Shankstuff

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At the start of the war, Lucas Sommer had been a mere knight of the Coliation, armored and slow. Perhaps a bit faster than his peers, but nothing notable, until the second year of the war. The squad he was in had been lured into an ambush. Reinforcements were sent for, but by the time they arrived, the fight was over. With how fast the initial line of knights had fallen, it was expected that the bulk of the ambushers would still be alive, but the carnage they found showed that most, if not all, had been slain. The only survivor was a knight, covered in enough wounds that by all rights he should have been dead along with everyone else, with a deathgrip on the head of a shattered spear, the bloodied tip sticking out from between the fingers of his dented gauntlet.

His near-death experience left Lucas a changed man. No longer content among the rank and file soldiers, he sought to improve his abilities. He had the spearhead he had been found with reworked into a retractable punching dagger, and fought with it exclusively, quickly earning him the nickname "Shank." While his sudden change in mannerisms was seen as signs of some form of mental trauma, there was no questioning that his abilities were vastly improved, and so he was allowed to continue. He ended up getting a fair amount of autonomy during battles, allowing him to roam the field, locating and killing assassins and other threats before they could deal significant amounts of damage.

Even when his regiment was called back from the front lines for a chance to rest and recover, Shank's quest continued. He requested, and received, assassin training, giving him further insight into his chosen enemies, as well as yet more abilities to use against them. He also commissioned a new set of armor, one that would be light enough to not hinder his movement, while losing none of the protectiveness of his old set. When he was sent back to the front, he was a true terror on the field. The enemy knew of Shank by now, his armor a feared sight, but thanks to the counterintelligence efforts of the Coliation, they were unaware that the new general being sent to the front was in fact the same person. His old armor had been given to a new knight, both as an experiment to see if Shank's fighting style could be replicated, and so that "Shank" would be around to keep the new general alive in the official reports.

While Shank's strategies were proving superior to those of the Condordes, they did not seem to be bringing the war any closer to an end. It ground bloodily on until, at the town of Caedmon, the world ended.

Shank had come to under the body of a knight. He wasn't sure what had happened, but since he was alive, it couldn't have been that bad. Struggling to free himself from the weight, he stood up, surveying what was left of the battlefield. Seeing no apparent threat, and feeling a bit lightheaded, he started to take off his helmet. And stopped when he realized that his head seemed to be coming off with it.

It seemed that whatever had happened, it had left him with no tangible body, just his armor. Sitting down to think things over, Shank quickly realized that whatever had burned away his body apparently affected his mind as well, as most of his memories were a blur. Piecing together the bits he could remember, and what he could tell from his immediate surroundings, he determined that he was a soldier of the Coliation, with special orders to assist a knight in locating and eliminating assassins. While not useless in a fight, he has served as the bait, posing as a general. All he could remember of his name was "Shank." It was obviously not his real name, but it felt right. As for what had happened...

There had been an assassin. /THE/ assassin. He had been chasing after this one, someone must have tipped him off, or maybe his partner tried moving in too soon and spooked him. With the chase, he had lagged behind a bit, his bulky knight's armor slowing him down, but he was yelling something the entire way, the words lost amid the sea of battle, or maybe the fog of his memory. Then there was a searing flash of black, and nothing.

Some motion out of the corner of his eye brought Shank back to reality. He wasn't the only survivor nearby. The movement was from a figure trapped under the same knight he had crawled out from under. The knight's armor seemed familiar, the one he had been working with in the war? Made sense, he'd been right behind him during the chase. Must have tried shielding us with his body when whatever happened, for all the good that did. He set about moving the heavy figure to help, and found a girl. A girl with liberal amounts of blood on her, no apparent wounds, a pair of daggers in her hands, and a Coliation emblem.

[Actual game starts here, group meets, we fight some bandits, etc.]

The first indication Shank had that he was anything other than the result of whatever energies had caused changes in assorted people was when Lord [Whatsisface] and Noah had been talking about hollows, and Noah indicated that he was one. He didn't exactly get more information than that out of the visit, aside from the fact that there was three hollows this cycle, which apparently indicated that this is the LAST cycle.

The second, and far more informative, indication was when, during a trip on dragonback to stop some event for the dragons, he had a visit from Bane. Like everyone else in the world, Bane seemed to know stuff about him. Unlike most of them, he was willing to share. Being tired of such shit as being out of the loop, Shank agrees to hear what's going on.

According to Bane, Shank was saved from death during the cataclysm because he had been tasked with ensuring that War would continue to exist, and had, to that end, been given the power to stop Wren, the assassin that would end the war. Of course, since the war managed to end /ANYWAY/ when the emblem went off, plus everyone was busy trying to make sure the world didn't end, Bane was fine with Wren still being alive. For now, anyway. Asking a few questions, Shank also learned that apparently ALL hollows were chosen by some god or another for their task, and that Wren WASN'T divinely-empowered. At the end of the visit, he had a bloody stain on his arm in the form of a dragon, apparently making him the "blood dragon" the dragons had been trying to summon before being interrupted.

From there, the fight to reach Torog was mostly simple, aside from Noah going odd in the head from Torog talking in his brain. Until Wren went crazy, anyway. For reasons not known at the time, she started attacking everyone, so Shank kept her busy so everyone else could get away. In the process of this, a wall of bone had sprung up, separating him and wren from the others. Of course, shank didn't have much time to dwell on this, as Wren proceeded to kill him.

The nothingness reminded him of before he'd woken up after the cataclysm. There'd been the feeling that he needed to get up then, too, but this time, he knew why. The assassin was here. The assassin needed to be stopped. GET. UP.

She wasn't in the sealed-off area anymore. No obvious way through the wall of bone. The blood dragon on his arm had shifted, its head was now on his pauldron, the magic gem he used for light glowing blood red to match. His shield and hidden dagger were gone, torn from his armor while he lay dead, but he didn't need them. He'd never needed them. He just hadn't known. His fists and speed were enough. Shank was gone. A nickname for a fighting style no longer used. As his armor finished closing the long gashes Wren had left, there was a loud noise from the other side of the wall, of metal hitting the floor. Guessing the source, Fisto turned to the wall, and rushed at it, shoulder first. ( http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/1650/1271120243147.jpg )

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