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Random idea dump.

  • Fantasy/action story set in the same world as The Walls and Foresight (approximately 125~150 years after Foresight).
    • Not a sequel by any means, however. Very few connections other than the passing mentions of some family names and events from Foresight, and the presence of Lisette (maybe.)
  • Protagonist: Faulkner.
  • Story is set on a giant floating island with a city.  Very colorful and prosperous looking, sleek and fantastical - almost sci-fi looking - architecture.
    • If in the same world as Foresight and set afterward, name could or should be New [whatever] in reference to the original artificial city, which is either destroyed or systematically gutted during the story.
  • Being "run" and kept afloat by many great and proficient minds of the arcane, the city serves as a de facto "magic capital" of the world.
  • Two groups wrestling for dominance over one another - an older-than-most, blood feud of diluted significance.  Recent legislation bestows immunity to people wearing the brands of opposing factions, for illegal acts against one another.
  • Some sort of plot to overthrow those running the island, wrest hidden control, or simply gain control of the island itself and its power source.  Not decided just yet.

Plot OutlineEdit

Intro/Part IEdit

  • Faulkner has some horrid dreams, wakes up just as the airship arrives at the floating city
  • Some expositionary shots of him wandering, perhaps.
  • Eventually he idly enters a bar...Where they won't even allow him because he won't/can't relinquish his weapon (his arm)
  • Walks outside in mild disgust, sees some mysterious girl cornered by common thuggish peoples
  • Saves her, roughs the guys up, and suddenly is on the run from them, alternating between trying to evade them and incapacitating pursuers one by one.  
  • A guardsman sees Faulkner running, and cryptically announces he's found him and the girl; now the guardsmen on their trail. 
  • Being much more well organized, conflict with the guards is unavoidable.  Faulkner has experience and strength but is disadvantaged by the enemies' numbers and his own restraint.
  • The two manage to lose the guards just as more seriously-armed troops begin arriving, only to find themselves facing minor fire/heat elementals indoors
  • She gets out of the room first and onto a rooftop, and it's the source of the elementals, some flame mage guy - a very high ranking official on the opposing side of the girl's faction
  • Faulkner gets out, steps in and fights the guy, his arm and sword versus two flame whips that come from his adversary's arms
  • With the girl using her magic to weaken his (he's extremely powerful (might not do this at all) )
  • Guy eventually unleashes some ungodly strong flamethrower, that faulkner is able to guard with his arm almost unintentionally due to its anti-magic force-field-ish thing
  • Aforementioned flamethrower does massive damage, causing structural harm to the ground/roof/bridge they are on and causes Faulkner's arm to start coming apart
  • Flame boss guy, however, is exhausted (or caught unaware, expecting his opponent to be done for); Faulkner basically shoves him over or face-hooks him and wins.
  • Faulkner is asked who sent him; he replies no one, remarking that the beating he just delivered was a "free sample" of his services as a so-called problem solver.
  • Guardsmen make their move now, some arriving and others having been staying clear of the (literal) firefight.
  • "We'll meet again soon" foreboding nonsense from flameboss
  • Girl pulls Faulkner away and the two make an escape - she does something to his arm, by this point rendered dead weight, and he is suddenly able to clear an 8-meter jump.
  • Now safe from pursuit, Faulkner watches flameboss guy get up and dust himself off and facetiously surrender, hands up.
  • A yet-unnamed-but-distinct-guardsman-ranking-officer-guy just puts his sword down boss guy's spine instead
  • This is the last thing Faulkner and her see before disappearing into the building.

