[Closed] Fire power

[7 Yaris 2718] Gunner prepares and delivers a gun

The capital city of Anaxas and the seat of the government.
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Gale
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Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:41 am

the meeting point | evening
7 YARIS 2718
Every now and again words would trickle down through grapevine. They would seep through the tiny little cracks, seemingly unimportant phrases that would tickle her ears. Ones that would raise a small curious eyebrow to those in the know. So, when a small child came to Saunders’ Forge requesting a skillet like Ma’s good friend Rebecca had the head of Gale was replaced with that of Gunner. How soon was the immediate question; the answer was within the next few days. The smith took the task and shooing the child away, they got to work.

The next day an older more familiar place came by, more information provided to build up a better mental image of the situation. The client was from out of town, male, non-resistance. No names given, which was probably for the best. He was not however, part of the normal sphere of influence. The location for delivery was somewhere in the loading end of the district. Meet at the alley corner and go from there. Another raise of a curious eyebrow, but Gale never the less still worked upon the project.

Gunner had taken some of the ideas of the Liberator and applied them to this next piece. Having it disassemble for one was always a favourable boon for users – it meant cleaning was considerably easier. The barrel and handle as such could be removed with a turn of a few screws. The second point was the use of percussion caps, the few test sessions that had been done proved their effectiveness – even when in somewhat damper conditions where the flintlock failed. Additionally, they were proving easier to make than she first thought – she could forge all them cold with a hammer, a premade metal ring with a ten millimetre diameter and a small iron bar barely eight millimetres across. All that was needed then was appropriately thin copper sheeting.

By the time it came about for the meeting, the pieces were made and the final touches were taking place before the assembly. The smith closed up in the evening, toolbox hooked under one arm - quieter than normal due to the cloak and mask stuffed within. Gloves creaked around the hands, the forge securely locked up. At the base of the back and behind the coat the Liberator was nestled, something comforting with the cool that pressed against their spine. Head down, they met at the alleyway before being guided into the twisting tunnels of the undercity.

The mask was donned, the cloak brought up around the form. It was the half-life, a masked ghost that traversed the tunnels, exchanged and changed by guides. Beneath it all a sense of time was lost, melding into a single stretch of time. It was all important, all necessary – to keep everyone safe. If the Seventen found out what she was capable of they would not rest. The biggest risk of them all, and so the gunsmith lived a half-life, a false life of being a simply humble creature beneath the boot of their current superiors.

It was the price for freedom.

Upper a ladder now, the next set of hands claimed them and guided them on. The whistle pitched noises of factories and labourers, the industrial machineries that went on through the night. The soot district never truly slept. Workers always worked, and rulers always ruled – as was their right. Another turn, it was in through a narrow door now and into a low lit room. Oil lanterns, a soft glow, through to another room until at last the meeting spot was reached. There was one other in the room – Dancer, able to read the sign language performed as Gunner – a table, a pair of chairs, and a tall, metal barrel. The fact that it seemed to be filled with sand and had a target painted on it did not miss their attention. Another was the notably thick walls, the humdrum of loud machinery being drowned out.

Pulling one of the chairs round to the other side, the toolbox was placed onto the table, form leaning back into the chair. A hand signed at the other Cadet, “Evening Dancer.”
He smiled, signing back, “Evening Gunner. Exciting is it not?”
“It is interesting. Do we have a name?” There was a long pause, before a shake of the head. The hollow eyes of the mask fixed onto him, before an exaggerated shrug escaped the cloak, “Never mind. We shall call him Client.”
There was a knock on the door, but Gunner chose not to react to it. They saw Dancer sign at them, “Someone is at the door. Shall I get it?”

The Gunsmith nodded, silently adding, “Let us get to work.”
Last edited by Gale on Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:55 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 793
When the last of us will disappear
Like shadows into the night
The broken ones, the fighting sons
Of ignorance

Saunders' Forge | Bear's Journal

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Tristaanian Greymoore
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Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:21 pm

7th of Yaris, 2718
THE MEETING POINT | EVENING
It had been quite a challenge to slip away alone from the Circus, and it was with no small amount of trepidation and self-loathing that Tristaan had made the risky decision of traveling alone into the Soot District. He'd asked around in his own way among the tekaa and the marketplaces, having been in the Harbor so long that he knew the words to coax the kind of information he needed, to get the ball rolling on procuring something he once had stolen—a firearm.

He'd left his where his dead body should have been, there on the streets of the Rose next to his smeared blood on the cobblestones. The trusty old pistol he'd stolen from just outside of Vienda all those years ago. The longer the Circus hovered outside of the capitol, the more uneasy he felt, the more he missed knowing he had protection against vroo-wielding bastards of any kind, wick or golly, within reach. He had two lives to look out for, now, not just his own, and Tristaan couldn't be everywhere at once.

So he'd convinced himself to purchase another firearm, knowing full well the risks of searching for one.

Knowing full well the risks of heading into town alone.

He'd dressed like any other tekaa today, short-sleeved linen shirt half-unbuttoned as if to ventilate the oppressive Yaris heat that already came crashing into the dry season, tucked into his dark pants and knee-high boots. Vest open, pocket watch tucked neatly into one pocket as if it even was able to tell time. The beautiful bright ink of his red crow and yellow eye tattoo stood out on his well-muscled left bicep, a brilliant diversion to the passive tattoo that wasn't entirely hidden from view beneath the cuff of his sleeve. Dark hair pulled up into a topknot and weeks-old scruff hiding his aristocratic features from all but the most studious of gazes, Tristaan was just another wick to the Seventen at the gate, to the strangers on the streets, blending in and disappearing, unassuming and lean.

