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Apr 26, 2014

Death, but with a gun

Quill watched the entire progress of Rust climbing up and down the shaft with the supply crates with his talons in his mouth, he was very visibly under pressure for most of this before they even arrived at the hole and the tense moment of this entire plan in motion was almost making him dizzy from the stress. It evaporated the moment Rust came back to the surface, unharmed and with the strongbox in tow in sheer elation, embracing Urszula as she embraced him, and then also embracing Rust whether he wanted it or not.

"<Thank you thank you thank you.>" He said in Ornassi, trying not to cry in front of everyone else. He broke it off feeling a little awkward about hugging a notorious pirate in front of everyone, and got down to business. The moment the strongbox was open, Quill had picked up the manuscript, ran a few feet away from the party and began obsessively checking it for damage. Fortunately the leather casing around the book had kept it safe, and satisfied, he secreted it back onto his person where it belonged.

Quill regains the Manuscript

Returning to the party, he walked up and looked around the group. "Thank you all, happy to help before, even more happy now, celebrations! But first, supplies" Quill walked out of sight for a moment

I will spend a Hero Point to use its 3rd power of 'create narrative contrivance'. In this case I will say that we brought along the busted dinghy from the camp to use it as a sled of sorts, which would make carting all these supplies back to the camp a lot easier. Unless we wish to leave some of the Miner's kits behind I see no pressing reason why we can't take everything.

Huffling and puffing with the effort, he dragged the small damaged boat over to the group before laying it down, and flopping down onto his haunches in the sand. "Would like, help to load boat, please."

HP: 8/8 AC: 16 Hero Points: 2/3 HD: 1/1d8
Prepared Spells: 5(+2) Spell Slots - Lvl.1: 0/2
Cantrips; Guidance, Spare the Dying, Thaumaturgy
Level 1; Bless, Command, Detect Magic, Guiding Bolt, Healing Word, Identify, Sanctuary


Aug 12, 2010

Decor Aficionado

Jan'ti covers her mouth to hide the growing smile as she watches Quill embrace Rust. Her eyes insist on giving her away and the genasi instead moves to cross her arms over her chest and embrace the amusement she's found in the moment with a small laugh. It's touching, really, and for a moment they really do seem to be bonding. She slips by Mazhar, touching the bullfolk's forearm and offering a small smile as she passes. "<Impressive as ever.>" Jan'ti softly offers in Hyklosian though she doesn't stick close by for very long.

"Always welcome, Quill." The smile just won't fade off her lips as the crowfolk gives his ecstatic thanks. Should he not completely resist, Jan'ti gently ruffles the feathers on Quill's head before he can slip away into into the surrounding wilds. It's in that moment that Jan'ti looks to Rust. The contempt is gone but there's no lack of reservations as she begins to speak in Ornassi, "<Not sure you know what you were getting. Not sure you would have cared if you did.>" The spiritfolk woman shrugs her shoulders and glances sidelong off into the distance, "<But you didn't have to go down there alone. Maybe you're not so rotten after all.>"

Once Quill returns with the boat, Jan'ti moves to help him load it.

Mar 25, 2011

Johann crosses his arms and stares at the Kobolds, a grim gleam coming from his eyes. As enticing as the two women might look with their promises, sometimes to resolve problems you might need a more... Forceful... Approach. "It is not in my interest to kill anyone who isn't involved on the circumstances that led to my death, and I have nothing to gain from antagonizing you, but if you attempt to put chains on me or in the people that assisted me, I won't balk at flaying every single of you whelps!" With that said and done, he shoots a powerful blast of eldritch energy from his right hand at one of the stalagmites on the cave's floor near Vett, exploding it into pieces!

"Now. I believe you will do well on listening the Bard." He calmly says after making his point.

Rolled a 24 on intimidate!

May 19, 2011

Everything by design.

Mazhar starts loading up the boat without hesitation, moving the great sacks of flour and salt with relative ease. At Quill's direction, he stacks them up in the dinghy, not at all bothered by the manual labor. In fact, it seemed to bring a calm focus to the minotaur's appearance, as he directed himself through the chore with impassive determination. Once the dinghy is all loaded up, he nods. "I believe that is all of it," he grunts, rolling his shoulders a little, "shall we head back to camp?" Looping the rope across his broad torso, he gives a great heave, and the boat sets into motion well enough.

Mazhar will drag the boat into the water if it's in sailing order and pull it along with the rope. Otherwise, he'll drag it along the sand.

Apr 24, 2008

I fucking hate puzzles.

Rust makes no motion to return the Kenku's hug. He sighs halfheartedly and says "Don't thank me until we're off of this island. That book does you no good if we die here to giant spiders or worse." Pulling away from Quill's grasp, he adds solemnly "Let's get this packed up and get moving. We're burning daylight and we don't have long before the storm is upon us. I'd much rather be established inland before the poo poo flies. Rain should also give us a chance to collect fresh water rather than having to burn effort purifying it."

Tricky Dick Nixon
Jul 26, 2010

The body is but a vessel for the soul, a puppet which bends to the soul's tyranny. And lo, the body is not eternal, for it must feed on the flesh of others, lest it return to the dust from whence it came. Therefore must the soul deceive, despise and murder men.

Johann's display really is only for the benefit of Vett, visually, since he is trapped in the burrow with the kobold, and the unseen Sekk is on the other side. But the creature can hear him, giving a mewling snarl. He can hear its voice faintly through the stones. "Sorcerer! Will enslave us! Dark powers!"

Alone, either would have been enough. To assauge his suspicions, or to cow him. But together, the efforts of our crew work at cross purposes, and proves the kobold correct: They are not of one mind, and would gladly betray or commit violence to the kobolds if it suited them.

"Liar! Liar! Lies! Lying liars lie" You can hear the voice fiantly going away, as it scurries off, certainly afraid of the power on display. It is liable to never seek to bother you again, cowed, but it does not and will not trust you next time you do cross paths, if the lone kobold is not devoured by the creatures of this island. They don't fare well alone.

Vett is dejected. He yaps and calls out in vain, clawing at the stones to move them. His nose twitches and his eyes begin to bulge and the lids puff up, and there are tears there. "Sekk! Brother! Pllleaaase don't leave me alone here with them!" He would collapse into sobbing if it were not for the absolute grip of fear in his heart.

He wheels around, tearing off his clothes and planting his face down in the dirt, rubbing it and sobbing in the mud in submission, a simpering kobold display. "White ghost is captain now! Vett gives it up! He doesn't want to be captain! He was no good, very bad, don't kill him! He'll dig way out, give him time, promise, just don't kill."

Assuredly, none of you have quite a black enough heart to kill it, especially since it's liably your best way out. Eventually its groveling ends, either with another threat or maybe an attempt to assuage it, but really Vett is beside itself, his second half having abandoned it, yet he works tirelessly. Fear is a good motivator for kobolds, and no matter their sentimentality, their self-preservation instincts kick in overriding all else. It begins to dig, kicking dirt and rocks, and moving it at an alarming, almost preternatural rate.

It takes perhaps half an hour, but this one diminuitive creature clears out the cave-in completely. It is almost impressive, and begs what a group of them could do in concert, or with tools. No wonder they are so prized in the mines of the Gembleed Coast.

Even if you turn it down the first few times, Vett will spend most of the rest of the time in your presence as you make way in camp trying to bribe his way into safety. He will say he is "not stupid" when first refused as he understands that someone as low as him is undeserving. The loot the kobolds had put together is no great hoard, but contains some interesting items. Still, if his bribes are refused twice, he will at least keep the coins for himself.

You can return to the camp without issue. Going further into the tunnels is possible but would move into the third time slot due to the delay caused by the cave-in. If you want to ask Vett questions, hit me up in one of the IC Discord channels, he may have some information, but Sekk's abandonment has put him in a despondent mood so he won't volunteer much. Still, he fears you enough to answer any questions you might have.

Plunder posted:

- twelve golden doubloons (48 gp)
- fifty-two quatroons (26 gp)
- sixteen silver crowns (32 sp)
- an Imperial ducat (1 pp)
- sixty-two silver shillings (124 sp)
- a hundred and five silver dinar (105 sp)
- thirty six copper farthings (36 cp)
- two tanglefoot bags, alchemical creations that essentially act as the web spell, with a save DC of 12
- a fine egg-shapped aquamarine (250 gp value) that seemed to be tossed aside like trash, likely because it wasn't metal
- Ranka's tin bucket
- brass fittings recovered from local shipwrecks in an unusually high amount, could be used to reinforce a raft that is constructed
- a Praxian chakram made of lunargent (as dart but is slashing and returns to hand once thrown) [detects as magical, conjuration]
- an intact spyglass

Despite the cave-in, the tunnel spelunkers are the first of the crew to return back to camp. They find Desider is already at work cooking their afternoon meal, mostly focused on the vegetables recovered from the salt marshes since a good number of the crabs had been stolen and feasted upon previously by the interlopers. He also makes to fry one of the tins of "spare meat", for anyone brave enough to try (it's actually quite good, especially compared to the shark of the night before, but somehow that makes their dubious origin even worse). He immediately puts Vett to work acting as his hands, and the kobold seems to do better with the work, getting his mind off of the events at the cage slightly. Desider doesn't make much of the newfound crewmember, only commenting that it wouldn't be a proper crew without a bilge rat.

Soon after, it is Ranka that returns with Nax and Dermid in tow. They had gone the furthest distance, but didn't make many stops. Ranka tried to make most of the distance with the soggy wet sails folded up and tied down at her back, but eventually the burden was shared when Nax wordlessly made to pick up the load himself and carried it the rest of the way once they got back through the mangrove swamps around the cape. He screws up his nose at the kobold. "No creature is in more need of a barber than this one, Nax says." The kobold bristles at the very thought of its fur being groomed, and since it's caked with mud from its previous submissive display, it rolls around in the sand defiantly to give itself another layer of crust at the very thought.

Finally, came the Freewind and the rest of the others, pulling along with the mighty shoulders of the Headsman a dinghy laden with some recovered supplies from the spider's nest. Urszula is thrilled by the smell of the food, but quickly her excitement dies down to a weak smile when she realizes that there's an empty spare meat tin that's currently being gnawed on by a kobold. "Well, always good to meet a new face, I suppose," she manages, her stomach turning at the thought of eating that Dominion delicacy. But at this point, the noon sun is affixed up in the sky, and they can see out on the horizon an imposing wall of clouds and squall lines ready to beset upon the island. They would have hours before the storm made landfall, and it crackled with thunder and fury. It was likely to be a violent one, and it seemed to twist with almost a malevolence equal to the foreboding of the island itself.

Between Scylla and Charybdis, our castaways had only a short rest before they would have to make out for their final expedition upriver, and enjoy each other's company, as well as discuss what they had found and their next steps ahead.

Another round-fire discussion. Going to give everyone a chance to post once, would suggest longer conversations or questions be done on discord and then posted as before. Definitely recommend everyone take a crack at summarizing how their expedition went and such, and any recommendations they might make. Or maybe let the party know something new about your character, this is a bit of downtime to enjoy before we kick back off.

This is probably a time to discuss the "Lost City of Sinjh" and the possible treasure on the island, and whether you want to follow that trail.

One thing should be finalized: If you are going to move the camp upriver, you have a possible spot to do so from the map and notes from the elven galleas, though you will not know what you'll find when you get there. If you simply want to scout it out before the storm comes, that's fine. If you are looking for anything else specifically by going upriver as well, let me know.

  • Contact any other possible survivors.
    • Rescue the damsel.
    • Extract the git.
    • Investigate the plume.
    • Track the kobolds.
    • Follow the trail of the elven crusaders.
  • Secure food and water.
  • Scrounge for salvage and supplies.
    • Explore the shipwrecks in the shallows.
    • Find a way to get the crates out of the spider's web.
  • Prepare a shelter. Get a shelter/forward camp on higher ground, more inland.
  • Explore the windward coast of the island.
  • Follow the river inland for higher ground.
  • Survive the storm.
  • Prepare a raft to escape. (needs: cloth, wood, rope, navigator's tools, 2 weeks provisions)
Everyone benefits from a short rest, and has nothing to worry about for hunger or dehydration at this time.

