Privateers and buccaneers set sail across the tumultuous seas of the world of Uskara, setting out for uncharted waters or preying upon heavy-laden galleons that travel the dragon-lanes, where the great sea serpents extract tribute and plunder from those unlucky enough to not have patronage from the great Triumvirate of Powers: the Guild, the Dominion, and the Empire, which compete in a great game with each other over the fate of the Nine Seas. To be a mariner is to be synonymous with adventurer, and vice versa, as only the most bold (and foolhardy) would live such a life, despite the promise of quick riches, and worlds unseen just across the horizon. Even beyond the seas, the clouds now open as a new frontier, and the sunken world of the age before holds treasures even further unknown, before the gods flooded the world and drowned themselves in a great cataclysm.
The year is 1077 postdiluvian, what will be called the Hangman’s Year. It is a time of uneasy peace, six years after the Eighty Years War wound down, and already things begin to escalate again. The coalition between the Commercial Ordinaries’ Guild and the Free & Most Serene Empire has collapsed completely, and once again the Grand Old Dominion, ruled by the loathsome mind flayers in their ruffled finery and mocking wigs, has come to collect on old debts and press down their thumb on any independent peoples of Uskara that are not already under the protection of the other powers. A second age of piracy has begun with all of the privateers that have been left behind looking for other means to enrich themselves, especially with the hegemony of the Dominion and its pirate hunters in check.
But not all came to that life of their own volition. Nine souls trapped in the hold of a Dominion prison hulk, the DNS Ceaseless, were on course for the mostly unsettled lands of Magna Orna, to be put to forced labor at the penal colonies. Citing violation of treaty, Guilder ships moved to intercept, starting a skirmish that set the Ceaseless far off course, straight into a terrible storm, leaving it adrift farr off the charted dragon-lanes, into the dreaded wyrmsea. Adrift in the doldrums of the becalmed Tranquil Sea, the prisoners realized they faced a slow and excruciating at the hands of the Magistrate Cornelius Alhoon, the mind flayer master of the vessel, and plotted mutiny. Many died, but they were able to overwhelm, outwit, and overpower the mind flayer, throwing him overboard and taking control of the ship.
It was all for nought, however, as a young dragon, sensing its opportunity, capsized the ship and took much of its treasure and thralls as its tribute, and now we follow nine of the survivors out of nearly two hundred souls that were in the belly of that ship when it set sail from Old Sarum, as they awake on a deserted island. Little do they know their destinies were entertwined, and they would be soon the crew of one of the most infamous ships of the Nine Seas. Adventure awaits on the Endless Blue!
... starring ...
The Play is the Thing
This is a Play-by-Post game, though we may use Discord and/or Roll20 for certain scenes and vignettes. If you and some other players want to roleplay out a scene in Discord when you aren't immediately pressed for time, or to go over a conversation, please feel free, but it must be posted in the fiction of the thread. It is not necessary to post your character sheet on this thread: We will use roll20 for character sheets and the Google Spreadsheet for equipment. I would prefer you use the banners or some other indicator of your character at the top of every one of your posts on the thread.
I will bold description of certain places, people, and things, and italicize any out-of-character notes or discussion.
Do not be too worried about getting everything just right, what matters is keeping a rhythm. It will be a relatively casual game with bursts of activity, and its especially important we hit the ground running. If you know you can't post for a few days, just give us a heads up, preferably in the recruitment/OOC thread rather than Discord so it's easier to track.
Make the story feel like a pulp serial.
Make the voyage of the player characters mythic.
Play to find out what's just across the horizon.
What the principles demand.
What the rules demand.
What honesty demands.
What your prep demands.
Draw maps, leave blanks.
Describe like a pulp serial.
Address yourself to the characters, not the players.
Constantly raise the stakes.
Give up to sail another day.
Treat life like treasure.
Treat treasure like life.
Embrace the fantastic.
Give every monster life.
Name every person.
Make villains outlandish, cunning, and cool.
Give villains, even the most monstrous, drives to make them "human."
Support people, but only conditionally.
Ask provocative questions and build on the answers.
Make the move that follows.
Be a fan of the player characters.
Begin and end with the fiction.
Think in the margins between the pages.
House Rules and Variants
A player can spend a hero point whenever he or she makes an attack roll, an ability check, or a saving throw. The player can spend the hero point after the roll is made but before any of its results are applied. Spending the hero point allows the character to roll a d6 and add it to the d20, possibly turning failure into success. A player can spend only 1 hero point per roll. As well, whenever a character fails a death saving throw, the player can spend one hero point to turn the failure into a success. Additionally, you may spend a hero point to create narrative contrivance, like having the right piece of equipment for a challenge, or a useful environmental feature, or even a connection with a certain NPC or organization, so long as it does not contradict any of the established fiction.
However, every time you spend a hero point, the DM gets a villain point to spend with the same possibilities as described above for their NPCs. The DM loses all unspent villain points once the PCs gain a new level.
Everyone still rolls initiative, and we use the lowest result for both sides to determine order of which side goes first. Each side, whether ebb or flood, can act in any order they like, and coordinate their actions as desired. However, your initiative result still matters for the purposes of surprise rounds and class features like the Assassin’s.
I will almost always set up the battlefield, state the Armor Class and HP totals of most monsters (with legendary creatures and important NPCs excluded), signal their intent and the like in my posts. You will roll and resolve your actions, describing the effects of your action, and if the target is reduced to HP, you describe how they meet their end. I want to give players a lot of narrative agency.
Reactions: Whenever I am aware of possible reactions, I might tap you on Discord about it, or you can “pre-load” a possible reaction in your post if you are expecting something. You can also simply post in the thread, and we can narratively edit what went down accordingly, though if at all possible with a “yes, and” twist.
Current Region: The Tranquil Sea
Map merely representational, reference the world map for scale and geographic relation. The red "X" marks the spot where the party is roughly located.
Current Location: Unknown
Map to scale on the roll20, you may use the ruler tool to determine distance.
Tricky Dick Nixon fucked around with this message at May 18, 2018 around 17:31
|# ? May 13, 2018 19:23|
|# ? Oct 15, 2018 16:57|
The old city of Sarum was paired with its usual partner of gloom and smog, with manufactories belching toxic smoke into the sky while many tightly packed homes with what were surely frightened, narrow minds burned coal for their warmth. The ill-colored waters of the Bray feeding into the harbor were stagnant for years with a thin film that glinted green or purple, a far stretch from the idyllic pastoral aesthetic of the isle of Bight taught in the finishing schools, or of the rugged majesty of the Colonies. Here it took roving tin-walkers, secret police, secure checkpoints and barrels of gin to make the illusion of the Grand Old Dominion’s promise of security in the face of a dying world really take hold, and the dimness of the surroundings reflected that of the souls of its inhabitants after generations in the grasp of the mind flayers.
The Royal Admiralty building stood still and quiet, on a peninsular fortification overlooking the harbor. There were no great flags or ostentatious displays on the outside, as the mind flayers pretended to themselves and others their influence was invisible if they wanted it to be. It is said that they were once dwellers in darkness, and do seem to prefer secreting themselves away from prying eyes. In truth, everyone knew their presence, could feel it in the back of their minds, and as soon as one walked inside through the wrought-iron portals, they found every ostentatious display, though only dimly lit by quickfire-light, burning levitrol (leviathan, or whale, oil) to create the electricity that powered the flickering bluish fluorescent lamps, a unique invention of the Sarumites recently come into fashion, and the only light that did not disturb the flayers’ sensibilities.
Every conquest, every campaign and sortie, was outlined in great detail here, but most of all, trophies, especially in the form of skulls, or even taxidermy, which was also in fashion in Sarum, of humanoids that had been bent to the will of the Grand Old Dominion. Oblique references to the Queen Mother were made through her symbol, the red anemone flower, which was often a sign of heraldry along with the red kraken for the Dominion. Taking this all in was the Admiralty’s expected guest: A human woman, of some age, wearing a red commodore’s uniform with blue sash and a jack of plates intertwined with it, a heavy ceremonial saber at her hip and fur lining her ruffled collar. Her hat was under her arm, revealing her tightly wound bun of red hair that was turning gray, hinting at Vendalic heritage, but she carried herself as a true Sarumite. One eye was scarred blind, while the other had a sickly pinkish color, but she was terribly human, a willing servant of Evil. This was the Dame Morthause Corrigan Licinia, and her squadron of pirate hunters had set to targeting all of the privateers left moorless after the end of the Eighty Years War, once their letters of marque no longer applied…
But that isn’t why she was here. She had been given another task, before she returned from the Tranquil Sea. She was to find the DNS Ceaseless, or at least its fate, if possible. And she had, because the Dame Morthause never leaves a task undone. She had sent message ahead of what she found, and came prepared: Her trusted aides-de-camp hoisted a small cart that rattled in the hallway, with canvas covering its unusual cargo to its destination. She had a point to make.
The war room, where the eleven admirals of the Royal Admiralty met in council, was buried under stone and protected with whatever alien sorcery the mind flayers have mastered, and is informally known as the “Star Chamber.” Instead of seats at a table, there are pillars wherein each of the admirals takes an elevated seat, attended by their retinue, sitting in various positions of an unseen pecking order, some higher and others lower, though each is in theory the equal of the others save for the Grand Admiral, who sat highest and most distant in deep council. Of the eleven total, only six sat in their seats, the others away for one reason or another, as in theory their duties took them across the Nine Seas. With her mouth in a thin line as she was lead into the Star Chamber, the Dame Morthause waited to be recognized, taking stock of the faces that awaited her.
The mind flayers all wore their powdered wigs of station, some wearing lenses or other accoutrements that mocked human civilization. Their collars were all designed like peacocks to display their superiority in some game, their clothing being militarily styled but hardly utilitarian. Their slimy skin, which was naturally blue and purple, was painted white with grease, and then powdered and highlighted with blush, while the ends of their tentacles were stained with a rosy color like that to imitate the lips of a human, which turned the stomach to consider. Before she stepped into the sanctified circle of the Star Chamber, it was all but silent, save for the occasional clicking or hiss, as they communicated seemingly silently save for the twitching of their tentacles, some of which were arranged like the whiskers of men in twisting and unusual shapes, using wires and thick wax to hold them aloft.
Once the Dame stepped into the circle, however, there was a cacophony of bickering. They had received her report, and every one of the jockeying admirals had their own reaction, plan, and seeked to get the attention and brow-beat the others to support it, while advancing their own position. Their voices were whining, aristocratic, and filled the room inside her head. She would have never been noticed if it were not for her patron, the Admiral Rafferty Variss Higgenbottom Crassipes, who had jurisdiction over the Roaring Sea. The admitted defeat in that war of the Dominion had placed him far at the bottom of the rungs, but that made it all the more needed that he rely on an ambitious agent, and he had enough suction yet to demand attention, at least for a moment.
“We can bicker for a fortnight, but you have said you had proof, Licinia,” and the familiarity he showed with her put a chill down her spine that she dared not allow show, but knew would be writ upon the mind his filthy tentacles were already probing, “that we can make up for our losses.”
The Admiral of the Tranquil Sea, a massively bloated and corpulent mind flayer by the name of Tuppence Qhezzangubu Popplewell Lurco, let a sickly wet head, shriveled from being left to soak in wine, of an indeterminate gender, drop from his tentacles into a silver platter, where kobold manservants, stacked atop of each other and whining obediently, attempted to balance themselves and the platter with the added weight, letting out a laugh. “If a wyrm conquered our magistrate, then there is no chance of any survivors. It seems we cannot even trust this dim-witted foozler Crassipes with routine passage through his waters!”
There was a bit of laughter that caused the tentacles of Admiral Rafferty to roil in anger, his pupiless eyes narrowing at the Dame Morthause, which she took as the proper leave, caught between a beak and four hard tentacles.
“Perhaps, gentlemen, it would do to have proof.” With a motion of her hand, her aides-de-camp loosened the canvas and pulled off from the cart, reaving what she had brought all this way from the Tranquil Sea: the mystically preserved severed head of a blue serpent, the same gold-horned wyrm that capsized the CNS Ceaseless.
For once, there was a bit of a hush, before Lurco gurgled forth his question, his telepathic voice accompanied by a visceral hiss of disdain. “What, another trophy for the wall? Not even a fresh mind? Is this supposed to impress us? It looks but a kitten, compared to the ancients we adorn our walls with.”
The Dame however was already at work. “I was not merely chose for my talent at sea and arms, gentlemen. My devotion provides obedience, even beyond death.” When Morthause placed her hand down on the forehead of the feline dragon, she spake a word of power, of command, in a language that caused some in the council to recoil and look suspiciously, as it was something that made even mind flayers uneasy: The Infernal tongue of the Nine Hells.
The hell knight Morthause Corrigan brought forth in Un-Death the shriveling soul, or some echo of it, forth from the dragon’s head, as it let out a rattling breath and spoke in Draconic simply: “<I must obey.>”
Eased to his feet by several servants, Admiral Rafferty came forward to examine it, and ask the proper inquiries. “Ask this lizard, were there any survivors of the DNS Ceaseless?”
The hell knight complied, as did the young wyrm’s head, confirming their suspicions, when it said: “<Mutiny.>”. There was an uproar. The implication of what survivors there were being mutinous, or having gone free, was too much to bear for the fragile pride of the mind flayers. Once captured, it was legend that one would never be free of the thrall of the Dominion. They were infamous for going to the ends of the seas to find any that had escaped, and fate had caused an entire ship of possible thralls to escape their grasp. It was hard to understate how much this cut them to the bone.
It was the Grand Admiral himself, stepping forth in his resplendence, glowing with an unearthly mystic light, with two long extra tentacles that ended in triangular clubs, looked down upon this necromantic display. “Enough. I will have all of it, let’s cut to the quick, so that we might retire. It is time for tea.” A beam of energy shot from his eyes into the dragon’s and the head seemed to lift up of its own accord, suspended, as within moments it scanned all that remained in that fragment of its psyche, as it disintegrated under his gaze.
With only ash remaining, the Grand Admiral waved his hand. “There are nine of note. I shall arrange court martials immediately. They are to be hunted down, taken alive if possible, and made examples of.”
“I shall at once, your excellency,” the Dame said, making to bow, but she felt a twinge of his gaze that caused her to stop.
“That will not be necessary,” he clarified. “For you, I am taking personal consideration.” This caused Admiral Rafferty to look shocked… and annoyed. “There is a task for you in the Demon Sea. You are to find our truant Admiral Catesby and let him know that he is to report back.” There was miles of meaning with that statement, and she found it within herself finally to complete her bow.
“Surely, the pirate hunter should finish her drat job!” Admiral Lurco spat out.
