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GM

 

11:30 PM

February 12th, 2021

 

Jadetown, Emerald City

The Night of the Chinese New Year Celebrations

 

It was an evening of celebration in the streets of Jadetown, and on this evening, even the Takazumi-gumi seemed to be at ease, content to simply celebrate. It was the year of the metal ox. Some saw that as a sign, the year that the Steel Shogun would rise even further. Others simply enjoyed the festivities.

 

Anyone and everyone in the city were welcome, at least for now. Perhaps the party, a smell of the supernatural at play, or something else entirely, would bring heroes to this night. 

 

While a parade made their way through the streets, a group of Takazumi-gumi that were defintely not in a party mood, led by a young man, led a young woman through the streets of the city...

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REBELLION

 

Rebellion stood on a rooftop. The party below him caught his eye every now and again, but it was not why he was here. He had a mission. He had no time for parties or celebration.

 

He had endangered his family, no matter how they might have betrayed him in the past, his actions had endangered them. Rebellion had laid low for a while, but ever since he had been thrown into the future, meeting himself... or whatever else had happened... well, the itch was back. He couldn't stop now. He had to find out more about the Chamber, and expose them. His mission could succeed. 

 

His future self had mentioned a Tomiko. Perhaps this was the night he would find her.

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Christopher moved casually through the crowds, a street vendor kabob in one hand and a bottle of local brewery in the other. The air of festivities was tinted with the air of supernatural energy, but that was common and to be expected given the locale and activities. As long as outsiders kept out of the darker back alleys they were safe and welcome. So he was going to enjoy himself this evening without worry.

 

He had arrived with his part-time secretary, Lark, but they had parted ways so she could join some of her college friends that were in attendance. He was glad she was more confident going out, given her condition. He was confident she could keep herself and her friends safe enough. And Lark knew he was in the area if she need him. He would, of course, have to bring back a souvenir for Morrowind, he’d have to check out one of the local book shops for something to appease the phantom that kept his modest library organized. 

 

Christopher paused to watch the parade as it passed to the jubilation of the crowd. He sipped his drink, smiling as he soaked in the joviality of the people and creatures that packed the sidewalk. 

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The Dreamer wasn't bothered by crowds given her own dreams often became one. She was smiling lightly at the jovial air as she passed through the festivities. The celebrations weren't particularly familiar to her, as her family had never been involved much with the other cultural groups that had made up her version of London after the variety of calamities that had wracked her world but nonetheless it was heartening to see a community be so carefree and welcoming.

 

She sat towards the edge of a street, as her dreams milled about her. An Eastern and a Western dragon sat on either side of her wheelchair glaring at one another, while a boy that she was fairly certain was a dream ate some of the food that she'd ended up buying from street vendors and small restaurants. Regardless of whether he was real she still kept the alcohol she'd somehow acquired away from him.

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GM

 

The feeling in the air was almost electric. Full of emotion, of celebration.

 

And power.

 

The Takazumi-gumi pushed through the crowds. They were all dressed professionally, suits and ties. Ryu, the heir apparent, had his 80's style sunglasses over his eyes as he scanned the crowds for anyone that might get in their way. The young Asian woman by his side walked with her hands crossed in front of her chest, looking down. 

 

The group had little patience for the celebration. One man pushed Blackstaff in the back without a word, moving him out of the way. Another barked something at the Dreamer in Japanese, doing his best to scatter her dreams before the larger group came closer.

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REBELLION

 

Something was happening below. 

 

A group of men, dressed up, leading a girl through the crowds. Pushing their way through anyone in their way. They were not even being subtle about it. 

 

Rebellion stopped his thoughts, crouching by the rooftop to get a better look on what was going on instead. His eyes narrowed, as he recognized the man with the sunglasses. Takazumi Ryu. These were Takazumi-gumi. The group that ruled Jadetown.

 

The Chamber allowed them to thrive and rule. A connection, maybe?

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Christopher spotted a familiar face across the crowd and had to smile. The young lady sat in her wheelchair with a bounty of critters large and small around her. Before he could catch the girl’s attention a well dressed man shoved him aside. He gave the man who pushed him an unfriendly look. Now that he was actually looking at them, the small group nearly screamed yakuza. He had come to the festival on business and he didn’t have any desire to start trouble, but if they had assaulted his friend he may have had to.

Luckily, they they seemed content to just bully their way through the crowd. He was about to ignore the small group when he took notice of the woman they were escorting. There seemed to him an air of resignation to her. Christopher tried to tell himself not to get involved as he just happen to move along in the same direction they traveled.

