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Break the Waves; ST10
Topic Started: Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:13 pm (4,534 Views)
Atropos[ST]
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Scene 1
They Got a Message Out



Many Imythessian religions speak of a paradise beyond the veil of the material plane. The picture they paint is nice, by all means: sunny skies, vibrant colors, smiling faces. Something untainted by the hands of the world's sapient species. But if you venture a relatively short distance beyond the west coast of Imythess, you can get pretty damn close to paradise right here. No dying or plane-hopping necessary.

At least that's what the locals say. They'll eagerly tell you that kind of thing even if you didn't ask. "We go to Astendan to be free" is like a motto for the expatriates in particular.

Free or not, Astendan is a world unto itself, you can sure tell. The easternmost islands have no view of the mainland. Whenever you gaze out at that immaculate cyan water, watching the sun cast golden specks over the waves lapping at the docks, listening to the flags whip in the warm breeze and the tavern chatter and the birds calling around you, maybe you understand these kinds of sentiments. Maybe you have yet to be convinced.

You're not going to be told what you've been up to. No one can presume to understand what's going through your mind. Regardless of where you are in the area, there's one thing that you definitely know about.

It's a story, actually. Astendans love stories. "Did you hear about--?" That sort of thing. Sure beats chatting about the weather, especially since the weather doesn't much change. Almost everyone has heard this story, and it's fresh as you can get. It's the rumor about the "Kill the King" message.

Let's back up a second. A couple days ago (that's how fast word travels through these tiny islands at times), the harbormaster of the small town of Lilimo received a message from a purple-backed swallow. The little bird's harness was fashioned from reeds and the canister had burn marks on it. Inside the message canister was a scrap of paper that said the following:

KILL THE KING
FREE THE CREW OF THE GILDED ROC
HE FOUND NALYME'S LAST BOOK
183,778


Those numbers at the bottom? Coordinates to a remote part of the sector called Pyramid Island. Uninhabited. Absolutely uninhabited, some might say. That's because Pyramid Island is pretty close to several shipping routes between sectors and to the mainland. If that island were inhabited, people would notice.

Now everyone knows about the distress call. In fact, the habormaster duplicated the message and sent it by swallow to every nearby town on every nearby island. Hell, it hit a lot of the so-called major towns beyond the sector too. Within a matter of days, "Kill the King" became the little oddity uttered from every tipsy dockhand's lips from here to Orosil. It was the most interesting thing that had happened in this small sector of Astendan for weeks.

There's one problem. Everyone thinks it's a trap.

You're not actually required to respond to an Astendan distress call, you know. Especially one like this. Vague words, coordinates to an uninhabited island, and the implication that violence is going to be necessary? Any local would say that whoever runs after messages like that is a fool.

Of course, there's the book that it mentions, possibly as an incentive with all of this in mind. But any locals you might ask about the book are even more likely to balk at that. They'd tell you that old tome probably doesn't even exist -- and if it does, it's been lost for nearly a century.

So why did you decide to answer the message? And how did you get here?

Pyramid Island is a triangle of bright green cutting up from the sea. It's a beautiful day -- that almost goes without saying -- and the sky is marred with only a few streaks of clouds. There's a hot breeze coming in, but it doesn't put much more than ripples into the crystal-clear waters around your approach to the island. If you were to bend over whatever vessel you're on (or look down if you're swimming), you'd be able to see clear to the sandy bottoms where the foundations of old stone ruins are drowned in the white sand. You can see fish swimming around down there, plus some urchins and stars crawling about too.

On the island itself, you can see thick tropical forests along everything but the shore. Stone ruins spill out across every angle of the tiny island, tipped over on their foundations and broken to pieces.

Oh, and you're not actually the first one here, by the way. As you make your way to shore, you notice a towering man-o'-war ship looming in the distance. Those cannons lined along several decks look like they could rip up most anything. Have you ever seen a Cascadian airship? The hull design looks like it was copied off that distant nation's flying navy and then converted into a sailing vessel. Even if you've never been to Cascadia, it still strikes you as a bit of an unusual design.

There's also the matter of your welcoming party at shore. Pyramid Island is indeed inhabited, as it turns out. You spot movement in the treeline. Multiple pairs of eyes watching you for a few seconds and then darting off into the undergrowth. But that's just in the background. Right in front of you, standing on the mixture of beach and ruins, is a pair of people giving you big smiles.

"It's not a trap!" the girl shouts at you as she rushes to help you get on shore -- pulling your rowboat aground or what have you. This young woman looks like she's in her late teens or early twenties. Looks human, although you can't help but notice the vaguely wing-shaped limbs coming out of her back. They're a bit deformed. The feathers didn't grow in right. She's sun-tanned and has chestnut brown hair. Her grin widens. "I hope you're not disappointed. If a fight was what you came here for, we can use all the help we can get."

"More on the way, looks like!" the other man calls over as he looks through his spyglass in a different direction. From this distance, all you can tell is that he's an orc with dark grey skin. He's got the posh accent of a Tarasian noble.

After shouting in the affirmative back to him, the girl extends a hand to you. "I'm Ella, and the man over there is Andres. We came from that warship moored over yonder." She gestures with her chin in the general direction of the monstrous Cascadian sailing ship you noticed earlier. "Don't worry about the people passing by in the forest. I'm sure they're happy you're here. They just can't afford to let their 'King' find out something's amiss, so they can't come and greet us."

If you're going to help, you're going to need to know about this so-called King. That fact is easy for Ella to predict. "I'll give you a quick run-down of what's going on," she says.

Kill the King

ELLA:

"One of my bodyguards managed to sneak deeper into the island and meet with the man who sent the distress call. Here's what we found out.

"The Gilded Roc, a transport ship, was ferrying a whole load of civilians not just between towns but several sectors north as well. A storm rolled in. One thing led to another and the crew ended up in mutiny. They killed the former captain and installed a new one as they held passengers hostage. But during this time, the ship hit shallow water and wrecked off the coast of this island. Everyone who survived had to swim to shore.

"A horrible tragedy on its own, no doubt, but then it got worse. The new captain -- I believe his name is Bolton--"

"Peter Bolton," Andres adds. "A Tarasian expat, I'm afraid."

"Thank you. He started making strange orders. Preventing people from sending out distress calls or signalling to passing ships. Didn't let anyone come to shore, set fires during the day, or do anything that would indicate this place had stranded people on it. He... seems to have fashioned himself some sort of king of this island, actually.

"I apologize for going into so much detail. I just thought the whole situation was fascinatingly odd. Long story short, we need to free the crew and passengers of the Gilded Roc from the tyranny of Captain Bolton."



Ella watches your faces, trying to see what your reaction to the situation is. "I'll relay this information to everyone who arrives. As we wait for those other ships to convey their own help to this cause, I'd like to make all of your acquaintances and see if we can't hash out some sort of rough plan on how to deal with this. Me and Andres will try our best to answer your questions, but we don't really know that much more than you."

You're here and you know roughly what's going on now. What do you do?


Round 1
 
Welcome to Break the Waves! You have no idea how excited I am to bring this offering to you guys.

Important Links

Event Rules - Must read
Discussion - Keeping up with posts in this topic is essential to understanding what's going on.
Information - I will tell you in Discussion whenever I update this


First Round Activity - Write Yourself In

It's your job in this round to figure out how your character got here. Be creative! If you're stuck, use information in the post as cues to help you. Talk to fellow players and coordinate origins if you want. That means that, if you want, you can RP as though you have already met certain people so you can catch a lift with them.


(What's a Scene?)

We're going to be covering a lot of time and a lot of plot, so the story needs to zoom in and out periodically. A "scene" is when the story is zoomed in and we're RPing it out. The scale of this adventure means that RPing in one continuous string would make the event take forever. It also means we won't have to RP the boring parts. You're welcome to treat timeskips between scenes however you'd like.


Deadline for This Round

If you've signed up, you have until Tuesday, February 27 at 5:00pm Mountain Time to make one post in this topic. This deadline is non-negotiable; extensions are not available. You are responsible for calculating your own time zone differences. The ST has that evening, night, and early morning to finish her post.