Part 2Edit

  • Faulkner and the girl enter a remote room beneath the building they escaped into.  It was locked, but a key on her person unlocks it.
  • His arm is sprawled over a table; she is inspecting it, trying to restore its functionality, but is largely unsuccessful due to a lack of skill in arcanics.
  • He starts pressing her for information, in particular why seemingly everyone in the entire city is after her.
  • She states the guards gave chase only due to his suspicious behavior; Faulkner doesn't believe her.
  • Regarding everything else, she is naturally less than forthcoming but does reveal her name: Raye.
  • Raye states she supercharged some pre-existing runes emplaced in his arm, allowing them to make the escaping jump.  He shrugs at all the terminology and she is less than impressed at his ignorance of the arm's workings, her frustration only compounded by the design's messiness; he says it's unfinished.
  • She asks how he even got his arm; he is equivalently tightlipped, causing her to suspect it's stolen.  He tells her his arm is custom made, given it has a slot for his sword, is all-but bolted firmly to him, and would be too much of a hassle to steal.
  • [something about freelancers, her prejudcided image of them, and his views on passion]
  • The two are fully soured on one another, when suddenly, Raye finds a component buried within the elbow of his arm: an auto-repair functionality!  It appears to be activated by the introduction of unspecialized (i.e. raw) magical essence.
  • As it slowly mends itself, she senses her essence being routed into a broken but heretofore unknown component of his arm.
  • With some work (physically forcing it?  Manual activation?  Something???), she reactivates a new module in his arm.  After accidentally putting a hole in the ceiling, they determine it is a small energy cannon that can emit blast from the slot just above the back of his wrist.
  • Under the guise of another idea for his mechanical arm, Raye restrains both his arms to the table.  She quickly - and very painfully - brands the back of Faulkner's natural hand with her faction's insignia.
  • Caught off-guard and almost seething at her apparent betrayal, Faulkner breaks the table and puts her on the defensive, demanding answers of her.
  • She stammers out an explanation: she thought he could "take it", it's not something she can exactly ask politely to do(?) and that the insignias provide protection from the guardsmen.
  • Still upset, Faulkner remarks what lot of good the immunity did for Flameboss.
  • Raye asks if he truly thinks the "execute prisoner then and now" mentality is actually normal, let alone in her city.
  • She continues expositing: There are seven main operating wings - branches - in the city's guard corps - Raye conjectures that if there is any corruption within the force as there appears to be, it will be confined to that branch only.
  • Continued, if he's truly all about "playing the hero", she gave him his in.  She assures him her family/clan(?) (that she apparently is staying away from for some reason) is more than able to compensate his service.
  • He's not entirely opposed to the idea, but remarks it will have to wait, as he has "prior obligations" set for the following day.
  • Exhausted from the travel and day's events, Faulkner all but passes out shortly after, his arm in apparent working order.
  • [perhaps some cut of the assassins duo throughout or somewhere in the chapter?]