The sun was setting and he knew where he was going. As the Dives gave way to the Soot District, the dark of dusk settled in. The place looked the same. Smelled the same. Felt the same. The magic-less son of a galdor felt the smog and the dirt settle into his soul, digging into old scars and rubbing against the wounds deep in his mind that still refused to heal.

He knew where he was going.

His feet took him there before he could stop himself, narrow alleys and charred buildings leading him toward the Onthian Textile Mill. The lights were on. The machines were humming. His pulse was thrumming as he peered through the fence and the murky windows. Children were in there, children just like he'd been. Working and sweating and bleeding and dying. Grey eyes stung for a moment and he felt his heart attempt to beat its way out of his narrow, scarred chest as he stood just a street away from where he'd grown up. He'd been nothing when he'd been dragged off the streets, starving and forgotten. He'd been nothing when he worked there, just another body running the textile machines, just another scrap with no future. He'd had friends there. Watched them die.

Was anyone left? If he was only twenty four, then surely, he wasn't the only one still alive.

He stood there longer than he should have, a rage filling his lungs like fire and searing his very conscience. He'd sworn to himself he'd never, ever, come back here. There was nothing for him here. There was everything for him back in that kint where Sarinah held within her body something they'd made together.

Something he'd do anything—anything—to protect.

His aquiline features hardened, jaw clenching, as Tristaan lingered, aware of the time that passed but unable to look away for a few moments longer. All of this was who he'd once been, but none of this was who he'd become.

He exhaled through grit teeth and told himself that again.

He wasn't defined by the mark on his arm any more than he was defined by his horrible past experiences of servitude.

He was free. He was tekaa.

He was a passive.

He was nothing.

But he'd been given everything he'd ever wanted and more. His life was no longer his own to live as he pleased—or die whenever he wanted—but instead his life belonged to a lovely olive-skinned witch, belonged to a child whose face he'd see in Ophus whether he was ready to or not. He'd been other peoples' property before, but this was different and he knew it. In order to become this new man, however, he wasn't willing to continue to pretend that there was peace around the corner when he knew there wasn't. If the wilderness wasn't dangerous, if the cities weren't dangerous, the Bad Brothers were. They were still in debt. Some day, someone would come to collect and it wouldn't be without a fight.

Tristaan was never without a fight.

Lithely muscled shoulders sagged and he finally tore his gaze away from the buildings that were as familiar as they'd been horrifying, turning and disappearing down more side streets, weaving his way through the filthy maze of alleys and narrow thoroughfares, slipping his narrow frame through the crowds.

The dark-haired passive was vaguely aware the contacts he'd gotten a hold of were probably Resistance members or at least fringe members of some splintered cell. He had money. He didn't care. So long as everything remained anonymous and no one asked philosophical questions, the dark-haired passive didn't have to tell them how he didn't believe in their cause, how he felt they were just as misguided as the galdori they claimed to oppose. He just wanted the gun. He just wanted the firepower against the Bad Brothers, against the world he felt was so hellbent on harming what he had claimed as his own.

He had an address and he barely found it, calloused fingers running over the karambit hidden in his belt and over the colorful hand-woven sash at his waist that covered it. He inhaled soot and suffering, scarred knuckles rapping on the door twice, quick and hard, before he attempted to relax against the alley wall, waiting with thinly veiled patience.
A wounded chrove will fight harder.
Passive Proverb
word count: 1152
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Gale
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Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:21 am

the meeting point | evening
7 YARIS 2718
The door was opened, the worn, tired shape of a man welcomed in. Behind the mask Gunner studied him, eyes pulled into narrows behind those dark sockets. The fingers had moved up into steeples, jaw forward as they regarded the stranger. Beneath the layer of dark steel the expression twisted, able to do so without giving too much away. What was he? Tanned, tattooed, no overly oppressive field – human? No, he was something else. There was something off about him, and it was that something in return made Gunner uneasy. It was close, a single word on the tip of their tongue – but that did not matter when there was business to be had.

Inside secure once more, the gunsmith went to work.

A gloved hand gestured for him to take the chair opposite, before the hands began to slowly sign. Almost as if taking his cue, Dancer – a short and scrawny man - began to translate, “Gunner welcome you and invites you to be comfortable for the duration of the work. The piece is in its final stages and may take some time.”

The toolbox was opened then, a collection of pieces neatly pulled out and tools neatly lined up alongside. The last pieces needed to finish the firearm. To begin with the smith moved to attaching the main body of the grip to the rest of the frame, a squeak of noise as a u-shaped structure – smaller than Liberators - was affixed into place. A few testing pulls of the trigger, the pieces carefully being lined up as the ratchet and pawl caught. Towards the back the fingers pinched and secured the hammer, screwdriver carefully tightening it before lowering. Pulling the hammer back, the dark hollows watched the ratchet rotate round, held in place. A squeeze of the trigger sent the tiny hammer forward with a loud click.

