He summoned another spear and prepared to throw.

Kade wiped sweat from his brow. "What the hell are you?"

"One who dares." The tribesmen threw his spear but Shadowfax screeched and twirled, pushing herself past natural limits. Her wings pounded with the titanic force of Atlas himself, driving her towards thundering clouds high above. They flashed and rumbled like rows of pounding howitzers, assaulting Kade's eardrums until blood ran down his neck. He clutched his ears as sharp pangs cut through his splitting head, but adrenaline numbed the pain and sharpened his focus. "Go up, straight up until we see the sun!"

Kade hugged his dragon's neck as she went vertical, a black bullet of writhing scales and sharp fangs, razor talons and dense muscle. "Faster! We have to lose him!" He channeled wind magic and pushed his dragon forward with all his might, entering dark, ominous clouds of flashing grey. His mount twisted and turned as boulders fell from the sky above, summoned by the powerful mage who closely trailed them. "Use the cloak!"

Shadowfax roared and darkness rushed from her scales, filling the sky with an ocean of black fog. The cover of darkness worked like a charm and the tribesman lost his mark, but far below a man stood among a powerful group of warriors. His eyes were pure white and a horizontal scar crossed them both. His wrinkled hands held a wooden staff topped with a crystal ball, containing wrathful magic that ferociously swirled like a tempestuous storm. He whispered powerful words in a tongue forgotten by gods and men alike, and far above the Centurion finally reached the embrace of cotton white clouds. "We're gonna be okay baby… we're gonna be okay!" His dragon pushed one last time and then finally, after defying all odds they reached clear skies.

The sunlight sent rapturous waves of warm happiness through Kade, who contentedly closed his eyes for a moment, savoring his safety as ancient, unknown words echoed around him. Ethereal laughter pierced his mind as spacetime ripped like an old festering wound, revealing pure, oozing darkness peppered with bright stars.

The Centurion released a blood curdling scream as the portal swallowed him whole, and a moment later he felt weightless and cold. His screams were silent as he looked down and saw a distant sphere of blue, green and white shining in the darkness of space. His eyes bulged from their sockets as blood boiled inside his veins. His tongue expanded as saliva sizzled on its surface; his lungs burst inside his chest and his brain pushed against his skull. He convulsed once as his heart popped like a balloon, as bones shattered from internal pressure alone, as vision blotched and blackened until nothing remained. In the painful, empty silence he simply thought, "I don't understand" before exploding in the vacuum of space. From his atomized hand floated a bloodstained piece of parchment reading only one thing, the number 1467.

Welcome to the Great Games of Nye. You've arrived in the grand city with dreams of a better life, but you unknowingly stand on a historic precipice. How the following events unfold is your decision, and may you choose well, for a single misstep may tragically echo through time.

Your characters prepare for the first round in locker rooms within a grand Colloseum in the city's center. You find yourself among strangers, friends and murderous enemies seeking personal glory. You were recently interviewed on camera, and your retinues have been directed to observation decks high above the stands. As you talk you're recorded by hidden cameras placed in the locker rooms, however this isn't told to contestants. Those unfamiliar with the games won't know about this, unless you're perceptive enough to notice the cameras of course.

Emphoa Emphoa Anne Boolean Anne Boolean Goliath Goliath Fred Colon Fred Colon Arcanist Arcanist Huntertabbysandshark3 Huntertabbysandshark3 Lost Echo Lost Echo EldridSmith EldridSmith Zufaix Zufaix Monbon Monbon ZackStop ZackStop SoloShottie SoloShottie
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"Here we go..."​

hair (3).pngRen pushed the door open to reveal a locker room full of fighters, all looking so powerful and unique. He looked around almost in awe as he walked in with a leather exercise bag over his shoulder, only for his vibrant familiar to saunter in behind him. The blue, aquatic cheetah glanced around curiously while staying on guard from the others around him.

While Ren's familiar was cautious, Ren himself was just amazed to have gotten this far. After all, he tried to stay humble, and went in fully prepared to never get to Nye, let alone the Games. He recalled his experience in the exams prior, so surprised how differently it was compared to how he had it in his head, and his score was even more of a surprise to him. He put a hand on his shoulder, feeling a bit tight there after his bumpy train ride over here. He wanted as much rest as he could squeeze in before his matches, but now he started to wonder if that was such a good idea.

He began to rub his head of icy blue as he looked up at the ceiling, and went about 180 degrees before looking for a place to settle down for the time being. He couldn't help but feel a little shy as these were all potential opponents he might face out there. None of them seemed too comfortable talking either, in fact Ren couldn't get the feeling that some of them were mean mugging him, so he decided to find a more vacant spot. "Talk about a tough crowd." He said to himself to lighten his vibe. "There sure are some unique familiars." He continued, which helped him ward off the intimidation factor. He had tuned in for every installment of the Great Games for as long as he could remember, and by far, these are the strongest looking guys he's seen. "Maybe that's just because I'm right here in person this time..." he assured himself.

Finally, Ren and his familiar made it to an empty bench somewhere in the center of the vast room. He placed his bag down on the blue seat before sitting right beside it. He gave his familiar a pat on the head as he sat on the floor patiently, waving his finned tail back and forth like a housecat. Meanwhile, Ren began to untie his rundown, leather shoes before unzipping his bag and began to get ready. Quickly getting undressed, he switched out his off-white sweater for a light sleeveless gambeson, and some leather pants to go along with it. with a metallic clank came two metal boots of a deep blue color that he slipped on after fitting his shins with large leather greaves, giving the straps a sturdy tug and giving the fleur de lis printed kneepads a good smack for assurance. "Hm, feels good." He said under his breath with a smile. He recalled his Grandfather telling him that this was in their family before ever coming to the floating cities. This gave Ren a good sense of pride, filling him with the confidence he needed for what was to come.

He sat back down to adjust the boots on his feet to make them as tight as he could, while making them loose enough for mobility, continually adjusting them finely like his many projects. "Hm? I wonder..." Something suddenly crossed his mind, which perked up his Cheetah. He glanced behind him and looked up into a corner of the room. As an avid fan of the Games, he recalled the video feed of contestants, and began to wonder if they had hid camera's in here somewhere. "Are they watching us right now?" He did his best to spot any camera's but was surprised to see nothing. He shrugged it off before reaching into his bag to pull out one of his round shields, seeing his warped reflection in it.

Ren placed it down before reaching in again, only to pause as his finger tips feel a soft, silky fabric. He knew exactly what it was, and when he brought it out in front of him, thoughts of his father flashed before him. He was left in a quiet, somber state for a minute. It was the cowl left behind by him many years ago, and all he had to remember him by. But he nodded his head before putting it around himself and hooking it around his neck. Ren quickly zipped up his gambeson and unpacked his shields and gauntlets into the locker in front of him, before hanging up the bag and shutting it's door. "I hope you're ready." He looked down at his familiar and taking a knee. "I can hardly wait!"
The Remora was a sleek, unobtrusive ship. It zipped through the clouds like a minnow through reeds, towards the towering bulk that was Nye. Medium Hao Yu leaned at the prow of the ship, eyes wide and mouth agape, as Kilderkin stood at the ship's wheel. Joshua, her familiar, was swimming in lazy circles around him, as Medium’s familiar, a bright, fiery orange cat named Ming sat on his shoulder, pawing at the circling Joshua.

“It’s bigger than fucking Beijing! Or Moscow! Or even shit fucking Tokyo! And it’s fucking flying!”

“Language.” Kilderkin reminded him. “Remember. When we get there, you’re my young, bright eyed, bushy tailed ward, just oh so happy to be here supporting me. When they interview you, you can let slip a ‘fuck’ here and there, but you need to at least pretend like you’re trying to behave.”

“Just getting it all out before we dock, Ma’am.” Medium grinned. “I’ll be good. So fucking good by fuck!”

A scar stretched from his upper lip up to his temple, still red and raw, and his grin twisted it into an odd shape. That hadn’t really been in the plan, it made him seem less young and innocent than Kilderkin had wanted, but the boy had earned it by grappling straight into a pair of mercenaries their prey ship had hired to protect them. Medium Hao Yu had made it out alive, the mercenaries had not. They hadn’t expected Medium to charge them, and the boy was deceptively good with a cutlass. But it didn’t matter much. A sailor's life was dangerous. She was sure scars were practically expected on continentals in the minds of the pampered Nye citizenry.

“And you? Ready to dock, Milek?” Kilderkin said, glancing at the tall, lanky, dark haired Byzantine man checking to see that nothing was amiss with the sails. Nothing was. Kilderkin and Medium knew how to run a ship, unlike Milek who likely wouldn’t be able to tell even if there was something wrong, but Kilderkin knew he was nervous and wanted to be doing something.

