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To Gozur! [P, Kemi and X'yros]
Topic Started: Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:30 am (378 Views)
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First round. How much would it actually take to do this? Historically, tactically, theoretically, Gozur Islands could make forward fortresses for military assaults. Not enough Gozur islands were around to really test their efficacy in a real battle situation. The fauxzer islands had proven pretty effective for those who used them, but inevitably their reckless uses in combat led the mobile islands to being shot out of the air by one of their greatest blind spots-- directly beneath them. Surely they could be an intimidating sight, but they were also easy targets, being both large and slow. Gozur had made them out of a since of narcissistic pride, wanting to covet and flaunt them against everybody who was not him, and now the Corrosive Captain Holly, the Legendary Corsair, was going to risk inviting all sorts of trouble by claiming it as his own and flaunting it, himself. It was going to be a tactical disaster if he was attacked before he had a chance to build up a fleet around it, but it would make the perfect point to rally ships around. With it, he could go from Moonsea to Enthia and everywhere in-between. He would have waterships and airships at his command, pirating the world. The greatest problem he faced with that was time and funding. As is they were digging deep into coffers to get the supplies for structures, not to mention actual architects to design buildings that could withstand the coming forces, and the stark realization of just how much was going to go into such a massive project.

Buddy was nothing if not ambitious.

They did not have to worry about sails, but they would have to worry about winds. Should they consider some sort of mechanical barrier walls around the islands to go up when they inevitably took to the sky, to cut the wind and ease the lives of what would surely become permanent or semi-permanent residents? Should they consider an aerial dock for skyships separate from the sea, or keep the skies clear and help create an artificial appearance of overcrowding with only docks set around the island?

Decisions, decisions. For one of the few times being his first mate, First Mate Gregor saw the blonde farplanar look genuinely concerned, pacing back and forth across the mighty deck of the Haunted Ardanian.

Beasts of burden were loaded aboard the ship, one in particular seemed exotic. Could they actually use that thing? Well, they would be finding out shortly. The call to the as-of-yet unnamed Gozur Island came from a crow's nest, catching the captain's attention and shaking him from his minute planning. He looked up to the island that he moved closer to the horizon of Taras, but still just outside of the way of Navy, closer to the Astendan Isles, but just away from the normal routes that his fellow blaggards took to dock at the Pirate's Cove.

"Right, then! Get movin' on unloading the supplies! Ease her close! Get the taffy ready!" Holly called out, a rare sound to hear him barking orders instead of leaving it to his first mate, but this was something he wanted to see, personally. The first step would be a mighty dock that could support the current flagship of the Sacred Heart, to ease everything that would come later. The taffy rafts would be chewed, stretched, and spliced together, a little sticky but more than capable of carrying the lumber and beasts when all was said and done. Hopefully none of those spooked too easily.

Buddy had to eyeball the measurements the last time he was here, and the shore of a floating island only provided so much room to build, but he was confident it would make do. If they could get it done quickly, then all the better for the morrow as they set in on construction. The trees that had grown for so long without fauna to ruin their peace were now being invaded by pirates, architects, and beasts ranging from those they bought at Taras for the heavy lifting to the birds that stowed away about the ship, looking to make nests with this strangely familiar new land.
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Despite being stuck in the largest city he had ever encountered in his entire life, tonight had a sort of enchanted charm about it. X'yros continued walking down the hard, smooth street with a relaxed hunch in his shoulders and a sort of warm glow lighting his iris. There was a light breeze between the towering colored buildings, cool to him, but hot to others. His breath fogged the air as he calmly passed a few closed workshops outside of the inn he had left. People walked in groups of companions, gleefully laughing amongst themselves and enjoying the night. He smiled softly, finally adjusted to this section of the city. His belly was warm with food and drink, his body well-rested, life was good. He planned to leave first thing in the morning to the steppes to see if he could finally catch a ride home. One more night couldn't hurt.

How wrong was his innocence. X'yros tightened the sheen silk rope around a glimmering red robe with intricate gold designs as he felt the need to relieve himself before heading more center to the city to retire for the night. He walked further down the less-populated path. The beast of burden cracked a large yawn and snapped his jaws tightly shut, dimly aware of a pair laughing a distance behind him. His eyelids were beginning to feel incredibly heavy, he didn't realize that the salty, polluted air was this exhausting. Another yawn, a stiffening stretch, and he sluggishly turned the corner to an alley. There he found no souls in the light-absent area.
Satisfied with this choice he dragged along until the buildings merged together and formed an end.

