The gunshot wasn't really unexpected, but Ranka is certainly unhappy when the bullet actually hits. There's a moment where she attempts to express her displeasure with the rude fellow, but she had trouble finding a polite statement of dissatisfaction. Instead she lets out a pained blood curdling scream, doing her best to match the intensity of Dermid's dragon roar.
Tightening her grip as best she can while ignoring the pain, Ranka stumbles to her left, propping herself up with her staff for a moment before lashing out with it as hard as she can toward the vendal's knee. She's rewarded with an unpleasant crunch, though given her state she's not sure if it's something moving in her body or the result of her strike, but the halfling doesn't stop there and quickly delivers a satisfying followup kick to the same spot on the now battered knee.
Grunting through her teeth, Ranka glares at Nax pointedly and spits "This would be the signal."
HP: 2/9 AC: 19 Hero Points: 2/3
Nimble: Can move through other creature's spaces.
Lucky: Reroll ones on attack/ability/saving throws, keep the new result.
Brave: Advantage on saves vs being frightened.
Move: Moving up to flank with Nax
Successful Businessmanga fucked around with this message at May 18, 2018 around 03:31
|# ? May 18, 2018 03:26|
|# ? Dec 18, 2018 17:04|
The soft sound of the waves is overwhelmed by the sloshing of sea water in Quill's tin bucket. The slow, methodical nature of ritual casting has at the very least given Jan'ti a moment to rest and catch her breath. She would praise her feathered friend when the job was finished, but for now, she simply had to concentrate. A task that became hopeless the moment Rust rushes off into the jungle. They were split up, again. They weren't safe. There was no time to purify water or gather fruit. Just one emergency after another.
Jan'ti slowly rises to her feet interrupting her ritual in the process. Apologetic eyes linger on her new feather friend, "<Thank you for your help Quill. I'm sorry, we'll have to finish later.>" Jan'ti quickly fills her waterskin with just a touch of seawater and with that, she sprints off towards the jungle to follow after Rust while cursing in ornassi under her breath.
"<Does every man on this island have a drat death wish!?>"
Jan'ti is interrupting her ritual casting to follow after Rust. She's got a 17 on the survival check to make it through the jungle. She's filling that waterskin for reasons~
|# ? May 18, 2018 03:31|
The unseelie magick that the Vidame tir Cuothr wreaks with but a strum of her loot quickly scrambles the mind of the former thrall, as Ganzorig's eyes widen, his flat nostrils flaring and snorting as he wrenches himself away, running out of cover and down the ship's hull, hopping down on the opposite side before he catches himself, back to the rail and looking over his shoulder. This wasn't how it was supposed to go, that much was clear. Between the psychic pain and the grievous, heavy bolts in his armor, he was well-bloodied and only a push or two away from death's door himself. He considered his options, briefly, raising up his caliver to give a shot over his shoulder, this time at the bard...
There was certainly a shot, a blast of fire and smoke from the muzzle, and perhaps Secca braced herself, but the whistle of a pellet never came. The caliver had misfired! Poor maintenance at sea, and now it had jammed, smoke raising from the wheel-lock mechanism and muscle both. Loudly barking in the goblin-tongue, likely curses to consign all of the others to the Nine Hells, he tossed the misfired caliver behind him and made to run in that peculiar way that goblins do, bent over with his arms and neck outstretched but not quite on all fours, as if throwing himself entirely for it. He was heading for some rocks just across the way, which opened into a tunnel not unlike the one at the estuary. At his pace, he might reach it within the next turn, or at least the very edge!
Meanwhile, Ranka's fell-handed staff blow and kick brings the Vendal down on the knee, but she doesn't give much more than a disinterested grunt at first. She makes to wrench herself up, but catching the shava's glare, the Sintalese scoundrel gives a smirk. "A promize is a promize." His irises begin to glow an unearthly green color, almost burning as the rocks around them begin to shake and there is an uncomfortable feeling spreading throughout the surroundings, like a heavy gravity. The Vendal turns just as, materializing from his hand is a twisting blade of corded energy, as he moves to stab the Vendal in the side. Her eyes grow wide and she manages to roll to the side, managing to only get sliced in the side with a ruby cut across her side.
With his other hand he materializes a second blade, a soul's knife, floating and spinning in the air. The crow caws and flaps its wings to disappear, as he all but blows a kiss in the direction, sending the knife in a bolt heading after the hobgoblin, though it misses its target, flying past the corsair as he makes some distance. This momentary distraction is enough for the Vendal to come back to her feet, and something has changed. Her face is contorted with with psychotic rage, and she seems to completely ignore Ranka, focusing entirely on Nax. She returns the favor with a much more fell blow, giving him a sinking jab to the side and drawing blood, before withdrawing back, now both shortswords pointed forward instead of flat against her arm. She screams, that Vendal warscream that has caused many armies before to shake, and though the hobgoblin runs for his life, Vendals never retreat, even in such odds, though in this case, it seems much more than a swordwoman's woad-cry.
She seemed more attentive to both of them now than she had, but she was desperate to draw their blood. Though aid was soon on its way, she may yet take one of them with her.
Ganzorig fails his save, and grievously wounded, making an attack on Secca but rolls a natural 1. The caliver was in disrepair and misfires, becoming useless for the time being. Seeing how little chance he has remaining, he makes a break for it, his AC dropping to 16 but making good headway towards a path of escape in the form of a nearby lava tube.
Nax enters the fray on Ranka's side, manifesting his soul-knives as a reaction and hits Sunniva with a melee attack though dealing only 4 damage, while making a ranged attack and missing Ganzorig.
With a bonus action, Sunniva enters a rage, gaining resistance to piercing, slashing, and bludgeoning damage. She attacks Nax with her shortsword, hitting and dealing 6 damage.
Sunniva, AC 13, HP 16/32
Ganzorig, AC 16, HP 7/32
Nax, AC 14, HP 18/24
Ranka, Rust, and Secca may take a new turn. Johann may now join combat, as can Dermid and Mazhar if they decide they had followed Secca narratively. New people on the battlefield start on the far left side at the edge of the colored part of the map.
Jan'ti, though you cannot enter combat until Round Three, you can lead the others through a safe trail, giving them advantage on their Stealth or Survival checks to follow, and encounter no obstacles along your way.
Tricky Dick Nixon fucked around with this message at May 18, 2018 around 04:21
|# ? May 18, 2018 03:53|
Secca is quite satisfied, if not surprised, with the efficacy of her mental assault. She calls out, "Friends in the trees, strike him down before he can go to ground!"
Granting Rust Bardic Inspiration.
Looking to the brawl developing by the fire, it seems that they've an ally in the Sintali man. Secca taunts the raging she-murderer, calling out, "I'm quite afraid you've quite a terrible singing voice. Have you ever considered lessons?"
Vicious Mockery is used, but resisted.
|# ? May 18, 2018 04:05|
If Ranka weren't currently on death's door and fighting for her life, she'd be pleased to see Nax upholding his end of the bargain. As it is she's in far too much pain and not at all drunk enough to really care.
Sunniva may be screaming in rage now, but Ranka's pained screams haven't really stopped. Raising her quarterstaff horizontally above her head, Ranka brings the flat of it down across the back of both of the vendal cutthroat's knees, punishing her for having the gall to turn away to deal with Nax.
HP: 2/9 AC: 19 Hero Points: 2/3
Nimble: Can move through other creature's spaces.
Lucky: Reroll ones on attack/ability/saving throws, keep the new result.
Brave: Advantage on saves vs being frightened.
Action: Flanked Advantaged Quarterstaff vs Sunniva: 21 vs AC for 3 damage after resistances.
|# ? May 18, 2018 04:23|
Mazhar only seems to take notice of the shark the sorcerer had stranded after a long moment. "Ah. Got one after all." While the rest of the party banters and some walk off, he slings his anchor up around his shoulder and walks over to the flopping fish. He stares at it with a blank expression. "Shark. Never had shark." He mutters to himself, before the giant anchor arcs through the sky with a heavy whistling sound that ends in a wet 'thunk'. Now thoroughly beheaded, Mazhar lets the anchor hang off his shoulder again, and looks around. Most of the party had left!
Rolled (an apparently unnecessary) 1d20+5=24 to hit the shark, with auto-crit damage of 2d12+3=9. Then move to join the party, shark in tow.
A gunshot wakes him from his stupor. The others were in trouble. He starts jogging over in the direction - but two steps in stops, turns around and grabs the dead shark by the tail. "Can't forget food." Thus dragging the shark through the sand behind him, Mazhar now goes up to the fight in progress. He arrives a little late, apparently, seeing a stranger and the small one - not small one, Ranka, that was her name - fight an angry lady, while Seccasozano...Secca cheers from the sides. He drops his meal ticket at the half-elf's side and strides into the camp, pulling out one of the javelins from the chain. Still moving, he lines up the shot slowly...
Rolled 1d20+5=22 to hit Sunniva with a javelin at 1d6+3=6/2=3 piercing damage after resistance.
and throws it straight to the angry lady's thigh. Though it doesn't particularly seem to bother her, which impresses him. Anger...wasn't always a great attitude in battle, he knew this - it had always been taken out of him, in his training, he remembers this - but he had seen people like her before, with their anger keeping them going through wounds that would otherwise be debilitating. Perhaps...perhaps.
Wahad fucked around with this message at May 18, 2018 around 15:43
|# ? May 18, 2018 06:59|
Rust gets a new bolt dropped in the crossbow and steps out from behind the tree to see the Hobgoblin already fleeing. Shifting his aim slightly upward, he points toward the fleeing coward and looses the next bolt. The shot rings true, striking the fleeing hobgoblin square in the back, penetrating through the breastplate. Now spine-shot, the hobgoblin flops to the ground, tumbling rear end over teakettle once, and is still.
Rust doesn't even bother to duck back into cover, he just begins to wind back the drawstring trying to figure out why Nax is suddenly helping the halfling fight his (apparently now-former) friends after his band of idiots tried to mutiny the mutineers on the ship and just now take the halfling Ranka as prisoner. Either way, it doesn't seem like Rust is under much threat of retaliation from his vantage.
Right now, even if it seems like he's on our side for the moment, Rust knows Nax can't be trusted as far as you can throw him. He'll need to be dealt with, sooner or later.
Going out on a limb and assuming 11 damage drops the Hobgoblin considering the damage it has taken already.
DeathSandwich fucked around with this message at May 18, 2018 around 15:32
|# ? May 18, 2018 12:05|
It seems that these people will not yield even when warned. What a shame. Johann watches as the Hobgoblin is immediately killed by Rust's true shot, and watches the other two struggle against the Vendal. What a waste, he thought to himself, to kill people he had no quarrel with. Yet again he must do it to defend himself and the people who are his only chance to leave this blasted island. Dark energy forms around his scimitar, covering it in darkness, his lips moving as the cursed power within him starts to take shape on his weapon. "D̛͎͚̙̺̦́͘͡i̸̡̨̧̛̞̠̞̜̺̺̹̙̩̹̻͚s̢͏̻̘̲͇̹̫̖͙̬̰̯̹̠̰a̧҉҉̱̥̺͎̪̘̠̝̩͔͍̜͙̘̰͟ͅp̡̡̀҉͈̖̼p͏̯͍̱̬̰͎̦͕̺͞͡é͞҉͎͓̱͓̩̟̪ͅa̺̼̹̭̟̩͙̭̯̠̰͈̟̳͈͠͠r̷̢̫̗̖̲̩̖͉̜̼̼̖̰͡ͅ" He mutters, and a dark lightning crosses the air, hitting Sunniva's head and blasting it apart in a small explosion.
Using another Eldritch Blast. Rolled 14+4+2=20 and 8 Force damage to Sunniva.
|# ? May 18, 2018 15:12|
In only few moments more, with a crimson flash as the Vendal's head is split in twain by a crackling bolt of eldritch force, the battle ceases, with a corresponding half of both Ranka and Nax stained with the scarlet spray. Sunniva falls to the ground, first on her knees and then down on her chest, slumped over, with the scream having been cut off ignominously. Likewise, a pool of blood begins to fill around into the sand around the hobgoblin. This is the scene that Jan'ti, Urszula, and perhaps Dermid, arrive to find, as everyone's hackles slowly settled, and the blood begins to cool. The shadows are lengthening, and the tide has begun to roll back in.