The man made the sign of the cross and shut his eyes. His familiar, an ice rimed boar name Yuri, lowered its head and closed its eyes.

“For Sigmund, and for my God in heaven, I step into a den of lions dressed as a lamb. Yes.”

“Just say nice things about me when asked, and do the job Sigmund sent you here to do. Other than that, you’ll be staying at a nice hotel with more free time on your hands than you’ve likely ever had before.”

“Indeed.” He said, taking a shaky breath. “Easy.”

Kilderkin laughed,

“I don’t think anyone said it would be easy.”

The little ship, its belly painted cyan to blend better with the sky and protect it from skyward searching eyes, slowed as it passed the outer rings of Nye, heading for the inner.

It didn’t look like it belonged amongst the other Skyships here. Many of the others were Sky yachts, or else toys for rich kids that wanted to go fast and look stylish doing it. With its simple exterior and utilitarian innards, it stood out sharply. Sharp enough that the dockmaster was already on the dock by the time Medium had finished docking the ship.

“Excuuuuuse me.” A smiling man in a pristine, white captain's jacket and hat said. His voice was sickly sweet, and he was rubbing his hands together, like he was imagining washing them just from having to look at Kilderkin and her tiny crew. “I just wanted you to know that you have to pay to dock here. You might want to try the outer rings if you’re looking for somewhere to go.”

Medium pushed the gangplank onto the dock, and Kilderkin stepped across it.

“I’m aware.” She said, and tossed him a small bag that made a pleasant ‘clink’ sound when it landed in the surprised dockmaster's hands.

The dockmaster looked inside, and his eyes widened slightly.

“Ah. Well. Uh.” He hadn’t even brought a clipboard. He hadn’t been expecting to register such a plain, simple looking ship.

“Milek, Medium. Deal with this, if you’d be so kind, and then go buy yourselve’s some more appropriate clothes,” They had discussed this part. Milek was to choose expensive, but awkward clothes that looked like someone unused to extravagance would choose trying to look fancy. A common sailor in over their head. Medium would choose his own clothes, and, as someone unused to extravagance, it would have the same effect.
“And then head to the hotel.” Kilderkin said, smiling politely at the dock master. “The first match is in a few hours. I’d like to be there with time to spare.”

Kilderkin headed directly for where she knew the stadium would be, making her presence known to those of the bureaucracy who needed to know.

She stripped her raincoat off of her body, though kept her cutlass belted at her waist, its fine, gold scrolled scabbard standing in sharp contrast to her now. She only wore a plain, slightly dirty tank top, sailors' pantaloons, and rain boots. On her shoulder, revealed now that her rain coat was gone, was an intricate gold and red tattoo, of a Compass Rose, with monsters and other sea creatures artistically inked in between the cardinal directions. It radiated out from her shoulder, down to her chest and back, and down her arm and up her neck. She shifted her usual straight backed, formal posture to something more open. Her arms swung while she walked, and her chest was puffed out as if she was trying to take up more space. She looked, in essence, like a picture book sailor. And, indeed, she knew people who dressed and acted exactly like this.

She made it into the locker room, and began scanning the area. A fair few people were here already. Most of them were making tough guy faces, standoffish, but one, a young man with an aquatic looking cheetah, was sitting quietly slightly away from the others.

“Howdy!” She said, approaching him and grinning. “Lovely kitty you’ve got there.” Then she motioned to Joshua, whose tail was wrapped around her neck, looking down at the sitting boy. “I’m a water type too. Name of Kilderkin. This is Joshua!” She stuck out a hand to shake, and if the boy took it he’d find the grip strong and calloused, her hands covered in innumerable little scars.

ZackStop ZackStop
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The hustle and bustle of the locker rooms was certainly something to be expected- at least, for Adamaris that was. They were no stranger to the chaos- even if it wasn't as much as this back home. They let out a breath, standing there at their own locker while Nueto stayed perched on their shoulder- eyes flitting around the room while he took it in and Ada let out a bit of a huff at the sight. "Take it in as much as you can, old friend, exciting we are here." They puffed out, reaching and rubbing their fingers against the chameleon's head with a gentle twinkle in their eyes. The excitement flittering off of the chameleon was hard to ignore, and they would be lying if their own excitement and nervous jitters were not apparent.

They were not surprised to be able to be here, now, with their mentor and friend helping them hone their skills and their schooling- they were able to complete the tests rather well. At least, well enough. They knew they were far from the best here, but they hoped for a means to be able to keep moving forward, they would have to in order to get what they wanted. They let out a nervous breath before slipping on and latching their gauntlets to make sure they were fitted and ready to go once the first round actually started. Eyes glancing over the armor work for any imperfections- notes to fix for later, but not for now.

"Only one way to find out how well they'll work, eh?" They scoffed out a little bit, quietly, as they looked to Nueto with a little smile, careful as a claw finger brushed against his scales. "And you, Nueto, are you ready?" The Chameleon simply looked at them, but a look that emerged a smile on their expression and a gentle chuckle escaping them. "Basically ready to hop in, I know." They teased, before turning to shut the locker and stretch out their arms, eyes grazing over the newcomers stepping into the room before they looked away with a small smile.

Their hand fumbled, tightening up their light armor and some other things on their checklist- their eyes flitting over as they spotted a waft of white hair. Lifting up their head their eyes grazed over the sight of a graceful- almost angelic man that was stepping into the locker rooms. Their eyes looking him over for another moment as the itch of familiarity picked at the back of their mind- however another thought being that the long hair might have been a head ache when it came to any sort of combat... They knew with their own- even just having it braided at times was a pain, but much more workable.

However, their lips pursed together as their eyes grazed over his face- and a single name did come to mind while he looked at the other. Elriel? Truly they had not expected to see him after such a long time of being away from one another, and admittedly they were hesitant to approach him at all with how long had it been. The uneasy memories bubbling at the surface of their mind, before they tore their gaze away and looked ahead at the locker- feeling Nueto's foot grasping at their cheek. They reached up to allow him to instead grasp onto his finger and they puffed out a little bit. "I am okay, Nueto." They spoke, softly, quietly for a moment as they glanced over to the reptile with a gentle expression. "You worry too much over me."

Their tie with one another wasn't unnatural, as Nueto was one of the few individuals they had- and they were okay with that... Their eyes glanced up once more and over the figure of such an old friend. A tightness in their chest as they longed for the old times and memories... Would Elriel remember them? A breath escaped them, before they made their final decision and swiftly moved through the crowd, eyes locked on their target as they ducked away from others with a quiet excuse me and stood not far from the snow leopard and old friend.

"It is truly a surprise to find you here, of all places. Who knew fate had such ways?" They spoke, heart skipping a beat with the attempt of being familiar. They knew they had changed, it looked like they both certainly had. Especially to be able to see the other individual here of all the places in the world. "Hope you haven't forgotten me yet."

Goliath Goliath

Four figures hovered near the entrances of the locker rooms. Two girls, of approximately the same age, and their familiars. After a series of whispered goodbyes, they exchanged a quick handshake, ending with them grasping each other's fingers as they pulled as hard as they could. Their connection broke, as many are prone to do, but immediately they twisted grasping each other’s wrists instead. A sign that, if separated, they would find each other once more. They held tight for two heartbeats before straightening. “We’ll find her.” They promised themselves and a third. One immediately turned and walked away; getting caught up in the current of the crowd, their ram familiar clearing a path. The one left behind glanced over to their Secretary Crane, its poised beak watching impassively. With a nod that was clearly an attempt at confidence, the girl spun in place, their cloak flaring behind her as she headed for the locker rooms.

Once her hand grasped the handle, Anya refused to hesitate any longer. She was entering the heart of Nye, she couldn’t daddle. Pulling the door open in a hollow parody of the handshake earlier, she held it open for her familiar to enter under her arm. Following immediately, she let it fall shut with a soft ‘thump’ that barely penetrated the chatter surrounding them. She took a moment to glance over the room, its clean tiles and undented lockers foreign to her. And her competition. Many Most of whom seemed infinitely more prepared than she was. It’s okay, she told herself as she started to walk past sections, each holding an overly muscled body it seemed. You’re a survivor. That’s all you have to do here. Survive. That voice in her head that was always putting her down reminded her that she’d never have survived without help: the memory of the ‘accident’ making her stumps ache. She didn’t break her stride as she replied back, That’s what you’re looking for; help. If you can get the one who does win’s trust...

She picked a section at random, merely likely the color of the lockers. The green reminded her of Mad Plague's (it was still strange to think of him as Mark) favorite poison, which might also be why no one else had claimed it yet. Picking a floor lengthed locker, she opened it with ease, though her hands sparked lightly, sending a pulse to buzz through the surrounding metal. It was not enough to cause pain if anyone, who lacked her element, had been touching, but it certainly would have been enough to be noticed.