Untying the robe he stiffened his stance and was forced to his hand to support himself from falling over. He yawned again, but blinked when he heard a hushed hiss from someone behind him. X'yros felt a wave of relief, stood and tide himself back up. As he began to walk away, he felt uneasy. The ground seemed to spin. The bull shouldered the wall and placed a hand on his head. He got halfway up the alley before his eyes fell upon two shadowy figures approaching him. He was too tired to give them a growl and instead slumped to the ground in a heap with a groan.

“Didn't think that would work!”

“‘Course it would work you idiot, it was my idea!”

His heaving sides were beginning to grow deeper as his vision blurred.

“He down?”

“How would I know?? Go kick him.”

He saw a foot appear in the front of his eyes, as another nudged his chin. Partially conscious, mostly not, X'yros flipped his neck and parted his jaws. Too tired to fully close them, but his canine grazed the man's leg. He heard a scream and his head cracked back to the ground. A burst of laughter exploded behind the man.

“HAHAHA, I can't believe you actually did it!

Blackness came like a thief in the night, and he was no longer aware of anything besides the exchange of voices with a flash of light. Lights out.


Eyes fluttered apart quite slowly as they adjusted to the darkness consuming the area that the beast was held. His pupils adjusted to see that he was surrounded by wood planks, as his heavy kicked in, his stomach however dropped. The sound of water crashing against an object, the wood weathered, other creatures and animals shoved into a holding room… The bull attempted to raise himself, but felt overwhelmed with a sudden whirling head and nausea. He wasn’t sure if it had been the after effect of the night before, or if it was the pitch and roll of the vessel. Then again… was it last night? He attempted to recall what had happened, but it all felt like a dream. In his sleep he had been standing in darkness, but aware of his surroundings. Something had been placed over his eyes--- was that a dream? Or was that how he had gotten here? A loud groan was released, and he moved to push his hand against the straw bed to lift himself again. This time a rattle caught his attention, and he froze to glance downwards. Yes, chains. Again. But more this time. Instead of a muzzle, something rattled on his face. X’yros attempted to lift his head, but immediately found it very undesirable decision. Chains connected to his face, and each time he moved, a tender pain racked his snout.

“In the name of all this pathetic plane has to offer… Whoever did this is going to die.”

He groaned and slowly moved his hands beneath his chest, finding not much room to move them from one another.

“A painful death.”

Next his feet pulled beneath his body with rattles similar to his hands, he could only lift his head so far before he was greeted with a wince as he met the end of the chain linking his entire body together.

“A slow. Painful. Frightening. Death.”

His amber gaze widened as he was gradually coming out of his dreary state, his nausea increasing quite painfully the more the boat moved.

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One with a sharp sense of smell might notice a soft fragrance of rotting flesh. A small child had wandered into the holding room with the rest of the beasts. She hid just behind the door frame as she watched a pair of sailors wander by, chatting. Who knew that being a stowaway was so easy? She stifled a laugh and spun on a heel to wander the holding room and inspecting the beasts and animals. The girl wore black rags one might find adorning a street urchin. Not a shred of decent fabric on her person save for two small leather bags hanging off of a belt that looked like it contained pockets of its own. Her hair was messy, frayed, and knotted with dead ends a plenty.

The child inspected the creatures one by one like she was wandering a zoo. Empty eyes scanned over every detail. Such animals they have brought on boat. There was horse, a pair of giant many-many-legged insects that were trying to fight each other through their cages, a giant bipedial reptile with a thick hide, and oooh! The girl became excited and skipped over to a dark furred leopard that was sleeping at the back of its cage. She stuck her arm through the cage to try and pet it, grasping at thin air. The sleeping cat was a few feet out of reach it yet the girl looked determined to stretch her arm far enough to pet the hell out of that leopard! One within the room could hear her whispering "Kitty, kitty, kitty. Wake up and come to meeee."
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As his eyes lifted from the straw to the sound of a spitting fray, X'yros took in the detail of what surrounded him. Animals of numerous species, things in cages, things screaming at one another... He inhaled deeply to pick up what was all exactly in there... the scent of something stale struck his nostrils. Stale, pungent, one he was beginning to identify with ease. The living dead. They never really seemed to be a good thing to have around, from past experiences. Then came the soft sound of feet pattering against wood. His heavy amber gaze flickered to something moving into the room. A small, shadowy silhouette. It looked like a child, if anything. But as the scent has told him, it was anything but what it appeared to be. He watched it drift across the rows of beasts, passing him, and then watched it move to a cage that was out of view.

"Here Kitty Kitty!"

So it could speak. It made him wonder---

The giant heaved a hiss. His voice rough and deep.