“Are you not the Admiral of the Tranquil Sea, Lurco?” The Grand Admiral countered without looking back. Indeed, Lurco had grown the richest of them all, able to buy entire nations from the exploited treasure of Praxis, Magna Orna, and the Cazzerides, and while the other Admirals were expending all their effort to win the war, Lurco’s privateers were able to hoard treasures unknown, which he fastidiously embezzled into his vast criminal empire, though many of the Admirals had such side-ventures.
Still, he was taken aback. This would mean effort. He had grown fat sitting in Sarum without having to attend to what was going on in his own territory. “Well, your excellency, there are many irons in the fire. Many irons. It is a delicate balance, you see, and…”
“You will manage it,” the Grand Admiral said with a knife’s edge of finality.
Lurco bristled, his jowls and thick tentacles quivering. But then he settled back. “Fine. As you wish it. Everything has a price. The death of a few souls is cheap. They will not escape me, Grand Admiral.”
In the city of Nevarre, across the many red-roofed homes of the cliffsides, there is a bit of a commotion. A Dominion inquisitor with proper papers to pass makes his way through to the stockade, to deliver something to the bulletin.
“My coin is limitless,” came that gurgling voice of the fat flayer. “It matters not the place, it is welcome in all ports.”
With a brush of glue he paints up the parchment, a wanted poster indicated the desired quarry. Several Vendalic brava take note of it, wearing their open shirts and open swords with a practiced machisma, crowding around the inquisitor who keeps his dead-eyed stare even as they mock the size of his sword as compensatory, compared to the short straight swords prefered by the swordwomen.
Yet the price on the wanted poster gets their attention.
“Where is this… Windspeaker, then, witch hunter?” One asks, brazenly tipping up the inquisitor’s chin with the end of her sword, giving a smile with a single gold-tooth.
A dour looking Grunnish woman, a muscular mariner now though still with the spell of youth, is unloading a Guilder ship, unloading the crates. She has a broad face and back, with short hair, and seems to be thinking to herself as she sits in the shadow of the towering cliff-alleys of the city of Khazadan, peering through the torchlight to the postings board, as if hoping for perhaps an escape from her indenture, when she spots something that catches his eye.
“It can’t be…” She moves to the board, seeing a folded parchment and flattening it out to reveal its face. “It can’t be true.”
Lurco’s voice narrates once more over the din, as the poster is torn off. “All mortals quake with greed, whether elder or quickling. It is enough to make even the Queen Mother pity.” It fades to show the same woman before making to abscond and stowaway on a ship headed to the southern Sintales, with only what belongings she can wrap in a sack, with a determined look on his face, and a dagger hidden in his breeches, glinting in the torchlight.
“I watched you die, Joh.” Looking at the torn poster in his hands, the young woman of Be’el de Marr buries her face into her forearm, as the ship sets sail.
No one’s going to take me alive…
The Grand Duchy of Pretonia rests in the peaceful south of Westenfal, having been insulated from the still recent and terrible war wrought on the rest of the island and elsewhere. Seabirds trace the skies as we make our ways into the streets, down into the town square where the merchants come to converse in a forum of the public, and even the nobles come down to enjoy the fresh sea air.
Time has come to make things right…
A knife stabs into the face of a poster, with a young woman’s face on it, as a mad-eyed middle aged man, of portly stature and great finery, looks bewildered at the sight of it. He wheels back to berate the watchman that looks taken aback at this aristocrat gazing down upon him. It is the Count tir Alness, and it is difficult to gainsay him.
You and I must fight for our rights…
Soon a detachment is sent, as he turns to look back. A woman weeps into her hands, a flash of light platinum hair, gazing away at the sight of all of it. Wrenching her arm, his anger is now taken on her, but he stops himself slightly considering the display, looking at the blinkering burghers that are taken aback at the Count’s lost of composure. Gritting his teeth, he departs.
You and I must fight to survive…
No one’s going to take me alive…
In the vertical heights of Annwn Tor, airships meander slowly through the skyways, and the people live amid the trees and buildings in glorious wonder, with wide boulevards that are somewhat empty in these days, as so many are still in national mourning in honor of the dead of the war.
Time has come to make things right…
A crowd has begun to come together however for one of the favorite entertainments: An execution, with all of the drama of a proper headsmas, as the man is to be drawn and quartered in the square. A fair has come together and people have come from all over Brocéliande to see it. In a balcony overlooking the boulevard, there are masqued elves and aristocrats, including a smiling one spinning a knife on his hands, feet out the rail of the window.
You and I must fight for our rights…
Tipping his hat upwards, his gaze completely hidden behind the black eyes of the masque, left soulless and empty, he regards the curled up parchment he took with him here. With his free hand, he feels the weight of his coin pouch, and when there is a passing aristocrat across the window he is gazing out from on the balcony patio, he is gone, though the poster remains. There is the off-screen, distant sound of screams and a crowd cheering.
You and I must fight to survive…
A young man with stringy hair wearing the vestments of a newly ordained deacon of the Axiomatic faith makes his way through the bazaars of the grand city, finding himself troubled as he holds his holy book to his chest, as if it were a shield or some cherished thing, but it doesn’t seem out of reverence so much as fear.
Lurco’s voice continues. “This world needs the ileth. They call us parasites; pah! We have made it greater, but separating the chaff from the wheat. We are fair stewards, fairer than any miserly dwarf or inbred elf.”
He is stopped dead in his tracks by the sight of a poster, the color draining from his face.
Dropping his book and the papers, he moves to grab at them, but feels the eyes looking at him, stepping back, and breaking out into a full run through the crowd, leaving it behind.
No one’s going to take me alive....
Across the Sea of Sand, closer to the Middle Sea but still at the edges of Abyssidia’s desert and in the shadow of the pyramids of unknown origin, still working their arcane magic of unknown purpose to these day, smoke begins to rise out of the temple of Jehuti.
Time has come to make things right…
A humanoid man with black, charred skin that simmers with heat steps through a studdy, fire erupting in his wake and quickly catching all of the loose scrolls and books behind him, looking at the equally charred body of an Ornassi man, one who looked like a teacher or tutor, curled over a desk, covering some parchment.
You and I must fight for our rights…
The man pulls up the body, tossing it aside, and looks at the piece of parchment even as it charrs in his presence, his pupiless white eyes seeming to recognize something, and the brand-like tattoos on his skin glowing aflame as it all but disappears but for that momentary glimpse.
You and I must fight to survive…
In the opulent city of the oasis, at the other end of the Sea of Sand and near the coast of the Arid Sea, the minotaurs have built their monument to the furthest reach of their conquest centuries ago, and remain in their towers regarding the aghors most high among them, though their sultan is now no longer considered Il-Artan over their whole people. The music dies down slightly, giving presence to the sounds of the city.
In the palace of one of the aghors, however, a quick-footed hobgoblin janissary brings forward a piece of parchment, laying it out at the battle-table. There’s a hearty laugh. “The Red Gorgon lives yet.”
With a motion, some of the janissaries are dispatched, as Aghor Cleohan considers his next move, and whether this changes the direction of his own campaign, with all his forces pointed north across the Arid Sea as they are. The mitraides never got further north or west than Abyssidia, but that was only in the past...
Far to the south, as far south as south goes, in the colonial venture of the Dominion, Lurco’s voice returns as we look over the tall buildings and streets inlet against the tropical background, thick with flies and the smell of sweat and overwork. “The Royal Admiralty must defend civilization at all costs against the predation of these… buccaneers.”
In a seedy coastal tavern, where the freemen can in their time between shifts drown their boredom and misery in grog, they have found the possibility of the escape from this life. A group of disreputable looking individuals gander at it, though they are called out by a chuckling man in the corner with his own small crew.
“You’ve quite the price on you, brother.”
“Why don’t we go collect, boys, on the interest our little investment has earned?” There is cheering all around, and quickly cutlasses and dirks are grabbed, leaving the tab unpaid as the barmaid finally reveals herself from where she was hiding, held all but hostage by the pirate crew that had moved through.
At the final crescendo, we move through the winding streets of the island-metropolis of Vitrianata, crown jewel of the Sintales, with its meandering canals and aqueducts that allow ships to sail around and upwards to the higher levels, and through tunnels and locks that make it possible to float in a pleasure barge from the bottom to the very top.
It is on this barge that another poster is revealed, being slowly torn in half after a moment’s glimpse, and thrown into the canals, as a Sintali aristocrat straightens his whiskers worriedly, and Lurco’s voice continues over. “Coin is the universal leverage by which we will rule the world, better than your might or your mind, I will prove to you, gentlement. Why don’t we make it… a wager?”
And with that, everything winds down… It is done.
We find ourselves on an all but abandoned island, with the clearest blue skies, and water so clear you can see the bottom of it, like glittering crystal. The sand is intensely white, and equally hot to the touch, but the brine-soaked bodies that have run aground with scattered driftwood and shrapnel have yet to rise to it. One of these has the face of the same woman in the poster before, a small body, though in the background we see the shuddering form of a collapsed minotaur, as well as something floating up from the water shortly.
As the halfling lays, a little crab moves up, dancing back and forth with curiosity, its eyes moving in and out as it seems ready to probe and see if there is any life. It is only with a cough, wet with swallowed water, that it in alarm absconds, scuttling away as Ranka Volyn finally stirs, the first to open their eyes since the collapse, and gaze out.
In the deserted island of no name.
With no clear path to escape.
This is the real beginning to our story.
Cue title card.
|# ? May 13, 2018 21:55|
Far towards the western horizon, where the sun always sets, a deserted tropical island, with towering black mountains of volcanic rock spotted with greenery and mist. The jungle is thick, but the skies clear as the blue, blue waters of the Tranquil Sea. Fitting a rough triangular shape, the central mountains form a volcanic crater and barrier that cuts the island into two distinct halves, windward and leeward, on the west and eastern sides respectively. There is the distant sight across the horizon of squall lines, but nothing threatening the island in the immediate moment. There is not a single sign of any other islands within eyeshot, and the lot of you are found within a lagoon enclosed by sandy shoals acting as barrier islands to the waves. No living soul has seen this island and lived to tell of it thus far, and that brings with it a certain foreboding. There are no signs of life, only detritus of the wreck of the DNS Ceaseless, washing upon the shore along with her mutinous cargo, which are just now stirring back awake.
The crew have shipwrecked mainly within the confines of a single lagoon, and three are stranded on a sandy isle about a half mile across, with only shallow, clear waters surrounding them. While to the west are the shoals enclosing the body of water, to the north is a brackish saltwater marsh, while to the direct east is an estuary fed with a narrow strait, with a imposing jungle with huge tropical trees densely packed with vines, forming nearly a wall right up to the coastline. Three of the survivors of the DNS Ceaseless are here, the first being Ranka Volyn, the shava seeker who wakes to find herself nearly at the claw-end of a tiny scavenging crab, but soon she is joined in stirring by the lumbering body of Headsman Mazhar, only a stone's throw away. Clinging to her lute which floats precariously in the water, Seccacosantza Tolto washes up a little further still as the tide finally begins to ebb, withdrawing and leaving her on the damp sand with her instrument-turned-lifesaver.
In addition to the fresh beach air, however, there is another scent in the air, one far more odious as a sinister subnote. As the three mutineers stir from unconsciousness, they can spy not too far away the bloated body of a Dominion redcoat, dead for some time and laying on his side, perhaps a human though it is a bit hard to tell from a distance and in its state. The corner of the island he rests is thick with the scuttling of scavenging crabs, which have slowly began to swarm over his body in their usual lackadaisical fashion, picking at pieces here and there and covering the majority of it with their tan and brown carapaces, brought forth by their own spoils of war to enjoy.
Mazhar, Ranka, and Secca wake near each other at point [A] on the map. There is the body of one of the Dominion soldiers and some other various detritus and pieces of the wreckage. Each of you has limited equipment in your possession, as outlined on the Equipment tab. It may not be immediately on your person, but found somewhere nearby. Please describe the state of your current clothing as well and any other items of note, such as trinkets or lucky charms or the like, that have sentimental value to your character. All three of the other locations are visible to you, though the people there may not be immediately visible or alive until they start moving.
The javelins in your possession are not being carried by you, but at actually stuck in your hide, as they were some of the grievous wounds you suffered in the vanguard during the mutiny. It will take a Medicine (or Strength) check to remove them without too much harm to you (or breaking them), until then you may have disadvantage on some Athletics rolls. What do you do?
You will find shortly that your trusted flask is missing, and there is no immediate sign in your vicinity of alcohol, denying you in the moment relief from your sickness. What do you do?
Your songbook is luckily safe within its metal case, since this wasn't your first voyage on the water, but there feels like there is something else important to you that is missing, or was taken away. What is it?
The western barrier to the lagoon is a shoal of bright white sand, which is blazing hot to the touch, a little under a mile long. It too has become alive with crabs moving to scavenge, as a far bit more wreckage is visible upon it, and a fair few more bodies as well in their red coats. We first see, of the survivors, Dermid FitzCulainn, who is torpid against the ship's wheel of the capsized vessel, which is half-buried in its mount in the sand, with Dermid still clinging to it for dear life. Half-buried much like the helm is Johann Seahawk, perhaps a dozen or so paces away, revealed slowly as the tide washes away, his hands grasping tightly onto some furtively kept away object, some unholy instrument of dark powers.
Johann and Dermid wake near each other at point [B] on the map. There are a few bodies of Dominion soldiers and a good amount of wreckage, presumably from the Ceaseless. Each of you has limited equipment in your possession, as outlined on the Equipment tab. It may not be immediately on your person, but found somewhere nearby. Please describe the state of your current clothing as well and any other items of note, such as trinkets or lucky charms or the like, that have sentimental value to your character. Point [A] and the characters on it are visible to your characters, and if you go north on the island, you will be able to see [C] as well.
As all things with you, your awakening comes suddenly and with a jolt, as your dream ends with a vision of some immediacy, with a strong emotional resonance. What did you see?
Clutched in your bony hands is something that represents your willingness to march beyond death, something you took with you from Hell. It is your arcane focus, taking the form of a crystal, orb, rod, staff, or wand. Which is it?
A bit more distant from the lagoon island, the salt marshes are abuzz with the hum of flies and midges, zipping back and forth through the air which is choked with them. Roots curl and create treacherous causeways for the water, and the water seems to be constantly rippling with the dance of water-skimmers and dragonflies. It is the biting of vermin that is likely the first sensation of waking for the two that are found not too far from each other, though not too close either: The spiritfolk Jan'ti and exile Lucielle. Both are caught a bit in the roots and half submerged, and the silty sands of the marsh form treacherous ground even if one was to pull themselves out from the water. There are no immediate signs however of other bodies, or even wreckage, as if the swamp itself opened its mouth to consume them, as it was ready to do for both the druid and swashbuckler given enough time.