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The Dreamer saw the men coming, pushing through the crowd. She glared at them, spotting Blackstaff just before they shoved him. Her eyes locked onto the one who approached her to start attempting to scatter her dreams. The possibly real boy ran, along with many of the smaller dreams, while others responded in kind, the small dragons hissing at the man in unison and many others brandishing claws or weapons.

 

The Dreamer herself wheeled her way out from the side of the street, gathering her dreams around her. She stopped directly in front of the group, giving them a look that could peel paint off of a wall. "Gentlemen, you seem to be in a hurry and have forgotten your manners. I am afraid that I draw issue with that. You should apologize to the people, and believe me, it is not a suggestion." She punctuated her words with an ever increasing number of dreams, many of more aggressive proportions. Creatures with large fangs and great claws stood together glaring at the Takazumi-Gumi as The Dreamer offered the chance to apologize.

Edited by Kaede Kimura
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Christopher had only followed the group a few steps when he saw Adriana wheel out into the path of the group and confront them. He took a deep breath and exhaled.

“That girl’s sense of what’s right and wrong is stronger then her sense of what’s safe and not. But her heart’s in the right place.” He thought, smiling to himself despite the potential fight about to erupt.

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Posted (edited)

GM

 

With Dreamer and Dreams in their way, the group stopped. They didn't seem to notice or care about anything else.

 

The woman looked around, worried for a moment, then smiled as she saw some of the dreams.

 

The leader of the group, Ryu, stepped forward, crossing his arms and staring down at the girl in the wheelchair. "No." His voice did not waver in the least. He was completely sure of himself. "If you don't know who we are, then you are an outsider that does not belong here. Go away and take your pets. We don't have time to deal with crazy cripples today."

Edited by RocketLord
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REBELLION

 

Girl in the wheelchair got in the way. Did something weird, something with small little creatures with weapons and claws. 

 

Still not smart. The Takazumi-gumi ruled Jadetown. Wouldn't accept anything that made them look weak. Ryu especially.

 

Then what? Intervene? Try to help her?

 

Could blow the whole thing. Should wait, watch, listen. Figure out what was going on.

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The Dreamer frowned at the man who spoke. "It matters not that I am an outsider, if you were worth knowing of then I would. Now perhaps it is time someone teaches a noble's whelp why manners are important." She channelled her best impersonation of The Carnifex's milk souring smile.

 

And channelled the Carnifex itself.

 

A bone chilling laugh echoed from the straightening monstrosity, the cracks in it's skin glowing volcanically.

The men ahead need to learn why etiquette flows both ways. 

The nightmare surveyed the Yakuza, chuckling darkly. "Ah, my favorite. Small men playing at being big. Let me guess boy, your grandfather is someone actually worthy of respect, but you're just his worthless grandchild who has been waited on hand and foot never learning why your dear grandpappy actually treats those under him with respect? How close was I?" The Carnifex smiled viciously, a pleased growl bubbling in her throat.

 

The Dreamer cocked her head at the young man, giving him a cherubic smile to intentionally counterpoint the vicious monster next to her. "It's because if you mistreat those beneath you in rank enough eventually they'll decide that you're not going to stay above them. How many of your men have you treated as worthless? How many have you abused, verbally or otherwise? Or do you save that for the civilians you nonetheless rely on? What do you think happens when you are no longer shielded by the family they respect, and now it's just you. Alone?"

 

"Of course, all this is conjecture based on the possibility that you survive after I eat your arms and legs." The Carnifex said with inordinate glee. "And to think that you could have gotten through this day with all of your limbs if you had just been polite! Oh your regret will be the most delicious seasoning." The dreams that still clustered around the pair growled and crowed as The Carnifex finished, the western dragon flitting off her chair to settle on the monster's shoulder. The Dreamer felt a small trickle of dread run through her as The Carnifex and the dreams agreed with one another, but suppressed it as she had other things to focus on.

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Posted (edited)

GM

 

Ryu was clearly shocked, taking a step back and uttering a curse in Japanese, with the Takazumi-gumi quickly moving up in between Ryu, the woman and the demon. A few of them drew weapons, handguns of various sizes, while others pulled the sleeves of their right arms back, revealing impressive tattoos of bright red demons on their arms, oni of some kind. Ryu was barking orders in Japanese by now, people starting to scatter away from the Carnifex, the Takazumi-gumi and, well, everything that was going on.

 

And then the woman placed a hand on Ryu's shoulder and spoke softly to the Dreamer. "I am sorry. My brother meant no harm, but we are in a hurry, and his temper might have flared." She moved forward, the Takazumi-gumi only moving away with some resistance, before she bowed deeply before the Dreamer and the Carnifex. "I apologize. Please, let us pass." Her voice was soft, yet dignified. There was a hint of a deep sadness at the core of it.