Experience posted:

+15 XP for defeating the giant spiders with few numbers and disadvantageous terrain.
+5 XP for recruiting Vett.
+5 XP for recovering the sails and the crates in the spider nest.
+5 XP for taking the kobolds' treasure.

Level up! You are now 2nd level. Congratulations. Please use your round-fire post as an opportunity to mention any new features or changes to your sheet you have, and update it in Roll20 as well.

Apr 26, 2014

Death, but with a gun

Back around the campfire as the morning came to a close and the dark skies of the storm began to set in, Quill sat on his haunches as he thumbed through the book that he sought to reclaim so urgently. Such a weighty tome felt good in his hands, and even during the long boat ride he had not been able to finish it amongst all the other things that happened.

"Within the tomb of the Hahpskotch dynasty deep in Praxis, the long dormant servitors were awoken by our entry into this sanctum of sanctums in the great walled city. It was only with the channelled power of the Northern Manse were we rid of the accursed spectres that dogged our every step"

Quill tilted his head at this, it sounded, familiar somehow but he can't quite put his finger on it. What he was noticing though were the sounds of very hungry snacking going on behind him, he turned away from the fire and towards the source, hands on his lap and the book back into his cloak.

The first instinct of a kobold is to freeze. This actually works pretty well, since they are so diminuitive that many creature simply just won't take notice of them. But once they feel the gaze settlling, that's when the simpering starts. Vett was hard at work gnawing at the tin of potted meat, wearing down his overgrown teeth in the process, licking at the adhesive and getting some bits of metal for the trouble. Some natural philosophers that Quill was familiar with theorized that kobolds were omnivorous in the ultimate sense, but that was mostly just regarded as myth nowadays. It was now properly understood that they consumed minerals primarily, and could not actual digest vegetable matter as other peoples do, though they could and did still enjoy meat. More opportunistic scavengers, they supplemented their diet with the stuff anyway they could, and it would actually contribute to the health of their scales, which were barely visible under their stiff, bristle-like fur.

While all of this was going through Quill's head, Vett's eyes just stared back, bug-eyed and slowly pushing the tin away, giving a sort of sheepish cough and grin. It then seemed to remember something, and all but dove out of the way, to scramble for something, returning back with several of the small quatroons in its hands, its hands shaking a bit as it offered. "Big birds like good things, all that gleams and glitters too?" Vett considered himself smarter than the average kobold, and since kenku were basically just big crows in his head, surely they'd be just as liable to like to take shiny things. Kobolds hated crows for this reason, but Vett reasoned that they could be bribed in a similar way, and he'd trained a crow before back in the gutters of Khazadan.

Quill runs this through his head for a moment as he looks at the very small Kobold in front of him. Quill had extensive knowledge of a number of what one would call 'esoteric' languages gained throughout his brief academic life under his Tutor. Auran he had picked up from his youth alongside Common and Ornassi, Celestial and Giant from Amon, and Draconic mostly from Amon. The problem is of course whilst had heard many hundreds of voices speak out loud in Common and Ornassi, the amount of voices that spoke these other languages were very limited. In fact he had exactly two references for his Draconic, his tutor and the various Kobolds that eked out a living in and around the City of Pillars in one form or another.

And thus the voice that then replied back "<No thank you. How are you?>" Was some very shrill and somewhat chipped Draconic, (He also made a mental note to maybe listen to some dragons speak so he could maybe have a voice that sounded a little more, impressive)

There was at first a palpable sense of alarm. And then the eyes narrowed slightly. When the coins aren't taken, it was already a bit suspicious, but when it uses that shrill, yapping Draconic, it feels like it's being mocked, especially with the broken syntax and modulation of the voice. Kobolds rarely engage in that kind of friendly talk so it took some remembering to get those words put together.

"Vett doesn't understand. Are the good things fake? Is this a trick?" He looked down at the coins, and considered the options, holding them to his chest and then looking back up, before barking back in his own tongue. It would be wrong to say that he is eloquent in this tongue, but he is easier to understand. "<I understand my place here. The high take tribute from the low. It doesn't make sense. Why do the high ones not accept it? What have I done to offend? I don't want to get smashed by the horned one.>"

Quill tilts his head at this "<No offense, none. We are stuck on lost island, should see about finding way off, before talk of tribute. Do you agree?>"

"<Tribute is survival.>" It can't help but sound a bit frustrated. "<You must be valuable, have valuables, or be discarded. Or eaten. If I give my treasure as tribute and you take it, we are bonded. You protect me. You don't eat me. You do it for the sacred wyrms, we do it for you, the high ones.>" It tried to explain it as if it were talking to a child.

Quill doesn't quite understand this, but seeing that this action is probably what the Kobold needs to be put at ease decides it's best to follow this train of logic. "<Very well I accept tribute, for your trust.>" He holds out a small bag in his taloned hand and opens it up for Vett. "<Your name is?>"

Draconic is an interesting language. A lot can be told by the inflection, and the kobold one even moreso. As soon as the kenku took the coins, there was an immediate change in tone. The kobold was more respectful, less nervous, and averted its eyes downward, though rubbed its hands. "<Vệntrinh Laoši.>" That was very different than the monosyllabic word it used in Common, and required a sort of throat-sound and undertone that sounded almost like a hiss or whistle. Quill was knowledgeable enough to know about "ouxie" kobold throat singing, and their language sometimes used that sound which humanoids could replicate (dwarves, for instance, had a throat-singing tradition) but was much more common among the kobolds, who used it to communicate over long-distances in the mines along with knocking sounds against the rock, which turned into a pretty strong percussive instrument traditions. This was one way they resembled the dragons they venerated, as dragons also used ethereal song to communicate over miles of distance.

But I digress.

"I tell you good name because you are good bird, but Vett is my low name, so please us that one."

Quill nods as he stashes the coin purse onto his person, truth be told he was quite nervous himself having never talked to a Kobold before but the visible relaxing of his conversation partner also relaxed him in a small way. He shuffles in his seat. he points to himself. "<This one, Quill. Quill has things he wishes to know. What have you seen on the island so far Vett?>

The creature raised his paws in a dramatic fashion. "Great crashing of brainsucker ship on the rocks! Scattered to five winds by the holy dragon! This is what what happens when no tribute." It felt pretty self-satisfied in bringing that back around, something like a smirk on its fanged lips, before it turned a bit more pensive, dropping back into Draconic.

"<Me and my brother and the late Ikko were the only survivors of the low ones. We made to collect all the treasure we could find, so we could have enough to pay tribute. This island is ruled by something, but it is not a holy dragon. We have seen their servants move through the tunnels. But it's not like the mind flayers, they are not thralls or slaves or even soldiers. They are... animals. Like hounds, sniffing and baying. Hunting to bring the food to their ever hungry masters. The only tribute they take are bodies, and so they took Ikko.>"

He seemed to get nervous. He didn't seem to want to share much more than that, and decided to try and change the subject. "<But now we are ready to escape! The ghost captain will take us off this island soon, right?>"

Quill looked around pensively at this. <"Problem with sailing off island, sailing requires boat. We have crew. We have no boat. We have part of the things to make boat, but nearly a boat is not a boat"> He scoots in a little closer. <"Also, growing suspicion that, what ever not holy dragon on island is, it will not let us leave. This is issue, do you have any idea what the, thing, is?">

"<Eaters.>" The word in Draconic seemed to have some special meaning, and the nervousness increased. "<We need to leave here soon. There must be another ship, perhaps on other end of island? Halfling says treasure map leads to harbor. Can't dig down. They come from the deep, are better in the deep. But they also come from the sky. Maybe the sea? But can't breathe. Maybe the dragon can help? We heard it earlier.>"

Quill decided that maybe telling Vett the truth about the 'dragon' would not help matters at the moment, and steered away from it. <"We hope to find a ship perhaps, or anything about this island. Rest of group planning to head inland from shore by river, I am helping move camp before storm arrives. Quill would like your help with this too, all hands on deck needed, very important, do you agree?>"

"<As you wish, master. What do you need Vett to do?>" It may not have sit well the obsequiousness, but that was the natural state of things, and with the bond established it rolled right into obedience, to consider what to be done next.

<"Carry things, tie things down, load dinghy sled, extra eyes and ears for jungle travel ahead. We plan to move after rest, only issue is we have yet to go into deeper jungle. Did you come to surface at all further inland? May be helpful to know, you had longer to explore it seems.">

"<Why would we do that! Jungles are dangerous! Surely master saw the size of the giant dragonflies. They almost carried off Vett!>

<"More or less dangerous then deeper lava tubes?">

It seemed a bit confused. "<Underground very dangerous too. To be a low one is to always be in danger. But below, we know all the tricks. You only need to look in front and behind you, not above or below or side to side. You can make it your home by trap and burrow. Even the low can survive this way.>"

<"Quill means more..."> He moves his hands trying to make the words come to his head, he wasn't even sure what he wanted to ask exactly but it had to be said. <"When Vett was in lava tubes with brother and Ikko, did they explore tunnels?">

"<We found place to nest and made it ours. We knew that further, deeper in, the Eaters were waiting, and we did not want to risk it. Their animals use the tunnels to travel around the island and move unseen, without the big insects catching them.>"

<"These terrible Eater animals, what did they look like?">

"<They loped on two or four legs, and had no eyes. Their noses led them, but they had faces like the high ones, and broken and rotted teeth. They wore rags and hides, as if they were ashamed of what they are.>"

Quill listened to the Kobolds' account of that terrible event, and leant back in his seat. He reached into his robe and pulled out the triangle holy symbol. <"One moment I need to ask God>" He drew a light triangle in the air, his eyes glowing faintly as he consulted his memory

Quill rolls a Knowledge (History) check to try and determine their foe with the information provided by Vett and the knowledge that they already know about the island. He also uses Guidance on himself for this.

There are legends of those who were trapped by the rising sea in caverns or isolate islands driven underground, of humanoids twisted by those meager conditions through the thousand years after the floods. These legends call them "grimlocks" though they are often fanciful tales, and that name does not really give you much practical to work off from.

You probably heard it through Grunnish folktales, influenced by dwarven lore about the time before and their experience as one of the first explorers of the new world.

The light faded from Quill's eyes and he nodded. <"The things you said, great importance, will help us identify our hidden foe. Thank you Vett">

Its nose scrunched up and it bowed deeply at being thanked. That was very rare for a kobold to hear, and it didn't take it lightly. "However it can please you, master, Vett will do! We begin digging immediately!" And indeed, it'll start digging holes and ditches pretty much at random, misinterpreting slightly what it had been asked to do previously, until directed otherwise by the rest of the crew.


Armed with this knowledge, Quill was happy to leave Vett to his lunch and digging and head over to the campfire. He had an idea of their foe, and now all he needed was clarification and so he reasoned asking the natives of the Be'el de Marr would be a good place to start.


>From the combined loot, Quill outside of his Manuscript would also like to claim the other Writing kit, combining them both together, the DNS Ceaseless' Ledger, and The Butterfly in a Jar, which he will identify. He also gains twenty quatroons (10 gp) from Vett.
>Quill gains one more 1d8 hit die and +5 HP (Because the chance of rolling higher on the 1d8 with my no Constitution is terrible)
>Quill gains +1 Level 1 spell slot and can put one more spell on his prepared spells list.
>Quill exchanges Healing Word for Cure Wounds on his list of prepared spells and also adds Shield of Faith
>Quill gains the Channel Divinity feature, he can now use Turn Undead (Give undead the divine middle finger so hard they run away) and Knowledge of the Ages (Become an instant expert in a skill or tool, for 10 minutes)

HP: 13/13 AC: 16 Hero Points: 3/3 HD: 2/1d8
Prepared Spells: 6(+2) Spell Slots - Lvl.1: 1/3
Cantrips; Guidance, Spare the Dying, Thaumaturgy
Level 1; Bless, Command, Cure Wounds, Detect Magic, Guiding Bolt, Identify, Sanctuary, Shield of Faith
Manuscript: On person

TheNabster fucked around with this message at Jun 15, 2018 around 20:04

Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage

After the spelunking expedition returns and gets settled in, Secca settles into a rousing anthem as Desider cooks a mighty feast of potted meats and veggies and Vett works furiously. She has no little regret about how matters with Sekk left off and, indeed, makes a solemn vow to herself to reunite the kobold brothers once more. Perhaps she'd chance upon him during a night's watch, or further inland. Chances were slim, to be sure, but was that not the core of the greatest tales? Triumph, even in the face of impossible odds! Still, the chakram they'd recovered from the kobold horde was quite fetching. Secca had taken it as a guarantee of Vett's safety, after her initial refusal and explanation that he was now a valued member of their band was rebuffed.