Jan'ti and Lucielle wake near each other at point [C] on the map. There are no other visible bodies or even wreckage, but the wildlife here seems far more active, if somewhat muted. You are entangled with the roots (restrained), and can remove yourselves with a DC 10 Athletics (Strength) check; failure still means you escape but might have a minor consequence. Each of you has limited equipment in your possession, as outlined on the Equipment tab. It may not be immediately on your person, but found somewhere nearby. Please describe the state of your current clothing as well and any other items of note, such as trinkets or lucky charms or the like, that have sentimental value to your character. Point [A] and the characters on it are visible to your characters.
There's something caught in the roots with you, and you're not sure what it is, though it feels hard to the touch. With a little leverage it can be taken out. What is it?
You are holding your hand close to your chest, pulled forward in a curl as if to protect it. There was something you took from the ship you thought was important enough to reach out and protect, even as it sunk. What is it?
Farthest flung and least visible from the lagoon island are the last two of our shipwrecked mutineers, who find themselves in a unusually precarious position. The estuary is fed by two rivers snaking through the jungle, and in between them amid the trees that reach out in their roots to the brackish water you find yourselves suspended over it in vines, as if flung there by some thunder-wave caused by the passage of a ancient sea-serpent or typhoon. You are not the only, as a few redcloak (and thrall) bodies are suspended there as well, and beneath you is some driftwood in the wreck. Here, the water is deeper than it is in the lagoon, and the center of the estuary seems to get very dark indeed, as it falls down deep into a pit. It's the sound of a snapping vine that shudders you awake, as one of the bodies hits the water with a plop, and begins to sink, disappearing into the black below.
Quill and Rust wake near each other at point [D] on the map. There are several bodies here and some possible wreckage, though its in danger of sinking beyond sight. You are suspended and entangled with vines over the water (restrained), and can climb away back onto dry land with a DC 12 Athletics (Strength) check; failure you fall into the water and might have some other minor consequence, like losing an item. Each of you has limited equipment in your possession, as outlined on the Equipment tab. It may not be immediately on your person, but found somewhere nearby. Please describe the state of your current clothing as well and any other items of note, such as trinkets or lucky charms or the like, that have sentimental value to your character. Point [A] and the characters on it are visible to your characters, though just barely and only if they are on the southern part of the island.
The mansucript's location is unknown. You remember when they took it, where it was placed. You even remembering recovering it in the short-lived celebrations after the mutiny, though that half-elf kept prying about it. Where could it be now?
You knew one of the thralls suspended in the vines with you, his face recognizable even as its bloated with water and bruised from the waves. Who was he?
Survival means meeting certain goals. You must prioritize your actions and resources. Figure out what is most important to your character, name an appropriate Skill or proficiency, and move in that direction, while also assessing the situation and discussing steps with the others. You'll get specific skill challenges and DCs after you asses and formulate a plan, and get a handle on your immediate situation. Your basic objectives for survival are, in a relative hierarchy of needs:
Tricky Dick Nixon fucked around with this message at May 13, 2018 around 22:13
|# ? May 13, 2018 21:55|
Somewhere a long way from home Quill awakens from his seawater induced slumber with a start. Near death had happened to him an intermediate amount of time ago and it was a relief and a surprise that he was alive after those vivid memories, I mean it would have been bad enough on its own but he could remember it all as clear as the day, the desperate thrashing, the roar of dragon-fire, the smell of oxidized air from it's breath, the Captain's lockbox tumbling over the si-
Oh no, no no no no this was terrible! The moment he realized that the Manuscript was nowhere in sight panic gripped Quill tightly. He had put it back into that box for safe keeping, but then the Dragon had attacked the ship and he'd lost it! Awareness of this fact caught him before the awareness of his current situation dawned on him, as he started to thrash in an attempt to get out of whatever it was that was holding him down.
Quill rolls the one skill he doesn't have at least a +3 in to try and get out of these vines. He does not succeed
With a startled "AWK!" the Vines gave way with an audible snap as Quill tumbled into the Murky waters below. He hit the water hard, feeling something come off of his sodden robes as it did but that didn't matter right now, as he splashed and paddled his way to the bank and pulled himself out of it. His clothes were soaked through, and this would have bothered Quill a lot more if he wasn't currently ignoring all other circumstances right now. They were the plain but hard-wearing gray robes of the initiate members of the Temple of Jehuti, no ornamentation, no fancy frills, just comfortable linen robes with many, many pockets inside and out, because you could always use more pockets. They made wet slapping noises as he started to frantically pat around for what he did have, the Holy Amulet of Jehuti given to him by his Mentor was still there at the very least, he still had access to the divine magics of his god, but that wouldn't help him find the box any time soon, nor would the well used and probably now ruined writing quills (and that didn't matter too much he used his own feathers a lot of the time), or the little knife he kept in his inner pocket. He stumbled towards a likely looking pile of detritus and began to toss things aside as he dug through the contents.
Basic survival necessities can wait, Quill needs that box. Rolling to Investigate
Quill is not having a good Day
TheNabster fucked around with this message at May 14, 2018 around 22:02
|# ? May 13, 2018 22:36|
It seems fair to say that waking up water-logged, covered in increasingly elaborate whorls of salt from said water, sand threating every corner of one's being, and with a splitting headache that suggests too much sun and not enough fresh water would dampen just about anyone's mood. Of course, Seccacosantza is hardly just about anyone. She, in fact, insists quite the opposite. With a hacking cough that produces quite a bit of water, the half-elf draws to her feet and takes stock of the situation.
First, and most importantly, is how she's doing. The lute is fine, if a little out of tune, once she dumps out the water that had collected inside. The rather rigorous lashing job she'd done before everything got too crazy had kept her songbook and its case snug and tight against her body. So, if nothing else, she'll at least have her music to pass the time. The clothing situation... that isn't ideal. Her garments from prior to her internment on the Ceaseless had been found after the battle, but courtly silks and fashionable fabrics are hardly what you'd expect to survive being shipwrecked... and, indeed, they had not.
A short bit of scavenging from detritus and that poor bastard that got eaten by tiny crabs provides something of a solution. If Secca has to name the look, it'll almost certainly be something like 'shipwrecked barbarian chic'. The man's red coat is repurposed and tied together into a makeshift skirt, while pieces of leather armor protect her modesty by covering her chest and one shoulder. There's still quite a lot of skin showing, but that can hardly be fixed without a trip to a proper tailor. Or, perhaps, the sudden discovery of a container of fashionable garments. She finishes her look by stealing the man's knee-high boots, one of which has a handy knife holstered alongside.
The one thing she does immediately peg as missing is a thin, mithril pendant with the symbol of the Knight of Summer, a blade in front of a stylized sun. A reminder of better times at court, she had been given it after a tryst with a fellow courtier. It had been one of the items she recovered from the strongbox where the gear and belongings of the Ceaseless's prisoners had been stowed. She distinctly remembers wearing it when the dragon attacked, so it seems likely that it was either lost at sea — her heart aches at the thought — or some small creature had taken it before she woke. It is shiny, after all, and there might be island birds or the like that might fancy something like that.
Turning her attention outward, at long last, Secca brightly greets her fellow survivors on the lagoon island, "Why, hello! I see we've all survived certain death once more." A beat, as she looks at the minotaur. "Are you alright? You've got something—" She makes a gesture like someone stabbing someone else. "—in your back." Her attention immediately spins to the halfling, as she calls out in Nimhi, "Hail, wave-sister. Does the sun greet you amicably?" She's reasonably sure the answer is going to be in the negative, but that doesn't mean she'll forgo the asking. Back in Sarumish, she says to the two, "I'm going to take a peek around and see if anyone else washed up."
Taking a leisurely circuit around the island, Secca casts her vision around the parts of the island she can make out. Where had they managed to find themselves?
Got a solid 19 on that Perception check.
|# ? May 14, 2018 00:55|
Jan'ti awakens. The world is dark, warm, and wet. Familiar for the first time in months. For a moment, Jan'ti imagines laying half-submerged in the warm waters of her home. Sunlight dancing across her skin. But here, no, this was different. The water was stagnant and rank. She was in something's shadow but the heat failed to relent. The sound of the waves was so distant. Then, in a flash, she remembered the night of the mutiny. The dragon's lightning breath destroying the mast. The screams and cries as the hapless others were sucked down to a dark demise. Jan'ti lurches forward, eyes wide, and...
Jan'ti stops abruptly and forcefully in place. She is only now vividly aware of the gnarled binding that seems to constrict as she struggles. Ragged breathing penetrates and overwhelms the natural sounds of the marsh. Her vision is unfocused and the presence of sunlight threatens to blind her completely. Something that Jan'ti slides off her chest into the water and the bed of twisted roots below. Defeated, she leans back takes a deep breath, and slowly untangles herself from the bed of roots. She quickly scavenges a spear and wooden shield from the nearby wreckage. Her armor, while soggy and stinky, seemed at least functional. The dirty white cloth underneath, however, was quite the uncomfortable experience.
Jan'ti takes a moment to collect herself and without a second thought hops into action. First things first, she was going to need to eat.
Jan'ti searches for mulberries in this new and unexplored locale.
|# ? May 14, 2018 01:36|
So, I died again. Johann thought to himself as he slowly lifted himself up from the dune bank his top half was buried deep inside. A pool of blood and seawater that was expelled from his mouth caked the sand beneath him, and a crystal was impaled inside his hand, red with ichor that flew from it. Despite these grievous injuries, it's a miracle that his clothing isn't more damaged and dirty than a few pieces of algae and sand still stuck to his damp and wet shirt and pants.
After ripping off the crystal embedded inside his hand and pocketing it, he looks at the debris around him. A belaying pin, and... Her amulet. The lock of hair was still inside of it, and Johann let a wistful sigh as he kept it for safekeeping. A nearby dead thrall floated around in the wake, his leather armor a good fit for the sailor, and the mace that was once used to chastise the brig prisoners is now into the sailor's hands. That... Pirate seems to be nearby, but it's not his problem to help him. Instead, Johann focuses on looking around the destroyed remains of the Ceaseless. If it can be helped, he won't have to walk through the entire seafloor again...
|# ? May 14, 2018 01:39|
Laughter is the only thing Ranka can be bothered to summon forth when she wakes up. The mutiny had gone down as planned, every step executed perfectly, only for a dragon to show up out of nowhere and destroy the boat. Hillarious.
She wasn't going to get much done just laying in the sand in any case. Hauling herself up to a sitting position, Ranka takes stock of what's in her immediate vicinity. A length of wood that had once been a pole hook before the shipwreck damaged it beyond use for its original purpose. More importantly the wooden case she'd been pawing through right before the dragon attack was still there. She'd been frantically searching the belongings of the overthrown soldiers, and with a stroke of luck had managed to find her carving tools stashed away in a Dominion bootlicker's bunk. Snapping open the case she's pleased to find all of her chisels and whittling knives are present, alongside her most recent project. She'd been in the process of making a few more darts to supplement her normal supply, but the three she'd started on would work for the moment.
Pleased as she is to have found some belongings, Ranka is side swiped quite abruptly as a wave of nausea overtakes her, the world dipping and swaying wildly. It had been several days since her last drink, and the boat sickness was beginning to return. A feverish sweat was flowing, and Ranka's fingers trembled as she continued to take stock of her person.
Clothing was a mess. Her shirt was utterly ruined for the most part, thankfully Ghostwise crafts were a bit hardier than the shoddy work of the last land dweller village she'd passed through. The heavily folded silken sash she wore tied around her waist and chest was quickly knotted off in a few key spots and served to preserve her modesty, when combined with her water proofed mantle. Her trousers had thankfully fared somewhat better, they were torn in places but would work for the moment. Worst of all her boots were scuffed to all hell and it was unlikely she'd be finding any polish out here.
Finally Ranka hauls herself to her feet, vertigo setting in and causing her to clutch at her head. Absorbed as she is with her ailment she doesn't recognize Secca is not of the shava when the woman begins speaking to her. Ranka lets out a faint dry heave before responding back in Nimhi <"The Sea was starving Sister, no one should risk its ire like that."> She shakes her head as she swoons, tremors setting in through her hands <"I just hope that its- >" She pauses and lets her head run through her people's lexicon of near forgotten words, "appetite? what was appetite..." she says quietly in Sarumish. After a moment she nods and continues,once again in Nimhi <"-appetites were sated, I feel like I'm still hanging over the maw.>"
Taking a few steadying breaths, she barely notices as Secca briefly speaks with Mazhar and heads off to scout the area. Once she's managed to center herself to some degree, she stands and finally notices the skewered minotaur. Much of the shaking in her body is cast off as the shock of seeing a violently wounded person hits her. Within seconds of spotting him she's at Mazhar's side offering help to one of the mutiny's key players "Sea take those squid lovers... I'm not properly trained as a healer, but I've had to yank arrows before, this can't be that different right? Let's uh... let's get those out of you." It wouldn't do to have one of the castaway's heroes bleeding out on a beach or dying to an infected splinter.
It takes some time to deal with Mazhar's javelin problem, but once it's been settled Ranka turns her quickly souring senses back to more immediate matters. The Sea would likely provide an abundance of food in coming days, the corpses of dominion soldiers and prisoners alike would draw scavengers of all sorts to feed on. The real trick would be finding enough clean water to sustain anyone still alive.
Rolling Survival to forage up a source of food and water for the immediate future. It'd suck to die of starvation right after surviving a shipwreck haha.
|# ? May 14, 2018 03:11|
Today was the big day. The day he finally got to step off of Puerto Seguro and sails the seas for himself. His years of training, learning to control his sorcery, all lead to this moment. He had been selected as the Windjammer apprentice of the VOS Demure. He would finally be able to sail the seas, see what the wind saw, feel the sea air against his skin. The Genasi boy had packed his bags the night before, to the amusement of his parents.
Grabbing his bags, he strolled down to the docks. The sun hadn't quite risen into the false light of the early morning. The ship was to leave as the sun rose, and Dermid wanted to make a good impression on the captain. As he turned the corner to the quay, his mother was there, waiting for him.
"My son," she smiled as she spoke, her voice sounded like the preludes of a storm, "feeling impatient? It is still early for boarding, I don't think even the captain is here yet."
Dermid smiled in response as Captain Malla turned the corner behind him, starting as he saw the djinn and her son.
"Keep my son safe captain. But give him no favouritism, he's your crew first and foremost, not your Admiral's son." Clapping the man on his shoulder, she left the two men behind, heading up to the viewing area. The captain turned back and nodded at Dermid, beforing nudging his head towards the ship. Dermid picked his bags up again and headed before following him onto the ship.
As the ship left the docks, Thunder boomed joyously, lighting dances across the sky and-
Dermid woke up, lips dry and cracked from exposure. He was slumped over the wheel as he the events of the previous- night? Sea and storms, how long had he been unconcious? Pushing himself up, he assessed himself. His clothes were in tatters, but he still had a small phial. Staggering down the remaining wreck of the ship, he knelt beside the ocean, filling the phial with the sea.
