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- "Don't get restricted by what everyone wants you to do. You'll be trapped if you do and from there, you'll likely surrender. If anything, do what you want to do for yourself and not for everyone else. If you can do things for yourself, that shows strength. You've gotta remember that without you, there is nothing for you and if you don't do for you, no one else will. Never give in, never surrender, and never forget your strength."
- — Temperance, as she berates Ky.
Biography of Temperance Rivera
Being born to Bartholomew Rivera and Ai Kisaragi, Temperance was lucky to grow up within the rich trading islands of Spain. These were the Canary Islands. These islands had grown popular for trade and brought vast amounts of wealth to Spain itself. This wealth led to the Canaries to take on several attacks. She was taken and sheltered during the attacks by pirates and privateers. In 1580 her pregnant mother and father had taken her (unborn) into hiding during the assault upon the Canaries only to find that Lanzarote, a governor, was captured and then later ransomed and then released. It was shortly after this attack that her family left the Canaries and moved closer to Europe. With her father's connections and her mother's skill in craft, there was not much a limitation as to where they could settle. From a small town, they then relocated into Europe itself. Her family settled not too far from the East Rhine Valley, which would prove to be a fatal mistake.
In 1591, her family was stricken with fear as the rumors of a rampaging knight had reached their ears. Of course, her father claimed that it is but one man, and one man alone was not enough to kill hundreds. Especially when there had been a brief period of peace to where the knight was no longer seen. Sadly, he was proven wrong. Their town was attacked by a lone knight later that week and her parents took a young Temperance and fled. From town to town they ran, but it appeared as if nowhere had been safe.
Temperance had lost many of her friends to the knight. It soon came to the fact that as soon as a rumor reached her ears about Nightmare attacking, she immediately told her parents and soon, they left. They feared the knight of azure armor. As he was spotted, each and every time, her parents took her and fled. Their home was always left in ruin with few survivors if any in the wake of his massacres. The first time she was separated from her parents brought an utmost regret of fear to her.
It was one rushed evacuation when Temperance was separated from her parents; she panicked and even cried when she knew not of their whereabouts. All she could do was run. Men who stood to protect their wives and children were cut down before her and children where grabbed by a hideously grotesque arm and within seconds, they ceased to move. Their corpse was then flung into the nearest object and if it were a wall, the corpse splattered against it or went cleanly through it.
Like a coward, she ran. Even when the knight of azure armor extended his clawed arm in her direction, she pushed another bystander in the way and he took them instead as she fled; feeding the lamb to the wolf so to speak.
Two days had passed and the screams had yet to cease. Temperance had grown exhausted and shambling as she had been doing for the past day on what she chalked up to adrenaline. In the end, she finally collapsed due to fatigue. As she lie face down in the dirt ground, she wondered if the knight would pass her by due to her position or if he would impale her through the back. Either way she could do nothing about it.
That is until she began to crawl.
Her parents had fought long and hard to keep her alive as well as themselves. They fought their fear of being captured and killed. So why should she allow herself to simply give up? As she crawled, with her face to the ground, she was spotted by someone. It was not the knight. It was a girl. She pointed out that Temperance had been nearby and that she did not appear to be wounded. Seconds later, two older boys came out of hiding and lent her their aid. She passed out soon after that.
When she came to, she found herself in the company of a small group of peers. They had food, water, and decent shelter. At the moment, she was proud to simply be alive, but that all changed when she thought of what could have happened to her parents. Deep down, she wanted to go out and search for them, but that would not be the wisest of things to do, especially in her current condition. She needed rest. She had kept to herself due to how tired she was and spent most of her first days among them sleeping.
Mariam, a blond youth whom was in hiding gave a young Temperance some advice. This advice was to at least try to talk to people, since keeping up with everyone and talking made things easier. Temperance grudgingly took the advice of the girl and slowly but surely, she befriended those around her.
Six years had passed and it was now 1597; in the middle of summer when reinforcement had arrived. Though it mattered none for they were not even safe. Despite Nightmare being killed by the very same white knight she and her parents had crossed paths with years before, there were even more rumors from scattered survivors speaking of such things of a Holy Stone and manner other things which would deliver them from peril yet, those which followed the knight were still prowling the area; lizards as tall as a fully grown man and other creatures which stalked the shadows of both day and night.
This area was not far from Ostrheinsburg to begin with and as she had heard over the course of her stay, this land was supposedly cursed. Despite being nearly fifty miles (she guessed) from where her home was, she assumed it to be overrun with those things by now. A tear ran down her face as she thought of her mother being eaten alive while her father could do nothing but watch.
Rising from her previous position, she wondered if she should return to her home here to see or if she should return to the Canary Islands. She wished she could have told her parents to meet her at the Islands but wishes never came true. That much she knew.
Temperance slept little due to the knowledge of these creatures. Many times a day survivors were found and killed. Some screamed. Some merely died without much a sound. Though the beasts howled whenever they killed and immediately devoured the remains of their victims upon the very spot they had died; two weeks had passed since the last howl was heard and she had become anxious. In the time of two years, she had grown accustomed to what she believed the world had become and instead of running, she chose to fight. Using a makeshift weapon which was comprised of two sickles for gathering wheat and a chain, Temperance wielded a lethal weapon.
Along with being naturally agile as well as nimble, she had learned how to use her twin sickles effectively in combat.