It's late afternoon, nearly vespers. There's only a few more hours of daylight left.
Nax, the twice-turncoat, opens his palms and both the materialized daggers seem to dissipate into nothingness, and almost reflexively he raises both there at his shoulders, palms forward in a gesture of surrender, showing no pride in having chosen the winning side of overwhelming numbers. He doesn't even make to wipe the blood at this point, only watching the treeline for Rust to come forward and the approach of the revenant and minotaur, tense like a jungle cat but with a nervous, deferential smile like a cowed wolf. "Nax Tirrinu, as ever, made a wize decision."
Urszula, for her part, stares at the scene, from the bodies to the split head of the Vendal, and seems to have forgotten to be horrified, her face a bit of a mask, before her eyes seem to alight and she covers her mouth, turning over to Johann for a moment, and then facing away, as if averting her gaze from the proceedings. She doesn't comment on it, as the deed is quite done, and surely soon enough they will find their spoils, once they have all arrived.
Combat is over.
|# ? May 18, 2018 15:36|
Secca sees the halfling's actions and, feeling no little discomfort from the rather literal cranial explosion she's just witnessed, sympathizes greatly. She looks around a moment, then gestures Urszula over, "We should see to Ranka. The hob, may the Hunt take him, landed a harsh blow upon her. I have no doubt a little cheer and company would do her much good."
The thought of examining the spoils, too, appeals, but she is not so callous as to put treasure ahead of boon companions.
Likely going to patch Ranka up with Healing Word once the post-battle niceties are all said and done!
|# ? May 18, 2018 16:49|
The foliage around Jan'ti snaps and crunches in time with each heavy step. The genasi is barreling through the jungle now, spurned forward at first by the distant gunshots and then by the silence that followed. She leaves a trail behind her one that could as easily be followed safely by her fellow mutineers as those who might wish them harm. Thank the gods she had a moment to rest, lest she be consumed by exhaustion and dehydration as they once again loom their deadly heads.
The spiritfolk woman bursts from the dense jungle and into the light of day and is immediately, though only momentarily, blinded by the late afternoon sun on the glistening ocean water. Jan'ti covers her eyes, averting her gaze, and in a brief moment finds herself easily scanning the aftermath of the battle that had taken place here moments ago. She paces west along the tree line keeping her distance and catching her breath while she surveys wreckage and those who still stand among it. It is when she sees Mazhar that she smiles and moves forward, sliding down a small root encrusted slope on her heels and sauntering on over for a proud declaration of her find.
"<Mazhar!>" She exclaims with a smile in the Hyklosian's own tongue, "<Not even the sea take the Red Gorgon, I see." There is a certain kind of pomposity that almost comes with the language. Her words are booming, each syllable pronounced with pride. Whether it was the nature of the Hyklosian tongue, or Jan'ti affecting for the Minotaur, was less clear. "<Quite the conquest,>" She stands now about as close as Mazhar will let her, staring directly into his eyes with a self-satisfied grin, "<But I bet I've found a treasure you never imagined.>"
"<Come with me. I'll introduce you to the Desider.>"
Jan'ti is speaking solely in Hyklosian.
|# ? May 18, 2018 17:53|
The expression of the halfling is a bit strange in that moment. She doesn't seem terrified or more than a bit disconcerted, and it is obvious that she is bounding back with that cheer, but just for a moment a little bit of a peak behind the curtain was there, a calculation., before she gave a slightly weakened smile to the half-elf. "I don't think your halfling very much cares for me, your ladyship. She wasn't eager to stick around once I had my two feet on the sand." Looking down at her bare, furred pair with a bit of a chuckle, before she shook her head.
"Maybe I can help you look around once you've attended to her? I can fit into the small areas, so I'll start looking in the hull of that ship's bow." Whatever the way the folks split up their coming tasks and who they decided to converse with before they made to set camp, there was quite a bit of loot to sort through. Whomever went to the body of the hobgoblin, like Freewind, found a pewter chest key along his straps, which was easily surmised, with Nax's corroboration, as the one that went to the chest there next to the camp circle.
Anticipation gripped as the chest was opened, and the first real taste of treasure was opened up to our castaways.
Unlocking the treasure chest Nax was sitting on with Ganzorig's key reveals the following, obviously the personal stash of Magistrate Alhoon:
The silver ring in the chest looks like it might be worth a pretty penny, but you spot a telltale groove, and if allowed to examine it a little closer, you will identify it has a use beyond just ornamentation. It has a secret reservoir that is to hold a liquid poison, to be palmed into someone's drink, or perhaps even against a blade, though it would only be useful for a single application. It is empty now, but it would be worth a little extra to the right buyer... And might be worth keeping. Do you share this knowledge with anyone else?
The brain statuette is made out of brightly colored coral, tipped orange and a deep blow at its root, and looks remarkably anatomical. There are no signs of it having been carved or tampered with, but having grown naturally, organically. Most alarming, or intriguing, to you is the fact that you think the coral is still alive. It is soft to the touch at some part, and there are little fronds that twitch and shudder like antennae within little tubes, though it is as you can tell completely dry. Have you seen anything like this before?
The puzzle box that is in the chest might be worth as much as gems, but you recognize immediately that it is shava craftmanship. Legend has that the kindfolk, the gnomes, were close with the shava, living in the forests that lined the rivers, and taught them such things. The Nimhi script, what remains of it, is based on what is sometimes called Gnomish, and there is script on here that you do not recognize, meaning it might be quite a find. It may take a few hours to figure out, but these are designed for amusement and children... What will you find inside? No need to mention it now, but after you have some time with it.
As the others fawn and sort through the treasure, the gleam of Guilder doubloons is hard to miss. Especially when you see the grasping talons and stretched wings, stylized with geometric lines, of the Lodge of Seahawk. These were minted in your lodge's banks. Have they been doing business directly with the Dominion? That would be very brazen, as you imagined they would at less sell to those in the Ninevar to keep a degree of separation, but a smuggling network to Bight would be far shorter a voyage, and far more profitable. Do you find any other evidence of this Magistrate's involvement with your old Lodge?
As you examine the wreck, you find that there is a gun still in good working order: A carronade, designed for short-range and used nowadays primarily on merchant vessels to protect against boarding. It is heavy but powerful, a fine weapon, though without the proper amount of powder not useless at this current juncture. It hasn't been rusted out of use, and you find six roundshot in the hold as well. Something else in your examination catches your eye, something that distinguishes it. What is interesting about it?
The invitation to the formal ball in Pretala catches your eye. It is written in Heathish with inflections of High Sarumite, and you would recognize the wax seal anywhere: It is from the Countess Katarin Melissidae tir Trembethow, sometimes called the Wasp Countess. She is a dowager of a wealthy fiefdom in Westenfal, born in Bight and married in, and controls through the inheritance of her young children, after the tragic circumstances that took her husband, and her adult son. Then her second son soon after he came of age. Thank the Saints there are three more sons to go. In Pretala she is well known as a back-channel diplomatically between the Empire and the Dominion, and fond of throwing lavish parties at her intricate estate, where she disseminates invitations like this one all across her network and encourages them to be stolen or otherwise acquired through skullduggery, as there are no names on any invitation. Those who survive her balls tend to receive extravagant gifts and influence. Though it is a far time off, it could be useful leverage. What else have you heard of the Wasp Countess?
Whether you remain at the shoal or trail along behind the others, your eyes notice as the tide begins to wash back, just before they are taken at the water, the signs of two other shipwrecks in the bay. One of which you see reflecting in the sun with mostly intact canvas sails. That is great luck! Though, it is far out near the sand bars, while the other is closer to the coast at the mouth of a river. If you approach the wreck at the camp, you recognize it as a sloop, and likely a merchant's trade ship, likely from the north by its make, certainly not Sintalese, Guilder, or Ornassi in make. Then it occurs to you... This is a Verani ship! At least, one repurposed by them, by the signs of the habitation. You recognize the name .From where?
Tricky Dick Nixon fucked around with this message at May 18, 2018 around 18:28
|# ? May 18, 2018 18:25|
Mazhar had already retrieved his javelin from the now-headless corpse and was busy poking around the wreckage. Most of the treasure, while shiny, did not hold his attention much. The cannon, however, was quite nice. Still in good shape despite the wreckage, even if they'd need more powder to make use of it. It was the shape that was most intriguing; though the barrel of the cannon was, of course, properly rounded, the outside of it was shaped much like the great crocodiles of Ornassi, the ones that would grow to quite a size with teeth as long as his fingers. The cannon itself was stylized, of course, not true to the animals but more in a way to intimidate - but still, the craftsmanship was excellent.
Then he starts as somebody speaks to him in his mother tongue. He spins around on his heels with an expression halfway between surprise and skepticism, and he looks down at the witch. Yes, the spiritfolk. He remembered her - and now that he saw her, he remembered speaking with her a little before the battle for the Ceaseless had truly erupted, when she had spoken a word of encouragement in Hyklosian to him before his charge. <"Sea-witch,"> he returned, though without judgement or the like in his voice, "...Jan'ti. That is your name. I remember." He seemed quite proud of himself as he slipped back into Common, though his face scrunched as he tried to force himself back into the staccato cadence of Hyklosian, where he finds his worth come easier than in the Sarum tongue. <"This was nothing of worth on my part, I arrived only late."> He gestured at Ranka, being patched up by Secca.
<"I...know not what a Desider is. But very well. Show me."> The other crew would not miss him much, and besides, there was not much he could do here that others couldn't. Jan'ti, even from this small interaction, might notice his expressions and attitude as rather different from before the mutiny truly broke out; where before, the minotaur was decisive and determined, he seemed rather...passive, even lost at everything happening around him. Were he one of the smaller folk, one might consider him meek.
|# ? May 18, 2018 19:28|
As the foes topple, Ranka goes slack to the ground, her hand clutching to her shoulder, fingers quickly plucking out the larger fragments of bullet before clamping down like a vice on the wound to ease the blood flow.
Looking up from the ground towards Nax, Ranka gives a what she can manage of a shrug with her good arm "Told you there was a good few of us." A lot of the swagger has dropped out of her tone, bloodloss and shock from the wound reasonably tempering her attitude, but there's still a smirk on her face as she gestures with her head toward the dead Vendal "simple folk like that make a habit of bad decisions, but I'm glad we could get you out of a clearly bad situation." Ranka doesn't continue speaking, but gives Nax a pointed look, her voice echoing in his head <"Do see you don't repeat the mistakes of your former crew here, yeah?">
Ranka eyes the sintali up for a moment, it was always so hard to tell if their type would keep to a bargain, as she lifts her flask out of the sand and tries to drain any last moisture out it. Her flask well and truly drained, she clicks her tongue in annoyance and stashed the flask in a hidden pocket in her mantle.
Absent anyone jumping to her care, Ranka begins to patch herself up with what she can. Ranka plucks what she can of the smaller bullet shards and then a rather delicate table napkin is pilfered from inside the rather nice mess kit she'd nabbed earlier, and is unceremoniously jammed into the bullet wound to further halt blood loss, after a time it seems like the bleeding has mostly stopped, so she extracts the cloth and ties it in a firm not around the hole to keep any insects from getting in.
After tending to her wounds, Ranka meanders about the beach until she spots Rust, she inclines her head in greeting as she wanders up. Her posture is rather tense, her wound making it hard to keep up the mask of professionalism that would let a bounty hunter walk up to and talk to a mark, but it's clear she has no hostile intent. "Thanks for that. Figure I could handle myself if a melee, but certainly wasn't expecting that Hob to have gotten his hands on a gun let alone one in good condition." Ranka's eyes flit to the side as she continues piecing together what little she knows of Rust "Seen your posters from time to time, and they paint you as a particularly dangerous sort, but I 'spose I'm glad for that."