Part 3Edit

  • Another tortured dream.  This time, with a more lucid view of the surroundings - some kind of expansive subterranea.  An apparition, more laughing from another man, and Faulkner jerks awake, knocking a hole in the wall.
  • It pre-sunrise; Faulkner's already early internal clock is pushed even further forward due to his displacement (i.e. jet lag.)
  • As he mentioned previously, Faulkner steps out.  Though his arrangements are not for some hours, he sets out early to evade the guardsmen, or at least to avoid dealing with a larger number of them.
  • Unstated, he makes a stop at West Bridge, an all-hours lively and somewhat seedy, albeit well contained, part of the city.  Given the opposition of his presence to better judgment, an eye is kept open for any stray guards or thugs from the previous afternoon.
  • Almost immediately, he notices the complete and conspicuous lack of guards - or, at least, visible ones.  
  • Mentally crosschecking the date amongst all this, he searches for a man with an orange glove wandering amongst the masses - no easy feat, even considering the hour's relatively thinner crowds.
  • Finding the man walking in a lengthy circuit and periodically stopping, he hands him a note: "DR: Reiy  /  Ray?" with a crude approximation of the crest branded on her, and his arm.  [Reveal this as he wrote it?  Now?  Not at all yet?]
  • The man asks for pronunciation.  He confirms, stating to meet back in four hours.  With that, the two part ways very swiftly, the man flat out ignoring an off-the-cuff request for food recommendations in the area. "...Asshole."
  • Finding a baker operating with no wait, he quickly discovers his money is not valid.
  • In the midst of the baker explaining his unwillingness toward foreign currencies, Faulkner gets a pang in both of his arms - (unknown to him, yet) his mark recognizing the presence of an enemy, and the "feedback" from his prosthetic arm's magic detection (not yet revealed to the reader.)
  • In a mixture of zoning out and coldly checking off his shoulder, Faulkner is snapped back to reality by the baker's near-shouting.  In a combination of being creeped out and taking pity, the baker gives him some free bread, to get him the hell out of his shop.
  • Checking his surroundings miiltantly as he fights through the crowd, the sensation continues to persist in his left arm, albeit somewhat dully.  He promptly steps out, confused and uneasy about the implications of this sensation.
  • Back in the open emptiness, Faulkner slinks his way to the central area, particularly the council pavilion.  He arrives with roughly two hours to spare, far outside of the prior wing's reach, yet still somewhat offput about the sensation before.
  • Faulkner explores a bit to kill time, as well as possibly draw out any possible opportunists (obfuscating his destination and possibly getting it "over with" before he would go inside, increasing the prep time for an ambush.)  The plaza is filled with various landmark duplicates from around the world, to emphasize the city's multiculturalism.
  • He flashes back upon gazing upward at one monument - a younger, two-armed (naturally) Faulkner with his one-time girlfriend Venayia - "Veni" standing before the spire-like monument.  He ponders whether he'll even have an opportunity to see her [How's this work, re: narration?  'Thinking out loud?']
  • Back at the chambers entrance, he finds a guardsman standing almost exactly where he was.  He waits out of sight in front of a pillar down the steps.
  • The guard comes to him - He shows the guard his bidding voucher for the council.  Faulkner's suspicious of him at first but realizes the guard is either disconnected from or unaware of the other branch's pursual of him yesterday.
  • His paranoia is concluded as unfounded - the guard's quite easygoing and sociable, if not simply a bit annoying.
  • Nevertheless, it is eventually time - the guard opens the doorway to the chamber.  Apparently he is a guardsman for the council chambers, a member of the "south branch" on 'loan' to the city center.
  • They both proceed in.  Faulkner is mildly impressed by the dissociated yet stylish architecture within the structure and surrounding the council chambers themselves, a pronounced half-dome structure in the middle of the expansive hall.
  • He proceeds into the chamber upon his summons, nervous.  Aside from sole spotlight illuminating the main floor he enters, it is pitch black - no reflections.  With a slight glow, the council members fade into perception one by one, until seven (of nine) are visible.
  • A councilman asks Faulkner to state his purpose of his visit.  He states he is out to avenge the murder of [the professor].  ((Not sure whether or not to reveal her death beforehand.))
  • He is asked if he is "certain" of that, as opposed to coming to inquire about a way to get his original arm back (which was his original listed purpose, as per the professor's request.)
  • Slightly agitated, he notes that her death altered the paradigm.
  • After consenting to it, the lighting darkens, and the engravement spreads with aglow - in full effect, the light gives way to a recreation of the scene of the professor being murdered, as captured by the mental facilities of Faulker, both directly recallable and otherwise.
  • ((something))
  • The Council reminds Faulkner that he is currently wanted for two murders.  This comes as a surprise to both him and the guard (eavesdropping outside.)  ((Again, not sure whether or not to have illustrated Faulkner's wanted status for the Professor's slaying.))
  • He is caught off-guard by this accusation, albeit mostly by the allegation of a second murder.  The council notes his connection to the killing of [Flameboss], showing the scene - one council member inquires as to his unseen, voiced female 'accomplice'.
  • Faulkner asserts he wouldn't have come if he wasn't trying to clear his name, noting his flashbacks should exonerate him of both murders - met with a stock response about (possibly manipulated) memories being unreliable.
  • The Council briefly lectures about violence begetting violence, to which he responds with a piece of his own philosophy: sometimes violence is a pax, other times the cure. ((Use this wording?  Or the simpler "sometimes a second wrong prevents countless future wrongs"-esque quote?))
  • In response to this, a councilwoman simply questions Faulkner's moral compass.
  • He asks if the "omniscient council" ('NOT omniscient, simply wise') intends to help, or just belittle him over their own prejudices.
  • Revealing he knows nothing about the crime, the council assures him the first piece of evidence he needed was in front of him the whole time, which they allegedly caught outright - with some convincing, he gets them to show the murder scene again.
  • Faulkner is still unable to see anything. "Look.  Closer."  Their words, with the councilwoman again taking aim at his profession, causes the scene to start distorting due to lost composure.
  • After they start attacking the motive behind his revenge, he tells off the council for their ineffectiveness and wasting his time while he is in risk - he then storms out, irate.  Leaving the chamber, he is commanded not to return until he has a "valid" query for the council.
  • He has few to no words for the guard, who has scrambled back to a less conspicuous, non-eavesdropping-y position.  With an intensity burning in his eyes, he is repeatedly tracing a conspicuous "pierced crescent globe" symbol into his left palm.

