Voyage to the Ice Continent

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Kelne
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Voyage to the Ice Continent

Unread postby Kelne » Thu Oct 05, 2006 9:14 am

((I'd originally intended to reveal these logs from a former expedition at the proper time in my abortive RP of the same name. Figured I'd expand it and post it up.

Note: The abbreviation P.E. stands for Post Enlightenment, taken as the years elapsed since the church of Falis took control of Kalshana.))

Excerpt from the journal of Maryanillae Sonelle (translated from the original Elven).

5 Tzelara, 1750 P.E.

My last night on shore before the expedition departs. I must say it's been a whirlwind of activity these past few days, with supplies to be stowed, gear to be checked, and the ship itself to be given a final once-over.

Finally, to cap it all, there's the traditional night on the town before we set sail. Humans certainly take their partying seriously. I know that I left home to get away from the stately flow of life, to actually live a little; still, I find it hard to keep up. The noise, for one thing, is simply overwhelming, and I'm not even about to try and keep up with the drinking.

I have, at least, learnt a few drinking songs, not that they're exactly complicated. The one in which people accuse each other of having eaten all the pies seems almost orcish. I can only imagine Mother's reaction if she caught me singing that.

Later in the evening, I was propositioned in the crudest possible way by one of the deckhands. I confess I was unsure how to respond to this. Nellie, bless her, had no such difficulties, and countered with a suggestion I dare not reprint. She later confided to me that Hester would hit on anything with a set of breasts. I am unsure whether to feel relieved or offended.

I took my leave soon afterwards, being partied-out. The others showed no signs of flagging, and I cannot imagine how they will haul themselves out of bed come morning. There must be some middle ground between the stifling social events of Kalshana and this sheer anarchy.

Living among humans, I can see, will be a constant learning experience.

Still, I am looking forward to the next few months. It seems difficult to believe that come the morning, we depart for the legendary Ice Continent of Hastel. This trip surely embodies the spirit of adventure so typical of the younger races, and I count myself lucky to be a part of it.

((Edit: Damnit. Wrong forum. Could I prevail upon somebody to move this?)) <p>Centuries of threats of "I'll turn you all to stone!" and "I'll knock you all down!" have caused Domans to develop an instinct to form small groups. For safety, I assure you. – Keir</p>Edited by: [url=http://p068.ezboard.com/brpgww60462.showUserPublicProfile?gid=kelne>Kelne</A]&nbsp; Image at: 10/5/06 9:15

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Capntastic
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Re: Voyage to the Ice Continent

Unread postby Capntastic » Thu Oct 05, 2006 6:00 pm

Moved!

Furthermore, I like it a lot, and would like to see the lyrics to the pie song scribbled in the margins somewhere :D I imagine it being very easy to get stuck into your head.


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Kelne
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Re: Voyage to the Ice Continent

Unread postby Kelne » Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:03 pm

The pie song:

"Who ate all the pies?
Who ate all the pies?"

*Points accusatory finger*

"You, fat bastard!
You, fat bastard!
You ate all the pies!"

Repeat ad infinitum, accusing a new person each time.

I remember learning that song in primary school, though I have no idea where it came from. Certainly it strikes me as the quitessential orcish drinking song. <p>Centuries of threats of "I'll turn you all to stone!" and "I'll knock you all down!" have caused Domans to develop an instinct to form small groups. For safety, I assure you. – Keir</p>

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Re: Voyage to the Ice Continent

Unread postby Kelne » Mon Oct 09, 2006 7:57 pm

6 Tzelara

I must say, Port Rosalita provides an impressive send-off. Men, women and children of all ages crowded the docksides, cheering as Swordfish and Sea Star set sail. Nellie tells me that Prince Dennis put in an appearance. I knew that Sir Anthony must be able to draw upon significant resources in order to put together the expedition, but this was the first time it had occurred to me that the royal family themselves might be backing the expedition.

It also leaves me wondering at my own inclusion. Surely there must be others more experienced (if not technically older). Still, for whatever reason, I am here now, and I can only do my best to make sure that Sir Anthony's confidence in me is not misplaced.

The crew are in good spirits. As they should be after that sendoff. We're already out of the major shipping lanes, since there are no ports to trade with along the north-western coast. If all goes well, we should reach Evringshall by the end of the month. From there, we will replenish our supplies, before moving on to Hastel itself.


8 Tzelara

Well, I daresay I'm getting used to life at sea. The crew seem to have settled into their routines, with set watches, chores and rituals. It's amazing all the things that need to be done to keep the ship moving in a straight line. As a passenger, I'm exempt from all this. And indeed, it's been made clear that I'd only get in the way if I tried to help out. I can see we're going to have to find our own ways to keep ourselves entertained and in shape.

Still, for now at least, the novelty of a sea voyage is entertainment enough. <p>Centuries of threats of "I'll turn you all to stone!" and "I'll knock you all down!" have caused Domans to develop an instinct to form small groups. For safety, I assure you. – Keir</p>

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Re: Voyage to the Ice Continent

Unread postby Kelne » Mon Oct 30, 2006 7:20 am

12 Tzelara

Since I have little to add in the way of events on the journey, I'll take the time to describe my fellow expedition members.