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Buddy
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"Nalyme's last book?" Buddy mused over a glass of grape juice. It seemed a proper time to keep his head clear with what his first mate was telling him, a distress call passing by rumors, drunken talk around ports and taverns, but nothing that anybody could confirm. Most people had not even seen the message, just heard its word being spread by skeptics and loose-tongued drunks, but the numbers were staying consistent at the end, "Those coordinates are Pyramid Island, if it's true."

"Aye, captain." Mr Clemant replied to his captain, "Asked around, everyone's convinced it's a trap."

"Seems likely." The blonde nodded. Had it not been for his clothing, he might've looked like another young sailor, too clean to be anybody to take seriously, yet pirates and navy alike knew the appearance of the otherwise unassuming Corrosive Captain, the leader of the growing Sacred Heart, and knew to keep respect where it was due, "'Course, could be real and that fabled tome's just a very extensive cookbook."

"Thinking about risking it?" The First Mate of his flagship inquired, shifting his position against the table. It would definitely not be out of character for the blonde to chase stories of incredible fancy, but the daft thing was how often they played out to his favor. Seasin, the Haunted Ardanian, Gozer's Island, Gregor had lost the capacity to question any crazy glint in his captain's eyes.

"Thinking maybe we should've kept that airship if I'd be traipsing around an island looking for a book that might not exist." Holly sighed before taking a drink of his juice. In hindsight, it was a poor trade, but he could hardly have predicted the resurgence of such a thing, "Hope those bandits in the Hills are getting proper use of it."

"So what are we going to do, captain?" Mr. Clemant asked, eager for his orders.

"The Fogstalker. It needs some salt on its engine. Think I'll take the dead girl, Silnimare, with me." The Captain spoke sure of his choice, not wanting to risk his flagship in an ambush, and wanting to make sure that their first smaller vessel would be fit for work in the future, "Check around, see if we can't grab some extra crew 'fore setting off, then see who we can spare from the Ardanian for the voyage. Ya and the others make sure me ship's running smooth for when I get back, aye?"

"Aye-aye." Clemant nodded, a little relieved that he would not be joining this ridiculous expedition, though he could think of some other leaders of the vessel that would feel like they were missing out on the action to come. He stood from his seat and began for the door, "Fogstalker will be ready come morning."

Trap or not, there was sure to be something to be gained from going out to Pyramid Island. It sounded as if there were a ship wrecked around there, and that a king might either need to die, or to be rescued for a comfortable fee. As long as there were many ways to consider the events to come, there were ways to make money. Until Buddy could collect more information on the island, this was the best he could do for now.





The Fogstalker floats as a white-hulled ship without sails, its propulsive power coming from the water engine below it. It reduced the profile of the frigate, making it just a bit easier to hide when the stealth plating was utilized and giving a bit of extra space on the main deck of the vessel, though it also took away the bit of shade that masts and sheets could provide the crew, and the flags flying to make them appear as a simple Tarasian trade vessel did little to make up for that loss. The quarters within were luxurious for the ship, with enough room for each person to have their own space, bed, and even desk, and a good night's rest.

The Captain had a little more than he bargained for with Silnimare's friend joining the expedition. He felt uneasy around the woman, but there would be no corrosion of bad blood on this trip, that he had been assured of. Perhaps it was because he was a pirate that she did not like him, but he decided it might be best for the time being to give her space rather than pressing and seeing how stubborn her poor view on him was.

He may have been a pirate, but he tried to make sure he was at least a presentable one. Maybe she simply did not trust the airs he put on belying the normal understanding of how pirates were supposed to be?

Something to worry about further down the line, but for now a cease-fire was all he needed. Perhaps she would even prove willing to work with him depending on how this all played out, or perhaps they could even end up friends by the end of it! Well, that last bit might prove hopeful, but there was no sense in wanting for the worst, only preparing for it.

It was a bit troubling to see a Cascadian-seeming vessel having been the first to arrive. It brought up concerns regarding political possibilities, but Buddy let himself relax with the notion that it might have simply been a ship owned by an independent party simply sourced from the nation. That it would be outfitted as a normal sailing vessel was a curious choice indeed, a curious choice to go from an airship to a water vessel, perhaps the owners appreciated the ocean more than the sky? Yet there was still the unfortunate possibility of hostility.

Well, danger was why he had Silnimare. . . and maybe Kaalia. Two attractive women of incredibly dangerous power, one for each arm, though his crewmate's friend might object to the notion.

They went by rowboat, an extra crew member devoted to the task of getting them to the island and returning the small boat back to the frigate once they were on shore. Buddy kept his blue eyes on the strangers, though they seemed completely genuine in the assurance that it was no trap. Still, it seemed a bit unfortunate that the Sacred Heart (and company) were not the first to arrive, but he did not mind.

By the time the Captain got off the shore and to the welcoming party, it appeared that she was already conversing with somebody else. From what the pirate overheard it was scholarly discussion about culture, the ruins, and the like, but one thing in particular caught the pirate's ear from the orc.

"Aye, a right shame that anything profitable was picked clean. Even had a few looks meself to no prize." Buddy said as he neared them, "I'm Buddy Holly, if ya don't mind, and we might need to know if this man's built himself any fortifications before trying to stab him. Hard to stab someone ya can't get near to."

Atropos
 
Ella pivots from her brief conversation with Breyting, locks eyes with you, briefly glances up and down at you, and then beams. "Is that really--!"

Andres clears his throat loudly. He steps between you and her, his grin wide and toothy. Maybe showing off a little more of his orcish tusks, you think. He offers you a tight handshake. "Well hello there, Captain Holly! Your reputation precedes you, I dare say! Glad a man of your calibre has taken to aiding us!"

The girl tilts at the hip to look at you past her orcish bodyguard. "Yes, he's fortified. They took pieces of the Gilded Roc and felled several trees to fashion something only vaguely akin to a castle. It's built on the tallest point of Pyramid Island, right in the middle of a mess of jungle vines and makeshift housing. Mariam said there are many loyal goons from the crew, ex-pirates and the like, as well as a few salvaged ballistae all guarding the King. Resourceful folks, they were."

"Those poor civilians." The orc shakes his head, adjusting the collar on his colorful frock coat. "He must rule by fear. Speak up or try to escape and you'll be killed. Luckily there will be plenty of space on our fine vessel for their sake."


"Oh? Things get very interesting when me reputation precedes me to such positive reception." Buddy beamed, shaking the orc's hand, a firm shake. Usually people focused on the reputation as a pirate when meeting the captain, rather than anything else about him. Either this really was all just a trap, gaming a bunch of strangers into their dirty work, with the Corrosive Captain making for a secure choice to meet their ends, or everything they said was very simple and true.

Well, there was at least one way to find out. Buddy looked back to Silnimare and scratched at his left temple before returning to the welcoming party, "Thank ya, lass. So we'll want to. . . Walk right in the front door. They've probably got their 'subjects' accounted for, and we can hardly just wipe them out since there's non-fighters, so we just have to walk up to them, say 'ahoy', get them to open the gates-- assuming they have some-- then meet with this king."

It was very straight-forward, but also the plan that Buddy could think of having the least chance of blowing up spectacularly. Unless anti-magic was prepared by a bunch of shipwrecked mutineers, it should hardly be a problem even for the small cast that had arrived to this play so far. Buddy clapped his hands together with a wide grin, "We'll just need to wait a bit longer for more to arrive in case it's war, then we'll be set to go! 'Til then, we can spend time getting to know each other better! Got a place for us to sit, or are we just going to lounge about on the beach?"




Not even an hour in and already the first conflict had broken out between the large orc and a member of Buddy's own crew. He had a strong feeling that he knew how the

"Pulling your punches, lass?" The Captain half-joked to Silnimare as the fight came to a fortunate end, without much being accomplished by either fighter. It let them a moment to move on with conversation, "Right, so we'd best be breaking off into different groups; that we can agree on, aye?

"I'll take Plork and the Orc with me for the negotiation route, and perhaps the Zakona if she's willing. It would be nice to get to better know the woman from me ship who wanted to be here. We'll go up through the front door, and best-worst case scenario, we'll be the first to fight.

"Another team for infiltration, methinks Sil, Kaalia, and the archaeologist off to his start for infiltration; Ya're unassuming enough to get around easy enough. Find another way in, hide in plain sight, and try to find the painter mage if ya can, should be an obvious sort to spot.