Headed over to one of the corpses of the Dominion guards, he patted the corpse down for any waterskins or things to help him survive. Noting her similar size to him, he stripped off her boots and jacket to replace his. Putting on the boots, he stripped off his shirt. It wasn't doing him any good anyway, ragged and tattered as it was. Looking up, he noticed Johann looking around. Dermid sighed in relief, he wasn't the only survivor. Waving at him, showing that he was still alive, Dermid looked around, trying to find something, anything that might resemble the remains of the storage hold, which might be able to get clean water, and possibly alcohol.
berenzen fucked around with this message at May 14, 2018 around 09:22
|# ? May 14, 2018 05:49|
Mazhar drifts through a heavy fog, speckled with shards of sentences and flashes of images. A closed door. Ruckus on the other side. He yells, but nobody hears. There is... a gap, there, something he can't quite remember. "Fool of a thrall! Aid me!" There was... a fight? Yes. A fight for their lives. For freedom. Pasty white tentacles wrapping around his face, draining his memories. A soft Dominion squid. He'd charged it. Yes. He was the vanguard, he had to. "No! You cannot! I am <...> You are nothing!" The battle heavy, bloody, but victorious in the end, when he snapped its neck as the others gutted it like a boar.
And then a dragon, and everything had turned dark.
Unconsciousness fades with many an ache. He returns to the land of the living with a pounding pain between his eyes, that almost distracts him from the urgent message his back is sending regarding the foreign objects currently lodged there. Yes, the admiral's lackeys had tried their best to keep the towering, raging minotaur off their boss, but it had been for naught. He'd tried to get them out - but then the dragon had attacked. Yes, that's how it was. It was starting to come back to him now.
His tongue feels like leather, and his mouth was full of wet sand. Mazhar pushes himself up a little, trying to breathe in - which only results in him coughing up the sand and some water, presumably from his lungs - and tries to resist the urge to throw up as dizziness and nausea takes him when he sits up on his knees. Everything hurt, yes, but he was alive, and that was enough. His bleary eyes have trouble focusing, so instead he examines his body with his hands, slowly. Some minor nicks and bruises on his chest, yes. A scar on his cheek, a fresh bright red still, where the mindflayer had latched on a tentacle and refused to let go. His bracers had some gaps in them, but not enough to fall off. His pteruges, the skirt of leather customary for the Cekman caste he was a part of, had seen better days, but it was enough to cover his modesty still. Right. Hurt, but alive.
He tries to stand up, but the headache has other ideas. A noise happens to his side, and he covers his ears, grunting in discontent. Everything was so...loud. The minotaur blinks once, twice, trying to focus his vision, before looking off to the side where the noise came from. An entirely too happy looking half-elf and a small halfling woman looked at him with some concern. Did he know them? Yes. Yes, they were there. In the fight. Fellow slaves-to-be, dissatisfied with their fate. The words only come in a moment later. "Alright...? Yes." His speech is slurred, slow. "Yes, I believe I...I'm sorry, my mind - it does not seem to wish to..." he trails off, eyes going unfocused.
Pain reasserts itself as the small one reaches for his back. Mazhar twists his head in an instinctive, feral reaction, the animal in him reacting before his conscious mind has a chance to catch up and realize she only wishes to aid him remove the javelins. "Yes. Out. Take..." he gestures at the one in his shoulder, the one he can't reach, while his large fist encloses around the spear in his lower back. "At once. Three, two..." His words fall away, but his body keeps going and swiftly removes one of the javelin, leaving the halfling to catch up a half-second later. The minotaur bristles, but the pain from the wounds swiftly subsides.
His body now tended to - until a healer could take a look at it, at least - he tries to focus on the others, tries to make his words form a coherent sentence. "I...forgot you. I know you were there, but..." he shrugs helplessly. The mindflayer's assault had left a lasting impression, it seemed, but he furrows his brow. "I...we need food. Water." Jumbled though his mind may be, his training kicked in through the fog. Easing the pain could come later. Survival needed to come first. "Give me...I can walk. Just...need a bit."
|# ? May 14, 2018 07:30|
Alive, is the first thing Lucielle thinks to herself after the former noble regains back consciousness. "I'm still alive," she mumbles quietly to herself, her lips curling up into a small, grateful smile. Yes, her current situation isn't what you might call ideal, and she would have prefered to be somewhere that wasn't as damp and humid, but she vastly prefers this over enslavement, or death. "Sorry, you're going to have to try a little harder next time," she says, as if she was directly taunting the invisible Reaper that hangs around her.
She tries to recall what happened before the ship capsized. Wasn't she trying to protect something? Her memory is still a little fuzzy, but she remembers finding an object on the ship that was of great importance to her, and she almost risked her very life to save it? What was it again?
...Oh, she's still holding onto it. She unclenches her hand slightly to comfirm to herself that she still has it, and sighs in relief when she sees that she still has it, her mentor's special gold coin. It might sound silly to almost lose your life over one single coin, but this coin was one that was of great importance to her mentor. He'd always carry it around with him wherever he went, never letting go of it. "My most valuable treasure," is what he'd call it, which was why Lucielle was shocked when she found it on the body of one of the mindflayers. She wasn't sure what this meant about the state of her mentor, but she knew one thing for sure; she had to take it back, no matter what.
On one side of the coin is a picture of an angel, and on the other, a picture of a skull. Vashryn would flip the coin to see what his luck would be that day, and when Lucielle opens her hand to check on it, the first thing she sees is skull side of the coin facing up, "Heh," she softly chuckles, "That's just about what I was expecting."
Right. Time for her to get out of these roots. It would be easier for her to get out if she let go of the coin, but she's not about to drop it into the marsh after she went through so much trouble getting it in the first place! Lucielle clenches her hand tightly around the coin, and slowly begins to untangle herself from the roots.
Untangling self from roots (Athletics check): 1d20+5 8
OOC: Took about 2 damage getting out of the roots.
...Which proved a little more difficult than she thought. As it turns out, her body is more than a little exhausted after everything that's happened, and she's had to exert a little more effort than she had to get herself free, causing her to sprain a muscle.
Well, that could have gone better, but that could've also have gone a lot worse, as she often tells herself. Now that she's free, Lucielle takes a quick moment to empty her boots of the water that was collected in them, and then she begins to scavenge what she find to protect herself, in case of danger. She grabs a short sword, and a pair of tools, along with a crowbar, that she found laying on the ground. Never know when you might need to forcibly open a door on this lonely deserted island.
Her outfit, as it were, is a mess. It's more than a little soggy, and slightly cut-up from the battle, and her silver hair, which is usually tied up in a neat, long braid, is now wet and messier looking than her clothing.
After taking a second to collect herself, Lucielle begins to look around for other survivors. She looks around, trying to find signs of anybody else near her...
...And what do you know, she just so happens to find somebody right in front of her! "Hello!" She calls out to the woman she recognizes as Jan'ti. Lucielle skips over to her side, and says, "Glad to see I'm not the only one who survived! You're Jan'ti, yes? I'm Lucielle, just in case you forgot!" She takes a quick look around the area, "Have you seen anybody else around, by any chance?"
|# ? May 14, 2018 16:31|
Rust was vaguely aware, floating through a black void, not sure if he was alive or dead. Unable to move, his thoughts wandered to what lead him to this situation. As he pieces together the last couple of hours, the void takes shape, giving color and shape to his thoughts.
He's on the deck of his ship, but he can't place it. It wasn't his own or his brothers, too heavy, too industrial, too...
That's right, he's on the Dominion, topside. Rain is coming down and wind buffets everything around him. He was covered in blood, some of it his but mostly from the blood of others, slowly running off him in rivulets as he is sprayed by ocean mist and rainwater alike. He can barely keep a grip on rusted excuse this ship called a blade as he drives it through a cannoneer, cutting through the belly and out his side. His immediate threat dispatched Rust turns to the captain. The squid faced bastard already had his tendrils wrapped around a minotaur who had been transferred onto the ship with him. Rust figured it was only a matter of time before the minotaur was food or a thrall, so Rust took a risk. Diving to a nearby corpse, he scoops up a discarded crossbow from one of the already dead, turns aim and looses a bolt in the direction...
...No, this isn't helpful. Remember the old man's lessons. The visions shift and Rust sees himself as a child, curled up on the dusty ground, protecting his face and gut from the boots of Dirk. From somewhere behind him the old man yells, "This is useful pain boy. If you ever want to survive out there hold onto that pain. Let it feed your instincts, fight or flight, boy."
Pain, useful pain. Rust feels it, his whole body aches of it but it does not scream out, like he had drank milk of the poppy. He tightens the grasp of his hands and feels something give purchase.
The black void gives way, lightening as he feels consciousness flutter back to him.
Focus on the pain, and open your eyes
Rust opens his eyes and glances around. His eyes take focus to find that he's up in the air facing the brackish blue-green water below. He hears a squawk and a splash to his right. He glances over in time to see that featherbrain stumble and stagger to the shore. Unsure if that birdman (what was his name? Still? Quill?) was cognizant of him still being up here, Rust looses interest in the kenku and focuses in on his own situation. Rust turns to his right and finds the still-grinning visage of Victor, the jailor. The jailor had made sure to see that every aspect of Rust's internment was as unpleasant as possible, borderline starving him just for the fun of it. When the cages were opened, Rust made sure he was the first to die, cutting the man from ear to ear the moment Rust got his hands on a blade. "Hah, sucks to be you still, you daft fucker" Rust chuckles to himself as he orients himself around on the vines to get a view of the cove they washed in from. Trying to see if he can see any movement from the height advantage.
Perception check = 16 I guess it'll be DM Fiat if I'm able to spot any of the others from my current vantage
His initial assessment done, Rust decides it's time to break his vines and see about making his way down. "Oi, feathers," he shouts down to the Kenku, now pecking through some nearby detritus, "You find anything good down there? Did any of the rum survive?" Rust pulls an arm loose and feels where the rapier had been on his belt and his hand met a familiar handle, taking a grip of it he pulls it loose, hacking at a vine that he thought was supporting most of his weight.
Athletics check = Natural 20
The main vine severs, and with his now free hand he grabs hold of the severed end, swinging gallantly to the shore, landing with a soft tumble.
Rust took a minute to assess himself now that he was free. His leather jerkin (that he had taken from a thrall who no longer needed it) was wrinkled and cracking around the seams, but seemed to hold together well enough. The dominion inscription on the jerkin could still be seen, though it was scuffed and faded. The white shirt underneath he had been wearing in his cell was profusely stained with the blood from the battle on the ship. His pants were frayed and torn in various places, but were otherwise intact. His necklace, a small silver skull with small gems for eyesockets, was nestled firmly between the jerkin and the shirt. Above all he was profoundly glad to not loose his black leather boots. It would be a fair sight unpleasant to have to deal with exploring an inhospitable island barefoot.
Rust swaggers over to the Kenku and helps him pick through debris, using the flat of the rusted boarding rapier as a makeshift sorting stick
Waiting until I hear back from the GM about my perception check and I'll go from there. If it's not too late I'll go ahead and throw an assist to Quill on his investigation to give him advantage.
DeathSandwich fucked around with this message at May 14, 2018 around 19:42
|# ? May 14, 2018 17:04|
The courtier stirs first and seems almost completely unhindered by her circumstances, moving to survey this island that she is perhaps one of the first mortal souls to discover, and while that has a hint of foreboding, it's hard to suppress the feeling of enterprise it instills as well. She is truly an explorer of the unknown, like Balor's crusaders of old that brought the light of civilization to all reaches of the Nine Seas. Though it is but a humble and less than auspicious start, this may be the start of quite the daring voyage.
It's a bit early to give the island as a whole a name, but this lagoon might deserve one, and who better than the Vidame tir Cuothr to give it one? What name would you give this place, if any?
Shaping up the lay of the land, it's a bit bereft of distinguishing features if one was to be honest about it. There are few pieces of the DNS Ceaseless to pull from, most of it likely caught by the barrier islands on the shoals or pulled by currents downwards towards the southern shallows. The body mobbed by pale tan crustaceans is the only real visible lobsterback on this central isle, though the half-elf spots a flash of a red coat lopping in the waves, drifting back from the estuary now that the tide is receding. The treeline forms a natural barrier to sightlines along the coast, which slops at first gradually and then steeply upwards towards that spine-line central range, around the central volcanic crater of dark, almost black stone visible through more sparse segments of the jungle. Thus the eye naturally leads to other features than the mainland, and from there the first signs of other survivors make themselves known.
The Vidame spies the sight of other figures not too far, five, six other survivors within earshot if one were to shout, though just barely. Two are on the shoal, kicking around on the sand and seeming to be scrounging together just as you. A bit up the coast, you see two dragging themselves through the muck of a salty marsh. And when you are on the southern end of the island, you can see through the path of the estuary two castaways struggling, and freeing themselves with varying degrees of grace.
Secca's Perception check is a success. All the other PCs are visible to you folks on the islands, though you probably can only shout at/interact with one group at a time, though you might find a way to signal all three of the other groups. You also notice a few other things, as elaborated in the fiction before and further.
The jungle however is unusually quiet, which while it serves to make it so that one's voice carries unnaturally far with a dull echo, it only enhances the feeling of foreboding that comes with the deserted isle. One does not see the expected colorful plumage of tropical birds, not even sea gulls or buzzards to come collect with the other scavengers. The fronds of the trees do not shake with life, there is no hooting culls, only a low dull din of insects. That is not to say that there is no wildlife here; quite the contrary, Ranka Volyn finds that feasting is bountiful, as the tide recedes and reveals the life of the tidepool sands.
In addition to the many scavenging crabs, the sand is peppered with mussels that can be unearthed with just one's bare hands. Taking a tin bucket with a bit of salt water, the shava collects them from the beach first, while taking stock of what else to find. The clear waters of the lagoon should be a rich environment, but she finds that there are no fish to be seen. It is almost barren of life, save for filter-feeders like crawfish, some sand fiddlers and sea slaters, and at least one unusually large isopod. One has to be careful where they step as well, as urchins dot the rocks here and there, though there is no coral formations or the like, at least not here. It feels unusual, as life should be bountiful in an environment like this, and it's only easy to forage because of the large number of scavengers attracted by the now plentiful food. It would be an afternoon's work, but she could feed a good number of people, more if she had help.
Your people have lived on the coast and rivers and live on this kind of fare regular. You may have a particular recipe in mind. What is it, and what are you missing to make it?
The issue of water is a bit more difficult. There are no freshwater sources, though with it being the windward side, Ranka knew that it would not be too hard to collect a lot of rain given time, but they would need to set up some barrels to collect them. Luckily she found two mostly intact barrels to do so, but it didn't solve the immediate thirst that caused her head to hang heavy. Dehydration was going to soon kick in for most of the castaways. It might forth them to go upriver: As one of the boatfolk she was very familiar with rivers and if they had a raft, or simply a little moxie, the castways need go only a little inland to collect the water in the barrels.
