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  1. A small figure lurked in the shadows, observing the masquerade with interest. Not interest for the dancing and political positioning. No. He was looking for someone. Someone to kill. The MaiPon forger had one goal, and one goal alone. Destroy the Rose Empire, once and for all. He’d heard rumors of an imbalance in power, and knew it was time to strike. If only he could remove those in power and those vying for it. No one else would be strong enough to take control. Glory was getting too close, though. They were on the cusp of seizing the empire, and his window would be closed. The masquerade, though, made it nearly impossible for him to find the right targets. It’s why he lurked, waiting for the right moment. --- It’s time. Daasu edged his way through the thinning crowd. One person stood out among them. One person whom Daasu knew was leading the rebellion. The mouse. Daasu’s red eyes, veiled by the swan costume, kept focused on the person who stood in the middle of the crowd. Several people were accusing her of being a traitor, but no one was acting. This was not a time for talking. Daasu approached the group, knife concealed in his hand. “I’m not the one you all seem to be hunting,” said the mouse. She pointed toward a figure standing by the food table. “That man, there. The albatross. He’s done nothing to help us find the culprit.” A few people began to nod in agreement. Daasu glared at the woman. How did no one else see it? She was manipulating them. Gritting his teeth against doubt, Daasu stumbled forward, knife concealed in one hand and a glass poised in the other. He crashed into the woman’s side, pretending to catch himself on her arm. The glass shattered and the knife slid smoothly through the fur and fabric, into skin. The mouse cursed, shoving Daasu away and lifting a hand to her now bleeding arm. “I’m sorry,” he said, feigning subservience. “You’re too drunk, man. Go home.” Daasu nodded and bowed, leaving quickly with the blood he needed. --- The mouse pulled her hand away from her arm to find a lot more blood than he’d expected from a simple broken glass. She cursed again as she watched the drunken swan retreat. She’d need to get this seen to before carrying out the rest of her plans. With a heavy sigh, she waved for servants to join her at the edge of the room. “How can we help you,” one said with a bow. “Just get me a bandage for now. I have more important things to do than this.” They complied, and within minutes had her arm bandaged and costume roughly sewn back together. It wasn’t beautiful, but it would function. The mouse stood and made her way toward the falcon. “Would you mind joining me? I’d like to discuss some matters with you.” He looked up at her, picked up a few strange items from the table next to him, and followed. “Are you enjoying yourself this evening?” she asked kindly. “Not entirely. It feels strange to still be holding a masquerade even after the emperor died. Shouldn’t we all be in mourning?” “We can enter mourning when this is done. For now, we honor his wishes to continue the festival.” The falcon nodded. She was leading him through the hallways behind the hall, usually used only by the servants ferrying food to and from the parties. “Are you concerned about me? I know you’ve had your doubts.” “Not as much as others. The albatross does seem rather strange, though. Maybe he’s the murderer?” The mouse smiled. It was the response she’d desired, but she still couldn’t trust him. She looked forward in the hall, finally finding what she’d needed. An open doorway with a lock. “The albatross is my concern as well. They’ve seemed content to let us remove ourselves.” The doorway was only a few steps away. Keep him distracted. “I think we should remove him today.” “I agree. However-” The mouse didn’t let him finish. She shoved the falcon through the doorway, slamming it shut behind him. With all her weight and strength, she kept the door pressed closed as she fumbled for the key. Something hit her in the side - her cut arm - and she recoiled with a cry of pain. She turned and found a skeletal looming over her. Behind the skeletal was a pale figure with red eyes. Daasu. The cursed bloodsealer. “How dare you,” she screamed. “You dare attack an arbiter?” “Yes.” The skeletal struck forward again, swinging a club toward her head. She ducked away, but still felt the wind from the club. She backed away, panicking. The skeletal advanced. It’s menacing grin chilled her to the bone. It struck again. She could not move fast enough. I --- “That’s enough,” Daasu commanded. The skeletal stopped, standing above the motionless body. His only command was to disable the woman, not kill her. A breathless falcon emerged from the