When treasure starts getting picked over and Nax calls for a share, she jabs a finger at him and offers up her portion of a 9 way split, her voice echoing in Nax's head <"A promise is a promise as they say."> She points to the dead vendal and off toward the beach where the Hob's corpse was laying "Flashy hands here was in a pretty bad spot between the dead'uns. We had ourselves a bit of a mind talk and he agreed to help me out to get away from that lot." She tilts her head "Wouldn't trust most sintali further than I could throw'em, but this one seems alright."
After the goods are distributed and treasures purloined, Ranka walks off and rests her back against the dinghy. Settled for the moment she glances down at the small treasure in her hands. The small wooden box was nothing special at a glance, but Ranka knew its like immediately and had eagerly plucked it from the pile before it ended up smashed for whatever trinket was rattling around inside.
She spends a few moments sliding panels around and examining the script, but emotions take hold soon enough and she lets out an ugly choked back sob as tears begin to well in her eyes. The burst dam continues to unload for a few minutes, but eventually Ranka wipes at her face and lets out a sigh of relief as her grip tightens on the puzzle and mutters to herself in nimhi <"Grand Mother, your daughter is still on the path... Don't forget me.>"
Ranka will give up her share of the gold to give Nax a split.
Successful Businessmanga fucked around with this message at May 19, 2018 around 07:10
|# ? May 18, 2018 20:08|
The expression of the halfling is a bit strange in that moment. She doesn't seem terrified or more than a bit disconcerted, and it is obvious that she is bounding back with that cheer, but just for a moment a little bit of a peak behind the curtain was there, a calculation., before she gave a slightly weakened smile to the half-elf. "I don't think your halfling very much cares for me, your ladyship. She wasn't eager to stick around once I had my two feet on the sand." Looking down at her bare, furred pair with a bit of a chuckle, before she shook her head.
"Maybe I can help you look around once you've attended to her? I can fit into the small areas, so I'll start looking in the hull of that ship's bow."
Secca tilts her head, a mite curious, but doing her utmost to maintain the facade. She hasn't quite understood the purposes beyond it, but every Sarnathqar noble knows that the best plot is one that the plotter does not know you've caught on to. She says, "I suppose you might read that into her actions, but I'll daresay that we've all quite a bit on our mind from the events at hand." She looks over at Ranka, by her newfound companion, and says, "How are you faring, Urszula?"
"Oh, as well as you can expect for a farm girl being flung by a dragon's breath out farther west than any soul has sailed and lived to tell of it." She makes along the way down towards the hull, giving a bit of a berth to the concentration of folks and blood both. "That is to said, it's very exciting, but only if I survive it. Which I very much intend to, and I think I have a better chance, now that I've met all of you." She hops onto the deck, turning back around with a smile. With the change in elevation, she is just a bit over eye-level with Secca, and puts out her hand.
With an elaborate flourish, Secca curtsies in response and takes her hand... brushing her lips against it in proper courtly form. She says, brightly, "I'd dare say we're all united in that goal! What waves we would make at court, were they to see such a collection of people working as one. Not even the greatest mask could hide Mazhar's mighty frame." Secca laughs at the mental image of Mazhar in courtly attire and a too-small mask. "So, dear one, you mentioned a farm? What sort of produce did you raise?"
Urszula would have been a bit flattered at the kiss, if not for the wince on her face as she realized something, and actually pulled back slightly, and as Secca kissed against the hand, beyond the taste of salt and sweat, there was something more surprising: A gap in the fingers, her ring finger missing down halfway down from where the knuckle would be, leaving only a stump. A bit self-consciously, she withdrew and turned, and went to answer the question. "Tubers from the colonies, squash and vegetables. It was simpler then, but I suppose I'm not really a farm girl anymore. I've been on the main for a few years. I suppose my mother is still there, with the rest of my cousins."
She moved up towards the hatch down to the lower deck, answering the question she would surely be asked next. "Easiest way for smallfolk like us to leave one of the islands, start a new life, is on a ship. We're always welcome. Of course, most ships that go out now need cannons, so that's where I found myself. They say you know if someone is green if they still have all their fingers, so, I suppose you can trust me when I say I know my way around a ship." She gives a bright smile and flash of her eyes, before hopping down into the lower deck.
Secca clambers up onto the hull herself and follows after Urszula. As she peers down into the hatch, she says. "I'm... My apologies, I hadn't intended to remind you of forgotten pain. I have no doubt of your naval mastery, and... Well, to be perfectly honest, my own skills at sea are nothing to speak of. I've relied on the help of others and, I fear, the time is coming where I shall need to learn such skills as well. Would you be willing to share such, Urszula?"
"This work will ruin those nice hands of yours, your ladyship," she offers, looking around. "I can show you to tie a few knots, if it please you, but I'm not real seasoned. I just know enough to keep the rest of my fingers." Once Secca drops down into the dimly lit underdeck, she sees that it more or less opens up to the beach on one side, though some driftwood has been set against it crudely to block against the wind.
Nearby, there's two crabs on a nearby small chest, one of which she brushes off while the other clings to it which she examines. "Hm, this doesn't have a latch on it." She turns away and looks around, moving to the other side to look out the port hole. as it seemed the wreck was mainly hollow. "Strange, there should be more even in a shipwreck. Some wrecked crates, rope, some cannon pieces. Nothing topside either, like someone came through already."
Secca says, a little dryly, before continuing on in her normal patter, "Yes, well, dying at sea might ruin the rest of me at well. I shall begin with knots as you suggest, though, and we can move from there on to whatever else you care to share."
She looks around the underdeck and rapidly comes to the same conclusion. Someone had salvaged the wreck. Likely they'd have taken the gear to a more secure location than the beach... the lava tubes, perhaps? The hob had been making for them as if his life depended and, while he was unlikely to be a member of whatever forces were at work here given the timing involved, the same promise of shelter and safety would likely have occurred to whoever else was on the island.
Secca voices her suspicions, "I'd dare say you're right. Not the three on the beach, I think, but perhaps another wrecked ship's crew? There are tunnels nearby that might make for a more secure lair."
"I saw two other wrecks when the tide was at ebb, maybe there are some clues there?" Then her eyes lit up, with all honest excitement. "Oh, or a treasure map!" The tall halfling stands at the front of her feet, quite enamored of that idea. "So is this your first voyage, your ladyship? You have a lot more confidence than I'd expect, that being the case." She considers her surroundings for a moment, and then blinks, looking over at the small, featureless chest on the side. "Oh, where'd the crabs go? I was hoping for an early dinner." She looked around and sighed, looking around and pointing at a rusted piece of iron. "Can you hand me that crowbar? I'm going to try and get this open."
You can barely see it in the dim light, but the light catches it just so, but three beady, carnelian eyes seem to open up on the chest, before closing back shut. You blink, and it's gone, and you are not even sure if what you've seen is real, or some dehydration induced mirage, but it sticks in your mind just enough, sharp as your elfin senses are even in the dark.
Secca, with far more calm than she's feeling, says, "Dear one, would you step back from that chest? I fear that everything here may not be what it seems." She grasps the halfling's nearest hand with both of hers and firmly, though gently, tugs at her until she steps back. Her voice starts to tinge with subtle worry, "Perhaps we could speak more of those wrecks you saw outside?"
"What?" Urszula seems thoroughly confused, and Secca's calmness might work against her in this case, until the worry begins to tinge the voice. "Don't worry, I don't think it's trapped. There's no external mechanism at all." Speaking with maybe a little more experience than was warranted. "If you're worried, we can get one of the big ones to come smash it for us while we stand behind them, always works for me."
And it's with that, that there's an eruption of motion, and Secca instinctively tugs perhaps a bit tighter to get the halfling out of the way as those eyes open back up again and the chest opens up along what was previously a seamless edge, showing a purplish inside lined with rows of teeth. Yet, instead of aggression, there's almost a whimpering sound, as with a purplish pseudopod it throws itself forward, hitting the ground with a clatter and changing into an overturn cooking pot with a disconcerting malleability and camouflage, not unlike a cuttlefish. The pot shivers for a moment, and goes still.
"Mm, so I wasn't imagining the eyes." Secca continues to back away from the mimic, at least out of range of another pseudopod. "I've heard stories of creatures such as these, though... I cannot say they speak much of whimpering."
"Really? What do they... say, exactly?" She looks to find some kind of stick, finding one of the old ramming sticks used to pack the powder down in a cannon, though she seemed a bit alarmed. Gulping, she moved forward, and tapped the edge of the pot. It remained absolutely still. "It... Forgive me for saying so, your ladyship, but it don't look dangerous."
"Oh, as one might expect, they speak of chests that devour hearty adventurers whole, heroes what try to open a door and find themselves naught but a meal. Some even whisper that these creatures might even mimic the language we speak, though I find that quite a bit harder to believe." Secca stiffens as the stick pokes the mimic, though nothing happens. She says, "Mm. It seems... sad, mostly. Perhaps it suffered some harm of late?"
Carefully, she edges forward until she's next to Urszula. With a moment's trepidation, she lowers a hand to touch the now-pot. If her hand doesn't stick fast, she'll gently rub it.
The surface of the mimic does not feel like that of cast iron. It is warm, fleshy, and it quivers. There is a slickness to it, and indeed, it is stick, but it does not undulate or reach out. She can see again that configuration of three eyes, around the lip appear, and its flesh roils in a disconcerting fashion, unfolding outwards and appearing then as a stool, which allows it to display what it had folded inside of itself to hide more clearly: a wound created by a rusty dagger, looking very old now, with dried purplish blood and a wound that did not heal very well. It looks like it wasn't very fresh. It could have happened quite a while ago.
"The poor thing," Urszula intones as she also moves to approach and crouch down, and shows no trepidation in Secca's example to reach out and stroke at it. "It's just a wounded animal, isn't it?"
Then, of all things, it purrs. Not like a cat, but like a mimic, but close enough that it is... a new experience, and perhaps unsettling.
The purr of a mimic is most certainly disconcerting. It's quite like a rumbling, almost as though something of iron and stone were attempting to mimic a cat. Secca says, "Mm, indeed. Perhaps one that will bite when more energetic, but..." She shakes her head. "I'd not wish this fate upon any. You may wish to step back, as I plan to heal this one's wound."
Secca unlatches the case around her treasured book with her free hand, expertly flipping it open to a bookmarked page. She slowly exhales, inhales, then begins to softly sing in the secret language of the Feywild itself. The song is one honoring the Host of King Balor, a particular favorite of hers, and speaks of the many who came to follow him. They were not all, as history says, even full-blooded Sarnathqar. It is this that she keeps in mind as she channels the soothing magics into the old wound. All can make the choice to follow something greater.
Secca using Healing Word on the mimic.
The wound begins to stitch over as the thing quivers under the ministrations of her bardic magic. Urszula looks on at first with wonder, and then determination. For all the healing, it's not removing the knife, like the thorn in the tiger's paw as the old Ornassi fable goes. Of course, in that fable, the young boy is eaten by the tiger, at least when you wanted to frighten your children.
Urszula reaches out with both hands on the rusted handle, and the mouth opens, across the lip of the stool's seat, a slit full of fangs and that bright purple pseudopod, which reaches out and seems to touch against her flesh, causing her to tense. Her muscles taut, there's a moment there, perhaps a crucial one. Does Seccacosantza Tolto VII flinch? Does she fear for the halfling's other, intact fingers?
Secca keeps singing. Perhaps a touch of fear causes the slightest waver in tune, but she charges forward nonetheless. She simply had to trust the motives of all involved. Surely the mimic would recognize what they were doing for it. Surely Urszula means what she says. Surely the tiger won't bite, if only this once.
Urszula, emboldened, shows no fear herself, giving a genuinely warm smile, even as she has to pull it from the mimic's flesh. It takes some wrenching out, as the rubbery flesh seems to have twisted and scarred around it over some time of poor healing, but eventually it becomes free, and the remainder of the magic in Secca's words knit the rest back together. It shudders, slowly folding back into the first form, that of a chest, its three eyes blink in succession.
It reaches out with the pseudopod again, reaching out for Secca this time. It is wet, and sticky, and certainly unladlylike, though so is, one might argue, the kiss of a hound. It's hard to say whether it's affection or probing, but there is no predatory intent. Urszula, for her part, seems thrilled, looking over to Secca with a mixture of gratitude... and a bit of worry.
