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Grounded; [Private: Cad]
Topic Started: Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:43 pm (71 Views)
Kyveli
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Kyveli never knew how much she could get done while continuously swearing until the moment she was forced to bail out of her crashed airship, from the tree canopy, while it was on fire. She slashed up her coat on the way down, hitting branches and sliding. The occasional ember spitting out from the wreck nearly burned holes into the tops of her arms and shoulders, but she slipped away before it got too bad.

Her swearing devolved into a repeated, "No, no, no, no," uttered over the sounds of crackling wood and a sputtering gust engine. Looking up, the remnants of her personal airship's wings glowed a brilliant bright orange as the flames licked at the bottom of the hull.

A roar echoed across the pine forests. All the swearing and desperate entreaties stopped as Kyveli darted into the underbrush. She pulled up her bandanna over her mouth and nose, peering through a gap at the sky. For a few moments, a long, dark form blotted out the space between the trees above, audibly displacing air as it flapped four massive wings.

Not a dragon. But it fried my ship like one. Dammit! Why me?!

She'd been lucky it came up from below, like some kind of goddamn shark in the air.

Kyveli flinched when the gust engine exploded. Twisted fragments of runic metal shot past her hiding spot, leaving darkened patches all around the forest. Some of the canopy started to catch, but struggled. Had there not been so many storms around here lately, her crash might have ignited a wildfire. As it were, she was just stranded.

Once everything seemed to have calmed down a bit, she stood up, clutching what little she'd saved from the wreckage. Her boots crunched browned pine needles covering the forest floor. Kyveli looked around, squinted through the endless pine trees and lichen-covered boulders, and muttered the same thought she'd had so often before:

"Where the hell am I?"
Edited by Kyveli, Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:50 pm.
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Skypirate
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Cad the Cad, he had hoped a year in Imythess would have been enough to start his legend, but no, being a sky pirate was practically unheard of in this place. Sure there was airship trading, but they were usually better armed than his own ship and had a larger crew. His current crew was barely enough to operate the ship as the rest left for more lucrative ventures with merchant vessels. He had to now take jobs as an escort vessel or as a merchant himself, not exciting work but better than nothing, but now... but now he had a shot at a better life.

Apparently a fairly nasty fire drake had been attacking ships on a trade route around the Dragonspine mountains, most dragons were smart and didn't bother the ships, but drakes were another thing. Drakes were unintelligent beasts driven by hunger and rage, compared to dragons it was like the dragon was the responsible adult and a drake was a moody teenager with to much time on it's hands, sure in a few thousand years maybe drakes would be intelligent and be like small dragons but maybe more sociable, but for now they were monsters that threatened everything around them, except dragons, then again few things threatened those beasts.

Cad the Cad wore simple clothes as he stood at the rails of the Sky Buster, a frigate with ballistae, grappling ballistae, and a massive drill at the front. He looked over the rails, his clothes fluttered in the wind, he liked wearing loose shirts and pants with a large belt, as he lacked the coin his clothes were closer to cheap sailor's garb, grays and whites, his crew wore similar clothes, the only thing that set him apart was his youth and a golden pin on his shirt. He saw the drake in the distance, it was a while away and flying away, he was about to call out to turn the ship and get after it when an explosion came from the forest below.

He sighed, "Great, come on lads, get my Striker ready, I'll go down and search for survivors, I want you lot on look out just in case the beast comes back." There were a few aye-ayes before he walked back into his cabin, taking up his longsword and strapping it onto his belt. He took a moment to rub his eyes, they were brown and for a moment he seemed to lose his youth, he barely glanced about the captain's quarters, he had sold much of the luxuries to keep his people paid. He ran a hand through his brown hair and sighed, "Maybe we can get some scrap to."

With that said he walked back out and made for the back of the vessel, hopping into his Striker and flying towards the explosion. There was a small clearing, just enough for his Striker, he landed and opened the top, standing up as looked at the scattered parts on the forest floor, "Damn, to damaged to properly salvage." He muttered to himself.

