[Landmark] Land of Mountains

Goetia

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Snow covered the mountain range that stretched on to the edge of the horizon, the billowing winds kicking up small amounts of snow from the numerous peaks. Atop one of them, sat a in meditative posture, a white mask on his face and a dark cloak covering his similarly dark body. He sits silently, his body acclimatised to the harsh colds of the mountain peaks, having been raised there for most of his youth under the direction of one, no, many, known as Hassan-i-Sabbah. And now, he was one of them. His old name forsaken, he was now a ruthless killer of a religious sect that revolved around politically-driven murder. He would often place himself atop the mountains, to wait until one of the other Hassans informed him of a new contract. That was all his life was now. Waiting, preparing, killing. A repetitive cycle that would continue till the day he died.
 

Goetia

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This post marks the beginning of my mission using this storyboard element:

Safely transport highly classified information

Summary: This mission will be about Hassan, a killer who is part of a religious organisation specialising in murder, who is tasked with delivering information on a potential target to another guildmaster in the Land of Fang. The path is treacherous, as the Hashashin are not the only organisation in the region with more... sanguinary talents, ones which Hassan may find himself a victim of should he falter in his path.​




Snow continued to gather on the mountain peaks, as waited patiently to be contacted by another one of the other Hassan-i-Sabbah. His true name was now a pseudonym, his old one being lost upon being taken into the cult. The one who raised him as a weapon, who dragged him into the world of schemes and murder, also had the name of Hassan-i-Sabbah. His parents before him were part of the sect, but they had defected, and were thus killed. Their conviction had wavered. They blinked when the abyss they had lived in for so long stared back at them. Hassan would not make that mistake. His life stood for something beyond him now. He killed in the name of God, as did the rest of the cult. For what was taught to be righteous. But what was righteous? What is it that makes one's personal morality and views implicitly above those of others? What gives one man the right to take the life of another? These were questions that Hassan had been asking himself since the start of his teachings under the "Old Man of the Mountain".

The sound of steps in the silence of the mountains prompts Hassan to open his eyes beneath his mask, watching his surroundings. From the slope, another white mask makes itself barely visible, before the rest of the body's greatly darkened color rises into view. . Unfurling his legs from the half lotus position, Hassan stands to greet Hundred Faces. The snow gently fell from the sky to land on their bodies, as the taller Hassan takes the scroll in Hundred Faces' hand.

"Another contract?"

"I'm afraid I cannot say. Whatever it is, it is to be delivered to Cursed Arm, in the Land of Fang hideout. This document is not to be opened until it arrives at the hideout, and it cannot be opened by anyone except Cursed Arm himself. The scroll is sealed through Fūinjutsu, so as to ensure extra protection, but be careful. Our recent activities have alerted Iwagakure, which means they'll have increased mercenary and guard presence throughout the area. They may not be difficult opponents, but the scroll itself cannot fall into enemy hands. They may be equipped with methods to undo the Fūinjutsu on the scroll, so move with caution."

"It will be done."

"When you arrive, Cursed Arm will give you your next instructions."


With Hassan securing the scroll in his cloak, Hundred Faces turns away, leaping off the side of the mountain. Facing north, Hassan turns to face the direction of the Land of Fang, south-east. Before embarking on the journey, Hassan would open his cloak which was usually wrapped around his body, checking his stock of knives. With 2 holstered knives on each arm and thigh, and 10 lining the cloak, 4 smoke bombs, 3 explosive tags, and wire, Hassan completed his weapons check. As he walked to the edge of the mountain, he could feel the winds that swept over the land pushing harder at his back. He felt his pace increase involuntarily, edging closer to the mountain a little quicker than he would've liked. Forcefully stopping short of the mountain's edge after a moment of restrained panic, Hassan looks behind him to where he was sitting, where Hundred Faces had handed him the scroll. Though he knew nobody else was on the mountain with him, he felt somewhat uneasy. The wind pushing on his back felt as though an invisible hand, encouraging him to jump and embrace the darkness that awaited him. Turning back around, Hassan peers down the mountainside, to the canopy of the trees that spread into a large forest, where he would kill his emotions and surrender his humanity. He still didn't know how to answer his earlier questions.

