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  1. 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