He looked around and called out, "Hey! Anyone around? Rescue party here! Hello?"
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Kyveli
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Her first reaction to the presence of vultures was disbelief. From what she'd been able to glean of the area so far, she was in some pretty thick wilderness. Even from the highest vantage point she'd been able to find -- which wasn't even that great, thanks to the dense pine forests scattered throughout this mountainous area -- there wasn't much sign of sapient habitation. No roads, no buildings, no smoke from fires except her own wreckage.

That last part made sense, then. The engine's explosion probably acted as a beacon. Now, all kinds of scumbags would take a quick jaunt over to look for gold, wares, or breathing bodies they could snatch up.

Kyveli narrowed her eyes, grumbling quietly. The voice shouting from the nearby clearing was claiming to be a rescue team. Sure you are. And I'm the [removed]ing princess of Norwood. She remained quiet for a little while, watching from her hiding spot, trying to get a good look at them.

Thoughts crept into her mind. These people could very well be the only ones with a working airship for miles and miles around. If they saw the wreckage and found no survivors and then left, she'd be stranded here. Or they might kill me. But if not, even if they took her as a captive, that would mean she could potentially get out of this place and work on a plan to escape from there.

After weighing her options, Kyveli opted to give it a shot.

"Over here!" she shouted, standing up and heading down the slope toward them. She probably didn't cut the most imposing figure, especially with all the cuts and burns and general state she was in after crash-landing her personal airship. "Damn drake threw me like a ragdoll. I'm alright, just banged up and cut a bit. Who're you guys?"
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Skypirate
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Cad looked up to the woman and bowed, "I'm Cadeyrn, captain of the Sky Buster. We're not a very rich crew, but we do things like escorting merchant vessels." And robbing them, he said in his mind, "We have a job in the area and I'm glad we were here to help you. Come on down, it'll be a tight fit in the Striker but I can get us both up to my ship."

He quickly drew his blade and angled it up at the sun, letting the light reflect off the blade, he gave it sharp twists, the blade reflecting light into the sky. The ship returned with a few flashes of light, a quick communication relay, simple, but effective, a mirror or a well polished blade was enough to make the flashes of light. The message was short, 'No scrap, one survivor, female, prepare a room.'

Cad looked to her and smiled, sheathing his blade, "Just quick messaging using flashes of light for code, told'em we had a survivor and to prepare a room for ya. We won't be going to port right away though, we're got a job to do." He went to sit back down, moving his seat forward to try and let the woman sit in the back, "Right, what's your name? Also I hope you don't mind doing some work to help around, we're a bit short staffed at the moment."
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Kyveli
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The man who introduced himself as Caderyn seemed friendly enough, although he was sure quick to mention the wealth and function of his airship. Does he think I'm gonna rob him? Someone once said I have that air about me. Self-consciously, Kyveli smoothed out her hair and cleared her throat softly.

Once she was close enough to the man, she offered a hand-- and then flinched back, swearing, when he suddenly drew his weapon. Kyveli breathed easy as soon as it was clear that he was only using the flat as a reflective device. "Calling her in?" she breathed, offering her hand for real. She took his forearm in a firm grip, shook it, and turned her eyes to the sky.

"I'm Kyveli. You bet I'll give a hand around your ship if you'll be nice enough to pull me out of here. Then, if you don't mind, I'm looking for a decent-sized city. Somewhere with a temple or a monastery or something. Just a place where I can talk to someone who thinks they know what's what about the universe." She paused, realized how odd that sounded, and smiled defensively with her palms lifted. "It's a long story. I'll work hard, I swear."
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Skypirate
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Cad grinned as the Sky Buster lowered itself slowly, "Well she can't land here, my personal Striker is a one seater, but we can squeeze in." He grasped her arm and helped her into the Striker, lifting off once he sealed the top again. The little Striker slowly lifted off, making for the back of the airship to land in the Striker Bay.

Once aboard the top popped open, two of his crew were on standby to properly take care of the Striker. The crewmates helped him and their new guest out, "Welcome to the Sky Buster, Kyveli. As for stopping in a town with a big temple... I don't think they welcome pirates."

He gave her a sly grin as one of his crewmen walked over, he was a dwarf, his skin darkened from years of flying, his belly bulged slightly, he wore a similar uniform to Cad, and had a cutlass on his hip, "Welcome back Cap'n Cad. The drake is running deeper into the mountains, could be bad news if we get to deep, could get above us and just drop on us."