While she sings, she works on several of the knots that Urszula had shown her the prior night. They are a tricky arrangement, to be sure, but her mind feels quicker than ever and her hands eager to please. The length of rope bends to her will with surprising ease as she works it through one configuration after the other. Hah! She'll make a fine sailor yet, and her hands are hardly ruined. She even does a little additional prep for the meal, earning a begrudging grunt — approving? — from the ancient mariner at her skill with a knife.

Despite the curious nature of the Dominion meat, Secca cannot deny that the smell develops quite the hunger within her belly. She takes a plateful and is eating her fill by the time the other expeditions return.


As the companions feast and relax and trade tales, Secca attempts to do justice to the expedition they made into the tunnels. "...And then, moments before we faced certain death, quick thinking from the three of us saw the deadfall safely disabled and the treasure in sight!" She looks over at Vett, a small smile on her face, as she continues. "The kobolds were not done yet, however, as our safe passage was revealed to be yet another ploy in their diabolical plot! Vett had us at his mercy, yet it was only by reasoned discussion that we saw the day through. And so, our merry band grew larger still!"

She waits for the polite applause that was sure to follow such a dramatic recitation, yet bravely continues on regardless of whether it happens or not.

Secca says, "This does lead to our next steps. From what I've read of the ship logs and journals of the ill-fated crusaders, I have no doubt that there lurks a malign force within this island. It may well cleave any ship we create in twain, with no less ease than it did their ship. For this reason, I urge that we consider following the path of the crusaders to the island's interior and resolve whatever matter lurks within. For those of you who seek glory, I'm sure this will be a song for the ages. For those who seek treasure, we stand upon an island that has collected treasures untold! And, indeed, for those who seek knowledge... Need I extoll all the ways in which your curiosity might be sated?" She stands, elven cape fluttering in the breeze, and points dramatically inland. "I say we make camp further inland. The storm seems worse than we dared expect, and it will serve us well for expeditions to come."

Secca is up seven HP, is now a Jack of All Trades, can improve healing during short rests, and has mastered a new spell. She's also hanging onto the Praxian chakram from the kobold treasure, as it suits her fancy and general style. She'll return the pistol and shot to the communal gear pool.

Tricky fucked around with this message at Jun 12, 2018 around 23:41

Successful Businessmanga
Mar 28, 2010

Ranka is irritated for a moment when Nax takes over the burden of carrying the sailcloth, but it quickly passes. Juggling a naked blade, a fishing gaff, and yards upon yards of canvas was clearly not working particularly well. The made it back to camp in a timely order however, so she's grateful for the presence of her taller companions.

Ranka's hands fiddle with the puzzle box of her people's make as she relays what the beach team had found "I had a little swim with that shark, and it's friends, that were hassling Urszula there. Managed to get that sail cloth, but no luck getting your javelin back Mazhar, it's still pretty stuck in the critter." There's a constant clacking as she works her hands, winding down from the trip "plenty of man sized crabs to be found out that way, so we'll likely be fine for food if I can get some kind of drying rack up?" She shakes her head a bit "More interestingly there's some signs of civilization! There's a cliff face with all sorts of odd animalistic carvings running up it. Interesting, but the cliffs themselves seem pretty dangerous to deal with." She shrugs as a few sliding panels on the child's toy click into place "Something for another day to be sure, but there may be an interesting thing or two to poke at up there."

It only took a minute or two for Ranka's report of their neighboring surroundings, and in that time she's worked the old toy, meant to teach children pattern finding, open which sends a small glass lens, a monocle framed in wood, tumbling to the ground. The shava were known for their wood working, so the reveal of glass work as a development is rather exciting.

Looking through the lens is an experience in itself, etched on and through the glass is a faint outline of a sprawling landscape. Ranka was simultaneously 100% sure she'd been to this place, but likewise absolutely sure she'd never been in such a place. There were no bodies of water visible and the landscape itself seemed to stretch on for miles in all directions. In her gut she knew it was an image from before the Sea began to swallow the world.

Ranka had only intended to glance at the thing for a moment, but she's transfixed by the image, and the better part of the hour break has passed by the time she can pull herself away. As soon as her eye breaks contact with the lens, memories come flooding back to her, fresh as if they'd happened the day before. Mother Dusa, cracking her across the back with a switch for having missed such simple clues in tracking her target. Mother Waclawa, disappointed with her daughter for having spent so long on land and getting flustered trying to jump between. Dusa again chiding her for focusing on easy attacks to the tall people's knees when so many vulnerable spots were attackable from her lower position with a staff in hand.

Ranka's hands are shaking when she places the lens back in the box and snaps it back into its original position. She rises to her feet slowly after a time, and while her body continues to sway uncomfortably, the steps she takes along the sand are perfectly balanced. She glances up and down the beach, her eyes scanning the sand and immediately picking up the scattered trails of all her compatriots.

Ranka's body has started to sway once again in the aftershock of her recollection, her brain still convinced she's on a rocking boat at all times, but for the first time in over a decade the feeling is almost comforting. So many things had happened that she'd begun to forget her roots, her reason for Seeking. Ranka hadn't been aware of her connection to the Sea for such a long time, she had been so close to becoming truly deaf to the call, but that ancient connection had suddenly snapped taut once again, threads of iron winding into it and strengthening it with purpose.


Dumping my full gain list in the ooc thread since it's huge, but the short of it is I gain a bunch of gear prof, 7 hp, I'm better in combat and tracking vs Humanoids, I have advantage during initiative, I ignore difficult terrain, and I make camping/traveling a hell of a lot easier.

I'm also interested in the chakram, but Tricky and I are talkin' bout how to work that out depending on what it's revealed to be. Likely Secca takes Lunargent Sword*/Keeps the pistol and Ranka takes the Chakram. If it has more than just a return charm on it though, I'll definitely defer, Ranka's in a good enough spot attack-wise.

Ranka just gained the ability to comprehend deep speech, so she'll spend her downtime IDing the Evocation Rod.

*She's probably the only other person, who can also use a longsword, that would make a serious promise with a creepy fey lady .

Ranka is against heading up river to immediately set up a new camp. We had enough trouble moving some boxes along the beach a few miles from camp, packing everything we have up and just hauling it up river is likely to take a long time and not leave space for us to start building. The sloop is enough to get us through a lovely cramped night with some preparation.

Successful Businessmanga fucked around with this message at Jun 14, 2018 around 18:44

May 19, 2011

Everything by design.

By the time they return, Mazhar's body is glistening from the exertion, and his muscles are burning. It was not the heaviest chore he had ever performed, true, but it was a big weight all the same. He is, however, quite surprised to see a kobold among the crew; the same kobolds that, according to last night's last watch, had stolen half their water supply. He snorts in dismissive anger as the small creature approaches him with what looks like a bribe; it scurries away quickly as Mazhar settles in to the camp again, taking some water to quench his thirst.

Ranka explains the results of their tour and apologizes for the lost javelin, which Mazhar dismisses. "It is what it is. I will make do; do not worry over these small things." Secca goes about her usual flowery way of conversation, and the minotaur can only agree. "Aye. The storm is coming swiftly; we must do the same for shelter, or we shall not have a good day at all." He spares a glance over towards the cowering Vett, then back to Secca - though he says nothing, his expression makes it clear that he does not approve in the slightest of the thieving rat's adoption into the crew. "Eat, and drink; then, we must move."

Mazhar becomes a bit more perceptive (Danger Sense) and a bit more sloppy (Reckless attack). That's it.

Apr 24, 2008

I fucking hate puzzles.

Back at camp, Rust settles in for a moment before he gets to work. Taking one of his cutlasses, he sticks the end of the blade in Desider's cook fire. Stripping down to his smallclothes, he takes a closer examination of his wounds from earlier today. Wiping away the trail of blood still dripping from both the spider bite and the spear wound on his leg. Pulling out the bottle of liquor that he refilled earlier in the day, Rust takes a good long draw from the bottle before putting his thumb over the lid and splashing the alcohol on both of his wounds. He grimmaces in pain quietly, that was the easy part.

Grabbing a small branch, he sticks it in his mouth and sets it in his teeth. Taking his blade from Aqualung's fire, he turns the softly glowing tip of the blade toward himself, cauterizing the bleeding and sealing the wounds, he shakes and yells out for a moment on each application, the brief sound of sizzling flesh ringing out over the din of the camp.

His work now done Rust drives the glowing blade tip into the sand, spits out the branch to a stream of obscenities that would make a mindflayer blush in any language that Rust could think of. Putting his clothing and leathers back on, Rust takes one more pull from the bottle before standing up and silently starting to pack up his section of the camp to move inland.

When he finally does speak, he's curt and to the point. "It's time for us to move inland. I don't know what that storm is bringing in, but it looks bad enough that if we're caught out here on it, we're going to wash out to sea. Drowning once this week is enough for me, yeah?"


I gained 9 hit points (6 baseline +3 from CON) this level and also ACTION SURGE, which I mistakenly though was a level 1 feature until someone corrected me on it three fights into the campaign

Mar 25, 2011

At the camp, Johann makes sure to keep a close eye at Vett, believing that the cowed Kobold might some kind of shenanigans or trickery in the future. The only reason he believed in bringing it into camp was to use it as a hostage were the Kobolds once again try to trap and lock them. He lifts a hand as the group discusses their next moves. "Inland might be a good idea, but we have no knowledge of how it is within the jungle. How many of those gigantic insects that you fought still may be lurking unknown to us? I don't believe our scouting efforts have shown us a safe enough place to make camp either."

Apr 24, 2008

I fucking hate puzzles.

Slinging his backpack to the ground, Rust straightens his back for a moment before turning to address Johann "Have you seen what storm surge can do? If this storm is at all as threatening as it looks like we're as good as dead if we stay on this beach, no matter what kind of shelter you want to build. A rickity boat lean-to will not even begin to protect us from the wind let alone if a rogue wave comes for us. We're going to have to take our chances in the unknown because right now our odds are poo poo right here. While it may not be a problem for you because of your ghoulie powers, I prefer to not die by drowning after getting sucked back out to sea. We need to move, when the storm comes I doubt the creepy-crawlies are going to be too much of a problem, I think even at their size they are going to scurry into hidey holes at the presence of the storm. If we run into the industrious natives that we've seen signs of, well at least we're armed and armored for bear."

Tricky Dick Nixon
Jul 26, 2010

The body is but a vessel for the soul, a puppet which bends to the soul's tyranny. And lo, the body is not eternal, for it must feed on the flesh of others, lest it return to the dust from whence it came. Therefore must the soul deceive, despise and murder men.

Urszula raises her hand, and whether or not she is addressed, queries the gathered castaways. "Didn't we find a treasure map? I think Vidame Tolto said too that whatever is on this island is not likely to let us go. What's our plan, I mean, assuming we survive the storm...?"

The Aqualung's hoarse chuckle came in response to that. "Aye, if the storm doesn't take ye, sure enough can you meet the Hells waiting for ye chasing off after some fool's errand like that." The way he said it, though, he seemed almost interested in the idea. After all, he was always in favor of whatever plan had the most chance of dying.