Ranka's Survival check is a success. The DC to forage in the area around the lagoon is currently 10, but that is only for a limited time. However it will take a few hours of work, so once you have recruited a few people and have the time to do it, each of you may roll a d6 (with only you adding your Wis modifier) to collect some crustaceans for food. We'll add all the results together and that's how many lbs of food your crew can collect with about 2 Uskaran hours of work. Collecting water is trickier: Simply roll a d4 every night, and that's how many gallons rainwater you can collect with two barrels. If you want or need more, you'll need to find a different source, risking going inland. I have added two barrels and a tin bucket to your "stored" inventory for now.
As the search winds down however, something else catches the Vidame's eye, and soon enough becomes obvious to Mazhar and Ranka as well. It looked like just perhaps mist if one was not paying attention, but the keen elvish senses of Seccacosantza Tolto immediately indicates something is off. To the south, on the other side of the wall of jungle, rises a plume of black smoke, relatively fresh and only just now really winding around and reaching a visible height.
Smoke of that formation and color is one you are familiar enough with. That's a controlled burn, certainly unnatural. It brings back memories. Which one is on your mind?
The likely source of the smoke added to the map as a red X for a point of interest.
The barrier shoal is littered with driftwood and bodies, some redcoats and some thralls. Johann dirties his hands immediately with an undertaker's work, as a scrounger in the immediate wake of a battle. By dragging some of them together and finding the more salvageable pieces, one is able to collect a respectable haul. One immediately notes however, the wood here is so shattered and disparate that there is little hope of finding the prison hulk even partially intact, and the pieces of driftwood, while perhaps good enough to form a raft, could never make a true means of egress.
There are weapons, equipment, and a few particular gems in the rough: First, a mostly well-kept firearm, an old arquebus with an intact wick for its matchlock and a tin box with enough powder and pellets for five shots. Second, a huge mat of hempen rope that once unwound could be very useful, likely from a torn piece of rigging. Third, several tins labeled "SPARE MEAT", often called "spam" by mariners familiar with this Dominion delicacy, potted and pressed meat gelatinized by being cooked in their tins of an uncertain origin.
The haul from Johann's Investigation brings a fair amount of equipment, specifically the following:
Johann begins stripping the bodies as he makes his grim work, laying out what can be salvaged at the side near the pile of driftwood, while Dermid stirs and seems more interested in whats beyond the isle as the fastidious revenant keeps the archdevils from playing with his idle hands. All in all, seven dead. Five lobsterbacks and two poor lost souls that will never see home.
One might wonder if you have any hope to see life among the dead, or simply find it kinder and simpler to have the more quiet kind of dead... but superstition states that bodies given no sending off are doomed to a life as the Un-Dead. Like you. Do you do anything to prevent this?
The morbid activity of the mariner Seahawk, who is giving his companion a wide berth already with a sort of absent lack of regard, leaves the entire rest of the island more or less for the Windspeaker to explore. There isn't much but burning hot white sand, driftwood and corpses, but Dermid sets to looking around, getting a feel for where they have washed up. This thin strip of sand acted as a natural barrier against the sea, enclosing the lagoon such that at low tide it is almost completely cut off from the ocean, and within a few more hours that will be the case as it recedes back. There appear to be survivors on one of the islands in the lagoon, and when Dermid reaches the north end of the shoal, he can see one or two survivors in the marsh, with one pressing a little deeper inland after something.
Something troubles Dermid, beyond all the other troubling parts of being shipwrecked on a mysterious, unknown island in the midst of wyrmsea. He can naturally feel the shifting of the wind heading in from the western waters and blowing through the islands. Rainfall would hit heavily here on the windward side, which is normal, but how were they carried so far and survived? There is almost no sign of the ship, and there was no sign of this land when they had been floating for over a week in the doldrums. The Verani prince cannot put his finger on exactly why this troubles him, but his superstitious mind would not easily accept this as a happy chance of fate that they arrived on this island.
Dermid's Perception check is a success and he can see and/or interact with the characters at [C] or [A], though only one at a time. He notices some strangeness about his surroundings, and though he spies no freshwater or alcohol, he does get a clear clue as to where better salvage may lay, as the fiction shall show...
Following his instincts, Dermid moves back down south on the island, scanning the waters as he does, and notices the wreckage becomes thicker the further south it goes, and the waters of the tide seem to indicate that they naturally would drag it further south, into the shallow waters just across the barrier of trees. To his surprise, he finds an almost intact mast, bobbing in the water, just about twenty yards or so away from the shore, in slightly deeper waters, with a tattered Dominion jack guttering in the wind like a candle's flame. That isn't the piece of cloth that immediately catches his attention however, its the white pants being shaken back and forth, not by the wind, but by mortal hand.
There is another survivor, legs tied up in the rigging and one arm around the mast-pole, the other waving those men's undergarments. It appears to be a young woman, of very slight stature, perhaps even mistaken for a child at distance. Once Dermid gets closer, however, it's clear that its an adult, perhaps a stout halfling but taller than he'd ever seen, with sandy-blonde hair and glittering green eyes. Perhaps a half-dwarf? Maybe such thoughts do not hold him, and certainly is not the distressed damsel's concern, as she calls out in a voice thick with a Grunnish accent, heavy on her vowels and with a sing-song lilt, "St. Jesoth and all the rest, please! Help! It's sinking!" Indeed, it was seeming, with the tide receding, to be pulled back out from where it had been lodged in the coral, wavering precariously back and forth, but she didn't seem particular entangled, in the mess, but it didn't take too long for Dermid to notice the real cause for her alarm.
One, two, three fins circling the wavering mast, closing in like buzzards, as the reef sharks sensed the fear on the air, coming to feed on still breathing prey.
The fate of this young lass is in your hands; not the first and likely not the last, but you'll have to think quickly, with or without the ghost mariner's help, to extricate her from this predicament. What do you do?
The sinking mast is marked on the map with a red X as a point of interest.
Jan'ti is greeted in her search by all of the myriad life found in the salt marsh. In addition to the tide life found elsewhere, there are many more molluscs and gastropods in between the roods, and entire colonies of little arthropods that begin jumping all about to and fro as she approaches. An alamringly large weta, about as large as her forearm, gnaws a bit on a piece of greenery as she passes, examining trees for any sign of fruiting that would make it suitable for Astarte's life-providing mysteries. There is no such luck, however. The kind of mulberry that grows in the tropics, sometimes called the kapa tree, cannot survive in brackish soil like this, and is liable to be further inland, alongside a river, where it greedily sups the rainwaters, though there are liable to be some on this island. However, her task is not fruitless, as she finds many possible means by which to sustain themselves, just from this marsh, or in supplement to other parts.
There's much glasswort, turned bright red and ripe with the autumn season, sometimes called "sea pickles" since they taste so good with vinegar, trailing wild bean with the weed and algae, and that old standby of cattails, which are a cornucopia to themselves of useful reeds, and multiple forms of nourishment. There's an abundance of whelks, a kind of saltwater snail, that could add a little more to the gathering. Most interesting is a grove of corkwood trees, the fruit of which, sometimes called "swamp apples," are eaten by monkeys and crocodiles both to supplement their diet. They are yellowed and ripened, but most important, hold a lot of water in their succulent fruit, without any of the salt from the brine their plants grow out from. Knowing that this is an island of fire and earth, Jan'ti can sense that freshwater would likely bubble from beneath the ground, but such springs would be found further in, but might have some medicinal properties of their own.
Jan'ti's Survival check is a success. The DC to forage in the area around the marsh is currently 12. However it will take a few hours of work, so once you have recruited a few people and have the time to do it, each of you may roll a d6 (with only you adding your Wis modifier) to collect some (mainly) vegetarian food. We'll add all the results together and that's how many lbs of food your crew can collect with about 2 Uskaran hours of work. You also roll a d4, and that equals to about how many "gallons" of water you can extract from the fruit of the corkwood trees. Feel free to take some fruit for flavor and to show to others, and to have a basket made of the cattail reeds for collecting what you forage.
As Jan'ti weaves together an improvised basket from the cattails, Lucielle, still feeling the sting of her sprain, wades through the brackish water and onto one of the more dry spots near where Jan'ti works to acquaint herself with the spiritfolk. Dazed and filled with a terrible thirst, she finds herself a bit weak in the knees, yet out of a desire to maintain her casual demeanor looks to lean on a nearby log, only to perhaps be a bit startled when that log begins to move. Instead, thick and algae-covered as it is, it animates with life, though slow and languous, swaying a bit back and forth. It is an enormous stick insect, with two antennae like fern fronds, and long segments and legs that carefully move just a little bit away before looking to return to stillness, interpreting Lucielle as a possible threat despite its size. Neither of you have ever seen anything quite like it, though it appears at face to be harmless.
Lucielle's Perception check is a failure. The only obvious consequence is a mild startle and meeting a new stick friend, but some details or opportunities may have been missed, and neither are much aware of the other survivors unless they try and get your attention.
This noble isn't quite soft-handed, but you can tell she has never lived out in the wilderness like this. Perhaps this is where you can guide her, just a little? What do you do?
There is little sign of any wreckage or bodies here, unlike elsewhere, at least at first. Both of our castaways are engrossed either in their thirst and feverish daze, or in the work of preparing to survive the harsh world they have been thrust into. Still both notice, and especially Jan'ti, a complete lack of what they might have expected from this tropical island. No birdsong or calls of great and terrible beasts. Though the marsh is alive with the buzzing of insects, there's no distinctive sound of fish breaking the surface, or the hiss of an alligator or snake. Life is abundant, and yet it is also absent. It is this stillness that is interrupted when a most peculiar sound, a a whistling of a jaunty tune, breaks through the buzz and din of the cloud of flights and midges to reach their ears.
Though both hear it, it is Lucielle that feels a bit drawn to look, just perhaps through the fronds and over the marsh's abutment to see, pressing a bit inland from the coast where both had washed up. The ground is spongy but seems solid enough beneath her feet, and it is preferably than wading through the criss-crossing arterial causeways of brackish, black mud. Whether joined by the genasi or not, she pushes just far enough that she spies the source of the sound, perhaps a stone's throw away in a basin pit of rippling mud, the sight of an old man with thick matted hair and beard sunk up to his waist in mud and stuck, not struggling against the agonizingly slow descent that has befallen him, one arm seeming stuck in it as ever. His voice naturally whistles even when he doesn't put his cracked, bloody lips together to blow, missing as many teeth as he has, and his stock and weight marks him as a dwarf, which does not bode well considering how dense they are for his sinking.
His tune reaches a bit to its end, and if he notices that anyone is around, he doesn't make any note of it, letting out a bit of a resigned groan a bit. "Finally... time to die..." It's said with an almost sorrowful finality and resignation, which is somewhat undercut by the jaunty tune that came before, and the fact that his impending death seems to be coming at the rate of drying paint, as the mud bubbles and ripples only slightly. A fly lands on his bulbous, hooked nose, and he sneezes, which does little to help the pathos of the moment.
Whatever the state of this poor sod's mind, his life is in danger, with you and Jan'ti the only ones possibly able to help him. Yet you have no immediate tools other than your wits and whatever you might whip up, though you do not precisely have an urgent deadline: It could be an hour or two before he sinks enough to drown. What do you do?
The quicksand (and its captive) added to the map as a red X marker for a point of interest.
The stillness and serenity of the estuary is given an ignominious end when the kenku falls squaking and flapping into the water, causing a great big ruckus as perhaps one or two of the other bodies fall with it, sinking into the disconcerting black abyss just beneath the surface. Quill makes his escape though, even if it's with far less gallant aplomb than the buccaneer that soon joins him at the shore. Soaked to the feather with the water, the body of the young scholar bristles a bit, puffing out in a ridiculous fashion, though he has no time for preening as he madly begins to scramble, tossing pieces of equipment here and there. Single-minded in his approach, there are a few occasions where a bauble or trinket gets thrown aside, one or two even being tossed back into the water.
You find only one item that catches your eye, even if for just a moment: a dingy compass where the arrow certainly points in a direction, but it is certainly not pointed north, and seems to change in relation to you when you move. On the bottom, scrawled with a knife are the words: "to cockaigne". It might be worth some investigation... Or might be worth nothing. Do you keep it or toss it to Rust?
Rust has the presence of mind, set as it is to mind the bird-brain, to be looking a bit at what is scrounged up before its tossed too much aside, but his desire to stay alert and see their exact surroundings means some things might get missed, but a modest amount is collected nonetheless. He notes however a deathly calm over the surrounding jungle that feels unusual, even if he's not too familiar with the wilderness as such, often having seen these from the comfort of a ship, or at least a dinghy. The lack of animal sounds and only a soft humming of insects meets with the stillness of the trees that ride right up besides the coast, acting as a wall for most of it, yet here in the estuary between the two rivers its a bit more sparse, giving you some more freedom of movement.
Quill's Investigation check is a failure, meaning only a modest amount is scrounged from the bodies and wreckage in the estuary, and no immediate clues are found as to the location of the manuscript. Rust's Perception check succeeds, which will soon play out in the fiction in a way that may help Quill towards his ultimate goal, even if it may not help much in the immediate sense of finding equipment. The following equipment is found, feel free to take and note on the spreadsheet on the equipment tab:
Before looking much further inland, Rust takes note that there seem to be some survivors on the island near the estuary's mouth, where it opens into a lagoon of some sort. The only clear shape, thanks to the size and distinctive horns, is that of Headsman Mazhar, whom Rust was almost sure had possibly died against the mind flayer, and he was certainly comatose during the (brief) celebrations after the mutiny's completion. He had taken the brunt of the foul creature's mental assault, which Rust might have intended, it's hard to say, owing the mercenary bull no loyalties yet. Still, a bond forged in battle is quite a bond. Perhaps he would be of some use...
Then Rust noted the black plume of smoke, just to the south. There appeared to be other survivors as well, and they may have already set camp... at least, that was what one might hope the smoke was from. Isolated as he and Quill were, they had to decide how they might try and head over there, but before he could do, he realized he had let the kenku out of his sight for just a moment, and the kenku seemed to go further inland in search of something. Taking a closer look at the sparseness of the trees, Rust was struck with something he hadn't realized before.
Some of the trees had been felled. By wind? It looked unlikely. The marks there at the bottom looked like slashing, sharp edges. There was a disturbance in the grass and sand, and a trail of blood running along with it made it look like perhaps there were a few more bodies here earlier than there were now. While the kenku rummaged through more of the wreckage, Rust cautiously moved a bit closer, and saw that the sparseness was because of the mouth to some kind of cave, yawning open in between the trees, cleverly hidden in the shade and undergrowth that if one were not careful, one might accidentally take a last step and tumble into.
