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Offline Alexander

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Runners of the Night
« on: July 02, 2006, 04:13:40 PM »
OOC: There is a thread in the starters forum for this, if you would like to join, please post there first. Thanks.

During the day a man can walk with safety through the city of Goldwyn. The gaurds keep the city safe from bandits and barbarians. The Kings army patrols the highways to and from the city. The river port brings everything the city could ever need in and takes the cities many exports out daily. The Jewel of Aerien is just that a jewel of a city where wealth and power is readily available to those with the ability to reach out and take it.

But of course for every great power there are those that cannot and will never be able to reach it. These are the laborers and service people of the city. Who without the ability to reach out and take the power and wealth the city offers, they must serve those who have it. They sell, make, tame and work for enough money to keep them living for a few days. During the day, these low class people and the lazy, rich people are safe. Atleast, until the sun goes down.

When the sun goes down the streets and boulevards of Goldwyn take on a whole new life. Because when the sun goes down and the torches are lit and the shadows appear the Runners of the Night, the thieves, assassins, ninjas and other denizens of the night take over. For Goldwyn is the center of power on Aerien, and the Runners of the Night know that just as well as the nobles. And at the top of it all, is the shadowy Thieves Guild, an organization that people think is a myth. The gaurds search but can never find it, the mayor says it does not exist and never has. But the people who run the Thieves Highway across the rooves, alleys and sewers of thecity no better. Always some wait and watch for a sign, for someone to appear from the shadows and say, "I am the guildmaster."

This is a Thieves World, a place where the scum come to play.

---------

Ithalyn crouched on one of the arms of the cross attached to the steeple of the Chapel of Lord's Faith. When he got here he actually climbed up here one night to try and steal the famous gold cross. Turned out it was only gold leaf over bronze, not very valuable, and a waste of time too. Tonight, he's out, looking over the gold and fire red expanse of the city. Provender everywhere. Nobles and nobles children visiting the night life of the city. So much money and jewels and gems. And all open game. Darien stands up, perfectly balanced on the arm. He looks down and sights an awning attached to a nearby building that's just perfect for what he wants to do. Without hesitation he takes a leaping step off one of the tallest points in the city and begins to plummet to earth.

His fall takes him down, down, down then back up at an angle as he sling shots off the awning. Up into the night sky. With a light bump he lands on a roof. Then he tears off across the inter-connected roofing of the city. Towards the Entertainment district, and the poor provendor that await a good thieving.
-"Individual human beings are all tools, that the others use to help us all survive."
-"That's a lie."
-"No.  It's just a half truth.  You can worry about the other half after we win this war."
~Ender's Game

Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Runners of the Night
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2006, 05:18:23 PM »
Killean stood over the lifeless body of her latest target, gazing without any visible emotion at the merchant's fear-twisted face.  "Such is your lot when you don't pay your debts," she said to herself.  She reached down and started removing the corpse's jeweled rings.  One as proof that the job was done, the rest to sell for her own.  The signet ring wouldn't come off; the merchant's ring was too fat.  She shrugged, then quickly cut the whole finger off.  She tucked it, finger and all, into her pouch.  A good night's work, all in all.  She stretched, then left the alley and started meandering to the entertainment district.  Time to get paid.  She'd heard some rumors that her employer didn't always pay his contracts, but it wasn't something she was terribly worried about.  After all, it wasn't just fat merchants who could die for not paying a debt.
Sometimes angels fall from grace, and sometimes heroes die.

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Offline Dozus

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Re: Runners of the Night
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2006, 04:58:30 PM »
Agrai watched the young woman as she moved swiftly through the entertainment district.  He hoped he hadn't been noticed, but her obvious skill made it hard to tell.  He watched her make her kill--a good, professional hit--and had followed her from a distance since.  He had considered her as a mark, but after watching her butcher that fat cat, he forsook the idea.

Now another mark caught his eye.  A rich young punk, probably a senator's son, joking with some friends.  He wore all white, fine leathers and linens, with various braclets, necklaces, and rings adorning himself.  His hefty coinpurse caught Agrai's eye.  Agrai slipped his hand into his pocket, palming his tool: a simple copper coin, sharpened at one edge.  As the youths passed, Agrai fell into step behind the punk.  He moved quickly, closer and closer.  Agrai reached with one hand, seizing the purse by its strings.  He carefully reached up with his sharpened coin...

A loose cobblestone caused the boy to trip.  He stumbled forward slightly, and pulled the purse forward.  Agrai quickly released, but the punk had felt him tug at the coinpurse.  The kid spun around.  He was tall, blond.  He glared at Agrai with blazing blue eyes.  Agrai smiled gently.  "Careful there, brother," he said genteely, smoothing the kid's jacket.  "These streets can be rough, mighty rough."