She ground her jaw, knowing she had to get her nerves under control. She’d made it this far, for Hannah, she could keep it together. Kallos, standing beside her, ruffled her feathers, settling just a bit bushier than before so that a wing could brush against Anya’s arm. Through their bond, a well-used spiritual corridor, she could feel the crane’s reassurance propping her up.

Letting a slow breath whistle through her teeth, swung her weapon off her shoulder. It was a massive (for her size) sword that she used just as much as a shield than as a blade. She went to place it in her locker but frowned when it would not fit. The floor length space was cut short at the top by a shelf, presumably meant to be helpful. It wasn’t. Leaning the blade against the neighboring locker, Anya dropped heavily onto the bench behind her. She winced at the volume of her prosthetics clanging against its metal but forced herself not to look if anyone was staring at her.

Instead, she contemplated her choices, but with a shrug, she felt she only had one. She wanted to be able to store her sword safely. Yes, they were supposed to get hotel rooms, but she’d also need space during the matches. Pulling one of her bags to her lap, a screwdriver was quickly in her hand, and she, in turn, was reaching into the locker, feeling for the…bolts. Frowning when she confirmed they were bolts, she switched out for a wrench with ease, then worked each off, freeing the shelf. Setting that down at the bottom of the locker, She reached around the door for her sword and was pleased to see it fit. She tossed a small pack of clothes she would need in the future, as she was already dressed in her armor for the first few matches. On top of that, she laid a heavier bag, which held her tools, after having returned the wrench to it.

Before she shut the door, she pulled out a lock of her own design from the top bag. Closing the locker, she installed the lock, which held a smaller version of the battery in her legs. Just enough to cause a jolt of pain, though no lasting injury, if someone tried to fiddle it open. Its key was already hidden in her leg, so she snapped it close without worry. That settled, she sat down, slowly this time, onto the bench, pulling off a leg, then a small screwdriver from within it. Maybe if she looked busy, she’d be left alone. As she tightened a joint, her heart wanted to get lost in possible improvement, but her mind knew it was not safe here. Beside her, Kallos perched on the bench, her great weight leaning against Anya’s back, as she protected her life as she always had.

Huntertabbysandshark3 Huntertabbysandshark3 SoloShottie SoloShottie EldridSmith EldridSmith
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Mark silently cackled to himself thinking of how much he would terrify the first person to walk into the locker room, squeezed into one of the lockers he patiently waited for the first contender to arrive having found one of three lockers that didn't have shelves. He had bid Anya & Ava farewell, Ava he expected to show up later as she had gear to prepare due to her inclination towards the crafting art side of the family business, whereas Mark was more independent taking up his own work. She spent more time in the forge learning, though she wasn't lacking in combat experience Mark far exceeded her in that aspect due to his profession, on the other hand though she knew the weak points of materials like he knew the weaknesses of people. Aside it was family tradition to fight in the games, he was one of the first contenders to make it in a few years, and he hoped she would as well... though they wouldn't fight if they met up as his powers were almost 100% lethal, even if she were to win... she wouldn't win considering his latest trick... he developed it just for the turtle bastard from last year. Aside he didn't want to harm his cousin during their first time competing so ideally the brackets kept them apart.

On the other hand Anya he hoped to see in the stands cheering him on. His cheeks flushed red slightly as he thought of her... she was small and adorable when they first met but when they met up she was no longer a girl but a woman... small, adorable, and incredibly attractive... she was also broken like he was, so she wouldn't look down on him for the many scars and chemical burns over his body from his mistake when he was a child... at least she didn't seem to when he took off his mask in front of her on the way over on the airship. His thoughts however were interrupted as someone entered the locker room, he couldn't see them very well through the cracks in the locker but they were short. He silently prepared to jump out to scare her before a shock ran through the locker. Had they realized he pondered... he wasn't sure what to think as he was especially good at hiding considering how much it mattered for his job.

He tried getting a better look without letting his mask get in the way but alas the long nose wasn't helping him in that regard, but he heard the ruffle of feathers, but the angle wasn't good to get a full view. As soon as he started to think they hadn't noticed him they placed their sword against the locker he was in... well that was either purely dumb luck or he was fully caught. However nothing else came of it, and he wasn't sure what to do... then they started undoing the locker next to him??? Something just felt... off to him, considering there were other lockers without shelves, granted there weren't many so they likely missed them as they went straight for the one next to him... but that wasn't what was off.

He decided to jump out to scare them but as soon as he opened the locker door instead of jumping out, he was the one surprised who ended up falling on the floor. "Anya???" He says bewildered. "I thought... what are..." He sputters out unable to complete his sentance. Thankfully the mask hid his embarrassment as his face was flushed bright red as he stood up... the hidden cameras were going to love this. Fuck. He had to be a social mess with people he cared about... he'd tended her for so long he didn't want her hurt especially somewhere like here where death was common... sure he didn't care about people dying, but her dying... he dared not think of it. So, Mark the Mad Plague stands there bewilderd before Anya... though to the outsider he seems to menacingly tower over her without saying a word before he leans over next to her ear. "We're being watched..." He whispers before stepping back to his prior position...
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Three people stand upon a split in the stairs, one leading up to the observer stands, the other leading down to the locker rooms. The younger man carried a duffle bag full of armor and with many weapons strapped to the side, including a large lance. At the man's side is a tiny mammoth, or at least as small as a large dog, another man seeming of 20 years his senior, and a woman of 10 years his senior, he dwarfed both by over a foot of height. The man had a golden dove peacefully resting on his shoulder, and the woman had a wolf at her side.
"Ivan my child, I wish you luck in this contest and I pray we succeed so that it's possible to gain a foothold to redeem our country..."
"Oh put a sock in it, Ivan go kick their asses, this old sod will prattle on for hours... a trait you've picked up unfortunately." The woman scoffs. "Still you better have picked up my fighting abilities or I'm dragging you to the rebellion myself."
"There will be no such dragging him off, he's already sworn to the Ashen sons to join his brothers and sisters in the reform of the church through peace not combat, you very know how the current policies go against those of the Bible."
"Yeah yeah, I'll be interested in yer fuckin church when I can shag your pope."
"I don't see why you'd desire to, and he's not a pope, he's called the patriarch, and Cardinal is just an adopted term..."
"Oh save me the semantics, tell me when those higher than priest can shag... maybe I'll become a nun to fuck with you all the...." She starts teasing the man again.
At this Ivan coughs. "Uncle Mikhail, Aunt Brynhild, would you please stop bickering like an old married couple? If I didn't know better I thought you were married." He remarks with a smirk seeing the two humph at each other and look away causing him to chuckle. "I'll see you two after the fight, I must go to the locker room and prepare myself. Have fun with the games." He says with a bright smile before descending to the locker rooms below.
He silently prayed as he walked towards the locker rooms, picking the ashen gray one matching the color of his armor and his order. He was early so no one was inside, as such he knelt down to meditate in the peaceful silence as he waited for his time to start putting his armor on to come... he had most of it on already under his priestly robes, but he left the helmet and more obvious parts off which could be easily put on before the fight... the locker itself would not hold his armor or weapons it seemed due to their sheer size, which was no issue. As such he silently prayed. Soon others would arrive...
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Adrian walked beside his mentor of many years, a graying old goat named Detlef. The veteran prattled about elemental matchups and optimal stances, battle tactics and strategic misdirection. The inane lesson was spoiling the walk. Adrian wanted to gaze at skyscrapers lining the busy street, to window shop at stores where even the clearance items would drain his account. He wanted to gawk at passing steam cars and check out passing women, especially the ones in fashionable, form hugging clothes. He couldn't help himself on more than one occasion, glancing away from Detlef until the man stopped his lecture.

"You're not listening are you?" The veteran sighed like a tired parent. "Why bring me if you're not going to heed my advice?"

"Is your company not enough?"

"I won't be good company unless I'm confident you can win, otherwise this is a waste of time."

Adrian glanced at passing airships trimmed with precious metals, an unfamiliar sight to men of humble means. "True, you should be home killing threshers and saving cats from trees."

Detlef stared back with sharp, unamused eyes. "Threshers can be dangerous to local fauna. They've caused quite a few famines."

"Just like locusts, or droughts. Perhaps we should fight the clouds when they refuse to rain?"

"Perhaps you should take your studies seriously."

Adrian smirked like a student caught cheating. "When haven't I?"

"More than a few times, like when you disappeared before lessons last year, chasing that girl — what was her name again?"

"Jennifer." Adrian scowled as he spoke. "Now that was a waste of time."

"Young love is a powerful thing, drives men mad even when it's unrequited. Two bats of her eyelashes and you were hooked like a babe sucking teet."

"Don't want to talk about it."

"Consider it a learning experience, people will go to great lengths to acquire our services, even when they can't afford them."

Adrian mumbled curses below his breath. "Switch the topic before I burn your ticket."