Nax's reply was sharp. "Whatever 'treasures' are on this island, it drove the elf crusaders into ruin. Nax Tirrinu wants nothing of it. We need hardwoods however to build. Za, these thick softwood trees would not make anything seaworthy."

Desider grumbled in agreement with that. "The Sintali is right. Shame ye consigned that galleas to the damned. Cursed or not, it would have at least made good salvage, and the haunts may have made good company when the sunstroke drives us to madness as we wander the wyrmsea."

Apr 26, 2014

Death, but with a gun

The pitter-patter of crows feet on sand grows steadily louder as Quill slips into the group, one hand clutched around the butterfly jar, and the DNS Ceaseless' Ledger under his arm as he shuffles into the campfire circle.

"Hello. Talked to Vett, asked him about things he's seen. Found things out, could be important, needs clarification." He shuffled on his seat and looked towards Johann. "Would like to talk to you. Also you. If you don't mind." He said pointing a taloned finger at Johann, and then at Urszula.

Aug 31, 2006

Lucielle is content to sit back, and let Secca share the tale of their expedition in the tunnels. It doesn't surprise her in the least that her friend is able to take what was a rather uneventful trip and make it sound like a grand, exciting adventure. She almost finds it a bit amusing, actually.

What she doesn't find amusing though was Johann's completely unnecessary action of intimidation. She and Secca were so close to reaching out to Sekk, to convince the little kobold that they were on his side, but then he had to ruin everything by showing force when it was not needed, and it left her feeling more than a little irritated by him. The exile hadn't said anything to him yet, but she didn't need to. Her face said it all. She gave him plenty of nasty looks on their way back to camp, and even now, while they're resting at the camp, she looks at him with a slightly sour expression.

Still, even with the way things went, she's determined to find Sekk, and reunite him with Vett if she can. After they're done handling more pressing matters first, that is, like the matter of the incoming storm.

"As much as I would like to see where the treasure map leads, I think it would be best if we decide on what to do with it later," she speaks up, "For now, we should focus our efforts on moving inland, and, I can't believe I'm saying this, but I agree with Rust," she could almost feel the bitter taste in her mouth when she says that, "We can't stay here. We need to take our chances, and whatever problem we'll face, we'll just deal with it, and survive through it, as we always do."

Lucielle has gained 7 more HP, and learned Cunning Action. That's about it.

Tricky Dick Nixon
Jul 26, 2010

The body is but a vessel for the soul, a puppet which bends to the soul's tyranny. And lo, the body is not eternal, for it must feed on the flesh of others, lest it return to the dust from whence it came. Therefore must the soul deceive, despise and murder men.

The discussion seemed to reach an impasse. People's voices had quieted, and while there was a majority on one end, several voices hadn't spoken, and there wasn't much coming to a middle ground. If a decision was made now, it couldn't be said it had a mandate. The castaways were listless and without leadership, and Desider's eyes narrowed as he looked across the sea dogs around him.

Each was individually spirited and could stand to be in charge of a ship, by his measure. Each had their own unique talents and perspective, some of which was in conflict, but it all came back to the question he asked the lot earlier on. "If all ye have to fasten your sails to is survival, then this is what ye'll reap, me hearties." It all came back to the warning he gave previously.

"On the nine seas, what motivates yer crew isn't the fight to survive from day to day. That's just a part of livin', as ol' Aqualung sees it. You don't get anything out of that you wouldn't otherwise get. It's something else. A love of adventure, a lust for gold. The equal share is more than just an equal share of the booty. It's a share in ye own fate. Being ye own master. There's not a nation in all of Uskara where men and women of all folk are equal, much less free. But when ye set your feet on a freebooter's vessel, everything changes." He was of course talking about the life of piracy, in the full romantic terms it would have.

"The storm is soon upon us, and we aren't surviving it unless we work not just as some flotsam washed up on these accursed shores, but as a crew. And a crew, needs a captain." He looks to each of the nine, each qualified in some way, though in many ways perhaps not equal in their desire for such responsibility.

"Which of ye would stand for it?"

Vett blinked, in that characteristically kobold way of one eye at a time, and looked around confused, and then to Quill. It whispered as best it can in its yipping growl. "Vett's confused. Isn't ghost the captain?"

I think now is the time to do this, because we're reaching a point where there's decisions that need to be made in a definitive way that people aren't comfortable making as a collective it feels and it's slowed down the game somewhat. People have also now had some time to see what each character is about, and through the first two days of survival show their mettle. This needn't be a permanent fixture, the captain's hat can be passed around. Consider this a test of a captain-to-be, to steer the "ship" through the coming storm. Captaincy in piracy is highly democratic and the captain needs to maintain the faith of the majority of their crew. At any time a group of officers can ask for a new election if there is time to do so, but in times of crisis we need someone to call the shots.

If your character is interested in being captain, have them make their case in-character. Feel free to nominate another PC as well. All PCs will have a vote. If that vote isn't decisive, then NPCs will weigh in, or if people call in on favors built through relationships made with the NPCs, then they may factor in as well, but primarily this is a player-driven decision and will remain so, even when the crew becomes larger, as the NPCs will generally follow (unless there are other circumstances, like a mutiny) what the player officers have decided on.

Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage

In the interest of keeping momentum up, I think that this would be best handled via the Discord. I've started up a discussion in IC 1, which we'll post to the thread later.

Jan 23, 2012

Wings Out

Grimey Drawer

"As much as I am loathe to leave the waters, I agree. We need to leave the shore for now." Dermid quieted down as Desider spoke, "but electing a captain is a good idea. We need to have someone to lead us and make hard decisions."

He shrugged off his coat and stepped near the fire, letting himself warm up, as he joined the conversation.

Just a quick post. Level up bonuses, I gain the Font of Magic feature, 2 sorcery points, a spell slot, Mage Armour and 6 health

Tricky Dick Nixon
Jul 26, 2010

The body is but a vessel for the soul, a puppet which bends to the soul's tyranny. And lo, the body is not eternal, for it must feed on the flesh of others, lest it return to the dust from whence it came. Therefore must the soul deceive, despise and murder men.

Secca stands up at Desider's challenge. She looks, as always, a bit ridiculous in her makeshift piratical garb, but seems to think that it may well indicate her resolve. She says, "I'd be glad to. I think my dedication to this band is well-established at this point. When it came time to launch our mutiny, I braved the probing tentacles of the dear, departed admiral to give you all the time you needed." She flips a tendril of powdered wig out of her face, as if to illustrate the point, and continues, "And that has not ceased in the slightest as we've found ourselves on this island. I've proven, through word and deed, that I'd risk my life for you all... and that I'll listen to your counsel."

Lucielle briefly considers the idea of her being captain, but she quickly shakes the thought away. She never thought of herself as the type who could lead others, and besides, who would put their trust in a captain with a curse attached to them?

"Why am I not surprised that you're the first to speak up?" She says, lightly teasing Secca, "Well, if we have to vote for a captain, then I suppose I'll cast my vote on Secca. Her ego might be bigger than this entire island, but I trust her to do right by us."

"Hrm." Mazhar grumbles. "Trust in a person and trust in a <commander>" - he shakes his head, trying to find the word in Sarumite, "in a captain, are different indeed. I shall not vote for the courtier." His large, weathered hand extends towards Dermid. "The Windspeaker has less of an ego, and less of a tendency to protect every stray rat we come across. There may come a time when we need to make a hard decision. I trust him to do it sooner than the courtier." He nods, satisfied at having said his piece, but then starts again.

"Before anyone would cast their vote for me," a glance at Jan'ti emphasizes the last word, "know that I am a soldier, but not a leader. I lack that training. That is all."

Vett nods vigorously at Mazhar's suggestion. "Vett agrees with wise master! No stray rats or freeloaders! Only those worth their weight in glitter and gold!"

"Would never." Jan'ti offers a smirk at Mazhar's suggestion. "If I can't, Mazhar certainly can't." There's a sort of challenge , or maybe just a needling assertion, in her claim. The bullfolk isn't on a pillar. Best he remembers that while his mind comes back to him. "And I can't."

Her Sarumite is gods awful, not quite broken but never quite on point. The genasi doesn't keep the more fluid, flowery tendencies she has when speaking in Ornassi and instead adopts a strange midpoint between the distinct sharpness of primordial and the seemingly neutral pacing of their common tongue.

"Good choices though. Anyone else?"

Johann's eyes glint with barely hidden hatred. "Is there even a need for a 'captain'? From my experience this kind of authority brings only tyranny and corruption." After all, it was the orders of a captain that had him drowned in first place. "The current arrangement suits me just fine."

"There's a far and fair difference, lad, between a true freebooter captain, and a naval skipper by appointment." Desider offers. "A freebooter captain can only command at the pleasure of his crew. If he loses their faith, he loses his hat, aye, if not his head." Though he chuckles and gives a nod to Secca. "Or her head, as the case may be."

"Ye might keep doing as ye are doing now, going off in nine different directions and means, if ye like. But ye won't survive the storm to come, as I reckon it."

He let out a wet chuckle. "Might be that you won't survive if you do, saints be good."

"Captaincy is a hard task." Dermid stretched his body as he spoke. The hike through the jungle had taken a bit out of him, "And I don't know what experiences you had, Seahawk, but a pirate vessel has a different relationship between it's captain, mates, and crew than a navy or a merchant ship does. Merchanters and navy ships are bound by landwalker's law, and mutiny is punished by death usually. With a pirate, there's far less qualms about tossing the captain over the side of the ship. So it makes it a lot more difficult to be a tyrant in a spot of captaincy."

Fixating on Secca, he shook his head, "It takes five years to train a good crewman, ten to make a good officer. How much do you know of sail and rigging? What to do when sailing into a headwind? When do you want to take down the mainsail? A captaincy is different than a noble title. Simply being able to lead people isn't enough, you need to have a level of competency that I do not think you have." Nodding to Mazhar, "If the rest of the crew would support me, I would stand for the captaincy."

Secca looks at Dermid quite levelly, unamused by his attack. She says, "Oh, dear Windspeaker, you see only a pretty face?" She shakes her head. "I say you were the first to make that mistake, but unfortunately you are not." She retrieves a length of rope from where she'd been sitting. "I'd say it's fair to suspect that I might not have the knowledge. I freely admit that, at this moment, you are correct."

She shows the rope to the assembled crew, naturally falling into a showman's cadence, as she continues. "When we washed ashore, I knew next to nothing about sails or rigging, nor sailing weather. As Urszula can attest, I have been working to remedy that in the hours-" The shortness of the timeframe was decidedly emphasized. "-since. And now? I'd dare say that I can match your expectations in that regard. Just think of what I'll be able to do by the time we're properly prepared to leave."

Her hands dance as the rope twists from knot to sailors knot, Secca not showing a moment's hesitation as she demonstrates everything Urszula has shown her.

[22 on a DEX check.]

Secca coils the rope easily, dropping it back to where she sat, then says, "Now, dear Windspeaker, there is one more area in which we disagree. You seem to think that the primary qualifications should be naval expertise. From where I stand, that's an overly optimistic view. We have an impending storm, no shortage of threats on land, and, might I add, no vessel to captain. You say leading people isn't enough? I say otherwise. Until we've a seaworthy craft and enough goods prepared to even consider leaving, it seems that uniting our crew is by far the most important task." She points at the storm. "It won't matter who can read the waves or wind if we don't make it through this coming trial."

"I was not talking down your intelligence. Simply your experience on sea. Tying a knot on land is one thing, but under pressure? Under the swaying of the ocean? Theory is one thing, practice is another. You are untested on the open ocean. And while I concede the point that we are not on ocean now, we will be, and an untested captain on uncharted waters is asking to get wrecked. Learning on the fly will only get you so far, and the sea is a harsh and fickle mistress. If you cannot dance to her tune in step, she'll leave you out to dry. If you wish to lead our little band on the ground, I'll give you that, though I feel Volyn will have better knowledge about the forests and wilderness than you, but I cannot support you as the captain of a ship. Particularly a pirate." Dermid's voice crackled with lightning as he spoke, "You belittle the experience of every seafarer here by claiming that you have full expertise of running a ship without ever setting foot on one."