room. His eyes grew wide as he looked at the skeletal and down at the fallen woman. The skeletal turned to him, but did not move. The falcon grasped something in his hand and hurled it toward the bones. The object - a small statue of a fish - crashed into Daasu’s creation. The heavy object shattered the skeletal’s skull, and the whole construct collapsed into a heap of bone and armor. Daasu ran before he could be the next victim of a crazed falcon. He took a deep breath as he exited into open air. The loss of one of his creations would be nothing in the end. Not if it meant saving the Empire. A force struck him in the side and a searing pain erupted. He looked down to find a crossbow bolt lodged between his ribs. Another one struck, just a few inches above. Daasu looked to where the bolts came from and saw a pale mask in the shadows. Another bolt struck and he fell. The pale mask appeared above him, stark against the black sky. “You cannot stop us now, bloodsealer.” --- The forger kept an eye on the mouse and falcon as they left the room. Were they conspiring together? A consensus had been reached, and albatross had been dragged away. Another member of Heritage, taken to be slaughtered at the will of a paranoid aristocracy. It had to end. The forger - clad that night as a tuatara - decided to find the falcon and mouse. Stepping quietly into a darkened hallway, he pulled out a small box. A box he would never leave behind, and never lose. His soul was in that box. His hand passed over the Grand. The vote had already been made. It hesitated over the Urchin. Maybe he should hide another night. Survive just one more time. No. The time to strike is now. He grasped the Warrior stamp, and placed it on his skin. It sank in after a moment’s resistance, and he turned it, sealing the stamp for now. Years of training in the art of ChayShan flooded his mind. It was not time to hid, nor time to manipulate. It was time to kill. The forger stepped out of the shadowed hallway, muscles suddenly more tense, more responsive. Soon, he came across the scene he’d not quite expected. The mouse, unconcious or dead on the floor. A pile of bones - he recoiled with a hiss. A bloodsealer. Standing above them was the falcon. “So you are one of them,” the forger said. “What? One of the Glory? No!” The protests seemed forced. With a lithe grace only accessible to the forger as the Warrior, he stepped forward. The falcon reached down, picking up a small statue. He held it up menacingly. “Don’t come any closer.” His words meant nothing. The forger advanced. With a grunt, the falcon hurled the statue forward, but the forger easily dodged, closing the distance between them. Sweeping his leg low, he kicked the falcon’s legs from under him. He fell with a thump and groan of pain. There was no time to waste. The forger pounced, striking vital organs and breaking bones. Within moments, the falcon was nothing but a motionless heap on the floor. The mouse stirred beside him. She’s not dead? She lifted a hand to her head, then looked around at the scene. A deep laugh burst from her, echoing with a haunting air in the stone hallway. Magenta Albatross was lynched! They were a member of the Heritage Faction. Coral Swan was killed! They were a Bloodsealer for the Heritage Faction. Emerald Falcon was killed! They were a member of the Heritage Faction. The Glory Faction has won! Congratulations! Vote Count: Azure Mouse (1) - Cream Tuatara Magenta Albatross (3) - Azure Mouse, Emerald Falcon, Melon Dingo Player Count Docs: Dead/Spec Doc Glory Faction Doc GM Spreadsheet Rules Remember to log out of your anonymous accounts. If you want copies of any PMs, best to save them now before the IMs go through and purge. Thanks again everyone for playing! I'll post thoughts later.
  2. Delicate wings spread behind her back, moving gently forward and back as she stepped into the feast hall. Candlelight danced off the thin, translucent wiring that gave the wings its structure. It made her ivory dress glow with a soft light, and caught the eye of more than one masquerader. The dragonfly allowed herself to grin, knowing it would be mostly covered by the golden filigree mask. It was exactly the reaction she’d hoped when she’d begun designing the costume. In a time of threat, one did not run. Stand tall and face whatever comes. I’m here. Now come and get me. The dragonfly flitted from conversation to conversation through the night. She watched closely to those she greeted. Nervous eyes glance around, suspicious of the unknown people behind the masks. Despite the doubt that edged its way into her mind, she kept her face serene and eyes confidently on whoever was speaking. As the hours passed, she noticed more eyes glancing in her direction. More people whispering