by Max Barry

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Region: The Hole To Hide In

RP: Alois: Binder of the Lost

It had been several years from this day that Alois' father, Fulgore, passed away. It still seemed unreal to the newly anointed Mayor of Philosa that his father, a titan of a man, could even die. But alas, the injuries sustained by Fulgore during his life, enough to kill a dozen men over, caught up with him when he reached his seventies. Along side his 81 year old mother, Angelica, and his 26 year old girlfriend and assistant, Brigitte, emerged from the government limousine at the Hethwyr estate, having just returned from Fulgore's gravesite. Alois would have left by now, especially so after the falling out with his mother, but Angelica insisted that he stay, that she had something to give him. When Alois came inside, he noticed a box of items sat upon the dining table.

"All of this belonged to your father," She explained. "I'm sorry I couldn't get these to you sooner, but they are yours." Alois approached the box and started to look through it. As he did so, his mother took a seat at his side. "I'm proud of you, you know. The position of Mayor is a prestigious one."

"Thank you, mother," Alois replied. "I'm... genuinely happy to follow the family legacy; it has always been my dream." As they spoke, Alois pulled forth many items: combat medals from Archron, pictures with the spouses of other world leaders, and a plethora of other sentimental items. However, when Alois reached the bottom of the box, he noticed a strong, silver glint catch his eye. What he drew forth was a thick, futuristic sword hilt without a blade. It was surely made in Archron, so Alois assessed. His mother's eye widened at the sight of it.

"How did that get in there?" She stammered. "You should put that back. It shouldn't be in there."

"Why, what is it?" Alois asked as he inspected the hilt.

"That... that was Fulgore's protosword, an Archian weapon that has claimed many lives. That thing haunted your father once he came here to Schwypia. Why he would have put that thing in here, I do not know."

"Well, he put it in here for a reason, that much I can tell you. He wanted me to have it."

"Just because he did doesn't mean you should." The room fell silent for a moment. Angelica's old eye stared into Alois' soul and Brigitte stood away from the table, giving him a shrug when he looked to her.

"Look, mother," Alois began. "It's not like I'm going to use the thing; I'm the Mayor, not some super-soldier. And besides, I'm thirty six, I can make my own decisions." Angelica looked forlorn for a moment, but eventually, she met Alois' gaze and smiled.

"You're right," She said warmly. "It's just... the things Fulgore told me about that blade... But you're right. He wanted you to have it, and who am I to question that." Alois nodded and stared at the hilt in his hands. The longer he stared, the more voices he heard, the more cries, and the more fire which raged from the Binder of the Lost.

RP: Boran: No Turning Back

It was finally time; there was no turning back. Atop a self-made podium in the center of Government Square, Boran prepared the notecards in her hand. Zeta had told her that she must be cautious, giving a speech so close to the enemy, but that he had a plan should things go south. Boran looked around to her surroundings. There were plenty of people around, some citizens, others politicians, and a cameraman filmed a news reporter. Perfect; the camera was all she needed.

"People of Schwypia, heed me and listen!" Boran boomed, her voice echoing across the Square. Many people turned to see what the commotion was about, including the cameraman. It was time. Boran tossed aside her cap and let her hair flow, revealing her Selbian Mark to the world. "My name is Boran Anushirawan-Alore, granddaughter of Dawn Alore the Great! One hundred years ago, my grandmother took up the mantle of Queen to deliver this nation from ruinous forces: corruption, insurrection, and decadence. I tell you today that such an hour is upon us again! Our government has lied to us! The officials whom sit at the highest offices were elected to their positions through unprecedented corruption! The President and the Nationalist Party took control with the help of a foreign enemy: Blayredeshia! They seek to take away our rights, our freedoms, and our liberties! I come before you, as a fellow citizen, to rally you to the cause of righteousness, to break the bonds of oppression before they are shackled upon us! I am your servant! I will not lead you, but I will guide you! I know it is daunting, I know it is scary, but this country needs unity now more than ever. For the past nine years, I have lived among you, not as some royal or aristocrat, but as a telemarketer. Some of you may have heard my voice before, I'd wager! My apartment is on Thaetus Street, go look! My skin may be darker and my accent may persist, but I am Schwypian, just as you are! From the shores of Milare and Philosa, to the mountains of Scoipis and the deserts of V'Keah Koyr; from the forests of the Schwarzland to the fields of Branderland; all of us are united, all of us are Schwypian, and all of us must work together to end this threat! Our constitution states it is our right as Schwypians to question our government when it wrongs us. Have you noticed the tanks in your streets? The soldiers' arms which crash upon your doors? The day is coming! The day this nation has stood against for centuries! Now is the hour to open your eyes, to--"

Suddenly, Boran felt a powerful grip seize her arm. Looking to her right, she locked eyes with a First Guardsman. She knew better than to resist. With a brutish force, the Guardsman dragged her away, leaving behind a sizable crowd of thought-provoked Schwypians.

...

Out of sight, the First Guardsman prepared to load Boran into an armored truck. Along the way, he had explained to her that she was under arrest for public disobedience and inciting treason. Boran knew that she would be executed if she was put into that truck. However, the sun still hanged in the sky; her blood magics wouldn't work unless the moon was present. All she could do now was hope that Zeta's contingency plan was real...
Just as she thought this, a shadowy figure emerged from around the corner and clubbed the Guardsman atop his helmeted head. The concussive force was enough to knock him out in one blow. The guards around the armored truck raised their weapons and started barking orders at the man in black, but Boran noticed their encroaching fate and couldn't help but smile. From behind, the remaining guards too were clubbed on the head with nightsticks, revealing more men in black behind them. In their sunglasses and balaclavas, Boran could not tell who they were, but the camouflaged Schwypian flag patch on their shoulders gave her an idea.

"Zeta sent us to rescue you," the first man in black told her. "We'll take you to a secure location, then you best forget you ever saw us."

"Shouldn't be too much of a problem," Boran replied with a grin. The SECTaF agent nodded and escorted her to the armored truck, now commandeered by the other agents, and pulled away, taking Boran away to safety.

Evve Terre, Archron empire, Antekuna, and Blayredeshia

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