Temperance, (having regained her strength after being attacked by two reptilian warriors while scouting for food) wanted to search for her mother and father, yet, it was ill-advised. Despite her best defense on the matter, it was pointed out to her that if she left, there would be no taking her back in for if she were to run into those lizards and try to enter once more, she would lead the lizards to them and ultimately, Temperance would have killed them all. She wanted to argue about it, yet looking to the smallest children, she knew that her personal gain could cost the smallest child a life which they have not the chance to live. So again, she retired to what was made her room.
It had been six years since she had last seen her parents and as she was now, Temperance was seventeen years old. She missed them dearly for it was not their fault for them to be separated, it was due to the collapsing dwelling around them and when Nightmare spotted her, she ran while he gave chase. That led to the Sacrificial Lamb which she practically helped the knight kill while she made her escape. Unbeknownst to her was that her parents continued to flee and had also tried to search for her but were halted due to the knight.
Later that night, she kept watch while discussing the new threat which they now faced as well as a common one. Ariel had told her of the beings which some were referring to as demons but they had a more common name.
These beings were called The Malfested. Some were human while others appeared to be from only that of actual nightmares. The reptilian beasts were of their horde and Temperance had killed several of them with help as well as alone.
As she spoke to Ariel about the situation, they were attacked. Temperance protected Ariel from certain death and the lizard which had attempted to retreat was killed as well. Temperance had chased the beast and climbed atop a small shack and then from there, a partially destroyed dwelling. She leapt and tackled the beast yet before it could lock its slavering jaws around her, she tightened the chained sickles around its neck and with three unsuccessful jerks, the final one snapped its neck.
Immediately after that, she drug the body and then lifted it. From there, she tossed it over a small drop and watched it as it sank to the bottom of the river below. Regrouping with Ariel, she tended to Ariel's wounds and they both made their way back to their home.
Their numbers were dwindling. Over the course of six years, many of those whom had stayed here have been killed. Only Temperance and Gallagher remained as the original survivors and Gallagher was the one whom had been in charge of everything. They were on good terms and she counted on him just as he counted on her for he was the tactician while she was the faster fighter.
Days had passed since they returned only to find that few of them had left or were leaving. Though, additional screams were heard later those days and as such, it was assumed what had happened.
It was near the end of August as well as the fact that her birthday had just passed, making her eighteen years old. Temperance had reached the point of maturity. Or rather, her body did. She bled freely from her orifice and only two survivors knew what to do. One newcomer named Xavier and Ariel (whom she has known for three years now) had helped her get through her menstruation and as this was done, she, Ariel, often toyed with the young Temperance in ways that no child should truly know. Xavier also enjoyed himself yet, this was with Ariel.
The other children and teenagers were oblivious to their acts, yet, as Temperance watched, she wanted to try herself. So she did. Ariel, expressing her curiosity, she tested Temperance out and when she had finished, Temperance would never look at another woman the same. After this experiment, the group had been found by Mercenaries whom were searching the area due to a rumor of possible survivors which were supposedly nothing but children. After they were saved, Ariel and Xavier were separated, however; she still had Temperance. Seeing that Temperance had no family of her own, she was to stay with Ariel which she gladly accepted.
Gallagher had been reunited with his mother. However, before they all parted their ways, she spent time with him. They exchanged history. The lives they led before the Nightmare. It was nice. As he stood, he helped her up and with a single arm, he lifted his blade and allowed it to rest on his shoulder. As he looked to her, she noticed that he had stolen a quick glance of her breasts, yet before he could leave she took hold of his hand.
"One kiss fer' the road?" Gallagher stammered for a few seconds, however, she guided him through his nervousness. With her arms wrapped around his neck and his arms around her waist, she pulled him in and licked his lips before placing her own upon his. She could still taste the potato and bread upon his tongue and found lashish within his cheeks.
It seemed almost a perfect end to a day, however, she knew well-enough that they were not married, nor were they even with one another. As they separated. She looked into his eyes; those beautiful blue eyes of his and saw one thing which she did not expect.
"We probably should've done this sooner..."
"Aw, you gettin' sentimental on me? Or just outright sweet?" He now eyed her.
"Would you blame me?" He asked with a smirk.
"Hell no. I'd be insulted if you didn't like it."
He now looked away from her before opening his mouth.
"You were the first to lock lips with me after all..."
"As were you to me...but..." She paused as she reached behind him. "I do like this skirt..." She added as she lifted his blade upward from the ground.
Seeing that he released her and made a motion towards his left shoulder, she assumed that he had forgotten all about his great sword.
"Do worry 'bout it." Handing him the weapon, he was slightly amazed that she could lift the weapon with such ease. However, seeing her muscles, he was not that surprised at all.
Gazing out to the dying night, she idly asked a rhetorical question:
"We'll be seeing each other again, yeah?"
She looked over her shoulder as she heard a soft cutting sound behind her. Before she could turn around completely, she felt his arms embrace her. With his chin resting on her head, he gave his answer:
"Of course. Someone's going to need to kill all the damn lizards right?" She laughed as she held his hands with her own.
"Damn right." He stood there with her for a time after the sun had risen, before eventually releasing her. Taking his blade in hand, he wished her well and not to have too much fun without him.
"What's too much fun?"