"That sound fair to the lot of ya?"
Edited by Buddy, Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:17 am.
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Gortwog
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The ship that rolled in with the tide was nothing short of miraculous - namely in the fact that it was still floating. The sails were threadbare and patched in multiple places, the fore and mizzen masts were leaning a little, and there were far too many gaps between the planks - most of which were half-rotten, with those near the water covered in barnacles - to count. There was clearly no elemental powering the thing, and at first glance, it seemed abandoned. But the Lucky Duck was most certainly not abandoned, which became evident as it neared the shore. Two people picked up one side of a massive anchor and shoved it over the starboard side; the splash as it hit the water and the rattle of its chain clanking noisily across the wood was complemented by a groan as the ship shifted a little more to the side than was probably healthy. When it finally stopped, the ship jerked with the force of the anchor’s impact. Clearly, it had just barely been long enough to reach the ocean floor.

The men scurried away faster than rats fleeing a farm cat as red eyes that seemed to glow suddenly bled into view amid the darkness of a doorless staircase leading into the bowels of the “ship”. Low growling issued forth, a warning that the owner of those eyes was not to be trifled with, and it almost immediately became apparent why. Massive, powerful, and covered in barbarian-garnished armour taken from what could only have been a dragon or something similar, Bloodback was the manifestation of every horrific tale about wolves that had dared to grace the lips of fearful villagers. Despite the obvious weight of that armour, he moved with a grace and confidence that spoke volumes about his potential prowess in a fight.

And he wasn’t alone.

As the worg walked across the deck, eyeing his surroundings with as much disdain as indifference, something just as massive came up the stairs behind him. Moderately armoured and single-handedly making the ship creak and groan with his weight alone, an orc just shy of seven feet in height and not-quite-half that in width stretched the muscles of his massive arms. Rolling his shoulders and his neck, he looked about his surroundings with a little more curiosity than his canine companion. He slipped the rope-bound burden of his shield and several polearms from his shoulder as he strode forward behind Bloodback. When the worg stopped at the bow to search the nearby island from afar, Gortwog Draak-Fist began equipping his mount accordingly. The last thing to adorn the worg was his shield, which - like the weapons - he could take up in an instant as needed.

”Uh…Gortwog…sir…”

“Told ya not to call me sir, mate.”

The first mate cleared his throat before continuing.

”Right…well, uh…brought you a little something from the hold,” he said in a halting tone, clearly afraid to piss off the imposing warrior. ”Wake-up juice. Gets your blood flowing.”

The orc grinned.

“HA! I have my way, it won’t be my blood flowing by day’s end.”

He took the huge flagon, though - a pitcher, actually, but serving as a flagon for the orc - and downed it. It was rotgut with a bit of a kick, which would work just fine. It smelled like a mix of whiskey and the southerly end of a north-bound ox what hadn’t seen water in a year, but that hardly bothered the orc. The last time he’d bathed had been a fortnight ago, just before coming aboard the Lucky Duck. Gortwog smelled like the sea and booze and sweat, and he wasn’t going to apologize to anyone for anything. He downed the booze with a few gulps, wiped away the sludge that remained with the back of his left arm, and told the mate to bring him another.

“And get that bosun working,” he told him. “Don’t need no boat myself, an’ neither does Bloodback, but that lazy bum drinks more’n I do and hasn’t done a lick o’ work since I came aboard. Thought the rule was you worked for passage, so he’d better come up with one abyssal excuse fast or I’ll throw him over myself. Ain’t fair, me doin’ all the work ‘round ‘ere just ‘cause I’m bigger’n you lot.”

The mate hurried away as the orc checked his belongings one last time. Once he’d had his second drink of the morning. He shook himself and decided that now was as good a time as any for a quick bath. He grinned at Bloodback, who growled in response; the worg knew what was coming.

“Last one ashore gets the bones.”

Gortwog knew it’d be a tie - it was always a tie - but it was the sport of it that mattered. He launched himself with all ferocity into the sea, Bloodback right next to him, and the pair flew off like they were each elemental-driven ships in their own right. Sure enough, they both came up smelling more like the sea and less like booze and sweat at just about the same time. Gortwog laughed - a deep, bellowing series of guffaws - and slapped the “old wolf” on the back of the neck. One low growl later, the pair were warmed up and ready for whatever king needed killing. Gortwog took a deep whiff of the salty air. He could definitely see why people did pirating. Finally, he noticed all the people gathering.

“How many people are gonna show up to this thing?!” he wondered aloud. “Better be some good fightin’ for all the trouble I went to gettin’ here.”

He shook his head and pulled a bound flag from his back. Holstering it in position behind where he’d sit atop Bloodback, he unfurled it and gazed proudly upon the mark of the No-Mage with a smirk and a nod of approval.

The one called Ella was looking more at Andres than at Gortwog but it wass clear that both of them were pleased by the spectacle of a bull orc and a massive armored worg swimming to shore.

"<Well met!>" Andres said in friendly but badly accented Orcish; Ella uttered a similar greeting with slightly less of an accent than the actual orc. "Had a nice swim?"


Gortwog rolled his shoulders again as though to show he was ready to fight something and grinned.

“Nice warm-up, more like,” he said in Common before turning to his fellow orc; he decided to respond in kind, shaking his head slightly. “You need to work on your accent there, brother.

"If there isn't any good fighting for all the people that show up," Ella added, "perhaps you can wrestle with Andres here! I'm sure he's sick of sparring with Maram by now."

"By no means, young lady! Steelhead fights dirty,"
the grey orc said, straightening out his coat. "Makes it always interesting."


“Well, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind getting beaten a few more times, then!” Gortwog replied with a throaty chuckle.

Andres chuckled in turn, not offended in the slightest by Gortwog’s rough manner.

"I'll certainly keep this all in mind, mate! I'll be the first to admit my ancestral Orcish could use a touch of polish -- or sandpaper, as it were!"


The orc wasn’t wrong, and Gortwog nodded in response but not in an unfriendly sort of way.

Having approached Bloodback, Ella tentatively sidled closer to see if it might be the kind of worg that likes being petted.

"Hello," she said to it. "I hope we can be allies."


Gortwog wasn’t the only one noticing Ella getting a little close to the worg. Tossing it a bone was one thing, but “petting” it was another matter entirely.

“Uh, yeah, you might not wanna touch ‘im,” Gortwog said to Ella as Bloodback growled long and low at her, eyeing the woman warily. “Toss ‘im a bone if you like - or better yet, a shank - but ‘e’s not much one for trusting anyone but me beyond that. I’m fairly certain you don’t like the idea of being digested in his belly.”

Ella pulled her hand away from Bloodback immediately and took a half-step back, smiling defensively and issuing the worg a shallow bow from the waist.

"Right. That was a bit foolish of me, I admit. I'll be sure to feed him a nice shank next I get my hands on one, should we meet again after this is all over. Erm, it's a pleasure to meet you both, of course."


The growling stopped once Ella had backed off, though Bloodback kept his eyes on her for the time being. Gortwog nodded at her words.

“You train ‘em both young, orcs an’ worgs,” he said. “They don’t learn quick who’s boss, they try to eat you. But you spend enough time with ‘em, they’re the best mounts money can’t buy. I’d trust Bloodback here ‘fore I’d trust any o’ you lot in a fight. He’s earned his shanks and then some as far as I’m concerned. So…what’s this ‘bout a king needin’ killin’?”

It didn’t take long for Gortwog to get the measure of things - crashed boat, arrogant guy, now they needed to kill arrogant guy. It was fairly straightforward indeed. He was just about to ask where he could find this arrogant guy and what the reward was for killing him when Plork showed up.

Wonderful. It’s that…thing…Plork, I think.

How did one even deal with…that? All he understood was that an enkaida was made by magic but wasn’t inherently magic. He didn’t get it. He didn’t know how he was supposed to feel about Plork, honestly. He turned back to the pair.

“Right,” he said, “so this king got any magic? If so, I’ll be happy to put his finger-waggling rear end in the ground. But what’s the pay-off for all this, I wonder?”

"Captain Bolton I'm not sure, but he does have a painter mage as one of his hostages. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around that kind of magic, so I'm afraid I can't help you on the details of what to expect," Ella said.

Her expression changed for an instant when he mentioned getting paid, but the orc didn’t even notice.