The boy scowled.  "I ain't your brother."  The punk's friends now surrounded him, waiting for an opportunity to pounce.  It wasn't much for a rich kid like this to strike down a street urchin.

Agrai blinked calmly.  "Sure we are, friend.  We're all children of the same god, eh?"

The punk squinted.  "What do you want, priest?"

Agrai beamed.  "Only peace, brother, only peace."  He took the boy's hand in both of his, giving it a slight shake as he bowed his head.  "Peace be with you, my friend."

The punk glanced down.  "And with you, priest."  He released Agrai's hand and turned back, walking away with his snickering friends.

Agrai slipped back into the crowd.  He reached into his sleeves to pull out his catch: a fine silver bracelet and a brass wristwatch, lifted from the punk's arm.  Agrai slipped them into his pocket and turned.  The young assassin was nowhere to be seen.  Ah well.  Agrai began to walk down the busy avenue, keeping an eye out for more marks.

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Offline Shadoweagle

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Re: Runners of the Night
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2006, 10:26:04 PM »
OOC: Unfortunately, work is extremely busy for me at this time of the year, so i won't be as active as I had first hoped with this - however, i'll still try and get a post in every couple of days. If i'm inactive for several days, i give permission for someone to take temporary control of Xathryll until i get back --

___

"TRY YOUR LUCK! ONLY TWO COPPER A ..."
"... FINEST YOUNG LADIES IN ALL OF GOLDWYNN! COME AN..."
"... MAGICIAN AMAZE YOU AS HE JUGGLES FIRE WITH HIS BA..."

The sounds and bustle of the entertainment district flew by Xathryll as he walked along the rooftops slowly. All this crowd and noise was unsettling to him - used to the solitude and darkness of subterrainean life as he was. Still, his eyes darted back and forth between people, watching for a suitable mark. He had only been in this city for a couple of weeks, but already it suited him fine: Unsuspecting, niave fools to prey on for money; plenty of hidden passages, rooftops and basements to seclude ones self in; So many people that any trouble made will be forgotten in hours.
Ah - there... A lone man had lumbered out of a tavern and stumbled off into a darkened alleyway to empty his bowels. His mind was already jumbled from the interesting substance Xathryll had come to know as 'booze', and it would be no effort to shatter what was left of it. Xathryll stalked over to the roofs edge and peered down at his victim as the man vomited noisily. After several seconds inspection, he raised a hand and pointed, palm facing the man, and fingers curled into a claw-like gesture.

...

Graeson was a simple man enjoying a simple life - after a hard days work, he had come to the entertainment district to find some drink and boast to his friends. Of course, as he does every night, he overindulged, and soon found himself stumbling outside and to the seclusion of an alleyway to 'make room for more beer'. Midway through bringing his dinner up, he blinked. The noise of the main street some ten meters away from him suddenly seemed to dim to a low buzzing sound, and the lights coming from it abruptly seemed less significant; dimmer. He didn't watch the street for long, however, as suddenly just behind him a clattering of bin lids caused him to jerk his head around worriedly. Graeson slowly stood up, staring at the bins as though something were about to burst from them, when abruptly a cold, not quite human laughter chuckled in his ear. Clearly worried now, Graeson turned once more to try and find the source of that laughter, but nothing was there.  All thoughts of the tavern were out of his mind now - it was just the alleyway, himself, and something evil. A clicking of what sounded like claws on cement echoed in the alleyway behind him once more, and terrified, Graeson turned, only to come face-to-face with a black-hooded man, peering intensly at him. His face was hidden in shadows but the drunk, frightened man was certain he saw red pinpricks of light where the mans eyes should be. The drunkard turned and began to flee as fast as his uncoordinated legs could carry him but suddenly, with a whisk of sound and a faint breeze, that hooded man materialised in front of him once more, now blocking his way back into the lights and crowd.
Drop your purse, and I may allow you to live...
The words weren't spoken, but Graeson could hear every letter imprinted on the back of his mind, chilling him to the core. Incoherently murmuring prayers to the gods, Graeson threw his purse to the ground and turned, fleeing down the alleyway into the darkness as though all the hounds of hell were five feet behind.