"You know what I mean Brass." She watched him as he walked around the rubble and then out of her sight. However, she felt that she owed him at least a little sometihng more. After she caught up with him, she saw that he stood near a caravan and had helped his mother into it. Quickly approaching, she called out to him:
"Hey, Gallagher!" Setting his blade upon the caravan, he stopped and met her half way. "Two things." She said as she held up two fingers.
"Give me your arm." Following her orders, he extended his arm and watched her take it. Her palm firmly gripped his forearm as he did the same with hers. "We'll make a pact, right." He blinked in confusion. "It's an easy one, by honor of faith and all her depravity. He did his best not to laugh however, it was too late. "Gallagher." He looked at her before cosuing on her brown eyes. "Stay strong and never surrender." He blinked at those words.
"To be strong and to never surrender." He loosely repeated.
"After the hell we've gone through, we never gave up and never surrendered. So that, will be our pact. To stay strong and never surrender. Got it?" He smiled before telling her that he 'Got it.' Releasing her arm, he now inquired about the second thing.
"Heh. You sure?"
"I could just get on this caravan and be gone you know?" She now narrowed her eyes, showing that she did not like where he was going with his words. "Well?" After a sigh, she spoke:
"Temperance Rivera. Don't forget that name, all right?"
A soft smile formed on his face as he caught on to what she had just told him.
"I won't forget that Rivera. I'll remember it as I stay strong while making others surrender!"
"Now you're trying to sound like me!"
With a last laugh, he entered the caravan and was then off. Temperance stood in the middle of the dirt road watching the caravan slowly disappear into the horizon while he kept his eyes on her. They were friends. Friends that had gone through hell and lived through it. Sooner or later, they would bump into each other again. She was sure of it.
Five years later, under her new alias of Brass, Temperance runs a tavern and a forge all within the same construct. She crafts, shapes, forges, and tests various metals, steels, and prototype weaponry which are oft sold underneath the table. Truth be told, she enjoys her line of work and doing such, she had built a deal of physical strength over the years and 1599 had been proof of that. At that time she was conducting her routine check as she received cargo for her trade. Ariel, a higher-up in the military, oversaw and made sure Brass was not harmed for she did not trust the line of work due to some recipients vanishing after receiving their cargo. This was the beginning of the Dutch War of Independence.
Temperance had been minding her own when she spotted not one, not, twelve, but a fleet of over twenty-five Dutch ships. She immediately alerted Ariel whom then sent a message of an attack which would surely be brought to them despite the Island's neutrality. The strength of the fleet was a frightening seventy-four ships which held twelve-thousand men which were under the command of Pieter van der Does. The Dutch had attacked Las Palmas due to its dense populace of over three-thousand civilians. Not only that, it was also the capital. The Dutch attacked the Castillo de la Luz, which guarded the harbor. This was where Brass and Ariel had been when the attack began.
As a civilian, Temperance was ordered to run, not as a friend, but as an officer, Ariel gave this order. Brass refused. She was done running away from her fights and having someone else deal with them for her. It was her turn to protect those whom chose to run and she chose to stand and defend her true home. Brass got a hold of a peculiar piece of work which she wheeled from her forge and as such, this massive cannon destroyed several of the Man o War's which approached them. Her ammunition was a standard cannonball which had been wrapped in a highly flammable tarp and once fired, it would literally rain fire upon them and it did. Brass alone was able to sink several of the enemy fleet and was able to incapacitate several others--but one cannon was not enough. They opened fire upon the harbor and when they did, Brass fled to evade being killed.
Her cannon was destroyed yet her ammunition The Fire Shot, made the harbor inaccessible to the Dutch.
As this went on, the Canarians evacuated civilians from the city, while the Castillo surrendered. Though this mattered none, the city refused to accept defeat. The Dutch did what they could to move inland, which they had to take various other routes to do so, yet through the confusion, the Canarian Cavalry was able to drive them back to Tamaraceite, near the city.
The Dutch had then laid siege to the city, and only claimed to cease if they surrendered of all their wealth. Ariel and Brass were together as these demands were made and Ariel had just received a third promotion due to her superiors being killed. Ariel thought along the lines of a strategic fashion to lure them into an attack while Brass wanted to taunt them and bait them into a trap. The two discussed their ideas amongst themselves along with other members of the military and in the end, they had come up with a plan which both ideas would be used. Brass thought along the lines of Gallagher with her plot which was to simply agitate them so that they would pursue her. Seeing as she was thought to have been a soldier, they already wanted her dead so it would be best if she went instead of an unskilled soldier.
A smirk kissed her lips as she delivered the "wealth" herself along with a small group of soldiers. In the end, the Dutch received twelve sheep and three calves. Furious, just as she wanted them to be, the Dutch sent 4,000 soldiers to attack the Council of the Canaries, (where Brass had been located and had also resided to protect the officials of the Islands) who were sheltering in the village of Santa Brígida. Ariel led and ambush of 300 Canarian soldiers and successfully ambushed the Dutch in the village of Monte Lentiscal; killing one hundred and fifty while also forcing the rest to retreat. The Dutch then concentrated on Las Palmas, attempting to burn it down due to their consistent failures to best the 'peasants'. The Dutch pillaged Maspalomas, on the southern coast of Gran Canaria, Gomera San Sebastian on La Gomera, and Palma Santa Cruz on La Palma, but eventually gave up the siege of Las Palmas and withdrew due to their lossess. Over half of the soldiers sent were killed and Ariel was praised for their efforts while Brass lied about what most thought she had done. She claimed that it was all Ariel whom had achieved the goal of driving the invaders out though her humble nature was exposed and the people of Spain know her name fairly well despite the operations she runs.