"A hefty sum of Astendan baht, paid by me if not by the liberated crew. You don't have to worry about anything else."


“Let me worry ‘bout what I hafta worry ‘bout, short stuff,” he said in response. “Right, then.”

He clapped his hands together, and an eager expression adorned his face.

“So I guess I’m workin’ with y’all. I saw we charge in there, tear down that castle o’ his from the bottom up, and beat him until you can’t find his face.”

“Buddy”, as he called himself, had a different idea, however - one that severely annoyed the orc.

“You mean I came all this way and don’t get to kill anything what needs killin’?”

"Don't be too disappointed, matey. There's still a chance for bloodshed, maybe an example needed to be made, but we've got a lot of people to try getting out of this safe 'fore we get to a fight,” Buddy said, looking over to the orc with a look assuring him of violence. "Ya've me word, if they stay stubborn, ya'll have all the blood ya can spill, but if we're to save lives we need to try the nice way, first."

“Well, what’s the fun in that?”

He was clearly annoyed; he had no patience with talky types who were afraid of a fight. But he didn’t argue the point. He just shook his head. Of course, at that moment, another blade-for-hire spoke up about creating a diversion while Gortwog flanked the “castle”, but he hardly heard her suggestion; he was too focused on scowling very deeply at what he was seeing. When she was done blathering on, he spoke up at last.

“Just keep that finger-wagglin’ outta my way!” he told her. “I see one spell aimed near me, I’m punchin’ the one what cast it along with the rest o’ these arrogant king-slaves what’re stabbin’ at us in this mule-sucker’s name what’s runnin’ the place!”

The girl on the floating spear didn’t get a chance to respond, as someone else stepped up in her defense.

"Listen here, tooth-for-brains, if anyone's gonna punch my sister, it's gonna be me. You want to punch a mage, I'm right here. Take your best shot. No magic, I promise. Unless you're too weak and slow to hit a little 'finger-waggler'."

Gortwog’s eyebrows raised in unison, his eyes widening. This little wench was standing up to a towering hulk, and she wanted him to punch her? She was probably going to dodge with some fantastic ability or some such, whatever she said about not using magic. But he snarled and threw the punch anyway. If it connected with the ground, he’d throw up a tremendous cloud of sand and shake the ground with that blow. If it connected with the girl, however…well, he’d have one less finger-waggler to worry about.

His punch connected but seemed to slide right off of her arm as she slithered to the side. She had moved impossibly fast, but the punch she threw did little to the monster she was facing off against. All it really did was get his attention. He felt the punch connect, which was a miracle in and of itself, but it didn’t hurt in the slightest. A split-second later, he was aiming a back-hand at her with a follow-up punch that would have laid flat a heavily armoured knight.

They went right through her.

"I hope I've made my point. I could do much more, but I have no desire to at the moment. Touch my sister, and I might not be so lenient. We're done."


He was about to call shenanigans and half-turned to Bloodback, who was growling and poised to leap into the fray at a moment’s notice, but Andres - the other orc here - stepped between the fighters. He made a point about throwing punches at all the king’s men instead of the motley crew that stood around watching the fight go on, and Gortwog scowled at the witch.

“Keep that watery tart and that witch what she calls a sister away from me,” was all he said.

He turned away, mounted his worg, and rolled his shoulders again. Sitting atop his mount, the monster of an orc probably looked ten times more terrifying. Regardless of the impressive stature of the worg-rider, however, the fight was clearly over - for now.

“Let’s go,” he said curtly.

OOC
Edited by Gortwog, Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:15 am.
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Kaalia
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Kaalia tagged along the Fogstalker at the behest of her friend Silnimare. While not a fan of the ship's captain she knew she needed to fall in line to not disrupt ship operations. She spent the trip from Taras hiding away in her quarters writing in her tomes. The surprising part was her supervisor approving this expedition. She rarely gets to travel outside the city walls. Following the shore party she disembarked the small boat onto the island.

Kaalia was devoid of her usual affiliated markings, choosing instead to just don her black-stained plate and spear. She folded her wings of air as she approached the two waiting there. She stood by and took note of the situation as it was explained to her companions.

"While I'd like nothing more than a frontal assault, and I emphasize assault, I'm willing to wait and see what we have in store for us first hand." She turned to the girl, "Do we have a number on loyalists and any possible defectors?"

Atropos
 
Maybe you'd always thought that "stars in someone's eyes" was a figure of speech, but the look on Ella's face upon seeing your wings of air is probably the closest thing to a literal interpretation of that phrase imaginable. She's so starstruck that she makes an odd kind of sputtering noise before finally composing herself and listening to what you have to say. You also notice that she's folding her own deformed wings behind herself as best she can, trying not to draw attention to them. After greeting you, she gives her answer.

"We know that Captain Bolton has about ten die-hard loyalists. Several more were members of the crew and we're guessing they'll go in whichever direction seems most likely to ensure their own survival -- so they'll be on Bolton's side for as long as he scares the pants off of them, I'd wager." Ella keeps trying not to look at your wings while she talks. "Our own informant from the inside is a valuable defector to keep in mind. His name is Kimo. He was the Gilded Roc's painter mage before everything went downhill, and now he's being held hostage in the King's makeshift castle. We know that Kimo will help us as soon as we can free him, although we're not quite sure how. Mages in this region tend to be... a bit hard to understand what exactly they do, to be honest."


Kaalia watched as Ella gave a signal that looked like the motion for "hold". The chance of an overwatch in the trees was high with the exposed area they stood in and the sudden appearance of a very large drake probably alerted them. Kaalia glared at the trees hoping to discern any motion but to no avail as she was unfamiliar with guerrilla tactics.

Turning to Ella, "Smart move to have people waiting even in seemingly friendly conversation, given the possibilities." She nodded then turned to her friend, Sil. "I think next time you should warn people before having your pet jump off your skin, it tends to startle others."

Listening to Buddy's plan she gave a nod of approval, "A parley with some muscle would most likely help, giving him the impression we mean business if things go south. If anything I vote Captain Holly as our negotiator if need be."

Silnimare
 
Silnimare turned to Kaalia with a cheesy grin, before running her hands along Kalm's skin.

"This big baby, startle someone? Maybe I should give some warning next time. Perhaps a minute, maybe two? Questions for later."

She chuckled, her eyes looking back to Kaalia.

"Still, fair enough. Thanks again for coming, Kaalia."


Atropos
 
Kaalia, you mention 'people waiting' to Ella. She giggles. "Right! You never know what'll happen! But I'm sure glad for Maram. With her and Andres around, none of you will have to worry about my own safety. Anyone who lays a hand on me... well, I'm sure you get the idea. You can use me as a bargaining chip if you need to, knowing that."

You also affirm Buddy's plan and add details to it. "Whenever you guys decide on a plan as a group, go ahead and begin. If I don't receive any specific instructions from anyone, I'll help in whichever way I think seems best at the time."


Kaalia overhears Captain Holly and the towering orc disagreeing on the course of action and slowly floats over to them, "We could always send the big guy around and have the rest act as a diversion at the gates. Either they open up or they open up." She giggled as she hovered a ways off the ground, circling the two.

She had formed a habit of sitting side-saddled on her weapon like a witch's broom and floating around. "If anything we have Silnimare and I to provide long-range support, given the magic users on the other end."

Silnimare
 
Silnimare shrugged. "I can get up close, or far away. The seas don't distinguish." She was of course, cryptically referencing her abilities in both close and long range combat, without wanting to give away too much. The whole situation made her uneasy, and the more cards up her sleeve, the better.


Gortwog
 
“Just keep that finger-wagglin’ outta my way!” he told her. “I see one spell aimed near me, I’m punchin’ the one what cast it along with the rest o’ these arrogant king-slaves what’re stabbin’ at us in this mule-sucker’s name what’s runnin’ the place!”


