Lexington strolled down the quiet streets of Lowtown, his feet shuffling through mounds of confetti and half-eaten snackfood. The holiday had come and gone; the rememberance celebrations ended before midnight, but the leftovers of slothful Khazan party-goers still littered the alleys. Lex groaned as a pair of drunken hooligans collapsed their way out of a bar, nearly tearing the door off of its hinges. They cackled and pointed at the broken doorknob without the slightest bit of care. "Pathetic," Lexington whispered as a cold wind passed under his chin, "To think that people would use this day as an excuse to get drunk and make asses of themselves. It oughta be a crime. Damn shame. Anybody on this planet ever hear of a little thing called moderation?" The inebriated citizens stumbled around in front of him before moving aside. "Great place!" One of them shouted abruptly as they passed by. "That so..." Lex said, replying only to his own thoughts. He took in a deep breath and watched the whisps escape from his mouth as he exhaled. A profusion of noises broke the quiet atmosphere of the alley when he entered the establishment; the bar was barely lit and fairly small, with circular tables cramped into the center-floor, not an arms reach away from one another. The people inside barely noticed his entrance; they were all obviously drunk, or at least well on their way to being so. Here was the rare breed of celebrators who stayed up all night, drinking all of their troubled memories away with the miracles of alcohol. He forced his way around the crowded floor, hearing the unpleasant sound of peanut shells bursting beneath his feet as he approached the bartender. "I'll take a Vorasca Double-Cider." Lex exclaimed, his voice struggling to overtake the incomprehensible chatter of the crowd. The bartender, a puffy, jovial man, turned around as he wiped some drinking glasses. "Interesting tastes," he said in a deep but contented voice, "I haven't seen you in here before." "You think so?" Lex said as he looked around the bar. "I know so!" The bartender replied proudly. "A guy with a leather jacket like that; it might be a little beaten up, but still, I'd recognize customers who had such fancy clothes. No sir, you aren't from around LowTown." Lexington let out a sarcastic laugh as he received his drink. "Fancy? Well...anyways I'm not from around here anymore, but Lowtown is where I grew up. 'Got to come back here every once and a while." "Yeah," the bartender replied, shifting his eyes towards Lex's forehead, "What's with the bandana? Haven't seen one of those in a long time." Lex tilted his head and touched the sides of the crimson headband. "Not really a bandana really. Guess you could say it's a gift from a girl I know." "Oh, I see," the bartender knodded knowingly, "Means a lot to you then?" "What the headband?" "No, the girl!" the bartender retorted. Lex took a large gulp to finish off his drink and slowly set the glass on the counter. "Yeah, you could say that. You sure are talkative for a bartender, you know that?" The man laughed heartily. "I don't know why other people became bartenders Mr...." "Lexington Miles. Just call me Lex, I don't really care." "Right," the bartender said, "But I became a bartender to meet people. Want another drink?" "No thanks," Lexington said with his hand raised, "Only came for one. You choose a helluva place to meet people...lowtown. I remember the kind of people that go to late night bars in this place..." A glass flew past Lexington's face and smashed into the wall, startling the bartender and breaking all conversation.. Lexington kept his back to the assailant, but looked up into mirrors along the back wall to see a rowdy man stand up from his table and cry out "What the hell kind of food is this!?" "Yeah," a second person at the table affirmed, "Hey Charlie, I think you're starting to slip. You wouldn't want to lose our business now would ya!" Laughter broke out among them. The bartender shook his head with an unpleasant expression, "Now those guys...they are regulars." "All six of them?" Lexington asked. "Sure, they're a bit of a gang." "I heard that Charlie!" one of them shouted. "You want a gang? We can be like that! All right everyone, you know the routine, it's after midnight, I think y'all should start clearing out for us!" A number of people immediately dropped their drinks and headed for the door. A young waitress rushed towards the entrance as well, but one of the men hurriedly stepped in front of her. "Not you. You can definitely stay." "Get out of my way," she declared, wrestling her arm away from him as he grabbed for her. Just as she began to move away he seized her long hair and violently pulled her back. "You want to act like that?" He backhanded her to the floor, causing immediate silence among the evacuating crowd. "You do what we tell you to, and you speak to us with some manners," the man stated as he pointed a finger at her accusingly. "All right, that's enough!" Lex shouted as he threw himself up from the bar stool and turned to face them, "I've had just about enough of you guys." "Oh look, another wannabe hero coming to the miss's rescue." the man laughed as he gestured towards his friends. "I think this guy don't like the way I treated this bitch here." "There's that..." Lexington explained with a harsh, gruff voice, "and there's the fact that I can't stand you're irksome voice anymore. What are you guys anyways, look like a bunch of low class thugs to me"--his eyes moved to an expressionless man with long dark hair that seemed to stand out--"you the leader of this motley crew?" "So what if I am...just a common thug right," the leader suddenly smiled and snapped his fingers. The other four men around the leader immediately jumped out of their seats and joined the man who had struck the woman. "Time you knew your place," one of them said as they walked towards Lex, "I don't know where you come from, but around here, in this region, we rule." Lex scratched his head and smiled, "This region? What, this whole alley? I'm impressed, you guys are going far. Tell you what"--he cracked his knuckles excitedly--"since this is...your place...I won't give you such a bad beating." "The guy thinks he can take all five of us!" One of the men shouted hysterically. "Numbers don't mean anything." Lexington said as a strange light gleamed across his right forearm. The light stretched out across his skin, etching an unusual marking across the surface. "You shouldn't take me too lightly. I did fight in the War of Drekis you know."