All in all, Brass holds the skills to sustain her own way of life as well as ensuring those she looks after are well-protected. Ariel, had enlisted within the guard and holds the rank of lieutenant. Due to the deaths of her superiors, she holds the rank of commander, albeit temporarily. With her beneficial ally in such a high rank, Brass could do nearly as she pleased. She also held this grim fact above Goldback's head. With Ariel knowing Goldback's face and a decent portion of her history, it will take nothing more than a word for a manhunt to begin if she chose to act beside herself.
In 1605, Brass had officially taken up a legal shop in her birthplace of the Canary Islands of Spain, she began to forge weaponry as well as firearms not only for the military, but also for merchants, travelers, and even a few thieves (yet she acted as if she knew not they were delinquents of the law). It was something her family had always excelled in and her counterpart, Ky, was well versed in the trade as well. Communication between her and Ky was rare but when it was held, by letter of course, the two of them had mostly intellectual conversations. She was more interested about life in Hokkaido while Kusanagi wondered of life in the west. Of course, things would eventually fall apart for Kusanagi and he himself, found his way to Grandall. Though, as he operated in his area, she was stressed under the fact that she was bested by her own cousin. Unintentionally at that. though it mattered none, she had to come back from her 'unintentional' lack of sales and in order to due that, Brass had come up with a plan.
As customers had come into her establishment, she offered wine which had been bought for a fairly cheap price yet, she had also purchased alcohol such as rum and other fine choices of booze. In doing so, she had them mixed together for a stronger and much more potent beverage and as she had hoped, it was a success. Soon after this Brass had made changes around her shop and when those changes were complete, the main floor functioned as if it were a tavern. The floor underneath that had been where she forged and crafted. This area also had several weapons on display for any potential customer to have an idea of her work if they had never witnessed it. The uppermost floor of this complex was for bedding. Those who would stay the night had their own rooms and those who worked alongside her were the same.
A year had gone by as her establishment had grown in size and praise. Her income was beyond what she had envisioned and her skills had also improved. She wanted to better her craft as she wanted to truly be a rival to her cousin Kusanagi.
Continuing on as she would, Temperance, as she had been addressed, was caught off guard as thieves had attempted to rob her. With her kusarigama (her sickles), she fended the majority of them with ease; it was the larger of them which had sent her through the uppermost floor and down into the forge floor. Writhing in pain, she was unable to get to her feet due to her injuries, however she need not rise. She had heard their screams and in an instant, they had been silenced. It took a few minutes of her attempting to rise for a youthful face made his way down to greet her. This was none other than her younger cousin, Kusanagi Ren.
He had treated her wounds and also helped run the tavern portion of her establishment until she had completely recovered. After her recovery however, she spoke to him for awhile. Brass had learned that her aunt and uncle were killed and that Tempest (Ren) had been searching for their killers. Of course, he knows that it is one of the Royalties which are behind such slaughter. As she inquired how he knew, he told her:
"The last errand that Ky did was for one of those Royalties...I mean it's not a mystery due to the factors of the equation. The pay was far beyond the original asking price and he had even shown up himself according to officials in the Rising Sun. So Hell, with that done and a foreign ship at the docks with a flag and some insignia that no one knew, it was fairly obvious that it's own of them. Not to mention their complexion and accents."
As he explained she did nothing more than listen. Brass had learned that Tempest was an alchemist and he had proven this on several occasions. Although, he was nothing but subtle with it for he knows his talents are not best viewed by all. As his time grew old, he soon departed and with him, he took a few drinks and a lovely lady. The hilarious thing about this is that Brass would have loved to break that snarky mouth of his or rather filled with herself.
This thought came to mind due to the first time Ren had visited her. They were intimate. Slightly intoxicated but nontheless, Brass knew what she had been doing as did he. Yet, she refrains from allowing herself to do such once more do to the fact that he is related to her.
It had been a few days later than another robbery had been attempted. Though long before this had occurred, Brass locked the entrance to her forge as well as her room (where she kept not only her gold but also her co-workers pay) and spent most of the day and night putting people under the table when it came to drinking. Looking to the bi-racial female, she had never saw her before. Though she had been surrounded by several men and they themselves, were intoxicated while this female had out-drank them and was still fairly sober it appeared. Seeing this, Brass decided to sit with them and drink.
It was not long before another female had entered. As she approached the counter, she was served her drink and she sat alone. Brass felt rather comfortable with the new faces and after sharing a drink with the female named Raiko her mood seemed to take an uplifting glorification. She felt rather warm and as she sat upon Raiko's lap, Brass took hold of her chin and pulled Raiko's mouth to her own. It was none the shock to the males whom sat around them yet, to the bartender and the others whom were onlookers, they were silent, cheering, or drinking.
Pulling her mouth from the bi-racial's, Brass leaned downward and kissed the left breast of this female before she hopped on the table and then down to the floor. Taking a temporary leave, Brass went up to her door and after unlocking the several latches and locks, she entered. Closing and locking it behind her, she took a few steps forward before she took a deep swig from Raiko's glass, yet before she could swallow the liquid she was then struck in the back of the head. Luckily, this did not knock her out. She staggered a bit before turning around and as she turned she quickly caught the wrist of the female who had attempted to strike her again. Unlike most females, Brass was fairly strong. Her definition and her clothing revealed her muscular form while her feminine curves outshined these muscles. With the opposing hand, this dark skinned female had attempted to stab her with a dagger. Brass swayed and delivered a gut wrenching punch to the female's ribs. From the years of forge and using other instruments revolving about her craft, her strength was one thing to fear.