Kaalia watched on as Sil challenged the orc. Their scuffle was entertaining to say the least, given she knew Sil's capabilities. As the orc failed to connect Kaalia busted out laughing. She continued to circle them, watching closely until Sil turned ethereal, abandoning her body's form. As her friend instantly appeared back by her pet Kaalia leisurely glided back over to them.
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Silnimare
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Silnimare had never been this far from her home, and especially from her son since his adoption. She was not without qualms, but she knew deep down that he would be safe with her people back at the Coral Chateau. She had been directed to board the Fogstalker, a stealthy craft with surprisingly comfortable accommodations. Once aboard, she met with Buddy Holly, the captain, and prepared for the journey. She knew little of their goal, save that it was in the remote Astendan Islands, and there was some mystery surrounding an island. She would play the violin on occasion during the voyage to pass the time, or let Kalm, her moonsea serpent, swim around for a bit. She wore only her elemental mantle, a bolt of dark blue cloth wrapped around her not dissimilarly from a swimsuit. It had intricate silver-threaded patterns and images sewn into it, and the two ends hung down from the waist. Her was covered in various tattoos, most prominently, a third-eye pattern on her forehead, which if one looked closely, almost seemed to have a very real split where the eyeball might actually sit. Her wavy red hair blew freely in the wind, sometimes getting tangled or flapping in her face.

Once they had arrived, she followed Buddy as part of the shore party, letting him take the lead at first in the discussions with the locals. His plan seemed to her to a bit of a charge-in first approach, but still, it was certainly a strange situation for everyone involved. She took this opportunity to speak, her voice calm and light-hearted in tone, her aquamarine eyes sizing those involved up, even as her more esoteric senses overlapped.

"Somehow, captain, I don't think 'ahoy' is going to solve our problems here. But all the same, I concur that perhaps waiting for more would be prudent."

used





Quote:
 
"Agreed on the waiting for more. We may as well overwhelm the enemy and minimize casualties on both sides, as my teacher used to say," Ella says. "Oh wow, you're very pretty! Hello! What's your name, if you don't mind saying?" She offers you a handshake, Silnimare. Andres stifles a chuckle in the background.

Your eye doesn't detect a hint of illusion or other obscuring magical benefit in both Ella and Andres. What you see is what you get with these two -- at least where magic is concerned. Neither of them seem to have noticed that you're using magic to size them up.


"A pleasure to make your acquaintance. My name is Silnimare. Sil, if you prefer."

Her lips curled in a friendly, if somewhat mischievous smile.

"And thank you, if I may, you are not a weariness on the eyes yourself."

She held out her left hand towards the ground, revealing a long tattoo of a moonsea serpent, which began to writhe around on her arm.

"Looks like someone wants some more sunshine."

As if in response, the tattoo's movements became more erratic and excitable. With a mental nudge, the ink began to lift off the skin, eventually forming into a moonsea serpent the size of an elephant. He curled around his friend, and nuzzled against her, causing the redhead to stumble slightly.

"Easy there, boy. We have company."

With a scratch under his chin, which set his tail to slapping in the sand, she turned her attention back to Ella and Andres.

"Don't worry, Kalm here's as sweet as his namesake, so long as you aren't after trouble. Just a big baby, with a few more teeth."




Quote:
 
As soon as the serpent begins to lift out of your arm, Silnimare, Andres has pulled himself from his conversation with Gortwog and is already standing between you and Ella. He doesn't look tense or angry, but is definitely watching with interest.

The serpent is huge. As it grows and grows, becoming more threatening-looking with each passing moment, Ella thrusts her fist into the air and aims a hard glance toward the treeline. That unusual expression lasts for only a moment before she goes back to her usual calm-and-content demeanor. She looks especially pleased when nothing bad comes of the serpent's summoning.

"What a beautiful animal!" The Cascadian gapes up at Kalm, hands on hips. "May I?" she asks you, Silnimare, pointing to the serpent's chin with a big grin. "I've never been this close to a sea monster quite like this one before! Much less one this friendly."

Ella's eyes glimmer with an almost devious keenness as she looks at all of you. "I'm very impressed with all of you so far. I can't help but wonder what your stories are. Care to tell us a bit about yourselves? Anything we ought to know in a fight? We wouldn't want any surprises when things are especially pressing."


Silnimare nodded in the affirmative at the woman's request, and Kalm was leaning forward for more attention, until he heard the word "sea-monster". He lifted his head back slightly, with a snort that could best be described as miffed, rather than aggressive. Silnimare patted the drake's slate-blue scales.

"No need for offense, buddy, she didn't mean anything by it. Go on."

With the reassurance of his master, he leaned forward again, nostril flaps opening as he took in her scent, and offered his chin for more affection. Silnimare smiled and shrugged.

"Don't mind him, he's a drake, he can get a little offended when he's called a 'monster'. Go ahead, Ella."

She hadn't missed the strange hand signal. It wasn't unlike the one she would use when calling for a volley from her own archers. She was intrigued, but also appreciative of Ella's restraint.

"If you want my story, I would wager that we would need a great deal more drink than can be found around here, and certainly more time. Suffice to say, water is my friend."

Quote:
 
Kaalia watched as Ella gave a signal that looked like the motion for "hold". The chance of an overwatch in the trees was high with the exposed area they stood in and the sudden appearance of a very large drake probably alerted them. Kaalia glared at the trees hoping to discern any motion but to no avail as she was unfamiliar with guerrilla tactics.

Turning to Ella, "Smart move to have people waiting even in seemingly friendly conversation, given the possibilities." She nodded then turned to her friend, Sil. "I think next time you should warn people before having your pet jump off your skin, it tends to startle others."

Listening to Buddy's plan she gave a nod of approval, "A parley with some muscle would most likely help, giving him the impression we mean business if things go south. If anything I vote Captain Holly as our negotiator if need be."


Silnimare turned to Kaalia with a cheesy grin, before running her hands along Kalm's skin.

"This big baby, startle someone? Maybe I should give some warning next time. Perhaps a minute, maybe two? Questions for later."

She chuckled, her eyes looking back to Kaalia.

"Still, fair enough. Thanks again for coming, Kaalia."



Quote:
 
Kaalia overhears Captain Holly and the towering orc disagreeing on the course of action and slowly floats over to them, "We could always send the big guy around and have the rest act as a diversion at the gates. Either they open up or they open up." She giggled as she hovered a ways off the ground, circling the two.

She had formed a habit of sitting side-saddled on her weapon like a witch's broom and floating around. "If anything we have Silnimare and I to provide long-range support, given the magic users on the other end."


Silnimare shrugged. "I can get up close, or far away. The seas don't distinguish." She was of course, cryptically referencing her abilities in both close and long range combat, without wanting to give away too much. The whole situation made her uneasy, and the more cards up her sleeve, the better.

Quote:
 
"Oh, I'm sorry, Kalm! I meant 'sea monster' in the Astendan sense. Just a term. I meant no offense." The Cascadian bows a bit again, like she did to the worg.

Silnimare, you choose to be vague about your capabilities. Ella smiles reassuringly as she finishes scratching Kalm's chin. "Yes, I understand. Perhaps we can have a nice drink after all of this. I'll warn you, though. My bodyguards are considered by some to be professional drinkers."


Silnimare reached into the folds of her sash, and pulled out a small fairy-like golem, with tiny metal wings.

"Why wait?" Turning her attention to the golem, she added, "Whiskey, please, Boofy."

She waved her fingers, a small glass forming in her hand, and the alchemically-talented golem held out her hand, where a valve opened, a foul-smelling rotgut pouring out, and into the glass.

"Thank you, Boofy." "Of course, mistress." With that, Boofy landed on her shoulder, looking around with excitement, as Silnimare sipped the rancid liquor.




Gortwog
Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:51 am
"Don't be too disappointed, matey. There's still a chance for bloodshed, maybe an example needed to be made, but we've got a lot of people to try getting out of this safe 'fore we get to a fight,” Buddy said, looking over to the orc with a look assuring him of violence. "Ya've me word, if they stay stubborn, ya'll have all the blood ya can spill, but if we're to save lives we need to try the nice way, first."

“Well, what’s the fun in that?”

He was clearly annoyed; he had no patience with talky types who were afraid of a fight. But he didn’t argue the point. He just shook his head. Of course, at that moment, another blade-for-hire spoke up about creating a diversion while Gortwog flanked the “castle”, but he hardly heard her suggestion; he was too focused on scowling very deeply at what he was seeing. When she was done blathering on, he spoke up at last.

