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RedMageCole

Fire Emblem On Forums: Mortal Transgressions (IC)

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Prologue – Wanted: Virtuous

Taking the usual paths is about as safe as a normal, unwanted person wandering into a heavily armored fortress for you all, so you strayed off path for your next mission of causing chaos while simultaneously helping to bring down the corrupt society.


You were Virtuous, the infamous band known for causing trouble around the world, notably in the northern regions. You were a blight upon the world as criminals that could not be caught no matter how hard people tried, and in the minuscule amount of cases someone succeeded, they’d find themselves knocked out, or even wiped out, with Virtuous nowhere to be found. Even if someone caught a glimpse of them, no one knew the real identities of those in Virtuous; just a few people in flashy costumes and masks, and eight names.

 

Knight. Ficus. Scarlet. Minstrel. Orchid. Dragon. Mink.

 

And nobody could forget the name of their leader, Phoenix.


However, despite everyone’s opinions of you, you were not simply criminals. Sure, you had that streak of craftiness and occasional thievery, you at least had justification for it compared to most criminals. War was afoot in Purgus, and Virtuous provided a much needed distraction from that. In the meantime, there was only one true goal for Virtuous; find out what happened to the once-peaceful continent of Purgus to make it so corrupt. Even if the answer wasn’t pretty, even if it boiled down to simple human stupidity, you had to trace it back to its roots and figure out a solution.

 

Because if you don’t bring down the horrid corruption on the continent of Purgus, who will?

 

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Your current location was in the kingdom of Perus, a little further out from the border of Ceda. Though you are well known for your exploits, you can’t often risk going too far from Ceda too often, as Ceda is just about the only region you can comfortably show your faces without disguises… but even then, disguises are almost a necessity. You never knew what was around the corner. However, this was a blessing; getting into Perus was a cinch as the borders were relatively lax considering Ceda’s lack of interest in Perus, and Perus was often the perfect target for mischief.


In Perus, you had a mission; take down a prison well-known for housing criminals from around the world due to prison overcrowding, simultaneously taking it down, taking it over and freeing the inmates inside in order to cause a scandal to hit Perus’s ego hard (a feat easy to do, considering how fragile Perus’s ego was). However, whatever your leader Kane has planned for the prison, regardless of what you knew and didn’t know, it was certainly a long while away and your feet are starting to get tired. You had a wagon a while ago, as you all wear disguises rather than your usual attire you need to cover when going through public roads, but it had to be ditched as the wheels broke off, and you had to take the scenic route. Despite this blunder, Kane, clad in his mask that covered half of his face and resembled two flaming wings going across his ears, pressed onward as if this little incident never happened.

 

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“Don’t worry, not only will I remember to not go for the cheapest option next time I get a wagon, but I haven’t planned for us to walk the whole way to our destination. We were going to be doing something up ahead here, and as a bonus, we should be coming up on our ride pretty soon. Just hang tight, okay? I don’t plan to start steering you guys wrong now.”

 

The fields start to get more densely wooded as you progress, and up ahead, you start to see a more mountainous area, surrounded by forest… here’s hoping Kane isn’t lying to you.

 

Ferdiad, Shin, Baldur, Lizaveta, Justine, Cecily and Lenore may post!

Edited by RedMageCole

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"Well, it wouldn't make for a very good story if everything went right all the time, would it? At least there's plenty to see walking through the wilderness." Her feet ached too, but she was used to long hours spent performing; a bit of a hike had nothing on back-to-back performances. It wasn't easy to sing and dance for hours on end. "Wish I'd brought my lyre, though, I could have at least used the time to compose something."

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"It wouldn't make for a great story, but I'm not keen on going to prison. Phoenix, you've cased the place, right?"

Lenore wasn't one for having such a large crew for a prison break.  She, personally, would keep the crew to a minimum; one or two in the prison directly, to open doors, probably bribed, a getaway man with some horses for a quick run through the forest, two men conducting the break in directly, in addition to communication with whoever the target was. 

 

The masks were also a tad much. Anonymity was in obscurity; walking around with obvious masks, while the price of entry into Virtuous, was worse than doing without one. She simply hid her eyes with a plain russet cloth, with some holes cut out; not the most elegant or glamourous mask, but then again, if she really was trying to disguise herself, it wasn't going to exactly be that these fools would recognise someone whose normal prowl were the parties of Perusian nobles and the palaces of Perusian clergymen wearing what amounted to sackcloth..

 

Still, Phoenix was the boss, and she'd agreed to following his orders when she cast her lot in with the group. Patience was a virtue. Trust him, for now. The others? The guy on the horse seemed most trustworthy; he didn't seem like the lying, thieving type, just from looking at him. The others, she needed to read them a little longer than that to figure them out.