Sir Anthony Reese is our leader, and the driving force behind the expedition. An hereditary noble, he made a name for himself by mapping a route through Dead Iron Underpass, and establishing trading relations with Jorsk Hold. Whenever there has been an expedition to push back the blank spaces on the map, Sir Anthony has been there. Although this voyage represents his most ambitious undertaking to date, I have no doubt that he is already contemplating his next expedition.

Hamish Duncan is his second, a burly man who looks to have seen the world the hard way. Hamish tends to focus on the innumerable small details required to keep the expedition running smoothly. I had little opportunity to get to know him on shore, as he was engaged in a whirlwind of activity seeing to the procurement and loading of gear. Now that we're underway, he's relaxing a bit. I've decided I quite like Hamish. He's far more approachable than Sir Anthony, and is full of stories of the places he's seen.

Nellie Fitzgerald is the expedition's healer, a no-nonsense woman with a lifetime of experience as a ship's healer under her belt. She seems singularly at home on a ship, pitching in whenever an extra hand is called for without a second thought. She's a warm, friendly woman, but there's a core of steel in there.

Melryn Geller rounds out the expeditionary party. At least those of us who'll be trekking across the ice continent. Like myself, he's a foreigner, from the islands of Tarania. He's also what the Baronians term a 'dark knight' - someone skilled in both swordplay and magic. As the youngest member of the expedition, he seems to regard life as a challenge to be tackled head-on. Certainly his enthusiasm for the voyage is infectious.

In the company of a group such as this, I have to say that the possibility of failure seems remote. Not that the voyage won't provide us with a fair share of hardships. Otherwise, someone else would surely have pre-empted us. <p>Centuries of threats of "I'll turn you all to stone!" and "I'll knock you all down!" have caused Domans to develop an instinct to form small groups. For safety, I assure you. – Keir</p>

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Re: Voyage to the Ice Continent

Unread postby Kelne » Tue Nov 07, 2006 8:03 am

16 Tzelara

We've been running northwards, alongside the barren coastline for the past several days. This morning, in response to a call from the lookout, the captain gave an order for us to put further out to sea. It wasn't long before the rest of us were able to see the cause, and it sent everyone into a frenzy of activity.

Harpies, I am told, are a considerable menace to shipping on the southern routes, particularly around the Theician Penninsula. It seems there are flocks to the north of Baron as well. Although they feed primarily on fish, they are cruel creatures, and quite capable, if acting in concert, of snatching a grown man.

Some of us put bows to work in an effort to thin the numbers of the flock, while most gathered up boarding hooks and similar weapons to keep them at arms' length. Shooting from a constantly swaying deck is a challenge all of its own, and I'm not sure if I hit any.

The rest of the fight was something of a confused blur for me. The crew, at least, knew what they were doing, and I helped where I could. Still, there were a lot of harpies, and had they all swarmed us, rather than dividing themselves between the two ships, it could have gone very badly. It still could have gone very badly.

Swordfish is not, after all, a warship. Nor do we have a large crew to fend off boarders. Despite our best efforts, we were taking casualties, and two struggling crewmen were being carried skyward.

It was then that a thunderclap crashed across the ship, deafening in its intensity. As bad as it was for us, it was far worse for the harpies. The sudden shock seemed to stun them, leaving them grounded and twitching on the deck. The crew wasted no time cutting their throats and pitching them overboard. I later found out that the ship's mage keeps an item on hand specifically for dealing with hostile fliers.

This has been my first encounter with harpies, and I must say I find them profoundly disturbing. In form, they are humanoid, appearing as leathery-skinned women whose arms are replaced by wings. To the best of my knowledge, nobody has ever encountered a male harpy. Or perhaps they are indistinguishable from the females. Their features bear a twisted cast, as if someone had taken the template of the civilised races and warped it out of true.

In battle, they emit a constant series of hateful screechings, and seem indifferent to losses among their fellows. It would be easy to dismiss them as mindless savages, were it not for the glint of intelligence in their eyes.

Remarkably, nobody was lost, though a couple had to be fished out of the sea, and Nellie will have her hands full fixing up the wounded. Spirits are high. This was, after all, a victory. Still, I will feel better when we have left the harpies safely behind. As we travel farther north, they should peter out, being ill-equipped to survive the colder conditions.

I cannot help but wonder what other perils we will encounter. We are only a week into the voyage, and already we have been attacked. Still, we seem to have come through reasonably well. I shall simply have to wait and see what the future has in store. <p>Centuries of threats of "I'll turn you all to stone!" and "I'll knock you all down!" have caused Domans to develop an instinct to form small groups. For safety, I assure you. – Keir</p>

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Re: Voyage to the Ice Continent

Unread postby Kelne » Thu Dec 14, 2006 6:35 am

23 Tzelara

The weather took a turn for the worse today. Rather than chance riding out the storm, Sir Anthony determined that we would seek a sheltered harbour and wait it out. Judging from the winds that buffet us even in this sheltered cove, it was the right decision. The stove in the galley has been extinguished for safety's sake, so it was cold rations for us tonight.