___

Xathryll smiled faintly - the man was fortunate - He liked to make examples of people who did not comply instantly. Still, drunkards are almost too easy to frighten, but they do carry a fair bit of coin sometimes. Snatching up Graeson's purse, Xathryll peered upwards to the rooftops. He blinked out of existance, nearly instantly reappearing on a window sill three meters up, before phasing in and out again to one the next level above. With one final blink, he graced the rooftop with his feet and glanced around. Now... to retire for the night, or to find another target...
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Offline Alexander

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Re: Runners of the Night
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2006, 11:54:23 PM »
Ithalyn stalked him for what seemed like an eternity as the man went from shadow to shadow. The man was waiting on someone else. Ithalyn could almost see the mirrored path of the man and his mark. Patience was the game, and Ithalyn could play the game better than anyone so far, else he'd be lying in a gutter somewhere. So many unwary people walked right underneath Ithalyn. Granted, many didn't want to know what was on the rooftops above them. The night was still young when the man stopped, and descended to an alleyway. The man had found what he was looking for. Another thief.

The man Ithalyn was following was Garrick, a thief with a bad reputation of taking the hard work of other thieves. He'd follow other thieves and as they made their steal, would kill or incapacitate the thief and take what was earned through 'honest' work. It was only a matter of time before someone wanted him dead. Luckily for Ithalyn, he gets paid to eliminate scum like this, and this one had a rather high price since he was so despised by others.

Garrick was a skinny feeble man, by looking at him you'd doubt if he had any warrior prowess at all. Looks are deceiving of course. While the man isin't very strong, he is quite agile, and capable of lethal actions. As the thief turned down an alleyway, Garrick put his hand into his coat and pulled back out what seemed to be nothing. But Ithalyn knew his style, no doubt it was a poison covered knife. After a quick look around, he followed the thief into the alleyway.

"Agrai! Don't turn around. Put your belongings on the floor and leave quietly!" Garrick whispered harshly to the runner. Ithalyn couldn't believe what he was seeing, how'd Garrick stay alive so long with such tactics? Then he understood. Watching from the shadows of the alleyway entrance, Ithalyn watched as two men on opposite rooftops of the alleyway leveled crossbows towards Agrai. Ithalyn knew this...Agrai could handle himself with the likes of Garrick, so he climbed up towards the roof, silent as death, as in fact he was to many. He stalked up behind the man on the east side of the alleyway, and slit his throat. Ithalyn covered his gurgling mouth and slowly led the body to the floor. Taking out a throwing dagger, Ithalyn cocked his arm and aimed. He hit the crossbow quarrel dead center, rendering it useless. The man looked up in horror and saw Ithalyn shaking his head in mock disapproval. The man turned to flee, only to fall with two daggers deeply embedded in his back. With that done, Ithalyn turned his attention to the alleyway, seeing how Garrick would fare without his 'help' with him. It didn't really matter if this Agrai died, but Ithalyn would make sure Garrick's blood ran free before the night was over.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2006, 11:57:42 PM by Alexander »
-"Individual human beings are all tools, that the others use to help us all survive."
-"That's a lie."
-"No.  It's just a half truth.  You can worry about the other half after we win this war."
~Ender's Game

Offline Dozus

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Re: Runners of the Night
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2006, 12:19:18 AM »
Agrai froze.  "Garrick, it's been a while."  He sounded casual, but inside his heart raced.  He'd crossed Garrick before and knew how he operated.  Agrai's eyes raced across the skyline.  There they were, right on schedule: two snipers armed with crossbows.  They were probably no expert snipers, but they weren't amateurs either.  If he dodged one bolt, the other would probably hit him.  And then there was Garrick to deal with as well.  Better gold than blood, he thought grimly.  Agrai reached into his pockets to drop his bounty...

The gleam of metal caught his eye.  One of the snipers turned, then suddenly fell.  A glimpse of shadow followed him.  Agrai's eyes shifted to the other rooftop: nothing, the sniper was gone.  Agrai's eyes brightened.  Finally, some luck.  He turned, taking his hands out of his pockets and placing them at his sides.  "How's things?" Agrai asked loudly.  "Good hunting, I presume?"

Garrick sneered and cocked his head, a lock of greasy hair falling over his eyebrow.  "You heard me," he growled hoarsely.  "Drop it and leave."  Garrick's eyes were trained on Agrai, he noticed.  The bandit probably had no idea his partners were dead.

Agrai's eyes narrowed and his voice dropped.  "Not tonight, Garrick.  Better run while you can."

Garrick smirked a cruel smile.  He tilted his head sharply, glanced up - and froze.  Fury filled his eyes.  "Dammit!" he grunted.  He quickly pulled his dirk from its sheath and thrust forward, but Agrai wasn't there anymore.  Garrick felt a sharp crack across his left jaw, sending him stumbling.  Agrai pulled back his fist and kicked out a leg, tripping Garrick and sending him flat on his back.  In a flash, Agrai's dagger entered Garrick's wrist, pinning him to the ground and sending his dirk clattering to the cobblestone.  Garrick screamed, but Agrai's gloved hand was quickly to his throat.