"We can't let anything happen to it, your ladyship." After seeing what happened to Sunniva and Ganzorig, she had an immediate reaction as to how the other castaways might react to a perceived threat.
Secca finishes the final bars of the tune, her voice finishing on a strong vibrato. She secures the songbook once more, her other hand touching the pseudopod. It is, indeed, wet and sticky and entirely ladylike. Of course, even a noble lady such as herself can find the beauty in such pure love. What else could it be after such a touching moment? She chuckles, the pseudopod tickling her hand, and says, "I wholeheartedly agree. Such a creature has suffered enough, it surely deserves an escape from this island as much as any of us do."
"Swear it?" She offers, of all things, a pinky, with a grin full of child-like glee on her face.
Secca smiles and matches the gesture, hooking her pinky with Urszula's, "Upon my honor and that of my ancestors."
"Well, I don't know about all that, but you have my honor as a Sandydown, at least." Satisfied, Urszula released and looked back down to the mimic. She considered it. "I think it'd hide itself well, I can keep an eye on it, just... you know, use that silver-tongue of yours if it becomes... an issue." She considers for a few moments. "I wonder if it could be trained?" And indeed, as they discussed a bit, they managed to leave out the boat with the small chest slung under the halfling's arm, with an easy enough explanation provided as to why she would have it.
An extra mouth to feed had found its way into the crew, in secret... for now.
With the "recruitment" of a mimic secretly to the nascent crew, the players gain an addition +5 XP.
|# ? May 18, 2018 23:26|
She had expected satisfaction, in some form or another. She had spent her whole sauntering approach imagining with a great thrill exactly what Mazhar would have to say when she arrived and offered the Desider as her treasure. He was a living legend, well hopefully living, or so her little knowledge and Lucielle's interaction with the man had convinced her. But now Mazhar was passive and admittedly unimpressive, and even worse, seemed entirely fatigued and withdrawn.
That bratty, self-satisfied smile fell from Jan'ti's lips. Her eyes widen and lips part as the shock hits. She takes the Minotaur by his hand, gently grasping at his palm with spindly fingers, so that she might more easily lead him along the beach and through the lagoon, towards the marsh where the Desider was hopefully still resting.
"<Yes. Jan'ti.>" The genasi bites her lip, eyes fixed on a distant point much farther down the beach. There was no pleasure to this. Mazhar had been kind to her. He had saved her. This would not do. "<Are you alright, Mazhar?>
Mazhar follows, his arm tensing slightly as Jan'ti takes his hand, but not withdrawing. Part of him felt...not ashamed, per se, but a deep-seated distaste of this action, something engrained within him from a young age. He was no lamb, no child; he was a warrior! His life was that of strength and blood. Not of..this. But he does not withdraw. A warrior he was, yes, but a warrior with a mind fogged and assaulted. He was not too proud to admit to himself, at least, that he needed help.
<"...it is hard to explain."> He begins, with a bristle. The minotaur is quiet for a few more steps, his cultural heritage conflicting with his need to resolve this mental affliction. <"You remember the battle."> It was not a question. <"I...fought. As was expected of me. As is always expected of me. I am..."> he sought the word, struggling for a moment and half-starting a few times, <"I am of the Blooded caste. A soldier. So I fought. But I have never...trained for this. I do not know what to do. I do not know many things I feel like I used to know. The wound that has been inflicted on me runs deep, but it cannot be patched with medicine."> He shakes his head. <"I do not know. Do not remember. Words fail.">
Jan'ti doesn't push Mazhar as the two make their way forward. She allows them to amble across the beach. It's easier to parse this way. Not to mention all of that running was starting to catch up with her. If she was not careful, exhaustion would consume her.
<"I remember the battle."> She knew it wasn't a question, but the words slip from her tongue without a thought in the silence Mazhar leaves her. <"It was beautiful."> Jan'ti had an odd appreciation for combat; for the primal nature of struggle. She would never had told Mazhar these things if he were not so addled, but in times like these it was sincerity that mattered most. Not pride or strength or knowledge. Simply sincerity. <"You fought well.">
<"I know things."> There's a beat as she considers that statement, <"Only some things. The others know more. But, I can help."> Jan'ti pauses briefly to consider her word choice, <"We can help.">
Mazhar's meaty hand wrenches itself from Jan'ti's hold and cuts through the air in a decisive disagreement, some of his former furor returning to him. <"It is not about the knowing!"> His breath quickens for a moment, a flash of anger about his helplessness coming to the fore; so too do the words come quicker, easier, as if it helps him focus. <"When - in Hyklos, when a man does not know some things, he is not considered less. The Knowing caste are the wise, the teachers, the keepers of knowledge. The Blooded caste are taught certain things beyond combat, but it is not the focus. One's measure of worth is in how they excel at their role, no more, no less."> The minotaur takes a deep breath, and calms down again.
<"But the things that have been stripped from me are more than knowing. There is something missing within. Something I fear may be missing forever. It is...strange. Unsettling. My thoughts feel like blood spilling from an open wound, slipping away through the hands applying pressure. This is not something the knowing of others can help.">
Jan'ti recoils in turn, spinning around and stumbling backwards into the sand before the minotaur Mazhar. There is a flash of true fear in her eyes as Mazhar finds his voice once more. And yet, her eyes begin to glisten as he continues to speak. Jan'ti smiles. There is hope yet.
<"I sailed with your people, once."> The genasi slowly stands. She takes great care not to be too quick in her movements or to get too close to him. <"For no short time, either. They taught me many things, bestowed great gifts, and left me to home once more. I have known your people."> Jan'ti clutches the seaweed focus wreathed about her neck, <"But it is not about knowing. You are right.">
The brief light of hope that had filled her eyes begins to taper off as Jan'ti considers the strange condition Mazhar has found himself in. <"What do you remember of me, Mazhar? On the night of the mutiny?">
His brows furrow as the minotaur considers the question. <"I...remember your voice."> Again, he tries to half-start the next sentence a few times. <"He who fears sparrows should not sow his grain."> He nods in recollection of the proverb. <"A Hyklosian proverb. It is what you said before we charged out the hold, onto the deck. Most of the fight to me was a blur. I was focused on my enemy; and it took all my strength not to buckle. He was soft, but not weak. A more formidable foe I have yet to encounter."> He grunts at the admission. <"But I remember feeling the splatter of water as we struggled across the deck, and a man next to me was drowning, despite not being anywhere close near the sea. This was your doing?">
<"Yes."> Jan'ti shifts her weight from one foot to the other, <"A lobsterback tried to toss me overboard but he slipped and found himself face first in a barrel they had been using to collect rain water. He struggled to his last gasping breath. Not quite noble, but appropriate."> Jan'ti turns around and continues forward at that, not exactly sure on how to elaborate on taking a life in such a way.
They were close to the Lagoon, or so she thought, and as such nearly halfway to their destination. Truthfully, she hoped that Quill and Lucielle had gotten to the old man first. It had been some time now and she had not a single bit of potable water to show for it. <"I don't know much about the Desider either. Lucielle seemed to think he was important, but she only speaks the common tongue. It got most of what they were saying but it was hard to...">
The spiritfolk woman stops in her tracks as they round the bend and find themselves along the lagoon. She points to a far beach in the distance, "<The Desider is there. The crowfolk Quill and the quickfolk Lucielle were here, on that island,"> Jan'ti stops gestures towards the island that Mazhar had found himself washed ashore upon when they first arrived here, <"But I do not know where they have gone. Hopefully, to fetch the old man before he expires.">
Mazhar stops, his eyebrow raised. <"This treasure you spoke of is an old man?"> He scratches the still-red scar on his cheek. <"I have not known many spiritfolk, I think, but you have a strange way of seeing things."> He resumes the trek as Jan'ti points out where the old man is. <"Very well. Let us fetch this Desider and see what is so special about him. I hope he is not old enough to put in work to our continued survival.">
Jan'ti sheepishly glances away as Mazhar muses on the Desider's usefulness, <"I'm afraid you may be disappointed.">
|# ? May 18, 2018 23:51|
Despite not being nominally interested in whatever vile treasure has fallen in the hands of the Dominion, the mere sight of the Guilder Doubloons makes bile rise to his mouth. His eyes glow with a dark fire for a second, and his hand clenches with sheer hatred. "May the Gods be praised, for during the day of the mutiny I killed one of these bastards." the revenant mutters, a fearful expression on his face. He then glances at the bank notes nearby. He remembered seeing those before, at Hrist's office. A young, naive fool, he didn't ask why he would be accepting Dominion bonds instead of doubloons as currency, but he now he knew that these were far easier to hide from the guild. "Ahh... I'll be sure to collect that debt."
|# ? May 19, 2018 00:39|
As the other left to help Ranka, Dermid was struck by the existence of the ship with Verani flagging. Stunned about the revelation, he headed towards it transfixed. Almost every single Verani ship lost to sea had been accounted for in one way or another. The fact that one was here was beyond odd. The Genasi barely noted the other ship, visible on the bar, as he jogged towards the Verani ship, stopping in stunned silence as he read the name.
The VCS Exalt had been lost fifteen years with it's captain- Dermid fitzGerard, the man that Dermid was named after; his father's closest confidant before the sea took him. The man whose death kicked off the War of Bitter Tides. Fifteen years previous, the Verani had captured a lordling prince of Nevarre. Dermid fitzGerard was sent to negotiate the ransom of the princeling. Except that he and his ship never returned from his mission. The Nevarran claimed responsibility for the destruction and scuttling of the ship, and Admiral Culainn declared war upon the Nevarran. Any ship going in or out of the port of Nevarre was declared fair game to the Verani, and were to be sent to the deep. The Nevarri called it a war, the Verani called it justice. To this day, an armistice has never been declared between Nevarre and the Verani, though when Nevarre joined with the Empire, there was an unspoken ceasefire between the two factions.
But that was the past, and the Exalt was here, on this island. Dermid walked out into the receding tide, placing his hand upon the vessel, looking to find purchase to get onto the ship. Maybe there was something, anything that would provide a look into the past. See if there was anything that would provide clues to that voyage from so long ago.
|# ? May 19, 2018 02:10|
When Ranka offers up her share for Nax, he seems more than a little surprised, looking off in her direction as she makes her way down with a pinch of his brow, letting her words wash over him. She feels that creeping voice come back into her mind. <A Sintali's words mean nothing more than the clothez he wearz. His debtz however mean everything. It iz good to be in debt to each other, as Nax Tirrinu is to Ranka Volyn by her vouchzafe.> They both owed each other something now. There was no reason to kill each other if they both had reason to collect one day. That was the Sintalese form of friendship, or at least, the start of one.
Taking his four doubloons and spinning them in his finger, and with a palmer's trick letting them disappear one by one as they rolled down his knuckle and into seeming nothingness, he approached with some apprehension as she nursed her wounds, fiddling with his jacket and taking a knee down and then leaning back on a plank as he started to unroll something from the clothes. "Zay, did you know that Nax Tirrinu apprenticed to a barber in Zajtun? Nitte, you barely know him, zo you would not." He revealed a few tools, including a fine pair of precision scissors, a thread and needle, tweezers, and a metal syringe, very fine in point and made of copper, along with something wrapped up in brown paper.
Barbers often work as surgeons, much as carpenters, when an apothecary or healer is not available. In the Sintales, barbers are a particularly prized profession, as hair is often seen as a sign of status and the focus of fashion among people. Though of course there is always rumors that the guilds of such things turn to other practices: Extortion, trafficking, and assassination, to name a few.
Haphazard truce agreed upon, Ranka inclines her head when Nax reveals yet another hidden talent "Wouldn't have expected it from you, but I've been blindsided by folk before," she pauses and considers the past for a moment "Usually though it's the opposite situation, the humble fisherman hiding the fact that he's a trained knife fighter when I try to haul him in. That kind of thing."
When he begins pulling out her tools she takes then hint and pulls the bloody cloth away from her shoulder, exposing the open wound to him "I'd hope you learned both halves of the trade while you were an apprentice? Or is this just a roundabout way of saying you don't like my hair?"