Part 4Edit

  • Stepping outside the council building, the sight of a replica-landmark tower with its functioning clock strikes Faulkner - he needs to get right back to Westbridge ASAP.
  • As he starts out, the sensation in his left arm returns in a flash.
  • Looking up, Faulkner notices a figure atop a pillar, set against the blinding sun.  Invoking quick reflexes, he blocks two arrows with his arm and dodges a third.
  • Gracefully slipping down to ground level, the assailant briefly compliments their opponent's defense before rushing in with an unseen sword.
  • Faulkner plays it cool and defensively, attempting some banter trying to discern the enemy's gender (failing due to no response), all the while trying to identify where their allegiances lie.
  • No answers.  Loud, metal-on-metal blows are exchanged and the guard from before comes running out.
  • He, understandably, starts yelling at them.  The enemy responds by uncovering the back of their right arm, revealing an insignia in the same style as the one Raye administered earlier, albeit a starkly different design.
  • Guard comments on their not even being part of the family, which naturally segues into a curiosity as to Faulkner's involvement.
  • After some brief elucidation regarding the factions, the necessity of which confuses both other parties, he reluctantly shows his insignia. "Sort of.  Kind of.  Not really.  Long story, okay?"
  • Nevertheless, the guard reminds/informs the two that the central plaza is off-limits for the covenant feud.
  • "Right.  So, can we do this somewhere else?  You know, later?"
  • "Don't worry, I'll save us all some trouble!" [maybe rework that line] The assailant charges inhumanly fast, aerial motions indicating an overhead slash from the right arm, but faking out for a left-handed upward slash.
  • Faulkner catches the feint thanks to a lucky unorthodox guard (diagonally using his arm), but not without the sword somehow creating a gash in the "lower forearm".  Faulkner seizes them by the clavicle/neck and furthers the their forward-downward momentum, into the floor.
  • The assailant hits the ground with some tumbling [likely concussion-ish impact], ending the fight.
  • With this, he sets off to meet the orange-gloved man - running, which is exactly what he didn't want to do.
  • Westbridge is bustling as usual, but he is too late - his contact is nowhere to be seen.
  • Even amongst the noisy crowdeds, an aura of tension sets in.
  • Faulkner begins walking again, when out of nowhere, an orange-gloved hand takes him by the left shoulder - scarcely avoiding a hostile reaction.
  • "Raven's Roost.  Tonight, at 10." [Different person 'on-shift'?]
  • [He disappears, again ignoring Faulkner's inquiries.]
  • [Heading back home - encounter with Younger Guardsman?]
  • Finally, Faulkner gets back in the room, only to find Raye face-down and on the floor.