Leaning forward, Hassan allows his body to fall over the side of the mountain in a straight drop, descending from the peak in the quickest manner possible. As he freefalls, Hassan rolls his body in a forward somersault, finishing with his body roughly perpendicular to the mountainside. Extending his legs, he pushes off the mountain, launching himself foward and closer to the canopy of trees. Reaching into his cloak, Hassan draws a knife and a sizeable length of wire, wrapping it around the weapon handle. Holding his makeshift grappling hook, he waits until he enters the canopy. The first branch he spots, he throws the knife towards with great accuracy, the blade penetrating the wood and sitting firmly within. With at least another 15 meters between the branch and the ground, Hassan would be safe to swing from it and onto another branch. As he begins his ascent on the wire, Hassan releases his grip on it, quickly drawing another knife from his cloak to sever the wire and launch himself forward. With his momentum being carried, Hassan flies through the air, the trees becoming a blur of whites and browns. Spotting his landing on descent, Hassan lightly touches down on a branch, absorbing the impact through the balls of his feet, and launching off again.

As he continues through the forest, his mind concentrated on the mission, his right foot catches on something. Something thin and somewhat sharp, though it barely affected his speed. Hearing a metal click nearby, Hassan tenses up slightly, instantly realising that he had tripped traps of some kind. From his 10, 2 and 6 o'clock, 3 kunai are launched at him, one from each direction. Drawing knives from the holsters on his arms, attaching the wire still in his hands to each, he throws the knives down to the ground, the weapons thudding as they stick within the ground. Hassan pulls on the wired weapons, allowing him to change direction and fly to the ground before the kunai hit him. He could hear the kunai clash above his head, but there was hardly time to concentrate on it. Channeling chakra to his palms, he sacrifices a portion of his chakra in order to create Dark chakra, preparing himself for future conflict which was likely to come.

Meiton: Jigyaku Keikō - Dark Release: Masochistic Tendency Passive
Type: Supplementary
Rank: B-rank
Range: N/A
Chakra: 20 (+20 for double usage)
Damage: N/A
Description: Masochistic Tendency is an invention by a Dark user in need to be more resourceful of his Dark Release chakra in certain cases. This is considered a passive technique and does not affect the time frame. The process of this technique unfolds like the following. Borrowing a small portion of his original raw chakra inside his body (exactly 20 chakra points), the user will deliver it into either of his dark marks. The mark will absorb this chakra and automatically convert it into dark chakra, which is then stored inside of the mark, unaffected. The user can alternatively send his chakra into both of his dark marks simultaneously, thus he spends 40 chakra points. The absorption of 20 chakra points will enable the user to perform one dark technique (up to A rank) which requires it and whereas 40 chakra points will allow the user to perform one S rank technique.

- Can only be taught by Klad
Landing on the ground snow-covered ground, it crunches beneath his feet, but there was something inside the snow which crunched as well. Having only just landed, it would take another moment to take off again. Feeling the snow heat up, it could only mean one thing. Explosive tags. Hassan focuses his chakra around his body and condenses it, manifesting a cloak of earth that wraps his body, in order to defend from the incoming blast. When it came, he was sent flying upwards, his back folding against a thick tree branch which he'd impacted against, knocking the breath out of him. Stunned, Hassan fell to the ground, his earthen armor crumbling into the snow. Planting his hands firmly on the ground, Hassan attempts to stand up and straighten himself, before someone took advantage of his vulnerability now that his hastily formed armor was gone.

(Doton no Yoroi) - Earth Release Armor
Type: Defensive
Rank: B
Range: Short
Chakra cost: 20 (-10 per turn to remain active)
Damage points: N/A (+10 to taijutsu moves)
Description: This Technique coats the users body with stones, making them much more resistant to attacks, at the cost of their speed. Whilst using this technique, the user can even change their appearance, but once the technique is either defeated or worn off the users original appearance is shown. The user whilst in this armor is resistant to B-rank Ninjutsu techniques, but is vulnerable to Raiton.
"Water Release: Severing Wave!"

"Lightning Release: Wave of Inspiration!"