"Za, can it not be both?" He offers playfully, holding the delicate scissors in his very practiced hands, as he looks up to her. "A bounty hunter, then? An unusual profession for the boat people, but Nax Tirrinu grew up here in the far west on the Cazzerides. Knew only of your people through stories, and he doubts most of them." Most. But it seems he would not know her by reputation, which is a mixed blessing. It would mean he has not heard all of the stories, though he has likely heard enough to think of her as diabolical enough, considering what the Sintalese especially say about the shava.
He does however dutifully get to work at the wound. Its one thing to simply grin and bear it, but the bullet had shattered into several pieces. "We shall not be able to get out ever piece of the goblin's, but lead poisons the blood and takes away your years of life. Years are better spent lived, yes?" He looked up to her for a moment and then back to it. "Zay, what is the plan? Other than the obvious, if it is not too much to ask."
Ranka lets out a pained bark of a laugh "I suppose I've not paid my hair as much attention as I could." She grimaces as Nax gets to work, extracting more shards of the bullet than she'd been able to by hand. Sitting and screaming isn't engaging enough, so she starts talking through the pain as best she can. "I'm not sure how familiar you are with the Sintalese nobility, but there is a good amount of bad blood between them and my people." She paws at the ground and picks up the small puzzle box she'd plucked from the treasure chest "Little objects like this, lost tidbits of our history, are things the nobles are fond of adding to their collections." Ranka goes silent, hissing through her teeth as a particularly jagged shard of metal comes out of her.
Moments pass and after catching her breath, Ranka continues "I'm sure you know at least the very basics of the Shava lifestyle? Well, each ship has a single person known as a Seeker. We head out into the world to follow up on rumors of our heritage, sometimes returning with objects like this little puzzle. Our history is almost completely lost to us, so you can imagine how important something even this small is yes?" She absentmindedly slides a few panels on the puzzle around with her uninjured arm's thumb "Collectors get jealous of the amount of lost history we find, and so they take advantage of our need to take on passengers in leaner times and will steal from us. Seeker job number two is retrieving those stolen trinkets. Filling out generic bounties is more of a me thing, I've been away from home for too long." Ranka winds down, and sits silently, gritting her teeth as Nax works.
When Nax inquires after a plan, Ranka is shaken out of her silence "So far? Gather as many like-minded folk as we can. There's plenty of food to be had on the island for now, so we won't starve. In the meantime I need to find some tools. A good hammer or two and a plane will start me and any other trade-minded folks we might find on the path to making a boat so we can escape." She sighs "Better than sitting around waiting to die. For me personally? I have a murderer to find, but I lost my only major lead when I was caught and thrown on the Ceaseless, so I don't really know what I'll be doing going forward... I've been gone for years, and I can't go home with nothing to show for it."
"Do you mean the aristocrats, maestros or the patricians, Ranka Volyn?" He smiled at her question of the nobility. "Sintalese nobles are not just born. They can be made, or bought." Respectively, in that order. "All have a place on the Pregazzi. That is, what you might know as the Council of Twelve Hundred. Of course, by the very nature of that, only twelve hundred nobles can ever exist, whether aristocrat, maestro, or patrician. So, what happens when a new son is born, a new master releases his opus, or a magnate purchases his first fleet?" He chuckles. "They see a barber for a trim. Nothing should be allowed to grow too long untamed. I mostly know nobles by their hair, surely... But also their necks, Ranka Volyn."
"Perhaps one day you might tell me what is worth Seeking, and I may tell you what is worth Collecting," and with a hiss between his teeth, and an extremely painful moment for Ranka, he extracts the last piece of shrapnel, raising a bit of cloth and pressing it down on her shoulder. "But it might be a bit sudden. Za, we have yet even to kiss, and sharing secrets seems far more intimate than that." His words are carefree as now, he moves to place the scissors down "Please press down," he suggested, moving to remove his hand from the cloth. The Sintalese were stereotypically obsequious, and nothing he said ever felt like a command.
He began to unroll the brown paper, revealing a somewhat tar-like, brown substance in a paste within it. "For the pain?" He asks, testingly, looking at her with a inquisitive glance. It was rather obvious what that was. Those who became entranced by Sintalese culture were not known as lotus-eaters for no reason.
"We'll see I suppose. I am, I expect, one of the more open minded of my people you'll find. I'm not opposed to learning what I can. Maybe teaching some in time." Ranka's teeth clack together hard as pressure is suddenly removed from her wound, but she obediently replaces his hand with her own when prompted.
It takes the halfling a moment to recenter herself, but when she does she glances over and sees what Nax is offerring. Her nose wrinkles as she glances at it, but the incessant swaying is beginning to start again, and the sharp pain in her arm is more than distracting. Nodding her head, Ranka props herself up more steadily against the wood she's leaned against "May as well since you're offering."
"Maybe so long as Nax and Ranka owe each other," he says, making the preparations as he moves to get a ember from the fire and brings it over to heat, taking a little tin spoon to melt the brown tar with. "We can be of assistance to each other." He keeps his attention entirely on the work, very precise and sparing with his movements. He is someone who has learned discipline at some time, despite his easy-going personality.
Slowly he took a draught of the melted bubbling liquid into the metal syringe. "Though it might be unfair. The ask on Nax Tirrinu's end might be a bit high," he moved back, placing at first his hand overs hers on the wound, catching her gaze, and letting his hand move down to her arm, pressing two fingers until he found the vein, which took a moment. Her body was smaller, and he wanted to do this right, but once he found and tapped it, he set the needle against the skin.
"I should like to see every mind-flayer dead and sinking to join the devils of the Nine Hells."
Ranka considers Nax's proposal seriously, memories of her treatment aboard the Ceaseless and the fates of those who'd been hauled to the Captain's quarters. She gives a faint nod and begins to speak, first in Nimhi but she quickly corrects herself <"The Sea is a...> The Sea is a hungry thing. It needs fuel to keep back those things must remain trapped." Ranka's fist clenches for a moment as a few particularly unpleasant scenes come to her "You'd be hard pressed to make me not want to upkeep my part of the bargain."
Ranka slips into nimhi as she trails off distracted by her thoughts of the Ceaseless, her tone almost reverent as she speaks again <"The Maw makes no distinction between meats.">
|# ? May 19, 2018 03:58|
With the Jan'ti and Bastard heading off towards the sounds of fighting, the only two left at the Lagoon were Quill and Lucielle, it was starting to get dark, the sounds of fighting had stopped and Quill wasn't sure what to do from here.
"Sounds like whatever was going on over there stopped," comments Lucy, "Hope they've made it out alright." She would go check herself, but the exile noticed the sun going down, and Desider- the man she convinced to keep living, was still at the marsh, all by himself. It would do no good if she left a frail old man like him there after she went through all the trouble to save him, "Quill," she turns to the bird, "There's a man named Desider over there," she points to where the marsh is, "We told him we'd come back for him later. It's a bit of a trek to get to him, but would you mind joining me in collecting him?"
Quill looked at the barrel he had filled up previously, but he decided that as this barrel wasn't likely to move and old men are generally more frail that barrels that this would be a good idea to fetch this man. He nodded enthusiastically and made to follow her.
Their stroll back to the marsh was a lot more leisurely this time. "Who would've thought this is where we would've ended up, eh?" she says, as she walks side by side with Quill, "But I suppose being shipwrecked on an island is better than being dead! There aren't that many people around who could say they've survived a dragon attack."
Quill looked at her, and then looked into the jungle nearby, and began to shuffle nervously. "No. Problem. Deeper Problem. Danger." He kept sifting through his memory to try and find the best way to explain this. Bastard had seemingly paid no attention to his attempts to try and tell him something but he perhaps feels Lucielle would be willing to at least hear him out. "Moment?"
Lucielle looks at him back with genuine concern. She could already guess what the 'problem' is. "Yes, of course. Would this have anything to do with the roar we all heard?"
"No. False Noise. No Dragon. Maybe." He tapped his beak. "Different noise. No noise. No animal noise, notice?"
Lucy, who was still feeling a little tense, begins to relax a little when she's told that the dragon noises weren't real. "...Now that you mention it, I did notice that- dragon roar aside, this place has been eerily quiet," she taps a finger to her chin, "Why do you think that is?"
Quill ran this through his head, trying to remember any of the lectures he had, to try and maybe explain this in a way that would make some sense. Then he hit upon an idea, or rather a memory of a lecture that would work "Wait." He ran off into a bush and came back with a long stick. "Diagrams." He began to draw on the sand
Lucielle stands behind Quill, watching him quietly as he draws out his diagram on the sand with great curiosity.
First he wrote down a list of names, with arrows pointing at all the names in order. "Insects" < "Birds" < "Snakes" < "Mongoose" < "Tiger". He taps at the list. "Ecosystem, normal, standard. Yes?"
The exile nods in agreement, "Yes, that's usually how it goes."
He nods "This island. " He moves the stick over and off to the side writes. 'Intelligent Predator' a question mark, and then draws a big arrow over to the 'regular ecosystem'. And the strikes a big cross through all of it except the insects "All gone. Nothing." He taps the insects. "No predators, no control. Population grows, size grows."
"If I understand what you're saying correctly, there is a predator on this island, but not just any predator; An intelligent, and potentially dangerous one, that might have wiped out most of the animals on this island?"
Quill nods. "Long time, years, decades." He remembered the signs that Rust had pointed out, trees that had been cut down with sharpened implements, signs of life for certain but what life exactly he couldn't say for sure.
"That... is concerning," she says, with a bit of worry in her voice now, "Do you have any guesses on what this predator would be?"
Quill shrugs, and shakes his head, her guess is as good as his. He has some theories but that is all they are right now, theories.
As they have had made good headway to the marsh before taking a moment to crouch down and go over this diagram, they weren't too far out of earshot, so just a bit out of the way, the sound of a tune, at first whistled and then sung with a hoarse voice, yet with a sort of joie de vivre, of some half-heard sea shanty.
Oh the year was nine-hundred seventy eight,
How I wish I was in Miasto now...
A letter of marque came from the board,
to the scummiest vessel I'd ever seen
God drat them all! I was told we'd cruise the seas,
for Imperial gold, we'd fire no guns...
Without putting much thought into it, Quill opens his mouth and in a sound like a tavern full of pirates finished the last of that first verse.
"But I'm a Broken Man on a Haydar's Pier
The last of Bartok's Privateers"
Lucielle finds herself drawn in to the song that Quill and Desider are singing, and for this one brief moment, whatever tension that was building up in her leaves her body, as she whistles along to their song.
There's the call and response of a shanty, filled suddenly with a full tavern thanks to Quill, which causes the natural baritone of Desider's voice to ring out all the more.
Oh, "El Cid" Bartok cried the town,
How I wish I was in Miasto now.
For twenty brave dwarves, all mariners who
wouldmake for him, the Oryx's crew
God drat them all! I was told we'd cruise the seasm
for Imperial gold, we'd fire no guns, shed no tears!
But I'm a broken man on Haydar's Pier,
the lastt of Bartok's privateers.
They find him there, still laid out on the beach, with some of the swamp apples half-eaten and hanging around the great matted mess of his hair and beard. He cuts an emaciated, withered figure, all but naked in little more than prisoner's rags stripped white and red but mostly brown with the mud. His cataracted eyes stare up at the sky unfocused, half-blind.
Yet he is enjoying himself in his misery, though the profound sadness of the shanty, even as it picks up speed, feels particularly fitting.
Quill and the withered man go through the song as the sun starts to set on the horizon, and the stars begin to appear in the distance. A unusually homely scene presents itself, a wizened old man, and a soaked young bird very literally singing like a full crowd. It was little moments like these that cemented this island in Quill's memories as time went on. As the last few bars wound down to the closure of the song, Quill sighed into the night air, and kneels down to the gentlemen. "Hello. Require Help?"
There is something almost comforting to hearing them go through their song. It reminds the exile of days when she was out in sea with her mentor, and him and his crew would sing their shanties together. It was always something she looked forward to, and she forgot how much she missed it until now.
"Hello, Desider," she says, waving to the dwarf, "I hope we haven't made you wait too long for us."