The cave was strangely smooth, on a steep slope downwards that then moved seemingly upwards, making it impossible to tell how far it went. It was that black, igneous kind of rock that islands of fire and earth often had, smooth until it became a treacherous sharp edge, and certainly not something one would want to attempt to climb without a little preparation. The shade made it dark as well, but there was just enough shafts of light to catch one's eye: Suspended, as if in the air floating, were several chests, including a tin box--Quill's tin box--and what might be some of the storage crates from the DNS Ceaseless. There was also a twisted up, shriveled body of what may have once been a lobsterback by the color of his coat, but the skin was blackened and beyond recognition at that point.
That's when it became clear why they were suspended: Strands of thin silk spread out in a net-like web from one side of the cave to the other, in various layers, some disturbed, and some not. By the size of the webbing, and the prey, one could only make a few guesses as to what kind of creature might lair that. And none of them were particularly encouraging to the corsair Rust Freewind.
You know that what the kenku is looking for is the treasure map he jealously guards from others from his master. Maybe, if you can stand to do so, there might be a reason to help him get it, especially if he'd be grateful enough to lead you to the riches that Amon the Historian once found in the not-too-distant continent of Praxis. What do you do?
The tunnel entrance marked on the map with a red X as a point of interest.
|# ? May 15, 2018 00:55|
"Hello!" She calls out to the woman she recognizes as Jan'ti. Lucielle skips over to her side, and says, "Glad to see I'm not the only one who survived! You're Jan'ti, yes? I'm Lucielle, just in case you forgot!" She takes a quick look around the area, "Have you seen anybody else around, by any chance?"
Jan'ti was reaching up to pluck a rouge heart-shaped fruit from a low hanging branch above her when the exile startles her. She freezes with her long arms outstretched to the heavens, cradling the precious fruit of her labor. After a tense moment, Jan'ti slowly lowers her arms and turns to face the quickfolk from before. "Yes. The mutiny." Jan'ti gestures towards her new companion as if to confirm her identity, "Lucielle?" It is in this moment that the allure of the harvested fruit overwhelms Jan'ti in this short reprieve the conversation had allowed. She takes a large bite, skin and all, and begins to somewhat noisily devours it. It is the first fresh fruit she's had in months and it is divine.
Jan'ti covers her mouth one hand and pushes the basket of fruits forward with other. There's a short silence as Jan'ti mulls over her phrasing in this accursed tongue punctuated by deep full swallow. "No. No one else. Haven't looked very hard." The genasi wipes her mouth on the back of her wrist. She takes a second, more restrained bite, and covers her mouth to speak. "We should stay together. Stay safe."
Jan'ti is definitely taking a basket of fruit with her. She's too preoccupied at the moment to notice the old mand and his jaunty tune.
|# ? May 15, 2018 02:50|
After a leisurely circuit of the small island the trio find themselves on, Secca feels that some things have become quite evident. First and foremost, they are not alone in having survived. Keen eyes had picked up at least six figures moving around at various points, not to mention the tell-tale signs of smoke further down the coast. It seems clear enough to her that investigating that might serve a few purposes. First, and most importantly, she could finally dry off. Second, she might be able to find more friends to help figure out a way off of this delightful, yet largely deserted, island paradise.
It certainly wouldn't hurt to clue in the rest of the survivors she'd seen! If there was a half-chance that the fire was somehow signaling the presence of, say, a terrible collection of guards and other ne'er-do-wells who might well lose their reason at the sight of such a fetching specimen of Sarnathqar breeding, it might not hurt to have a rough-and-tumble friend or two at her side.
Secca smiles brightly at the pair, the hulking figure of Mazhar now decidedly less perforated with javelins, and says, "Hail and salutations once more! I dare say we're in fine company." She points to the three groups she spotted in turn and fills in the general details of what she saw. "I was thinking of taking a quick jaunt to check out that smoke. Might well be some supplies that way, at the least, and I'm sure we could all stand to have a few more friendly bodies about!" A beat. "Oh, and indeed, I'd cover your ears. I'm going to signal the others and attempt to rally them to a more central location."
Strumming a few times on her lute, grimacing a bit before adjusting the tuning a bit further, Secca sings out, "/Dearest friends and survivors~! If you are living and hardy, or generally pleasant, your company would be appreciated o'er by the smoke~!/" She has the illusory echo repeat the message a few times, just in case someone had decided to stick their head underwater or something, then follows up with a quick riff that helpfully forms a red arrow in the air pointing the way. Not everyone had sharp eyes, she supposed.
The magic of Minor Illusion makes that roughly the volume of a shout or scream, perfect for one-way communication. The subsequent arrow is about thirty feet in the air, bright red, and pointing towards the smoke.
Turning back to the pair on her little slice of heaven, Secca says, "I'd welcome the company, but I have no doubt that our large friend may yet need a few moments to collect himself. Call my name should you need heart and cheer in these trying times and, surely, I'll come running." She bows with incredible flourish, her stolen wig flopping around, then straightens both herself and the errant hairpiece. "Shall the sea ever remain famished for lack of our flesh, wave-sister. The tides carry me where they must."
With all that managed, Secca begins the slow and rather leisurely wade-slash-swim from the central island towards the bit of coast leading towards the source of the smoke. As she considers the surrounding environs, she wracks her brain for an appropriate sobriquet for the lovely vista. A lagoon, indeed, but also one of a certain tropical beauty. Tales had been told of such, but was not this the opportunity for her to name their home? Temporary though it was, mayhaps it would help those who survived the wreck feel some semblance of hope. She considers the matter for a moment, then draws a hand through a particularly stiff peak of sea-foam. Of course! The name hardly had to be a literary marvel in and of itself, their deeds would be what brought it life eternal in song. Thus, she resolves, it will forever be Laguna Ailuvin, the lagoon of sea-foam.
Her journey takes her near enough to the bit of coast that houses the distressed damsel that Secca finds the jaunty tune she'd been humming dying on her lips as she considers the situation. Would they need help? Could she really allow such a daring rescue without putting a hand in it? Ancestors forbid that. Secca belts out a quick tune, once more amplifying her voice, "/Lady on the waters, besieged as you are, do you need aid and succor~?/"
Tricky fucked around with this message at May 15, 2018 around 15:37
|# ? May 15, 2018 03:43|
Ranka hummed as she meandered up and down the beach, anything to keep her mind of how the world was so unpleasant to be in with the state her body was in. First thing was first, the barrels that had floated up, a few buckets of wet sand were tossed in to keep the water from quickly taking them back.
A few choice critters are pulled from the beach and tossed in the bucket she's found, enough for a quick boil in the bucket itself, but nowhere near enough to feed even the three castaways that had washed up on this tiny island. Her stomach growled as thoughts of what to make flitted through her mind, Mother Waclawa's makeshift fish cake coming to the top of her craving list. The Grand Mother had made do with what they had while deep inland and away from the fresher bounty of the Sea, birds that foolishly risked flying near the raft quickly found themselves turned into a gorgeously seasoned treat using all of the remaining shells from their dinners down the river.
Starving, queasy, and all around upset Ranka clapped her hands together hard in an effort to refocus herself. The woman who'd been speaking the shava's tongue was returning, and it wouldn't do to be stumbling all over herself when she returned. She covered her ears when the bard suggested and was all the happier for it when the bellowing voice echoes out over the water. Looking green around the collar in the face of the noise, Ranka nods slowly at Secca when she outlines her plans "I figure we'd be along at some point, but I'm not gonna leave the biggun here alone, he's pretty rattled still."
Ranka's lips twitch up on the corners ever so slightly as Secca makes a comical exit and reveals more of the shava language, Ranka gives a respectful look and nods responding in Nimhi again, her tone decidedly less stiff than when she'd thought she was talking to another of her kind <"It's all of our duty to go to the Sea in the end, but let's avoid it as long as we can. Go safely wave-sister. We'll follow your mark, if the behemoth is up to it.>"
As Secca departs, Ranka turns her attentions back to Mazhar. Food would be taken care of with enough group work, water was going to be an issue, but with some travel they'd likely find a larger source to drink from. Next up was equipment and supplies. She'd need tools to build shelter with, but more immediately, the biggun needed a weapon. She'd seen him briefly in action while on the boat, but it certainly hadn't been with the comparatively tiny hand axes he had on him.
Ranka wasn't willing to wade out into the ocean proper, but surely the lagoon itself would hold some debris that could be fashioned into a weapon. Ranka's discomfort at being chest deep in lagoon water is quickly rewarded as she stubs her toe on something jutting out of the silt, and immediately in turn managed to stumble face first into the water as her trouser's cuff hooks on something heavy.
What she'd stubbed her toe on turns out to be a rather sturdy looking harpoon, a rather sizable upgrade over the half carved darts she had stashed in her carving kit, but the real prize of the moment is the massive slab of metal she'd tripped over.
It takes her some doing, but a shava of her size can only do so much. Huffing and puffing with effort she calls out to Mazhar "Hey biggun! Found something you might have fun swinging around, could clear them cobwebs out of your head if you get the blood pumping." She's only managed to unearth a portion of the weight thing, but she offers up the top of a steel admiralty anchor. "Not exactly a normal weapon, but I figure with your bulk you could put a hole in a thing or two with this."
|# ? May 15, 2018 05:55|
Mazhar closes his eyes to try and focus. Breathe. Slowly. Center yourself. He knew that part from long ago, from...training, yes. Thoughts come and go like a breeze, leaving only a scattered remnant. Mazhar. That was his name. He was...a soldier, yes. Caught. Now freed. Alive. That last part was important.
And then his concentration is shattered with the half-elf's singing, magically amplified to echo across the lagoon. The minotaur clutches his ears and lets out a low whine, his ears not yet adjusted to loud noises in the relative quiet of the sea. He blinks when she quiets down again, though his attempts to focus have been thoroughly shattered. The small one seemed to know what she was doing. Perhaps he could follow her for now. Mazhar looks about himself for weaponry. If they were going to take the island, they'd need to defend themselves from whatever animals lived there. He spies two hand axes and a javelin scattered about his form. That, and the two recently removed from his back would be fine, for now.
Then his eyes fall upon the mass of chains, coiled and tangled together. A flash of memory returns to him of a dark cell, chained down and staring in the face of the smug mindflayer that would soon be at the receiving end of his wrath. And another, too, but gagged as well as bound, one who reeked of death. A magic user. Mazhar nods, and using one of the javelins as a crutch to stand up, the minotaur finally rises to his full height, towering over the halfling who was already milling about in the lagoon. A small bout of dizziness threatens to topple him over, but he pushes through it. He surveys the coastline for a moment, before deciding to armor up. Taking and entangling some of the chains, he ties one of them around his wait as a makeshift belt, and one crosses around his shoulder and chest like a bandolier. The third one is slung across his arm in a makeshift armored bracer. The weight feels almost familiar, as he wedges the javelins through the links on the bandolier, and the hand axes through his belt. Now properly armed up, Mazhar takes in a slow, ragged breath through his dry mouth, but he's feeling a lot better already, despite the lingering fog in his mind.
The halfling calls his attention to something in the sea. Wading over, Mazhar looks at the half-buried anchor with a critical eye. Heavy, yes. Pointed enough to pierce if swung with proper force. It would be strangely weighted, but it would do. Reaching across the top with both fists, he lifts the anchor out of the sand with a small grunt of effort, holding it aloft as he tries to get a feel for it, before giving it a practice swing, making sure not to do so anywhere near the tiny woman. "Yes. It...will do. Thank you - " he grasps for the name futilely for a moment, before settling, "small one. I...my name is Mazhar. I remember this. I remember you, on the ship. And others. But not your name." Words come easier now, he finds. "The mindflayer. It...did something to me. I think. It's hard to remember things. Like trying to hold water without a cup." He shakes his head for a moment. "But...that can wait. I am alive. All my limbs still work. I can still protect you. And the others. Lead on, and I will follow."
|# ? May 15, 2018 06:56|
Ranka gives a sympathetic smile as Mazhar lays out his condition, he'd taken the brunt of the mindflayer's wrath during the mutiny, so it was no surprise he was in particularly rough shape.. She waits until he's finished, best to not interrupt the flow if he's starting to come back to his senses.
When the minotaur declares he's fit for battle Ranka gives a nod "You watch me and I'll watch you, I'm no slouch in a fight, even if I could use a drink right about now..." She gives a small sigh as the world dips left "Ranka. Ranka Volyn, of boat-clan Bondar. If you think that slab of metal will work out, well then let's chase down our fellow castaway, hopefully before she runs into something hungrier than us."
Joining Secca on her journey south!
|# ? May 15, 2018 07:56|
Rust grins wryly as he snatches up the ragged backpack and begins to scoop up all the immediate items he could scrounge sans the ragged club into it. It may not be worth much, but every little bit is going to help in the coming days. He hears the echo of a voice telling them to regroup close to the smoke, which from his perspective might be the right idea now that he's getting a better look at his surroundings and starting to piece things together.
He quickly scurries up to where Quill is searching ever deeper into the woods and puts his left hand on the birdman's shoulders, pulling him in and fiercely whispering to him "Hey Cuckoo, listen to your surroundings.... no birds, no wildlife." With his other hand still gripping the rapier, he uses it to point out the other telltale signs of trouble, up to and including his tin suspended in the silk. "We're not alone. Bloody drag marks, people and objects tied up in silk. Big spiders probably, not sure how many. If you value your feathers, we get the others and come back for whatever it is you're looking for." He says, pointing to the minotaur and the other figures who are crossing the bay heading south.
I'm grabbing up all the stuff we found nearby sans the club to spare myself the weight, I've updated the equipment sheet if you can update the weight.
DeathSandwich fucked around with this message at May 15, 2018 around 13:10
|# ? May 15, 2018 13:07|
"Oh, you haven't? That's a shame," she says to Jan'ti, "Sticking together doesn't sound like a bad idea! Maybe we'll get lucky and run into someone else while we look around." Lucielle takes one of the fruits from her basket, but before she could even take a bite of it, she's startled by the sudden appearance of the large stick insect, "Ah!" She jumps back, dropping her fruit onto the wet ground. It takes a few seconds for the exile to recover from the shock, and she's more than relieved to see that the bug creature isn't hostile to them.
"Well, you sure don't see that everyday! Most of the bugs I find are usually no larger than my foot!" She comments, in an attempt to relieve some of the tension of the situation. If only her notebook hadn't of washed away along with the ship, she thinks to herself, she would have loved to document the encounter with the massive stick bug into her journal, along with whatever else she might find on this strange island.
"Huh?" The sudden sound of someone singing very loudly almost immediately catches Lucielle's attention, and she instantly recognizes the voice to who it belongs to. Secco! She's alive! Lucielle knew they weren't the only survivors! But before she can think of how to get to the direction the her half-elf friend is pointing to with the big red arrow in the sky, she hears someone whistling further in the marsh. Who could it belong to? Another survivor? "I'm going to go check it out," she tells Jan'ti, "Hopefully it belongs to somebody friendly. Hopefully. If it doesn't, well... it's a good thing I picked up this sword then!" She says, trying to keep up her cheer, "Feel free to join me if you want!" And with that, she rushes further into the swamp
What she finds surprises her a little. An old man, slowly sinking into the mud. The man- whoever he is, looks resigned to his own grim fate, not even struggling to get out. "Hello there!" She calls out to the old man, "Need any help there? You seem to be in a bit of trouble!"