Edited by RocketLord
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Christopher was just as startled by the appearance of the nightmarish Cernifex as others. Perhaps he needed to help the young lady sooner, rather then later.

The group responded as expected, drawing weapons and the such. Christopher moved around them towards Dreamer’s side. Gathering his will as he did so when the the lady with them stepped forward to plead with Dreamer. He was both impressed with her courage and touched be her sadness. He was always a sucker for a damsel in distress.

Standing equal distance from both women to form a triangle Christopher addresses Dreamer. “Heir.” He called to her, purposefully using the fake name she had given him last time they met. “There’s no need for this. No harm was done.”

Christopher tries to sound calm even though his gaze flickers to Carnifex nervously every so often as he speaks. “Meeting rudeness with violence will solve nothing. Besides, it’s not them you’re frightening the most right now.”

Christopher motioned around at the fearful crowds of citizens trying to give them as much room as possible, parents trying to hurry children to safety and many others just plain running in fear.

 

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The Dreamer, it asked would admit to being surprised at actually getting an apology. She had fully expected the group to take their pride to the grave, hers or theirs. She was so stunned in fact that she did not react at first, attempting to hide her shock by looking the when over.

 

The Carnifex by contrast laughed raucously in response, the sound harsh despite it's clear amusement. "Oh girl have you got stones! I must admit, I'm impressed, all these "big men' and it's this waif who plucks up the courage. Man did they make a mistake not having you as the successor."

 

They both turned to face Blackstaff as he spoke, The Dreamer quickly recognizing his use of her fake name. She sighed quietly as he pointed out that everyone was terrified of The Carnifex. She turned to speak to the monster when it waved it's hand dismissively, cutting her off. "I know, you don't need to say it." It done oddly calmly. "I'll head to to the rooves to watch the celebration of they decide to star shit and you can call me. The dream demon didn't waste a moment, leaping easily over everyone's heads to the rooftops.

 

The Dreamer gave the woman an appraising look, before giving a small nod and wheeling her way out of the middle of the street.

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REBELLION

 

Monster from nowhere. The girl in the wheelchair didn't seem surprised, did she call it forth? Curious.

 

Rebellion remained still. The situation was diffusing with the woman's apology, even with the other man putting himself in the middle of it.

 

Was the situation better or worse for it? The Takazumi-gumi might be on guard now...

 

And then the monster landed on the roof in front of him on the rooftop.

 

"Hn." Rebellion stood up to his full height as appraised the strange thing. His own dark blue clothes, giant white eyes the only visible features in the darkness that made up his face under the cap he was wearing.

 

He remained silent. Let the monster make the first move, if it wished to make one.

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GM

 

Ryu looked at the monsterous Carnifex, at the woman in the wheelchair and the man that dared to interrupt the stand off, to his sister and back again. He opened his mouth as if to speak, then closed it again, either unwilling or unable to say anything more.

 

"Thank you." Tomiko bowed to the Dreamer and Blackstaff, before moving back to her former position.

 

Her brother looked confused, before he started barking orders in Japanese once more, motioning with his hands for the Takazumi-gumi to do as he would. "Fine! We will finish this some other time. I have no time to deal with the freaks of this city today!"

 

With Ryu once more leading the group, they continued on, but perhaps pushing just a few less people around.

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Christopher watched Carnifax jump away and wondered if he should go after it, but decided against it. He bowed his head in return to the young lady and hurried after Adriana.

He took a moment to watch the group start off again then turned back to his friend. He gave her a friendly smile. “We really need to stop meeting like this.”  He joked. “I hope you didn’t mind me not yelling your real name out in the street.”

He glances up at the roof Carnifax leapt to. “Is it safe to let that one run off? It seemed different then your other creations.”

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The Carnifex ex Imaginatio

 

The dream was not above admitting that it too had a moment of shock at finding itself to bit be alone on the roof. Some shadow person, tall for a human, short compared to her had been up here before her leap. "Well what have we here? Were you watching my dear Dreamer? And what might you have been planning with her poor crippled self little shadow creature?"

 

She should probably tell her Dreamer about the little spy, but if he did cause trouble and then she stopped him she might be able to weasel some extra freedom out of the girl. She strolled lazily away from the edge of the roof before laying down like a great cat, languid and deadly.