Grace and Strength as One
Martial Arts: Standard
"I don't care if you're a Reaver!" one of the men shouted confidently. He ran towards Lex in a peculiar fashion, obviously under the influence of alcohol. Lex could only laugh as the man staggered forward, C'mon, I think you started running an hour ago! You going to get hear anytime soon?" "Shut up!" the punk uttered as he took an awkward swing at the reaver. Lex swiftly ducked and countered with a fast blow to the jaw; the attacker shook his head from the blow but recovered. In fact, if anything he looked to be more competant. With a furious roar the man put all of his weight forward and threw punches one after the other. Lexington stepped back accordingly, effortlessly blocking each strike with circular motions of his right arm. "I'm going to assume that this is because you're drunk," Lexington spat out, "but you're fighting style is an unmitigated disaster. Seriously though, the same uninspired punch over and over again. Utterly predictable." The assailant sneered as he reered back and released a powerful uppercut, but by the time his fist completed the swing Lexington was already to the side. Before the man could look down Lex punched him three times in the stomach and gave him a high knee-jab to the chest. The thug bent over to gasp for air, but instead found Lexington's fierce fist crashing into his face. The first attacker, having recovered from Lexington's opening kick, pulled himself off of the ground just as the second thug hit it. The other three men joined him while the leader sat at the table, his chin resting on his hands as he watched impassionately. "Not bad little man," one of them said, "but lets see how well you do against all of us!" The mob rushed him, but their timing was off, and they showed no sign of an attack strategy at all. One of them would get ahead of the others, allowing Lexington to strike him with a high kick to the forehead as he approached. The others moved to retaliate, but by the time they could get within arms reach Lex weeved between them. "Too slow," Lex muttered as he elbowed an assailant between the eyes. The remaining three circled around him and converged, but with quick reflexes Lex flipped over the one behind him, using his hands to bounce off of the burly thug's shoulders and launch into the air. The perplexed trio looked up just as Lexington brought his foot across the tallest one's bewildered mug; simultaneously, he stretched his left arm out and struck another just below the neck. The third tried to throw a punch as Lexington landed, but before he could complete the move the reaver gave him an open-palm strike to the chest, sending him flying backwards. The one who had taken the elbow shot wiped the blood away from his face as he struggled to stand. "Damn it! Fight like a man, stop all this hopping around!" he demanded. "So it's not very manly you say? Well, call it what you want, but last I checked, I wasn't the one getting his ass handed to him on a silver platter." "You little shit...you think you can take us down just because you get a few lucky punches in!?" The thug's voice was loud, but there was fear behind it. "Luck?" Lexington snickered. "Luck has nothing to do with it. 'Doesn't take much effort to take down a bunch of losers like you. You guys have no style, no grace. You're just a bunch of muscles with no skill behind them. What good are those if you can't even hit your opponent? Strength, without grace, is nothing!"