Going in again to strike this female, Brass was stopped as she was kicked in her ankle and then elbowed in the face. Dropping to the floor she instantly forced herself back onto her feet only to be met with a lunge. Knocking the dagger away from this female's hand, they were both in a draw gripping one an other. Brass held her by the neck while the female had Brass by her neck as well. it was this precise moment when the female feigned weakness and as Brass fell into her proximity, the female kissed her. Enthralled, Brass attempted to pull away however; she felt numb. Her limbs had begun to feel as if they were weighted armor and she could feel her body growing wearing by the second. Without much the choice, Brass pushed the concoction from her mouth into the mouth of the female and instantly she gagged and released her.
As Brass fell to the floor barely able to move, the female had now been on one knee attempting to force the concoction from her stomach. It was after this that Brass had little to no memory of that night. When she did awaken, she was stripped of her clothing and looking around her room she found her pareo, small vest and brassier about the floor and mingled along with it had been long boots, a long-sleeved shirt, and leather leggings. In addition to that were undergarments. Feeling movement to her left, she slowly looked and found the female lying next to her. She too lacked her clothing. Brass herself was not at all alarmed for she was attracted to both genders. Though the other female, she has not an idea.
Thinking on the matter, Brass recalled feeling warm, almost as if she had a fever. Of course, she knew that was not the case yet, she had to figure out why she had in fact felt so hot. Looking to the floor as she thought, she saw the glass which she had brought up with her.
"Oh to Hell with you Raiko..."
That was the only thing which spurred her mind. After she had partook in sharing a drink with Raiko, her body began to react to it. Brass wanted to not beat the woman for her trickery, but at the same time, as she sat within her bed, she remained in silent thought for a few moments as her warm breeze licked across her exposed breasts. A key thing would be to purchase more of that drink, though Brass knew what she had been drinking she knew not what Raiko had added to it. Thus, she wanted whatever was in that drink itself. As she ran he hands through her long hair, she slowly slipped her legs from under the sheets and prepared to get out of her bed, she quickly sat back down due to her sore body. Her senses had yet to fully return to her yet Brass' nose told no lie. Along with the scent of obvious alcohol and gun powder, she could smell sex about her bedroom.
For a second she wondered if it were an odd thing for her to have done such with a complete stranger, but seeing the small dagger about the floor, she assumed she had been attacked and from that point, it led to sexual intercourse. Her memory was not completely there at the moment but if she were sore, then more than likely it had been enjoyable. As this woman lay beside her, blissfully sleeping off the effects of Raiko's "venomous drink", she lay there covered by nothing more than the sheets of Temperance's bed.
An odd sense of excitement had begun to swell inside of her as leaned her back against the headboard she pondered just how she could twist this even more into her favor. For as she could gather, either A: she was attacked and somehow the two ended up as they were now or B: playing along in an act. There was nothing wrong with playing as if she were helpless while she were teased. Despite the possibilities, all Temperance could do was wait. After the female beside her had awakened, she would find out what she needed to. That and if there was far more where her soreness had come from...
The Mantis War
As news of a war reached Spain, Temperance, under her "occupational name", Brass, immediately went to work. Crafting and producing swords to rifles for Grandall. It took a short time to have her first shipment completed and as such, she sent her completed works to Grandall. Swords, War Axes, Rifles, and even Daggers. Upon each piece had been a small dragonic symbol. The reason for this was due to Halteese being that of a crown, Dalkia being swords, and lastly, Grandall being the mythical dragon.
It took weeks for anything to come back to her and when it did, it was not what she had expected. Her shipment had come back. In full count yes, however when you are in a business for yourself it was never good for your own shipment to return to you. Her hopes of payment quickly vanished and she found herself growing low on funds. Though she knew not why Grandall had rejected her work. It was top of the line steel and she personally knew of no one whom could match her skill in mail, blade, or firearm.
That was of course before she had learned of a forge within Grandall itself. As she learned of this forge, she wanted to know what made their work so much better than her own. Aside from 'home made work', she was sure there had to be more to it than that. There was the possibility that her shipment was returned due to her being an outsider, however, Grandall had taken those of different countries within its Walled City and even its military. So quite frankly, her work was simply outshined. Plotting of an idea she eventually decided to simply venture to Grandall itself and learn the features yet, there was a problem--the war itself. Most travel from other countries were strictly prohibited.
That said, she simply had to wait. So nearly a year later, her friend, a thief and unusual lover, paid this forge a visit and it was this visit which more had been lost than was gained. This thief, Goldback, who was oft referred to as 'Gold' or 'Locks of Gold' had visited the country after the war had ended. Nearly a month after just to be safe. She had come back with nothing, yet she did have a story. The ones who run the Forge or rather, the Shoppe, is none other than Kisaragi's younger brother, Ky.
At that moment, a child had been in the middle of falling. An elderly man had been sipping his warm milk. A young man was preparing to ask his lover for her hand in marraige...but none of that mattered.