Part 5Edit

  • Raye is feverish and only somewhat coherent as Faulkner hoists her back onto the bed.
  • Suspect, Faulkner undresses a glancing wound she received during the skirmish with the guardsmen.
  • "Figures." The would-be minor and unalarming cut is [crusted over? Pussed? What should look wrong about it?], telltale signs an infectious agent had been applied to the blade.
  • [Faulkner MacGuyvers something up? I barely know anything about such "realistic" would-be pursuits, maybe this is easier in fantasy. Maybe some kind of magical temporary abatement is present in the other room, a general cure-all or complete repellant?]
  • Applying the makeshift salve, with some time Raye appears to be her old self - at least, as he knows her.
  • The idea of seeking outside help is quickly looking to be the best one. Raye clearly wants no part of it.
  • Half concerned but half annoyed, Faulkner asks what exactly it is she's hiding from. She doesn't answer.
  • Spinning the silence to mean 'nothing', he assures she effectively has little choice in the matter given her current state.
  • Raye quickly responds with the name and address of a healer. "Someone I can trust."
  • "So it's about trust?"  No answer.  "Okay, fine. Write it down."
  • She hands him the note. The address provided is just inside the tip of the eastern district, nearly the opposite end of the city.  This makes for a nearly impossible task, given Faulkner's current status.
  • Not to worry, Raye has a plan: She leads him out of the room back into the hallway of doors.  Counting deliberately, she eventually pushes open a specific door, standing unconspicuously amongst the endless array.
  • The room is a mess, to put it politely.  Buried in forms, schematics, and maps of many sizes, the deluge of papers has a meticulously square oasis combed out amongst the clutter, which is apparently someone's makeshift home.  Or, was, judging by the long-rotted food.
  • Raye fishes through the veritable paper graveyard, eventually pulling out and unrolling an elongated map.
  • Seeing only what appears to be a ship wheel, Faulkner is naturally at a loss.  Raye explains it is a map, or a schematic, portraying the web of underground tunnels running underneath the city.
  • After a back and forth exchange (whether he's expected to take the map with him, if she's coming with, etc.) Raye digs through the papers to find a chest underneath.  From it, she pulls out a [transceiver crystal], which will allow her and Faulkner to maintain vocal contact.
  • Pushing aside the bed [or desk or something] in the makeshift home reveals a trapdoor and ladder tunnel.  The two part ways and Faulkner begins descending into the urban subterranea.
  • Leaving the dimly-lit ambience of the previous room, he is in all but complete, pitch-black darkness. Already calling for assistance, she tells him to just go to the next room.
  • One more trapdoor with a broken ladder and 4-meter drop, and Faulkner is officially in "the tunnels".
  • The tunnels are, first of all, really, really hot.  To his surprise, they are well lit, and a single path shoots out ahead for an imperceptibly long stretch.  The way immediately behind him is gated off.
  • Faulkner and Raye casually navigate the tunnels without incident.  He doesn't initially realize the piece is supposed to go in his ear.
  • The two's conversations attract the attention of a handful of creatures apparently making their home in the tunnels.
  • Faulkner fights a tralgar (silver+emerald teleporting lupine/feline-esque beast).  He manages to get it stuck in a small underground hollow area bridged over.
  • Faulkner fights a slimeperson.  Identifying it as "unsparked" (making it unintelligent but also making its its body shape manipulations more primal, skilled, and dangerous.) Crushing its core in his prosthetic hand, its mass slops lifelessly to the ground but also stays inside of and gunks up his arm.
  • Faulkner fights an unknown creature resembling an two-headed ratite.  A sicklier-looking head appears to simply be capable of vomiting, while a second head shoots electricity.  Unable to fight it effectly, Faulkner is saved by a second [maybe the first?] tralgar, taking it down from behind.
  • He evades the tralgar, distracted consuming its quarry, almost crashing into a golem, which at the very least looks like it belongs in the tunnels.  Not exactly crazy about the idea of fighting something twice his height and who-knows-how-many-times in weight in stone, he runs past it.