fervently as she left their circles. “Do you think she’s one of them?” “No one else would dare be so bold.” “She has to be sending a message for the Glory faction. They think they’re close to finally taking control of the empire.” No matter. She would not be cowed. Nor would her accusers. The questions grew, and more eyes watched her. More people dispersed as she approached. Soon, she stood alone, a pillar of fire in the center of the hall as the light played off her costume. The dragonfly did not flinch as the strikers came for her. She did not look down, or look away. She locked eyes with everyone who dared accuse her of treachery. You will know soon. Hopefully before the empire falls. --- The emperor watched sadly as the dragonfly was escorted from the hall. Another person whom he thought he could trust taken away to their death. He could only hope they were the real threat. It must be done. For the Rose Empire. The words were little comfort as he scanned the rest of the thinning crowd. His power was waning. Footsteps and shifting fabric warned him of someone stepping up beside him. Careful to avoid hitting the person with the crocodile jaws, he stepped back and turned. A man in black robes and a porcelain white mask stood before him, hands clasped behind his back as he looked out over the gathering. “Do you think all this is wise?” His quiet voice was muffled by the mask. The emperor held back a glare for man audacious enough to question him. He did not appreciate the criticism, but knew it would do no good to reveal himself. “If nothing else, it gives the people hope as they see their leaders dwindle.” “When was the last time you spent time with the people outside these halls, emperor?” That gave him pause. Recovering quickly, he leveled a glare at the stranger. Criticism was one thing. This? This was sheer stupidity. “The people love that we bring joy into their lives.” “They’d rather have food on their tables. No matter. They will have a better emperor soon.” “You dare threaten me?” The emperor felt his anger rise. He bared his teeth, feeling as though he were the crocodile he portrayed. “We have you backed against a wall,” said the man in a calm voice. He turned slowly to face the emperor finally. “Either get out of the way or be crushed.” “I will not–” The man stepped forward, closing the gap between them before the emperor could react. “Then you will die.” A thin rod of metal pierced through the tough skin of his costume and into his heart. Prongs on either side of the blade followed, hitting his lungs. The emperor tried to cry out, but could not force enough air out to do anything more than whisper and gasp. The stranger held him for a second, driving the sai upward still. Pain shot through the emperor’s body as he collapsed, held upright only by the prongs. “Die knowing you could not stop us.” Ivory Dragonfly was lynched! They were a member of the Heritage Faction Mauve Crocodile was killed! They were the Emperor. Vote Count: Coral Swan (2) - Cream Tuatara, Mauve Crocodile, Melon Dingo Emerald Falcon (1) - Ivory Dragonfly Ivory Dragonfly (2) - Azure Mouse, Magenta Albatross Mauve Crocodile (1) - Emerald Falcon Player Count Revealed Rules and Roles Reminder: Rules for Anonymous Accounts: Rule Reminder: PMs are open No vote minimum Tied lynches will be decided at random and one person will be lynched This cycle will close Thursday, September 19th at 11 a.m. PST
  3. The fiftieth sun was setting behind a bank of clouds, casting a deep scarlet light across the sky. It was a glorious evening. Vostrath strode confidently toward the feast hall for yet another night of masquerade. They’d been pleasantly surprised at the emperor’s insistence at continuing the festival, even with so many dead. It made his job so much easier. The porcelain mask was still heavy, but it was becoming familiar. He lifted it to his face as he came close enough to encounter other costumed attendants. His goal was something different. They’d discovered finding the emperor would be difficult. He was too skilled at blending to be found so easily. Tonight, it didn’t matter who died, so long as they were Heritage. Remain hidden. Unnoticed. Scanning the crowd entering the feast hall, Vostrath looked for those who stood apart. Those who seemed hesitant. His eyes fell on the perfect candidate. A hyena, who’s costumed fur was a deep black. The red light from the dying sun reflected hauntingly on the course fibers. Perfect. The hyena watched everyone nervously, eyes darting back and forth behind their mask. Vostrath stepped into the shadow of the building, listening. It seemed to be a one-person conversation. “Why is no one stopping the killing? I can’t do anything about it. Why am I still here?” muttered the hyena. They