Cad raised an eyebrow, "And from below?"

The dwarf grinned, "I deploy the loading arm, we tilt and I can punch it, won't do much, but it'll knock it away from tearing us apart from below."

Cad nods, "Good. Carry on First Mate Skystone."

The first mate salutes as Cad turns to Kyveli, "We're going drake hunting, I can promise you the same I'm promising the crew, a share of the bounty. Deal?"
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Kyveli
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When Cad took her arm to help her in, she nearly jumped back -- not out of surprise for that in particular, but the reaction from that. The creature... or whatever the thing was that lived inside her body. It felt like a dozen different eyes that didn't exist all opened at once, and they all turned toward Cad to see what was going on. She was relieved when their interest didn't lead to anything else, especially physical changes. The creature settled down, allowing Kyveli to squeeze into the strike craft with Cad.

It didn't matter to her much that her knees were jammed against one end and her back was at a slightly uncomfortable angle. It worked, and she was able to look down at the remote forest as it quickly got smaller and smaller. The striker rounded around the larger airship above, coming into the bay and landing. Kyveli stretched after climbing out.

Her welcome came with the acknowledgement of a suspicion. She forced a grin, meeting Cad's eyes, as he politely implied that he wouldn't be delivering her anywhere. And since they were really pirates after all, the connection was pretty clear.

She'd just agreed to a completely bloodless abduction.

What they don't know, she thought, other than the creature, of course, is just how curious I am about this business. They didn't so much kidnap me as give one of their upcoming rivals a chance to get some hands-on experience. "I see how it is. I won't make a fuss."

Then again, after the conversation between Cad and his first mate, maybe that really wasn't how this was going to go down. By offering her the same reward as the crew, he separated her from them. Kyveli gave him a confused look, but nodded. "Good deal to me. So I'm not becoming one of the crew after all? For a second back there I thought you'd just pulled a pretty slick abduction."
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Skypirate
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Cad grinned, "Are you kidding me? Abducting people for a crew? That can backfire pretty easily or the people just might not be good at the job. We're just shorthanded right now, once I get some cash I'll hire new crewmen and start trying to refit this old crate with some new weapons. If you do plan on staying though I won't mind it, if you're good at mopping, dealing with machines, cooking, or are a decent shot with a ballista I'd sign you on right away, hell, if you could be taught how to pilot a Striker I'd sign you up there to, right now I'm the only good pilot for our Striker. But if you don't want to join up, I can drop you off at one of our normal ports, no big temples there though. Might be able to buy a one man airship with the reward though."

He thumbed behind him to the rest of the ship, "Follow me, I'll show you around the deck." He lead her around the front, pointing to both sides of the boat, two ballista sat on each side, "We've got a normal ballista on each side and a grappling ballista, good for hooking other airships and hopefully good enough to hook and shoot down a pissed off drake." The deck was clean, but had obvious signs of wear and tear, some boards looked loose, others were fragmenting, very few were in perfect conditions, but at least the majority were in 'usable' condition. The small crew was quick, gathering and rolling up ropes, checking bolts and equipment, or just sweeping up the deck to keep it clean. Old crates and barrels were lashed together, their extra supplies that couldn't fit in the hull, but it was set up to keep out of the way.

He looked pleased at the busy crew, "It may not be your first time on a big ship like this right? Got any experience? Any skills for us to put to work here?"
Edited by Skypirate, Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:37 am.
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Kyveli
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Kyveli gave Cad a big, toothy grin, hands on hips. "You offering me a job? Shit, I can't refuse that kind of generosity. I'll help any way I can until I got some pocket change and a decent place to go. Let me at anything you're willing to let me touch. I'll do the dirty jobs, the mopping and all that, but I'm really interested in them other things you mentioned too. What was it-- the ballista, the Striker, the machinery. I wanna try everything." She was beaming.

Even when she got the grand tour, Kyveli couldn't stop smiling. She felt more at home up here in the sky than anywhere else. She was on a big, roomy airship full of people who were already in the line of work she had a personal interest in. And instead of flying some shitty little air-canoe in the middle of a death march to get away from the people who were after her, they were cruising at altitude. Sure, it wasn't perfect, but Kyveli didn't care. This was the kind of life she wanted to create for herself. Not on the Sky Buster, necessarily -- but with her own people, on her own ship, someday.