Secca sighs, "It's as if you haven't listened to a word I said. If you cannot admit a simple error in judgement, I cannot support you either."

Urszula speaks up at this point. "We shouldn't be fighting over it! It's a responsibility, not a crown. I'd be happy to serve under either of you." She made her appeal to their common cause and ground.

"Windspeaker, don't disrespect the Vidame. She's a mariner as much as any of us. She's picked up faster than any I have seen, and most importantly she's got the spirit in her." After all, there was a measure of impugning upon her right to be there in his words, even if they weren't meant that way.

"Just the same, knowing a little knotwork doesn't mean you've got the experience that the Windspeaker has, Vidame. He's not wrong to say that, you needn't fault him for wanting a tried hand."

She finally seemed to become a bit self-conscious, drawing inward. "It doesn't have to be one or the other. We're all in this together."

"Urzula speaks true," speaks up Lucielle, "Now isn't the time to be fighting amongst ourselves. We all need to work together so we can get through this," there's a slight pause as she carefully considers her next few words, "If one of us is lacking in something, then it's up to others to fill that void, and instead of criticising what others lack, we should be thinking about how to help them, instead," she turns to the Windspeaker, "Secca might not have the experience you do, Dermid, but she has the willingness to learn, as you've just seen. If you still think she's not qualified to be a captain, then fine, but instead of telling her how little she knows, maybe you can impart your experience on her instead?"

Lucielle looks at the rest of the group before she continues talking, "Maybe it's just me being naive, but I truly think it's better for all of us if we all thought more about helping each other. I truly do not think we will get anywhere if our group becomes fractured."

Embarrassment quickly takes over Lucielle as she suddenly feels incredibly self-conscious about the silly little speech she just made in front of the group, "Er..." She looks away from all of them, and nervously scratches at her bright-red cheeks, "That's, um, that's what I think, anyways..."

Ranka is silent for the most part as people begin to make their pitches for or against themselves. Unable to dedicate herself to working on carving out a makeshift shelter, her hands have set to idly carving away at a piece of driftwood.

Once a lull in conversation presents itself she shrugs "Common sense with my people is the elder takes the lead, but given Desider doesn't seem likely to step up we're still stuck on my opinion."

Driftwood carved down to a sliver, Ranka sticks her makeshift toothpick between her teeth and works it for a moment as she considers her options "Can't say I'm fond of handing off control so fast to a group I barely know, but if I had to pick someone to rally to now? It'd likely be Secca."

Ranka is silent for a good while as she mulls things over, but eventually she continues "That's not to say that would necessarily hold once we're out to sea," she spits the toothpick off to the side with a shrug "Sea is a risky thing to tempt and if I can't have an Elder at the lead? Well, I'll have a much easier time following after life earned experience over on the job training."

"I would be more than willing to teach her, and all of you, how to captain. But I would not want to have her take charge on the open sea, where a single mistake can kill the crew. Particularly if there's no cats on board. It would be akin to what I would imagine having someone dance their first ever dance at a court. I apologize for the tone." Dermid sighed and leaned back, cloudy eyes thinking of days past, " I am tired and I long for the sea and the feeling of the wind; the freedom of sailing and pointing at a horizon and saying 'let's go there'. Being landlocked is just another prison that I ache to break free of."

"And what kind of pirate captain would you be, Windspeaker?" Johann asks, a serious tone in his voice. "I knew people whose ships and towns were raided by them, and I saw the wreckages of ships who tried to resist their predations. As much as I want to leave these islands, the thought of becoming a preying jackal of the seas and attacking the weak and vulnerable does not interest me."

The small sound of scratching was heard on one side of the circle as Quill seemed to be cutting something into a hunk of drift wood with his small knife. After a moment, he flipped it around and held it on his lap for all to see for the moment, tapping on it with his talon

Seka: III

Durmid: II

Rust chuckles to himself quietly at the edge of the group. When he finally speaks up there is no small derision in his voice. "Obviously lets make the captain the one who can best tie a rope, because that's not something literally any and everyone a ship needs to be able to do." Still shirtless, he takes a draw from his bottle before continuing.

"Windspeaker has it right, there's nuance to what a captain does, and it takes months if not years to get your footing on boat let alone learn to captain one. The only ones here with that sort of experience would be Windspeaker, Johann, Aqualung, Nax, and yours truly. Seeing as how...." Rust stops momentarily and points to people individually while counting on his hand "...I figure a good half of you would just as readily vote to hang the Freewind rather than work under him, I can safely say I am probably out of contention."

"As far as my vote goes, I'd be giving it to the Windspeaker and were he not an option, then to Aqualung"

Quill flips the board back around and marks another tally for 'Durmind' making it 3 for each candidate. He looked meaningfully at Johann and Jan'ti when he flipped the board back around.

Rust then adds "The moment we get back on the ocean, we're outlaws to a person, remember that. We don't have months of time to teach Secca how to captain a boat. We'll have two weeks at best before the admiralty starts to smarten up, and it's all of our necks on the line. We need someone who's ready to be a captain from the word go"

Watching the argument unfold with raising voices, Mazhar clears his throat during a small break, and rises to his full height. "It is not a question of the sailor's skills. We can all aid to a ship, once we have one." With a gesture at their grumpy dwarf, he contines. "The Aqualung was correct. We need a captain to make decisions. Has the courtier a breadth of experience in matters wordly and educated? Certainly. Has the windspeaker have his own experience in matters naval and otherwise? Also true."

"However. My vote was based on our current situation. We are in a rough situation. Life and death, if we do not unite. Properly." With a sigh, he turns to Secca proper. "Nobody is questioning your bravery. But your heart is swollen with ideal and hope. Not a bad thing when one needs to tell glorious stories. Not a bad thing when times get tough, and we all need a pick-me-up." He places a hand on her shoulder. "The sailors' abrasiveness is what I need in a captain. To trust that hard decisions can be made. Life and death is on the line. Romance has no place. This is what I am taught. This is what I swear by. Thus, I vote for the windspeaker."

She hardly knows either of them, really. She'd known Dermid longer, by a hair, but their relationship had been confined to imprisonment and condemned to enslavement. Who he had been before that, what he had been sentenced to the bowels of the Ceaseless for, she couldn't say. But he had been a kind and honorable soul, and had rightly cautioned her not to write off Rust. There was wisdom there, real and true.

She had only spoken with Secca for a moment but the woman was at least well meaning if not impressively charming. On the other hand, she was self admittedly not familiar with the pitfalls of the adventuring life. The noblewoman's insistence, and notably self nomination, didn't bode well for her promise to humbly receive the wisdom of others in the future either.

Jan't eyes Dermid for a moment, weary and battered by their recent endeavors. "<Concede.>" She spoke in Primordial, and to her wisdom, only to him. Though the words hit harshly upon one's ear, there's a hesitance pleading the Windspeaker to hear her out. "<They can't understand. Concede and mean it. Then you've got my vote.>"

Secca says, "I think it's important to consider, too, something the Aqualung said: What binds us together, past survival?" She gestures at Rust. "I have no intention of crewing a ship of miscreants and scoundrels, dedicated solely to survival and extracting coin from passersby. If that's where this crew finds itself, I'll be with you solely to the first Imperial port of call. But..." She matches eyes with each in turn. "Should this crew be bound for glory, high adventure, and a chance to extract payment in full from our would-be jailors... I'd be with you to the end. That's my vision. What would yours be?"

Johann crosses his arms and gives a single nod at Secca's words. If push comes to shove...

Dermid closed his eyes as Jan'ti spoke, before looking at Johann, "I cannot tell you that I am a saint. I have raided and plundered, scuttled ships and razed homes. But I don't take life lightly, and only on those who attacked me or my kin. Why scuttle a merchant ship when it's easier to empty the hold. You accuse me of performing despicable actions, but don't do the same to the militaries of the world, who are far more responsible for razing villages than any pirate."

The genasi looked around, "I sail to see the horizon, then see the horizon's horizon. To listen to the whispers of wind, and to see sights that nobody has ever seen before. But I will be real, we will need some form of income to keep us alive. Come a few months from now, the Dominion will have bounties on all of our heads across every port of call. Every privateer and bounty hunter will be after our heads, and that means that we'll need to fight, and they will call us pirates for that. Whether or not you want the label."

Standing, he finished his statement, "If you choose to go with Secca, I will stay, and I will bow to the wisdom of the crew. And if she will let me, I will teach her how to be a captain, to better lead us on the high seas." He gave a cheeky grin, "You all still need a Windjammer after all."

Jan'ti listens intently to what Dermid has to say. A small smile begins to grow as he comes to his conclusion. She looks down for a moment into the sand in contemplation, "Good enough. The Windspeaker's given his word." She speaks with a sense of self satisfaction that borders on smug, "I believe him."

"Unity before pride." Jan'ti shrugs her shoulders and turns to look out to sea once more, "He has my vote."

"You speak of the difference of the pirate and emperors, but an admission is an admission." The Revenant shakes his head and looks at Dermid with a disapproving stare. "While the fact that you were honest about this is refreshing, I can't honestly support a man who has done such things. For all the talk about experience, the girl lacks it on the most unsavory practices of the sea, and perhaps that might be something on her favor and not a demerit. I will vote for her."

"<They already think we're villains.>" Ornassi now. Not everyone spoke it, Johann almost certainly didn't, but Jan'ti has grown impatient and tired of the simple pleasantries she extended in the common tongue. She is exhausted, and frustrated, and open for once. "<I burned their poison in protest and the Dominion claimed that I was a heretic, a cultist, an evil to be eradicated. They ruined my home and my people. I have no home to speak of now and no where to go. Any honest folk would call for my head.>"

She takes a deep breath and holds it for a moment. As it escapes her lungs there's a tinge of serenity, a moment of calm, and she speaks again in a sort of disheartened deadpan in Sarumite, "I trust Dermid. He'll keep us safe. Won't go for blood." Her eyes dart back to the other Genasi. There's an awkward pause and then a soft smile, "He's a good man." She nods, "Kind man."

"Foolish to pretend we're not pirates." She adds, though somewhat sheepishly. There's a hesitance, a reluctance, that she might still wish it wasn't the case.

"Are we, though? We're mutineers and castaways, but I can't recall pillaging any ships." Secca shakes her head. "Dermid. You've talked quite a bit about what you've done, but what would you do? Fight, yes, but to what end?"

"To sail free and see the world. I'm not proposing that we sack every town from here to Navarre, I certainly don't generally hold to that. There's little profit in brutalizing the poor, when its them that are more likely to give the pirate quarter. But the houses of the rich and the powerful? Particularly those nobility and merchanters that align themselves with the Dominion? I say they're fair game. I want to sail to stay free of any laws or masters but ourselves, to spit in the eye of society and say that we are not slaves to their whims. I won't ask you to pillage and plunder," Dermid paused, then deadpanned before continuing "-though you really should try it some time, it's quite exhilarating. We can see sights that nobody has seen before, be the people that the men and women of civilized nations wish they could be. Follow nothing but our whims and fancies, and become filthy rich in our own right by doing so. But I need a crew and mates, and four is too few to run a ship. If you all do accept me as captain, I'll need a First Mate to keep me in line," Dermid locked eyes with Secca before stretching out his hand, "What do you say? You can learn how to captain- and you seem bright, you'll learn quick- as well as keep me in check; and if you still want off at the first Imperial port of call, I won't stop you. But I'm not the man you think I am, I'm too much of a romantic for that."

Secca locks eyes with Dermid, carefully considering the man's words. She isn't quite sure what to make of him, still, but... four isn't the proper number for a crew. He's the right of that. This island is far too dangerous to splinter up, after all, and moral atrocities are hardly something to worry about just yet. She'd see his truth well before it came to something she couldn't take back. She extends a hand to shake his, saying, "I find that fair, Dermid, and also the reverse. Should you find yourself Captain, I'd gladly be that voice of morality... and should the vote fall the other way, I'd have your undeniable experience as my First Mate."