"I don't think me legs are worth any more than the sand beneath me," he lets out, and indeed he will have to be carried, likely one arm over each shoulder, if they are to be getting off anywhere. Once the shanty is done, he considers for a moment. "The marid daughter, she be taken by that bullet, or another if your crew?" Assuming the worst, as ever.
Quill looks to Lucielle to see if she has any more insight on this matter than he does.
"If you're talking about Jan'ti, then she's doing just fine," or at least, Lucielle hopes she's still okay, "This is Quill, by the way. A good friend, and also a surprisingly good singer. Now, here, let's get you back up on your feet!" she lowers herself beside Desider, putting one of his arms over her shoulder, "Quill, would you mind taking the other arm?"
Quill nods and takes up the other side of the Old man.
"Quill, is it?" He doesn't look to the bird but cranes his head. "May I hear the name as ye say it, then?"
Quill nods and opens his mouth, out of his mouth comes the sound of a quill scribbling onto paper, his name in actuality.
"Heheheh, of course it is, course it is..." His gap-toothed smile extends outwards. "I don't see much point in ye lot hauling around this bag of bones they once called the Aqualung. Ye went to a fair bit of effort at the pit, mind, but if there's trouble out there, it won't do ye much good to have me slowing you down. No soul has gone this far west and lived to tell tale of it."
"Mm, perhaps not," she says, as she lifts the old man up, "But that doesn't mean we can't try. And besides, it'd be wrong for me to leave you out here alone after I went through all that trouble convincing you to live. You might be a bag of bones, but even an old bag of bones have some value to them."
"Aye, they would make a rattling racket on the way down to Styx below." Styx was the Hell that was said to be under the Tranquil Sea, and open to a great ocean of forgetfulness the further west one went. "Unless ye be wanting me to bend your ear, I certainly can still talk," his voice whislting a bit, "but I think I hear a thunder coming along. Tell me, is that a storm on the horizon, Miss Lucy?" It didn't quite sound like thunder to Lucielle or Quill, but not too far away they could see the minotaur Mazhar and the genasi Jan'ti, meeting them halfway down the shore.
|# ? May 19, 2018 08:00|
As they continue to walk along the sand, Mazhar eventually spots the crow and the Heathish woman, flanking a decrepit looking dwarf on both sides and supporting him as he walked. <"Ho there!"> he starts, before realizing that none of them probably speak Hyklosian like Jan'ti does. "Hail. Jan'ti had informed me of one Desider that needed gathering. Is this him?" he continues, after they meet up. After giving the dwarf a once over, he turns back to the genasi beside him. "<...I must admit I fail to see the treasure in this.">
|# ? May 19, 2018 18:12|
As the party returns back to the shore with the old, emaciated dwarf in tow, along with barrels of soon to be fresh water, for once our nine shipwrecked crew are together, of a sorts, beleagured perhaps but filled with a renewed resolve. They have the means of their survival, at least for the time being, and have recovered a few like-minded souls to join them. Yet as the day threatens to end, they know now is not the time to settle. They have the makings of a camp already, but they have much work to do before the sun sets.
Soon enough, everyone is seeing to one task or another, leaving Urszula Sandydowns to herself. With a stiff piece of driftwood laid against her lap and perched up on a rock near the shore, she has a sheet of borrowed paper and quill from the kenku's writing kit, and begins to jot down a missive. The driftwood shivers slightly, three carnelian eyes opening up and looking up at her. "Shhh," she offers urgently. "Not now, supper's later."
The foraging is being done across the jungle through the path blazed through by Rust and then marked by Jan'ti, both at the lagoon isle and further north up the coast at the salt marshes. Buckets of soft-shell crab, tidal mussels, and shelled whelks are collected, supplemented by cat-tails, trailing wild bean, and glasswort. It will make quite the feast, given some time.
When she has returned with a big bushel of marsh vegetables, Lucielle finds in the chest the stack of papers. A quick examination indicates to her what they might be valued at. If only they could make landfall, and she could send a message, she would know many in the underbelly of society that would love to get their hands on cash like this, and turn a profit.
Near where Urszula is perched, Johann does the drudgery, shovel in hand, of seeing every body buried in the upper part of the sands, so that the vermin of the island will not be attracted and the stench of death might slowly pass from here. Marked with simple stone, it also provides a rest, including that of the hobgoblin corsair and headless Vendal. Urszula watches this, and jots something down, her smile faded somewhat as if anything she looks pensive.
She turns and sees near the trees, out of earshot of the rest of the crew where the shadows have drawn longer, Rust Freewind has pulled the Sintali, Nax, aside, and the two have their exchange. Her eyes squint a bit, but she can't make out anything no matter how hard she strains, so while she keeps it at the back of her mind (and the corner of her eye), she returns back to the message she is writing.
"Ye look like you have coarse hands, stout. Would ye be so kind to help an old git? Mine are too shaken for the work..." Desider Aqualung, covered with some recovered rags, rests on his knees near where the shark was hung up on hooks to bleed near the bow of the ship. He has the tools in front of him to gut and clean it, and has something else in mind.
"Of course!" She chimes, but hesitates for a moment. She rolls up the message she was writing and stuffs it in her shirt, setting the "driftwood" aside and moving to join Desider. As she does, a crab starts to poke around at the stone, nearing the piece of driftwood, and its eyes open up once more, blinking with a sort of casual, animal innocence.
Acting as Desider's hands, Urszula helps him with the task, as they skin and fillet the shark. The dorsal fin is cut. Eventually, finding the strength, the old dwarf makes a few cuts of his own and begins to work the hide and scales, removes the jaw and teeth and the cartilage, working with it and preparing something. Soon enough, a remarkable piece of craftmanship is hung out to dry, for the next day.
Meanwhile, the kenku makes his work, first with a blessing of the Drowned Gods to bring water for thjem to drink, and then setting from the items collected, overlooking the chest. He goes over one by one a few of the items: First catching his eye is the scroll. With some assistance from the Sintali, who surprisingly seems to know the strange, circuit-like script of the mind-flayers, he speaks the incantations for Quill to memorize. Then holding the potion at each side of his face, glancing with each eyes, he plucks the magic essence from it and returns it to Johann. Last, and perhaps most surprisingly, the little trinket he brought with him, that compass, he finds a minor enchantment within, though perhaps not the one he was expecting (or wanting).
Soon enough, the sun begins to set. Urszula returns to where she left the "driftwood", the crab missing completely and the piece of wood just a little bit bigger, she pulls the letter from her shirt and finds the glass bottle she had been saving for it. Before the sky, already gold and pink, begins to darken into indigo and blue, she makes her way to the shoal, looking to cast it where the wind might take it far from the island with the tides. She aims, and pitches it quite far, watching the arc as it finally hits, and begiuns to bob up and down.
With a sigh, she holds her hands folded close to her chest. "Please. I must believe you will receive it... Some day."
A bonfire from the sun-dried driftwood lights up the campsite and provides much needed warmth, as already the eternal summer heat of the island is beginning to leave the air. The smoke and fire makes the constant biting of flies and midges more bearable as well. There is water, food, and good company, and after a long day of hardships, it finally becomes a moment where all can relax and enjoy the fact that the castaways have survived, at least for a day, after an ordeal that most others would never have passed through. The crew acquitted themselves well in the crises, but what will the next day bring?
The twelve (and one extra, hidden mouth) share a meal mostly gained from the carcass of the reef shark killed by the swing of the Headsman's anchor. The meat is filleted, and its fin used to make a broth. Desider proves himself an able cook, though without any real provisions it still cannot cover the fact that the taste of the shark is poor, pungeant and fishy. "Milk," Desider says, mostly to himself with a whistle, as if that was the element missing from the meal. "Though damned luck keeping that from spoiling aboard on voyage." It is thus supplemented with steamed mussels and some glasswort salad flavored with a bit of the brined rum, which makes a sort of vinegar that pickles the bright-red vegetable. There is enough for even those who wish to pass on meat can have their fill, and gallons of water to drink from and deeply. There will be no starving bellies or thirsty throats this night.
After the initial, hungry part of the meal, the castaways finally have a time to, all together, share their thoughts, observations, hopes and fears. Up above, the starlit heavens are intensely bright. Though a mariner is used to the sight, far away from the pollution of smokestacks and manufactories, it seems particularly clear and beautiful tonight under the Silver Moon, only partially covered by the black shape of the Vagrant Planet.
Who will be the first to speak, and break the ice, this night of merry?
|# ? May 19, 2018 21:36|
As the rag-tag band of survivors feast and rest around the fire, it is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Vidame tir Cuothr who breaks the silence. She holds aloft a still-steaming bowl of shark broth and says, "Friends, both newfound and older, I would raise a toast to our survival! Not the many-tentacled maw of the Dominion, nor that of the briny deeps has claimed us. While we come from many walks of life, many cultures spread amongst the great seas, it seems that our continued survival is the glue which binds us all together. To this, I say, why not drink to kinship and common purpose? I cannot claim to know what the morning will bring, nor what challenges may lie in wait in the days ahead, but it seems clear that we can overcome them — as one!"
Secca drinks deeply from the broth, the half-elf's cheeks ruddy from the heat of the fire, and then says, "So! Friends! It occurs to me that I know many of you, though others remain mysteries yet. I propose that we introduce ourselves, alongside any talents we have, and, indeed, I shall go first!" She clears her throat, posture straightening a bit, as she says, "I am Seccacosantza Tolto VII, the Vidame tir Cuothr. I'd not stand on titles in this situation we find ourselves in, so, please, feel free to address me as Secca. My talents lie in word and instrument foremost, though I daresay my grasp of the arcane is nothing to scoff at either!"
She sits, then, and awaits the next to make an introduction. Her mind drifts back to the invitation she found in the chest, now safely held in the case alongside her treasured songbook. The promise of access to the Wasp Countess's courts was certainly alluring, the treasures and boons that could be gathered within almost too incredible to imagine. At least, she thought, if the stories were to be believed. There were darker stories as well. Stories that she might well truck with forces both dark and diabolical, the price of whom's service has been her menfolk. The whispers could never quite agree upon the ends to which those services were put, but there was one universal agreement: it always behooves to be her friend, rather than her opponent.
|# ? May 19, 2018 23:01|
After the Battle
As the dust cleared, Rust throws the crossbow around his back on the shoulder strap and throws his arms out wide. "Nax ol' buddy. Good to see you! Good to see you cast off the dead weight"
Walking at a ginger pace toward where the group was gathering, he turns the body of the dead barbarian woman over, inspecting the damage before added "Quite literally the dead weight."
At hearing Ranka's quip about being dangerous, he turns his head sideways slightly while keeping his eyes locked on Nax and says "The world is a dangerous place, lass. It's our line of work it's a matter of survival. But this man here, let me get a good look at you!" Rust reaches his hand out to shake Nax's hand and as he reaches for it, Rust grips his hand tight and pulls the Sintali man in close, clasping his other arm around his back. In a hushed growl, Rust switches to his Ornassi tongue and speaks inches away from Nax's ear. <"Just so we are clear, you try and pull a stunt like you did on the Dauntless again, I'm going to leave you on this Thrak-Dammed island. We survive by coming together, not by further dividing ourselves at the first opportunity. You know how a Freewind deals with a rabid dog; Don't give me a reason. And while we're at it, don't go poking your telepathy in my head or we're going to have a problem.">
Having said his peace, Rust releases his grasp and takes a few paces back, arms outstretched. He switches back to common tongue addressing everyone. "But who am I kidding, we should be celebrating! Any day you walk away from certain doom is a good one! We only have a couple hours of sunlight left and we need to think about making camp. I'll work on getting a fire started and we can cook whatever we scrounged up. But first, we need to see to the bodies"
Turning the body of the hobgoblin over, he was taken back when he still seen ragged breathing, almost imperceptible. Leaning in close, he looks at the creature in the eyes. The spark of recognition was there and behind that, seething impotent rage. Paralyzed and bleeding out but not yet dead. Rust leans in close enough to kiss him and says "You almost smell better now than you did on the ship. Too bad, all you had to do was cooperate and you could of been helping us scourge this island for a way off. But you chose the way of pain and for that..." Rust reaches behind the hobgoblin, grabbing the bolt and giving it a couple of good twists before wrenching it loose. "... You loose your life in a stupid and pointless gambit.". Rust gives the hobgoblin a minute to acknowledge his words before drawing his rapier and driving it in a gap in the brestplate and between the hobgoblin's ribs. There's one more ragged exhale and the light goes out of its eyes.