took a deep breath. “No one will even know.” They turned to leave, stepping away from the entrance of the hall. Toward their death. Vostrath stepped back, waiting patiently for the hyena to turn the corner. He pulled a dagger from a sheath on his forearm --- The hyena took one step back, then another. Too many people were dying at these feasts. Unwilling to speak ill of the emperor’s decisions, they’d kept their protests quiet. He kept their movements small and slow as he turned his back to the hall doors. Don’t draw attention. Just leave. It was like a weight had been lifted from his shoulders. He could return to the Heritage feasts once the culprit was found. The hyena lifted the mask from his face as he stepped around the corner of the building, into the shadow. The movement blinded him for a brief moment. Long enough to be surprised by a pale, masked figure lurking. Watching. He stepped back quickly, dropping the hyena mask to the ground. It bounced and rolled backward, into the dying light. It wasn’t fast enough. Pain erupted across his throat. Acting on instinct alone, he lifted his hand to his throat, only to feel warm, wet blood. He stumbled backward, gasping for air. Nothing filled his lungs. His legs lost any sense of strength, his feet any sense of coordination. He collapsed, staring up at the blood red sky. “For Glory.” --- Vostrath looked at his latest victim. The black fur - still reflecting light from the setting sun - became slick with blood as he fell to the cobblestones. It was a vision in fading red as darkness fell. --- Penguin. It wasn’t his choice to be a penguin, but it was fun. It was a silly outfit, which suited him just fine for the masquerade. Unfortunately, it didn’t fit the current mood of the festival, which seemed to be more a funeral than celebration. “It must be stopped.” Nearly everyone who spoke echoed the same sentiment. None of them, however, seemed to have a direction. “How can they kill the captain of the guard right here, in the middle of all this? Surely, someone saw something.” Moments passed before someone spoke, making the penguin shift uncomfortably. Silence was never a good thing. “I think I saw him there.” The penguin looked up to see someone dressed as a falcon pointing a feathered finger in his direction. “Me?” The penguin shook his head. “What do I have to do with this?” The falcon answered more boldly. “I think the captain was going to arrest him. Then she just happened to end up dead. It had to be him.” Lavishly dressed people fell quiet as the accusation echoed through the chamber. The penguin looked around, looking at the people standing idly as Strikers approached menacingly. “Will no one listen? Will no one act? Will you all stand idly by as we continue to be hunted?” A few shifted their feet nervously, but still no one spoke. The Strikers closed in on their prey. The penguin stood resplendent, despite the ridiculousness of his costume, as he was taken away. A simple death might call people to action. If not, they may lose everything. One Striker raised a sword. The penguin looked into his eyes, face remaining stoic. The sword began to descend. A scream pierced the silence from outside the halls. Hard metal cut through the costume and into his skin. Darkness clouded his vision as he heard a cry that someone else had been found dead. Too late to save him. Too late for us all. Chartreuse Penguin was lynched! They were a member of the Heritage Faction Charcoal Hyena was killed! They were a member of the Heritage Faction Vote Count: Chartreuse Penguin (2) - Emerald Falcon, Melon Dingo Emerald Falcon (1) - Chartreuse Penguin, Mauve Crocodile Mauve Crocodile (1) - Cream Tuatara Player Count Revealed Rules and Roles Reminder: Rules for Anonymous Accounts: Rule Reminder: PMs are open No vote minimum Tied lynches will be decided at random and one person will be lynched This cycle will close Tuesday, September 17th at 11 a.m. PST
  4. “We made a mistake,” said one arbiter. “A mistake that won’t happen again. The loss of the Head Arbiter is regrettable. We need to stop this threat.” A rememberer, dressed as a simple scorpion, sidled up to a group of costumed people. Several people agreed with the statement, and the scorpion found himself nodding as well. He felt so out of place, so uncomfortable in the room full of such important people. He was a simple rememberer, given the chance to attend a masquerade now that he finally had a day off work. “Did anyone actually see what happened?” A few shook their heads, but most just didn’t reply. A few of them found solace in knowing they were wearing masks. Maybe they could avoid being targeted if they remained anonymous. Especially if they didn’t get involved. The scorpion was content to just listen. He