While she's doing that, her eyes are carefully scanning the area around them. There has to be something she can use to help him get out, and she doubts her crowbar or her sword can be of any use right now. Maybe there's something she can use to tie into a rope to pull him out?
|# ? May 15, 2018 18:17|
Nothing. Nothing of immediate interest, that is there are probably a lot of things that would be important to this survival effort but Quill was doing his darnedest not to have an immediate panic attack. He does stop before hurling away the Compass however, he would have thrown it away if it was just a normal compass, he knows where North is almost by instinct but this seemed to be pointing somewhere else. Cockaigne, Cockaigne he feels like he should know where that is but it's just on the tip of his memory...
Quill makes a straight intelligence check to see if he remembers where or what Cockaigne is and succeeds
You, in your kenku way, remember a sailor song, back in the ports further east, by Heathish mariners
Labouring we’ve been
Through the day
And labouring again
We’ll be tomorrow
Now to dream of Cockaigne
Fatted land of leisure.
The laying off of pain
The taking up of pleasure.
A compass that points to a fake place? He put it into his pocket, a curiosity for later consideration. He was just about to continue further into the jungle when I hand landed on his shoulder, he didn't even have the time to cry out in alarm out before a rough gravely voice whispered into his ear. Ornassi accent, rum breath, his brain threw up the world 'pirate', it reminded him as the Pirate man known as 'Bastard'. Yes that was the man, 'Bastard' (which appeared to be this man's name, it is what the Jailer in the hold seemed to refer to him as when they were interred in the hold) seemed to be pointing out the various things that Quill almost blundered right into. The sudden sight of his box almost made him dash wildly into the cave but he grabbed a hold of his senses for long enough to wind down his wild panic into merely a mild panic and actually start thinking with his brain matter again.
"Important." he said, in the strict voice of his old instructor pointing emphatically to the box. "Promised, important." But, it was tied in a big silk cocoon, and it didn't seem like there was anyone else trying to claim this mess any time soon. So as much as it pained him to leave the Manuscript in spidery hands, he did probably need this man's help. And other people's help as a matter of fact, he turned back to Bastard, and then over to the smoke column and sound of the voice, that almost sounded like Nosy Half-Elf. He pointed to himself and to Bastard before motioning to the distant survivors "Go, then back?"
Quill is willing to leave the Manuscript in unsafe chitinous legs for the moment, to meet up with the other survivors gathering southwards. There were many more supplies then the Captain's Lock Box in that cocoon Rust pointed out, it would be worth bringing more people back here.
TheNabster fucked around with this message at May 15, 2018 around 21:33
|# ? May 15, 2018 20:39|
There is hesitation, tension in the air. Just as Dermid is able to size up the distance and reach the end of the isle, Seccacosantza Tolto IV rounds the corner of the coast, lute in her arms and strumming a tune, calling out to the pretty damsel and stealing the thunder (pun certainly intended, dear reader) of the sorcerer in her usual flamboyant fashion. Still, she is quite a distance away, separated by waters that could be dangerous at any moment, while Dermid, and to some degree Johann, are much more in the immediate vicinity. Trailing a good twenty or thirty yards behind and closing distance are the minotaur and halfling, equipped with anchor and harpoon respectively. The party begins to converge, drawn by the sign of smoke, but the crisis in front of them still demands some solution.
Her journey takes her near enough to the bit of coast that houses the distressed damsel that Secca finds the jaunty tune she'd been humming dying on her lips as she considers the situation. Would they need help? Could she really allow such a daring rescue without putting a hand in it? Ancestors forbid that. Secca belts out a quick tune, once more amplifying her voice, "/Lady on the waters, besieged as you are, do you need aid and succor~?/"
The sandy-haired halfling blinks with her bright green eyes, at the sign of new survivors, and her face immediately lights up with hope, a big smile beaming out over her face, even as her heart leaps with each sway of the mast as the waves recede back from the shore, each one more likely than the last to dislodge her from the reef and bring her crashing down into the shark-infested waters. "Jak! Please! I beg of you, good folk, mercy!" She did not dare struggle too hard against the ropes she was tangled up in, and it was just as lightly the fastening protected her from dropping into the water with the unpredictable swaying. Without a weapon or any other sign of help, the poor lass needed some good help.
Dermid still gets first go at the action but now our party is coming together. If this becomes an encounter it'll remain in the theater of the mind. In rough initiative turns, it'd take a turn before Secca is within much of a range to do anything, and two for Mazhar and Ranka, while Johann and Dermid can act immediately if they desire. If you'd like to preload your intent or discuss a plan, feel free.
Meanwhile, Rust and Quill make their ways down the line of the coast, making some headway and staying wary of the jungle as they go. They are a long enough distance away that they would be of no aid in the immediate crisis, but they can hear the commotion and see the plume of black smoke, so they may know to quicken their pace and should arrive shortly after the conclusion. Still, there was wreckage and sights to see along the way, so they need not remain idle, and they had time to converse further if they wished.
You two are not close enough to aid in time, but I don't want you to feel like you have nothing to do. Both of you might make another (different) Skill check if you like to gain more insight about the island or possible equipment scavenged, or even new possible sources of water or food. Once the challenge with the mast and sharks is concluded, you can arrive at the shoal to link up with the rest.
|# ? May 15, 2018 21:22|
The silent Revenant takes half an hour to bury the thralls and dominion marines at a place safe from the high tide, taking a few planks of the burial and using them as impromptu grave markers. It's not much, but it's more than what he got, and hopefully that would prevent seven more dead men from rising with hatred in their hearts. A saber is now hanging from his left size, and he has taken a flint and a crowbar, but buried the rest of the salvaged objects at a more safe location near the gravesite, the eighth hole that he dug. He heads towards the smoke sign, waving at the rest of the party as he finds them.
|# ? May 15, 2018 21:42|
The slow meandering walk down the beach with Pirate in tow shipwrecked on a distant island and, still alive for the most part. It wasn't exactly something Quill would expected himself to be doing a few weeks ago but of all the things that he didn't also expect to happen to him in that period, this was pleasant. Almost pleasant.
Because now the Intellect of Quill Scribbling wasn't laser focused on the loss of the Manuscript and on the general surroundings there was something about the area that was making him, uneasy. Bastard had pointed it out earlier that there were no birds or animal noises in the distance and he hadn't given it much thought at the time but, now that he had time to ruminate he realized...
Quill rolls Nature to try and get a general feel of what exactly about the island doesn't seem right
Quill grinds to a halt as he walked with Rust. Without warning, he ran to a nearby tree and began to just start digging into the dirt, something in his mind doing quick calculations as he did. And then he found what he was looking for.
Earthworms, only these were giant compared to the size of a normal earthworm, you only get to this size of insect emerging somewhere that is not an ideal clime but an aberrant one, one that doesn't have any or all of the natural predators that would normally go after bottom feeders like these worms for a long, long time. He thought back to the signs of giant spiders within the cave with the Manuscript, he thought about the lack of birds, or mammals or reptiles or...
"Fish!" Quill yells back to Rust. "Fish, Any, Any Fish? Any?" Chopped as it was from what sounded like a market caller in Iram, Quill did put a concerned inflection into the words.
TheNabster fucked around with this message at May 15, 2018 around 22:03
|# ? May 15, 2018 22:00|
At the sound of Lucy's voice, the old man's head seems to tilt slightly. "Ehh? What's that?" His eyes seem unfocused, staring off still into nothing. "Oh, dear, no, don't trouble yourself on my account, girl." The thick quicksand is certainly taking its time consuming him, and without struggling, he is only prolonging his death, if that is truly his.
Lucy does find enough driftwood that could, if laid flat, provide a platform one could crawl over with, and help him out onto, but it might require some convincing to get him to actually help extricate himself. "Trying to correct the Mover's mistake. Not even a bloody wyrm could do the trick." He lets out an exasperated, whistling sigh.
"Oh, it's no trouble at all," Lucy casually assures the sinking man, "But I have to say, I don't know what you're current situation is, but it would be difficult to correct your mistakes after you've been sucked into the sand, wouldn't it? Tell me, old man, do you have a name?"
He chuckled in a way that dissolved into a wet sort of cough, the body of the old dwarf shaking slightly with ripples in the pit. "Mistakes? Mover's rear end, I have never made a mistake in my life. It's the world that's mistaken, that we are to live in it." Twisting his shoulder a bit, he seemed to try and get it free, but cannot, his eyes not turning still to look at her. "A name? Yes, I have one of those. Have ye one, girl?" His eyes widened, and then he sighed again. "Desider Aqualung, it is. It might do to have at least someone remember me. Before oblivion."
"Why yes, yes I do. Lucielle Valentine, but you can call me Lucy," she gives the man a friendly smile, "So, may I ask what made you lose faith in the world, Dresider?"
Desider's bushy eyebrows knit a bit, actually stirred a bit from his reverie to seemingly be more conscious, and thoughtful, perhaps even a little engaged. "Ye ever seen a Khazadan grandfather clock, Miss Lucy?"
"I might have seen one or two of those in my life. Why?"
There's a renewed clarity in his voice, like a sunbeam breaking through old windows and lace, like those old mansions in Pretala where the nobles that died during the war used to live, before being sold off to merchants and burghers. "Life is such like a pendulum swinging back and forth, between but two points: Pain... and boredom." There is another hacking cough, that in a strange way seems to be reverse of the previous, as it dissolves into a chuckle.
It's obvious by now that he sees poorly, but he does seem to look over in her general direction. "Heheheh, but the swing is sometimes a thrill. A good song, a stiff drink, a pretty face." Another sigh, and as he lets the air out, he does seem to sink more. "These old bones have been rocked back and forth on many a ship, hard to say if its the same Desider anymore. Better to go quietly into that night, in my four hundred years, and forget what these ol' eyes have seen of the sorrow pain brings, and the cruelty that boredom wrought."
It wasn't until he gave his age that a few pieces fell together. Two hundred years ago was the end of the Ninevarine War. The Empire waged a war with a terrible toll against the Guild and the minotaur aghors it supported that controlled most of the Ninevarine city-states, crucial points of trade in the Middle Sea. It was done supposedly to free the Ornassi people from bondage, and was responsible for why many are to this day still independent, while the mitraides are in decline, with many of the aghors merely satrapies of the Guild's influence. This was really the first time privateering came into fashion, and started one of the first age of pirates, primarily in the Middle and Demon Sea, where the first real traditions and legends took hold. This would carry through to the Eighty Years War and inform the pirates of today.
One of the most (in)famous privateers of the Ninevarine War was known as the Aqualung, who commanded a flotilla including his own flagship, a unique dwarven submersible reverse-engineered from Dominion prototypes the like of which still has not been seen. It was sunk sometime during the interwar period, and his fate unknown, but he was one of the founders of Tarturuga, the first attempt at a "pirate republic" built out of the carcass of a great dragon turtle, that still acts as a pirate haven to this day.
And now everything was starting to make sense. No wonder his name sounded so familiar to her when she heard it. The Dwarf she was speaking to was no ordinary Dwarf, but a legend. "If I may..." she speaks up, "I'm sure, in your eyes, I am nothing but a mere babe. You are someone who has experienced much in life, and accomplished much more than I ever will. Compared to you, I am still a child, still learning how the world works, but..." There is a slight pause from her, as the noble considers her next few words carefully, "...I am not sure if I agree that it is better for you to just give up your own life like this."
Lucielle looks at the Dwarf, her smile gone now, replaced with a much more serious expression, "It would be a shame for a man such as yourself to pass on so unceremoniously. Yes, life is filled with pain, and suffering, but that can't be all, can it? After all, you said it yourself; sometimes it can be a thrill, and sometimes it can bring you joy as well. Surely there are moments that you remember fondly even now?" She asks, in an attempt to reach the old, tired Dwarf somehow, "Answer me this, Desider; is this how you want it to end? Truly? Is there not something- anything- that someone like you still wants to accomplish?"
The lightness of her voice does make him wistful. "Ah, to have a book, and the eyes to read it. It can soothe the stormclouds for a time... Or the cracking thunder of the ten-pounders." He finally wrenches that arm out, groaning a bit in pain as it had twisted a bit. "Now, Miss Lucy, do not mistake what ye be seeing here. Ye make think it a coward's exit, but there is nothing more to life a man may have title to but his own life. And when its over, that's it. It don't much matter what happens before or after." His cataracted eyes narrowed a bit.
"But there is what's left behind still. Who are ye exactly?"
"Just a girl who's trying to carve her own path in life," she says, her bright, friendly smile returning back on her face, "Now, let me ask you again; do you need any help? Or would you prefer if I kept talking and bored you to your own grave instead?"
"Heheheh," he wheezed. "That be depending on whether ye think it a good idea. I'm only a mostly harmless elfson when not belly deep in the pit of Asmodeus. But it may take a while, and it don't feel right having an audience."
You've got some means to get him out, and he seems willing to be helped, but it's still a risk so it'll do to be careful. What is your plan?
Tricky Dick Nixon fucked around with this message at May 15, 2018 around 22:03
|# ? May 15, 2018 22:00|
There are some assumptions that can be made about islands of earth and fire such as this. Back in the east, both Hyklos and Ornassus are quite volcanic, but not nearly as tropical in climate as the Cazzerides here in the west. Yet the fish and birds of the Tranquil Sea are world-renowned, as are their apes and monkeys, those curious things that looked not unlike one of the quickfolk or smallfolk to Quill, that were far more intelligent and agile than the baboons or macaque found in the west. These environments are diverse and varied, and the migration between the islands means there's a fair amount of mixing but also isolation leading to some very specific and strange environments. Mass extinctions can be caused by volcanoes, but usually, the fertile soul is recolonized quickly elsewhere.
Yet with nothing preying upon the arthropods, they are growing to fantastical size. The great dwarven natural philosopher, Karloman Hammerbeak, made a specific study at the island of Antimony that provided evidence towards his claim that beasts acquire traits and size over time due to how much they consume, and take on the elemental effects of their environment, thus accounting for the wide variety of adaptations and diversity of species across the world. Of course, the Ornassi scholars laugh at this childish nonsense. It is far more likely, the priests of Jehuti would argue, that the spirits of the animals reflect their environments, rather than any concept of "internal elements." There is much debate to be had over that, but ultimately it means this: There are likely more, and far larger such beasts further inland.