"You know, thieves' law says I can kill you," Agrai said, leaning over Garrick.  "But I've got a reputation as a nice guy, so I'll just be on my way."  With that, he grabbed Garrick's fallen dirk and thrust it into his other wrist.  Garrick yelped and squirmed, but only caused more pain.  Agrai loosened the Garrick's coinpurse, emptied its contents into his own, and tossed it on the ground.  He stood, removed his own dagger from Garrick's arm, and began to walk off.

He stopped after a few steps.  Someone had killed those snipers.  But who, and why?  And how much coin were the snipers carrying?  With a powerful leap, Agrai jumped up onto the rooftop.  He glanced down to see a dead man with a crossbow, his throat still leaking life.  He looked out over the rooftops.  It was only fair to thank whoever saved him, maybe even offer him a cut of the loot.  The mystery hero had to be around here somewhere.

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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Runners of the Night
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2006, 04:00:53 PM »
Killean made her way through the seedy part of the district, ignoring all of the barkers and merchants harking their wares.  A few idiots made some catcalls and propisitions, but a glare was sufficient to shut them up.  She found the dingy little inn where she was supposed to meet her employer.  He was early.
He jumped as she dropped into the chair across from him.  "Killean, my dear.  Always such a pleasant-"
"Shut up, Alvis."  Killean pulled the finger out of her pouch and all but threw it at the mousy little man.  "Pay me."
"Ah, so the job is complete then?"
"A'duh.  Pay me."
Alvis looked like he was considering an excuse, but Killean pulled out one of her knives and started playing with it in a pointed fashion.  He paled, gulped, and pulled out a bag of money and tossed it to her.  Killean counted it quickly.  "Job's finished.  You want another, you know how to find me."  With that, she got up and left abruptly.
Killean smiled to herself.  Alvis was a cheap bastard, but he was scared of her.  All was as it should be.
Sometimes angels fall from grace, and sometimes heroes die.

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Offline Alexander

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Re: Runners of the Night
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2006, 10:59:19 PM »
Ithalyn made his way down from the roof as Agria climbed up. He made his way over to the squirming man, he hadn't gotten up when Agria left. Blood was pouring from the hole in his hand, and he was working hard not to cry out from the stinging pain. He began to rise as he winced from the pain in his hand, only to be put back down from a boot in the rump.

"There's a high price on your head Garrick, try not to backstab anyone in your next life." Ithalyn said as he drove his dagger into the back of the feeble man's neck. His body jerked once, going forward from the dagger, and then he lay very still. Ithalyn crossed the alleyway and began to ascend back to the roof where he had seen Agrai climb up.

He came over the lip the see him looking around. Ithalyn jumped over the lip of the roof and landed with an audible thump. "Agrai...quite the purse collector if I am remembering correctly. You should watch your back more closely, unless you want a quarrel protruding from it?" Ithalyn spoke as he sized the man up.
-"Individual human beings are all tools, that the others use to help us all survive."
-"That's a lie."
-"No.  It's just a half truth.  You can worry about the other half after we win this war."
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Offline Shadoweagle

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Re: Runners of the Night
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2006, 11:14:18 PM »
All was as it should be.

Or was it?

Xathryll's eye had caught Killean just as she had stepped into that Inn, and he waited outside, crouched on the awning of an adjacent building for several minutes, contemplating quietly. She appeared to be a woman on a mission - she wasn't ambling around the district just for some cheap fun; she had a place to be and a time to get there.
A faint smile curled upon the dark-clothed mans lips as he caught sight of the girl once again, stepping out of the inn with a smile, and looking far more content than she did when she walked in. Xathryll followed the woman for a block or two until she entered a spot which was not quite as populated as the rest of this district.

As Killean turned a corner into a quieter street, she would abruptly feel the world dim around her, just as Graeson had felt an hour earlier. The lights of the district would seem far less significant, and the few other people walking along the street would seem oh-so-much more distant than they were just a few seconds ago. A faint odour of sulphur and brimstone would be smelled for a scant second before blowing away on the wind. The feel of bony claws would brush softly against the back of her hair and a hot, rasping breath would be felt on the back of her neck although if she turned, nothing would be there. The shadows would seem to dance and flicker around her, and finally a larger, more substantial shadow dropped from the rooftop and alighted just before her. Beneath a hood, a man smiled widely, and A flash of what would have seemed like razor-sharp fangs adorned his mouth. A voice will resonate vividly inside Killeans head...
Safe passage from here demands your life. But for you, I will be willing to settle for your gold. The smile disappeared and Xathryll waited as Killeans worst imagined nightmares danced behind her.