Her cousin was the one whom had been outshining her the entire time and as this information had sunk in she was about to learn more. Apparently, Ky had fought in the war against Dalkia and against Halteese and even Maletta. She had also told Brass that he had survived and last she saw him (immobilized due to the toxin about her lips, which she neglected to mention) he was alive and well. Living with some woman and Fazello. As she heard the familiar name, Fazello, Brass had burst into laughter. Yet her laughter quickly died as she recalled that her cousin had fought in something as such. She had never would have guessed that he had been the violent type to fight in a war, Brass wanted to go and visit him yet, she could not leave her home, her business, unattended. With Goldback preparing to leave for another mark, her home would be empty and unprotected if she did leave. Not only that, the gold which was hidden here was at risk of being stolen if she ventured off as well.
With few choices, Brass chose to stay put for now. Despite her wanting to see her 'baby' cousin again. Truth told, it had been years since she had. She recalled running around and scaring him because she loved it when he shrieked liked a little girl. Ren on the other hand was not so easily frightened. Ren was daring, even as a child. Not to mention his defiance. Brass remembers watching their neighbors have sex with Ren right beside her, however; when they were discovered, Ren took the blame for it and mentioned nothing of Temperance even being there.
Ky on the other hand was much calmer. Quieter. She doubt he would even get into trouble with how much a saint he acted. Always following "Mama Kiki" (Akiko) around and ever so fearful. Hell, she even recalls when her blouse was ripped open and both Ky and Ren stared at her breasts. Ren naturally being the one to place hand while Ky simply watched.
But with those and other short memories, she still could not imagine him being violent and fighting in a war. Logically she could think of it but rationally going about it was an entirely different thing. In either case, Brass asked her lover a favor. After drafting up a letter, one adorned with things he would remember, and then re-introducing herself, she sealed it, marked it with her own insignia, she sent it off with Goldback.
Asking that it be delivered without anyone's knowledge. Surely that would make him shriek like a little girl once more.
With Goldback's return, Brass was told that the fourth letter had been delivered successfully. In addition to the small sack she had been carrying, she had assumed that her other venture had gone well as well. However, she also brought ill news.
She sat herself down and placed her hands on her head. Goldback had informed her that a rebellion had been brewing.
Brass was not as foolhardy as others were. She knew that at any point, the strongest man could easily be ripped apart as if he were no more than a shred of papyrus. Her life was filled with life or death scenarios. Yet, in her case it was life or "be-eaten-by-rampaging-human-sized-reptiles-that-walked-on-two-legs" scenario. She still recalled the children which were devoured by the beasts and she still remembers Gallagher, which is another note that struck a severe chord.
"...he was in the company of a woman named Raisa, another called Aliyah, and a tall man. His name was Gallagher. Sounds Irish."
"Taller than life with blue eyes and short red hair? Small cut above his right brow?"
Goldback eyed Brass as she practically identified his features with precision.
"You know him?"
"We spent time near the East Rhine together. He left with his mother, I backtracked here with Ariel. Set-up a few gigs. Sold some information here and their. Mostly to Nikita when she returned all hot and bothered about some man she had met named Jack: who I think knocked her boots just right to make her fall in head first—but she doesn't want to admit it. But...nothing much else."
"You don't talk about Europe that much."
"He isn't the reason I don't. He more so a reason I still breathe, as I am to him."
This was one of the few subjects Brass would not discuss with Goldback. East Rhine, (as she calls it) was a living nightmare; and not just the malfested knight she barely escaped either. That said, Goldback dropped the issue, but asked if she wanted detail on Gallagher.
Brass simply nodded.
"Oh, and one more thing."
"...heh, more bad news?"
"Depends how you take it."
"Lying down? Maybe. But, nothing wrong in being dominant right?"
Goldback failed at hiding her smile as she also failed at hiding her laugh.
"Kisaragi was in Grandall when I was there this time past. That woman...eh..."
"No. That knight-type."
This caused Brass to stand.
"Maria is in Grandall?"
"Her, Kisaragi, that one freak with the white hair with another freak with white hair, and Kuro."
Her eyes narrowed.
"You think something's up?"
"Wives "think" their husband is true tot hem in times of war, but let that prisoner with better tits fall before him and watch that shit change. I "know" that something is up and has been for quite a time if Ren and Kuro are both there."
"Let's just hope one of them is not going up in the other."
Brass simply shook her head. Her face stern, she was moreso worried for Ky. But with the knowledge that Gallagher AND Ren were also present, this killed the majority of her humor.
With the next week came word. A rebellion had been on every whores tongue just as much as a man usually was. With time on a crunch, Brass had seized the moment and again, sold firearms and bladed weaponry to Grandall and this time, her work was accepted. She was proud of her incoming pay but more than ever, she was proud that in a small chance, Ky or Gallagher would be using one of her works.
Brass had taken time and immense care to forge a long sword for Gallagher. The blade was intricate in design and had just enough heft to mark the weapon as his. With etchings of a reptile upon the blade, she also added in a dead giveaway. The name, Temperance, had been carved into the blade. After it had been finished, she sent it on its way and had that massive blade sent to him directly.
"To the Knight, Gallagher of Grandall." A simple thing to say and if he had still been of the same type of weapon, he would love it. With this shipment, she also sent two more letters. One to Ky and one to Gallagher.
It had been after this which she caught sight of an elderly man. Strong, but still old. He, among a few others, had purchased firearms from her but still hung around for a bit. His armor was what gave him away. The weapon he carried had the Grandallian seal upon it, and from this, she knew well-enough that this had to be that Girardot which Goldback had mentioned months ago.