The tunnel that you saw earlier, a lava tube, also indicates that the center of the island is like a dormant volcano basin, and the tunnels are likely all interconnected, meaning if one were to map or explore them, you could travel throughout the island without having to move through the heavy jungle, though that thought also leads Quill to a very disturbing observation: Rust had found the sign of felled trees. That isn't something that a spider would do, and it looked that some sharp edges were used. If there were mammals, like sun bears or the like, it could be easily explained by their claws, but insect mandibles rarely leave such clean marks. It looks more and more likely that this island isn't deserted. There have been some studies of invasive species (the plague of hares across the plains of Magna Orna is one of particular interest to some natural philosophers), but there is one natural species that rarely gets so studied yet Quill cannot help but think of: Quickfolk.
Humans live and breed such quick lives, like the kenku, that they can adapt very well to new environments. They tend to leave the environment they move through changed compeltely by their passage. Without more evidence, it's hard to come to a direct conclusion, but the evidence of a super-predator that has some intelligence beyond that of a mere beast is there.
One thing is for certain: The jungle may be quiet, but it is certainly not empty.
|# ? May 15, 2018 22:17|
"Great!" Lucielle's grin grows even wider from his answer, "I'll see if I can get further help. I'll be back soon, so make sure you don't go anywhere!" Not like he could, considering Desider's current predicament.
Lucy, ignoring how exhausted her body is feeling right now, rushes back to her companion, "Jan'ti!" She calls out as she runs closer to Jan'ti, "I need your help on something!" The exile begins to explain the whole situation to Jan'ti; She tells her about the old dwarf, Desider, and how he's slowly sinking in quicksand. "I found some driftwood I could use to get to him, but it's still a bit risky, and I doubt I'd be able to help him if I was caught in the quicksand as well. Do you have any idea how we could handle this?"
|# ? May 15, 2018 22:23|
Rust squints momentarily at the wiggling worms in Quills hands, pinches the bridge of his nose and says "That's great, hang on to that turbo. Depending on what washes up we may need to eat some of that but hopefully it won't come to that." Looking up momentarily, he sees another body dangling low to the ground. He hops up and cuts a wide overhead arc with his sword meeting flesh and vine. He takes a step back as he lands and the body tumbles down after it, spilling his gear outward around him. Rust kneels over and pulls the heavy, waterlogged crossbow off of the body and slings the strap of it around his shoulder. The bolt canister was opened and some of the ammunition had washed away, but some was better than nothing at all, and he wedges the canister into a side pouch on the backpack.
Also of interest was the bottle that spilled down with him, seemingly whole and intact. He pops the cork and takes a swig...
... to get a mouthful of salty brine. Whatever liquor the bottle use to hold had apparently flowed out from a crack in the cork. He gags and spits, doubled over as Quill absent-mindedly coos about fish behind him.
Rust straightens himself out with all the dignity of a washed up pirate who just mistakenly drank salt water and turns the bottle over, spilling the contents back into the bay and stashing it on top of his pack.
"Yeah yeah, we'll get some fish if we see any." he says as absent mindedly walks up the coast, heading toward the others.
Framing the body as an in-character way to acquire the heavy crossbow that's already on my character sheet. The flubbed investigation roll handles the brined and undrinkable grog.
DeathSandwich fucked around with this message at May 15, 2018 around 23:17
|# ? May 15, 2018 23:06|
Jan'ti is uninterested the in the old git's plight in great contrast to Lucielle. Her attention is caught instead by the quicksand the Desider has made his would be grave. She prods it once, twice with her finger and quickly retracts. It takes a moment of scavenging as the old man recants his life story for Jan'ti to find a sizable rock, and with a loud thwack, mostly sever a large root from the tangle that made up much of the marsh floor. She pulls and twists and bends the root, freeing it to only her own approval, and turning around to jab it back into the quicksand. She stirs the sand, pushing and pulling the root from its depths to get an idea for the pit's viscosity.
Lucielle snaps the spiritfolk woman from thought with her inquiry and receives only a brief, blank look in return. Jan'ti stands, leaving the root standing upright in the quicksand, and frowns. "Yes. Seen it before." Jan'ti slowly paces the ground around the pit tenderly placing her weight with each step. The strange display ends on the ground she seems to be quite confident in, going as far as to hop once for full effect. Jan'ti beckons to Lucielle with both hands. "Here. Safe. Close as we're getting."
Jan'ti knows the quickfolk is out of her element and is moved to help Lucielle safely retrieve the Desider. She's going to supervise and try to make this happen in the safest manner possible.
GenuineRevelry fucked around with this message at May 16, 2018 around 01:06
|# ? May 16, 2018 00:37|
With the assistance of the genasi, Lucielle is able to crawl out, spreading out her weight with the wood such that she can be balanced near perfectly, and help provide the leverage necessary for Desider to wrench himself free, pulling his legs up with groans of effort, as they take it slow and easy, with the occasional brusque and staccato corrections made by Jan'ti whenver they move too quickly. They are to be as the sand, she says, in their movements, and refuse to fight it. Flow natural. And it seems to work, as with a bit of a pop the soaked body of the dwarven git is pulled free and they are on the relatively dry shore of the marsh. He was never very impressive a specimen, even in the context of knowing his history as Lucy did, but it is almost shocking how thin and emaciated he looks, and how he seems to constantly hover near death.
His chest heaves slightly, and he shakes a bit, waving his hand weakly to bat away at the cloud of midges that hovers all around them. "Phew, do I have a thirst..."
With the expenditure of a Hero Point and the help of Jan'ti, Lucielle saves Desider from a slow, slow, slow death, freeing them to decide where to head next.
Desider is not likely to be of much use as a helping hand in survival. Another mouth to feed. The feeling of dehydration smarts again. He's liable to need some help and will slow you down if you want to get over to the commotion south across the lagoon. What do you do?
If what the old dwarf says is true, he has lived far older than most of his kind. The Aittic Mysteries teach that all things must pass in time, like the tides. Does his presence make you uneasy? Or are you unconcerned? What do you do?
Tricky Dick Nixon fucked around with this message at May 16, 2018 around 16:21
|# ? May 16, 2018 01:13|
While the kenku tries to impress upon the cutthroat their situation, stymied by his people's curse, Rust does make a cursory attempt to sift through the wreckage. However, it culminates in disappointment after finding the crossbow, slung over his shoulder, when the first sign of any alcohol is revealed as nothing more than saltwater seeping through the seal. It was enough to make someone want to give up, but there was still a few other pieces here and there he or Quill could collect if they felt the need to. However, the most interesting find is a large barrel, what would be likely a cask for stored drink, complete with brass tap. Hope is raised only to be scuttled once more when it becomes obvious the barrel is cracked on one side and been pried open. What is perhaps a bit more surprising however is when the barrel sprouts from its open side two antenna, and then two eye stalks, glistening black, as the giant hermit crab within spots the approaching pair, and retracts back in for its defense, claws positioned forward. Soon enough, its legs sprout from the sides, and it moves to inch back and away, floating on the receding tide.
Rust's Investigation check is a failure, but he does find a little bit of equipment himself or Quill could take for themselves.
|# ? May 16, 2018 01:58|
Taking stock of the situation, Dermid looked around, checking to see if anyone could help him. Even Johann was a good bit out. Thoughts of the strangeness of the isle were banished from his mind as he quickly assessed his options to deal with these sharks.
"One sec, this is going to be loud." He shouted at the half-dwarf. Taking a hold of a bit of fleece, lightning flashed between his fingers as he remembered the terrible sound from that fateful night and conjured a minor illusion. The sound of a blue wyrm's screech boomed out from right above the sharks. Dermid flew forward, feet dipping into the ocean, as he shifted the illusion's sound to the sound of flapping.
Dropping into a crouch, he waited for the response of the sharks, hoping that they'd scatter from the sound of the apex predator of the oceans.
berenzen fucked around with this message at May 16, 2018 around 03:03
|# ? May 16, 2018 03:00|
This post was accidentally deleted, but to sum up: Dermid's illusion worked to scare the sharks away and give a wide berth, but it certainly would carry very far through the water and might provoke some PTSD from the other castaways. This would require a Wisdom saving throw at DC 12 from everyone, with those immediately present and witness to the magic taking advantage. Failure meant having disadvantage on one's next ability check, saving throw, or attack roll.
Tricky Dick Nixon fucked around with this message at May 16, 2018 around 16:27
|# ? May 16, 2018 03:23|
Despite knowing full well the majesty of Minor Illusion and seeing the sorceror cast it, Secca still takes a half-second to cast off the bone-chilling fear that comes over her. Her face narrows in determination as she looks at the halfling adrift in the ocean. There is a fair maiden in danger, fake dragon roars or sharks or no, and she is going to save her and it is going to be great. Everything will be perfectly, utterly great. After all, how can it not be with her wonderful presence in the mix?
That's a 18 to make the save, thanks to the advantage. Huzzah!
Secca leaps out into the water, a veritable image of grace and beauty, and begins to cut her way through the calm waters. She'd not claim to be an expert swimstress, by any means, but she knows enough songs and stories to know that people are capable of truly remarkable feats to impress others. This is clearly one of those times. Her passage is as smooth as the expensive cremes the ladies in court used to — and assumedly still do — fawn over. In fact, before she can truly process that she's swimming towards waters that are very much infested with sharks, she arrives by the maiden fair. Secca pulls her knife from her boot, sawing at the ropes holding the halfling captive, and says, "We'll swim for it, okay? Our dear friend has scared those rotten fish to the very edges of the ocean, I have no doubt, and I'll gladly help you to safety. What, pray tell, do you call yourself?"
A 16 on the Athletics check to avoid looking delicious to sharks.
|# ? May 16, 2018 03:52|
Jogging down the beach in the state she's in is no easy feat wit her land sickness is not helping matters, likewise it's not a great feeling that Mazhar had resolved to follow her and she had to take three strides for every of his one to keep ahead. Rounding the beach reveals the bard once again, but thankfully it also appears that more have survived the shipwreck, one of which seemed to be casting a spell of some sort?
Fear strikes out as a dragon roars, death surely coming for them from above.
Ranka's brain freezes, inclined to simply have her lay down and wait to die in light of this terrifying stroke of luck, but the world decides to swerve violently in that moment and she goes tumbling head over heels in the sand. Ranka's ingrained training is less happy about the idea of simply giving up and so her body twists instinctively, the majority of the fall's force landing on her shoulder as she immediately springs back to her feet, the shock pushing her back into a full sprint as she sees Secca dive into the Sea.
Advantage on a Wisdom saving throw is 21 & 21 Ranka ain't scared of nobody or no thing!
Successful Businessmanga fucked around with this message at May 16, 2018 around 07:36
|# ? May 16, 2018 04:09|
Quill felt his feathers ruffle as he tried to make the Brigand understand "Not Eat, Any, Any Fish?" but as he seemed to take a deep chug from a bottle and keel over coughing, it felt clear to Quill that his words were falling on deaf ears. He tossed the worms back into the dirt where he found them, cleaned his hands off in the seawater and then picked up the things Rust had dug up. He would be muttering under his breathe if he could as he strapped on the back pack.
Quill is going to take the things Rust found for himself
Just then a deafening roar echoed out across the island, Quill jumped up with a start he scanned the skies looking for any signs of Draconic life hurtling towards them on wings of death and-
Quill rolled his Wisdom save and rolled a 21. The roll is in Orokos
Paused. Quill had a well honed ear and memory for sounds even amongst other Kenku, and there was something off about the noise. He turned back to Rust.
"False, no Dragon, false noise. Fake!"
Quill is going to try and help Rust with his Wisdom Save
TheNabster fucked around with this message at May 16, 2018 around 07:57
|# ? May 16, 2018 07:55|
The deafening roar makes the minotaur clutch his ears again. Asravan save him from witless magicians and their fondness for loud noises. The small one - Ranka, can't forget her name now - tumbled in the sand out of fright, though she recovered well enough. Still, in the tumble, she had dropped the harpoon, which she didn't even notice as she went into a full sprint to catch up with the singing half-elf, who seemed foolhardy enough to simply dive into the water while the sharks had been scattered without thought for the chance of their return. Picking up the harpoon - with the attached line in the other hand - Mazhar simply steps a bit quicker to catch up.
Once he's on the sandbank, he notices the other prisoner, the gagged one. What was their name? Jo...something. It slips away like so many other things. But introductions could wait. He tossed the harpoon in his hand, getting used to the weight, and wrapped the end of the line around his hand once so that it wouldn't slip from his grasp. Then, he simply waits for one of the sharks to come closer to the half-elf and her rescue, so that he can spear it before they get eaten.
Wisdom saving throw at 13 with advantage. Preparing to throw the harpoon and, if I hit, haul the shark onto the beach.
Wahad fucked around with this message at May 16, 2018 around 07:57
|# ? May 16, 2018 07:55|
"I don't see any fish but I do see a keg crab" he says pointing to the oversized hermit crab skittering away as fast as it could while dragging a waterlogged wooden barrel along with it. "Make a note of him, I don't think he's going very far and that's enough meat to keep the lot of us fed for a spot. If I shot it now it'd likely spoil before we got..." The dragons roar catches him off guard when his mind was elsewhere and he immediately snaps into fight or flight mode. He begins swearing out "gently caress poo poo sonofawhoreson." as he runs into the tree line and dives into some foliage, his boots still visable from the shore.
It takes a few seconds of not hearing any followups and for the Kenku to give the all clear before Rust pokes his head out again, spits and grumbles "Cheeky bastards think they're funny, don't they."
Rust emerges and continues his walk, this time closer to the tree line than before.
|# ? May 16, 2018 13:56|
Lucielle knows full that there the old, withered man in front of her won't be much use when it comes to helping them survive on the island, and he would most likely just slow them down, but she couldn't rightfully leave him to die alone like that. That's just not the type of person she is. She would never abandoned someone just because they've stopped becoming useful.
...And then she heard the roar, and whatever bravery or confidence Lucy might've had vanishes. She freezes up in her place, the color draining from her skin, as the events that lead to them being ship-wrecked come flooding back in her mind. She remembers the dragon, towering above them, and how absolutely terrified she felt. The dragon is coming, and that means... that means...
...No! She can't let the fear take over here again! If the dragon is coming, then that means she needs to hurry and find the other survivors! Increasing her pace now, Lucy hurries over to the direction of the smoke sign. She tries to stay brave, but it's obvious, from how tense she's looking now, that the roar left her more than a little shaken.
Got a 4 on my Wisdom save.
Tardzilla fucked around with this message at May 16, 2018 around 14:30
|# ? May 16, 2018 13:58|
|# ? Oct 15, 2018 16:57|
A dragon. Lovely. Johann flinches for a few seconds at the roar, staying still in place for a few seconds after it subsides, but without showing any sign of emotion from it. He notices the Minotaur clutching at a harpoon, readying it to attack one of the sharks once it attacks the singing girl and the drowning woman. "Perhaps you may need assistance. These creatures seldom hunt alone." He says as eldritch energy starts to form around his open right hand. "
Rolled a 21 and readying an Eldritch Bolt to help Mazhar.
|# ? May 16, 2018 15:31|