Satisfied, the gunsmith lowered the in progress firearm to study the reaction of the client. It was spun round, held in gesture for them to take the end and obtain a feel for it. The hands meanwhile moved, the voice of Dancer speaking out, “How does it feel in your hand? Is the grip comfortable enough for your liking? Not too small? Not too big? Whatever- I can’t say that.”
The masked head of Gunner swiveled to Dancer, the long hum of machinery in the background filling the silence. Sighing, the hand gestured to the Cadet and then to the door. It was hard not to miss the screwing up of his face, that momentary flicker of dejection, “Very well, as you wish.”

The cadet left, the door clunking shut behind them.

Gunner was still for a moment, hands brought together to halt the animation that would have taken them. Yet slowly, a small hiss from behind the mask sounded out, muffled by the grill but otherwise still audible.

“As I was saying,” the gunsmith began, words slow and measured – the eyes did not move from the lips of the one opposite them, “Whatever you have planned for it, is your business to be had. But understanding the nature of how you wish to use it is important to know. Preferences can be refined should you choose to raise them.” The hands turned upwards, an exaggerated shrug, “Perhaps an alternative question – what game are you hunting? How fast do you need to be?” A shaft of steel was placed between them then. The hand gestured for the return of the frame, before laying it down next to the shaft. Presented next to it was a barrel, the screwing thread notable at the end of it. Finally a cylinder, six chambers drilled through with a central shaft. In all it, when assembled, was considerably shorter than the Liberator, barely nine inches in length due to the removal of the excess metal in the name of weight and being transportable. It otherwise followed the same process Gale had used before.

A small tin of percussion caps, powder and shot was then placed next to it – the eyes locking on expectantly, the voice filling the space between, “It is a rotary piece, revolving if you will, built around a single barrel but featuring multiple chambers. Each carry a primer and each do not require flint. As such, there is the wet weather advantage. Any current questions?”
word count: 729
When the last of us will disappear
Like shadows into the night
The broken ones, the fighting sons
Of ignorance

Saunders' Forge | Bear's Journal
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Tristaanian Greymoore
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: I'm just here for the Sho.
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Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:59 am

7th of Yaris, 2718
THE MEETING POINT | EVENING
Wicks occasionally produced non-magical offspring, called them parses, and treated them just like any other wick would treat one of their own kind. Galdori occasionally produced non-magical offspring, called them passives, and turned them into servants to treat them like garbage. Tristaan dressed like a wick. He spoke like a wick. He lived like a wick. But he was shorter than most wicks, possessing a lithe, narrow frame of almost pure muscle and scar tissue. His facial features when not hidden behind several days' worth of scruff were aristocratic and fair.

He was more often than not mistaken for a wick, but those who spent enough time around the passive always doubted that truth eventually.

The door opened and his grey eyes took in what was offered him, tensing for a moment at the realization that he had to enter a room alone with strangers. He was armed, and memories of his own diablerie reminded him that he was dangerous in more than just the way he knew how to fight with his own two hands. It was with an uneasy glance around the alley that he agreed to enter the building and sit in the chair indicated, already feeling the chill of regret crawl its way up his spine. Was protecting his family worth this sort of trouble?

Oes.

His grey gaze took in the scrawny creature and the person in the mask, and while he managed to keep a rather casual expression on his aquiline features, especially once he settled in his chair and leaned one arm over the back, he was aware of the elevation of his pulse and the flutter of a concerned heartbeat in the scarred cavity of his chest. He watched the skilled work of the masked person, suddenly aware that he'd never seen a weapon like they were crafting before in his life,

"Listen, th' last gun I had, I stole from a shipment o' weapons an' drugs from under th' nose o' Silas Hawke himself. It served me well, it did, an' I left it with a smear o' m' own blood in th' Harbor when I was dragged out 'f it. I ent got any fancy notions o' what I'm lookin' for so long as 't clockin' works an' drops luggers when I need it to. Ye chen?"

Tristaan swallowed hard, far from ashamed of his admission, and leaned to let his calloused hands take the finely crafted gun as it was handed to him. He took his time with it, obviously not a stranger to weapons or combat in general, given the thick scars on his knuckles and the obvious lean muscle his arms were made of, wiry things disappearing beneath his sleeves. The tattoo on his left bicep was bright and still only a few months fresh, the entwined symbols of his tribe and Sarinah's less a political statement than a personal one, a declaration of his love for a woman who saw past everything he considered glaringly obvious to see the man beneath the garbage. The passive tattoo wasn't hidden. It was there in plain view, cleverly tucked against the beak of the red crow.

"I have a fami t' protect, an' these are fightin' times for us lower races. I ent jus' got th' gollies t' worry 'bout neither, but th' Bad Brothers didn't take kindly t' me leavin'. That's a story y' ent gotta know, eh? Most times, I jus' wanna leave well enough alone, but I know times 're changin' an' I can't do that forever. I ent daft, but I've got a rosh an' a child—" He paused, grey eyes losing focus as if saying those words out loud were new, tasted different. The world he was bringing life into wasn't entirely to his liking. This Kingdom wouldn't welcome a new wick any more than it would welcome the knowledge that a passive had reproduced at all,

"—we're jus' here for this business, no' m' life story. My game? Vrunta. I ent huntin', I'm defendin'. I can hold m' own in a fight, but sometimes it's nice t' up m' chances b'fore they're up in m' face, if y' get what I mean."

