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Martial ArtsDeadManSeven/B>

<I>The Audacious Dancer lifts his hands above his head to clap, beginning the beat, and his feet follow suit. He does not rush towards his opponent, but leaps and spins across a stage. His attacks are not clumsy blows; each is part of his practised routine, and his victory is merely part of the choreography.DeadManSeven/I>
<I>Through the chaos of a battlefield, two elite warriors are singled out. They approach each other, bow, and draw their blades. There is a swift clash of steel, and then stillness as one weapon glides between a join in the armour to strike a vital point. Her enemy is defeated; the Ever-Vigilant Soldier is victorious.DeadManSeven/I>
<I>She stands alone and outnumbered, but this is no concern to her. She charges her opponents, and the winds lift her high in the air above their heads. Their arrows are useless, as the angry winds steer them away. Swift as a storm rolling across the plains, the Soaring Wind-Rider descends. As she crouches over their fallen captain, the soldiers that meet her glare will know they are next.DeadManSeven/I>
<I>It had been a good fight. Clearly he had been outgunned from the beginning, but he took down more of their men than those bastards took of his. Now he was the only one remaining, his rounds spent, his hair singed, and his body on the edge ready for more. He leapt from behind his cover, anima flaring like a bonfire, and pumped essence into his last shot.DeadManSeven/I>
<I>She rushes the pirate captain from across the deck, his blows futile as striking the ocean. She twists and swirls like the angry waters below, and draws close enough to swallow her enemy within her personal storm. A wave licks over the side of the ship and swallows them both; only one will emerge.DeadManSeven/I>
<I>The Clockwork Warrior's defences were baffling. How could such simple katas work against such skilled opponents? Though their execution was perfect, their simplistic nature made the defeat humiliating. And the ultimate technique! Nothing but the same attack, repeated over and over relentlessly. Signs of being inelegant and uncreative, clearly.DeadManSeven/I>
<I>The drunk will not stay down. Not after he took a punch square in the face. Not after tables were upturned, chairs were broken, windows were shattered. Not after the whole damn bar had taken a shot at him. He just sways in the centre of the wreckage, and takes another swig.DeadManSeven/I>
<I>You think you feel eyes watching you, but that's just the presence of darkness. You thought you heard a noise a moment ago, but that could have been just in your imagination. You hardly feel the knife slide in through your back, and the sudden chill that follows. You are very aware, however, of the poison running through your body like wildfire, as the Furtive Rat vanishes into the night to find her next target.DeadManSeven/I>
<I>The Ghost-Bat perched upon the temple's tower, watching. One of the villagers unwittingly stepped inside the shadow she cast on the ground and felt a chill, certain on a primal unthinking level his life would soon end. Smiling to herself, the martial artist gracefully flew from the tower and circled the crowd. This village had not yet paid the full price for crossing her, but it would. Very soon, it would.DeadManSeven/I>
<I>The first student floated gracefully like a leaf in the breeze, raining arrows on the targets. The second student writhed and twisted like the growing branches, evading attack and returning them threefold with his whirling staff. The third student stood stronger than deeply-rooted oaks; blows not caught by her twisting seven-section staff glanced off her gnarled skin. The master observed and smiled, knowing his students were on the path to their final lesson from him.DeadManSeven/I>
<I>The Gambler waited patiently, casually tossing a coin as the two guards explained the charges of cheating and fixing tables. When he said he wouldn't be arrested, the two advanced on him. However, that was the moment the straps on the first guard's armour came loose, just as the second guard stumbled, stabbing his comrade. How unfortunate.DeadManSeven/I>
<I>The monster had already cut down two of their number from ambush, but now he was cornered. They advanced, and with a flurry of limbs and cracking of bones, they could fight no longer. The Merciless Fiend stood over their broken forms, guttural laughter escaping from his cold lips. That he could find such pain amusing revealed how inhuman he had become.DeadManSeven/I>
<I>The chase proceeded through the graveyard, over the tops of the mausoleums and darting between the memorial stones. His prey was almost cornered, when she passed under the shadow of a crypt and disappeared from sight. He stopped, waiting and watching for her to reappear. She did not reappear in the graveyard that night, but she did reach through the black maelstrom that surrounded her pursuer moments later to snap his neck, finishing the chase.DeadManSeven/I>
<I>The Poet was alone, surrounded, and yet could not be taken by the Soldier's army. The blows rained down from a legion of ghostly essence-composed troops, and each one was blocked in a magnificent display of shining light. The Poet and the Soldier locked eyes, and then bowed, flickered, faded, and disappeared. In their place was the master of Conflict, pleased at the day's training.DeadManSeven/I>
<I>For a moment you thought the Grey Liar was waiting beneath the tree, but that can't have been true. He draws the blood of your companion next to you, but as you go to strike him, not only does he bat away your weapon with a maniac grin, he was just too far away to hit anyway. He's behind you now, and you turn for a moment, but don't spot him, when he appears in front of you - his location all along - and buries his knife in your heart.DeadManSeven/I>
<I>The fight was not going well. He couldn’t seem to land a single strike, even though he was sure his opponent wasn’t going to block, and with each attack he felt a stinging pain in his hand, as if being near her was damaging; this was swiftly descending into futility. It was hours later that he discovered the needles the student of Change had been pricking him with; dozens in his hand alone, each perfectly centred on a pressure point.DeadManSeven/I>
<I>The student of the Perse Winds stands atop the Imperial Mountain, and closes her eyes. A gentle breeze drifts past her, bringing news of her prey. She takes aim and fires, trusting the wind to aid her. Thousands of miles away, the arrow slays her target in a teahouse in Nexus.DeadManSeven/I>
<I>A herald enters the room and sings her praises, and a procession of dancers precludes her arrival. All witnessing her entrance must bow their heads, for the master of the Vermeil Snare is too perfect to look upon. They know that to gaze too long at her beauty is to be bound to her; though the consequences of such bondage are obvious, the desire to look is strong.DeadManSeven/I>
<I>The students gasped as the master threw off his cloak. His body was marked in every place with a fine intricate script. At first they looked like tattoos, but it only took his students a moment to realise they were scars. "My life is written in my flesh," he said, "Each mark a man I once saved. This is what it means to be a guardian."DeadManSeven/I>

<B>Other StuffDeadManSeven/B>

Making Familiar a bit less of a gimped Background.
Quickly patching the Lunars without a total overhaul.
An unfinished SMA.

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