Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Faction War: Goldenblood, Episode 0

The latest Faction War story arc is going live- "Goldenblood."  Above are NPCs players may encounter.  Spectators are welcome: https://discord.gg/JPDxxPQ  Below is the Episode 0 storyline intro.


Episode 0: Breaking Boundaries

Anduruna. Norvondire District Tower. Major Maur’s office.

“You’re insane.”
High in a tower, Dawn light stabbed through Major Maur’s office. Lieutenant Axewing showed no reaction to the bald insult, back straight, face grim as a reaper.
“Two platoons,” Axewing repeated.
“You don’t need two platoons, you have my decision. Dismissed.” Maur sighed, turned to his desk, began rifling through papers and restoring right angles. The nerve- a simple fugitive, one bimbo, did not merit such a vast outlay of lethal manpower. To think that the request had been delivered in such an arrogant... Presently he realized Axewing remained. Maur clenched a fist.
“Lieutenant, if you are so bold as to defy my-”
Axewing raised one arm, dropped a fat envelope onto the desktop, sending memos fluttering. Maur picked up the envelope, and a glossy photo dropped out. He felt his spine turn to water.
“I found this on your desk, before you entered. From her.” Axewing’s voice was terse. “Looks like she has blackmail on everyone, doesn’t it?”
The Major rammed open a desk drawer and stuffed the vile packet out of sight with trembling hands. “Is- did anyone else see this?”
“Sir, I can promise you on my honor this is the only copy.” Axewing’s voice was sharp. The threat was clear.
In short order, the paperwork to deploy two full platoons of shock troopers, complete with demolition teams, was completed. Axewing would have absolute command once the formation left Anduruna territory. The grim falcon left the office with his commission in an iron grip.
Only later when his mind cleared did Maur stop to consider why Axewing would want such a massive, heavily armed force. A quick look at his personnel files revealed an ugly connection… But surely the man wasn’t that vindictive. That vengeful. It had only been his wife.
Maur produced a flask, indulged in a rare shot of burning, joyous illicit fermentae. Picked up the commlink on his desk.
“Yes… Yes. Patch me through to the special unit. Quickly.”

Outside northwest Norvondire Sky Road. Starfall foothills. Near Devil’s Spine.

Thrown to the ground, clothing askew, Swift landed in a patch of dry leaves with a chuckle. “Ya know, it’s almost as though I wouldn’t carry my only trump card in my back pocket.”
The bristling Neon glared down at her, his fluorescent mohawk a satirical counterpoint to his bulging arms. A gust of mountain wind made the trees whisper around them, like an ocean of ghosts. It was lawless out here, but there were still rules. Supposedly. Hopefully he followed them, because kicking off her stay in Tamarack Hollow by murdering a sentry would make things awkward.
She writhed suggestively on the ground before rising to her feet. Playing with fire was a tough habit to break.
Shafts of dawn light raining through the leaves cast a glowing rimlight on the cords in the Neon’s neck. As she brazenly rearranged her clothing, his nostrils flared.
Better to push the limits now, and if there was peril, expose it on her own terms. She continued to fiddle with her clothing, tightening things that didn’t need it.
“Of course, you didn’t actually check my back pocket. Maybe you just don’t have enough experience with this sort of thing.”
Swift flounced past the massive guard, deliberately dusting him with a tail waggle. She leapt atop a mouldering fallen loveleaf trunk, her fur a bright orange in the deep forest gloom.
“So- you taking me to camp, or you gonna try your hand at searching me again?”
The Neon raised one arm. Swift tensed in her crouch, ready to fight back this time, leap, draw her-
He was holding her dagger.
“All weapons must be checked in before entering camp,” he squeaked. The voice was astonishingly high, with a lisp. “Springers must be unloaded at all times. We shall provide you a receipt for all collected items.”
Based on his speech, Swift suspected that her attempts at seductive teasing had been entirely misplaced.
“My name is Dreadlock,” he continued. “Welcome to Camp Tamarack, and I hope you have a very fabulous stay.”

Tamarack Hollow. Trading Camp. Ivy’s Overlook.

Perched on her favorite overlook, Ivy Bones looked down at Tamarack Hollow. Her camp. Her responsibility. Morning fog cast a heavy shroud. Treetops rose resolutely above the mist, vessels in a silky sea, with looming Starfall peaks eating most of the horizon line beyond. The pure blue of their slopes was a perfect imitation of the concealed sky. Woodsmoke and the crisp tang of Starfall trees spiced the chill air.
The camp itself would be quiet for another hour- mostly. The trading post was littered with stray early birds, contemplating their lot, indulging in vice and solitude. Her lodge lay silent, and the cabins & tents dotting the hollow were dark. A few shrieks echoed up from children, chasing each other around the teepees.
Ivy grinned at that- Trigger was a light sleeper. He was probably cursing in his pillow now. Bitching at the kids was one of his favorite ways of passing the time. It was hard to believe, sometimes, that all the camp residents were actually outcasts. Banished from society, deemed too dangerous, too sinful, for city life. But it was true.
The fog was heavy now, but soon it would be burned away.

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