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Work had been going on for months. A massive building, not a skyscraper, but still huge, constructed from people no one had ever heard of. Rumors went around that it was really the Ghostbloods, the Dark Alley, or even a second Den of Thieves. That Hellbent, the terror of villages, was back. Another Alleyzon building, or Trident, or Craftsmen. That it was an outreach of Avatarism. But above them all, a rumor scarier than any of them. That it was something new. A new power, bigger than the Den, bigger than the Ghostbloods. The rumors differed on whether it was a good force, or a bad one. What they would do for the community, help or harm. Crow Blackice did not know. And Crow didn't care. Crow looked up at the nearly finished building, a shimmering monument. A white marble, tiny veins of strange black stone running through them. The building was a colossal sight, taking up the space that four massive houses, and their yards, would normally occupy. Thirty floors, some with massive windows, balconies, some completely windowless, some with windows barred, all an ominous sight. The grounds around it surrounded by stone walls, small metal wires covering their surface, and links of spiky metal covering the top. It was all electrified, Crow knew. For all she knew, they might have a defense against Coinshots, Windrunners, and others of that sort. One reliable way in. The massive gate, big enough to let in full semi trucks, but normally shut and electrified even stronger then the walls. But Crow was here to learn. It was time for a grand opening. They would announce what they wanted, they were inviting anyone to come. It was now that they would learn the name of the company, or whatever it was. And now Crow could figure out whether it would help her, help her get revenge on them. The Acutes, the bane of her life. And as Crow sat there, wearing her gray hoodie, black sunglasses, sweatpants, and sneakers, for all anyone could tell a normal person, admittedly one bigger than the average football player, and more muscular. She sat in the driver's seat of the truck, watching carefully. Her armor was in the back, but she had her shardblade, and the warriors lenses she now wore. And as she watched, a massive logo was lifted into place, letters following. The logo was the symbol of the Aes Sedai, but with lightning streaking within the white, and a raging fire contained in the black. And the word, large, PlasmaCore. The 'Plasma' part was white, the 'Core' in black. Crow grinned, watching all the trucks leave, the construction workers taking a bit longer, then following. The building, property of PlasmaCore, was done. The rumors could cease soon. And she could get what she wanted. If she was lucky. Ezra kept his face a cold mask, even though he knew it was covered, as he walked through the city. He walked past building after building, skyscraper, mansion, shack, park. He walked through Hellbent Park, into a rundown area known for a dangerous gang, Bloodflame. He walked out of it, into the area near Alleyzon headquarters, one of their skyscrapers, huge. Past a rich area, all the houses with electricity, outside of the crater. Smaller houses, normal. And at every house, road, wall, park, he left posters. They had forty like him, going through the city, in the night, putting them up everywhere. Each had the same message, a simple thing, telling exactly what it meant, exactly what the purpose was. No color, except the logo at the bottom. Each went: PlasmaCore is now hiring. Unique investiture and powers wanted. Come to the opening party tommorow if interested! Ezra, done with his job, circled back to the PlasmaCore building, entering the gateway at the same time as four others who had finished as well. They entered the front of the building, took an elevator up onto floor seven, and stepping out. This floor was just hallways, all with different elevators. Each locked, needing both a spiritweb scan and a long password to open. All five of them walked to the same, one of them opening it and the others stepped in. The elevator went up, and up, all of them standing there, uniform in black masks, black cloaks, and black hoods, no skin visible, lenses for eyes dark. None spoke, as the elevator slowly went up, resembling a gargoyle more than a human. Finally, it clicked, and they exited, onto Floor Nineteen, Section Four, Clearance Level 12. The room was dark, and the only light came from computer software, and strange glass tubes in the back. Each, in unison, walked to the wall opposite of the cylinders, stripping