rarely had the chance to be involved in such discussions. No one was being direct in their conversation, so he felt lost. His mind drifted away, back to his home where a canvas sat drying. It was almost complete. His masterpiece. The painting that would make his name known among the greats. Maybe even as well known as Han ShuXen. “I don’t remember seeing the scorpion there last night. Maybe you know something about what happened?” A few among the crowd chimed quiet agreements. His attention was drawn back to the present, and is eyes grew wide. “My- my apologies,” they stammered. “I had work that needed completing last night. “Did you know someone would be killed last night? Is that why you didn’t show?” “No. I don’t even know– What did happen, anyway?” It was too late. Self-important people had decided the Scorpion’s fate. One signaled for a few guards to remove the scorpion, and several walked away. “Wait!” One person stepped forward, attempting to stop the guards. “Why would he show up at all if he were guilty? Surely, he must be innocent. At least for now.” The scorpion felt hope surge within him. Maybe there was still a chance. But no. No one was left to hear the plea for mercy. His fate was decided. His masterpiece would forever remain incomplete. Who would remember him? --- So many feathers. The captain of the guard shifted her ridiculous costume, causing a few of the feathers to fall. She was a Striker, not some festival-loving arbiter. However, the emperor had insisted she blend in. There was a threat, and she had to stop it. Even if it meant dressing like an ostrich. The crowd shifted constantly as important people within the Rose Empire, disguised behind masks and robes, jockeyed for better positioning. It was worthless, really. They didn’t really know the person behind the mask. She felt someone nudge her side, and she jumped. A tall man was standing behind her. The emperor. He was given away by his bearing. How did I lose track of him so easily? The captain hated that he, too, insisted on being anonymous. While she knew it would be “You’re supposed to be blending in,” he whispered. “Your majesty.” She bowed her head slightly. “With all due respect, my job is first to protect you and everyone here.” “Which might be difficult if you are spotted. Go. Pretend to be one of us for an evening. It’s actually quite relaxing to be someone different for a while.” Without fanfare, the emperor moved along to another group of people. The captain sighed, and shifted the feathers of her costume again. At least it moved easily. The emperor was right. Besides, his word was law, so mingle she must. She plastered a smile onto her face, which would be barely visible underneath her mask, and moved toward a large group. There was one among them who seemed to be glancing nervously around. Maybe this would be a good time for questioning, especially with the amount of drink that was making its rounds. A man in a white porcelain mask intercepted her, giving her a slight bow. “Captain.” Her hand went to a dagger hidden in the folds of feathers, but she smiled. She pitched her voice up slightly, trying to sound more feminine. “You must have me mistaken, sir.” “No, I’m quite certain.” He stepped closer. “Your mask doesn’t cover your eyes. No one else is quite as aware. No one else watches like you.” A chill ran down the captain’s spine. Something was wrong with this man. He was a Grand, yes. Probably an arbiter. Is he the one I’ve been hunting? She didn’t respond, so he continued. “When we bring down the Heritage faction, you can still have a place with us. Strikers would be invaluable.” She scoffed. A captain would not turn traitor so easily, especially not when the arbiters of the Heritage faction had done so much for her family. “We’d rather die than do it your way. They are under my protection.” “It is sad you won’t be able to protect them much longer.” She drew her dagger at his words, but in a flash, he rammed something hard and cold between the feathers of her costume. They did not provide nearly enough armor, and the blade slid easily between her ribs, piercing her heart. “Who will protect them now, I wonder?” He tore the dagger away and melded into the crowd. The captain collapsed to the floor, her heart beating out of rhythm. The blood stained the feathers as she took a final, shuddering breath. Amethyst Scorpion was lynched! They were a Rememberer for the Heritage Faction. Fuchsia Ostrich was killed! They were a Striker for the Heritage Faction. Vote Count: Amethyst Scorpion (4) - Chartreuse Penguin, Coral Swan, Cream Tuatara, Magenta Albatross Chartreuse Penguin (2) - Fuchsia Ostrich, Indigo Weasel Emerald Falcon (2) - Mauve Crocodile, Melon Dingo Player Count Revealed Rules and Roles Rule Reminder: PMs are open No vote minimum Tied lynches will be decided at random and one person will be lynched This cycle will close Sunday, September 15th at 11 a.m. PST ***WARNING: I may or may not be online at the time the turn ends. No votes or actions after 11 a.m. will be considered valid. The new cycle may be a bit late in getting posted.***