He had sold the lance which he had arrived with and requested a lance itself. It took a week to get done, but she completed it before the man was due to leave. With the insignia placed upon the weapon, she knows all too well that he would fight within the Rebellion itself. Not just in the Rebellion, but he who led the Rebellion.
Though on the sly, Brass had sold to Grandall and also The Rebels themselves. In the end, money was money, and with the Rebels, she purposely faulted some of their gear. Why? For Ky and Gallagher's sake of course. However, as she saw it, Girardot was a fair man and with him buying most of her finest work, he was all the more eager to sell him her more inventive weapons. Hidden blades as well as hidden firearms. The former general had given his praise to the young weapon smith yet, he could not help but wonder if she were related to Kusanagi Ky. He asked her outright as he noticed that she was shipping equipment to Grandall, that, and the fact that when she gave instruction of what was to be delivered, he had overheard her speak the name "Gallagher" and for the fact that it was going to Grandall itself.
"Blood is blood sir. Have you an issue with my younger cousin?"
Girardot blinked at her direct answer. With Nikita long gone and en route to Grandall, she had nothing to fear of the shipment being stolen. Of course, Nikita has had her continuous run-ins with Jack, the ship she had been on flew flags from Grandall. That alone was enough to deter most thieves and pirates. However, Girardot simply laughed and placed a hand upon the table as he spoke his words.
"He will not be harmed I do promise you that."
"I'd hope not because if he was, I'd have to hunt you down and shoot you in the back sir."
With her smile as beautiful as her promise, Girardot smiled grimly before he stood and left with his few comrades.
A short two months had gone by that news of his death had arrived at her doorstep and as this had reached her, she felt a bit of sadness but it was nothing she could worry about.
He made his bed and it is for him to lie in it.
It had been a short time after the death of former general Girardot for what had truly shook her. All about Spain and further to the east had been rumors. These rumors were of a possible second rebellion taking form.
Rumors they were yet, these were not just any soldiers which people spoke about. They were supposedly the very same soldiers which brought Dalkia, Maletta, and Girardot's Rebellious forces to their deaths.
"That means Ky might..."
Brass wanted to leave however, even if she did, there were Grandallian troops patrolling the area around Grandall as well as other areas further out which were regarded as 'hot spots'. Apparently, word must have gotten out that there were supporters of the Rebels. In any case, someone must have tipped off Grandall that Girardot had passed through here. Even more so, it was common knowledge that Brass sold weapons to just about anyone. So more than likely they would be watching her every move.
Ariel was the one who brought this to her attention. She also made a note that the soldiers of Spain are working in a joint effort to route out any "conspirators of Grandall" which may have fled this way. She also informed her that she knew of what was sold to Girardot, however, when the items were sold, she knew not who he had been. Brass was upfront and said she knew well-enough who he was by the Grandallian armor he wore. Which was a lie. Of course, that would show that he had planned this for quite some time if he still wore his Grandall armor here. Else, he was purposely trying to draw attention to himself by doing so.
Ariel advised Brass to lay low, for the Grandall soldiers out en masse. That and it would start a war if Brass was killed by one of those soldiers.
"War? I'm that valuable am I?"
"...I'll march there and kill them all if any here be the cause of injury or death. We've fought too long, too hard, to simply let some random Emperor kick us around!"
"...I'll...take it easy." She sighed as she said that.
"Thank you." With a kiss to Brass' forehead, Ariel then took her leave.
After she had left, Brass snarled at the fact that there was nothing she could do. For now, Brass stayed within her establishment and kept her head down. The last thing she needed were soldiers raiding her business and home due to her affiliation to Ky and Gallagher.
"Will they fight each other?" This thought now rose in her mind. If so, Gallagher would crush Ky in combat. She made sure that the blade which was forged for him was strong enough to pierce the thickest plate she herself could forge.
As things slowly progressed on, Goldback had slipped back into Spain unnoticed but complained of its difficulty. After Brass told her the possible reason why Grandall soldiers were visiting Spain, she could read Brass all the more clearly.
She kept Brass calm and reassured her that Ky would survive as would Gallagher. As always, it seemed that the thief was more supportive than the priest. Her business suffered only slightly due to the military occupation and as they frequented her tavern, most individuals kept clear of her place. They knew she was not to blame for this yet, Grandall was not high on anyone's favored list.
As she awaited the time when she could trek towards Grandall, she was enthralled that the occupation had set forth to the same destination. This was a sign that Grandall was not prevailing as most people had assumed. This itself meant that Ky and Gallagher could be alive and with him alive, she would be at ease. Goldback had told her that she could not make contact with him because if she did, she would be targeted next and if not Brass directly, they would go after who she cared for and her family.
This she already knew. With other factions growing about here, she knew well-enough that is what would happen.
Now she had not a choice but to wait. So wait she did.
Act: II Sub Chapter
As the revolt was settled, Brass minded her own. Between sales, craft and sex, she was content. Sure an occasional theft would begin yet, with Goldback at her side, she need not exert herself as much. Either she would catch them or Goldback would bring them down. All in all, things were flowing smoothly. Even more so had been the fact that she had sent for Ky to come and visit her. The only problem was that with the constant fighting within Parousia she knew not when he would visit...if ever. Though her worries were quelled when he made a surprise visit by using the rear entrance in order to evade being followed by others.