“Just keep that finger-wagglin’ outta my way!” he told her. “I see one spell aimed near me, I’m punchin’ the one what cast it along with the rest o’ these arrogant king-slaves what’re stabbin’ at us in this mule-sucker’s name what’s runnin’ the place!”
Silnimare excused herself with a short bow, and told Kalm to stay put. She strode over to where Kaalia and Gortwog were. Her demeanor was suddenly quite displeased, a wicked smile mixing with her aggressive tone. She walked right up to the towering Orc, her thinner frame and appearance hiding her strength.

"Listen here, tooth-for-brains, if anyone's gonna punch my sister, it's gonna be me. You want to punch a mage, I'm right here. Take your best shot. No magic, I promise. Unless you're too weak and slow to hit a little 'finger-waggler'."

She held her metal-clad fists at her side, offering him a free shot. She was ready.




Quote:
 
The girl on the floating sword didn’t get a chance to respond, as someone else stepped up in her defense.

"Listen here, tooth-for-brains, if anyone's gonna punch my sister, it's gonna be me. You want to punch a mage, I'm right here. Take your best shot. No magic, I promise. Unless you're too weak and slow to hit a little 'finger-waggler'."

Gortwog’s eyebrows raised in unison, his eyes widening. This little wench was standing up to a towering hulk, and she wanted him to punch her? She was probably going to dodge with some fantastic ability or some such, whatever she said about not using magic. But he snarled and threw the punch anyway. If it connected with the ground, he’d throw up a tremendous cloud of sand and shake the ground with that blow. If it connected with the girl, however…well, he’d have one less finger-waggler to worry about.

((Mighty + Brawn + Master Athletics + Adept Unarmed Combat))


Silnimare felt the primal flow of water flow through her, and she quickly lifted a forearm to block the punch, her skin covered with a thin layer of water and ice, allowing her to slide away from the strike. She immediately responded with a punch toward the stomach, not enough to hurt, but enough to make him feel it if it connected. She had inhuman strength, but she was simply trying to make a point. If it connected, it should just stun him, and even then, only for a split second.

"We're not all weak, Orc. And before you call magic, it's not magic." Her voice dropped to a whisper just low enough for him to hear.

".... I'm just not human."

Spoiler: click to toggle


Quote:
 
His punch connected but seemed to slide right off of her arm as she slithered to the side. She had moved impossibly fast, but the punch she threw did little to the monster she was facing off against. All it really did was get his attention. He felt the punch connect, which was a miracle in and of itself, but it didn’t hurt in the slightest. A split-second later, he was aiming a back-hand at her with a follow-up punch that would have laid flat a heavily armoured knight.

((Endurance, plus the other stuff from the last post))


Quote:
 
Ella turns to Andres, raises an eyebrow and gestures subtly with her chin toward Gortwog and Silnimare. Based on how ready he was to intervene, it seems more like she was giving him permission to do what he was already planning to do in the first place.

Andres walks up to the fight, facing Gortwog, and tries to nonviolently step in. Wearing a big smile, he doesn't try to grab either of them. "Save your energy, old chap! Why not measure your might in terms of how many arseholes either of you can take down, yeah? We can't afford to be fighting here when our enemy might have some dirty tricks up his sleeve."

"Don't get physically involved," Ella says in a calm tone. "If they won't listen to reason, we'll make up for it." Unlike Andres, the Cascadian woman looks pretty unbothered by the sight of two of her new allies getting into a dust-up.


Silnimare saw the follow-up coming, not exactly unexpected. She simply lowered her hands, standing relaxed as the massive arms plowed towards her face.

Closer.


Closer.


...only to pass through her, as she abandoned physical form dematerializing as the fists passed through her body. She reformed once they had passed, her semi-transparency becoming solid once more.

"I hope I've made my point. I could do much more, but I have no desire to at the moment. Touch my sister, and I might not be so lenient. We're done."

With that, she faded away, appearing beside Kalm, petting him as if nothing had happened.

used


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Plork
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Plork turned in their report of the Ball at one of the LIS offices in Taras. Plork sat on a chair, drumming their heels against the floor, while waiting for further instructions. Before long, the clerk came back.

"Some break! Sorry about that, Letty apologises profusely! She suggests you have a real holiday. Maybe go relax in the Astendan Islands, perhaps? No need to rush back to the Ivory League."

Plork nodded happily. "Friend Plork am do has were heard that they is be are very beautiful. Friend Plork will do should play there."

The enkaida spent the next few hours wandering around, ordering supplies for their sea voyage, and generally enjoying themselves in Taras.

Just before the tide turned, Plork made their way to the Ivory League's quay, and boarded the Galumphing Dugong. Taking the helm, Plork sailed it out of the berth and towards the open sea. After a time, Plork became aware of a muffled banging and shouting from the deck of the ship where the new supplies were located, and walked over to investigate. It definitely was coming from one of the crates., so reaching over with three tentacles, Plork pulled the lid off.

"Finally! What do you-"

Plork frowned in confusion, then smiled happily. "You are is notted a bubble wand! You do is am Friend! Hello! Friend Plork do be is Friend Plork! Friend will are am be do on Galumphing Dugong, Friend Plork's boat. Can does is will Friend do be has a holiday, too? Are will is does Friend wanted help getting out of the box of bubble wands?"

If the answer was affirmative, the enkaida would lay the lid of the crate down, then pick up the new Friend in a tentacular grasp, lifting them free. After providing a Safety Hug, the new Friend was deposited on the deck, and given a gentle pat on the head.

The two spent the best part of a week, puttering round the keys and cays of Astendan. But everywhere they went, the first thing they heard was the story of the king and the book. "A Friends is do will be in help! Come on! We will were be is can should go!"

The journey to Pyramid Island was uneventful, and the Galumphing Dugong set anchor next to the massive ship that dwarfed it.

After piling into the longboat with Falki, Plork took hold of the tiller and rode the waves into the beach, though the enkaida jumped into the surf to splash about before it grounded.

"Hello! Friend Plork are do is be Friend Plork! Friend Plork is do can will were be here to help read a bedtime story from the book to Friend King if Friends are should does is want." Plork flourished a tentacle with an energetic wiggle. "Friend Plork will were is do voices and actions and everything!"

The enkaida spun around with excitement, then did a doubletake. "Friend Gortwog! Friend Buddy! Friend GoodDoggy! Friend Silnimare! This island are full of Friends!" Plork pointed at their companion from the longboat. ""And look, here also are is be Friend Falki, too! We can could all is be makes puppets and then should were act out the bedtime story! Friend King will were love it!"

"I'm sure you do the best voices and actions for the story, Friend Plork. I... err, just be careful. Friend King might be feeling cranky and not want to hear a story. Can you make sure that your other friends aren't hurt if he becomes very cranky?" Her tone of voice, clear and simple but not disrespectful, suggests she has experience interacting with young children.

Plork scowled. "If Friend King do am is not Friend King, but were be Not Friend King, then Friend Plork can will would were stopped Not Friend King from hurting Friends. Because Friends do are is be Friends."

The enkaida nods along happily to Buddy's plan. "Friend Plork do are am is very happy to beed Friend Buddy's helperer."

After the fight, Plork goes over to Gortwog. "Does am will Friend Gortwog needs a kiss on Friend Gortwog's tummy to for make the boo-boo feel better?"
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Breyting
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Midround


He emerged halfway up the hill, the ground opened upward like a hatch, Breyting peered outside, quickly looking around and taking stock of his situation before closing it again. From a quick glance he was halfway up the hill behind the fort, that meant a surprise attack from behind while the other group attacks the front seemed fairly possible.

With that done he rushed back to the others, stopping only when he managed to meet back up with them, "Okay, I found a tunnel. One... second." He took a few moments to take deep breaths before continuing on, "It smells like salt water but... there's a passage that leads halfway up the hill behind the fort. The passage isn't terribly big so... if you're fine with close spaces and aren't to tall or to wide I can lead you to a good ambush point. My apologies for... taking so long." If anyone wanted to follow him he'd lead them through the tunnel to the hidden hatch behind the fort.
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Alexandra
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"Mira, follow the nice archaeologist and lend some muscle. I'll follow the captain." Alex strode off into the jungle, hat held firmly to her head. "No time to wait, there's a despot to take down." She surged on with a wicked grin and a lone, bright eye. This was what she lived for. It wasn't long before she found herself standing in front of an alleged kingdom. "Hello up there!" Alex called out. "Would anyone like to take me up on a gamble? Well, maybe these folks I'm with first, I don't want anyone to have a bad time at the start!"
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Wren
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Salty air, brackish water, warm sunshine and a clear blue sky.