The dark-haired passive smirked, clearly appreciative of the workmanship he couldn't even pretend to understand. He lingered where the chamber was, but he handed it back when the masked person asked, curious about their voice and listening carefully to each inflection. All three of them in the room were without fields, the space around them comfortably devoid of the mona who had abandoned him at birth. Human, probably, the both of them. They had their own struggles, and more often than not Tristaan had found himself just as marginalized by their race for being born of galdori parents than he was by his own kind for being born without access to magic.

But he was a forgiving sort and held no grudges, especially not of strangers who made him firearms for whatever price he was willing to pay.

"I'm fast. I want what I'm shootin' t' be faster. This—this fires more than once? I ent ever used anythin' but a flintlock. What's different?"

Wet weather advantage. Gods, how he could have used that all those months ago. A calloused hand rubbed absently at his chest at the memory of crushed ribs and slow suffocation, of his diablerie and the Deep Water healer who brought him back from the brink of death.
A wounded chrove will fight harder.
Passive Proverb
word count: 972
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Gale
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Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:23 pm

the meeting point | evening
7 YARIS 2718
Gunner did not think too much on his appearance - or perhaps more correctly it was less the appearance she was paying attention to, but the spoken words, the language and how he sat. A small lean forward, head lowering but eyes watching the ever moving lips. The fingers moved across the table, picking up and collecting pieces. They paused on a screw, the head gently twisted between thumb and forefinger. Behind the mask there was a pinch of brow, the lips pausing as the clipped tones of Tek caught their attention. People were never the forte of the gunsmith, they were difficult beings that one had to step around - and normally did not follow particularly logical patterns. The Galdori were no different - reason could be laid out and they would still step and stamp over any answer a human gave. If a fellow Galdor gave it however?

The hands watched the fingers move around the gun handle, briefly pausing over the variety of tattoos - remembering the marks , but not necessarily what they meant. Knowing your client and their face was always an interesting thing, a mental track of who had what - when were they going to need it repaired, what flaws did it carry, how effective was it? It was no lie that the smith on occasions like this at least attempted to refine the piece into something more unique, more beneficial to the person who was to fire it.

"Ye chen," the voice purred from behind the mask. It took effort to keep the words as clear as possible. The lip tugged up into a curl, a flicker of curiosity tickling her mind. How amusing it was to know that but a few days prior a bad brother had come to her store. And here she was, selling a firearm to one who planned to use it against them, "Of course, you would know that any piece requires correct maintenance - pieces only last long enough if cared for."

The smith went back to work. While the mask was tilted up to him, the eyes peered downwards. Barrel was screwed on, the faint grooves of rifling swirling down its inside. Silent as it came to a steady stop, "Yet you are the one who started the story. I will not stop you from continuing, but note that you are lucky that I have little current interest in your current affairs. They don't interfere with ours. But, back to business."

No field? Accent. Has a Wick style. Perhaps. Least in dialect. But no... funny feeling. What's the word? P-P-P...

The smith placed the cylinder within the frame of the gun, the thin metal shaft slid through another screw hole, through the length of the cylinder and into the back of the frame. There it was tightened, gradually the fingers moving the cylinder with care until the small grooves at the back engaged with the ratchet. The shaft was then screwed in, before laying it down on the table once between them.

"You must ensure the grooves at the back line up with the ratchet. Else it will miss fire," The smith left it there, turning to a small tobacco tin. Opening it the inside showed two dozen small copper caps, a small iron rod quarter of an inch wide, a small iron ring that tightly slipped over it, and a dozen matches. Another, separate pouch was placed alongside then - grinding lead shot and the sifting of gunpowder in another. Unscrewing the chamber from the frame, the lesson of loading began.

"The spark of the flint is replaced by the hammer hitting the back of these caps," One was plucked out and presented to him, "The chamber of the barrel still holds the usual shot and powder however. Watch." Taking up the cylinder the cap was placed into the back of it, motions deliberately slow to show that it fitted in snuggly. Then from the other end a small measure of powder was loaded in, carefully packed down with the small metal rod, before a lead shot was placed onto the end. The process was repeated for the next chamber, slightly faster this time but still slow enough that it could be watched. The mask face turned its head to him, sliding the pieces together, "I would now like you to load the next four chambers."

"It does fire more than once. When the chamber is in, the hammer on the back of the pistol is pulled back. This pull pushes the cylinder around to the next chamber. Pulling the trigger sends the hammer into the cap at the back of the chamber," An inhale, the smith tugged at the collar, letting some the clinging heat escape, "That strike fires the load a good majority of the time." Her mind paused, quietly calculating how many times she had fired Liberator using the copper caps, "... approximately ninety six times out of one hundred and two - if I was to base it on its predecessor."

Taking up the small metal rod and the ring, Gunner presented them, "You may, if you so choose, to make more caps using these," the matches were then presented to him, "And these. Gain some very thin sheet copper, cut into a inch sized square. Lay it over the top, apply the small rod and gently hammer down. Do this again with a second. You then," the finger held the match between them, gesturing to the dark head, "Shave the outside of the head off of... three to four into the cup, and then place the second cup over the top. Press them together, trim excess away as desired and then it is done."