Too late, they were already upon him. Knowing the combination of techniques used, Hassan wouldn't be able to overpower it. The best thing he could do now was evade, and quickly retaliate before they could press for further advantage. Channeling his Dark Release chakra through one of his palm seals, a humanoid figure stands over Hassan, grabbing him by the cloak with both hands and throwing him away from the wave of highly pressurised water. Merely a moment after having been thrown, the guardian Hassan had created was pierced by the water, being destroyed almost instantly. Somersaulting in the air, Hassan lands on his feet, scanning the area around him for the location of the assailants. Looking up to the branch where he would have stepped had his journey not been interrupted, he saw 2 armored figures, one wearing blue armor and the other wearing turquoise. Between himself and them, there was approximately 10 meters distance. They were surrounded by trees, each one likely containing more traps. In order to advance, he had to move past them. The situation had certainly become troublesome.

(Meiton: Tentei Mikon no Hanto) - Dark Release: God of the Wild Hunt
Type: Offensive
Rank: A
Range: Short - Long
Chakra Cost: 30
Damage Points: 60
Description: The user will focus their chakra into one of their dark marks to release a copious amount of meiton chakra from within it. The released chakra will form into any animal, creature or hybrid they can think of and it will exhibit enough tangiibility to interact with solids (the same as Fire Release: Dragon Flame Release Song Technique) . They will also be capable of basic functions within the confines of their physical capability e.g. humanoid figures can run/walk, winged figures are capable of flight, etc. The created creature can be as small as it's real life counterpart or be as large as the Great Stone Golem. These creatures can last up to three turns and will passively sap 10 chakra from their creator every turn to sustain themselves. Alternatively, the user can instead release a wave of meiton chakra from their dark mark that contains countless grotesque creatures residing inside of it. This seething mass will contain all manners of creatures, though all of them will be monstrous hybrids which barely resemble any living animals. This "horde" variant can cover the same scope as Fire Release: Great Fire Majestic Annihilation and will travel as fast as a standard lightning technique. Despite being composed of several animals, all of them are attached to this central wave/horde and so the power of this technique is not divided between the individual creatures, it's regarded as one whole. Regardless of which variant is used, the creature or the horde can absorb techniques following Dark's elemental S/W, namely neutral techniques of the same rank (S-Ranks for elements weak to Dark, B-Ranks for elements strong to it). Upon absorbing a technique, the creature/horde can convert itself into an inferno of purple flames. This "horde" variant is a stream much like the aforementioned fire technique and so it will only last for as long as it's maintained or overpowered/destroyed.

Note: Can only be used three times per battle
Note: Cooldown time of two turns in between uses
"I thought assassins were meant to be discreet, undetectable? What's with the all-black?"

Hassan didn't dignify the question with an answer. His mind was focused on getting through them, with or without force. Watching as the turquoise ninja descended from the branch, with the other staying atop the branch, Hassan drew two other knives from his cloak, keeping his arms beneath it in order to conceal the action. Turquoise drew a katana and broke into a sprint upon landing on the ground, whilst the other ninja began to form a set of seals. Throwing the knives at the armed mercenary in front of him, aiming the weapons at the feet, he formed 3 seals of his own. Creating a single katana made of Lightning Release, he grips it in his right hand and aims to decapitate the turquoise-colored ninja. With the man blocking his 2 knives with a single sword swing, he was ready to evade Hassan's swing. Lowering himself to the ground quickly, he performs a roll which brings him past Hassan and standing 3 meters behind him. In that moment the other ninja completes their technique. Hassan observes the man exhale a fireball which quickly expands as it travels towards him, obliterating trees and setting off explosives. Dropping his Lightning Release weapon, Hassan quickly channels more chakra to his Dark seals through Masochistic Tendency. Then, raising his right arm to face the technique with an open palm, the fire begins to distort, losing its shape and shrinking. Before the technique had actually hit Hassan, the Dark seal on his palm had begun to swallow it, absorbing it before it could do any harm. Raising his left arm and pointing it back to the armed ninja, who had his sword raised and was about to strike at Hassan, he fires off the blazing inferno directly into the face of the armed ninja. Enveloped in the scorching flames of his companion's technique, turned against him by Hassan's jutsu, he would die within moments of being hit by the blaze. The fireball continues to move in the direction of release, smashing through trees evaporating the snow as it travelled.