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"Scoped out and set, Mink. It's one of the places I've been wanting to scope out for a while." Kane responded with an air of confidence in his work. "It's a fairly medium-sized prison with a fair amount of guards constantly on watch, and they've secured the cells quite a bit. Warden's apparently a haughty fellow, likes to go out just to boss around the guards for little reason, but unfortunately he looks rather tough; taking him down will be a chore, but I have confidence in our abilities."

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"Hm. How do you figure we're taking on the whole prison? We're not exactly flush with numbers."

Indeed, Lenore had given this some thought. She wasn't a fighter, and so most of her plans generally involved avoiding as much fighting as possible. She hadn't quite figured out how Kane operated yet, either, but as he was willing to get into the thick of things, she figured he planned to go in there swords drawn.

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"One group at a time; the prison's divided into three blocks, so we can focus on taking out one block at a time. Prison's fairly muted too, so we'd be able to take them down without much worry of the guards alerting each other. We have an element of surprise on our side, plus the way I saw it, some of the guards were fairly incompetent and might not even be able to hold their own in a fight, even if they have a numbers advantage. Couple of them were having an argument about the way they were supposed to hold their lances; it was a bit pathetic."

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One of the members of Virtuous was Scarlet -- wearing the red of her codename even when in disguise, the entire front of her face was covered by a mostly featureless and bright red mask of metal, which would be a lot plainer if it didn't have what appeared to be goggles built in near the eye level, a necessity in order to allow its wearer to keep her glasses on underneath and try to disguise them. The body language of its wearer conveyed two things: One was tension, as actually being in the country of the detested merchantry order had Scarlet on edge. Perus was the country that was responsible for a great many terrible things, responsible for the world order of the merchants that sucked the life out of those below them, that fought and killed just in order to keep anyone else from being wealthy like them. Perus was the country on the top, the villain of Scarlet's ideology, and the country that would have to be toppled one day for the revolution to start.

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"Hah, ah, don't worry, Phoenix, a... a little walking is... not enough to deter from the mission...!"

 

The second thing that was visible in her body language: exhaustion, the red-garbed figure's shoulders droops and her steps lagged, breathing heavily and slightly hunched over. Despite all the enthusiasm in the world, Lizaveta Medvedeva was just a scholar, a recent graduate of the university. She had been studious, hardworking, pushing herself to the limit in the advancement of her ability to expand her ideology... but all of that pushing herself to the limit consisted of sitting in libraries reading books about markets and history, tomes of dark, tomes of anima... not much exercise. Lizaveta's body was rather less untiring than her will.

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Despite the undercover nature of the mission and Kane's ever-ebullient confidence in their success, Ferdiad can't help but feel like they must stick out like a battle standard atop a high hill. Leaving a broken wagon, seven people and their beasts trampling through the fields of Perus... even in such a remote location, there could be someone who might catch on. The birds, too, have eyes.

 

In half-armor, he travels at the front of the group, back straight and posture tall, walking in front of even Kane, leading his horse over the grasses with one hand, lance leaning point-up against his shoulder in the other. He keeps half an ear out for the snippets of conversation floating around behind him, but his eyes are trained forward, scanning the brush and the horizon periodically. The mask Kane had picked out for him, suggestive of a soldier's visor ( "Well... to be fair, you did say 'Knight'" ), does not offer the full visibility of going without the device, but he had acquiesced to the... wardrobe demands when he'd agreed to follow him.

 

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"..."

 

After a moment, though, it's the sound of heavy breaths and slight wheezing that finally draw the first words out of him in over an hour. He turns to look at Lizaveta, slowing his pace just a little.

 

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"Miss, would you like to ride? You are light enough for Bradwr to carry without much trouble."

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Lizaveta turned to look at Ferdiad once he spoke to her, and offered a ride. Nobody would be able to see it due to the full-face nature of Lizaveta's mask, but a look of temptation crossed her face... and then passed, matched with an audible little sigh from the ideologically-driven dark mage.

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"Ah... surely I cannot... be the one the most in need, hff, of that aid. I cannot... just take something like that... if there is anyone else in more need."

 

This piece of speech was quite promptly followed by Lizaveta visibly flagging a little more, speaking and walking at the same time evidently taking something out of her.

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"An admirable thing to say, but..." Smile on his face, he glances around to each of the others, then back to the exhausted girl. "It looks like the others are holding their own. There's no shame in conserving your energies for where they are most needed. And I won't stand by while you suffer."

 

He pauses enough for her to draw up alongside him and offers his hand to help her onto Bradwr's back.

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In the midst of going over the plan, Kane overhears Ferdiad and Lizaveta's conversation. He turns his head back.