Though he showed nothing of it, Xathryll was on full alert and was expecting possible resistance - For one, This girl was not drunk, and two, she seemed quite sure of herself and steady-minded just earlier.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2006, 11:18:45 PM by Shadoweagle »
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Offline Dozus

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Re: Runners of the Night
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2006, 11:26:13 PM »
Agrai turned to face the man, eyeing him carefully.  He was a dangerous man to be sure, but he wasn't here to threaten him, at least not yet.  "You did me a favor back there," Agrai said.  "I owe you one."  He looked down at the corpse of the sniper.  "You do good work, friend.  Clean kill."  It was no flattery, the man was clearly a professional.  He cocked his head slightly.  "Don't mean to look a gift horse in the mouth, but why'd you do it?"

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Offline Alexander

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Re: Runners of the Night
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2006, 01:26:00 AM »
"Don't mean to look a gift horse in the mouth, but why'd you do it?" Agrai said as he cocked his head slightly.

"Survival...Watch your back, I won't always be there to protect you, and I may be there to kill you." Ithalyn replied nonchalantly as he looked the man over again. Nodding his head in respect, Ithalyn took his leave as he leapte over the lip of the roof onto a balcony two floors down, and then off of that to land on the ground of the alleyway. With one more look at the pitiful Garrick, Ithalyn made his way back to the streets. He had one more...'appointment' this night.
-"Individual human beings are all tools, that the others use to help us all survive."
-"That's a lie."
-"No.  It's just a half truth.  You can worry about the other half after we win this war."
~Ender's Game

Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Runners of the Night
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2006, 07:38:08 PM »
Killean tensed up.  It couldn't be her father behind her, waiting to drag her back into that hell she'd grown up in.  He was long dead.  She didn't know what was going on, but it was making her angry.  "I work hard for my money, and I don't think I'm going to give it to the likes of you.  And I don't like party tricks."  A knife found it's way into her hand, and without warning, she flung it at the man in front of her.  It didn't matter if it hit or not; she was already moving.  He was bigger than she was, but so were many others.  She dodged around the stranger, aiming a kick at his chest as she did so.  "Go away and leave me the hell alone."
Sometimes angels fall from grace, and sometimes heroes die.

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Offline Shadoweagle

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Re: Runners of the Night
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2006, 09:38:09 PM »
Xathryll's eyes widened in surprise at the sight of the dagger and the woman flying towards her in close succession. He curved his body out of the way just in time to allow the dagger to fly harmlessly past, before blinking out of existence - reappearing on the other side of the woman and dancing a couple of steps back. A fevered smile worked its way upon his lips before he flung his hand in a throwing motion at the girl. Should his spell be effective, Killean would find the dimness of this street would suddenly Flare into a burning, intense brightness obscuring her vision for several seconds whilst Xathryll silently fades in and out, blinking his way back up to the rooftops. The light inversion will have worn off by the time Xathryll is out of sight, and he stayed up in the darkness, melded with the shadows and continuing to watch Killean to guage her actions and reactions after that encounter. Xathryll saw nothing wrong with a tactical retreat when it was necessary.
The effect of the nightmarish visions would continue to haunt Killean for about two more minutes after Xathryll takes his flight, and the last thing she would hear before it wore of is a very real rasping laughter flowing through the night, with no point of origin.
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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Runners of the Night
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2006, 09:55:32 PM »
Suddenly, the lights flared insanely bright.  Killean covered her eyes and almost threw herself against a wall, tensed to fend off any new attacks.  Squinting, she was able to make out a little, but it was too late, the stranger had vanished.  She scowled and took a few steps forward, glaring around her as the insense light faded.  Whoever it was behind her that sounded like her father was still there.

She stood perfectly still for a moment, then produced another knife and swung it backwards as hard as she could, aiming at the figure's heart.  Her hand swung through empty air.  The knife stuck in the wall behind her, wedged in so deeply that she elected to leave it.  An illusion.  She should have guessed as much.  Still, it made her feel better.  Hopefully the little bastard would decide to not bother her again.  As soon as she was sure her vision had returned to normal, she started off, heading for home.
Sometimes angels fall from grace, and sometimes heroes die.

Regina Raptorum, Benevolent Mad Scientist, Writer of Psychos, Guild Mistress of Esoteric Lore, Losers' Club Alumna, and Authentic Wacko