Martial Supremacy: Supreme
"How does your grace like this!" One of the men abruptly jumped at him, knife in hand. The gleaming blade came down, plunging towards Lexington's eyes. Lex raised his arm and the blade skimmed across his skin; the onlookers, having expected the knife to dive into the flesh of his arm, uttered profane terms of disbelief as the blade shattered into pieces, leaving neither a cut or a bruise upon him. "What's a matter, surprised?" Lex said as the wielder of the weapon dropped the blade-less handle and shook his head with a whimper. The symbol of light that was etched into Lex's arm became brighter, glowing with an intense ferocity. "This is the Blade Rune," Lex continued, "It makes my whole body a lot tougher than yours. If the rest of you are thinking about trying your weapons against me I'd advise against it; most of the power of this Rune is concentrated in my hands. The power emitted around my fingers is so concentrated that a knife-hand blow could cleanly cut through you like it was a sword." One of the thugs, apparently the stupidest among them, grabbed a chair and tried to strike Lex over the head. "You fool!" Lex exclaimed as he waved his hand through the air. His gesture met with the crashing chair in mid-attack, cutting the wooden fixture in half and just narrowly missing the assailants fingers. Rearing his hands back in fear, the thug dropped the remaining half of the chair and backed off. "I already told you," Lex explained, "I could cut you all down with one blow from my hand. Try to actually think about that for a second and maybe you're realize that giving up is your best solution."
"You won't be so tough..." one of the thugs said with a short laugh, "When we do this..." He tossed a slightly broken drinking glass at Lex, catching him off guard and hitting him straight in the face. Shards of glass and spouts of alcohol spilled across his eyes. "Damn you!" Lex sneered. "Have to resort to this kind of fighting? Now I'm really pissed!" Lex quickly passed his right hand in front of his forehead, barely touching the skin with the tips of his fingers. Another light appeared, this time etching a new symbol across his forehead, shining directly below the headband. Immediately he could see one of the assailants coming in from the left, and another circling behind him. With a brutal grasp he seized the first man's arm, stopping his attack and throwing him into a fit of confusion. With his hands tightly wrapped around arm he pulled the thug into the path of the second opponent; by the time the two of them could realize what was happening Lex had already given the first man a fast roundhouse to the back, sending him crashing head first into the second. "What the hell!" one of them cried as they fell to the ground. "I blinded you! Son of a bitch!" "That you did." Lexington acknowledged. He smiled as he looked around at the other men. He could feel their stunned expressions. No matter how silently they stalked, he could see everything they did. The SightRune presented Lex with a sight that went beyond those of mortal eyes. It's magical energy illuminated the blind darkness, giving him a perception that was perhaps greater than normal sight. "What's wrong? The attacks have stopped." Lex smiled as he wiped away the glass shards and stale beer. "Well, looks like you didn't do any real damage to my eyes. That's good, I might have actually killed you guys if you had, but then again, you guys are too pathetic. You aren't really a threat to anyone, but I suppose some time cleaning up your own blood and resting in the Lowtown prison is in order."
Swift Rune I
"Enough of this!" Lex declared. "Time to take you all out!" The Sight Rune disapeared as he scribed a new rune into his forehead. The light of the Swift Rune emerged with the appearance of swirling winds that flew around his body, hurling debris and trash into the air. Lex's physical body became distorted, and in an instant he was gone. "What the hel..." one of the thugs attempted to utter his comment, but was cut off when a punch sent him into the floor with such force that his head smashed through the wooden planks. The others spun around to retaliate, but found no opponent. "W...wait...there..." one of the thugs whimpered as a blur of fast-paced footsteps came into view. Each impact clearly threw dust and junk around, but the body itself was little more than a blur...
Swift Rune II
Super Speed: Standard
...and by the time they had even noticed the blur he was already in front of them. The first one took what appeared to be one hit, but in reality the obscure blow had been six seperate strikes, all to different areas of the thug's body. Before the bloodied man could hit the ground Lex had aleady came upon the others, punching them all numerous times at such speeds that it looked like one unbelievable motion.
The Swirling Winds
Weather Control: Standard
Desperate to counter the lightning-fast assault, the few remaining men lashed out at the cloudy figure of Lexington. Even if they came close to touching him they were soon hurled away by the swirling winds that the Swift Rune summoned around him. Like a miniature tornado it hovered around him, though the collateral damage caused by the horrific gusts was minimal. Only the assailants, and they tried to force thier attacks through, were blown back by the furious storm that he emitted.