Gunner peered at him from beneath the mask, "How is your loading doing?"
word count: 968
When the last of us will disappear
Like shadows into the night
The broken ones, the fighting sons
Of ignorance

Saunders' Forge | Bear's Journal
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Tristaanian Greymoore
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: I'm just here for the Sho.
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Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:11 pm

7th of Yaris, 2718
THE MEETING POINT | EVENING
Ours the masked gunsmith hissed and Tristaan swallowed a retort. He held no candle for the Resistance, for he saw no hope in a group of people just as willing to resort to violence as the people who birthed him resorted to oppression. No one was winning, and as a passive, as a magic-less son of a galdor, if the humans had their way, he'd just be another body to the pile, spawn of those who'd held them under their sway for centuries too long. He was a scrap to his own people and garbage to those who were supposed to be born without magic and knew nothing else.

He existed in the forgotten in between and he knew it, a voiceless minority. The passives of Brunnhold would burn and suffer with their galdori masters should something happen at the Resistance's hands and those like him who'd been fortunate enough to find freedom could probably only really hope for refuge among the tekaa as he had.

He doubted humanity would make room for mistakes.

Tristaan had lived enough of his life knowing full well what kind of mistake he was.

Still, the dark-haired passive couldn't help it, "Your affairs? Y' mean y' do more 'n dress up inna mask an' craft fine items of destruction? I ent interested, don't worry. Ent like your people care much 'bout mine." Did he mean wicks? Did he mean passives? Did he mean galdori? It was hard to tell. He clearly meant anyone who wasn't a member of the Resistance, his tone of voice revealing that he was quick to put things together and yet willing to keep from talking about the obvious too directly. His grey eyes followed every motion of her fingers and hands, watching every detail of how she put things together and how she moved the parts into their various places of use. He listened carefully, not afraid of the technical nature of this weapon because his second life had been born around machines. If his first life had been as a galdor, and his second as a factory slave, then his third was as a wick. And yet none of these things entirely suited him.

She loaded two bullets, slow and careful, and Tristaan nodded, meeting the verdant gaze that peered from behind the mask, "Oes." He set to work, his first loading slower and much more careful than hers had been, his second better, and the last two with an uncanny confidence, his calloused fingers and scarred hands surprisingly comfortable with the detailed mechanics that this weapon presented like the fiddly bits of a textile machine. While a textile machine could mangle hands and crush bone, this little weapon could stop hearts and end thought. He smirked, looking up again as if to ask the masked smith's approval, tilting the weapon back in their direction,

"Like that?" There was an edge of smugness there, yes, but it was tempered by Tristaan's strangely stubborn sense of honor and kindness.

The dark-haired passive took in the instruction about how the pistol could, indeed, fire more than once. The accuracy and reliability the young thing in front of him was declaring made it hard to breath for a second, and his heart fluttered in the scarred cavity of his chest. Maybe he should walk away. Maybe he didn't need a gun. Maybe it was far more dangerous than was necessary. Perhaps Hawke would forget about them, after all. Perhaps the Bad Brothers had bigger, more important prey to chase after. Perhaps they could hide with the Circus—

Ne. He knew better.

He'd tasted too much good already, and like how the heavy scent of gunpowder stung his nose so too did his gut sting with the sense of foreboding he was desperately trying to ignore. He couldn't put off the inevitable forever, but he wasn't going to go down easy when the time came.

The gun was amazing, and he didn't hide the surprise from his expression, curious and devious all at the same time, "Predecessor? Y've made guns like this before? Wo chet. Your people be further int' th' destruction business than I thought." Tristaan had never seen a firearm that was either single or double-barreled, never seen a weapon of this caliber that could fire six rounds. It was terrifying in some ways, to be aware that he could wield such power against those who stood against him, against those who would want to harm Sarinah or the child they'd made together that grew inside of her.

The masked smith was telling him how to make more caps and he brought himself back into focus, "I think I can get pretty fast with a bit o' practice."
A wounded chrove will fight harder.
Passive Proverb
word count: 847
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Gale
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Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:24 am

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the meeting point | evening
7 YARIS 2718
Did Gunner care for his views? Not really. Whatever was going on behind that skull of his was his to work out. As long as his working removed problems for the resistance - Galdori, Bad Brother or whoever was the current target – they would suck back the snide remarks and the pointed comments. The words splashed against the mask, dripping past and being forgotten for what they were – an attempt to pull out a rise of the gunsmith. The green eyes stared back, cold and unmoving to his attempts.

“I did not know we were here to play this form of game, Client,” the fingers steepled together, watching the man load the firearm, “But know that while we all play from the same deck, does not mean we all play with the same cards. Each has a different suit they favour, each a different strategy and each their own rules.”

But you are ignorant enough to paint us all with the same brush. To believe us all monsters who ask for nothing but the blood of all. I want no blood, I want us, all of us, everyone, to be able to stand upon the same level together – to no longer look up or look down. A future for the children of everyone. And I will fight for that so the children that will be do not have to and will not know the horrors of the world we dwell in.

“Yes. Like that,” they ignored the smugness for what it was. Smugness got you killed. The shaft was then passed over, “Place it through the front hole, move the cylinder so it would sit through the central hole. Then screw it in tightly at the back. Good. Good.”