"You should relax before a fight, keeps the muscles loose and ready, your mind clear."

The teenager stopped walking and glared at his mentor. "I know the basics. I'm not a kid anymore."

Detlef crossed his arms and laughed. "How about a test then? You pass and we can talk about whatever you want."

"Sounds fun." Adrian exuded the confidence of a veteran hunter.

"Then lets begin. How do you kill threshers?"

"Smoke to blind them."


"Cut the leg arteries."


"Stab the base of the skull."


"Run away and get ten more knights."

Detlef gruffly laughed like the old, weary man he was. "Smart, now for a question about the games. What element should you worry about the most?"

"Wind. I can evaporate water defenses, but air will change my attack vectors."

The teacher proudly smiled. "I was worried that would trip you up."

"I told you I've been studying." Adrian sounded cockier than a superstar. "What else would I be doing in my alone time?"

"Trying to lift skirts at the tavern."


"We're getting off topic. What should you do in a struggle for elemental dominance?"

"If they're stronger I should focus on one part of the fire. The whole thing if they're weaker."

"How do you know the difference?"


"Wrong. You look at the fire's grain. It points towards you if your attunement is stronger."


Detlef sardonically smirked as a deep, satisfied laugh escaped his lips. "So… Have I ever told you the medicinal purpose of Hornroot?"

The pair continued through town as Detlef explained medicinal herbs and poisonous mushrooms, a cornucopia of boredom that Adrian was forced to enjoy. He listened intently on a few occasions, but spent most of the walk relishing the sights and sounds around him. Nye was unlike anything back home. The biggest cities in the zone were shadows of their former selves, nary a tall building in sight. The few exceptions were still dwarfed by the skyscrapers surrounding him, and the passing metal men fascinated his curious mind. However, the intriguing walk ended as they reached a grand arena. The surrounding square was decorated with banners of past winners, each a legend who'd made history in the ring.

Adrian stopped under the most recent one. It showed pictures of a man wearing a black mask and matching clothes. Below the pictures read, Jack "Bean" Marino, a notorious name for anyone following the games.

Detlef glanced at the banner too. "You're lucky he competed last year, killed two men and took the hand of another. Has a natural knack for killing and maiming."

"I'd take him."

The veteran raised his brow with a mix of amusement and disbelief. "You aren't the strongest contestant you know. You'll only win if you look for weaknesses and opportunities, breaking down your opponents piece by piece."

"Don't worry, I'll work something out."

"Hmmf." Detleaf clapped his student on the shoulder. "I don't doubt that for a second."

Adrian smiled for a moment, suddenly remembering his first mission with Detlef. It was supposed to be easy based on the contract alone; threshers were killing crops and poisoning wells in Trenton, a small village in the countryside. The hunters met with local farmers before entering dead, decaying fields rife with spores and rotting cows.

The men swapped stories as they searched for thresher nests; deep burrows of twisting vines and poisonous barbs. It took hours to find one below a pile of branches and dead leaves, but a groundclaw had already killed the resident queen. The mutated beast charged from the treeline with saliva dripping from its jagged maw, rage swirling within mindless eyes of burning coal.

Detlef screamed, "Hide! Now!" and rushed forward with swords drawn, twirling steel as he battled the dangerous beast. He ducked below swiping claws and dove from stomping feet, casting powerful earth magic that amazed the hiding teen. First he trapped the monster inside a sinkhole before slamming it with boulders, impaling it with spears and burying it below tons of earth.

In the aftermath, Adrian walked over and asked, "I thought the contract was only for threshers?"

Detlef weighed his words for a moment. "In the storied words of our order, we must save the land from itself. I don't recall any mention of contractual law."

Adrian fondly remembered the first, most important lesson he learned that day; that honor outweighed mountains of coin. He'd remember the lesson after becoming a Centurion, even if the council despised him for it. With that in mind, Adrian stopped in his tracks and abruptly hugged his second father. "I'll make the order proud, and I won't forget what you've done for me, never."

Detleaf returned the hug as tears welled in his eyes. "You better not! Now go before I can't face you anymore!"

Adrian walked away without another word; there was nothing more to say. He wiped his eyes and entered the arena as attendants swarmed from all directions, leading him to a sparse interview room. The next hour was filled with ridiculous questions, explanations, instructions and pretentious comments like, "I don't blame you for misunderstanding our customs, given your background."

He emerged a changed man, one who despised city dwellers more than monsters, seasonal allergies and drinking spoiled milk. With an exasperated sigh he walked to locker room #22, a luxurious space with wooden lockers and ceramic bathtubs, heated showers and expensive organic soaps. He glanced around the lavish room and noticed patrician, unthreatening contestants who looked out of place. He overheard their pleasantries as well, apparently they were old acquaintances.

"Old friends reuniting in the arena? Poetic." Adrian chuckled like a gruff sailor. "Producers will love that, might even match you in the first round." He walked across the room and planted himself on a bench, pulling a whetstone from his bag. With crisp, practiced movements he sharpened his swords, mostly ignoring the others. He wasn't interested in their names or positions, motivations or stories. He was there for business and business alone, so there he sat, honing his weapons for the wars to come.

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Ava Marco
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carrying an oversized set of duffle bags and a backpack it looked way to heavy for someone up until you see the person an utterly massive woman whose muscles where equally as insane if it wasn’t for her figure still being distinctly feminine you‘d mistake her for a huge guy, the woman was carrying an unreasonable amount of weapon’s and other attachments within the bags and a massive cheerful smile upon her face as she strolled into the locker room placing the duffle bags down with a loud THUNK as their weight become apparent, this absolute titan of a woman was Ava Marco, this would be her first time trying at the Great game her reasoning was simple.. it was just the Marco family tradition to give it at least 1 shot in your life, and Ava wasn't gonna buck the trend hell her cousin mark was gonna be here too! and super conveniently they where sharing the same locker room, she’d arrived late owing to needing to get through with ALL of her stuff she didn’t recognise the awkwardness in the room at all or the situation, hell she really should have remembered the fact they where being watched but even if her arrival wasn’t a surprise she'd loom slightly over mark before picking him up from behind in a hug. "good to see ya here didn't expect to see ya so early mate"
Brynwyr Protheroe


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Brynwyr stood like a road sign straight to Albion. Herself and her entourage wore knights’ armour, neck ties and placid faces about them. She hadn’t thought about dressing more appropriately to fit in with the tides of those who passed through the floating city, but Nye had been strangely accommodating to the strange characters it held. Still, Brynwyr and her entourage looked more ‘traditional’ and ‘old-fashioned’ than most.

‘Sheep shaggers’ and ‘all the king’s men (and woman)’ were additional jeers she heard. But she did not let it phase her. She would have been a horrible knight if she rose to such japes and lost her temper.

“Cousin,” the familiar politeness in all its hushed nature seemed to cut through even the loudest of laughter in the streets. He had been silent from his descent into Nye. A baby bird peering over the edge of its nest, debating the pros of exploring the world beyond, and the cons of plummeting into a pulp. Only now did he speak with regards to those who made fun of them.

“Why do you not bring Cleonard forth? Surely he would help to silence those who would tear you down?”

Brynwyr smiled a little as she looked to the young academic. “And give the people an early reveal of that which I am capable of? Nonsense, Rhys. I prefer to let them eat their words when they see us on the field.”

“And you would be best not to let confidence grow into arrogance, Brynwyr,” the low voice of her uncle Jeston mumbled, as if he too had not let his own confidence in his skills overtake him before.

“It is but a healthy dose, uncle,” she called back to him, eyes still aimed ahead to what was in front of her. “Enough to know that I am worthy of participating in these games. But I suppose I will have much to learn from the other participants as we all do from this corner of the world.” She heard little of those who left her part of Albion. They were born above the rolling hills and were buried under the rolling hills. They did not wish to seek knowledge or challenge themselves if it meant going beyond their borders. The thought of it made Brynwyr’s body shudder.

“Nothing good,” Jeston grumbled.

She wondered why she let him come with her. Probably to keep her and his son from being influenced by the dangerous, bohemian ways of those outside of Nye, oh no! And yet, there was much they could benefit from in Albion. Much that would have been useful in their hands earlier. Weaponry. Vehicles. Materials.


“I think you are more than capable,” Rhys piqued up again, smile bright and wide. So young and full of eager hope. Brynwyr could have sworn she saw that look in a mirror once before. “I, for one, look forward to see how you fare in the field.”

“Thank you, Rhys.”

“And I also look forward to opponents trying to teach you a lesson in the field.”

There were snickers from the knights who accompanied them, and there was just the edge of a smirk from Jeston. Brynwyr took it in good spirit though, and laughed alongside them, playfully shoving the dark-haired man. She too would make sure that he would eat those words.