Psychic Vampire: Standard
After the Swift Rune had been cast, the chaotic battle had lasted only a fleeting moment. The swirling winds died down, and as Lexington abruptly became visible again the five men fell unconscious on the wooden floor. "They won't be getting up again." Lexington said as he turned his head slightly to stare at the leader. "My, you are an quite a rough fighter. A Rune Sorceror...never seen one who blended his arcane arts with such a frivolous fighting style." "So you think it's funny then?" Lex asked as he turned to face him. The leader shrugged as he finally stood up and left his table. "You may have beaten down my men, but...I'm not impressed." "Is that so," Lex replied, "Yeah, I sensed that you weren't exactly a normal thug. You must have really sunk low to depend on guys like these as your henchmen though; 'guess its true what they say, good help is hard to find these days." "Enough of this talk," the man said sternly. "Tell me your name, reaver, so that I may write it on your grave in the back-alleys of Lowtown." "How about you tell me yours," Lex laughed, "so that I know how much money may or may not be on that ugly head of yours?" "As if you were a bounty hunter..." the man sneered, suddenely he was in front of Lex, already in mid-swing. Surprised by the voracity of the attack, Lex barely moved back enough to avoid having his throat slit by the menacing energy blades that had formed just above the man's fingers. The claws were only seven or eight inches long, but no doubt they were deadlier than any normal edge. "Time to die!" The menacing enemy blurred out and appeared behind him. The Swift Rune reactivated and at once Lex dodged the initial slash, but the man's insane perseverence never wavered; with each move Lex made the man followed, slashing at him in with a different style of attack each time. "So you're not as dull minded as your men!" Lex shouted as a close slash cut the surface of his cheek. The Blade Rune formed over his arm, and as the sinister foe lunged forward for another attack he countered with his fastest knife-hand. Their attacks met eachother with a loud clang, and both fighters staggered back as they lost their balance. "Not bad," the villain said in a raspy voice, "But that won't save you for long." "So the Blade Rune won't work on a powerful guy like you? Well, no problem, I have something else up my sleeve as well." Just as the leader began to move, Lex stretched out both of his arms, palm over palm, and a new symbol of light appeared over his front hand. "Soul Rune!" Lex yelled. His cry was followed by a burst of radiance that filled the entire establishement. A beam of bright, fluctuating colors engulfed the enemy, but when the blast dissapated there was no physical damage to the location. The leader fell to his knees as the pain overtook him. It was unlike anything that he had ever suffered before--a pain that he didn't feel in his body, but rather, somewhere beyond. He felt as if his entire sense of self was blurring, and all of his senses began to fail. "Damn you, what did you do to me!?" he demanded. "The Soul Rune," Lex stated, "A power that attacks a person's soul, not their body." "Nonsense!" the leader said defiantly. He slowly raised up from the floor and reformed the energy claws around his fingers. "You will not beat me with such trickery. Your attacks are interesting, Reaver, but far too weak."
Judgement of the Soul
Matter Animation: Superior
- Ranged Attack Only
The leader had just stood to his full height when he suddenly doubled over in pain. A bright blue light spewed from his mouth, then leaked from his eyes. In seconds his entire body was coated in the azure glow while his skin seemed to fizzle and burn. The light around his body became like a consuming flame as the pain increased. Each passing second brought more torment, increasingly building to ridiculous levels. "No! What!? You...you said...not the body!" "There is one little side effect I forgot to mention," Lex said as he brushed off his clothes, "The Soul Rune doesn't just attack your soul, it sort of passes judgement on it. No big deal really, it just sorts out how tainted or evil your soul is. The damage that the Soul Rune does ultimately depends on you. If you had been a good person, you probably wouldn't be feeling any pain at all. If you had some sins on your hand, you'd probably feel some discomfort, but the damage wouldn't get too physical. But now you're feeling the pain, so my initial guess must have been right...you're one serious asshole! Maybe you're even taking the full extent of the damage." "No, you won't..." the man's words became weak as he stretched his claws out. He tried to maintain his stance, tried to reach Lex's face with those shimmering blades, but the pain was unbearable and constant. Before long he collapsed, first to his knees, and then to the floor as he passed out. The blazing light around his body dimmed and then phased out. The bar was silent once more. "Well, I suppose that's that." Lex said, dusting off his hands. "Not bad for a warm up I suppose." He gazed around at the damage--which wasn't as bad as he thought it would be--and realized that no one had gotten hurt. No one else, that is. "These guys must have regularly given the citizens some hell...they knew to bolt as soon as the trouble started." A small rustle caught his attention; he spun around quickly to find the bartender, Charlie, emerging from behind the bar counter. "Hey there Charlie," Lex said with a wave, "You know what, for the hell of it I think I'll take that second drink."