The flicker of curiosity caught their attention. Reaching behind them, Gunner pulled out from beneath the folds the larger form of Liberator and laid it down on the table. It was larger than his, notably uglier too – a basic shape that offered function over the smoother, finer edges. It did not mean to say it was not cared for however; the firearm was clean – if not for the blackened stains that rested around the chambers – not brought to a polish, but a dulled grey with a lingering scent of machine oil within the smallest recesses.

“The predecessor. And only once. Right now only two of these exist in the world. Unless another has invented something like this without me knowing,” The fingers traced the barrel, down to the chamber and the loaded shot that was there, “And only you and I hold them.” A small snort, “How nice it would be, to be out of the business of destruction. But here we are, and needs must.”

And needs must indeed. From the little Gunner had gathered from the Stranger, his reason for being here and circumstance was something he believed could be solved with a gun. Or at least, aided with the addition of. He was a man who knew violence was coming for him, that would look to ruin all with blood and pain. But that was not important. The gunsmith was here to be a professional face of the resistance, not the wild blood lusting actors that bayed to Serro’s every command.

“Practice makes perfect. Much like the creation of these pieces. Time will refine into something better,” The gunsmith gestured to the barrel, the painted target upon its surface. Within was sand, weighing it down and in place. Lips licked, the cold mask ever hid the expression beneath – one of musing. How could they improve the firearms? What else could be done to make them quicker and improve their productivity? The first issue was the rate of building, they took longer to construct that most flintlocks – more parts and more time. If only there was a way to-

“Stand, practice the process. Hammer, aim, trigger. If you change your mind, gently ease the hammer forward so it is not primed for firing. Then, you can pull the trigger to no effect,” a shrug, “A good trick for those who are unexperienced or try to use it against you.” The Gunsmith stood, taking up Liberator and holding it in obvious view. They did not trust this stranger, not really, “In your own time.”
word count: 721
When the last of us will disappear
Like shadows into the night
The broken ones, the fighting sons
Of ignorance

Saunders' Forge | Bear's Journal
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Tristaanian Greymoore
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:02 pm
Location: Old Rose Harbor
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: I'm just here for the Sho.
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Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:41 pm

7th of Yaris, 2718
THE MEETING POINT | EVENING
"I ent playin', jus' statin' th' truth." Tristaan grunted, looking up warily from loading the gun with a quick-study's dexterity. He smirked, steely gaze taking in the masked face across from him as if he could see behind the facade before his eyes flicked back down to following instructions carefully, "Ent much 'f a Kingdom for games when th' deck's been stacked toward only one o' th' players, ye chen. I'm jus' the discard pile—I ent even allowed t' play, but by Alioe, here I am."

The dark-haired passive shifted with more unease as the decidedly younger creature moved to pull out another gun, the tension of a man who'd defended himself over the years coiling his muscles and stilling his calloused fingers until the thunk of metal on the table's surface stole his attention and he relaxed slowly. The predecessor was larger and perhaps less refined, though Tristaan was far from a position of critique or analysis given his previous experience with firearms was so limited,

"I ent 'n th' business o' destructin', jus' defendin'. There were a time not so long ago that I thought it m' place t' take down whatever I could get m' fists on jus' because it were th' only way I felt I had any worth, oes. I didn't think I had a choice—I thought that was all I were good for, bein' what I am. But, surprise, hard lessons learned an' I'm not in th' murder business. I jus' wanna take care ' what's mine, t' keep safe th' things I love because those things 're all I've got."

A frown creased its way into his stubbled, aristocratic features and for a moment his hands stilled, the last bullet against his thumb in the chamber. He looked back down to what he held as if he was having second thoughts, as if his words stirred in his scarred chest a great deal of regret and caution. This was not the way he wanted things to be, and it was clear by his pause that this was not his ideal way of defending himself or his family. But, he'd already learned the hard way that this was how things simply had to be.

"This ent what I want for anyone, but family's hard t' come by bein' what I am, an' I ent losin' it. Not again."

Tristaan stood when asked, holding the pistol in his hand as if weighing how it felt, shifting his grip a bit, adjusting the way his fingers were situated until he found something comfortable for his index finger on the trigger and his thumb on the hammer. He was thoughtful and clearly not stupid, holding the weapon pointed away from them both with the kind of consideration someone well-practiced had when it came to handling firearms. If his grey eyes lingered on how the masked creator stood or how they held their own weapon in such obvious defensiveness, he said nothing about it, far from innocent.

He thumbed the hammer, first arming the gun and then slowly following the instructions to disarm. The dark-haired passive repeated the process a few times, testing his confidence with the action. He wasn't in a hurry, glancing up at the barrel and the target and aware of their purpose, but once he felt comfortable enough, he primed the thing and took aim. Tristaan was left-handed and quick, not even flinching at the loud bang when he pulled the trigger, his first shot low and to the left of the bullseye, but certainly not a miss.

He knew what he was doing, and yet for a moment, he was reaching with old habit as if he was done, as if he needed to reload, before he caught himself and realized what he held in his hands still had more left to fire.

The dark-haired passive chastised himself with a hiss through grit teeth, taking aim again and this time choosing to fire in impressive succession. His tattooed arm was steady, sights keen, though his expression was one of conflict—surprised and concentration at the same time—as he fired the remaining five shots at the barrel, thumb stumbling with the motions but still far from slow. All of his hits would have been vital, two of the three basically a bullseye, and even if his fingers wanted another sixth shot, he stood very still once he was finished and stared at the weapon in his hand.