How long had it been since the world last saw a scene like this? How long had it been since she had seen something like this? The Old Man had once said that the world looked like this: beautiful and warm.

She had long ago put away such fancies; not that the Old Man was wrong, merely she did not believe she would ever see such things.

Yet, here now, she was.

Her arrival across time would not have gone unnoticed even though the effect on the world around her was fairly minimal to non-existent. The Ancient Lady was certain of this.

Her brown hair tousled as a small whirlwind appeared around her only to dissipate as quickly as it arrived. The soft echo of a rumble similar to that of thunder vibrated around her as she opened her silver eyes.

Blinking, she looked up first to the sun. She had seen it many times, hundreds, thousands. Centuries worth of days with the sun but this was the first time, as she could imagine, that she saw the sun, the blue sky, smelled the salt water.

The sensation was quickly overcome as she realized that she had not arrived on the island alone. There were others in a group nearby; various races and creeds by the look of it.

She approached them carefully, it was likely that while her entrance had been small it was still noted. Moving towards them she heard the formation of a plan being made. Two versions of sneak attacking and negotiation against some sort of King holed up in the distance of a makeshift village. A skirmish had also taken place a few moments ago by the look of two of the group.

She made no notion to draw the sword strapped to her back as she approached; the wind slowly whipped around her, picking up the ends of her black skirt. Her leather breastpiece had been dyed black and trimmed with bronze filigree in a studded pattern to twist and twirl around her taking the shape of an imaginary belt alongside a real leather belt that was attached to her skirt holding several pouches of various styles and materials. A pair of cloth sleeves went up to her elbows from her wrists showing her pale skin up to her shoulders where the leather flowered around.

Coming behind a woman with dark hair and wings, she watched them carefully as she listened to them decide on splitting up into teams.

“If you require another pair of hands, I am certainly capable,”
she replied as she eyed each, in turn, making a very strange gazing eye contact before moving to the others.

As she gazed upon a strange green creature with tentacles she paused examining him carefully before moving to the orc and strangely feathered woman.

“If we are to make a plan then let us go. If I am going with you then I shall, if not I shall be on my way.”


She stood waiting for them to speak of her place among them if it was wanted at all. I can only hope this will allow me to quickly find out about T’Imass. She thought to herself.




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Edited by Wren, Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:20 pm.
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Ice Prince
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Falki garrumped as he toddled out of the lifeboat, the solid beach beneath him rolling and reeling under his shaky legs. The boat was positively immovable compared to this after he was given a day or so. Was this the opposite of what the Plork called his "sea legs"?

He still didn't know what the Plork was. It said it was an enkaida, some strange species indeed. It also said the ship was an enkaida...or something of the sort. Honestly, Falki decided being Friend Falki to Friend Plork was better than being a Not Friend. Plork itself was easier to deal with given time, as well. It helped to omit half the words it used when listening, though.

He listened as he worked his way up the beach to various other Friends of Plork. One was giant and green, one was intangible, and her sister. looked so straightlaced she'd fall over. Another who found caves quivered enough to do the same. Another was dressed in a ridiculously lavish manner and was...he had a fair face. The last he noticed, like him, stood listening and watching until she ordered a strange golem creature to follow the quivering one for "muscle."

Going up to the gate....if there were only ten and the tyrant - he didn't earn the name "king" in Falki's mind, then they might succeed. Before their arrival, there were only what seemed to be civilians and this painter mage, people cowed into fearful compliance for survival. Now, though, several rescuers with ships came to fight their tyrant. Sometimes, just a solid ray of hope could help break up this sort of corruption.

"I'll go into the caves," Falki offered, knowing his skills in negotiations. "If that's fine with Mira and um...you," he said, pointing at the quivering "arky-aloe-jest," whatever that was. He walked toward them, hoping an air of certainty would be enough to get him through.

Realm of the Arcane
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Atropos[ST]
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Mid-Round Archive - Round 1

They're pretty friendly, but does anyone know who the heck they are?


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Every time a round ends in Break the Waves, I'll make 2 posts. The first post is what's called a "Mid-Round Archive." It's a record of everything the ST responded to in the mid-round. Oftentimes it's duplicated by the players in their own posts, but not always. The second post is the actual story post that starts the new round.


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Atropos[ST]
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The Sights of Astendan

In a flourish of wind, you appear on the beach near the assembled group, Wren. Your welcoming party from across time is the very definition of "rag-tag." Ella tried to rush over to you to make sure you didn't need any help up, but she was tied up in multiple conversations. You approach from behind Kaalia to offer your services. Ella smiles apologetically at you and issues her own greetings and introductions. She doesn't have time to ask you more about the magical anomaly that dropped you here. Wren, were you looking to follow Buddy's group to the "gates" or follow Breyting's group through the tunnels? Your choice.

From the beach, you all split off into your chosen groups and head deeper into Pyramid Island. The island is very small -- you could walk around the entire shore in perhaps an hour -- but it makes up for diameter in its sheer slope. The creatively named island heads up a steep grade in all directions, culminating into a rounded tip like the worn-down peak of a mountain. In other words, it's shaped roughly like a pyramid.

But for most of you, you're nowhere near that point. All you can see are dense tropical forests: tall sturdy trees, moss-covered rocks, thick hanging vines, and densely packed roots along the ground. The whole sight assaults your eyes with bright green leaves and dappled sunlight. All productive paths lead uphill and none are very well-worn.

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Do any of you have jungle experience? You might be stealthy people in a normal situation, but everything you touch in a place like this will crinkle or crack. There are several areas where a bit of light bushwhacking is necessary to get through the dense undergrowth. If you're trying to be stealthy, you're going to have to think outside the box about how you go about it.

Like bypassing the jungle entirely and going through a secret tunnel. That works.


Pearls Before Swine

Buddy, Plork, Gortwog and Alexandra, you're heading straight toward where you know that fort is. Let's assume that you all left when Alexandra does, rather than sitting on your asses enjoying a nice beach vacation. After all, Ella encouraged you to go for it as soon as you knew what you're doing.

The four of you trudge through the forest. Beyond the sound of your own movement you can hear others rushing to avoid you. You catch the occasional glimpse of thin people in ragged clothing staring fearfully at you as they hurry to put themselves in a place where they can pretend they never saw you.

You catch a whiff of something rotten on the breeze, then hear the buzzing of flies. There are poles posted along most major approaches up the island. The moment you see the round silhouettes impaled on the poles -- the place where most of the flies are circling -- you can make a pretty good guess as to how this "King" treats dissenters. (Plork, maybe you're suspecting that Friend King might actually be Not Friend King).

A perimeter of roughshod fortifications greets you. These are mostly felled trees and piles of debris arranged into something like a wall of jagged wood pieces pressed between the ruins. Everything constructed is painted in bright colors: patterns, symbols that make no sense. Your surroundings are a mess of three-dimensional obstacles. You can see all kinds of climbable trees, vines, boulders, ruin walls, and other complexities.

That's when you notice all the people. You don't know how many there are for sure. They're partly hidden in the trees, in the ruins, behind the makeshift walls, on top of them -- pretty much every good cover you can imagine. These are rough, well-fed men and women in the hardy clothing of travelers and sailors. Their boots haven't rotted off their feet and they look like they can handle themselves.

They're also armed. You have a lot of crossbows aimed your way, to say the least.

Alexandra, you offer up a gamble to the people pointing weapons at you.

"Sure!" a voice from atop a nearby ruin wall says. "I bet a hundred baht I can shoot more holes in your chest than my boy Ruben over here."

Your enemies erupt into a collective fit of laughter. You feel like you've been left out of an inside joke. These people have been alone with each other for a while -- the nobility of this ill-begotten kingdom.

"What's all this laughing about!?" This new voice is louder than the rest, too deep to be human, and it's coming from the tower of wood and stone a bit further up the hill. You can barely see anything down here at ground level. "Someone makin' fun of me?!"

"Just Ruben, sire," another voice replies. "Kid can't hit a cow's arse from five yards."