of the mask, the hood, the cloak, and everything else. It revealed a face with a spike through one eye, in each. The other eye was, in each, an oily black. Each had the left arm and part of their chest covered in strange bone growths. Each had another spike through the heart. But the strangest part was not that. It was the fact that each looked the same, well muscled, but more than that, each the same hair, face, legs, hands. Each a mirror of the others, the only difference between them the number tattooed on the waist, each different. On those there, two, five, seven, eight, and thirteen. Each walked forward, towards a respective tube, numbered like they. The tube opened at the front, and each stepped in. It filled with a light green liquid, and as it reached his face, the slimy substance, warm, touching his chin, E.Z.R.A. Thirteen allowed himself a small smile. Then experience faded. Thirty messagers left the building, each riding a silvery motorcycle with PlasmaCore logo on the side. Each carried three things. A computer chip, with files within, a scroll, covered in writing. And a wristband, covered in strange buttons, with a screen at the top. They split up, each going to a different target, a different guild, business, rich person.. Each asking for funding, in return for information from their research, into investiture and other powers mixing. Ghostbloods, TUBA, Black Crusade, Church of the Whiterose, Craftsmen, Alleyzon, and more. The writing in the scroll was two things. The request itself, and an invitation, which read: Please send a representative, or multiple, to the opening party! The party is tommorow, at midday. PlasmaCore will be happy to have you! The computer chip contained the same writing, but also a map to PlasmaCore headquarters, and a menu of the food available at the party, along with locations for members of each guild to sit, relax, while the party went on. At least forty scientists bustled around the room. Each wore a white lab coat, standard in every way except the PlasmaCore logo. But Bane knew it wasn't real. PlasmaCore. He shook his head. Just another way for power to mask itself. The Bureau was powerful, and this was how it got what it wanted. The room was massive, a whole floor, one of only two floors with one purpose in the entire floor, though one other came close. In the middle, a massive circle was clear, but the edges had strange things, like a Chaos Marine, chained to a wall, his armor beside him, being dissected. His screams were pitiful. On another side, a man was being implanted with spikes. In another, a female epic was creating strange orbs of light. Bane didn't know what the Bureau, and therefore PlasmaCore, wanted with this, he was only Clearance Level Fifteen. You needed at least Sixteen to be told about this project. So Bane just oversaw the scientists. Waiting, watching. While Seb gets to have all the fun in the party. Seb smiled from where he sat off the side of the stage, watching the party unfold. No representatives yet, but it was a half hour before the party even started. One woman from Alleyzon, but that was it in that way. But test subjects? Sebrial chuckled. There was plenty. Subject after subject after subject. And more would arrive. And, as the highest rank besides full Bureau members, I got to stick Bane with the scientists and have fun here. Ah, yes. This was bliss. He took a sip from his drink, a strange, bubbly, purple thing, a mix of some soda and Rosharan violet. And he continued to watch, the massive room with a dance floor in the center, styled after a Roman theatre, so that the stage would echo throughout it all. Layers up the sides, some with seats, some with foods, some with tables, one with massage chairs. And at the top, the area for representatives. It was time.
Several Months After the Events on Aimia Sephtis stood overlooking the Alleycity. The overlook held a few trees, and grass. The last time he had seen it, the Overlook had been barren and rocky. Sephtis had acquired new clothing from the journey from the isolated, guarded island of Aimia. He wore a cloak over his leather garb, adorned with several knives and Kunai. He wore a hood to keep people from noticing his face and his spike. In his journey he was referred to as One-Eye. In a very particular instance the One-Eyed Assassin. A small cremling sat on his shoulder. "Now we just wait until dark." The cremling clicked in response. The Cremiling was Twilight Sky, a Sleepless, an Aimian who helped him escape. "I wonder if anyone remembers me. I have been gone for some time." Sephtis settled under a tree to wait.