Brynwyr’s eventual arrival could be described as a whirlwind of happenings. Questions upon questions, and checks, and preparations, and directions, and names that slipped through her fingers like water - at first. She had not had this much fuss and chaos happen around her for quite some time, not since her accident or her knighting.

She would admit, she rather enjoyed it. Being spoken about, being a participant, perhaps it would not all be so bad.

Optimism was a dangerous thing to possess in a place such as this.

When Brynwyr was directed to her designated locker room, she still felt calm and at ease. The fighting was yet to begin, but the Games started earlier as soon as she stepped into Nye. Image was everything, even among contestants. She did not fear them or those who would be keeping an ever watchful eye on her.

Brynwyr entered the locker room, stoic as one could be. She knew she could not sneak in because of her manner and dress - not that she wanted to. Without missing a beat, she went for the first locker she saw across the way from two others, with one speaking in a comfortable, almost familiar manner. Friends? She wondered, opening up the locker and throwing her knapsack and some of her equipment. She rustled around for her gauntlet, starting to slip it on over her arm and tighten it.

Along came another voice, not belonging to one of the pair but to another man who pointed out their relationship would be a gold mine for the producers to use. Brynwyr gave a huff of amusement to herself. “And a viable story for the masses to get behind and support…” She murmured to herself, not taking long to adjust her gauntlet. It was as simple and easy as clockwork by this point.

Sob stories were not an unusual thing to Brynwyr. There were plenty of them, and Rhys, bless the young man’s heart, had been doing his research, and said plenty used it to garner support. It wasn’t a bad tactic, not at all. The people wanted a story, and the higher-ups would have been eager to produce a narrative. It made perfect sense to Brynwyr.

She paused. She wondered what her mother would think of the pageantry and spectacle of all of this.

And Brynwyr also had to wonder if integrity and honour were things that would hold out in these Games.

Nihal "Nyaall" Laal

The bodyguards wouldn't be with him from here on out. This was what Nihal had dreamed of for so long. He had been able to sneak away in the past, using tricks of light and illusions. The consequences were dire when he was caught. His management made him well aware that they created him, and they could destroy him as well. After that, he had been a good little puppet, dancing when they requested it and smiling to the public like nothing was wrong. To his adoring fans, he was living the dream, a quintessential rags to riches story. And the ones pulling the strings would do everything they could to keep it that way.

They were bringing the marionette too close to flame with this idea, he believed, but they were only seeing gold, it seemed. No one had won Outland Idol from Kartika since him, so it wasn't like they had a spare in the back. Life had improved on the impoverished Outland Isle for everyone, so why were they risking their cash cow- er... cat? Greed wasn't logical, it seemed. Maybe he had lost some of his own common sense since his rise to stardom too, then, because he was willing to chance dying in order to not return to living in squalor.

The musician stepped into the locker rooms, watching the doors shut between him and his security. He was well aware there were cameras everywhere here though, so he could only assume they would still be monitoring him. His dark brown eyes scoured the room. He always feared being hounded by fans while out without any security, and yet, the people who had gathered here gave him a passing glance at most. Perhaps contestants of the Great Games just weren't interested in his music? It came as somewhat of a relief to be able to just... exist in public alone, leaving Nihal feeling as if he a person again. It was still apparent he wasn't just anybody though, at least if his clothes were anything to go off of.

His management dressed him with the expectation of publicity. That was what this whole idea was for, after all. While others wore something practical for the upcoming competition, he was donning silks from the East, designed to be closer to a stage costume or formalwear of the elites than activewear. The outfit was planned with the public's eye in mind, as was every other outfit he would wear for his time in this event.

His eyes fell on a young man not too far. After some preparation, he knelt down to talk to a feline with glowing red stripes and what looked like fins or scales. A woman with an ornate tattoo approached not long after and introduced the eel that she was bonded with. The black-haired man let out a chuckle.

"It seems he's what happens when we meet in the middle." He called forth his own familiar, a feline as well, but much smaller in size than the boy's. Its fur glowed and its body looked to be hollow, almost as if it was made up of the stars in the night sky. Having heard the woman introduce herself moments ago, he felt obliged to do the same. "I'm Nihal. This is Apawllo." He made sure to put emphasis on the "paw" part of the cat's name. Even in the most dire situation, it seemed Nihal had the drive for word play. The cat stretched and gave a small meow.

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Fixing her leg was an overstatement. Just like any other day, a couple of screws had loosened around her knee joint. She just couldn’t make them stay and get the flexibility she needed. So instead, every day or so, she had to retighten them. It was a schedule she had to keep up at least every other day to keep them from falling out (which would happen after about a week.) Even if she kept spare screws on her just in case, it was best to avoid that. The ritual had grown so rote as to be soothing. She allowed her shoulders to relax against Kallos’s bulk, even if this still counted as enemy territory. An unseen one. She resisted the urge to look for cameras.

She was on the final screw for this leg, when she looked up at a sound, as if something was moving? A nearby locker opened seemingly by itself and what looked like a beaked creature (a familiar?) fell out. With a shriek, belying her age, she shoved backward, off the bench, so that her back slammed into the lockers. She pulled her attached leg to her chest, as she brandished the leg in her hands, electricity sparking from her fingertips. Kallos reared up, standing above her on the bench; his wings spread out like a shield.

As she moved to pull her attached leg under her, keeping one hand on the bench to steady herself, she realized she could see a body level with her. A second later, she gasped, loudly, like a housewife clutching her pearls, as the Mad Plague stood up, looming over her. (Not that he didn’t loom when she was standing, but she at least didn’t feel like a child. Setting her leg to the side, she pushed herself up, catching her body on the bench, then swinging her attached limb over, with Kallos guarding her weaker side. She could move well, even with only 1 leg, but she knew it was a weakness that would get her killed some day. She was surprised it hadn’t yet.

His sputtering voice brought her gaze back up to him. She hadn’t realized they would end up in the same locker room together (if nothing else, she assumed a gender divison), so she’d expected to have more time. To plan what to say. Or do. Or well, anything really. “Surprise?” She gave a nervous chuckle, tucking her hair behind her ear, then using the excuse of attaching her leg to look back down.

Okay, she had to say something to keep him from freaking out. Oh how she wished she’d had a chance to tell Mark or even Wil everything back on Peirama. She couldn’t on the train: it was run by Nye. Just like here. As he leaned closer to her ear, telling her of her eyes on them, she nodded looking a little cowed, or trying to. What could she say that would make him wait for an explanation? Both legs attached, she looked up at the plague mask, the face she was far more used to than his own. “You can yell at me later.” She emphasized the last word, hoping he’d take it. If she lied would he go along with it? It’s probably best not to; he always seemed a bit awkward with communication. “I know I’m not as strong as you, but I did well enough on the prelims. I need to do this. Hopefully Nye will assume something like to prove herself or some bullshit.

Her concentration was broken by a loud THUNK. She jumped, turning toward the sound, while Kallos regained his defensive pose. They both eased up, as it was hard to miss the massive woman that took up most of the locker room’s space. Maybe not literally, but Anya couldn’t see past her, she was so big. It made her want to stand on the bench just to talk to her. Remembering her leg, she quickly started to put it on, her hands sparking as she connected the conduits.

She was not worried much about Ava. They’d met briefly on the train ride over, and Anya still wasn’t sure if Mark had been joking by calling them cousins. It must have been a McCraggy thing to call each other cousin; similar to mate. The gigantic woman wasted no time attacked Mark from behind, hanging him between her arms in what might have been a hug? If Mark was the type to like hugs. Maybe it was only a family thing, or only girls who could break every bone in your body with their pinkie are allowed to give him hugs. Though to be honest Anya couldn’t imaging managing a no to the large woman either.

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((Edited to express more surprise and to clarify what she says. Hopefully.))
hair (3) (1).pngRen was hyping himself up when someone began to approach, a somewhat gruff looking woman who had a friendly expression on her face. He could tell right away that she was some kind of sailor, or maybe a pirate. We was always told to be wary of pirates, but he never met one before. He stood as she stepped within speaking range, but his familiar became wary of her. Phalanx growled some, not fond of being called a "kitty." He was much more refined than a common house cat, and was insulted, but calmed down as Ren motioned to him to chill.

"Sorry about that, he's just a little shy." Ren rubbed the back of his head nervously as he made an excuse for his familiar's behavior. "I'm Ren Shimamoto." He wasted no time to shake her hand and wasn't bothered by her strong grip. It wasn't all too uncommon for people he met to break his hand in a manner of speaking. "This is Phalanx." He then motioned to his cheetah, who had begun licking his paw before becoming attentive again with sharp eyes. It was Phalanx who first noticed the other one approaching, one with bronze skin and strangely elegant clothes. Didn't seem fit for what was to come.