  • It erupts into an ungodly loud sound as he escapes, physically painful to listen to [and breaking his crystal?  Where should his crystal get lost/break?]
  • Under the city center now (which is a circular path) a second, smaller but more agile construct stands in his way.  It seems more agile, stalling him while the first alarming one closes in.
  • The smaller golem apparently doesn't fight, only trying to body-block him. Just as the other one rounds the corner into sight, Faulkner improvises a desperate straight punch right into the smaller golem's chest core. Whether not expecting or simply not programmed to react, the blow severs its leg functions, and it collapses satisfyingly. Some part of Faulkner's arm is fractured.
  • Another small golem.  His fist still capable of feeling and usable, it nevertheless comes off slightly unstable from whatever it was that broke in his arm.  Faulkner thrusts his sword into the core, managing to cleanly take down that golem.  The softness of the cores surprises him.
  • The ground continues to shake with each step of the larger construct, providing ample inspiration for Faulkner to keep on.  Off a ways from the intersections, other creatures approach, and Faulkner doing his best to evade combat.
  • Without communication and with his position becoming a blurry afterthought from the constant maneuvering, he quickly loses his location.
  • Running an abnormally long time without a major, larger pathway, he suddenly remembers the Southeastern district had no major infrastructure - thus, he already passed the eastern branch.  He doubles back.
  • Suddenly standing on the return path is his final obstacle, a skeleton with ancient, near-stereotypical armor...military or gladiatorial?  Faulkner can't recall.
  • Wielding a maul inhumanly fast, the skeleton lands a solid blow  on Faulkner's already damaged arm - an instinctive, wobbly guard, and his arm goes limp, with its control, sensation and feedback decimated.
  • After some one-armed swordfighting, Faulkner is at a loss between the fight with his skilled undead opponent, the intense heat/exhaustion, and watching his back.  The straightforward fight is clearly a losing one.
  • He lies down, a move giving even the skeleton pause, and, propping up the back of his wrist with his real arm and sword [or using an environmental object?], aims his arcanical arm slightly upward, blasting the skeleton's armor backward with such force that it severs the head and one shoulder.
  • With the pounding getting closer (and a second set of massive steps coming into perception) Faulkner shambles onward, finding a ladder that he hopes is remotely correct and applicable to his destination.
  • Finally escaping to the cool, relatively freer air despite his limp arm and exhaustion, Faulkner takes a moment to recollect himself, laughing in relief.
  • He talks a passer-by [should I use Lisette here?] into jump-starting the arm's self-repair process, to his extent gratitude.  Though it is back to full function, some serious damage sustained on the outermost layer of the arm remains untouched.
  • Getting directions from a shop, he indeed came out of the tunnels in the correct district; lucky break.
  • The healer resides in a business that functions as one part apothecary, one part pharmacy, and another part private healing. Mixed signs greet Faulkner, as the visible doorway curtains indicate he is operating but the sign states he is done for the day.  In mid-afternoon.
  • He flips the sign up - it indicates he'll be back in the morning.  Faulkner turns the sign over, assuming human error. He continues inside. Silence. Things begin registering as 'not right'.
  • With an increasing pace, Faulkner moves beyond the storefront, from room to room, looking for some sign of the man or signs he is in danger.  He steps into the room farthest in the back. "Shit."
  • The room is littered with signs of a minimal struggle but what immediately catches Faulkner's attention is the blood caked all over the rear wall.
  • He steps forward, edging carefully around the desk getting a look at the body. Not to be found, in its place are a number of dried-out vital organs and chunks of stone strewn about. Suddenly, the stone head with a terrified scream on its face atop the table changes from being a questionable decoration to a piece of evidence bearing a whole lot of sense.
  • [Do I include the emblem from the professor's murder?]
  • Faulkner takes the head, deliberating for a moment, and puts it in his bag. Without hesitation he starts back for the impromptu saferoom.