Who needed vroo anyway?

"Vrunta." Tristaan cursed, biting his lip, feeling the weight of what he was holding in a totally metaphorical context instead of just a physical one. As much of a thrill as the pistol was, it was no longer just an equalizer against a wick or a galdor but an advantage. It was superior to magic should one be able to get the drop on the magic-user, and that would have blown the passive's mind had he been any other man.

He'd stopped time, here in the Soot District, around his sixteenth year. He'd let a bottle of wine determine his birth year because he couldn't clocking remember.

Had time refined him into something better? Had time smoothed the rough edges of who he once was? Or was he still that betrayed, angry boy who was nothing more than galdori garbage?

"I ent sure I should buy this." He finally whispered, tilting his head toward the masked creature who'd crafted it, "It's a bit more than I was expectin' an' ... nice as it is an' all—"

It was dangerous in his hands. He had the will to use it. He'd killed before and he'd kill again.

Visibly, he struggled with his own conscience, weighing Sarinah and the child she carried—his child, the life they'd made together, the life he wasn't legally allowed to want or have—against the rest of Anaxas, against the powers that stood against him: the Bad Brothers and the government alike.

"—maybe I ent th' right man for a weapon like this one." Maybe he was.
A wounded chrove will fight harder.
Passive Proverb
Last edited by Tristaanian Greymoore on Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:52 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1077
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Gale
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Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:13 pm

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the meeting point | evening
7 YARIS 2718
“And how my heart bleeds for you,” the tone turned dry. There was many like him, he was neither the first nor the last. Those who called the world unfair, those who had to drag and pull their way from the very bottom to taste the scraps of society, “Just as it bleeds for all the other bitches and bastards of the deck – discarded or otherwise.”

Gunner had no time for such attempts to pull on the heart strings. They were steel, and steel held no feeling or emotions for those who refused to climb. In reality there was no discard pile within the great game of cards, it was merely doing the best you could with the hand given. To throw in, exchange and swap in the hopes of getting something better.

For that was the reason he was here, was it not? To play in the great game in his own supposedly unrelated way.

The gaze shifted, watching the motions be practised – getting used to the firearm in of itself. To load, to prime, to fire and release the much desired destruction. They were the secret weapon of the Resistance, but this? This was much more than just that. Soon however, the game would reach its end and the points would be tallied; this revolver was one of many would see to that.

“You might not be, but you have taken up a weapon not a shield,” the masked face studied his posture, the shape and frame as the word after all this time reached them.

Passive. Or at least an offspring to one of the magical races without access to such powers. Judging by the various self defeating attitude… Galdori?

They had little concern in regards to Passives, as long as they pulled their weight in society alongside the rest of the people they could do as they wished. Because in the end they were all in the dirt with them, and it was up to them to do the best they could with what they had. The mask hissed, “The only way a weapon defends, is if you kill with it. You use it with intention to destroy all that would look to do you harm. What is it, kill or be killed?”

Love, care, relationships. They were all a weakness that could be exploited at any given moment. It was another source of worry, another thing to expose yourself to. A danger that while it brought supposed strength and ideals was only a temporary sensation. Love kills; Gunner was not exactly sure on which, but it was a danger to all related. Of course, if it manipulated people into getting the job done then who were they to complain?

It would have been easy to pretend the tension between the Resistance and the Bad Brothers was just that. But it was not, it was an hour glass waiting for the sand to run out of. If Gunner provided an enabler for this client to eliminate a few more, then it would be one less headache to worry about. The Gunsmith did not flinch as the shot rattled through, the first embedding into sand. A trickle poured out from it, hissing as it fell to the floor.

“Hammer, aim, trigger,” the Gunsmith watched with interest, noting the momentary pause, “Count your shots. One. Two...” The shots rattled out, a loud noise that echoed around the room in quick succession. If it was not for the machinery and factory that laboured, they would have been heard without a doubt, “Three. Four...” the head tilted and turned, focusing on the firearm and the sound produced. It sounded clear, they would have to perform a closer inspection, “Five and six.”

The fingers of the right curled around Liberator, easing into the faint, familiar movements and being ready to turn and fire if need be. They made it no secret that it was there, a reminder of the power within their grasp.

That expression was unmissable, the weighing up of the power he held in his hands. Of how it would level the playing field; on how it would bring death – he had implied he had killed before, was he prepared to do it again? The Gunsmith watched, mind wondering what went on in that skull of his, even as he turned to look at them.

“It is powerful, yes. It does the job, sixfold you could argue. And if it is too much for you… or perhaps you do not want it, then place it on the table. You will be escorted out. You will not be blamed for turning it down, it is your choice after all.”