Ren looked over, he was surprised and also kind of relieved that there were some friendly challengers around. "I'm sure the viewers will get a kick out of this." He thought to himself. He once again introduced himself to Nihal, but didn't recognize the celebrity in the slightest. Ren never had much of a taste for music. He was more of a talk show kind of guy whenever he had the radio on. It was really the only way to live as a member of society when you're trapped in a shop 24/7, and that's truly how Ren felt in recent years. That's why he was so excited to be out here away from home, so he was going to make the most of it and take his shot for the top spot at the Great Games.

"Uh hey so..." Ren began to speak again, before looking totally clueless as he went on. "What are we supposed to do while we wait for our matches to start? I've never been to Nye so I was wondering if you guys knew anywhere I could get some food." He recalled booking a hotel in a crowded part of the city, but never had a chance to check out his room. Maybe he could go there to relax for a bit, he thought as he rubbed his aching shoulders.
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0BCF2BF4-24DD-4E4B-A4C0-FE0D0C2DFDC9.pngDespite her tall figure, Ava completely hid Wilzemi for much of her entrance. she peeked around the giantess and witnessed Ava's actions.

"he can withstand more pressure." she calculated, zapping the large woman's back with just enough energy to constrict Mark even more tightly than he was already suffering. meanwhile, her owl familiar opened an unused locker for Wilzemi and she unslung a bag directly into the locker, shortly followed by her staff. "thanks Shirley."

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The Cheetah's growl didn't sound particularly 'shy', but Kilderkin didn't think pointing that out would get her anywhere. She was about to say something, when she noticed Phalanx's eyes zero in on something, but didn't turn around.

"It seems he's what happens when we meet in the middle." The newcomer said and then introduced himself. But Kilderkin already knew his name. She had read up on the high profile contestants that would be competing, and recognized Nihal "Nyaall" Laal. Kilderkin let a look of dumbfounded, awe-struck surprise color her features.

"Oh. Hey! You're that, uh, cat singer right? From the outlands? My boy loves you!" She would need to get Medium Hao Yu to listen to some of Nihal's music. It would make him seem more innocent if he could talk about it on camera. And It might be convenient to have an excuse for Medium to get close to one of the other competitors. She couldn't see an immediate use for a pop star, but one never knew.

She glanced back at Ren.

"Oh. Sorry. Didn't mean to get distracted. It's not often I get to meet a famous person. Not many of them working on a sailing vessel! Pleasure to meet you, Mr. Shimamoto. And Phalanx!" She gave the cheetah a dumb grin. "I'm sure he'll get used to me and Josh here. He seems like a smart one. And a pleasure to meet you too, Mr. Laal. Apawllo." Kilderkin did not stress the 'paw' acting like she was too dense to recognize the juvenile pun. "I'm Kilderkin, if ya missed it."

Kilderkin put put her hand out for Nihal to shake, and would give him a similar firm, calloused grip if he took her hand.

"So? How're you two feelin' about the first session? Everybody here looks like a pretty tough customer. Hopefully I make it past the first round! But if I don't, ah well." She shrugged, laughing. "Wonder who I'll be fightin'. Hopefully not one of you two!"

Kilderkin *examined* the locker room and the other competitors that prepared there.

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a2e946aa82971421f4f461c1b369f785.jpgIlana made sure she wouldn't be held up in the train as she was the first person up as the wheels screeched. "Ma'am, it's not time to get up yet-" a male train attendant tried to tell her before she pushed past. She quite literally hopped off the train before walked with a hastened pace, wasting no time weaving through crowds and shoving if she had to. She wasn't worried she would be late or anything like that, she simply wanted to be in and out. It was a habit you pick up in her line of work, which was a little bit of everything all at once. You had to get your job done quick so you could move onto the next, in a slum of a town where everyone's trying to scrape by. When everyone else is the early bird, you had to outrun them to get the worm.

She kept her head down, her eyes blocked by a commonly seen, striped engineer hat that she fit over her head. What wasn't covered was a mean, frowning face that made sure to ward off any chatty folks. She was in work mode which let in no distractions, it was only the task at hand. She meticulously prepared mentally for what was to come, the fight of her life. She had so much riding on this that she just had to win no matter what. If she had to kill every last challenger in her way, she would. If she had to break bones, lacerate, gouge or suffocate her opponents, she would. It was all for her righteous goal to become a Centurion.

As she barreled through crowds, some, unbeknownst to her, were getting wacked by the heavy navy tail she carried behind her. Her whole walk had been shaded from the sun by buildings, until she reached a stone staircase leading down a few feet. She saw an opening to simply leap down the stairs instead of walking down them as the sun fully made its appearance. She then stopped to adjust the cropped leather jacket of an ivory color, then pulled down on the rim of her hat. She pulled the small bag off of her shoulder to bring out the map she had stowed away. "Let's see..." She mumbled to herself as she swayed her tail back and forth, trying to make sense of the map. Once she found her direction, she stuffed her hands back into her jacket pockets before leading with long strides again.

She quickly made her way through the venue of the games and jogged down the steps to the lockers. She made her way to the gray door, the one that was closest to her, turning her body to shove it open with her shoulder. She left the loud voices from the outside behind as the door slung closed. her foot steps echoed in the much more empty locker room, as she still walked with haste. It was totally empty besides one other competitor, but she minded her own business instead of staring. She only gave a quick enough glance to know he was there. She tossed her bag on the nearest bench opposite of Ivan, plopping down facing away from him and towards her set of lockers.

She let out a huffy sigh as she sat for a moment, before straightening her back to pull off the jacket she had been wearing, pulling at the sleeves before placing it down beside her, making a tiny jingling sound from one of the jacket's zippers. She rubbed her arms, quickly realizing that the room had a subtle frigidness. "brr..." slipped out between her lips under her breath, but she knew it would just take some getting used to. She wanted to return to the coat's warm embrace, but took it at as just another challenge to overcome. Ilana removed her hat before crossing her legs. In the meantime, she placed her hands against her cheeks, trying not to fidget in her boredom. Rubbing the sides of her face that were overtaken by hardened scales, while unable to sit perfectly still. Her tail swayed as she bounced her leg indefinitely. She just couldn't wait to get out there.
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Elriel stood up as his family's airship docked into Nye, gathering up his personal items expeditiously so as to not force his father to wait for him. His familiar who had been laying between his feet stretched before moving to stand by his left leg, where her blue, almost glowing form would always be seen. The ship he exited was impressive to say the least, a double threat as it contained the finest technology from Dewanma and was designed by the best shipwrights the dockyards of Nye had to offer. Per his father's taste, it demonstrated the wealth of his family's noble status.

He stepped onto the cobblestone road, Nye was always busy but the Great Games increased the amount of bustle. He was no stranger to these very docks. Elriel walked with his father as they made their way through town. The fine fabric of their clothes flowed with beautiful accents. To most, this would signify they were citizens of Valencia. Everything about the men showed the elegance and confidence they held for themselves, not minding the eyes glued to them as they passed groups of onlookers. The pair had a few stops, needing to visit a handful of family friends who lived in Nye. There were plenty of well wishes to be made today. The Whitlock family made the trip to the greatest city in the world about once a month, but this time was special as he was participating in the Great Games. This was a turning point for Elriel, today was the last day of his childhood. When he stepped into the ring he would be deemed a man in his family's eyes.

“Son, remember what I told you.” The familiar voice snapped him out of his own thoughts. Elriel looked over to the man who was beaming with pride.

I will bring nothing but honor to the family.

“I have no doubt in that!” His cheerful voice bounced off the walls around them. “Watch out for those that play dirty. Do not stoop to their levels and rise above!”

Elriel nodded. They stopped in front of the stadium. By then he had calmed any remaining nerves he had been carrying, his head held high as he bowed to his father. He looked around at those walking into the building, familiar faces from past games stuck out to him. But he couldn’t let himself fret, he was confident in his abilities. He had worked hard for this.

He sat through the spiel being given in the interview room. Elriel was good at playing a character, thus that’s what he was doing throughout his time answering questions and would continue to do so until he had left the arena after his fight today. The workers treated him kindly, but he assumed it was solely based on his looks since everyone had their own biases.

He found his way to his assigned locker room, #22, hesitating only long enough to take a breath before heading inside. It was nice, honestly, Elriel was surprised by the quality. But the Great Games was a money maker after all. He found himself a free locker in a more secluded area. He dug into his bag for his belt, fastened to which was a jug of water, attaching it to his waist, tightening it to a comfortable level. Elriel took down his hair for a moment, running his fingers through any tangles before pulling it up again, tighter, so that way he was confident it would stay in place, but he was distracted until he heard someone speaking to him, turning to face the .. vaguely familiar voice.