 

"Do you have a name little one, or will I need to give you one in order to communicate well. I'm The Carnifex ex Imaginatio, or 'The Butcher of Dreams" if you have something against Latin. I might not be as well known as the likes of the Cheshire Cat, Red Queen or The Caterpillar but living up to the legacy of The Alice Liddel is a tall order." She grinned as she talked but there was a hint of nervousness to it. She'd seen the Wonderland Dreams, and knew it was likely that there had been more that The Dreamer hadn't had her around to see, although at least they had the manners go steer clear of revealing themselves. She didn't know how Alice's dreams were intruding upon her little Dreamer but she'd be damned if she let some Jabberwocky or Bandersnatch take her place 

 

The Dreamer

 

The Dreamer looked up in confusion in the direction The Carnifex had leapt, even willing to ignore the fool's parting jab as she gained distance.

 

She gave a quiet laugh at Blackstaff's comment. "Perhaps we should schedule a time for you to come visit for some tea, I do not mind you using the fake name I gave you. It was useful in this case."

She looked up at where the dream demon had leapt as Blackstaff did. "Normally I would agree with you, The Carnifex is dangerous. But it has never disengaged like that before. We should probably try and hunt it down though." She looked to Blackstaff for his answer.

Edited by Kaede Kimura
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Posted (edited)

REBELLION

 

The monster could talk. Carnifex? Rebellion remembered that. It had clashed with some of MarsTech's goons a while ago. Allegiance unknown, but seen around a girl riding different creatures. The Dreamer? It had a master, then.

 

It was fear, it was nightmare. Was it like the Terror, in its own way?

 

"Rebellion." His answer was short.

 

Rebellion's eyes glowed as he watched it. 

 

He didn't need this. Not right now. He was busy. The Takazumi-gumi were moving away.

 

Without another word, he started moving, leaping across the rooftops to keep up.

Edited by RocketLord
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GM

 

Rebellion gave chase above the rooftops.

 

The Takazumi-gumi moved on the streets. They moved away from the festivities, into a small alley that seemed almost entire depopulated by now.

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The Carnifex ex Imaginatio

 

The Carnifex grinned at this 'Rebellion' as he watched her, lazing there as she observed him back before he ran and leapt away. She had to admit that he had an impressive leap, but it was clear he was slowing down to follow something down on the street. She lay there, idly wondering whether he was following the whelp and his sister or The Dreamer. Either way, she was currently free to do whatever she wanted and didn't see a reason to pursue the shadow. She could just sit here and be...

 

Bored.

 

She finally gets the chance to just go do her own thing and she was bored, and the only entertainment had just leapt away. The nightmare gave a groan before returning to her feet and pursuing Rebellion. She knew where he had been going and it's not like he blended in with the roof. It didn't take her long to catch up to him, landing next to the shadow with as little of a thump as she could manage. She didn't want to spoil this for him otherwise he might leave. "Did you miss me?" She peered down at the crowd below, seeing the Takazumi-gumi below. "Shadowing the noble's pup I see."

Edited by Kaede Kimura
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“Tea would nice.”

Christopher nodded and gave her a friendly smile as he looked back at Adriana. “It’s your creation, I guess I’ll follow your lead.”

He spares a glance in the direction of the retreating group, then back at her. “It seems to have a mind if it’s own, I mean, more so than the others.”

He motions to the other dream creations that surround her. He gave her an inquisitive look. “Do you know which way it went? I mean, can you track it?”

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The Dreamer

 

She looked back to Blackstaff as they chatted, not wanting to be rude and look away, even as she worried about what her nightmare might be up to. "The Carnifex is unique in it's way. A number of hyper-lucid Dreamers had permanent, self-aware dream creatures, although there were many who didn't as well. My own family's founder had many, The Mad Hatter, The Dormouse, The Cheshire Cat and more." The Dreamer sighed as she relayed the nature of her powers.

 

"The Carnifex is in a class almost entirely of it's own. It is born of nightmares where almost every other creature akin to it was born of normal dreams. Even Alice's Jabberwocky and the like were more benevolent. Both my family and I spent some time researching to see if anything like it had manifested before. We found one other case and it had ended... Poorly." She grimaced as Blackstaff asked about tracking the monster.

 

"I regret to say that I do not, although I can talk to it at range it is not cooperative quite frequently and may lie simply fit the sake of it." She thought about it for a moment before turning to Blackstaff. "Do you have any spells that would allow us to track it?"

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GM

 

The Takazumi-gumi group continued down the alley, eventually coming to a stop in front of a small building that seemed to house a little shop. The kind that sold various knick knacks, souvenirs, whatever could be pawned off on stupid tourists.

 

While Ryu and Tomiko continued inside with most of the men, two remained outside, standing at either side of the door.

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