  5. The mask pressed against his face, too heavy to be comfortable. Vostrath kept reaching to pull it away, but knew that would be very bad. He kept fidgeting with it instead, trying to find a comfortable place for the porcelain to rest. He stepped into the hall. It had been transformed since the night before. Where rows and rows of tables had been, was nothing but empty floor. Dozens of people stood around the room, holding drinks and plucking decadent foods from passing trays. Everyone was dressed in extravagant costumes, making it impossible to find anyone. One strange person was holding a small statue of a fish, which appeared to be burned. What a strange person. Wait. Where is the emperor? Vostrath’s focus shifted to where the throne normally sat. It was gone. The emperor was nowhere in sight. Surely, he wouldn’t dress up like everyone else. Vostrath sighed. Of course he wouldn’t be able to find the emperor. No matter. Any strike against the Heritage Faction would be good enough for their cause. He scanned the room, looking for a fresh target. --- Othu stood quietly in the corner of the hall. Crowds made him uncomfortable, but he felt obligated to attend. Tosgyn had been a friend. Watching the people move and mingle was like watching a dance, though no one was actually dancing. It was all the politics. Othu lifted the beak of his heron costume and took a sip of his drink. It was smooth, and made his muscles relax just slightly. At least there was something comforting at this party. The relaxation didn’t last long as he noticed a tall man wearing a white porcelain mask walking his direction. He quickly downed the rest of his drink. “Good evening,” the man said with a slight bow. “Enjoying yourself, I hope?” Othu shrugged. “I suppose.” He looked down into his cup, regretting it was already gone. “Would you like another?” the man said, gesturing toward the empty cup. Othu nodded. The man waved for an attendant. As soon as she reached them he lifted two off the tray, handing one over to Othu. He took it gratefully. “Interesting time for a party, wouldn’t you say?” asked the man in nearly a whisper. “We recently discovered a text that detailed a week of masquerades to celebrate the changing seasons.” “And a death doesn’t stop a good harvest festival, does it?” Othu bristled at the comment. “Tosgyn was a driving force to make this happen. He would have wanted it to continue with or without him.” “Of course.” His tone was still condescending. Othu ignored the comment, opting to drink again instead. --- Vostrath felt a hand slap him on the shoulder. He turned to see a vulture standing next to him. He grinned beneath the mask. “Why so secluded?” asked the vulture. “Come, join the festivities.” “You’re right.” Vostrath turned to the one parading as a heron. He pulled a small poison-tipped needle from his pocket, hiding it between two fingers. “Enjoy yourself tonight.” He patted the man’s shoulder, feeling the needle slip through the fabric and into the heron’s skin. The heron nodded, and Vostrath took his leave to join the main group in the middle of the hall. --- “You’re contemplating something, Othu” the vulture said, a grin showing beneath the hooked beak of the costume. “I can see it in your eyes.” Othu looked up. “How did you know me? The vulture laughed, slapping his shoulder. “You’re the only one who habitually distances yourself from the festival.” Othu suddenly became anxious. There had been some small comfort in knowing it was a masquerade, but being so easily recognized was uncomfortable. Othu didn’t feel he belonged among the rest of the arbiters. He started to sweat, as if the room had become unbearably hot inside. Breathing became difficult, so he ripped off the mask. Still, air refused to enter his lungs. “Are you alright?” the vulture asked. Othu could do nothing but shake his head. Breathing. Why was it so hard to breath?