Inspecting the cache of loot, Rust's eyes are drawn toward the ring. His eyes recognize it readily, his father had one like it from his privateer days, though Rust had never seen it used. He speaks up "Yeah, I think I'll take this in lieu of my share of the doubloons. I'll let you guys squabble who gets my cut." Settling the ring on top of his thumb, he flips it up in the air and catches it in a wide sweep, sticking it on the pinky of his left hand. In addition to the rings, Rust also spots the pair of cutlasses. Rust takes the Rapier and scabbard off his belt and drives it into the sand a few feet away from where he was going to build the campfire. He scoops up the cutlasses and gives them a quick inspection. They certainly weren't as pocked and worn as the rapier, so he instead tucks both of the blades into his belt, one on either side of his hip.
After the fight I'm menacing Nax as I introduce myself to him using my bardic inspiration to do so. The menacing was not very successful (intimidate =11) but it should convey the point I'm making and let him know where he stands with me.
I'll take Vanguard in marching order (assuming I'm not breaking off to stealth/scout)
Scooping up the poison ring and both the cutlasses since my Rapier got DM fiat-ed away
|# ? May 20, 2018 01:06|
The spiritfolk woman sits in the sand with her knees tucked to her chest and back to a large chunk of wooden wreckage protruding from the sand. Shadows dance from the flickering flame across her face, and together with the dour look she had adopted for the conversation, gave a certain ominous tone to the genasi's appearance. It is in this moment, had she been able to see herself, that the visage of the Corpsewitch would have been conceivable. The smiling woman they had met before replaced by some vengeful wicked soul lost at sea. The flame before them did her no favors. Her cheeks and eyes seemed to sink inward. Long, dark hanging heavy with sea water. Her skin the hue of a waterlogged corpse, slick and shimmering to boot. It wasn't too hard to imagine the Ornassi woman leading dark and disturbing rituals in the dead of night let alone being born from one.
"Secca." Jan'ti points a long index in the half-elf's direction and lets the name roll over her tongue with a certain reservation. It had been difficult to keep up with everything the half-elf had said. Not that Jan'ti was particularly slow, no, nor was she particularly smart. The common tongue just didn't to her like others. All in all, Jan'ti had managed to get the greater gist of things. She usually did. Jan'ti pats her knee with a slim green hand twice, "Jan'ti the Sea-Bride, Priestess of Dagon."
There's a certain contortion to her features as Jan'ti puzzles out how to best convey her sentiments in common. It's almost revulsion, with a touch of frustration, and maybe even just a hint of embarrassment. "As long as we're together," The words come out strained but fluid, "We will survive."
GenuineRevelry fucked around with this message at May 20, 2018 around 02:38
|# ? May 20, 2018 02:19|
Ranka isn't very talkative for the remainder of the day, she'd had an initial rush of energy after Nax's "medicine" had been taken where she'd been nearly been a force for matching Secca's enthusiasm, but halfway through collecting seafood she'd kind of just trailed off mid search and wandered back to the beach camp.
People wandered to and fro, setting their skills to tasks that needed doing, and for the most part Ranka sat still next to a clattering bucket of shellfish. Ranka wanted to blame the lethargy on surviving a shipwreck, but between blood loss and the injection Nax had given her, it was clear what was to blame. At least everything was feeling rather pleasant.
Given she doesn't have the energy to bustle around camp, Ranka lazily paws at the sand, eventually digging up several pieces of sun bleached driftwood. Absent the will to do any additional heavy work, she pulls her carving kit from her back pack and her hands fall into a well learned task. Her fingers feel numb, but Ranka has done the preparation for turning rough bits of woods into shavan craft work thousands of times in her life, little bits of her presence left behind anywhere she happened to lay her head. It isn't too long until she'd sectioned off some driftwood into 12 chunks and carved them down into 12 small rough discs.
Ranka is still focused intently on her work when people begin to introduce themselves, mostly unaware of the conversation she draws another small knife from her kit just as things get going in earnest. In the hazy state she's in it takes a few prompting coughs and a jostling bump, but she eventually speaks, her voice slurred "Ranka Volyn... Bondar woodworker, used to be anyway." There's a few more rhythmic scrapes as she keeps shaping the edges of the tokens in her lap "Now I hunt people down and beat on them until they return what they stole or until I have to drag them to the person who wants them."
As the conversation dies down and people begin settling down for the evening or preparing to take a watch, Ranka finally finds the power in her limbs to stand again. In doing so she nearly sends a bowl of soup that had been balanced on her thigh toppling to the ground. With a few blinks she looks up and sees that the sun is set, she shakes her head, guzzles down the now cold soup with a shudder, and sets to gathering up some suitable leaves and such to line a small sand pit with for sleeping in.
Doing a small fluffy side project as an inconsequential downtime thing. Pardon our dust .
|# ? May 20, 2018 04:48|
Despite the slight direness of their situation, Lucy finds herself in good spirits. If she had a choice between going back to her old curated life, where she had to do and say what her family instructed her to, or being stuck on a deserted island, one with plenty of dangers, with a rag-tag group of misfits, then she would certainly pick the latter everytime. At least here, she can make her own choices in which direction her life goes.
...Now if only she had a way to take care of her hair while she was here. A place to properly wash it, a comb to help her straighten it, that's all she needs, but it looks like she might have to go without either for a while. The downfalls of having hair as long as hers.
After the others made their introduction, Lucielle stands, and makes her own. "I am Lucielle Valentine," she takes out her newly found rapier, and twirls it around in a stylish flourish, "Quick on my feet, and even quicker with a sword!" She holds her rapier upright in front of her, projecting the same level of confidence that her mentor would have in these kinds of situations, "A daring adventure, who's always looking for new challenges to conquer!"
She sits back down after her little display, and adds, in a more casual tone this time, "...But you can all call me Lucy."
Lucielle purposely left out her noble birth in her introduction. There's no point in mentioning it, she figures. The part of her that used to belong to house Alness died a long, long time ago.
|# ? May 20, 2018 07:34|
Mazhar remains quiet during most of the evening meal, filling his belly and quenching his thirst with little in the way of conversation. He does not grimace at the foul taste of the shark, though Ranka's addled state does make him raise an eyebrow. Still, he was more preoccupied with the state of his own mind. As the day had progressed, he had found, at least, his words had come a little easier - but remembering things was still difficult. He stares at the small medallion that had hung from his neck since he washed up - a little trinket, more functional than decorative, displaying a tiger's paw. His company. His fellow soldiers. Another battle he had lost much in. He looked around the group. These were his company now, he supposed. At least until they could get back to civilization. And then...who knows? His large fingers enclose around the medallion as he makes his introduction. "I am called Mazhar. I was a soldier." It would suffice.
|# ? May 20, 2018 08:04|
Frowning at the wanton looting performed by Rust, Johann takes special care to bury the rest of the shipwrecked survivors. Perhaps the beheaded one wouldn't be likely to follow them from the grave in such a state, but it always pays to be thorough in such matters, and of course he is respectful enough to take such measures. "Are we sure there are no more stragglers around? In case I have to dig more of those." The time spent doing such a macabre task under the sun at least helped to dry his body from the seawater, although several bloody stains still dirtied his ragged clothes.
The drowned man spends the evening flipping one of the guilder coins on his hand, and staring intently at it, an empty expression in his face. He listens to the introductions of the rest of the survivors, and hesitantly speaks forward after pondering for a few more minutes. "My name is Johann. I used to be a Helmsman, but now... I have not a clue of what I am, but only that there's a lot of bastards I need to take care of." Deep down he felt this introduction was unnecessary. Considering what he witnessed with Dax, he expected half these people to kill each other in a treacherous manner sooner than later.
|# ? May 20, 2018 13:45|
After the Battle
The Sintali keeps very still, his movements like a serpent's in a bit of a sway, but smooth and practiced, biting his bottom lip at the feeling of Rust's whisper in his ear. Whether instinctively or intentionally, he tilts and turns his head, as if to expose part of his neck, returning the words in the mariner's tongue. "<The Wheel smiles, Rust Freewind. It was surely fortunate that we were found with the treasure and launch intact, and in such few numbers. A windfall, even.>" Rust knows he has not cowed the man, yet there is no edge to his voice, no defiance. The Sintalese will let it wash over them, they are a people that have always lived at the mercy of others.
"<Nax Tirrinu hopes you enjoy your share. We have all earned it, as brethren.>" A term used sometimes in jest, sometimes in full sincerity, of the shared plight and brotherhood of outlaws on the sea.
Filled with that irrepressible cheer that comes natural to the smallfolk, Urszula, who sits with her legs outstretched before her and a small wooden stool that she balances her bowl on top of, waves her hand as she offers soon after Johann, splitting the storm clouds of his introduction with a shot of sunshine. "Urszula Sandydowns, if it please." Her Grunnish accent is a bit affected, hard on the consonants but a bit more sing-song than the staccato and purposeful Primordial tones of the Sea-Bride. "I owe all of you my life, I think, though especially her ladyship, Mazhar, and..." She looked to Dermid for a moment, light glinting off her green eyes, and she quickly realized she hadn't even yet been introduced to him, "this gentleman."
Her gaze lingered a moment before she seemed surprised for a moment. "Do you think there were more survivors than us? I was expecting a few of the redcoats to live, but..." Her voice trailed off. The three cutthroats, now only one, had killed quite a few. The bodies now encased in sarcophagi of sand beneath their feet, thanks to the work of the drowned man, whom Urszula looked at with a superstitious glance, and beyond towards Nax, who was and remained silent so far, feeding his pied crow pieces of the shark, which he did not himself partake in. "Surely there must be a few more we can save..."
"Aye, I doubt it," came the creaking voice of Desider as he stirred at the broth in the cast iron pot, staring off towards basically nothing. "This island is a grave for us all, I say. If not the great vermin, then surely the young buck will return to finish us off after that call ye gave earlier, that all but demanded 'come and get me, ye sodden elfson'." His voice whistled through the gaps in his teeth. "That is, if ye all don't cut each other's throats in your sleep. Heheheh." His lips curled back from his gums.
"I suppose then ye'd be wanting to know what sorry git you'll be sharing eternity with. Aye, Desider Aqualung, I was known a spell ago." It was a name that might have carried a lot of weight a spell ago, but he wasn't seeming to swing it around to impress. If anything, by his mocking, bitter tone, it seemed just as much as he was aware of the pathetic and emaciated figure he cut.
A simple DC 10 History check will reveal what Lucielle recognized earlier about the Aqualung, though I am going to give Johann, Rust, and Dermid automatic success because of their backgrounds.
|# ? May 20, 2018 15:18|
As most of the other members of the group were off on their own errands, Quill had gotten to work back at the camp to provide the group with water. In front of him were two barrels filled with seawater, he looked at the Amulet in his hand as he plumbed through the depths of his memories to remember the words and gestures needed to make this magic work. Not every priest of the Drowned Ennead was a Cleric, to teach the words of the old gods does not necessarily require the preacher to know the divine arts involved, but in many larger settlements and crews in Ornassus, there would always be at least one person trained in one of the more simple and yet incredibly valued arts available to those knowledgeable in the ways of divine magic. The ability to purify seawater into something suitable to drink.
It came to him eventually, he had observed the ritual performed multiple times in the Temple it was practically one of the very first spells taught to new initiates, he had heard it spoken in hundreds of voices and watched the gestures done by hundreds of hands across the years of his education, so it was merely a matter of picking which one to imitate. Old Ornassi scripture arose in the quiet campsite as tracing precise geometric sigils into the air, the Kenku spoke softly .
<O' deep and sunken Gods of olde>
<We request humbly this boon>
<To taketh from the sea, and into ourselves>
<And from it may we find succor>
Slowly as the waves lapped against the shore and the distant buzz was ever present in the background, the water within the barrel cleared. That was one job done, he turned back to the items of minor magical interest and began his work there as well.