"'Ssss- Young one-- you, walking freely.--"

She kept at her futile endeavor. "Who? Me?" Her girlish voice dripped with sarcasm as she didn't look away from her prize.

"No- the alpaca."

A low tumbling growl sneered from his lips, each word enticing winces of pain from the golden bull-ring moving unintentionally-

"Yes, you. Wher-No, Why, why are we here- You wouldn't happen to know why-I'm chained, would you?"

Her arm dropped to her side and she sighed. She wasn't going to get to pet the kitten in peace. She pried her face away from the cage bars, an imprint left on her cheek as she looked over her shoulder at the reptile. "You shouldn't compare cute girls to alpacas." She taunted and wandered over to his cage. "I want to assume it's to keep you trapped." She hummed and looked over him. "That looks comfy. Are you comfy?"

His eyes narrowed at her quick-snarky replies. She sounded like there were a few years of experience behind that tone. It added even more to his uneasiness already.

"No- you're certainly not an alpaca. Keep me trapped." He scoffed. "I've done nothing to deserve this. No, it's not.. comfortable. I'd rather be wandering about like you."

"Look," he attempted to rotate the dwarfing skull to peer at her to the best of his abilities, "you've been out peering around. Have you seen any ravens on this vessel? If not, at least anyone with any keys?"

She looked off to the corner of the room and stared off into space as she thought. "You know, I-" She cut herself off as she heard footsteps approach the holding room. She quickly ran around to hide behind the reptile's cage.

X’yros blinked as the young female paused mid-sentence and dove behind the iron-barred cage. The sound of creaking wood erupted a feat of anger in his pit. With a spitting low-toned growl, the giant painfully sat up like a cornered feline, being sure to keep the appearing youth well hidden behind his mass. The chan strained against his nostrils, pulling at the scab that had formed and brought a water to his eyes. Still his snout wrinkled further exposing a number of fierce-glinting teeth in a silent-snarl. Anyone peering into his cage would be greeted with an intense heat radiating off his enraged figure, enough to veer them to quickly pass by him, unnerved.
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The crew was moving all about the ship like ants in the tunnels of their colony. The upcoming undertaking was a big one, not the usual fare of simply raiding another vessel, but of boring through the treasures that the Haunted Ardanian had amassed and putting them towards all manners of supplies that would benefit what their captain had in mind. Truly it was a rare occasion, something not attempted in many years if not centuries, but here was the Corrosive Captain with his eyes on a prize and a grand scheme. Different members of the Sacred Heart had been assigned different jobs, different tasks to try and make the goings a bit easier. As Buddy oversaw the moving of supplies, it seemed that he had done no less than acceptable in his management of purchases.

That was, until something occurred that he was unaware of.

Below deck, near one of the holding areas for working animals-- or at least what was supposed to be working animals, the man in charge of them, a pirate by the name of Caxton Buckley was going to begin figuring out just how he was going to get his impressive haul of creatures to the deck and onto a taffy raft. He stopped as he neared the door, his eyes settling on one thing, one of the beasts purchased speaking, and another thing being that it was speaking to somebody else. A stowaway who had managed aboard the mighty Ship of the Line. Without an idea of what to do, Caxton thought it best to report that they accidentally bought a slave directly to the captain who had given him the job. After all, Buddy was a pirate renown for fair treatment of his crew, so he should be able to take it well.

Well, the captain definitely took it. With confusion and a hopeful disbelief, the blonde descended below with a small accompaniment of crew in addition to Mr Buckley to lay eyes upon the disastrous situation. They forewent any subtlety in the matter, keeping pace with their hurrying captain who did not stop until he was at the entrance to the fairly large room, his blue eyes wide and his mouth agape as he took in an odd sight in the dimly lit room.

"Get some light in here, now!" Barked the Captain to his followers as he entered, fairly certain of what he saw, what he was hearing from the furious beasts, but feeling he needed a proper viewing to truly understand what was going on. The heat washed over him like he somehow tripped into a desert, but it was minor compared to his intrigue.

Within a moment an alchemical orb was brought in to shed some light on the situation, showing an odd assembly of creatures. At least for most of them he could understand why they might be present, but one stood out as particularly strange considering they avoided abducting peoples pets or trying to resell dangerous animals, "Why do we have a leopard?!"

"You said 'big animals', captain." Buckley explained

"Big. Working. Animals. Cows, Bears, Impalers, those bugs. . . Are those spiders?" Buddy turned to face the failure of his crew, gesturing to the two huge arachnids trying to work their fangs through the bars and into each others' bodies, "Same-sexed spiders by the way they're fighting.