But first, she needed skills.

Cad asked her about those. "Can't say I ever been flying on a ship this big, sir. Seen a lot of them, but not flying myself. But one of the places I used to live was a wrecked airship kinda like this one, so I know a bit about the setup. I'm good at finding my way round places. And I can handle myself with a knife. On top of that, I grew up poorer than dirt. You'll never find a worker who puts up with more shit than a former trail rat, sir."
Edited by Kyveli, Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:28 pm.
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Skypirate
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Cad shrugged, "If you don't have experience I can put you in as an assistant to one of the locations, or you can mop. Ballista are pretty simple, but if you want to learn about the innerworkings of the airship... we're going to have to ask old Gurdy in the bowels of the ship."

He pointed to the two doors near the back of the ship, just below the wheel, "The one on the right is my room, the left is the stairs downward. We've got three areas below the deck, the first is crew quarters, second is where we hold our supplies, most of them being food and water, and the bottom is where old Gurdy works on the engine keeping this old crate afloat. He probably won't let you touch much, but he'll at least teach you basic maintenance."

Cad looked up to the sun and whistled slowly, "We're not catching up to that drake today, to many places to hide in the mountains, also to many chances that wyverns come flying at us, I'd rather keep the ship damage to a minimum."

He looked back to Kyveli and smirked, "Before dinner I can introduce you to old Gurdy if you want, or we can get to making dinner, no grog here though, we've only got Lo'qua."
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Kyveli
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"I'm not complaining if I get a little chance to get to know the place better before the big rematch," Kyveli said, crossing her arms. "Not that it was much of a match in the first place..."

The only problem, if it was even that, was the fact that their ship mechanic sounded like a bit of a curmudgeon. He might let her watch and teach her a little bit of ship maintenance, but he wouldn't let her tinker with his baby. Understandable. "I'm just happy he'll tell me anything, to be honest."

Cad offered to introduce her to Gurdy before dinner. The blue-eyed woman stood up straighter. "Absolutely yes! I need to know as much as possible as quickly as possible. You know, just in case everything goes to crap faster than expected. Kind of on my mind seeing as I just survived an engine explosion in the wilderness. Not a good time to waste whatever luck you get, you know? Also, what's Lo'qua?"
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Skypirate
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Cad grinned, answering her question, "Lo'qua, it's a fruity drink with a bit of alcohol in it. Helps keep scurvy at bay, everyone has to have one glass at dinner. Gotta keep the crew health in mind to, lots of things a captain needs to do along with balancing the ledgers, but enough of that for now, lets go see Gurdy."

With that done he lead her down the stairs, through the crew quarters, and down the steps past the cargo hold, down to a spacious room covered in pipes and machinery. An old cot was stuffed into a corner, a pile of broken tools in various states of repair sat near it. Near the back is an old engine, thrumming from the power it regulated, in front of that holding a wrench in one hand and an old rag in the other is a short dark skinned man.

At first look he might seem to be a gnome, if it wasn't for the size of his limbs and head, showing him to just be an abnormally short human. His clothes look more like a scientist's lab jacket on top of a mechanic's greasy duds and a belt filled with tools. His hair is cut short to keep the curliness of it in control, the sides are black while the top is dark grey, he wears a pair of old spectacles along with an odd set of monocles attached to the sides of the frames, obviously made to overlay his glasses, but the reasons are unknown to all but him.

Gurdy growls out, "Cap'n if this is about tha' damn dinner plans then I'll say it again. I ain't goin' I jus' wanna eat and sleep down here and keep on working on my baby. Unlike your dumb lot eager to hunt a drake I need to regulate the power and make sure nobody does something stupid. Now say your part so I can get back to work."

Cad gives Kyveli an apologetic smile, as if already knowing what will happen with her being down here, "We've got a tag along for a while, I know you've been wanting someone that might be able to help out, so I figure you can teach her basic maintenance so you can focus more on improving the systems."

Gurdy turns his head to Kyveli, looking her up and down, "Well girl, name and experience? If ya got neither of these then what could I use you for other than a wrench holster?"
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