He turned his attention downward, his eyes wide, glancing at the person standing in front of him. He blinked; once, twice. Until his mind was certain — it was Adamaris. ‘Fate? Is there such a thing? But on the other hand, is there any way the game leaders could have actually set this up? No..it has been 8 years now, they couldn’t have known’ Elriel pondered back and forth despite the fact it didn’t matter. He took note of the chameleon, the last time he saw the other’s familiar it was nothing but wisps of half-formed energy, now perched on Ada’s shoulder. It felt surreal. ‘We are undoubtedly getting screen time right now. I can hear the broadcasters loving this storyline. I know I would have.’ He thought to himself.

Ah. How could I have forgotten? Never did I think I’d see the day you’d stand before me again.” Elriel spoke. His tone was serious but his purple eyes held a certain softness, now wasn’t the time to delve too deeply into pleasantries. Elriel tried to figure out a location to talk with some sort of privacy, but not even the bathrooms felt safe. If he was to guess there was a sixty percent chance that there would be microphones placed inside to capture conversations meant to be private. Thus it would have to wait until after. Elriel leaned forward putting a hand on Ada’s shoulder, “Don’t look alarmed, but in case you don’t know this place is riddled with cameras.” He whispered for only Adamaris to hear before standing and running his hands down his long sleeve to smooth out any wrinkles. ‘Father, are you mouth agape as I am? I can only imagine the questions you must have.’ He smiled softly.

Elriel’s looked over to the redhead sitting on the bench. He laughed, sounding almost song-like. “Ah? Fire user, I presume?” He questioned. “Only kidding. I also look forward to seeing my opponent. If it is my friend I know they won’t take it easy on me.” He gestured at Ada before looking at the girl who had chimed in as well offering her a nod, Elriel had a similar thought about the situation. If he was to guess she was smart, which could be concerning to fight.

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Adamaris was one to ignore such comments, whether it was some sort of thing the broadcasters would enjoy- or whether it was a sort of story line that people may have followed did not matter to them. Their eyes flitted over to the gruff and blunt red head. Reaching up and readjusting their gauntlets briefly as their head cocked ever so slightly. "I care not for what the producers thing, whether they use that will be up to them." He stated, pausing and wondering if they would come across one another in the arenas- their eyes flitting back to the white haired man's own and there was a twinkle in their gaze. "I can not promise it will be as entertaining as they hoped."

There were no other words that needed to be spoke on the matter once he heard the other's whisper- not much but a curt head nod and an understanding that this was a meeting best continued where prying eyes would not be able to see nor hear their conversation with one another. They were not one for spectacles or putting on a show like most would likely have preferred- and they couldn't blame others for using it to garner the support that they desired. "However, Elriel is correct- I wouldn't take it easy on any such opponent- old friend or not." They puffed out, offering up a small smile and looking to the presumed fire user- and the woman they couldn't yet just get a read on as their eyes scanned her over- Nueto shifting his position on their shoulders before they placed their hands onto their hips.

"Since we're all so inclined to speak with one another, why not some proper introductions?" They spoke up, giving a dismissive wave of their hand as they glanced to their old friend, and then back to the rabble within the Locker rooms. "I am Adamaris, or Ada if one so prefers." They gave a small playful bow, before they took to leaning against the wall with a twinkle in their gaze, eyes flitting over and grazing over the claws of their gauntlets while Nueto reached out to grab onto one of their fingers- tail curled ever so slightly against their neck as they peered at the other individuals in the room.

"Interesting collection we do have here, truly." Their eyes flitted to their old friend's familiar, one they had not yet been able to see within the last time they had seen once another. An unspoken softness in their gaze as their eyes brushed over the leopard's figure- and truly it was fitting for Elriel, they were not surprised. They briefly wondered if they felt the same about their own, but they supposed the two would be able to speak on such matters another time as they looked back to the others. Their eyes returned to the small group collected within the locker room, their gaze unreadable for the time being now.

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Adrian meticulously sharpened his swords with a whetstone, avoiding eye contact with the talkative, congenial group around him. They were his enemies after all, nothing more than obstacles on the long road to the west. He couldn't befriend them without sacrificing his edge, his intense ruthlessness and killing intent. His attacks would feel slow and heavy, unsure like stepping around eggshells. His only option was to stay detached, to find reasons to hate them and lock away his heart.

Yet he wasn't interested in making enemies, not when contestants were sabotaged every year. There'd been murders and poisonings, blackmail and kidnappings — damn cheats loved targeting frontrunners and rivals alike. To avoid that morbid fate he'd  force pleasantries through his lips; he figured it was better than having a knife in his spinal column.

So he glanced at the dark-skinned person, dispassionate in his demeanor, cold of tone and straight to the point. "Adrian Valeris, order of Matoména Livádia."

He stashed his whetstone before looking at Elriel, leery detachment in his gaze. "I could say the same of you, flippant ice mages are a dime a dozen."

Adrian took a bottle of clear, flammable oil from his bag, dousing a cotton towel in his other hand. "It's not a laughing matter you know, what happens if neither of you yield? If you need to kill each other to win? it happens every year."

"Then there's the permanent injuries, burns, detached limbs, paralysis, broken bones that don't heal right." He started polishing his swords with the damp rag, applying even layers for optimal burns. "I'm sure you've seen it happen before, but it's one thing to watch a broadcast, another to be in the arena."

Adrian glanced at the woman who'd arrived after him, she was knightley and noble, well collected and attractive. Under different circumstances he'd buy her a drink, but today she was the competition, another obstacle to cross on the path. "I've seen metal work like that before." He gestured at her sabatons. "An Albian knight worked with us for a few months, had similar gear." He chuckled below his breath. "Strange guy, kissed his sword before bed and liked goats a bit too much. I've always wondered if those are local customs?" He wryly smirked before looking back to his blades, oiling them until they shone like silver.

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Nihal "Nyaall" Laal

The boy in the duo, Ren, gave a friendly greeting, treating Nihal as if he was just another person he had met on the street. It still felt kind of strange, but it was welcome. The fact that he wasn't the type of contestant to always be in a competitive state was also relieving. Even if they may have to fight each other at some point, being able to chat with someone prior and maybe between rounds would be nice. On top of that, maybe leaving a good impression would be able to convince his opponents not to murder him, even if they could.

The woman talking to Ren had a different reaction, however. She did recognize him, although only through the fanship of her son. He couldn't help but let out a chuckle at her description of him: "cat singer." It was fitting, but he had never heard anyone refer to him like that.

"I'm thankful to have your son as a fan," he commented with a smile. "I'd love to meet him as well between rounds, if he's around." Management may have some issue with him doing a meet-and-greet off the books, but he could spin it as a means of good publicity. "It's a pleasure to meet you, ma'am, and please, feel free to call me Nihal." he responded when the woman gave her introduction. He took her hand and gave it a firm shake, although his skin was softer and his grip was much daintier than her own.

He turned back to Ren when the boy spoke up again. "I do know a few a places in Nye," he responded, "but I don't think we'll have enough time to see any. I believe the first round will be starting soon." His eyes then returned to Kilderkin, and he gave a smile, agreeing with her sentiment. "Yes. I'm sure everyone here will be an impressive adversary." There were quite a few he was hoping he wouldn't make it far enough to face off of. As for the two before him, well, although Ren didn't exactly look mean and gritty, looks could be deceiving. Kilderkin on the other hand was the epitome of what he expected a Great Games contestant to look like. "Indeed. I'd love to see us all winning a few rounds before we challenge each other." Well, that wasn't true. He'd be totally content with them defeating him in the first round as long as he knew they wouldn't voluntarily or involuntarily kill him. Some extra rounds would just give him some reference on whether his hopes were realistic as well as build some rapport with them as to not seem expendable.

"So where are you two from? What made you decide to take part in the Games?"

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Mark was frozen in place for a few seconds after standing up looking at Anya stunned... he felt terrible for scaring her but his words of apology weren't found as he wasn't sure how to or what to say. He wanted to help her get up but the camera's, what just happened, and just the sheer fact she was here delayed his thoughts by seconds, enough to stop him from helping... aside it would be bad for his image... or so he told himself. His delayed thoughts were pushed into the background of his mind where he began to slowly process them as he focused on Anya after her 'surprise' statement and what went on there... he felt he had to do something to make up for things. So he just informed her of what he knew from the last time he was here. It was an open secret at this point that Nye recorded what happened in the main area of the locker rooms so he wanted her to know it... he mostly wanted to scare people for something funny he could keep a recording of... but this... wasn't as fun.

He didn't expect her to look so down at the information or his presence which caused him to slouch some as she seemed to expect him to yell at her... why would he do that? Sure he didn't want her hurt but... he wasn't the type to... well he wouldn't yell at her. However before he could even respond to Anya his cousin Ava decided it would be a good time to hug him from behind after throwing her giant bag of various things down. Mark's train of thought was once again derailed as he processed her comment. Mark wriggled around some before using his merge to secrete slime quickly to pop out of Ava's arms, thankfully she already had an antidote on her for such an occurrence were she to have a cut.