(Meiton: Kumori no Bun'ya) – Dark Release: The Shadow Realm
Type: Defensive/Supplementary/Offensive
Rank: A
Range: Short - Long (same as the absorbed attack)
Chakra Cost: 30
Damage Points: N/A (same as the absorbed attack)
Description: The user will focus their chakra into one of their dark marks to absorb an energy-based technique within it's vicinity (within short-range). The jutsu will be drawn into dark mark but it will not be broken down into raw chakra, it will simply be absorbed in it's current state and be emitted from another dark mark (e.g. the one on the user's hand) in the same form. There is no delay between the absorption and the release, in fact, it happens virtually simultaneously for stream-type techniques. For example, the user would safely absorb Great Majestic Annihilation into the dark mark on their right hand and then release it from the mark on the left hand, in whatever direction their hand is pointing (e.g. upwards to release it towards the sky or towards the opponent to send their attack back towards them). This technique only serves to redirect and change the direction of attacks, it doesn't manipulate them, break them down or change them into Dark Release. It simply takes advantage of the fact that the user's dark marks are connected by portals and so attacks can pass through one and immediately emerge from the other. Since it does not manipulate techniques at all and simply redirects their travel, this can even be applied to elements and skills the user does not possess. As per Dark's elemental S/W, this technique can absorb and redirect neutral techniques of the same rank (S-Ranks for elements weak to Dark; B-Ranks for elements strong to Dark). As mentioned this before, this can only be used on energy-based techniques and so of course, this will not work with Earth, Water or similar elements. Of course, logically, the damage of the released technique would be equivalent to that of the absorbed jutsu. Unfortunately, boosting techniques would be rendered ineffective on released techniques.

Note: Can only be used three times per battle
Note: Cool down time of two turns between uses
Note: Technique retain it's own elemental S/W
"Damn! Slippery bastard!"

Dropping down from the tree branch, the enemy ninja draws his own weapon with his left hand. Slowly turning to face him, Hassan watches as the ninja takes slow, cautious steps towards him. In a swift movement, Hassan picks up his weapon with his right hand. Having taken a side-on stance in order to absorb the giant Fire technique from earlier, and kill the other ninja, Hassan pivots on a foot in order to generate momentum, and once facing the remaining blue-armored ninja, he throws the construct at the man in an overarm motion. The weapon rapidly spins through the air, striking the armored ninja's sword shoulder, causing him to drop it and the arm to go limp. The man lets out a cry of pain in that moment, his flesh having been torn open and the bone slashed to the extent of disabling that arm. Gritting his teeth, he stares daggers at Hassan, his right arm reaching into a pouch on his waist. The 3 shuriken he threw would be useless, as Hassan's weapon would simply slash straight through them, like a knife through butter. Walking towards the injured ninja, Hassan takes deliberated steps, dispelling the construct with a wave of his hand. With a little less than 10 meters distance between them, the armored ninja begins to talk towards Hassan as well. The two begin to speed up, eventually running at each other, their feet crunching through the snow as they get closer and closer. The armored ninja raises an arm, clenching his hand into a fist, whilst Hassan continues running with his arms within his cloak. Now within arm's reach of Hassan, the ninja attempts to punch the assassin in the head. Raising his left arm from his cloak, Hassan uses his forearm to push the ninja's arm out and away from his head. His right arm, holding an explosive tag, reaches forward and plants it on the man's face. Stopping for a moment, his momentum still carrying him slightly, Hassan presses off the ground and raises his legs to the man's chest, kicking off it and sending the ninja stumbling backwards a few meters. Having launched himself backwards, Hassan would be clear of the blast. Hitting a tree, the man would scramble in an attempt to remove the tag from his face, clawing it off in a panic. As he does, the explosive lights up in his hand, and combusts. A large amount of snow is kicked up by the explosion, the tree the now-dead ninja stumbled into having been partially destroyed and scorched greatly. Gazing at the charred black area where his enemy once stood, Hassan turned to set off in his original direction once again. Jumping into the tree, he crouched for a moment to catch his breath, the encounter from just now having exhausted him. The surprise attack had left him injured, it would be unlikely that he could fight in close-quarters at his best. Hearing loud shouts from his left and right, he'd guessed that his scuffle had attracted attention. The best time to move was now. Kicking off the branch, Hassan sets off on his original course.

- LLM and Continuing-
 
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