Later around the evening, enjoying his hearty soup of Shark Fin and things he had never actually eaten before, Quill wasn't looking directly at the campfire itself he was staring off into the distant Jungle, listening to the buzzing of the insects in the breeze and the soft sway of trees from the ocean winds. His nerves had wound down from this morning, but he wasn't settled. He couldn't be, not why the manuscript was missing.
He had reached into his bag to grab it without thinking, and when it wasn't there he felt a deep sense of sadness that he tried his best to hide. The entire reason he came out here was because of that book, he had listened to the advice of Bastard, and chosen not to try and claim it immediately with the uncertain danger surrounding it, but tomorrow it was the first thing he wished to do he just couldn't bare it any longer then he had already.
The sound of voices caught his attention, he turned back to the campfire. Names, introductions, he considered that perhaps these people that he was going to be putting a lot of trust into could be told his name, it was only fair. He tapped himself "This one, Quill Scribbling." He thought a bit more, they also seemed to tell each other their previous job he followed up the somewhat awkward silence with. "I write. I read. I do books. I do not steal." The last part wasn't strictly necessary but his race did have certain baggage attached to it.
TheNabster fucked around with this message at May 20, 2018 around 19:19
|# ? May 20, 2018 16:04|
Secca looks over at Desider, no little surprise in her eyes, and says, "The Aqualung? I'd not have expected to cross paths with a legend in these parts. I've quite the repertoire of songs about your deeds." She rubs the back of her neck, choosing to ignore the doom and gloom, finishing, "It's no little comfort to have such an expert in our merry band. And you all as well! Urszula, Mazhar, Lucy, Johann, Quill, Jan'ti, Ranka..." Her head turns onward, looking at Rust, Dermid, and Nax. "...and everyone else who survived the wreck! Suffice to say that we have no little work ahead of us to survive this ordeal and I, for one, eagerly await the opportunity to get to know you all better. After all, I think it fair to say we've cast no little mud in the Dominion's face with our mutiny. It'll be the very sort of tale an ageless ballad is made of... once we escape this island, in any case!"
|# ? May 21, 2018 15:06|
Settling down at the fire, Dermid stripped off his wet boots and placed them next to the fire, then grabbed some food and water, savouring the taste of it. After weeks of prisoner's slop, the shark soup was one of the most delicious things he had ever had. The Genasi listened intently as introductions were made. At the Aqualung's introduction, he started.
"The Aqualung is still spoken of amongst the legends of my people. The man who made the pirate states possible. But where are my manners, I am Dermid fitzCulainn of the Verani Cradish. I am also known as the Windspeaker amongst my people, mostly due to my heritage."
Gazing out towards the Exalt, he pointed at it.
"When did that ship arrive here? I must ask. The Exalt was a very important ship to my people, and to find it here is... shocking to say the least. It is- was- the ship of my father's closest confidant, and when it was lost at sea, it led to a bloody war." Looking around at his compatriots, "I would like to explore there come morning."
|# ? May 21, 2018 15:52|
"Pirate states? Aye, I was one of eleven captains to sign the Code of Conduct at Tarturuga, when we had come together to slay the dragon-turtle and carved from its shell our stench-filled fortress. But it was no true republic, as the Triumvirs worked quickly to divide us along our old loyalties. The Ninevarine War had come and gone and no longer had we protection as privateers, so we made our home in the Middle and Demon Seas." His cataracted eyes seem to stare out into the sky. "But those days are long gone. I am the last of three who live of the Eleven, and now that they aren't bloodying each others noses, the Triumverates has decided to civilize the uncivilized sea. Dame Morthause, Cardinal Jagganath, and the Grindstone this year alone have hung a score of captains, and hundreds more buccaneers are ready for the stockades." Three names that carried with them a bit of weight, the most famed pirate hunters of the age. Dame Morthause was a ruthless hell knight said to have sold her soul to a devil serving the Dominion, and the Grindstone the captain of an ironclad that belches toxic plumes of smoke and burned smugglers' coves in its wake. Cardinal Jagganath was a more mysterious figure, an elf that along with his other cardinals held huge political power within the Empire and Axiomatic Church, but also fond of showing his willingness to spill blood for the father church and the honor of his ancestors.
"Aye, blessed be that they have plenty to chew on, and so many of the freebooters from the Eighty Years War have come here, to the Tranquil Sea. Here booty is plentiful, and law is meager. Some remember the brethren of the devil coasts, but the dream of Libertatia should have sunk to the Nine Hells where it belonged, a fool's errand." He cackled a bit through his gap-toothed gums. "Though I wonder if the same will happen here. First as tragedy, heheheh, then as farce. Aye, look at ye all. What is to bind ye but to survive? And what a meager bond that is! We have seven and two more bodies under the sand to prove it not a fastening one." The old dwarf was grim about the prospects in his bitter way, not entirely impressed by the crew before him, or the lack of fire behind it.
Nax, for the first time, cuts in, looking to Dermid with a placidly pleasant expression. "The cargo of your vessel, Dermid FitzCulainn, was cleaned out before Nax Tirrinu or his late conspirators arrived here, I promise you. If Nax had to judge, perhaps a few years, but not much more than that." His expression seems to turn apologetic. "The Wheel may yet smile, but the odds are poor that the men aboard it lived. They may have gone upriver, to stay away from treacherous waters. Shallows such as these rarely stay so shallow in the shadow of mountains and against the walls of storms. And floods may poor bed companions." He smiled with his bright white teeth and then continued. "There is little more to explore, only the bow survived. Perhaps the figurehead might be recovered at least? Nax supposes its sentimental value might outweigh the gold it'd otherwise give us, especially split ten ways."
Tricky Dick Nixon fucked around with this message at May 21, 2018 around 17:03
|# ? May 21, 2018 16:59|
Desider's words bring a scowl to Mazhar's face. "And what, then, should we do, if not survive? Simply lay in the quicksand and wait for it to swallow us?" He spits out a stray bone that had been left in the shark bits he was chewing on. "Continued survival is...bigger, than you think. Common threats bind in blood. Have you fought aside your crews, master Aqualung? Have you bled for your comrades, so that you and them might live another day?" His eyes shimmer with the glow of the campfire, giving the minotaur an ominous expression. "I am grateful for your work on the food and the armor. But spare us your grim outlook. It helps nobody."
|# ? May 21, 2018 17:38|
Desider continued in his soft cackle at that. "Heheheh, ohhh? I haven't done any captaining in quite a few years, so need for master this or that, but I didn't start the silver-fed son of a magnate. I was a serpent-angler on the deck of a Guilder factory ship when the letter of marque came and offered a different life, and the promise of elvish livre. Aye, I fought, and watched men who stood back to back with gaff and hook in hand turn against each other at the first shadow of a mind-flayer. Many cowards will use the excuse of a clouded mind, and the squids know it well. Survival only works to fasten us together so long as we need each other, and just as soon as it might look like we don't..." The dwarf pointedly looked, though it was uncertain if he could see very far, towards Nax who frowned and turned back his attention to his pied crow.
"If that's all ye lot got, well... Ye haven't a chance against this place, much less that dragon ye've lured back to finish us off."
|# ? May 21, 2018 17:47|
In the dwarf's continued defiance, Mazhar stands with a growl, tossing aside his empty bowl. "So long as we are on this island, we need each other. So long as we are not home, we need each other." His breath grows heavier, the animal side in his blood showing through his flared nostrils and his glare as he towers over Desider. "There are those here who may not know this yet. It may take them time to accept it. But I know this. I have been through battle with strangers. I have known the bloodbond. And as we killed the admiral of the Ceaseless, so did this group form a bloodbond, too. I shall not stand for your insult to this bond, regardless of your opinion of it. The dragon may come; we will prepare for it. The Dominion may come. We will prepare for them. We will fight to survive. And if we die, it will not be at eachother's hands. So let your lack of faith go unheard, old one. You may have given up. We have not." Despite the boiling of his blood, Mazhar realized that all eyes were now on him. With another snort, he stomped away from the fire, to go walk off his anger, though he did not go far.
|# ? May 21, 2018 18:05|
There's a hint of a smile as the spiritfolk woman watches Dermid introduce himself. It was some great relief that he had survived their mutiny though she had never quite doubted it. They were made from something strong. Primal forces of creation, born from water and wind and imbued with flesh and blood. They walked with Uskara on holy feet and experienced the world in a way the stoutfolk and the fairfolk with their halfbreed ilk could only dream of. There was a kinship there, she felt, born from their lineages. Jan'ti was snapped from her thoughts by Mazhar's growl.
"Mazhar," The genasi hissed, "respect." Even then, Jan'ti looked glum just listening to Aqualung's story. She buried her head in her knees at the mention of the dragon and heaved a great sigh. Perhaps it was true. Perhaps the dragon would return and they would all die here. It wouldn't be such a great loss, she supposed. There was nothing left on the sea for her anyway. Perhaps they should go inland, form a small home, make a community, raw up their own code of conduct, and live out the rest of their days on tranquil beaches. Jan'ti could have lived with that at another time, in another place. But here, and now? Something else consumed her. Something as foul as the accusations leveled against her by the Dominion itself.
"What then?" Muffled as she was the genasi's tone never quite lost its edge, "Doomed? Fool's choice." And then in Ornassi, "<I don't intend to die on this island, Aqualung. I have a truth to hear from traitor's lips. Would you deny me that?>"
GenuineRevelry fucked around with this message at May 21, 2018 around 18:22
|# ? May 21, 2018 18:09|
Rust is already laying down in the soft glowing firelight, picking his teeth with a jagged shard of shark bone and considering the old dwarf when the conversation picks up. At Desider's insistence that the group is landed on their grave Rust sits up and almost reflexively recites an old dwarven sailor's saying he had heard in Grunnish <"...And even if we dine on bark and stones, I fight to survive until my last breath."> He mulls about a minute and lets the dwarf finish speaking before switching back to common. "How'd you even find your way onto that ship anyway,? I had figured the Dominion would have standing orders to execute the Eleven on capture. Even aside from that I had heard you were retired even in my father's stories when I was a knee-high. My father spoke highly of Torturuga back in his freebooting days. He wasn't of the eleven, but there was always a great deference to your work."
Rust cracks his neck and addresses the broader group "...And if you don't already know me, I am Rust Freewind, son of the Dread Freewind. It seems as though our fates are intertwined for now. We should start to make plans for the near future."
Pulling in a little closer to the fire, he looks over to Nax and Dermid "Now I don't know if it's your kin that survived, but I can all but guarantee we aren't alone on this island. Where me and Macaw here..." he points over toward Quill, "... landed we seen signs of logging, so someone has survived long enough to start thinking about industry and has the tools to make it happen. Probably multiple someones given the size of the trees. They might still be alive, they might not, Either way we need to find them." He pauses for a second before continuing: "Back where we washed up we also found signs of some big spiders. Cluckers was squawking about something important to him being tied up in the silk, but there's also a chest that washed up with us all bound up too. It's probably worth our morning to check out. Aside from that, much as it pains me, I'm with Nax. We need to think about moving inland in the morning. We're exposed in our current position. Near where we'll be looking in the morning I seen a stream going inland, that might be as good a route inland as any, and it'll hopefully eliminate the need for our witch to spend the time and effort on purifying sea water. The trees will at least give us some cover if a storm comes blowing in."
I'm probably going to be pushing to go after the spider chest tomorrow, I'm going to guess with Quill. It might be worthwhile to divide out for Team Spider Party vs Team Broken Oar.
|# ? May 21, 2018 18:24|
|# ? Dec 18, 2018 17:04|
Hearing Rust mention about the signs of logging, the Kenku emphatically nodded his head and lent in. "Yes. Yes. Signs of life, intelligent, predatory. No animals, all eaten, and happened long time ago, possibly decades. Large insects for this reason." He had told Lucielle but hearing the Bastard known as Rust bring it up felt like the opportune time to mention this, he listened on with interest as Rust outlined his personal suggestion for tomorrow.
"Supplies in Spider Cave, important. Important to me. Important to others. Mostly to me, would like back what's mine. Rest of suggestions fair, moving inland wise, yes?"
|# ? May 21, 2018 19:20|