Part 6Edit

  • Beaten, bruised, exhausted, bearing bitemarks and slashes and carrying the severed head of a man who may not even technically be dead, Faulkner embarks on the long road back "home".
  • Faulkner realizes he's in a pharmacy and grabs as many potential solutions as he can.
  • After a short beat, he takes some money from the rear room's ledgers as well.
  • In no good shape to run back, he breaks down quite quickly, in vision of a crowd of onlookers right at the "border" between East and Central.
  • Realizing the crowd's purpose, paired with the nature of the steel-lipped "border" and his sudden windfall of gray-area money, in moments Faulkner is on a trolley running a course revolving around central.
  • His wonder at arcanics is quickly overcome by exhaustion. With the aid of the droning noise, he dozes off.
  • Back to the same visions as before. Having two arms again as well as two swords, paying no mind whatsoever to it.
  • Faulkner and an unidentified male at a distance are going toe to toe with an apparition of some sort, in an expansive, cavernous-looking room.
  • Things quickly spiral out of control, in the hasty way only a nightmare can, and Faulkner looks back, screaming at the man behind, who is escaping and long gone.
  • Suddenly he is on his back, staring up at the ceiling with only an ominous rumbling and a seeming tidal wave water crashing over him.  The patterned surface current flows over his weakened body and face, and next he is awake in the professor's room.
  • Some chatter from her, and a time-lapse-esque scene of the rigging connecting the arm to his body coming to be bound to his shoulder.
  • A quick glimpse of the barebones prototype for his arm, and the announcement of his stop jerks him back awake. 
  • [Have them meet by sheer chance? Or should they be waiting at the stop? If the latter, how do they find out?] Faulkner encounters [Crooked Jr.], a relatively young, somewhat high-ranking guard he did not fight with, but recognizes from the first chase. He is accompanied by two generic guardsmen.
  • Sensing and playing off of his arrogance, Faulkner manages to talk CJ into a one-on-one fight. While faux-nonchalantly pointing, he blasts the other two guards with his arm's burst, hitting one square in the chests and the second in the shield (which is knocked upside his forehead), incapacitating them.
  • Rambling about mastery of a lost art, CJ draws two swords. They screw together to form a double sword.
  • The two have a brief dialogue regarding why exactly Faulkner is wanted. The discussion abruptly ends when the guardsmen are loudly accused, within potential earshot of many, of [Flameboss]'s murder and the potential payoff that would have led to it.
  • A brief skirmish ensues, with CJ quickly gaining an upper hand versus the exhausted Faulkner. He can't find a good opening between strikes, despite an arm that doubles as a shield - a relentless offense that seems to bounce back against guards or parries, leaving no opening, is cause for that.
  • Faulkner gets lucky and catches the blade with his arm, cutting the hand's feeler netting but completely disrupting the guardsman's rhythm - and composure.
  • Taking a cue, Faulkner vaguely compliments his abilities and weapon choice; it's not those, but him that hold back his fighting style, predictably making CJ even more angered and ineffective.
  • The fight resumes, with CJ now irate and more impulsive. The second round becomes a thoroughly one-sided affair; CJ overstrikes and inaccurately attacks, allowing Faulkner to easily parry and block to throw him off balance.
  • Faulkner gets a number of hits in, with both his arm and the (blunt) side of his sword.
  • With CJ now bleeding on his knees, Faulkner starts to depart the scene - he has places to be.
  • CJ produces a small handheld device ("something new") from under his sleeves and fires it at Faulkner, shooting a small yet potent arc of lightning. Faulkner's arm's anti-magic field repels the brunt of the blast but it snakes around and strikes him on the left shoulder, bringing him down easily.
  • Faulkner, incapacitated, is slowly approached by CJ, keeping his distance for fear of the electricity arcing from his opponent being contagious. His true face exposed, CJ's comments quickly turn sadistic.
  • "Why do you really want me?"
  • CJ gives an explanation about incentivization of doing the right thing. (This echoes an earlier line of Faulkner's quite closely, albeit not quite as altruistically, nevertheless serving as a wake-up call of sorts regarding his mentality, later on.)
  • While they had been talking, Faulkner's sword had slowly been "soaking up" the electricity, freeing him. Rising, now it's Faulkner's turn to get angry.
  • With his supercharged sword feeding the overflow power directly into him, Faulkner presses the offensive moving at a speed well beyond his normal limits.
  • CJ is put squarely on the defensive. Between the rage subsiding and sudden direness, his guarding becomes competent, but he still cannot keep up.
  • Constantly slashing at the pommel(s), Faulkner breaks the connector plate of the double sword in two, literally breaking CJ's guard. Attempting to muster an off-balance counterattack, he instead gets a steel arm in the chest, dropping his swords and rolling a couple of times.
  • Faulkner kicks a grounded CJ in the jaw and lifts him into the air by his lapel, ["What do you know about the right thing? I'll show you the right thing."] After some hesitation, he lets go, letting the defeated guard crumple like a ragdoll.
  • "You're alive; don't make me regret it." Faulkner kicks one of CJ's swords down the way, before departing. Unable to stand, he is even more furious. [Is this line too dark?] [Have CJ yell something back?]
  • Without any further incident, Faulkner reaches the building over the saferoom, descending into the basement.
  • Raye is mostly healthy. Upon his return, she meets him outside, and immediately lashes out for his dropping contact: part concerned, part annoyed.
  • [In a nutshell. They argue and he walks out, giving her the medicine, and either she stops him or he apologizes or something, or he leaves to the Roost and comes back later. Italics are to be determined.]
  • He responds in kind with her convenient omission of there being any monsters in the tunnels. (Presuming her "you'll be fine" earlier was alluding to that.)
  • Unable to come up with a response to that, she changes the subject - the lack of her healer and his lateness. Faulkner shows her the stone head he picked up in response.
  • At the sight and comprehension of this, she promptly freaks out.
  • Trying to comfort her, she pushes him away and blames him. [Geez, this sounds like a bunch of unfortunate implications.]
  • He takes the defensive, mentioning how he put himself on the line, and the implication that he could even do what happened to her healer is an insult. He also knows close to nothing about the city, a fact her secretiveness isn't helping.
  • She says it was his choice to stick around; he says he didn't have much of one, between getting roped into whatever her deal is and the payment she has yet to deliver on.
  • She comments on his questionable motives/moral compass, his disappearing for long periods and she brings in the head, which they're likely tracking the location now.
  • Faulkner reveals his arm can sense magic...could, until she gave the mark to him without his consent - the mark, he adds, that completely failed to protect him from the guards. He storms out.
  • Moments later, he returns to give her all the stupid medicine and food he brought back for her. 
  • With the two finally coming down, he brings up the tunnels and the beasts again.
  • He walks her through the trip, including the offhand comments made by CJ.
  • But, there was nothing to indicate any kind of magic embedded in the head. At the mention of a lack of energy, a weird sense of relief washes over Raye.
  • She explains that he was like a father to her, hinting at how her real family isn't so great.
  • [more]
  • Raye expresses a semi-formalized request to hire Faulkner. She wants him to find [Healer]'s killer.

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