[/] Darkness grew around his vision. He couldn’t stand upright. A wave of dizziness overtook him, and he collapsed to the hard marble floor. Why is it so hot? Am I… am I dying? The blackness overtook everything. Then there was nothing. --- The vulture cried out for someone to fetch a resealer. What was wrong with him? A glint of something in Othu’s shoulder caught his attention. He reached for it and pulled it out. A needle. Poison? Angry voices surrounded him. He heard at least one person shouting that he, the vulture, had killed Othu. They were calling him Glory Faction. Rough hands seized his arms and dragged him away. He was stunned. He tried to say it wasn’t him. He tried to show them the needle. They weren’t listening. “Shut him up,” one of the strikers said. Pain shot across his head, and he remembered nothing else. The vulture would not wake again. Amber Vulture was lynched! They were the Head Arbiter of the Heritage Faction Mint Heron was killed! They were a member of the Heritage Faction Vote Count: Chartreuse Penguin (1) - Cream Tuatara Mint Heron (0) - Mauve Crocodile Azure Mouse (1) - Amber Vulture (1) - Charcoal Hyena Amethyst Scorpion (1) - Coral Swan, Chartreuse Penguin Magenta Albatross (1) - Azure Mouse Player Count Revealed Rules and Roles Reminder: Rules for Anonymous Accounts: Rule Reminder: PMs are open No vote minimum Tied lynches will be decided at random and one person will be lynched This cycle will close Friday, September 13th at 11 a.m. PST.
  6. He walked as confidently as he could down the rows of reveling arbiters. The Heritage faction was a farce, established on a base of drunkenness and apathy. He was there to spark the revolution. That didn’t change the fact his hands were shaking as he reached into a pocket for the vial. He remained focused on his goal: The emperor. Remove the keystone and the arch would fall. A tall figure cut him off in his path. A minor arbiter of the Heritage faction. “Vostrath, relax! You look so somber. It’s time for celebration!” He forced himself to smile. “A celebration of what, exactly?” “The Rose Empire, of course!” “Of course.” He still smiled as the woman forced a drink into his hand. Keeping his lips closed, he lifted the goblet and pretended to drink. “Good,” she said. “Now, go, celebrate!” Vostrath gently pushed past, returning to his original task. With purposeful strides, he walked up to the emperor’s table. “Emperor.” He gave a flourishing bow and set the goblet he still held down in front of the man on the large throne, making sure it was next to the cup already on the table. “Compliments of Arbiter Shume.” “Arbiter Vostrath,” said the emperor, granting his permission to stand upright again. Vostrath withdrew his hand, and with swift movements, poured the contents of his vial into the Emperor’s cup. “Wonderful festival tonight.” The emperor gave only responded with a small nod. “Head Arbiter Alba wanted me to send her regrets at not being able to attend tonight. She is not feeling well.” “Thank you. Send her my regards.” The emperor waved a hand of dismissal. Vostrath bowed again before turning to leave. --- “He’s so stiff,” said Arbiter Tosgyn, gesturing toward the retreating Glory faction arbiter. The emperor watched Vostrath, not gracing Tosgyn with a response. He became too talkative when he was drunk. The Glory faction had become unusually accommodating as of late. It concerned the emperor. What were they planning? His arbiters ignored his concerns, calling him paranoid. They all believed their reign was untouchable. He didn’t agree. Tosgyn rambled on, but the emperor ignored him. Their festivals would only go so far at pacifying the rest of the eighty factions, but the Glory faction would not be so easily swayed. There had to be something they could do. Something they could use to cut down their influence. Tosgyn caught his attention as he reached for a cup. Too drunk to remember his own drink, he grabbed the emperor’s. He had already brought it to his lips before the emperor could stop him. Why was he even sitting there? With a smack of his lips, Tosgyn smiled and continued rambling on. The emperor tuned him out again. Until a strangled noise interrupted his thoughts. He looked to Tosgyn, whose eyes were wide. His face grew red and foam started falling from his mouth. The man collapsed forward, head slamming onto his plate of half-eaten food. Shouts of alarm rang out through the hall. The festival devolved into chaos. The emperor looked toward the doors. Toward Vostrath. The emperor shouted for his Strikers to follow. He was already off in the distance, a mere silhouette against the setting sun. Welcome to Cycle 1! I apologize for the delay in getting the turn posted, and with the trouble on the anonymous accounts. Everyone should have updated passwords now. I modified the original PMs. If PASSWORD is in blue and italicized, it should be correct. If you experience any further problems with signing in, please let me know. Reminder: Rules for Anonymous Accounts: Player List EDIT: I forgot to include the general rules as a reminder: Each player will have one action available per cycle PMs are open Tied lynches will be decided at random and one person will be lynched Additionally, this turn ends at 11 a.m. PST on Wednesday, September 11th.