Hellbent stood on the edge of one of the frozen cliffs of the Goldhaven mountains. "Let it go, let it go, the cold never..." Hellbent paused. That was the wrong universe... Hellbent had shed the title It. Hellbent was Hellbent. He needed revenge on Dusk. Dusk had killed his son. The son he had adopted, the sun he had raised as an heir. And he was dead. Hellbent would pay any price to avenge him. The war would begin, and it would end. And Dusk would pay. This would be the Great Game, where guilds fought guilds, where political machinations met demons and battlefields. The Great Game would let fighting return. As Hellbent stood there, the Alleystorm washed over the mountains. Hellbents warders cloak flapped in the wind. He had three main forms, then 7 modeled after his original body. First, there had been It. It was made to personify his Alleylantrian spike. This form? This form was Mist. Mist was a form of hiding. Mist had a grey face, was easy to overlook, and Mist's warders cloak didn't help you look at it. Mist had violet eyes, but Mist kept it covered. Hellbent liked this form well. As the Alleystorm swept the mountains, Hellbent thought out loud. "I need guilds to fight Dusk and his allies. He has the lifeless, I need to counter that..." Hellbent was compounding luck, letting him survive untouched. And the Alleystorm helped with his compounding. Hellbent used the vast reservoir of stormlight that pulsed through him to create something. A huge tower, Hellbent made it powerful. It was reinforced, made of heavy iron. He soulcast it until he knew it would last. That was where he would start the battle. He would gather his allies, the Dark Alley, the Ghostbloods, the Stickquisition. He needed to win this war. And the True Alley would let him do that. Welcome to the Great Game! This is a new main plot, made in much the same way as the Seven Day War. The difference, is new forces, and different sides. The Great Game is a combination of politics and battle. It takes place all over the Alleyverse. On my side, the side of @Ark1002, the guilds siding with Hellbent, are: Ghostbloods Dark Alley Stickquisition (hopefully more) On the side of @DarthWoodrack, the guilds siding with Dusk are: The Sentinels The Craftsmen TUBA (?) The True Alley (the name of my alliance) is always open to new guilds, or support of a single person. If your guild hasn't joined us, and wants to, just send me a PM with you guild resume! This is the map of the Great Game, I will be posting updated maps if anything changes. This takes place five months after the Ghostblood ball. Have fun slaughtering each other!
Third of the Night strolled into the mansion through the gilded doors, entering onto a platform a cavernous ballroom. The Ghostblood Council had not cut corners in choosing the location for the ball. The mansion, to the far north of the Alleycity, had once been owned by an unaffiliated worldhopper. When the Ghostbloods had shown interest, he had quickly cleared out. Night presented his invitation to a Ghostblood underling and he was announced to the ballroom. “Third of the Night, Ghostblood Representative!” A few of the Homeless looked up, recognizing the name- Night waved to acquaintances and friends. Everyone in the Alleyverse and everyone who classified as one of the Homeless that the Council had been able to reach had been invited to the party to celebrate the start of the 17th year of peace. Night hoped everyone would be able to come. Nin and Hateka, Night’s Aviar, took off. Nin perched on one of the silver chandeliers as Hateka started making lazy circles throughout the room. Night descended one of the staircases to be greeted by another Ghostblood underling. “Welcome to the Ghostblood Ball, sire. Please feel free to wander throughout the mansion as you please. Refreshments will be carried around the main ballroom, but you may visit the banquet hall to your right if you desire more food; and down the hall to your left are some more… private rooms if you wish to keep your conversation away from prying ears.” The underling bowed and stepped back to carry his message to the next guest. Night nodded to the man and smiled at the members of the Ghostblood council. Homeless of every ethnicity, some wearing armor or carrying weapons and some not, talked and danced throughout the ballroom. As a slower song ended, dancers broke up to return to their conversation circles. The musicians, of a band formerly known as MoTab, picked up a fast and catchy tune. Night smiled contentedly. Some were here simply to have a good time, some were here for business, some here for the popularity… and others were here because they saw the signs of things to come in the Alleyverse. The Arena of Valor was open for the first time in sixteen years, and there were rumors of quests regarding the Worldspike. Battles had been fought in remote corners of the Alleyverse. Whispers of powerful armies rising again circulated… in admittedly less-trusted gossip circles. Regardless, old alliances were being reforged, and new rivalries were surfacing. The Ghostblood Ball was but a mask for things much more sinister than it suggested. Grinning, Night waited for more guests to arrive.