"Territorial exoskeletal arachnids, a leopard, and worst yet, a giant sapient reptilian?! The only things that belong in here-- or even aboard my ship, are the horse and the large boar!"

Buddy gripped the bridge of his nose with gloved fingers, trying to refocus himself and untangle this mess of a situation. No matter what happened next, they needed to figure out something to do about these creatures. They had food for most of what had been gathered, as well as stores for the crew that could last more than long enough, but what even were the diets of some of this zoo that had been collected?

"Tie him to the bow and be sure to gag him." Buddy said with a wave of his hand towards the ridiculous crew member who had been given such a simple task. Before a protest could be uttered, he was put into a headlock and dragged away, thrashing, by some of the more sensible pirates. The captain turned to the chained, and likely furious, creature and tried to consider reconciliation for this unfortunate event, "Good help and all that."

It was a tenant of the Sacred Heart to not restrict the wills of others. Slavery was definitely out, even if ransoming some people was not. If Buckley had better justification for these purchases than misunderstanding orders, then perhaps some of it could have been forgiven, but as it stood this was simply an affront to the orders he had been provided and to the code by which the ship was to act by.

"I'm Captain Holly and you're aboard my ship. So sorry for this mixup and your current predicament." He chuckled lightly before breaking it off with a sigh. There were a few matters to be addressed, "Alright then. I'm told you can talk, and not only that but you were talking to someone. A stowaway. Mind talking to me about any of that?"
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The child stood on her toes as if it'd make her more slender to hide behind the overgrown reptile. Oh this was exciting, now even the captain has joined them. And people were getting in trouble too! Getting in trouble for nabbing a leopard!? The girl made a note to herself to rescue that man later. Also the leopard, she had to rescue the leopard from the terrible fate of being a work animal.

Evals couldn't help but laugh as the captain kept talking. His accent was just way too funny. Oh shoot, not only did he know but she has exposed herself. "No no, don't tell him." She said aloud, still laughing. She spoke directly to the leathery wall in between herself and the captain, as if he couldn't hear her. "Tell Mister Captain Holly, who has a girl's name, that there are no stowaways on this ship." She requested of her newfound companion in stealth operations.
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Between his loud snarlish that he had kept at as the captain introduced himself and attempted to make right for the situation--- a sound of giggling exploded behind him. He could of have easily played dumb for this entire thing. With a low grumble the giant ceased his set of bared fangs and moved to rest a hand over his face-but---.... he couldn't reach it due to the chains. He produced a very, very heavy sigh as the young voice chirped eagerly behind him.

"Aye, so much for that--"

The beast shifted, exposing a corner of the girl, as he settled to sit upon his haunches. He still kept her view private as he didn't quite trust a single word this suddenly overly friendly man spoke.

"As for names, I've heard worse---- But now, what sort of captain over a vessel not keep tract of what enters- and what leaves his vessel? You must be a complete fool."

His tone was in a series of deeper growls laced in irritation. The golden ring that pierced his nose bobbed uncomfortably as he spoke.
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"I'll let that attitude slide considering ye've been abducted, but if ye keep it up, I'll leave ye here without so much as a meal regardless." Buddy sighed as he caught glimpse of the little girl absolutely failing to hide behind the beastly man.
The Captain rolled his eyes at everything considered, and continued, "The Haunted Ardanian is one of the largest ships sailing the Moonsea, sporting a crew of one hundred and twenty-eight. I don't keep track of when each one sneezes, and when I give them a job to do I expect them to do it properly without me having to breathe down their necks, as any good leader would. When they mess that up and spend my money on ridiculous things, they get punished."

Keeping his tone level after already being annoyed and then being met with such an abrasive personality was a feat in and of itself, but he managed. It was not lying, just keeping a diplomatic head about him. The little girl hiding behind the incidental prisoner could be excused, children often were the sort that had a charming honesty about them, but the large beast currently chained up on his ship utterly lacked in charisma. Perhaps it was just used to being intimidating through size and a face like a drake, but after being eaten and spat back out by a far larger beast, Buddy was neither shaken nor stirred by something so small in comparison.

"Well then, if you feel cooperative, we can discuss reparations. If, instead you'd prefer to remain stubborn, then I suppose we're finished, here." Buddy said, nodding mostly to himself as he turned away from the unwelcome guest who did not even want to be there, "Oh, but. . . In the case there are any stowaways and you come across them, be sure to send them my way, especially if they could want for some good food, drink, and the companionship of some friendlier critters."
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