24 Tzelara

I'm told the main fury of the storm has passed us by, and we should be able to resume our journey in the morning. What it will be like if such a storm strikes us out at sea I have no idea. Certainly, seeking safe harbour will not be an option. Still, plenty of time to worry about that when it happens.

25 Tzelara

Rose early this morning, intending to take the opportunity for a swim before we got underway. I found Melryn already on deck, staring out at the shore.

Sensing my presence, he turned and said sheepishly, "I thought I saw something moving out there."

From his tone, he'd already concluded that it was just an overactive imagination at work. Still, I took a look shorewards myself. There, barely visible in the dim pre-dawn light, stood a pair of humanoid figures, plainly watching us as we were watching them.

I had never heard of any settlements on the northern coast, nor had Sir Anthony planned on resupplying before Evringshall. Not wishing to roust the crew quite so early (they appreciate the occasional opportunity to sleep in), we settled for fetching the officer of the watch, Kelston Smith.

Kelston simply shook his head sombrely at our reports of people on the shore, "Look again," he advised.

Not understanding, I did so, and drew in my breath with a hiss as the light finally brightened enough to make out details. The gleam of protruding bones. The rotting flesh. The white, staring eyes locked unnervingly on my own. Shivering, I averted my gaze, my fingers sketching the sign of Falis above my breast.

"The dead don't rest easy in the north," Kelston said quietly, "Some dark magic pervades the land. They'll not bother us here - they cannot abide the touch of the sea. Still, I think it best we show them our stern."

With that, he set about waking the captain and crew. There were complaints at first, but these died away as they spied the figures on shore. They had the ship underway in short order, stealing the occasional glance at the dead standing in their silent vigil.

Sensing my need for companionship, Melryn put his arm around my shoulder. We stood at the rail for a long time.

I am reminded once more that the world outside Kalshana is a wide and oftentimes dangerous place. For the first time, I wonder at my wisdom in setting out to explore it. <p>Centuries of threats of "I'll turn you all to stone!" and "I'll knock you all down!" have caused Domans to develop an instinct to form small groups. For safety, I assure you. – Keir</p>

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Re: Voyage to the Ice Continent

Unread postby Kelne » Thu Dec 28, 2006 2:33 am

26 Tzelara

It's difficult to entertain such maudlin thoughts for long in such company. The weather has improved, as have spirits, given a little prodding from Nellie. Those of us not on duty were roped into a game of quoits, a game involving throwing loops of rope across the deck. A tricky proposition, given the way it heaves underfoot. It's easy to understand why the game uses loops of rope, rather than a ball - we lost a fair amount of rope overboard.

Afterwards, in keeping with the rope theme of the day's entertainment, a net was thrown over the back of the ship, allowing people to cling to it and be dragged along through the water. An exhilarating experience, even if it does tire one out quickly.

The coastline continues to pass us by on the starboard rail, and I'm told we're on course to reach Evringshall in another couple of weeks.

Luciara 10

Well, we've docked at the far northern port of Cresca. Unfortunately, I'm not allowed to leave the ship. Apparently, the Evringshallites have been sufficiently isolated down through the years that they think elves are supernatural beings, on a par with celestials.

Obviously, I can't go around passing myself off as a messenger of the gods. Unfortunately, it doesn't sound as if my denials of any such thing will be taken seriously. It would have been nice if somebody had told me about this before we arrived. I'd been looking forward to some shore leave.

I'm going to have to give this some thought. There's no way I'm spending a week cooped up on this ship while everyone else is enjoying themselves on shore. <p>Centuries of threats of "I'll turn you all to stone!" and "I'll knock you all down!" have caused Domans to develop an instinct to form small groups. For safety, I assure you. – Keir</p>

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Unread postby Kelne » Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:13 am

30 Tzelara

Well, the great escape didn't go exactly according to plan. I got Melryn's help easily enough, and he actually had more faith in my disguise than I did. Melryn felt that, to anyone who'd never seen an elf before, I'd pass just fine in bulky clothing, a scarf and a woolly hat to hide the ears. I'm still not sure I'd have fooled anyone familiar with elves, but none of the Evringshallites made any comment, so I must have gotten away with it.

Although we got off the ship easily enough, we hadn't gotten more than a couple of streets before we ran into Nellie. She said something about the young being terribly predictable. Reminded me of mother.

Still, mother wouldn't have turned around and helped us after that. Nellie said that we needed someone to keep an eye on us, make sure we didn't do anything stupid. Not that we would, of course. But you don't complain when someone agrees not to turn you in.

And so the three of us headed out of town and towards the woods. Mixing with the locals would never have been a good idea - too many things that could go wrong. Besides, what I really needed was a few days back on land, away from the crowded quarters of the ship.

Elves and woods are something of a stereotype. We just feel naturally comfortable in such surroundings. It's ironic. The Evringshallites may not believe in elves, but they certainly have some far more unusual beings living in their woods.


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