At first, she did not recognize him due to how much time had elapsed between their last physical meeting. Though after he removed the guard upon his face, it took her a few seconds to identify him. After making japes at his damaged armor and a hug, she offered to repair his armor for no charge--he declined the offer.
Even more so, he knew Goldback well. She on the other hand also recalled him for she was the one who tried to steal his craft during the peace after Dalkia's defeat as well as when Grandall expanded its territory. Most importantly, Goldback noted his change and inquired about that "lovely lady" he had courted. This had only proved to draw silence from him. Within that silence, his calm had devolved into a grave expression. Temperance wanted to know who this "lady" was while Ky simply placed his guard back upon him and turned away.
Temperance asked him who the one with him was, in an attempt to have him forget the previous question. As such, she was lucky. He turned back around and made the introductions. Raisa forges and crafts alongside him only as of late. As she took a closer look at Raisa, she was slightly attracted to her. Though her gaze was more lifeless than Ky's. Oddly enough, she gave her greeting and by her voice, she thought of her to be German. Though she was corrected. Raisa was Russian. After Ky took his leave, Goldback offered to tail him, which Temperance acknowledged.
This left Temperance alone with Raisa; whom had crossed her arms and was now leaning against a post near the bar's counter. As the two spoke, Raisa was rather calm and more interested in the area opposed to meeting new people. She had also asked of the history of the Islands. Temperance offered her a drink but Raisa declined.
"No offense...but drinking around strangers is not something that I find entirely...trustworthy."
It was then and there that Temperance pinned Raisa the sister of Raiko and when she asked, her face shriveled. She was more disgusted with her sister than anything else. Raisa then explained about her sister and also the connection with her and Ky...in the end it was Temperance who needed more the drink. This was the same woman whom had mixed her drink prior to Goldback attempting to rob her. Despite the years passing since then, she had not forgotten her face. Or her physique. Though now knowing the woman to be a whore, she was proud that they had not been intimate.
As they continued to speak, Temperance noted that Raisa was much, much different from Raiko. Raisa rarely drank and she worked just as hard as Temperance herself. Even more so, she was physically strong and a craftswoman just as she had been. The downfall: Raisa was not into the more...provocative of things. If she could craft Raisa's personality into Raiko's physical features...Temperance allowed the thought to pass. One thing she knew, it would not be the best thing to dream of for she acted on most of her thoughts and fantasies. Raisa on the other hand looked the type to end fantasies and crush dreams.
In the end, Raisa accepted one and only one drink in which they both toasted to. Though, beyond conversation and drinking, nothing else of interest had taken place.
Experienced sexual fulfillment with a woman initally. Despite finding men attractive, she is mainly active with women. Preferably ones whom do not whore themselves about.
Occasional lover to the thief Goldback, same goes for the lieutenant Ariel.
Just as her younger cousins are capable of, she crafts her own works and like her youngest cousin, she sells her work as blades, axes, firearms and accessories.
Has an immense love for spicy food. Unlike Ky, Temperance can cook a feast for a large gathering in only a few hours time.
Despite their personal history as well as their family relation, Temperance was sexually active as well as attracted to Ren, her own cousin. This infatuation occurred after Ariel and Xavier had met her. Even though it was only four times, she restrains herself from "jumping" Ren once more due to the fact that they are family. Yet, what none realize is that by stating that they are related by blood, she is giving herself her own verbal reminder as to why she should not lie down with him once again.
Keeps a relatively close bond with Ariel despite their differing occupations.
Still keeps true to the pact she made years ago with Gallagher.
Knows full-well of Tempest and his allies as well as some of their capabilities. This is why she does not panic or worry when she lays eyes upon Volkov or Sasaki. Though, she is not comfortable around Maria. This is due to the fact that she was literally dead and is now roaming about as if she had never been killed.
Knows Kissa and is also good friends with her. Kissa visits Temperance often and even dances to attract customers and help out with her establishment. She also knows that Kissa is a Werewolf and relies on that if she is present and trouble rears its unneeded phallus. Little does Kissa know, she wanted to pair her with her younger cousin Tempest. She had tried to get them together and had even scheduled for them to arrive at the same time and the same day, but something had always got in their or her way which resulted in the failure of her plot. Alas, they were never in the same place at the same time. Lastly, Temperance has often wondered how Kissa tastes; though unfortunately, Kissa is not willing to give her that answer anytime soon...if ever.
First Link Set
|Significant Characters of The Mantis War|
|Alexandria | Aliyah Ruel Halteese | Annebella Williams | Arrai | Dawn Larrieux | E'laura Riga | Gallagher | Garrett | Kami | Kusanagi Ky | Myth | Noémi | Pfieffer Reaux | Priya Delgado | Raiko | Raine Zhirova | Raisa Zhirova | Surina Delgado | Temperance Rivera | Trevor|
Second Link Set
|Minor Characters of The Mantis War|
|Achilla | Agony | Aneko | Arsenic | Asa | Bess | Crucifix | Goldback Jane | Heresy | Isai | Johann Krieg | Kisaragi Ren | Kissa | Lotus | Malice | Maria | Nikita | Noelle | Ouroboros | Ryia | Samara | Sasaki Kuro | Sheamus McNoil | Shira | Shuu-Rai | Sieg Volkov | Sin | Tala | Tyranny | Venom|