The Gunsmith looked at him, peering intently from behind the mask, “But if you want to protect what is so precious to you; if you want to fight back against what would look to destroy you simply down to pure whim… if you wish, to stack your deck again and play within this game of cards – then I suggest you consider this with all the care it deserves.” The hand gestured to the firearm, “And decide what you wish to name it. Names hold power.”
word count: 871
When the last of us will disappear
Like shadows into the night
The broken ones, the fighting sons
Of ignorance

Saunders' Forge | Bear's Journal
User avatar
Tristaanian Greymoore
Posts: 126
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:02 pm
Location: Old Rose Harbor
Race: Passive
: I'm just here for the Sho.
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
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Plot Notes: Plot Notes
Writer: Muse
Contact:

Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:31 pm

7th of Yaris, 2718
THE MEETING POINT | EVENING
The way the masked gunsmith spoke grated against the scarred skin hidden beneath his clothing. The force distance the craftsman had placed between themselves and their emotions thick in their sarcasm. Tristaan would have been nothing if he'd left his heart behind in this very place, and while he was aware that it was just as mangled and broken as the pocket watch that was still tucked into the travel worn fabric of his vest, he only lived because he'd not yet abandoned hope. Not entirely.

What kind of hope was it anymore, anyway? Did he hope for the kind of equality whispered among the Resistance? Did he hope for the kind of freedom promised by the sovereign nomadic life of the Red Crow wicks? Did he hope for the kind of lawlessness the Harbor had once deceived him with, living as he had under the law of a false King of the Underworld instead of the King of Anaxas himself? Did he hope for something else entirely, some way to be who he was and love who he loved without the threat of prejudice or danger? Was there such a place? If it had been handed to him, would he have even wanted it? How did one live without danger? How did one love without pain?

The aristocratic angles of his face hardened with the masked creature's words, his steely gaze traveling downward to the weapon—not the shield—in his calloused, scarred hands. The harsh words were meant as a reprimand of sorts, perhaps, an admonishment that he'd taken the time to meander through secret conversation, to exchange all the right coin, to arrange such a dark meeting in order to even purchase another firearm.

Because he knew that the only real defense he had was proactive offense.

His life held no meaning in the eyes of those in power. He was worthless. He was cursed. He was garbage to be abandoned by the people who had brought him into the world and doted on him for a decade on the side of some road without even an apology. His life held very little meaning in the eyes of those who were oppressed. His was the heritage that held them back. He was born into power and he was still shaped in their image, no matter how he hid beneath the well-practiced disguise of a tekaa.

There were but a handful of people he mattered to, and perhaps a few less that mattered to him.

Tristaan had never once thought such connection a weakness, however, for his will to live had been fueled by pretending at family in the factory. His desire to be a better man had been shaped by true fami among the Red Crow. And now? His joy had a life of its own still unseen in the womb of the woman he'd once told himself he'd never love.

The masked gunsmith may have made him uncomfortable in all the wrong ways, the lack of facial expressions something the dark-haired passive was aware was probably purposefully disconcerting. It wasn't just to protect their identity. He hid behind his own less elaborate mask—road dust, Tek, and spoke living.

Underneath it all, that's not who he was.

Underneath it all, he still knew what he was meant to be, and Tristaanian Greymoore had not been made to be idle, whether the mona chose to hear him or not.

Grey eyes glanced down at the now-warm weapon in his hands, aware of the way the firing of it had made him feel: that rush of excitement that came when he was in a position of power, when he had the advantage, when he stood over some other opponent that much bigger or more magical than himself. He exhaled slowly through his teeth, wincing at the words spoken next to him, spoken at him. He didn't want to play games, but he was aware he was little more than a piece on the board,

"Y' don't have fami, d' you? Nothin' precious."

Tristaan questioned dryly, tilting his wrist and using the other hand to open the chamber, ignoring the heat of recent use while he stared through the smooth, empty bores and to the floor, grey eyes narrowing, "When I was a child, I once promised I'd become a Seventen, somehow tellin' m'self that I'd stand up for what were right an' good 'n a world I didn't yet understand. Tellin' m'self that I'd protect a family I thought loved me for who I was because I were jus' a boy raised in golly ignorance. Jus' a handful o' years later, that family who loved me left me on th' streets here 'n Vienda, abandonin' m' magic-less lil' body t' whoever wanted t' put 't to work. An' work I did. Sweat an' blood an' tears to make fabric for golly suits an' golly dresses, barely fed an' often beaten jus' for tryin' t' be th' child I still was. I learned what real family was there in th' factory, an' watched real family die, no matter how many beatin's I stepped in t' take."

He replaced the chamber and returned his thumb to the hammer, raising the empty pistol back toward the target and feeling the weight of it again through several drawing motions,

"I found family again when I escaped an' lived with spokes, an' I would've given m' life for m' friends t' live when th' Bad Brother's attacked th' tyat I ran with. Life ent a game. It's fuckin' precious an' I'm tired o' seein' it wasted. Even though I ent allowed, even though gollies would call me a monster for 't, I've made m' own life now, an' I'm done playin'. I'm gonna live it, an' while I'd rather there be better ways o' keepin' things safe, I know better. M'haps m' boch will have it different, if we all stop playin' a game where winnin' means more than: y' jus' ent dead."

Tristaan turned, grey eyes not avoiding the hints of green hidden behind the gunsmith's mask, "If I gotta defend livin' with killin', I gotta carry that m'self. I'm jus' hopin' t' do 't as rightways as I can. If that's possible at all. When everythin' stops bein' a game an' starts bein' life, you'll understand. I'll take this—"

The dark-haired passive held the Defender up between them, barrel upward without a hint of threat,

"—an' I'll keep fightin' m' own way, mujo ma."
A wounded chrove will fight harder.
Passive Proverb
word count: 1160
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