The booming voice from afar, presumably the King, makes a frustrated sound that's bestial, like something between a growl and a snort. "Stop foolin' around. I'm busy."

"Cap-- err, sire! That's not it! There's some people--"

"I know! You think I can't see all the ships around us?! That means you deal with the problem, not talk to them!"

As this back-and-forth is going on, you have plenty of time to size up the situation and figure out what you're going to do. Of course, if 'what you're going to do' is try to talk to these people, that ship has already sailed, hasn't it? As soon as you try to say something, the first crossbow bolt flies at you.

Then everyone else takes shots at you. The whole area where the group of you were standing is peppered to hell with crossbow bolts. Here's to hoping you're quick on your feet.

"Slow them down! I don't care how," the King roars as you hear everyone cranking and reloading their weapons. "You subjects of mine were already as good as dead when the Roc sank! You got nothing now! Nothing 'cept me! The moment you so much as think about runnin', I'll make your death far more painful than anything these people can do!"

A few hurried 'yes, Your Highness' comments ring out under the din of combat.

Ella and Andres are nowhere to be seen, so they're of no help to you right now. What do you do?


Crazy Bastard

Breyting, Falki and possibly several others, you bring Mira with you and your summons and venture back into the tunnels. The passageway you found earlier leads to a false floor panel made of stone. It takes a lot of strength to push it up like a hatch, but it'll still work well for your purposes.

As soon as you reach the hatch and peer through, you can see that all of the action is happening clear on the other side of the King's fort. It's very quiet on your side. Up the hill a ways, there's a short tower made of a mixture of salvaged boat-hull and a ruin, but it's hard to see through all the vegetation.

"Hello there."

The voice might've nearly scared the daylights out of you, Breyting, especially since you didn't sense anyone approach. You turn your head and almost don't see the woman straightening from a crouch. It looks like she just landed on the ground from a fall or jump. She pulls her camouflaged mosquito-netting scarf down off her face and treats all of you to a big grin. This woman has pointed ears and copper-colored skin, but she's covered in black spots in such a way that it almost reminds you of a trout. Her hair's a shiny black.

"I'm Steelhead. Here to help." She offers you all a hand. You notice she's got the purring accent of a rural Istani. "The young master asked me to let you all know about something hilarious we found. Follow me, as quiet as you can."

You creep around the hill a short distance, climb further up, and come upon something large hanging precariously from a moss-covered stone arch. It's a little sloop without sails, dangling a short distance off the ground -- right here, in the middle of land. It's pretty small for a seagoing vessel. Large enough to fit perhaps a dozen people. Whoever was painting the hull had only just begun to work on the designs, and all of the paintings so far are on the very bottom of the ship. You notice that the keel is retractable for some reason.

"Now look at that ahead of it," Steelhead whispers, laughter suppressed in her voice as she points. "What the hell was he thinking?"

Ahead of the hanging ship's bow, they've cleared a straight path downhill through the forest. They let the debris from fallen vegetation stay on the ground, essentially paving the way for... well, what does it look like to you? You can see civilian workers all the way down to the bottom of the island, struggling as fast as they can to finish the path so it's clear all the way down to the beach.

"Gods alive. If he gets away using that method, I'll never be able to look anyone in the eye again." Steelhead is still trying not to laugh.

Not long after that, you hear some crashing noises and shouting in that tower you noticed earlier (which you are now much closer to). The only line you can make out clearly is something like, "You're comin' with me!" uttered by a low, snorting voice.

"Welp. Good luck," Steelhead says, giving a sloppy Cascadian salute before rushing back into the cover of the forest. She doesn't even give you a moment to slip in a question edgewise.

What do you do? No one is around you, and it doesn't seem like you've been detected yet, but that could certainly change on a dime.


Round 2
 
Please make one post in this topic before Friday, March 2 at 5:00pm Mountain Time.

I'm the kind of ST who doesn't like putting action/violence in the mid-round. I'd prefer to use mid-round only for dialogue if we can help it. If you'd like to do an actiony thing, go ahead and post right away in the main topic!!

Did You Know?
If all active players post in a round of BtW early, the ST will also post early if she has time. This could make a good strategy in straightforward encounters that require more action than planning/talking, since it gives you more opportunities to input and adapt. However, this strategy is always optional because it requires complete cooperation from all players.


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Buddy
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The blonde woman, though easy on the eyes, was a strain on the mind. Her choice of introduction to the enemy forces was so blunt and tactless that it felt like someone trying to play the hero. The captain's head lolled with a sigh as his eyes rolled to the headstrong choice of introduction, which understandably only elicited mockery from the mutineers.

"Now mateys, let's not do something ya'll regret, like striking war with the Sacred Heart, aye? Would hate to bloody me blade so soon." Buddy said aloud, trying to dissuade the guards from a foolhardy choice with a biting tone to cap his words. Usually that would be enough to stop the fight before it started, but it seemed that their grumpy commander in the tower behind them had their attention far more readily than their visitors.

It was war, then. So soon, so immediate. Well, making an example of the enemy would be a strong start, far from Captain Holly's preferred methods of getting encounters started, but its crudeness could be useful.

"Lass, ya might want to avoid any diplomatic work in the future, it doesn't suit ya." The blonde man sighed heavily before drawing his sword not to a sound like the release of metal, but of scraping like bone. His blade called Seasin was covered in a clear but slimy-looking coat of acid. He wielded the blade low at first before rising it towards the enemy and calling out, "Right then, let's make this quick. No quarter for the blaggards fool enough to fight us, but spare any who surrender, they're not worth the effort!"

With the bolts loosed, there was no point in standing still. Hopefully his new friends and older friend would be able to work together well enough to lay out these foes within a moment's notice, but he focused his own efforts forward as it seemed like, without knowing each other very well, it may prove the best way of working together as they each took on their own enemies.

The Captain rushed the shoddy wall, nimbly navigating up its side and landing to a momentary pause. For one side of the wall, he merely let a mass of slime quickly congeal from his blade with high acidity. The slime would go down one length of the barrier, dissolving whatever it touched and leaving its creator with the foes in the opposite direction. To the enemies that Buddy would handle himself, he chose to do so quickly, with a flurry of eight blade strikes to cut a bunch of them down, and followed the final strike by drawing his knife from its scabbard and shooting a small magical strike at a distant enemy.

"How's it coming along on your ends, mateys?" Buddy called out to his companions, pausing to get a quick look around at what sort of mayhem they were surely achieving.

effects
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Alexandra
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"Ah. Right then." Alex whistled at the sudden array of crossbows. "Guess we are doing this with force." Alex ducked behind a tree and got to casting. She chanted, quickly, while worming an incredible amount of magic power into her open hand. Fire swirled until it concentrated into a tiny, furious sphere. She ducked out from behind the tree and with a flick of her wrist propelled the sphere. It screeched and swelled, expelling sparks and smoke as it hurtled towards the unfortunate entrance into the little wooden kingdom.

Alex stepped out behind the tree, into a world of smoke and bolts with a grin on her face. Two bolts of fire hurtled into the air and hovered high above from her back. The ends of her greatcloak rose in the wind. "Come on out, king!"

OOC





Mira heard the fighting break out. "Distraction time! Split their attention!" She drew her burning greatsword off her back and rushed into the back of the fort, ready to make a spectacle of her metal self.
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Kaalia
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Kaalia trailed the group as they approached the tower, gliding low to the ground next to the ice bridge.

Quote:
 
Brey sighed, "Rover will help you all stay protected and I don't know about your skills other than... some of you have freaky magic stuff that I can't do. I just know times is of the essence so I'm off to try and kill the king. If I fail... well... at least you guys will be able to plan around my failure." He would normally be terrified at this point in any of his other adventures, but people not attacking him directly and no traps? He had nothing to fear until he was forced to cross blades with the king.


"If that hound can protect us then I'll stay here by him. Just call if you need ranged support and we'll come crashing through, literally."

She dropped to the ground by the horned wolf and flared up her primal aura to prepare for heavy casting. The timid-looking member of their group taking the lead was refreshing, giving Kaalia even more resolve. She had her best friend, a woman who can seemingly make portals, and a stern-looking mage with the demeanor of a seasoned tactician. What could go wrong?


OOC
Edited by Kaalia, Thu Mar 1, 2018 8:54 am.
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