Some more scritching from Quill he flipped back over the board to reveal the current tally.

Seka: IIII

Durmid: IIII

Quill smiled contently, the smile seemed to fade slowly into a sort of slightly concerned puzzlement as all eyes focused on him being the last member of the crew with a vote, shuffling with very visible nervousness as he glanced between Secca and Dermid.

Being that he is from a species that naturally feels more at home following orders then giving or suggesting them, and in the eyes of Quill he liked both options and felt both had valid points as to why they should be captain, he was struggling with this choice. Feeling uncomfortable in his own feathers he gripped his holy symbol reflexively and then perked up at a distant memory.

"If... Crew has reached impasse, can Quill request a tiebreaker?" He said, reaching into one if his inside pockets and pulling from within one of the quatroons Vett gave him.

Mazhar's eyebrows raise. "Have you no vote, scribe? You are part of the crew as much as anyone, you should not have to hold your voice. Who holds your confidence, the windspeaker or the courtier?" His gesture goes out to both candidates. "It seems crude to let it resolve to luck."

Quill looks at the Minotaur. "Quill is not a pirate. Quill is also not an adventurer. Quill did not even leave city for most of life until few weeks ago. Quill no problem with either choice in his eyes and doesn't want to pick on how much Quill likes. So Quill let's the Ennead decide."

"Father Amon, he says." And he rattles off in common in the voice of a man none of them have met, but he knew very personally, "The best thing any adventurer can be, is lucky."

With the seeming consent of both parties, Quill offered a brief prayer to the Ennead, and began to flip his coin. Once. Twice. Three times.

He looked at the coin and nodding, turned around the board and made one final tally.

Seka: IIII I

Durmid: IIII

"Captain Seccacosantza Tolto VII. Orders?"

"Well then, congratulations on your new role, Secca," Lucielle pats Secca on the back, "Or should I call you captain now?"

The near compromise that had come from Secca moments before gave Jan'ti a certain kind of comfort. Hopefully, the two would settle their disputes and the argument would be over before it had really, truly begun. A healthy debate, even one as off kilter as this discussion had become, was perfectly fine. Bonds grew from conflict. But this? If it continued it would tear them apart.

"The Dominion won't stop." Jan'ti assumes the tone of a lecturer, "Desider Aqualung might scoff at survival here. Survival was never about the island. Survival is the seas and ports. Survival is the drakes and mindflayers." She stands, not all together annoyed, but seemingly tired and exasperated by the long discussion. Her eyes turn to the coming storm, "Survival is the storm. We come together or we die. If not here, in distant ports and seedy taverns. Don't think you can just walk away. Leave at first port."

She shakes her head and spits upon the ground for emphasis, "Idle threats. Dominion is like the storm. Consumes everything in its path. Don't forget that." She spares a glance to each of them before dropping the assumed authority to address Secca, "Storm is coming fast, Captain." There's an unspoken emphasis, a placement on urgency of action, one last lingering question. What shall they do now?

Silently Rust tilts his head to the side appraising the situation, he nods to Secca and says "Captain." with a half hearted shrug before turning walking away from the scrum and continuing to strike their camp.

This is... An acceptable result at least. The girl doesn't seem to be bad at all, and perhaps Johann won't have to kill her were she attempt to use the crew and whatever ship they build in order to start raiding the seas. Of course, he looks towards Rust and Dermid. He can't bring himself but think if those two would try to... Contest the result, and therefore force his hand against them as well.

Secca takes in a deep breath, then lets it out slowly. The sudden shift from shipwreck survivor to captain, even a democratically elected one, was pretty striking. Still, she couldn't falter. Not now, not ever. Too many people were counting on her for that. She says, "Thank you, Lucy. I'm still Secca, so please continue calling me that if you prefer."

She looks over to Jan'ti, adding, "That it is. We've much to do and little enough time to do it. And speaking of... Jan'ti and Ranka, you two have the most knowledge of the land. I want you two to figure out the best way to transport this lot upriver. Quill, grab Vett and bring that map over. Let's see if we can't learn more about the place the crusaders sheltered and staged from. Lucielle and Urszula, if you'd be in charge of ensuring the more delicate pieces of cargo are properly arranged? Everyone else, I trust in your judgement. Dermid will no doubt have more specific knowledge on making this an orderly process, use his guidance if you have questions. Let's get this camp packed up and get inland as soon as possible."

Dermid nodded in acknowledgement as he spoke, "Your will cap'n"

The moment the decision is made, Mazhar's attitude changes entirely. There was a leader now. A commanding officer. His role, as a soldier, was to follow the lead. His posture straightens, and his expression turns somberly straightforward. His meaty hand closes into a fist and he pounds it against his chest. <"Your voice guides my will, commander."> he barks, almost on reflex, the traditional Hyklosian acknowledgement of military hierarchy, before he starts getting to work along with the others.

With a decision made that everyone seemed satisfied with, Quill reached into his cloak and pulled out the maps he had been collecting so far and beckoned over Vett. <"Work to be done, captains orders!"> He said in Draconic to Vett, before shuffling up to Secca and folding out his writing kit's table.

Lucielle straightens up her posture, and salutes at their newly appointed captain, "Aye, aye, cap'n!" She says, putting on her best pirate impersonation. Relaxing her stance now, she quietly whispers to Secca, "I know you'll do a great job." With that said, she turns, and gets to work on arranging the cargo along with Urzula.

The unpleasantness of picking a leader behind them, Ranka gives a glance over in Jan'ti's direction and gives a curt nod in response to Secca "As you wish it <Shipmother>" she speaks in Nimhi for the final word; a pair of words roughly slammed together, acknowledging command, but bypassing the usual familial connection shared between a Clan's crew and their Grand Mother.

Tricky Dick Nixon
Jul 26, 2010

The body is but a vessel for the soul, a puppet which bends to the soul's tyranny. And lo, the body is not eternal, for it must feed on the flesh of others, lest it return to the dust from whence it came. Therefore must the soul deceive, despise and murder men.

Quickly the crew sets to action, energized by the decision of their first captain, Captain Seccacosantza Tolto IV. Loading down the dinghy to bear, using robe to attack it to the smaller launch as a counterweight with the broken one laid over and protecting the lucre inside, both are heavy and difficult to steer, likely only to carry two or three, including a pilot, of the castaways along with the rest of their equipment.

Thus using their ropes, they will have to drag and guide it along the coast and into the sheltered estuary, to move upriver. Those atop can steer and even row to help propel it, with the storm and winds at their back, but the rest of the castaways will have to brave the river shores and the treacherous ground, hacking a path with their cutlasses into a jungle that is almost certainly filled with terrifying creatures.

Yet as they approach it, especially with the storm coming, it is as silent as the deep. Just as they had originally found it, without the sound of wildlife, only the occasional buzzing of flies. What life does live on this island seems to be crawling into their burrows and holes, knowing full well the onslaught that awaits them. It will make the journey of our castaways perhaps less eventful, but one should not assume too much good fortune.

Skill Challenge posted:

You must set an expedition upriver, following the path of the elvish crusaders and hopefully finding a camp safe from the storm surge and flooding to come with the storm. The base Difficulty Class is Challenging (13). I recommend in the fiction presenting it as a montage: Describe a challenge the expedition faces, and how your character's skill overcomes it.

Skills that definitely apply include Stealth to scout ahead, Perception to keep watch for dangers, Athletics to pull the boat, Survival to find the path. You can also use another skill if you justify it (you don't need to ask me, just justify it in the fiction). Tool proficiencies that definitely apply include vehicles (water), cartographer's tools and navigator's tools. You can feel free to justify another use.

Each time you make a roll, your DC for the next check increases cumulatively by +2. You may also eschew making a roll directly to Help someone else in a roll you have proficiency in, but your DC still increases for your next check. If you use a skill or tool proficiency you already used before, you take Disadvantage.

Class abilities like Bardic Inspiration and spells such as Guidance can be used to enhance a roll once during a skill challenge for each instance of it, without increasing your DC. If you have a spell or ability that you think would apply to a specific skill use, like using wild shape to turn into a beast of burden or scouting bird, you may take Advantage after spending that resource. Likewise for something like barbarian rage, which can apply for a single check when expended.

Your NPC crew does not make checks during a Skill Challenge, but they can provide assistance. They can each Help once, giving someone advantage to a roll, and will normally help the first one to request it. Your current crew can assist with the following tasks for this skill challenge:
  • Urszula: Scouting ahead with Stealth, anything involving luck or heroics.
  • Nax: Feats of prowess with Athletics, anything involving violence
  • Desider: Keeping watch with Perception, keeping steady with vehicles (water).
  • Vett: Pathfinding with Survival, anything involving traps or tunnels
You must succeed five times to complete this Skill Challenge. Three failures will fail the skill challenge, and each failure (even with an overall success) may introduce a complication. A failed challenge rarely means no forward movement, but may mean the storm overtakes you before you can make a proper camp.

Tricky Dick Nixon fucked around with this message at Jun 29, 2018 around 09:29

Successful Businessmanga
Mar 28, 2010

Tasked with figuring out the best way to haul the lot of their goods inland, Ranka opts to take a more proactive approach. She was certainly well versed in finding trails and spotting common dangers, but given that the task of the day, scouting upriver, had yet to be done, she sets off ahead of the group.

Heading inland by herself proves to be an oddly easy task, booze addled reflexes are beginning to sharpen once again in response to her new mostly sober state. Months ago Ranka would have likely been stumbling through the underbrush, kicking up a racket that would alert everything within a ten mile radius as to her position, but today she's swiftly and silently darting between positions and paying no mind to the roots and vines failing to trip her up.

Ranka is gone for a good while, returning just in time for the camp's assorted odds and ends to have been stowed for transport. Gear ready and other tasks being done she gives a small nod and reports "Thankfully not much to report, most of the critters have gone to ground in light of the storm coming. I didn't come across anything likely to cause us problems unless we suddenly start jamming our heads down every hidey hole we come across, bellowing the whole way there."

As the expedition makes to head out, Ranka returns to the front, darting out into the woods and returning every few minutes to report on any changes that might have occurred since her last sweep through.


Just squeaked by with a 13 Stealth. Decided against using Urszula for a Help action, so she's still available and I deffo recommend using her now that we've got a success locked in!

Successful Businessmanga fucked around with this message at Jul 1, 2018 around 01:29

May 19, 2011

Everything by design.

Mazhar silently toils to load up the boat, at first. There was a clear goal now; and more importantly, a clear hierarchy. It set his mind at ease, a little. The troubles of the battle with the mindflayer and the consequences it had wrought were set aside, and he could work with a singular focus. During his time loading up the boat, while the others set about their own tasks, he comes across the turncoat. "You. Nax. You are strong of limb. Help me with this." The minotaur brooks no argument, but he knows the turncoat is too smart to argue anyway. All hands were needed if they were to make this task succeed, and in turn, guarantee their survival for a while longer.

So the turncoat and the mercenary join forces to set their bodies to work where others might use their wits or their senses. It is an easy work, for the two of them, though they work up a fine sheen through the exercise, and as they set up the path through the river, they settle into a steady rhythm of pulls along the rope to bring the supplies along with the crew.

Using Nax for advantage that I didn't end up needing because I rolled a 19 on Athletics for dragging stuff.

Mar 25, 2011

The ship's ascent upriver is a dangerous and hard one, as the dangerous rapids on several parts of the path often threaten to drag the craft away to the shore several times. Only with Johann and Desider's furious rowing a catastrophe is averted, and the ship is able to continue navigating deeper inside the island. Still, having to rely on the old pirate is something that the revenant can't help but find distasteful. Only the relative trust that he places on his new captain manages to temper that feeling somewhat.

Doing a Vehicles+Con Roll with Desider, got a 24.

Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage

As the camp is quickly broken down and the trek upriver begins, Secca finds herself chatting with the small, bedraggled kobold over potential routing decisions and generally just picking his brain for anything that might come in handy. Despite his effusive amounts of praise and attempts to curry favor with the newly-elected captain, no few tidbits of knowledge of surviving on the island — admittedly mostly related to digging tunnels and securing said tunnels with diabolical traps — are communicated. Of course, there's still the undeniable need to prove herself to the rest of the... well, crew. They were a crew now. Her pride does require it, though admittedly, the best way to do it will simply be to prove everyone wrong!

So, for this reason, as the landbound portion of the crew nears an odd thicket with vines criss-crossing the rough path they'd found themselves on, Secca brought the proceedings to a quick halt. Perhaps it is just that chat with Vett, but something about the situation simply feels off. Malicious, even! She says, "Wait! One moment, if you will." Grabbing an arm-sized stick, she hefts it back and chucks it towards the nearest vine. When it hits, instead of bouncing, it sticks fast... and the vine quickly retracts back into the brush. Additional tendrils seem to sprout from the vine and further entrap the branch on the way. Secca nods, satisfied, and says, "Aha! I've read about plants like these, actually. They must feast on some of the insects that live on the island. The samples I read about were a little smaller, admittedly, but nothing on this island seems to lack for size. If we hit them with branches, like so-" She bops another vine with a lobbed branch, sending it curling back off the path. "-then we shouldn't run into any problems."

And, indeed, the crew does not.

Rolled Survival with Vett's help, hitting the check with an 18.

Aug 31, 2006

Lucielle, like Ranka, scouts out ahead, looking for any signs of danger, but before she does so, she decides to ask Urszula for her help, first. While the exile is confident in her skills of being unseen, it's always better to have some help around, just in case. While she and Urszul move further inland, moving through whatever cover they could find to hide their presence, Lucielle exchanges a few quips with her, to relieve the tension a little, but, even with all the light joking, the exile makes sure to keep her senses sharp, and her movement silent.

It isn't long before the duo return from their scouting mission, arriving shortly after Ranka does, "Nothing to report on our end, either. The path is clear as far as we can see, but we'll keep scouting ahead, just in case."

Using Urszul's help to get advantage on stealth, and thanks to that, and Secca's bardic inspiration, I rolled a 22!

Tricky Dick Nixon
Jul 26, 2010

The body is but a vessel for the soul, a puppet which bends to the soul's tyranny. And lo, the body is not eternal, for it must feed on the flesh of others, lest it return to the dust from whence it came. Therefore must the soul deceive, despise and murder men.

Our castaways make good time going upriver from the estuary. Under the guidance of their new captain, they find their efforts smooth and without complication. But that does not mean it comes easy. It is only through back-breaking work by several of the crew pulling the raft upriver, while others move forward with blades in hand to cut a swathe and path ahead, that they are able to make any headway at all. All the while, the skies begin to darken above, as the air begins to cool and the storm makes its approach, with the occasional gust of wind that rattles the silent jungles.

As the crew carves through the side of the jungle, they find even its floor conspicuously lacking in crawling vermin or the signs of life, such likely ravaged by the larger life. The silence is however broken by a low drone that gets louder, and soon enough a flight of dragonflies reveals itself, passing over the crew's journey. They are immense, perhaps ten feet long from head to tail tip, with brilliantly prsimatic carapaces that catch the sunlight like gems. As the jeweled predators, dozens in all, pass over, it is difficult to hear or even speak, and they seem to be heading further inland for much the same reason, set in their path to reach to whatever nesting ground will protect them from the coming conflict.

Nax Tirrinu laughs at the sight of it, shirtless and glistening with the sweat of his labor at the side of the minotaur, heaving once more with his shoulder, and speaks up after the droning seems to subside. "Nax's people had used such beauties as jewels and currency a long time ago, along with the pearls and shells of the deep. Za, even one of those might fetch a mighty price."

The thought is interrupted by the sound of tree branches shaking and a twisting vine, as Urszula swings into view from across the river onto another perch, from where she had scouted forward with Lucielle. Waving her hand, she gives a big grin. "We've found it! High ground! Come look!"

Indeed, Lucielle had been first to spot it, where earth had worn away to stone in a seeming plateau or shallow mesa over the surrounding jungle, and without deep soul many of the smaller trees had not quite taken root, though plenty had grown old and tall on the slope sides and then bent forward and over, providing a canopy all the same over this ground. Still, sunlight filtered clearer through here, and most of the vegetation was moss and ferns rather than the thick undergroth that made passage through the remainder of the jungle so difficult. Once the rest arrived, Quill's keen mind confirmed with ease where they had arrived: The very same encampment that was once occupied by the elvish crusaders, near six hundred years hence, on their march to the Lost City of Sinjh to relieve the party that was trapped there.

Thus they were perhaps halfway along the way to the mountain ranges and the pass that had been trail-blazed before them, but now the storm was soon upon them. There was the rumbling of thunder in the distance, so there wasn't much more to be said. The castaways had to set camp here, where there was no chance of flooding from the storm surge, nor the river or basins of the mountains. With great effort by much of the party (including an enthusiastic, if not particularly helpful, Vett), they were able to drag up the slopes their dinghys and barges to provide some basic shelter. The rest would have to be thatched from what fronds and leaves they could recover in the short time that they had.

Upon exploring the reaches, they found that one of the lava tubes opened up on the face of the plateau as it faced outwards towards the river, with water from the rainfall trickling through in a small stream. Vett was the one to find it, and immediately noted with some excitement, and then discouragement, that there was the sign of kobold spoor, likely from the missing Sekk. He set to work rigging snares and traps, as well as something of an impromptu alarm system, to make sure that anything, kobold, grimlock or otherwise, that attempted to get to them from the tunnel would hopefully be caught in the act and g ive fair warning. He was desperate to prove his worth, since his initial set of tribute and bribes seemed to do little and just gained confusion from many.

Soon enough, there was even a fire. Just as it began to take shape, however, the sound of rainfall, an even more deafening sound than the buzzing of the flight of dragonflies, began to approach. Another great cracking of thunder, and then a third harbinger and omen, something that had purposefully remained hidden amid the sounds and cover of the storm until now, as it beared down upon the island. Something that had been invited by the castaways inadvertently, an unexpected guest.

It was the call of a dragon, the very same that they heard when the DNS Ceaseless had been capsized with the bolt of lightning that cleaved it in twain. It was perhaps a mile away still, breaking across the surface. Even as a young one, it was immense, enough to wrap its sinuous, serpentine form if it chose around a ship and crush it in its coils. Of course, away from the shore, none of them were liable to get a sight of it, unless they dared to climb up for a vantage point.

The storm had arrived, and with it a reckoning.

What do you do? Just describe how your character reacts in the coming couple of minutes at the sound of a dragon's approach. Do you hide under a dinghy? Do you seek a vantage point? Do you jump into the tunnel Vett found? Cast some spells? It's up to you, but you can safely guess the dragon is going to be searching the island from a high vantage point for signs of life, though luckily its not a small one so you have some time.

May 19, 2011

Everything by design.

Danger. It's the first thought that kicks in when he hears the dragon's roar, but it takes only a second for his training to respond in kind. The minotaur had been working on holding up a small log to support a new shelter while Urszula tied off a bit of rope, but he drops it without hesitation. "Everybody into the tunnel. Now!" His deep voice sounds off in terse, short words, as all of his muscles tense and he points in the direction the kobold has gone off in order to do his thing. "If that dragon finds us, we are all dead. Young or not, it will devour us whole without a second thought. Move!" His head swivels about as he gestures with his other hand to get the people moving, trying to look for a sign of the beast in the sky. If the crew starts heading towards the tunnel, he will stay behind, making sure he is the last one in.

Successful Businessmanga
Mar 28, 2010

A shiver runs down Ranka's spine in light of their new arrival, but Dermid's performance had already knocked that set of cobwebs loose and Ranka manages to refrain from locking up in terror.

Snatching up her reclaimed bucket, Ranka quickly scoops up a pail full of soil and dumps the lot on the beginning traces of a fire and stomps it out before it can really get going, it wouldn't do for the dragon to sight a smoke trail, however small, and just come and breathe lightning down their little hideaway.

Her main concern set aside, Ranka defers to Mazhar's urging and retreats into the lava tube in search of safety.

Successful Businessmanga
Mar 28, 2010

Prior to Leaving the beach

The swiping back and forth to pick a captain had been a somewhat emotionally taxing experience, but thankfully it was behind them. The group still had a few more minutes to organize before they needed to burst into action, and so Ranka sat down with the promise-bound longsword across her lap.

She'd plucked what seemed like a wand out from the pile of goods the spider cavern team had salvaged, and was currently turning it over and over in her hands in search of clues as to what it might be. Her haphazard examinations had revealed a pair of labels she'd sussed out to mean off and on, and with an exploratory fiddling, she was rewarded with a sudden flourish of bright light jabbing off a short way into the distance.

A mystery solved, Ranka turned the useful object back off and set to stretching. She'd be creeping her way through jungle and swamp here soon enough and it wouldn't do to cramp when she might have to be creeping past some murderously inclined insects. As she limbers up she stares at the promise-bound blade resting in the sand and sighs as she complains in Nimhi "<What will I do with you...>" She took her oaths very seriously, but the thing was longer than she was tall, and without any sort of sheathe to help transport it she was risking her own safety keeping it close while trying to sneak about.

A brilliant flash of light flickers by Ranka's head, gleaming in the sudden pillar of light, as the chakram blurs back into existence, buried deep in the truck of a nearby tree. Secca calls out just a little too late, "Watch your head!"

A moment later, the half-elf jogs up to reclaim the chakram. She rubs the back of her neck, saying, "This thing is pretty crazy! It's here one moment, gone the next. I think it even comes back if you throw it right." A beat later, she adds, "Are you doing alright, Ranka?"

If Ranka had been in the height of her training she might have sprung out of the way on instinct when a projectile flew through the air near her, but rusted as she is she foolishly just looks toward where the bladed ring had made impact and gives an impressed whistle.

Finishing off her form with a few satisfying pops along her back, Ranka returns to her feet proper and gives a small shrug "Just dealing with the weight of everything. Physical-" she pulls her mostly empty flask out and gestures toward the lunargent sword "-and emotional." Her glance lingers on the blade for a moment and then slides over in Nax's direction "I've made a few foolish oaths, in odd circumstances, since we've been shipwrecked, but I intend on seeing them done."

Ranka is silent for a few moments as she thinks about her situation, but eventually she pulls out the signet ring she'd scooped up earlier and rolls it between her fingers "I think you said it was House Jagganoth this was from? The ghost, or whatever it is, hiding away in that blade there wasn't exactly forthcoming with answers as to where it needs to go. I'm hoping that lead will pay off, but I have to wonder if they'll even humor a known criminal long enough to find out."

Secca considers Ranka as she speaks. It was certainly fair to be stressed. It wasn't as though she'd turn down a quiet day of pampering herself, not that she was anywhere near the necessities for such relaxation. She nods, "I think that's very admirable, Ranka. There's something to be said for meaning it when you give your word, even if the circumstances are a bit... odd." That much, at least, was something the courts were lacking in. Oaths were little more than another method to manipulate and tease out advantage. She'd always found it a little disappointing, really, given all the values that the ballads and poems celebrated.

When the conversation turns to the ghost and the House of Jagganoth, Secca looks thoughtful as she says, "Well, I certainly hope so. Suffice to say, any help I can offer on the matter is a given. It might take some time, once we're back on the seas, but I'm sure I can ply connections to arrange a meet."

Ranka holds back a small groan as Secca praises her integrity, mildly ashamed of what had happened after she'd been shot, but her oath with Nax had been made, and unless he proved to be a traitor she'd be joining him in ridding the world of Flayer kind.