 

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"No shame in hitching a ride, Scarlet. If you're getting tired, use the rest; I'd like us to be well prepared and ready for when we start coming up on our destination."

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Lizaveta opened her mouth behind her mask, preparing to say something, but then Kane chimed in, and she deflated ever so slightly, letting out a breath, a sheepish tone coming into her voice.

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"U-um, yes, alright, Phoenix, I'll get on then. Sorry, and, um, thanks Knight."

With a hnnggg of effort, Lizaveta got onto the horse, letting out a relieved sigh once she got settled down, letting her frame slump a little bit to get some rest.

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It's still strange to be called 'Knight'. Kane had told him to select a code name, for reasons he still doesn't quite understand, as it makes operations that much more difficult if he has to remember how to address everyone, and he doesn't think he'll ever grow accustomed to it.

 

After helping her onto Bradwr's back, he turns to start walking again, mollifying his destrier's nearly-inaudible exhale with a passing rub down his nose. He resumes his place at the front of the group, alert for any sign of threat.

 

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"I don't blame you for your weariness. This terrain isn't fit for travel. All this sneaking around..."

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Ferdiad would just barely hear a sigh from the girl now behind him, and then a small amused chuckle.

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"Ahah, yes, the terrain, I'm sure that's it."

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"If you desire I could give you a nice foot massage, Scarlet. Once we get to our ride of course." Baldur offers the scholar with hesitation. He wasn't a bit tired, he wouldn't like a simple hike hamper his duties. Baldur was also adorned with his mask he hand crafted himself. It covered the entire left side of his face with it arching a little over to the right covering his right eyebrow. It definitely had a masquerade look to it and had a purple orchids all along the left side with the white stem and leaves being as it woven around elegantly against the black base. The purple petals almost seemed to flow through a breeze as the made their way across tho the right side.

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Shin had been sweating profusely during the whole trek. He sluggishly follows behind the group at a slight distance.

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"I'd be down for a rest about now, actually.. What's the mission about again?"

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"One man offering you his horse, another even offering you a massage. . . Should I throw my own hat into the ring?"

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"I'm sure I know how to treat you right better than the boys do." Her voice held a playful lilt to it, as she glanced between the three individuals in question. 

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The cadence of the jongleur's words implies mischief, and he frowns at the suggestion of a meaning that eludes his grasp. Treat her right...? What is that supposed to mean?

 

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"I don't appreciate being mocked, madam," he says non-aggressively, not taking his eyes off the terrain stretching before them. "I was merely offering aid to someone who could use it."

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"Whoa there, Minstrel. I'm sure the only rough ride Scarlet's looking for at the moment is on the back of a horse. And Knight, don't worry about it, she didn't mean that. Though, I'm surprised some starry-eyed girl hasn't come along to and offered to, uh, elucidate."

 

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While in usual circumstances he'd lecture Shin about paying attention, he gave him a pass, being... relatively new to this whole thing.

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"We're taking down a prison in Perus and breaking out some of the more unfortunate inmates in there, to put it simply. And you'll get a rest soon, Ficus, just hang in there a little longer..." As he mentions this, Kane begins to survey the land ahead of them. It seems he almost lets Justine's comment go by, until he throws out a casual comment, still not taking his eyes off of the land. "And let's try to keep it in our pants until after the mission, Minstrel." Congratulations, you just witnessed one of Kane's few snark moments. Generally he doesn't snark too hard, preferring a blunt approach to things, but when a detail is rather insignificant yet he wants to address it anyway, he'll address it in a more lighthearted manner while still keeping a straight face.

Edited by RedMageCole

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"If you want a ride that bad, Ministrel, Mydwyn's still got some room for you." Cecily joked. She wasn't actually riding the wyvern, instead walking beside them in order to keep them fresh for combat. But her sister wasn't that heavy due to her lack of armor, so she might as well be a feather for how much Myrdwyn would be bothered by the weight. "We're almost there, right? I could go for a bit, but some of the others seem to need a bit more exercise in their routines!" she continued in the same tone.

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Lizaveta's tone quite rapidly got very flustered.

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"I, ah, I-I feel like a trophy... and trophies are for the merchantry and the aristocracy, or, or something, so that's bad."

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Justine couldn't help but giggle at the numerous reactions she got. This was almost too easy. Ferdiad's reply - and particularly Lenore's addition - actually drew a snort from her. 

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"Ah, but you are a prize. Though I can see why you might not want to feel like a trophy; set up on a pedestal and not interacted with. Fortunately, I prefer to be a bit more. . . hands-on."

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Lizaveta gulped, and then looked in Kane's direction -- any meaning her expression would have given, though, was blocked once again by her mask.

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"Ah, c-come on! Phoenix, um, Phoenix did say that we have a mission to focus on... and we are in Perus..."

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