The new arrival, the friend of Anya's Wiz, Wizard, Wilzema... something like that... shocked Ava, though it wasn't enough to do anything, Mark frowned at this under his mask but did nothing as brushed off the slime from himself, wasn't pleasant to normal people but it kept him alive on several occasions... still he wasn't sure how to react to everything so he silently looked at everyone.
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Ava Marco
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Ava knew how mark would escape her hug already having the vial of antidote ready for the slime that he produced however.. someone zapped her almost causing the massive woman to almost crush her cousin.. but thanks to her massive bulk it didn’t really cause much then a little tickle , she’d chug the vial before spinning around to find the source of the zap.. Wilzemi, grabbing them by the back of their shirt and picking them up like one would pick up a rather another cat. “Right rat girl please don’t do that again got it? It’s really not funny… ok I is a little funny I’d probably do it too“ she’d place the girl down again patting her on the head before spitting around. “so didn’t expect we’d end up in the same locker room would have assumed it would be gender segregated or they though I was a guy I mean I hardly look like one pphh“ she’d comment jokingly crossing her arms a bit with a smile on her face.
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The square was even more crowded than before, impossible as it seemed. The writhing crowd was packed together like canned sardines, shoulder to shoulder and back to back, nary a gap between them. Together they cheered and jeered, argued and anticipated the games while watching the broadcast.

The overly-masculine, overly-bald announcer spoke first. "This is unbelievable folks, two old friends reuniting in the arena! One from Valencia, one from Zuanshi!"

"Since when did you care about rookies?" said the prim announcer. "I thought they were — what did you say? Unproven bumpkins we've never heard of?"

"I can appreciate a good story just as much as the next guy, and look, I don't think they'll win this year, but future games? Who knows Jack."

"Did someone hit Brandon over the head?" Jack chuckled and glanced off-screen for a moment. "I digress, this is a room of amazing talent and better stories. There's the cross continental friends, possible ex lovers, poised to battle in the arena!"

He paused as the camera focused on Brynwyr. "A brave knight named Brynwyr. Insiders say she needs money to cure her betrothed." The view shifted to Adrian. "And Adrian Valeris, a drifter who's more vicious than a rabid dog. I heard he's competing just to kill the Cage Viper!"

Brandon cackled like a drunken sailor. "Fire users, am I right?"

The crowd laughed on cue, like robots mindlessly consuming the banal, dishonest commentary. The announcers were lying after all, peddling bullshit written by manipulative producers. The lying wouldn't stop there either, instead the feed switched to another room of four tense contestants. The newcomer, Wilzemi, had zapped Ava with her staff, and the muscular woman picked her up in response.

Jack screamed incoherently in his mic. "Looks like a battle has already begun!" He flipped through a notebook of manufactured talking points. "The masked fellow is Mark of Macragge, one of our returning contestants! Killers like him have no place in our games if you ask me!" He seemed genuinely offended; a resounding performance worthy of awards.

Brandon fiercely shook his head. "This is why the game's gone soft. Back in my day it was an honor to die in the ring."

"Thanfully that's in the past, not that these rookies got the memo."

"Good. Yields are boring! Now what about Ava and this wizard?" Brandon flipped through his notes. "Wilzemi is a weird one alright, a scientist under suspicion for illegal experiments!"

The crowd booed as Jack said,"Where the hell do they find these people?"

"The same place they found Ava. Her record is more checkered than a chess board, multiple accusations of murder and assault, spent time in prison — and she was spotted vandalizing the city!" The crowd booed again, but that abruptly stopped when the camera panned to Anya.

The crowd wildly cheered as Jack filled his voice with deep, thoughtful emotion. "She's a real inspiration. Lost her legs in a freak accident and spent years regaining her strength."

Brandon wiped his dry, tearless eyes. "Her drive is unbelievable. A double amputee has never won the games, but she wants to buck the trend."

Jack slowly shook his head. "All to save people as a Centurion, really inspirational."

The host sniffled as a tear rolled down her face. "Truly inspirational."

Brandon somberly nodded in agreement. "Aye, a real inspiration."

The feed switched again to another room. This one had Nyall, Kilderkin and Ren. The announcers quickly changed their expressions from emotional, inspired awe to clinical coldness.

Brandon spoke first. "Kilderkin is a gem, such a humble, devoted contestant, but she needs more confidence! There's no age limit on winning the games!"

"Absolutely! There's no substitute for experience, unless you're Bean Marino of course."

"Which is exactly why I'm concerned about Ren." Brandon checked his notes. "Sixteen! What a youngster! He's a local from Gem Island, has watched every game since he was born! Comes from a real family of superfans. I heard they have a collection of signed memorabilia from past contestants, especially the Cage Viper."

Jack nodded in agreement. "He's too naive for his own good, needs seasoning in the arena, but I have high hopes. Water mages have performed well historically."

"How many were sixteen though?"

"Only a few, but I like to be optimistic." The camera panned to Nyall. "Now this guy, what a strange twist."

"More like a dumb joke." Brandon scoffed and slapped the table. "The games aren't a place for self promotion, I'm tired of celebrities sticking their noses where they don't belong!"

"Seems the people disagree. He's already boosted the ratings."

"For how long? One round before he's knocked out? This is ridiculous and you know it, absolutely ridiculous! He's a singer for god's sake!"

"A singer who uses magic on the stage. I've seen worse entries before."

"Jack… you've lost your goddamn mind. You know that right?

"We'll see."

And so they continued, cycling through feeds as the crowd intently watched, but one among them perceived their lies. He wore a black cloak, a matching mask and his breaths were slow and heavy, regulated by a hidden respirator. He glared at the screen with eyes of gold malice, clenching his hand as he marched towards the arena.

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Brynwyr Protheroe

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Brynwyr had been content enough to watch and listen to the scenes that dominated the locker room - a reunion in the most tragic of places. There was a whispering behind her, but she did not strain to hear what was said. It was not her place to listen. Yet, this reunion was still so public. Truly a front for the other contestants here in this locker room? Was it genuine? She did not know them well enough to make a clear judgement on that. She wouldn’t have been surprised if spectators somehow managed to gobble up this content.

Nye seemed the place to always have its golden goose.

Each of them had thought to introduce themselves and she thought it rude not to at least return the favour. “Ser Brynwyr Protheroe, Knight of Geltydd.” She would have her full title be known, to show pride. One that she wished to keep, perhaps even regain fully.

As conversation continued, she did crack a shadow of a smile to herself on Adamaris’s words. She liked to hear this friendship would not be a setback for them. Though, she wondered how that worked in an arena that stank of blood and death. Adrian had also pointed that out. She watched him coat his blade, not sparing the gruesome details and the reality that may have faced them - all of them - ahead in these Games. There were always options, always loop-holes. It was a matter of finding them first, before anything else.

Bryn noticed the attention turned to her. Expected, but the fire user’s comments were laced with a thorniness she had become used to. He expected a rise, and she would be lying if she said she didn’t want to do so here. There were better ways to silence such crudeness.

Brynwyr turned away from the locker, leaning up against it. "I always did wonder where that thought came from," Brynwyr mused, throwing a glance back to Adrian. "And then I remember it's always those outside of Albion who mention or ask about it. You all peddle in such strange fantasies."
hair (3) (1).pngHe heard what Nihal had said, and we was a little disappointed. He was right, there wouldn't be enough time to site see, and besides, eating now would just do more harm than good.

Ren looked down at his hands and pressed them into fists. He did this usually to calm his nerves, or better yet squeeze them. It was in response to Kilderkin and what she had said to them. "My first bout..." He thought to himself before answering her. "Well, I feel pretty good! I've been watching the games since I was a kid so I know what to expect." He paused for a moment, and got a shy feeling. He hoped they weren't listening, if this got televised it would be kind of embarrassing. "I've been training since I was a kid for this exact thing, I'm as ready as I'll ever be."

"Oh, but I hope I get to meet Cage Viper! An autograph would be pretty sweet..." Ren expressed his hope to meet one of the all-stars of the great games before the subject changed. 'Why was he here?' he asked himself. "I'm from Gem city, and well, I've never really had the chance to leave for anything. Like I said I've been training for this, I just wanted a reason to leave and this felt right. After all, I have my familiar, Phalanx, and those exam folks said I have level 3 attunement. If I keep my head on straight I should be fine, and while I'm here I hope to do some site seeing. It is Nye after all." Phalanx perked his head up when he heard his name, but went on to lick his paw and rub it atop his head.

Ren thought for a second after he had spoken, remembering again that they could be on one of those big screens at any given moment. He certainly wasn't here to get famous, he was mostly focused on gearing up for the first round. He hoped he would make through that at least.

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