Back on topic, Ranka releases a breath she didn't know she'd been holding when Secca offers her support "I appreciate any help you can offer... she's just so miserable. It's already a shame for something to be separated from its people, but to be tied up in a thing that's just been lost to time in a place so damned by the Sea as this? It's just an unbearable shame." Fishing the blade out of the sand, she offers it hilt first toward Secca "Neither of us really have the bulk to be swinging a hefty blade like this around, but if you're willing to promise her your help, the Lady trapped offers up some protection against all sorts of creatures, no need to actually do anything other than hold the blade in your hand."

Ranka's face clearly shows she's a little conflicted over the sharing or passing off of a burden, but after a moment her reluctance clears and she nods "My size making the literal part of carrying this burden harder aside, it would be good for the captain, Our Captain, to have some extra protection up her sleeve." Her fingers flex around the grip as she proffers the blade "I can understand if you'd rather not get deeply caught up in a heavy task like this, but the offer is there if you'd take it."

Secca does, indeed, take it. She says, "Well, I'm not sure if I relish the idea of needing extra protection, but... it seems it'd make your life easier, so it'd be churlish of me to refuse. Perhaps you'd find that chakram more to your liking?" She gestures with her non-occupied hand at the blade still sunk deeply into the trunk. "It seems like it may well help us escape the island to have you armed with suitable weaponry. From what I saw on the beach and heard of your exploits on the ship, you've no little skill when it comes to matters of that nature."

Holding the blade aloft, she intones in Sarnathqar, <"O Lady of the blade, I solemnly swear to complete your mission upon my name, Seccacosantza Tolto VII. May you find the rest you seek in the days to come.">

"I'd appreciate that." She gives her leg a pat as she walks over to pry the chakram out of the tree "I'm handy in a brawl, but closing the distance has never been a strong suit. If this little thing can return to the hand like you've said, I could get quite a lot of use out of it."

With a small grunt of effort Ranka extracts the bladed ring from its new home in the tree trunk and turns in time to Secca making her vow in an unfamiliar tongue. When the miniature moment of ceremony is over, she lets out a sigh of relief "It's a heavy weight lifted to know I'm not working on this task alone."

Ranka squints as she looks off into the horizon at the building storm, and soon enough she's back to business with her head cleared "If there's anything I can do to repay your help <Shipmother>, you only need to ask, but right now I should probably get to scouting ahead."

Secca smiles, "Of course, Ranka, I'll be sure to let you know. And..." She looks up at the storm for a moment, then back at the halfling. "I'm sure you'll be doing more than enough in the days to come."


Secca has come into possession of the Lunargent Longsword.

Ranka has taken the Chakram of Reaching.

Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage

Secca is of the same mind as the others when the dragon's call breaks through the storm: this is not a fight they want, nor are likely to win. She says, "Mazhar is right! Everyone, do what you can to disguise our presence in this camp, but your safety is paramount: none of us should still be out by the time the beast is looking down on us!"

In the next few moments, she helps scatter a few fronds and boughs over their more visible signs of life and habitation, but it's not long before she confers with Urszula and Lucielle to ensure their mimic friend is among the items taken into the tunnel... though, admittedly, it would likely be fine regardless. Soon after, she follows suit and enters the tunnel.

Mar 25, 2011

The Minotaur has the right idea, being devoured by a dragon is the least optimal choice for Johann right now. He takes what he can from the camp and heads towards the tunnel before looking behind at the dinghies. It's likely they will be destroyed by the creature if it manages to find the camp... What a waste. "Hateful lizard... I wonder if it's following us since then or if we are just cursed by fate."

Apr 26, 2014

Death, but with a gun

The encounter that Quill had with the dragon was one that was burned firmly into his memory for the rest of his life. Its size, its voice, its deafening roar, the cracking of it's lightning breath, so the attempt of Secca the previous day to emulate its effects did not fool Quill's ear-holes, well honed by years of listening and repeating everything he has ever heard, they gave him an almost maestro's ear for the slightest deviation in sounds that can spot a fake from the real thing.

And this auditory library was enough for him to know, that this time the dragon roar he heard was the real McCoy. And he didn't even wait for Mahzar's command to shelter in the lava tunnel, he was bolting for it before the echoes had faded away in a frantic, terrified sprint, wings flapping and squawking in distress all the way. Thoughts of grabbing extra supplies other then what he carried fell by the wayside in that instant and he was in a dark corner hands over his head in deadly silence, uttering silent prayers to Jehuti for protection.

TheNabster fucked around with this message at Jul 4, 2018 around 17:58

Aug 31, 2006

Lucielle almost freezes up when she hears the dragon's roar, the color draining from her face. This wasn't like last time, when the roar was fake. This time, the danger was real. Very real. "There's no time to waste!" She yells out in a panic, "Grab what you can and run!"

She quickly confirms with Secca that their secret friend is still with them, and sprints towards the tunnel, along with the rest of her companions, hoping to whatever Gods that might be out there that the dragon hasn't noticed them yet.

Apr 24, 2008

I fucking hate puzzles.

Before leaving the beach:


Rust is sitting on a rocky spot of the beach, not far from camp. He appears to be soaking in the last of the sun before it disappears behind the gloom of the oncoming storm clouds. His doublet and leather jerkin are off; laid out on a cleared off rock to dry out some. His boots are nearby, upside down hanging over sticks to allow the grime and the muck to drip out of them. The bottle of liquor at his side.

She probably hadn't snuck up on him. Jan'ti didn't make a big fuss about subtlety in much of any way. The genasi approaches from camp, satisfied enough with the progress they've made packing up to leave her tasks behind and approach Rust.

"<Taken to the bottle rather quickly, have we?>" Her words aren't cruel even if they do seem to needle needlessly. It's almost good cheer, just a hair off, tinged with a certain kind of defeat one finds in exhaustion and uncertainty. "<Drinking alone is for louts.>" Now that, certainly, could have been taken as an insult. Jan'ti sidles up beside him and without a second thought take the bottle from his side takes a long swig before placing it right back where she's found it.

Rust gives a wry grin and chuckles a bit before responding, <"Good thing I'm not drinking alone then eh?> As he gets his bottle back, he partially covers the mouth of it with his thumb and tosses a quick splash onto the wounds he roughshod cauterized back before the meeting. From this distance you can see a lot more of the wounds he has suffered.

Certainly the freshest wounds from the spider and the earlier expedition are there, but there are also bruises and scabbed over cuts that he got during the fight on the Dauntless. Even aside from that, his body has the tell-tale signs of someone who's lived a life of hardship. Portions of his body seem to be more scar-tissue than not. A series of what appear to be old cigar burns run from his collarbone down below his armpit. A bright star shaped scar from a gunshot can be seen underneath his ribcage. It's a wonder at all how someone this young could have survived all of this.

Rust rotates his shoulder trying to feel for the pop of the joint before asking in Ornassi, "<What do you think the odds are of the noble lass sticking through with bein' captain? She's in for a world of surprise when she finds out captaining isn't as fun as she's read about.>"

Jan'ti can't help but give a small smile in return, "<Suppose it is.>" She turns her head down and moves a hand to cover the pesky little grin. It only takes a moment, a glance at his scarred form, for her hidden expression to turn to something much more somber. Even then, she was never a creature of subtlety, and there's no doubt by the look in her eyes that something has changed.

"<She'll try her best, I believe that much. She's persistent and not quite as haughty when she doesn't have something to prove. Seems to understand that she doesn't know everything even if she won't say as much to the likes of you.>" The genasi's smile returns at that but it doesn't quite reach her eyes. They remain somber and distant as they gaze out across the sea, "<Wonder why that might be.>"

"<Pride, probably. That's the way it usually is. That and my winning smile.>" Rust slides over on his rock some to make room for his new company. "<May as well soak up some warmth from the stones before we move, who knows when we'll get to be warm and dry again once we get underway.>"

He pauses for a second before he adds "<So what's your deal anyway? Everyone else here are the sorts of people I'd expect to be cast off with on a deserted island after escaping a prison ship. You're different, not a lot of shy, reserved types wind up in prison on account of not wanting to bother none.>"

That's almost enough to get a laugh. Definitely a sensible chuckle. As the conversation shift gears, Jan'ti pulls those long, lithe arms around her chest and holds tight. There's a brief moment of thought as she chews on her lower lip, considering whether or not to answer him.

"<I loved my home, I loved my people, and I hated what the Dominion did to them both.>" It certainly could have been presented with an air of nobility, some greater good and virtuous by its very nature. Jan'ti didn't seem to think of it that way. Her shoulders sank at the confession and her words were tinged with a sense of regret and the faintest edge, "<But I didn't know my people. Not really.>"

"<What about you? Why did they lock you up?>" She gives him a sideways glance, "<Is it everything one would expect?>"

Rust straightens his knees and shifts to sitting flat on his butt. <"Ahh, ain't that the way it usually is. It's hard to tell someone's mettle until the pressure is on. As far as why I'm here..."> he pauses momentarily as he cocks his head to the side. <"I'm not going to tell you I'm someone I'm not. My being there was no accident or twist of fate. I've done bad things in my life. Mostly to people who probably deserved it, some probably not so much. Been trained that way for as long as I can remember. But the real reason I wound up on that ship was betrayal.>"

He pulls an old weathered twine cord off his neck with a small silver skull pendant dangling from it. "<There's a man out there who's got a necklace like this, except cast of Bizmuth bronze. My brother as it were, and if I ever meet him again I plan to put a shot between his eyes before he can do the same to me.>"

Two tales of betrayal. What a small world they lived in. Or perhaps an especially treasonous one. Jan'ti gives the skull pendant a once over, as if committing the thing to memory, and then turns her eyes back towards the sand under foot. She's quiet for a moment seemingly contemplating Rust's story for better or worse. She lets it slip by with an unspoken acknowledgement prying no deeper than he had into her vague little tale.

"<I trust you.>" The words came with an unusually soft touch, "<Maybe I shouldn't. But, when I doubted you Dermid told me to wait and see. To give you a chance. Then you put your neck on the line for what, a book and some crates that could have been loaded with stones for all we knew?>"

"<You didn't have to do that.>" Jan'ti turns her gaze on him once more, "<So why did you?>"

Rust gives out a stout laugh and lays down. Casting a glance over to Jan'ti he smiles "<I didn't see anyone else rushing to climb down that hole. Except maybe Mazahar but I'd rather not try and lift him out of that pit with a rope.>"

He pauses for a second to see if Jan'ti cracks a smile or not before continuing. "<We get through this by coming together, not moving apart. Quill wouldn't have taken it well for us to throw our hands in the air and say 'Nope, spiders'. Ideals aside, we need everyone working together to get through this. Like it or not we're a team.>" He sits back up and takes one more draw from his bottle before righting himself to his feet and spinning on his heels, turning back to camp. "<Well, break time's over, time to get this show on the road.>" He hands the bottle to Jan'ti and starts to swagger back to camp.

She smiles. Even give s a soft, quiet laugh. Though she doesn't bother to respond. She'd had more than her fair share to say for their little adventure, and sometimes, it was just best to listen. It was nice to have some bond forming, a mutual understanding of the weight of their situation, one that she wasn't always sure the rest of the crew really felt. There's a moment as Rust confirms that they are, in fact, a team where Jan'ti considers opening her mouth only for the younger man to hop onto his feet and shove the bottle into her hands. She takes it without argument, eyeing the remains and taking another long swig from it before she follows suit.

The storm was closing in and time was of the essence.

DeathSandwich fucked around with this message at Jul 6, 2018 around 18:22


Apr 24, 2008

I fucking hate puzzles.

Rust was already planning to erect some makeshift camouflage around the boat when they had arrived upriver, but hearing the dragon's roar only made him redouble in speed. Cutting on fronds and hacking up nearby bushes and detritus and dragging it over to the boat. The last thing they needed at this junction was for the dragon to come back and wreck up another boat.

The job wasn't the best he could have done. It won't hold up under close scrutiny but it could help mask their presence from something flying overhead very fast.

After he completes his work, Rust moves into the overhang of the lava cave as a respite from the wind and the rain.

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